Tag Archives: Jalapeño

Fresh Corn & Ripe Peaches = Two Tasty Starters

Two highly anticipated crops are finally available from the local Colorado farmers – sweet corn on the cob from Olathe and juicy, super sweet peaches from Palisade. Sure, you can enjoy both the traditional way – the corn grilled or boiled and slathered with butter, and the peach halved and eaten over the sink so the sun-ripened, sweet juices can run down your chin. But my quest here was to create something different that still made your taste buds zing. How about some Peach Daiquiris to enjoy with a delicious Corn, Jalapeno & Queso Fresco Cheese spread? The Daiquiri is super simple to make with the usual suspects: ice, fruit, sugar and rum – I like the flavor of dark rum but light works just as well. And the cheese spread offers up something refreshing and different with grilled fresh corn, buttery queso fresco cheese and spicy jalapeño.

For those who haven’t tasted queso fresco cheese, it is like the Mexican version of ricotta but with a creamy, salty tang. Made from cow’s milk, it is typically used to finish soups, tacos or enchiladas and is one of my favorite cheeses. Serve the Corn & Queso Fresco Cheese Spread with grilled bread slices, or grilled tortillas (cut into wedges after grilled) or your favorite tortillas chips.

So there you have it, two easy ways to enjoy fresh corn and peaches!
Eat well and share the love!

Peach Daiquiris with Grilled Corn, Jalapeño & Queso Fresco Cheese Spread (print recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Peach Daiquiris – makes about 5 cups, about 4 cocktails
Ingredients:
5 to 6 cups ice
5 small, or 3 large peaches, pits removed and cut into quarters
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
6 oz. (about ¾ cup) dark rum (or light rum)
Garnish: Peach slices on a skewer or toothpick

Directions:
To the blender, add 3 cups of ice and finely chop. If your blender has an “ice” setting, use it to finely chop the ice.

Add the chopped peaches, 1 tablespoon of sugar, rum and 2 cups of ice. Using the “chop” or “puree” setting, blend until the ice is well chopped and ingredients are well incorporated. Taste and if needed, add more sugar or more ice if mixture is too thin.

Daiquiri’s can be made 1 to 2 hours ahead of time; keep daiquiri mixture cold in the refrigerator or freezer and re-blend before serving.  
Serve with a garnish of peach slices on a skewer or toothpick.

Grilled Corn, Jalapeño & Queso Fresco Cheese Spread – makes about 1 cup
Ingredients:
1 corn on the cob (or if out of season, ½ cup frozen corn – defrosted)
Olive oil or vegetable oil
4 oz. queso fresco cheese (either regular or Ranchero style)
2 to 4 tablespoons milk or half & half
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño
Pinch of salt of pepper
Grilled bread slices, or grilled tortillas wedges or tortilla chips
Garnish
2 to 3 thin slices of jalapeño
¼ teaspoon corn kernels
2 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Directions:
Heat grill to medium. Remove the husk and silk from the corn, brush the cob with olive oil (or vegetable oil) and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place the corn cob directly on the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning corn often, until corn has slightly softened and grill marks appear. Remove from grill and let cool. When cool, remove kernels from cob: place cob lengthwise on cutting board and using a long knife, slice kernels off one side, turn cob 90 degrees and continue.

In a medium bowl, add the cheese and break up with a fork. Add 2 tablespoon milk and mix well until cheese is smooth and mostly lump-free; add more milk if too thick. Add the corn kernels, jalapeño and pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Garnish with a few slices of jalapeño, some corn kernels, sliced green onions and some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Serve with your choice of grilled or toasted bread slices, grilled tortilla wedges or your favorite tortilla chips.

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Rotisserie Chicken + Black Bean Salad = Tacos

Whoever invented the rotisserie chicken is a genius, along with the roasters that are now in most grocery stores; these succulent whole chickens provide us with instant dinner, and leftovers for another meal. Whether you want to whip up a delicious dinner to enjoy while watching the NCAA Basketball tournaments or just make a satisfying homemade meal, the moist rotisserie chicken allows for quick, easy and tasty weeknight meals. Here the shredded chicken has been put to good use in Chicken Tacos with Black Bean Salad, Red Cabbage & Chipotle Lime Sauce. My infamous Black Bean Salad has been featured on Foodie for Two before, where it was paired with seared ono, and today the ingredients are slightly modified to give the taco a makeover with light yet hearty flavors.  It works fabulously in soft tacos with some warm corn tortillas, shredded chicken, thinly sliced red cabbage, sliced jalapeño and finished with a chipotle lime sauce. The sauce is rich and creamy and brings all the other flavors together with just enough earthy spice from the chipotle, and brightness from the lime.

The versatile sauce is made with some mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest and juice and dried chipotle pepper powder – my secret ingredient.  Chipotle peppers are just fully-ripened, dried jalapeños and available in either whole dried peppers (seeds, stems and all) or dried pepper powder.  I find the powder in the spice aisle of my grocery store (or from Savory Spice) and the whole peppers in the Mexican food aisle.  The spiciness from the jalapeño is concentrated and it has a wonderful earthy, smokiness that adds a surprising depth of flavor to dishes or sauces.

To make dinners super easy, I like to remove all the meat (yes, the dark meat too) from the bird when I get it home and then store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  This time I selected the colossal bird, which was only a dollar more than the regular size, and it yielded about 5 cups of shredded chicken – plenty for this meal.  If you aren’t going to use the chicken within the week, just bag it up in one cup measurements and freeze for later use. How could delicious homemade dinners be any easier?  This is also a great recipe for a small crowd: double or triple the amounts (depending on the number if people) and set everything out buffet style. Enjoy!

Eat well and share the love!

Chicken Tacos with Black Bean Salad, Red Cabbage & Chipotle Lime Sauce (Print Recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies

Ingredients:
Black Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz. – no salt) black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely diced bell peppers (about 3 baby sweet
peppers, or ¼ of a red, yellow or orange bell pepper)
1 cup baby spinach, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons finely diced Poblano pepper (about ½ of a small Poblano)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon finely minced garlic clove (about ½ of a small clove)
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
Chipotle Lime Sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/8 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
Pinch of kosher salt and ground pepper
Tacos
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
3 to 4 corn tortillas, warmed
½ cup of very thinly sliced red cabbage
9 to 12 slices (thinly sliced ) jalapeño for garnish
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions:
Black Bean Salad: Add the black beans, red onion, bell pepper, spinach, lime zest and juice, cilantro, Poblano pepper, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and gently stir together with a spoon so the beans don’t break up. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors develop; can be made up to one day ahead – the beans will break down a bit from the lime juice but the flavors won’t be affected. Store leftover salad covered in the refrigerator, makes about 2 cups.

Chipotle Lime Sauce: Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well.  Let sauce sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to develop. Can be made up to 2 days ahead; store covered in the refrigerator, makes about 1/3 cup.

Assemble: For the rotisserie chicken, remove all of the meat off the bone and reserve 1 cup for the tacos. Store the remaining chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or bag the shredded chicken in 1 cup servings and freeze for later use.

Heat the oven, or toaster oven, to 350º and wrap the corn tortillas in foil.  Let them heat in oven for about 5 minutes.

Thinly slice the red cabbage and jalapeño slices and gather all of the ingredients on the cutting board to start assembling the tacos.  

When the corn tortillas are warm, fill each of them with about ¼ cup of the black bean salad, 1/8 cup of shredded red cabbage, ¼ cup shredded chicken, a few small dollops of chipotle lime sauce, garnish with the sliced jalapeño and cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

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The Tulip Fence:  Last September I planted over 100 tulip bulbs in planters and in the backyard (my first time ever), and they are starting to come up. Not surprisingly, I found a mule deer munching on the tender shoots this weekend and chased her away; David put up a quick fence for protection and it worked!  Thanks, honey!
Here you can see she has returned and is trying to figure out how to get to them.  No tulips for you, my deer!