Tag Archives: Chipotle

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Years ago, when I finally decided to start eating from the produce aisle on a voluntary basis, I’ve been searching for a vegetable-based taco that meets with my admittedly high and exacting taco standards. Which are the following: they must be filling and hefty, no matter what the contents; flavor must be extremely bold and in your face; there must be a touch of heat and spice from chiles of some kind; there must be multiple components that complement each other.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Vegetarian tacos generally fail at most of these criteria, particularly the last one. It often feels like people, more specifically restaurants and food trucks, think that if the filling is vegetable or bean based, then it might be overkill to top it with a vegetable or bean-based salsa. No!! Not at all! In fact it’s quite necessary to provide that contrast of textures, and that is a bit tougher on a vegetable-based taco.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

But with this blog post, I’m proving beyond any doubt that it is entirely possible. The key is choosing different textures between the main event filling and the garnish. This taco is, thus far, my hands down favorite meat-free taco ever, and it’s not a stretch to say it’s going in my top ten tacos eaten ever. The zucchini here is chopped and sautéed, so a chopped tomato salsa really wouldn’t work. The textures and shapes would be too similar. Corn kernels are a perfect solution. Then the chipotle crema adds a creamy note that this taco just begs for, plus that heat and spice that I personally require on all tacos.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Carnivore or vegetarian, I don’t care, just try these. Whatever your eating habits/philosophy, it doesn’t matter – you will NOT be disappointed. Enjoy!

Source: Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:

TACOS:
2 tbs olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed zucchini
Salt and black pepper, to taste
8 corn tortillas, warmed

CORN SALSA:
2 ears grilled corn on the cob, kernels cut from cob
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper, to taste

CHIPOTLE CREMA:
3 tbs plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch each of salt and black pepper

Directions:
For the TACOS: heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt, and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini becomes slightly tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
For the CORN SALSA, combine the corn kernels, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss together.
For the CREMA, whisk together yogurt, adobo sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper.
To assemble the tacos, add some zucchini mixture to each warm tortilla and cover it with corn salsa. Drizzle some crema on top. Serve immediately.

Ancho Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over Chipotle Black Bean Puree with Jalapeno Crema

Ancho Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over chipotle Black Bean Puree with jalapeno crema

Through lived experience I’ve found that when a craving hits, you should just feed the beast and then move on. It’s just going to haunt you until you do. So last week Matt and I booked a vacation – this May is our ten year wedding anniversary (!!!) so the last week in April we’ll be traveling to the Bahamas, visiting both Paradise Island and the Exuma Cays. (I’m SO excited!!)

Ancho Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over Chipotle Black Bean Puree with Jalapeno Crema

We made dinner reservations to eat at Mesa Grill, at the Atlantis resort, and that, my friends, got me craving this dish. Unfortunately for me, Mesa Grill’s flagship New York location closed down a year or so ago; fortunately for me, there’s a Mesa Grill Cookbook! And yes, this is the recipe I’ve made most often from said book.

Ancho Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over Black Bean Puree with Jalapeno Crema

This is surprisingly easy, for a fine dining restaurant dish, and it’s a real show-stopper. I’ve made it for dinner parties quite a few times, and my mom has as well. Everyone has raved. And yet, it’s also simple enough for a weeknight meal, believe it or not.

I just love it. The recipe contains three steps, all of which are super easy and two of which can be done ahead of time. Upon making this (yet again!) I realized I had never put it up on the blog – for shame!! Time to correct that little misstep!

Ancho Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over Chipotle Black Bean Puree with Jalapeno Crema

You just have to make this one soon – it’s so incredibly delicious. And now my craving is sated, and perhaps more importantly, now I won’t be tempted to order it when we dine at Mesa Grill in a few months – and that’s important because at Mesa Grill Atlantis, this dish costs $39 – apiece!!! A little outrageous… I’d rather make it for about $25 total (meaning for two servings) in my own kitchen. Enjoy!

Ancho Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon over Chipotle Black Bean Puree with Jalapeno Crema

{One Year Ago: A Guest Post – Creole Meatball Po’Boys; Bacon and Hazelnut Buttermilk Caramels}
{Two Years Ago: Chipotle Chilaquiles}

Source: adapted from The Mesa Grill Cookbook by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
BLACK BEAN PUREE:
Canola oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt

SALMON:
1/3 cup honey
1 tbs ancho chile powder
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 (about 8 oz.) skin-on salmon fillets
2 tbs canola oil
Cilantro or scallions, for garnish

JALAPENO CREMA:
½ cup sour cream
1 large or 2 small jalapeno chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded if desired, and chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:
First make the BLACK BEAN PUREE. In a medium sauté pan preheated over medium-high, drizzle in some canola oil, then add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor. Wipe out the skillet. Add the black beans to the food processor, along with the chipotle chile(s), cumin, and salt to taste. Fill the black beans can up about halfway with water, then add that to the food processor. Puree until very smooth. If it’s too thick, add a touch more water. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Transfer the bean puree back to the skillet you wiped out and place over medium-low heat for a few minutes, just to warm up the beans. Turn the heat to low to keep warm but not scorch them while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Note: the beans can be made ahead and reheated just before serving.
Now make the SALMON. In a small bowl, add the honey, ancho chile powder, Dijon mustard, plus a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
Season the flesh sides of each salmon fillet with salt and black pepper. Add the canola oil to a large skillet or cast-iron pan and set it over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add the salmon fillets skin side down. Let them cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, until a crust forms and they will lift from the skillet with no sticking issues whatsoever. In the last minute of cooking on this side, brush each fillet with some of the honey glaze. Flip the salmon fillets and cook flesh side down for at least 2 minutes, and up to 2 minutes beyond that. 2 minutes flesh side down will get you rare to medium-rare salmon, so go longer if you want it more done in the center.
Remove the salmon fillets to a plate and brush more glaze on the flesh side of each fillet.
To make the JALAPENO CREMA, place the roasted jalapenos and sour cream in a small or mini food processor, season to taste with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
To assemble the dish: on each of 4 large dinner plates, spoon a mound of black bean puree and spread it out all chefy-like with the back of a spoon. Center a salmon fillet over the spread of bean puree, then dot the jalapeno crema all around the salmon and bean puree. Garnish with cilantro sprigs or snipped scallions if desired. Serve immediately.

Smoky Scrambled Duck Eggs with Tomatoes on Toast Points

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I am so predictable. Really, I am. Every time I get a new cookbook, I make a beeline for any recipe that can even remotely resemble a Tex-Mex dish, and that usually ends up what I make first. And I kid you not, this is every time. And I usually don’t even realize I’m doing it until the meal is on the table.

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I mean, seriously, take it from me to buy Plenty, a book by an Israeli-born Londoner, and find one of the *few* Tex-Mex-ish recipes in there to make first. You really wouldn’t even expect such a thing from Ottolenghi, but the man’s genius seems to know no bounds, and yes, he has a sort-of version of migas.

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Only he uses duck eggs. (Which you can find at Whole Foods, and no, they are not cheap). I’d never experimented with duck eggs before, and I must say, they are a bit different from chicken eggs. I get why people go gaga over them. They are larger, so you don’t need as many, and they are richer and more luxurious.

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This dish is great as is of course, but I firmly believe you could use chicken eggs with spectacular results. If you’re looking to get all fancy and impress someone, definitely splurge for the duck eggs, but it’s not wholly necessary. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Apple-Pork Ragout over Pappardelle}

Source: adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:
2 dried chipotle chiles, stems removed and seeds shaken out
2 thick slices sourdough bread, regular or whole wheat
Softened butter, for spreading
1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 scallions, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
3 duck eggs, or 4 large chicken eggs
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
Sour cream, for serving

Directions:
Place the dried chipotles in a small stockpot over medium-high heat. Toast for about a minute, flipping once, until you can just smell them. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, shut off the heat and cover the pot. Let it sit for 20 minutes. When the chiles have rehydrated and are soft and pliable, transfer them to a cutting board and dice.
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Dry toast the sourdough slices on both sides until golden brown and crisped. Remove them to a plate and immediately smear the butter onto one side. Set aside, tenting with foil to keep warm.
Wipe the bread crummies out of the skillet, then place it back on medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, then the garlic and scallions. When they begin to turn golden, increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes and chipotle. Cook, stirring frequently, another 2 to 3 minutes.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat gently with salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook, stirring moderately, until they have reached your desired scrambled egg consistency. Runny eggs will only take 30 to 60 seconds, longer if you want them firmer.
As soon as the eggs are done, shut off the heat. Place the toasts on serving plates, spoon the eggs on top and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately with the sour cream on the side or on top, if desired.

Austin-Style Black Beans #SundaySupper

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Welcome to a Budget Friendly edition of Sunday Supper! Up front, I have to confess something. I don’t really ever budget when it comes to our food costs. Now I’m certainly not buying things like caviar and lobster every week, and I’m very cognizant of what is and isn’t on a special sale that week, but I don’t enter the grocery store with a number in mind that I can’t or shouldn’t exceed. I’m a firm believer in the principle of pay more for your food and less for your healthcare. So I’ll cut back in almost every other area of life, but not food.

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True story to illustrate my point: several years ago I noticed that my everyday boots had a not-so-insignificant hole in the sole. Fortunately they were thick soles, so the situation wasn’t as dire as it sounds, but still – that’s not great. I ventured into a shopping mall with the express purpose of buying a new pair of shoes. Two hours later I walked back to my car, without any new shoes, but carrying in hand a bag of goodies, including a bottle of $11 gourmet barbecue sauce, from Williams-Sonoma. Yeah. You can see where my priorities lie.

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Eventually I did replace the shoes, but I didn’t on that particular day because I was being mindful of our overall budget, and well, I wanted the barbecue sauce more. So this week’s theme was a little bit out of my wheelhouse!

In the end, I decided I couldn’t go wrong with dried beans. They are extremely cheap, and once cooked they stretch to either feed a small army, or let a few people eat for a week, easy. These were delicious – full of flavor, incredibly filling, high in protein, and you will not feel like you are “eating cheap”, if that makes sense. They work wonderfully as a side dish, but I ate a more substantial-sized bowl for lunch today, and was a perfectly happy camper.

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I hope y’all enjoy them! And definitely check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang for some fantastic ideas on budget friendly, yet delicious recipes!

{Two Years Ago: Poutine, Blue Cheese Hazelnut Biscuits}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed, picked over and rocks discarded
1 tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped, plus a nice spoonful of adobo sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs tomato paste
¼ cup lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish (optional – this will make it non-vegan)

Directions:
Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with water, covering them by about 1 inch. Soak at room temperature overnight. Drain the beans well, then transfer to a large soup pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
Return the empty pot to the stove and heat to medium-high. Add the oil, then the onion. Saute the onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Lower the heat to medium, then add the beans, chipotle plus adobo sauce, and ¼ cup cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours. Adjust the heat around as necessary and stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. You want to keep things at a gently rolling simmer.
After 1 ½ hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, lime juice and salt to taste. Cook uncovered 30 minutes more, or until the beans are tender. Taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed. Garnish with Cotija if you desire, noting that it will no longer be vegan if you do so.
Note: you may need to go longer than the stated 2 hours cook time, just keep tasting and see. Mine went an extra 30 minutes purely because I got distracted cooking the rest of our dinner that night, and they were not overcooked at all.

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Satisfying Sides

Sweet Treats

Sips, Spreads, and Snacks

Sunday Supper Movement
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To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.



Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Chipotle Bacon Margaritas

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I promised (on my Facebook page earlier this week), and now I’m delivering: my chipotle bacon margaritas!!! Back story as to how this drink came about – when I made Bacon Salt for my Secret Recipe Club pick, Matt immediately insisted that some of it be reserved for rimming a margarita glass.

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I concurred, enthusiastically, but the question then became: on what kind of margarita? Bacon is of course salty and smoky, and since this is my brain we’re talking about, chipotle immediately came to mind. Sigh. No surprise there.

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Oh well, I stand by it! Especially after tasting this bad boy. It is so delicious. Yes, it is spicy, and definitely salty. I use one sugar cube in here to cut the spiciness, but this really isn’t a sweet margarita. The smokiness of the bacon really melds with the spiciness of the drink. I just loved it!

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I minced up half of one chipotle in adobo for this drink, and depending on the size of the holes in your strainer, you may end up with little bits of chipotle floating in your drink. That didn’t bother me at all, I liked it in fact, but if that doesn’t appeal to you, I’d advise straining your cocktail through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup with a pour spout, then pouring the drink into your glasses.

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I hope all you chile head-bacon fiends will enjoy this one!

{One Year Ago: Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza, Bourbon Banana Bread, I Don’t Have Meat Drippings Texas Barbecue Sauce}
{Two Years Ago: Tilapia with Chile Butter and Ricotta Grits Cakes}

Ingredients:
4 oz. silver tequila
2 oz. orange liqueur
2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 sugar cube
Half a chipotle in adobo, chopped
2 tbs bacon salt
¼ tsp chipotle chile powder
Ice
Lime wedges, for rimming

Directions:
Add the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, sugar cube, and chipotle in adobo to your cocktail shaker. On a plate or other flat surface, mix together the bacon salt and chipotle chile powder. Using a lime wedge, run it well over the rim of 2 margarita or martini glasses. Carefully dip the edges of both glasses in the bacon salt. Make sure it’s well coated all around.
Add ice to your cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for several seconds. Strain into your glasses. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 drinks

Southwestern Turkey Sliders #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Tantalizing Trays, which made me think of game day food, probably because that’s where my brain is anyway seeing as COLLEGE FOOTBALL started this weekend!!! I cannot wait to see my Baylor Bears beat up on SMU tonight!!

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When thinking about what to make this week, I also realized I’ve been somewhat neglecting sliders on this website, so I figured this was as good an excuse as any to remedy that. And thus, enter these delicious, adorable Tex-Mex-inspired turkey sliders – flavorful, moist, and adaptable to your tastes and preferences. Perfect for game day, or any other party that calls for trays of delectable little bites. Enjoy!

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And do not forget to see what my Sunday Supper gang has brought for you!

{One Year Ago: Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs}
{Two Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Grilled Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce, Strawberry Scones with an Almond Glaze}

Source: adapted from Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
Canola oil, for the grill grates
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1 small red onion, peeled and grated
2 scallions, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded if desired, minced or grated
1 ½ tbs All-Purpose Mexican/Tex-Mex Spice Mix, or your favorite Mexican seasoning blend
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
12 mini hamburger buns or slider rolls, split and toasted if desired
Garnishes of your choice: lettuce, tomato, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, ketchup, sour cream, chipotle mayonnaise, mustard

Directions:
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Rub some canola oil on a folded paper towel and rub it all over the grill grates when ready to grill.
In a large bowl, add the turkey, onion, scallions, jalapeno, spice rub, Worcestershire, olive oil, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Using your clean hands, mix everything together gently but thoroughly. Be wary of overmixing, this will make your sliders tough.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, and using your wet hands, shape them into 12 small burgers, each about 3 ½ inches wide. Use your forefinger to make a slight impression in the center of each slider, to prevent “burger bulge” when they cook.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook until the turkey is just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a slider reads 165 F. Total cooking time is 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill. You may need to cook these in batches – don’t crowd the grill or you will steam the sliders. Nasty.
Remove the sliders to a plate when done. And now it’s time to assemble! I placed a bit of lettuce on a bottom bun, then a slice of tomato, then a slider patty. I liberally spread chipotle mayonnaise on the top burger buns, then topped them in place. Stick a toothpick in the center of each and dig in!

Savory Bites:

Sweet Treats:

Chipotle Pinto Bean Dip with Jicama “Chips” + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

Chipotle Pinto Bean Dip with Jicama "Chips" 069

Welcome back! This week I am giving away my surprise excess copy of Mark Bittman’s The VB6 Cookbook! And each day of blogging, I’m sharing a delicious recipe from the book, to give you a taste of what you’ll be getting if you win. The giveaway goes on until Friday at 5 pm EST, and you can enter at the bottom of this post – don’t miss out!

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Yesterday I shared his insane Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs – totally vegan, and beyond delicious. I was in awe. Today I’m sharing one of the snacks chapter recipes. I have a huge weakness for bean dips, and they are super easy to make at home. Being from Texas, Frito scoops are quite common and popular for use as a dipper. Tasty? Oh yes. Healthy? Ummm, not really.

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So I was incredibly pleased to see Bittman’s take on what the heck we should be using to scoop up creamy, spicy bean dip. He had several, but the idea that really jumped out at me was jicama. Jicama! Yes! Why didn’t I ever think of that? Jicama is perfect for bean dips. It’s crispy, it’s sturdy, and it’s commonly used in Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking, so it doesn’t feel out of place at all. I am seriously doing this again.

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A quick warning about the bean dip: you can use one chipotle in adobo or two. It will surprise no one that I used two, and I can assure you it is super spicy that way. If you’re not into the heat, definitely use only one! enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Grilled Romaine Hearts with Bacon Blue Cheese Vinaigrette}

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1-2 chipotle in adobo, plus a little bit of the adobo sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into discs, like chips

Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the scallions and jicama into your blender. Puree until very smooth, adding water if it’s too thick and not completely cooperating.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Transfer the dip to a bowl and garnish with the scallions. Serve with the jicama “chips” for dipping.

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Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

Queso flameado with Chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

So the other day I’m trying to decide what to make for dinner, and I realize that I am craving fried shrimp something fierce. I mean, fierce. So I try to talk myself out of it. Because swimsuit season is approaching, and fried shrimp can be quite detrimental to the waistline. And I don’t really need them, it’s just a craving. But I tell myself that I can absolutely have shrimp for dinner, I just can’t fry it.

So. I put it on top of a bunch of melted cheese instead. Because that’s soooo much better and healthier than frying it. It is! Why are you laughing? Okay, fine…

queso flameade with chipotle ranchera shrimp salsa

I can’t tell you this little dish is low-cal, but it is insanely delicious. I found it on one of my favorite food blogging sites, The Homesick Texan.

A+, Lisa. Seriously, A+. This is incredibly tasty and satisfying. If you’re unfamiliar, queso flameado is the Tex-Mex version of the Mexican appetizer dish queso fundido. Queso flameado is popular around Houston and closer to the Mexico border; growing up in Dallas, I’d actually never heard of it as a kid. But, it’s so delicious. I mean, it’s melted cheese! How bad can it possibly be? So good, y’all….

Queso Flameado with Chipotle Ranchera Shrimp Salsa

{One year ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream}

Source: lightly adapted from The Homesick Texan

Ingredients:
1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 very small yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and thickly sliced
1 chipotle in adobo chile
1/2 cup cilantro
Kosher salt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
Tortilla chips, or warmed tortillas, for serving

Directions:
Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a medium pot. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the onion, garlic and jalapeño are softened. Turn off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the queso flameado, lightly grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and add all the shredded cheese to the skillet. Set aside.
Meanwhile, as the salsa is cooling, toss the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. After the salsa has cooled, pour it into a blender or a food processor, along with the chipotle and cilantro, scraping the sides of the pan to get out all of the salsa. Pulse the salsa until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste.
At this point, place the skillet with the cheese in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
While the cheese is baking, in the same pot that you used for the salsa, heat up the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shrimp along with any marinade juices, and cook the shrimp until they are pink and firm, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat to low as soon as the shrimp are cooked. Pour the ranchera salsa into the shrimp and stir to combine. Let it go for a couple more minutes or until the sauce has warmed up again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove the cheese from the oven and spoon on top of the cheese the shrimp and ranchera salsa. Serve warm with tortilla chips or warmed tortillas. You’ll need a spoon for scooping the dip. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Chipotle Braised Chicken Wings

Chocolate chipotle braised Chicken wings

Welcome, welcome! Super Bowl Sunday is one day closer, and that means I’m posting another chicken wings recipe for your game day consideration. Yup, it’s CHICKEN WINGS WEEK! Yesterday we baked wings, so today we are braising them.

I’ve always thought of braising as being reserved for large, tough cuts of meat that need to be slow cooked, like short ribs, or pork shoulder; so I was quite intrigued when I heard that braising little chicken wings was actually a thing. And now that I’ve tried it, I’m quite pleased to share the results.

chocolate chipotle braised chicken wings

First off, braising wings doesn’t take nearly as long as braising larger chunks of meat. Secondly, it keeps the meat very moist and tender. And lastly, these may just be the sauciest wings I’ve ever had. Seriously, a stack of napkins likely won’t be enough; serve them with a tower of napkins!

Flavor-wise, this is reminiscent of a Mexican mole sauce, but with far fewer ingredients. It’s deep, earthy, homey, and spicy – perfect for winter. The cooking method is largely hands-off, and the wings can sit in the braising sauce on the stove top over low heat as long as you need them to, so they’re ideal party food. Hope y’all enjoy these!

Chocolate-Chipotle Braised Chicken Wings

{One year ago: Spicy Calamari Stew with Garlic Rubbed Ciabatta Toasts}

Source: heavily adapted from The Great Wings Book by Hugh Carpenter

Ingredients:
3 lbs. whole chicken wings, split in 2 parts and tips discarded
3 dried ancho chiles
2 dried pasilla chiles
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 plum tomatoes
1 chipotle in adobo
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning the wings
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 oz. Mexican chocolate, or use a very dark bittersweet chocolate if you can’t find Mexican, broken into chunks
Fresh minced cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
In a small saucepot, place the dried chiles and enough water to just cover them. Place on high heat and bring the water up to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, shut off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium dry cast-iron skillet heated over high heat, add the tomatoes and garlic. Char them a few minutes on each side, until the tomatoes are blistered and beginning to soften and burst, and the garlic is nicely browned. Add the tomatoes and garlic to a blender. Also to the blender, add the chipotle in adobo, cumin, chipotle powder, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, allspice, and oregano. Now add the rehydrated chiles and 1-2 cups of the soaking liquid from the pot.
Puree until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
Wipe out the cast-iron skillet. Lightly toss the wings with salt. Preheat the skillet to high heat and sear the wings, skin side down, just until browned. You can sear the meaty side too, but it’s not critical. Work in batches if necessary, as crowding the pan will just steam the wings. Yuck.
Add the pureed sauce to a large Dutch oven. Place over medium heat and add the browned wings. Bring to a gentle simmer and let it go for 15 minutes. Your heat level should be between medium and medium-low at this point. You’ll probably have to play with it a bit, just keep the sauce gently simmering. Stir occasionally.
After 15 minutes, add the chocolate chunks and stir to combine. Let the braise go another 5-10 minutes, to melt and incorporate the chocolate and to make sure the wings are completely cooked through. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.
At this point you can garnish with cilantro and serve, or keep it over low heat for as long as you need.

Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp

Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp

Welcome to October! It’s finally *really* fall, it’s the time when I’m now allowed to cook with pumpkin (I don’t permit myself to use pumpkin before October 1), and it’s definitely apple and pear season.

marinating shrimp

So what’s happening? Indian summer! Of course. As I type this, I’m currently running the air conditioner in my office, I’m wearing a tank top, and it’s near sweltering outside. Good times! We are definitely grilling this weekend.

making rosemary skewers

rosemary shrimp skewers, before grilling

And with that, I thought a grilled shrimp skewer was appropriate for today. These are so cool. Instead of wooden skewers (which have to be soaked beforehand) or metal skewers (which get hotter than hell on the grill), these shrimp are skewered on rosemary branches. How awesome is that! It’s an all-natural skewer for the crunchy hippie in all of us, lol.

Chipotle Shrimp Skewers on the grill

I should warn you, these shrimp are very spicy. They do not mess around. That said, they are so flavorful, and we just love them. And, they can easily be adapted to an indoor grill setting, so you can eat them year-round! Enjoy!

Rosemary Skewered Chipotle Shrimp

{One year ago: Apple Hatch Chile Cobbler}

Source: slightly adapted from Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid

Ingredients:
6-7 fresh rosemary sprigs (pick sturdy sprigs as much as possible)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb. raw medium shrimp, peeled but tails left intact, deveined
Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your grill to high.
Remove the leaves from about three-quarters of each rosemary sprig, and set the sprigs aside. Chop enough of the rosemary leaves to make 1 ½ teaspoons. Discard the rest or reserve it for another use.
Combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, chipotle chile powder, and chopped rosemary in a medium bowl. Season the marinade with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then skewer the shrimp onto the rosemary sprigs, 2-3 shrimp per sprig.
Transfer the skewers to the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Transfer the skewers to a platter, garnish with lime wedges, and dig in.