Chilaquiles Verde


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This may have become my new favorite Christmas morning tradition. I have never made chilaquiles and I was having a serious craving Christmas morning. But where to go? My kitchen was the only option.

What I love about this is how easy it is and yet it feel so decadent. I mean, you want a yummy breakfast on Christmas morning… but who wants to spend the holiday in the kitchen? The most labor intensive thing was making my own tortilla chips. Totally worth it though!

Because it was a holiday and I literally had to use what I had in my kitchen – I used Beekman 1802 Boys Salsa Verde – which is amazing! It’s very spicy so be prepared. But if you’d rather make your own – go for it! The beauty of this dish is that other than the chips and the salsa you can really put whatever you want on it. Not all chilaquiles come with eggs. You can even use red salsa or mole. You can add avocado or pulled chicken. The main thing that makes it chilaquiles is that the chips are both soft and crunchy from being tossed in the warm salsa. This dish is from Mexico and goes back hundreds of years – it was originally created to use up leftover chips and salsa and is eaten for breakfast after a “big night” and is a standard hangover cure.  Ole!

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Pineapple Agua Fresca


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So oddly enough I’ve never been a huge pineapple fan. But right after the long harsh winter we had this year – I was craving ANYTHING that even hinted at summer! So once again, I was perusing the aisles of my new favorite Mexican grocery and they had these big beautiful pineapples stacked in neat little rows… and they literally called my name. No seriously. They did.

I was watching one of my go-to cooking shows, Mexican Made Easy and Marcela made this delicious looking pineapple agua fresca (which simply means water with fresh fruit). So I made it and it is incredible! I give all the props to Marcela Valladolid – she’s never steered me wrong.

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Pico de Gallo


imageAs I mentioned in a previous post, I recently discovered a little gem of a Mexican market and I have since been frequenting their produce section. Yesterday I walked out with 3 bags of produce including a large pinapple and only spent about $6.00. Ole!

I don’t know about you but for me pico de gallo just screams summer!  Fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice and cilantro. I want to put it on everything! Not only is it tasty and fresh – but it looks beautiful and makes everything much more appealing. You eat with your eyes first, I always say. So, yes… presentation can be everything. 🙂

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Sopa de Albondigas


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This was inspired by by sister from another mister’s mother… yes, you heard me right. My best friend’s mother, Josie, used to have a pot of soup or beans or something on the stove all the time… which was made living next door quite delightful! I recently discovered a genuine Mexican market up the street from me (which I’ve missed since moving to Nashville from Los Angeles) and I went a little crazy shopping. Seriously – support local vendors any time you can. I mean, FIVE limes for $1.00 and they’re .85 each at Kroger! With the exception of the seasonings (which I already had) I got every ingredient listed below at my new favorite market. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema Sauce



I may or may not be addicted to fish tacos. Okay, so what… I am addicted. I could have them several times a week, easily. But I’m picky. I want a corn tortilla (seriously you flour tortilla serving people need to stop it)… I want battered fish (yes, I know it’s not the healthy version – sue me)… and I want a good, flavorful avocado-based drizzling sauce and crunchy cabbage (not wilty lettuce). And cilantro. Yes, there must be cilantro.

By the way… for this particular recipe, I broke my purely homemade rule and used Trader Joe’s small battered fish fillets. Mainly because they are made from halibut and are only 6 grams of fat per serving (2.5 fillets) and THEY’RE BATTERED! And I have not figured out their secret yet…

So as usual, when I love a certain food I set out on a quest to perfect a recipe that I will love and prefer to all else. Here’s what I’ve come up with – but be forewarned  – I may continue to tweak it. It’s only close to perfection. One day…

Ingredients
Uncooked corn tortillas (one for every taco you want)
Trader Joe’s battered Halibut fillets (one per taco. Use a different brand if you want – but you’ll regret it)
1/2 cup purple cabbage – shredded (this will be enough for 3 tacos)
small red onion – diced
1/3 cup cilantro (leaves only)
1 large avocado
4 tablesppons Mexican crema
2 teaspoons green Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons Smart Balance vegetable oil
Course sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dice red onion and shred purple cabbage – quantities vary based on number of tacos you’re preparing. Scoop avocado flesh out into small food processor or blender. Add Mexican crema, green Tabasco and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. It should pour like thick cream. Add more crema if necessary. Set aside and cover with plastic wrap.

Ready to cook?
Bake halibut according to directions.
While fish is baking, heat vegetable oil in a fry pan. When it becomes fully heated (it will become shiny – test with a drop of water if unsure – it will sizzle when ready), place one tortilla in pan at a time. As soon as the edges begin to crisp and brown turn over and fold in half. Flip one or two more times until edges brown. Remove and place on paper towel to drain. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt immediately. Repeat for each tortilla.

When fish is done, place a fillet in each tortilla shell and stuff with onion, cabbage and avocado sauce. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

The Perfect Bite
Warm and dripping with avocado sauce of course!

The Perfect Pairing
Taco night just screams to be paired with margaritas. But since we’re trying to keep this figure-friendly why not try the new Skinny Girl Margarita mix? It’s a mere 100 calories versus the 500 calorie version served in most restaurants. And guys… just cover up the word “Girl” with some duct tape and you can indulge without having your man card  revoked.

The Perfect Health
Check out these great health stats on the Trader Joe’s halibut fillets!