Tag Archives: lime

Masa ​Boats ​with ​Chorizo ​and ​Yucatecan ​Pumpkin ​Seed ​Sauce

Masa ​Boats ​with ​Chorizo ​and ​Yucatecan ​Pumpkin ​Seed ​Sauce

Chorizo Sopes 1

When you dine at a typical Mexican restaurant, you’re probably already familiar with the usual offerings of enchiladas, tacos, refried beans, and rice, right? It’s kind of ironic that many dishes served in most of today’s Mexican joints are actually of American origin by way of Texas or California. We Americans have put our own twists on the originals over the years and have since labeled them “Mexican food”.

To get a little more authentic taste of South of the Border cuisine, try out the following recipe for Mexican sopes, a zesty appetizer that will have you ditching your old gringo go-to of nachos and chimichangas.

Sopes are handheld Mexican street food dish made from a dough made of masa flour (dried and finely ground corn) that are flattened, typically fried, then topped with either meat or beans and salsa. This version of the classic Mexican dish sees the little masa “boats” baked instead of fried — saving you some calories and a greasy mess on your stove top. I chose to use flavorful Mexican chorizo sausage for the filling and topped it with a Yucatecan-style (i.e.: from the Yucatan Peninsula) sauce comprised of toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro and habanero pepper. These sopes can be made any size you please — form smaller ones for appetizer servings and larger ones if you’re serving them as a snack or main course.

Buen provecho!
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Slow-Cooker Carne Guisada with a New Mexican Hatch Chile Twist

Slow-Cooker Carne Guisada with a New Mexican Hatch Chile Twist

Carne Guisada text

Carne guisada (CAR-nay gee-SA-da) is a Mexican-style beef stew that hails primarily from south Texas. It’s main ingredient is cubed beef stew meat that is braised low and slow for hours with varying combinations of chilies, onions, tomatoes, and spices. The flour used to coat the seared meat causes the sauce to end up thickening to a gravy-like consistency. While fantastic on its own, served straight up in a bowl with a spoon, carne guisada also makes a savory taco or burrito filling.

For this version of carne guisada, I gave it an injection of Hatch chile flavor with Stubb’s new Hatch Chile Cookin’ Sauce pack. The package comes with a Cookin’ sauce, which I used for the braising, a spice packet, which I used to saute the vegetables with, and a Finishing Sauce, which I stirred into the thickened gravy sauce just before serving. This trio gives a fun, updated kick of flavor to this classic Tex-mex comfort food dish. Best of all, everything but the meat and veggies come in one package. The second best part about this dish is that you can easily use a slow cooker to do most of the work — just set it and forget it. A few hours later, you’ll have the makings of an incredibly flavorful meal.

I suggest serving this Hatch carne guisada on or with a side of warm tortillas, limes for squeezing on top of the meat, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and crumbled Mexican cotija cheese.
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Spice up your Cinco: Two twists on classic tipples to celebrate the 5th of May

Spice up your Cinco: Two twists on classic tipples to celebrate the 5th of May

Ginger Beergarita 1_logo

Due to the simple fact that we Americans have to make just about every holiday an excuse to drink, I’m sure that most of you are well aware that Cinco de Mayo is this weekend. That means parties, sombreros, and tequila drinks galore. And no, for the last time, it does not mark Mexico’s Independence Day (that’s September 16th); it’s a celebration and remembrance of Mexican fighters taking down the French forces at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. Use that one to impress friends and potential one-night-stands on Sunday.

I digress. On to the drinks!

Tired of celebrating with the standard margarita, I decided to concoct a new tequila-based libation. I borrowed the idea of the “Beergarita” — a mixture of Mexican lager beer, limeade or sour mix, and tequila — and gave it a sweet and spicy twist by replacing the lager with ginger beer, and adding fresh ginger and jalapeno. Ginger and reposado (slightly aged, amber-colored) tequila are a great flavor pairing in this Ginger Beergarita and the addition of the jalapeno enhances the spiciness of the ginger — which can easily be omitted from the recipe if you’re not a fan of heat.

Not that this would be the first thing on your mind when mixing a drink on Cinco, but the Ginger Beergarita also has some great health benefits. Ginger has natural immune system-boosting properties and helps to fight of certain types of cancer cells with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Bonus: ginger has been a natural remedy for migraines and nausea, so this drink may actually reduce your hangover on May 6th.

So while celebrating the rich culture and heritage of Mexico (and the time they kicked some French ass) by guzzling far too much cerveza and tequila, try out the following exotic tipples this weekend.
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Cinco de Derby: Drinking decisions for a double holiday

Cinco de Derby: Drinking decisions for a double holiday

Whether you're donning a feathered fascinator or a colorful sombrero this Saturday, here are some Cinco and Derby drinks perfect for celebrating this double holiday. (Photo: Polkaroo via Flickr)

This Saturday, May 5th, will see two popular “holidays” celebrated nationwide: Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day. And what do Americans enjoy doing most for both occasions? Drinking, of course!

But with both holidays falling on the same day this year, what will drinks will you be enjoying? Whether you’re donning a feathered fascinator or a colorful sombrero, here are some refreshing cocktails to enjoy this Saturday — a couple of classics and a new hybrid tipple by yours truly.
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Shades of green: Green garbanzo beans are a fresher, tastier chickpea

Shades of green: Green garbanzo beans are a fresher, tastier chickpea

I’m sure most of you have eaten — or at least seen — garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) in your lifetime. The small, beige, dried legumes are soaked and boiled (and are often packaged in a can) and used in a variety of dishes from all over the globe — most notably hummus and falafel — or tossed in vegetable salads and pasta dishes.

But you might want to forgo the dried and canned mature garbanzos for their younger, tastier counterparts: the green garbanzos. Green, or “fresh” garbanzos are little legumes that have been picked earlier than their older sibings, blanched and flash-frozen instead of being matured on the vine and then dried.

Green garbanzos are fairly new to the American food scene, having been introduced to consumers in 2010 by Clearwater Country Foods, and can now be found in some grocery stores in the frozen aisle for a few bucks a bag. I recently discovered these verdant beans and am in foodie heaven, as they have a wonderful flavor and a number of culinary applications.

The flavor of these little green beauties has been compared to that of fresh peas; the taste is nutty and more buttery than that of their dried counterparts. The green garbanzos are also higher in protein, folate and fiber, and they’re chock full of antioxidant vitamins A and C, phytonutrients, iron and minerals.

“It’s just an immature garbanzo bean that is picked in its fresh state, and consequently its nutritional values are higher and it’s much more flavorful,” Doug Moser, founder of Clearwater Country Foods told the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “The simple reason is that the natural sugars haven’t turned to starch.”

Green garbanzos can be used in place of standard garbanzos, peas and edamame (soy beans) in a variety of dishes, like the green garbanzo hummus recipe I’ve shared below. They’re fine being heated up on the stove top or in the microwave — just make sure not to overcook them, as they’ll lose some of their wonderful color and texture — or simply thaw them and throw them into a dish as is.

My prediction is that green garbanzos will make their way into home kitchens and onto restaurant menus in a big way this year because of their uniqueness, flavor and nutritional benefits.

Here’s my recipe for green garbanzo hummus with Asian flavorings. It’s a quick, easy and incredibly tasty addition to any party spread, or great as a simple snack with some crudite and crackers. If you’re feeling really ambitious, whip up some fried or baked wonton chips to accompany it.
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Margarita Mama Cheesecake: Booze and cream cheese combine to make one fabulous treat

Margarita Mama Cheesecake: Booze and cream cheese combine to make one fabulous treat


I have a special place in my heart for margaritas, probably due to the fact that I have a fondness for tequila. The palate-pleasing combination of flavors in the drink are what makes this my go-to cocktail on a warm summer day, or at a Mexican restaurant, or during Happy Hour, or when recuperating after a long and stressful day, or … you get the point.

But cheesecake is another story. I prefer cream cheese spread on a bagel, not in a heaping mouthful, and oftentimes I’ve found many cheesecakes to taste like a block of straight-up cream cheese. Needless to say, it’s the one menu item I always pass up.

So where’s the segue from margaritas to cheesecake, you’re asking? Margarita cheesecake, my friends! This cheesecake single-handedly changed my mind about cream cheese-laden desserts.

The cake combines the sweet, sour and slightly salty flavors of a margarita with the tanginess of cheesecake, creating a marriage made in dessert heaven. And the best part? There’s tequila in it! But don’t worry about getting too buzzed from indulging in a slice — most of the alcohol is burned off during baking.
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