Month: January 2018

Avocado Toast with Roasted Corn and Queso Fresco

(recipe will make 6-8 slices of avocado toast)

For avocado:

Combine two large firm, yet ripe, avocados with about one tablespoon of fresh lime juice. Use a potato masher and coarsely blend. Reserve. Press plastic wrap directly on top of smashed avocado.

For roasted corn:

Rub two ears of fresh corn with olive oil. Season corn with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and place into a preheated 375 degree oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Rotate cobs and roast for an additional 20 minutes until some kernels develop some golden brown color. Remove and allow cooling. Cut kernels from cob and reserve.

For chipotle mayo:

Place can of chipotle peppers into a blender. Add a small amount of water – just enough to get blender whirling. Blend until smooth. Add 2 T of chipotle puree to 1 cup of Hellman’s mayo. Stir to combine. Reserve.

For queso fresco:

Use a fine grater and grate about 1/2 C of fresco for sprinkling.

For toast:

Use a good quality artisanal rustic bread. Slice round into fairly thick slices. Brush each slice with olive oil. Grill bread slices using a grill pan or panini press. Toasting in the oven is an option too. I prefer the grilling technique as it produces a crisp exterior and maintains a chewy interior. Using a toasting method can make the bread a bit too crunchy.

Assemble the toast:

Spread a layer of chipotle mayo on prepared toast, add a nice slather of mashed avocado, roasted corn and queso fresco. Garnish toasts with fresh cilantro, a spritz of Kosher salt and a wedge of lime. Muy delicioso!

Notes from the kitchen:

All components, except the toast, can be prepared ahead. Serve this with Green Chile Chicken soup.

Green Chile Chicken Soup with Lime Cilantro Rice

(recipe serves 6-8)

1/4 C olive oil
3 small yellow onions, medium dice
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
S & P

1 T ground cumin
1 T dried oregano

6-8 tomatillos, skin removed and rinsed, quartered
2 large ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 – 4 ounce can fire roasted green chiles. diced
1 – 15.5 ounce can white hominy, rinsed
1 – 15.5 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
8 C chicken stock
1 T chipotle puree
2 bay leaves
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of one large lime

2 large chicken breasts with rib meat and skin on – about three pounds
olive oil
S & P

For soup:

In a preheated soup pot, add olive oil. Oil should shimmer. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Simmer until onions become translucent. Add cumin and oregano. Mix in well. Stir until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until tomatillos soften. Use the back of a large spoon to break them up. Add reserved chicken.

For chicken:

Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. (Make sure to sterilize your sink after rinsing raw chicken. Use some bleach and soap for a thorough cleaning.)

Rub chicken breasts with a generous dose of olive oil. Liberally season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until done. Allow cooling and shred into large pieces.


Lime Cilantro Rice


1/4 C fresh lime juice
1 small bunch of cilantro, large stems cut off
3 large cloves of garlic, trimmed
1 1/2 t salt

2 1/2 C water

2 T olive oil
1 1/2 C of converted white rice (like Uncle Ben’s)

In a blender, add lime juice, cilantro, garlic, salt and about 1/4 C of the water measure.
Blend well. Scrape down sides and blend again. Add remaining 2 1/4 C of water to blender and blend on high-speed.

In a preheated skillet, add olive oil. Oil should shimmer. Add rice and stir to lightly toast. Add cilantro water. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until water is mostly absorbed. Pour rice onto a baking sheet for cooling.


Notes from the kitchen:

Soup and rice were prepared a day ahead. For service, warm rice in the microwave. Ladle warmed soup into bowls, add a scoop of rice and a lime slice. Great texture, fresh flavors and a little spice make this soup very satisfying.