Tag Archives: mexican

Shrimp Tostadas with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I confess that I often find Mexican food too dense for my garden-fresh sensibilities, so when I cook Mexican-inspired food at home, I lighten it up with lots of fresh vegetables, homemade salsa and herbs. We made these tostadas the other night and served the ingredients buffet-style, so everyone could pile on the garnishes to their taste.

Shrimp Tostadas with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Fresh summer corn cut straight from the cob is sweet and crisp – no cooking required. When cutting the corn, lay the husked cob on a cutting board and carefully slice kernels off with a chef’s knife, rotating the cob. Sweep the kernels and milk into the bowl for the salsa. Serves 4 to 6.

For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Sriracha or hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

For the black bean salsa:
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Corn kernels from one ear of corn
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
Juice of half a lime
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small handful cilantro sprigs, chopped

Tostada shells
Lettuce leaves
Tomato salsa
1 avocado, sliced
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges

Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, hot sauce, cumin, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside.

Combine all of the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Taste for seasoning.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium high heat (or prepare grill for direct cooking over medium heat). Remove shrimp from the marinade, shaking off any excess and transfer to skillet 0r grill. Cook shrimp until pink on both sides and just cooked through, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl.

To assemble tostadas, lay a lettuce leaf over the corn shell. Spoon the black bean salsa over the lettuce. Top with 2 to 3 shrimp. Spoon tomato salsa over. Garnish with avocado slices and fresh cilantro. Squeeze a few drops of lime juice over each tostada. Serve immediately.

Shrimp and Cheese Nachos

Shrimp Cheese Nachos 1

Now, shush. I gave you lentils in my last post. Now you will get nachos. C’mon. We all need a little cheesy nacho goodness to balance out the healthy food around here. Besides, if we are going to analyze this, then this plate of fun food isn’t as bad as you think. I did my best to keep it light and fresh, just close your eyes and enjoy the cheese. And yes I called this dinner.

Shrimp Nachos

You don’t need a whole pound of shrimp for this recipe, but I do recommend it so you can pop a few in your mouth before serving.

Serves 6 (or 4 if you call this dinner)

Shrimp:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 to 2 ripe but not mushy avocados, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cumin

8 ounces tortilla chips
3 cups Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated, plus 1 cup for broiling
3 green onions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely diced

1 large vine-ripened tomato, cored, diced
½ cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the shrimp in one layer. Cook until pink and just cooked through, turning once, about 2 minutes. (It’s ok if the shrimp are a little under-done. They will continue to cook in the oven). Remove from pan and drain on paper towel lined plates.

Combine the avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and cumin in a small bowl and gently stir to coat.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread half of the tortilla chips in a large rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, half of the white scallions, half of the jalapenos and half of the red onion over the chips. Top with remaining chips, 1 1/2 cups cheese, white scallions, jalapenos and red onion. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and nachos are hot, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and turn on the broiler. Arrange the shrimp over the cheese. Sprinkle the last 1 cup cheese over the shrimp. Broil to melt the top cheese, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Scatter the avocado, tomatoes, green scallions, and cilantro evenly over the top. Serve immediately with salsa and guacamole if desired.

Chipotle Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas TasteFood~ Chipotle Beer Braised Pork Carnitas ~

Carnitas are perfect weekend food. Festive and fun to eat, they are great for a casual party or a large family gathering. Begin the meat early in the day so that it will slow cook in the oven while you go about your daily business. As the meat breaks down, it will be infused by the beer and chipotle braising liquid until it’s falling apart tender at the bone. A little shredding and a final turn in the oven with the reduced sauce turns out smoky, spicy, caramelized pork, ready to pile on tortillas with salsa and guacamole. If you have any leftovers, the meat may be used in sandwiches or loaded on homemade nachos the next day.

Chipotle Beer Braised Pork Carnitas

Serves 8

2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (4 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup Mexican beer
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Accompaniments:
Warm flour or corn tortillas
Guacamole
Salsa
Fresh cilantro
Sliced green onions

Heat oven to 300 F. Mix the cumin, paprika, sugar salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spices all over the meat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a dutch oven. Brown the pork on all sides. Remove the pork. Add onion, garlic, beer, orange juice, chipotles, lime juice and brown sugar to the dutch oven. Bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits, then reduce heat to a simmer. Return the pork to the pot. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook until pork is very tender, about 3 to 4 hours, turning every hour or so.

Remove pork from the braising liquid and transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat. Place the meat in a baking dish. Strain the braising sauce into a saucepan. Boil until reduced to a sauce consistency. Drizzle over the shredded pork. Transfer the pork to oven and broil until the meat begins to caramelize, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, spoon some of the pork in the center of a tortilla. Top with guacamole, salsa, fresh cilantro and scallions. Roll up and eat.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Shrimp, Corn and Black Bean Tostadas
Beer-Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with Jicama Slaw
Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Chipotle Skirt Steak Fajitas

~ Chipotle Skirt Steak Fajitas ~

It’s August, but fall is in the air. There is a deep chill to the mornings, while the afternoon sunlight colors everything a hazy golden hue, stretching long shadows into the garden.  As if on cue, apples and pears have moved into prominent display in the markets, and school lunches are once again on our mind. The first week of school, with post-summer reunions, orientations, and a significant step into high school, has finished with success. The kids are happy; so then are the parents. I can’t think of a better excuse for a little down-home Margarita-Friday celebration, along with a fiesta-inspired dinner.

Chipotle Skirt Steak Fajitas
Serves 4

For the marinade:
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak

For the Avocado Corn Salsa:
1 15-ounce can black beans drained
Corn kernels from one ear of corn
2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely diced
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe, but not too soft, avocado, cut in 1/4 inch chunks
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Soft corn or flour tortillas
Garnishes: tomato salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice

Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place skirt steak in a shallow rimmed dish (or a zip-lock bag). Pour the marinade over the steak. Cover with plastic and refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.

To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients except the avocado and cilantro in a bowl. Toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. (Salsa may be made in advance to this point. Cover and refrigerate). Before serving add avocado and cilantro. Gently toss to combine.

Remove steak from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Discard marinade. Grill steak over direct high heat, turning once, until desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes for medium-rare. (Or broil in oven, turning once). Transfer to cutting board and rest for 5 minutes. Cut against the grain in 1/2-inch strips.

To assemble fajitas, spoon Avocado Corn Salsa over a tortilla. Top with a few steak strips. Garnish with tomato salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Roll up and eat. Pass the napkins.

Shrimp, Corn and Black Bean Tostadas

~ Shrimp, Corn and Black Bean Tostadas ~

Little did I know that when we moved to California from Denmark, my children’s favorite fast food would become a burrito.  I’ve never been a huge fan of Mexican cuisine, but now that we live in a state where English sometimes takes a back seat to Spanish, it makes sense to embrace the local flavors. The burrito’s oozing combination of beans, rice, cheese and meat rolled up in a soft tortilla are a little too dense for my garden-fresh sensibilities, so when I cook Mexican-inspired food at home, I lighten it up with lots of fresh vegetables, homemade salsas and herbs. We made these tostadas the other night and served the ingredients buffet-style, so everyone could pile on the garnishes to their taste.  Continue reading Shrimp, Corn and Black Bean Tostadas

Harvest Chicken Tortilla Soup


~ Harvest Chicken Tortilla Soup ~

My inspiration for making soup is often a convergence of too many veggies in the refrigerator with homemade stock and leftovers from a roast chicken. Such was the case after a weekend of house guests and dinners involving carnitas, black bean salsa, lots of corn and the aforementioned roast chicken. This recipe is not an authentic tortilla soup, as I managed to empty most of the contents of my veggie drawer into it. It’s chock-a-block full of corn, beans, zucchini and peppers, which led me to call it a Harvest Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Harvest Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, diced
1 sweet red pepper, stemmed and seeded, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch dice
4 cups chicken stock
1 – 28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 pound shredded cooked chicken
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup cooked black beans
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Tortilla chips, broken in pieces

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 2 minutes. Add the peppers and continue to sauté 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and zucchini and sauté briefly, 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, plum tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, cumin, coriander and cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in corn, beans and chicken and simmer until heated through. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Stir in cilantro leaves and serve. Garnish with additional cilantro and tortilla chips.

Fiesta Shrimp Salsa

Shrimp Salsa

Post holidays, I crave bright and spicy food with an exotic flare.  Asian or Mexican inspired dishes flavored and spiced which cilantro and chile or ginger and citrus are a great way to jazz up the palate, waking it from its winter slumber.  Here is a recipe that is quick, easy and a crowd pleaser.  Sautéed shrimp marinate in a homemade citrus-y salsa and are served with tortilla chips.  It’s a confetti of color and an explosion of tastes and textures. Light and festive with a bite, this salsa is a guaranteed pick-me-up and a perfect way to ring in the New Year.

Fiesta Shrimp Salsa

Fiesta Shrimp Salsa

Serve in a bowl with chips on the side as an appetizer, or arrange on a bed of greens and serve as a salad.

Serves 6-8

1 lb. (500 grams) medium shrimp, deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tomatoes, seeded, diced
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, minced
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of one lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish
Tortilla chips

Prepare:
Remove shells from shrimp, leaving tails intact on 6 shrimp for garnish.  Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Sauté shrimp in batches in one layer in skillet.  Cook turning once, until pink and cooked through, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining shrimp. Set shrimp aside to cool.  Slice shrimp in half lengthwise down the middle of the back, except for the 6 with tails intact.

Combine tomatoes, serrano chile, jalapeno, red onion, garlic, lime and lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil.  Add shrimp halves, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours before serving.

Before serving, add chopped parsley and cilantro, stirring to combine.  Serve in a bowl or on greens on a platter. Arrange whole shrimp with tails on top. Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro leaves. Serve with tortilla chips.