Tag Archives: Mexican

Steak Fajitas

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One of the worst times of year for a teacher is the two weeks before school starts. It’s not because we are dreading it, but the anticipation of the work load, and wanting to enjoy every last drop of summer–those two things form a dichotomy that keeps many a teacher up with insomnia at night and cranky during the day. I am starting to have stress school dreams and I am starting to get on my husband’s nerves. Buckle up, sweetie, we’ve only just begun.

We didn’t get the best news today either. Henry got hired at a new job and they originally wanted him to start next Wednesday. Sweet. We made camping plans for this weekend. They called today and said, actually, can you start Friday. He wasn’t in the position to say no–so I am going camping by myself. Well, not all by myself, but without Henry.  Bummer. This was our last hurrah for the summer.

Our consolation prize? Fajitas for dinner. It’s not camping, but it’s something.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound steak, sliced
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder (I used california)
  • 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • half of an onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from half of an extremely juicy lime
  • zest of half of a lime
  • half of a large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • large drizzle of garlic olive oil

Marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

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Fry it up. Serve it up. Try to not pout about not camping with your sweetie.

I separated out the peppers and fried them first. It’s super important that you don’t overcook your steak, and if you separate out ingredients that cook at different rates, you can make sure that doesn’t happen.

I love my new old cast iron pan!

I love my new old cast iron pan!

 

 

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Beef Chile Colorado

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I decided to make this recipe after the kids were settled in last night, watching Lion King. I managed to finish it right about at 8, finish my homework, and get into bed around 9. Not too bad.

So, now as I wait for my pot of coffee to finish brewing and as the kids watch Mystery Incorporated, I am smelling the crock pot simmering away. The recipe was simple enough. Fry the meat, soak and blend the chilis, combine in a crock pot.Simple stuff.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pounds of meat (beef or pork)
  • 10 ancho chilis, stems and seeds removed
  • 5 guajillo peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic (I omitted due to the 2 T of granulated garlic)
  • 4 cups of stock and water
  • 2 T cumin
  • 2 T granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T Mexican oregano
  • Salt

Method:

Start by soaking the cleaned peppers in boiling water to cover for 40 minutes.

Season the meat with granulated garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Brown in small matches to ensure a good maillard reaction. Don’t worry about cooking all the way through. You just want a good sear.

Add the seared meat to a crock pot.  When the meat’s done, sauté the onion and add that to the pot.

Retrieve the softened peppers from the soaking liquid and add the peppers, 2 cups of stock, salt, and Mexican oregano to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Add the chili puree the meat and onion. Salt to taste and turn it on low. When is it done? I don’t know. Mine has been for about 11 hours now and I haven’t tasted it yet. Figure it out on your own and according to your own tastes.

Original Recipe.

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Out of Sorts Carnitas Enchiladas

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This weekend has been a roller coaster. Friday was great. I worked a half day and then Henry and I took the kids to my best friend’s house to play for a bit. We hadn’t had a chance up to that point to introduce her kiddos to ours and it was nice to finally see them together. The toddler (or turdler, as I have been calling him lately) was fussy, but we didn’t know he was sick. Yesterday, with the puke and tears–me trying to get homework done, learning how to co-parent a sick kid within a still new family unit–let’s just say it was a rough day.

Today, the turdler is better, but I’m feeling out of sorts. I’m starting to fret about work, about school, and about our upcoming, week-long trip to Washington. Laundry needs to be done. I need a shower. The best I can seem to do today is drink coffee, feel the breeze and sun through the screen door, and try to not be tearful.

The carnitas from yesterday are sitting in the fridge, waiting to be used. I am going to throw them into some corn tortillas and make enchiladas. I also made some tomato brown rice to go along with them.

Method is simple enough. Warmed tortillas, filled with carnitas and colby jack (what we had in the fridge), covered in El Pato enchilada sauce (my favorite) and bit more cheese on top. I will bake it at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour when the kids wake up from their naps.

The best part of these enchiladas will be how juicy they are. The beer and orange juice melded with bone marrow and other meat goodness to make a thick gelatin while the roast was cooking yesterday. That gelatin in the enchiladas will melt in the oven and impart it’s richness and juiciness, elevating these enchiladas to something pretty special.

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Pork Carnitas and a Spewing Toddler

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What. A. Day. Henry and I got up this morning with the kids and got us all ready to take a day trip to Silver Falls State Park. We packed a lunch, water, jackets, and the video camera and set out. During the drive, the toddler whined and fussed. We figured he just didn’t get enough sleep and that once he took a nap, he’d wake up and be his usual, sunny self. Wrong. 15 minutes away from Silver Falls and the toddler starts throwing up. Our executive decision is to turn around and drive home. The four year old was crestfallen.

What a disappointing day. More throw up, trying to explain to a four year old “patience” and “sacrifice,” laundering towels dripping with toddler barf…

So, I think to myself: Gee, Jenn…why don’t you make some pork carnitas? Yeah, normal thought progression, huh? Carnitas in the midst of tears and ruined carpets.

Here it is:

sage, cumin, salt, pepper, Mexican Oregano, New Mexico Chili Powder, several cloves of garlic, one onion, one pork shoulder (bone in, fat cap on), juice of a tangelo, 12 ounces or so of an amber ale. 350 degrees until it’s done.

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Chiles Rellenos con Camarónes, Chorizo, y Arroz

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I never thought I’d be looking to Guy Fieri for an idea on how to tie together shrimp, chorizo, and peppers. I knew I was going to stuff these peppers–but hadn’t figured out a way to tie it all together. So, I won’t say that I was inspired but he was able to practically put together the disparate parts swimming around in my brain. The boyfriend and I went kinda crazy at Winco today. Shrimp, chorizo, feta cheese, poblano peppers, eggplant… it’s going to be a busy cooking weekend.  My way of celebrating making it to spring break.

On to the stuffed peppers…

Here is the link to the Fieri recipe.

Deviations:

  • Using brown rice
  • Feta cheese–cotija would be more authentic, but I just like feta.
  • No wine used
  • Tomatoes used in the rice
  • Roasting the peppers, first, then sweating them and peeling the membrane off the outside
  • Not using jalapeno.
  • Using enchilada sauce

Ingredients:

  • tube of chorizo–oh, dear Lord, how I hate cooking with chorizo. It’s slimy, greasy, and doesn’t ever look quite right. But please give it a chance. I’m glad I did.
  • an onion
  • cumin
  • 1 pound of shrimp
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • feta cheese
  • lime
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Brown the chorizo as best as you can. It’s kind of a yucky process. I’m sorry. Drain it when it gets mostly cooked through. Add diced onion, diced tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Saute for a bit. Add one cup of brown rice and saute for a couple minutes.  Add chicken stock and cook rice until tender.

In the meantime, crank your oven up to nearly 500 degrees. Take four poblano peppers and set them directly on the rack. Turn them over with tongs every few minutes, until the the peppers are blistered and black.  Take the peppers, throw them in a bowl, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

Take your shrimp, douse them with lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.

When the rice is done, halve the shrimp and throw them in the rice. Turn the heat off and let the residual rice heat partially cook the shrimp. Add half of a crumbled block of feta cheese.

Take the peppers out of the bowl and peel the blistered skin from them. Cut a slit in them and rinse the seeds out under running water.

Grab a can of enchilada sauce. Spoon some in the bottom of a casserole dish. Take a spoon and carefully overstuff your peppers. Place them in the casserole dish and cover with the rest of the enchilada sauce. If you’d like, reserve a handful of shrimp, slice them in half and lay them on top of the stuffed peppers. Cover in the rest of the crumbled feta cheese.

Bake in the oven on 400 until done.

Serve with tortillas and beans.

Sunday Cooking: Mexican Chicken Soup

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Today, after drinking a few hot toddies to combat this cold, I made a Mexican chicken soup and a potato, spinach, and sausage casserole.  I’m usually not a casserole person, and I had intended to make biscuits and gravy, but I’m still pretty sick and a warm, cheesy casserole sounds really appetizing right now.

This soup is pretty similar to a soup recipe I posted a few months ago.  I don’t think the other soup had the roasted chicken.  I think it was a vegan or vegetarian version of this recipe, and perhaps it had rice.  I tend to rotate the same recipes with minor changes. The nice thing about soup is that you can substitute so many ingredients.  I have some carrots, spinach, and a sweet potato that would be just lovely in this recipe as well.

Mexican Chicken Soup:

  • juice of 2 limes
  • Mexican oregano
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • new mexico chili powder
  • three chicken breast halves (skin on and bone in)
  • garlic
  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • half of a small can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes, juices included
  • some frozen corn
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, diced

Method:

Marinate the chicken in lime juice and spices.  Roast in oven until done.  Shred.  Set aside. Saute onions, garlic, celery, zucchini, and bell pepper until soft.  Add chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, stock.  Corn. Season to taste.  Simmer until done.