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Her latest cookbook, "Savoring San Miguel" is now available. Rudolph takes you inside the kitchens of San Miguel's most well known restaurants to chat with their owners and chefs and try out their recipes. ($24 UD). Click here to Buy Now.
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"Mexican Light: Healthy Cuisine for Today's Cook" is full of high-flavor, low-fat recipes that use only wholesome natural ingredients. Featuring a combination of modern Mexican cooking and traditional dishes, some dating back to pre-Hispanic times, Mexican Light also includes calorie charts and do-ahead dinner planning tips
Mango Mousse (Mousse de Mango)
Years ago I cut a version of this recipe out of the Mexico City News. I don’t know who the original author is, but using mangoes for desserts has been common in Mexico for centuries. When I was asked to cater an event attended by President Vicente Fox, I chose this for the dessert, served with a Blackberry Coulis. Unfortunately the president never showed up, so he missed his chance to taste this delicious treat!
• 2 ripe mangoes
• 1/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1/2 envelope gelatin*
• 2 tablespoons hot water*
• 2 tablespoons cold water*
• 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican lime juice
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1+1/2 cups whipped cream
1. Place the mangoes and powdered sugar in a food processor and puree.
2. In a large bowl, place the gelatin with the cold and hot water, lemon juice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir and then let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Add the mango puree to the gelatin mixture. Let sit for 20 minutes.
4. Beat one cup of the whipping cream to soft peaks and gently fold into the mangoes.
5. As this point you can either spoon the mousse into individual dishes or place the entire amount into a spring-form pan for slicing later.
6. Let the mousse chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours. Top with fresh whipped cream.
*You can omit the gelatin and water, producing a softer consistency-more like a pudding.
In the southern region of Oaxaca, Black Bean Soup is eaten abundantly in the most humble of homes, as well as the nicest restaurants. It's usually paired with spicy chiles and seasoned with a variety of vegetables and spices. This filling soup makes a great first coarse to any Mexican dinner; however, feel free to serve it as an entree, since it's basically a meal in itself.
• 1 cup black beans
•1 tablespoon olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 cups white onion, chopped
• 1 cup celery, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 2 serrano chiles, seeded & minced
• 8 cups chicken broth, heated
• 1 tablespoon Mexican lime juice
• 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
• 2 tablespoons dry sherry
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• salt to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of water.
2. Place the olive oil in a large stockpot over high heat. When hot, add the garlic and then the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add the celery, red bell pepper, and serrano chiles.
4. Add the beans with the warm chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
5.Add the lime juice, cilantro, sherry, oregano, and cumin. Continue simmering until the beans are tender, 30-45 minutes.
6. Roughly puree the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper.
This soup is an elaborate version of the famous Lime Soup of the Yucatan Peninsula. It incorporates vegetables along with the traditional combination of key lime juice, cilantro, and chicken—it’s hearty, healthy and delicious.
•1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup white onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 serrano chile, seeded & minced
• 1/2 cup canned corn
• 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
• 6 cups chicken broth, heated
• 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice
• 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
• salt to taste
1. Place the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the serrano chile, corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. Sauté for additional 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth, cilantro, key lime juice and shredded chicken. Lower to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
Chiles Rellenos come in many forms. The term literally means stuffed chile, basically any chile, not necessarily a poblano. You could also use ancho or pasilla chiles, after rehydrating them; but beware: the heat would be much more intense. If this recipe seems daunting, don’t let it scare you. The extra 10 minutes needed to prepare the chiles is well worth it and you can’t beat the presentation. Try these breakfast Chile Rellenos for another great brunch, served with refried beans and tortillas.
• 4 large fresh poblano chiles
• 4 slices bacon, chopped
• 1 tomato, diced
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 8 eggs
• 1/4 cup cream
• 1 cup manchego cheese, grated
• 1 cup tomato puree
1. Roast and clean the poblano chiles.
2. Place the bacon in a large frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain all the grease, except 1 tablespoon.
3. Sauté the onion in the bacon grease for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and stir in the cream. Add salt to taste.
5. Add the eggs to the frying pan and finish cooking. Stir the bacon in.
6. Stuff each chile with the egg mixture. Place 1/4 cup of grated cheese on top and broil until the cheese is melted. (If you do not have a broiler, you can melt the cheese in an oven.)
7. Heat the tomato puree. Spoon 1/4 cup of the puree on each plate and place the chile on top.
Chicken Poblano originally comes from Puebla, known to many as the heart of mexican cuisine. It’s simple and fast to prepare and will enable you to plan an elegant and authentic meal. Serve it along side white rice.
• 4 poblano chiles
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 white onion, sliced thin
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
• 3/4 teaspoon thyme
• 1 cup cream
• 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
• salt, to taste
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 6 boneless chicken breasts
1. Roast and clean the poblano chiles. Roughly chop and place in a blender.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the onion, garlic, oregano and thyme and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add the cream, cilantro and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into the blender with the poblano chiles and puree until smooth. Set aside.
5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken breasts and cook until both sides are lightly browned.
6. Pour the poblano sauce on top on the chicken breasts when serving.
In Spanish, the term a la Mexicana, refers to any dish containing the fiery combination of tomatoes, onions, and serrano chiles. This trio can be added to scrambled eggs, chicken, seafood, or beef, as in this recipe. It then becomes a patriotic dish with the three main ingredients symbolizing the colors of the Mexican flag: red, white, and green.
1. Slice the skirt steak, across the grain, into 1" strips.
2. Place the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, add the steak and brown on all sides.
3. Add the onion, tomato, and chiles. Cover, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked, 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, salt, and pepper.
In Mexico, rice comes in many colors. There’s red, green, yellow, and of course white rice, usually highlighted with bites of carrots and peas. Green rice, probably having the most distinctive flavor of the group, can completely change the presentation of any dish. Its green color comes from the roasted poblano chiles and cilantro.
• 2 poblano chiles
1. Roast the poblano chiles. (see page ...)
2. Place the chiles into a food processor, adding the cilantro and chicken broth. Puree.
3. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil. Add the rice and onion and cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.
5. Add the poblano chile liquid to the rice, stir, cover and let cook for about 20 minutes or until done.
Fresh fruit salsas are a great way to dress up any meal. They have it all: flavor, texture, aroma and most importantly, minimal calories and fat. Mangoes are at their best in summer, juicy and full of sweetness. If you're making this recipe and the mangoes are a little tart, try adding a tablespoon of brown sugar. Unfortunately this will change the nutritional information below... maybe tart isn't so bad after all?
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the tenderloin and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a baking sheet.
3. Place the tenderloin in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until done. (which for pork means 140 degrees.)
4. While the pork tenderloin is in the oven, place all the salsa ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
5. Slice the tenderloin and top with the Mango Salsa.
Pipian is a sauce made of ground pumpkin seeds, which dates back to the Aztec Indians. In central Mexico, it's almost always served with chicken; however, shrimp is more common to the coastal regions. The modern Mexican kitchen calls for frying the sauce in oil after it's pureed, but I've eliminated this step, without sacrificing much flavor.
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over high heat or under the broiler, stirring frequently so they don't burn. (Avoid browning them excessively, to maintain the sauce's trademark green color.) Seperate 1/4 cup for the garnish. Toast the sesame seeds in the same manner.
3. Place the tomatillos, chile, onion and garlic on a tray under the broiler until soft. About 5 minutes on each side.
4. Place all the ingredients, except for the shrimp, in a blender. Puree until smooth.
5. Pour the sauce into a stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
6. While the pipian is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes or until done. Drain.
7. Mix the shrimp into the pipian.
8. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds.
Pipian freezes well, so make a double batch and save the other half for a quick meal when there's no time to cook.
This chocolate cake is good by itself, however, for a more sophisticated variation splash some Kahlua on top and spread a rich custard between the layers. It makes an elegant finish to any meal.
1 cake, 12-15 slices
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease three-9 inch round cake pans with shortening, line with wax paper and then grease again.
3. Place all of the ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large bowl. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
4. Add the boiling water and continue beating for another minute.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until done.
6. While the cake is in the oven, make the Kahlua filling. Boil 2 cups of water over high heat in the bottom part of a double boiler. Place all the ingredients (with only 1/2 cup of Kahlua) in a large bowl over the double boiler. Stir the mixture continuously until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
7. Un-mold the cakes and lay out on 3 separate plates. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of Kahlua on top of all three. Let cool for 2-3 hours. When ready to frost, place the first layer on a serving plate, spread with 1/2 of the Kahlua filling. Top with the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with the third layer and frost with chocolate butter cream frosting.
CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM FROSTING (for one cake):
This recipe, at first, seems odd: why would you want to make something sweet, also spicy? Yet if you consider the fact that traditional mole blends chocolate and chiles the idea seems reasonable and indeed quite Mexican. I use raspberry jam and chipotle chiles to transform this traditional American dessert into an exciting surprise for those who dare to take a bite.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9x13 pan with shortening, line with wax paper, and then grease again.
3. Boil 2 cups of water over high heat in the bottom part of a double boiler. Place the butter and cocoa in the top part. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Place the eggs, salt, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat for 1 minute. Add the chocolate mixture, chipotle chiles, and adobo sauce. Beat for another minute.
5. Spread the raspberry jam on top and swirl with a knife into the brownie mixture.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center is done. Invert the brownies and remove the wax paper. Let cool. Cut into 12 pieces.
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