Quick and Fresh Shrimp Ceviche(Cebiche)

On most days the seafood for ceviche or cebiche is cooked in lemon or lime juice. But for this quicker version, I like to poach the shrimp for just a minute or two to speed up the cooking process. Most traditional ceviches have few ingredients. It’s mostly the seafood, lime juice, little thin onion slices and some chile. I like to serve this more like a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado. Serve with store bought or homemade tostadas and you have a quick, light meal for anytime of the year. This is one of my early recipes, so I did not have but this one picture in my files.

Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado, Cucumbers and Tomato
Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado, Cucumbers and Tomato

Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 cup white onion, finely diced
1 cucumber, seeds removed, finely dice
2 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 serrano peppers, minced
Handful of chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, diced for garnish
Hot Sauce for garnish

Directions

1. Poach the cleaned shrimp in 4 cups of salted boiling water for just 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water.

2. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order listed. Drain the shrimp and add to bowl. Stir well to combine, taste for salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Garnish with avocado and hot sauce.  Serve with tostadas, chips or as a topping for a fresh salad. Yields up to 6 servings.

Tips~ Whenever preparing ceviches or guacamole that calls for tomato or cucumbers, I like to remove the seeds. You will have less water build up in your recipe.

Chilaquiles~ The Original Mexican Nachos

Crispy homemade corn tortilla chips covered in a warm salsa and topped with a variety of delicious toppings. When friends ask me to describe chilaquiles, I tell them they are they are the original nachos. Basically, nachos are corn tortilla chips topped with a warm sauce, usually cheese and then garnished with almost anything! On many Sunday’s, my Mom would prepare a big skillet of queso panela con chile and salsa. She would simple serve it with warm corn tortillas, tostadas or pan bolillo.

Over the years, chilaquiles became an inexpensive way to feed a large family. They can be prepared with any of your favorite warmed salsa or enchilada sauce.  Add in some shredded chicken, beef or pork to make it a complete meal. Garnish with pickled onions, jalapeños, Mexican crema and fresh cilantro. The traditional chilaquiles are made by tossing the chips directly into the warm salsa in the skillet, but I find the chips get too soggy for my liking. This is a great recipe for any day of the week and  you can prepare a  quicker version with a few premade ingredients from the market.

Chilaquiles Verdes con Queso Panela
Chilaquiles Verdes con Queso Panela

Ingredients

For Pickled Red Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin strips
2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1/3 teaspoon crushed Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste, I start with 1/2 teaspoon

Quick Pickled Red Onions
Quick Pickled Red Onions

For Salsa
5 large tomatillos
2 serrano peppers, stems removed
1/2 cup cooking liquid
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder or chicken base
Salt to taste

For Baked Chips
Olive oil
12 corn tortillas
Salt
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

You will also need
12 ounces queso panela or queso fresco, sliced into 8 thick slices
Cilantro chopped for garnish

Uncooked Corn Tortillas sprinkled with Kosher Salt and Chile Pepper Flakes
Uncooked Corn Tortillas sprinkled with Kosher Salt and Chile Pepper Flakes
Baked Corn Tortilla Chips
Baked Corn Tortilla Chips
Queso Panela
Queso Panela

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 395 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil paper, set aside. In a glass bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pickled red onions. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and set aside.

2. Peel the husk from the tomatillos and rinse under lukewarm water. Transfer to a pot with chile serrano, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, remove from heat.

3. Brush the tortillas with olive oil on both sides and slice in half, then into thirds so you have 6 chips. Lay the uncooked chips onto lined baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly on one side with kosher salt and red pepper flakes (if using). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through baking time or until crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.

4. In a large skillet, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium for a few minutes. Drain all of the water from tomatillo/chile mixture, reserving 1/2 a cup liquid. Transfer to the blender, add reserved cooking liquid, chicken bouillon and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth and pour into hot skillet. When salsa comes to a boil, reduce heat add cheese slices and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the chips into 4 shallow bowls, then divide the salsa/cheese mixture over chips. Garnish with pickled red onions and cilantro. Serve right away. Yields 4 appetizer servings.

Chilaquiles Verdes con Queso Panela y Cebollitas
Chilaquiles Verdes con Queso Panela y Cebollitas

 

Chilaquiles de Pollo en una Salsa Picante de Mole. All the robust flavors of Mole, but in half of the time it takes to prepare a traditional Mole. Click onto the picture to see the full recipe @ the Hispanic Kitchen site. 

Chilaquiles de Pollo en una Salsa Picante
Chilaquiles de Pollo en una Salsa Picante
Everyday Mole Sauce. A quicker version with all the traditional flavors.
Everyday Mole Sauce. A quicker version with all the traditional flavors.
Mole Sauce in half the time with all the traditional flavors.
Mole Sauce in half the time with all the traditional flavors.

For Fried Corn Tortilla Chips~Totopos. Click onto picture for full recipe.

Homemade Chips/Totopos
Homemade Chips/Totopos

 

Ingredients

3 cups Everday Mole Sauce, 3 cups shredded (cooked) chicken, (click onto picture  of the sauce for full recipe @the Hispanic Kitchen)
10 to 12 ounces of homemade, thick, corn tortilla chips
1 cup Mexican crema
1 cup Queso fresco or panela, crumbled
1/2 cup Pickled red onions, see recipe above
Cilantro, chopped

1. Heat the chicken  and mole sauce in a large skillet until it comes to a simmer. Shut off heat and toss the chips in gently until evenly coated.

2. Top with crema, crumbled cheese, pickled onions and cilantro. Serve right away. Yields 6 servings as an appetizer.

Mexican Crema. Click onto picture for full recipe @the Hispanic Kitchen 

Homemade Mexican Crema
Homemade Mexican Crema

 

 

Salsa para Enchiladas de Chile Ancho (Pure Chile Ancho Enchilada Sauce)

There must be a hundred varieties, if not more on how to prepare enchilada sauce. When I am not in a hurry and want to prepare a sauce that will leave an impression, I like to use dried chile ancho as my main ingredient. Out of all of the dried, mild peppers, I am most familiar with the chile ancho. My Mom would often use it for such recipes as Chile Colorado, Menudo, Costillas de Puerco and Pozole. 

One of the most accurate descriptions for the flavor of the chile ancho is that it taste like a spicy raisin. On most days it’s pretty mild. I really like using the masa harina as a thickener for this enchilada sauce. It add a subtle flavor of corn and requires no extra butter or oil, just a little water. If you have the time, I would suggest toasting your own cumin seeds. The flavor and aroma are incredible compared to already ground cumin. I have purchased an inexpensive coffee grinder just for spices and it works great, especially for when I make Molé with all it’s spices. Pick up these simple ingredients and prepare a batch of enchilada sauce for dinner or divide it into 2 cup portions for the freezer.

On most days I remove the stems and seeds before boiling, but I wanted you to see the shape of the pepper
On most days I remove the stems and seeds before boiling, but I wanted you to see the shape of the pepper

 

Ingredients

15 chile ancho
Water
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups of stock ( I used a homemade chicken stock)
1/2 tablespoon toasted, crushed cumin seeds or you can use already ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste
*1/4 cup masa harina mixed with 1/2 cup of water until smooth

Straining out all of the pulp for a super smooth sauce
Straining out all of the pulp for a super smooth sauce

Directions

1. Fill a large pot with about 7 cups of water and heat to medium. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho and transfer them into pot of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low and let the peppers slowly reconstitute. Stir now and then to turn peppers over. They will start to turn a brighter shade of red. Remove from heat and drain all of the water.

2. Transfer the peppers to the blender. Add 3 cups of fresh water and blend on high until smooth. Using a wire mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a larger bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to push all the pulp through. You should end up with about 4 cups. Add in all the dry spices and salt to taste.

3. In a large pot, preheat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in the strained sauce and 3 cups of stock .Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking for 25 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as it cooks to your liking. While at a simmer, whisk in the masa harina slurry. This will thicken the sauce and add a subtle corn flavor. Cook for another 10 minutes. Yields up to 7 cups.

Chile Ancho is the mildest of the dried chiles
Chile Ancho is the mildest of the dried chiles

Tips~ Not only is this sauce great for enchiladas, but is also great for smothered burritos, taco meat, soups and stews.  It is freezer friendly and gluten free.

The best sauces are made with minimal ingredients
The best sauces are made with minimal ingredients