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Condiments and Salsas

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!
Serves: 3 cups
  • 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
  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, 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}

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 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
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Sweet potato and lentil tacos made with roasted sweet potatoes, DIY sprouted lentils, & jalapeño yogurt salsa wrapped in homemade sprouted lentil turmeric tortillas.
Serves: 4-6 servings
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:
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!
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 The opinions and text are all mine.

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
Prep time
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Huevos Divorciados: 2 eggs smothered in creamy tomatillo salsa & roasted beet relish on fried tahini breakfast potatoes.
Serves: 2-4 servings
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
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.
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!

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Sandwiches

Chicken Milanesa Sandwiches with Basil-Lime Mayo

February 1, 2017
Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Lime-Basil Mayo Recipe

One of my husband’s favorite things in the whole entire world (besides me of course, right?) is milanesa. Pork, beef, chicken milanesa, he loves it all. And most of all when we hit up a good torta or Mexican sandwich spot, a milanesa torta is always on order.

Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Basil-Lime Mayo Recipe

Now a classic torta de milanesa this is not, but that’s okay, that’s not what I really do anyway—you know me. You won’t find the bun slathered with creamy beans and we are using a thin piece of chicken breast, not steak but I guarantee this sandwich is no less terrific and the sentiment of soft bun, creamy spread, crispy, pan-fried meat is all still there.

Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Basil-Lime Mayo Recipe

Make a Pickle

Instead of a sharp slice of red onion I’ve added crunch in the form of sweet and sour fennel and carrot pickles. This recipe is based on my favorite way to make pickles which is as easy as boiling a few ingredients that I know you already have in your cupboard, pouring it over some vegetables (this recipe can be used to pickle anything from radishes to avocados—yes, really), and sticking the whole shebang in the fridge. Let them sit at least overnight in the refrigerator if you can to help the veggies really soak up the flavors.

Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Basil-Lime Mayo Recipe

These pickles are so delicious I found myself making a pile of them on my plate so I could eat a salad-like forkful with every bite of chicken milanese sandwich. I am a sucker for crunch so that might have something to do with it, but still, very good. So try it!!

A Couple of Tips

As for breading the chicken (and in my opinion anything that is going to be fried) I am a Panko girl til I die. Armando makes fun of me for buying Panko by the case at Costco but it is the far superior in the crispy-crunch department and we’ve already discussed how happy that makes me.

Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Basil-Lime Mayo Recipe

Sometimes you can find thin chicken breast filets ready to go but if not follow the instructions in the recipe to get them thin and ready for breading. You might only need two chicken breast to make four servings if they are super huge. Cutting them in half horizontally will make it easier to pound out thin, then cut them into 4 pieces trying to make the pieces the same size as your bread rolls so you don’t end up with a dry hunk of chicken-less bread at the end.
Chicken Milanesa Sandwich with Basil-Lime Mayo Recipe

Chicken Milanese Sandwiches with Basil-Lime Mayo
Prep time
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Total time
Crispy Panko-breaded chicken milanesa tucked inside a fluffy roll with pickled fennel and carrots and swathed in a creamy basil and lime mayonnaise.
Serves: 4
For the Fennel-Carrot Pickles
  • 1 large head fennel (about 1 pound), bruised outer pieces removed
  • 3 small carrots (about ½ pound), peeled and trimmed
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
For the Basil-Lime Mayo
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Chicken:
  • 14 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, for frying
For the Sandwich:
  • 4 bolillo or hoagie buns
  • baby spinach
To Make the Fennel-Carrot Pickles:
  1. Slice all the vegetables paper-thin using a mandolin if you have one, or sharp knife. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Place cumin seeds in a small saucepan and toast over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, water, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Pour over vegetables and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to a container with a tight-sealing lid and refrigerate overnight. Pickles will keep refrigerated for 2 months.
For the Basil-Lime Mayo:
  1. Combine basil leaves, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
For the Chicken:
  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally. Place one half on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound chicken until it is ½-inch thick using a meat mallet or anything else heavy (rolling pin or wine bottle would also work). Repeat with remaining chicken.
  3. Cut the pounded chicken into 4 equal pieces if you do not have 4 already.
  4. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  5. Place Panko in a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper and add lime zest. Mix seasoning into Panko.
  6. Crack egg into a separate shallow dish. Add 1 tablespoon of water, season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.
  7. Place flour in a third shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Place one or two chicken pieces in the flour mixture and coat on all sides.
  8. Transfer floured chicken to the egg wash and turn to coat. Now place in the Panko mixture and press to coat with Panko on all sides. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  9. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  10. Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, test with a pinch of Panko. If the oil is hot enough the Panko should sizzle immediately.
  11. Slide 1 or 2 Panko-coated chicken breast into the hot oil (don't crowd) and let cook, undisturbed until deep golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes more.
  12. Transfer chicken to the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the chicken. You can place the rolls in the oven too if you want them toasted a little bit.
  13. If most of the oil has been used in the pan add a couple more tablespoons of oil to cook the rest of the chicken pieces.
To Make the Sandwiches:
  1. Slice each roll in half and spread some basil-lime mayo on the top and bottom of the rolls. Put a bit of baby spinach on the bottom half then top with a piece of chicken. Pile some pickles on top and cover with the top bun.

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!

All ceramics by W/R/F Lab

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Salads

Chili-Lime Broiled Salmon Salad

January 25, 2017
Chili-Lime Salmon Salad @holajalapeno

Hello dear hearts! What’s for dinner? Oh, that again. Here’s a constant dinner companion that I have up my sleeve for when I do not want to think about dinner but I must because I decided about 9 years ago to feed and protect. Salmon salad.

It sounds simple enough, and it is, but is also a genius solution because it can be basically anything you want. Follow along below if you’d like to make this exact recipe but you really only need a fillet of salmon, some lettuce, and dressing to make salmon salad for dinner.

Chili-Lime Salmon Salad @holajalapeno

This is a standard at Casa Ramos because there are only a handful of dinner options that all four of us get excited about and salmon salad is one of them.

Spaghetti and meatballs is another although Louisa only eats the meatballs and Hiro only eats the pasta. Roasted chicken is another, but honestly Louisa’s not a huge fan. But salmon salad that’s a winner. Both kids love the salmon, lettuce, and if I add tomatoes, or cucumbers well they REALLY love that but even more of a bonus is I can add roasted butternut squash or potatoes and just put them on the plates that want them. I can also try something new, like these fresh garbanzo beans, and the kids will be so happy about the other stuff happening on their plates that they don’t complain one iota.

chili-lime salmon salad recipe @holajalapeno

Speaking of these garbanzo beans they are delicate and delicious raw versions of the dried or canned chick peas you are familiar with.

I picked some up last weekend at the Mexican market even though I had no idea what to do with them. There was a scrum of overzealous women hoarding the pile of fuzzy green pods and shoveling them into bags with such fervor that I knew they were something not be missed.

Chili-Lime Salmon Salad @holajalapeno

After asking around on Instagram I realized they are best eaten charred, skin and all, on the comal with a little butter and salt and then the beans are finagled out with your teeth edamame style—a street snack eaten in Mexico AND Israel!

For the salad, I removed the beans from the shell and roasted them along with the salmon to get the same toasty effect but one you could eat with a fork. If you can’t find fresh garbanzo beans you can substitute canned beans, drained and rinsed, tossed with a little olive oil, salt and some of the chili-lime mixture you use for the salmon. Cook them the same as the fresh beans, broiled with the salmon fillet.

Chili-Lime Salmon Salad Recipe

Chili-Lime Broiled Salmon Salad Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A main-course salmon salad with roasted butternut squash, pepitas, crunchy Romaine lettuce, broiled chili-lime salmon and fresh garbanzo beans.
Serves: 4
For the Vinaigrette:
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallions (green part only)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Chili-Lime Mixture
  • 3 limes zested
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
For the Butternut Squash:
  • 2 pounds peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salmon:
  • 1½ pounds salmon fillet, rinsed, patted dry, and pin bones removed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salad:
  • 1 pound fresh garbanzo beans, peeled
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup pepitas (roasted, salted pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
To Make the Vinaigrette:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
To Make the Chili-Lime Mixture:
  1. Combine lime zest and chili powder in a small bowl.
To Make the Butternut Squash:
  1. Heat oven to 450°F and arrange rack in the upper third.
  2. Toss squash slices with oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of the chili-lime mixture. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until just tender when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes.
To Make the Salmon:
  1. Heat broiler to high.
  2. Lay salmon on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and remaining chili-lime mixture. Rub everything over the salmon so the flesh is seasoned all over.
  3. Toss fresh garbanzos with a teaspoon or so of oil and a pinch of salt and arrange around the salmon. Cut one of the limes you zested in half and squeeze the lime halves over everything.
  4. Broil salmon and beans until salmon is done to your likeness. This is going to depend on the thickness of your salmon, start checking after 4 minutes. Salmon should feel firm to the touch, but not hard and opaque. This could take anywhere from 4-10 minutes.
For the salad:
  1. Toss Romaine, pepitas, squash, cilantro leaves, and garbanzo beans with about half of the vinaigrette. Arrange on plates and divide the salmon on top of the salad. Pass remaining dressing on the table.

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!

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

Piñata Chicken Wings Recipe

January 10, 2017
Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

Thanks to Gourmesso Coffee for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

We had our week of healthy right? (Not like I participated.) And I’m pretty sure we are ready to head full swing into America’s great winter pastime—watching stuff on TV and eating finger food! With the Super Bowl, award season, and many other very important television events coming up (does the inauguration count?) it is time to get our chicken wings on.

Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

I’m going to go ahead and admit now that I am not a chicken wings person, not really, not until now. I made these for Armando who is most definitely a chicken wings person. A person who regularly will order only chicken wings when we go out. A person who’s terrible wife never makes chicken wings at home, except that this time I did and they are really, really, really good! So good I had to stop myself from eating the whole lot of them after I shot the photographs so there would be some leftover when he got home and realized I’d finally, after all these years, made chicken wings.

Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

I really don’t know what my hangup was, not only are chicken wings excellent party snacks but they also make the ultimate weeknight dinner. In the time it takes to bake the wings the sauce will be ready and then all you have to do is toss them with the sauce, bake them a few minutes more, and watch your five-year old and husband fight over who gets the last one.

Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

Kitchen Tip

The most complicated part is cutting the chicken wings into three pieces, which if you have a sharp knife and take a gander at the picture below, is not really complicated at all. Cut off the pointy tip and save for chicken stock, then cut into two pieces at the second joint.

Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

One More Kitchen Tip

Coffee makes a lot of things taste better. I know it sounds crazy but I’m not going out on a limb to say adding coffee to anything chocolaty, smoky, spicy, or sweet will inevitably boost the flavor. Try it! I’ve been loving these Fair Trade Gourmesso coffee capsules to get my morning coffee fix and for adding a little something-something to recipes. They work in any Nespresso machine and are 30% cheaper than the Nespresso capsules—I believe that’s what you call a win-win.

Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

Case in my coffee-point is this sauce; caramelized sweet onions, dark undertones from coffee, smoky heat from chipotle chiles, with just the right amount of sweet fruitiness from raspberry jam. They’re Piñata Wings!! Absolutely full of surprises.

Piñata Chicken Wings from @holajalapeno

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!

Piñata Chicken Wings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Oven-baked chicken wings tossed in a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce made with caramelized onions, chipotle chiles, raspberry jam, and a jolt of coffee.
Serves: 4 servings
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ large red onion
  • ⅔ cup brewed coffee
  • 2 chipotles en adobo
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • ground black pepper, to taste
For the Wings:
  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning
Optional Garnishes:
  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Sliced scallions and jalapeños
  • Finely chopped parsley and cilantro
For the sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Adjust the heat so they don’t burn.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are very tender and sauce has reduced a bit, about 15 minutes more.
  3. Use a stick blender, or transfer sauce to a blender and blend on high until smooth. If you are using a blender hold a dish towel you don’t mind getting stained over the top of the blender instead of the lid. The hot sauce can cause the lid to pop off sending hot liquid all over the place.
  4. Taste sauce and add more salt or vinegar if needed. Set aside.
For the wings:
  1. Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or a Silpat.
  3. Cut wings into 3 pieces; save the wing tips for stock. Toss wings with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake wings for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
  5. Toss wings with half the sauce and bake 10 minutes more. Toss wings with remaining sauce and serve with garnishes and lots of napkins
Depending on your love of chicken wings this recipe could make enough for 2 people or 4. Double the amount of chicken wings and bake on 2 baking sheets if you want to make a larger batch. The recipe makes enough sauce for 4 pounds of wings.


Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes

Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe

December 7, 2016
Manchamantel Mole Sauce @holajalapeno

Are you familiar with the seven moles of Oaxaca? Similar to the French “Mother Sauces“, these moles represent the foundation of Oaxaca cooking….and also prove my point that Mexican gastronomy is every bit as complex and sophisticated as any in Europe, but that’s a post for another time. Let’s just start with one for now: Manchamantel Mole Sauce.

Manchamantel Mole Recipe @holajalapeno

What is Manchamantel?

There is the classic mole negro made lots of chiles and bittersweet chocolate. There are moles in white, green, and yellow, then there is a real beauty called Manchamantel. Literally translating to tablecloth-stainer. This is a sweet and spicy mole made from chipotle chiles, pineapple, peanuts, and plaintain. It is commonly made more like a stew where thick pieces of pork or chicken or chorizo are cooked as part of the sauce then the served together with tortillas or rice.

Manchamantel Mole Sauce @holajalapeno

I wanted to make it to stuff in this year’s Christmas tamales with chicken and roasted pieces of pumpkin for our tamalada. This recipe makes a ton so I figured (or had high hopes) that there would be plenty leftover after making the tamales to have around for the week to come. I’m not sure what I was thinking. After everyone had packed up and gone home, there wasn’t a single drop of mole to be had! Make some more I must, but there are worse fates in life.

Manchamantel Mole Sauce @holajalapeno

Here’s the deal with Manchamantel mole sauce

I made it in conjunction with the chicken that I cooked for the tamales. If you are not making the tamales and want to make the mole anyway, substitute store-bought chicken broth where it calls for the cooking liquid from the chicken. You could also make it vegetarian and use the water the chiles are soaked in instead of the chicken broth. If you are going that route however you are going to need more liquid than that, so I would also buy a container of vegetable broth as well.

Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe {Charred Pineapple and Chipotle Mole}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 cups

I made this mole to go with my chicken and roasted pumpkin tamales so I used the cooking liquid from the chicken to make the mole sauce. If you are making the mole on it's own without the chicken use store-bought broth where it says to use the chicken cooking liquid. Mole is better the longer it sits. Make a day or two in advance for the best flavor. Mole will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick (canela) or regular cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or lard
  • 1 small ripe plantain (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut in thick slices
  • 3 chipotles en adobo
  • 3 cups broth from chicken cooking liquid or store-bought chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Remove stems from ancho chiles and shake out the seeds. Tear into thick strips so they can lay flat. Heat a dry comal, cast iron skillet, or frying pan over medium heat and lay chile strips in pan. Toast on both sides until darkened and fragrant, but not burnt. Remove as they are toasted.
  2. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add toasted chiles and remove from heat. Use a plate to submerge completely under water. Let sit 30 minutes.
  3. Heat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil and place onion, garlic, and pineapple on prepared sheet. Broil until charred on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove garlic as it gets toasted, it will cook much quicker than onion or pineapple.
  4. Toast peanuts and almonds separately in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently so they don't burn. Let both cool slightly, then grind in a spice or clean coffee grinder until finely ground, but not a paste. Set aside.
  5. Grind cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon in a coffee grinder until finely ground. Set aside.
  6. Heat oil or lard in a large pot (large enough to cook mole in--I used a 4-quart Dutch oven) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add plantain slices and fry on both sides until golden. Use tongs or slotted spoon to remove to a plate, leaving oil in pot.
  7. In a blender combine drained, soaked chiles, ground nuts, a third of the charred vegetables, and about a cup of the cooking liquid from the chicken. Blend until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat with remaining charred vegetables, ground spices, fried plantains, and chipotles adding enough chicken broth to get things moving but not too much to make it runny (you'll use about 3 cups total). You may have to do this in two more batches depending on the size of your blender.
  8. Return pot with oil to medium heat. Once shimmering, add pureed sauce (careful it will spatter). Stir continuously to cook the sauce in the oil. Add salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  9. Serve with roasted chicken or pork or in tamales.

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. Besos! Kate

A BIG thank you to Salt + Wind and Beard + Bonnet for these beautiful photos!

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey with Morita Chile Gravy

November 11, 2016
Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

I meant to send this post out to you all week but then Tuesday happened and it has just seemed ridiculous to talk about turkey in our current state. The disappointment is real as is the confusion, sadness, nausea.

I’ve tried sorting the whole thing out in my head and am trying to understand—clearly the majority—of America’s intentions. As someone who holds liberal values and who has recently moved from very conservative North Dakota back to very liberal California I think I can say with some certainty that there are good, kind people all over our country. I want to believe that these same people didn’t vote for Donald Trump because they agree with his disgraceful behavior but that they just wanted something different and they truly felt like he could change our system for the better. I guess we will see. I hope they are right.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

I know eating your feelings is not the best coping mechanism but its the one I turn to the most and so if I’m going to get through the next four years it’s probably going to be with food. And margaritas. I also think a good way to temporarily lift your mood is to dive headfirst into an intensive project. So why not take 4 hours this Thanksgiving and make a smoked turkey?

Now smoking a turkey is not like popping it in the oven, walking away, and coming back a few hours later to the perfectly roasted bird. It does take some finesse, some timing, a certain comfort level with your grill, but it’s not rocket science either.

The first step to a smoked Thanksgiving turkey is the brine

The turkey starts the same as you would if roasting, which is to say, with a dry brine. A dry brine is just a fancy way of saying rub the turkey all over with salt (plus I also used minced dried Morita chiles and garlic). Then letting it sit overnight uncovered in your refrigerator.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Make an aromatic broth for the smoked Thanksgiving turkey to cook in

You then place it in a disposable aluminum pan with some stuff that will make it taste really good and will give you the base for your gravy, so we’re talking onions, carrots, celery, herbs, and chicken broth.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

You also want to soak two large handfuls of hickory chips for at least 30 minutes. Soaking them will keep them from burning up too quickly on the hot charcoals and infusing the turkey with delicious, hickory flavor. Side note: you can use other types of wood chips for slightly different flavor; apple wood, mesquite, cherry are all good.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

The trickiest part is maintaining an even temperature on your grill. This is pretty easy to do if you are using a gas grill but with charcoal you will have to keep monitoring the temperature with a grill thermometer (you can go fancy or cheap) and adding more charcoal so it stays hot enough. Once you light the coals, let them get good and hot and covered with gray ash. Arrange them on one half of the grill and put a medium disposable aluminum pan in the middle filled with water. This will help keep the bird moist, maintain the temperature, and be a drip pan.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Start with the turkey breast-side down so it doesn’t dry out the breast meat then, halfway through, flip it breast-side up and cook the rest of the way until the internal temperature reads 170°F.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

The gravy is made from the smoky juices of the smoked Thanksgiving turkey plus extra minced dried Morita chiles, fresh thyme leaves, and white wine. I use the fatty pan drippings and make up for any necessary fat with olive oil so it is a dairy-free gravy, feel free to substitute butter if you’d like.

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

What more would you like to know about cooking a turkey? I want you to give it a try so if you need help I am here for you. I have cooked so many turkeys in so many ways so shoot….what you got? Here are a few other ideas to mull over:

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey with Morita Chile Gravy Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 10-12 Servings

The ins and outs of how to smoke your Thanksgiving turkey using your grill, some charcoal, and a few handfuls of hickory chips, plus a spicy, smokey dried morita chile gravy. This is the way to do Thanksgiving.

If using a frozen turkey, give yourself plenty of time for it to thaw. A completely frozen 12-pound turkey could take 4-5 days to thaw in the refrigerator.


    For the Turkey:
  • 12 pound turkey, fresh or thawed completely if frozen
  • 3 dried morita chiles
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • For the Gravy:
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 dried morita chile
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • For the Grill:
  • 2 handfuls hickory chips, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 large bag charcoal
  • 1 medium-sized aluminum roasting pan
  • grill thermometer and meat thermometer
  • 2 large aluminum roasting pans


    Starting the Day Before:
  1. Remove giblets and neck from the turkey and save for another use, or discard. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water and shake dry. Place on a large baking sheet.
  2. Remove stem from chiles and mince them with a sharp knife into very small pieces, removing as many seeds as you'd like to make it less spicy. Combine chiles with garlic and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Season turkey inside and out on all sides with the chile mixture then refrigerate turkey, uncovered, for at least 12 hours.
  4. The Next Day:
  5. Remove turkey from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Don't rinse, brush breast, legs, and thighs with oil.
  6. For a charcoal grill, light charcoal and wait until the briquets are all lit and well ashened then arrange in a half circle on one side of the grill. Fill the medium-sized pan with warm water and place in the middle of the coals as a drip pan. You want to maintain a grill temperature of between 350°F-400°F, attaching a grill thermometer to the vent holes is helpful.
  7. Place one large foil pan inside another then combine celery, onion, and carrot, marjoram, and bay leaves in the top pan. Add 2 cups of broth. Place turkey, breast-side down in the pan.
  8. Sprinkle one handful of the drained, soaked chips directly over the hot coals or to the smoker box of a gas grill. Place the cooking grate one the coals and place the pan with the turkey directly over the pan of water on the bottom with the legs facing the hottest part of the grill.
  9. Cover grill and monitor the temperature, adding more charcoal as needed.
  10. Smoke turkey 1 hour, then flip so it is breast-side up. Add 12-15 briquettes to the coals and sprinkle remaining wood chips over charcoal. Continue smoke-roasting until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170°F.
  11. To fully cook the turkey can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the size of the bird and how hot you maintain the grill, figure roughly about 15-20 minutes per pound if the grill stays between 350°F-400°F. After 1 1/2 hours check to see if any parts are getting to dark, like the wing tips or the ends of the drumsticks, if so, cover them with foil.
  12. Once completely cooked, remove roasting pans with turkey from the grill. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes. Save pan with veggies and drippings for the gravy.
  13. To Make the Gravy:
  14. Strain contents of the pan into a bowl, pressing on the veggies to extract as much juice as possible. Pour the drippings into a fat-separator if you have one, if not just leave it in the bowl and let it sit a few minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top.
  15. Spoon fat into a measuring cup, you should have 1/2 cup; add olive oil, or melted butter to make up the difference if you don't have enough. Measure remaining liquid, you should have 3 cups, add more chicken broth as needed. Remove stem from chile and mince as you did above.
  16. Pour fat into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk in flour and let cook, whisking constantly until toasted and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Whisk in minced chile and thyme and let toast 1 minute more.
  17. Slowly whisk in wine then measured broth, pouring in a little at a time, whisking continuously, until all is added. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and let cook a couple minutes, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  18. Carve turkey and serve immediately with hot gravy.

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Peach Mole with Grilled Chicken and Chayotes

August 23, 2016
Peach Mole with Grilled Chicken and Chayotes Recipe

It was this dinner along our road trip from North Dakota to California that reignited my love of mole. I had reached out on Instagram for places to eat in Salt Lake City and decided to try the Red Iguana for dinner once we rolled into town.

“Their amazing moles are a must!”  was all I needed to know. They have seven different moles that are always on the menu but the night we were there they were serving an eighth: strawberry mole. More specifically chicken crema enchiladas in strawberry mole. The mole was sweet, sure, but the sweetness was offset by a hidden spice and under layers of toasted nuts and caramelized onion. I added fruit mole to my list of things to do.

Peach Mole with Grilled Chicken and Chayotes Recipe

I have been intrigued by the yellow mole in Pati Jinich’s cookbook and wanted to incorporate it with a fruit mole using the fragrant, ripe peaches flooding the market right now. I spent half a day last week doing groundwork, reading everyone’s mole recipes from Enrique Olvera to Margarita Carrillo Arronte.  Did you know that the mole served at Olvera’s restaurant Pujol is over 700 days old?!! He is taking the adage, better after it sits, to a whole new level.

For this mole I didn’t want to diminish the peach color or flavor with tomatoes or dried chiles so I hunted down all the yellow chiles I could find. White Jalapeños, also known as Jaloro Peppers or Yellow Jalapeños, are not as spicy as the green variety. Also sometime just called yellow peppers.

Grilled Chicken and Chayotes with Peach Mole Recipe

Hungarian Wax Peppers are also pretty mild. Fresh banana peppers make a good substitute.

Grilled Chicken and Chayotes with Peach Mole

Manzano Peppers are a sneaky bunch. They don’t seem spicy at first but they definitely pack a punch.


Grilled Chicken and Chayotes with Peach Mole Recipe

You can use a combination of any of these or any other yellow chiles you can find in your market. Yellow bell peppers would work too, but you will be lacking the spicy kick of these chiles.

Peach Mole with Grilled Chicken and Chayotes

Grilled peaches add a caramelized note to the mole, tomatillos for tartness, sesame seeds for body, clove and cinnamon for spice, cilantro for a hit of fresh, and onions and garlic for depth.

Once the mole is made you can do any number of things with it. I wanted to serve it with something grilled to celebrate summer and yellow mole with chicken and chayotes are a match made in heaven. Have you ever cooked with chayotes?

Peach Mole with Grilled Chicken and Chayotes Recipe

You can find them in the market with spines (let’s not get those) or without (easier). They taste a little bit like potato and a lot like zucchini and are marvelous on the grill. The skin is edible but can be kind of tough so I would peel them, rub with a little oil, salt, and pepper and grill until tender. Dip in lots of sweet, spicy, peach mole and repeat.

Peach Mole with Grilled Chicken and Chayotes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 cups mole sauce, about 6-8 servings

Summer's ripest peaches make a sweet and spicy mole sauce served with grilled chicken and chayotes.

Peach mole tastes better the day after it is made and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


    For the Mole:
  • 4 large ripe peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut in half and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 8 ounces fresh yellow chiles, such as Hungarian, Manzanita, or Aji
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups broth, your choice
  • 2-3 large tomatillos (about 4 ounces), husks removed, washed, and quartered
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole clove
  • For the Chicken and Chayotes:
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, breast, legs, or thighs or 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 3 chayotes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices


  1. Heat grill or grill pan to high.
  2. Brush peach halves, chiles, onion, and garlic with a little oil to prevent sticking. Place on the grill (you may have to do this in batches) and cook until charred, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue grilling until starting to soften, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Char the garlic in a dry skillet if you are using an outdoor grill to prevent it falling through the grates. Remove ingredients as they cook, for example the garlic will brown much quicker than the onion. Set ingredients aside until cool enough to handle. Once cool, remove stem, seeds, and tough skin from the chiles.
  4. If you are using a charcoal grill, cover grill after you char the veggies to keep the coals hot for grilling the chicken and chayotes.
  5. Now its time to blend. You want to blend all the ingredients until very smooth so the best way to do this is in small batches. Add the charred fruits and vegetables a little at a time with the remaining mole ingredients adding just enough broth with each batch to get the blender moving. Never fill the blender more than half full for each batch. Pour mole into a bowl after each batch and continue until all ingredients have been used.
  6. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Once oil is shimmering add mole (careful it will spatter) and stir to "fry" the sauce in the oil. Bring mole to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and season with salt. Start with a generous teaspoon of kosher salt and add a little more as needed.
  7. Cook until mole starts to thicken about 15 minutes. If serving mole right away, cover and simmer over very low heat until ready to serve. If you are making it ahead, let cool completely then transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to a week.
  8. To make the chicken and chayote:
  9. Check to make sure grill is still at medium-high heat; adding more charcoal to the grill if necessary.
  10. Coat chicken pieces in a little oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  11. Place chicken on the grill and cover. Grill over medium to medium-high heat, skin-side down for at least 15 minutes without touching (keep the grill covered).
  12. Turn and continue cooking chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes more.
  13. Meanwhile, coat chayote slices in oil and season with salt and pepper. Add chayote slices to the grill about halfway through the chicken cooking time. Grill on one side until grill marks form. Flip and cook on the other side until tender (about 15 minutes total).
  14. Remove chicken and chayote from the grill and serve with mole sauce.

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

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad

August 2, 2016
Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Avocado update: Still have tons.

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

I know, I know, you feel terrible for me. Thank you.

But for real, what do I do with all of these?!! Is an avocado face mask a thing? I’m very much open to and will appreciate any and all ideas. So far I’ve made ten tons of guacamole, our favorite tomatillo avocado salsa (2 quarts), added to smoothies, breakfast with eggs, toast (obvsies), I have yet to try dessert applications. And of course, salad.

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Now this salad here is the real deal summer salad. We’ve got grilled chicken to keep us satisfied, sweet cherry tomatoes or you can used chopped garden tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs to keep the Cobb thing legit. Ripe, juicy peaches, fresh sweet corn which I just boiled but you could cook that on the grill too if you want. Crispy bacon and tortilla strips which I crisped in the leftover bacon grease cause it was there and why not? Note: sub tortilla chips if preferred. Aaaaannnnddd avocado.

The dressing however, is something special. Last week I made Tieghan’s Salmon Souvlaki—that was good, you should make it—but my favorite part was the marinade. Citrus juice, balsamic, paprika, fresh herbs. I wanted to recreate it but add some queso fresco because a Cobb salad is not a Cobb salad without some sort of cheese. If you can’t find queso fresco use crumbled feta or even blue cheese instead.

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Here are a few other summer salads you might want to try:

Mexican Summer Cobb Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 Servings

A main course salad that won't leave anyone hungry. Grilled chicken breast, avocado, bacon, and sweet corn all drizzled with a queso fresco vinaigrette.

Dressing inspired by Half Baked Harvest.


    For the Dressing:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut syrup, agave syrup, or honey
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
  • For the salad:
  • 2 large (about 1 1/4 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut in half then cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, or chopped heirloom tomatoes
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 ears cooked sweet corn, kernels sliced off the cob
  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced


    To Make the Dressing:
  1. Combine garlic, lemon juice, balsamic, lime juice, syrup, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. Gently fold in cheese, careful not to break it up too much. Taste and add more salt if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To Make the Salad:
  3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.
  4. If chicken breast are thick, slice them in half horizontally so you have 4 pieces of chicken breast. Drizzle chicken with half of the vegetable oil and rub the grill or grill pan grates with remaining half of the oil. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes a side. Remove to a plate. Once cool enough to handle, slice into strips.
  5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon in a single layer and cook until crisp and brown on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, keeping pan over the heat. Once bacon is cool enough to handle tear into pieces.
  6. Add tortilla strips to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Remove them to a separate paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Arrange romaine lettuce on a large platter or divide between 4 large plates. Top with arugula, tomatoes, eggs, chicken, bacon, tortilla strips, corn, peaches, and avocado. Drizzle dressing over the top and serve.