• Mexican Street Corn Salad

    Recipe adapted from Diane Morrisey.

    Ingredients:

    Dressing:

    • Juice of 1 large lime
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3 TBSP sour cream
    • 3 TBSP mayonnaise

    Corn Salad:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 6 c. quality frozen corn (can use fresh or canned)
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
    • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
    • 5 green onions, chopped
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
    • 1 c. cotija or feta cheese, crumbled

    Directions:

    1. Dressing: In a bowl combine lime juice through mayonnaise and mix until smooth and combined.
    2. Corn Salad: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the frozen corn and allow to char for about 5 minutes (may take longer). Resist the urge to move the corn around the pan, because the corn won’t caramelize if you do. Transfer the corn to a large bowl and add the red pepper, red onion, cilantro, green onions, and jalapeno peppers, and mix to combine. Add the dressing and mix. Taste and adjust lime juice, salt, and pepper, as needed. Top with cotija or feta cheese.

    Mexican Street Corn Salad:

  • Carne Asada Tacos

    Recipe from Carlsbad Cravings.

    Ingredients:

    Spice Mix:

    • 1 TBSP ground cumin
    • 1 TBSP garlic powder
    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

    Marinade:

    • 1/4 c. soy sauce
    • 1/4 c. orange juice
    • 2 TBSP lime juice
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 TBSP brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
    • 1 ½ – 2 lbs. flank steak pounded to an even thin thickness

    Directions:

    1. Add Spice Mix seasonings to a sealable container; whisk and set aside.
    2. Add all Marinade Ingredients – soy sauce through liquid smoke – to a large freezer bag and whisk to combine. Add 3 TBSP Spice Mix to Marinade and whisk to combine. Add steak, squeeze out excess air, seal and turn to evenly coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 4-12 hours (the longer the better).
    3. When ready to grill, mix remaining Spice Mix with 2 TBSP olive oil to create a wet Spice Rub.
    4. Discard marinade and pat steaks dry with paper towel. Rub steak evenly all over with Spice Rub and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    5. Grill steak.
    6. Remove steak and let rest 10 minutes before chopping into small pieces.

    Carne Asada Tacos:

  • Pickled Onions

    Recipe adapted from Brian Lagerstrom.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. water
    • 1 c. distilled vinegar
    • 1/4 c. sugar
    • 1 tsp. peppercorns
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • Red onion, sliced
    • 2-3 sliced canned beets

    Directions:

    1. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
    2. Once it comes to a boil, add the sliced red onions, and then remove from heat and cool.
    3. Once cooled place onion mixture in a container and add the sliced canned beets and refrigerate for a few hours.

    Pickled Onions:

  • Salsa Roja

    Ingredients:

    • 8 Roma tomatoes
    • 3 jalapeno peppers
    • 1/2 onion
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • Olive oil
    • Salt, to taste
    • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
    • 1/4 c. lime juice

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400F.
    2. On a baking sheet, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and garlic and toss lightly with olive oil, then roast until tender. Check often so garlic doesn’t burn and remove garlic if it is tender but remaining veggies need more time. Once veggies are tender, remove from oven and cool.
    3. Add veggies and salt to a blender and blend until chunky; then add the cilantro and lime juice and combine. Taste and adjust salt, as necessary.

    Salsa Roja:

  • Instant Pot Mexican Rice

    Recipe adapted from Tastes Better from Scratch.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 c. long grain white rice, rinsed
    • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
    • 1 onion, finely diced
    • 1/4 c. tomato sauce
    • 2 tsp. granulated tomato bouillon
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 1/2 c. water
    • 1/3 c. frozen peas, optional
    • Juice of 1 lime

    Directions:

    1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Drain well.
    2. Turn Instant Pot to saute. Once hot, add oil to the bottom of the pot.
    3. Add rice and saute, stirring often, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
    4. Add garlic, onion, tomato sauce, salt, tomato bullion and carrots and stir to combine.
    5. Add water and stir well, making sure the bullion is dissolved.
    6. Turn Instant Pot off. Secure lid and turn valve to sealed position.
    7. Turn on to Manual or High Pressure, and cook for 4 minutes.
    8. When timer beeps, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes.
    9. Remove lid and add peas, if using, and lime juice. Gently fluff the rice with a fork (don’t stir it).
    10. Place IP lid over the bowl and allow rice to rest for a few more minutes before serving.

    Instant Pot Mexican Rice:

  • Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Recipe adapted from Sammy Montogoms.

    Ingredients:

    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
    • 2 TBSP tomato paste
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 3/4 tsp. oregano
    • 2 1/4 tsp. cumin
    • 3 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
    • 7 1/2 c. chicken broth
    • 1 c. tomato sauce
    • 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed or 2 c. fresh or frozen, divided
    • 1/2 c. heavy cream
    • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • Serve topped with cheese, green onion, cilantro, avocado, jalapenos, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips

    Directions:

    1. Begin by roughly chopping the carrots, red pepper, and onion.
    2. To a large pot, add the olive oil and set to medium heat. Add chopped carrots, red pepper, and onion and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring often.
    3. Reduce heat to low and add the whole garlic cloves. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes and then add the tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste becomes a darker red color, about 3 minutes.
    4. Add the salt through tomato sauce and 1/2 of the corn. Bring to a light boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies become soft.
    5. Once the veggies are soft, turn off the heat and use an immersion blender and blend the soup until smooth.
    6. Add the heavy cream, and taste to see if it needs any additional seasonings.
    7. Shred the chicken and then add the shredded chicken, the remaining corn, and fresh lime juice to the soup and stir one last time.
    8. Top soup with desired toppings.

    Creamy Tortilla Soup:

  • Steak Salad with Cafe Rio Dressing

    Steak salad adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod, and Cafe Rio Dressing adapted from Together as Family.

    Ingredients:

    Steak Marinade:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
    • 2 TBSP lime juice
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

    Salad:

    • 6 c. mixed salad greens
    • 1 ear sweet corn, sliced off the cob (about 1 c.)
    • 2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1 large avocado, sliced
    • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/3 c. pepitas
    • 1/2 c. queso fresco

    Cafe Rio Dressing:

    • 1 c. mayonnaise
    • 3/4 c. buttermilk
    • 1 packet/3 TBSP ranch seasoning mix
    • 2 tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
    • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
    • 1 jalapeno 
    • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice 
    • 2 garlic cloves

    Directions:

    1. Steak Marinade: In a Ziploc bag add the lime juice through the coriander and mix to combine; then add the steak and massage the marinade around the steak. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
    2. Cafe Rio Salad Dressing: Add ingredients into the blender, in order as listed above. Blend on high for at least 1 minute, or until everything is combined and blended up really smooth. Can thin with additional buttermilk, if desired. Place in a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
    3. When ready to grill, preheat a clean, oiled grill to medium-high heat.
    4. Place the steak on the hot grill and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on your preference. The steak should be 130-135°F for medium rare, and 145°F for medium.
    5. Transfer the steak to a large cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. Cut the steak against the grain into thin slices.
    6. To assemble the salad, place the mixed greens on a large platter. Add the steak, corn, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, pepitas, and queso fresco. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing.

    Steak Salad with Cafe Rio Salad Dressing:

  • Crispy Potato Tacos

    Adapted from So Much Food Blog.

    Ingredients:

    • Poblanos or Anaheim peppers, roasted and diced
    • 1 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 small white onion, diced
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 TBSP lime juice
    • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
    • Salt to taste
    • 6 corn tortillas
    • 1 c. Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
    • Vegetable oil to brush tacos
    • Toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, crumbled cotija cheese, salsa

    Directions:

    1. Broil peppers in oven until charred. Once charred, place peppers in a Ziploc bag and let the peppers steam for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove peppers from the bag and peel the skins off and deseed the peppers, then dice and set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
    3. Add the potatoes to a sauce-pot and cover with cold water. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain them and let them cool a bit. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
    4. While the potatoes cook, heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the diced onions for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the onions to the potatoes and add all the spices. Mix well until the potatoes are the texture of clumpy mashed potatoes and then add 1/4 – 1/2 c. shredded cheese and the roasted peppers, if using, and mix to combine. The potato mixture should be fairly spreadable. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    5. Microwave tortillas until soft and pliable.
    6. Lay a tortilla flat on a work surface. Gently spread about 1/4-1/3 c. of filling on one side of the tortilla. Sprinkle with some of the shredded cheese and fold into a half moon. Press down so that the tortilla sticks to the potato and stays closed.
    7. Lay the tacos in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and then brush the tops of the tacos with the vegetable oil.
    8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until crispy.

    Crispy Potato Tacos:

  • Chipotle Chicken

    Recipe adapted from Abby Thome.

    Ingredients:

    • 1.5 lbs. chicken tenders
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
    • 1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, smashed
    • Olive oil, generous amount
    • Salt and pepper

    Directions:

    1. In a bowl add chicken tenders and all seasonings and add a generous amount of olive oil and then toss to coat. Cover and marinate in fridge for 3-6 hours.
    2. Cook chicken as you desire, such as in a 450F oven for 12 minutes or grill for 6-7 minutes per side, or until done.

    Chipotle Chicken:

  • Green Chile Rice

    Recipe from Rick Bayless.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 2/3 c. chicken broth
    • 2 fresh poblanos or Anaheim peppers, stems and seeds removed and roughly chopped
    • 12 sprigs of cilantro
    • 1 TBSP oil
    • 1 c. rice
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 5 garlic gloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Chiles: Combine the chicken broth and chopped chiles in a saucepan; bring to a boil and then partially cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes; then pour the hot chile mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems included), and process until smooth puree.
    2. Rice: Wipe the saucepan clean, and add the oil and heat over medium heat. Add the rice and onion, and cook stirring regularly, until the rice is chalky and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes; then stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer; then add the chile puree and salt, stir once and scrape down an rice clinging to the side of the pan, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
    3. Uncover and check rice and should be nearly cooked through; if the rice is just about ready, turn off heat, re-cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes to complete cooking. If rice is far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes (may need to add more water); then retest and fluff with fork when done.

    Green Chile Rice: