Tag Archives: queso fresco

Oaxacan Steak Quesadillas

Oaxaca (wha-ha-ka) cheese is a delightful semi-soft, stringy, cows-milk white cheese that could be best compared to mozzarella!  The Oaxaca cheese is a stretched, curd cheese that is formed into a ball, often resembling a softball in size, that you can shred for the gooiest of dishes.

All of the quick info above being said, why not make a quesadilla inspired by the southern Mexico state!  To keep with the flavors of the real SOUTH of the border, I have decided to incorporate other commonly used ingredients from Oaxaca while infusing it with a couple of my own.  Plus, I just really NEED steak in my life, but by all means, make this a veggie’dilla if you wish!

*I LOVE these marindes and always have them on hand for many dishes!https://www.goya.com/en/products/cooking-bases-sauces-and-marinades/ready-to-use-marinades

 

The Starting Lineup

STEAK (& marinade)

  • 2-3 lbs flank steak (or pounded skirt steak)
  • 1/2 cup of GOYA Marinade Naranja Agria 
  • 1/2 cup of GOYA Marinade Mojo Criollo 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped with stems
  • 1 tsp cumin

QUESADILLA

  • Tortillas (fresh corn to be authentic, but flour will work and taste fust fine too)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano/or jalapeño, finely chopped (seeding optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves (or a few chopped Epazote leaves if possible)
  • 2 tsp kosher
  • 1 cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar-jack cheese, shredded

OPTIONAL (fillers and garnish)

  • Avocado slices
  • Squash blossoms (though hard to find)
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Cilantro
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Chopped cabbage/carrot slaw
  • Queso Fresco or Cotija cheese crumbles
  • Salsa/hot sauce

______________________________________________________________________________

STEAK:  In a gallon zip lock bag or baking dish/bowl, combine the meat with the marinade ingredients; toss and massage to coat.  Zip up or cover and let sit for 30 minutes on the counter or 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready to eat, remove the steak from fridge about 20-30 minutes prior to cooking.

Cook the steak (medium-high heat on the grill or cast iron pan on stove) till desired doneness.  Let rest for at least 5 minutes or more.  Cut across the grain into thin slices.

QUESADILLA:  Heat the canola oil and butter in a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. When melted and butter is slightly browned, add in the onion and sauté about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the serrano (or jalapeno) and chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, for about a minute.

Next add in the sliced mushrooms and let cook down for 3-5 minutes, letting the juices come out, which will in turn allow them to dry out.  Follow that with the fresh spinach leaves and salt.  Continue to stir and sauté until mushrooms and spinach have wilted and the mixture is not too wet, but not too dry.

ASSEMBLY:  Again, whether grill or stove top pan, heat to medium and place a tortilla into a dry pan and warm/char (30 seconds).

Flip tortilla over and start to layer the 2 cheeses, the sliced steak and the mushroom-spinach mixture over half of the tortilla (I also added a bit of sliced avocado to this), fold in half and cook a couple minutes until golden brown.  Flip and cook the other side till browned and cheese is gooey!

SERVE:  Place on a platter and cut into wedges (pizza cutter!!); serve with your choice of accompaniments.  I chose pico de gallo, a crunchy cabbage slaw, cilantro, Mexican crema and salsa!  Enjoy!!

OaxacanSteakQuesadilla

 

Mexican Street Corn & Chicken Chowder

It’s one of those weird weather times of year…Is it hot out?  Is it cold??  Will it be both of those in just one single day?  Yep!  Yep!  Yep!

So while in the daytime I am craving my favorite warm, grilled spicy Mexican corn on the cob, I’m not about to go stand out in the cool evening rain to attempt it.  What’s my solution?  This simple recipe of course!

As I stated just above, I’m all about Mexican street corn.  I’ll take it on the cob (elote) or in a cup (esquites) and now I’ll take it out of my slowcooker in chowder form!  The added shredded chicken in my recipe helps to hearty up this meal and the garnishment of queso fresco, lime, cilantro and chili powder make this legit!  You can’t eat just one bowl, promise!!

*Vegetarian?  Simply omit the chicken and prepare as written.

*The sautéing of the onions/garlic and roasting of the corn is optional, as you can add straight to the slowcooker.  However, you’ll REALLY enhance the flavors of the chowder by doing this one extra step.   The 5 minutes it takes is worth it friends!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 cans sweet cream corn
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth (low-sodium)
  • 2 cups half & half (16oz)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I.e. Mexican, Colby, jack)
  • 1 can green chiles, undrained 
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning (low-sodium)
  • 1 tbsp evoo

Garnish

  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Cilantro
  • Chili powder
  • Mexican crema (like a thinned sour cream)
  • Jalapeños 
  • Lime wedges
  • Mexican hot sauce (i.e. Tapatio)


If you read the opening paragraph to this recipe, you would have noticed the key words ‘simple‘ and ‘easy‘.   So follow along closely 😉 ….

Heat a the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add in the onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes, till slightly soft and translucent.  Add in garlic and cook for 30-60 sceconds.  Pour the onion/garlic mix into your slow cooker sprayed with a bit of non-stick spray.

In that same pan, crank up the heat a bit and pour in the cup of frozen corn.  Toss and allow to blacken just slightly and then also add to the slow cooker.

Next, add all the remaining ingredients (except the garnishes) to the slow-cooker and stir to just combine.  Cover and set on low for 6-7 hours.  When finished cooking, remove the lid and shred the chicken with two forks.


Ladle into bowls and top with the crumbled cheese, cilantro, chili powder and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy!!

Chilaquiles con Huevos with Roasted Verde Sauce

Wow!  I’m almost bilingual with this recipe!  It may definitely be ‘Spanglish’, BUT it IS authentic and delicious!!  

Roasting the vegetables gives the verde sauce such a great depth of flavor and frying the corn tortillas makes for such a better chip!  Please don’t use store bought chips here…scratch frying really holds up to that spicy green sauce and never turns into a soupy mess.  

Now you can eat this sans the egg and it’s just as good, but for breakfast in my house, my boys must have the huevos!  This is also fantastic with a side of potatoes and beans…oh, maybe a cerveza too!!!  Assuming, it’s your day off of course 😉

The Starting Lineup

Verde Sauce

  • 1lb tomatillos (about 12), husked, rinsed & halved
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion, rough chopped (reserve a couple thin slices)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth, depending how thick/thin you like it
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander 

Tortilla Chips

  • 10-12 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
  • Canola or Vegetable oil (about 1/2+ cups)

Garnish

  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • White onion, thinly sliced 

Huevos

  • 1-2 eggs per person, fried -over hard or runny yolk      

To begin this easier than sounding recipe, preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  *Typically takes about 15 minutes.

While the oven is warming, rinse all of the peppers, cilantro and husked tomatillos (they can be kind of sticky).  

On a foil lined baking sheet, lay the 3 peppers, the sliced and husked tomatillos, the garlic (still in skin) and the roughly chopped onion (I still leave skin on here too).  Drizzle a bit of EVOO overtop and sprinkle on the the salt & pepper. 

 Place this on the oven’s top rack (now turn to broil with oven door slightly opened), and let the vegetables char for about 5-7 minutes.  You may need to turn them occasionally during this time.  Once they’ve finished and have that lovely ‘burnt’ look to them, remove the baking sheet and turn off the oven. 

 While those are just slightly cooling, heat up the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Once the oil is ready, start frying up the cut up corn tortillas in 2-3 batches.  *Try to lay them in the hot oil almost one by one (but quickly) so that they don’t stick together.  This will only take a couple of minutes.  Once finished, transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle the hot chips lightly with salt. 

   Meanwhile, in a seperate pan, cook your huevos (aka eggs ;)) to your taste. 

Also, finish up that verde sauce!  In a blender combine 1/2 cup of cilantro (stems & all), the chicken broth, the roasted tomatillos, peppers (stems cut off), onion (outter ‘skin’ removed) and push the roasted garlic out of its ‘skin’ as well.  Top this off with a tsp each of the coriander and cumin.  Place the lid onto the blender along with a hand towel (hot liquids and blenders..keep safe!) and blend till smooth! 

     Remove the oil from the tortilla chip pan and carefully wipe clean..Over low heat, add in most (or all) of the verde sauce and bring to a simmer.  Toss in the freshly fried tortilla chips and cook for just 3-5 minutes as you don’t want them “mushy”,… bleh… 

 Spoon the warm tortilla-verde-sauce mixture into individual serving bowls.  Top each with the crumbled queso fresco cheese, a drizzle of the Mexican crema, thinly sliced white onion and fresh cilantro…oh and don’t forget the huevos!!!  Enjoy! 

 

%d bloggers like this: