I love Cinco De Mayo because it allows me to explore the part of me that loves heat and tequila! As I may have said before mexican food is my favorite to eat and make...the spicier the better! I decided to make a little Cinco De Mayo meal for me and my 3 roomates and I must say, even writing this blog right now is a struggle, I AM STUFFED!
I couldn't decide on a dessert...I was torn between brownies and cheesecake...and then I thought DUH! DO BOTH! Oh, and do eat them first :). Dessert should always come first...and last ;)
I love sopapillas and cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite things, so this dessert is right up my alley. Not only is it FABULOUS, but it's super quick and easy. I actually came across this recipe in an e-mail from Allrecipes.com and boy am I glad they sent it!
(Ps I don't usually recommend using healthier substitutions in baking because I have learned the hard way that it doesn't always work out well...but this is a recipe that can be tweaked a little bit without consequences)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel, has less fat)
1 cup white sugar (I used a 1/2 cup of a sugar splenda blend)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls (I used a reduced fat kind)
1/2 cup melted butter (I used "I Cant Believe its not Butter" light)
1/2 cup white sugar (I used 1/4 cup of a sugar splenda blend)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth; set aside.
Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each sheet into 9x13 inch rectangles.
Press one sheet into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough, and brush with melted butter. Stir together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
I've had this recipe saved on my Foodnetwork.com for some time just waiting for the right time to use it. I found this recipe intriguing. I think they are wonderful. They have a great texture and the cinnamon and cayenne aren't overwhelming. They give the brownies subtle heat and leave a "warm" after-taste
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
1/4 teaspoon pequen chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Press the paper into the corners of the pan and lightly grease the paper with butter.
Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat; do not boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and baking powder and mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before slicing.
Black Bean Pico De Gallo
Fresh, homemade salsa, guacamole or pico de gallo beats the storebought stuff ANY DAY! This is my own personal recipe with some of my favorite ingredients. It is quite loaded so feel free to add in or take out whatever your hearts desire!
1 red onion, chopped
4-5 roma tomatos, cored and chopped
1 avacado, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernals, thawed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 jalepenos, cored, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
juce of 1 fresh lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and stir well in a large bowl. Chill 1-2 hours before serving.
I noticed this recipe had RAVE reviews on Foodnetwork.com so I thought I'd take my stab at it. It was quite successful. They taste as good, if not better, than what you can get at an authentic mexican restaraunt. There is a lot of prep work and takes some time but let me tell you folks...it is well worth it!
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes
Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.
Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.
Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.
Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.
I would say it has been a successful Cinco De Mayo. I got to spend a significant portion of my day drinking margaritas and cooking my favorite food. It was a beautiful day so I had the kitchen window open (I love love love doing that). I spent some quality time catching up with my busy roomates and I ate myself into a coma...of which I have not recovered from anymore than when I started this post...oh well...worth it! :)