Corn, Squash + Broccoli Quesadillas (Vegetarian)

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These vegetable filled quesadillas happened because I have a summer squash left over from another recipe. I just couldn't figure out what to make. Of course, my mind when to dessert and I started interesting ideas for a molasses summer squash quickbread but then forgot about it. It's probably for the best because these quesadillas were great! 

The veggie mix it delicious on it's own. It would be great for a pot luck or picnic served as a salad. Or for lunch as a taco or burrito filling. Even over greens for a veg filled salad. 

This dish is vegetarian friendly but can be easily modified to be grain and gluten free depending on what kind go tortilla you use. Homemade plantain, cassava or corn are great options for those with special diets. If you have a non dairy cheese, you could make this vegan friendly too. 

I used a grill pan but feel free to use a griddle or sauce pan instead. 

Serves 4. 

Corn, Squash + Broccoli Quesadillas

1.5 cups  thinly sliced yellow summer squash (about 1)

1.5 cups thinly sliced broccoli florets (about 1 small stalk)

1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

s+p

1/4 teaspoon chile powder

juice of 1/2 lime

8 eight inch tortillas (wheat, corn, cassava, plantain)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend from Trader Joe's)

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Lightly oil. Grill squash and broccoli slices, cooking about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. You want to see grill marks here. Transfer to bowl. Toss corn kernels in pan for about 3 minutes to cook down some of their starch. Add to bowl with squash and broccoli. Season with salt, pepper, chile powder and lime juice. 

Place a tortilla flat on lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat. Spread with 1/4 cup shredded cheese, then 1/4 of the veggies, top with 1/4 cup of cheese and a tortilla flat. Cook until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip. Cook until tortilla is crisped and there are grill marks, about 2 minutes. Transfer to board and cut into wedges. Repeat with remaining ingredients for a total of 4 quesadillas. 

 

Pozole Rojo with Pork (GF)

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Oh, pozole. It's just the thing in the winter - a hot, chile infused, pork filled soup with a multitude of little toppings to dress it up. I love it but hardly ever make it at home because it can be pretty time consuming. I've edited this recipe down so it's easy and has minimal steps. 

If you've never had it, it is a brothy mexican soup made with chiles, pork and hominy. There are two kinds that I'm aware of - rojo (red) and verde (green). This is the red one. Toppings like any combination of toasted tortillas, cheese, avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves, diced white onion and lime wedges should be served with it. 

A note on ingredients: hominy is a dried corn kernel that has been nixtamalized, meaning it was soaked in an alkali mineral bath that makes it easier to digest. You can find it dried or canned. Canned is much more convenient, just drain, rinse and add it to the soup. Treat the dried stuff as you would dried beans, soak overnight and simmer in a large pot of water for a few hours until softened. They will be puffy and chewy. 

To make the tortilla crisps in the photo, just heat a soft corn tortilla in a skillet over medium heat until it it crisp, golden and blistered, flip and repeat on the reverse. 

serves 4. 

Pozole Rojo

1 dried ancho chile pepper

2 cup boiling water

dash oil

6oz cooked, shredded pork

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1 quart and 1 cup pork, chicken or vegetable stock

1 14 oz tin drained or 8oz dried then cooked hominy

s+p, to taste

lime juice, to taste

In a small skillet over medium high heat, toast ancho pepper. It will puff up and become toasty. Be careful not to burn it - it won't taste good. Once toasted, remove and discard stem, seeds and membranes. Break into pieces, cover with 1 cup boiling water. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. 

In a medium pot, heat a dash of oil over medium heat. Cook pork, garlic, bay leaf, oregano and cumin until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add stock and hominy. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. 

Blend chile with soaking liquid until very smooth. Add to soup. Continue to simmer until hominy is nice and soft, wanting to fall apart, maybe 30 minutes overall, depends on what kind you used, Add more water or stock during cooking if needed. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. 

Serve with garnishes on the sides like toasted tortillas, cheese, avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves, diced white onion and lime wedges. 

Black Bean + Kale Tacos with Pepita Cilantro Salsa (Vegan, GF)

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Here's a healthy option to get your taco fix. Garlicky kale and cumin scented black beans in a soft corn tortilla. Cameron and I had these for lunch a few times last week and they were so good. I love it when I eat lunch and get a nice kick of energy. These will give you that. 

The salsa almost didn't make it to the tacos because I ended up eating about half of it with some tortillas that I had over crisped to the point of making chips. If you eat it all or skip it altogether, feel free to substitute any jarred salsa. I'd recommend a bright tomatillo one.

Serves 8.

Black Bean + Kale Tacos

olive oil, as needed

2 14oz tins black beans, rinsed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

s + p, to taste

10 cups of chopped kale, about 2 bunches

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

juice of one lemon

corn tortillas, about 16

Pepita Cilantro Salsa

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of one lime, about 3 tablespoons

pinch ground cumin

pinch salt

In a medium sauce pan, warm oil over medium heat. Stir in cumin, oregano and chile powder. Add black beans and two tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 15 minutes. 

In a 12" saute pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add kale, cover and cook 2 minutes. Strain. Return to stove over medium heat. Push steamed kale to on side of the pan. On the empty side, heat a splash of olive oil. Cook garlic in oil, stirring frequently. Do not brown, just cook to soften, about 1-2 minutes should do. Stir in the kale. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper

To make the salsa: combine pepitas, cilantro, water, oil, lime juice, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth. 

To assemble: spoon beans, kale and salsa onto toasted tortillas. 

To store: keep beans, kale and tortillas separate, building as needed. When packing lunch, I scoop 1/3 cup beans and 1/2 cup kale into a container and top with salsa and pack 3 tortillas separately. At lunch time, I assemble the tacos just before eating so they don't get soggy. 

 

Chicken Collard Wrap Burritos (AIP, Paleo, GF,DF)

These collard wraps are life changing. This is the easiest yummy substitute for wraps I have found yet. It's like eating a handheld salad disguised as a burrito. Most importantly, it tastes good. Yay!

I make a batch of these and put them in the fridge for a few quick lunches during the work week. I'm going to make a thai peanut version next week and maybe indian samosa ones after that. 

Makes about 6 wraps. 

Chicken Collard Wrap Burritos

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional, include if you can have seeds)

1.5 # boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 bunch collard greens

1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 head cabbage, shredded

1/2 head crispy lettuce, chopped 

2 avocados

1/2 white onion, finely diced

2 avocados, see last paragraph

Additional options: salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese

Mix together salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek, oregano, cinnamon and cumin, if using. Season chicken. Cook the chicken anyway you like - grilled, baked, whatever. I seasoned mine, put it in the slow cooker for 2 hours on high and shredded it. 

While the chicken cooks, you can chop your veggies and set out any additional toppings you'll be using. 

To prep the collard green, slice off the chunky part of the stem by cutting straight across the base, where the leaf fans out. Next, use a peeler or knife to shave down the thick stem. This will make it easier to roll up and eat. 

Bring a 10-12 inch skillet with an inch or two of water to a boil. Dip collard leaves into the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Do this one at a time. Transfer to a towel. This softens up the leaves and makes them taste better. 

Assemble wraps: Layout a collard green, pile on chicken, chopped cilantro, cabbage, lettuce, onion - whatever you like. Roll it up tightly like burrito, tucking the sides in as you roll. I wrap them all at once and leave them in the fridge. In the morning, when I'm packing my food for the day, I grab a couple, unroll them and add fresh avocado slices. Maybe this is crazy but I like the avocado to be fresh and bright. It's a pinch more work but easy and worth the effort.

AIP Turkey Tacos

I love taco night but it's pretty much impossible on AIP. Or is it? It's not impossible, it's just a bit of work. As someone who does not enjoy lettuce wraps for mexican dishes, I have to make my own tortillas. So far I've tested a few different plantain tortilla recipes but am still not 100% pleased with the texture of any. The flavor is always great but they just fall apart. How terrible is it to bit into your first taco and have it's entire, artfully assembled fillings fall out. Very sad. As a solution, I make a lettuce taco and then wrap that in the plantain tortilla. 

If anyone has any tips on AIP approved plantain tortillas that don't fall apart - please post it in the comments. I'd love to hear. 

AIP Turkey Taco Filling

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin, optional but great if you're ok with seeds

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice

1 lb ground turkey breast

tortillas of your choosing

garnishes: lime wedges, diced onion, chopped cilantro, zucchini salsa, lettuce

Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek, oregano, cinnamon and the optional cumin with water. Set aside. 

In a small pot over medium high heat, warm oil. When hot, add turkey. Stir occasionally, getting a nice brown on the meat, break into small pieces with spoon. When cooked through, about 10 minutes, add seasoning mixture. Stir until coated and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. 

Spoon onto shells and/or lettuce wraps and add toppings. 

Beef Fajita Salad Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

This was a fun one to cook. I love fajitas and hadn't had them in so long since they are generally off limits on AIP. But not these! I got out my two burner cast iron griddle and huge spatula, turned the heat up to high and started blackening the steak, then worked cooking the veggies in two big batches. Little is more satisfying then turning huge piles of wilting, sauced veggies over on a searing flat top. Really, give it a try. 

serves 4-6. 

AIP Steak Fajita Salad Bowls

1 teaspoon kosher salt

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

high heat oil, as needed for cooking

1 lb grass fed sirloin steak, sliced 

1 zucchini, sliced into half moons

1 yellow zucchini, sliced into half moons

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 red onion, halved and sliced

fresh chopped cilantro

sliced avocado slices

lettuce

In a small bowl, whisk salt, lime juice, oregano, turmeric, pepper, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Set aside. 

Set a large cast iron griddle on high heat. Brush with high heat oil. Once hot, blacken steak. Cook until desired level of doneness. Transfer to a large bowl. Cook zucchini, squash mushrooms and onion on griddle. Work in batches as needed, brushing griddle with oil in between batches. As veggies are softening, pour with a portion of prepared sauce. Transfer to bowl with steak and toss with any remaining sauce. 

Build bowls with steak anad veggies, over lettuce garnishing with cilantro and avocado. You can also make little tacos with lettuce leaves or coconut paleo wraps. 

Turkey Taco Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Whew.  Just got done cooking all the things for this one but let me tell you it was worth the time!  I've missed taco bowls.  Mostly because I just didn't know what to put in them.  You know, because a big part of bowls is the grain part.  

I had some leftover shredded cabbage from last week's Crunchy Thai Salad that I chopped up, gave a quick saute, tossed with fresh lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro and salt.  This I used as the grain for the taco bowl.  I have to say I much prefer the taste of this cabbage rice to cauliflower rice.  I used two different colors but that's optional.  

This recipe has a lot of parts: the cabbage rice, zucchini salsa, turmeric carrots, roasted red onion, chopped romaine, sliced olives and the seasoned ground turkey.  Luckily, everything is easy.  I'm used to a few hours of batch cooking every Sunday, and if you're on AIP then you probably are too. 

Makes about 5 servings.  (For the work week lunch!)

Turkey Taco Bowls

for the cabbage rice

1 tablespoon  cooking oil 

small head of green or red cabbage, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/3 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves (less is ok.  we love cilantro.)

s + p

for the turmeric carrots

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

4 carrots, peeled, round slices

for the roasted red onion

1-2 red onions, thinly sliced

splash olive oil

s + p

for the turkey

1 pound ground turkey 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

splash cooking oil

additional toppings

1 tin pitted black olives, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

avocado slices

one zucchini salsa recipe

Ready?

To make the Cabbage Rice: Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat.  Add oil and once hot, saute cabbage until tender - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

To make the carrots and onion: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix turmeric and oil together and toss with carrot slices.  Arrange on   one side of a half sheet tray.  Arrange onion slices on other end of sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to oven and roast 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover.  (A sheet of foil works well here.) 

To make the turkey: Combine salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, fenugreek, pepper and cinnamon.  Season turkey meat with spice mixture.  Heat a large oiled skillet over medium heat.  Cook turkey.  

Assemble the bowl:  Spoon cabbage rice into bowl as a base.  Add carrots, onions, turkey, olives, lettuce and avocado slices.  Serve with zucchini salsa.  

Zucchini Salsa (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

No tomatoes?  No problem!  How much have you missed salsa?  I can't even tell you how much better life is now that this salsa is here.  I'm going to put it on everything!  (Especially an AIP taco bowl that I'll post later this week.)  After looking everywhere for a nightshade free salsa and not finding one - I knew i was going to have to make my own.  If you're skeptical, don't be.  I'm not the biggest fan of zucchini but this salsa is great. 

Makes 1 pint.

Zucchini Salsa

splash cooking oil

2 zucchini, peeled, sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

juice of one lime

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup water

In a medium saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add zucchini slices and garlic.  Cook until browned and very soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to blender and blend with cilantro, lime juice, onion, salt and water.  

Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Happy almost Cinco de Mayo!  It's this Thursday.  In case you're unaware, it's a Mexican holiday that celebrates the Mexican army's victory in the battle of La Puebla in 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War.  

Now you're probably thinking you'd like to celebrate with some Mexican food and drink.  (Or mexican-ish.  As most of the below recipes are not super authentic - but they are delicious and that's what counts!)  Here's a little recipe roundup to get things started.  Click on the photos for individual recipes.  xo.

Street Corn

Street Corn

Ginger Peach Margaritas

Ginger Peach Margaritas

Black Bean + Tomatillo Soup

Black Bean + Tomatillo Soup

  Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

 Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

Another slow cooker recipe!  I really like the idea of coming home from work to a pot of this stewy chicken ready to be stuffed into taco shells, wrapped in tortillas or served over cilantro brown rice and topped with grated cheese, chopped lettuce, sour cream and sliced avocado.  

Serves 4-6.

Slow Cooker Chicken for Tacos, burritos...

dash olive oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno chile, seeded, minced

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup chicken stock

1 14oz tin black beans, rinsed, drained

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

s + p

lime juice, to taste

In a bowl, stir together onion, garlic, chile, tomatoes, cumin, chile powders, sugar, oregano and stock, season with salt and pepper.  Add drizzle a bit of olive oil in bottom of slow cooker.  Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Pour seasoned tomato mixture over chicken.  Cook Low for 6-7 hours.  Chicken will be very tender and shred easily with a fork.  Stir in beans and corn, the stirring will break up chicken into bite sized pieces.  Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. 

Slow Cooker Almost Cochinita Pibil (a.ka. Pork Tacos)

I'm saying it: I just don't eat enough pork.  It almost always comes in taco form and this recipe does not disappoint.  The pork is citrusy, flavorful, a little spicy and prefect for tacos, enchiladas or bowls over rice.  It's my slow cooker version of the popular Mexican dish, Cochinita Pibil.  It's traditionally pork marinated in achiote paste and citrus, slowly roasted in banana leaves.  This one is a little more simple and doesn't require anything more than a slow cooker. 

Achiote is a spice made from ground annatto seeds.  It's what gives orange american cheddar cheese it's color if you were wondering.  It's flavor is quite mild, paprika may be used as a substitute.

Serve as tacos on corn tortillas with minced onions and cilantro leaves. And hot sauce.  I like to whip up a pickled onion by marinating a thinly sliced red onion in red wine vinegar and salt about 30 minutes.  

Serves 4-6.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon achiote powder

2 1/2 pork loin roast, fat trimmed, 2" pieces

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup diced white onion

1 chopped jalapeno, stemmed, chopped

1 bay leaf

about 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

juice of 1 lime

Mix salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder and ground achiote in a large bowl.  Toss pork pieces in spice blend until evenly coated.  Set aside. 

Place garlic cloves, onion, jalapeno, bay leaf and seasoned pork in bowl of slow cooker.  Pour in enough orange juice to come up 2/3's way up the pork.  Add lime juice. (more oj or even water can be added.)  Cook on High until pork is fork tender, about 4 hours.  Shred meat, cover and cook about 20 minutes more.  Serve hot.    

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

This is a one pot meal.  Minimal prep, mostly unattended cooking.  Like everything on this blog, we're going to eat it in a bowl with sautéed kale.  This would also be a great burrito filling.  I like burritos.  

Serves 4.

Mexican Turkey + Quinoa Skillet

1 lb ground lean turkey breast

small splash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 15 oz tin diced tomatoes

15 oz water

1 15oz tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until soft.  Add turkey and spices, breaking it up meat with spoon, cook until no longer pink.  Stir in quinoa, corn, tomatoes and water.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Cook until thick and most of the water is evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Stir in beans to until warmed thru.  

Serve with tortillas, chips, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, picked jalapeños... whatever you got.

 

Chorizo + Tomato Vegetable Soup

A quick stroll through the farmers market will get you all the things you need to make for this soup.  It's smoky, spicy, salty and a little sweet from all the peek season summer vegetables. Chorizo is a fresh Mexican sausage made from pork and spiced with paprika.  It can be found in most butcher shops and grocery stores.  I held back on it so if you like a meatier soup use 1 pound chorizo.  

Makes 6 servings.

Chorizo + Tomato Vegetable Soup

small splash high heat oil

8oz chorizo sausage, casings discarded

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped

1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped

1 tin diced tomatoes

1 quart vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup diced new potatoes

1 teaspoon dreid oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf

kernels from 2 ears of corn

1 cup green beans, chopped

s + p

lemon juice

Heat a pot over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add chorizo, cook until browned and set aside.  Return pot to stove, lower heat to medium.  Add onions, cook until soft and glossy, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, carrots and poblano chile, cook 4 minutes, stirring.  Add reserved chorizo, tomatoes, stock, potatoes, oregano, cumin, paprika and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer 20 minutes.  Add corn and green beans.  Simmer 10 minutes more.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  

 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We make a lot of soups around here but especially in the winter.  It's so satisfying.  Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorites. We roasted a chicken and used it for this and a potpie that I will be posting in a bit. 

Consider serving this soup with some toppings.  I like shredded cheese (jack or munster are good), lime wedges, avocado, fresh cilantro leaves, slices of radishes... 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 dried pasilla chile

2 tablespoons grape seed oil (plus more for cooking the tortilla strips)

1 white onion, diced

1 14oz tin fire roasted tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon chile powder

4 cups chicken stock

4 corn tortillas

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Place whole chile directly on oven rack.  When it puffs up, remove it, about 4 minutes.  Be sure not to let it burn.  Discard stem and pulverize chile into a powder. (or as close to a powder as you can get.)

In a large pot, over medium to medium low heat, sweat onion in grape seed oil until soft and transparent.  Add tomatoes, bay, oregano, cumin, paprika, chile powder, stock and crushed pasilla chile.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes.  

While soup is simmering, make the tortilla strips.  Slice soft corn tortillas into thin strips.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add about 2 tablespoons of oil.  Once oil it hot, add tortilla pieces, cook, stirring and flipping until strips are crisp and golden.  Transfer to paper towel to drain.  Work in batches if needed.  Set aside.

Add chicken and corn to the soup.  Cook until warmed.  Serve with tortilla strips and desired toppings. 

 

Street Corn

Elote, elote, elote!  It's summer and there's plenty of delicious corn just waiting to be grilled and slathered with toppings, right?  My favorite street fair snack.  

Cotija cheese is a salty, dry, firm, cow's milk cheese made in Mexico.  It can be found at most grocery stores, usually around the cheese counter.  It will most likely be sold in rounds or blocks that are easily grated.  Think of it as a Mexican parmesan cheese. 

If cooking on a grill, corn can be dipped in water and grilled in it's husks.  Cool, remove husks and silks.  Return to the hot grill for a few minutes then dress with toppings.  

Make as many servings as you need.

Street Fair Corn

fresh corn, on the cob, in its husk, stemmed trimmed

mayo or Chipotle Aoli

grated cotija cheese, about 1 oz per cob

ancho chile powder

lime wedges, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add corn cobs, husks on, and blanche 10 minutes.  Shock in an ice bath until cool.  Remove husks.  Dry.  Place in hot pan, directly over flame (gas range) or grill to blacken slightly.  

Lightly brush with mayo or chipotle aoli.  Roll in grated cotija cheese.  Season with a dusting of ancho chile powder and serve with lime wedges.  

Pozole Rojo Enchiladas

Have you had posole (or pozole) soup before?  The red one?  It's a great thing.  These enchiladas are based on that soup.  We used the same chiles for the sauce, filled them with hominy and served then with a number of toppings like avocado slices, cilantro, shredded cabbage and limes.  

Serves 4.

Pozole Rojo Enchiladas

For the sauce:

3 ancho peppers, stemmed seeded

3 guajillo peppers, stemmed, seeded

1/2 large yellow onion, peeled, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded

1 tablespoon dried oregano

juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable

1 teaspoon agave nectar

many pinches of salt      

sugar to taste 

For the chicken:

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs

s+p

1 teaspoon olive oil

Sprig fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

Juice 1/2 lime

Pinch garlic powder

1/2 yellow onion, halved

For the enchiladas:

1 tin hominy, rinsed, drained

12 corn tortillas

1 cup grated cheese ( I like a blend of jack, Colby, cheddar) 

chopped fresh cilantro leaves

shredded lettuce or cabbage

diced onion

lime wedges

sliced radishes

sliced avocado

Soak chiles in hot water for 30 minutes.  Drain and discard water.    In a blender, blend chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, lime juice, stock and agave until very smooth.  Strain, discard any solids.  Pour into a small sauce pot and simmer 20 minutes.  Adjust to taste with salt and sugar.  

While chiles are soaking or the sauce is simmering get the chicken going.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss chicken thighs with salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme, bay leaves, lime juice, garlic powder and onion.  Place in 9 or 8 inch baking dish and roast about 20 minutes or until done.  (Internal temperature will read 165.)  Remove from oven and cover.  Let rest at least 10 minutes.  Uncover and shred.  Discard, onion, thyme sprigs and bay leaves before shredding.)

Turn oven to 350 degrees.  Mix shredded chicken, hominy and 1/2 the cheese in a bowl with 1/3 of the sauce.  Heat tortillas in a microwave or in a skillet to make them more pliable.  (Warming them in a skillet is more time consuming but yields better flavor.)  Spoon filling into tortillas and roll, place seam side down in a 9 x 13" baking dish.  Cover with remaining sauce and cheese.  

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, cheese will be melted and contents hot.  Serve with desired garnishes.  My suggestions are cilantro, shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced onion, sliced radishes and avocado.  

Chipotle + Turkey Enchiladas

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These enchiladas use the smoky chipotle sauce from the previous post.   

Makes about 14 enchiladas, serving about 7 people.   

Turkey Enchiladas

splash high heat oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 lb ground lean white meat turkey

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/3 cup green olives, pitted, sliced

1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh

handful cilantro, chopped 

prepared chipotle tomato sauce

14 (ish) 6" corn tortillas, room temperature or warm

6 oz grated cheddar cheese

Heat splash of oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onion, cook until onions are soft, about 8 minutes.  Add turkey, cook, stirring frequently, until turkey is done, about 8 minutes.  Add zucchini, olives, corn and cilantro.  Cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.    

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.  Fill each corn tortilla with 1/3 cup filling and a pinch of cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in pan.  Repeat with other tortillas until there is no more filling.    

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with warm chipotle sauce.  (And maybe more cheese, yes?)