Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

On the menu for today...

Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde

(From the "Food Network Kitchens")

Avocado Salsa:
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, quartered, seeds optional
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 8 sprigs cilantro for garnish
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


Put the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.

Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Spoon sauce on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and a sprig of cilantro. Serve 2 tacos per person, with a lime wedge on the side.

Tyler Florence Chicken Enchiladas


  • 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.

Mario Bosquez's Corn Pudding

  • 6 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 6 large eggs or 8 medium eggs
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring cream cheese to room temperature or soften in microwave on low setting for a few minutes. Do not overheat.
  2. Remove all of the corn from the ears and be sure to scrape down the sides so that you get all of the juice from the cob. Beat the eggs and add the rest of the ingredients together and incorporate well.
  3. Pour into a small glass or metal baking dish and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. You may want to insert a toothpick into the center to be sure that it comes out clean. Cut into small pieces and serve as a side dish.
  4. Addtional notes from Mario: In my experience, making this pudding with butter instead of margarine makes for a more delicious version.

Tyler Florence's Flan


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt


To make the caramel: have ready a 2-quart round flan mold and a large roasting pan. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color, about 10 minutes; don't stir with a spoon. Remove from the heat and immediately add the lemon juice, swirl the pan again to combine, and then pour into the flan mold. Tilt the dish so that the caramel evenly coats the bottom and a bit up the sides, place in the roasting pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath and keep it hot.

Combine the cream, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low flame. Bring the cream to a brief simmer, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the cream come to a full boil to prevent it from spilling over.

In a large bowl, cream together the whole eggs and yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar; add a pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture; don't add it too quickly or the eggs will cook. Pass the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup to ensure that the flan will be perfectly smooth. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

To create the water bath: pour the hot (not boiling) water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the mold; be careful not get water into the custard. Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the custard is barely set and just jiggles slightly. Let the flan cool in the water bath, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a dessert plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out