FIVE FAVORITE MEXICAN RECIPES
LATINOPIA offers five popular Mexican entree recipes. The first of many to come.
One dozen corn tortillas
One or two chicken breasts (shredded)
One cup chopped green onion
One cup sliced olives
One package (16 ounce) shredded Jack or Mexican cheese
One large can (28 ounce) of green enchilada sauce
One medium container (16 ounce) sour cream
One small can (8 ounce) of canned green chiles or
four freshly roasted green chiles
½ cup corn or vegetable oil
Add corn oil to a ten-inch frying pan. Bring to medium heat. Once the oil is throughly heated, place one corn tortilla in the frying pan and allow tortilla to cook in oil for about 15 to 20 seconds on each side. Make sure not to overcook the tortilla. It should be soft and not crisp. Remove the tortilla and set aside, removing excess oil by dabbing with paper towel. Repeat for all dozen tortillas. If you don’t cook the tortillas in oil, they will break and come apart when you start wrapping ingredients in them. This process allows them to remain soft and pliable. Be sure to dab off excess oil.
Cover the bottom of a 7 X 11 inch rectangular casserole dish with an 1/8 of an inch of enchilada sauce. You can use either red or green sauce as you prefer. Take one of the tortillas and place in the casserole dish, making sure it is completely covered with enchilada sauce.
Add a small amount of chicken, a small portion of shredded cheese, a teaspoon of sour cream, a sprinkle of green
onions and olive slices into the tortilla. Wrap the tortilla around the ingredients and line up tortilla along side of casserole dish, making sure to keep the tortilla soaked in enchilada sauce. Since you’re going to wrap twelve tortillas, you should gauge the portions of chicken, cheese, sour cream, onions and olives to last for twelve tortillas, saving a small portion of cheese, onions and olives for garnish at the end.
Fill up the remaining tortillas with ingredients, stacking the curled tortillas along side of each other until they completely fill the casserole. Usually ten tortillas, side by side, will fill up the casserole lengthwise, you can add the other two tortillas on either side of the stacked tortillas.
Pour remainder of enchilada sauce over the wrapped tortillas. Lay out four slices of green chile over casserole, sprinkle the remaining cheese, onions and olives over the dish. Cook in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Dish serves four to six people.
Note: An interesting vegetarian variant is to replace the chicken breast with spinach and mushrooms sauteed in garlic and onions. Don’t forget a little salt and pepper. Tasty!
1 cup long grain rice
½ chopped green onion
2-4 ounces of tomato sauce
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon olive oil
In a measuring cup, add two to four ounces of tomato sauce to one cup of water and set aside. Chop one half green onion and set aside.
Coat an eight-inch frying pan with olive oil and introduce a cup of long grain rice. Saute the rice over low heat, turning constantly so that HALF of the rice is slightly browned but not burned. This will take not more than four or five minutes. Once the rice has browned, slowly add the water and tomato sauce mixture. Be careful as the cold water will cause the rice
to bubble and steam up. Now take the rice and water combination and pour into a quart size pot. Add one more cup of water to the pot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and ½ teaspoon of oregano flakes. Add diced green onions. Cover the rice and cook over low flame for 25 minutes. DO NOT uncover the rice every five minutes to
peek and see how it is doing. After 25 minutes, check the rice. It should be fluffy with the green onions having floated to the top of the rice. A favorite variation is to add a quarter cup of chopped carrots (pre-cooked) and/or a quarter cup of green peas. This recipe will serve four
CHORIZO, AVOCADO & TOMATO SCRAMBLE
1/4 chorizo sausage
1/4 to ½ chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shredded Jack or Mexican cheese
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Chop garlic clove and onions and set aside. Peel avocado, dice and sit aside. Dice tomato and cilantro and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a ten inch frying pan with olive oil. Introduce the chopped onion, garlic and chorizo and cook under low heat for five minutes or until chorizo is done. Use a paper towel to drain the pan of excess chorizo grease. Flavor with salt and pepper to taste. Add three to four beaten eggs (to taste) and allow to cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Now add the diced avocado and tomato. Scramble the chorizo, eggs,
avocado and tomatoes together. Cook for another three to four minutes. Take off the stove and add cheese and cilantro. This scrumptious recipe serves four people. Some people prefer less onion, avocado or tomato, so after a few tries you will find the right combination for your palette. Enjoy!
GREEN CHILE HALIBUT BAKE
Two 5-6 ounce halibut fillets
Two leek stalks
Four medium sized tomatoes or 20 cherry tomatoes
One medium sized pear
Four to six roasted New Mexico Green chiles
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup mashed Fritos corn chips
1/3 cup mashed white or wheat toast
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile peppers (dried)
Cut two leek stalks into thin (1/8 inch) slices, set aside. Cut twenty cherry tomatoes in half (or cut four medium size tomatoes into thin slices) and set aside. Slice pear into thin slices and set aside. Layer the bottom of a 7 X 11 inch casserole dish first with a bed of Leek slices, then tomatoes, then pear slices. Add layer of green chile slices. Add vegetable broth. On top of this place two halibut steaks, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl add 1/3 cup finely smashed Frito corn chips, 1/3 cup finely smashed
toast, and 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle in the crushed red chile peppers flakes and mix throughly. Pour the mixture over the halibut fillets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Serves two. To serve, use a spatula to lift the halibut steak off the casserole, making sure to include plenty of the leek, tomatoes, green chile and pears. The sweetness of the pear offsets the hotness of the green chile and crushed red chile flakes in the halibut dressing. A less spicy version of this dish is to replace the New Mexico green chile with four roasted pasilla chiles.
TRADITIONAL RED CHILE SALSA
2-4 jalapeño chiles
4-6 medium size tomatoes
1 green onion stalk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
Roast tomatoes over grill to remove skin (or boil in water to remove skin). Dice tomatoes and set aside in mixing bowl. Roast jalapeño chiles, remove skin and dice. How many jalapeños to use will depend on the level of heat you wish for the salsa but also on the source of your jalapeños. In recent years there has been a “dumbing down” of the jalapeño to accommodate North American tastes. As a result where once two jalapeños might suffice to give considerable heat to salsa, today you may have to use three or four or more to get the same equivalent heat. To further cloud the issue, the jalapeños you purchase at one supermarkets may differ in hotness from those sold at another chain or local market. You’ll have to experiment with this recipe to find out what is your optimal number of jalapeños to use.
Add diced jalapeños to the tomatoes in the mixing bowl. Add salt, garlic powder and chopped green onion. Toast ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds (till you can smell the fragrance), grind in pestle and mortar, and add to the mixture. Toast dried oregano leaves the same way, grind with pestle and mortar and add to mixture. Put the mixture into blender and grate for 10-15 seconds. Don’t over do the grating or you’ll wind up with chile soup instead of salsa. Pour salsa into a serving dish and add chopped cilantro leaves. Mix thoroughly. Serve with almost any Mexican entree.