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Beef, Dinner, Mexican, Recipes

Dry-Rubbed Ribeye Steak

September 2, 2016

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Ribeye

Grilling a steak always makes for a quick delicious meal, especially when that steak is liberally coated with a flavorful mixture of spices!  This particular dry rub is adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.  We used the dry rub on skirt and ribeye steaks.  Both were delicious, but there’s something about the tenderness and flavor of a ribeye that is truly satisfying.

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Ribeye with Corn Salsa

Serve the steak thinly sliced with grilled corn salsa and roasted potatoes.  This is a wonderful meal to make for a small group of friends.  You can prepare the salsa and potatoes in advance, grill the steak and serve everything on a big platter.

Dry Rub Spices

If you like your steak quite spicy, use the 1 teaspoon of cayenne called for in the original recipe. I used a half teaspoon instead, and it was perfect since I like to drizzle our homemade hot sauce over my tacos.

Dry-Rubbed Ribeye

We butterflied two center-cut ribeye steaks then liberally coated each side with the dry rub and a drizzle of canola oil to help the dry rub adhere better.  One of our favorite ways to serve the grilled steak is in crispy tacos (a tasty version of carne asada).

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Ribeye Tacos


Dry-Rubbed Ribeye Steak
Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hatch mild chile powder (or ancho chile powder)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ pounds ribeye steak (butterflied to make thinner steaks)
  1. Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Coat steaks with all of the dry rub. Drizzle a little canola oil over the steaks to help the rub adhere.
  3. Grill steaks to your desired doneness. Serve steaks with roasted potatoes and grilled corn salsa or as a filling in crispy tacos.



Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Mexican, Pressure Cooker, Recipes

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

July 30, 2016

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

We bought a pressure cooker several years ago and each time I use it, I appreciate its usefulness more and more. Some say that with pressure cooking there will be less flavor because of the shortened cooking time involved, but the opposite is true.  Your food actually maintains flavor and nutrients when cooking in the closed environment of a pressure cooker unlike with other longer stove top cooking techniques.  Besides being able to serve fork tender meat such as beef stew in just 25 minutes, pressure cooking keeps the kitchen cool and uses less energy.  Chile verde is one of our favorite dishes.  So Serious Eats, Kenji Lopez-Alt’s version of pressure cooker chicken chile verde was definitely a must try recipe.

Chiles & Tomatillos

Beautiful chiles, tomatillos, onion and garlic go into the pot along with the chicken.  It couldn’t be easier.  It may seem odd that there is no liquid in the recipe, but under pressure all the liquid necessary comes from the tomatillos, peppers, onions and garlic.

Toasted & Ground Cumin Seeds

You’ll get the freshest flavor if you toast and grind cumin seeds, but in a pinch you can use ground cumin.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde Ingredients

All the ingredients go into the pressure cooker.  Seal the lid and in no time at all you will have the most delicious chicken chile verde.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde Tacos

The chicken becomes so tender, it pulls apart effortlessly and makes a great filling for tacos or burritos.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
Recipe adapted from Kenji Lopez-Alt (Serious Eats)
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed well
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks discarded, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 pound poblano peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded
  • 6 ounces Anaheim peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded
  • 2 Serrano or jalapeño chiles, roughly chopped, stems discarded
  • 1 medium onion - about 10 ounces, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup packed cilantro + more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • corn tortillas for serving
  1. Combine chicken, tomatillos, poblano, Anaheim peppers, Serrano chiles, onion, garlic, cumin and 1½ teaspoons kosher salt in your pressure cooker. Heat over medium-high heat until gently sizzling then seal pressure cooker. Once the pressure cooker comes up to pressure, lower the heat to a low burner setting so that it maintains pressure without exceeding it. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and use the quick pressure release method either by pressing the button on the handle or by running cold water over the lid in the sink. Once all pressure has been released it is safe to open the lid.
  2. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a bowl. Add cilantro and fish sauce to remaining contents of pressure cooker. Blend with an immersion blender and season with additional 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste (I prefer to keep the sauce a bit on the chunkier side).
  3. Return chicken to sauce and coarsely shred if desired. Serve chicken over rice, in tacos or burritos.


Beef, Dinner, Mexican, Recipes

Beef Barbacoa

December 16, 2015

Beef Barbacoa TacosWe can never seem to get enough Mexican cuisine, with its amazing diversity and dynamic flavors.  Braised beef, pork and chicken dishes are some of our favorite meals.  So with that thought in mind, a Mexican-style braise was a natural choice.  One thing leads to another.  We had tacos the first night and quesadillas the following night.  This tasty beef barbacoa would be fantastic in tamales or enchiladas too. I love the idea that so many meals can be made from one recipe.  Plus, you can freeze the beef barbacoa and whip up a quick meal whenever you’re short on time.

Onion, Lime, Garlic, Oregano, Chipotle Peppers in AdoboThe chipotle chiles in adobo add a bit of smokiness and subtle heat to the beef.  It wouldn’t be the same without them.

Beef Barbacoa

Beef Barbacoa

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

Beef Barbacoa

Beef Barbacoa
Updated 2/01/16
Serves: 6 - 8
  • 3½ pounds trimmed chuck steak, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons mild chile powder
  • 2½ cups chicken broth
  • 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced + 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or similar oven-proof pot with a cover over medium-high heat. Lightly season beef with kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Brown beef in two batches, adding more oil to the pan if needed. Beef should be nicely browned on two sides (let brown on one side for a few minutes without moving the beef). Adjust heat if too high. Remove beef to a platter and set aside.
  3. Using the same pot, lower heat to medium and sauté onions for a minute or two. Add a little oil if pan is too dry. Add garlic, cumin, oregano and chile powder. Stir constantly for a few seconds. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add meat back to the pot. Pour remaining 1½ cups broth to pot, along with the chipotle chiles, 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, diced green chiles, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and bay leaf. Stir gently and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and transfer to the oven.
  4. Let beef cook for 3 hours, stirring once during the cooking time. Remove from the oven. The meat should be fall apart tender. Remove bay leaf. Taste and add more salt if needed. Shred meat to desired consistency. Serve with corn tortillas that are gently heating on a comal or fried if you prefer.


Lactose Free, Mexican, Recipes, Rice Dishes

Garlicky Baked White Rice with Cilantro

November 24, 2015

Garlicky White Rice with CilantroThis is one of those recipes that I never get tired of.  I’ve been making it for years and still find it to be one of the best rice dishes around.  It is simple to make, has excellent  flavor and texture, and it’s very versatile. For those of you who loathe cilantro, don’t leave yet. This rice is equally delicious without the cilantro.

Medium Grain Rice The original recipe comes from Rick Bayless, master of Mexican cuisine.  Rick sprinkles chopped parsley over the cooked rice rather than mixing it into the rice.  Though we serve the rice with Mexican meals, you could change things around and add chopped fresh dill, or chives, and serve the rice with roasted chicken or grilled fish. Sometimes I don’t add any herbs to it at all.

Cilantro, Diced Onion, Garlic With just a few ingredients and one pot, you will have delicious rice in 30 minutes.

Garlicky White Rice with Cilantro

Garlicky White Rice with Cilantro, Enchiladas & Black Beans

Garlicky White Rice with Cilantro
Serves: 6
  • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 1½ cups medium grain white rice
  • ⅓ heaping cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium - large garlic clove
  • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) finely chopped cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Set a large oven-proof pot (with cover, 3½ - 5½ quart) over medium heat. Whatever pot you choose, try to use one with a wide bottom. I use my 5½ quart stainless steel Cuisinart multi-purpose pot but a smaller one would work as well.
  3. Heat oil for a minute or two. Add rice and onions to pot. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Add pressed garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so until fragrant, then mix in broth and salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as the rice reaches a full boil, remove from the heat, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake 25 minutes. Let rice stand undisturbed for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, stir in cilantro.


Chicken, Mexican, Recipes

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

November 1, 2015

Chicken Enchiladas VerdesI would find it difficult to single out a particular cuisine as my exclusive favorite since I love all types of food (though Italian, Japanese, and Mexican are at the top of my list).  These enchiladas from Bon Appetit are easy and delicious, plus they freeze well if you happen to have leftovers.  Be sure to freeze some of the sauce in small containers to serve with the enchiladas.

TomatilloTomatillos are unusual little green orbs with papery husks.  They belong to the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplant, some varieties of potatoes and chiles).  They can be  eaten raw or cooked, and their citrusy-tart flavor is delightful in salsa.

Onion, Poblano, Tomatillos

Verde SauceThe tomatillos, onion, and poblano chile are roasted for a short time before they go into the blender with a few other ingredients for a quick whirl.  Sauce is ready!

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
  • Green Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, halved
  • 1 large poblano chile, halved, seeds removed
  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husked removed, rinsed and halved
  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped (remove seeds if you prefer to)
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • kosher salt
  • Enchiladas:
  • ½ rotisserie chicken (about 1 pound), skin removed, meat shredded
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 6 ounces finely grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese (or Cotija cheese), divided
  • ½ cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ small white or red onion, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush olive oil over onion, poblano chile, and tomatillos on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until vegetables are soft and lightly browned about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slip off and discard poblano skin. Transfer onion mixture and any accumulated juices to a blender. Add serrano chiles, garlic, chicken stock, cilantro, and lime juice and puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, season sauce with salt.
  2. Arrange tortillas on a cookie sheet and lightly spray both sides with cooking oil (Pam). Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 4 minutes. When done, let them cool and they are ready to be filled and rolled. Do not skip this step. It keeps the tortillas intact when enchiladas are baking.
  3. Turn oven temperature up to 425 degrees. Toss chicken with coriander, red pepper flakes, and ½ cup green sauce in a large bowl; season with salt.
  4. Spread about 1 cup of green sauce in a 13x9" baking dish to cover the bottom completely. Pour some of the green sauce into a pie dish and dip both sides of each tortilla in sauce, just to coat. Working one at a time, spread ¼ cup chicken mixture down the center of tortilla and fold one side over filling, then continue to roll enchilada onto itself. Place seam side down in prepared baking dish as you go (enchiladas should be nestled right up against each other). Top with more green sauce and most of the cheese (set aside some of the cheese for serving). Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine sour cream with milk, season with salt. Serve enchiladas topped with extra cheese, a drizzle of sour cream mixture, sliced, onions, and cilantro.


Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Mexican, Recipes, Sauces

The Best Ever Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

December 25, 2014

Crispy Fish TacosTacos are one of my favorite foods regardless of the filling.  Corn tortillas fried briefly until crisp or warmed on a comal are simply delicious.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love Mexican cuisine.

Sliced Mahi MahiWe have lovely Mahi Mahi available  at our local markets and it makes the best crispy fish tacos.  You may substitute any other mild, white fish in this recipe. I purchased about 3/4 lb. Mahi Mahi and sliced it into 10 pieces. You could slice your fish into 8 pieces if you prefer.  This is my special version of a baja fish taco.

Battered Mahi MahiWhat makes it uniquely good is the incorporation of some basic Japanese ingredients and technique.  Dip the filets in a tempura batter mix, and dredge each piece in panko and you’re ready to go.

Panko Coated Mahi MahiIn just a few minutes you will have yourself a platter of crispy, fish filets.  Sometimes I’m tempted to dip them in tartar sauce, but tacos are just too yummy to pass up.

Avocado Crema

Shredded Cabbage, Limes, Pickled Jalapeños and Cilantro

Crispy Mahi Mahi Tacos

The Best Ever Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

Serves 4 – 5

Avocado Crema

1/2 large avocado

2 tablespoons sour cream (I use Green Valley Lactose Free Sour Cream)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

few sprigs of cilantro

An immersion blender works perfectly for this.  Place all ingredients in a blending cup and blend for a few seconds until the ingredients are well combined.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Fish Tacos


3/4 pound fresh fish filet, sliced into 8 – 10 pieces

salt & pepper

4 tablespoons tempura batter mixed with just enough ice-cold water to create the consistency of thin pancake batter

1 cup panko flakes

canola oil for deep-frying and warming corn tortillas

8 – 10 corn tortillas


Heat canola oil for deep-frying.  Most suggest heating the oil to 360 degrees.  I usually skip the temperature reading step and test the oil by drizzling a tiny amount of batter into the oil.  If the batter crisps up nicely, I start frying!  I use a small sauce pan, 7 – 8 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches in height, and add canola oil 2 inches up the side of the pan.  A small Dutch Oven would work perfectly as well.

Place tempura batter in a wide bowl, add ice water and stir just until ingredients are combined.  Remember to keep the batter light, and don’t over mix.

Place panko in a wide plate or shallow bowl.  Season fish strips with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip fish pieces into tempura batter, letting excess batter drip off.  Place fish into panko bowl and coat well.

Once oil is hot, fry half of the fish until nicely browned and crisp, about 1 minute.  Keep in mind that you don’t want to over crowd the pan when frying.  This will drop the oil temperature drastically and your fish fillets won’t brown quickly.

Drain on paper towel lined plate.  Continue to fry the remaining filets.  Warm tortillas in lightly oiled cast iron skillet or sauté pan on medium high heat. Cover with foil and keep warm.

I like to serve the fish with avocado crema, finely shredded cabbage, cilantro,  hot sauce and pickled jalapeños. Delicious!


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