Chicken Breast in Mole

MoleThis month at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching Like Water For Chocolate and yours truly is hosting it! There’s still plenty of time to join us. Come get the information about how to participate here. Having both read the book and seen the movie, I thought both were impressive. In the movie there are so many food scenes – for any food blogger to find inspiration.

Tita, a young woman in Mexico, falls in love. However, tradition prevents her from marrying, as her duty in life is to care for her mother. Tita’s love ends up marrying her sister instead, so that he can still be close to her. This creates many tensions in the household, between Tita and her mother, Tita and her sister, and Tita and her love.

Tita is tasked with cooking food for the family. Luckily for the family, this is a strong skill of hers. However, Tita learns that the emotion she has when she cooks the food can make the people who eat the food react. The cake that Tita made for her sister’s wedding made everyone throw up because of her emotions when making it.

Tita helps care for her sister’s infant son, Roberto. At Roberto’s baptism Tita serves mole. When asked for the recipe she answers, “The secret is that when you cook it, you do it with much love.”

Perhaps this is why I never liked mole growing up (or my palate was still immature.) My dad would always order it when we would get Mexican food and tell me to try his chocolate chicken. Being excited I would. And then I would down a bunch of water because I hated the taste. But perhaps the mole was never made with love. I decided to give the recipe a go and I tried to make it with love. I was nervous to taste it due to my prior experiences with mole, but either my tastes have changed or I really did make this sauce with love.

MoleClip

Because the title of the movie is Like Water For Chocolate, I opted to make this chocolate chicken. It was a great dish when made with love.

Chicken Breast in Mole

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
kosher salt, to taste
3 tbsp sesame seeds
3 whole cloves
1/4 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp caraway seeds
1/8 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 dried guajillo chile peppers
1 dried ancho chile pepper
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp pecan halves
1/2 6-inch corn tortilla, cut into pieces
3/4 oz chocolate chips
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
drop of almond extract
pinch of sugar

Directions

1. In a large pot place the chicken breasts. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Set aside and save the cooking liquid.

2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet for 5 minutes or until brown. Pour into a food processor. In the same skillet add the cloves, caraway seeds, coriander, and cinnamon. Toast for 3 minutes. Pour into food processor.

3. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil into the skillet. Fry the peppers for 2 minutes on each side. Fill a bowl with water and place the chile peppers in the water. Soak for 30 minutes.

4. In the same skillet add the dried cranberries, pecans, and corn tortilla. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the tortillas are brown. Add everything in the skillet, including the vegetable oil, into the food processor.

5. Once the chiles are pliable, add the chiles and 3/4 cup of the liquid the chiles were soaking in into the food processor. Puree until you get a smooth thick sauce.

6. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chile sauce and fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved water the chicken cooked in. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Add the chocolate chips, cinnamon, and almond extract, stirring frequently until the chocolate melts. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Add the chicken and cook for 10 more minutes.

FoodnFlix

* serves 2
* Besides Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this recipe with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

Taco Salad

IMG_8992

 

I’m part of the website swap-bot. I participate in a lot of recipe swaps. Recently one of the swaps I participated in was called Send Me Some New Recipes. The swap required that you mail an envelope with at least 25 recipes in it, taken from anywhere. I sent recipes to my partners cut from magazines, handwritten from my personal collection, and printed from blogs online. One of the envelopes I received was a ton (25) recipes written on neon index cards. I added these to my recipe box collection, which has become significantly fuller since I started swap-bot.

This recipe was written on a neon green index card. This was a super easy recipe and was very delicious.

Taco Salad

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp Penzey’s Bold Taco spice
3/4 cup water
10 cups romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup salad dressing of choice
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream, optional (also, guacamole could work!)

Directions

1. In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco spice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cheese. Stir in the ground beef. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the crushed chips. Serve with option sour cream or guacamole (or both!) on top.

* serves 5
* shared with Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, & #Foodie Friday

Braised Short Ribs In Tomatillo Sauce

IMG_8987

 

The next country in my around-the-world adventure was Mexico. Though I make Mexican food frequently, I decided to search online for authentic Mexican recipes. My searching led me to Receta de Costillas de Res en Salsa Verde, or.. Braised Short Ribs In Tomatillo Sauce. Actually though, the literal translation is Beef Ribs Recipe for Green Salsa.

Anyway – I made the ribs and served it over tortilla chips. I don’t use tomatillos nearly as often as I should and every time I do, I’m always excited at how neat they are. If you’ve never had the opportunity to cook with tomatillos before, you should make yourself the opportunity now! And cook these ribs!

Braised Short Ribs in Tomatillo Sauce
(source)

Ingredients
2 lbs beef short ribs
1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, peeled
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs to the pot and brown on each side.  Add 1/2 cup of water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.

2. While the meat is cooking place a griddle over medium-high heat. Roast the tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeno until charred.

3 . Once the meat is cooked, add the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and some salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Remove 1/2 cup of the meat juice from the cooked ribs and add the juice to the food processor. Process everything in the food processor, until well combined and a sauce is formed.

4. Remove the ribs from the pot. Add the tomatillo salsa to the pan and cook for three minutes.

5. With two forks, remove the beef from the ribs, shredding it into pieces. Add the meat back into the pot with the salsa and cook for 3 more minutes.

* serves 6
* Shared with Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, & Catch A Glimpse Party

Foodie Pen Pals: April

FPP-post

This month my FPP buddy was a lovely lady named Haley. Haley is from Arizona and sent me a very heavy box of local foods. She also included a recipe, which I made (and will share in this post!) I loved getting a recipe (hint hint hint, next FPP: send me recipes!) At this point, if you haven’t heard about Foodie Pen Pals, you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about.

  • On the 5th of the month you receive an email pairing you with information about who you’re paired with. You email that person to get information pertaining to allergies and dietary restriction.
  • By the 15th you put together a box of treats and mail them to your partner.
  • On the last day of the month you post a blog post about your box of treat

Easy, yeah?

IMG_8895

 

Like I said, this was a heavy box of food! I was actually surprised when I picked it up to carry it in the house. This is by far the heaviest package I’ve received. I was so excited to dig in and see what was in there. And needless to say, I was not disappointed!

IMG_8901

 

First things first, chili mango. This is something I never have had and I was hesitant to try it. While the idea of sweet and spicy seems so great, I took the first bite like a little bird. I’m still not really sure what I think about this. It’s probably not something I’d buy again, but at the same time it was good and a lot of fun to get to try something new.

IMG_8902

 

Haley included this strawberry jelly on the request of her child. I ate it in one swift swoop. I used to get these as a kid, so it was a nice journey back.

IMG_8904

 

I haven’t tried this cactus jelly yet. But the color of it is beautiful! I haven’t taken the time to look up recipes I could use this with, so I should do that.

IMG_8905

 

Haley also included this Mango Jalapeno Jelly, along with a recipe for a grilled cheese using this jelly. I haven’t made the sandwich yet, but I do intend to soon!

IMG_8907

 

Next were these little hot sauces. They are so cute – I love miniatures! I haven’t cracked open any of them yet though – I think the Hot Sauce from Hell will be first.

IMG_8908

 

This was Matt’s choice from the box to steal from me (it seems with every FPP box, he has to grab something and claim it for his own.) This jerky is made different from the traditional beef jerky. First you cook the meat and then you dehydrate it.

IMG_8899

 

Next (and the heaviest thing in the box) was the Nopalitos, or tender cactus. I haven’t tried this yet either. Ideas on how to use it?

IMG_8900

 

These cans of hominy and green chile peppers provided the base for a delicious dinner, which Haley provided me the recipe. She had sent me an email and asked if I used my slow cooker; do I ever! I made the crcokpot pozole before class one day and it provided a great  meal for several days. The first day I just had a bowl of it. The next two days I used it over french fries, sort of similar to chili cheese fries, but pozole cheese fries instead. I’d had hominy before, but I’ve never actually used it myself. It was a super easy recipe with a lot of flavor!

IMG_8922

 

Crockpot Pozole

Ingredients
1 tbsp canola oil
2 lb boneless pork loin, cubed
2 14.5 oz cans red enchilada sauce
1 30 oz can hominy
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 can diced green chilies, drained
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add meat and cook, browning the sides.

2. Place the meat in a crock pot. Cover with enchilada sauce. Top with hominy, onions, chilies, garlic, cayenne, and oregano. Add the water.

3. Cook on high for 6-7 hours. Add salt and cilantro and cook on low for 30 more minutes.

(serve with lime wedges, shredded cheese,s our cream, green onions, and flour tortillas)

* serves about 8
* sharing this recipe with Tempt My Tummy

Slow Cooker Machaca

IMG_8558

Every Tuesday this semester it’s looking like I’m going to have to rely on my slow cooker. I work from 9 – 5 and then have class from 6:15-8:15. Wednesdays and Thursdays also have night classes, but I’ve been able to cook dinner at lunch time and just heat it up when I get home. This week’s slow cooker dinner was great and is going to make some lunches and breakfasts also.

This is absolutely not a traditional machaca preparation. Machaca typically is dried pork or beef which has been reconstituted. It can be used in a variety of dishes: tacos, flautas, burritos, con juevos, and more. I decided to serve this slow cooker version of the popular Mexican dish over a very Americanized Spanish rice.

My only issue was that I didn’t chop the chipotle peppers up enough. Whoops.

It also is nice that this month Cooking Around The World is cooking Mexican food. This dish is definitely getting shared!

Bloggers Around the World Logo

Slow Cooker Machaca
(source)

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 – 4 lbs chuck roast, cut into large pieces
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and minced
1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
4 cups beef broth
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin

Directions

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Place the pieces of beef into the skillet, browning the outsides. Place the meat into the slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Add to the slow cooker.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

* serves about 12
* Besides Cooking round The World, this dish is being shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

It’s been so hot here lately that I’ve been staying away from the kitchen. When it’s 100+ outside the last thing I want to turn is stand over a heat source. Unfortunately it’s even too hot to barbecue. I can’t stand for more than a minute outside without wanting to run away inside.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m a vampire.

Regardless, many days as of late I’ve been eating out. I really don’t like eating out all the time because I like what I cook and because I feel like it costs way more than it’s worth so much of the time to eat out. But at least I wasn’t the one sweating over my cooking food.

I’m not sure what then I decided to make a dinner where the oven was turned on – but I did. These enchiladas were delicious. Though they took awhile, I wouldn’t say they were hard.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp Brummel&Brown
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
dash cayenne
3 oz green enchilada sauce
6 corn tortillas
2 1/2 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup onion, diced

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Season chicken with salt and pepper and toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, let cool and then shred.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-heat melt the Brummel&Brown. Add the jalapeno and cook for about 4 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in flour for minute. Whisk in broth, whisking until the liquid thickens, about 6 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, and enchilada sauce. Mix together. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into a buttered baking dish.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a small amount of oil and cook tortillas in batches soft, about 1 minute per side. Divide the chicken between the 6 tortillas. Place the chicken, 1 tbsp of cheese, and 1 tsp of onion on each tortilla and roll into a cigar shape. Place in the prepared baking dish and cover with the sour cream mixture and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

* serves 2, 3 enchiladas each
* 654 calories per serving
* Shared with Mealtime Monday, Makin You Crave Monday, & Mix It Up Monday