recipes

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 02 January 2017

Comfort Foods With a Kick

(Family Features) When the temperature drops, it’s natural for thoughts — and cravings — to turn toward soothing and hearty comfort foods. There’s nothing like a good casserole or a bowl of hot chili to make you feel good all over.

To kick up the fun in your favorite meals, try some comfort foods with salsa added into the mix. Salsa and picante sauces are convenient ways to add different flavors and heat up the whole family with a satisfying meal.

These recipes are fast and easy, making them great weeknight dinners for the busy cook.
For more creative recipes and serving suggestions, visit pacefoods.com.

Turn Up the Heat!

Here are some more ideas from Pace Foods to help you put some zip into your favorite foods.

Zesty Grilled Cheese
Dip your grilled cheese sandwich into chunky salsa or picante sauce for a full-flavored, zingy kick.

Fiesta Meat Loaf
Use chunky salsa or picante sauce instead of tomato sauce or ketchup for a juicy, zesty meat loaf. Just before serving, top with more salsa.

Soup Toppers
Stir any delicious flavored salsa into your soup for a fresh new taste. Try it in black bean, tomato or vegetable soup.

Fiesta Rice
Tired of making the same old side dishes? To freshen up any meal, stir chunky salsa or picante sauce into your cooked rice for a lively side dish the whole family will love.

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Monterey Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Makes: 4

  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR cooked turkey
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) cream-style whole kernel corn
  • 3/4 cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green pepper OR red pepper
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Layer crumbled chips, chicken, corn and picante sauce in 1-quart casserole. Top with olives and cheese.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with peppers. Serve with chips.

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Chipotle Chili

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Makes: 8

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Chunky salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (about 19 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Stir salsa, water, chili powder, chipotle pepper, onion, beef and beans in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.
    *Or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

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2-Step Beefy Taco Joes

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed
  • Tomato soup (Regular OR 25% Less Sodium)
  • 1 cup Pace Thick & Chunky salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 Pepperidge Farm Sandwich rolls, any variety
  1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Pour off fat.
  2. Add soup and salsa. Heat through. Top with cheese. Serve on rolls.

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Mexican Four Cheese Potatoes au Gratin

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes
Makes: 6

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Mexican Four Cheese salsa con Queso
  • 3/4 cup Swanson Chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness™ OR Certified Organic)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream OR half-and-half
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  1. Stir queso, broth and cream together in medium bowl.
  2. Put HALF of potatoes in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour HALF of queso mixture over potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and queso mixture.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Mexi-Mac

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 4

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 3 cups cooked elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream
  1. Cook beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.
  2. Add picante sauce, chili powder, tomatoes and corn. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add pasta. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and heat until cheese melts. Garnish with avocado and sour cream.

Source: Pace Foods

Ethnic 03 April 2017

The Taste of Mexico

(Family Features) What’s a fiesta without the authentic taste of Mexico? From chili enchilada sauce to crushed tomatillos, authentic Mexican foods are an important part of Mexican culture and celebrations. And, why not? They’re fun, flavorful and nutritious.

With the convenience of today’s authentic Mexican foods such as Las Palmas, you can serve up fast and flavorful meals for your entire family in just minutes. Try an old favorite like Mexican Pozole and add Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce for an extra rich and flavorful taste. Or offer your family zesty Chicken Enchiladas stuffed with shredded boneless chicken and smothered in Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce. And for something fun, offer Chilaquiles with layers of tortillas, Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce and cheese topped with jalapeños, sour cream and avocado .

Today, Las Palmas is one of the largest selling Mexican cooking sauces in the United States. While it has grown from its humble beginnings, it still remains authentic to its roots, using only the highest quality chiles and other fresh ingredients. Las Palmas offers a wide variety of Mexican cooking sauces including Red and Green Chili Enchilada Sauce, Red Chile Sauce and Hot Enchilada Sauce plus other Mexican cooking staples such as Green Chiles and Crushed Tomatillos.

For any celebration, from Mexican Independence Day to Las Posadas, celebrate Mexican culture, food, family and friends with Las Palmas. For more information, visit bgfoods.com.

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Chicken Enchiladas

Zesty enchilada sauce and diced green chiles give these chicken enchiladas their kick. Serve them with Mexican rice and spicy black beans.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce, divided
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
  • 1 cup Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 11- by 7-inch baking dish.
  2. SPREAD 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine chicken, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheese and chiles in medium bowl. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  3. BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
    Top with sour cream and chives, if desired.

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Mexican Pozole

Pozole is a staple of Mexican cuisine. It’s a pork and hominy dish rich in spiciness and flavor and a favorite at any Mexican fiesta.\

Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 75 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves large garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (29 ounces) Mexican-style hominy, drained
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 can (7 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Tortilla pieces
  1. HEAT oil in stockpot; add pork, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 12 to 14 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Stir in water, hominy, enchilada sauce, chiles and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, 40 to 45 minutes or until pork is tender and stew thickens slightly. Top with cilantro and tortilla pieces before serving.

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Chilaquiles

Layer upon layer of tortilla chips, salsa and grated cheese go into this mouthwatering chilaquiles. Jalapeños, sour cream and avocado finish this dish with zest and cooling creaminess.

Serves 8

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Vegetable oil
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa — thick & chunky
  • 1 can (10 ounces) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350ºF.
  2. POUR vegetable oil to 1-inch depth in medium skillet; heat over high heat 3 to 4 minutes. Place tortilla strips in oil; fry, turning frequently with tongs, until light golden brown. Remove from skillet; place on paper towels to drain.
  3. REMOVE all but 1 tablespoon oil from skillet. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in salsa and enchilada sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. LAYER half of tortilla strips in ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of salsa mixture and half of cheese; repeat layers. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with jalapeños, sour cream and avocado just before serving.

NOTE: Frying step may be eliminated by using tortilla chips or breaking taco or tostada shells into small pieces and using them in place of tortilla strips for a quick and easy alternative.

Source: Las Palmas

One Dish Meals 09 February 2017

A Classic Recipe Makeover

(Family Features) It’s true that classics never go out of style, but they can also evolve to keep current while still maintaining their original appeal.

For example, take the iconic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich duo. Today’s tomato soup might be seasoned with herbs and garlic, and the grilled cheese might swap goat cheese and mozzarella for the traditional American or cheddar. Meatloaf could be prepared with sriracha replacing Worcestershire sauce or other seasonings.

Another updated idea is for stuffed peppers. It’s easy to give them a Tex-Mex spin simply by using a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad as the base for the filling. The salad already has black and kidney beans, hominy and corn in it, as well as a slightly spicy dressing. Build on that flavorful combination by adding browned ground beef or turkey, cheese and tortilla chips. Poblano peppers could be substituted for bell peppers for an even more authentic south-of-the-border flair.

While this meal in a pepper bakes, make a salad of spinach or other greens topped with avocado slices and orange segments. Dinner is done and on the table in under an hour. For more easy, flavorful dinner ideas, visit READsalads.com.

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Southwestern Bean Salad Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 pound ground lean beef (90 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 large bell peppers, any color or combination
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus 1/4 cup (optional), divided
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  1. Drain bean salad; discard liquid. With fork, mash half of beans until chunky. Combine with remaining beans. Stir in cumin and jalapeno, if desired; set aside.
  2. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion 8-10 minutes until ground beef is completely cooked, stirring frequently.
  3. Cut bell peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove membranes and seeds. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray (or brush lightly with vegetable oil).
  4. Heat oven to 350° F.
  5. Combine ground beef and onion mixture with bean mixture. Stir in 1 cup tortilla chips and 1/2 cup cheese. Divide evenly among peppers. Arrange peppers cut-side up in prepared pan; peppers should fit snugly. Top with remaining crushed tortilla chips, if desired. Bake, covered, 25 minutes, or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, until cheese melts.

Variation: Ground chicken or turkey breast may be substituted for ground beef. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to skillet and heat until hot before adding ground chicken or turkey and onion to skillet.

Nutritional information per serving: 252 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate;
13 g total fat; 370 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber; 9 mg iron; 0.07 mg thiamin;
708 IU vitamin A; 34 mg vitamin C.

Source: READ

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