recipes

Meal Ideas 14 April 2017

Add a Tex-Mex Favorite to Your Menu

(Family Features) A tortilla plus a tasty filling makes a household favorite – a taco. This simple, casual, versatile, fun food knows no boundaries. Tacos can be right for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and dessert, depending on the filling.

For tacos with a unique, delicious twist on tradition, try these Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa that are ready in 30 minutes. The antioxidant-rich Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets lend color, as well as a refreshing sweet-tangy flavor that’s complementary to the lime juice, cilantro and red onion in the salsa. This sassy salsa is a perfect partner for rotisserie, roasted or grilled chicken, arugula and a dollop of jalapeno mustard-sour cream sauce nestled inside a soft flour tortilla.

For your taco fiesta, just set out the tortillas, salsa and other toppings and let everyone help themselves to a fun and delicious dinner.

For other versatile recipes, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Salsa:

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tacos:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno mustard
  • 4 soft flour tortillas (6-inch diameter)
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken (hot or cold)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  1. To make salsa: drain beets and chop. In medium bowl, combine beets, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. To make tacos: In small bowl, stir together sour cream and mustard; set aside.
  3. On one half of each tortilla, place equal amounts of salsa, arugula, chicken and cheese. Top with dollops of mustard-sour cream. Fold over.

Substitution: Sliced pickled beets or three single-serve cups of Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets may be substituted for baby whole pickled beets.

Nutritional information per serving: 380 calories; 20 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 20 g total fat; 650 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 1 g dietary fiber; 2 mg iron; 0.15 mg thiamin;
460 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie's

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Comida Mexicana

Sassy, Savory Mexican Home Cooking

(Family Features) The best home cooking traditions not only get passed down from generation to generation, but they also get “adopted” into other families. Emilio Ortega’s family, for example, enjoyed the benefits of his fascination with green chiles when he moved to New Mexico in 1890. When he returned home to California, he and his family started growing, then cooking with these great tasting chiles, perfecting homemade, authentic, Mexican meals the entire family would enjoy.

Today, you can pass that tradition on to your family by enjoying great tasting Mexican meals with the convenience of the Ortega family of products. Look for crisp Ortega taco shells made from whole kernel corn and vacuum-sealed trays to keep them fresh and crisp — and unbroken. And choose Ortega fire-roasted green chiles, Mexican seasonings and zesty salsas, ready to stir into your favorite casserole, cheese dip or soup.

So, gather at the table for your own “comida Mexicana” or family meal.

For more recipe ideas and information on Ortega’s Taco Shells, Kits, Soft Tortillas, Taco Sauces, Seasonings and Peppers, visit www.ortega.com.

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South of the Border Salad With Creamy Lime Dressing

Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 5-ounce package mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (16) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Ortega Sliced Jalapeños, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice

Creamy Lime Dressing

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon each oil and milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all Creamy Lime Dressing ingredients in small bowl; stir until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Microwave crushed taco shells on high 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips; cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine salad greens, crushed taco shells, tomatoes and jalapeños in large bowl. Divide mixture onto four serving plates.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; top with chicken strips and avocado slices.
  7. Serve with Creamy Lime Dressing.

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Black and White Mexican Bean Soup

Makes: 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc great northern beans, drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc black beans, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in flour and taco seasoning mix; gradually stir in milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cilantro.

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Mexican Snack Stacks

Makes: 16 servings

  • 1/2 cup Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 8-inch Ortega Soft Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/3 cup Ortega Refried Beans
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup salsa, sour cream and chicken in small bowl.
  3. Place 2 soft tortillas on ungreased cookie sheet; spread each with salsa-chicken mixture. Spread 2 more soft tortillas with guacamole and stack on top of salsa-chicken tacos, guacamole side up.
  4. Mix refried beans with remaining 1/4 cup salsa; spread mixture onto 2 more soft tortillas and stack on top of guacamole. Top each stack with remaining 2 soft tortillas; sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is hot.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro. Cut each stack into 8 wedges.

 

Mexican Steak Tacos

Makes: 2 servings (2 tacos each)

  • 1 3 1/2-ounce bag boil-in-bag long grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Cook rice combining cumin, garlic powder, taco sauce, salsa and salt.
  2. Rub mixture over both sides of steak.
  3. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place steak on broiler tray.
  5. Broil steak 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  6. Cut steak into thin slices.
  7. Combine rice mixture, tomatoes and chiles. Place the mixture in shells.
  8. Top rice mixture with beef slices. Squeeze juice from limes over beef.
  9. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Source: Ortega

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