Browsing Tag

fiesta

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Skinny Cherry & Lime Leaf Margaritas

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

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

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

WHAT IS A SKINNY MARGARITA ANYWAY?

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

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

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

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

HOW TO MAKE A SKINNY CHERRY MARGARITA

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

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


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

One More Thing

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

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

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

Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Stacked Enchiladas Suizas with Chicken

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

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

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

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

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


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

One More Thing

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

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

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

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa}

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

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

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

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

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

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

Salsa de Cacahuate

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

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

One More Thing

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

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

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

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

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

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita Recipe

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

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

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

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

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

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

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

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

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

One More Thing

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

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

 

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Mint and Sweet Pea Guacamole with Sweet Potato Chips

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

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

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

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

mint and pea guacamole

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

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

pea and mint guacamole

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

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

pea and mint guacamole

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

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One More Thing

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

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

Mains, Recipes

One-Pan Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

April 6, 2017
One-Pan Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe from @holajalapeno

With Easter right around the corner I thought I’d offer up something a little different than your average baked ham or turkey or other traditional celebratory foods. These stuffed pork chops are for a smaller crowd (which you could certainly double or triple)  but still fancy enough to feel special and warrant a nice bottle of wine to go with it.

One-Pan Blue Cheese and Cauliflower Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potato Recipe from @holajalapeno

First, the sweet potatoes

The stuffed pork chops and sweet potatoes get baked in one pan which is easy on the clean-up. To get started we need to get the sweet potatoes in the oven, they take twice as long to roast as the stuffed pork chops. Toss them with some lemon zest and paprika, a little olive oil and salt and pepper and get them going in the oven.

How to pound the pork chops

Meanwhile you can pound out the boneless chops. It is worth mentioning to look for thin, already-pounded pork chops at the store. They will sometimes be labeled escaloped pork chops or if you go to a Mexican market they might be called chuletas para milanesa. Doing it yourself however is really very simple, all you need is a meat mallet, rolling pin, or even a wine bottle will work (be careful with that one though). Cover the pork chop with a layer of plastic wrap to keep the mallet from sticking and try to get them as thin as possible, the wider they are, the easier they will be to roll up and the more filling you can stuff in each one.

One-Pan Blue Cheese and Cauliflower Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe from @holajalapeno

All about the filling

As for the filling, I used riced cauliflower instead of traditional rice. I love the flavor and the fact that nothing in the filling has to be cooked first. I buy the riced cauliflower at Trader Joe’s but you can make your own, if you don’t know how, check out this video. The filling takes on a more Mediterranean flare with roasted, salted pistachios, dried persimmons, bits of blue cheese, and minced red chiles for spice.

One-Pan Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe form @holajalapeno

How to stuff the pork chops

Spoon the filling on to the pounded chops—the recipe calls for about 2 tablespoons in each but if your chops are bigger I say put in as much as each one can handle. Then roll the pork over the filling and hold each one together at the seam with a toothpick. Making a roulade like this means more stuffing in each, but if you’d like to get bone-in pork chops you can cut a slit in the middle of each one and stuff the filling into the pocket (the roasting time will be longer however).

One-Pan Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe from @holajalapeno

Nestle each chop (seam-side down) in between the sweet potatoes and brush with a little balsamic-honey glaze. Then return to the oven to roast for only about 20 minutes. The pork chops can be filled and refrigerated the night before if you’d like to get that step done in advance.

One-Pan Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe from @holajalapeno

A simple mustard vinaigrette pulls the whole dish together. Serve with some fresh spring asparagus blanched in salted water and served warm with a little butter and squeeze of lemon.

One-Pan Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The ultimate stuffed pork chops: Boneless pork chops filled with cauliflower rice, blue cheese, pistachios, dried persimmons, chile flakes, and scallions. Roasted over sweet potatoes and drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette before serving.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 center-cut, boneless pork chops
  • ½ cup riced cauliflower *see note
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried persimmons or dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh red chiles or dried chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
For the Mustard Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F and arrange rack in the middle.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a large roasting pan and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over them. Zest the lemon and sprinkle the zest over the sweet potatoes along with the paprika,1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper. Toss to coat then spread into a single layer.
  3. Roast sweet potatoes in oven 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place one pork chop on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the pork chop to about ¼-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining pork chops. Season each pork chops with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine cauliflower, blue cheese, scallion, pistachios, persimmons, parsley, chile flakes, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a medium bowl.
  6. Divide cauliflower mixture between the pork chops and roll up to seal. Place a toothpick at the seam to hold closed.
  7. Nestle pork chops, seam-side down between the sweet potatoes. Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl, then brush the mixture over the pork chops.
  8. Roast pork in oven until cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  10. Remove toothpicks from pork chops and serve immediately with the sweet potatoes and vinaigrette.
Notes
I bought riced cauliflower at Trader Joe's or you can do it yourself by grating raw cauliflower through the large holes of a box grater or through the grating attachment on your food processor.

One More Thing

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

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

Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

April 3, 2017
Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Rolls from @holajalapeno

This Easter post was sponsored by Nestle La Lechera, all thoughts and opinions however, are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support this blog!

I love that Easter has always been an all day affair. So many of our holiday celebrations are saved for the evening hours but Easter is a crack-of-dawn, rise-and-shine, no-time-to-waste kind of party.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Rolls with Coconut Frosting Recipe

As a kid Armando’s family would be up before dawn, freshly polished in their starched and ironed best to attend the sunrise service his father delivered at a local park. How his mother was able to not only have all five children in ironed clothing but have also prepared a full on, multi-course meal, which was served afterward, is beyond me.

Our family always attended the neighborhood Easter egg hunt that was held in a friend’s sprawling backyard complete with a tall human dressed as the Easter bunny, way too many jellybean filled plastic eggs, and lots and lots of chocolate. All the neighbors would bring an egg dish or donuts or fruit salad and we’d sit in the middle of the street on a collection of folding tables enjoying our meal.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

The Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls remind me of that time. They are a morning treat that are special enough to honor the joy of the holiday and seem appropriate for spring with piles of flaky coconut on top.

How to Make the Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

The dough is really pretty simple; you combine all the ingredients (minus the butter) in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. There’s no need to worry about proofing the yeast first, it will do it all on its own as it rises.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosing

The dough should be very soft and sticky. It is better to add flour as you are rolling out the dough than while it is first coming together in the mixer. This is a good rule of thumb for any dough—the wetter, the better.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosing

Once the dough has risen, evenly spread the cream cheese, Nestle La Lechera dulce de leche, and walnuts on top. I found it easiest to use my fingers to spread the cream cheese—use the tools God gave you, amigos.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

Roll the dough around the filling in a tight cylinder starting at the long end. Use a dough cutter or sharp knife to cut into 15 even pieces.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

Place in a greased baking dish or a couple different dishes. I didn’t have one big enough to hold them all so I separated them into three. I like to place them snug together to keep them soft on the inside. Then let them rest again for about another hour.

Cream Cheese Dulce De Leche Rolls with Coconut Frosting

After they have baked and cooled spread with frosting and top with coconut. You can make the dough, roll, and cut them the night before. Cover and refrigerate, then bake the next morning. Make sure to give them about an hour to come to room temperature before you stick them in the oven.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting
 
Prep time
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The ultimate dulce de leche sweet rolls: Fluffy homemade rolls filled with cream cheese, walnuts, and dulce de leche, topped with whipped coconut frosting.
Author:
Serves: 15 rolls
Ingredients
For the Sweet Rolls:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 105°F)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2¼ teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (13.4 ounce) can Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Frosting:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, warm milk, sugar, eggs, yeast, salt, and cardamom in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment. Start on low and mix until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and start adding the butter 1 cube at a time, letting the first one blend in before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, continue kneading for about 5 more minutes.
  2. Grease a large bowl and scrape dough into the bowl, the dough should be sticky and soft, use a little flour on your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Grease a 10x14-inch baking dish or two 7x11-inch baking dishes and set aside.
  4. Generously flour a clean work surface and place dough on top. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12x15-inch rectangle. Evenly spread the cream cheese all over the dough.
  5. Transfer the dulce de leche to a heatproof container and heat for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave or until it is a pourable consistency.
  6. Evenly drizzle the dulce de leche over the cream cheese then sprinkle the walnuts, if using, on top.
  7. Starting at the long end of the dough, tightly roll it up trying to make it evenly thick as possible. Cut into 15 equal rolls and place them in the prepared baking dish(s).
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour. At this point you can also put them in the refrigerator and bake them the next day.
  9. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Bake rolls until puffed, golden, and baked through, about 40 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.
To Make the Frosting:
  1. Combine butter, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the coconut milk and extract (if using). Beat until smooth. Frosting should be soft, but not runny. If it is too loose add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until it has reached the right consistency.
  2. Spread frosting over the rolls, sprinkle with coconut and serve.
Notes
If your milk is cold from the refrigerator, heat it for about 30 seconds in the microwave to reach the correct temperature.

One More Thing

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

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

Apps, Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

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

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

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

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

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

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

How to Make the Black Mole Sauce

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipes from @holajalapeno

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

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

How To Make the Fries

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

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

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

The Toppings

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

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

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

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

One More Thing

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

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

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}

March 17, 2017
Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe from @holajalapeno

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make Mexican Bread Pudding

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

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

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

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

The Giveaway

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

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

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}
 
Prep time
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!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt

March 14, 2017
Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt

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

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

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

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

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

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

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

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

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

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

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

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

One More Thing

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

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