Peggy’s Chile Rellenos

chile rellenosMy friend, Peggy, was visiting us from Idaho last month and she made a batch of her famous Chile Rellenos. We ate them for a few nights in a row and still wanted more. Perhaps that’s why my thoughts turned to Mexican food for this month’s newsletter.

At any rate, Peggy and I are both Norwegian but I can guarantee that the Mexican recipes in this month’s blog will be especially tasty albeit with an Anglo influence.

Peggy’s Chile Rellenos

6 large fresh, Anaheim Chiles
1-cup all-purpose flour
1-egg
1-heaping teaspoon baking powder
Milk to taste
1/2 to 1 cup Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided into eighths
1 can Hatch Enchilada Sauce (Tex-Mex Style)
Sour Cream, if desired
Green Onions, diced, if desired

Directions: Blanch the chilies and remove the skins. Set chiles aside to cool.

In the meantime, combine flour, egg, and baking powder in a medium bowl; stir in milk until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. If you don’t like a lot of dough around the chilies, make a half-batch of batter.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9″ x 13″ glass-baking pan with cooking spray and place a small amount of Enchilada sauce in the bottom of pan. Split the chilies lengthwise; add 1/7th of the shredded cheese and some onions to each chile. Place the stuffed chile in the pan and repeat until all the chilies are stuffed.

Pour the batter over the chilies, and then, according to taste, pour Enchilada sauce over the batter. Finish with the shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes, or until chilies are tender and batter mixture surrounding the chilies is cooked through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or green onions, if desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

chile rellenos out of oven

Chile Rellenos when they come out of the oven.

 

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Enhancing Your Tortillas

Corn-tortillas

Lightly toast both sides of corn or flour tortillas on a hot griddle to enhance their flavor; it makes the difference between mediocre/doughy tasting tortillas and tortillas that are especially tasty.

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Ask Cynthia a Question – June 22, 2015

Tex-Mex-appetizerMarie: What is the definition of Tex-Mex?

My answer: The best way to explain it is to direct you toward this article:

Francis Lam writes If it isn’t really Mexican food then What is Tex-Mex? which is posted on the Splendid Table food blog (which you’ll notice is also our Blog of the Month). It’s an interesting article that made me realize that Tex-Mex is a real cuisine and not a term to be tossed around casually…especially in Texas. It also gives pictures and a recipe for what looks like a killer Shrimp Cocktail.

For more information, Wikipedia has a detailed explanation of Tex-Mex cuisine defined as cultural fusion cuisine of American cuisine and Mexican cuisine.

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7-Layer Tex-Mex Dip

7-Layer Mexican DipThis is a recipe that’s been around for a long time and each time I make it, it’s like I’m tasting it for the first time. Terry Webb, a firefighter’s wife from Kent, Washington, shared it with me back in the 1970s, and I’ve been making it for get-togethers ever since.

Two changes I’ve made to the recipe is I swapped bean dip for black refried beans (the bean dip was too salty for us). I’ve also turned it into a main dish by adding cooked, seasoned and crumbled ground beef or shredded chicken on top of the sour cream layer, then create remaining layers as directed, serve in haystack form as pictured above or individual tostada style as shown below.

7-Layer Tex-Mex Dip

3 medium ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
1-tablespoon lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
1-cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-1 1/2 ounce packet taco seasoning
3 medium tomatoes, chopped and well-drained
1 large bunch green onions with tops, finely chopped
2-3 1/2 ounce cans ripe sliced olives
2-10 1/2 ounce cans black refried beans or bean dip
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips

Mash peeled avocados in medium bowl with lemon, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasonings and set aside.

Spread black refried beans (or bean dip) onto large platter and top with avocado mixture. Spread sour cream mixture over avocado layer. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, then chopped tomatoes, and then chopped olives. For the last layer add the shredded cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Use your favorite tortilla chips as dippers, or serve tostada style by layering the dip onto crisp fried tortillas (as shown below).

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

7-Layer Mexican Dip3
Tostada Style 7-Layer Tex-Mex Dip

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Layered Greek Hummus Dip

Recipe of the month is a Layered Greek Hummus Dip, which was sliced, diced and added-to by my friend, Kate McPike, who found the original recipe at the Decor Fix blog. Like so many good cooks, Kate proceeded to make her own version of the dip by adding her favorite ingredients and ending-up with who knows how many layers. Guaranteed, you’ll like this dip better if you make it your own as Kate did.

layered Greek hummus dip

Layered Greek Hummus Dip

2-8 ounce cartons hummus (plain or flavored)
1 can artichoke hearts, canned in water
Purple onion or green onions
Red bell pepper
Greek olives, pitted and drained
Pepperoncini peppers, drained and dried
English cucumber
Grape tomatoes, quartered and drained
Avocado, diced
8 ounces feta cheese, plain or flavored
Fresh dill weed
Pita bread, pita chips or tortilla chips
Garlic flavored olive oil, optional

Spread hummus about 1″ to 2″ inches thick onto a platter and set aside. Prepare your choice of assorted toppings such as artichoke hearts, purple and/or green onions, bell pepper, olives, pepperoncini peppers, cucumbers and grape tomatoes by draining as needed and chopping.

One at a time, layer your topping choices over the hummus. Last two layers should be feta cheese and then fresh dill weed (pictured we’ve finished with green onions). Drizzle lightly with olive oil, if desired

Cut pita bread into triangular pieces or use chips, which are good-to-go. Spread dip onto the bread with an appropriate utensil. Yield: 10 servings

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Blueberry Orange Cake

Blueberry Orange Cake2

Blueberry Orange Cake

1-quart blueberries, fresh or frozen
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 orange or lemon cake mix (1 lb. 3 oz.)
1 cube margarine or butter, melted

Place blueberries in lightly greased 9″ x 12″ x 3″ baking dish, and then evenly sprinkle sugar over berries. Spread dry cake mix over berries, right out of the box. Drizzle top with melted butter.

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Serve warm or cold topped with vanilla ice cream, heavy cream or whipped topping.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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Watermelon Slushy

watermelon slushy

Freeze watermelon cubes and add them to lemonade for a lemon-spiked watermelon slushy.

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