Tag Archives: tomatillo

Cooking Like a Homesick Texan – Part 2

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This past weekend, I had time to really dig into The Homesick Texan Cookbook and try out some flavorful recipes. I spent Friday night making my own Mexican Chorizo and along with some Poblano Mac and Cheese.

But I wasn’t about to stop there!

Sunday morning’s menu included Breakfast Rellenos!

It had been ages since I’d had a chile relleno. When I saw Lisa Fain’s recipe for a Breakfast Relleno in The Homesick Texan, with my adoration for eggs, I knew immediately that they’d be one of her recipes I would attempt to make.

As I began to roast the poblanos and gather the rest of the ingredients, I noticed that at the end of the recipe, it stated to serve with salsa.

WHOOPS! I didn’t have any. However, I did get a tomatillo in my CSA box this past week. And while I couldn’t find a recipe that used just one tomatillo to make a salsa verde, I did see a few that used a combination of tomatoes and tomatillos. And because this recipe online looked pretty easy, I used it as a guide:

Tomatillo Salsa recipe I found at TheKitchn.com

In my half of the CSA box this week {I share with my friend Jen}, I received one tomatillo, a red tomato {well, many red tomatoes, but all but one were already consumed!}, a yellow tomato and a green tomato. That’s how I decided what I would be using to create my salsa. Let me remind you that I’m not much of an impromptu cook, so this is a big deal!

So once the poblanos were roasted, the tomatillo, tomatoes and seeded serrano chiles took their turn under the broiler. Then they went into my beloved food processor:

Pretty darn colorful, don’t ya think?

After puréeing the ingredients together, I tasted the salsa. It was a bit runny; I like my salsa chunky. I also thought that something was missing. So I added a touch more salt, a spoonful of minced garlic and a chopped {non-roasted, non-CSA} roma tomato that I found in my fridge.

While my friend Cinia makes the best salsa of anyone I’ve ever known, I do have to say that this one was still pretty darn good. In fact, Rob loved it. When I served it alongside the relleno, I didn’t think he’d comment on the salsa. I thought it would be more an afterthought. But the salsa is what he complimented me on first, without me even asking what he thought of it.

Breakfast Relleno with Roasted Tomato & Tomatillo Salsa

Okay, so sometimes I get too excited and start eating my creations before I remember to snap a picture for y’all. The relleno stuffing included some of the Mexican Green Chorizo that I made on Friday night along with onions, eggs, spices and cheese. Boy oh boy, was this tasty! And pretty darn easy to make, too. What takes the most time is roasting the poblanos, but very easy to do!

Later in the day, I wanted to make a snack {which ultimately became lunch}. I still had some serrano peppers to use and I wanted to try my hand at making my own Chile Con Queso instead of buying the cheese sauce that my husband so loves. It was actually very easy to make!

Tomatoes and cilantro added to the chile base of the sauce.

Adding the cheese 1/4 cup at a time:

Cheddar and Monterey Jack are used in this queso

Once melted and gooey, we enjoyed tortilla chips with the Chile con Queso and leftover salsa from the a.m.:

Tortilla Chips, Chile con Queso, and Roasted Tomato & Tomatillo Salsa

The queso was good, but could have been a bit spicier. Maybe I should have thrown that last serrano I had in there! Would I make it again? Probably not. Only because I don’t make nor buy cheese sauce like this normally. And it’s not a good thing to have around the house when I’m trying to shed a few pounds. 😉

That being said, we have a ton {not literally} of queso left.

What would you do with leftover queso besides eat it with chips?

Cheers~
Carrie

A Cantina Bowl…

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It was my mom’s birthday today!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Unfortunately, I had to send her birthday wishes from afar since she lives a state away. But that didn’t stop me from celebrating in my own way… So how did I celebrate?

I ran 3.5 miles.

~

Why?

Because I have legs.

I have legs that work.

I don’t want to take them for granted.

Thank you, Mom, for giving me healthy legs!

I ran on the treadmill {thanks to Stacy} while watching an episode of Psych {thanks to Jen} in our basement room that houses a TV, DVD player and our workout equipment {thanks to my husband}.

Afterward, I didn’t cook. I wouldn’t make my mom cook on her birthday! Instead, I asked Rob to cook pick up some dinner. Truth be told, I haven’t eaten fast food very often in the past year. But recently, something has caught my eye. So I asked Rob to pick it up for me:

Taco Bell Cantina Bowl {Photo Source}

Yes, I asked my husband to pick me up some Taco Bell. It’s almost as if when they were putting together the commercial for this new product, that they had me in mind. They knewhow to market it just for me.

Fresh ingredients.

Fresh flavors.

Created by Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia.

Yeah. The Marketing and Advertising Departments at Taco Bell know exactly what they are doing. They baited the hook and reeled me in. I first learned of Chef Lorena Garcia when I watched America’s Next Great Restaurant, a reality-style show where contestants competed to persuade judges to invest in their concept to open up the next great fast-casual restaurant. Chef Garcia judged the competition alongside Chef Bobby Flay and Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells. Most recently, however, I’ve seen Garcia compete on the latest season of Top Chef Masters.

Here is the description of this menu item from the Taco Bell website:

“Experience our new citrus-herb marinated chicken, flavorful black beans, guacamole made from real Hass avocados, pico de gallo prepared fresh daily, roasted corn & pepper salsa and a creamy cilantro dressing, all served on a bed of cilantro rice.”

The flavors definitely sound like ones that I would enjoy. And If you’ve ever eaten at Chipotle, you’ll find that the description sounds oddly familiar, too.  I wonder how Steve Ells feels about this? Still, the “Next Great Restaurant” in which the trio invested failed within months, so Garcia and Ells are no longer partners.

Without even looking at the calorie/nutrition content, I asked Rob to pick up the Cantina Bowl.

And I enjoyed every bit of it.

Yes, this is definitely a step up from what you’d expect from Taco Bell. Actually, think Chipotle or Qdoba, but with a more manageable size. Of course, I’m not stupid. This is a mass produced item. The ingredients are not as fresh and natural as we’d love to believe. But you know what? It’s as good as it’s gonna get out there for fast food. And I’m glad I gave it a try.

But here’s a great sidebar:

My favorite kind…

And just in case you were wondering, the nutrition facts of the Cantina Bowl can be found at Fat Secret or on the Taco Bell website. It’s not too bad. Sure, I ate all of the calories that I just burned running. But it was tasty. And worth it.

But I have something else to look forward to:

My CSA box tomorrow is supposed to include both tomatillos and hot peppers! How can I not take advantage of this to find something wonderful to cook from The Homesick Texan? I have a feeling that these ingredients will be even better.

Have you cooked with tomatillos?

If so, what’s your favorite thing to make?

Cheers,

Carrie