Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mexican food

Mexican food.  I love it.  I love going to Mexican restaurants, but these days eating out with a two-year-old is...well, not so we prepare our own at home, and we've found a few things we come back to time and time again.  Here are just a few...

Guacamole!  If you have a Cantina Laredo in your area, you probably know how delish and sinful their made-at-tableside guacamole is!  Last time we ate there, I came home and googled for the recipe...came up with lots of answers and picked the one that seemed the closest.  It is super-easy to make...we tweaked it to our liking, so I'll give you the recipe, plus our changes.
"Wish I was" Cantina Laredo Fresh Guacamole:

2 Haas avocado (dark green and a little soft)
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 piece of a small purple onion, chopped very fine
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper (I use 1/4 or even less)
Fresh Lime juice (bottled is fine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 T. fresh cilantro chopped (fresh is BEST, dried is okay if fresh is not avail)
sprinkle of garlic powder

First, squeeze about 2 T. fresh lime juice into a bowl.  Add your salt, pepper, garlic powder and mix.  Add avocado, jalapeno, tomato, onion, and cilantro.  Serve immediately with warm tortilla chips.  (You can buy "restaurant syle" chips and heat them in the microwave to really feel like you are out to eat!)

Homemade Salsa

This recipe came from my friend Jamie Hejl...this salsa is a crowd pleaser!  Or make it and keep it in the fridge for just your family...a treat that will last several days!

28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Good Seasons Zesty Italian dry dressing mix 
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 jalepenos, seeded and chopped (adjust for desired heat)

I usually put the onion in my food processor to chop it, then I add all the other items and pulse it until it's the consistency I like. You may have to blend and pulse in 2 batches.
The longer it sits, the better it tastes.  I always aim for at least 4 hours ahead of time.  Enjoy!!!!

Chicken Fajita Marinade

Our favorite fajita marinade by far...the flavor is great, and it's relatively healthy.

1/4 cup beer (not lite beer)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (bottled is fine)
1 T. olive or canola oil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed (fresh is best...get you a garlic press my friend!)
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced fresh cilantro (dry is fine)
1/2 t. ground cumin
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Pour marinade over chicken in shallow container or heavy ziploc bag.  Refrigerate 1 to 3 hours.  

Makes enough for 1 to 1-1/2 lbs chicken.  (4 servings)

Chicken is best grilled outside, but in the winter, bake it at about 325 degrees on a roasting pan that has a foiled lined tray underneath to catch the juice.  Bake about 45 min or so.  

Fajita fixins:

Tortillas fajita size
Guacamole...recipe above
Sauteed onion, green pepper, and mushrooms...saute' in a little preheated oil and shake with cumin and a pinch of salt til veggies are tender
Fresh shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream (light is still good)
Salsa...above recipe or your favorite bottled salsa

Side items:

We love refried or black beans with our fajitas.  Switch it up for variety...for the refried beans, buy the canned refried beans on Mexican aisle, add a little water to desired consistency over low heat.  Add some shredded MJ cheese to make it extra yummy.

Black beans...pour into saucepan and add cumin, salt and pepper to taste and a little water and over low heat, let them simmer.  Top with a dollup of sour cream when serving.

Now THAT is a fun night eatin' at home!

For another twist, use your leftovers to make quesadillas the next day.  Butter your skillet...arrange your filling on one tortilla, then top it with another.  Put in hot skillet and butter your top tortilla.  When cheese begins to melt, flip it to lightly brown both sides.

1 comment:

FrouFrouBritches said...

We have similar guac recipes, only mine is the tableside from Cozymel's. I still haven't been to Cantina Laredo, but I've heard it's great! Can't wait to try your salsa recipe. I've never been successful with salsa.