This is a fast and easy meal. It’s perfect for summertime since very little heat is needed. The flavors come together perfectly. The best part of these tacos is the salsa. It’s super fast to make and super delicious. It would be great with chicken or fish tacos or on top of a salad. If you want to add some heat, adding in a couple jalapeños or a bell pepper would be great.
Shrimp with Mango & Black Bean Salsa
For the Salsa:
1 (14.5) ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 mango, diced
3 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 limes, juiced
For the Shrimp Tacos:
3 shrimp per taco
1 corn tortilla per taco
Ground Cumin, to taste
Ground Roasted Coriander, to taste
Ground Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Onion Powder, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
Crumbled feta or queso blanco
For the Salsa:
Mix beans, tomato, mango, green onion, garlic and cilantro in a medium bowl. Top with lime juice. Toss before serving.
For the Tacos:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When oil is heated, add shrimp.
Sprinkle with cumin, roasted coriander, cayenne and onion powder to taste. Add in the minced garlic.
Stir to coat. Cook shrimp about 3 minutes per side until pink throughout.
In a separate pan, heat the tortillas.
Top the tortillas with shrimp and salsa. Add cheese if desired.
After eggs benedict and chilaquiles, huevos rancheros is probably my 3rd favorite breakfast of all time. I like ranking things, so this is definitely a statement I can say with confidence. For those of you not familiar with huevos rancheros, it’s a Mexican breakfast dish made with fried eggs, lightly fried tortillas and a tomato-chile sauce and usually served with beans, sometimes rice and a bit of avocado. There are a million different variations, but it’s all the same basic concept. The only down side to huevos rancheros, is that it can be a bit time-consuming to make. I generally hate breakfasts that require a lot of work, so it is a dish saved for ordering at restaurants. Baking the dish helps eliminate a lot of the hands-on work time that the dish usually requires.
For me at least, all the ingredients in this meal are things I always have on hand, so it’s the perfect recipe for a last-minute brunch (or even dinner). The next time I make this, the only thing I would change would be the amount of cheese. The original calls for 12 ounces, I would half that and only use the cheese sprinkled on top and not bother mixing it in with the bean mixture. That said I did you an awesome combination of pepper jack and garlic jack from the Sonoma Cheese Factory. They are a California company, so I’m not too sure what their distribution range is, but if you can get your hands on some garlic jack, I would highly recommend it.
1 large onion, diced (emphasis on large, or 2 medium onions)
6 – 8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
2-14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with chilies/jalapeños
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 canned chopped chipotle peppers
6-8 corn tortillas (I could only fit 6, original recipe called fo 8)
8 large eggs
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 avocados, pitted and diced
generous sprinkling of garlic powder
good dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup pico de gallo or favorite chunky tomato salsa
Handful chopped fresh cilantro
1 small red onion, minced
Combine avocados, garlic powder, cayenne and lime juice in a bowl. Mash together (a potato masher works perfectly). When mashed, add in salsa, cilantro and red onion. Stir to combine.
For serving (all optional):
hot sauce (I recommend Cholula (original) and/or Pepper Plant (Chunky Garlic or Original California Style)
black olives, sliced
green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, and chipotle chiles; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Stir in half the cheese.
Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with spray. Overlap tortillas so that they cover the bottom of the baking dish. Spread tomato mixture over tortillas. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, with the back of a spoon, make 8 indentations in the dish. Crack an egg into each indentation. Top with remaining cheese. Return the dish to the oven and bake until whites are set and yolks reach desired runniness; about 15 minutes for yolks that are still runny, 20-25 for harder yolks.
Dish up eggs on individual plates and top with salsa, olives, onions, sour cream if desired.
I saw this recipe and instantly knew I was going to have to make it. Such a tasty and colorful dish that would be perfect as a fall appetizer or as a football watching snack like Lisa recommends. The way the recipe is broken down and written makes it look like a lot more work than it is, so don’t let that intimidate you.
I threw in an extra chipotle because mine were a little on the small side and I love chipotle. The sour cream and sweet potato really help calm the spiciness of the chipotles, but the flavor is still there. I also sprinkled some garlic powder on top, before I squeezed in the lime juice, just because garlic makes everything a little better. I also substituted corn for the original yellow bell pepper because I’m not really a fan of bell peppers and they are costing well over 3 dollars in these parts for one damn pepper! Outrageous!
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 green onions, both white and green parts, finely chopped
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 tablespoons butter
Steam the sweet potato chunks for 15-20 minutes until completely tender, and then transfer to a colander and allow to drain until dry.
Once very dry, place sweet potato chunks in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher to break up chunks. Add flour and finely chopped green onions, and mix with your hands to form a smooth batter. Using your hands here is best so that it doesn’t become over mixed. In a food processor, the sweet potato mixture could quickly become gummy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Once the mixture is smooth, and the flour and green onions are mixed in, you’re ready to fry. Note: the mixture should be sticky but not wet, so more flour may be needed.
In a non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Form round, flat cakes from about two tablespoons of batter per cake, and fry four or five at a time for three minutes per side until golden. Transfer finished cakes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Add more oil and butter to pan between batches as needed, and continue frying a few cakes at a time until all are ready for their toppings.
For the Chipotle Black Bean Salsa:
1 16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of frozen corn, defrosted
1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
¼ cup finely minced red onion
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine all salsa ingredients, starting with one chipotle, in a small bowl and stir to combine. Taste for chipotle heat and add more if desired, and taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Salsa can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
To Assemble for Serving:
Cholula or hot sauce of choice (optional)
Place sweet potato cakes on a serving platter and add a small dollop of sour cream to each. Top sour cream with a small spoonful of black bean salsa and hot sauce, if desired and enjoy.
So, today is the first day of Fiesta here in Santa Barbara. It’s officially called Old Spanish Days, but long story short it’s five days of mariachis, parades, rodeos, cerveza, dancing and confetti. It’s generally a good time. The last couple years I’ve been out of the country for fiesta and I always got a little sad hearing about friends going to celebrate. Well this year my unintended, extended Santa Barbara sojourn means I get to celebrate Fiesta whether I want to or not…
In honor of Fiesta, I will be sharing some of my favorite go to Mexican recipes. Expect lots of tequila and hot sauce.
When you think about it, Americanized Mexican food is basically all the same ingredients just served in a different form. This recipe could just as easily be served in a burrito, as tacos, tostadas, a salad, whatever floats your boat, but I think homemade nachos are always a good way to go (as long as you don’t burn down your apartment in the process, right Amanda? ). Nachos are great to make for a crowd or make a tasty meal for one or two.
Spicy Shrimp Nachos
Corn tortilla chips
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/2 pound shrimp, fresh or frozen, defrosted, shelled, tailed
Black olives, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Red onion, diced
Salsa (recipe is below)
Heat oven to 450. Place tortilla chips on an oven proof plate. Sprinkle with some cheese if you want. Rinse can of beans. Fill empty bean can with frozen corn, rinse under water and allow to thaw out a bit.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When heated, add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Season with as much garlic powder, taco seasoning, paprika and chili powder as desired. Add in corn and beans. Cook until everything is heated through. Removed from skillet and add to prepared tortilla chips. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Place in heated oven for 3-6 minutes until cheese is melted.
In the same skillet add prepared shrimp. Season with more garlic powder, taco seasoning, paprika and chili powder if desired. Cook 3-4 minutes each side until shrimp is cooked through. When cooked, remove from skillet and chop into small pieces.
Sprinkle shrimp and other toppings like olives, green onions over the tortilla chips. Top with sour cream, guac, salsa and your favorite hot sauce.
I am absolutely OBSESSED with this salsa. I’ve taken to making a batch of it every weekend and having it on hand to use through out the week. Everyone who has been lucky enough to have some, has absolutely loved it. I have also used both fresh jalapenos as well as canned diced chilis and both have worked. Also, final note, made sure you use a BIG food processor, there is a lot of liquid going on here.
28-ounce can whole tomatoes (peeled) with juice
2 10-ounce cans Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies)
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalepeño, quartered and sliced thin
½ cup cilantro
Juice from a fresh lime
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until you reach desired consistency (I do it about 10 or 11 times). Pour into bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve and enjoy!
I recently discovered the convenience of the crockpot. Despite my original misgivings about it, I’ve become slightly enamored with it. It’s so easy and fast. There’s hardly any clean up and it doesn’t make the house even warmer during the summer like the oven does. After experimenting with the crockpot a couple times, I was reasonably confident I could just throw some things I liked together and it would turn out fairly well. Turns out I was right. By no means is salsa chicken original, but it certainly is fast, easy and tasty.
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa of choice
1 cup low sodium broth
1/2 onion, diced
Prepare chicken and sprinkle with taco seasoning on each side. Place in crockpot. Add salsa, broth and onion to crockpot. Cook chicken on high for 3 hours. When chicken is done, shred with fork and serve or store for future meals.
Salsa Chicken Tostadas (for 2 with lots leftovers or 4 )
4 flat corn tostada shells
1 can refried beans
1/2 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
4-6 green onions, chopped
shredded Mexican cheese
sour cream or greek yogurt
Heat oven to 250 and heat tostadas in oven for a few minutes 5-10-ish depending on how crispy/warm you enjoy your shells. Warm beans. I added a pinch of cheese, 1/2 a diced onion and a couple dashes of hot sauce to my beans and then heated them up in the microwave. When the tostadas are warm, spread a few spoonfuls of beans on the shells. Top the beans with chicken, tomato, green onion, salsa, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce or other toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It kinda changes a little bit every time I make it, but luckily, it’s one of those things you can’t mess up regardless of what you do. It’s fast, simple and super tasty. It works as a great salsa, by itself as a bean salad or on top of a green salad.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of frozen corn, rinsed and defrosted
1 large tomato, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 can diced chiles, drained
garlic, fresh or powdered, to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped
hot sauce, to taste (I prefer Cholula)
In a big bowl combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, chiles and cilantro. Sprinkle garlic on top. Add in the hot sauce to taste. Squeeze lime juice and mix everything together. Cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can serve it right away, but I like to give it a little time to marinate all together.
Most of today was spent preparing stuff for tomorrow’s super amazing barbecue (Brace yourselves. That’s all I have to say.) and watching reruns of 48 Hours Mystery. I was clearly super busy. So, tonight for dinner I wanted to make something fast and simple. Earlier in the week I was perusing The Kitchn and as always their Weeknight Recipe section had exactly the type of thing I was looking for.
This recipe for the Southwestern Pizza won out in the end. I reminded me a lot of the Tostada Pizza from CPK. The black bean mixture of beans, chili powder, cumin, olive oil and chipotle (I added some garlic powder for good measure) was good enough to eat alone. I definitely foresee these beans being involved in several meals in my future. It’s a good thing. I made the pizza with a gluten-free crust so I could share left overs, and that was a good plan because after a slice and a bit I was stuffed. Every bite was absolutely delicious. I also added some Chipotle Tabasco sauce to my slices for a little extra flava. Yum.
The gluten-free crust, wasn’t amazing, but it turned out to be a really good balance to the heavy toppings. Next time I would definitely add more garlic powder and probably a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix to give it a little more taste.
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
1.5 Cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 Cup water
1/3 Cup oil
Preheat oven to 425. Mix all ingredients together and place on prepared cookie sheet or pizza stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with toppings of choice. Bake as usual.
Winter has apparently decided to rear it’s ugly head here again in California. I have decided I like the idea of rain better in theory than in practice. It’s fine for a couple hours, but then it just gets annoying.
When lunch rolled around today, the rain helped me decide to go grocery shopping in my own cupboard rather than at the store. Seeing what I could scrounge together for a warm, satisfying meal, I found this motley crew of characters:
And my, oh my, did they make for a delicious bowl of chili.
Black Bean Corn Chili
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Onions, diced
6-8 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Chili Powder, to taste (I used about 1/3 Cup)
Paprika, to taste (I used about 1/4 Cup of smoked paprika)
2 cans Black Beans, drained
1 can Corn (I used frozen measured in an empty can)
1 can Vegetable Broth
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Chiles or Jalapenos
1 can Tomato Paste
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until soft.
Add salt and pepper (to taste), along with chili powder and paprika. Stir into onions and sauté for a couple more minutes.
Add black beans, corn, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well to blend with onions.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes.
Well, I’ve finally come down with whatever nasty cold bug is currently floating around Southern California. I’ve been spending the day curled up in my Dodgers Snuggie on the couch with the pups, attempting to read The Economist and study the Constitution, but it’s proven too much for my cold medicine addled brain. I guess if you get carded for the stuff, it’s bound to make you a little loopy. I gave up on studying and turned myself to more important pursuits, like catching up on Jersey Shore gossip. Season 4 in Italy! Oh, holy duck phone! I’m so excited. When I first read about this season 4 development, I thought “Poor Italy. That country has enough problems with out the cast of Jersey Shore invading it,” but then the prospect of a potential Silvio Berlusconi/Snooki sex scandal was just too much for me not to love the idea. Once I recovered from this news I realized I was actually kind of hungry and I wanted soup.
This black bean soup is one of my favorites. It’s incredibly easy to make and it’s also healthy and delicious! Most of the ingredients are probably on hand already, so when you’re housebound due to illness, it’s the perfect go to recipe. I also think it’s pretty versatile. You can serve it thick and chunky, so it’s more like a chili or throw in some corn for a bit of variety. I like to top mine with a dollop of sour cream, some sharp cheddar, green onions, salsa and lots of hot sauce. Depending on your mood, tortilla chips or cornbread are both great accompaniments.
At one point in time this soup was based on an actual recipe, but where that recipe went is an unsolved mystery, so here’s what I threw together today:
Black Bean Soup
Olive Oil (just a bit for sauteing the onion and garlic)
Onion, diced, (I used 1 extra large onion)
Garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
Chili Powder, at least 1 tablespoon, but feel free to add to taste
2 cans of Black Beans, drained
1 can Broth (I use vegetable, but I’m sure chicken or beef would be fine as well)
1 cup Corn (I used frozen today, but canned and drained works as well)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Sour Cream, optional,
Green Onion, chopped, optional
Cheddar Cheese, optional
The onion, garlic and chili powder might seem slightly extreme to some, but I’m sick I want to at least pretend I can taste what I’m eating. Feel free to adjust to your own tastes!
Heat oil in the bottom of a large pot, add onions and garlic, sauté until soft
Add the chili powder and stir to mix with the onions
Add the beans and broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-ish minutes
With an immersion blender, blend about half the soup, really anything goes here, it just depends on how chunky you want it. If you are adding corn, I would throw it in here and let it heat through.
Squeeze lime juice, add salt and pepper, stir to combine
Serve with the toppings of your choice.
It doesn't look too pretty, but it sure tastes good!