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Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

February 23, 2017
Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The Oscars are on Sunday and I felt it only right to leave you with some black-tie cocktail inspiration to have with your Thai take-out, or delivery pizza, or if you are really doing it right, fancy appetizers (if its fancy appetizers, can I come over?).

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

This icy drink is a combination of two different cocktails that for some reason scream Hollywood to me; the Japanese Cocktail (which has nothing to do with Japan and everything to do with classy 1920’s glam) and a Ginger Sidecar I had at Zuni Cafe when we were in San Francisco last October.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The classic Japanese cocktail is a simple but sophisticated combination of cognac, almond-scented orgeat (pronounced or-zsa, like Zsa Zsa Gabor), and bitters. Zuni’s Ginger Sidecar has brandy, ginger liqueur, orange, lemon, and pineapple gum syrup. Put those two together and your classy Oscar cocktail is served.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Let’s Talk About Pineapple Gum Syrup

Pineapple gum syrup is a pineapple simple syrup that packs a punch of pineapple and adds viscosity to the drink at the same time. I found a bottle made by Small Hand Foods at Bev Mo but you can also find it online.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

How To Make Your Own Ginger Juice

Making ginger juice is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a juicer, stick a big piece of fresh ginger in there (you don’t even need to peel it) and juice comes out. This stuff is for real! Add some to your orange juice in the morning, that’ll get you going. If you don’t have a juicer you can still make ginger juice, but you’ll have to peel the ginger first, and chop it, put it in your food processor and blend until it is a puree. Press the puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Cheers Amigos! Have a great weekend!

Brandy Ginger Twist
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Brandy gets a kick in the (fancy) pants from fresh ginger juice, orgeat, lemon, pineapple gum syrup, and bitters.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) brandy
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) fresh ginger juice (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) orgeat
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) pineapple gum syrup
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • ice
  • lemon twist, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine brandy, lemon juice, ginger juice, orgeat, and pineapple gum syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat beads the outside of the cocktail shaker.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, shake a few drops of bitters over the top, add a lemon twist and enjoy!
Notes
To make the ginger juice; press fresh ginger through a juicer, no need to peel. If you don't have a juicer, peel a large piece of fresh ginger, chop and blend in a food processor until very finely chopped. Press through a fine mesh strainer. Ginger juice can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

One More Thing

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

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

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas

February 15, 2017
Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

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

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

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

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

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

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

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

Tips For Freezing the Enchiladas

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

Freezer-Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

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

Now On To Storage Containers

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

Freezer Friendly Picadillo Enchiladas Recipe

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

 

One More Thing

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

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

 

 

 

 

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa

February 8, 2017
Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

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

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

What is Barbacoa?

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

Beer Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

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

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

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

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

A Much Easier Version

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

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

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

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

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

 

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

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

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

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

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Salted Dulce de Leche

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

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

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

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

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

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

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Chocolate + Eggs

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

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

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

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

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

What’s With The Lard?

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

Chocolate Churro Hearts with Boozy Dulce de Leche Recipe

Dulce de Leche Sauce

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

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

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

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

 

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
Cook time
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.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
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
Instructions
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.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
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
Instructions
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!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Soups and Stews

A #1 Kitchen Mistake + A Caldo de Res Recipe

January 17, 2017
Caldo de Res Recipe from @holajalpeno

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

Winter cooking means long-simmering stews (like this Caldo de Res recipe), braises that require the meat to be browned first, and soups whose vegetables must caramelize to perfection. What do all these things have in common? Patience…no time….no waiting…err patience.

Caldo de Res Recipe from @holajalapeno

The biggest mistake you are probably making in the kitchen is more about what you are NOT doing, and that mis amigos, is waiting. Waiting for the pan to get hot, or waiting for the oil to get hot, or giving the chicken a bit more time to brown is a major factor in how the final dish will turn out. Therefore, it is worth taking your time and I think the easiest way to do this is by watching the clock. Just when you think something is done it is best to give yourself just one more minute before taking any action. Unless something is on fire, it probably needs a minute to really get crisp or hot or caramelized, you get the picture.

Caldo de Res Recipe from @holajalapeno

Wearing my JORD watch in the kitchen is very helpful. That way I can set a time for say, when I need to stir my onions that are caramelizing, and then walk away. When I’m just standing there watching the pot is when I get impatient. It is easier for me to look at my watch, set a time, and go wash a few dishes or tidy up the kitchen while I wait.

#jordwatch

I’m never in the kitchen without my JORD Frankie 35 in Zebrawood and Champagne. It’s scratch-resistant crystal face means I don’t have to worry about it holding up to my busy cooking schedule and it is completely made out of wood (97% of which is reused from old furniture remnants). If you know an impatient cook you should check out the giveaway and gift code at the end of this post and gift a JORD watch for Valentine’s Day.

#JORDWATCH

This Caldo de Res recipe is a perfect place to practice your kitchen zen. First of all it doesn’t require mere minutes of waiting but a few hours, which in some ways is much easier. The longer the beef and bones simmer the richer the broth will become but if you skimp on the time the flavor of the soup will sacrifice. Secondly, the cut of beef (the shank or leg) is pretty tough which means it needs a whole heck of a lot of time to gently simmer, softening up those tough fibers.

Caldo de Res Recipe from @holajalapeno

If you live near a Mexican market you will not have trouble finding center-cut beef shank which is what I use to make my Caldo de Res. They should also sell a mixture of beef and bones and chunks of flavorful fat called, carne para caldo de res, or beef for soup which is another way to go. It is more traditional but a little too fatty for my tastes. If you can’t find either one use beef stew meat and see if you can find an oxtail or beef bone to throw in for flavor.

Caldo de Res {Mexican Vegetable Beef Soup}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mexican comfort food at its best. This Caldo de Res or Mexican Vegetable Beef Soup takes 15 minutes to put together and is the best way to warm up in winter.
Author:
Serves: 6-8 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds center-cut beef shank (with the bone) or beef stew meat
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
For Garnish:
  • lime wedges
  • minced red onion
  • cilantro leaves
  • dried oregano
  • sliced jalapeños
Instructions
  1. Rinse beef and place in a large soup pot. Add onion, tomatoes, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, black pepper and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.
  2. Let gently simmer for 2 hours or until beef is falling off the bone. Add carrot and potatoes and let cook until they are just tender, about 30-45 minutes more.
  3. Taste and add more salt if needed (I ended up adding 2 more tablespoons).
  4. You can either remove the meat from the bones or serve as is with lots of chopped onion and lime wedges and warm tortillas.

GIVEAWAY

Want to score one of these beautiful watches for yourself? Thanks to the wonderful JORD family they are offering a giveaway for all my readers! Enter to win a $100 Gift code to use towards your very own JORD watch in Men’s or Women’s styles.

To enter follow this link:  https://www.woodwatches.com/g/holajalapeno 

And get this: everyone will automatically receive a $25 code just for entering! The contest will close on 02/19/17 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 04/30/17. Best of luck everyone!!

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!

 


Luxury Wooden Watch

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.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
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
Instructions
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
Notes
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, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe

December 20, 2016
Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Merry Christmas!

Since this is the last recipe I’ll post before Christmas arrives I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays. It means the world to me that you are here, showing your love and cooking the recipes and being just downright lovely, lovely people. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. Can I toast you with a Cranberry Ginger Margarita?

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

I hope over the next week you will gather together with people you love to celebrate another year, the beauty that is life, and just having a moment of joy in this often crazed existence we all live. And for that, I wanted to leave you with a cocktail, and a beautiful one at that.

I was halfway through developing a straight-up ginger margarita when my eye caught the last of the cranberry agua fresca sitting in the fridge and well, history was made in the form of the most gorgeous-hued cranberry ginger margarita I ever did create.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Now, of course I’d be overjoyed if you made the cranberry agua fresca and then turned it into this margarita but you certainly don’t have to. I also tried it with store-bought cranberry juice and it tasted just as festive.

I love the little bits of fresh grated ginger

Make sure you use a microplane, you want it really fine but if the thought of ginger strands stuck between your teeth grosses you out you can strain the drink over fresh ice in each glass before serving.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

The final holiday pizzazz comes in the form of a lime and salt rim around each glass which is made by grating a little zest from a lime (use the microplane remember), mixing with some coarse salt and sticking it to the rim of each glass—fancy!

The recipe makes either 1 enormous drink or 2 regular-sized drinks so you can either share with a friend or have a very merry Christmas by yourself! Cheers!!

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Cranberry Ginger Margarita
 
Prep time
Total time
 
The most beautiful cranberry margarita to celebrate the holiday. The color alone is reason to make it but then add fresh grated ginger and a lime-salt rim and Happy Holidays indeed!
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 2 Drinks
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup cranberry juice or Cranberry Agua Fresca
  • ¼ cup silver tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • A few slices candied ginger for serving, optional
Instructions
  1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from one lime and place it on a small plate. Add salt and rub the two together with your fingers to incorporate. Cut a wedge out of the lime and rub it around the rim of two cocktail glasses. Dip the rims in the salt mixture and set aside.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the other lime into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add cranberry juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and grated ginger.
  3. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat starts to bead on the outside of the shaker. Divide the drink evenly between the two prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge and a few strips of candied ginger.

 

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Chicken Tamales with Pumpkin & Mole Sauce

December 7, 2016
Chicken Tamales @holajalapeno

What are your Christmas food traditions? Eggnog? Gingerbread? A favorite Christmas cookie perhaps? In our house it’s just not Christmas until we have a freezer full of tamales. I wish I could say there was a one and only tamale that I make every year, but to be honest there are too many versions to pick just one and every year I like to try something different but chicken tamales are usually on the menu in some form or another.

This year I settled on a little combo I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Chicken tamales with roasted cubes of pumpkin and a sweet and spicy mole made from charred pineapple, spicy chipotle chiles, and ripe plantain called Manchamantel.

Chicken Tamales @holajalapeno

If making tamales seems too overwhelming, host a Tamalada!

A tamalada is a tamale-making party where everyone chips in on the chore of assembling the tamales and gets to take a dozen or so home when it’s all over.

Follow these steps to make the perfect tamale!

First things first, gather all you ingredients. If you are making these chicken tamales, have the chicken cooked and shredded, the mole and masa made, and the pumpkin roasted.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Recipe @holajalapeno

Soak the corn husks.

Dried corn husks can be found at any Mexican market and the ethnic aisle of some grocery stores or you can buy them online here. They will need about 2 hours to soak in hot water.

 

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Recipe

After the husks have soaked wipe each one dry on both sides.

Set aside any that are smaller than a hand-width wide or any that are torn. Don’t throw them away though you can use them to line the tamale pot or tear into smaller strips to tie the tamales together if you’d like.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe @holajalapeno

The Steamer

Fill your tamale steamer with water up to the rack where the tamales will sit. I use a 15.5-quart tamale pot like this one, but you can also use a large lidded stock pot fitted with a steamer rack on the bottom. Line the rack with a few soaked corn husks and put it on the stove to boil. Spoon about 1/3- 1/2 cup of masa onto a cornhusk. Make your own masa following the directions below or purchase prepared masa (masa preparada para tamales) at your local Mexican market. Masa preparada is made from fresh ground corn instead of dried cornmeal.  

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe @holajalapeno

How to Spread

Using a large spoon or a tamale spreader and spread masa evenly over the bottom half of the cornhusk, leaving about a 1/2 inch border on the sides.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Recipe @holajalapeno

Fill with about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin and 2 tablespoons of chicken in the middle.

I used sugar pie pumpkin, but any winter squash would be delicious. You want enough filling to get a little chicken and pumpkin with each bite.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Recipe @holajalapeno

Spoon about a tablespoon of mole sauce over the chicken. 

Don’t be skimpy with the sauce, not enough and the tamale will be dry. It’s okay if a little drips out the top when you are rolling them.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe @holajalapeno

How to Roll

Using the clean edges of the corn husk, bring the two sides of the masa together to enclose the filling. Press the two sides of masa together to seal.

Chicken Tamales Recipe with Manchamantel Mole Sauce @holajalapeno

Tuck one side of the cornhusk over the masa and pull back gently to make a snug cylinder.

If you’ve ever rolled sushi you will be familiar with this move.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe @holajalapeno

Roll the husk up and fold the pointed end down.

Place the tamale with the folded-side down and repeat until you have enough tamales to fill the pot. If you want, you can wrap each tamale individually in parchment or waxed paper at this point, place in a resealable plastic bag and freeze to steam later. They will keep uncooked in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe @holajalapeno

Now, steam away! 

Place the chicken tamales with the open side up in the tamale steamer, stacked against each other so they don’t fall and become unraveled. You want there to be a lot of steam but not boiling away, adjust the heat accordingly.

Chicken Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Sauce Recipe @holajalapeno

Let the chicken tamales cool

About 10-15 minutes, then unwrap and dig in! If saving for later you can let them cool completely then pack into resealable plastic bags. They will keep for about a week in the refrigerator or 2-3 months in the freezer.

Chicken and Roasted Pumpkin Tamales with Manchamantel Mole Recipe

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: About 3 dozen

Fluffy tamales filled with chicken, roasted pumpkin, and a sweet and spicy Manchamantel mole sauce made from charred pineapple and chipotles.

A time-consuming task but definitely worth the work, plus this recipe makes a few dozen so you can have a freezer stocked with enough tamales for a month!

Chicken, mole sauce, and pumpkin can be prepped a few days in advance.

Make sure to soak the corn husks a couple hours before beginning.

Ingredients

    For the Chicken:
  • 1 (4-5 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • For the Mole:
  • One recipe Manchamantel Mole Sauce
  • For the Pumpkin:
  • 4 cups peeled and diced pumpkin or winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • For the Tamales:
  • 50 dried corn husks
  • For the Masa:
  • 6 cups Maseca corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 5-6 cups chicken cooking liquid or store-bought broth

Instructions

    To Make the Chicken:
  1. Rinse chicken and remove any neck or giblets (save and freeze for later or discard).
  2. Place in a large stock pot with remaining chicken ingredients and cover by an inch or so with cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook until chicken is very tender and falling off the bone, about 1-11/2 hours.
  3. Remove chicken to a baking sheet and let cool. Strain broth into a heat-proof container, discard solids. When broth is cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use for the mole sauce and masa.
  4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces removing any bone, skin, or fat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. To Make the Pumpkin:
  6. Heat oven to 450°F. Toss diced pumpkin with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. You may need to use 2 baking sheets if they are too crowded on one.
  7. Roast until just tender, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
  8. To make the Tamales:
  9. Soak corn husks at least 2 hours in advance in hot water. Use a heavy plate to submerge husks in water.
  10. Combine Maseca, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add cubed lard or shortening rubbing it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it in very small pieces. Add 5 cups of reserved chicken cooking liquid and mix into a dough making sure all Maseca has been incorporated and there are no dry spots. It is best to mix together with your hands so you can feel any dry Maseca.
  11. Add more liquid if the masa is too dry, you want it to be easily spreadable but not runny, like fluffy mashed potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  12. Assemble:
  13. Fill a tamale steamer with water just until it reaches the rack where the tamales will sit. Use a few of the small or ripped soaked corn husks to line the rack. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and keep covered.
  14. Dry a soaked corn husk with a clean kitchen towel. Hold the corn husk with the wide end toward you. Using a large spoon or tamale spreader, evenly spread about 1/2 cup masa from the middle of the husk down leaving about 1/2-inch border on the sides.
  15. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of chicken and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin down the middle, then top with a generous tablespoon of mole.
  16. Fold one side of masa over the filling until the two edges of the corn husk meet, and holding onto one side of corn husk, pull the other side toward the middle to press the two edges of masa together. Fold the pointy end of the corn husk up over the large end, and place on a clean baking sheet. Repeat with remaining corn husks.
  17. Place tamales vertically, open-side up in the tamale steamer, keeping them snug in the pot so they don't unravel during cooking. Make sure water is at a steady simmer and producing lots of steam. Cover tightly and steam until masa is cooked through and not doughy in the middle, about 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if the pot looks dry.
  18. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pot. Tamales can also be left in the pot, covered with a clean towel (and then covered with the steamer lid) for up to an hour before serving. They will stay warm and soft if you want to make them in advance.
  19. Serve with remaining mole.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2016/12/chicken-tamales-recipe.html

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.

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

Besos, Kate

A big thank you to Beard + Bonnet and Salt + Wind for the beautiful photos!