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Breakfast, Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Mains, Recipes

8 Delicious Ways to Use Tomatillos + Huevos Divorciados

March 24, 2017
Huevos Divorciados Recipe from @holajalapeno

This post was sponsored by Ralphs, all opinions however are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! 

If you have a weakness for green salsa, you may be a tomatillo lover and not even know it.  Tomatillos are essential to Mexican cooking and were first cultivated by the Aztecs centuries ago. The name might not be familiar but I’m sure you have seen them, they are the green (or sometimes purple) tomato-looking fruit that are wrapped in a crinkly paper husk. Tomatillos—while they may look like a tomato—have actually nothing to do with tomatoes but are in the same family as the cape gooseberry and have the tartness to prove it.

8 Ways to Cook with Tomatillos from @holajalapeno

How To Buy and Prep Tomatillos

When buying tomatillos, look for firm-fleshed fruit with no bruises or browned spots. The best tomatillos are on the smaller side, about the size of a ping pong ball, the bigger they are the more bitter they tend to be. Ralphs always has a beautiful selection of tomatillos as well as cilantro, jalapeños, and everything else I need to make my favorite Mexican recipes.

To cook with tomatillos, remove the papery husk and give them a rinse under cold water.  They don’t need to be peeled or seeded and can be eaten raw or cooked. Their tart flavor can be used to bring a tangy zing to everything from salsas to soups and slowly braised meat dishes. Here are my favorite ways to cook with tomatillos:

8 easy recipes for tomatillos from @holajalapeno

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

In Salsa

 

8 Easy Recipes For Tomatillos from @holajalapeno

In Soup

8 Easy Recipes for Tomatillos from @holajalapeno

Green Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs

For Breakfast

8 Easy Recipe for Tomatillos from @holajalapeno

Slow Cooker Carne Adobada

For Dinner

Another Mexican classic that relies heavily on tomatillos are Huevos Divorciados or Divorced Eggs. The two eggs are usually separated by a sea of green (tomatillo) salsa and a smooth red salsa but I’m tapping into my love affair with beets and made a roasted beet relish instead. It’s still green and red, the huevos have in no way gotten back together and we all get to pack a few more veggies into breakfast—Yay for us!!

Huevos Divorciados Recipe from @holajalapeno

This tomatillo salsa is a bit different from the other versions mentioned above. The addition of Greek yogurt takes it to a completely different place,  it adds a creaminess that is such a perfect counterpoint to the tart nature of tomatillos that I can’t believe I have never made tomatillos salsa like this before.

I piled the whole thing on a plate of fried tahini breakfast potatoes which are a creation of my friend Susana. A spoonful of tahini melts into the potatoes as they fry, coating them in a glorious sesame bath. The extra oil makes them super crispy and golden.

Huevos Divorciados Recipe by @holajalapeno

Huevos Divorciados with Creamy Tomatillo Salsa & Roasted Beet Relish
 
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Huevos Divorciados: 2 eggs smothered in creamy tomatillo salsa & roasted beet relish on fried tahini breakfast potatoes.
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
For the Tomatillo Salsa:
  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2-3 jalapeños, stemmed and cut in half (add as many or few jalapeños as you like depending on how spicy you want the salsa to be)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
For the Beet Relish:
  • 4-6 small beets, trimmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced (seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Tahini Potatoes:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 4 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
For the Eggs:
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-4 large eggs
  • Crumbled queso fresco, optional
Instructions
To Make the Tomatillo Salsa:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F and arrange rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Combine tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeños on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss to coat.
  3. Roast veggies until softened and brown, about 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer veggies to a blender (removing the skin from the garlic first), add cilantro and yogurt and season with salt (I used 2 teaspoons) and blend until smooth. You might need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your blender.
  5. This will make a lot more salsa than you'll need but extra salsa is never a bad problem to have.
  6. Keep oven on to roast the beets.
For the Beet Relish:
  1. Place beets in a baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and cover with foil. Roast beets until they can be easily pierced with a knife, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Peel beets by rubbing the skin off with a paper towel or a pairing knife then cut into small dice.
  3. Combine beets with remaining relish ingredients and toss to combine. Season with salt to taste.
For the Potatoes:
  1. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and potatoes and season with salt.
  2. Cook, undisturbed a few minutes then add remaining potato ingredients and stir until tahini has coated the potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered.
For the Eggs:
  1. I like to fry my eggs one at a time. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil per egg in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering crack the egg into the middle of the oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Turn off heat and let cook, undisturbed 1-2 minutes. Flip if you want an over easy egg and finish cooking to your liking. Repeat with remaining eggs.
To Serve:
  1. Divide potatoes between 2-4 plates, depending on how many you are serving. Place 2 eggs on each plate and top each egg with the different salsas. Sprinkle a little queso fresco over the top if you want, serve immediately.
Notes
To make both salsas at the same time, roast the tomatillo salsa vegetables on one rack and the beets on another rack in the oven simultaneously.

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! Knowing that this recipe worked for you 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!

Apps, Comida Latina, Mains, Popular, Recipes

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

March 21, 2017
Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

How do you moms out there deal with getting stuff done? I’m serious, I need your advice because I’m dealing with a constant tug-of-war between working and being (and I mean mentally present) with my kids.

I’m not talking about the daily chore stuff of laundry, dinner, etc but the work from home stuff, the I need to do this for me and only me kind of stuff. I’ve been doing this work from home thing with various levels of success for a long time now and I’m still not sure how to do it right. To do it in a way that I feel honors my role of being a mother and a woman with an independent career. Any tips? I’d really like to hear them. I know from the outside it’s easy to think other women have their shit all kinds of together but that’s what’s so beautiful about having these conversations and being real with each other, so in all honesty I’d love your help.

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

This all relates to black mole fries, I promise and here’s how: Being real and honest women is also what I adore about one my favorite podcasts Super Mamás. The show is hosted by sisters Paulina Lopez Velazquez and Bricia Lopez-Maytorena. They get down to the real nitty-gritty of life and cover every topic under the sun from bilingual struggles to miscarriage to shitty mom moments. These two incredible women also help run their families other businesses; the James Beard award winning Oaxacan restaurant, Guelaguetza, their Mole business, and their Michelada mix business. Long story short, I can imagine they both know what I’m talking about you can imagine how honored and psyched I was when they asked if I would like to come up with a little something-something using their mole! See? Fries!

Please, please, please don’t be intimidated about these fries. I know just looking at the recipe it looks crazy. I mean who spends over 4 hours making fries?!! But most of it is time you are chilling, waiting for the beef to slowly braise in the oven (a step you can also do the day before if you want to). Let’s break them down piece by piece shall we?

How to Make the Black Mole Sauce

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipes from @holajalapeno

Using Guelaguetza’s Black Mole Paste makes preparing the mole sauce super easy, you just need to add a bit of tomato, some broth, a hunk of chocolate, and some salt. After the sauce is made pour it over some browned boneless short ribs, cover, and slowly braise in the oven until they are tender and falling apart.

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

How To Make the Fries

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

Making the fries are pretty simple, just toss some frozen French fries with a few spices and salt and bake in the oven. Once they are done you can move on to the fun part—the toppings!!

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

The Toppings

This recipe looks really long because I wanted to give you guys several ideas for toppings. I added big, fat lima beans, caramelized onions, aged white Cheddar cheese, and sour cream. I also made some quick marinated tomatoes with sliced serrano chiles, cilantro, and scallions. You can be as creative as you’d like or make them super simple too, make them your own!

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

To find out more about all three Guelaguetza mole pastes, how to buy it and more recipes using it, check out their store.

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries
 
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Oven-baked French fries topped with Oaxacan black mole braised beef, giant white beans, Cheddar, sour cream and more.
Author:
Serves: 6-8 Servings
Ingredients
For the Beef:
  • 1 large tomato, cored and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons Oaxacan Black Mole Paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 quarter piece Ibarra chocolate
  • 1 pound boneless short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Beans:
  • ½ cup dried lima beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
For the Onions:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
For the Tomatoes:
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
For the Fries:
  • 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen French fries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground California chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
Additional Toppings:
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • micro greens
  • sour cream
  • lime wedges
Instructions
To Make the Beef:
  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Place the tomato in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Strain and blend until smooth in a blender (careful to cover the blender with a folded paper towel and not the lid which could explode with the hot liquid).
  3. Strain tomato liquid back into the saucepan. Add mole paste, broth, chocolate, and season with salt (about ½ teaspoon depending on your broth, paste, tastes, etc.) Bring to a simmer and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Season beef generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat oil in a frying pan until shimmering. Add beef and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a baking dish, pour mole sauce over the beef and cover the dish with foil.
  5. Braise the beef in the oven until very tender and falling apart, about 1½- 2 hours. Shred beef in the pan then set aside. This step can be done a day in advance, uncover, let cool, then cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
For the Beans:
  1. Rinse beans and place in a small saucepan. Cover with about 2 inches of water. Add bay leaf and black peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Season the cooking water with salt and let cool in the liquid until ready to use. Strain beans before adding to the fries.
For the Onions:
  1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and brown, about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary so they don't burn. Set aside.
For the Tomatoes:
  1. Toss the tomatoes with the scallion, chile, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.
For the Fries:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the upper third.
  2. Combine fries, oil, salt, chile powder, coriander, and white pepper in a large bowl. Toss until fries are well coated then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake until crisp and browned, about 30 minutes.
  4. Leave on the baking sheet or transfer to a large serving dish and cover with beef, some of the mole sauce, strained beans, caramelized onions, and Cheddar cheese.
  5. Return fries to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove and top with tomatoes, and any or all of the additional toppings.
Notes
You may or may not use all the toppings for the fries. Add the braised beef, beans, onions, and cheese to your liking. Leftovers of any of these make awesome tacos!

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! Knowing that this recipe worked for you 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!

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}

March 17, 2017
Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe from @holajalapeno

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

We are mid-March and many of you might already be thinking about Easter.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe {Mexican Bread Pudding} from @holajalapeno

When I was living in Spain, I was amazed at the pomp and fanfare that surrounded Easter; bigger than Christmas, bigger than New Year’s, without a doubt the grandest celebration of the year. The entire week of Easter (Semana Santa) was an explosion of color and flowers and food and joy, the whole country comes alive.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

In Mexico, Easter and Holy Week are a very big deal as well and the Capirotada or Mexican bread pudding is very traditional at many Easter celebrations. I wanted to share with you a version I am just thrilled about. It is creamier and richer than most Capirotadas because it is made with Nestle’s Media Crema Table Cream. Media Crema is shelf-stable cream at the ready when you need it. It is great in everything from soups to coffee or baking like this recipe for Mexican Bread Pudding.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

How to Make Mexican Bread Pudding

I love this Capirotada recipe; it has everything we love about cinnamon rolls with about a quarter of the work. The day-old or toasted bread is mixed with cinnamon, raisins, a pinch of cardamom, the cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Traditional Mexican Bread Pudding always has cheese so I added Jocoque a Mexican-style Labenh, (strained yogurt cheese) that gives it a subtle tang and richness. If you can’t find Jocoque you can use Labenh or even whole milk Greek yogurt.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

The great thing about Mexican bread pudding is you can (and maybe even should) make it the night before and let the bread sit and soak up all the wonderful flavors, then bake it off the next day when you are ready to serve. The Capirotada can be served warm, room temperature, or cold with copious amounts of whipped cream of course.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

The Giveaway

To celebrate the Easter holiday I am partnering with La Lechera to host an Easter basket giveaway! This Easter basket however will not be filled with jelly beans and chocolate but with all the things that any serious baker would love like baking pans, cake stands, whisks, aprons and the like. The fun part is, just like an Easter basket, it’s a surprise, so no one knows what exactly the Easter Bunny will bring, not even me!

To Enter: Hop on over to Instagram and follow me @holajalapeno. Then between now and Easter (Sunday, April 16) post a picture of your traditional Easter food. What does your family make every year that is special just for Easter? I want to see it! I would love to hear about your tradition too, so tell me the story in the description. Make sure you tag the image @holajalapeno and use the hashtag, #holaeaster. I will select a winner, at random on Monday, April 17! I can’t wait to see your creations!

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}
 
Prep time
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Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding that is very popular around Christmas and Easter. This creamy version has cinnamon, raisins and a sweet vanilla glaze.
Author:
Serves: 10-12 Servings
Ingredients
For the Capirotada:
  • 8 cups cubed, day-old French bread, crusts removed (about 1 large loaf)
  • 4 (7.6 ounce) cans Nestle Media Crema Table Cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Nestle Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ¾ cup Jocoque (strained yogurt cheese)* See Note
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, optional
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
To Make the Bread Pudding:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. If your bread is fresh, spread the cubed bread out on a baking sheet and toast 10 minutes.
  2. Combine media crema, sweetened condensed milk, Jocoque, raisins, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl. Add bread and toss to coat.
  3. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour bread mixture into the dish. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature. At this point you can also cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. If baking right away, grease a piece of foil and cover (greased-side down) the baking dish. Bake 20 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until browned on top. If you made the Capirotada the night before, remove the plastic wrap and follow the same instructions above.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
To Make the Glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together until smooth.
  2. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time until the glaze is pourable, but not too thin.
  3. Drizzle glaze over the bread pudding and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Notes
Jocoque is a strained-yogurt cheese similar to Labneh and can be found in the cheese section of many Latin markets. Substitute Labneh or whole milk Greek yogurt if you can’t find it.

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!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt

March 14, 2017
Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt

This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help to support this blog!

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

I feel like I’ve left a lot of myself out of this blog lately. I don’t know why exactly. Uninspired to talk about my life I guess but here’s a rundown of what’s going on with us:

  • We’ve entered the life of school choice and have been waiting to see what the lottery hands us. Also, I’ll have both kids in school next year—mixed emotions on that subject.
  • We’ve been capturing (and killing) a lot of snails lately. Any tips on keeping snails alive? Probably not capturing them in the first place, huh?
  • We are planning our trip to Italy this summer. Here’s what I need to know:
    • How to entertain kids on an overseas flight besides buying them their own devices and/or Benadryl?
    • What/how much to pack for an extended stay? We’re also going to London, is it cold there in July? Do I need to pack jackets, scarves, and sweaters?
    • Affordable, kid-friendly Air B&B recs for Rome and really anywhere in Italy, we’ll have lots of time to travel.

There’s lots of other stuff too, like all of us, my life is relentless in the details but right now I’d rather have some fun and talk about a luxurious little snack. Something like popcorn drenched in pecan wood-smoked maple syrup, butter, and habanero salt. What about something like that?

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

I was asked to partner with Uncommon Goods a few weeks back and was excited to find some really fun gift ideas to share with you. If you are unfamiliar with Uncommon Goods they are an online retailer selling unique handmade goods from makers big and small all over the world. They have a bit of everything and are a one-stop shop for gift giving. They even put together gift collections to make it super simple. They have ideas for everything from Weddings to Graduations.

But of course me, I stuck firmly in my comfort zone—the kitchen. When I saw this microwave popcorn popper in their graduation gift guide, I knew immediately I had to have it. We eat a lot of popcorn but I usually pop it in a pan. With this nifty popper however, the kids can do it themselves! The lid doubles as a measuring cup for the popcorn kernels then you just pour them in, cover it with the lid, and put it in the microwave.

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

With my brain firmly stuck in popcorn mode I had to find something to put on it. At first I was leaning toward hot sauce (which they have plenty of in their Gifts for Dudes section) but then I spotted the Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup, Oo la la!

I also loved these glasses made in Colombia from recycled car windshields and windows. They are just what I needed to sip my icy beer, but the green-hued glass would also make beautiful little vases for low table centerpieces.

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt is the ultimate luxurious snack for any party. Popcorn drenched in smoked maple syrup, butter, & spicy salt!
Author:
Serves: 4-6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon smoked maple syrup or regular maple syrup and a dash of liquid smoke
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons habanero salt (depending on how hot you like it) or 1 teaspoon habanero salt and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 9 cups popped popcorn
Instructions
  1. Stir together melted butter, maple syrup, and salt.
  2. Pour over popped popcorn and toss to coat.
Notes
To make the habanero salt; combine 2 tablespoons kosher salt with ¼ teaspoon ground habanero chile powder.

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!

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits

March 7, 2017
Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits Recipe

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits Recipe

As much as I’d like to quit sugar, I just can’t. I know I’d probably be healthier without it, but life without sweets is not a life I’d like to live. I try, however, to keep it as small and as healthy-ish as possible, especially when the kids are involved.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Every afternoon after school Louisa comes home and asks for her “candy snack” (I guess the sweet tooth doesn’t fall too far from the tree). Instead of offering her actual candy (which I admit sometimes happens) I like to give her something that offers at least a little nutritional value.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Instead of buying sweetened, fruit-flavored yogurt I like to buy plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it myself with maple syrup, honey, jam, or my favorite—dulce de leche. A dulce de leche yogurt parfait is an effortless “candy snack” and you can add as many variables as you’d like. I’m a particular fan of making a little sweet salsa with fresh blueberries, toasted, sliced almonds, and toasted shards of unsweetened coconut—you know me and my need for something crunchy. Layering this fruity, nutty layer in the middle makes the parfait feel indulgent while actually adding some nutrients to the mix.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

This is real life, so if layering stuff in a cup seems a little too, I don’t know, annoying, I get it. You don’t really need a recipe to make this just spoon the yogurt in a bowl and drizzle as much dulce de leche as you’d like over the top (you can scoop a few spoonfuls into a microwave-safe bowl and warm the dulce de leche slightly if it is too thick—20 seconds or so in the microwave should do). Add the blueberries, almonds, and coconut or some other crunchy accouterments like chia seeds, granola, freeze-dried fruit, or get real fancy and crush up some store-bought gingersnap or meringue cookies.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

The unsweetened coconut chips I found at Trader Joe’s (they’ve been added to my TJ’s must-have list) but I know Bob’s Red Mill also sells them in the organic or health food section of most grocery stores, otherwise you could use shredded coconut too.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Last but not least, these decadent, layered yogurt parfaits would make a beautiful and impressive (not to mention easy) dessert for Easter brunch so keep this one around for any upcoming spring parties friends.

Dulce de Leche Yogurt Parfaits
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
These easy dulce de leche yogurt parfaits have creamy layers of Greek yogurt, dulce de leche, and blueberries. Try for breakfast or an after school snack.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup La Lechera Dulce de Leche
Instructions
  1. Toast almonds and coconut chips in a medium frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Toss blueberries with coconut-almond mixture.
  3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of yogurt in the bottom of 4 glasses. Add about 2 teaspoons of dulce de leche then cover with a small spoonful of blueberry-coconut salsa. Repeat layers, making three total in each glass. Enjoy!

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!

Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken

March 3, 2017
Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

This post has been sponsored by Wish-Bone and Tyson. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

On Monday I found myself smack-dab in the Hispanic food aisle at Kroger and picked up a few things to fill out a rice bowl. As I’ve pointed out before rice is my everyday-cooking savior. A rice bowl full of goodies is just the type of meal that is perfect for our house. Rice bowls allow for variation by letting the kids pick and choose which ingredients they want in their bowls, and I still only have to cook one dinner.

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

A Rice Bowl Full of Goodies

In an ideal world I would make dinner from an actual recipe I want to try every night. The reality is most evenings I want to spend about 10 minutes in the kitchen and I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment. That’s what I love about this rice bowl idea, it includes a mixture of home-cooked ingredients like charred peppers and freshly steamed grains with high-quality store bought ingredients like Tyson Applewood Smoked Chicken Strips and Wish-Bone EVOO Garlic and Basil salad dressing.

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

Add Some Homemade Tortilla Strips

I am huge texture junkie when it comes to my meals so of course I had to add plenty of crunch to this bowl. There is a crisp salad element from crunchy baby Romaine leaves and the perfect amount of snap from a few baked corn tortilla strips. I think I’ve professed my love for TortillaLand tortillas before but if you haven’t tried them, you should. They might be a little hard to find because unlike typical store-bought tortillas, TortillaLand tortillas are uncooked, which means they have to stay refrigerated (I found mine in the refrigerator section of the Hispanic food aisle at Kroger).

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

Like a Chile Relleno…. but Much Healthier

This rice bowl has all the flavors of a cheesy chile relleno but you know, much healthier. Combining quinoa with the rice adds essential amino acids to the mix, not to mention a burst of burgundy color if you use red quinoa like I did. Cooked and ready to go the Tyson smoked chicken is a super-convenient source of added protein. The fresh lettuce, tomato, and avocado are vitamin and mineral powerhouses. The Wish-Bone dressing is velvety and delicious and full of healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil.

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

If you have leftovers this rice bowl would also pack nicely for an office lunch. Am I seeing dinner plans forming for Sunday and lunch plans for Monday?

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken Recipe

Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
All the flavors of a cheesy chile relleno tucked into a powerhouse of a rice bowl with smoked chicken, charred chiles, queso fresco, and a quinoa-rice mix.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 2 TortillaLand corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup Wish-Bone EVOO Garlic and Basil Dressing, plus about ¼-1/2 cup more for drizzling
  • 1 package Tyson Applewood Smoked Chicken Strips
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small head baby romaine leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 ripe avocadoes, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • ½ cup queso fresco or feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat broiler to high.
  2. Combine rice and quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Transfer to a medium saucepan add water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  4. Place poblano pepper on a baking sheet and broil until skin is charred and blackened on all sides, turning frequently, about 5-8 minutes. This can also be done over a gas flame.
  5. Put oven on bake and heat oven to 400°F. Transfer pepper to a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 5-10 minutes. Once cool, remove all the blackened skin, the stem, and any seeds. Slice into thin strips.
  6. Cut tortillas into thin strips, place on a baking sheet, toss with oil and season with salt. Spread into a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Toss rice and quinoa mixture with the ⅓ cup of Garlic and Basil dressing and divide rice among 4 bowls.
  8. Combine chicken, cherry tomatoes, and poblano strips then divide the chicken mixture evenly between the bowls.
  9. Divide Romaine lettuce, avocado, queso fresco, and tortilla strips between the bowls. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoon or so of dressing over everything 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!

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes

Masa Harina Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries

February 28, 2017
Masa harina pancakes with vanilla sugar strawberries

Eight months in and California, you’re still leaving me breathless (may I say this is a condition I hope never to be cured from). Last weekend a wrong turn led us into a deep canyon, soft and misty and (thanks to buckets of rain) spectacularly green. Then there was an innocent hike up a foothill whose summit revealed the ocean spread wide in front of us, immaculate orange groves behind, and lofty mountain ranges beyond that.

masa harina pancakes with vanilla sugar strawberries recipe

The scene however that I love the most are the vast and wide fields of, let me see, well, you name it. Lettuce, and tangerines, broccoli, and lemons. Yesterday Hiro and I stumbled upon a field of artichokes on our way to the library. Artichokes!!  And of course, strawberries. There are fields of strawberries at every turn; along the highway, between bike paths, right at the foot of the ocean, which I always think to myself whenever I see it, if you had to be picking anything anywhere picking strawberries while look out at the ocean has got to be at least one of the more desirable positions. If you have veggie-lust like I do make sure to follow along this weekend as I take over the @cagrownofficial‘s instagram feed with some of my favorite shots of the fruits and vegetables growing around here.

masa harina pancakes with vanilla sugar strawberries recipe

Thanks to the abundance of fresh strawberries they are plentiful at farm stands and in Farmer’s markets around here year round which means they are a staple at our breakfast table and top just about everything from yogurt to cereal and in this case, pancakes.

masa harina pancakes with vanilla sugar strawberries recipe

These are a special breed of pancake made not with wheat flour but masa harina, the very finely ground corn flour used to make corn tortillas, tamales, and any number of Latin American dishes. The masa harina makes a thicker-than-normal batter which might leave you in doubt but they fry up so fluffy and light and tender you’ll forget all about the weird, heavy batter. Making them with masa harina means they are naturally gluten-free and when you make the batter with plant-based milk and vegetable oil like I did they are also dairy-free, so yay for healthy pancakes! These masa harina pancakes also have a delicate corn flavor that goes beautifully with strawberries.

masa harina pancakes with vanilla sugar strawberries recipe

As for the strawberries, I like to slice them and toss them with fragrant vanilla bean sugar made by my friend Lola and you can buy some for yourself here! Otherwise you can toss them with plain granulated sugar and some vanilla beans or vanilla extract.

Masa harina pancakes with vanilla sugar strawberries recipe

Masa Harina Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Glorious, gluten-free, dairy-free masa harina pancakes are ultra-fluffy and light. Serve with giant scoops of vanilla-sugar strawberries on top!
Author:
Serves: 14 (4-inch) pancakes
Ingredients
For the Pancakes:
  • 3 cups milk (any kind will do, I used vanilla soy milk)
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1½ cups masa harina
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Butter and syrup, for serving (optional)
For the Strawberries:
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and the seeds of ½ a vanilla bean, or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
To Make the Pancakes:
  1. Heat oven to 200°F.
  2. Combine milk and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine masa harina, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to break up any lumps.
  4. Add eggs, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, and honey to the milk mixture and whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined and no dry spots remain. Batter will be thicker than normal, but still cook up light and fluffy.
  5. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add about ¼ cup of the batter for each pancake and spread into a ¼-inch thick circle. Cook until crispy and browned on the edges, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 2 more minutes on the other side.
  6. Transfer pancakes to a baking sheet or large heat-proof plate and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
To Make the Strawberries:
  1. Stem and slice the cleaned strawberries and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle vanilla sugar over the top and toss to coat the strawberries in sugar.
To Serve:
  1. Serve a couple warm pancakes with a generous spoonful of strawberries and butter (or dairy-free butter) and syrup, if you'd like.

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!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas

February 15, 2017
Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

If there is an easier way to get a homemade, hand-rolled, red-sauced enchilada in my mouth I would want to know what that is. Homemade enchiladas are so good! But also so time-consuming, which is why I rarely make them.

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

But then I had an epiphany, one that made me so happy I didn’t even give the lady who is always trying to spread her “strictly homeopathic remedies” advice around at Hiro’s ninja class the stink eye last Tuesday when I thought of it. You know the type, let’s just call her “Annoying Mom” we all know one. By the way, did I tell you Hiro is taking ninja class? It is so stinking cute, he’s all smiles, somersaults, and thumbs-ups.

My epiphany, which is really nothing new—more like a “duh” moment than an “ah-ha”—was that the next time I go to the effort of making enchiladas I should make two pans. One for the freezer and one to eat right away. Why have I not been doing that every single time? I ask you.

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

I adore enchiladas of all sorts but these particular enchiladas are the king of comfort food. Stuffed with picadillo (read: ground beef, potatoes, carrots, spices, even a little beer) and covered in homemade red sauce, they are exactly what you want on a chilly, late-winter’s night. Knowing a pan of that is in your freezer is better than a shot of tequila to calm your stressed and tired soul. Which brings me to the freezing part.

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

Tips For Freezing the Enchiladas

How you freeze and defrost these picadillo enchiladas is going to depend strictly on your baking dish. If you freeze them in a glass baking dish (like the Princess House one I used) you have to thaw them in the refrigerator or microwave before baking. The temperature change will make the glass shatter and you don’t want that. I’ve exploded glass pans before, it’s not the slightest bit cool. After they are thawed, follow the recipe’s baking instructions as written.

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

However, if you have a ceramic or stainless steel pan you can bake the enchiladas straight from the freezer which is pretty darn handy if you forgot to take them out to defrost them and are like, I don’t know, super starving. Bake them for 15 minutes covered, remove the plastic wrap and foil and bake for another 15 uncovered or until hot all the way through and crispy on the edges.

Now On To Storage Containers

As I mentioned above, I have been thoroughly enjoying my new Princess House storage containers. I use recycled dairy-free butter containers as much as the next person, but I know that they are not the best health-wise for heating stuff up in the microwave or using after a few too many runs through the dishwasher which is why I love that these containers from Princess House are made from thermal shock-resistant glass. They can go in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, and even the oven (up to 450°F) and pretty enough to serve at the table too. Princess House was nice enough to offer a giveaway: All three storage containers shown below (a $99 prize!) which I am hosting over on Instagram from 2/16-2/23 so go check that out!

Freezer Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Making a large-batch of enchiladas means you can make two pans and freeze one for later! The picadillo filling of ground beef and potatoes is pure comfort.
Author:
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
For the Filling:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • ½ cup beer
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped epazote (or same amount fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves)
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
For the Sauce:
  • 4 dried pasilla chiles
  • 8 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 serrano chiles
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
For the Enchiladas:
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • Crumbled queso fresco or feta, for serving
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Thinly sliced chiles, for serving
Instructions
To Make the Picadillo Filling:
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add ground beef, potatoes, and carrots, and season again with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned.
  2. Add measured salt, cumin, paprika, beer, chicken broth, and epazote and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until liquid has cooked down and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, stir in the mint leaves. Picadillo can be made up to a day in advance.
To Make the Sauce:
  1. Set a small pan of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove stems from the dried chiles and remove as many seeds as possible. Rinse chiles under cold water removing the rest of the seeds.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet or comal over medium-high heat. Place chiles on the hot, dry pan and toast until all the water has evaporated off the chiles and they are beginning to smell fragrant (about 4 minutes), turning frequently. Transfer chiles to the pan of boiling water, submerge under the water, and remove from heat. Set aside until very soft, at least 15 minutes.
  4. Place tomatoes, onion quarters, and serrano chiles on the hot cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of the skillet). Char the vegetables until they have blackened on all sides and are slightly softer, about 10 minutes. Remove stems from serrano chiles and remove seeds if you don't want the sauce to be spicy.
  5. Pour chicken broth into blender then add drained dried chiles, and charred vegetables (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender). Add salt and blend on high until smooth. Sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance.
To Make the Enchiladas:
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Have 2 large plates and 2 (at least 7-x-11in) baking dishes near by.
  2. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, add tortillas, one at a time, and lightly fry each tortilla until slightly soft and a bit crisp on the edges, about 15 seconds per side. Transfer tortillas to one of the plate until all have been fried, adding more oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the pan becomes dry.
  3. Once all the tortillas are fried there should be about 2 tablespoons of oil left in the pan, if not add enough to make 2 tablespoons or pour any extra into a heatproof container. Carefully add enchilada sauce to the pan (it will spatter) and stir until the spattering dies down. Let simmer about 5 minutes then turn the heat to very low.
  4. Spoon enough sauce in the bottom of each dish just to coat.
  5. Using tongs, dip one tortilla into the sauce and flip to coat in sauce. Transfer to the other large plate and place 2 tablespoons of picadillo on one edge. Roll tortilla around the filling then roll up to close. Lay enchilada in the baking dish and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling, coating each tortilla with sauce before filling and rolling it up.
  6. Place twelve enchiladas in each baking dish then divide any remaining sauce over the two dishes, spreading it over the enchiladas.
  7. If you are going to freeze one dish, cover the top tightly with plastic wrap, then cover the plastic wrap with foil. Place in freezer for up to one month. See post for instructions on how to bake from frozen.
  8. To bake the enchiladas, place, uncovered in the hot oven until crispy on the edges and warmed through, about 15 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of cheese and sour cream if you'd like and a few sliced chiles on top.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa

February 8, 2017
Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Cooked in a mixture of dark beer, and spices this barbacoa is crazy tender. Serve with tortillas or over polenta like we did for our Italian Polenta Party.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

What is Barbacoa?

The term barbacoa has always confused me. The first time I heard it was in my early twenties as a sous chef at Mustard’s Grill in the Napa Valley. A few of my fellow cooks were gathered around discussing weekend party plans and announced they were going to do a barbacoa in their yard. Truly a weekend project, they dug a deep hole, filled it with smoldering wood and a baby goat then covered over the hole with agave leaves.

Beer Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

The meat roasted very slowly and about 8-10 hours later was shredded and served with an accompanying chile broth with which you’d brush the meat through before piling it into warm corn tortillas. This was a meal reserved for a grand celebration and one that my Mustard’s compadres offered to replicate for our wedding. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the go ahead from the our reception venue to follow through—something about not wanting a huge, gapping, smoking hole on their property—ridiculous.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

I was then later told it was only made with cow head and then Chipotle came along serving barbacoa in every nook and cranny of America (did they all have baby goat-sized holes in their parking lots? Were they really serving goat? Or even more interesting, cow’s head?) But now I’ve come to discover that barbacoa means beef to most people, more specifically tender, slow roasted succulent beef.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

A Much Easier Version

This recipe was inspired by my friend and fellow chef Susana who cooks her barbacoa in a beer and spice bath. The addition of molasses adds a subtle sweetness that is undetectable but also very much there if that makes any sense. It is about as easy as a recipe can possibly be—not one single shovel necessary. All you need is a sturdy blender, a large enough roasting dish, and a few hours then leave the oven to do all the work.

Even better, the slow cooking means an inexpensive cut of meat is actually preferable here making it a very budget-friendly way to feed a crowd. I’ve made this recipe using boneless beef brisket, boneless chuck roast, and even a clod roast which I got just because it was the cheapest roast at the market and I wanted to see if it would be as good as the most expensive brisket and guess what? It was! Any tough cut of meat would melt under all that beer and heat.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

I made this barbacoa recipe for an Italian Polenta Party I threw with Aida from Salt + Wind and Meg from This Mess is Ours. We piled the meat on top of the polenta straight from the tray with all those beautiful juices. Even though it is Mexican in origin it went beautifully with the sweet roasted tomatoes, grated hard Parmesan, and Aida’s silky romesco sauce. For more polenta party details head here!

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

 

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cooked in a mixture of dark beer, and spices this barbacoa is crazy tender. Serve with tortillas or over polenta like we did for our Italian Polenta Party.
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds boneless beef brisket or chuck roast
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed and sliced (remove seeds if you'd like it less spicy)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 9 epazote leaves, or ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 300°F and place roast in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender starting with the beer (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender). Blend on high until all is pureed.
  3. Pour beer mixture over roast and move it around in the mixture to coat all sides. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven.
  4. Slow-roast the beef 3 hours, remove foil and return to the oven and let cook 30-45 minutes more or until the edges are browned and the meat easily pulls apart with a fork.
  5. Shred meat and mix with the sauce in the pan. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkling of Italian parsley leaves or let cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. To reheat; place meat and sauce in a shallow pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Did you love this recipe? 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!

A huge thanks goes out to Salt + Wind and This Mess Is Ours for the photographs and WRF Lab for all the ceramics.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Salted Dulce de Leche

February 3, 2017
Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe from @holajalapeno

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this Valentine’s Day post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

 Where’s your head at this Valentine’s Day? Mine is somewhere over in left field, which is exactly why I’m getting a head start with these oh so precious chocolate churro hearts.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

My baby boy loves him some churros and I’m going to admit here and now that I had never actually made them at home before I dove head first into testing this recipe. We overzealously tested the heck out of this recipe and continue to make it…for testing purposes of course.

I was looking for some fun inspiration for Valentine’s Day when I came across this recipe for Mini Churros with Dulce de Leche on the La Lechera Pinterest board. They looked easy enough, I had no idea churros are basically fried pate a choux—you know the dough used to make eclairs and profiteroles—read: no mixer required. I was sold.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Chocolate + Eggs

I wanted to bump up the Valentine’s factor and make chocolate churros, which required nothing more than adding some cocoa powder to the dough. The eggs on the other hand require some discussion.

The first few times I made the recipe I added 2 eggs, which made gloriously crispy churros with perfectly eggy middles but were also impossible to form into any shape whatsoever. The final recipe calls for only 1 egg making it firm enough to form into the adorable heart shapes but the result is not as soft and doughy in the middle.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

You will have to choose your destiny with this one; cuteness over texture. The chocolate churro hearts are still delicious but are missing the spongy middle of a perfect churro. If you want to add the other egg, just pipe the dough directly into the hot oil using scissors to cut off 4-5 inch ropes of dough as they drop in (it is much easier than it sounds, you can do this).

If you want to make the chocolate churros into heart shapes you will need some muscle to pipe the dough out, if you pipe it while it is still warm this will help. Use a re-useable piping bag if at all possible. I tried it a few times with those disposable piping bags and had to triple up on them (putting three bags on top of each other) to make them sturdy enough to handle the pressure of the dough.

What’s With The Lard?

If you read down, you’ll notice I used vegetable oil AND lard to fry the churros. If you have access to lard, I highly recommend this whenever you deep fry anything from chips to chicharrones. The combination of vegetable oil and lard has the best flavor and fries things more quickly making them less greasy and crispier.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Dulce de Leche Sauce

Traditionally churros are served with a rich chocolate sauce but with the chocolate inside the churro already, I made a simple boozy sauce from La Lechera Dulce de Leche.

I added a splash of my favorite winter liqueur, Cuarenta Y Tres or Licor 43. This is a Spanish liqueur with flavors of citrus and vanilla and I highly recommend keeping a bottle around to add to a shot of espresso every once in a while. Other boozy options for the Dulce de Leche sauce would be dark rum, brandy, or even Kahlua. If you want to skip the alcohol all together you can loosen up the dulce de leche with 1/4 cup of milk.

By definition, chocolate churro hearts are best served minutes out of the oil, almost too hot to eat, crusted with cinnamon and sugar, a generous swath of dulce de leche, and shared with the ones you love. If you happen to make it to proper table so much the better—we never made it passed the kitchen counter.

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Celebrate your love this Valentine's Day with crispy chocolate churro hearts dipped in boozy salted dulce de leche sauce. Recipe adapted from La Lechera
Author:
Serves: 14 hearts
Ingredients
For the Churros:
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup lard, for frying (optional)
For the Dulce de Leche Sauce:
  • 1 (13.4 oz) can La Lechera Dulce de Leche
  • ¼ cup Licor 43
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Equipment:
  • Piping Bag
  • Large star tip (preferably a #8 tip)
Instructions
To make the Churros:
  1. Combine water, ¼ cup vegetable oil, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla in a 4 quart saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.
  2. Remove from heat, add flour and cocoa and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes) then add egg and beat into the mixture until fully incorporated.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone sheet and spray with baking spray. Transfer dough to the piping bag fitted with the star attachment and pipe into a 10-inch long rope on the prepared sheet. Bend rope to form a heart shape, squeezing the two ends together so they stick and creating a point at the other end. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Combine vegetable oil and lard in a large Dutch oven or deep cast iron pot and attach a deep fat fry thermometer to the side.
  5. Line a baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a large, wide bowl.
  6. Once oil reaches 375°F add 2-3 churro hearts at a time and fry until crisped, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue to fry 1 more minute on the other side. Watch the oil temperature and raise or lower the heat to keep it as steady as possible.
  7. Remove churros with a bamboo skimmer or tongs to the paper towel-lined sheet. Let cool about a minute then dip in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat both sides. Set back on the baking sheet to cool. Repeat with remaining churro hearts.
To make the Dulce de Leche Sauce:
  1. Combine dulce de leche, Licor 43, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is smooth and well combined. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm with the churros.