Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sausage and Pasta Salad

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi Everyone!!

Today I will be sharing with you another Pasta Salad recipe!
I love this kind of dish because it really is delicious and so very easy to make! If you want something that is good for  you, something that looks beautiful and tastes even better, this is the dish for you.
It has veggies, a little bit of pasta, all serve on a Delicious and refreshing bed baby greens.

Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked small pasta (Penne, elbows, shells, bows, any kind of small pasta you like) (whole wheat or white)
  • 4-6 precooked sausage links (your favorite brand and flavor) (or hot-dog links)
  • 2 cups  cherry tomatoes
  • 1  red onion, chopped in big chunks
  • 1-2 bell peppers cut in thin slices
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cups baby greens roughly chopped
  • 1 cup  white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste

For garnish:
  • Black Olives, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • More Baby Greens to serve (½ -1 cups per serving)

Cook the pasta as you would normally do.
I like to cook my pasta in  boiling salted water with a bit of olive oil, 2 bay leaves and 1 garlic clove, for about 6-8 minutes or until Al Dente.  Drain and set aside.

Cut the Sausage links into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet, on medium heat,  preheat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the Sausage link for about 4-5 minutes or until cooked and golden brown.

Add the onions, cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, or until it becomes aromatic. Add in the white wine, cook on high heat until the wine is reduce to half. (3-5 minutes)

Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the bell peppers, cook for 1 minute. Add in 2 cups of chopped baby greens, also stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.
Stir together and cook for about 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes are warm and soft (not to soft, unless you like very soft tomatoes).

Turn off the heat. Combine the Pasta with the Sausage mix.
And you are done!

I served this delicious Salad over a bed of fresh baby greens,  garnished with diced black olives and fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Key-Lime Pie

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi Everyone! Today's recipe is a very easy to make Key-Lime Pie. Perfect for this summer or any other time of the year, it requires very few and very inexpensive ingredients and will for sure impress any guests you might have! 


Ingredients for the crust:
  • 1½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • ⅓  cup unsalted butter

Ingredients for the Filling:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime

Ingredients for the Meringue:
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF
To make the Crust: 
Melt the butter.  In a bowl, combine 1½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs with ⅓ cup of melted butter. Mix well until thoroughly combined.  Pour this mixture on your pan, press over the bottom and sides of your pan, and bake at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown. Set aside to cool.

To make the Filling:
Beat the condensed Milk and the egg yolks together until smooth. (Add 1 egg yolk at a time, and beat for 15 seconds before adding the next one). Also beat in the Lime Juice and Lime Zest.  Beat until well combined.

Pour this mixture into the Pie crust, and bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes.  Set aside.

To make the Meringue: 
In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar for about 4-5 minutes on high speed, or until soft peaks form.  Slowly add in the sugar and continue to beat for 1-2 more minutes or until the meringue is firm and glossy.

Spread the Meringue over the pie and bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is nice and golden brown.

Let it cool and keep cold in the refrigerator before serving.

Note: Meringues only last about 2 days. So I recommend you eat this pie the same day you make it!  The next day will be good... but if you have any left over, discard after the second day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chili-lime Oven Roasted Chicken

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi everyone: Today's recipe is another Oven Roasted Chicken, and I'm happy to say, this one is even better than the last one I made! I made this for my anniversary, and it was perfect, it took almost no time to prepare and after I placed it in the oven, I just forgot about it! so It was a very stress-free meal. Chicken is really cheap, so again, I was able to make a meal fit for a King on a very small budget! I hope you give this one a try, you wont regret it!

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole chicken (I'm using a 4½lbs chicken)
  • 4 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Zest of 1 lime 
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Melt the butter. (takes 30 seconds on the microwave), Season it with 1/2 tablespoon of  each: Salt, black pepper and dry oregano. Also add in the Zest of 1 lime, plus the juice of half a lime. (reserve the rest of the juice for later). Add in 4 tablespoons of chili sauce and 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika. Mix well, until everything is well combined and set aside for a minute.

Rinse the chicken under cold water.  Pat it dry with paper towels.

With a small knife or your fingers, loosen the the skin from the chicken without tearing it apart. (watch the video for some tips).  With a small knife or a fork, poke the chicken a couple times, this will allow the marinade to fully impregnate the chicken. 

Grab some of the butter marinade, and rub it under the skin, on the chicken meat. Give the chicken a good massage with it. Make sure to rub this mixture all under the chicken skin. Grab the rest of the marinade, and massage it on the chicken skin. rub the whole chicken with it, and don't forget to also rub some of the marinade inside the chicken cavity.

Squeeze the rest of the lime juice over the chicken, and season with a little extra salt, black pepper and paprika. (½ teaspoon of each) on both sides of the chicken.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (the longer you marinate, the more flavorful it will become)

Preheat oven to 375ºF  (190ºC).

Cook for 1 hour in a 375ºF oven.  After 1 hour, turn the chicken around, so it can get nice and golden brown on the other side. Rise the oven temperature to 450ºF (230ºC) and continue to cook for 15 more minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.  (The internal temperature of a cooked chicken is 170ºF ( 76ºC) )

After the chicken is cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving it. This will allow all the juices to disperse all throughout  the chicken.




Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Black Bean Salad!!!


To Watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!!

Hi Everyone, today I'm bringing  you a super easy and delicious salad, perfect for the summer or any other time of the year! Really simple and very flavorful. Preparation time is less than 10 minutes. I hope you like it! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can yellow corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper (any color you like)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley if you prefer)
  • 1 lime 
  • 1 avocado
Dressing:
  • red crushed pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime
To make the salad:
In a large bowl combine the beans, corn kernels, bell peppers, chopped red onions, diced tomatoes and cilantro, mix together and set aside.

To make the dressing:
In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons olive oil plus the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, add in 1/2 tablespoon salt,  1/2 tablespoon black pepper,  1/2 tablespoon dry oregano and crushed red pepper to taste. Mix well.

Pour the dressing on the salad and mix together. Garnish with avocado and lime wedges. Top with Tortilla strips.

For the Tortilla strips: you need 3 corn tortillas and enough oil to fry them.  Cut the tortillas in thin strips and fry the tortillas until they are golden brown, drain them on paper towels and sprinkle with some salt and you are done!

Enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yakitori Chicken

To watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!!

Hi everyone! As promised on my last post, today I'm taking you all the way to Japan with a super easy and delicious recipe "Yakitori Chicken", It's sticky, kind of sweet and salty at the same time, you will definitely want to lick your fingers and the plate after eating this delicious goodness! I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (use a reduced sodium sauce)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian seasoning(I used a sweet ginger and garlic seasoning, you can replace it with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 minced garlic clove and 1/2 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger. Do not use any salt! The Soy Sauce has plenty of that!)
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 3-4 green onions cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/4 cup Sake (Japanese beer) (optional)
  • Wooden Skewers

Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using them, this will prevent them
from catching on fire.

Yakitori Sauce/Marinade

Mix a 1/3 cup of soy sauce , 1/3 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of Mirin, 1/4 of a cup of sugar, 1 tablespoons of rice vinegar, (also add in 1/4 cup of sake if you have any), mix well for 1 minute or until the sugar has dissolved.  Set aside.

Cut the chicken thighs into bite size chunks, (about 2 inches). Place the chicken in a bowl, and season it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Asian seasoning, mix to make sure every piece of chicken is well seasoned.  Pour a 1/4 cup of the soy sauce mixture over the chicken and marinate for at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator.


Cook the rest of the soy sauce mixture in a saucepan over medium heat, cook until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, and in a small container, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture. Mix well until the cornstarch is dissolved, and add this mixture back into pan with the soy sauce. Stir and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes or until it thickens. (Reserve a 1/4 cup of this glaze to garnish the Kebabs. Reserve the rest of the sauce to brush over the kebabs while cooking them).

Build the kebabs: Grab a wooden skewer and alternate the chicken and green onions onto it.

To Grill: Glaze the chicken with the soy sauce mixture and grilled for about 5 minutes on each side, brushing them with the soy sauce glaze every two minutes or so. Cook until the chicken is cooked.

To Bake: Bake for about 5 minutes in a 450ºF oven, after 5 minutes or so, remove from the oven, then brush the kebabs with the Soy Sauce Glaze and put them back into the oven for 5 more minutes.

Remove again from the oven, brush them again with the Soy Sauce Glaze on all sides. Set the oven to BROIL and broil the kebabs for 2 or 3 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked. (if you didn't soak the skewers, they will definitely burn if you broil them!!! Be careful)

Serve with white rice, glaze the kebabs with more of the Soy Sauce glaze, and sprinkle an extra pinch of Asian Seasoning on top.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Assorted Flautas (Chicken, Beans and Chorizo, Cheesy Potatoes, Chessy Poblano Strips

To Watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi Everyone!
Today's recipe is another Mexican Recipe! Sorry I seem to be craving a lot of Mexican food lately, I hope you don't mind, I promise, with my next recipe,  I will take you all the way to Japan, so please stay tuned!  For now, I will be leaving you with one of my favorite "Antojito Mexicano" Flautas!

They are basically a Taco, there is two main differences between a Taco and a Flauta, the first one is the tortillas.  Tortillas for flautas are usually longer and thinner, however,  I wasn't able to get those tortillas where I live, so I ended up using regular tortillas. The second difference is that Flautas are rolled into a cylindrical-shape to  resemble a Flute.

Tacos are just folded in half, and after you cook them you can still add some filling inside them... with a Flute or a Flauta, what you cook is what you get... you cannot add any other fillings, but hey, don't be sad,  you can still dip your flautas in all kinds of delicious sauces.

So Today I will be making Assorted Flautas, just the way Mama does, after 1 or 2 flautas you get tired of the same filling, so I decided to go all the way out and make 4 fillings! All very simple to make and very budget friendly... You will be able to feed at least 10 people with less than $20 dollars! You can't beat that!

Preparation time: 30-35 mins. Cooking time if frying: 5-10 minutes. Cooking time if baking: 8-10 minutes.

Ingredients for the Flautas:
  • Corn Tortillas (it will be nice if you could get Flauta Tortillas, if not, regular tortillas will work just fine)
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying (2 cups) or Cooking spray for Baking
  • Toothpicks to keep the flautas closed when frying

Chicken Filling:  (Makes 12-15)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leave
  • salt to taste

Beans and Chorizo Filling: (Makes 8-10)
  • 1 14oz can pinto beans
  • 4-5 tablespoons of Chorizo (get a good quality Chorizo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of vegetable oil 

Poblano pepper Filling (Rajas con Queso) (Makes 10-12)
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon  chicken bouillon seasoning
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Cheesy Potato Filling: (Makes 15+)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 113g bag  mashed potatoes mix
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Preparation: (if you are baking the flautas preheat the oven to 400ºF)

Poblano Pepper Strips:
In a very hot pan or griddle, toast the bell peppers on all sides, for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the skin starts to blister. Once they are done, place them in a plastic bag. Close the bag, and let the peppers steam inside the bag for about 10-15 minutes, to soften the skin.

After 10 minutes or so, peel them off.  Remove the stems, veins and seeds and cut the peppers into thin strips.

In a skillet, on medium heat add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil, also add in the onions and chopped tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes or until the onion becomes transparent. Add in the poblano strips, season with 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon seasoning and a pinch of black pepper, stir, taste the flavor and add any salt if needed. Cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the shredded cheese.  Set aside until ready to use.

Chicken filling:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add some salt, a garlic clove,  and a bay leave, cook the chicken for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Drain the chicken, let it cool and shred it. Set aside until ready to use.

Beans and Chorizo Filling:
Drain and rinse the beans.

On a small skillet, on medium heat add a splash of vegetable oil and cook the chorizo for about 3 minute. Once the chorizo is cooked, add in the beans and season with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin, taste the flavor and add any salt if needed. Cook for 3 minutes to heat up the beans and then mash them with a spoon or fork.  Set them aside until ready to use. (Mashing the beans will help them to stay put in place when frying the flautas)

Cheesy Potato Filling:
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turf off the heat and add in the mashed potato mix. Stir well for about 1 minute or until the mixture becomes thick. Add in the cheese, give it one last stir, cover with a lid and let it stand for 5 minutes before using it.

To make the Flautas:
Heat up the tortillas in the microwave for about 45 seconds. If you use cold tortillas, they will probably break as you roll them, so please do heat them up a little bit before using them!

Grab a warm tortilla, add about 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite filling right in the middle and roll it into a flute as tight as you can.

Grab another tortilla, add your favorite filling and roll it into a flute again. Now grab a toothpick and  bring both Flautas together, this will make the frying process easier, the toothpick will prevent the flautas from rolling open.

Keep on making the flautas until you are done.

Fry the Flautas, a couple at a time, in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain them on paper towels before serving them!

Or if you prefer, you can bake them at 400ºF for about 8-10 minutes or until nice and golden brown. (Before you bake them, don't forget to spray them with cooking spray!)

That's it.. enjoy...
I like serving my flautas with a very simple salad of shredded lettuce, red onions and cherry tomatoes, drizzled with lime juice and seasoned with salt and ground black pepper.  Don't forget to add your favorite salsa to dip the flautas in, and enjoy!!

I will add my favorite salsa to dip the flautas in it.. and that's about it

enjoy!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tacos de Discada

To watch this Video-Recipe, please click HERE!!

Hi everyone! Today I will be sharing with you, one  of my Hometown's favorite dishes! It's called Discada, and its a Meat Lover's dream! This dish is very popular in the North of Mexico specially in Monterrey and Coahuila, which is my hometown.

This comes in a second place, next to Carne Asada, it's usually made for a gathering with friends or family.  It's not only delicious but also very budget friendly! So it's the perfect dish for any celebration, and it is so easy to make, you will want to make it every other day! I hope you give this dish a try,  so you can have a little taste of my hometown!  You wont regret it!

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat (Discada is usually made with a combination of pork and beef)
  • 2 cups chopped ham
  • 2 cups chopped hotdog links
  • 5 ounces of Chorizo (Mexican Spicy Pork Sausage)
  • 1 onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers (optional, any color)
  • 2 minced jalapeno peppers. (optional)
  • 1/2 cup tomato pure
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon seasoning
  • ½ or 1 tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste

To serve:
  • Corn Tortillas 3-4 per person
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • Your favorite Salsa

In a large Skillet, heat up ½ or 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, add the ground meat, break it down with the spoon to avoid any big chunks, and season with ½ tablespoon of chicken flavor bouillon, cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the meat is cooked.

When the meat is done, add in the Chorizo, and break it down with the spoon. Cook for about 3 minutes. Then add in the onions, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers, cook for 3 more minutes or until the onions become transparent.

After the onions are cooked add in the ham and hotdog links, cook for 3-4 more minutes or until the ham and links are heated through.

Add in the tomato puree, give it a stir, add ½ tablespoon of chicken flavor bouillon or any salt and ground black pepper if needed.  Give it a quick stir, cover with a lid and continue to cook on medium heat for 3-5 more minutes or until the puree is well heated through and well incorporated with the rest of the ingredients.

Warm up the tortillas, in the microwave or a griddle.

Serve the Discada in the middle of the tortilla, like a taco, and garnish with chopped onion and chopped cilantro.  And just before you eat, squeeze a little bit of lime juice over your tacos, the juice will bring all the flavors together, so don't skip the lime juice! Top with your favorite salsa and that's it!

Enjoy!

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