Tag Archives: mexican

Mexican Wedding Cookies

21 Apr

When putting together my menu for Mexican Supper Club, I knew I would do a flan for dessert. But I also wanted another sweet treat to pass around.

I referred to the Cooks Illustrated Mexican Edition for some inspiration and found Mexican Wedding Cookies. I’ve never heard of them before, let alone made them. They sounded easy and perfect!

These little cookies were so light and scrumptious. They were a true delight! They are very delicate – so handle with care. And try to resist popping them in your mouth while making them!

One helpful hint – make sure they are completely cooled prior to dusting with confectioner’s sugar.

I see why they call them Wedding Cookies – they are a special treat. They are beyond easy to make! They would be fabulous on your holiday cookie platter as well.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans or walnuts
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 16 tblsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups confectioners sugar

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle-lower-middle positions and preheat to 325. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

Finely grind half of pecans in food processor to texture of coarse cornmeal, 10-15 seconds, then transfer to medium bowl. Coarsely chop remaining pecans in food processor, about 5 seconds, transfer to same bowl and stir in flour and salt.

In large bowl, beat butter and superfine sugar with hand-held mixer on medium until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly mix in pecan-flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.

Scrape bowl and beaters and continue to beat on low until dough is cohesive, about 7 seconds. At this point, dough can be covered and refrigerated for 3 days.

Working with 1 tblsp dough at a time, roll into balls and lay on baking shets, spaced about 1 inch apart. Bake until pale and good and bottoms are just beginning to brown, about 18 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through.

Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Meanwhile repeat with remainder of dough on freshly lined baking sheets.

Roll cookies in confectioners sugar and shake off excess.

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Mexican Flan

26 Mar

There arent too many Mexican desserts. But one of the most popular mexican desserts is flan.

I decided to make Mexican Flan for Mexican Supper Club back in October. I was a little nervous since I’ve never made a custard before. I knew immediately to set up the basics – line a large roasting pan with a dish towel and place my flan pan inside so that everything is ready.

I struggled with the first step of making the caramel topping. I boiled the sugar water 3 times without it turning out right before I called the expert……my mom! Without having made this before either, she surmised that my heat wasnt high enough when simmering the sugar water mixture. She was right and it turned dark and was ready to go! I dont know how, but moms are always right.

The rest of the flan came together real easy after that.

Because my oven was having issues, it took a bit long than expected to cook through and in the process the top (well, really the bottom) got a little dark….You can see it in the pictures later on in the bottom of the plate.

I was especially nervous when the time came to flip the flan upright onto the plate in front of my dinner guests. Basically, you wait until it’s cooled completely, run a knife around the edges, then hold a plate on top of the pan, and flip the entire thing over so that the flan has the caramel part on top.

Look how perfectly this worked! SUCCESS! It looks gorgeous, too.

And then we finally got to try it at the end of our mexican meal. It was out of this world. I nailed the taste and the texture!! Again, dont mind the dark part on the bottom of the plate. My oven is to blame.

Mexican Flan

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tblsp water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 cups 2 percent milk
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees.

Place dish towel in bottom of large roasting pan and place 9-inch cake pan in center.

Bring sugar and water to boil in small saucepan, swirling saucepan gently until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.

Reduce to simmer and cook, gently swirling saucepan occasionally, until mixture turns deep, dark mahogany color, 7-10 minutes. Carefully pour caramel into cake pan and cool slightly until hardened.

Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks together in medium bowl until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in condensed milk, 2 percent milk, and lemon zest. Pour mixture into cake pan and gently place roasting pan on oven rack. Be careful not to splash any water inside pan of custard, pour boiling water into roasting pan until water reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.

Bake until center of custard is just barely set and is no longer sloshy, 30-40 minutes. Start checking after 25 minutes.

Carefully remove roasting pan from oven and careful transfer cake pan to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover cake pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Run knife around cake pan to loosen custard. Invert large serving platter over top of cake pan and grasping both cake pan and platter, gently flip custard onto platter, drizzling any extra caramel sauce over top (some will remain in pan). Serve.

Can be made ahead 2 days – cover tightly on top with saran wrap so it hits the custard.

Beef Enchiladas

10 Mar

When I was planning for Mexican Supper Club in October, I referred to the Cooks Illustrated Mexican Edition for some inspiration. I found so many recipes that I ended up using, but this one especially called my name: Beef Enchiladas.

This recipe couldnt have been easier to put together. And note – I used homemade flour tortillas, not the storebought ones in the picture above (recommended over buying storebought tortillas).

The flavor in the sauce is insanely amazing. Never in a million years did I imagine it would be this tasty.

Everyone ate it up like crazy. I had to fend the leftovers off from Beth and save them for Robb. I can not wait to make it again.

Seriously, if you want an authentic and EASY mexican feast, include this in your mealplan. You will not be sorry.

Beef Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tblsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt
  • 1.25 pounds top blade steaks (chuck meat)
  • 1 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups Monterey jack (or cheddar cheese) shredded
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped canned pickled jalapeno chiles
  • 12 corn or flour tortillas

Directions:

Combine garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, sugar, and 1 tsp salt in small bowl.

Pat meat dry with paper towels and season with salt. Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook meat until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer meat to plate.

Reduce heat to medium, add onions to pot, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and water and bring to boil.

Return meat and any accumulated juices to pot, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is fall-apart tender, about 1.5 hours.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350. Strain beef mixture over medium bowl, breaking meat into small pieces, reserve sauce. Transfer meat to bowl and mix with 1 cup cheese, cilantro, and jalapenos.

Spread ¾ cup sauce on bottom of 13×9 inch baking dish. Microwave 6 tortillas on plate on high power until soft, about 1 minute. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture down center of each tortilla, roll tortillas tightly and set in baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beef mixture. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and spread to coat evenly.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over enchiladas, wrap with aluminum, and baked until heated through, 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese browns slightly, 5-10 minutes.

Flour Tortillas

9 Mar

I am sure the last thing you think about making from scratch when doing mexican is flour tortillas……well I am here to let you know how EASY it really is.

When cooking for my Mexican Supper Club night, I planned to do Beef Enchiladas. I bought flour tortillas from the store as a back-up just in case I didnt have time to make my own.

But I always had a feeling that I was going to make my own no matter what. It turned out that I had some extra time and I just went for it!

It was BEYOND easy to put together. They took a little longer in the frying pan than I thought they would. But all in all, they turned out AMAZING.

The key when you are sauteeing them in the frying pan is to make sure you have a damp towel on top of saran wrap on top of the plate of cooked tortillas so they stay a bit pliable when you go to use them.

Making your own tortillas is SO much better for you than using store-bought. They taste fresher and dont contain any chemicals or additives. They have a better texture, too, and are great to use in almost any recipe!

And I am so bummed that I didnt take any pics of the finished tortillas. I’ll have to update in the future when I make them again. But here is a pic of my yummy beef enchiladas!

Flour Tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 2 and ¾ cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 6 tblsp Crisco, cut into 6 pieces
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tblsp water, heated up to 110 degrees
  • ½ tsp vegetable oil

Directions:

Combine flour and salt in bowl – stir. Rub shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until combined.

Turn dough out onto counter and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Roll 2.5 tblsp dough into 1.5 inch balls. Transfer balls to plate and refrigerate until firm, wrapped in plastic.

Working on lightly floured counter, roll out balls to 8-inch rounds. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat until just smoking. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Lay 1 round in skillet and cook until surface begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Flip and cook until browned and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate and cover with dish towel. (NOTE: It took my tortillas about 3-4 minutes per side to cook)

At this point – go on and use them for whatever dish you plan to make.

Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa

17 Feb

Who doesnt love salsa? Seriously…..find me someone who doesnt LOVE salsa.

Robb has the Rick Bayless “Mexican Everyday” cookbook. It has become one of our mexican cooking bibles.

We’ve tried a couple of his salsas, and we landed on this one as being the best. (I usually end up adding a bit more heat to it, too – as you can see by the additional random spicy peppers in the pan above)

This tastes divine – you can taste the roasted garlic and peppers. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients. And it’s simple to make. I made it for Mexican Supper Club back in October and it was a huge hit. I made a regular batch and then I made a SPICY batch for John and I.

Salsa is already a party food staple. Why not make your own at home? It’s so much healthier for you and you can modify it however you like!

Dip into it!!!!

Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapenos (or 4 serranos/1 habanero)
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • One 15 oz can diced tomatoes- fire roasted, in juice
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp of fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp Salt

Directions:

Remember to wear gloves when you handle/chop the spicy peppers – dont want to burn your skin or touch your eye later on!

Set small skillet over medium heat. Lay the chiles and garlic in the skillet and dry roast until soft and blotchy black in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 mins for the garlic.

While chiles and garlic roast, scoop onion into strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water and pour into medium bowl.

Pull stems off the roasted chiles and peel papery skins off the garlic. Scoop them into the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the tomatoes with their juice, re-cover and pulse a few more times, until the mixture is as coarse or smooth as you want your salsa to be.

Pour the mixture into the bowl with the onion. Add cilantro and stir thoroughly.

Thin with water if necessary to give salsa an easier consistency (I typically do not do this). Taste and season with lime juice and salt – I tend to go heavy on these two items.

NOTE: If making salsa ahead of time, refrigerate and don’t add onions and cilantro until ready to serve.

Guacamole

11 Dec

There are a zillion different ways to make guacamole. There are a zillion recipes – each with varying twists and levels of heat, sometimes just variations on amount of the same ingredients to use.

For Supper Club in October, I decided to make a simple guacamole. I found the recipe in Cooks Illustrated Mexican issue.

I think most guacamole is really good. Although I grew up not liking it – and didnt like avocados. I mostly didnt like them because there wasnt much taste although there were a lot of calories. But as of 5 years ago, I realized the wonder and awesomeness of the avocado.

When cutting avocados, it’s best to slice down the middle and break apart. Then slam your knife into the seed and twist it in a circle and pull it out of the fruit. Then slice each half of the avocado lengthwise all the way across as it sits in your hand, then move the avocado sideways in your hand and slice lengthwise the opposite way. Then you can scoop it all out easily!

This recipe was rather delicious. It wasnt too onion-y, it was flavorful and thick, but not too thick.

This is a really easy dip to bring to a party if need-be. It will be wildly popular with your friends as they dig in with their chips. And it’s SO easy to make!

Ole!

Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • 2 tblsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 small jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 tblsp lime juice
  • Salt

Directions:

Mix everything together and mash to your desired consistency. Sprinkle lime juice and salt last and taste.

Can be made ahead 1 day as long as saran is placed DIRECTLY ON TOP of guac (so guac doesnt get brown and gross) and refrigerated. Return to room temp before serving.

Chicken Mole

1 Dec

When people talk about complicated Mexican dishes,  you always hear about Mole Sauces. All my life I’ve heard how hard a mole sauce is.

In planning for Mexican Supper Club, I knew I had to make a mole sauce to challenge myself and find out just how hard this sauce is to make. The question was, where to find a recipe that was good but yet not too ridiculous with the ingredient list.

BINGO: Cooks Illustrated Mexican Edition!! You cant go wrong with Cooks Illustrated. And if you are a serious cook, I HIGHLY recommend getting a subscription to this bi-monthly magazine.

This recipe could not have been any easier, or any more delicious.

The hardest part about the recipe (and it wasnt even that hard) was roasting the chilis and dicing them up and removing their seeds. And remembering to wear rubber gloves when doing this step 😉

Honestly, this dish was out of this world. It wasnt that spicy (you could certainly modify your spice level with the amount of peppers/seeds you use). And one of the keys is ALMOND BUTTER. Dont skimp and think that peanut butter would substitute……The almond butter totally makes this dish what it is.

It’s a month and a half after I made it, and I can still taste the multi-layered flavor palette in my mouth. It was like something I’ve never had before. I will absolutely be making this again. Bueno!!

Chicken Mole

Ingredients:

  • 2 dried ancho chiles (sub 2 tblsp dried ancho chile powder if possible)
  • ½ dried chipotle chile(sub ground chipotle chile powder / ½ tsp minced canned chipotle in adobe sauce)
  • 3 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ounce bittersweet, chopped coarse
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 tblsp sesame seeds, toasted plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
  • 3.5 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed and trimmed

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Place anchos and chipotle on baking sheet and toast until fragrant and puffed, 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard seeds and stems, then break into small pieces.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in toasted chile pieces, cinnamon, cloves, and chocolate and cook until spices are fragrant and chocolate is melted and bubbly, 2 minutes.

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, at least 30 seconds. Stir in broth, tomatoes, raisins, almond butter, and sesame seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Transfer mixture to blender (or food processor) and process until smooth, about 20 seconds, season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.

Adjust oven temperature to 400 degrees. Pat chicken pieces dry and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in baking dish in single layer. Cover with mole sauce, turning chicken to coat evenly. Bake uncovered, until breast registers 160 degrees, about 35-45 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest in sauce 5-10 minutes. Transfer to large platter and spoon sauce over top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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