Mexican

Sangria

March 12, 2011

Sangria

Sangria has been important to Spanish culture for many centuries.  This wine punch has gained international popularity and is easy to make at home.  Versions of Sangria have held a planting of the Iberian Peninsula’s vineyards around 200 BC.  As Spain’s soil and weather are particularly well suited for growing grapes, the nation has maintained an abundance of red wine and its subsequent wine punch variations.  Interestingly, there is no one recipe for Sangria, as the ingredients of this wine punch are based on availability, season, and a number of other factors. 

Sangria requires a light, young Spanish red wine.  The most common of these come from the La Rioja, Castilla-La Mancha and Catilla-Leon regions.  It is also necessary to include fresh fruit.  Spain’s popular locally grown fruits include oranges, lemons and melon.  Any fruit can be used, however, one might find bananas, apples, grapes or any number of fruits in Spanish Sangria.  Sangria is meant to be light and refreshing so a certain amount of juice and sugar are generally added for a more refreshing taste.  Sangria is to be served ice-cold and generally is prepared in large pitchers and served to guests as an accompaniment to a meal or tapas in the summer time

Sangria is to be served ice-cold as a hot-weather refreshment. Generally, it is prepared in large pitchers and served to many guests as an accompaniment to a meal or tapas in the summer time.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Orange Juice

¼ Cup Lime Juice

1 Bottle Red Wine

½ Cup Brandy

¼ to 1/3 Cup Sugar

Ice Cubes

Orange Slices

Lime Slices

In a 2 quart pitcher stir together orange and lime juices.  Add wine, sugar and brandy.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours.  Serve over ice.  Garnish each serving with orange and lime slices.

Steak Fajitas

March 7, 2011

Steak Fajitas

Steak fajitas came before any other type of fajita.  Mexican laborers created this dish out of necessity while working along the Texas & Mexico border.  Laborers were partially paid with the less desirable cuts of beef and eventually came up with a good way to use their “non-cash wages.” 

Originally, and still today, the beef used for a fajita is usually, cut into strips and placed into a wrap with a selection of vegetables.  Bell peppers and jalapeno are very popular.  The secret to tender fajitas is marinating the meat, especially if you are using skirt steak.  The meat should be no more than ¾ inch thick and should be cooked on a high heat for a short cooking time.

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ Pounds Flank or Sirloin Steak – Sliced Into Thin Strips

1 Sliced Red Onion

1 Green Bell Pepper – Sliced Into Strips

1 Red Bell Pepper – Sliced Into Strips

1 Yellow Bell Pepper – Sliced Into Strips

2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

¼ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Small Can Diced Green Chilies

½ Cup Chopped Cilantro

12 Flour Tortillas

Sour Cream

Guacamole or Sliced Avocado

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salsa

In a large skillet, sauté red, green & yellow bell peppers along with red onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until crisp and tender.  Remove and set aside.  In the same skillet, sauté the steak, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in the remaining oil for 4 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness.  Return the vegetable to the pan, add the diced green chiles and the cilantro and heat through. 

Heat flour tortillas in a preheated oven (350° F) wrapped in foil for about 10 minutes.  You can also heat in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, but I prefer heating in the oven.  Remove tortillas from the oven and place in a tortilla warmer to keep them warm.  If you don’t have a tortilla warmer then leave them in the foil to keep them warm.  To assemble the tortillas spread some of the guacamole on a tortilla, top it with the steak and vegetable mixture and then top it with salsa, cheddar cheese and a little sour cream.  Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling and enjoy!  Serves 12

Steak Fajita Marinade

1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

½ Cup Tequila

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice

5 Large Crushed Garlic Cloves

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

4 Fresh Jalapenos (Minced – Stems & Seeds Removed)

1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Cilantro

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

3 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

1 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Pour marinade over meat in a shallow glass bowl or a large zip lock bag.  I love marinating meats in these 1 gallon plastic zip lock bags!  Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.  Makes enough to marinate 3 pounds of steak.

Victoria’s Jalapeno Bean Dip

January 19, 2011

Victoria’s Jalapeno Bean Dip

INGREDIENTS

5 Medium Jalapeno Peppers

1 ½ Cups Cooked Pinto Beans

1 Cup Cooked Black Beans

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Garlic Clove

½ Teaspoon Oregano

1 Squeezed Lime

1 Teaspoon Cumin

½ Cup Salsa

 

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Cut off tops of peppers.  Combine whole peppers with all ingredients in a food processor and “puree.”  Pour processed ingredients into a covered dish and put in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with tortilla chips.  Serves 8

**I like to cook dried beans instead of using cans.  If you are pressed for time then canned beans are ok.

Vegetarian Chili

December 14, 2010

 

Vegetarian Chili

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 ½ Cups Chopped Red Onions

1 Cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper

3 Cloves Minced Garlic

3 Serrano Peppers (Stemmed, Seeded & Minced)

1 Medium Diced Zucchini

2 Cups Corn

1 ½ Pounds Cleaned & Cubed Portobello Mushrooms

3 Tablespoons Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

1 ¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Cayenne

5 Large Tomatoes (Peeled, Seeded & Chopped)

3 Cups Cooked Black Bean

15 Ounces of Tomato Sauce

1 Cup Vegetable Stock

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

In a large pot heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and Serrano peppers.  Cook and stir until soft which will be about 3 minutes.   Next, add the zucchini, corn and mushrooms and cook until vegetables start to brown around the edges which should be about 6 minutes.  Add the spices and continue to stir.  Next, add the tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and vegetable stock and stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.  Super easy, super fast and super yummy!  May be served over rice, with tortilla chips or corn bread.

Victoria’s Beer Chili

December 1, 2010

Victoria’s Beer Chili

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Pounds Ground Sirloin

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Chopped Red Onion

2 Small Seeded & Chopped Green Bell Peppers

1 Seeded & Chopped Habanero Pepper

8 Ounces Salsa

2 Cups Tomato Sauce

1 Sliced Fresh Tomato

1 Cup Beer

15 Ounces Dark Red Kidney Beans

1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes

1 Tablespoon Paprika

1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin

2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano

2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Hot Pepper Sauce

Juice of 1 lime

In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté in olive oil: onion, garlic, peppers and ground sirloin until browned.  Drain grease if desired.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, kidney beans, beer, pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, ground cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and hot pepper sauce.  Turn heat to low and simmer for a couple of hours.  May be served topped with shredded cheese or a tablespoon of sour cream.

Huevos Rancheros

November 30, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

INGREDIENTS

15 plum tomatoes, cored
12 tbsp. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 jalapeño, stemmed and minced
1⁄2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
   to taste

8 corn tortillas
8 eggs
Pickled jalapeño slices, for garnish

Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over high heat and add tomatoes.  Cook, turning until the skins are blackened for approximately 9 minutes.  Peel the tomatoes and puree in a food processor or blender.  Strain and then set aside. 

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a 4 quart pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, jalapenos and onions.  Cook between 6 to 8 minutes or until soft.  Add the tomatoes and boil.  Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. 

Working in 4 batches, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tortillas and cook – flipping once, until warmed which is usually just about 20 seconds.  Transfer the tortillas to 4 plates.  Working in 2 batches, heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Cook eggs to desired doneness.  Top each tortilla with a friend egg and tomato sauce.  Garnish with pickled jalapenos. 

Great for breakfast, lunch OR dinner!

Enchilada Sauce

November 17, 2010

So Much Better Than From A Can!

Enchilada Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Flour

¼ Cup Chili Powder

2 Cups Chicken Stock

10 Ounces Tomato Paste

1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

½ Teaspoon Salt

In medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.  Add chicken stock, tomato paste, oregano and cumin.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.  The sauce will thicken and smooth out.  Adjust the seasonings as you see fit.  Serve on top of your favorite enchiladas.  Makes about 2 ½ cups.

Victoria’s Chicken Enchiladas

November 17, 2010

Victoria’s Chicken Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

1 Bunch Cilantro

1 Cup Sour Cream

2 (7 ounce) Cans Jalapeno Salsa

2 (7 ounce) Cans Prepared Green Chile Salsa

2 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves, Cooked And Shredded

1 Red Onion

12 (6 inch) Flour Tortillas

2 ½ Cups Enchilada Sauce

2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

To make sour cream mixture: in a food processor, puree cilantro, sour cream, jalapeno salsa and ½ can of the green chile salsa.  Set aside. 

To make chicken mixture: in a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, onion and the remaining 1 ½ cans of the green chile salsa.  Mix well.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Pour the sour cream mixture into a 9×13” baking dish to coat the bottom.  Place 2 heaping tablespoonfuls of the chicken mixture in each tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Pour enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled tortillas. Top with shredded cheese.  Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes or until dish is heated through and bubbling.  Remove and cool a bit before serving.

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