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Comida Latina

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Skinny Cherry & Lime Leaf Margaritas

May 22, 2017
This skinny cherry margarita made with fresh sweet cherries and fragrant lime leaves is a cocktail you can sip on all summer and not feel an ounce of guilt.

Hello! Hello! Who’s interested in kicking off a Monday with a margarita? Heeyyyy!

I’m partnering up, once again, with my pals at Powell and Mahoney to create a summer cocktail that tastes amazing and will keep you looking good in that bikini, you little beach vixens. Meet the Skinny Cherry and Lime Leaf Margarita.

WHAT IS A SKINNY MARGARITA ANYWAY?

Amongst Powell and Mahoney’s many delicious cocktail mixers is their Skinny Margarita Mix and it is the key ingredient to having your margarita and drinking it too. Their Skinny Margarita Mix is a low-cal mixer made with lemon and key lime juice then sweetened with agave syrup and a little pear juice to cut down on the sugar and keep it refreshing.

I wanted to use fresh fruit to accent all the fruit flavors in the mix and settled on big, juice-packed sweet cherries because they are just coming into season and, more importantly, require basically no work other than plucking out the stems and tossing them in the shaker—it’s important to keep the work level low when making a cocktail, amiright?

The lime leaves are an addition that if you don’t have a lime tree might seem a tad obnoxious but let me explain. I adore cooking with kaffir lime leaves. Also known as Thai lime leaves they are the very distinctive flowery-sour flavor in Thai curries and noodle dishes. They can be found in most Asian grocery stores or easily ordered from Amazon, so substitute them in this margarita if you don’t have a lime tree in your backyard.

However, if you happen to have a lime tree or know someone who does, did you know you can use the leaves to cook with? Snap one off a stem and break it in half, stick it up to your nose and be prepared to inhale a most sublime fragrance. That is what you add to your food (or in this case, cocktail) when you use the leaves.

HOW TO MAKE A SKINNY CHERRY MARGARITA

To make the margarita combine the cherries and leaves in a cocktail shaker and crush them with all your might until the cherries are mostly pulp and the leaves are bent and smashed into submission. Add the margarita mix, a good handful of ice (I like crushed), and the tequila. Then shake-a-shake-a lots of times.

At this point you can strain the drink over fresh ice in a salt-rimmed glass (salt not optional). It will be sharp with cherry flavor and bright shots of lime. You can also just pour the whole shebang into the glass; bits of cherry, lime leaf, and all. A warning on this method though; the pits will still be in there which doesn’t really bother me and I like the added flavor from having the fruit in my drink but if it bothers you, you can either pick out the pits (which is rather cumbersome) or just go with the straining method, up to you.


Skinny Cherry & Lime Leaf Margarita
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This skinny cherry margarita made with fresh sweet cherries and fragrant lime leaves is a cocktail you can sip on all summer and not feel an ounce of guilt.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • 12 sweet cherries, stems removed
  • 4 lime leaves (or kaffir lime leaves)
  • crushed ice
  • 2 ounces Powell & Mahoney's Skinny Margarita mix
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
Instructions
  1. Rim a large glass with salt and fill with ice.
  2. Combine cherries and lime leaves in a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler until cherries are smashed and have released their juice.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and shake until cocktail shaker is beaded with sweat. Strain margarita into prepared glass and drink up!

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!

This cocktail post is sponsored by Powell & Mahoney, all opinions are my own.

Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Stacked Enchiladas Suizas with Chicken

May 17, 2017
These Stacked Enchiladas Suizas combine creamy layers of green chile-coated tortillas, poached chicken, and two kinds of cheese into the best comfort food!

For the most part I like to keep things healthy around here. Armando can’t eat dairy, therefore most of my recipes have no cheese, sour cream, or anything of the sort. Because we never eat cheese my kids don’t even like it (what kind of insane beasts am I raising I ask you?!!!) But sometimes I get cravings. Like real. bad. And Enchiladas Suizas have been high on the cravings list for a while now.

One of my first jobs was waiting tables at this Mexican restaurant in Des Moines where I grew up. What I really wanted to do was work in the kitchen but no one wanted to hire me for that job. Probably because I was 16 and more likely because I was a girl. Girl’s waited tables or looked pretty at the hostess stand so that’s what I did. I was not a good waitress. One time a swinging door slammed against a fully loaded tray I was carrying and all the plates of bubbling enchiladas and smoking fajitas went flying everywhere. It was an awkward time.

One thing I did like about that restaurant were the Enchiladas Suizas. Tender chicken and cheese rolled up and coated in a creamy green chile sauce then covered with more cheese and broiled until bubbling, golden perfection. I never even used silverware to eat that dish, just scooped up all the rich, delicious bites with a chip. At least I could eat my feelings.

As mentioned, I don’t make this kind of food very often but bit the bullet and did last Monday because I knew we had dinner guests coming and I wouldn’t embarrassingly eat the whole thing myself. Besides this is the perfect thing to feed a crowd. If you have a graduation or any family celebration coming up I recommend making one or two of these. Initially I thought making them stacked would be remarkably easier than rolling and filling each tortilla but turns out it took me just as long. I loved how each layer revealed hidden pockets of cheese or chicken or sauce so in the end I’m going with that it was a good idea.


Stacked Enchiladas Suizas with Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Stacked Enchiladas Suizas combine creamy layers of green chile-coated tortillas, poached chicken, and two kinds of cheese into the best comfort food!
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 pieces chicken (about 2 pounds--I used legs and thighs)
  • 1 large onion, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound tomatillos, papery husks removed and washed
  • 3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy
  • ½ cup cilantro (about ¼ bunch)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 12 large corn tortillas (6-inches or as big as you can find)
  • 1¼ cups queso fresco, crumbled
  • 2½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • Crumbled cotija cheese, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Place chicken pieces, ½ of the onion cut into slices, 2 cloves of the garlic, the bay leaf, black peppercorns and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a large saucepan.
  2. Cover with water by 2 inches and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is very tender, about 1 hour.
  3. Remove chicken from broth (strain and save broth for another use) and let cool. Shred into bite-sized pieces discarding any skin or bone and set aside. You can do this step the day before or use store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  4. Combine tomatillos, remaining onion half, sliced, remaining garlic cloves and, serrano chiles in a large saucepan. Cover with water by an inch and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Drain and transfer to a blender with the cilantro, 2 teaspoons salt, and sour cream. Blend on high until smooth. Be careful when blending hot liquid, cover the blender with a thick paper towel instead of the lid to prevent explosions. Pour sauce into a large pie plate or shallow baking dish.
  6. Heat oven to 400°F and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  7. Heat ½ cup of the vegetable oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Once shimmering, place 1 tortilla into the oil and fry until golden on both sides, about a minute. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining tortillas, adding more oil ¼ cup at a time as needed.
  8. Dip a tortilla in the green chile sauce until coated on both sides and place in the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Continue with three more tortillas spreading them out in the bottom of the pan to cover as much surface area as possible.
  9. Top with half of the chicken and a third of each cheese. Repeat with another layer of sauce-coated tortillas, remaining half of the chicken and another third of the cheese. Coat the remaining tortillas in the sauce and place on top and scrape any remaining sauce over the enchiladas spreading to coat evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the tortillas.
  10. Place the enchiladas in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese if you'd like.
  11. Slice into wedges and serve. Enchiladas can also be cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw completely, then remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake at 400°F until heated through, about 20 minutes.

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, Mains, Recipes, Snacks

Mexican Mollete Bar for Mother’s Day + A Wolf Giveaway

May 8, 2017
A Mexican Mollete Bar is a fun idea for Mother's Day or any brunch. Toast and toppings like beans or avocado come together to make a treat everyone will love!

We have a winner! CONGRATULATIONS to Carey Cole!! And thank you to everyone who entered. We had over 350 entries!! Follow me on Instagram today for a chance to win a spice gift box from The Spanish Tin.  

¡Hola! ¡Hola! I am jumping into this week with a massive giveaway and a really fun (and easy) idea for Mother’s Day brunch. How are you?

I am so excited to partner with Wolf Gourmet and am especially excited about their Four Slice Toaster. This is like the Bentley of toasters you guys, with extra-wide bread slots, self-centering for perfect toast every time, and even a setting to keep your toast warm if you’re not ready to eat it right away!

Mexican Mollete Bar

I will admit, until I got this toaster I used either my broiler or comal to make toast. I felt a toaster was kind of a space hog and that I could easily use one of my other appliances to make toast, but I’m kind of in love with this toaster and it can take up as much room on my counter as it wants. I mean you can put a bagel in this thing—a bagel!!— with plenty of room to spare.

Mexican Mollete Bar

I am so excited about my new toaster I am giving one away to you!! Wolf Gourmet has generously agreed to send one lucky reader their very own Four-Slice Toaster (valued at $400)! See below for details.

Mexican Mollete Bar

Now on to Mother’s Day. Have you heard of Molletes? Have you eaten them? If you answered YES to both then skip to the bottom. If not, molletes are basically like the Mexican version of fancy toast. Mexicans have been doing fancy toast for like, ever….they be calling that molletes and they most commonly are toasted bread topped with beans and cheese and broiled like an open-faced sandwich situation. But wouldn’t it be fun to create a whole mollete bar?!! If you answered yes to that question, then I’ll meet you in the next paragraph.

Here’s what I’m thinking; we can set out a bunch of options for our favorite toppings for toast and people can mix and match as they please. I’ve provided a few suggestions for combinations, but they are mere suggestions and I highly encourage creativity.

BLACK BEANS + COTIJA

Mexican Mollete Bar

This is the most traditional option. Spread the warm refried black beans which you can buy or make this black bean recipe and lightly mash. Then top with what is essentially a deconstructed pico de gallo; halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced jalapeños and scallions, cilantro leaves. Sprinkle the whole thing with crumbled cotija cheese and thinly sliced red cabbage. Make sure there are plenty of lime wedges on the bar for squeezing.

BANANA + LAVENDER

Mexican Mollete Bar

This one is like the most luxurious peanut butter toast ever. Spread peanut butter on the toast, top with ripe, halved bananas, and sprinkle with culinary lavender or if you are lucky enough to have a lavender bush you can pick the flowers and sprinkle those on top.

AVOCADO + EGG

Mexican Mollete Bar

Everyone loves avocado toast so this is a no-brainer. You can use mashed ripe avocado or go all the way and make guacamole or go all, all the way and make my sweet pea and mint guacamole. Top with a hard-boiled egg half, a few slices of aged white cheddar cheese, and a splash of hot sauce (Valentina is my favorite). Sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

GRAPE + TOASTED ALMOND

Mexican Mollete Bar

Call me crazy, but I love grapes on toast. Try it! Butter a slice of toast, top with halved grapes, toasted almonds, and cinnamon sugar. Become a believer.

HOW TO SET UP THE MEXICAN MOLLETE BAR

Mexican Mollete Bar

To set up the bar, get some lovely bread or go big and make your own (!!). Set all the components for the molletes out in a pretty display and place your brand new fancy toaster nearby (see below). Slice and toast the bread then let everyone top it however they choose. Serve some fresh juice and brunch cocktails, coffee and tea and you’re all set.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day my loves. Enjoy slowing down and spending time with the ones you love the most. And if you’re a Mama…have someone else make your toast. xoxo

Mexican Mollete Bar
 
Prep time
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A Mexican Mollete Bar is a fun idea for Mother's Day or any brunch. Toast and toppings like beans or avocado come together to make a treat everyone will love!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the Grape and Toasted Almond Mollete:
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • Toasted sliced bread
  • Soft salted butter
  • Red or green grapes sliced in half
  • Toasted sliced almonds
For the Black Bean Mollete:
  • Toasted Sliced bread
  • Refried black beans, warm
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • cilantro leaves
  • thinly sliced red cabbage
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • thinly sliced jalapeños
  • crumbled cotija cheese
  • lime wedges
For the Banana-Lavender Mollete:
  • Toasted sliced bread
  • Peanut butter
  • ripe bananas, halved
  • culinary lavender
For the Avocado-Egg Mollete:
  • Toasted sliced bread
  • Ripe avocado, smashed or guacamole
  • Hard-boiled egg, peeled and halved
  • aged white cheddar, sliced
  • hot sauce, such as Valentina
  • Flakey sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
Instructions
For the Grape and Toasted Almond Mollete:
  1. Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.
  2. Spread butter on the bread, top with grapes and almonds and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over everything.
For the Black Bean Mollete:
  1. Spread black beans on the toast, top with tomatoes, cilantro, cabbage, scallions, and jalapeños. Sprinkle cotija over the top. Serve lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
For the Banana-Lavender Mollete:
  1. Spread peanut butter on the toast. Top with banana halves and sprinkle with lavender.
For the Avocado-Egg Mollete:
  1. Spread avocado on the toast. Top with an egg half, a couple slices of cheddar and a dash of hot sauce. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top.

THE GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a Wolf Four Slice Toaster. Winner will be announced May 15, 2017. Open to US residents only. Good Luck!

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, Drinks, Recipes

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita + Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut Salsa}

May 5, 2017
This Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita is made with fresh pineapple puree, organic blanco tequila, and hibiscus syrup. Perfect to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

I hope it is warm where you are, you’ve got the hot sun on your face, and an icy margarita in your hand.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

I am blown—seriously blown—by the generosity and creative spirits of all my fellow food bloggers who have participated in this year’s Margarita Week. Really my cup, literally and figuratively,  runneth over with margaritas and gratitude and inspiration of all the gorgeous, gorgeous work that went into creating this year’s recipes and posts. It is all in good fun—a week dedicated to tequila and margaritas couldn’t be anything but—that being said, I know the time and effort it takes to pull off such jaw-dropping work and for that I want to thank each and every one of you for contributing your talents.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

My contribution is a fruity concoction I created with my friends and sponsors of Margarita Week, Azuñia Tequila. Their Organic Blanco Tequila is so smooth and gentle. It is the tequila you want to be drinking if you think you don’t like tequila or have had too many bad experiences with the crap tequila of all of our college days.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

Whenever I open the bottle and take in the aroma, pineapple is always the first thing that comes to mind, so it’s a no-brainer that I choose to make a pineapple margarita—I really had no other choice.

Hibiscus Pineapple Margarita

Because Azuñia prides itself on being an organic tequila I like to keep my cocktail that way too and use only organic ingredients in the drink. Ripe, buttery organic pineapple, organic limes from my own tree, and even organic granulated sugar in the syrup. It may seem a little nitpicky but I think it makes a difference in the final drink.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

The finishing touch is the hibiscus salt on the rim which comes from The Spanish Tin. It has just a hint of smoke from smoked paprika with all the tart tang of ground hibiscus flowers and the perfect amount of flaky sea salt. I highly recommend looking them up, they have a seasoning for just about any occasion.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

And because we all need something to snack on while we’re sipping our margaritas in the sun, I’ve got a quick little salsa for you that is one of my favorites from Baja. I don’t think it originated there (I’ve read recipes of peanut salsa hailing from Chiapas to the Yucatán) but the first time I had it was in Valle de Guadalupe so it always makes me think of Baja California.

Salsa de Cacahuate

It’s a spicy, creamy salsa made from arbol chiles and ground peanuts. You can find the full recipe here!

Have a fun and festive Cinco de Mayo my loves! For lots more Margarita inspiration we’ve got everything from cupcakes to cocktails over on the Margarita Week page and follow along on social with the #MargaritaWeek hashtag!

If you’re looking for Azuñia Tequila, check the map to see where you can find a bottle in your area!

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita is made with fresh pineapple puree, organic blanco tequila, and hibiscus syrup. Perfect to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
For the Hibiscus Syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers, rinsed
For the Margarita
  • Hibiscus Salt or kosher salt
  • 2 ounces Organic Blanco Tequila (Azuñia is my favorite)
  • 2 ounces pineapple puree *See Note
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus more for garnish
  • ½ ounce pineapple gum syrup
  • ½ ounce hibiscus syrup
  • pineapple wedges, for garnish
Instructions
To Make the Syrup:
  1. Combine water, sugar, and flowers in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil. Let simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Cover, remove from heat, and let cool. Strain and chill completely.
To Make Margarita:
  1. Rub a lime around the rim of a rocks glass. Dip the outside of the rim in the hibiscus salt to coat. Fill glass with ice.
  2. Combine tequila, pineapple puree, lime juice, and pineapple gum syrup with a scoop of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until combined and outside of the shaker is beaded with ice. Strain into the prepared glass. Pour hibiscus syrup over the top, garnish with a lime slice and pineapple wedge, if desired.
Notes
To make the pineapple puree; remove the peel and core from a ripe pineapple and cut into chunks. Add chunks to a blender and blend until smooth. Will make enough for 10-12 drinks. Save any leftover for smoothies.

The hibiscus syrup recipe will make enough for 10-12 drinks.

 

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!

This post and Margarita Week was sponsored by Azuñia Tequila, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Apps, Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa}

May 5, 2017
Salsa de Cacahuate is a creamy, spicy salsa made from ground peanuts, arbol chiles, charred tomatoes, garlic, & onions. Goes amazing with margaritas!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

I couldn’t leave you with nothing to nibble on! This peanut salsa is exactly what you want to go with your Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

It is a spicy little number, full of dried arbol chiles but creamy with ground peanuts to calm the heat.  I like to add a couple of charred tomatoes to add some smoke and make it just thick enough to coat a salty tortilla chip but not so gloppy it just runs right off.

The sweet margarita calms the spice from the salsa de cacahuate and it is an incredible pairing with blanco tequila bringing out the darker, earthier flavors in the spirit.

Salsa de Cacahuate

Have a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo and be sure to check out the over 60 Margarita-inspired recipes we have on the Margarita Week page!!

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Salsa de Cacahuate is a creamy, spicy salsa made from ground peanuts, arbol chiles, charred tomatoes, garlic, & onions. Goes amazing with margaritas!
Author:
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small tomatoes, cored
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup raw peanuts, plus ¼ cup toasted and chopped, for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 dried arbol chiles, stems removed
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Place tomatoes, onion, and garlic cloves in a dry comal or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. The garlic will cook sooner than the other vegetables, remove them as they are done cooking.
  2. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the garlic and place in the blender with the other vegetables. Blend on high until smooth and keep in blender.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the ½ cup peanuts, oregano, chiles, peppercorns, and cloves. Fry, stirring occasionally, until peanuts are toasted and chiles are fragrant. Let cool slightly.
  4. Add peanut mixture to blender with the tomato mixture and the lime juice and salt and blend on high until smooth. Taste and add more salt as needed. Top with remaining chopped peanuts.

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, Drinks, Recipes

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

April 29, 2017
A strawberry pink peppercorn margarita hits all the notes of a perfect cocktail, a little sweet, a little sour, a tad bit spicy, and full of tequila!

Making a strawberry margarita is not half as difficult as you might think, and this one is made even easier with the help of Powell & Mahoney’s margarita mix.

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita Recipe

Are you still with me? I did say the “M” word (mixer). I know, I know, I thought the same thing too; why would I replace my fragrant, fresh-squeezed lime juice with a high fructose corn syrup gut bomb?

Slow your roll, this stuff is not, I repeat, not the margarita mix of your college days. The Powell & Mahoney Margarita Mix is handcrafted with all natural ingredients and cane sugar, and is the perfect sweet to sour ratio that I’ll admit, I like to drink with the added fizz of a little Topo Chico on any given afternoon when tequila wouldn’t exactly be appropriate.

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

I came up with the idea for this Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita when the kids and I were out on a hike a few weeks back and came upon a peppercorn tree hanging heavy with just ripening pink peppercorns. I’m not a huge forager (let’s just say, I’m not always right) but the fragrance of peppercorns is undeniable and these were especially well…peppery. I picked a green one off the tree, cut into it with my thumbnail and held it up to my nose. A flood of black spice filled the air and I quickly filled my pockets with as many as they would hold.

For those of you not wanting to wander around in the semi-arid desert mountains looking for a peppercorn tree, store-bought pink peppercorns will work just as well and you can use them for all kinds of other cooking adventures too—a grilled steak perhaps?

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

I love a crushed strawberry margarita so much this time of year when the strawberries are flushed red all the way through and bursting at the seams with juice. All you need to do is pull the stems from a few and crush them in the bottom of your mixer with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon. In this case you’d add the peppercorns too, then shake it all up with tequila and the mixer. Simple as that!

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

Head on over to the Powell & Mahoney’s site for the complete recipe and check out their new Margarita Everyday page with tons of fun ideas for Cinco de Mayo!

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, Mains, Recipes

Beet Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs & Crumbly Herb Cheese

April 28, 2017
These beet chilaquiles with fried eggs are crisp tortillas covered in a spicy beet salsa then topped with a crumbly herb cheese, sour cream, and fried eggs.

The biggest takeaway from my Baja trip last fall was (no surprise here) the food. I expected to eat some really enjoyable meals, of course, but I was not expecting the sophisticated twists, the bold turns, the eye-popping flavors.

One of my favorite meals was at Alma Verde in Tijuana; an organic juice bar/brunch spot that served flights of chilaquiles…I mean, come on. A beet version landed at our table and I immediately was drawn to it by the deep magenta hue, but one bite and I loved it for the earthy, nutty sauce that left a tingling in your mouth. I knew I was going to be making this again and again.

beet chilaquiles

HOW TO MAKE CHILAQUILES

Chilaquiles are made in 3 steps (with a fourth optional step if you so choose).

  1. The Sauce
  2. The Chips
  3. Combining the sauce + the chips
  4. Adding stuff on top, i.e. fried egg, Mexican crema, cheese, cilantro, etc.

THE SAUCE

beet chilaquiles

Traditional chilaquiles are made with either a red (dried chile) sauce or a green (tomatillo) sauce. In this case we are using beets.

beets + sesame seeds + serrano chiles + garlic

THE CHIPS

The best chilaquiles are made with freshly fried tortilla chips, not store-bought. Use manufactured corn tortillas, not homemade you go-getter, you.

corn tortillas + oil + salt

ALL TOGETHER NOW

beet chilaquiles

This is the make-or-break moment. You want to cook the chips just long enough in the sauce to coat them, but not too long that they get mushy. Fry the sauce in a little bit of the leftover oil from making the chips, add the chips to the sauce, and turn to coat.

sauce + chips

OTHER STUFF

beet chilquiles

My favorite part of chilaquiles are all the garnishes. I like to prepare a bunch of things and put them on the table for people to help themselves. A few ideas:

fried eggs, sliced radishes, baby arugula, cilantro, grilled chicken, sliced serranos, queso fresco, Mexican crema, sliced scallions, chopped cooked beets, lime wedges

I shared my recipe for Beet Chilaquiles over on Salt & Wind to get you excited about their upcoming trips to Baja, so hop on over there and check it out! And right now, they are offering an exclusive deal for ¡Hola! Jalapeño readers: $100 off one of their trips when you use promo code HOLABAJA at check out!

beet chilaquiles

One More Thing

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Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole with Sweet Potato Chips

April 25, 2017
Mint and pea guacamole may seem odd at first but the two flavors are naturals with ripe avocado. Try it for Cinco de Mayo when fresh peas are at their peek!

We have a winner! CONGRATULATIONS to Daniela Cho!! And thank you to everyone who entered. We had over 700 entries!! Come right back here next Tuesday for a Mother’s Day giveaway with Wolf Gourmet! 

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner (and knowing full well all I’ll talk about then are margaritas) is there any better time than now to talk about guacamole? Specifically mint and pea guacamole?

This is, by all means, a break from the norm, but we are officially in spring and I seem to be all about health-ing stuff up these days (much to Armando’s chagrin). Last week when I brought home the tortilla press, then promptly made lentil turmeric tortillas with it…well.

mint and pea guacamole

“Corn tortillas”, he asked, “why can’t you just make corn tortillas?”. I really shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up like that. He did not, not eat them though (because they were very tasty, thankyouverymuch) and we had no problem finishing off this guacamole and sweet potato chips last night over some margaritas.

These chips are really fun, initially I was going to make plantain chips to go with the guacamole but got the idea for using white sweet potatoes while browsing an old issue of Bon Appetit that talked about having thin strips of sweet potato they initially thought were pappardelle at Lord Stanley in San Francisco. I know it sounds complicated but they are super easy to make, you just peel the skin off a white sweet potato (I don’t know if it works with other kinds of sweet potatoes/yams but let me know if you try) and then keep peeling it into thin strips with the vegetable peeler. Crisp them up in just a drizzle of hot oil on a comal or griddle pan for a minute or two and then sprinkle with salt.

pea and mint guacamole

The guacamole is dreamy too, a bit sweeter than you might expect but if you use really fresh Farmer’s market peas you’ll be really surprised at how delicious the pea-avocado combo is. The mint is a nice touch—just screams spring—making this the perfect guacamole to make at your Cinco de Mayo party next week!

Oh, by the way, do you like the sizzle platter and bowl I used in the images? Because they could be yours!! To celebrate Cinco de Mayo I’ve partnered with Le Creuset to give one lucky winner a Le Creuset Sizzle Platter and Round Multi Bowl….enter below for a chance to win! One lucky winner will be picked, at random on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Open to US residents only. 1 winner total. Good Luck!

pea and mint guacamole

Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole with Sweet Potato Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mint and pea guacamole may seem odd at first but the two flavors are naturals with ripe avocado. Try it for Cinco de Mayo when fresh peas are at their peak!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the guacamole:
  • ¾ cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped (add more or less, depending on how spicy you like things. Remove the seeds if you'd like it less spicy)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the chips:
  • 1 large white sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt
Instructions
To make the guacamole:
  1. If using fresh peas, remove them from the pod and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath until cold, then drain. If using frozen peas, microwave them until thawed, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Place peas, avocado, scallions, serranos, cilantro, mint, lime juice, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until well combined, but not completely smooth.
  3. Scrape into a serving bowl, taste to see if it needs more lime juice or salt. If not serving right away, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole (touching it) and refrigerate until ready to eat.
For the chips:
  1. Peel sweet potatoes then using the peeler, peel the sweet potato into large strips until all of it has been used.
  2. Heat oil in a large griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Add sweet potato strips, a few at a time; don't crowd until starting to brown and get crispy, about 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side, about a minute more.
  3. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Chips are best eaten the day they are made.

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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!

Breads, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Sprouted Lentil Turmeric Tortillas

April 18, 2017
Super healthy homemade sprouted lentil turmeric tortillas are as beautiful as they are delicious made with 2 nutrient powerhouses + they make amazing tacos.

{This #SpringCleanse post is sponsored by Lentils.org}

Occasionally I’ll dip my toe into homemade tortilla making. I’ve generally gone with flour—for some reason those seem more forgiving—but after tons of inspiration all over Instagram I decided to finally bite the bullet, buy a tortilla press and make real, honest-to-goodness homemade corn tortillas.

These egg yolk-yellow tortillas get their color from the nutrient powerhouse turmeric and have sprouted lentils mixed into the dough. The combination is incredibly delicious (especially with these roasted sweet potato and sprouted lentil tacos) but also are amazingly good for you.

Sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

Lentils are incredibly high in protein—like pound-for-pound as much as a steak—and sprouted lentils are full of antioxidants and are excellent for digestive health. Plus they fill you up without filling you out which is great if, like me, you’ll have to appear in public in a swimsuit in the near future.

Granted homemade tortillas aren’t something you’re going to make on a whim, but when the urge strikes aren’t you going to want a vibrant recipe to turn to?

I sprouted my own lentils for this recipe. They are a sintch to do, cost basically nothing, and you can use them in salads, sandwiches, mixed into rice bowls, basically anywhere you want to add amazing texture and an earthy sweet bite. I explained all the details about how to sprout them over on the taco post.

sweet potato and lentil tacos recipe

As for the tortillas, they’re not rocket science but they do take patience and time. The first couple may turn out disastrous, but don’t give up hope, pretty soon you’ll get into a rhythm and fly through the dough in no time.

sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

The most important aspect is getting the moisture level right. Too wet and they will stick and tear, too dry and they will be well….dry, hard, yucky. It is something you have to feel to know. I think a ratio of about 1 part maseca to 1 part water is about right.

Sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

Then roll the dough into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball.

Sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

Flatten the dough ball with a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap. Peel the tortilla off the plastic wrap and cook in a hot, dry comal or cast iron skillet until both sides are toasted. Fill with your favorite taco filling (I love the sweet potato filling with these tortillas—grilled fish is also good).

Let Lentils.org inspire you to clean up your act this spring and enter the #SpringCleanse Canadian Lentil Sweepstakes! All the details are below.

Sprouted Lentil Turmeric Tortillas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Super healthy homemade sprouted lentil turmeric tortillas are as beautiful as they are delicious made with 2 nutrient powerhouses + they make amazing tacos. Tortilla Recipe adapted from Yes, More Please! Check out their beautiful sight for instructions on how to make all kinds of corn tortilla flavors.
Author:
Serves: 12-15 tortillas
Ingredients
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup maseca corn flour
  • ½ cup sprouted lentils
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric powder
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the salt into the warm water.
  2. Combine maseca, sprouted lentils, and turmeric in a large bowl. Add salt water and mix to incorporate. Knead dough with your hands 2-3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at least 20-30 minutes.
  3. Roll a ping pong-sized ball of dough in your hands and check the moisture. It shouldn't be sticky, but it shouldn't crack either. Adjust with more water or maseca as needed and let it rest another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. The pan should be hot to the touch but not smoking.
  5. Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap, place a ping pong-sized ball in the middle and press into a circle. Keep the remaining dough covered as you work so it doesn't dry out.
  6. Lift one hand under the plastic wrap and let the tortilla fall into the other hand. Flip onto the hot comal and leave it to cook until it is dry and toasted on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Don't try to move it beforehand.
  7. Flip the tortilla with a metal spatula or palette knife. Cook until toasted on the other side, about 2 more minutes. Then remove to a clean kitchen towel or tortilla warmer to keep warm.

#SpringCleanse Canadian Lentils Sweepstakes

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!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Mains, Recipes

Roasted Sweet Potato and Sprouted Lentil Tacos

April 18, 2017
Sweet potato and lentil tacos made with roasted sweet potatoes, DIY sprouted lentils, & jalapeño yogurt salsa wrapped in homemade sprouted lentil tortillas.

{This #SpringCleanse post is sponsored by Lentils.org}

If spring is all about renewal than spring cooking should reflect that in some ways too. There is a freshness and light in the air and that feeling has made its way into my kitchen.

sweet potato and lentil tacos recipe

I love lentils and traditionally have used them in heartier cooking—soups, stews, with sausage, and so forth but this time I wanted lentils to add lightness and a tender bite to what I was cooking. I’ve read a lot about making your own sprouts from beans and seeds and such but had never actually tried it at home. The added nutrient boost was reason enough to get me excited; lentils are naturally loaded with protein but sprouted lentils also have antioxidant benefits as well as being excellent for digestive health. But it really wasn’t until I realized how easy they are that I decided there was no excuse not to try.

How to Sprout Lentils

sweet potato and lentil tacos recipe

You can buy all sorts of fancy equipment to sprout with, which might be handy when sprouting smaller seeds, but sprouting lentils is so easy all I used was a colander. The lentils have to be soaked overnight then I strained them through a large colander, spreading the lentils out as much as possible and cover the colander with a kitchen towel. I left them on my counter and rinsed them a few times a day to keep them from drying out. After a couple of days, little sprouts emerged and they were tender enough to eat. You can keep going for up to five days to get the sprouts to grow bigger but I used mine after three. I’ve used the sprouted lentils in all kinds of things—tossed in salads, in sandwiches, I’ve even been topping my eggs in the morning with a handful of lentils. Their texture is just addictive and they have a subtle sweet, earthy flavor that is delicious with just about anything. It was these tacos though that got me really excited.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Tacos

sweet potato and lentil tacos recipe

Sweet potato and lentil tacos are one of my favorite veggie taco combinations. The lovely thing about these tacos however, are the sprouted lentils don’t need to be cooked, they add a wonderful crunch to the tender roasted sweet potatoes and soft tortilla. As for these homemade tortillas they really take the idea of spring cleanse to a whole other level. Corn tortillas are pretty good for you but a soft homemade corn tortilla spiced with turmeric and sprouted lentils are something you can feel good about eating two times over. I know homemade tortillas aren’t something you’re going to whip out after gymnastics practice on a Tuesday night but when you have the time, I encourage you to give them a try. Get the recipe and all the details on how to make them and just think about it.

Jalapeno Yogurt Salsa

sweet potato and lentil tacos recipe

This salsa is like a breath of fresh (if not pretty spicy) air. It pulls all the flavors of these tacos together; creamy but still very light, made with yogurt instead of the more traditional sour cream. With the leftovers I added a bit more olive oil and vinegar and made a fiery salad dressing that was great on a sprouted lentil, radish, apple, dried currant, and arugula salad—uses for these lentils are just sprouting up everywhere (pun fully intended)!

Let Lentils.org inspire you to clean up your act this spring and enter the #SpringCleanse Canadian Lentil Sweepstakes! Check out the details below.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Sprouted Lentil Tacos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet potato and lentil tacos made with roasted sweet potatoes, DIY sprouted lentils, & jalapeño yogurt salsa wrapped in homemade sprouted lentil turmeric tortillas.
Author:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For the sprouted lentils:
  • ½ cup whole dried lentils
For the sweet potatoes:
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the salsa:
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the tacos:
Instructions
To sprout the lentils:
  1. Start at least 3 days in advance; cover lentils with about an inch of water and let sit overnight.
  2. The next day strain and spread lentils out in the strainer, giving them as much room as possible. Set the strainer over a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Leave at room temperature.
  3. Rinse lentils at least 3 times a day for at least 2 days or until they start to sprout. Continue rinsing and leave them covered at room temperature for up to 5 days, depending on how large you'd like the sprouts to be.
  4. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. Sprouted lentils will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
For the tacos:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F and arrange rack in the upper third.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes, olive oil, and spices in a large bowl. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Place jalapeños and unpeeled garlic cloves in a dry comal or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until charred on all sides (garlic will take less time so remove that first).
  4. Remove garlic peel and the stems from the jalapeños. Cut jalapeños in half and remove seeds if you'd like it less spicy.
  5. Place charred vegetables in a blender with yogurt, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and blend on high until smooth. Taste and add more salt or vinegar as needed.
  6. To serve, toss sweet potatoes with cilantro and sliced spring onions then divide between the warm tortillas and top with sprouted lentils. Drizzle with salsa and enjoy!
Notes
Sprouting your own lentils is super easy but it does take some planning. The lentils take at least 3 days to sprout so plan ahead.

Serving these tacos in homemade tortillas make them extra special but store-bought corn tortillas also work here.

 

#SpringCleanse Canadian Lentils Sweepstakes

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! This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine.