Chicken Tinga or Tinga de Pollo con Calabacitas was one one the featured recipes at the cooking class I taught last year. The star of the night was the batch of homemade pork chorizo we prepared. Besides Tinga de Pollo, there was Chorizo con Huevo and Arroz Rojo con Chorizo. I really enjoy teaching the hands on cooking classes. Thanks to my good friend Sue and her beautiful Kitchen Store, I am able have fun doing the job I love. There are many variations on Tinga de Pollo, but a few of the staple ingredients often found are mexican chorizo and chipotles. I really enjoy the smoky chipotles paired with the spicy chorizo. This is one of those classic Mexican recipes that I love preparing for friends. And it’s not a heavy dish at all. If you replace the chicken thighs with chicken breast you would have a lighter, yet still flavorful Tinga. And since the chorizo is homemade, you can control the fat content a little more and reduce the sodium content as well. One of my goals is to show people that many of the authentic foods of Mexico are simple, delicious and good for a balnced diet.
4 roma tomatoes 2 tomatillos Olive oil 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs Salt and pepper 1/2 cup white onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced 2/3 cup uncooked mexican chorizo 1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, minced 1 cup tomato sauce 1 cup chicken broth 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. marjoram 1 tsp. thyme 1 tsp. cumin 1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced
1. In a nonstick skillet at medium heat, roast the tomatoes and tomatillos on the stove top at medium heat until charred on most sides. Transfer to blender and blend until smooth, set aside. For easy clean up, line your pan with a little foil paper.
2. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large skillet, preheat 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Brown the chicken for 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan onto plate, set aside.
3. In that same pan, add the onions, garlic and red bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the chorizo to one side and using a wooden spoon, crumble the chorizo as it cooks for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sauce from blender, chipotles, tomato sauce and spices listed. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and taste for salt.
4. Add the the chicken back in and push down gently into the sauce. Cover and continue to cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Now at this time, we can pull the chicken out and shred it or you can leave it as is. I shredded the chicken since we would be serving it on tostadas. Add the diced zucchini during the last ten minutes and spread out evenly over the top. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve over corn tostadas. Yields 6 servings.
Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuits Sandwiches. After a few attempts at preparing a homemade breakfast sausage, I finally found the right combination of flavors for my liking. First thing I will advise you to do, is to prepare the sausage a few weeks in advance before you cook it. It will be hard to wait that long, but so worth it. The flavors are amazing once it has time to marinate for a while in the freezer. Only problem with typing up this blog this morning? I have no reserved sausage in the freezer and I am so hungry! Looks like a trip to the market soon. I will be using this sausage recipe for my Thanksgiving dressing/stuffing recipe this year. It has all those flavors I love. I can’t wait!
Biscuits (This recipe is directly out of the vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook) 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 cup shortening 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup melted butter
Chorizo con Huevo 1/2 cup mexican chorizo 1/3 cup onion, diced 1 serrano, minced 1 small roma, seeded and diced 4 large eggs 1/8 cup milk, optional salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine all of the ingredients for the sausage in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Take a spoonful and cook until done to taste test for salt. If seasoning is good, cover sausage mixer and chill until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the biscuits. Cut in the shortening with a fork or your fingers. Gradually add in the milk until dough forms and knead, adding flour if needed, for 8 minutes. Roll out onto floured surface and cut out 10 biscuits and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter while still warm.
3. Cook the chorizo at medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, using a wooden spoon to crumble as it cooks. Add in the onions, chile and tomato and cook for another minute. Whisk the eggs and milk together and add to chorizo mixture. Reduce heat, add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine and cook the eggs. Cover and remove from heat.
4. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Form 10 sausage patty’s and transfer them to hot skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once I flip them and before removing them from pan, I like to add a little bit of water to the pan, cover and reduce the heat so the sausage steams for a few minutes before serving. Yields 10 breakfast biscuit sandwiches.
One of my jobs as a kid, was to help my Mom in the kitchen. The jobs were pretty easy, chopping mostly. My favorite job was when I was asked to help clean the dried pinto beans. Many times purchased in bulk, 5 pounds at a time, they contains broken beans and small stones. I remember sitting across the kitchen table from my Mom and we would spread the beans out onto the table in between us. In no time those beans we free and clear of all stones and broken beans. I could still hear the sound of the beans as we pushed them into that large, empty stainless steel pot. This one pot of beans would take us through many meals. On this blog post, I share with you a few of my favorite recipes prepared with homemade beans.
Frijoles de Olla
3 cups of dry pinto beans 1 medium white onion, quartered 1 whole bulb garlic
2 bay leaves
1 serrano or jalapeño
2 chile de arbol
salt to taste
1. Soak the beans overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the next day.
3. Cover with water, 3 inches above beans.
4. Add aromatics
5. Bring to a simmer.Partially covered, keep at a simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until beans become tender. You will have to add hot water twice so the water level stays up. Add salt to taste once beans are tender. Remove aromatics. Yields about 8 cups.
Tips~ Remove aromatics and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for a week or divide into 2 cup portions with enough broth to cover and freeze in airtight containers or quart size freezer bags.
Frijoles con Chorizo
1 tablespoon of pork manteca or oil of your choice 1 cup uncooked mexican chorizo (I used homemade chorizo which has less fat, so I added some for cooking). Search under chorizo in categories for homemade chorizo recipes 1/3 cup white onion, diced
1 serrano, minced
3 cups whole pinto beans in their broth (about 1 cup)
Pinch of cumin, optional
*Crumbled Queso Fresco for garnish
1. In a large skillet, heat manteca to medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
2, Add the onions and chile and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the beans and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
3. After they simmer for about 5 minutes, mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. If the beans become too dry, add a little more broth or water. Bring on the homemade flour tortillas and avocado! Yields 6 servings.
Tips~ For a smoother bean, you could blend the beans in their brother on high before adding them to the cooked chorizo/onion mixture.
Frijoles Borrachos, Charros, A la Charra (aka Drunken Beans) …..Just serve me a bowl already! LOL!
4 cups cooked pinto beans 1 cup broth from beans 7 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 serrano chile, sliced into thick rings or minced 1 small white onion, diced Handful of chopped cilantro 12 oz of a light beer salt and pepper Oil, manteca, canola or olive oil
1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Add the onions, chile serrano and cilantro, stir well to combine.
2. Add the beans, liquid from the beans and the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir, cover and cook for a good 20 to 25 minutes. Taste for salt.
Tips~ If you wanted to prepare these without beer, I like to replace the beer with low sodium chicken or beef broth. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, crema (Mexican cream) and warm tortillas or tostadas. These beans were always made with carne asada…
Kicked Up Smoked Ham and Beans
2 cups dried pinto beans(soaked overnight), washed and drained
1 cup diced onion
2 serranos, minced
3 chile de arbol
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Smoked ham bone
2 cups diced smoked ham
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Add the first 6 ingredients to a large dutch oven pot and cover with water 3 to 4 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 2 hours or until beans become tender.
2. Once beans are tender, add all the remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for another 25 minutes. Yields up to 8 servings.
Frijoles Refritos con Chile Colorado
3 cups pinto beans (cooked) with their broth 5 to 6 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon oregano Salt to taste 1 cup chicken broth or more bean broth 2 tablespoons pork manteca (lard) or oil of your choice
1. Transfer the chile ancho to a glass bowl. Cover with water and cook in the microwave for 7 to 9 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.
2. While the chiles are cooling, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of manteca (lard) or oil to medium heat. Add the beans and bring to a simmer. Drain the chile anchos and transfer to the blender. Add the cumin, oregano, garlic, salt to taste, and ½ cup water or chicken broth. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.
3. Add the chile ancho sauce to the beans, stir well to combine. When it comes to a boil, add the other ½ cup or more of chicken or bean broth and reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring often. Taste for salt and while the beans are simmering, mash with a potato masher until desired texture. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.