Nopales con Pollo en Chile Colorado (Cactus with Chicken in a Red Sauce)

I woke up in the morning thinking what to do for el inglés today on Valentines Day, you see, he is not the kind of man that I would call the romantic type, he just doesn’t like the typical “romantic” things that other men would do, instead, he shows his love in a different way and that is what make him so especial for me and made me fall in love with him!

So what a better way to show him that I love him so much than to cook for him his favourite Mexican dish, Cactus in Chile Colorado with Beans and Mexican Rice. As we say in Mexico, “al hombre se le conquista por el estomago”, in other words, if you want a man to fall in love with you, cook his favourite food and let the nice flavours do the trick!

Luckily for me, el inglés is not into desserts, breads or cookies, they are not my thing, he loves savoury food. He tried cactus for the first time in Mexico in a salad and since then he loves them, cactus have a wonderful flavour and they are very healthy, if you are able to buy fresh ones, use those instead, fresh always taste better, but in this occasion I am using cactus from a jar, “la Costeña” is a well known Mexican brand and they have cactus in brine, they need to be rinse several times in order to get rid off the vinegar flavour, they are a very good option.

This dish is a very loved recipe in my family, my dad used to love this dish and my mum is the expert in cooking it, the secret is in the sauce, if you make a good sauce, you can serve it with chicken (like me) or pork or maybe even fish! Then you make some delicious refried beans and a yummy Mexican rice and you will have a proper Mexican combo for a very especial occasion or why not only for a quick Friday night dinner!

Anyway, enough of the talking and let’s get on with the cooking!

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Cactus & Chicken in Chile Colorado

  • 4 Chicken breasts
  • 4 dried guajillo chillies
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

For the refried beans

  • 500 gr black turtle beans
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 epazote fresh leaves or dried
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the Mexican rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp tomato pure
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

To garnish

  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh coriander

Extra

  • Warm corn tortillas

Method

To cook the beans

  1. Soak the beans for a few hours before cooking.
  2. When ready to cook, get rid off the water they were soaked in.
  3. Then put them in a large casserole (dutch oven) and add the onion, epazote and garlic, covered them with water and bring the water to a boil.
  4. Check them after 40 min and if they are soft add salt.
  5. Once properly cooked, heat some oil in a casserole dish, chop some onion and garlic, fry them and add some beans with a bit of the water from the beans. Mash them and add a bit of more salt if necessary. Set aside.

To make the Mexican rice

  1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic and after 3 min add the rice, fry the rice for 5 min and stir.
  2. Have 4 cups of hot boiling water ready.
  3. Add the tomato pure to the rice and continue mixing. Once all grains are cover with the pure add the boiling water and salt. Stir just once and put the lid on the saucepan and low the heat all the way down.
  4. Do not mix or stir. Just let the steam cook the rice. Leave to simmer until the water is gone and the rice is cooked. Set aside.

To make the Cactus & Chicken

  1. Take the stem off and remove the seeds then put them in hot boiling water for 10 min.
  2. Cut the tomatoes, peel onion and garlic.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a blender adding some of the water that was used to soak the chillies.
  4. Blend everything and then pass the salsa through a sift. Set aside.
  5. Cut the chicken in thinly slices, heat the oil on a frying pan and fry the chicken, adding salt to taste.
  6. Once the chicken is half cooked, add the sauce and cook for 15 min at medium/low heat. Once is cooked, everything is ready to serve.

Serve some of the cactus & chicken with some beans and rice on the side. Garnish the beans with fresh cheese or feta and the rice with fresh coriander. Enjoy the meal with warm corn tortillas and some nice spicy salsa if you love to add some heat!

Listo!

Provecho!

Calabacitas Rellenas (Stuffed Courgettes) 

It is snowing outside and I have been in my kitchen all morning doing this and that, well, I have been mainly cooking to be honest. I really love days like today, the weather is freezing, so it is nice to stay at home and do what you love the most and for me is cooking, so I put on my favourite music, today I fancied listening to so classic rap or hip-hop, so I am listening to Cypress Hill, yes! I do, sometimes, listen to that type of music and yes! My favourite song is their hit, “Insane in the mainbrain” LOL, I grew up with a brother that loves this type of music, so I guess I had to like it! But this doesn’t mean I love it.
Continue reading “Calabacitas Rellenas (Stuffed Courgettes) “

Pollo Marinado en Chile Ancho (Chicken Marinated in Ancho Chilli)

Hola lovely people! Yes, I know, What a lovely surprise this is! I haven’t post anything for a while, but I have been doing so many things, that I hardly had time to write. Anyway, I hope you are all ok and you are starting to enjoy the lovely weather, because the summer is now officially just around the corner!

Today’s recipe is inspired in my friend Nadim’s chicken thighs recipe, he is a very good cook and has two lovely recipes for chicken that are always a hit when we have a bbq, but I would say that my recipe is the Mexican version of his as I marinated the chicken thighs in Ancho chilli and other mexican spices. Continue reading “Pollo Marinado en Chile Ancho (Chicken Marinated in Ancho Chilli)”

Cooking Comadres Easter Feast

Easter in Mexico is a very important holiday to gather with your love ones. Families gather to celebrate and spend time cooking, eating and having fun. Everybody helps with the cooking and that is one of the things that as an expat you miss the most, but I always try to celebrate with my little family here in London, just the way I would do it in Mexico with my mum, brother and sisters, so when Susy told me if I wanted to cook with her an Easter Feast, I thought it was a brilliant idea! Continue reading “Cooking Comadres Easter Feast”

Enchiladas Rojas (Red Enchiladas)


Enchiladas Rojas are so popular in Mexico that you will find them in any Mexican restaurant, this is the type of dish that you could use to describe Mexican food: comforting, vibrant in colour, healthy, delicious, simple and use of chillies. In my family we always use dried Anaheim chillies to make the red sauce, but traditionally is made with guajillo chillies and these are the ones I used for these enchiladas. They can be filled with chicken, cheese or refried beans, I made mine with chicken, I find them more filling. Continue reading “Enchiladas Rojas (Red Enchiladas)”

Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Broth) 

Oh! My! What a day! I was so busy running around London with a terrible earache and sore throat that this evening I was completely and utterly spent. Luckily I had some chicken in the fridge that I bought from my local butcher and I cooked the cure for all pains, a Mexican chicken soup.

Caldo de Pollo is one of the most important dishes in my family, I remember as a child my dad would made a massive pot of it and we would eat it for days and my mum would say “Eat it all, it is full of vitamins!” and we were not allowed to leave a single bit. Continue reading “Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Broth) “

Tamales de Pollo en Salsa Verde (Chicken in Green Salsa Tamales)

 ¡Hola! I have been away from posting recipes for a while, but today is a special day in Mexico, it is Día de la Candelaría, which is a catholic celebration and if you read my post about King’s Day when we do in Mexico Rosca de Reyes (King’s ring cake), you will know that today my daughter had the duty to make tamales as she was the one to find the little doll in the cake, so I though it would be a good idea to get her involved in cooking tamales and to teach her about our lovely traditions about mexican food.  Continue reading “Tamales de Pollo en Salsa Verde (Chicken in Green Salsa Tamales)”

Sopa de Pollo con Papas (Chicken with Potatoes Soup) 

 

Today El inglés, aka the hubby, is at home, so I am cooking a nice cosy lunch for him, this is my mum’s easy and quick recipe for chicken and potatoe soup.

In my family my mum is the queen of quick and easy recipes, I remember when I was a child, when she didn’t want to cook, she used to do what she would called “comida de flojos” (lazy dinner) and this recipe used to be in her repertoire. So I hope you like it, as I said, it is a very easy recipe, but full of flavour and perfect for a winter day.

Makes 4 servings

Prep 30 min

Cook 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 peeled onion cut in half
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée 
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock 
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch ground pepper

To garnish

  • Avocado slices
  • Chopped coriander
  • Fresh or Fetta cheese
  • Dollop sourcream

Method

  1. Place the chicken breasts, tomatoes, onion, chicken stock and garlic in a casserole dish, add salt to taste and a pinch of pepper and cook for 20 min approx or until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Take the chicken breast out, shred them and reserve.
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut them in medium chunks.
  4. Take the tomatoes, onion and garlic out of the casserole and place them in a blender, add the tomato purée and purée them until getting a sauce and smooth consistency.
  5. Place the tomatoe sauce back in the casserole and add the potatoes. Cook them for 5 min and add the shredded chicken.
  6. Cook the chicken with the potatoes on low heat for around 20 min or until potatoes are cook.
  7. Serve them in a bowl and garnish with avocado slices, chopped coriander, fresh or Fetta cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Listo!

Provecho!