Browsing Tag

comfort food

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake

December 26, 2017
This Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake is your new favorite brunch dish, filled with spiced Mexican chorizo & Gruyere cheese and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

On the surface savory coffee cake might sound weird, but hear me out. Think of this kind of like an egg dish but with a substantial crumb or like a chorizo cornbread, but with a lot more cheese and no corn. I think the best way to decide on the greatness of chorizo breakfast cake is to well, just make it!

This Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake is your new favorite brunch dish, filled with spiced Mexican chorizo & Gruyere cheese and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

In my limited internet searching, I believe sausage coffee cake is a Southern thing, Can anyone testify to this? I found a lovely sausage coffee cake created by the Runaway Spoon and combined that recipe with my Grandma’s coffee cake recipe to come up with this one. A soft, dense cake with a melting interior thanks to lots of cheese and eggs. There’s chorizo to spice things up and a lovely, crunchy topping for textural contrast. In my opinion, no coffee cake is complete without some kind of streusel-like something on top.

This Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake is your new favorite brunch dish, filled with spiced Mexican chorizo & Gruyere cheese and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

This pretty Sugar Pink Le Creuset skillet makes the perfect vessel for baking this chorizo breakfast cake. It is part of their new Sugar Pink Collection which has my heart all aflutter. The color is divine but the sturdy cast iron that Le Creuset is known for bakes like a dream.

This Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake is your new favorite brunch dish, filled with spiced Mexican chorizo & Gruyere cheese and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

A pan this cute basically begs to be shown off, so why not throw a Sugar Pink Boozy Brunch on New Year’s Day? You make the Chorizo Breakfast Cake and I’ll supply the booze in the form of chic sparkling wine cocktails from Pampelonne. Rosé Lime, Blood Orange Spritz, and my personal favorite the French 75, these drinks are all kinds of fancy.

This Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake is your new favorite brunch dish, filled with spiced Mexican chorizo & Gruyere cheese and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Have a wonderful New Year’s friends! Check below for a full New Year’s Brunch menu.

Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 9 ounces Mexican chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 small red onions, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle
  2. Grease an 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8x8-inch baking dish or line with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
  3. Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and onion and let cook until onion is soft, about 10 minutes, breaking chorizo up with the back of a wooden spoon as you go.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add cheese, thyme, egg, milk, and melted butter. Stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to break up any lumps. Add the dry mixture to the chorizo mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Scrape into the prepared pan.
  6. Mix together Panko and Pecorino in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the batter. Bake until firm in the middle and toasted, about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Thank you to Le Creuset and Pampelonne for providing the cocktails and skillet for this post. 


NEW YEAR’S BRUNCH MENU

Pampelonne Sparkling Wine Cocktails

Fruit with Brown Sugar-Sour Cream Dip

Savory Chorizo Breakfast Cake

Lime Raspberry Poppy Seed Muffins

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One More Thing

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

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Coconut Christmas Cookies with Lime Icing

December 4, 2017
Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

Over the weekend we started in big time on the Christmas cheer. The Christmas tree went up and cookies were baked. Lights were strung on the eaves of the garage even though earlier in the week Armando swore we weren’t going to put up Christmas lights outside.  I believe there was a, “I don’t have time for that” and there might have been a “we don’t have the” …..name some random thing you might have to run to the hardware store to get in order to put up Christmas lights on the exterior of the house.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

Anyway, we’re feeling down right festive. I especially love the new addition to the Christmas cookie rotation. We typically make a traditional Christmas sugar cookie dough to roll and cut and decorate but I found these absolutely adorable ninja cookie cutters and I wanted to make a dough special for my little ninja in his favorite flavor.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

He loves anything coconut and due to the butter Armando can’t eat the traditional dough anyway so I went full coconut with coconut oil, sweetened flakes of coconut, and even a dash of coconut milk to make the ultimate coconut cookie that can be rolled and cut into any shape you please–even ninja.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

The coconut oil makes the dough a bit finicky so it will need to be chilled, but not for too long otherwise it becomes crumbly, so there’s a middle ground that just takes a bit of practice to get used to. Steer on the thicker side when rolling out the dough to make it easier on yourself.  The lime icing is subtle but is the perfect consistency for decorating and has a nice gloss when it dries. If you’d like more lime flavor add the zest of the lime as well, although then it won’t be perfectly white any more.

Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie recipe?

Coconut Christmas Cookies with Lime Icing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Switch up your Holiday Cut-Outs with these Coconut Christmas Cookies. Made with coconut oil and coconut milk and even shredded coconut they are irresistible
Author:
Serves: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks (save whites for icing)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
For the Icing:
  • 4 cups (1-1 pound box) powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 5 teaspoons lime juice
Instructions
  1. Combine coconut oil, sugar, and flaked coconut in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times until coconut is ground and mixture feels like sand.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide dough into two pieces. Flatten into disks and roll each disk about ½-1/4 inch thick between two pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 375°F.
  5. Cut dough into shapes and place an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather scraps and re-roll.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until dry in the middle. Let cool completely before frosting.
For the Icing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on low just until comes together then increase speed to high until smooth.

One More Thing

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Comida Latina, Drinks, Recipes, Sweets

Ginger Cardamom Rompope

November 7, 2017
Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Toma Leche. All opinions are 100% mine.

The holidays are here! Let the fun begin with this non-alcoholic Rompope flavored with fresh ginger, cardamom, and canela. A perfect way for kids and adults alike to Toma Leche this holiday season!

I am kinda-sorta thrilled that the holidays are around the corner. I really wish I could stop time this part of the year and have enough hours in the day to get all the necessary stuff done and have time for all the things that make this season so special. Picking the perfect gift! Christmas cookies! Luxurious evenings by the fire!(if we had a fireplace, that is).

In fact the thing I think I love the most about the holidays is it gives us all an excuse to be a kid again and especially relive those sweet moments that have made this time of year so special.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

From now until New Years I try to keep that magical glow in the house and in this case milk is my fairy dust of choice. Ever since I was a kid, the first sign of the holidays has always been a milky, ice-cold cup of eggnog or in this case the Mexican version, rompope.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

If you’ve never had rompope it is very similar in flavor to eggnog but so, so much easier to make at home. While traditional eggnog can take up to three weeks to cure, rompope takes little more than 30-40 minutes on the stove and a couple hours to chill in the fridge.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

My version is sweet and creamy with a tickle of heat from fresh pieces of ginger and the warm glow of cardamom, nutmeg, and fragrant canela or Mexican cinnamon.

Fresh whole milk is essential to making the best rompope and when asked me for fun ways to drink milk, I immediately thought there is nothing better than an icy cup of rompope. It goes perfect with the most wonderful time of the year!

Ginger Cardamom Rompope
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.
Author: Kate
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  • 5 pods cardamom
  • ¼ piece whole nutmeg
  • 2 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 6 egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, sugar, canela, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, careful the milk will try to boil over, just remove from the heat for a moment, let it bubble back down, then return to heat and continue to boil gently.
  3. Let cook, untouched, until it reduces to about 2½-3 cups, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth and fill another large bowl halfway with ice and water (in other words, make an ice bath).
  5. Slowly whisk hot milk into egg yolks then place bowl over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir constantly until mixture is slightly thickened and the temperature reaches 175°F, about 5 minutes.
  6. Strain mixture into a clean bowl and place bowl in the ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally.
  7. Transfer to a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate until cold.

Christmas Cookie Swap Menu

Cardamom Ginger Rompope

Mega Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ginger-Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Cranberry Lime Cookies

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One More Thing

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

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Comida Latina, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chipotle Cream

October 17, 2017
Baked spaghetti squash takes on a whole new meaning when draped in fiery chipotle cream sauce and sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs and Cotija cheese.

We had a couple of crisp days last week. Well as crisp as the air gets in early October in Southern California, let’s just say I needed a sweater…a light sweater.

Anyway, during those slightly chilly evenings I got the urge for all things rich and creamy and belly warming. I rarely do cream-based things around here due to the fact that I’m the only one who likes it and/or can eat it, but when the urge strikes, I find it’s best to just go with it before it becomes unwieldy and wildly out of control and the next thing you know you’ve eaten a pound of pasta covered in straight cream, parmesan, and butter—not that I’ve ever done that, I’m just saying, it could happen.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, right. So I wanted something rich and creamy, but also spicy and soul-satisfying so I turned to my favorite thing about fall, squash, and got to work. Do you have a favorite fall fruit/vegetable? The thing you wait all year for? Mine is absolutely the hard-skinned squashes of fall..all of them.

Baked spaghetti squash is much lighter in texture than other varieties so it was the perfect vehicle for the smoky, spicy chipotle cream sauce. Baked spaghetti squash is super easy to pull off, the hardest part is cutting the darn thing open—a heavy, sharp knife is essential. Then just scoop out the seeds, rub with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and let the oven do the work.

While the squash is baking, sweat some onions and garlic and chopped chipotles en adobo in olive oil until soft and sweet, add the cream and thin a little with veggie broth so the cream isn’t overwhelming. If you don’t mind about keeping it veggie, you could use any kind of broth you want, also a little white wine would be nice here too. Once the sauce has simmered a little bit, you can blend it nice and smooth if you’d like. Leaving it as is, is just fine too.

Shred the squash into thin strands with a fork and gently mix with the sauce. Sprinkle each dish with crunchy toasted breadcrumbs, thin slices of scallion and a crumbling of sharp Cotija or grated Parmesan would be nice here too. Also cilantro, if you’re into to that kind of thing.

There you go. A dinner for when you need a little hug in the form of cream, spice, and cheese.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chipotle Cream
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2-3 pounds
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 chipotles en adobo, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle the cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake in oven until knife tender and shreds easily with a fork, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chipotles and cook a minute more. Add cream and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. Add teaspoon of salt, taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan. Add breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until toasted and golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. To serve: Shred squash into strands, add to cream sauce and gently fold to coat in sauce. Divide between four plates, top with toasted breadcrumbs, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and Cotija cheese.

MENU

Seeded Pull-Apart Rolls

Roasted Beet and Green Olive Salad

Sweet Molasses Apple Pie

One More Thing

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Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake

October 5, 2017
This Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake is the perfect combination of exotic spice and heavenly chocolate with hidden veggies and dairy-free to boot!

Sometimes a girl just needs a piece of chocolate cake—ya know?!!

Like, if I could do it and still maintain my dignity I would probably enjoy a nice piece of chocolate cake a couple times a day. The hours between 3pm and 9pm are rough, chocolate cake would really help.

But then I went and heard Paulette Lambert speak and she kept saying this thing about how the more sugar you eat, the more you crave it and how I should get my sugar fix from fruit and all this other nonsense that I should absolutely be listening to. She also said my evening glass or two of wine was a no-no so I’ve got work to do, anyhoo, back to the sugar thing.

I got to thinking that I eat way too much sugar and my husband eats way too much sugar and the worst….my kids eat way, way, way too much sugar. My daughter has a thing after school she calls her “candy snack.” #truth.

But instead of cutting everyone off cold turkey and risk breaking their collective heart, I decided to slowly reduce the sugar intake as well as make the sweet treats we do eat a bit healthier.

I fell in love with this cake from An Edible Mosaic the first time I made it about a year ago. It is utterly fluffy, tender, and filled with warm fall spices thanks to a healthy dose of chai tea.

It still has sugar, yes, but it also has over 2 cups of fresh zucchini puree, whole wheat flour, and no butter or dairy fat of any kind. Not that I’m a huge fan of hiding nutrition from my kids, but they have no idea there’s vegetables in there thanks to Faith’s genius tip of pureeing the zucchini instead of grating it. This gives the cake an impeccable crumb and FYI, zucchini puree is virtually flavorless.

So here’s to eating healthy-ish….the silky chocolate frosting doesn’t hurt either.

Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake is the perfect combination of exotic spice and heavenly chocolate with hidden veggies and dairy-free to boot! Adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Author:
Serves: 16 servings
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 3 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups whole wheat flour
  • ⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Chai tea bags, I used Trader Joe's Spiced Chai
For the Frosting:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips
Instructions
For the Cake:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment, if desired. (If you plan on serving the cake straight from the pan, no parchment is necessary).
  2. Place zucchini in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until you have a mostly smooth puree.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and zucchini puree in a large bowl. Sift both flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, into the egg mixture. Cut open the chai tea bags and add the tea straight to the bowl.
  4. Mix everything together with a rubber spatula until just combined—don't over mix.
  5. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes. If you'd like to remove it from the pan, pull on the outer edges of the parchment paper to take out of the pan.
For the Frosting:
  1. Combine coconut oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm, stirring frequently, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in milk, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. Pour frosting over cake and smooth to the edges. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and serve.
  4. Cake will keep covered, at room temperature, for 5 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.

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Apps, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Meat-Stuffed Grape Leaves

September 21, 2017
These meat-stuffed grape leaves make a tasty appetizer or the spotlight to a special dinner with warm pita bread, lemony cucumber salad, and creamy hummus.

I’m always on the lookout for something different to switch up the dinner doldrums. Similar to I’m sure many of you I fall into weeknight ruts of either picking up something or making the same old things over and over again. So when the lovely Liz Della Croce asked if I would want to take a peek at the newest edition to her Food From Our Ancestors series: The Ultimate Syrian Sunday Dinner I jumped at the chance. This beautiful compilation of family recipes drive home why they are favorites; comfort food, full of flavor, the dishes our mothers have been making forever, for good reason.

I’ve a weakness for stuffed grape leaves so as soon as I saw Liz’s recipe I knew that those would most certainly make the cut. I’m the gal who buys the Trader Joe’s grape leaves for just about every summer picnic but have never actually made them myself. The recipe looked simple enough and culinary challenges are pretty much my jam so in I dove.

I’ve only ever eaten rice-stuffed grape leaves and was excited that I could actually rationalize these meat-stuffed grape leaves as dinner. Add a salad (I made Liz’s Syrian salad from the book) and a side (again Liz to the rescue with Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions—I told you this book was good!) and now, man I’m getting excited about dinner!

These meat-stuffed grape leaves weren’t even all that hard to pull off. The jar of grape leaves I found at Whole Foods and they easily unfurl to create perfect little wrappers for the meat and rice mixture. One jar was plenty and I even has some leftover, so you know whose going to be making stuffed grape leaves again. Yay, yes, ME!

As far as stuffing and rolling I fell right into rhythm. They were like rolling up tiny little burritos: two sides in, bottom over filling, roll, roll, roll.

Then you pile them in a pot, cover with water, and weigh them down with a plate. Simmer until the rice is cooked—they only take about 15 minutes! They are excellent hot, room temperature, or cold. It’s the lemon that I love, no the mint, no the lemon. Either way, so good.

Liz’s Food From Our Ancestors series are real treasures. You can get the Syrian ebook or buy a bundle of all four: Mexican, Jewish Shabbat, Italian, and Syrian for basically a steal.

Meat-Stuffed Grape Leaves
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (2-pound) jar of grape leaves (roughly 50 leaves)
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • ½ cup lon-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds, optional
  • 5 cabbage leaves, optional
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
Instructions
  1. Line a large pot with celery stalks and loose cabbage leaves (I used extra grape leaves).
  2. Place grape leaves on a plate and trim any large, thick stems off bottom.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, rice, juice of 1 lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Working one grape leaf at a time, place the leaf flat on a plate and add 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture near stem.
  5. Form meat into thin cigar shapes, then roll the grape leaf starting at the stem all the way to the top. No need to fold in sides but they'll look nicer if you do.
  6. Line stuffed grape leaves in pot, alternating direction with each layer, until the pot is filled ¾ of the way or you've used all your leaves.
  7. Cover the grape leaves with water, making sure there's at least one inch of liquid above the grape leaves. Pour in remaining lemon juice and add dried mint.
  8. Cover grape leaves with a small plate turned upside down to keep them from moving and to weigh them down.
  9. Cover pot with lid and bring to a simmer.
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Serve with pita bread and cucumber laban.
Notes
Liz suggests lining the cooking pot with celery stalks and cabbage leaves. I didn't have either, so I used a few of the torn and tiny grape leaves instead

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

How To Make A Beef and Bean Burrito

September 8, 2017
Step-by-step instructions will show you how to make a comfort food classic: the Beef and Bean Burrito. A supersized family favorite for hungry bellies!

I’m pretty sure my son’s the only kindergartener who takes a container of meat to school for lunch.

Yesterday I was cooking the meat for these beef and bean burritos when Hiro sauntered in nose-first. “That smells good Mama, can I have some for my lunch?” He asks. I thought about the logistics for a moment, fearing he wouldn’t be able to open the container, or that it would get cold by the time he got around to eating it, or worse, he’d get made fun of for having a tiny Tupperware of meat but then said, “I don’t have the rest of the burrito stuff ready, but I could put some meat in a container and you could eat it with a spoon?” “Thanks, Mama!” He said. And so it was, he took it. He ate it (the teacher did have to open the container for him) and what little was left he ate in the car on the way home from school. I don’t know why I worry.

It goes without saying that this beef and bean burrito recipe is kid approved.

Here’s how you make them!

First things first, make the filling. I loosely follow a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best Mexican Recipes. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll make Mexican rice instead of the garlic rice in the recipe. After your filling is ready to go then I feel it is essential to warm the tortillas in a hot, dry frying pan—not in the microwave. The pan lends a toasty flavor to the tortillas and the micro just makes them rubbery. You warm the tortillas because they need to be cooked a little before filling to get rid of that doughy flavor.

As far as the tortillas are concerned, I like to buy the extra-large (12-inch) flour tortillas that they use at the burrito truck. Most Latin markets sell them but most other grocery stores do not. Just buy the biggest ones you can find, but also know the big ones make HUGE burritos, so if you’re feeding little ones the smaller 8 or 10-inch ones are just fine.

After the tortillas are nice and toasty it is time to fill them up. The amount of filling you add will depend on how big you’d like your burrito to be. A hungry man burrito takes about 3/4 cup of beef and 3/4 cup of rice.

You can add other stuff to your burritos too, like cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa. We are a dairy-free house so I didn’t add any of the cheesy stuff and I don’t like hot guacamole so none of that inside my burrito either. Armando and Hiro like pico de gallo inside their burritos, but I do not. I think it makes the tortilla soggy and prefer to put mine on the outside, but it’s up to you.

Then its time to roll it up. Sides go in first, then the bottom goes over the filling.

Pull the tortilla tight over the filling then roll all the way up to seal.

The most essential step to a good burrito comes at the end. After you have rolled it up the burrito goes back in the hot, dry frying pan to get a nice, crispy crust. One that seals up the seam and turns that tortilla from rubbery to golden.

Don’t forget more fresh pico on top!

Beef and Bean Burrito Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup long-grain rice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 21 ounces 85 percent ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder (I used New Mexico chile powder, the recipe calls for chipotle--you decide)
  • 1½ cups cooked pinto beans (a 15-ounce can or cook your own )
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 6 flour tortillas (the biggest you can find, I used 12-inch)
  • Pico de Gallo or your favorite store-bought salsa
Instructions
  1. Bring chicken broth, rice, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes, fluff with fork, stir in cilantro and cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beef, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, and chile powder. Cook, breaking up meat with the back of a wooden spoon and cook until beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Using a potato masher mash 1 cup of the beans in a bowl with ½ cup of the bean cooking liquid or the liquid from the can if you are using canned beans. Stir into the beef mixture along with remaining ½ cup whole beans and lime juice. Taste to see if it needs more salt then remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  6. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Warm the tortillas on both sides for a minute or two but not until they are toasted. Transfer to a baking sheet and mound about ¾ cup beef and ¾ cup rice in the bottom third of the tortillas. Add some pico de gallo if you'd like.
  7. Fold in the sides then roll the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, pulling back on it firmly to tighten it around the filling then roll the rest of the way up to close. Set seam side down on a tray. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  8. Place burritos seam side down in a hot dry skillet to seal closed and get a nice golden crust. Flip and toast the other side. Serve immediately with pico de gallo or let cool and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Burritos will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer and 5 days in the refrigerator.
  9. To rewarm: Unwrap burritos and place on a baking sheet if you are heating more than one or on a oven-safe frying pan for just one burrito. Heat in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

 

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

Simple Summer Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Pesto Croutons

July 25, 2017
How to make a summer vegetable soup packed with white beans, garden veggies and topped with a crispy crouton slathered with cilantro and baby spinach pesto.

We got back late last night from our European summer adventure.

The two things I’ve been dreaming about for the last couple weeks of the trip have been going for a run and a simple summer vegetable soup. I’m not sure exactly who I have become.

Normally I’m not such a health freak but after six weeks of gluttony my body was in desperate need of a reboot. This morning I hit the pavement vowing never to go on such an extended excursion without my running shoes again and then made a big pot of soup for dinner.

There’s something so intensely satisfying about potatoes and carrots and beans bubbling away in a tomatoey broth. It is the kind of simple food to regroup to, to find your balance, and most importantly, fill your belly.

As you can imagine, I’m a bit exhausted from our trip, but I wanted to share this recipe with you as I have a feeling I’m not alone in the need for simple comforts, getting back on track, or maybe just a recipe to use up your garden’s summer bounty.

The cilantro pesto croutons are obviously optional but I love their crunchy edges and soft middles, plus any extra pesto gets mixed into the soup giving it a happy little herby boost.

Simple Summer Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Pesto Croutons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
For the Soup:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, halved, washed well, and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 cup cubed)
  • 1 cup dried large white beans, rinsed (I used lima beans)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
For the Croutons:
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, thick stems removed (about 2 packed cups of leaves and tender stems)
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 baguette
Instructions
To make the soup:
  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and celery and season again with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes more then add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, potatoes, beans, water, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until beans are tender, about 1-1½ hours.
  4. Add green beans and zucchini and continue cooking until tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. I added about 1 teaspoon more.
For the Croutons:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine cilantro, spinach, garlic, salt, and pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add oil and blend until smooth.
  3. Slice baguette into ½-inch thick slices. Spread about ½-1 teaspoon of pesto on one side of each slice then place pesto-side-up on a baking sheet. Bake until outer edges are crisp about 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon any remaining pesto into the soup pot and stir to combine. Ladel soup into bowls and top with one or two croutons.

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!

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Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Stacked Enchiladas Suizas with Chicken

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

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

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

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

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


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

One More Thing

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

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

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets, Top

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}

March 17, 2017
Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe from @holajalapeno

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make Mexican Bread Pudding

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

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

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

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

The Giveaway

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

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

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

One More Thing

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

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