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Posts Tagged ‘Mexican’

Meatless Monday: Chilaquiles (Tortilla Casserole)

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Chilaquiles is a classic Mexican casserole typically served for breakfast or brunch. Featuring baked layers of tortillas smothered with salsa, cheese and sour cream all topped with fried eggs, it’s particularly satisfying after a big night of partying, but just as awesome for a Meatless Monday dinner.

This recipe comes from the popular New York City Mexican restaurant Dos Caminos. Instead of frying or baking corn tortillas, use store-bought tortillas chips — they’re just as delicious. If you’re in a rush, jarred salsa will do, but roasting your own tomatoes will add extra oomph to the whole dish. Top with your go-to garnishes for Mexican food; extra avocado and cheese are highly recommended.

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Quesadillas

quesadillas

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Mexican food is the one cuisine I never tire of. After spending last week in Mexico on my annual get-me-out-of-here-it’s-too-cold-vacation, I’m craving more salsa, guacamole, beans and spiced vegetables stuffed into tortillas or scooped up with tortilla chips, even though that’s what I lived on for the last 7 days.

The thing about Mexican food is that it’s usually pretty heavy on the meat, but most of the classics are easy enough to make meatless, especially if you’re doing the cooking yourself. If it’s burritos or tacos you’re craving, substitute black or pinto beans for the ground beef or chicken; you can season the beans with the same spices. Same goes for nachos — pile on refried beans or seasoned black beans along with the cheese, onions and olives and all that good stuff. For fajitas, use grilled or sauteed vegetables instead of the beef or chicken. Huevos rancheros, chiles rellenos, chilaquiles, beans and rice … the meatless Mexican possibilities are endless.

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The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Cookbook Giveaway

We rounded up cinco of our favorite Mexican food cookbooks for the ultimate giveaway.

Where there’s Mexican food, there’s a fiesta. Ole! With tons of fiery flavor and crowd-friendly dishes (tacos, enchiladas, guacamole), not to mention margaritas, Mexican food is always fun, whether it’s Tuesday taco night or an all-out Cinco de Mayo bash (this Saturday!). To help you celebrate, we rounded up a collection of our favorite Mexican-cooking cookbooks. Start browsing now, and try out a few sample recipes today.

Mexican Made Easy, by Marcela Valladolid
This is the companion cookbook for Marcela’s Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy. She makes Mexican food using fresh ingredients and simple recipes – great for any night of the week.

Coconut Flan from MarcelaValladolid's Mexican Made Easy

Get Cooking:
Chicken Flautas
Burgers al Pastor
Coconut Flan

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Meatless Monday: Southwestern Potato Quesadilla

quesadilla

A quesadilla is quite possibly the easiest meal in the world to make. For the most bare-bones version, all you need are a couple of tortillas, cheese and a dry pan, plus some salsa for topping. But you can get way fancier than that and still come up with a meal in a few minutes — experiment with different cheeses, use blue corn tortillas instead of yellow corn or flour, or pile on some vegetables or beans to up the health factor of your quesadilla.

These Southwestern Potato Quesadillas are made with poblano-spiked mashed potatoes and cojita and Jack cheese, so they’re a little spicy, a little creamy and all kinds of tasty. You can make the mashed potatoes just for these quesadillas, or if you have leftover plain mashed potatoes, mix in some canned or jarred chiles. Baked or roasted potatoes work too, just smash them up with the chiles.

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Meatless Monday: Potato and Corn Tacos

potato and corn tacos

Sabrina's Tacos, courtesy of Mark Bittman: Soft corn tortillas stuffed with creamy potatoes, corn and poblano peppers.

I was in Cancun on vacation last week and you’d think that after a week of tacos, quesadillas, tamales, enchiladas and margaritas I’d be sick of Mexican food, but I’m not. Instead, I’m craving more. Mexican is the one cuisine I never tire of — maybe that’s because Mexican dishes are so easy to make meatless? Rice and beans are a staple, of course (if you’re at a restaurant, make sure you ask for vegetarian beans, sometimes they’re made with animal fats) but you can substitute the meat in almost any dish for vegetables. My favorites are enchiladas stuffed with spinach or mushrooms, fajitas made with sauteed or grilled vegetables, or tacos (I prefer soft) made with just about any vegetable.

Mark Bittman’s meatless tacos are filled with a creamy mixture of potatoes, corn and poblano peppers. They’re filling (so your meat-loving friends won’t complain) and ready in 30 minutes (so ideal for weeknight cooking). Serve them with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, or just heat up a can of (vegetarian) refried beans and open up a bag of chips and your favorite salsa for the perfect Meatless Monday meal.

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Hanukkah, Mexican-Style

We made Chef Julian Medina's Potato-Jalapeno Latkes at home. Even without a mandolin, they were excellent.

Food was not usually a highlight of the Hanukkah parties of my youth (it was the presents). Never the biggest fan of greasy, leaden latkes, I’d just consume several dollars’ worth of chocolate gelt, winning as many of the foil-wrapped coins as I could in games of dreidel.

Recently, Chef Julian Medina has completely transformed my idea of “Hanukkah food” with a preview of the Mexican Hanukkah menu he serves at his New York City restaurants [Toloache 50, Toloache 82, Yerba Buena and Yerba Buena Perry] throughout the eight-day Festival of Lights. Lucky for us, he’s shared a couple of his most popular Hanukkah recipes so we can all jazz up our own holiday festivities with a little Mexican flair.

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Cookbook Giveaway — Paletas: Mexican Ice Pops and Shaved Ice

Mexican-style Lime Pie Paletas are frosty, frozen treats that are surprisingly easy to make at home.

What the heck are paletas? They’re frozen Mexican ice pops, made in all kinds of inventive flavors. In the new cookbook Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas, Fany Gerson, owner of the paletas street fair shop La Newyorkina in New York City and author of My Sweet Mexico, includes recipes for traditional Mexican favorites, like Spicy Pineapple Ice Pops, and some of her own inventions, like whimsical Lime Pie Ice Pops(Explore a Mexican ice cream festival with Fanny Gerson.)

Paletas are surprisingly easy to make at home. If you don’t own ice pop molds don’t let the logistics slow you down — this book includes instructions for making paletas in glasses or other molds, so the only special equipment you’ll need is sticks. Here are some recipes to get you started: Lime Pie Ice Pops, Avocado Ice Pops & Yogurt Ice Pops with Berries.

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Post Cinco Breakfast

Chilaquiles

One too many margaritas last night? We’ve got the cure for that. Treat yourself to a hearty Mexican breakfast and you’ll be back to your old self in no time.

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Three Salsas Worth Celebrating

This Roasted Tomatillo Salsa will really heat things up.

Imagine biting through a soft corn tortilla and into charred pieces of steak or salty, juicy chunks of pork. The thought of those flavors and textures is already making you hungry — I know it’s making me salivate! — but they are just the kindling. Salsa is the spark that ignites the fire of flavor…

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Matt’s Salsa Fresca

Salsa Fresca

My earliest food memories involve salsa in every form. Hot, not-so-hot, chunky, cooked, raw, you name it – if it could be made, we ate it. This version, usually called pico de gallo or salsa fresca, is a raw salsa made from ripe tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeños, lots of freshly chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of salt.

It is a versatile condiment, one I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten on just about every food imaginable during my lifetime. Nothing is as good as scooping a freshly fried and salted corn chip into pico de gallo, but this salsa isn’t just for snacking. I kick up the garlic and use it over grilled fish, sprinkle it over kebabs and tuck it inside tacos made with sizzling fajitas. It’s also a fantastic filling for the hollowed-out half of an avocado.

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