There was fierce competition this week in the “Best Mexican Recipe Ever” contest! In the end, one recipe caught our judge’s eye. ”Tinga Poblana Tacos” may sound fancy, but they are actually easy to make in a CrockPot.
Keep reading for the winning recipe…
Since the recipe contest theme this week is Mexican (and a huge hit so far, by the way!) I wanted to do a roundup of some of my favorite Mexican-inspired recipes from The Daily Dish. Take a peek and be sure to enter your Best Mexican Recipe Ever in the contest this week!
Keep reading for 13 of our favorite Mexican-inspired recipes!
Around the World, Dazzling Drinks, Dinner Tonight, Sweet Tooth | Tags: Mexican Appetizer & Drink Recipes, Mexican Dessert Recipes, Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, Mexican Salsas
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Since our recipe contest theme this week is “Mexican” I thought I would share with you one of my favorite Mexican-inspired recipes! (Did you enter yet? What are you waiting for!)
Ever since I moved to Southern California, I have fallen in love with fish tacos. They are light and fresh, crispy and delicious! Today I wanted to give fish tacos a little bit of a twist and turn them into a taco salad.
Last week we took a bit of a detour with the weekly recipe contest and threw our readers a curveball – quinoa. This “ancient grain” has suddenly become a trendy ingredient. We received a wide variety of recipe submissions with creative ways to use quinoa, but one unique preparation stood out to our judges, sliders!
These meatless mini-burgers are made with black beans and, of course, quinoa. They come with a kick because of a spicy mayo spread as well as a jalapeño and corn salsa. Believe me, you will want to make these “Quinoa and Black Bean Burger Sliders” this weekend!
Keep reading for the winning recipe…
Celebrations and Parties, Dinner Tonight, Fresh and Healthy | Tags: Hamburger Recipes, Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, sliders, Vegetarian Dinner Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, Vegetarian Sandwich Recipes
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We started the 2013 “Best Recipe Ever” contest with a bang! The first theme was “Best Salad Ever” and the contenders did not disappoint. We received so many great entries and this beautiful and delicious recipe came out on top. Congratulations to “Mshivers60” for her “Santa Fe Salsa Salad!”
Keep reading for the winning recipe…
Celebrations and Parties, Fresh and Healthy | Tags: Easy Salad Recipes, Layered Salads, Main Dish Salad Recipes, Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, Salad Recipes, Vegetable Salads
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The winning recipe from our “Mexican” contest is not only fresh and easy, it is also seasonal and healthy! Imagine everything you love about a thick and chunky salsa combined with the flavors of fall.
This “Warm Butternut Squash and Black Bean Salsa” from Tina Verrelli is a creative and versatile dish that you are sure to make over and over again!
Keep reading to find out how this unique and healthy homemade salsa won our latest contest!
Fast and Fabulous, Fresh and Healthy | Tags: Appetizer Recipes, Mexican Appetizer & Drink Recipes, Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, Mexican Salsas, Vegetable Appetizers
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Merry Christmas…or should I say Feliz Navidad!
This holiday season, serve up some south of the border flair with this recipe for “Jalapeno Cheese Soup.” I love to cozy up to a piping hot bowl of soup on a chilly winter day. This recipe spices things up even more with Cracker Barrel‘s newest cheddar cheese variety with the warm, rich heat of red and green jalapenos.
You can enjoy this recipe any time of year, but during the holidays I like to give the soup a special garnish. Follow the step-by-step instructions below and learn how to make a “Christmas Tree” pepper!
For more great holiday entertaining tips, be sure to visit the Cracker Barrel “Host the Holidays” group. Also, if you love Mexican cuisine, be sure to check out some of the other fantastic groups on our site!
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced peeled tomato
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, undrained
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 cups coarsely grated Cracker Barrel Jalapeno Cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, place broth, onion, tomato, garlic, and green chiles. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Return to heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 3-1/2 cups of the hot milk, adding 1/2 cup at a time. Cook and stir about 6-7 minutes until smooth and thickened. Remove broth mixture from heat and stir in the milk mixture, about one fourth at a time. Return to heat and add remaining 1-1/2 cups milk, salt, pepper, and cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted and soup is well heated. Do not boil.
Serve immediately, or let cool and refrigerate with plastic wrap directly on surface of soup. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat soup over low heat just until hot. Garnish as desired. Serves 8.
How to Make a Pepper “Tree” Garnish:
1) Start with a poblano pepper. The natural shape lends itself well to cutting out a “Christmas Tree” garnish for the soup.
2) Cut off the top and slice in half lengthwise.
3) Use the narrow tip of the pepper as the top of the tree.
4) Cut out small triangles down one side of the pepper.
5) Continue cutting out the same shapes on the other side of the pepper. You should have an adorable “Christmas Tree” shaped pepper garnish when you are done! Before serving soup, gently lay a “Christmas Tree” pepper in each bowl. It is a fun and festive twist for your holiday meal, and your guests will love it!
I am so excited for a chance to participate in The Secret Recipe Club!
It is a bit like a game of “Secret Santa.” Each of the participating food bloggers receive a top secret blog assignment. We visit the assigned blog, browse around, and select a recipe to prepare. It was so fun to be introduced to a new blog and I am on pins and needles waiting to see who was assigned “The Daily Dish!”
Huge thanks to The Secret Recipe Club hosts, Amanda – Amanda’s Cookin’, Angela – Big Bear’s Wife, Tami -Tami’s Kitchen Table Talk and Tina – Mom’s Crazy Cooking. More information on the club can be found on the official Facebook and Twitter pages!
For my first assignment as a member of the club, I was given “An Opera Singer in the Kitchen.” A fabulous blog from Noelle in Michigan! She says “I love to sing opera and I love to cook. Join me as I experience a new pregnancy and healthy living through vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and more recipes!”
Since her recipes are vegetarian/vegan as well as gluten-free, I wanted to select a recipe that fulfills these dietary restrictions while appealing to a wide audience as well. This recipe was perfect! Tostadas are perfect for a quick and easy meal. When prepared with corn tortillas, vegetarian refried beans and your favorite grilled veggies, it just also happens to be vegetarian and gluten-free.
Check out Noelle’s recipe from her website:
10 corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
1 pint sliced mushrooms (your choice)
1 zucchini squash, sliced length-wise
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped red onions
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of vegetarian refried beans
Your choice of picante or tomatillo sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tortillas on cookie sheet, somewhat overlapping. Process takes 10-15 minutes to toast. Check at mid-point and flip tortillas. Toast tortillas until somewhat golden brown.
Meanwhile, grill zucchini and mushrooms and place in a side dish along with the sliced avocado. Warm to refried beans and place in another bowl. Place the shredded lettuce and red onions with the lime and season with salt and pepper in a third bowl.
Assemble: Take a tortilla and spread a layer of beans, avocado, veggies, salad, and top with sauce. Enjoy!! Serves 2.
When I prepared the recipe I made a few minor adjustments. To make things a bit easier, I started with prepared tostada shells.
Then I spread on the warmed vegetarian refried beans, as the original recipe says.
Next, I piled on the grilled veggies. Noelle calls for mushrooms and zucchini but I decided to go with zucchini, yellow squash, and red peppers since they were already in my fridge!
That’s the best part of this recipe, you can make it your own to suit your taste or what you have on hand.
Then I added the shredded lettuce. I decided not to use the red onions that are called for in the original recipe. (My sister and I were excited to enjoy this dish for lunch, and she isn’t a big fan of red onions.) I am sure they would be great sprinkled on top of the tostada or even grilled along with the other veggies!
Finally, I topped it all off with salsa, avocado slices and a dollop of sour cream. Right before serving I squeezed a lime over the tostada. The recipe is fresh, bright and full of flavor. What a lunch! Packed with fiber and fresh vegetables, you can’t get much better than that!
A huge thanks to Noelle for posting this great recipe! I can’t wait until my next “Secret Recipe Club” assignment!
To see other great recipes from the Secret Recipe Club members, follow the links below!
Around the World, Better Recipes, Celebrations and Parties, Dinner Tonight, Fast and Fabulous, Foodie Events, Fresh and Healthy, On A Budget | Tags: Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, Vegetarian Dinner Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes
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Felicidades! We have a winner! Say hello to Amy Burton and check out her winning recipe for “Adobo Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Cream Sauce.” The smoky and spicy shrimp are cradled in a corn tortilla filled with black beans and veggies. The heat is cooled by Amy’s phenomenal cilantro cream sauce. It is so good you might find yourself adding an extra dollop!
Amy shared a bit of her kitchen wisdom with us:
“My “almost mother-in-law” (getting married in just two weeks!) recently gave me a little wooden sign to hang in my kitchen with a quote from the Dalai Lama: “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon”. I look at that sign often when I’m in my kitchen, and it reminds me that the thing I enjoy the most is spending time creating good food for people I love.”
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 ounces goat cheese
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 cup canola oil
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onions
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 whole canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 2 T sauce from can
8-10 6” corn tortillas
2 cups bagged cole slaw mix (unprepared)
Place cilantro, goat cheese, yogurt, cream, 1 teaspoon garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth; store in refrigerator while preparing taco filling. Preheat a large skillet (12-14”) or dutch oven over high heat. Place oil in pan, and allow to warm for about a minute. Add peppers and onions, and saute for about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, and sauté until they begin to lose their transparency. Season with cumin and remaining salt. Add spinach, and cook until wilted. Add beans, corn, chipotle peppers and their sauce, and remaining garlic. Stir until well combined; remove from heat and adjust seasoning if desired. Warm tortillas in a skillet, or for 10 seconds in the microwave. To assemble tacos, spread 1-2 tablespoons cilantro cream on a tortilla, top with 1/3 cup shrimp filling, and 1/4 cup cole slaw mix. If desired, add a dollop of cilantro cream on top. Serve immediately.
Number of Servings: 4-6
Congratulations! Tell us how you came up with this outstanding recipe. Do you prepare Mexican cuisine often?
“Yes! There are some great Latin American markets where I live. I often buy ingredients I have never worked with, and that is a great inspiration for creativity in the kitchen. I also buy some standard ingredients at the markets that are helpful for creating weekday dinners with Mexican flavors—jumbo packs of tortillas, dried chilis, adobo, sazon, fresh mexican/hondouran cheeses, etc. Having some of those ingredients helped create this recipe, but I was also trying to use up a bunch of cilantro from my garden before it bloomed and changed flavor!
This recipe is one version of a flexible recipe that we often prepare for dinner at my house. In the past, it’s been prepared with chicken and roasted yams, tilapia, and even tofu with beans and quinoa. I entered the shrimp one because it’s my favorite. It’s a little different every time depending on what is on hand, but it is always quick, delicious and satisfying.”
You were one of our lucky winners last year during the “Holiday Favorites” contest. What inspired you to enter the Better Recipes weekly contest again?
“I love the category options! I usually read through them a few months in advance, and often have an idea or two for every week. If there is a really good category, I set a reminder in my phone’s calendar to make sure I don’t miss the entry date.”
I love it…that’s dedication! Do you have any advice for others interested in entering our recipe contests?
“I would say to make sure you read through the rules and regulations carefully so you are creating a recipe that fits the contest and the audience. Also, when I finish writing a recipe, I walk through the steps in my head to make sure everything is clear, and the steps and ingredients are listed in the correct order.”
Wonderful! Thanks so much for your advice and for this great recipe. I will definitely be making it again soon. (Already craving that cilantro cream sauce!)
Around the World, Better Recipes, Dinner Tonight, Fast and Fabulous, Fresh and Healthy | Tags: Easy Seafood Recipes, Mexican Dishes, Mexican Recipes, Seafood Recipes, Shrimp
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Raise your hand if you are worn out! I hope everyone had a very merry and fun-filled Christmas with family, friends, and, of course, great food. But after all the excitement of gifts, or the hustle and bustle of travel, sometimes you just need a quick and delicious weeknight meal. This shrimp and rice dish is creamy, spicy and simply hits the spot after the hectic holidays. Enjoy!
CREAMY CHIPOTLE-LIME SHRIMP AND RICE
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup thinly sliced onion
3/4 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (or thawed, if frozen)
2 Tablespoons seeded, chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
Hot, cooked rice to serve 4
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese (or can substitute cotija or Monterey Jack)
Grated rind of 1 lime
1. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until just softened.
2. Stir in shrimp and saute until it just starts to turn pink. Add chipotle peppers, salt, black pepper, and sour cream. Stir constantly until mixture is hot and shrimp are pink.
3. Spoon hot shrimp over rice and sprinkle with crumbled cheese and grated lime peel. Serve immediately. Serves 4.