Tag Archives: Mexican

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

Winter citrus is still going strong in all my local grocery stores, so I’m taking as much advantage as possible, while I still can. I’ve given you a Blood Orange Margarita before, and it was so delicious and became pretty popular on Pinterest – with good reason! But I wanted to revisit the beloved drink, this time with a smoky twist.

blood orange mezcal margaritas

Mezcal is a type of tequila made in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s smoky and a little more pungent than regular tequilas, and far less popular. Most Mezcal consumption is in the form of exports to Japan and the United States.

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

I must say, this American was quite excited to pick up a bottle of Mezcal! We got it home and started brainstorming what drink to make with it, and then before you know it, winter citrus season is upon us, blood oranges are plentiful, remember that blood orange juice makes fabulous margaritas, what about a smoky Mezcal margarita, and you can see how the whole thing just flowed from there. And here we are!

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

This is strong, smoky, sweet, tart, and really in your face. But it’s so smooth! I do implore you to find some Mezcal and give this one a try while we can still get our hands on blood oranges, it’s really impressive and delicious! Enjoy!

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

{One Year Ago: Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas}
{Two Years Ago: Mexican Green Rice}

Source: heavily adapted from Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza

Ingredients:
Juice of 2 blood oranges
Juice of 1 Cara Cara orange, or 1 navel orange
Juice of 1 lime
4 shots Mezcal
2 tbs simple syrup
2 wedges of blood oranges, for garnish
Kosher salt, for rimming the glasses

Directions:
Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add all the citrus juice, Mezcal, and simple syrup to the shaker. Shake vigorously for a few seconds.
Prepare your glasses. Run a blood orange wedge around the rim of each of 2 martini or margarita glasses. Spread the salt in an even layer on a small plate, then gently dip the rim of the glass in the salt.
Strain the cocktail into each prepared glass and place the blood orange wedges on each glass. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

Huevos Rancheros Salad

I have one more classic-dish-turned-dinner-salad recipe to share with you to conclude this themed week, and I was going to share it yesterday, until I remembered that (for whatever reason) Friday is always my slowest traffic day; and thus, I decided to share this on a Saturday (which, again for whatever reason, is a much better traffic day for me) because this dish is just too delicious and too special to risk not being seen.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

This is Huevos Rancheros, the classic Mexican morning dish of crisp tortilla covered in ranchero sauce, cheese and a fried egg, but it’s turned into a salad!! You may be asking if that can even work, and I’m here to assure you, yes it can. It does. It’s insanely good.

Now, I’m not going to ask you to take my word for it – that this salad is just beyond. You see, I don’t have the least bit of an objective relationship with Huevos Rancheros. I love it, period. It can do no wrong in my book. I guess what I’m saying, is that, for me, Huevos Rancheros is like sex: when it’s good, it’s indescribable, and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

So you should take Matt’s word for it, instead. He, being much more discerning about his Huevos Rancheros and not being quite so obsessed, found this salad to be “phenomenal.” And he, unlike myself, would recognize and say so if it wasn’t.

This salad is everything you love about the iconic dish, just transformed by placing the traditional ingredients on a bed of lettuce and crushing some tortilla chips on top. There’s a creamy chipotle dressing that lightly coats the lettuce pieces but doesn’t compete with the traditional flavors. And of course, that runny egg yolk – arguably one of the best parts of Huevos Rancheros – serves to dress everything too.

Huevos Rancheros Salad

It’s different, for sure! But, I firmly believe that all of you out there who are Huevos Rancheros lovers will also love it in salad form. A really beautiful meal, for any time of day. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Julie’s Famous Buffalo Wings; Soy, Dijon and Blue Cheese Chicken Wings}
{Two Years Ago: Meyer Lemon and Fresh Cranberry Scones; Gas Station Pork Tacos}

Source: recipe slightly adapted from The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown; egg technique from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
DRESSING:
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tsp adobo sauce
1 large egg
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup sour cream

SALAD:
1 large romaine heart, chopped
¾ cup diced jalapeno Jack cheese
1 cup cooked corn kernels (frozen are fine, just thaw them first)
¾ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1-4 tbs unsalted butter, lard, or rendered bacon fat
1-2 large eggs per serving (anywhere from 2 to 8 eggs)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup tomato salsa, homemade or store-bought
Crushed tortilla chips, about 1 generous handful per serving
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Directions:
First make the DRESSING: combine the chipotle, adobo sauce, egg, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. With the machine still running, carefully pour in the olive oil through the top of the blender, until a thick sauce forms. Add the sour cream and process 30 seconds. Refrigerate until using.
Combine the lettuce, cheese, corn, and beans in a large mixing bowl. Toss with your hands to evenly incorporate everything. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over high heat and get it screaming hot, about 1 full minute. Add the fat of choice, about 1 generous tbs for every 2 eggs. Work in batches to avoid crowding the eggs. Let the fat melt completely, then add your egg, reduce the heat to medium-high, and step back. The whites will sputter and hiss. Within a minute, it should get brown at the edges but don’t touch or move it. Let it cook until the white looks fully opaque, another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Shimmy a thin metal spatula under the egg, gently loosening any stuck parts. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat as needed to cook all of your eggs.
To serve, dress the lettuce mixture lightly with the dressing and toss to combine. Mound the lettuce on dinner plates, then top with 1-2 fried eggs. Spoon salsa over all and garnish with the tortilla chips and scallions. Serve immediately.
As written, this will probably yield 4-6 servings, depending on how large a portion you prefer. I got 4 servings. How many eggs you use depends on whether your diners want 1 or 2 eggs per serving, and how many servings you choose to have.

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.

Bacon Guacamole

bacon guacamole

Ah, guacamole. A snack/appetizer from Mexico that will likely never lose its status as beloved, revered even. However, I’ve noticed that guacamole lovers fall into one of two fairly polarizing camps: the Guacamole Purists, and the Guacamole Adventurers.

The Purists want to keep guacamole in its original form. The avocado mashed with citrus juice, chile, onion, garlic, cilantro, maybe tomato, and salt. Lots of salt. The Adventurers are willing to have add-ins in their guacamole. The most common things I’ve seen are mango, shrimp, chipotle, and the like; on the less typical side I’ve seen things as out there as apple and smoked salmon.

Bacon Guacamole

I am firmly in the Purists camp. I have always held, no clung to, the belief that good, made-from-scratch guacamole is perfect as it is and needs no embellishment, and in fact that said embellishments might overall detract from the wonder that is guacamole.

Bacon Guacamole

And then, my parents gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas, and I used it to purchase Richard Sandoval’s new cookbook, New Latin Flavors (thank you Mom and Dad!). And what do I see but a recipe for Bacon Guacamole! Well, y’all know how I feel about bacon. And it’s not like avocados and bacon are strangers in the realm outside of guacamole, either.

Bacon Guacamole

So I decided to take a personal day from being such an uptight Purist and give it a shot. I was definitely impressed! The bacon didn’t clash or detract from the guacamole, and it was actually quite tasty to get the contrast of the crunchy, salty bacon with the creamy avocado. While I highly doubt I’ll be chasing after smoked salmon guacamole anytime soon, I thoroughly enjoyed this bacon version, and I would eat it again in a heartbeat! Enjoy!

Bacon Guacamole

Source: adapted from Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors by Richard Sandoval

Ingredients:
¼ small red onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 generous tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt, to taste
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
A few spoonfuls (about 3 tbs) pickled jalapeno juice
1 pickled jalapeno, stemmed and chopped
3-4 slices of bacon, cooked until very crispy and chopped or crumbled
2-3 tbs crumbled Cotija cheese
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
Add the red onion, garlic, serrano and cilantro to your molcajete. Add a nice pinch of kosher salt. Mash the mixture against the side and bottoms of the molcajete, releasing their juices. Add the avocado chunks and spoon the pickled jalapeno juice over the avocado. Use a fork to mash the avocado. Now fold in the pickled jalapeno, bacon, and Cotija, leaving a little bit for garnish. Taste again for seasoning and add more salt or acid as desired. Sprinkle a touch of bacon bits and Cotija on top for garnish. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Mexican Chorizo Strata

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Thanks to my dislike of Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing (soggy bread, y’all – can’t do it!), I automatically assumed I would dislike bread pudding and strata, especially the savory types. Several years ago I tried dessert bread pudding (similar to this one), in a restaurant in New Orleans, and immediately fell in love. Of course the boozy whiskey sauce didn’t discourage me from loving it, but I’d like to think I would have enjoyed it anyway.

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After solidifying my taste for sweet bread pudding, I decided earlier this year it was time to tackle the savory. I made and tasted this one, and found myself overjoyed and unable to stop eating it. That really cemented things, and now I’m part of the bona fide I-Love-Savory-Bread-Puddings-and-Stratas Club. I couldn’t wait to make more!

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And now I’ve made my first strata. (Honestly I’m not sure what the difference between the two is, other than stratas seem to sit longer than bread puddings before you bake them? Feel free to enlighten me in the comment section.)

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Mexican chorizo Strata 5493

I had some chorizo sitting around, so I opted to go Mexican with this. This also afforded me a lovely opportunity to use up some Hatch chiles sitting in my freezer, and I’ll always take those opportunities, because 1) who doesn’t love Hatch chiles, and 2) I have a few too many and I desperately need to start whittling down the stash.

Mexican Chorizo Strata 5501

This dish is lovely, and will feed a large crowd. It’s one of the easier meals I’ve put together, too. And leftovers reheat beautifully. I’m not a mom, but if I were, I’m thinking stratas would definitely be in the dinner rotation. They are infinitely adaptable, nutritious (you can of course use whole wheat bread), and can be very kid friendly. Enjoy!

Mexican chorizo strata 5516

{One Year Ago: Cranberry Apple Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 lb. Mexican chorizo, casings removed
3 fresh chiles, either Hatch, poblano or large jalapeno, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
7-8 thick slices of stale white or egg-based bread, cut into large cubes (I can’t imagine why you couldn’t use whole wheat bread here if you wanted)
2 cups milk
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 large eggs
1 tbs hot sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Guacamole, for serving

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it into crumbles as it browns. Cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the chiles in and stir to combine. Set aside off the heat.
Grease a 9×13” baking dish, then scatter the bread cubes around in an even layer. Add the cooked chorizo mixture and gently move the bread around to get some of the chorizo down into the nooks and crannies.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, eggs, hot sauce, plus season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the bread and chorizo. Top with the cheese. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Place the strata on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the eggs are set and the top is golden, about 1 hour.
Let rest a few minutes, then slice into squares and serve warm with guacamole on the side.

Chicken Pozole Verde

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Today finds me rather upset with myself, seeing as it’s another Sunday Supper, but one I’m unable to officially participate in. Last weekend I made and photographed this lovely recipe, specifically for today’s Sunday Supper, and then thanks to a high-octane work trip for my other job, completely forgot to sign up in time. Go me…

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But, since I have the purty pictures and all, I thought I would still share today’s Slow Cooker menu. (That’s the #SS theme today – Slow Cookers. And one of my favorite things in my kitchen, which ensures some extra bummed-out-ness for me that I’m not technically participating. Oh well, life happens, doesn’t it?)

So let’s talk about the ingredient that makes pozole a pozole: hominy. I couldn’t stand, and this cannot possibly be overstated, could not stand hominy as a child. Now, one of the running themes on this blog is my triumph over childhood picky eating, and my triumph is probably at least in part due to the fact that my parents simply didn’t tolerate the behavior. I had to eat what was on my plate, and if I dug in my heels and refused, I went to bed hungry.

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Picky eater that I was, the first time I was served hominy, of course I was highly skeptical. It was a peculiar looking veggie with (to me at least) a highly repulsive smell. Of course I voiced my objections and of course they were met with a nonchalant, “eat it anyway.” So I took a bite, and literally chucked my up, right at the dinner table. It tasted that gross to me. From that point on, hominy was placed in a special category all its own – my parents never again told me to “eat it anyway.”

Chicken pozole verde 5211

So then I grew up, and became a grown-up who still vividly recalled that fateful hominy incident, but also a grown-up who learned about pozole. A Mexican soup/stew that always looks delicious, but isn’t pozole without the addition of hominy. What to do?

chicken pozole verde 5196

Solution: dried hominy. I gave it a try and found it to have blessedly little in common with its canned cousin. It doesn’t smell bad and tastes wonderful. Of course it is more time consuming, but unsurprisingly well worth it to me personally. I’m giving directions for using dried, but if canned doesn’t bother you, then of course feel free. I hope y’all enjoy it!

Chicken Pozole verde 5219

{One Year Ago: Date and Prosciutto Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Jalapeno Poppers}

Source: adapted from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

Ingredients:
SOUP:
12 oz. dried hominy
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
1 medium onion, peeled and halved, with root end intact
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
5 cups water
4 sprigs cilantro
SALSA VERDE:
½ cup raw pepitas, roasted
6-8 tomatillos, husked and washed
1 cup diced white onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 serrano chiles, stemmed
1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for serving
Chopped Hass avocado, for serving

Directions:
Place the hominy in a large bowl and cover with water by about 4 inches. Set aside at room temperature at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, garlic, onion, salt, cumin, chicken stock, and water. Drain the hominy well and add it to the slow cooker. Let it cook on LOW for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through but not falling apart. Remove the chicken and let cool. Add the cilantro sprigs to the slow cooker. Discard the chicken bones and skin and shred the meat into pieces. Store in a food storage container in the refrigerator.
After you have removed the chicken and added the cilantro, let the soup cook for another 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the Salsa Verde. Place the tomatillos in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and place in a blender, along with the pepitas, onion, garlic clove, serranos, and cilantro. Add ½ cup broth from the slow cooker and puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth. Pour the salsa into the empty pot you used for the tomatillos and cook over medium to medium-low heat until the sauce is thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir the salsa into the soup and let it go at least another 3 hours, or until the hominy is done. You know the hominy is done when it bursts and is very tender with a soft chew to it. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Add the shredded chicken into the slow cooker for about 30 minutes to warm back through, then ladle into bowls. Serve with lime wedges and avocado.

Chipotle Chicken and Chorizo One Pot

Chipotle Chicken and Chorizo One Pot  4900

So let’s talk about one-pot meals today. Since I love cooking – it’s a passion and a therapy for me – I don’t mind elaborate meals that dirty up several pots and pans simultaneously, or even those meals that make it look like a tornado ripped through my kitchen and dining area. No, I don’t even remotely enjoy doing dishes, but it’s always worth it to me, even as I eyeball the stack of dirty dishes piling up in the sink with a hint of dread. Okay, fine, a lot of dread. I really do despise washing dishes…

Chipotle Chicken and chorizo one pot 4881

But every once in a while, I too want a one-pot meal to avoid the mountains of dirty pots and pans to wash. Let’s face it – no matter what your schedule or your cooking level, one-pots are just nice. They are necessary for everyone’s culinary repertoire.

chipotle chicken and chorizo one pot 4897

But for me, they cannot skimp on flavor. I can’t compromise on using good ingredients and producing a dish that I’ll truly enjoy eating. And today’s recipe completely fits that bill. The flavors are seriously bold, a touch spicy, and very hearty and comforting. Very, very perfect fall food here. I hope y’all will enjoy it too!

Chipotle chicken and chorizo one pot 4893

{One Year Ago: Guest Post – Lemon Buttermilk Doughnuts}

Source: adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
Kosher salt and black pepper
Olive oil
4-5 oz. chorizo, cured or raw; diced if cured, and casings removed if raw
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbs smoked Spanish paprika
1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 tbs adobo sauce
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted variety
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Guacamole or chopped fresh avocado, for serving

Directions:
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a Dutch oven or other large, deep skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but about a tablespoon of chicken fat. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook. If using cured, cook until it is crispy and the fat has rendered. If using raw, cook until crumbled and no traces of pink remain. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and add it to the plate with the chicken.
Now add the carrot and onion. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika. Cook 1 minute more.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a bubble, then return the chorizo and chicken to the pot. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Double check with a meat thermometer – it should read 165 F.
When the chicken is done, garnish with cilantro, spoon it into shallow bowls and serve immediately with lots of sauce.

Strawberry Mango White Sangria #SundaySupper

strawberry mango white sangria 061

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week was Summer Chillin’, which means that everyone is bringing you a delicious recipe that is to be served cold. Sounds good to me!

June in NYC can be a bit odd – it starts with Needing a Sweatshirt to Go Outside and ends with Sweltering Humidity, Ugh, despite the temps not being all that high. Then July usually oscillates between Gorgeous Summer Days and Too Hot to Think Straight.

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I adore New York summers, and thanks to growing up in triple-digits-for-two-months Texas, I actually find summer up here to be quite tolerable – most days. There are a few days here and there where the temperature does rise uncomfortably high and pair that with the humidity up here? Ouch. You desperately need something chilled to drink.

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Enter this amazing, refreshing sangria that goes down a bit too easy and showcases beautiful summer fruit. I highly recommend this the next time you need a little cooling off. Enjoy!

Recipe notes: you can make this on the sweeter side or not. Choosing pinot grigio and lemon-lime soda will make it sweeter. Choosing sauvignon blanc and club soda will make it less so. You can go one or the other combination or mix it up in whatever way you want.

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And don’t forget to check out the rest of the fantastic chilled recipes from my Sunday Supper gang!

Strawberry Mango White sangria 084

Source: Mod Mex by Scott Linquist

Ingredients:
1 small bunch of fresh mint
2 (750-milliliter) bottles of white wine, either pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1 Navel orange, sliced into rings, rings cut into halves or quarters if desired
1 lemon, sliced into rings
½ cup brandy
1 (12-oz) can lemon-lime soda or club soda

Directions:
Add the mint to a large, glass pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to muddle and bruise the mint to bring out its flavor. Add the wine to the pitcher, then all the fruit and the brandy. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the carbonated beverage and serve over ice.

Brisk Beverages

Chilled Starters

Snappy Salads and Sides

Refreshing Main Dishes

Cool Confections

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. 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.

Deconstructed Fish Tacos

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It’s time for some Secret Recipe Club!!! [Click here for my last SRC post.] This month I was assigned Mele Cotte, a fantastic blog from Christina (or Chris as she is called by her friends).

Chris is a gorgeous redhead who hails from Boston but resides in Atlanta. She held several different careers in marketing and middle school education before realizing that cooking and baking were her true loves. She is quite accomplished in the food blogging and culinary sphere, as she has attended the Art Institute in Atlanta and does smaller catering gigs. Definitely check out her awesome blog!

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Mele Cotte means Baked Apples in Italian (I did not know that!), and yes, Italian is her heritage. So of course, I had to go and choose something Mexican. Because I just do things like that. These deconstructed fish tacos immediately caught my eye. I am a huge fish taco fan, and I love playing around with the whole deconstructed concept, so I think I was just meant to find this recipe on Chris’ blog.

Deconstructed Fish Tacos 243

I adapted the recipe, mainly because it’s written as four servings and I’m only cooking for two people. And then I made a few smaller changes, just added some chili powder to the fish and topped it with some crispy tortilla strips. After viewing the food on the plate and taking my first bite, I remarked to Matt that you could also probably call these upside-down fish tacos, because fish tacos are based with a tortilla and the cabbage is just the garnish, whereas these are the exact opposite.

Deconstructed Fish tacos 238

And yet, they taste exactly as advertised. So delicious, light and healthy, full of Mexican flavor. We absolutely loved them and I can’t wait to play around with the concept some more and make them again. Thank you for a fabulous recipe Chris!

Deconstructed Fish Tacos 246

Source: adapted from Mele Cotte

Ingredients:
Juice of 3 limes, divided
1 tsp chili powder
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 grouper fillets, or any white fish
1/2 a green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 tbs plus 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 corn tortillas
Canola oil, for frying
Guacamole
Chunky salsa
Queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled, for garnish

Directions:
In a small baking dish (I used a glass 8×8 glass baker), mix together the juice of 2 limes, chili powder, 1 tbs olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Add the grouper and turn them over a few times so they are fully coated. Set aside but leave out at room temperature while you prep the cabbage and prepare the guacamole, if making it yourself.
Carefully slice the cabbage very thin; using a mandoline works best and quickest. Pile the cabbage into a bowl and squeeze the remaining lime over it. Add the 3 tsp olive oil and toss to combine. Don’t salt it yet. Set aside.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the fish fillets and cook about 7 minutes total, flipping once, until they are just cooked through. You may need a shorter or longer time depending on your fish’s thickness. When done, remove to a plate and let rest 3-5 minutes. With a fork, flake or chunk the fillets.
Add about an inch of canola oil to a small to medium skillet and heat on high. Cut the tortillas into 1-inch-wide strips, then cut those strips in half crosswise. When the oil is ready, fry the tortilla strips for just a few minutes. You’ll know they are ready when the bubbles start subsiding and their color has turned golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
To serve, first season the cabbage with salt and pepper and toss. Then assemble as follows: cabbage spread out on a dinner plate, topped with guacamole, then dot liberally or conservatively with salsa, followed by chunks of fish, and finally tortilla strips and queso fresco. Serve immediately.


Chocolate Margaritas

Chocolate Margaritas

Y’all know what day it is today? Besides Saturday, February 22, 2014? Yeah, it’s National Margarita Day!!! That is a thing, as well it very much should be. I do think margaritas may be my favorite cocktail.

Some bloggers and I got together and decided to properly celebrate this wonderful day in grand fashion – we’re all bringing you either a margarita drink or a margarita-themed recipe. It’s gonna be amazing, y’all!

Chocolate margaritas

I’m bringing a drink and a dessert to the party with these chocolate libations. These are some of the most amazing and special margaritas I’ve ever tasted, and if you are not a teetotaler or pregnant, then you NEED these in your life. They were impressively delicious; almost like really good, albeit spiked, chocolate milk. I absolutely loved this drink and can’t wait to find some excuse to make it again! Enjoy!!

chocolate margaritas

And be sure you check out the rest of the virtual Margarita Day party from my fabulous cohorts in crime! Also, I’m no stranger to margaritas on my blog, so here are some you may want to check out:

Apple Cider Margaritas
Beer Margaritas
Blood Orange Margaritas
Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Chocolate Margaritas

{One year ago: Buttermilk Cake with Walnut Praline Topping}

Source: Mexican Made Easy by Marcela Valladolid

Ingredients:
2 tbs grated Mexican chocolate, preferably bittersweet
½ cup chocolate syrup, plus more for the glasses
8 oz. (1 cup) anejo tequila
4 oz. (1/2 cup) chocolate liqueur
2.6 oz. (1/3 cup) orange liqueur
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
Ice cubes

Directions:
Put the grated chocolate on a small plate. Place a circle of chocolate syrup on another small plate. Dip the rim of the glasses in the chocolate syrup, then in the grated chocolate.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the ½ cup chocolate syrup, tequila, chocolate liqueur, orange liqueur, heavy cream, almond extract, and cinnamon.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and pour the tequila mixture into the shaker. Shake a few times, then strain into the prepared glasses. Work in batches if need be. Serve immediately.
This makes 3-4 servings, depending on the size of your glasses.

Margaritas:

Margarita Bites: