Dessert · Mexican · Recipes

Arroz con Leche


Arroz con leche recipes vary widely depending on what country you are dealing with. This one is based off a Costa Rican version that I searched long and hard for. I was trying to replicate my guy’s grandmother’s recipe, and with a few tweaks, it was a success. As a boy, he loved to eat it straight from the pan while it was hot and sweet- but it can be refrigerated and will last for days.

You need:

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 4 1/2 cups water
  3. 2 cinnamon sticks
  4. 3 cloves
  5. 1 can evaporated milk
  6. 2 cans condensed milk
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 1 egg yolk
  9. 1/2 tbs grated orange skin
  10. pinch of salt

Step one: add orange peel, h20, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a sauce pan.


Bring to a boil and then add rice. When the rice has absorbed all of the water, add evaporated milk.


This is the consistency you are gunning for.


Step two: Bring to a boil again, and then add condensed milk, salt and vanilla.


Step three: Boil for 10-15 minutes.

Step four: Add the yolk and mix well.



Mexican · Recipes

Tomatillo Chicken Chili


I have been on a tomatillo kick lately. I’ve been looking for a nice chicken chili recipe for a while, and I created this from several different recipes. This is definitely going on my permanent rotation. I served this with a little sour cream and cilantro, and I made some cornbread to go along with it – a perfect fall dish after a long day at work. If you choose to buy salsa verde, this becomes a very quick, economical meal, as well. If you use one complete beer or 1-1.5 cups of chicken broth the consistency will be more soupy. Reducing the liquid gives you more of a chili consistency. Either way works well.

Simply assemble the ingredients and cook on a low and slow setting – 6-8 hours.

Serving suggestions: fresh cilantro, avocado, sour cream, Mexican cheese, cornbread as a side dish, corn tortillas.

You will need:

  1. 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs
  2. 2 cups Salsa Verde/tomatillo salsa* – you can buy this (use a 16 oz jar) or make it. see recipe below
  3. half white onion, sliced thinly
  4. 1 bell pepper, diced (I used a yellow one for this recipe)
  5. 1 can pinto beans
  6. 1 can cannelini beans
  7. 1 cup chicken broth or a little less than one beer
  8. 2 tsp cumin
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. fresh cilantro
  11. jalapenos (de-seeded) if you want to add spice

Homemade Tomatillo salsa:

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatillos
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños, stems removed and deseeded (for extra heat use serranos instead)
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Mexican · Recipes

Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas

You will need:

  1. Large tortillas
  2. 2-3 cups Mexican blend cheese
  3. 2 large chicken breasts
  4. 1/2 white onion, sliced thin
  5. 1 red bell pepper
  6. 1 can Black beans, rinsed
  7. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 tsp cumin
  9. 1-2 tbs olive oil
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. 1-2 tbs butter

1.Prepare your veggies. Slice your onions and peppers, and mince your garlic.

2. Sauté onion, peppers, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper in 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until browned.

3. Season chicken with 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp cumin, salt and pepper. Sauté chicken breast in 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat until cooked. Stir in 1/4 cup black beans and heat. Set aside.


4. In a non stick skillet or griddle, melt 1 tbs butter. Add one tortilla and sprinkle one half of it with cheese.

5. Add chicken, peppers and onions.

6. Fold over and cook on both sides, until browned and the cheese is melted.

7. Cut up, serve and enjoy:)


Mexican · Recipes



Carnitas are delicious in a fresh tortilla or tostada. I enjoy them with guacamole or avocado.

You will need:

  • 1 3.5-4 lb boneless pork butt roast, trimmed of fat, and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 oranges – use them to make 1/3 cup orange juice and keep the halves.
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • warm tortillas
  • avocado*


Step one:

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine pork, water, onion, lime juice, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in dutch oven. The liquid should barely cover the meat. Add orange juice and spent orange halves to pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat. Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is soft and falls apart, about 2 hours.

Step two:

Remove pot from the oven. Use a slotted spoon and transfer pork to a bowl. Throw away the orange halves, onion and bay leaves. Do not skim the fat from the liquid. Place the pot over high heat and simmer the braising liquid, stir often until thick and syrupy (10-12 minutes). You should have 1 cup of reduced liquid.

Step three:

Shred the pork with 2 forks on a cutting board or preferred surface. Return the pork to the bowl and add the braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step four:

Spread pork pieces in an even layer on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Broil pork until well browned and edges are slightly crisp on both sides (10-15 minutes).

Serve with tortillas,  cilantro and lime.





Mexican · Recipes · Side dish

Cilantro Lime Rice

You will need:

  • 2 1/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves, as well as 2 tbs. minced
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion or shallot, chopped fine
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges for juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 c long grain white rice, rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step one:

process broth and cilantro leaves in a blender until the cilantro is chopped, 30 seconds. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot/onion and cook until softened (5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice & cook, stirring often until the edges become translucent (2 minutes). Add broth mixture, squeezed lime and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (17-20 minutes).

Step two:

Take pot off the heat, let the rice sit for 10 minutes. Add in cilantro and fluff. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


*Source: America’s Test Kitchen

Mexican · Recipes

Pork Tinga with Tostadas

img_4310These are excellent served in a variety of ways: tacos, tostadas or over rice. I truly enjoy serving them with diced avocado or guacamole. Because you need about 1 1/2 hours to cook down the pork, this is a great weekend family meal.

You will need:

  • Tostadas (hom-eade or storebought).
  • 2 lbs boneless pork butt roast, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 onions – 1 quartered, 1 diced
  • 5 garlic cloves – 3 peeled & smashed, 2 minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, diced
  • 2 oz queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • lime wedges
  • salt and pepper

Step one:

In a large sauce pan, bring 6 cups water, pork, quartered onion, smashed garlic, thyme and 1 tsp salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Skim off foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to medium low, partially cover, cook until pork is tender (1.5 -2 hours).

Step two:

Drain the pork, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Throw away onion, garlic, thyem. Return the pork the saucepan and mash it with a potato masher or shred with two forks.


Heat oil in a  skillet over medium-high heat. Add oregano, shredded pork, chopped onion and cook until the pork is brown and crisp (around 7 minutes). Stir in minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, chipotle, bay leaves, reserved pork liquid and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with avocado, queso fresco, cilantro and limes.


Mexican · Recipes · Spanish

Chicken Adobo


You will need:

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3-4 tbs minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground espresso, fine
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbs canola
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbs molasses
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbs fresh cilantro

Step one:

Blend tomatoes in a food process until smooth. Set aside. Combine chipotle, garlic, oregano, espresso, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl. Pat chicken dry and coat with chipotle rub.


Step two:

Heat 1 tbs oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken until golden brown on both sides (6-7 minutes) and transfer to a plate. It will not be completely cooked.


Step three:

Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, around 6-7 minutes. Stir in molasses, tomatoes and chicken along with juices. Cover and simmer chicken until the sauce has thickened, around 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate (keep warm with aluminum foil if needed). Season sauce in pan with salt and pepper, and then spoon over chicken. Add cilantro on top. Serve with rice.


Source: America’s Test Kitchen*

Mexican · Recipes

Tequila-Lime Chicken Fajitas

This was a relatively easy way to enjoy the classic combination of tequila and lime. This makes for a very fresh, yet rich flavor. I adapted this from an excellent tequila-lime shrimp quesadilla recipe which I will post soon! For this recipe, I served it with charred corn.

You will need:

  • 2-3 tbs canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 shallot or 2 scallions, sliced thin.
  • 2 lbs chicken breast, sliced into thin strips.
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small sweet pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 1 tsp minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/3 cup tequila
  • 1 tsp lime zest and two limes, cut into quarters
  • Corn tortillas or flour tortillas, grilled
  • Cotija or Monterey Jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heating Tortillas: While cooking the vegetables and shrimp, begin to heat your tortillas.

  • Electric stove: Using your favorite frying pan or griddle, heat the pan on medium high until drops of water make the pan sizzle. Heat the tortillas for about 45 seconds on each side.
  • Gas stove: Using tongs, heat the tortillas over a low flame.* This takes some practice & skill.
  • Oven: This is good for a large stack. Preheat the oven to 350°F and assemble stacks of five or six tortillas. Wrap each stack in aluminum foil and place them on the center rack of your oven.
  • Keeping them warm:  To eat immediately: Keeping them double-wrapped in a layer of aluminum foil and then a dishtowel will keep them pretty warm even without a direct heat source. For later: Wrap your tortillas in a damp towel or aluminum foil and keep them in a slow cooker or an oven set on low.

Step one:

Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, chipotle, shallots or scallions, and 1/4 tsp of salt and cook until the mixture is softened ,about 2 minutes. Add sliced pepper and tequila and simmer until most of the tequila has evaporated and the pan is drier, about 5 minutes.



Step two:

Add chicken, lime zest and the the juice of one lime and cook, stirring often until the meat is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. In the last minute of cooking, add 1/4 cup cilantro to the mixture, stirring to release the flavor.

Step three:

Serve with additional lime & cilantro, sour-cream, cheese, avocado and salsa of your choice. Enjoy!

I might have gone overboard with the salsa


Mexican · Recipes

Shrimp Diabla

img_8466This is spicy and absolutely delicious served with rice and avocado. Feel free to cut back on the amount of chiles in order to dial back the heat.

You will need:

  • 2 jalapeños, diced or 8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn in to pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lbs extra large shrimp (21-25’s) peeled & deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • A dutch oven, or enameled cast iron pot, if possible.

Step one:

Toast guajillos in dutch oven over medium heat. Stir frequently to release fragrance for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. (If you do not have guajillos, skip this step and add chopped jalapenos to step two)*.

Step two:

Heat oil in now empty dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chipotle, oregano, and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce, water and toasted guarillos*/jalapeños; bring to a simmer and cook until chiles are soft, around 10 minutes.

Step three:

Transfer the mixture into a blender and process until smooth – 30 seconds. Return sauce to the pot and stir in shrimp. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until shrimp are opaque and cooked, 5-7 minutes. Stir cilantro and lime juice into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with extra cilantro and lime over cilantro-lime rice.

Mexican · Recipes · Spanish

Seared Shrimp with Avocado and Tomatoes


This is a very refreshing summer dish, especially if you have fresh, ripe tomatoes. This is mildly spicy. If you want to adjust heat, add less chipotles in adobo sauce. The avocado pairs perfectly with the texture and flavors of the dish.

You will need:

  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 shallot or 6 scallions, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1.5 lbs extra large shrimp (21-25’s), peeled and deveined
  • 1/8 tsp sugar (or a pinch)
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 1 tbs lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 avocado, halved and pitted, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step one:

Toss tomatoes, shallot/scallion whites*, cilantro, garlic, chipotle and 3/4 tsp salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, toss shrimp with sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.


Step two:

Heat 2 tbs oil in a skillet over high heat – your goal is to sear the shrimp, so a good quality skillet is preferred. Add shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook, without moving them, until slightly brown (seared) on 1 side. No more than 1 minute. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl (they will be undercooked – this is okay).

Step three:

Add tomato mixture to the skillet and cook on high in the remaining shrimp juices. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes have softened. Stir in the shrimp with accumulated juices and cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 1-2 minutes.


Step four:

Transfer shrimp to a platter and add avocado. Serve with additional cilantro, scallion greens and lime wedges.