Seduction Meals is about food + romance and the premise that everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish—a Seduction Meal, to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life...
My favorite foodie friend taught me how to make this dish and I fell in LOVE with it! Inspired by Mexican street food known as Arrachera which is a marinated flank steak--she took it to another level with Jack Cheese cups instead of tortillas. You can use flank steak, skirt or hanger steak for this recipe, and if you like it really hot - feel free to add a spicy chipotle sauce on top of each serving.
Although quite flavorful, flank steak tends to be a tougher cut of beef. Marinating tenderizes this cut, especially if you can marinate for the full 24 hours. You can also pound the flank steak with a meat mallet or the bottom of a small pot, flattening out the cut which will break up the fibers and tenderize at the same time. Between pounding and marinating you will have a nice juicy bite that melts in your mouth.
Side dishes could include a simple tomato, avocado, onion salad and/or corn on the cob. If you have the ingredients definitely go for Mexican corn on the cob to keep the theme going, and I would suggest a Tequila based cocktail, sangria or beer as the drink of choice for this meal.
Gourmet Arrachera / Flank Steak in Jack Cheese Cups
1 bottle of beer
1 cup of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1 lb of flank steak, pounded to flatten out
salt & pepper
1 bag of Shredded Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese
1 avocado, cut in half and sliced in long slices
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
Flank Steak Directions:
Salt and pepper both sides of the steak
Place the steak in a shallow dish or a large zip-lock bag
Pour the marinade over the steak and cover with plastic wrap if using the dish.
Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the steak over from time to time
Cook the steak on a grill for 6-8 minutes per side which will give you a good medium rare finish
Cut the flank steak in thin slices being sure to cut across the grain
While the steak is cooking start making the cheese cups
Cheese Cups Directions:
Working with a hot griddle (medium high), spray entire griddle with a vegetable oil
Place a quarter cup of the shredded cheese onto the griddle, pressing down to create a circle. You can work three of these at a time on the griddle
After a minute or two when the cheese has flattened, carefully flip the cheese patty and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side
Take a cup or a glass and turn it upside down. Place the cooked cheese patty onto of the bottom of the glass (this is what gives it the cup shape)
After it has cooled down a bit you can remove this and place on a platter
Repeat with all patties
NOTE: You can also serve this as a flat where you place the steak and toppings on top of it much like a tostada, thereby skipping the process to form cups
Mix the Cilantro, tomato and onion in a bowl, top with a bit of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lime juice
Place a cheese cup on a plate and add two of the thinly sliced strips of Steak per cheese cup
As the summer days approach why not try something different? Iced Horchatas are a contemporary spin on a classic Mexican summer beverage. This delightfully refreshing version features rice and cinnamon, and is a great make-ahead drink for entertaining.
Iced Horchata (makes 6)
4 cups hot water
1 cup white rice, rinsed and drained
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Sweet Cream
4 ounces spiced rum (optional)
Combine water, rice and cinnamon sticks in large bowl; cool. Cover; refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Remove cinnamon sticks. Spoon rice into food processor or blender (reserve soaking liquid); cover. Process on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Add reserved soaking liquid and sugar; process for 2 minutes. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth or fine sieve into a pitcher, pressing the rice solids until only a dry paste remains; discard paste.
Tasty Talapia tacos served on corn tortillas with a dollop of guacamole and sliced tomato is a wonderful choice for a healthy quick meal. This dish was created my Virginia in NYC. Serve with your favorite beer.
Talapia Tacos with Guacamole
3 fresh tilapia filets
salt and black pepper
Fresh chopped cilantro
1 fresh habanero, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 onion, chopped
pinch of cayenne
1 lime, juiced
garnish:1 lime, quartered
Wash and pat dry the tilapia, cut into 2" pieces
Season the fish with the salt, peppers, garlic powder
Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan over low heat, sautee the onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, habanero pepper
When the onion is soft and the tomato is cooked add the fish and
cook on a high fast heat for 10 minutes, turning frequently
Add the cilantro
and squeeze the fresh lime over the fish
Serve on corn tortillas, garnished with fresh made guacamole
Tip: The best way to prepare the corn tortillas is to place 3 tortillas in a paper towel, fold over edges all around and place in microwave for 20 seconds. They will come out perfectly warmed.
I subscribe to Tasting Table's emails and was highly intrigued by a recent recipe for Cochinita Pibil which, when I tried an online translation came up as "roastedsucklingpig". Being a huge fan of pork and having a house full of guests this weekend, I thought I would give this recipe a try. I also served this with guacamole and chips.
Here is the description from Tasting Table:
"The secret to this tender Cochinita Pibil is its long roasting time. But the key to the slow-roasted pork's flavor is annatto-seed paste. The thick, deep red paste is one of the many distinctive ingredients of Mexico's Yucatán region. At the new restaurant Mateo's Cocina Latina in Healdsburg, California, its Yucatán-born chef-owner, Mateo Granados, thinks the mild, earthy paste with vinegar and water, bathing the pork shoulder in the russet sauce before wrapping it in banana leaves. A 4½-hour roast turns the meat supple and deeply flavored, requiring only a nudge to break into bite-size shards. Serve the pork as Granados does, alongside warm tortillas, spicy-sweet cinnamon-cured red onions and a lime-marinated cabbage-and-radish ensalada".
I provided the link above to the recipe as posted by Tasting Table but had a few changes as written below. The meal was a huge success. While Cochonita Pibil is a popular Mexican dish, when served with guacamole and a quality tequila, your favorite margharita or Mexican beer, it is well suited for a romantic meal for two. Spicy, colorful and easily eaten with your hands, makes this a delicious "sexy" food to share with your loved one.
Note: I learned from my friends who lived in Mexico that corn tortillas are often made in the microwave, not heated in a skillet as directed below. Of course either way is fine, however, the microwave allows you to do more tortillas quickly. The trick is to stack 3 tortillas (has to be three for some reason) wrapped in a (dry) paper towel and to microwave it for 30 - 40 seconds. Doing this longer could result in hard/crispy tortillas, so do a test and adjust according to your microwave. As soon as they are done, start platting your dish and put in your next set of 3.
Cochinita Pibil Recipe adapted from Tasting Table / Mateo Granados, Mateo's Cocina Latina, Healdsburg, CA Yield: 6 - 8 servings
1/2 cup annatto-seed paste (also called achiote paste)
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 heaping Tablespoons Chipotle peppers in sauce (from can)
1 small package banana leaves (substitute aluminum foil if unavailable)*
1 four-pound pork butt (no bone) or pork shoulder (bone in) (FYI: both cuts are shoulder cuts)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
*I did not have banana leaves and ran out of aluminum foil so I cooked the pork in my Le Crueset (covered) in the oven and it was perfectly! And, it was ready in 3 1/2 hours (I also used pork butt - no bone)
1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced and cut in 2" strips or shredded
1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 limes
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
3 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 package high-quality corn tortillas
Make the pork: Preheat the oven to 375˚. In a medium bowl, whisk the annatto-seed paste with the vinegar and 3 cups of warm water. Season with salt and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. (I did not strain liquid, I used it all).
If using a Le Creuet, place onions in the middle of the pot and place pork on top of the onions. Pour the sauce over the pork, add the garlic cloves, onion and cinnamon-stick pieces, cover, and place in oven. Cook for 3 1/2 hours if using pork butt no bone. 4 - 4 1/2 hours if using pork shoulder with the bone in.
If not using a Le Crueset, Line a roasting pan with the banana leaves (or aluminum foil), leaving enough space hanging over the rim to wrap the leaves around the pork shoulder. Place the pork shoulder on the banana leaves and pour the strained sauce over it. Add the garlic cloves, onion and cinnamon-stick pieces and if using leaves or foil, wrap the leaves over the pork. Cover the pork with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Cook for 3 1/2 hours if using pork butt no bone. 4 - 4 1/2 hours if using pork shoulder with the bone in.
Make the ensalada: Toss the cabbage and radishes together with the lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.
Make the cured onions: In a medium bowl, combine the red onions, vinegar, cinnamon sticks and salt. Set aside to cure while the pork is cooking.
When the pork is finished, remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes.
Tortillas: While the pork is resting, microwave or toast the tortillas in a hot skillet.
Plating the Dish:
Place two tortillas on a plat.
Serve warm with pieces of pork, the cabbage salad and the cured onions.
Here is an enticing recipe that is so tasty and healthy, made with all fresh ingredients, AND its super easy to prepare. I could enjoy this meal all summer long. It is also a fun dish to serve for your romantic meal for two since you prepare each taco as you desire. Take a look at the photo below to see your plate of seductive flavors to enhance the fish tacos: Chopped cilantro, cherry tomatoes, sliced roasted poblano peppers, sliced avocado, grilled onions, fresh limes, and mango. End this meal with creme brulee or Flan for a full night of culinary delights.
Simply grill the swordfish, onions and poblano peppers to your liking, warm the taco shells, and chop all fresh vegetables and herbs. Plate your dish and serve. Add chipotle sauce to each taco. That's all there is to it! Easy, delicious, and healthy. Can't beat that combo!
Here's a little seduction facilitating cocktail in celebration of Cinco de Mayo: the Tingling Tequila de Cacao This drink balances the richness of crème de cacao and agave with citrus juice, and is given additional aroma by the bitters. A special surprise is the tingling sensation the Szechuan Buttons impart. With a slight but noticeable flirtatious tingle on the finish this splendid experience is sure to elicit surprise and delight.
Szechuan Buttons (aka Sechuan Buttons, Sichuan Buttons, Toothache plant) are an unusual food in that their primary use is not nutrition or flavor but rather to impart a sensation to food and drink. They possess a slightly bitter, herby flavor that isn't unusual, but a few seconds after consuming them something very interesting begins to happen inside your mouth:
Eating a few tiny petals from a Szechuan button (pinched off between thumb and forefinger or cut using a knife or shears) will lead to a tingling sensation...almost like mild voltage or bubbles from an effervescent beverage popping on the tongue. It is similar to (but much more intense than) the tingling imparted by Szechuan peppercorns, which is how this flower gets its Chinese name, despite originally being from Africa. Read Moreabout Szechuan Buttons and their use.
In celebration of summer, here is the third recipe in our Peach Trilogy from the extraordinary Martin & Fitch Events. Place this dish before your guest and I am sure they will never look at an empanada in the same way, a dessert to be savored with each bite taken.
Peach empanadas with vanilla ice cream and mint Recipe courtesy of chefs Maura Martin and Phoebe Fitch Photography: Noelle Grosso
1.5 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 T sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter cut in small pieces
pinch of salt
3-4 T ice water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 T corn starch
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large ripe peaches pitted and cut into large dice
1 egg white
1 T sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Take butter, flour, sugar and salt and mix with a pastry cutter until granular
Gradually add ice water until dough forms a ball
Combine lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and spices
Add peaches and vanilla and mix
Roll out dough on a floured flat surface
Cut out large rounds
Fill 1 half of the round with peach filling
Fold over and close edges with a fork
Cut two slices in top of empanada
Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar
Place in preheated 450 degree oven for 5 minutes
Reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown
Serve warm with a high quality vanilla ice cream and mint garnish
This has always been one of my favorite Mexican dishes. Chilis en nogada, or stuffed chili pepper with walnut sauce--a truly seductive Mexican meal. Typically made with poblano peppers stuffed with beef and/or pork, I decided to try this recipe with crab instead. I paired this dish with a bottle of chilled 2007 Adelsheim Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley. Just delicious!
Crab Stuffed Poblano Peppers in Walnut Sauce. Walnut Sauce
1 cup fresh walnuts
3 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup Mexican crema (or 1/2 cups sour cream &1/2 cup heavy cream)
When you find yourself alone with the love of your life--or a contender for that role, and you want to serve up an amazingly delicious, yet light seduction meal, this salmon dish will do the trick. Another hit from one of my favorite cookbooks, Mod Mex; this easy dish is made to impress.
The presentation begins when you plate the dish with a coating of Pipian Verde, a simple mole sauce (pronounced MOH-lay) made from roasted tomatillo, garlic, jalepeno peppers, and onions, thickened with toasted pumpkin seeds. Place the pumpkin seed-crusted salmon over the mole sauce, and pour two glasses of a light, crisp white wine. Lift your glasses and toast to your good fortune. Place a forkful of the salmon with the pipian verde into your mouth. Your eyes will slowly close to fully experience the vibrant sensations: the soft crunch of the toasted pumpkin seeds, the silky texture of the salmon complimented by the fresh flavors of the pipian verde. Just divine!
pumpkin seed-crusted salmon with pipian verdesauce Serves 6
basic salsa verde 6 large tomatillos, husked 1 medium yellow onion, quartered 2 cloves garlic 1 to 3 jalapeno or serrano chiles, stemmed and seeded 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the tomatillos, onion, and garlic in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes until lightly browned and soft; or you can grill them until charred. Combine all ingredients in the jar of an electric blender. Add chiles, cilantro, salt and pepper, and puree until the desired consistency; either chunky-smooth or completely smooth. This sauce will last for about a week stored in the refrigerator in a nonreactive container.
pumpkin seeds, salmonand pipian verde sauce 2 cups pumpkin seeds 4 tbsp olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 cups salsa verde (see above) 6 skinless salmon fillets 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
If you are cooking for 2 - 4 just use less salmon fillets and 1 egg white I would make all of the pipian verde. You can use this for other dishes, even a dip with chips or crudite. Note: You will need a large, oven-safe nonstick skillet to finish this dish off in the oven.
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss the pumpkin seeds in 2 tablespoons of the oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and spread evenly on a baking sheet to lightly brown and become crisp, 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove the pumpkin seeds and turn the oven up to 375 degrees F.
In the jar of an electric blender, pulse the pumpkin seeds until just coarsely ground. Do not over blend. Remove half of the seeds and set them aside in a flat dish or pie plate. Save a few pumpkin seeds to garnish each dish. Pour the salsa verde into the jar with the remaining seeds and puree until smooth.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper and brush the top side of each fillet lightly with egg white. Carefully press the egg-coated side into the ground pumpkin seeds
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the fillets, crusted side down, and transfer the pan to the oven for 3 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and crispy. Using a spatula or tongs, turn the fish, return the pan to the oven and cook for 3 more minutes, cook the fish to medium. Add 1 more minute of cooking if you prefer your fish more well done.
While the fish is cooking, in a small saucepan, heat the Pipian Verde sauce over medium heat until hot.
Coat each dinner plate with about 1/3 cup of the sauce, lay a fillet on top, garnish with a few toasted pumpkin seeds, and serve.
An intoxicating Mexican sauce made from a blend of chocolate, chiles, garlic, onions, nuts and more, depending on the chef, this chicken mole (pronounced MOH-lay) is an enchanting elixir well-suited for your next Seduction Meal. With its rich reddish-brown hue, a flash of heat, and a hint of chocolate you'll be amazed as bold, mysterious flavors flirtatiously dance on your palette.
This recipe was submitted to Seduction Meals by Stefan of NYC.
"Have you ever had a real homemade milk shake? So rich, thick and creamy? Your taste buds in 7th heaven? Well, that's what real mole sauce is like, not the thickening agents plus chocolate plus sugar variety. My favorite mole sauce is from a company called El Costeno and is made with 3 different kinds of chiles, mulato, pasilla and ancho. Yes, there is chocolate in the ingredients, just a hint (remember my motto, "a little surprise goes a long way"). Serve this dish with your favorite ice cold beer and a slice of lime, or go for margaritas. One bite and you'll both be chanting, Holy Mole!"
chicken mole and guacamole serves two
roast chicken 1/2 chicken, quartered El Costeno mole sauce
preparing the chicken and mole sauce I get the best Mole Sauce made by El Costeno, at a little Mexican grocer in New York. You can call El
Costeno at 973-652-3756 to find out their distribution. Normally, I make sauces from scratch, but why waste precious time in the
kitchen when El Costeno does it perfectly, allowing me to spend more
time with my lady.
Boil 1 cup water, slowly stir in 2 tbsp of mole sauce at a time adding more mole until sauce is thick and creamy. Place chicken on aluminum foil on a baking sheet; pour over mole sauce; place another aluminum foil sheet over top and crimp edges tight (you want to seal in the juices). Bake at 350 for approx. 40 minutes.
Another resource for Mole Sauce can be found at MexGrocer.com, and of course there are recipes for making this from sauce from scratch if you wish..
4 avocados, ripe 1/2 small yellow onion 1/2 yellow, orange or red pepper (adds color to the guacamole) 2 heaping tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Gently mash the avocados into small chunks, being careful not over mash. Mix in remaining ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.
plating the dish Arrange the chicken on a plate.Spoon extra mole sauce over the chicken, Garnish with a pinch of finely chopped cilantro. Add side of guacamole with a tortilla chip inserted in the middle. You can top this with sliced tomatoes and onions if you like.
Calling all foodies, gourmets and hot food fanatics. Have you ever eaten meat, chilli and chocolate together? If not, then the Mole Fair of San Pedro Atocpan (Feria Nacional del Mole) is calling you.Mole, sometimes known as mole poblano, is a pre-Colombian recipe with a combination of ingredients that would turn your mother's face green, if she knew you were eating it.Chillies are the main ingredient. Mulato, ancho, pasila and chipotle chillies along with unsweetened chocolate are what gives it the tanned black colour. Sesame seeds, garlic, ground cloves, coriander and cinnamon infuse the dish with multiple flavours. Other ingredients include turkey, lard, onion, tomatoes, raisins and sugar.
The fair dates back to 1978 and takes place in the mole capital, San Pedro Atocpán, which boasts some 50 mole mills where the ingredients are ground, sorted and packaged before being sent all over the world. Other attractions at the fair include a rodeo and fireworks.
review from NY Times
By CINDY PRICE Published: November 17, 2006
......When most Americans hear the word mole, they
often think specifically of mole poblano, but there are several types
of moles, in a variety of colors and flavors -- and not all of them
include chocolate. I had just witnessed this diversity
firsthand at the annual October Mole Festival in San Pedro Atocpan, a
tiny farming town on the outskirts of Mexico City. In the kiosks there,
women slapped at big balls of dough, shaping fresh tortillas to scoop
up mole from steaming pots. Local suppliers waved their hands
magicianlike over fat slabs of mole paste -- varying shades of rich
brown mole poblanos; bright green cilantro-infused mole verdes;
orangey-red pipián moles made with pumpkin seeds; peanut-butterlike
cacahuate moles; and mole almendrado, a dark almond mole that's the
local pride of San Pedro Atocpan..... Continue Reading...
Walking along Park Avenue I came upon one of my all time favorite contemporary Mexican restaurants--Dos Caminos. I was immediately drawn to a brightly colored book in the window-- Mod Mex: Cooking Vibrant Fiesta Flavors at Home by Executive Chef Scott Linquist. Needless to say, I rushed in to purchase my very own copy.
If you love Mexican food this is a must-have cookbook for your collection.There are over 125 recipes that highlight food from the regions of the Yucatan to Oaxaca with the creative flair Scott Linquist is famous for. I knew this book would be a keeper for my Seduction Meal library.
Flipping through the pages there were so many recipes I wanted to try. For my Mexican Seduction Meal I chose to serve "el amor de mi vida" Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos, Guacamole and chips, and Pico de Gallo. Served with a chilled glass of beer and a wedge of lime...let the fiesta begin!
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos + Guacamole
served with Salsa Pasilla and Queso Fresco
For this meal I break the prep into 4 tasks. First I made the Mushrooms which need to marinate for at least one hour. Next I made the Salsa Pasilla; this salsa is pure heaven. The tomatoes, garlic and onions are roasted and then pureed with a blend of mesmerizing flavors. You will love it! Next I made the Pico de Gallo and ended with the Guacamole. Note: The first three tasks call for refrigeration for at least one hour, so be sure to make this 1-2 hours before your meal. If you prefer, you can make everything but the guacamole the day before.
Ingredients and Tasks
Tacos 12 six inch corn tortillas, purchased or home made (I bought mine and had to use flour tortillas) 1 cup very thin sliced romaine lettuce 1 cup of crumbed queso fresco (I had to substitute a mild goat cheese)
Mushroom 1/2 cup of olive oil 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 Tbsp chopped garlic 1 serrano chile, stemmed and chopped 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 6 large Portobello mushrooms, stemmed
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chile, salt, and pepper. Add the mushrooms, turn to coat evenly, and let stand for at least 1 hour. I had to add a bit more olive oil to coat them all.
Salsa Pasilla (this sauce is heaven!) 4 medium whole plum tomatoes 1 small yellow onion, quartered 3 cloves of garlic 6 pasilla chiles 2 chipotle chiles 2 tsp dark brown sugar 2 bay leaves 1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves 1/4 cup white vinegar 2 tbsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread the tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the onion is slightly brown. Toast and rehydrate the pasilla and chipotle chile. In a jar of an electric blender, and working in batches if you need to, add the drained rehydrated chiles, roasted tomatoes, onions, and garlic along with the remaining salsa ingredients, except the salt, and puree until smooth. Add salt to taste, transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Pico de Gallo 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into small cubes 1 medium red onion, chopped 1 to 3 serrano or jalapeno chiles, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice Kosher salt
Mix all ingredients together. Season with about 1/2 tsp of salt (or to taste), and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 tsp finely chopped yellow onion 2 tsp minces jalapeno or serrano chiles, seeds and membranes removed, if desired Kosher or coarse salt 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded 1 small plum tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped 2 tsp freshy squeezed lime juice Warm tortilla chips for serving
Mash together 1 Tbsp of the cilantro, 1 tsp of the onion, 1 tsp of the chile and 1/2 tsp of salt in the bottom of a Molcajete (a lava-stone mixing/serving bowl) or a medium sized-bowl. Add the avocados and gently mash with a fork until chunky smooth. Fold the remaining cilantro, onion, and chile into the mixture. Stir in the tomato and lime juice, adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve with a basket of warm corn tortilla chips. Make this just before you are going to serve it, but before preparing the tacos so the flavors can settle in.
Preparing the Tacos Heat a barbecue or gas grill until hot. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and put them on the grill to warm. Lift the mushrooms from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place them individually on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, and then turn and cook the second side for the same amount of time. Remove and but the mushrooms into 1/2 inch wide strips.
Serve 3-4 strips of mushrooms to each tortilla and top with a generous pinch of lettuce, 2 tablespoons of Pico de Gallo, 1 tablespoon of Queso Fresco, and 2 tablespoons of the absolutely delicious Salsa Pasilla. Fold in half and serve 2 tacos on each plate.
Another beautifully photographed dish and irresistible Mexican recipe submitted by CM Harrington of Greenwich, CT. This can be served as an appetizer, a main dish, and of course a midnight snack if you've prepared everything to the point of grilling the Quesadillas--- filling each quesadilla ahead of time and cooking to order.
Photo Copyright: CM Harrington
Chicken Quesadillas with Goat Cheese and Guacamole A delicious treat that is made by heating up a corn or flour tortilla, filling it up with cheese (such as Monteray pepper jack, mozzarella, or goat cheese) and adding crab, chicken, beef or shrimp. Typically served with salsa, guacamole and sour cream, this is the perfect Mexican dish that pairs well with beer, margaritas, or tequila.
Chicken Marinade 2 - 3 chicken breasts 1 fresh lime, squeezed for its juice 1/2 tsp of salt
lime, salt and chicken in a glass dish/bowl and cover with plastic
wrap. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 1/2 to 1 hour.
Chipotle Sauce 1 small tin of adobe peppers in sauce, chop up the peppers. Add chopped peppers and sauce in a bowl and set aside.
QuesadillaFilling Roast Pepper: Place a red pepper on an open flame or in broiler to char on all sides until the skin blisters and darkens. (You can also buy a jar of roasted peppers, which is fine, but truth be told, it will not taste as good). When the pepper is charred on all sides, place the pepper in a sealed bag to self steam for about 10 minutes. When you remove the skin will easily slough off. Chop Peppers and set peppers aside.
Onions: Add olive oil to a skillet, medium high heat, add 1 finely diced Vidalia onion, cook for about 5 minutes to soften.
Mix together the onions and peppers. Cover to keep warm / set aside.
Quacamole 1 Hass Avocado, perfectly ripe 1/2 freshly squeezed lime juice pinch of cumin pinch of chipotle powder, not sauce, too runny pinch of cayanne pepper 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced* salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Set aside
*the finer diced the garlic, the more garlic flavor. For this recipe you want to dice in bigger chunks so as to not overpower with garlic flavor.
Cooking or Grilling the Chicken 2-3 chicken breasts that have been marinating Chipotle sauce
Heat up a skillet with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Remove chicken from marinade. When skillet is hot, add chicken. With brush, coat top of each chicken breast with chipotle sauce, and cook until done, turning over half way to brush on Chipotle sauce to other side. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from skillet, set aside to cool. Cut into strips of chicken that will be placed on tortillas. (See assemblage below)
Tortillas If you have the time to make homemade tortilla
shells - rock on. Homemade is ALWAYS the best. If not, you can purchase
flour or corn tortillas from most any supermarket / specialty store. We
used flour tortillas.
Place each tortilla in a non-greased warmed skilled to warm each tortilla, flipping to warm both sides.
Quesadilla Assemblage warmed tortilla shells goat cheese, work with room temperature cheese so it is easy to spread
Preheat oven to 425.Take a warm tortilla shell and thinly spread with goat cheese.Add onion/pepper filling and cut strips of chicken. Repeat 1/2 of with remaining tortilla shells.Top each loaded tortilla shell with the remaining shells.
Place two quesadillas on a rack in the oven and bake until golden brown, allowing the cheese to melt. This can also be done in a cast iron skillet with a lid.
Plating the Dish Take one quesadilla, cut in half and in half again, creating 4 triangles of similar size. Place the triangles on a plate, garnish with chopped cilantro and a stream of chipotle sauce down the center. Add a mound of quacamole on one side, and sour cream on the other. You can also serve with your favorite salsa sauce on the side. Serve immediately with your favorite beer, tequila or a margarita.
For the Love of Food is a wonderful blog filled with recipes, reviews and other food related stories by Nicole King, a foodie and world traveler. She is running a fun event, through Is My Blog Burning?, called Taste and Create where she has created a gathering point for the food-blogger community to have their recipes tested by their peers.
26 different food bloggers have been paired for this event. Each participating blog will browse through their partner's blog's entries and pick out one dish that grabs their attention. Seduction Meals is partnered with food blog Dulcedo and my attention was immediately drawn to her post about Mexican Wedding Cookies.
Dulcedo is a food blog written from Seattle. There were quite a few recipes that I would have liked to try, but I was most interested in the story of the Holiday tradition of Dulcedo's grandmother's snowball cookies also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies. I LOVE these cookies and have always wanted to try baking them, so this is my chance. The recipe originated from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook... and they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Mexican Wedding Cookies (Snowballs) Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) pecan halves 2 cups confectioners' sugar 2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, combine pecans with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and pulse until nuts are finely ground. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar/nut mixture, flour, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (sifted) on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until the dough just comes together.
Using a 1" scoop, drop dough about 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies are pale and just beginning to get tiny cracks on top, 10-12 minutes. Leave cookies on the baking sheet until firm enough to move, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Place remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl and roll cookies in it to coat completely. Cookies should be kept in an airtight container layered between sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
A beautifully presented dish meant for breakfast in bed, the frittata, or open faced omelet, is easy to prepare and impressive to serve.
8 eggs 1/2 cup of half and half salt and pepper 3 tablespoons of sweet butter 3 heaping teaspoons of cilantro, chopped 3 tablespoons of chopped yellow chives (Chinese garlic chives) 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese Tortilla chips
Garnish 1 avocado quartered and thinly sliced lemon juice black pitted kalmata olives Dollop of chipotle
Whisk together eggs, half and half , and salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add cilantro and yellow chives, sauté over medium-low heat until soft. Pour egg mixture into skillet, cover and cook until outer edges begin to slightly brown. Add 1/2 cup grated cheese, replace cover and allow cheese to melt into the frittata.
Heat broiler. Slice avocado and drizzle with fresh lemon--set aside. Place the remaining cheese (1/2 cup), over the frittata and place the uncovered skillet under the broiler until starts to brown and frittata fluffs up, about 2-3 minutes. Slide the frittata on to a plate. Garnish with sliced avocado and place in a pinwheel fashion around the plate. Add olives and place a dollop of chipotle in the center. Grab two cups of coffee, a bag of tortilla chips and hop back into bed.