Wednesday, November 16, 2011

recipes: a fresh tasting Mexican meal

Chicken marinated in lime juice, Easy Mexican Rice, Mexican Green Beans
and black beans with salsa (photo: mine)
This evening, I had a hankering for Mexican so I collected a few recipes and put together a relatively simple, healthy and--as it turns out--very yummy meal.

From Zarela’s Veracruz: Cooking and Culture in Mexico’s Tropical Melting Pot, I adapted Chuletas de Pollo al Limon (or Chicken Cutlets Marinated in Lime Juice). I didn’t have any cutlets on hand (and didn't feel like pounding the heck out of chicken meat), so I went with a pound of chicken breast strips, marinating them for a little over an hour in the juice of two limes, a couple of teaspoons soy sauce, and (as a substitute for Maggi sauce, which I also didn’t have on hand) another half teaspoon soy sauce and a half teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce.

In the meantime, I pulled together the ingredients for Easy Mexican Rice, Mexican Green Beans and black beans with salsa.

I tweaked the rice recipe, cutting the oil by about a tablespoon and adding a half tablespoon or so of cumin seeds to the onions, cooking the two for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic and then a cup and half of rice and cooking another five minutes (until the rice starts turning brown). Then I added the two-and-a-half cups chicken broth and 8 ounces tomato sauce, brought the mixture to a boil, covered, reduced the heat and simmered for about 20 minutes. (Made about six servings.)

At the same time, I heated a medium skillet to medium high heat and added a can of black beans (not drained) with about two thirds of a jar of Trader Joe’s Habanera and Lime Salsa (about a cup); substitute your own favorite salsa, yum. When the mixture started to thicken, I reduced the heat and allowed it to simmer until the mixture thoroughly thickened, stirring periodically. (Made about four small servings; next time I may double this one.)

photo: mine
As the rice and black beans cooked, I started on the green beans recipe (which is just as easy as the rest), cooking a pound of fresh green beans, a large chopped sweet onion and a couple of cloves of garlic on medium to medium high heat until the beans turn tender-crisp. Then I added a can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chills along with a couple of tablespoons or so of fresh chopped basil, simmering it all for about 10 minutes or so. (Made about four large servings.)

While the green beans simmered, I pulled the marinating chicken from the fridge, heated a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, and added the chicken strips, cooking for about three or four minutes on each side until they were done. The recipe suggests after the chicken is done, you can boil the rest of the marinade in the same pan (after removing the chicken) and pour over the chicken when you serve it; next time I may do that, but the chicken was definitely good on its own, too.

We thought the flavors complimented each other wonderfully—and the food felt fresh and not as heavy as one might find in other Mexican dishes. All in all, they’re all keepers for us.

photo: mine

No comments:

Post a Comment