Storm the Cassoulet

Jalapeño Pineapple Infused Tequila

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Ingredients:

1 750ml bottle of decent tequila (or reposado)

2-3 good sized jalapenos, halved and seeded

1 pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks

1 sprig of rosemary

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a glass container and refrigerate covered for 12 – 36 hours, tasting every 6 – 12 hours for heat. When desired infusion is reached, strain the ingredients through cheesecloth. Eat a few of the pineapple chunks if you want to. Store the tequila in the freezer

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Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños

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Ingredients:

5 strips of bacon
5-6 Jalapeños
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Option:  add crumbled up cooked sausage to cheese mix!

Or slice cocktail links in half for convenience.

Method:

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Wash and cut the jalapeño into halves, scoop out the ribs and seeds with a spoon (leave some in if you like it spicy).

Mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stuff each half of the jalapeño with the cheese mixture.

Cut the bacon strips in half. Wrap a slice of bacon around the jalapeño and secure it with a toothpick.

Place foil on the grill and then put your jalapeños on the foil. Cover the grill. Let the poppers cook for 10-15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked, take the poppers of the grill. Let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying.

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Mexican Lasagna

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Source: Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1 tablespoon garlic flavoured oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 green chiles, chopped, with seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stalks

2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, plus 1 2/3 cups water to rinse out empty cans

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 lb. of cooked, ground turkey or beef

Filling:

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

3 1/4 cups drained canned corn, from about 1 1/2 (15-ounce cans)

2 1/2 cups grated mature goats Cheddar, or cheese of your choice

8 soft flour tortillas (approximately 10-inch diameter)

1 round ovenproof dish, approximately 10 inches diameter and 2 1/4 inches deep

Avocado Salsa, for serving, recipe follows

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, slipping in a cookie sheet at the same time

For the sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan on the stove and fry the onion, bell pepper and chiles (along with ground beef or turkey…until meat is cooked through). Add the salt and cook gently for 15 minutes, and once soft, add the chopped cilantro stalks.

Add the canned tomatoes then rinse the cans out with water and add this too. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to a simmer, leaving the sauce (or salsa in keeping with the Mexican mojo) to cook while you get on with preparing the filling- about 10 minutes.

For the filling:

Mix the drained beans and canned corn in a bowl. Add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on the top at the end, and mix together.

Start to assemble the lasagne by spooning about a third of the salsa into the bottom of your ovenproof dish and smear it about, then layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the sauce overlapping slightly.

Add a third of the beans and cheese mixture covering the tortillas, and then about a quarter of the remaining salsa and another 2 tortillas.

Repeat with another third of beans and cheese, and more salsa before layering on another 2 tortillas.

Finally, add the last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last 2 tortillas. Spread the very last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Place on top of the cookie sheet in the oven (to catch any over-flow from the lasagne) and bake for 30 minutes, and let it rest for a good 10 to 15 minutes before slicing like a pizza, and eat with the avocado salsa.

Make Ahead Note: The lasagne can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cool the tomato salsa before assembling. Cover dish tightly with plastic and refrigerate until needed. Bake as directed in recipe, allowing an extra 5 to 10 minutes baking time and checking the lasagne is piping hot in centre before removing from oven.

Freeze Note: The assembled but uncooked lasagne can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap dish tightly in double layer of plastic and a layer of aluminium foil.  Thaw overnight in fridge and cook as above.

Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

2 avocados

1 scallion, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped green jalepenos from a jar or can

Salt

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Method:

Halve the avocados, remove the pits, and then, using the tip of a sharp knife, cut lines down the flesh of each half, about a 1/4-inch apart and then the same across. Turn the avocado halves inside out, or otherwise release the pale green cubes into a bowl, then tumble in the scallion, chopped jalepenos, salt to taste, lime juice and most of the cilantro and toss gently to mix. Taste to see if any more salt is needed before scattering with the remaining cilantro and taking to the table.

 

 

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Mexican Wontons

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Ingredients:

1/2 lb hamburger (use chicken instead of beef or go meatless)

1 can RO*TEL®

1/4 cup chopped bell peppers

1 TB taco seasoning

2 oz VELVEETA®

16 wontons (found in produce section)

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Method:

In a medium skillet, brown hamburger over medium heat. Add taco seasoning, bell peppers and RO*TEL® then simmer for 5 minutes. Heat oven to 375 and place wontons in mini cupcake tins. Place one cube of VELVEETA® in each cup and fill with meat mixture. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 7-10 minutes.

 

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Mexican Chicken Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients:

4 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

6 green onions, diced

1/2 each of red, green, yellow, & orange bell peppers (or 2 whole bell peppers of your choice), diced

3 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened (not melted)

2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles (don’t drain) (Rotel or store brand, either works)

1/4 – 1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tsp cumin

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup of picante sauce

38 large pasta shells, cooked al dente

Method:

Cook pasta shells in well salted, boiling water until al dente (still have a little bite to them) If you cook them too long, they will be difficult to stuff, plus they will have additional cooking time, once they are stuffed. Drain the pasta and set aside while you make the filling.

Cook, drain and dice enough chicken breast to make 4 cups. I always have homemade chicken stock and pre-cooked diced chicken bagged in my freezer. You could use canned chicken broth if you prefer.

To make the filling, mix diced chicken, drained black beans, green onions, diced peppers, and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, chicken stock and undrained tomatoes with chiles. When thoroughly combined, pour it over the chicken mixture and mix well. (If you have trouble incorporating the cream cheese and tomatoes, you can heat it slightly in the microwave.)

Spread 3/4 c. picante sauce in the bottom of a large baking pan. (I used 13x18x2, but I’m guessing that two 9×13′s would also work.) Reserve the final 1/4 cup, for later.

Using a spoon, or your fingers, fill each of your cooked and cooled pasta shells, setting them into the picante covered pan. Continue until all shells are filled and arranged in the pan.

When the pan is full, drizzle the shells with the remaining 1/4 cup of picante and then sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.

Cover the baking pan tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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Texas Caviar

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INGREDIENTS:

2 (15.8 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained

3 plum tomatoes, diced

2 fresh medium jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small diced pieces

1/2 green or red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small diced pieces

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

small can of corn

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Optional:  black beans, sugar to taste

METHOD:

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days. Before serving, adjust seasonings to taste, adding extra vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

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Fish Tacos with Guacamole

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Ingredients:

 For the fish:

4 small filets of white fish, cut into inch wide strips.

1 handful of cilantro

2 cloves garlic

1 lime (juiced)

6 tbsp Olive oil

1 large pinch of sea salt

For the guacamole:

1 avocado

1/4 red onion

1/2 lime (juiced)

1 handful of coriander (cilantro)

6 cherry tomatoes

1 big pinch of sea salt

For the sauce:

2 tbsp mayonnaise

3 tbsp creme freche or sour cream

4 tbsp hot sauce

Additons:

Watercress

Small Tortilla wraps

Method:

Fish marinade:

Use a pestle & mortar to crush up your cilantro, garlic, lime and sea salt. Keep crushing until everything is combined. Add your olive oil, stir and pour over your fish.

Guacamole & Fish:

Use a fork to loosely mash your avocado.  Finely chop your red onion, cilantro & cherry tomatoes, & mix it all together with the lime & the sea salt.

Leave this on the side and start heating your frying pan.  When it starts to smoke, turn it down to a medium heat & add your fish. Don’t add oil, the fish is already covered in it.

Leave it cooking away for a few minutes & make your taco sauce.

 Taco Sauce:

Simply mix together your ingredients until you have an even coloured sauce.

After a couple minutes, flip your fish and cook for the same amount of time on this side.

When you’re done, take the fish out of the pan and scrape down all the bits left behind, as these are full of flavor.

Wrap fish in a tortilla, add guacamole and sauce, watercress if desired.

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Coffee Cup Chilaquiles

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Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

Salt, pepper

1 tablespoon sharp cheddar cheese

5 tortilla chips

1 tablespoon salsa

Sour cream, queso fresco, chopped green onion

Method:

Beat egg and milk with a fork in a coffee cup, with salt and pepper to taste. Add cheddar; stir to coat. Break 3 or 4 tortilla chips in small pieces to fit in the cup; stir into the mixture. Add salsa. Microwave, about 1 minute, 10 seconds. Garnish with a tortilla chip, sour cream, queso fresco and onion.

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