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Cheater’s alfajores

Today on the Kenmore Genius Blog, I’m confessing my dirty little secret on how to make alfajores with all of the flavor and hardly any of the work. If you’re a disaster in the kitchen, are pressed for time with a busy schedule or just having a lazy moment, this recipe is for you! It’s so easy, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it yourself…. 

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Chile chicken tacos in the slow-cooker

I’ve been working late into the evening recently so I decided to break out my slow cooker and put it to work for me! On top of the late nights, the brutal heat wave we’ve been having over the last few weeks has made me less than happy about spending time in the kitchen after a long day, especially if it involves heating up the oven or even the stove top for more than a few minutes because I don’t want to be any hotter.

This recipe for chicken tacos is great for a few reasons: it’s super easy to make, it takes very little effort to prepare and it can be used as a filling for three different dishes so if you make a little extra you can turn it into more than one meal.

It can be used just as a regular old taco filling, rolled and fried in a tortilla to make taquitos or even rolled and bathed in salsa and topped with cheese as enchiladas. The biggest bonus of all: It won’t heat up the kitchen…. 

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Salsa de tres chiles

In case you missed it last week… check out our salsa de tres chiles on the Kenmore Genius Blog – the ultimate fresh, homemade dip for your tortilla chip! Warning: you may never be able to eat crappy restaurant “salsa” ever again after tasting this stuff. You know what I’m talking about – that runny, watery, often bland mess of tomatoes, onion and jalapeños they serve at chain restaurants. You’ll have to visit the Genius Blog for the full recipe with instructions, but here’s a sneak peek of the video:

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Disclosure: I am compensated for my posts on the Genius Blog and provided with Kenmore small appliances to test but all my recipes and opinions, about the appliances and otherwise, are my own.

Paletas de mango con chile

I wrote about my love for paletas and shared a recipe for paletas de mango con chile on the Kenmore Genius Blog recently. These are similar to mangonadas, but those usually include chamoy as an ingredient, and this recipe doesn’t.

Hop over there to check out the post with some additional notes on the ingredients. Enjoy the yummy video!

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Paletas de mango con chile

Paletas de mango con chile

Ingredients

  • 4 manila mangoes
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 4 tsp chile powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar (I like Zulka brand)
  • zest of 2 limes

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan, bring the water, sugar and lime zest to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 5 minutes to infuse the flavor of the lime zest and then remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
  2. Peel the mangoes and remove all the flesh. When you get close to the pit, you can just scrape it in a downward motion away from you to get the last bits off.
  3. Put the mango flesh (which should be about 2.5 cups) into the blender with the lime juice, sugar syrup and chile powder.
  4. Pulse on low for 10-15 seconds so that you get a puree that has some small mango chunks in it.
  5. Pour evenly into popsicle molds, making sure not to fill them all the way to the top; the popsicles will expand a little when they freeze, so leave a little room so they don't spill. Place them on an even surface in the freezer for at least 12 hours (or longer if you use bigger molds).
  6. Once they’re frozen through, run the bottom of the mold under warm water just long enough to loosen them from the mold.
http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2011/06/paletas-de-mango-con-chile/

Disclosure: I am compensated for my posts on the Genius Blog and provided with Kenmore small appliances to test but all my recipes and opinions, about the appliances and otherwise, are my own.

We’re expanding the Tortilla!

If you’re a fan of our Facebook page, then you probably already know from our announcement last week that we’ve partnered with Kenmore to provide exclusive content on their Genius Blog every Friday for the rest of 2011. I’ll be talking about kitchen tips, Mexican ingredients and sharing recipes I’ve written especially for Kenmore’s audience.

You may remember I have done two cooking shows with Kenmore in the last year, first albóndigas at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach at the 2010 Blogalicious Weekend conference, and then chilaquiles at the Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago with Chuy Valencia, the rising star chef and owner of Chilam Balam. I had so much fun with those and I’m excited about this partnership and teaching others about our cuisine and the Latin kitchen in general. I encourage you to visit over there on Fridays to see what else I’m up to when I’m not posting new things here…. 

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ENCHILADAS VERDES

Last month at my cooking show at the Kenmore Live Studio where I made chilaquiles, I talked about the versatility of salsa verde. I can think of about a dozen uses for this sauce just off the top of my head, so when I make it, I usually make extra so that I can get a few different meals out of it. One of my favorite things to make with salsa verde is enchiladas.

This recipe is so easy to make; great whether you need to feed just a few or a whole family. A few weeks ago, I made these enchiladas for my suegro and he ate three helpings! I laughed and asked him whether they were that good or if he was very hungry and as he was about to take another bite, he said “both!” These are also a favorite of José’s.

If you want to make these vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth in the salsa and fill them with cheese instead of chicken.

RECETA:

ENCHILADAS VERDES

FOR SALSA VERDE

  • A little over 1 pound of small tomatillos, husked & thoroughly washed
  • 3-5 serrano chiles (depending how spicy you like it), stems cut off and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 slices of white onion
  • A pinch or two of salt to taste
  • 1-1 ¼ cup chicken broth or water

FOR THE ENCHILADAS

  • 3 cups shredded chicken (2 chicken breasts and some dark meat)
  • 6-7 oz (about ¾ cup) of shredded Chihuahua cheese
  • ½ cup crema Mexicana
  • A dozen corn tortillas
  • Some canola oil for frying the tortillas

To make the salsa:

First, husk and wash the tomatillos. Rinse them well in cool water.

Fill a pot with water (large enough to fit all the tomatillos) and bring to a boil. Put the tomatillos in and cook in the boiling water until the tomatillo flesh begins to get transparent. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos to a blender. Add the onion, garlic and salt. Cut the stems off the serrano chiles and cut each chile into a few pieces so they’re easily chopped in the blender.

Start by adding 2 chiles to the blender with about ¾ of a cup of water or chicken broth and blend on high until smooth and the chiles and tomatillos are completely incorporated. Taste the salsa to see if it’s too hot; if it needs more chile, add them one at a time, blending & tasting the result until you are happy with the level of heat from the chiles. If it seems the salsa is not quite liquid enough, add another ¼ cup of water or chicken broth. The salsa will reduce slightly when cooked.

Pour blender contents into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the salsa boils, occasionally stirring. Remove from heat.

For more on salsa verde, visit my original post on the topic.

You can either make a bone-in chicken breast from scratch or use a store-bought rotisserie chicken if you’re short on time. For bone-in chicken breast and chicken stock, you can just gently boil the chicken on the stove with a pinch or two of salt, a slice of onion and a small spring of cilantro or a few epazote leaves until the meat is cooked through. If you use a rotisserie chicken, buy one that’s low-sodium or barely seasoned. You can pour the juices from the container into a saucepan with a few cups of water and a chicken leg or two.

To make the enchiladas:

Preheat the oven to 350º F (177º C).

Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and lightly fry both sides of the tortilla. Each side will dome up when it’s ready to be turned. Drain on paper towels. Put a bit of the shredded chicken in the center of each tortilla and add a generous pinch of the shredded Chihuahua cheese. Roll them up and place seam-side down in a baking dish.

Spread the crema liberally over the top of the enchiladas and then ladle some salsa over them. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and heat in the oven at 350º for 8-10 minutes to heat through. Then move to the top rack and broil on low until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly, with some brown spots. Remove from the oven. Using a spatula, transfer enchiladas to plates and finish with some extra salsa on top.

Yields 12 enchiladas. There will be some leftover salsa.

  • How do you like your enchiladas?
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