Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I have been making this salsa recipe for years and it seems to be ever-evolving, as I like to experiment with different peppers, roasting, and variations, but this is my favorite salsa. It is inspired by my friend Silvia's salsa (which is a secret recipe) but I have tweaked it enough that I feel comfortable sharing this recipe with you all. I like to roast all my veggies so it adds a bit of smoky flavor to the dish, and what I've been doing recently is using more peppers, but removing all the seeds and ribs so it's not too spicy. I hope you enjoy this as much as my friends and I do!


1/2 Sweet Onion, skin removed and cut into two thick slices
2 Roma Tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
2 Jalapeno Peppers, stemmed seeded and ribs removed
1 Serrano Pepper, stemmed seeded and ribs removed
1 Poblano Pepper, stemmed seeded and ribs removed
1 Large Clove Garlic
1/2 Bunch Cilantro
28 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin

Turn broiler on high to pre-heat. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and place onion, tomaotes and all peppers skin side up on tray. Broil until peppers are blackened and onion and tomato are slightly charred. Place roasted veggies into the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and pulse until just chopped up. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well chopped. Add more salt if necessary, enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mole Verde

This recipe is a lot of work, but well worth it. I love the rich flavor of the mole sauce and it is different than anything I have ever tasted. The main base of the mole sauce is pumpkin seeds, which is unusual, but they give a lot of flavor to the dish. You can find raw pumpkin seeds at your Whole Foods market or you can order them online. I think this would also be really yummy with pork, but it's traditionally served with chicken. For a side dish I made my Spanish Rice (except I added black beans instead of peas) and then of course I had to make salsa and guacamole to go along with it.
This recipe is from the book "Authentic Mexican" by Rick Bayless (a must have for those of you who like traditional Mexican food!)

Mole Verde

1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds, hulled and unroasted
13 Ounce Can Tomatillos, drained
3 Serrano Chilies, seeded
5 Large Romaine Lettuce Leaves
1/2 Medium Onion, roughly chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Large Sprigs Fresh Cilantro
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
6 Black Peppercorns
3/4 Inch Cinnamon Stick
2 Cloves
1 1/2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt


4 Chicken Breasts, bone in
1 Small Onion
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Start by cooking the chicken: Bring 6 cups water and the salt to a boil in a large saucepan with the diced onion. Add the chicken breasts, skim off any grayish foam that rises during the first minute of simmering, partially cover and simmer over medium heat for about 12 minutes, until the breasts are barely done. Let chicken cool in the broth. Remove, strain the broth, then spoon off all the fat that rises to the top.
Mole: Heat a medium skillet over medium-low for several minutes, then pour in the pumpkin seeds in a single layer. When the first one pops, stir them constantly for 4-5 minutes, until all have toasted and popped. Cool completely. In batches, pulverize the seeds in a spice grinder. sift through a medium-mesh sieve, then stir in 1 cup of the broth.
Drain canned tomatillos and place in the blender or food processor with the raw chiles. Tear the lettuce leaves into rough pieces and add to the tomatillows along with the onion,garlic and cilantro. Pulverize the spices in a mortar or spice grinder, add to the blender then process until smooth.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium. When hot, add the pumpkin seed broth mixture and stir constantly as it thickens and darkens, 4-5 minutes. Add the vegetable puree and stir a few minutes longer, until very thick.
Stir in 2 cup of the chicken broth, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Season with the salt and, if necessary, thin to a light consistency with a little broth.
Just before serving, add the chkicken to the simmering sauce. When heated through, remove the breasts to a warm serving platter, spoon the sauce over them and garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

I'm laughing a little bit right now because I am realizing how many chicken recipes I've been making lately...I guess I'm on a chicken craving or something! At least I mix it up a bit and make different versions, so it doesn't really count-right?
I made a batch of my yummy Tomato Meat Sauce and the thoughts of it on plain pasta for left-overs just didn't sound too good so I decided to mix it up a bit and make chicken parmesan. This is such a sinful dish because you bread and fry the chicken and then top it off with melted cheese, but it sure is tasty! I just wouldn't recommend it very often:) I did do a small side of pasta and some mixed greens sauteed with butter and garlic, so it was a little balanced.

Chicken Parmesan

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Batch Tomato Meat Sauce (or 1 jar of your favorite store bought pasta sauce)
2 Eggs
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese

Start by heating up the pasta sauce and keep warm on the stove. Next to prepare the chicken place one breast in a large zip lock bag and pound to 1/2 inch thickness, do the same with the second chicken breast. Next break the eggs and beat on a large plate or dish, set aside. For the breading combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on another large plate. Coat the chicken breasts with the eggs and then dredge in the bread crumb mixture pressing to coat evenly. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium high heat, place chicken in oil and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes and flip and cook other side until golden brown, another 3-4 minutes, then drain on a paper towel for a minute.
Next turn your broiler on high. Place the chiken breasts on a heavy baking sheet, spoon enough pasta sauce over the chicken to coat, then sprinkle with the mozzarell cheese. Place in the oven and broil until cheese is melted and starts to turn golden, just a minute or two. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

There is nothing better than a good chicken enchilada, at least I think so. I was wanting a quick Mexican dinner and decided to whip up a batch of chicken enchiladas. I did cheat a little bit, actually quite a bit, but who cares, right? I started off with a rotisserie chicken, so I wouldn't have to cook my own chicken and used store bought enchilada sauce instead of making my own. They turned out pretty darn good if you ask me! They literally took 20 minutes to assemble and a few minutes in the oven so it's a great week night meal.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 Rotisserie Chicken, skinned and shredded
1 28 Ounce Can Enchilada Sauce
1 13 Ounce Can Enchilada Sauce
12-14 Corn Tortillas
8 Ounce Package Cotija Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. To make the enchiladas, start by mixing the shredded chicken with the small can of enchilada sauce, set aside. Crumble the Cotija cheese and set aside and coat the bottom of a 9x12 baking dish with enchilada sauce.

Spoon a good amount of the chicken into the tortilla and top with a bit of the Cotija cheese, fold edges in to cover and place seam-side down into the baking dish.

Continue with the rest of the tortillas until pan is full. Now pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas to cover evenly. sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until hot an bubbly, about 30 minutes or so. Serve immediately.