Tag:

tex-mex

Being a military spouse I’ve lived from coast to coast and one of the things I know I can get everywhere is decent guacamole. Who can mess that up right? Except….one of my BIGGEST pet peeves with guacamole is when you take a big ol’ scoop and bite down then -BAM- raw onion is now all you can taste. This is great if onion is all you *want* to taste, but since I’m not the Grinch your girl did not just throw down eight dollars on some table side guac to taste a fifty cent onion. So I’ve brought to you my method of softening the ingredients in lime juice before mixing into the avocado. Essentially making a quick pico de gallo. This method mellows out the onion while also allowing the flavors to intermingle for a bit which makes for a more delicious guacamole overall. I think you’ll be pleased!

Tex-Mex Guacamole

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
rest time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 4 cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomato (seeds removed, chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 large jalapeno (seeds removed, minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
Instructions:
  • Combine all prepped ingredients except avocado into a bowl and mix. Allow to sit for 10 to 20 minutes. This is a pico de gallo. Feel free to taste it to see if the onion has mellowed enough for your liking.
  • When the onion has chilled TF out scoop the avocado out of it's peel and mash directly into the pico until the avocado is as smooth or as chunky as you prefer. Give it a good stir and enjoy on everything!

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Carne asada- Is there anything more sunshine worthy than juicy grilled meats and tacos? Not in my book! “Carne asada” literally translates to grilled meat so feel free to use whatever cut of beef you want, or to even use chicken or pork! If you choose not to use skirt steak your cook times will vary, but the marinade time will stay the same.

Overnight is a must to allow it to fully tenderize the meat and to let all those delicious flavors sink in. I like this the most wrapped in a hot corn tortilla and loaded with guacamole and corn salad it’s a meaty paradise for your mouth! BTW- This recipe is scaled to serve 12 (1/4th pound meat each) because we always want leftovers the next day…and the next…and the next. No regrets!

Carne Asada

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Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 12

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Ingredients:

 

  • 3 lbs beef skirt steak
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple or pineapple juice
  • 1 bottle Gluten free beer or cider
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 6 limes (juiced)
  • 4 lemons (juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 large shallots
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (trimmed of stems)
  • 1 serrano pepper (trimmed of stems)
  • 1/2 cup oil
Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients except beef into a blender and pour over the meat in a large container.
  • Marinate overnight.
  • When ready to cook grill over high heat (400-450 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5-8 minutes per side.
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes and slice thinly against the grain.
  • Enjoy topped with all your favorite taco fillings or as a main dish all on it’s own!

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Everyone’s loves an enchilada, but have you heard of entomatadas? They’re the lesser known sibling to the enchilada here in America, but just as delicious! You know, the younger sibling who can basically get away with murder, and gets to do everything before you and somehow still gets all the same praise as the enchiladas EVEN THOUGH THE ENCHILADAS WEREN’T ALLOWED TO SHAVE THEIR LEGS AND WEAR MAKEUP UNTIL 8TH GRADE AND THE ENTOMATADAS WERE WALKING AROUND SMOOTH, HAIRLESS, AND BEAUTIFUL IN 5TH GRADE?!?!?!

….I digress…..

Give these easy entomatadas a go! They’re fresh, delicious, and although lacking the same “personality development” the enchiladas got in their swamp monster years- will garner you all the same praise at the dinner table. Enjoy!

Entomatadas

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 5 roma tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 serrano pepper (seeds removed)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeds removed)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp diced chile en adobo
  • 1 large shallot (quartered)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 10 oz queso fresco
  • 5 oz panela cheese
  • 1 cup vegetable or avocado oil
  • Sliced jalapeno (garnish)
  • sour cream (garnish)
  • lettuce (garnish)
  • avocado (garnish)
  • cilantro (garnish)
Instructions:
  • In a blender combine: tomatoes, serrano, jalapeno, shallot, garlic, broth, salt, pepper, and chile en adobo. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. It will begin to turn a darker red.
  • While sauce is simmering mix together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl crumble together the queso fresco and panela cheese and mix. Reserve 1/2 cup for garnish and set aside.
  • Allow sauce to finish simmering, and stir in the cornstarch mixture. It should thicken almost immediately. Turn off the heat.
  • From this point you’ll be working in an assembly fashion (this is not as scary or as overwhelming as it sounds). You’ll be assembling one entomatada at a time, doing this method: frying the corn tortillas slightly, dipping in sauce, removing from sauce into a 9 x 13 baking dish, stuffing with cheese, folding over, and layering into a baking dish. So prepare however/whatever you need to to make this possible.
  • In a small skillet heat 1 cup of oil over medium-high heat. You’ll know the oil is ready when you see it ripple at the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn heat to medium.
  • With a pair of tongs or a slotted spatula, lightly fry the corn tortilla, just long enough to soften it. This should take only a couple seconds.
  • Drain excess oil.
  • Immediately dip the softened tortilla into your tomato sauce coating both sides well, and move your coated tortilla into your baking dish.
  • Fill the tortilla with 1/8th of the cheese mixture and fold in half like a flat taco. You did it! #YAAASGAGA #SLAY
  • Scoot the flat side of the entomatada against the left or right side of your baking dish and move on to the next one! Slightly overlap your entomatadas in the pan.
  • When you have finished all the entomatadas pour any remaining sauce over them. You can either serve as-is with your desired toppings including the reserved cheese, or broil them for 3 minutes before topping and serving. Enjoy!

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These quesos are delicious and will satisfy your craving for your favorite bowl of hot cheese no matter where you’re from. Feel free to play with the seasonings and make it your own! With no Velveeta in sight you’ll taste the difference right away, and since it comes together so quickly you may never go back to the yellow brick of mystery product again.

For a queso blanco version of the Tex-Mex version use white American cheese, and Monterrey jack.

For a queso blanco version of the California style use a blend of Monterrey and pepper jack.

Feel free to thin the queso to your desired consistency with more milk.

American Cheese (Tex-Mex Style)

Restaurant Style Queso – Tex-Mex

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dip
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 8 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb ground beef or chorizo
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 16 oz American cheese (Kraft deli slices NOT Velveeta)
  • 8 oz shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend or cheese of your choice
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 15 oz can Rotel
  • 2 Tbsp diced green chile
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using chorizo)
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:
  • Mix cornstarch into 1 cup milk until dissolved and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown ground beef or chorizo with 1 tsp oil, and garlic. When browned add salt (if using), pepper, chili powder, cayenne, and cumin. Stir well.
  • If you want a chunky queso dip, dump the Rotel or salsa, and green chile directly into the pan with the browned meat. If you want a smooth queso you’ll need to combine the Rotel or salsa and green chile in a blender and blend until smooth before adding to the meat.
  • Turn heat to medium-low. Roughly tear all of the American cheese and toss it into the skillet stirring frequently until melted.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine.
  • When the cornstarch mixture and American cheese have blended together add all of the Mexican shredded cheese and stir until well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining milk, and stir until creamy and smooth. Taste for salt and seasonings with a chip (the chips are salty you want to taste them together), and adjust as desired.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, on tacos, fajitas, or whatever floats your boat. Enjoy!

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No American Cheese (California style)

Restaurant Style Queso – Cali

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dip
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb ground beef or chorizo
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 5 cups shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend or cheese of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp GF cup for cup flour blend
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 15 oz can Rotel OR 1 cup salsa
  • 2 Tbsp diced green chile
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (minced)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using chorizo)
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions:
  • In a small skillet over medium-high heat add ground beef or chorizo, 1 tsp oil, garlic, cilantro, 1 tsp salt (if using), and pepper. Brown the meat.
  • If you want a chunky queso dip, dump the Rotel or salsa, and green chile directly into the pan with the browned meat and warm through. If you want a smooth queso you’ll need to combine the Rotel or salsa and green chile in a blender and blend until smooth before adding to the ground meat.
  • Heat through and set aside.
  • In a separate large skillet over medium heat add butter and allow to melt. Whisk in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup milk, and whisk together. Mixture should thicken slightly (this is called a bechamel).
  • Reduce heat to low and add cheese 1 cup at a time to the bechamel- stirring to melt completely each time before adding the next cup. Add the meat, and stir well.
  • When all the cheese and meat have been combined add the remaining milk and all remaining seasonings, taste for salt with a chip (the chips are salty you want to taste them together) and adjust seasonings as desired.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, on tacos, fajitas etc. Enjoy!

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Love tortilla soup, but can’t quite nail that restaurant flavor? I’ve got you covered! Be sure to top it with all the same fixings you’d get at the restaurant for an authentic flavor. You’ll never guess how important all that cheese and avocado really is until you’re missing it!

Don’t forget your toppings!

Avocado or guacamole, shredded pepper jack or Monterrey jack cheese. chopped cilantro, tortilla Chips (obviously), sour cream, diced jalapenos, limes

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 medium carrot (minced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can Rotel
  • 1 15 can white hominy
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp epazote
  • 1 chipotle en adobo pepper (minced +1 tsp sauce *see notes)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch cilantro (stems included. (chopped finely))
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
Instructions:
  • In a large pot over medium-high heat add 2 Tbsp olive oil, onion, carrot, and 1 tsp salt. Saute until onion has browned and carrot is soft.
  • Add garlic, Mexican oregano, and cilantro to the pot and saute until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Add chicken breast, bouillon, diced tomatoes, Rotel, and all 12 cups of chicken stock to the pot, stir well, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and add all remaining ingredients- except sour cream. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken breast is cooked through. This will vary depending upon the size of your chicken breast.
  • When Chicken is cooked through remove it from the pot and shred. Place shredded chicken back into the pot, add the sour cream, and stir well.
  • Bring the soup back to a boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes before serving. Taste for salt.
  • Serve topped with plenty of garnishes and *preferably* Selena’s angelic vocals filling your house because #AnythingForSelenas, but if you don’t want that- that’s cool too…I guess.

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Notes:

If you can’t find or don’t have chipotle en adobo you can substitute one diced jalapeno (seeds and membranes removed for mild, or included for spicy) and 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or you can omit the chipotle powder completely. Just use what you have. No need to sweat it!

Sometimes if I’m feeling extra Squilliam Fancyson I’ll take a few tostadas, top them with lots of shredded cheese and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and gooey. Then I toss those directly on top of the bowls of tortilla soup cheese side up, and top them with whatever you’re feeling. It looks fancy, and takes 5 minutes. Give it a go!

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I’ve had a few questions regarding the brand of bouillon I use. The answer is- it varies! As of right now I use Knorr granules which currently have no gluten containing ingredients but are not gluten free certified. I know some people react to certain brands while other do not. Since levels of sensitivity vary I recommend that you read the ingredients EVERY time you purchase a container of bouillon that is not certified gluten free as companies do change their formulas every so often. Please use a brand you know is safe for you and your family.

If you’re uncomfortable using a brand of bouillon that isn’t certified gluten free try adding 1 tsp double concentrated tomato paste instead!

Salsa Verde

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Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dip
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 3 Cups
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Ingredients:
 
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 5 jalapeno peppers
  • 5 Serrano peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro with stems
  • 3 bunches green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Knorr tomato bouillon
  • salt to taste
Instructions:
  • In a dry pan over high heat char your whole peppers. You want the skin to be black and blistered. When skin is blistered remove from pan and set aside.
  • If you want a mild heat heat remove the stems from your peppers, slice them length wise and reserve the seeds and membranes. This way if you want it spicier at the end you can add seeds back in and have complete control of your spice level.
  • If you want a spicy salsa leave the peppers whole only removing the stems from the top. If you can handle all the seeds and membranes- damn son. Much respect!
  • Chop the green onions and cilantro into large chunks.
  • In a blender add all ingredients except salt and pulse your ingredients to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Taste for salt and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Crock-Pot Carne Guisada

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Servings: 8
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2 Tbsp bacon fat or oil/butter of your choice
  • 3 lbs cubed beef (I used a rump roast, but use what you have!)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 bell peppers (sliced)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (diced)
  • 1 15 oz can Rotel or canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp beef boullion
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp epazote
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1.5 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water
Instructions:
  • In a large pan over medium-high heat add bacon fat, onion, jalapeno, and bell peppers. Cook until onions are brown and bell peppers have softened.
  • When vegetables are ready remove them from the pan and add to the bottom of the Crock-Pot.
  • Using the same pan return to medium-high heat add remaining bacon fat, cubed beef, and 1 tsp salt.
  • Stir and brown on all sides. When your beef has browned add the minced garlic to the beef and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant. (1-2 minutes).
  • When garlic is ready turn your pan to high heat and add 1 cup chicken broth to the pan making sure to scrape the bottom to pull up all of those delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom.
  • Add your seasoned browned beef mixture to your Crock-Pot.
  • In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water, mix until smooth. Set aside.
  • Add remaining ingredients; including cornstarch mixture to your crock-pot and stir well.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours covered or until beef is tender and a gravy has formed.
  • Taste for flavor, and adjust as needed to your preference.
  • Enjoy in tacos with lettuce and tomato, with rice and beans, or side dish of your choice!

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While allowing the blended rice time to set overnight produces a better flavor. It isn’t a must if you’re pressed for time. The blended rice really only needs 2 to 3 hours to give a nice flavor. Just let it sit for as long as your can before you need to move to the next step. 

Homesick Horchata

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Prep Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2.5 Cups jasmine rice
  • 6 Cups water
  • 1 Cup half and half
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/16 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions:
  • Add rice, water, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and ground cinnamon to blender.
  • Blend all ingredients until rice is broken into small pieces. The rice should look fine, like micro beads.
  • Allow to sit covered in the blender at room temperature overnight. In the morning blend again, and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher.
  • Add the half and half, and milk to the rice water, and stir.
  • Taste for sweetness and spices and adjust as desired.
  • Enjoy over ice, and think about sweet sweet Texas.

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