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Creamy Coconut Lime Paletas

June 21, 2017
Coconut lime paletas are one of my all-time favorite Mexican popsicles. They are so creamy and delicious but are actually vegan, low-cal, and easy to make!

Hey, Hey! 2017 #PaletaWeek is here!!

Thank God and bless the lovely Lola from Lola’s Cocina; she has impeccable timing, because it is HOT and all I want to eat are creamy, dreamy, frozen treats and she’s organized an entire WEEK of them!! Make sure you follow the #PaletaWeek hashtag on social for all the updates.

My contribution is about the easiest paleta you can make (aside from maybe pouring juice in a popsicle mold). It requires no special equipment—you could totally make these in paper cups if you want— and takes about 10 minutes to put together from start to pouring them in the molds.

But oh my are they delicious! Creamy coconut milk and fresh-squeezed lime juice are a dream combination. I sweetened them with agave syrup to save a little on the calories but the secret ingredient is the tiny shreds of lime zest which pool a bit at the bottom of the mold making those first few bites just sing with tart flavor.

I got a new popsicle mold this year and I’m loving it, I feel muy profesional because now my paletas look just like the ones from our local paleta shop. But I’m known to make popsicles in just about anything, juice glasses, paper cups, you name it. What I’m trying to say is there should be absolutely nothing stopping you from making yourself some homemade paletas this summer.

Creamy Coconut Lime Paletas
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 paletas
Ingredients
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons finely shredded lime zest
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks and place in freezer for 4-8 hours depending on how cold your freezer is.
  3. To remove: run each mold under hot water for 10-20 seconds or until the paleta easily removes from the mold. Return to the freezer until ready to eat.

Head over to Lola’s Cocina for a list of all the Paleta Week Recipes and check out these favorites too!

 

One More Thing

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Popular, Recipes, Side Dishes

Slow Cooker Borracho Beans

May 11, 2016
Slow Cooker Borracho Beans Recipe

In this swinging pendulum of spring weather it’s kinda nice to have a pot of beans every once in a while. We don’t eat beans as often as I’d like. My kids detest them (a personal flaw I try to overlook) so more often than not, Armando and I will just open up a can and doctor it with some sautéed onion and garlic and cumin.

Slow Cooker Borracho Beans Recipe

Every now and again I like to commit to a big pot which we can then have for lunches, breakfasts, and snacks all week. I tend to get very hungry around 10 am and a bowlful of beans just hits the spot. Especially if it’s rainy or surprisingly cold or (dare I say it), snowing in the middle of May.

Frijoles Borrachos, or Drunken Beans, fall in that multitudinous category of Mexican bean soups and stews made with the humble but very satisfying pinto bean. They are similar to Frijoles Charros or Cowboy Beans but some of the cooking liquid is replaced with beer, giving them a almost sweet, yeasty flavor. Bacon is also crucial, although some people use chorizo or both.

Slow Cooker Borracho Beans Recipe

They are excellent just like this, spooned into bowls with some of the broth and sprinkled with a handful of fresh herbs but they can also be turned into the best refried beans on the planet. Heat some oil in a frying pan (or lard or bacon grease) and add a ladleful of beans with a little of the broth. Bring to a boil then start mashing away with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until they are creamy.

An old-wives tale or not, I do not salt my beans before they are fully cooked. One day, when I have endless time on my hands, I might try this two-part salting method which claims to cook beans quicker (??) but in the meantime if I am anything it’s stubborn and I’ve thrown away too many pots of hard beans to mess around. After the beans are tender add a tablespoon of kosher salt and then taste. You might need to add 1 or even 2 more but remember the beans will get saltier once reheated so err on the side of caution.

Slow Cooker Borracho Beans Recipe

Slow Cooker Borracho Beans Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Meaty pinto beans cooked with beer, bacon, chiles, and spices all in the slow cooker. Gluten-free!
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 6 cups water
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed and chopped (seeded, for a less spicy version)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Rinse beans and pick through, removing any rocks. Place beans in the slow cooker. Add beer and water, cover and turn slow cooker on to high if you'd like them done in 4 hours or low if you'd like them done in 8.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium heat in a large frying pan until browned and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
  3. In the frying pan with the bacon grease, add onions and cook over medium heat until they are soft, about 8 minutes. Add jalapeños and cook another 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chile powder, coriander, oregano, and bay leaves and cook, stirring for a minute more.
  4. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker. Chop bacon and add to slow cooker. Cover and continue cooking until beans are tender, about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  5. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt, taste and add more to your liking. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions and serve.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Popular, Recipes, Salads

Mango Cucumber Salad with Cayenne Dressing and Lime Basil

May 24, 2015
Mango Cucumber Salad with Cayenne Dressing

We bought a house filled with junk. Is that normal, to buy a house filled with other people’s crap? When we first moved in six years ago the owner of the house was using it more or less as a storage facility for boxes of Rainex and mini blinds.

Mango-Cucmber Salad with Cayenne Vinaigrette

Much of the china doll tchotchke and cases of air freshener have been slowly removed over the years but when we agreed to buy the house last fall there were still remnants stuck in dark, damp corners of the unfinished basement. Industrial mop buckets, reels of linoleum, old peanut cans full of screws, nails, drawer pulls; they all bothered me—making me feel verklempt just looking at them—but nothing drove me more nuts than this rusty old water softener that has probably been in that basement since the beginning of time. This thing is so ridiculously large and heavy, I’m almost positive a crane dropped it in place and they built the house around it.

Mango-Cucumber Salad

Mango Cucumber Dressing with Cayenne Dressing Recipe

Determined to once and for all be rid of the elephant in the room (literally) we gathered the beefiest friend we knew and tried to lug it up the back stairs to be towed away on town clean-up day. With our friend on the bottom and The Professor at the top they strapped it to a dolly and started up the stairs. By the second stair The Professor felt the step moan and dip and no amount of pulling was getting it any farther. Not wanting to let go and send the thing crashing to what would most likely be the middle of the earth, The Professor hollered for help. I started sprinting from house to house searching for a neighbor who could lug this thing all the way up, then when no one was answering jumped in the car and drove to the nearest friend’s house. Three men later they had finally extracted the water softener from the basement.

A week passed, clean-up day had come and gone, the pile of detritus we put out back had mostly been removed, minus one small item–the tank, gleaming in all it’s rusty glory. I ignored it, hoping the city just didn’t have enough room in their truck or maybe they just needed to get a forklift or something and they’d be back to pick it up. Another week passed and there was no sign that it would be going anywhere. As a matter of fact after a few days of rain it had started sinking into the ground, getting comfortable in it’s new spot.

Mango-Cucumber Salad with

Mango Cucumber Salad with Cayenne Dressing Recipe

Then Wednesday morning there was a knock on the back door. An older gentleman in a baseball cap and worn blue jeans wanted to know if I wanted that big tank that was sitting out back. Trying not to show my immense enthusiasm I said, “Nope, you can have it. But it is very heavy.” “Oh, that’s fine.” he replied, “I’ve got my trailer.” I watched out the back window, silently cheering him on. It took him about 30 minutes but that old farm boy single-handedly got that beast on his trailer and hauled it away, leaving me there, mouth agape.

Mango-Cucmber Salad with Cayenne

Mango Cucumber Salad Recipe with Cayenne Dressing

What this all has to do with mango salad, I haven’t a clue. But maybe spring cleaning, and mango-cucumber salads with spicy vinaigrette make us feel alive and healthy. With tomorrow being Memorial Day you could possibly be off to a picnic or cook-out in which case this would be a great salad to take along. You can make it up to an hour or two in advance and it holds up delightfully, possibly even improving, as it sits.

Have a lovely long weekend!

Mango-Cucumber Salad with Cayenne Dressing and Lime Basil Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This is a great picnic salad because you can make it up to 1 hour in advance and it won't wilt. If you are worried about the basil turning brown, you can slice it, wrap it in a damp paper towel then stick that in a resealable plastic bag or wrapped in some plastic wrap. Then toss it into the salad right before serving.
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne powder (you can add more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the salad:
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pit removed and sliced into strips
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 small bunch lime basil (or regular basil), thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and add more lime juice or salt if desired.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Popular, Recipes

Cuban Grilled Chicken

April 28, 2015
Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe

Cinco de Mayo is in one week. I’d planned to give you a week’s worth of margarita recipes but I spend too much time locking my keys in the car and walking the two miles home in my heels to actually get around to doing that. Hopefully I’ll produce one or two drink-poo ideas before the big day but today is meant for grilled chicken instead.

Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe

I’ve been nuts about Pollo Frito a la Criolla ever since Adrianna wrote about it some months back. She had made the recipe from The Cuban Table, Ana Sofia Pelaez’s beautiful cookbook (just nominated for a James Beard Award, no less). It is chicken marinated in a mojo sauce and fried with onions—basically everything I love about Cuban food.

Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe

I had fully intended on making the dish as is, but then on Sunday it was so beautiful and sunny that the urge to grill was just too, too much. I kept the sweet, sour marinade of fresh squeezed orange and lime juices (even better with Seville orange juice if you can find it) ground cumin, and garlic but then grilled the chicken instead.

Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe

I had a whole chicken and cut it up into four pieces (this is easiest if you cut out the spine first) but if you want to use all chicken thighs, or breasts, or whole legs that would work too. Just make sure it’s about three pounds of chicken total. Boneless, skinless chicken would work too, but the cooking time will be about half of bone-in, skin-on chicken.

Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe

This grilled version was a big hit with the under-six crowd. Hiro (who is especially fond of chicken legs) cleaned off two down to the bone, which is as good of a sign of recipe success as this house ever gets. The above-thirty crowd was about as in love with this recipe as we are with almost all Cuban food, which is to say madly and deeply. A whole chicken typically doesn’t get eaten in its entirety in one sitting, but this one sure was.

Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe

Cuban Grilled Chicken Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Marinade recipe from Hungry Sofia. The longer you can let the chicken soak in the marinade, the better, but if you are short on time, an hour or two will do.
Serves: 4 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into 4 pieces or 2 skin-on, bone-in legs and breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 cup Seville orange juice or ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thick slices
Instructions
  1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper and place in a 9 x 13-inch non-reactive baking dish.
  2. In a blender combine measured amounts of salt and pepper, Seville orange juice (or orange and lime juices), garlic, oregano, and cumin. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken and top with onion slices. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-low heat. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip back into the dish. Grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. During the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time, add onion slices to the grill and grill onions until tender and lightly charred.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Popular, Recipes, Snacks

Chicharonnes de Harina {Fried Mexican Wheat Crisps with Chile and Lime}

May 21, 2014
Chicharrones de Harina Recipe
 Good God I can’t believe I’m saying this but…….SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE!!!!

Can you tell I’m excited?

Memorial Day is supposed to be the unofficial beginning of summer so I’m unofficially going to declare that we get this party started. I’ve got a looooooooong list of things I want to accomplish so I need to get going if I’m serious about making things happen. Want to join me?

Chicharrones de Harina Recipe

Here’s what we’re going to do:

1. Spend a lot, A LOT of time at the pool/beach (whatever water source you rely on for straight chillin’).

2. Make/eat more food on sticks. I’m thinking fruit, paletas, kebabs, corn, corn dogs, s’mores you name it….but no Twinkies people, please have some decency.

3. Two words: Water Guns.

4. Two more words: Tomato Sandwich.

5. Eat our weight in pie.

6. Play endless games of tag to burn off said pie.

7. Take down a margarita or two.

8. Outdoor movies are a must.

9. Sparklers…..sparklers are definitely in order.

10. And of course a ton of crispy snacks to keep us energized.

My new favorites are these addictive, crunchy wheat chips in the ever-adorable wheel shapes, doused in lime juice and generously sprinkled with tongue-tingling spice mix. They come in different shapes, the classic ones are rectangular and a dead-ringer for crispy, fried pork skins or chicharrones (hence the name).

Chicharrones de Harina

These fried wheat crisps are a popular street snack in Mexico. I found the dried wheels in the Mexican section of our local grocery store so I’m almost positive you can find them in yours. You want to fry them fresh, they are very airy and light and get soggy quickly.

Chicharrones de Harina Recipe

Big bowls of these are a must for any Memorial Day celebration but make a lot—they won’t last long.

Chicharonnes de Harina {Fried Mexican Wheat Crisps with Chile and Lime}
 
Cook time
Total time
 
How to make homemade chicharrones de harina or Mexican fried wheat crisps—the ultimate crunchy street food snack. These crispy wheels are totally addictive.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground arbol chile
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1½ cups dried chicharrones de harina
  • 1 lime
Instructions
  1. Combine salt, cumin, chile, and cayenne in a small bowl.
  2. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep pot over medium heat to 350°F or until a piece of bread browns in 30 seconds. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near the pot.
  3. Once oil is hot, carefully add the chicharrones a few at a time. Fry on one side until they poof open (about 30 seconds), flip and cook for another 30 seconds or until they have opened completely and are beginning to brown.
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon or a bamboo skimmer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicharrones checking occasionally that the oil is maintaining a constant temperature.
  5. Squeeze the lime over the top and sprinkle with the spice mixture. Serve immediately.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Apps, Comida Latina, Mains, Popular, Recipes

Sweet Potato Nachos with Smoked Cheddar and Black Beans

May 14, 2014
Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe from @holajalapeno

Last weekend I ran in my first ever 5K. I know all you marathoners out there are thinking, big deal, but for me it was a big deal. It took me 36 years to train for this race and I ran my heart out. When it was over I had the biggest goofball smile on my face for at least a good hour or more (the Professor ran with me—isn’t he the cutest?!)

I’m the girl who in the sixth grade had a quasi panic attack when told I was going to have to run a mile for some presidential youth fitness challenge (thanks a lot George H.W. Bush). I don’t think I even went once around that track before I passed out. Let’s just say I’ve been calisthenically challenged my whole life. 

   It wasn’t until I had my second child and survived 18 hours of natural child birth that I realized I could actually push my body beyond its comfort zone and survive to tell the tale. Mainly I was scared but there’s nothing like pushing for 2 1/2 hours to get you over that (sorry TMI). Anyhoo, About 9 months after he was born I decided to hit the gym, it was a little pathetic at first, but once I became comfortable with being uncomfortable I actually started liking it, then loving it, and a few months after that, needing it.

I’m sure if you saw me running now you would see a very slow, middle-aged woman, sweat pouring down her bright-red face. But in my mind, with my Macklemore blasting, I feel badass, like the woman Beyonce wishes she was on a good day—amazing, sexy, powerful, unstoppable. For those 30 minutes, I am no one’s wife or mother or employee. I am just running.

Another (more obvious) reason I’ve gotten into running is it allows for a significantly less guilt-ridden carb load every now and again. One of my current favorites are these sweet potato nachos. Really, melty cheese on anything floats my boat, but caramelized roasted sweet potato fries topped with creamy black beans and smoked cheddar cheese is outta this world.

Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe

 

Sweet Potato Nachos with Smoked Cheddar and Black Beans
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
The recipe below is a pretty pared-down version but you could top to your heart's content. Browned and crumbled chorizo, sliced jalapeños, or shredded chicken would all be delicious tucked in between the sweet potatoes. Or you could leave them as is and serve them with a plethora of toppings like guacamole, salsa, pickled jalapeños, or sour cream.
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (15.5 ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Arrange racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into ½-inch thick sticks.
  2. Divide sweet potatoes evenly between two sheet pans and drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out the sweet potato sticks into a single layer and roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
  3. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and move the upper rack to the middle of the oven. Heat the broiler to high.
  4. Transfer one tray of sweet potatoes to an oven-safe platter and top with half the black beans and half the cheddar. Top with the other tray of sweet potatoes and layer the remaining black beans and cheddar over the top.
  5. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!