All posts by Sonia

My parents Ramiro and Blanca Mendez moved to the United States from Monterrey, Mexico in 1963. I am first generation Mexican American born in Los Angeles, California. Cooking has always been one of my passions in life. This is my journey and I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Chicken Avocado Salad

This recipe for Chicken Avocado Salad was inspired by those delicious oversized chicken tostadas from Mexico. There was this little “hole in the wall” restaurant that my parents would take us to everytime we visited Monterrey. Tostadas de la Siberia were as I said, oversized corn tortilla tostadas loaded with shredded chicken, fresh guacamole,  mexican crema and sometimes served with thinly sliced tomato. Topped with an extra tostada for scooping and pickled jalapeños on the side.  This was my first time trying Cabot Greek style yogurt  in a chicken recipe. I have enjoyed it in various dip and dressing recipes. The flavor profile is very much like sour cream, so I knew it would be great in this recipe. Besides serving it on a tostada, which is the most traditional  way, you could serve this is in a soft warm corn tortilla. It’s dipped in hot oil just to soften the tortilla and then, filled and rolled like a hearty flauta or taquito. The corn tortilla whether soft or crunchy  pairs well with this chicken, avocado  and crema flavors.

 

Mexican Inspired Chicken Avocado Salad

Chicken Avocado Salad
Ingredients
 4 1/2 to 5 cups cooked chicken, shredded
*I used both breast and thigh meat that was previously cooked  on the grill
3 roma tomatoes, diced, optional, but tasty!
2 avocados, diced or mashed
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons of brine from pickled jalapeños
1/3 to 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 full cup plain Greek yogurt
salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Chicken Avocado Salad

 

Chicken Avocado Salad~Cabot Greek YogurtDirections

Combine all of the ingredients. Taste for salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve over a salad, with tostadas, soft corn or flour tortilla(wrap), saltines or with crusty rolls. Yields up to 6 to 8 servings.

Chicken Avocado Salad

The image below shows you exactly how it is typically served in the restaurants in Mexico.  If you wanted to serve a more authentic version, use mexican crema instead of yogurt and serve in layers as shown. For easy serving, you could also mix it all together when serving in a potluck or picnic setting.

*Click onto picture to go directly to tripadvisor site.

http://www.tripadvisor.es/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g40044-d2432506-i66160757-Pollo_Regio-Bossier_City_Louisiana.html
Picture courtesy of: http://www.tripadvisor.es/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g40044-d2432506-i66160757-Pollo_Regio-Bossier_City_Louisiana.html

 

Chicken Avocado Salad

 

Chile Verde Sauce

As a child my family and I traveled through Arizona and New Mexico on our cross-country trips we made twice a year from California to Monterrey, Mexico. This sauce is a combination of my love for Mexico and my love for the Southwest… I would love to live in Santa Fe one day. This is a great sauce for your favorite filled enchiladas, taquitos, chiles rellenos, burritos, tamales and base for pork chile verde. You can use whatever green chile is available in your area, such as Hatch, New Mexico or Anaheim.

 

Chile Verde Sauce

Chile Verde Sauce

Ingredients

8 to 10 Anaheim peppers
5 tomatillos
4 serrano or jalapeño chile peppers
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
5 to 7 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds
1/3 cup masa harina
1/2 cup water
3 cups chicken  or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive  oil or oil of your choice

Fresh Chiles Verdes

Fresh Tomatillos

Stove Top Roasting Green Chiles

Tips~ When I only need to roast a few green chiles, I use my small comal on the stove top. Heat to medium and turn as needed.

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking pan with foil paper, lay the Anaheim peppers on baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel, set aside to cool.

2. In a medium pot, combine the tomatillos,onions, garlic and serrano peppers, cover with water. Cook on medium heat until the tomatillos go from bright green to an opaque olive color. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Peel the blistered skins from the Anaheim peppers, remove the stems and seeds and chop roughly. Drain the liquid from the tomatillo mixture. Combine  peppers, tomatillo mixture, cumin, 2 cups of chicken broth, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Blend on high until smooth. Strain sauce through a wire mesh strainer into a large bowl.

4. In a large sauce pan, heat oil to medium heat. While the oil is heating, combine the masa harina and 1/2 cup water to make a slurry, set aside. When oil is hot, add the strained chile sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and while the sauce is simmering, add the masa harina slurry, stir well to combine .Add in 1 more cup of broth, taste for salt and continue cooking sauce for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until sauce becomes thick. Yields about 6 cups.

Chile Verde Sauce

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenes~(Cheese Stuffed Meatball Soup)

Have you ever started with a recipe idea in mind, then you end up with something  even more delicious than you imagined? That was the case with this recipe for Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas. My friend Denise, who loves to cook, shared a recipe for a French Onion Soup with Stuffed Meatballs. My intention was to try it just as it was written, but ended up not having enough onions and a few  of the other ingredients. So, as I do for many recipes, I just pulled from what I already had in my pantry and refrigerator. I added some of my favorites like zucchini, carrots and jalapeño. The results were delicious! A cross between French onion soup and Mexican meatball (albondigas)soup, but with cheese stuffed meatballs. Bonus! A hearty meal, to say the least. The wonderful thing about this recipe, is that you could serve the meatballs in a nice, fresh bollilo roll and serve the soup on the side. Or you can serve it as is with warm corn tortillas.

 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas~(Cheese Stuffed Meatball Soup)

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

 

For Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
2 pounds ground chuck, chicken, pork or turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chile ancho powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces smoked cheese, I used gruyere
*slice cheese into 16 equal cubes
Olive oil for cooking meatballs

Tips* This was prepared in a large quantity for a pot luck meal, but you could certainly cut all of the ingredients by half for a smaller family.

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

 

For Soup Base

2 tablespoons Oilve oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large sweet onions, sliced into strips
salt and pepper to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup peas
1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup champagne or sherry vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups beef stock
3 cups chicken stock

 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

 

Caldo de Albondigas RellenasNot the prettiest when all of the onions caramelize and reduce, but the flavor was delicious!

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

Directions

1. To  prepare the meatballs. In  a large bowl, add the ground meat, spices, bread crumbs and eggs. Mix to combine. Roll 16 equal meatballs. Take each meatball and flatten slightly. Place a cube of cheese in the center and form meatball around the cheese to cover completely. Place on tray or plate and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. To a large dutch oven style pot, add olive oil and butter. Add all of the onion, and heat to medium/low. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook and saute for a good 15 minutes, stirring often to move so that the onions brown and reduce.

3. Add the garlic, jalapeño, bell pepper and carrots and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add in all of the remaining ingredients for soup. Bring to a boil, reduce to lowest setting and keep covered 3/4 of the way.


4. While the soup simmers, brown the meatballs. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a large skillet. When hot, add the meatballs and sear for 3 minutes per side. Try to get as many sides browned as you can. You may have to brown them in batches.

5. Once meatballs are browned, raise the heat slightly on soup pot. When it starts to boil gently, carefully add in all of the meatballs. Making sure they are immersed into the broth so they cook properly. Cover pot partially and continue cooking for 30  to 35 minutes, gently stirring meatballs once as they cook. Most of the meatballs opened up on me, but the cheese stayed intact. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro. Yields up to 8 to 10 servings. 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas

 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas