By Jenny Stauffer
It’s almost time for Cinco de Mayo, also known as a great day to eat Mexican food and drink Mexican beer or a margarita! We love to eat Mexican, so I usually have a surplus of recipes (check back on the previous April and May posts in our Recipe section for more recipes!) Even when it isn’t May 5th, these recipes can be enjoyed all summer long!
Salsa, Two Ways
If you are entertaining, a very easy way to serve something homemade but easy is to whip up the following two salsas. Combine that with some fresh-made or store-bought guacamole, and you have both an appetizer and fresh condiments for your entrees!
Mountain Mama’s Easy Salsa
We all love restaurant salsa. Did you know it can be super easy to make? This tastes so super fresh and all you need is 15 minutes and a blender. Try it!
1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 10oz can Original Rotel
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime
Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Recipe by Our Best Bites
**If you like the taste of salsa verde, try this, too! You just roast everything in the oven, toss it in the blender, and you have the freshest tasting salsa verde! Tom loves this. You can find tomatillos in the regular grocery. I included the entire link so that you can see the preparation. This is the recipe I use!
1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
3-4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno pepper (if you’re worried about heat, remove the seeds and membranes; I do and it’s the perfect heat for me), cut in half lengthwise
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1/4-1/3 c. chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
After husking the tomatillos, rinse them well in cool water (they can be sticky). Cut the stems and hard portions (if any) off the tomatillos and cut any very large ones in half.
Combine the tomatillos, unpeeled garlic, onion, and the jalapeno on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss the ingredients with your hands to make sure they are all well-coated.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. If the vegetables have not charred, turn the broiler on to high and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until the skins of the peppers and tomatillos begin to turn black. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When the vegetables have cooled, carefully squeeze the skin of the roasted garlic, releasing the soft, roasted garlic clove, into the jar of a blender or workbowl of a food processor. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and then add the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Process until the desired consistency is reached and then transfer to a serving dish. Stir in the chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with chips.
Rachael Ray’s Enchiladas And Sauce
This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I have used for years and years. Since Rotisserie chickens have come on the market, I often skip the chicken part here and go straight to the sauce section. I love the hint of cinnamon in the red sauce, as it makes it taste quite authentic. So on a busy night, I will shred the chicken, use broth instead of the cooking liquid, add a bit more cheese (why not?) and then prepare as directed. I also love making my own enchilada sauce. It tastes better and is not difficult at all!
8 soft corn or flour tortillas
3 cups chicken broth
4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 small onion, quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/3 palm full
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoons hot cayenne pepper sauce, several drops (I omit for the little ones)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 small pinches
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven. Bring broth to a boil in a saute pan. Set chicken into broth with bay and oregano and onion. Return to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Poach chicken in broth 10 minutes. Remove chicken breasts to a bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and tomato paste, spices and salt and work through the chicken using the forks.
Combine all sauce ingredients and heat through, keeping warm until needed.
Remove tortillas from oven and switch broiler on high.
Pile chicken mixture into warm tortillas and roll. Line casserole or baking dish with enchiladas, seam side down. Pour hot tomato sauce over the chicken enchiladas and top with cheese. Place in enchiladas in hot oven 6 inches from broiler and broil 5 minutes to melt cheese and set enchiladas. Serve.
My Favorite Mahi Mahi With Tropical Salsa
This is a very, very easy recipe I made with things I had on hand one night. Now, we enjoy this often.
Mahi-Mahi, 2-4 pieces, drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 can of Dole Tropical Fruit (contains mango, papaya and pineapple)
red onion, chopped
jalapeno, chopped fresh or add 1 tsp or so from a can*
avocado, diced (optional)
Drain fruit well. Chop the chunk fruit into small pieces. Mix well with chopped cilantro, red onion, jalapenos, and avocado.
Squeeze about a half of a juicy lime on top and drizzle with olive oil.
Prepare grill to medium heat, spraying well with oil or nonstick spray. Grill 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
Remove fish from grill. Serve salsa on top. Sprinkle with additional cilantro, if desired.
I like to serve the fish on top of couscous.
**For two people, purchase the regular can of fruit. For four people or more, purchase the large can. Adjust chopped ingredients accordingly and to your taste.