ancho poblano

2

Homemade Mexican Food 

 I love to make serious Mexican food from scratch. I live and work in Southern California, so there are Mexican restaurants all around. Most of them are awesome. The ones I don’t love as much are maybe not my favorite because their ingredients aren’t the best, like cheap corn products, or questionable meats. So sometimes I like to spend a couple hours making homemade Mexican everything from scratch. Home made Mexican food, using the best quality ingredients, is delicious and easy to do. It’s a little time consuming, but worth the flavor explosion. The Mexican grocery stores around here are cheaper than any other grocery stores, so that’s good too.

The top picture was the other dish I made to possibly submit to the cheesy Chopped competition, taquitos, stuffed with chicken and poblanos, with ancho chili cheese dipping sauce, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and fresh guacamole. It was delicious. My Hubby and I loved every bite. I didn’t use this photo because after I made it, I saw on their inspiration page they suggest taquitos, so I changed my dish to Fried Chicken & Waffles. Thanks to anybody who voted for me. They don’t announce the winner of round 2 until June 27th. Fingers are crossed and all good luck charms in my small jeans pocket. 

The second picture is a chicken and bean tostada I made the next day because I still had a lot of ingredients. This dish has home made restaurant style salsa, avocado crema, and beans and rice. This was also amazingly delicious. Here are some of the basic components I like to make for a Mexican feast. 

For easy Guacamole: mash avocado, mince shallot, squeeze of fresh lime or lemon, chopped cilantro, chopped tomato, s & p. 

For Avocado Crema: Mix plain yogurt or Mexican crema with a few spoonfuls of the Guacamole.

For easy Salsa: Fresh tomatoes (or a can of tomatoes) in a blender, salt & pepper, 1 garlic clove, chopped cilantro, 1 seeded jalapeño or red chili flakes, lemon or lime juice. Blend until blended but still chunky. Add minced onion that you have rinsed in cold water, at the end. The rinsing is so the onion doesn’t take over.

Tomatillo Salsa: Roast hulled tomatillos in the oven, at 400, with a small onion, a jalapeño pepper, and 2 garlic cloves, for about 20 minutes. Blend the cooked ingredients with lemon or lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

For Easy Taquitos: Roll your favorite cooked ingredients (chicken, potatoes, charred peppers, cheese) in a softened corn tortilla, secure with toothpicks, fry in hot oil for 3 or 4 minutes.

Easy Cheesy Ancho Sauce: 1 tbsp Butter, minced shallot, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp flour, cook until flour cooks, 1-2 min. Add 1 ½ cups chicken stock or Milk, whisk until it thickens. Turn off heat, add 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 tsp Ancho chili powder. yum.

Easy Tostadas: Fry organic Non GMO corn tortillas in hot oil until crisp. Top with refried beans, cooked chicken seasoned with chili powder, cumin and coriander, lettuce,  tomatoes, guac or avocado cream, & salsa.

For easy Mexican Rice: Oil or butter in a pan, add chopped onions, chopped garlic, chopped jalapeño, and rice. Sauté all ingredients together until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes, s & p, and enough liquid to cook your rice, I think it’s usually 2 c water to 1 c rice.

For easy Refried Beans: The easiest way is buy a can of low fat organic refried beans. You could doctor it up with Ancho chili powder, maybe a little garlic powder, maybe a little cumin, or just heat it up and let the rest of the stuff you made flavor the beans. The slightly harder, but still easy way, is to buy dry beans, wash them, cook in a big pot with several cups of water or chicken stock, cook for a couple or more hours, add salt and seasonings, mash. Add to a baking dish with some cooked rice, top with cheese, bake until the cheese melts. 

Garnishes for me always include shredded lettuce, chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime. Seriously Yum.

So we harvested peppers! !!! Delicioso! !!! Anyway can’t wait to make WHITE CHICKEN CHILI!!! to roast some Poblano, serrano, banana, onions, garlic, Tomatillo in oven at 350 for 30 minutes then blend them all. Boil some chicken till it falls apart with salt. Add blended mix, cumin, black pepper and cilantro…some white beans!!! And slow cook till desired how you like it 😆 creamy and sooooooo good. To eat alone with queso fresco sprinkled on top and chives or green onions. …or just over white rice😋 my goodness is sooooooo good ….in the meanwhile we just made some roasted jalapeño with roasted salami and threw it on some land o lakes buttered Texas toast with some American cheese …threw it on a pan and BAM!!! HOT DELICIOUS CRISPY BUTTERY SPICY SALAMI SANDWICH!!!

8/30/15

Just a handful of the 18 different types of peppers I grew during the Summer of 2012.  Fresh peppers are one of the fruits I miss most during the Winter.

In the large white basket are 3 peppers which are used to make Chile Rellenos.  The smaller, darker ones are the Ancho Poblano.  Poblanos are the most common type used in making Rellenos.  The lighter green peppers are Anaheim and Sahuaro.  I really liked the Sahuaro because it had a little heat to it and grew flawlessly on really robust plants.

In the smaller, red basket are Banana Peppers.  They are mildly hot with some sweetness.  I really like using them in many dishes, especially in omlettes..

And finally in the green basket, are 3 very different peppers.  The largest is an Orange Sweet Bell Pepper. The Orange Bell can be used in any dish that you would normally use a regular Green Bell Pepper.  I like them more though, because they are sweeter.  The red pepper is a new favorite of mine, known as the Cajun Belle Pepper.  I had never grown this one before, but will definitely grow it again this year.  It reminds me of a larger Red Sweet Pepper, but its flesh is not as dense.  Lastly, the small orange fruit is the legendary Scotch Bonnet.  It is a variety of the Habanero Pepper used as the main  ingredient in Jerk Chicken and other Caribbean Cuisine.  Scotch Bonnets wonderfully hot, yet sweet.