Monday, July 14, 2008

"Temblique" (Chocolate Coconut Custard)

Okay so I went to "Vallarta" (a predominantly Mexican Market) they where promoting "Nestle" products the day I went. They gave me a flyer with some recipe to promote their products. I saw the recipe for this called "Temblique" (it means shaking like kinda like when jello shakes wobbly etc.) In case you guys didn't know "Nestle" products are very popular among Mexicans. For example "Lechera" is produced by "Nestle", "Chocolate Abuelita" is also produced by Nestle and Im sure just about every Mexican and some other Hispanics know EXACTLY what those 2 products I mentioned are no matter if they cant cook they know what Im talking about those are some staple in the pantry.
Much to my surprise (NOT) I had all the necessary ingredients in my pantry to make it.
Once I made it, it reminded me of the Cuban/Spaniard "Natilla" dessert which is done in a very similar fashion and also has same texture except it's a vanilla egg custard with a hint of lime and cinnamon.

-2 Cans of Coconut Milk (Leche de Coco)
-½ a can or ½ a cup of Sweetened Condensed Milk (Lechera)
-1 tablet of "Mexican Chocolate" like "Chocolate Abuelita" types.
-½ Cup Cornstarch ("Maizena" or "Ficula de Maiz")
-2-4 tsp. Coconut liquor (optional I didn't use it and it turned out awesome)
-Toasted Shredded Dessicated Coconut (Coco rallado desecado)

-Mix in a medium pot coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, cornstarch, and Mexican Chocolate.

-Put pot over medium high heat stirring in one direction constantly this takes like 10 minutes or more keep stirring until it gets really hot and starts to thicken

-Remove from heat mix in coconut liquor if you have it.
-Put in a/ spread in a pan or large serving dish LET COOL AT ROOM TEMPERATURE. Top with toasted shredded coconut (you don't have to toast I just choose to do so)


Camote Con Piloncello (Sweet Potato in Unrefined Cane Sugar Syrup)

This is an EXTREMELY POPULAR way of consuming sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and Chillicyote Squash. You can do the same with pitted peaches, whole guavas, etc. in Mexican Cuisine as well as some other cuisines of the Spanish speaking world. You won't find these on restaurant menus this is a very HOME-STYLE DESSERT.
Super simple I DO IT IN A NOT SO TRADITIONAL WAY, normally one would use a pot for this dish.
Me having my Cuban heritage consume tons of rice and always have my rice cooker handy and have learned to use for more things than rice.
YES I DO MAKE THIS IN A RICE COOKER, normally though one would do this in a pot on the stove, bring the water to a boil with everything and simmer on low. So don't worry if you don't have a rice cooker just do it on the stove.
In case you don't know "Piloncillo" is unrefined cane sugar in solid form also known as "Panela" for certain cultures, you'll find it in ANY HISPANIC SUPER MARKET,
If for some reason you cant find it use DARK BROWN SUGAR in it's place.

-8 small- medium Sweet Potatoes or 5 large ones or 5 long ones just look at the pics
-2 Cinnamon Sticks
-2 "Piloncillos"

(1)Clean sweet potatoes, remove edges and cut in half if it's to big to fit in rice cooker (I cut it)
(2)Throw in rice cooker with cinnamon, add enough water to cover the sweet potatoes 1/3 - ½ way. (I suggest 1/3 I did it half and it wasn't SUPER thick like I like, but ½ way will get you a real "maple syrup" consistency.) Then put the 2 "Piloncillos" on top (don't worry they will melt into the sweet potatoes and water with heat so don't trouble yourself

(3)Cover and turn on Rice Cooker and forget about it for 50 minutes.
(4)Uncover and it will be boiling FURIOUSLY, then let boil opened for 10 minutes to further reduce.

(5)Turn off rice cooker and your done leave there or transfer to a nice serving dish.

Sardinas Guisadas Con Tomatillo (Sardines Sauteed w/ Tomatillo)

Super simple dish made using CANNED SARDINES PACKED IN TOMATO SAUCE OR HOT TOMATO SAUCE this is a great dish to make on those LAZY DAYS or for days when you are in a hurry. But heck I like it anyday… because I love anything from the ocean that's edible (except some weird Jellyfish Salad I had from 99 Ranch Market)

-1 package canned sardines in tomato sauce or hot tomato sauce
-3 medium tomatillos cut into small cubes
-½ onion minced
-2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-½ cup chopped cilantro
-Cooking Oil (I used Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)

(1)Heat oil in a pan deep pan on medium high, sautee everything garlic, tomatillos, and garlic until tomatillos release some of it's juices and pectin and is cooked and everything is fragrant

(2)Add the sauce from canned sardines and dump the sardines in there

(3)Add some water to the can and dump it in the pan

(4)Season with salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil then turn off and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Calabasitas Con Queso (Squash stuffed with Cheese)

Calabasitas Con Queso (Squash stuffed with Cheese)Calabasitas Con Queso is made with "Mexican Squash" or "Italian Squash"
This dish is basically a squash stuffed with cheese, battered, deep-fried, simmered in a tomato based sauce.
-6 Mexican Squashes or 3 large Italian Squash cut in 2 to make them smaller.
-3/4 pound of fresh Mexican Fresh Cheese "Queso Fresco"
-Flour to dust
-4 large Eggs (whites and yolk separated)
-1 tsp. Garlic Powder
-1 tsp. black ground pepper
-1-2 tsp. salt
-4 tomatoes
-2 cloves peeled garlic
-Water (enough to dilute tomato a bit not tooo much)
-1 tbsp. Chicken Bouillon
-1-2 tsp. black ground pepper
-2 tsp. dried oregano crumbled
-½ Onion minced
-½- 1 cup chopped cilantro

(1)Remove tops and bottoms of Squash. In the largest side carve and dig up a hole with a knife and scraping out.

(2)Peel the Squashes but leave some lines of green

(3)Stuff with cheese, dust with flour set aside.

(4)Make egg batter by beating egg whites until they peak kinda like meringue and phoam up, add back egg yolks and beat, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
(5)Dip squashes in batter, pan-fry on both sides, spooning over some oil until poofed and golden, with left over batter mix in crumbled fresh cheese and pan fry like little pancakes and set aside everything.

(6)In a blender liquify4 whole tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, bouillon and some water.
(7)Sautee minced onions in a deep pan until translucent and fragrant, pour in blender contents, season with salt (if necessary) and pepper add oregano, bring to a boil then add the deep-fried squashes and leftover fried batter/cheese mix.

(8)Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until squash is tender.
(9)Turn off heat, garnish with cilantro

Enfrijoladas (Another Breakfast Tortilla Based Dish)

This is basically cold refridgerated corn-tortillas simmered quickly in a bean broth (from leftover coooked pinto-beans in a generous amount of liquid), filled with fresh Mexican Cheese or refried beans, rolled up a little bit of broth ladled over and topped with a mixture of fresh cheese, minced onion and oregano.
Very fast, simple. No pictures I was in a hurry on Saturday which is when I made this for breakfast. Not my favorite dish but a good filling breakfast.
Not even sure if worth posting since it's such a simple home-style dish that a lot of people not familiar with this type of food would make but anyways here goes.

-Tortillas (depends how many ppl your serving and how much you eat)
-Left over pinto beans in its broth (boiled 2 hrs. with ½ onion 3 clove garlic and generous amount of liquid salted towards end)
-For filling some refried beans or simply the beans in the broth OR some Fresh Crumbled Mexican Cheese
Topping (Mix the following 3 ingredients)
-½-1 lbs. fresh Mexican Cheese or less crumbled finely
-½ onion minced
-1-2 tsp, dried crumbled oregano

(1)In a pan heat leftover pinto beans along with a generous amount of the bean broth bring to a boil then lower to medium
(2)Place the tortilla in their for about 30 seconds until flexable.
(3)Put on a plate fill with refried beans or crumbled fresh Mexican cheese or whole pinto beans from the broth.
(4)Roll it up
(5)Top with the topping.

Ensalada De Jaiva (Mexican Immitation Crab Salad)

It kinda taste like Shrimp Cocktail.
Also my mom told me she has never seen this dish in Southern Mexico where she was raised nor had she ever heard of immitation crab meat called "Jaiva" by us Hispanics/ Latinos, she learned this when she came to the USA from friends.
Apparently I think this might be one of those "Mexican-American" dishes or a Northern Mexican dish. It is very popular here in Southern California. Many people have their own versions that include "Mayonnaise" or "Mustard" IN MY HOUSE WE DON'T DO IT LIKE THAT.
I only took pictures of the final dish, since this is really easy and the camera was gonna die.
We eat eat this/use it as a topping for "TOSTADAS" (lightly fried corn-tortillas like a hard round large chip) and top it with hot sauce (usually bottled "Tapatillo Sauce") also sometimes top it with sliced AVOCADOES

-2 ½ pounds "Jaiva" (immitation crab meat) (shredded)
-1 ¼ pound medium Shrimp (cleaned)
-1 Cup thinly chopped celery
-1 Cup onion minced
-2 Cups minced radish or 2 Cups minced tomatoes (sine the WHOLE TAINTED tomato issue is currently going on WE didn't use raw tomatoes we subbed it for RED RADISHES)
-3 large Cucumbers (deseeded and chopped into small bite size cubes)
-2 Cups Cilantro minced
-2 Cups Tomato Cocktail Juice (Clamato brand)
-1 ½ cups freshly squeezed LIME juice
-½ cup - ¾ cup Ketchup
-Salt and pepper to taste
-In a pan DO NOT HEAT oil just throw in shrimp at high heat, salt and pepper and toss them around until fully cooked, set aside
-Toss all minced vegetables together set aside
-Shred all the immitation crab meat/ Jaiva.
-TOSS ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER NOW, vegetables, Jaiva, Cooked Shrimp, Ketchup, Salt, Pepper, Tomato Cocktail, Lime Juice.
-Taste to see if it needs more of something and you are done.
NOTE: This recipe MAKES A LOT so you may want to cut it in half this gave us about 10 generous servings or more, it also refrigerates really for a couple days. If you are rich you may use real CRAB MEAT but hey this is about Mexican cooking and here in California when we think of this salad it's usually "Jaiva" no crab.

Mollejas En Chile Verde (Chicken Gizzards in Green Chili)

Mollejas En Chile Verde (Chicken Gizzards in Green Chili)

I am not FOND of this dish, but my mother is.
I prefer making it with cubed chicken breast or a whole chicken cleaned and cut into sections or cubed pork chunks. I just don't appreciate the chewiness of the "Mollejas" a.k.a. Chicken gizzards, but for those that do give this recipe a try ;)

Ingredients:-1 ½ lb.Chicken Gizzards (Mollejas)
-Water (enough to cover Chicken Gizzards)
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-2 Fresh Serrano Chili Peppers
-3 cups chopped FRESH "tomatillos" NOT tomatoes (though I think you'll still get good results if you used tomatoes but then again the sauce wouldn't be green and it will taste different)
-3 cloves peeled garlic cloves
-1 cup finely chopped cilantro
-½ minced onion
-1-2 tsp. Chicken Bouillon

(1)Clean Chicken gizzards by rubbing with limes while rinsing, removing any unwanted parts (like thin films of nerve or fat). (The use of lime to clean it was taught to us by a friend it's better it leaves it more clean and no impurities rise during boiling)

(2)Put Chicken Gizzards in a sauce pan, salt and pepper them. Add water enough to cover and bring to boil and simmer on low for 40 minutes. Drain afterwards and use that water to blend the following

(3)In a blender with some water blend Serrano chilies, garlic, tomatillos along with some bouillon. (DO NOT USE TO MUCH WATER OR IT WILL BE TOOOOO LOOOSE! If more water is necessary you may use regular tap water if you don't have enough liquid from cooking the meat)

(4)Turn heat to high in the pan with chicken gizzards add some oil and let it stay on high heat until any water evaporates and the oil will brown it up. Sautee the minced onions with it until translucent.

(5)Pour in blended sauce and bring to boil check if it needs more salt or not.

(6)Add cilantro and cook for 5-10 minutes on low covered.

(7)Your done

NOTE: With cubed chicken breast or cubed LEAN PORK LOIN you can skip the whole boiling meat part and just brown it with salt and pepper, sautee with onions, add sauce bring to boil and simmer a little bit along with Cilantro until the the chicken is cooked WAY FASTER AND MY PREFERRED

Pudding de Platano (Plantain Bread Pudding)

Okay this is NOT MEXICAN, CUBAN, or SPANISH but it's still VERY TASTY! I am assuming the recipe is Salvadorian because a elderly Salvadorian friend came to our house today and taught us how to make it (we been asking her for it)
It is a tasty bread pudding done with OVERLY RIPE black PLANTAINS… NOT BANANAS! DON'T YOU DARE USE BANANAS! (Well you could if you have no choice but it will NEVER COMPARE!)
We made a large amount you can cut the recipe in half and use a smaller baking dish this produced 2 pans but they weren't filled all the way. Because the lady teaching us doesnt like her bread pudding thick she say's she likes the pudding more "more flat" but you could easily fit it into 1 large pan. It will rise but then lower after cooking and cooling.
The Cuban in me made me love this dish I mean who doesn't like PLANTAINS, yet another way to prepare my favorite fruit, so versatile, so wonderful.

-8 Bolillos (or you can use a LARGE loaf of French bread or Cuban Bread or any other crusty bread. Heck you could even use American white bread or for the HEALTH CONSCIENCE any whole wheat bread)
-Milk (enough to soak bread)
-6 ripe black plantains (I call them DEAD RIPE PLANTAINS)
-1 tsp. salt
-1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
-1-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (the real deal)
-More Milk (to help blend plantains with other stuff in the blender)
-3 LARGE Eggs. (if cutting the recipe in half just use 2)
-2 cups DARK BROWN SUGAR or "PILONCILLO" (if using Piloncillo break it up and throw it in the blender with the stuff your gonna have to blend later)
-1 Cup Butter or Margarine or ¾- 1 cup Oil

(1)Tear bread into small cubed with hand but don't press just tear. Pour enough milk while mixing with hands just to soak YOU DO NOT WANT IT SWIMMING IN MILK. Let it rest atleast 20-30 minutes in the fridge.

(2)In a blender blend Plantains with some milk (enough to blend), the sugar, cinnamon, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract. It has to be like a velvety kinda thick batter not to lose. Basically you blend all ingredients with the EXCEPTION of BUTTER and SOAKED BREAD

(3)Mix blended stuff into soaked bread stirring well. Break bread with hand kinda into a lumpy paste.

(4)Pre-heat oven to 350 and grease some baking dishes. Pour the batter into each dish filling it about ½ to ¾ of the way.

(5)Bake in oven from anywhere from 1-2 hours until golden. Check it. To Check if done stab it with a knife and if the knife comes out clean without liquids then it is DONE.

(6)Let it cool, because when it is hot it is WAY TO SOFT and breaks easily and doesn't hold a great shape. Eat it at room temperature if desired. This taste REALLY good COLD to with a glass of milk or coffee. (I like it with strong dark espresso like Cuban coffee)