Friday, March 12, 2010

March: Mexican/Latin American Cuisine

Thanks to Rachael Peterson for hosting our March cooking club meeting, featuring Mexican and Latin American dishes. Thanks for all the delicious food, ladies!

Sweet Pork Enchiladas





Southwestern Egg Rolls (from Chili’s Restaurant)


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 quart oil for deep frying

1. Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium
saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes
per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan
over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and
stir 5 minutes, until tender.
3. Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix
in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin,
chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes,
until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in
Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
4. Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on
high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.
5. Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of
tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with
toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and
place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.
6. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees
F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes
each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before
serving. or bake at 350 for 30 min.

Dip in cilanto cream sauce:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 (7 oz) can tomatillo salsa
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1  tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine cream cheese,sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Southwestern Chicken Stacks


Whip this up in the slow cooker and serve over tortilla chips or wrap in a flour tortilla with guacamole, sour cream, etc.

2 frozen chicken breasts
10oz frozen corn
1 can of black beans drained
1 jar green salsa

Combine all ingredients is crockpot, cook on low for 6 hrs. Shred chicken and mix all ingredients. Serve with chips, cheese, etc.

Champurrado: Thick Mexican Hot Chocolate


1/4 cup masa harina

3 1/2 cups cold water

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups of milk

1 (3-ounce) tablet sweetened Mexican chocolate, flavored with cinnamon

In a small mixing bowl combine the masa harina with 1/2 cup of water mixing by hand to form a paste. In medium saucepan add the paste and the remaining 3 cups of water. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Cook slowly for 20 minutes, the mixture will thicken. While this mixture is simmering, in another saucepan add the milk and bring to a boil. Add the chocolate and cook for about 10 minutes until the chocolate has completely dissolved. Pour the chocolate into the masa harina mixture stirring until well incorporated. With a milinillo or an eggbeater, whisk until a foam forms on top, about 3 minutes. Serve in a large bowl spooning some of the foam on top.

Black Bean Salsa


1 can black beans, rinsed & drained

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 large avacados, diced (optional)

1 small bunch green onions, chopped

1 medium bunch cilantro, chopped

1 package Good Seasons Italian

dressing mix (prepared as directed)


Mix first six ingredients together. Add prepared Italian dressing.

Add salt to taste. Enjoy!


Tres Leches Cake



    6 eggs, separated

    2 cups sugar

    2 cups flour

    2 tsp. baking powder

    ½ cup whole milk (or any)

    1 tsp. vanilla

    Cream Topping

    1 (14 oz.) can evaporated milk

    1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

    1 cup heavy cream

           Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 9x13.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add sugar gradually (should have stiff peaks).  Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each.  Sift flour and baking powder together and add to egg mixture, alternating with milk.  Do quickly so batter does not lose volume.  Add vanilla.  Bake until golden (25 minutes).

    In a blender combine cream topping ingredients.  Blend on high.  Remove cake and while warm poke holes ¾ way down in cake.  Pour cream topping over cake.  Let cake sit and cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.  Frost cake with whipping cream and serve with strawberries (or any fruit).




Chorizo Quiche


1 ½ cups all purpose flour (I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix)

1/4 tsp. salt ( I did not use salt)

8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed ( I used 4 tbs. butter and 4 tbs. coconut oil)

6 ounces raw chorizo, casing removed

5 large eggs

½ cup whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

1 ½ cups grated Emmenthal cheese (Swiss), about 6 ounces

1 cup diced boiled potatoes


Mix flour and salt in food processor. Add the butter and pulse to form a coarse meal. With the motor running, add 5-6 tbs. cold water in a slow stream, processing until the dough forms a ball. Spread in pie pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook chorizo. Whisk eggs, milk and cream in a large bowl. Mix in the chorizo, cheese and potato. Pour mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes on 357 degrees. Then turn oven to 325 degrees and bake until center is done, about 35-40 minutes approximately.

Tinga Poblana (an typical dish from Oaxaca)


8 oz. pork

1 lb flank steak

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp salt

1 lb chorizo

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

8 oz. tomatillos, thinly sliced

1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I used 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained)

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 C adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilies

rice and/or tortillas to serve, sliced chipotle chilies and diced avocado to garnish


The original recipe said to cube the pork and beef and simmer it for one hour, then shred it; I found this to be very difficult (shredding cubes is a challenge). Instead I’m recommending that you put the pork and beef in the slow cooker with the bay leaves, crushed garlic and salt, and enough water to cover, and that you cook them for 8-10 hours. Remove meat from broth (reserve broth), shred and set aside.

In the meantime sauté the chorizo until browned, then remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside with the shredded beef and pork. Sauté the onion and garlic in the chorizo fat until transparent. Add the tomatillos and sauté 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spices and adobo sauce and let simmer 10 minutes. Finally add the chorizo, shredded meats, and 1 cup of the reserved broth, and simmer 15 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick, add more broth. Serve the tinga over rice, and/or with tortillas. Garnish with diced avocados and sliced chipotle peppers.


Croquetas de Jamon


1/2 cup chicken broth

8 tbsp butter

3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 tsp nutmeg

dash of ground pepper

1/2 cup very finely hand-minced ham

2 eggs, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water

bread crumbs for coating

olive oil for frying

This croquetas de jamon recipe makes about 6 servings as an appetizer.

Tip: Make sure that the ham if very finely minced, so it can be mixed thoroughly with the dough (i used my food processor).

Heat the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk and the chicken broth, stirring without stopping. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and smooth.

Add the minced ham and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes on low heat, continuing to stir. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours until mixture is cold. If you are preparing a day or so ahead, you can cover the mixture tightly and keep refrigerated until you are ready to fry the croquettes.

Pour the bread crumbs into a small, wide bowl. Beat the eggs with water in a small, wide bowl. Cover your hands in flour, then divide the mixture into 1-inch balls and set on a plate so that they are not touching.

Pour enough olive oil in a medium to large frying pan to cover 1/2 inch deep. Heat the olive oil for frying to about 355F degrees. Dip the croquetas in the beaten egg and coat with crumbs by rolling in bowl (I had better luck doing a crumb coating, then the egg, then another crumb coating). Place the croquetas in the hot oil and fry quickly, turning several times, until golden. Remove the croquetas with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.

If croquetas will not be served immediately, place in a warm oven (200 degrees) for up to 30 minutes.

If you prefer, you can use a deep-fryer to fry the croquetas. Be sure not to over-cook them.