Posts Tagged ‘Mexican’
Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I tend to gravitate towards certain items every time. One particular thing I enjoy ordering is a cheesy spinach and chicken dish (usually called Pollo Adobe). Inspired by a craving I decided to make single serving enchiladas stuffed with a similar blend of ingredients.
I made them slightly healthier by using whole wheat tortillas and Laughing cow cheese instead of queso and they hit the spot. I actually wish I had made a full-sized batch to have leftovers to enjoy, but thankfully it’s easy enough to make for the next time the craving strikes!
Secret Recipe Clubbing time! This month I was assigned to Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen and it is cozy indeed! With recipe like redneck eggs benedict and shrimp with tomatoes and feta cheese (except I would made it with chicken) my eyes were even comforted by the sheer appearance and thought of eating them. From the awesome list of recipes I decided upon her Sloppy Joses with Avocado Cream. I can never turn down avocado!
In case you haven’t figured it out, the Sloppy Jose is a Mexican version of a homemade Sloppy Joe. Not only is this baby topped with an avocado cream sauce, but it’s made with bacon, jalapeno, and even beer. I even sprinkled some cotija cheese on top for fun since I had some handy. My favorite part was actually mixing the bits the dropped out from my sandwich into the potato salad I served it with. (Potato salad compliments of my dad, who gave it to me when he visited for my defense a week ago.)
Did you really think I was going to forget to post on Single Serving Sunday? Actually, I am quite surprised I managed to pull together a recipe to post today. My time management skills must be ridiculously awesome this week despite the mayhem. So today while I am off enjoying Shiva’s post-wedding brunch, followed by a long haul back to Memphis, enjoy this taco stack!
One year ago: Buckeye “Cheese Ball”
When grocery shopping I always bring reusable shopping bags and have never run into a cashier that seemed confused by them. However, half the time I bring them into other stores such as Target, Marshalls, etc. the cashier starts looking for a bar code tag even though the first thing I said to them upon approaching was “Hi, I am using my own bag today”. Reusable bags are common enough these days to not have it be so odd to bring one into a regular department store. Besides, I’m not going to avoid plastic bags at the grocery store just to acquire them elsewhere. I do use them for my small bathroom trash can and really should work on an alternative, but I don’t need very many to meet that call to duty.
Which brings me to a cool thing happening on the west coast (other than my brother, sister-in-law and nephew moving there in a month) – bans on plastic bags! It started in San Francisco in 2007 and has slowly spread to other major cities over the years such as Los Angeles and Sacramento. Chicago, Portland and Dallas look like they might be next. So start busting out those reusable bags if you haven’t already!
Oh and food? Yes you are here for food not my ramblings and I am here to tell you to make these hot dogs. They are regular turkey hot dogs topped with Mexican inspired deliciousness. It involves a salsa made from corn, jalapeno, avocado and some seasonings. Then some chipotle peppers come out to play mixed with Greek yogurt for a perfect cream topping. I even served them with some spicy sweet potato fries, which were also dipped in any leftover cream.
Cheese balls are great party dips because not only are they delicious, they look fun! Today I am sharing a rare breed of cheese balls – avocado. I served this along with the taco bar I talked about yesterday, and it tastes like a creamier version of guacamole due to the use of cream cheese. But it wasn’t just any old guacamole ball because I threw in corn, cotija cheese and chipotle peppers. This cheese ball also made an appearance at my friend’s bachelorette party/weekend in Toronto and everyone was hovering around it until it was all gone. Would definitely be great for the upcoming July 4 holiday as well!
Speaking of bachelorette parties, I actually attended two on back to back weekends which is why I’ve been a bit MIA from social media. The first was in Columbus, OH. We went swimming/diving/water sliding at an Olympic size pool because it was a gorgeous day to be outside and hot enough to find a large bowl of water very appealing (it was like I carried the heat of Memphis up with me), then afterwards had a casual dinner and a fun night out just like the old days in our undergrad years. Yet somehow I failed miserably at getting many photos – so unlike me .
The following weekend was a bit more involved. I hauled myself up even further north to Toronto where we toured a distillery, learned Bollywood dancing, shopped around some markets, flew on a trapeze (video on FB), and finished the weekend off with a nice dinner out and a VIP table at a club downtown. Then I got to drive allll the way back down to Memphis to my attention-deprived cat.
If that wasn’t enough, the week in between those two weekends I started writing the into to my dissertation. Talk about lots of work that needs to be done. After the past week and a half, I think I could sit down in front of this cheese ball and eat just that for dinner. Then again, I may never fit into those bridesmaid dresses if I keep eating like I have this past week!
One year ago: Red, White & Berry Shortcakes
When I told On the Border Products that I was planning a Taco Night dinner, they made sure to send me all the necessary ingredients to complete the taco bar experience. In fact they almost overwhelmed me with options by sending four different kinds of tortillas chips, two cheese dips, and also four salsas with varying degrees of spice and chunkiness. I was excited to see the Guac Blast chips again after the fun chicken recipe I made with them in the past.
But of course what’s a taco bar without some margaritas? They also sent along two different margarita mixes, but instead of filling up the bucket and freezing the entire thing, I decided to mix per order in case people preferred blended or on the rocks. It was really easy to mix and tasted great either way.
For the tacos I decided to make some slow cooked Mexican pulled pork. I’ve made two kinds of Mexican pulled chicken for tacos and nachos so it was time for a little change. Once cooked, the pork was extremely tender and full of flavor. Definitely worth the wait as it was also great topped with On the Border’s salsa, cheese dip and all your other favorite taco toppings.
I also made an avocado cheese ball to go with all those chips, and the recipe will be shared tomorrow!
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Salad?!? When was the last time I posted a recipe for a salad? There was a small salad served alongside the mini Greek meatloaves I shared in early May, but before that it was the roasted butternut salad in January (which blew my mind). But I keep telling myself I need make salads more often and in an effort to eat more greens I made this salad topped with taco-seasoned grilled chicken and all sorts of good taco-salad-esque things – even quesadilla strips. You can barely find the leafy greens under all of that but hey, it’s still a salad right?
No Mexican meal is complete without elote, especially when paired with tacos. Since I had already made the tacos healthier by oven-frying the avocados I decided I needed to do the same with the corn. All I did was swap out the mayo for Greek yogurt, but could not tell the difference.
These ears of corn we baked in the oven, but I usually prefer grilling them with the husks on. Unfortunately I do not own an outdoor grill but if you do, soak in water beforehand or wrap in foil so the husks don’t catch on fire!
During one of my most recent visits to Nashville, I went to a taco stand called Mas Tacos Por Favor and had the best fried avocado tacos. I enjoyed them so much that I had to figure out how to make them at home, or else I would have driven 3 hours just to get some more.
Oven-frying is my favorite way to cook chicken, so I decided to incorporate this method for the avocado and it worked beautifully. I couldn’t remember exactly what else was on the taco, but I improvised based on what I could remember or see in the picture I took with my phone and it came out pretty darn close. The only thing I would change is possibly cutting back a little on the lime or adding sriracha to the sauce. I think a lime-sriracha sauce would be wonderful.
These tacos were also served with a healthier version of elote (Mexican corn), which will be posted tomorrow!
After 6 years of grad school you would think I would be completely dependent upon my slow cooker to provide sustenance. Somehow I’ve only started utilizing it frequently over the past year (and also maintained my blog without depending on it to do the cooking for me) and have discovered a whole new world of slow cooking that I never knew existed. I used to think slow cookers were only for stew-type meals, and a few years ago would’ve never dreamed of being able to cook oatmeal, dessert, or Asian cuisine in it. Most recently I enjoyed slow cooked chicken for tacos, which then lead me to try the same process for nachos.
Although my slow cooker is a bit temperamental and had to cook this on low for only 3 hours instead of the directed 6, at least I know my slow cooker well enough to do so. Since I do not have a slow cooker with a timer on it – just on, warm, low and high – I now use a plug timer. Before I used this method I could only use my slow cooker on the weekends, and that kind of defeats the purpose. Now I set it up right before I leave in the morning with the plug timer turning on a few hours after I leave so that it just finishes cooking when I get home. And what a great meal to come home to! Once it was all prepared with the toppings it was actually hard to believe it came from something as simple as a slow cooker.