Una fiesta mexicana

 Simple recipes picked up in Mexico

Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple-Ancho Chile Salsa and Tortillas

Serves 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients:

2 doz (medium-size) shrimp (shelled)

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the salsa:

½ ripe medium pineapple

½ red bell pepper

½ large red onion

4 ancho chile peppers, soaked in water for 12 hours, drained, and puréed (you can get these from Mexican Specialties or Tio Pablo)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 tablespoons lime juice (about 3 limes)

¼ cup pineapple juice

16 soft tortillas (flour or com), warmed slightly in the oven

For the garnishes:

½ head green or red cabbage, shredded

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup chopped fresh red or green jalapeño chile peppers

Directions:

1. Thread the shrimp on skewers, salt and pepper them to taste, and grill over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until they are opaque.

2. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and chop each shrimp into 3 or 4 pieces. Set aside.

3. Make the salsa: Dice the pineapple, red pepper, and red onion. Add the pureed ancho chile peppers, and mix together in a medium bowl with the oregano, cumin, and lime and pineapple juices.

4. Warm the tortillas slightly on the grill

5. Put the shrimp, salsa, and tortillas out on a table, along with the shredded cabbage, sour cream, and jalapeños as garnishes, and let people make their own rolled tortillas.

Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles

This traditional Mexican breakfast requires only 8 ingredients and can be enjoyed at any time of day.

Serve with a mixed green salad topped with diced avocado, tomato wedges, and olives

Ingredients

Cooking spray

1 cup thinly sliced onion

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1  can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1  can salsa de chile fresco (tomato salsa)

15 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

1 cup shredded queso blanco (mild white cheese – ricotta & feta mixed works perfectly)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 200°

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in beans. Add broth and salsa to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Place half of tortilla strips in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of chicken mixture over tortillas; top with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour broth mixture evenly over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 200° for 10 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Note:

A traditional Mexican breakfast favorite, chilaquiles (chee-lah-KEE-lays) is a sauté of day-old tortilla strips, fresh tomato sauce, cream, and cheese. This hearty version is baked. Refrigerate leftover chilaquiles in individual containers with tight-fitting lids. To reheat, drizzle with a tablespoon of water, and microwave just until thoroughly heated.