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Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camaron~ Zesty Shrimp Chilaquiles

If it were up to me, I seriously could eat Chilaquiles everday! Hearty, thick,  homemade corn tortilla chips tossed in a warm salsa and topped with a little crumbled mexican cheese and crema. Simply delicious. They can easily be served any time of day. Top with an over easy egg, instant brunch. Or toss is some shredded chicken, a layer of good melting cheese and you have a tasty and filling lunch or dinner. No need for any sides with this dish because it’s all about the toppings and layers of flavor one can create. So, do I eat Chilaquiles everday? No, I don’t. But that just makes preparing them all the more special. Once  a month, I will fry up a batch of chips and it’s a real treat. Today’s blog post was inpired by some tasty looking spice/seasoning blends I received from DennyMike’s via Cabot Cheese. The first  and only one I have tried so far was the Fintastic Savory Seafood Seasoning Blend. It’s right up my alley with flavors of onion, garlic, sea salt, lemon and lime. It was perfect for the shrimp I added to this plate of Chilaquiles Rojos con Camaron. 

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camaron

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camarones
For Shrimp
18 to 20 large shrimp. peeled and cleaned. Tails on, optional
Kosher salt
1 full tablespoon DennyMikes Finstastic seasoning
Olive oil
1 poblano, julienned
1 red fresno or jalapeño, diced or julienned
2/3 of a  small sweet onion, diced (reserve the other 1/3 for salsa)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Tips~ If you can’t find DennyMike’s blend, use your favorite blend for seafood or simply season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

DennyMike's Fintastic Seasoning

 

Chipotle Guajillo Salsa Con Tomatillo

Chipotle Guajillo Salsa Con Tomatillo

 


For Salsa
3 guajillos(dried red chiles)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 sweet onion
5 tomatillos, washed
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo
1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles
1/3 cup cooking liquid
salt to taste

*The picture above was the salsa before I strained it.

Chipotle Guajillo Salsa Con Tomatillo

Tips~ If you have the time, try toasting the chile guajillo for a few minutes on a dry skillet at medium heat. This will add more smoky flavor to your salsa.

You will also need
12 to 14 oz homemade chips (about 20 corn tortillas)
1 recipe for chipotle guajillo salsa, see recipe
1/3 to 1/2 cup mexican crema
1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
chopped cilantro
lime wedges and avocado slices

Chilaquiles Rojos Con CamaronTips~ If you prefer, roast the poblano first to prepare rajas. Bonus flavor!

Totopos- Homemade Tortilla ChipsTips~ I normally bake my chips, but I have discovered that the baked ones get soggy quicker when I prepare chilaquiles. The fried version stays crispy alot longer. Both the fried and baked version of the chips can be found right on site.

Directions

1. Season the shrimp lighlty with kosher salt. Add Fintastic seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Cover and let marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

2. While shrimp marinates, prepare salsa. Remove the stems and seeds from chile guajillo. Rinse to wash off any dirt. Place guajillos, tomatillos, garlic and onion in a sauce pan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, add salsa ingredients to the blender. Also add the chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, 1/3 cup coooking liquid and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. If too thick, add a little more water. Strain through a wire strainer to remove and skins left from chiles. Set aside.

3. When ready pull shrimp from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cook time. Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Cook shrimp for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan. To that same pan, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Add the  onion, garlic, poblano and fresno pepper. Season lightly with spice blend or salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add shrimp back in, fresh lime juice and toss to combine. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.


4. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium.  When hot, add the salsa from blender and cook for just 2 minutes.  Cover because it will pop all over. Fold in the chips  with warm salsa and coat evenly. Transfer to serving dish, top with shrimp.  Garnish with mexican crema, cotija cheese,  avocado, lime and cilantro. Yields 4 servings.

DennyMike's Fintastic Seafood Seasoning

My better half’s plate…no cheese and noooo to crema! He’s crazy! Lol!

Chilaquiles Rojos con Camarones

Tips~ No Mexican crema? I prepare my version of light crema with light sour cream, lime juice, water and salt to taste. I love it! Can’t find cotija cheese? Try some crumbled light feta, amazing!

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camaron

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camarones

Chiles Rellenos de Arroz y Picadillo~ Turkey and Rice Stuffed Poblanos

Sometimes the best recipes are the unplanned ones. It all started when I wanted to test out some Himalayan red rice. I read that it was even better for you than brown rice, but with a milder flavor. So off I went to prepare this rice. I love days like this. After all was said and done, the red rice was delicious. The texture was slightly different from regular long grain white rice and the flavor was much better than brown rice. If I only had to worry about myself for dinner, I would have a bowl of rice with chopped tomatoes, serrano, avocado and cilantro everyday, but that’s not  the case for my better half. His palette has grown  over the years. And he enjoys many different foods, but when it comes down to it, he really is a meat and potatoes guy, through and through. One of his favorite Mexican dishes is chiles rellenos with picadillo. So, after our weekend grilling session, I had leftover turkey burgers and  a few poblano peppers that I charred on the grill. With a few added fresh ingredients to the turkey burgers, I had a full pan of picadillo. I decided not to coat the rellenos with a batter when I stumbled upon a container of homemade Texas style enchilada sauce in my freezer.  So I went the Tex Mex route and with a little prep and cook time, we enjoyed some hearty and delicious chiles rellenos.

Please don’t let preparing several recipes just to put these rellenos together stop you. Get creative with your leftovers. Any leftover meat or veggie filling combined with rice, pasta and cheese would work for this recipe.

 

Chiles Rellenos de Arroz y Picadillo~Turkey and Rice Stuffed Poblanos

Chiles Rellenos con Arroz y Picadillo

 

 

Ingredients

*The recipes for the picadillo, rice and sauce are enough for 6 to 8 large stuffed poblanos. I only had two poblanos at this time and just enough enchilada sauce. 

6 to 8 large poblanos
1 picadillo recipe
1 rice recipe
1 enchilada sauce recipe
2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Olive oil
Pepper
Smoked paprika

*Crushed red pepper, optional

Chiles Rellenos

 

Chiles Rellenos

Directions

1. Once you have all of your ingredients ready (peppers, fillings and sauce), you are ready to assemble the chiles rellenos. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  To a large baking dish, add 2 cups of enchilada sauce and spread evenly. Fill each poblano halfway with rice first, using the spoon or your fingers to pack it down. Fill the peppers the rest of the way with picadillo and place them in the baking dish with sauce.

3. Pour enchilada sauce over the peppers to cover evenly. Top each with cheese. Spoon on some of the panko bread crumbs. Season with a little pepper, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for  25 to 30 minutes. Broil the last 30 to 40 seconds to brown. remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Salsa and guacamole on the side.

Tips~ If you have rice and picadillo leftover, you can serve it on the side or freeze for another recipe.

 

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos con Arroz y Picadillo

 

Chiles Rellenos

Tips~ To roast poblanos: Place on baking sheet and place under broiler. Broil for 10 to 15 minutes, turning as needed until skins blister on most sides. You can also blister the skins with direct flame of a gas stove. Place in plastic bag or glass bowl, cover or seal until cooled. Peel blistered skins, remove seeds and membranes.

 

Himalayan Red Rice

Himalayan Red Rice

 

Olive oil
1 1/4 cups red rice
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chile ancho powder
1 large roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 3/4 to 3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

 

Himalayan Red Rice

Himalayan Red Rice

 

Directions

1.In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium. Add the rice and saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño and saute for another 3 minutes.

2. Add the cumin, coriander, oregano, smoked paprika and chile ancho powder. Saute for about 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add the tomato, cilantro and  2 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt and pepper, cover and continue cooking for 45 to 50 minutes or until all of the broth evaporates.

3.  If rice doesn’t look quite done, add in the remaining broth and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving. Garnish with nore cilantro. Yields 6 servings.

Himalayan Red Rice

 

 

 

Turkey Picadillo

Turkey Picadillo

*In the recipe, I used 2 leftover turkey burger patties(total 1 pound), previously grilled and just chopped them small.

Olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 pound uncooked ground turkey, chicken or beef
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon chile ancho powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Corn from one ear of corn, about 3/4 cup
1 small zucchini, diced

Turkey Picadillo In the Works

 

Turkey Picadillo

Directions

1.In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño and red bell pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add the ground turkey and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. While the turkey cooks, to the blender add the tomatoes, water cilantro, lime juice, chile ancho powder and cumin Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Blend on high until smooth and add to turkey mixture.

3. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the corn and zucchini and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat.

Turkey Picadillo and Rice Stuffed Poblanos

 

Quick Enchilada Sauce

Quick Enchilada Sauce

Click onto picture to see full recipe for Quick Enchilada Sauce

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork in Banana Leaves

What to do when it’s raining out and you can’t grill? The next best thing is a low and slow roasted meal that fills your whole house with delicious aromas. On today’s blog post, I prepared a bone in pork shoulder/butt that was almost 10 pounds and taking up way too much room in my freezer. I knew going into this that from start to finish, I was looking at a good 14 hours. But I also knew that it would be worth it in the end.  This dish is most commonly known as cochinita pibil, but is also known as cochinita con achiote or puerco pibil. Made popular in the Yucatan Peninsula with it’s signature flavors of sour/bitter orange and distint color from the achiote. The traditional way is to roast a whole suckling pig, but most commonly prepared by home cooks with a pork shoulder/butt roast. The acidity of the sour orange juice helps break down and tenderize what could be a tough cut of meat. The results are this fall off the bone tender shreds of pork just perfect for those warm corn tortillas.  Sour oranges are not easy to come by, so fortunate for me, a few of the local markets carry a ready made sour orange marinade that can be added to freshly toasted spices and achiote that comes pretty close to the real deal. 

 

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Butt/Sholder in an Achiote-Sour Orange Sauce

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder/Butt

Cochinita PibilTips~ Instead of the traditional black beans on the side, I chose to serve mine with a roasted beet salad which is delicious when tossed with the rice.

Ingredients…

For Marinade
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons mexican oregano
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed chile de arbol or piquin
4 to 5 whole cloves
1 inch piece of mexican cinnamon stick

Toasting Spices for Cochinita Pibil

 

Preparing Marinade for Cochinita Pibil

Ingredients Continued..

1 1/2 cups Badia Sour Orange
1/3 cup olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 oz. achiote paste, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small sweet onion, chopped
salt to taste (I added 1 1/2  tsps.)

Tips~ If you cannot find the achiote paste, 3 to 4 tablespoons of achiote powder may be substituted. 

Toasted and Ground Spices for Cochinita  Pibil

 

Marinade/Sauce for Cochinita Pibil

 

 

 

Cochinita Pibil~Achiote, Sour Orange Marinade

Tips~ The Badia brand sour orange is pretty close to using real sour oranges and less expensive than purchasing fresh oranges, lemons and limes that may not always be very juicy. But if you have the good quality produce available, for every orange squeezed, I add 1 lemon or lime.

You will also need
8 to 10 pounds pork shoulder/butt, I trimmed off some of the fat on top
*I used bone in almost 10 pound shoulder
1 pound package of banana leaves
water
salt
Foil paper
Large roasting pan with lid


Tips~ Before you start, make sure that the pork is not frozen. Bring to room temperature for at least 40 to 50 minutes before cooking.

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder/Butt

Directions

1. Combine the first 7 ingredients, dry spices, in a skillet and toast at medium/low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Stirring now and then so they do not burn. Transfer to grinder(coffee grinder) and process until you have a fine ground. Set aside. I have a coffee grinder that I only use for spices.

2. To the blender, add ground spices, sour orange, olive oil, achiote, garlic, onion and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt, set aside. I chose to roast my pork right away instead of marinating overnight. But, that is up to you.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of roasting pan with foil paper, fill with about 6 to 7 cups of water. Season the water with 1 to 2 teaspoon of salt. Place a few layers of banana leaves so that they extend outside of pan on all sides. Place pork, fat side up into pan.  Take a sharp knife and cut one inch slits over the top of roast. Pour marinade/sauce evenly over pork and massage into pork.

4. Cover tightly with any remaining banana leaves. Cover with more foil paper. Cover with lid and place on top rack positioned in the center of oven. Imediately reduce temperature to 225 degrees F. Let roast slowly for the next 8 hours. Check for water level halfway through. After the 8th hour, I raised the heat to 325 degrees F. and roasted for another 4 hours or until it was fall off the bone tender.

5. Remove from oven and let rest for a good hour before serving. After removing bone and extra fat, there was about 5 3/4 pounds of meat. I served what I needed and packaged the rest in 1 pound portions in quart size freezer bags. Don’t forget to label and date. Serve with warm corn tortillas, Mexican rice, black beans, habanero-garlic salsa and pickled red onions.

Cocinita Pibil Wrapped in Banana Leaves

 

Cochinita Pibil

 

Cochinita Pibil

 

Cochinita Pibil

It is traditional to serve cochinita pibil with a roased habanero salsa and pickled red onions

 

Roasted Garlic-Garlic Salsa

Roasted Habanero-Garlic Salsa

6 to 8 habanero, roasted
2 cloves garlic, roasted
Juice of 5 key limes
1/4 to 1/4 cup water
salt to taste

Remove stems from habanero. Leave skins on the garlic. Roast  all on a comal or nonstick skillet at medium heat for 15 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to blender, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  

Roasted Habanero-Garlic Salsa

 

Sour Orange Pickled Red Onions

Sour Orange Pickled Red Onions

Tips~ Instead of using more lime, I used some of the leftover sour orange to marinate and quick pickle my onions. I also like adding oregano, chile piquin and fresh green chile. They are all optional. The longer they sit, the more pink in color they will become.

1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, seeded and julienned
1/2 teaspoon chile piquin, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1/3 to 1/2 cup sour orange (Badia brand leftover)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Let marinate for a few hours, stirring now and then.