Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ARF/5-a-day Tuesday - Mexican Night it is

I learnt about Sweetnick's ARF/5-a-day Tuesday from fellow bloggers. I went to Sweetnick's blog and discovered what the top 20 ARF foods are. As soon as I saw blackbeans, I was so excited. I love blackbeans and will eat anything made with them. I despise the "canned black beans". Somehow, I feel they lack the flavor of "cooked from scratch" black beans. Usually on a weekend afternoon while I am watching a movie, I go on a "bean-cooking adventure". I put two pots on the stove and buy 1 lbs each of two diferent kinds of dried beans and cook them.

Then I cool the beans, use some of them right away if I am making something. I put the remaining in freezer baggies and freeze them in serving portions.

One of my favorite recipes with black-beans is my black-bean,veggie and cheese quesedilla.
Blackbean and veggie quesadillas Guacamole Mexican Rice

Black bean Quesadillas

Software
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  • 2 cups pre-cooked black beans - beans that are not cooked to a mush
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped fine - set aside 2 tbsp for guacamole
  • 4 large cloves garlic - set aside a pinch for guacamole
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeno / 2 serrano peppers
  • 4-5 large flour tortillas(burrito size)
  • 1-2 cups Moterey Jack Cheese/some kind of Mexican cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (if you want this spicy)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander powder(optional)
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning/some kind of mexican seasoning
  • Vegetable Oil/Pam to fry the quesedillas
  • 1 handful cilantro - chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I used the Lizano salsa from Costa Rica that my boss had given me)

Hardware
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  • One pan to cook the filling
  • A non-stick grill pan/skillet to fry the quesadillas









Method
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  • Put the pan for filling on medium-high heat and add the 1 tbsp of EVOO. Add the the onions, jalapeno and garlic, cook until onions are translucent, add the tri-colored peppers and the frozen corn heat until they are soft and lightly browned.
  • Stir in the black beans and cook until they heat through.
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, taco seasoning and salt and stir until the flavors blend.
  • Add the salsa, remove from heat, cool for about 5 minutes and add the cilantro.
  • Place a non-stick skillet/grill pan over medium/medium-low heat. Spray pam/brush some vegetable oil on one side of a tortilla. (I don't use my usual EVOO here because of the low smoking point)
  • Place the tortilla on the skillet, oil side down, sprinkle some cheese on half of the tortilla, spoon some black-bean mixture, spread it around so it covers the half, add some more cheese on top of the beans mixture.
  • Fold the tortilla so the bean and cheese mixture is completely covered by the other half of the tortilla. At this point, if you are using a grill pan, quarter turn the tortilla so you get nice grill marks. If you are using a regular sillet, just wait until the side is golden brown.
  • Turn it over and let it brown/grill mark on the other side too. Ensure that the cheese is melted. Both sides should be brown and crispy.
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • Cut each tortilla into 3-4 wedges using a pizza cutter/knife.
  • Serve with salsa, guacamole and sourcream. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Guacamole

I do have a yummy guacamole recipe that a co-worker gave me but tonight, I just wanted something simple and quick. I basically added almost the same ingredients I had on hand for the quesadillas.

Software
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  • 1 avacado, pitted and mushed
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sourcream
  • a pinch cumin
  • a pinch chili powder
  • a pinch salt
  • a pinch black pepper
  • a pinch nutmeg
  • a pimch of corainder seed powder(optional)
  • cilantro, as you please
Hardware
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one small bowl

Method
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  • Combine all the above together and put it in dish, cover with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation and browning of the avacado.

Mexican Rice

Software
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  • 1 cup uncooked rice (any kind except minute)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno/serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce/tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp EVOO
Hardware
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saucepan

Method
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  • Put the oil or EVOO in the saucepan over medium heat, add the rice and keep stirring so it browns evenly. The browning of rice is very important and makes the rice very fluffy, so please don't skip this step. Towards the end of the browing, add the jalapeno, garlic and onion.
  • Add the water and add remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Cover and cook for about 20 mins
  • After 20 minutes have passed, check it in between so it doesn't brown. The rice should be done in about 20-30 min time.
Serving Suggestion: Serve 3-4 wedges of quesadillas, with some rice, guacamole and store bought salsa and sour cream.

Tips: If this recipe makes more quesadilla filling than you need, the filling can be refrigerated upto 2-3 days and used for buritto filling, taco filling, can be mixed with some cooked rice. The filling is also perfect layered with some tortilla chips and cheese for a veggie version of nachos.


Suggestions: This long post may make it seem that this is a very time consuming recipe, but it is really not. Since the ingredients (onion, garlic, cilantro etc) are in more than one of the dishes, you can chop them at once. You can start cooking the rice at the same time as the filling for the quesadillas. When the filling for quesadillas is cooling, the guacamole can be whipped up. By the time rice is done, you will be close to be done with assembling the quesadillas.

4 comments:

BDSN said...

Hai!!!
Came to know your website thru Saffron Hut.You have a very neat blog and your recipes seem to be very long in the sense they are detail oriented...Very good choice for the ARF..Wud definitely visit again...

Ashwini said...

I dont cook Mexican often but looking at the photo here made me want to pick up a tortilla bag ;-) Good work!

Garam Masala said...

Wow! what a meal. Mexican food preparation is a lot like desi chaat isn't it? Once you have the salsa, guacomole, sour cream and other fixin's you just need to assemble them!

Looks really delicious and healthy too!

Luv2cook said...

BDSN:

Thank you for your comments.

Ashwini:

I used to not cook Mexican at all, but slowly I have incorporated that into my weekly routine. I feel it is fun and gives me a lot more options :).

Garam Masala:

Thank you. I feel that Mexican is so easy to prepare, much so than Indian especially because I never make the toritillas etc. :)