Tag Archives: Queso Panela

Nopalitos con Rajas en Salsa Verde (Cactus with Roasted Green Chiles in Tomatillo Salsa)

Nopalitos con Rajas en Salsa Verde was a typical dish prepared during Lent at our house. Another favorite way to enjoy nopalitos is for breakfast, scrambled with eggs, chorizo, onions and chile serrano! This past year, a couple of my foodie friends were nice enought to ship me fresh cactus paddles all the way from California! I was excited beyond words. It had been so long since I had enjoyed fresh nopalitos of any kind. When I get a craving for them, thank goodness the nopalitos in a jar are available in a variety of stores where I live. One of our local markets has been adding new products to their produce department. I walk in the other day, and what do i find??? Fresh cactus! Yay! I was like a kid in a candy store and the people around me were looking at me like I was crazy, lol! This was probably just my fourth time cleaning the cactus paddles and it wasn’t so bad, ha ha….I love a good cooking challenge!

Nopalitos con Rajas en Salsa Verde

4 cups cleaned nopales(cactus) sliced into strips
Salt
Water
1 pound tomatillos
1 small white onion, cut in half
5 serrano peppers
1 clove garlic
2 poblanos, roasted, peeled and sliced into rajas(strips)
2 Anaheim peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced into rajas(strips)

 

The cactus paddles before being cleaned
The cactus paddles before being cleaned
Use a small sharp knife to remove the needles
Use a small sharp knife to remove the needles

Tip~ When I clean the paddles, I hold the end tightly with a kitchen towel, lay the paddle on flat surface and slice or shave away from me into the sink to catch the needles.


You will also need
Cilantro for garnish
Queso panela or queso fresco, sliced or crumbled
Tortillas, Corn or flour

*oil if you decide to fry the tortillas

 

Slice into strips or dice the nopales. Use right away or freeze for another time.
Slice into strips or dice the nopales. Use right away or freeze for another time.
Blanched Nopales, Roasted Poblanos, Chilacas, Onions and Garlic
Blanched Nopales, Roasted Poblanos, Chilacas, Onions and Garlic
Blanched Tomatillos, Onions and Serrano Peppers for Salsa Verde
Blanched Tomatillos, Onions and Serrano Peppers for Salsa Verde
Nopalitos con Rajas en Salsa Verde
Tacos de Nopalitos con Rajas en Salsa Verde y Queso Panela

Nopalitos con Rajas en Salsa Verde

 

1. Using a small sharp knife, carefully shave or remove the needles from the cactus paddles.  Slice into strips and rinse well under cold water.  Combine the nopales with 1 teaspoon of salt in a sauce pan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and  again rinse well under cold water.

2. In another sauce pan, add the tomatillos, half of the onion and all of the serrano peppers. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain all the water and transfer to the blender. Add garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of salt or to taste. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.

3. Preheat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Slice the remaining onion into thin strips. Add to skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Add the rajas and nopales and cook for another few minutes. Add half of the salsa from blender to the skillet. Cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with extra salsa, queso panela slices, avocado and warm tortillas. Yields 4 servings.

Prepare some homemade corn tortillas, add sliced queso panela to make a quesadilla or taco, add noplalitos!

Prepare some homemade corn tortillas, add sliced queso panela to make a quesadilla or taco, add noplalitos! The tacos above were fried with just the cheese inside first. The recipe for homemade tortillas is on the blog.

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

 

 

Queso en Salsa con Chile

A simple dish of freshly blended tomatoes with chile serrano. Add that to some queso panela slices, combined with poblano and onions…. A very rustic and common Mexican recipe prepared in a variety of ways.  The most often used cheese is queso panela or queso fresco. They are good for this because of their low melting point. You want a cheese that can stand up to the warm salsa, scooped up to enjoy with tortillas, chips or Mexican bolillos ( a mexican type of roll). This is one of my top 5 favorites of my Mom’s recipes.  All the comforts of home.

Queso en Salsa con Chile
Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup white onion, sliced into strips
1 small poblano, sliced into strips
2 serranos, sliced into rings
3 to 4 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
Splash of water
Salt and pepper to taste
10 ounces of queso panela or fresco, sliced

*Avocado slices for garnish

Always start with fresh ingredients for the most authentic Mexican flavors.
Always start with fresh ingredients for the most authentic Mexican flavors.

Tips~ If you prefer salsa verde over salsa roja, just substitute tomatillos in this recipe for the tomatoes.

A quick blend of fresh tomatoes and chiles and into the skillet to cook down to a flavorful salsa!
A quick blend of fresh tomatoes and chiles and into the skillet to cook down to a flavorful salsa!
Queso Panela is one of my favorites for preparing this recipe.
Queso Panela is one of my favorites for preparing this recipe.

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet at medium heat. Add the onions, poblano and half of the serranos. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes.

2. In the blender add the tomatoes, remaining serrano chile, pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of water. The water is just to get the tomatoes to start to blend. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt.

3. Add the tomato sauce to skillet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce becomes darker and thicker. Add the cheese slices and cook just until cheese softens and warms. Serve right away with warm tortillas, chips or mexican bolillos(rolls).  Garnish with avocado slices.Yields up to 4 servings.

Tips~ If you are not crazy about big pieces of onion, just blend them with the tomatoes when you make the sauce.

 

Queso en Salsa con Chile