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Cinco de Mayo Taco Recipes – Bon Appétit

Tacos make a a great dinner any night of the year. They are full of flavor, use fresh ingredients and are pretty easy to make. You can also use any type of protein you like best or go with just vegetables and still have a great dinner. Since today is Cinco de Mayo, it seems like as good a day as any to check out these 25 taco recipes put together by Bon Appetit. You’ll find everything you need to know or want to try right here so you can have a Cinco de Mayo dinner tonight or just have a good taco recipes on hand any time you feel like one. Check it out!

 

Source: Cinco de Mayo Taco Recipes – Bon Appétit

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Fiesta Week Part 4 – Quick Pickled Onions and Radishes and Confetti Corn

For the last of the dishes I made for our special taco night bonanza, I added a couple of more side dishes that would also go well on the tacos if you wanted to try them that way. This gave everyone lots of choices to make their tacos, whether they wanted beef, chicken, chorizo or even just vegetable to make a vegetarian taco. To go along with the guacamole, salsa, black bean and cabbage slaw and refried beans I wanted to do some kind of quick pickling that did not require a lot of effort on my part and would still give great flavor from the results. I found this recipe from Bon Appetit  for quick pickled onions and since I had some radishes on hand already I thought I would throw them in there as well since they go so well with tacos. You can get this dish done in five minutes, let it sit and you are good to go.

Quick Pickled Onions and Radishes

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced

Whisk the apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt and 1 cup of water together in a small bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve. Place the red onion and the radishes in a jar and pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Let the vegetables sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

You can easily make these ahead of time and store them covered in your refrigerator for days before you use them. They do get good pickling flavor to them in a short amount of time and I have been having what was left on sandwiches and in salads all week-long as well so it gives you a great option for not a lot of work.

I also wanted to make something with corn as corn seems to go well with tacos. I found this simple confetti corn recipe from Ina Garten and decided to give it a try. Even though we haven’t hit good fresh corn season around here yet, I made this work pretty well using frozen corn instead and it turned out tasting great.

Confetti Corn

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut to 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons butter

Kernels cut from 5 ears of corn, or 4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons julienned fresh herbs, such as basil, chives or parsley

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until it is shimmering. Add the red onion and saute for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the bell pepper and saute the vegetables for about 2 more minutes.

Add the butter to the skillet and allow it to melt, Over medium heat, add the corn, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the corn just starts to lose its starch. Season the mixture to taste and gently stir in the herbs and serve.

You get a great roasted flavor from the corn as the sugars come out and mix nicely with the red onion and the pepper. It has great color and flavor as a side dish for the tacos or to go right on the tacos if you wish. You could also make this as a great side for all kinds of dishes of beef, chicken, fish or pork and I think it would work really well. Everyone liked it so much I never even had a chance to take a picture of it as it was gobbled up pretty quickly.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Now that I am done with the Mexican recipes I made this week, I can get back to some other things I have tried recently that I would like to share with everyone. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Cooking, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetables

 

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Fiesta Week Part 3 – Cabbage Slaw and Refried Beans

Now that you have some good taco recipes from chorizo tacos and chicken tacos, you need to have some good ides to go along with the tacos. Of course guacamole and salsa are always good choices and are pretty easy to make on your own at home. There are also a number of quality store-bought salsas and guacamole if there are some that you  like in particular and don’t have the time or energy to make them yourself. Personally, I always like the homemade better since you have more control over the ingredients and can make it just how you and your family like it the best. Anyway, I wanted to make a few different side dishes that could go well either right on the tacos themselves or right along side of them. Of course, I needed to have a classic refried beans recipe and I decided to use this one that I found on Food Network’s website from Ellie Krieger. It is very simple and can be done in minutes.

Refried Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup chicken broth, plus more if needed

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the beans and the chicken broth and cook until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Mash the beans coarsely with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher, adding more chicken broth to moisten the beans if necessary. Season the beans with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the cilantro leaves and serve.

The beans are very tasty and take no time at all to make. You could really do this with any type of beans that you like the best. I think black beans would be great for this well. The beans added great texture to the tacos overall and make a good side dish not just for tacos or other Mexican meals, but for things like chicken or pork entrees as well.

I also wanted to make a quick slaw to go along with the tacos, but I did not want a typical creamy coleslaw that I often make. I needed something lighter and simpler that people could put on their tacos or right on the side of their meals. This simple vegetable slaw from Bon Appetit fit the bill perfectly and only took a few minutes to make for the meal.

Black Bean and Cabbage Slaw

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 cups coleslaw mix

2 green onions, chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place the black beans and the cumin in a small bowl and partially mash the beans. Mix the olive oil and the lime juice together in a medium bowl. Add the coleslaw mix, green onions and cilantro to the oil mixture and toss them well to coat them evenly. Add the beans to the coleslaw and toss to coat. Season the slaw with salt and pepper to taste.

Again, it is a very simple recipe that has a great fresh taste and flavor. This slaw could even be used as a taco filling all on its own if you wanted to go with something as more of a vegetarian option for tacos. All you need to do is heat dome tortillas, spoon the mixture onto the tortillas, add a little cheese and any other toppings you like, and you are good to go. I have actually been eating the slaw with my lunch the rest of the week and have added it into some salad that I made for lunch yesterday for an even better variation on regular salad.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Cooking, Holidays, Salad, Side Dishes

 

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Fiesta Week Part 2 – Chicken Tacos

To go along with the chorizo tacos and the beef tacos I had made on Sunday I also wanted to make some chicken tacos. I didn’t want to do something with just shredded chicken, which would have been easy to do with some chicken, but I wanted something a little different with some nice sauce to go along with it. I had looked at a few different recipes I found on the Internet, but then I came upon this one from Michael Chiarello on the Food Network for a chicken taco filling. It looked pretty easy to make, only used a few ingredients and I could get it done along with all over the other things I was making that day. The original recipe is for a pretty large quantity, so I ended up scaling it down quite a bit to fit my crowd and I still had a lot left over, so you could make it even smaller if you only have a couple of people to feed. The recipe shown here is in the amounts that I actually used. If you want the larger quantities, all you need to do is double this recipe.

Chicken Tacos

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 onions, minced

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 Serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper, sliced thin

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground oregano

2-3 cups chicken broth or water

For the Tacos:

Red onion, sliced thin

Lettuce, shredded

Radishes, sliced thin

Salsa (homemade or store-bought)

Guacamole (homemade or store-bought)

Flour or corn tortillas

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the vegetables are soft and nicely caramelized, about 10 to 12 minutes.

In the meantime, season the chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken pieces and toss the chicken to coat it well. Heat another large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the chicken until it is lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Once the onion mixture is caramelized and softened, add the chile peppers, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, cumin and oregano. When the chicken is done, transfer it to the pan with the onions. Pour in the broth or water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve the tacos, place all of your  chosen toppings and the chicken filling in separate bowls along with the warmed tortillas so people can construct their own tacos.

This was a simple recipe for the chicken that yielded some great flavor thanks to the spices used. You could certainly substitute some rotisserie chicken and just heat it up with the onion mixture and spices if you have left over chicken from another meal or do not want to cook the chicken yourself. The sauce is nice and thick and clings nicely to the chicken to add another level of flavor to the dish. I would choose to make chicken tacos this way every time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, One Pot Meals, Poultry

 

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Fiesta Week Part 1 – Chorizo Tacos

I decided to make a bunch of Mexican dishes yesterday as kind of an early Cinco de Mayo kind of meal for Sunday since we were having some guests over. I made three different kinds of tacos, some re-fried beans, vegetable slaw, guacamole, salsa, confetti corn, pickled onions and radishes, southwestern egg rolls, avocado dip and more, so there were lots of things to choose from, some of which I have made before and posted here and some new things. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in all of the cooking that I forgot to take pictures of a lot of it, so I hope to take some pictures of some of the leftover items tomorrow. The only thing I did not have anything left of was the chorizo tacos, which seemed to be quite a favorite. I had bought the chorizo at Adam’s Farms since they make their own, but you could also make your own as well at home if you have all the ingredients or a favorite recipe you like to use. I saw a bunch of different recipes, but this one from Williams-Sonoma struck me as the best one of the bunch, so I used this one.

Chorizo Tacos

8 ounces (1 cup) Mexican chorizo sausage

3 medium potatoes

Salt, to taste

2 medium poblano chiles or red bell peppers

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

Guacamole (homemade or store-bought)

Salsa (homemade or store-bought)

Flour or corn tortillas

With a small knife, slice down the side of the chorizo casings. Remove the chorizo from the casing and discard the casing. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the chorizo. Cook, stirring regularly to break up the clumps, about 4 minutes, until the chorizo is cooked through. If there is a lot of rendered fat, discard some of the excess and remove the chorizo to a bowl. Set the pan aside for later use.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in half, and then dice the halves. In a medium bowl, add the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss the potatoes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave them on high for 4 to 5 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Roast the chiles or bell peppers by placing them directly over a gas flame (don’t use a pan), or 4 inches below the broiler in the oven, turning the peppers occasionally with tongs until they are evenly blackened all over. Place the peppers in a plastic bag and allow them to cool. Peel off and discard the blackened skin of the peppers. Pull out the stems from the peppers and the seed pods and discard them. Tear open the peppers and rinse off the seeds and bits of black skin. Cut the peppers into 1/4-inch pieces.

In the empty skillet, add the vegetable oil to a bit of the rendered chorizo fat set over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring regularly, until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the  chile peppers and the chorizo and cook for 3 or three minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Warm the tortillas and scoop the chorizo filling into a serving bowl. Set the bowl on the table with the warm tortillas, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce and any other accompaniments that you like.

Everyone really loved the chorizo tacos. They had just the right amount of spice and adding the potatoes to the mix really added something great as far as taste and texture to the mix. This mix would be great without the tortilla as a main dish with some rice or even as a breakfast with some eggs. You could even omit the chorizo altogether and just have the potatoes, onions and peppers if you wanted a vegetarian taco mix instead. I wish I had taken a picture of it as they were really good. Next time I make them I will post a picture of them for sure.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe from our Mexican fiesta. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 

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Cinco de Mayo Feast

I wanted to make something for Cinco de Mayo today that was different for me at least without it taking me hours in the kitchen or having something that is smothered in cheese (I am not a fan of all things cheesy). I looked around this past week and saw some great recipes in a few places and decided to give them a try. The bulk of them came from America’s Test Kitchen, including this one for Mexican Pulled Pork, or Carnitas.

Mexican Pulled Pork (Carnitas)

1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) boneless pork butt, fat cap trimmed to 1/8 inch thick, cut into 2-inch chunks

Salt and ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 small onion, peeled and halved

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime

2 cups water

1 medium orange, halved

Tortillas

Lime wedges

Minced red onion

Fresh cilantro leaves

Thinly sliced radishes

Sour cream

Guacamole (recipe to follow)

Salsa

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the pork, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, cumin, onion, bay leaves, oregano, lime juice and water in a large Dutch oven. The liquid should just barely cover the meat. Juice the orange into a medium bowl and remove any seeds. You should have about 1/3 a cup of juice. Add the juice and the spent orange halves to the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven; cook until the meat is soft and falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours, flipping pieces of meat once during the cooking process.

Remove the pot from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl; remove the orange halves, onion, and bay leaves from the cooking liquid and discard. Do not skim the fat from the liquid. Place the pot over high heat and simmer the liquid, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy. A heat-safe spatula should leave a wide trail when dragged through the glaze. The process should take 8 to 12 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of reduced liquid when done.

Using two forks, pull each piece of pork in half. Fold in the reduced liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the pork in an even layer on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet or on a broiler pan. The meat should cover almost the entire surface of the pan. Place the baking sheet on the lower-middle rack and broil until the top of the meat is well browned but not charred and the edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and continue to broil until the top is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes longer. Serve immediately with warm tortillas and any garnishes that you like.

All 3 of us loved this pork. These tacos were easily some of the best I had made. The pork just melted in your mouth and was cooked perfectly. You could easily use this pork in other ways for other Mexican meals if you wanted, such as burritos, enchiladas or tamales, but I think they worked great as a taco myself. We did have some good leftovers which I am looking forward to having for lunch this week.

As a good side dish to go along with this, I decided to make a Cuban-Style Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos). I thought it would make a nice accompaniment to the pork and I got the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen as well.

Cuban-Style Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos)

Salt

1 cup dried black beans, rinsed and picked over

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

2 large green peppers, halved and seeded

1 large onion, halved at the equator and peeled, root end left intact

1 head garlic, 5 medium cloves removed and minced, remaining head halved at the equator with skin left intact

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 cups long grain white rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 ounces lean salt pork, cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 medium scallions, sliced thin

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts of cold water in a large bowl. Add the beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.

In a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, stir together the drained beans, broth, water, 1 pepper half, 1 onion half (with root end), halved garlic head, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the beans are just soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Using tongs, remove discard the pepper, onion, garlic and bay leaves. Drain the beans in a colander set over a large bowl, reserving 2 1/2 cups of the bean cooking liquid. If you don’t have enough bean cooking liquid left, add some water to equal 2 1/2 cups. Do not wash out the Dutch oven.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rice in a large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake the strainer vigorously to remove all excess water; set the rice aside. Cut the remaining peppers and onion into 2-inch pieces and process them in a food processor until broken into rough 1/4-inch pieces, about eight 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary; set the vegetables aside.

In the now-empty Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and the salt pork over medium-low heat; cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned and rendered, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the remaining oil, chopped peppers and onion, oregano, and cumin. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the beans, reserved bean cooking liquid, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Serve, passing the scallions and lime wedges separately.

A few things about this recipe. First, I did not use salt pork. I had bacon on hand, so that is what I used. If you are using bacon, you only need to cook it for about 4 to 8 minutes instead of the 15 to 20 for the salt pork. If you want a more vegetarian version of the recipe, eliminate the pork altogether and use water instead of the chicken broth. You could also add a little tomato paste when cooking the vegetables for some more body and flavor. Lastly, although a traditional sofrito calls for green peppers, green peppers upset my stomach and Michelle’s, so I went for red pepper instead. I actual like the flavor better and the color of the final product. This recipe makes a lot of rice and could easily feed 8 people, so you may want to cut it down to half if you have a smaller table to feed. Overall, I thought it was a very nice side dish and I could use the leftovers with a wide variety of other dishes.

I also made the fresh salsa that I usually make, which is America’s Test Kitchen as well if you want to check it out. I also made the guacamole I had made in the past as well if you want to see that recipe. The entire meal turned out great and we had a very relaxing late lunch/early dinner for the day.

I do have several other recipes to share for this week, including the dessert I made for tonight of a Mango-Pineapple Fruit Salad. I also have recipes this week for chicken, crab cakes, griddle cakes and a few others since I didn’t get to share any this past week. Check back and see if you like anything you see. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!010 007 008 009

 

 

 
 

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

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