Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pepper Coleslaw with Garlic Vinaigrette

Pepper Coleslaw with Garlic Vinaigrette

Perk up your cookouts with this colorful, tangy slaw

Here in the US, summer cookout season officially starts on Memorial Day. It arrives early this year—next Monday, to be precise (with the weekend before as warmup).

So you’re probably looking for outdoor-friendly food. Especially side dishes with enough flavor to match the burgers, barbecue, and grilled goodies we’ll be preparing. And preferably something you can make ahead of time—so you can enjoy the festivities with your guests, rather than slaving in the kitchen.

How about a colorful coleslaw that features the sweet taste of bell peppers? Add a garlic vinaigrette and maybe a touch of jalapeño, and you’ve got a dish that’s sure to please. Your guests will think you spent hours putting it together. No need to tell them how easy it is.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summer Green-Bean Salad

Summer Green-Bean Salad

Garlic vinaigrette turns green (string) beans into a perky starter or side

Time to green up, guys! Because green beans are finally in season in our part of the US.

Sure, we can buy “fresh” green beans other times of the year. But why bother? Too often they are woody, and their dull out-of-season flavor borders on soulless.

But as spring rolls into summer, we can find locally grown green beans in abundance. They’re plump and tender— and their flavor is so robust, they don’t require complicated recipes. All they need is a quick vinaigrette dressing. Simple.

We can handle simple.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Bamboo Cocktail

Bamboo Cocktail in cocktail glass

Bright flavor, low alcohol—the perfect warm-weather apéritif

Temperatures have started to climb in our part of the world, with humidity following suit. So we’re looking for pre-dinner drinks that are refreshing, but not filling.

Good thing we found the Bamboo Cocktail—a tasty combination of sherry and vermouth. It loads on the flavor, but goes light on the booze.

So your mom would love it. Which is handy, since Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday. Sip it while singing her praises.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tex-Mex Shredded-Beef Enchiladas

Tex-Mex Shredded-Beef Enchiladas

Red chile sauce and melted cheese liven up this classic dish

Enchiladas are a favorite with us. And their variety is endless.

We’re especially partial to Tex-Mex enchiladas: Corn tortillas wrapped around a savory filling, then covered in chile sauce and baked (usually with a thick coating of melted cheese). Yummo!

And when the filling is shredded beef, they’re pretty much irresistible.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shredded-Beef Soft Tacos

Shredded-Beef Soft Tacos

Chilies spice up this easy-to-make Mexican dish

We can’t say no to tacos. Who can resist their luscious combination of corn tortillas, spicy chilies, savory meat, and cheese?

In the US, most people seem to favor ground beef for taco filling. But we prefer to use Mexican-style braised beef that’s been shredded. The flavor is deeper, plus the shredded meat has a more interesting texture.

And what about the tortillas? Well, we love the crispy Hard-Shelled Tacos that are a tradition in many Tex-Mex restaurants. But given a choice, we’ll take soft tacos any day of the week.

With soft tortillas, you don’t have to worry about the taco shell shattering when you take your first bite (there’s nothing messier than a taco that disintegrates in your hands). More important, when making soft tacos, you can use your own Homemade Tortillas. Freshly baked tortillas are amazing, and we grab any opportunity to use them.

So soft tacos give you wonderful flavor and loads of zip in an easy-to-eat package. Don’t you love the taste of Mexico?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Easy Homemade Corn Tortillas

Corn Tortillas

Mexican comfort food—and it’s gluten free

It’s hard to imagine a Mexican meal without corn tortillas. Having tacos or enchiladas? Corn tortillas are integral to both dishes. Want to start with salsa and chips? Crispy thin tortillas play a starring role. Serving a spicy mole or seafood dish? Warm tortillas slathered with butter make a great accompaniment.

You can buy ready-made tortillas in the grocery store, and they’re serviceable in a pinch. But they can be bit bland. In fact, when it comes to taste and texture, packaged tortillas can’t compete with freshly made.

Fortunately, it takes only minutes to make corn tortillas in your own kitchen. So why not? It’s loads cheaper and tons healthier. Not to mention perfect for your big Cinco de Mayo blowout.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mexican Charro Beans

Mexican Charro Beans

Use black or pinto beans for a zippy dish of Frijoles Charros

Who doesn’t like a side of beans when you’re eating Mexican? They’re the perfect accompaniment to tacos, enchiladas, or just about anything else.

You could have refried beans, of course. But we prefer something with a bit more zing. So we turn to Frijoles Charros—brothy Mexican-style beans enhanced with succulent pork (we vote for bacon), spicy chilies, and tangy tomato.

They’re easy to make, and actually taste better if prepared a day ahead. Convenient! And they’re perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Which just happens to be coming up in a few weeks (funny how that works in the blogging world).