Camotes al chipotle: A Mexican twist on a Thanksgiving classic

If you’ve spent even one Thanksgiving at an average American dinner table, you’ve likely encountered sweet potatoes or yams with some kind of brown sugar or maple syrup and a marshmallow topping. I’m not knocking the tradition—in fact, I grew up eating it and usually get a craving around this time of year—but there are lots of other interesting things you can do with sweet potatoes, in my honest opinion.

Now that everyone in my family knows about my culinary skills, I’ve felt the need to give my menu a few new touches to keep things interesting. Though Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday, I decided this year to give a few traditional dishes a Mexican twist to surprise my family.

Here’s a recipe I developed to dress up the traditional sweet potatoes we usually serve on our Thanksgiving table. And, with the calorie-rich menus typically served around the holidays, this recipe is a bit healthier than traditional mashed potatoes that may be made with tons of butter and heavy cream. The marsala is a non-traditional ingredient to Mexican cooking but adds an interesting depth and sweet, nutty flavor to this dish. The chipotle should add a smoky flavor, but not be too spicy. If you’re afraid your troops will stage a revolt at the dinner table for doing something too different, you can always cut out the chipotle and add twice the adobo sauce to weaken the chile flavor so they don’t notice too much that you’ve given them the old switcheroo on the sweet potatoes.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

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Sopa de frijol negro con chipotle

Check out this fantastic and hearty black bean and chipotle chile soup I made this week. There are three reasons I love this recipe: First, you can make it in the blender—so it’s very easy to clean up afterward. Second, the whole recipe from prep to bowl can be made in 15 minutes or less! And last but not least, this recipe is very healthy—it’s low-fat and high in fiber. It makes a great first course if you divide into smaller portions, or with a little bolillo roll and butter, it can make an excellent and filling lunch or dinner.

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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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¡Conectando con mi gente!

I like to be constantly connected to mi gente, so when Sprint offered me a chance to try out its 4G network with a Samsung Epic phone for conducting official Tortilla Test Kitchen business, I was excited.

Many of you know I’ve been an iPhone devotee because I love all of the photography apps that make it so easy for me to share my creativity, what’s cooking in my kitchen or what events I’m attending that are of interest to the fans here on The Other Side of The Tortilla. But my iPhone doesn’t always work as a phone, and I can’t always pick up 3G coverage everywhere in the Chicago area where I live and play. I have to be honest that my love for the iPhone has been waning due to the fact that I drop calls or lose my 3G signal all the time, leaving me sometimes unable to connect at all or at a seemingly glacial pace. So the rapidity of the 4G Sprint network was a welcome change of pace.

It’s so important to me to stay connected and be able to charlar con mi gente, especially when it comes to answering cooking and ingredient questions from Tortilla fans on Twitter and Facebook. So when I discovered the Epic had mobile-to-mobile video chat capability with certain phones using Android apps, I was ecstatic! A fun new way to connect with fans? !Sí, por favor!

I offered my Twitter followers and Facebook fans with eligible phones the opportunity to video chat with me using the Samsung Epic on Sprint’s 4G network and one fan was kind enough to let me video tape our chat.

Watch me give Carrie the lowdown on chile chipotle and the difference between cajeta and dulce de leche.

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ALBÓNDIGAS EN SALSA CHIPOTLE

Albóndigas are a simple comfort food, easy to make and even easier to eat. I always serve these Mexican meatballs in a tomato chipotle sauce. Some people like to make their albóndigas bigger so they can accommodate a whole egg filling on the inside. My husband only likes them without egg, so I finally learned this recipe from our family friend, Esmeralda. It’s a simple but traditional Mexican dish sure to please the whole family.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at the Blogalicious Weekend conference at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach in Florida. I had an absolutely incredible time and was inspired by so many of the women I met.

A classic recipe for albóndigas al chipotle, a Mexican meatball dish with a tomato-chipotle sauce. Get the #recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com.

albóndigas

The kind folks at Kenmore hosted a pop-up kitchen at the conference and invited me several weeks ago to do a cooking demo using their kitchen. There was one challenge: I had to choose a recipe that could be made only using small appliances.

I thought for several days about what I could make with only access to a blender, a convection toaster oven, a toaster, a stand mixer, an induction pad, a food processor, a coffee maker or teakettle and a slow cooker. It was a tough decision because I really wanted to make rajas con crema, but without a sink and an oven, I didn’t think I could pull it off.

A few weekends ago, my mom was foraging through my refrigerator looking for a snack and I ended up giving her some albóndigas (meatballs) over rice. She loved them so much that she gobbled up the last of what little was left in a Tupperware from a few nights before.

The next day at 7 a.m. – a Sunday – my mom called to tell me she’d been up all night thinking about albóndigas and that she needed my recipe so she could make them herself that day. Seldom in my life has my mom, who is an amazing cook, called me for a recipe – it’s always me calling her. That’s when I decided if they were good enough for mom to call me at 7 a.m. on a Sunday and risk waking me up on the one day a week that I like to sleep in, then the Blogalicious crowd would surely love this recipe, too. If you weren’t able to see it live in Miami, check out the video below of the cooking demo from start to finish.

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