Archive for ‘Mexican’

December 25, 2010

Mexican-style Shrimp Cocktail

Inspired by my recent trip to Monterey, CA and more specifically eating at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto on the Monterey Wharf.

Exploring Monterey means not only visiting the sights at Cannery Row and Carmel not only hearing the sounds and feeling the sea air by the sandy beaches, but you will also notice the smells of food everywhere you go. If I had to sum up what Monterey smells like I really only remember smelling food everywhere, occasionally you get to smell some salty sea air, occasionally…The walk down the Wharf is pretty much window shopping for the perfect restaurant. You have clam chowder samples being thrown at you left and right, fresh seafood in open air delis. I wanted to eat something from each place, but my stomach wasn’t big enough. Clam chowder and fish and chips are all phenomenal. But I tried this mexican style shrimp cocktail and that is what impressed me the most. It’s like salsa, avocado and shrimp with some cocktail sauce…wow! It was so fresh tasting, with a hint of spicy chilies. Very impressive. I knew I had to try making my own version.  I hope you enjoy, please let me know of any suggestions you might have.


1 lb cooked peeled shrimp (41-50ct)

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 bunch cilantro coarsely chopped

1 jalapeno finely diced

4 green onions

1-11.5oz can tomato juice

1 T horseradish

1 tsp sugar

salt and black pepper

1T olive oil

Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning

1 lime, juiced

1 ripe avocado

Dice the tomatoes, chop the cilantro, finely dice the jalapeno and slice the green onions. Toss together with the shrimp in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the tomato sauce, horseradish, sugar, salt and pepper. Add more or less horseradish for more or less heat. Sprinkle the old bay seasoning and mix again.

Pour the cocktail sauce over the shrimp mixture and stir until combined. Leave in the fridge overnight to meld the flavors.

before serving squeeze the lime over the shrimp cocktail and dice the avocado and stir in.


Serve with tortilla chips.

August 15, 2010

Fish Tacos


My 4 year old daughter loves fish tacos, when I told her I was making fish tacos she said “YUUUUM.”  Usually when you see fish tacos in the restaurants they are made with Mahi-Mahi. So out I went to find US caught Mahi at the stores, because that is what the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide says to get, instead of imported Mahi (btw if you have an iPhone, there is an App for the Seafood Watch guide! Get it and use it).

SIDE NOTE: What I have noticed while using this guide there are some general rules you can remember and follow when choosing fish if you don’t have a guide with you. 

  1. Non-imported fish and if you can find out,
  2. Fish that is “troll, pole-and-line gear” caught, (if you can find out).
  3. Sick with wild-caught fish rather than farmed fish. Apparently there are environmental concerns related to farming some fish, plus wild fish are usually healthier for you.

Also of note, which you might already know. the higher up on the food chain the fish, the higher levels of mercury the fish will likely have: swordfish, shark, rock cod (is really shark), sturgeon, Rockfish (buyer beware: Rockfish is marketed as red snapper or Pacific snapper – there are no snappers on the US West Coast, per the Seafood Watch guide, so if it’s marked as Pacific – it’s rockfish and high in mercury and PCBs). Eat with caution.

So I went against the rules and purchased Peru Mahi – next time I will head to Whole Foods to get Mahi from the US (or you can choose another white fish such as, cod, halibut (Pacific, not California) or shrimp even.

(Serving 6 Tacos)

1 lb fish with skin on or shrimp

2 limes, juiced

1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsley chopped

1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced rounds

1t. paprika

1t. cumin

S & P

Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw (see below)

6 corn tortillas (or flour if you prefer)


sliced avocado


cotija cheese

lime wedges

In a plastic seal bag or shallow glass dish, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Then add the fish and marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat your grill. this is why I said skin-on it’s easier to cook on the grill so the fish doesn’t fall apart.  Flesh side down, cook the fish for 3 minutes with the grill covered.  Then finish the fish off on the skin side for about 3-5 minutes with grill covered. Cut the fish into 1 inch pieces.

While the fish is finishing up heat the tortillas on the grill.


 Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw

1 head of cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 c. Jalapeno aioli

1T. McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning

S & P

Toss all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge while marinating and cooking the fish. Enough time to allow the slaw to, as Emeril would say, “get happy.”


Top tortilla with slaw, fish, and your favorite garnishes. Squeeze a lime over the entire taco and EAT!

May 24, 2010

Baked Chimichangas

2 cups Shredded Chicken
2 4oz cans green chilies
16 oz of colby jack cheese
1 can refried beans
Can spray canola oil
sour cream

I had some chicken breasts that had to be cooked so I cooked them up in the crock pot. Usually for tacos I add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chilies to make shredded chicken. This time I just just cooked them with garlic and onion. So now I can make some chicken salad too!

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet with foil. Lay tortillas on the foil and spray with canola spray. Flip the tortilla and spread some refried beans on the tortilla. Sprinkle on a good amount of cheese, chicken and green chilies. Fold the sides up, then roll into a burritto. Spray again with canola oil.

Place the chimichangas in the oven for 15 minutes or until crispy. Top with shredded cheese until melted.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, olives or any toppings you like.

February 1, 2010

Chicken Tacos

In my younger days my friends and I went to a local bar ate $1 Tacos and drank Corona on Tuesdays…mmm…ah the olden days! LOL. Anyway just a little reminiscing.

So I felt a taco fix was necessary, it’s usually a summer food to me, for whatever reason I don’t know… but I’m ready for warmer weather. If I haven’t said already, by this time of winter I’m ready for warmer weather! 🙂 I’m going to take some skiing lessons this year though so I can get my daughter in lessons and learning next year. Maybe then I’ll like winter better – if I don’t break anything…ha ha ha 

Here is a new recipe inspired by an Eating Well recipe I read, with my own spin on it of course. It’s fast and easy for weeknights. This recipe makes about 8 tacos.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 limes
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 jalepeno

1 avocado
3 roma tomatoes
1 white onion
1 clove garlic

package of corn tortillas

Squeeze limes in a glass pan, add roughly chopped cilantro and thinly sliced jalapeno. Mix in salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and marinate overnight, turn chicken part way through marinating.

In a hot pan add the tomatoes whole and cook until charred on all sides.

Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Slice avocado and chop cilantro.

Slice onion into thin wedges and finely chop garlic. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute for 2 minutes. Slice chicken into thin strips. Cook in pan with onion and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned. Add chopped tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro.

I like to toast my tortillas on the stove to get a little char on them…MMM. If you have a gas stove set the flame to medium and place a tortilla on the flame and move around to get a little toasty action on it…like this:

Separate taco filling among the tortillas and top with sliced avocado and cotija (my favorite!) and serve with a lime wedge….scrumptous!


December 15, 2009

2nd Round: Cuban Braised Beef Enchiladas

I had left over shreeded beef from the Slowcooker Cuban Beef and had some Green Sauce in my freezer. This was a fast weeknight dinner! I got home late from work tonight and still got to eat within a half hour of arriving home. HEY! 30-Minute Meal…(ha ha ha).

Left over Beef from Cuban Braised Beef
1 package corn tortillas (I found these handmade style corn tortillas – La Tortilla Factory they don’t crack! Savemart carries them.)
Tomatillo Sauce (or your favorite green sauce)
1 avocado
chopped cilantro (for garnish)
cotija cheese (for garnish)
lime wedges (for garnish)

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Heat the tortillas according to the package directions so they become pliable. Top tortillas with the shredded beef and veggies, and roll tortilla. Place in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Top the enchiladas with green sauce. Cook for 20 minutes until sauce is bubbling and beef is hot.

Top with crumbled cotija (my favorite mmmm), cilantro, and squeeze of lime!

December 15, 2009

Tomatillo Sauce (Green Sauce)

I use this sauce for enchiladas, taquitos, taco topping, or just plain dip…I just looked at a few different recipes from Bon Appetit and Food Network and made up my own recipe. See my 2nd Round Cuban Enchiladas.

1 lb tomatillos
1 white onion
1 jalepeno (add more for heat)
2 Pasilla Peppers
3 cloves of garlic
1 lime (juice)
½ bunch of cilantro
½ c. chicken broth
handful of crumbled cotija
1 T cumin
1/8 c. Olive Oil (plus extra for coating veggies)

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Quarter onions, peel skin off tomatillos and cut in half.  On foil lined baking sheet add tomatillos, onions, peppers and garlic.  Drizzle with olive oild and rub onto veggies. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25 minutes until peppers blister and onion is cooked through. Allow to cool a bit. Put peppers in a plastic bag to steam for easy skin removal.

Peel onions, garlic, and peppers. Add veggies to a food processor or blender and process until veggies are chopped. With the processor running add broth, olive oil, cumin, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Stir in cotija cheese.

This sauce freezing very well!