#FreshTastyValentines: Apple Salsa

LogoIt’s the final day of #FreshTastyValentines, a blogging event headed up by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, and it’s also Mexican Monday!

I enjoy making salsas with fruit and have done so using strawberries and pineapple, so when Envy Apples signed up to be a #FreshTastyValentines sponsor I knew exactly how I’d want to highlight their produce; with a little heat and a little sweet.

We love trying new apples. Whenever there’s a variety at the grocery store we’ve not heard of we always pick up a couple to try. In my opinion, the perfect apple is all about texture as sweet vs tart simply depends on my mood. An apple must be both firm and crisp, and the Envy apples are just that; a perfect texture with the bonus of having a flesh resistant to browning, which would make these apples an excellent choice for kids’ lunchboxes or a party cheese plate.

12512546_10103496705705601_8103054962216754607_nWhen I opened up my beautiful box of Envy apples I was pleasantly surprised to be hit with an incredible aroma of fresh apple scent. The intoxicating smell let me know that these apple would have a strong, sweet flavor. I was not disappointed! (P.S. – I had chili on the stove bubbling away making my kitchen smell amazing in itself when I caught a whiff of the sweet apple aroma.) One apple was immediately “sacrificed” when my toddler grabbed it and took a bite, one apple was turned into salsa, and the last happily enjoyed alongside a bacon grilled cheese for lunch.

I pulled together the salsa in about ten minutes, but I probably spent twenty trying to get decent photographs. And then it was time to rush to Pure Barre, but not before first trying a bite of the salsa on a homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla chip. When I returned home from class there was only a bite and a half of the salsa left! My husband had completely devoured it. This recipe is one that I will make again, and I’ll be on constant alert for Envy apples.

Apple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 Envy apple, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and jalapenos and saute until tender. Add the cinnamon and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in the honey and lime juice and cook until honey is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes.
  2. Serve with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips (brush whole wheat tortillas with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake at 375degF for 10min).

*This recipe is adapted from https://www.kelloggsfamilyrewards.com/en_US/recipes/sweet-and-spicy-apple-salsa-recipe.html*

apple salsa for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

It’s the last day to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more Valentine’s recipes today:

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing bloggers with samples and products to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

 

Enchilada Dip

Are you invested in the National Championship game tonight? I think it would be incredible if Clemson could keep their undefeated season but they have their work cut out for them, Alabama is a tough powerhouse to take down.

It’s hard for me to watch football without some sort of dip to snack on, especially if we have company over! Earlier this year In November my brother-in-law and his girlfriend now fiance (finally!) came to meet Treat. They are both also Auburn grads so there wasn’t any fight over which game we’d be watching on Saturday. It was the Georgia game and we knew it’d be a tough one, so good food was a must!

I’d been eyeing this dip on one of my Pinterest boards for a good while and was anxious to finally give it a shot! With enchilada flavors and real cheese it’s a step up from the usual favorite game day dip. It’s a thicker dip that’s pretty dang close to being called enchilada chili! Firecracker enjoyed the dip as well and I was happy to let him eat as much as he wanted – we could do a lot worse than beef, cheese, and veggies.

Enchilada Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 C enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) fiesta corn
  • 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese, divided use
  • 1 1/2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided use

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease oven-safe casserole dish.
  2. Brown ground beef in a high sided skillet over medium-high heat until cooked. Drain the fat.
  3. Add the enchilada sauce and corn to the skillet. Mix in 1 C cheddar and 1 C Monterey Jack cheeses, stirring until melted. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Transfer dip to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses.
  5. Bake 5-10 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

*This recipe is modified from Chungah at http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/21/beef-enchilada-dip/*

Enchilada Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Mexican Monday Latkes

My husband has always had a mild obsession with trying to make potato pancakes at home. He did it once with a sweet potato a couple of years ago but it just wasn’t right. (Odds are there was still too much moisture in the potato.)

So when the December issue of Food Network magazine arrived with a page on “Mix-and-Match Latkes” it was immediately added to the menu. I looked at the “recipe” and decided on a Mexican Monday themed latke (because Mexican is always welcome in our house and I usually have all the ingredients I need).

We were beyond impressed with how our recipe turned out! Stuart squeezed the liquid out of the potatoes and onions and he must’ve done a perfect job, because there wasn’t any splattering when I added the latkes to the oil (aka no water!) and they held together wonderfully. These latkes were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

To make the latkes our main meal I topped them with chorizo, sour cream, and cheese. I realized when I pulled out the camera that I didn’t have any greanery – I’d be “chopped” for my plating for sure! And while eating dinner I realized that chorizo is a pork product and therefore these latkes were no longer Kosher. Oops. But any taco meat would work – ground or pulled beef, turkey, or chicken.

We will definitely be experimenting with other flavor combinations! A BBQ inspired one is up next.

Mexican Monday Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb sweet potato, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 lb russet potato, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 of a large sweet onion, grated
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 C diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 C flour
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • optional toppings: taco meat, shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions, cilantro, salsa, etc

Steps:

  1. Place shredded potatoes, onion, salt, and pepper in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until potatoes are dry.
  2. Put potatoes a large bowl along with the bell pepper, corn, garlic, and cumin. Mix. Add the beaten egg and flour, mixing until combined.
  3. Form potato mixture into 1/4 C patties and place on a paper towel lined plate. Will make 9-12 latkes.
  4. Heat 1/4″ vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry latkes 4 minutes on each side. Remove to another paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with a little salt.
  5. Serve latkes warm with desired toppings.

Mexican Monday Latkes | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chicken Chorizo Meatballs

It’s Mexican Monday everybody! I’m too afraid to go back through and find out when my last Mexican Monday post was, I’m sure it’s so far back it’d be embarrassing. And a little sad. Our Mexican Monday endeavor has finally kicked the bucket. Not intentionally, mind you, and I can come up with all sorts of scheduling related excuses. And there’s always that feeling of getting caught in a rut.

But not today! (Or well, the day we made and ate these.) Today there’s a brand new Mexicany (it’s a word, don’t worry about it) recipe to share. Meatballs with chorizo! Aka meatballs with flavor! I used ground chicken instead of ground beef because that’s what I had, but I definitely want to try these with ground beef, too, I imagine they’d be even better!

I’m not quite sure what pasta/sauce pairing would work with these so I would suggest using these for some game day grub or party appetizer. Queso makes a great dipper, or salsa, sour cream, even guacamole. They’d probably even work over top a taco salad, too.

Chicken Chorizo Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 C panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 C grated cheese (I used a combo of Monterrey and Colby Jack)
  • 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 links Mexican chorizo, skins removed

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-high heat saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together egg and milk. Add the panko, cooked onion and garlic, cheese, and spices. Mix in the meat; I found a fork worked well to incorporate the chorizo into the chicken. Season with S+P.
  4. Form into golf ball sized meatballs; I found wetting my hands helpful in preventing the mixture from sticking to me. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes, until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.

*This recipe is adapted from Renee at http://leitesculinaria.com/101202/recipes-chorizo-meatballs.html*

Chicken Chorizo Meatballs | Sew You Think You Can Cook

#handcraftededibles: Spice Blends

#handcraftedediblesIn an effort to make all of her holiday gifts this year, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crated edibles. Over the course of the next twelve weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes from libations (last week’s theme) to cookie platters. Hope you’ll follow along for inspiration.

I’m bummed I completely lost track of dates because I could’ve shared my Homemade Baileys for last week’s Libations theme. But looks like Rebekah of Making Miracles had that covered for me!

Today I am re-sharing my Homemade Taco Seasoning for the spice blends theme. I thought about my Gingerbread Spice Mix, but I saw someone else was already bringing that to the gift basket.

The following recipe makes approximately 1/2 C of seasoning.

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Store in an air tight container. Use in your favorite recipes.

*This recipe is adapted from Bill at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/detail.aspx *

Taco Seasoning

To give homemade taco seasoning as a gift, place taco seasoning in a nice canister or mason jar and include a couple recipe cards of your favorite Mexican recipes.

Here are some other sensational spice blends perfect for giving:

Next week check back for our recipes for special diets; dishes that may be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, or nut-free. Or check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

#WeekdaySupper: Make Ahead Meals

Today is a very special Mexican Monday because today I’m posting for a Make Ahead Meal themed #WeekdaySupper week. #WeekdaySupper is a great movement by the #SundaySupper crew. Easy weeknight meals that can be done in under 30 minutes, without crazy, hard-to-find ingredients. This initiative is one we can all get behind. It’s important to gather around the table during the week, too!

I took the “make ahead” criteria to the extreme. For the cooked chicken used in this recipe, the day before I put a whole chicken in my slow cooker with a little bit of chicken broth, salt, pepper, and placed a little butter on top. After 6 hours or so on low I very easily shredded the most tender chicken. (My husband was picking stray pieces of meat from among the bones and skin remaining in the slow cooker before helping me clean up!)

Most of that shredded chicken will join forces with melted cream cheese, green chiles, pepperjack cheese, and spices for an incredible taquito filling that would be just as good scooped up with tortilla chips for a game day snack.

Freezer Friendly Taquitos

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried cilantro)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 3 C cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 C shredded pepperjack cheese
  • approximately 20 small flour tortillas

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt cream cheese. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients (except the tortillas).
  2. Place cream cheese mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll and place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. To bake: Spray lightly with cooking spray and cook 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. To freeze: Place baking sheet in the freezer. When frozen place in a labeled zip-top freezer bag. To bake, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray, cook 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees F until crispy and filling is melty.
  4. Serve with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Karrie at http://happymoneysaver.com/freezer-chicken-taquitos-with-cream-cheese/*

Freezer Friendly Taquitos for #WeekdaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Check out these other great make ahead meals that will be posted this week

Sunday Supper MovementTuesday – One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
WednesdayIsland Teriyaki Chicken Packets by Palatable Pastime
ThursdayTaco Bar by eating in instead
FridayEasy Slow Cooker BBQ Pork with Homemade Sauce by Caroline’s Cooking

Chipotle Lime Shrimp with Strawberry Salsa

They say you eat with your eyes first.

That must be true because viewing the stunning food photography by Jessica of How Sweet it is caused me to try this intriguing flavor combination: chipotle, strawberry, and black beans.

I admit, I added the black beans – the addition that really had my husband scratching his head. Instead of eating this Mexican Monday meal as tacos, we had tostadas. And tostadas call for refried beans to act as the “glue” that holds the meat and toppings in place. I didn’t think traditional refried beans would really be the way to go with shrimp so I opted for refried black beans. I’m very relieved to inform you that it worked!

I cut some serious heat from the original recipe and I still found it to pack on the spice. Because I freeze my chipotle in adobo in ice cube trays I never know until the cube thaws if I have just sauce, just pepper, or a combination of both. Jessica’s recipe calls for the sauce to be in the marinade – instead I had a pepper which I cut in half and tossed in the bag. This method is a great alternative if you don’t want too much heat but still want that smokey spice from the chipotle peppers. Additionally, I only used half of one (large) jalapeno instead of two whole jalapenos in the strawberry salsa – by all means, if you like it spicy add as much jalapeno as you like!

Chipotle Lime Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, halved
  • 2 limes (zest and juice)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side. I did this on a lightly greased grill pan. If you cook the shrimp in a skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Serve shrimp with strawberry salsa (recipe below) in a taco with lettuce and cheese or as a tostada with refried black beans and cheese.

Strawberry Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried cilantro)
  • juice of 1 lime

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*These recipes are adapted from Jessica at http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/04/chipotle-lime-shrimp-tacos-with-strawberry-salsa-you-can-totally-preorder-my-book/*

Chipotle Lime Shrimp with Strawberry Salsa | Sew You Think You Can Cook