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Houston, TX
Just your atypical hispanic male living in the big city

Monday, April 21, 2014

Simple Mexican Pizza with Leftovers

I'm all about living life simply (at least most of the time). Sometimes when I come home from teaching, I am so worn out from teaching with the kiddos that I just want to relax. When that happens, I just want to whip something up that is easy and very authentic.


What's nice about doing something like this is that you are making nice individual sized pizzas. I also love to mix different cultural foods and making something that is new and fresh. I know my other half likes when I whip something up that is totally different. Here's what I made.

Ingredients:
2-4 slices of naan bread
leftover mole
leftover ground turkey taco meat
shredded cheese (depends on what you are making)
a salsa or marinara sauce (if needed)

First, preheat the oven to 350. Then, start getting the naan prepped and ready. Normally I like to heat it up in the comal, but I didn't this go around.


With the leftover chicken mole, I dice up the chicken into bite sized pieces before I reheat. Remember, like with most things, ALWAYS wash your hands (put gloves on, etc). It will get messy, but I guarantee its worth it. You might have to scrape Once diced, place it into a pot and reheat.


With the taco meat, you can reheat. Remember that with anything that you reheat, you need to add a little liquid. If not, your meat will try out (especially if you reheat in the microwave).


Once you are ready to assemble the pizzas, have all the ingredients together. Now if you want to add a sauce on the top of the naan, this is when you should add it. Now, the other half prefers a little more cheese, so I have added cheese to the taco meat pizza since it doesn't have any sauce like the mole does.


I have opted make two different types of pizzas. Assemble with adding the sauce first (if you choose to). Then add the meat mixture. Now remember with the chicken mole, I don't need to add sauce since it is already with mole sauce. I also have opted to be a little healthy by creating two different types (one with spinach and one without). After you have added the greens etc, add the cheese. For the taco, I have mixed shredded mozzarella and medium cheddar. For the chicken mole, I used a mexican blend (asadero, cheddar, cotija, and quesadilla). Sprinkle on the top and place into the oven.




Allow these to heat through until the cheese has melted. This was a great treat since I was able to use up all of the mole and taco meat. If you want a more crispy crust you would have to place it directly onto the oven rack. The problem with that is the sauce would get onto the oven wall. If you do end up doing that, then just place a cookie sheet below to prevent from spilling. It was a hit...you should definitely try it sometime!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Now normally, mexican bread pudding or capirotada, is more savory than sweet. My grandmother used to make capirotada all the time and honestly, I HATED IT. She would put the usuals like raisins, carrots, bread, milk and then top it with cheddar cheese. I just couldn't eat it and refuse to till this day.

For this recipe, I am using bolillos. A little history here, did you know that bolillos were actually influenced by the French? Mexico at one time did have a monarchy in King Maximilian I before the famous Battle of Puebla also known as Cinco de Mayo that we are all familiar with (thanks to Benito Juarez). They ended up creating mariachis, paper mache, and of course bolillos.

Ingredients:

12 to 14 cups French bread (or bolillos)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1 8 oz bottle mexican sweet and condensed milk
5 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
a couple of tbsp mexican cajeta (a mexican style caramel)

First, I am using mexican bolillos. These are basically french rolls. Tear them up and place into a bowl or pan and allow to dry for a short while. Every so often mix it up as the open air allows the bread to harden.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your pan with the butter. Normally, you would use a large 9x13 casserole dish. I am using a disposable pan and once its is sufficiently covered, I place off to the side.

Combine with a whisk the heavy cream, milk, sweet condensed milk, and eggs in a large bowl. I am using sweet condensed milk instead of sugar since it will make it taste that much different. When I was growing up, my grandmother used to use mexican condensed milk. It was great and was a little sweeter than your normal sweet condensed milk.

 Next add all of the spices to the liquid mixture.Whisk assuring that the spices mix well.


Unlike the Bourbon Bread Pudding, add the raisins to your bread mixture. I personally like to have both regular raisins and dried cranberries.


Pour the cream mixture over the bread, and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for about 35 minutes. Notice that I have placed all of the bread mixture in a disposable pan. Some of you know how I am all about making it easy for the cook.


Now drizzle a little of the cajeta over the bread pudding. Cover in foil. Now place into the oven allowing to cook and set, for about 50 minutes. Check to make sure its set. If you want a nice crust, take off the foil and allow to continue to cook for another 20 minutes.



Take out of the oven and you are ready to serve. If you want, add a little more cajeta to your bread pudding. What's the harm?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Scrumptious Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Well the holidays are here and its time for much food hedonism as can be expected. This recipe I have done a couple of times since I came across it 10 years ago. I don't normally make this all the time as it is very rich, but oh so good.


Keep in mind that the best thing about this recipe are the pecans. You can avoid the pecans, but it adds an additional texture and depth of flavor that people just can't stop eating it. I also have to say that I prefer fresh pumpkin. I used roasted pumpkins from the same steps that I had in a previous post.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (20 cookies or 2 pkgs of cookie)
4 tbsp melted butter
3 pkgs (8 oz ea) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cups (16 oz or 1 can) roasted pumpkin
4 eggs
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream

Heat the oven at 350 degrees. While that is heating up, crush the cookies into crumbs. Mix cookie crumbs with butter. Press evenly of the bottom and sides on a ungreased springform pan (9 x 3 inches). Bake for 10 minutes take out of the oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300.


Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl. Mix this on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.


Beat in the pumpkin and spices until mixed. Beat in eggs one at a time on low speed.



Pour over baked cookie crust. Place into the oven and bake about 1 1/4 hour or until center is firm. You might notice that it starts to break a little. This is another way to tell if the cheesecake is done.


Take out and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until chilled.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and add the sugar on a medium or low heat. Add the pecans. Continue to stir and allow the sugar to melt until a golden brown. Move to a cookie sheet and allow to harden. Once hardened, coarsely shop the pecans.




Add the pecans to the cooled pumpkin cheesecake. This is great with fresh whipped cream. A great treat for any day!!