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Our Passion for Food came from our Mom

Archive for the category “Mexican”

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos


This past weekend we went in to Denver to purchase a few gifts for folks from our local Ten Thousand Villages store. While there we discovered a great new cookbook called Simply in Season put out by the same people who created More with Less.


This is a hardback cookbook which is spiral bound inside. The book is divided into the four seasons, and focuses on foods that are more readily available from local growers. So the Spring section has recipes for asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, peas and maple syrup. Autumn includes squash, apples, pears, cauliflower and others. It supports the locavore movement, of course, but it also helps save you money since the produce in season is usually cheaper at the market. There are plenty of meat options in this book as well, so it is a great resource with over 300 recipes, and each key ingredient is comprehensively listed in the index. If you have sweet peppers, you can find over 40 recipes listed.
We found one we just had to try for winter, a sweet potato and black bean burrito. It was both easy to prepare and absolutely fantastic!
Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

Preheat oven to 350

3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
Sauté in a large frying pan in 1 tablespoon of oil until just tender. Add water to prevent sticking.


2 cups cooked black beans (or 1- 15 ounce can) drained and rinsed
1 t ground cumin
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
Add to sweet potatoes and cook until heated through.
8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese (shredded)
Divide potato/bean mixture and cheese among tortillas and roll up. Place in 9×13 pan. Cover pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.

Chicken Pozole


Mom was an interesting character. She had a very tender heart, and she told me quite a few times when I was in high school that she wished she could go to India one day to love the orphans there. You could see the way she loved children, of course, when she was with her own grandkids, showering them with affection, picking them up, playing with them, so imaging her showing that same love to children who would really need it was not a far stretch.

But Mom hated spicy foods of any kind. I didn’t mention to her the fact that India is synonymous with spicy foods, knowing that if she was able to go on a short-term mission she’d figure it out. Unfortunately, she never made it there. I’ve grown to love spicy foods myself, especially curries and other specialties from India and Nepal, and I too would love to go there some day.
Melissa made this soup recently after my knee injury, and while Mexican influenced and not Indian, it has some nice flavors. She found the recipe from Real Simple for a quick week night meal. It’s not particularly spicy with its subtle hints of red pepper, although I’m pretty sure Mom would not have tried it. I hope you will.
Chicken Posole
1 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 32 ounce container low sodium chicken broth
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 dried ancho chili, thinly sliced or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
1 15 ounce can hominy, rinsed
1 lime, cut into wedges
chopped cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes
Add broth, tomatoes and chili and bring to a boil. Stir in chicken and hominy and simmer until heated through, about 4 minutes. Serve with lime and cilantro.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

I recently started getting Cooking Light again, and this was in one of my first issues. To. Die. For. Seriously. If you like Tex-Mex, this slightly sweet tamale casserole is all that.  One of the reviewers online (100 reviews since October ’08) suggested forgoing the corn bread mix and using your own supplies, so I’ll include that below (although I had the corn muffin box in my pantry both times I’ve made it).

I’ve changed a couple of things: added an onion to the mix and put the chicken down on the bread before pouring on the enchilada sauce.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix  * (or see below)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 onion, chopped
Cooking spray
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 8 ingredients (through onion) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Top surface with chicken.  Pour enchilada sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

* Mix 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup yellow corn meal. Add 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt and mix before adding to the casserole.

Taco Grande

My son Lance is disabled and receives services from the county. He has some young women come in each week to help him with some simple chores and food preparation. Well after so many frozen pizzas, chicken nuggets and salads, we had to come up with something new. I started looking through some old cookbooks and came across a kids cookbook titled “Kids in the Kitchen”. Lance, Carly and I looked through the recipes and found one that had all the ingredients he likes. It was surprisingly simple with the exception of cooking the ground meat. He enjoyed making it and we all enjoyed tasting it, it is a keeper.

Taco Grande

Ingredients
1 lb. ground turkey or ground sirloin
1 pkg. (1 ounce) taco seasoning mix
water
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
8 (6-7 inch) Flour Tortillas (we used several large tortillas)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded colby-jack cheese
1 green onion
4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and side of deep dish pie plate or 9 inch round casserole with vegetable oil.
Place ground meat in a frying pan, cook and stir over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking meat into small pieces.
Add taco mix and amount of water directed on package. Continue cooking according to package directions. Remove pan from heat. Stir in 1 cup of the salsa.
Arrange 4 tortillas in bottom and up side of pie plate. (Tortillas will overlap on bottom of pan but not all of the area on the side of the Baker will be covered.)
Spoon meat mixture evenly over tortillas. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Slice green onion. Sprinkle half of the onion over cheese.
Top with remaining 4 tortillas, overlapping tortillas slightly to create a scalloped edge over filling. Press tortillas down over filling. Spread remaining salsa over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and onion.
Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges.
Chop lettuce into thin strands. serve taco wedges over lettuce and top with sour cream.

Carnitas

We all got together over the holidays and each sibling’s family took a meal to prepare and share with the others. Monday night was Phil’s turn and he made the most amazing carnitas. He and Melissa were celebrating their anniversary and this was his way of making it special. Thanks for making it special for all of us. : ) Yummm…

This recipe is adapted from Pam Anderson’s “Perfect Recipe for Having People Over”.

Carnitas

Oven-Barbecued Pork (recipe to follow)
24 corn tortillas (we also used flour tortillas)
Slaw or sauteed peppers
Guacamole
1 container sour cream
Shredded cheese

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Slowly heat pulled pork in a roasting pan set over two burners over low heat, stirring frequently, adding a little water if necessary.
Meanwhile, lay a damp paper towel on a 24-by-18 inch piece of foil. Set 2 stacks of 4 corn tortillas each side by side on towel.
Cover with another damp paper towel. Seal foil completely, make 2 more foil packets and bake until steamy, about 5 minutes.
Pull tortillas from oven as needed, and fill them with the pork, slaw or peppers, guacamole and sour cream, to taste.

Oven-Barbecued Pork

3 Tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar (dark has a more intense flavor)
3 Tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 Tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 bone-in pork shoulder butt roast or fresh picnic shoulder (8-9 lbs.)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Pat roast dry and place on a rack set over a foil lined shallow baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle top and sides of roast with salt, brush with half the mustard, and sprinkle with half the spice rub. Carefully turn roast over. Sprinkle with a little salt, brush with remaining mustard, and sprinkle with remaining spice rub.
Roast until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees. 9-11 hours, depending on size. (This works well if left in overnight) Transfer pork to a platter and let cool enough to handle, about 1 hr.
Meanwhile, if making sandwiches or if pork needs a little more moisture, pour off any fat and scrape pan drippings into a small saucepan, add 1 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Cut roast into 1-2 inch chucks and shred meat. Add enough pan drippings to moisten pork and stir to combine.

Enjoy!

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