Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas

Our blog guest is Norma and she is speaking to us on The Tastes of Mexico. This is her third appearance here on Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM). Link here to view the other blog posts with Norma and scroll to bottom of the page.

SRandM: So Norma, what do you have for us today?

Norma: I am going to show you how to make a really great Chicken Quesadilla.

SRandM: Awesome, let’s get started.

Norma: First of all, I would like to mention that wheat flour was brought here to the New World by Spain. From there the flour tortilla was made a new novelty in Mexico. Though, flour tortillas are only popular in Mexican dishes in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Also you can see these recipes in Tijuana and Rosarito.

Corn tortillas are commonly prepared with meat to make dishes such as tacos and enchiladas. Burritos on the other hand are made with flour tortillas as well quesadillas. These two latter dishes originated in northern Mexico, as I said before the flour tortilla is most popular there.

So now for the Chicken Quesadilla, here is what we will need.

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 small or ½ medium onion, finely minced

2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced

½ cup chicken broth or water

2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix*

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

8 10” flour tortillas

2 cups pre-cooked chicken, shredded (rotisserie works great)

2 cup shredded white cheese (Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped.

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced – optional

 

With these ingredients you will have enough to makes 4 Quesadillas. Also at the end of the post I have included the recipe for the seasoning mix.

 

Add the avocado oil and onion to a  large cold skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat until onion becomes translucent, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until it starts to turn brown. Add the chicken broth, taco seasoning and stir until dry ingredients are completely dissolved.

combine seasonings

Add shredded chicken to the pan and toss to coat in the seasonings. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until any excess moisture is absorbed.

seasoning chicken

Remove from heat and keep warm.

 

Place butter in a clean skillet and heat over medium-high heat until melted. Swirl until bottom of pan is thoroughly covered. Place one tortilla in pan. Top with ½ cup seasoned shredded chicken mixture and ½ cup shredded cheese. Add fresh cilantro and diced jalapeno peppers, if desired.

tortilla topped with chicken and cheese

Distribute ingredients evenly and place second tortilla on top. Carefully flip once the bottom tortilla turns golden brown.

Once both sides are browned and cheese is melted, remove from heat and slice into 8 wedges. Serve immediate with fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream or pico de gallo. You can even have them with a side of refried beans.

Plated Chicken Quesadillas

 

SRandM: Wow this looks delectable Norma. I am really hungry now, should we have some.

Norma: sure, why not.

SRandM: So what do you have for us next time Norma.

Norma: How about Classic Margaritas on the Rocks, and since watermelon seasoning is coming, I will make some Watermelon Aqua Fresca.

SRandM: How do you say Aqua Fresca in English Norma?

Norma: Oh yes, Aqua Fresca is fresh water.

SRandM: Great we look forward to that. To all our readers, we hope you return here tomorrow May. 7,2014  to see how Norma will prepare beverages from the Tastes of Mexico.

Link Here: Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

This recipe only takes a couple minutes to put together and costs less than buying pre-packaged taco seasoning. It also has less salt and no artificial additives or preservatives.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and shake well to combine. Use 2 – 3 tablespoons per pound of ground beef (use more or less according to individual taste preferences).

This recipe can also be made in larger batches. Store unused amounts in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Link Here for next post with Norma: Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

 

What Others are saying About Quesadillas and Mexican Food:

Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Norma has joined us again here at Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) to share more with us about the Tastes of Mexico (link here for previous post with Norma: Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference? ).

SRandM: So Norma, welcome again to Splendid Recipes and More.

Norma: Thank you. I am glad to be here again.

SRandM: I am really excited to get started, so tell us what you have for us today from Mexico.

Norma: I will be sharing a recipe on how to make Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa.

First I would like to tell you a little about the avocado, if I can?

SRandM: Sure Norma, I would like to know and I am sure our readers would too.

Norma: The avocado tree is native to Mexico. The avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America. The avocados that are sold in the markets are from California, but also from Mexico. The name of the fruit is Persea Americana, and yes the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Also the avocado oil that is now being sold at the markets in the U.S. is from Mexico as well.

OK, so let’s get with the recipe. Here is what you will need.

2 ripe Haas Avocados or Avocados from Mexico

1 medium ripe fresh tomato, seeded and diced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Juice from a fresh Lime

1 tablespoon (+ extra for garnish) fresh cilantro leaves only, and stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

So with a sharp knife, slice the avocado from top to bottom, cutting all the way around the fruit.  Place the avocado in the palm of your non-dominant hand and gently starting at the top slice down to the bottom of the fruit and up the other side until it easily separates into two pieces.

SRandM: If you don’t mind Norma here is an image I got from theamazingavocado.com.

Norma: No, please share it. Yes, as the image is illustrating remove the seed with a fork or spoon. Or as I do just whack the seed with the sharp knife your using so the blade sticks into it. Then gently turn the knife until the seed pops out.

How to cut an Avocado

Image Credit: Avocados from Mexico http://www.theamazingavocado.com

diced avocadoNow to dice the avocado, score the flesh while still in its skin but cutting equally sized slices from top to bottom. Then, rotate 90 degrees and do the same thing going side to side. This combination of horizontal and vertical cuts will give you equal sized chunks of diced avocado.

To remove the diced fruit from the skin, take yourself a spoon and gently scrape all on the bottom of the flesh where it meets the skin until all your diced chunks are removed. While you are removing the chunks place them in a medium bowl.

Next we will add the diced tomato, minced garlic, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the bowl and combine with a fork. If you want season with salt, pepper and additional lime juice to your liking.

Now you have Homemade Guacamole to serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or on its own with corn tortilla chips.Homemade Guacamole

SRandM: Wow this looks great Norma, now what about my favorite, Mexican Salsa. Yummy.

Norma: The traditional Mexican Salsa is made with an authentic Mexican Molcajete Mortar and Pestle.

SRandM: The molcajete is made from stone?

Norma: Yes, mostly from Granite. But I am sure most of your readers do not own one, so we will be using a food processor or blender to make our Mexican Salsa.

SRandM: If someone wanted to purchase one, where could they get a stone mortar?

Norma: Will at your local Latina Market or on-line at Ebay or Amazon. OK here is what you will need for the salsa. Oh, first I would like to say the best time to make this recipe is at the height of summer when there are plenty of fresh tomatoes available. If you have your own vegetable garden, that’s even better.

fresh ingredients for Mexican Salsa4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and seeded

2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled

Juice from 1 fresh lime (about ¼ cup)

1 – 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

SRandM: Wow I can already taste it.

Norma: OK hold on we’re not done yet. Now cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them into a blender or food processor.  Next add the garlic cloves and half the lime juice. Pulse until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Dice the remaining tomato into evenly sized small pieces. Stir into the tomato mixture so it creates a chunkier texture. If that is something you don’t like, don’t add the extra tomato. Next stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro and you can adjust this according to your personal preference or taste.

Mexican SalsaAdd the remaining lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

SRandM: What if you want a spicy or hot salsa?

Norma: You can add one to two Serrano chilies without the seeds and stem, along with the tomatoes before pulsing. Now serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or by itself with tortilla chips.

SRandM: Wow this was great Norma. What will you share with us next time?

Norma: How about Chicken Quesadillas to go with the Guacamole and Mexican Salsa?

SRandM: That sounds good, looking forward to it Norma. So to our readers we hope you enjoy the recipes Norma shared with us, Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa. Return tomorrow for her Chicken Quesadillas.

 Link to: Chicken Quesadillas

What Others are Saying About Guacamole and Salsa:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference?

Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference?

 

Today we have a guest blog speaker who is a native Mexican who will speak to us on the Tastes of Mexico.  Our guest speaker is Norma and the owner of Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) is interviewing her.

SRandM: So how are you Norma?

Norma: Fine thank you. I just want to say I am excited to be a guest on Splendid Recipes and More. You have a lot of great recipes posted here on your blog. I had seen a few Mexican dishes as well.

SRandM: Will thank you Norma and I am glad you could speak with us. So Norma were in Mexico are you from?

playas de RosaritoNorma: I was born in the Mexican state of Baja California North, in a small beach town called Palayas de  Rosirito.

SRandM: Exactly where is Rosarito?

Norma: Across the border from San Diego, California. When you cross the border you come into Tijuana first, and Rosarito is about 20 minutes from Tijuana going south.

SRandM: So you told me you immigrated to the U.S. in 1992 and have been an American citizen since 2004?

Norma: Yes that is correct.

SRandM: What do you think about the Mexican food that is made here in the States?

Norma: For the most part it is authentic. But many Americans for their love of the Mexican food have made their own recipes using the ingredients we use in Mexico, and call it a Mexican dish. Such as New Mexico, they make enchiladas as we do in Mexico, but they use flour tortillas, and the Mexicans use corn tortillas. Some people have even made enchiladas, casserole style calling it an Enchilada pie, which is not authentic Mexican.

SRandM: Yes I understand. What do you think about the variations in Texas? Is Mexican food and Tex-Mex the same?

Before Norma answers our question, have you ever wondered what the difference is between authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex food? If you look around online, you’ll find plenty of debate over which style of theorizing cooking is better. Some “traditionalists” even question if Tex-Mex is a legitimate form of American cuisine.

No matter where the debate leads, Tex-Mex has earned its place on the American table. Still, that doesn’t answer how Tex-Mex differs from authentic Mexican food.  So let’s allow Norma to answer that.

Norma: Will here’s a little history. The roots of Tex-Mex cuisine trace back to the Spanish. The Spanish missionaries brought their recipes to Texas, and when they left the area in the 1700s, the natives of the region had already assimilated portions of their cooking culture into their own.

chili con carneAlong with this influence, early colonization of Texas also included other cultures. For example, individuals from the Canary Islands brought a different flavor palate with them, which included cumin, garlic, and chili powder. These flavors now form the foundation for the Tex-Mex favorite, chili con carne.

SRandM: So chili con carne is not an authentic Mexican dish?

Norma: No, chili or ground meat with beans and the use of spicy peppers are a Western frontier dish.

This blending of outside cultures with Mexican farm food and Texas ranch food is evident in many other modern Tex-Mex dishes.

One example that comes to mind is the use of beef. You will find a lot more beef in Tex-Mex recipes than in traditional Mexican dishes. Even though beef cattle could be found in Mexico, grasslands were overgrazed and herds were scarce.

SRandM: What types of meat are most popular then, in authentic Mexican cooking?

Norma: Pork, turkeys, wild fowl, chicken, and seafood were more available to the average Mexican household, and as a result, these ingredients were used and are used today in Mexican dishes, with the exception of turkey. You won’t find that at all in any Mexican dish.

SRandM: I guess since beef cattle have long been a staple in Texas, it would make sense that beef plays a more pre-dominate role in Tex-Mex recipes.

Norma: That is correct.

SRandMore: What other foods are used in authentic Mexican dishes?

Norma: Will before trade and commerce exploded in Mexico, beans, corn, and rice formed the basis for many meals. As Mexican people moved north, these foods found their way onto the plates of many households in Texas.

In return, Texans introduced Mexican cooks to more plentiful milk and cheese, in addition to beef. This blending of cultures and cuisine created excitement, especially during the 1940s and 1950s as the borders between the two countries became more open.

 Los Pesos Tex MexSRandM: So could it be correct to say it was around that time when the term ‘Tex-Mex’ was coined?

Norma: Yes, and was proudly used to describe Mexican dishes adapted by Texan cooks. But I will say as the years passed, the recipes lost much of their heritage.

SRandM: How so?

Norma: Will by the 1970s, many Tex-Mex dishes were almost completely revamped into unrecognizable concoctions that are not authentic Mexican dishes.

SRandMore: Such as?

Norma: Will, like Chimichangas, cheese nachos, just to name a few is Tex-Mex cuisine inventions.

Much of what we know as Tex-Mex today can be traced in part to the fast food franchise explosion which introduced “Mexican” food to most Americans.

The menus you typically see featured in these restaurants have pre-made taco shells which house a variety of ingredients buried under piles of cheese and sauces.  Though these restaurants will give a general nod to a “south of the border” flavor, their menus really have little in common with authentic Mexican food.

Another fact I find funny, is restaurants that have popped up all over America make the claim to serve only “authentic” Mexican food, when they are actually making a stab at Tex-Mex.

SRandM: So do you feel Tex-Mex has stolen the spot light from the real thing?

Norma: Will when it comes down to deciding which is best – authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine – I really can’t find a right or wrong answer to your question.

All you can do is compare and decide for yourself which you prefer. There are many cookbooks available for both Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisines to see what appeals to you. You can also visit authentic local restaurants to try for yourself.


NachosSRandM:
Will that is all the time we have today Norma. Tell our readers what recipes you will be presenting in the next post?

Norma: I thought I would prepare some authentic Guacamole and Real Mexican salsa, a couple of great condiments that pair well with lots of Mexican dishes.

SRandM: We look for to that Norma. So to our readers, return here to Splendid Recipes and More for some authentic recipes that will be prepared by Norma, which is: Homemade Guacamole and Fresh Mexican Salsa.

Link to: Homemade Guacamole and Fresh Mexican Salsa

Image credits:

Chili con carne    

Palayas de Rosarito

Los Pesos Tex-Mex

Clip art of Nachos and Taco

What Others are Saying About Mexican and Tex-Mex food:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mexican Huevos Divorciados

Huevos Divorciados

Mexican cuisine is a mix of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The basic food ingredients remain the same, or what is native to the culture, such as corn, beans and chili peppers, but the Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, which were meat from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese) and various herbs and spices.

With the introduction of the chicken, came the egg and in turn the modern day breakfast that is called Huevos divorciados, which  is Spanish for divorced eggs. It’s a breakfast mostly found in Mexico City and features two fried eggs separated by a column of refried beans. In some homes of Mexico they will replace the beans with chilaquiles. Typically, one egg is covered in salsa roja or red salsa, while the other is covered in salsa verde or green salsa.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe:

½ cup avocado oil – smoke point 500 degrees- (you can use vegetable oil, but is high in omega-6 which is inflammation causing to the body, olive oil has a low smoke point -350 degrees-)

2 corn tortillas

2 large eggs

¼ cup green salsa

¼ cup red salsa

½ cup pinto or black beans, cooked

step by step Huevos Devorciados

Place a small frying pan on medium high and heat oil. With a pair of cooking tongs dip tortillas one at a time to fry, but not crisp; about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Allow oil to drip off and place onto plate. Allow tortillas to overlap each other.

Remove all but a small amount of oil from pan. Return pan to heat and crack both eggs into pan. Place lid over eggs and cook sunny side up style; about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn eggs onto tortillas, making sure egg is lying in center.

Next spoon beans over top of eggs, also centering the beans over the eggs. On one side of the beans, spoon on the red salsa. Next spoon the green salsa on the other side.

Recipe is for 1 swerving. Follow the instructions doubling ingredients to serve 2.

 

What Others are Saying about Eggs and Mexican Breakfast Ideas:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Traditional Mexican Sopes

Traditional Mexican sope header

The traditional sope is a recipe from Mexico. Through out Mexico (depending on the reign) sopes are prepared, using local ingredients and adding salsas and toppings, resulting in great regional variety.

The distinctive characteristic of the sope is the pinched sides. Though there are also flat sopes resembling a thick tortilla or a tostada. The most common variation of the sope involves simply adding meat, the most common being chicken and is known as the  “sope de pollo”. In the northern regions of Mexico, sopes are often prepared without vegetables, and substituting meat for black beans.

Here is our version of the Traditional Mexican Sope and what you will need:

For the base you will need

1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

2 cup masa (corn) flour (you can find this in the Latin section of your market or a local Latin Market)

1 cup warm water

kneading flour, corn masa and water together

Place flour and masa in large bowl, and mix together. Make a well in center of flour mix and gradually add water, kneading until smooth.

Form dough into small balls

Form dough into 16 small balls.

mexican tortilla press

With a Mexican tortilla press, place one ball of dough at a time between two pieces of waxed paper and press into 3-inch round patty. If you don’t have a press, use a pie pin roller, placing one ball of dough at a time between two pieces of waxed paper, rolling pie pin over ball into a 3-inch round patty.

cooking sopes in avocado oil

Next, add oil to a large skillet over medium-high and heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Cook patties for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown, adding additional oil as needed to prevent sticking.

pinching sides of sopes

Allow sopes to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Next place fingers of both hands on patty, with fingers on the patty and the thumbs on the edge. With a circular motion, pinch the edges of the patty up ¼ inch.

 

Now for the toppings:

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, warmed

1/8 cup avocado oil

8 oz. mild salsa

2 cups shredded green lettuce or dark greens

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced

1 cup sour cream

1 cup crumbled Mexican Cotija cheese

smashing black beans

Place black beans in a heated medium skillet. Heat beans thoroughly. Place heated beans into a large bowl and while hot smash beans with a potato smasher or equivalent.

traditional topping for Mexican Sopes

Prepare the other toppings according to ingredient, amount and preparation above. The image shows a bowl of radishes. I just love to eat radishes with my Mexican meals. when I lived in Mexico, I always bought hand tacos at local taco stands. While you were waiting you could munch on prepared vegetables they had sitting out, and radishes was one of them.

Top each sope  first with black beans

Now, top each sope with black beans.

Traditional Mexican Sopes

Add the other toppings in this order: lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, salsa, Cotija, avocado slice, and more salsa if desired.  ! Buen Provecho! That’s Spanish for Enjoy!

 

What Others are Saying About Mexican Sopes and Food:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Anti-Pasta International Lasagna

Anti-Pasta Asian Lasagna

If you like Italian Food or Anti-pasta Italian Food…then you came to the right place.

I called this recipe an International Lasagna as food items from other cultures were added in. Like goat cheese from the Mediterranean, sesame seeds and oil, including soy sauce and fresh ginger from Asian cooking. Not to forget tortillas from the Mexican cuisine. Though we did use 100% whole wheat tortillas.

Here is what you will need:

First though preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.

ingredients for Anti Pasta Asian Lasagna

1 tbsp. honey

3 tbsp. molasses

3 tbsp. sesame seeds

3 tbsp. sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 -14 oz. cans stewed tomatoes

Mix together in a small bowl: honey, molasses, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger and sesame seeds. Set aside.

ingredients for Oriental Chicken Wraps

This is an image from another recipe, so ignore the peanut sauce on the cutting board. But you can check out that Splendid Recipe here: Oriental Chicken Wraps 

But you will need the following:

1 cup frozen string green beans

1 cup frozen mix peas and carrots

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 large breast chicken, cooked and cut into small chunks

2 green onions, diced

1 cup chicken broth, no salt added

6 (7-8 inches) whole wheat tortillas

2 – 6 oz. can tomato sauce

Cook rice according to package instructions with 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup water. When rice is done add the diced onions and frozen vegetables and simmer 2 to 3 minutes allowing frozen vegetables to thaw and warm up. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cut up chicken breast in small chunks and mix in with rice mixture along with the honey mixture and one 6 oz. of tomato sauce till all mixtures are well incorporated. Set aside.

Next take your stewed tomatoes and pour them into a strainer and strain off liquid. Put the tomatoes into a food processor and puree them.

preparing Anit Pasta Asian Lasagna 1

Take a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour 1/4 cup of the pureed tomatoes and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Place two whole wheat tortillas over the sauce.

preparing Anit Pasat Asian Lasagna 2

Now pour 2 cups of the meat mixture over the tortillas. Spread a hand full of the two cheese(goat cheese and mixed Italian cheeses)over the meat mixture. Repeat this process two more times. Top with one 6 oz. tomato sauce and cheese. Place the prepared pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Plate and serve.

Anti-Pasta Asian Lasagna (2)

Anti-Pasta International Lasagna served with a cool glass of lemon-ginger juice.

What Others are doing with Lasagna

Enhanced by Zemanta

Capirotada – Mexican Bread Pudding

Capirotada Mexican Bread Pudding close up

Most Mexican desserts are not extremely sweet. Capirotada is a traditional and popular Latin dessert, but it can be served any time, especially when you have some nice crusty bread that needs to be used.

The following recipe is my wife’s way of making Capirotada, and yes she was born and raised in Mexico. So this is an authentic recipe. I don’t have any step by step images to show, as I was not at home when she made this. So all I have is the finished product or food creation.

Capirotada

1 quart whole milk
3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 whole clove
3 or 4 large piloncillos *
1 loaf french bread, hard/stale, torn or cut  into 1-inch cubes**
3 bananas, sliced***
1 cup cranberries^
1/2 cup chopped dates

1 cup whole dried prunes, preferable small prunes
1 cup mixed or your choice: peanuts, pine nuts, cashews, pecans, chopped almonds
1/2 pound cubed or shredded cheese, Monterrey Jack

* Piloncillos are cone shaped pieces of raw cane sugar. You can find them at your local market in the produce section or Latin foods section

** In Mexico the traditional bread to use is called bolillo rolls, which can be found at your local Latin market or in your local bakeries

*** optional to use 3 apples (peeled, cored, and sliced) in place of bananas. The preferred apples to use are ones you bake with. Reference our post In the Kitchen 101 to see which apples are used for baking.

^ option to use raisins

Instructions for preparing the Capirotada

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a medium-size baking dish.

Boil the milk, cinnamon sticks, clove, and piloncillo together until a syrup forms; set aside.

In the prepared baking dish, place a layer of cubed bread pieces. Cover with a layer of the banana and prunes. Sprinkle some of the cranberries, chopped dates, nuts, and some shredded cheese over the top. Repeat layers until all the ingredients (except the syrup) are used.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and clove from syrup and pour the syrup over the top of the dry ingredients. Bake for about 30 minutes; remove from oven.

Cool slightly, then spoon onto plates and serve warm. Some people also like it cold. Store left overs, if any in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Enjoy!!

Capirotada Mexican Bread Pudding in baking dish

Capirotada – Mexican Bread Pudding 

Capirotada Mexican Bread Pudding served

Try our other bread pudding from Splendid Recipes: Blueberry Pear and White Chocolate Bread Pudding

How Other are Preparing Bread Pudding

Enhanced by Zemanta

Different Ways to Organize Your Spice Cabinet

Organizing the Spice Cabinet

Spices are the main attraction of a food preparer’s kitchen as spices are used for all types of foods, from baking, cooking, broiling and barbequing. Spices are even used to make teas, like Spiced Chai tea.

Organizing your spice cabinet according to the way you cook would ensure the spices are always at hand or easily available. Your cooking will also improve with your spices easily at hand and wasting no time sorting through the cabinet looking for the right spice.

When acquiring new spices already in their own packaging or buying in bulk and you adding them to spice jars, it is best to write the purchase date on them so you know when it’s time to go and buy some fresh spices. The rule of thumb to stock fresh spices is every 6 months.

You should clean and organize your cabinet biannually, which is every six months. Dried spices hold their flavor as long as they are stored in the dark, no humidity and not next to or above the stove. Heat from the stove will only cause the spices to expire faster, as well as humidity.

To maximize your cabinet space, why not store your spices in similar shaped containers that match and coordinate. If you decide to do this, you can buy from 2 to 6 ounce spice jars at your local market that sells bulk spice or at the local organic markets. I did that and paid $1.99 each. They have plastic lids and shaker top and they are a glass jar. They have no labels though. But not to worry just link here Martha Stewart Spice Labels and download her free spice jar label template. There are 25 assorted labels with the spice name already printed on them, like cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, etc., with additional blank labels. Print out the template onto 8 1/2 x 11 card stock or self-adhesive paper.

Different Ways to Organize

Type of Meal

What sorts of meals do you make often? The spices you use for these meals can be organized in one section. Arrange barbeque spices and rubs in one section, and sweet spices for baking in another section.

This method of organization will help you to easily grab all of the spices needed to prepare the recipes that are popular and made most often in your kitchen.

Alphabetically

If you are the type of cook who doesn’t make the same recipe twice, then organize your spices alphabetically to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. Your spices should be stored in such a way that you can easily see all of the jars with their labels facing forward as well.

Country

Are you the type of recipe creator that likes to prepare meals of different countries? Like Indian food, or Mexican food and even yet Italian food?

Then organize the spices according to the area they originate from as your guide. If you decide to use the Martha Stewart spice template, just mark the country of origin.

As an example: If you like cooking Mexican food, then when you label the paprika, cumin, oregano or any other spice related to that type of food, below the spice name pencil or pen in “Mexico”. This way when you return the spices to the cabinet, they stay grouped together.

Do you have a way you organize your spice cabinet? Leave us your idea in the comment section so other readers can know about your organizational spice cabinet ideas. Thanks!!

Image credit: ronyzmbow / 123RF Stock Photo

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fresh Mexican Salsa

Fresh Mexican Salsa

Salsa is good nutrition and a condiment . The tomatoes, provide Vitamin C and significant amounts of Vitamins A and B which includes niacin, and riboflavin. The minerals to consider are magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, chromium, and foliate.

Chilies play a prominent role in Mexican cuisine and there is much more to them than just being hot or spicy to the palate. They contain anti-oxidants and are high in vitamin C, B-6 and other trace minerals.  Chilies naturally raise metabolic rate. Its active ingredient, capsaicin, generates heat and also increase heart rate when consumed, both of which help to burn calories. Medical studies done with capsaicin  using red bell peppers and chilies, reported that capsaicin can suppress the appetite.

The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite, the prevention of atherosclerosis, the treatments of coughs, colds, asthma and bronchitis. To finish it off, limes or lemons have high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, potassium, folic acid and flavonoids.

Salsa is a meal in itself with all that nutrition. Enjoy the video!!

Fresh Mexican Salsa

5 red tomatoes chopped, medium sized

½ medium yellow onion, diced

3 Serrano peppers, diced

½ cup cilantro, chopped

¼ cup lemon juice

Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and Serrano peppers (leave ribs for a mildly hotter salsa, if not remove ribs as well). Chop and dice the onion, tomato and peppers. Mix in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and mix in until well incorporated. Fill two mason jars and store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Enjoy with tortilla chips or any Mexican meal.

What Others Are Reading About:

Enhanced by Zemanta