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!

Camarones al Ajillo (Prawns in Garlic Butter)

There are times in your life when all you can think of is nothing and this is my case today! I have had a very busy weekend and I started my week with a very busy day and I really want to share this recipe with you guys since Friday, but for some reason my brain doesn’t work, I am errr how do you call it?? My brain is in strike, can it be such as thing??

So for that reason I won’t go into much details about this recipe, all I can say about it, it is that it was my dad’s speciality and it brings me very warm and cosy memories of him in the kitchen preparing the garlic butter for the prawn

It is a quick recipe, so there is no excuse, you must do it! It can be an excellent starter dish or a main serve with rice and salad. I hope you have a lovely week!

Serves 4

Time 20 min

Ingredients

  • 20 skin & head on king prawns
  • 50 gr salted butter
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) or parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Method

  1. Chop the garlic cloves very finely and mix them with the butter.
  2. Heat a frying pan or skillet and add the oil then the butter.
  3. Once the butter has melted add the prawns. Add salt & pepper.
  4. Fry for a minute or minute and a half on each side.
  5. Just as the last minute add the coriander and mix well.
  6. Serve on a platter with some bread on the side. It can be a very good starter dish or a main with some rice and salad. Enjoy!

Listo!

Provecho!

Linguine with a Creamy Poblano Pepper Sauce

Winter is coming and here at home we seem to be preparing for it! Or to be honest with you, it seems that I have been preparing for it, as I seem to be the only one craving hearty dishes or better said, err! high calorie dishes, like the one I cooked today, which is just soooooo yummy! Honest, all those calories in this recipe are worth it.Here at home everybody loves it, my son Emilio in particular is very kin of it and believe me, if he loves it even if it is green, it means it is really good.I know it is not completely Mexican, but we Mexicans love pasta and I do utterly loooove pasta to bits, I love Italian food and I love Italy and my children and my husband as well, this is a very good way to have the best of both cuisines, Pasta + Poblano Peppers = love on a plate!

For my sauce I used just only the skin of half of a poblano pepper as I didn’t have much left in my freezer, but if you can get hold of some fresh poblanos, use two medium size or in the other hand, you can’t find any poblanos, you can use green peppers, just don’t forget to charr them in order to get maximum flavour.

Serves 4

Easy

40 min approx

Ingredients

  • 2 medium poblano pepper, peeled, charred, deseeded
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) (optional)
  • Linguine or any pasta of your choice for 4 people
  • 1/2 shallot chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup double cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 180 gr peeled prawns (optional)

Method

  1. Have all the ingredients ready: pepper charred, shallot, garlic & coriander chopped.
  2. Put the pasta to boil with salt and while that is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  3. Blend very well the peppers and coriander with the milk. You can do this with a hand blender or a normal blender. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan at medium heat and then add the shallot, fry for 3 min then add the mince garlic and fry for 2 min.
  5. Check your pasta, if it is cooked, al dente. Drain it and set aside.
  6. Add the prawn and fry quickly for 2 min, then add the poblano sauce, salt, pepper and once starts boiling add the double cream.
  7. Cook the sauce for 2 min until starts boiling and by now, your pasta should be ready and just add it and mix very well. Enjoy!

Listo!

Provecho!

Chiles en Nogada Stuffed with King Prawns

I love making stuffed Poblanos peppers any time and in any way, but at this time of the year Chiles en Nogada are the most popular way to prepare them, as Mexicans celebrate the Mexican Independence during September, the colours of the ingredients resembled the colours of the Mexican flag.

The nice stuffing complements the nogada sauce, there is something so comforting and very Mexican about them that I just love them.

This year I decided to make them with a twist and instead of using mince meat, I am stuffing them with king prawns, I guess because being from a coastal town, I just love the idea of seafood on everything, but if you would like to cook the traditional recipe, you can find it here in my blog: Traditional Chiles en Nogada or if you are vegetarian, there is a recipe for Vegetarian Chiles en Nogada however you decide to cook them, they are just amazingly delicious, the perfect dish to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Have a great day! Viva México!

Serves 4

Prep 30 min approx.

Cook 45 min approx.

Ingredients

For the Stuffed Poblanos

  • 4 medium Poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and deseeded
  • 500 gr King prawns, peeled, chopped
  • 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tomatos washed and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Nogada Sauce

  • 125 gr soft goats cheese
  • 170 ml single cream
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt

To decorate

  • 70 gr pomegranate seeds
  • 15 gr chopped fresh coriander

Method
The Poblano peppers

1. Chargrilled the poblano peppers on the burners of the hob. Turn them around so all the skin gets black.

2. Once the skin gets this colour, put the pepper inside a plastic bag to rest for 15 min and take them out of the plastic bag and peel the skin off.

3. Make a incision from top to bottom of the pepper and take the seeds out, leaving the steam on, leave aside.

The King Prawn filling

1. Heat a casserole dish or a frying pan and add the oil then onion, tomato and garlic and fry for 5 min at low heat.

2. Add the chopped king prawns and mix very well, cook for 5 min or until the prawns turn pink.

3. Then add salt and pepper and fresh coriander and mix for 2 min, turn the heat off and set aside.

The nogada sauce

1. Put all the ingredients, goats cheese, single cream, salt, walnuts into a blender and blend until getting a smooth consistency. I find it easier to use the hand blender as I have more control over the mixture.

2. Then assembled the peppers. Filled them with the king prawns filling until the pepper is well stuffed but holds everything inside the skin, cover the pepper with the Nogada sauce and scatter some pomegranate seeds and fresh chopped coriander. Enjoy them with some Mexican rice.

Listo!

Provecho!

5 Recetas de Tacos (5 Taco Recipes)

Tacos de Moronga (Black Pudding Tacos)

Makes 10 taquitos

Ingredients
For the moronga

  • 50 gr black pudding from a good source
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tbs chopped coriander
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt

For the tortillas

  • 20 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp ancho chilli powder

To serve

  • 1 pickled red onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • Fresh coriander
  • Lime wedges

Method

  1. Prepare the pickled onion, chopped the coriander and red chilli and cut the lime wedges.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp oil on a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic. Once they are a bit cooked, add the tomato and green pepper.
  3. Chopped the black pudding very well and once the veggies are cooked add the black pudding to the pan. Add a pinch of salt and stir. The moronga will cook very fast, cook it for 5 min at medium heat. Turn the heat off and add the fresh coriander. Leave aside.
  4. Then in another frying pan heat 3 tbsp of oil at medium heat and add a tbsp of ground ancho chilli, then quickly start heating the tortillas trying to cover them with the oil, don’t let them fry, the goal is to warm them and smoother them in the oil. Have a big platter ready and place the little tortillas on it.
  5. Each taco will have two tortillas, just like they do in the taquerias in Mexico!
  6. Then to assemble the taquitos, get two tortillas, add some moronga, pickled red onion, fresh coriander and chopped red chili, squeeze some lime and enjoy!

Continue reading “5 Recetas de Tacos (5 Taco Recipes)”

Birria de Res (Beef Birria)

Today’s recipe is one of my old time yummy super mega favourite, birria! Yum! Birria is a stew originally from the state of Jalisco, specifically from the city of Guadalajara, but as any Mexican recipe, everybody seems to have their own version, so this is my version, I tried to make it as similar as the one they do in Guadalajara, but this is just the way I do it. I hope you like it. Continue reading “Birria de Res (Beef Birria)”

Pozole de Langosta (Lobster Pozole)

Hi guys! Welcome to a new week, it is Monday and the weather in London is not great, as usual, but as you probably know, Mondays for me are special because my husband, el inglés, stays at home to work, so I always try to make something extra yummy on this day and today I thought to combine two of his favourite things, pozole & lobster, he loves pozole and seafood, so cooking pozole with lobster makes this Mexican dish extra luxurious! Continue reading “Pozole de Langosta (Lobster Pozole)”

Carne en su Jugo (Beef in its own Juices)

Good morning lovely people! Today’s recipe is a classic dish from Jalisco, Carne en su Jugo and if you translate it into English, it means, beef in its own juices, but here is the thing, the meat is not really cook in its own juices, this lovely and delicious dish goes with a yummy salsa that is prepared with tomatillos, then when you serve it, you need to serve it with fresh frijoles de la olla (beans from the pot), so if you plan to cook this dish, put your pinto beans to soak early in the morning and then cook them, so they’re ready to have them with the beef. Continue reading “Carne en su Jugo (Beef in its own Juices)”

Chiles en Nogada Vegetarianos (Vegetarian Chiles en Nogada)

I think just a few recipes in Mexico could describe the richness in traditions of our Mexican gastronomy and Chiles en Nogada is one of those dishes; full of history.

The history of the creation of Chiles en Nogada goes back to August 1821 when the sister of Santa Monica Convent in Puebla wanted to welcome Agustin de Iturbide. They collected some of the ingredients that were in season during the month of August and they came out with this recipe. The colours of the ingredients on it are related to the colours of the Mexican flag, the Poblano pepper is the green colour, the Nogada sauce is the white and the pomegranate seeds are the red, making it the most patriotic dish to celebrate Mexican independence. Continue reading “Chiles en Nogada Vegetarianos (Vegetarian Chiles en Nogada)”