Lake Tahoe Photo credit @Michael Ford I’m attending the International Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento, California. This will be my first food blogging conference. I attended Blogher and learned a lot about blogging in general and had a great time meeting other bloggers. I have […]
I refuse to let summer go! Don’t put your outdoor grill away yet. There’s plenty of time to grill up a party. Start with these crispy grilled jalapeño poppers. Grill a batch of margarita marinated chicken and roasted sweet potatoes and create your own end […]
Anyone can make fresh killer salsas with a few mix and match ingredients from the market. Pick one or two ingredients from each category, chop, dice, mix and adjust seasonings. You’ll have a fresh salsa on the table in 15 minutes. Serve with anything or everything.
Use the freshest local produce and experiment with the peppers, they range from mild to killer hot. Even the soiciness of onions vary by location. The red onions we buy in Loreto are as hot as jalapeños some weeks. Tomatoes vary in juiciness and flavor. Try any tropical fruit, they seem to pair well with peppers of all kinds. I prefer the citrus punch of cilantro but basil and parsley work as well. I’m taking my salsa to Angie’s Fiesta Friday virtual potluck where you can find amazing recipes from around the world.
Start with peppers and onions
Mild to Hot – Bell peppers<Jalapeño<Serrano<Habanero
Onions – heat varies by region, try them all. I prefer spicy red Loreto onions but try any variety: maui sweet, yellow, write, scallions. Sometimes I add garlic, to savory salsas.
Pick a fruit
Tomato is a classic but try mango, pineapple, watermelon, peaches, strawberries.
Add more vegetables
Cucumber, tomatillo, zucchini, pickled carrots, jicama, avocado, corn, or black beans
Herbs are critical
Cilantro is a classic but try Thai basil, parsley, lovage, ginger or lemon verbena
Give it a squeeze of juice
Lime is a classic but surprise your palate with orange or lemon
Mix and Match to Make Hundreds of Killer Salsas
Dice and chop any combination of fresh ingredients and then mix and match to make hundreds of fruit and vegetable salsas. Serve with tacos, salads, side dishes, burrito bowls, over tamales or with tortilla chips of course.
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Now chop, chop and get a fresh killer salsa on the table tonight. Which combinations did I miss? Please share your favorite salsas or follow my Pinterest board at MyBajaKitchen. Just follow my board and I’ll add you as a collaborator. Let’s make salsa together. I’ll bring the margaritas.
Pin it for later. 100 Fresh Killer Salsas?
Try this simple yet elegant, easy Instant Pot chicken recipe with baby Portobello mushrooms and creamy goat cheese over polenta. I just purchased an Instant Pot and I’m experimenting with recipes for the slow cooker and the pressure cooker settings. This is a slow cooker […]
Make homemade taco seasoning from dried chilies, cumin, garlic, onion, thyme and oregano. You can customize your taco seasoning by choosing mild, medium or hot chili powders. There are no scary ingredients and you can control the amount of salt. Store bought taco seasoning is […]
Make these hatch chile quesadillas with cheddar cheese and spicy ground chicken before the hatch season ends.
In Baja I make roasted poblano and cheese quesadillas almost every week. So what’s the fuss over hatch chiles?
I bought a bunch to try and Voila! Hatch chile quesadillas are now a family favorite.
The hatch green chile was originally cultivated in New Mexico and it’s part of their culinary heritage. It has a unique chile flavor somewhere between a poblano which I think is a little fruity and an Anaheim which I think is more green tasting. The heat in hatches varies but mine were mildly hot and were a perfect complement to cheddar cheese and spicy ground chicken.
Spicy chicken taco meat.
Remember when I said that I grind my own meat? Buying a whole chicken will save you money over buying ground chicken and it’s much safer; less factory handling and therefore less risk of bacterial contamination.
The taco meat was made with ground chicken and thigh meat. I cut up the chicken and removed the thigh and breast meat from the bone, saved the legs and wings for grilling with margarita marinade, and made chicken stock with the back and bones. I can make 4-5 meals for two from one whole chicken. I paid ~$6.00 for the whole chicken and ground chicken sells for $4-5 per pound in Nevada. I don’t normally see ground chicken in rural Mexico so grinding is a perfect, inexpensive and healthy solution.
Partially freeze cut up chicken thigh and breast meat for 40 minutes and then grind. Freeze in smaller portions or cook immediately and serve. I used my homemade taco seasoning mix.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground California chili
1 tablespoon New Mexico chili
1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf crushed
Crush spices in a mortar and pestle and store in a dry jar.
I use this meat grinder from Amazon and I love it. This is an affiliate link. I get a few cents if you buy one.
Easy Hatch Chile Quesadillas
- Fire roast the chiles outside on the grill or over a gas flame in the house. Roast until soft and well charred. Put the chilies in a paper bag after roasting, let cool and then rub off the skins and remove the seeds before using.
- Cook the ground chicken with 1.2 cup of onions chopped, a 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Vegans could leave off the chicken or substitute non-animal alternatives like mushroom chorizo.
- I used shredded cheddar cheese but any melting cheese will work. Chihuahua cheese is a close substitution in Mexico.
- Build quesadilla by layer hate chiles, cheese and spicy chicken. Add cilantro and/or jalapeño slices if you desire.
- Brush each tortilla with olive oil and grill in a pan or on an outdoor grill.
Quesadillas have to be grilled or fried. Don’t even think about microwaving a quesadilla. Ever!
Have you tried hatch chile quesadillas? I liked them and I’m saving this recipe to repeat with poblano peppers.
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Don’t show up in the Black Rock desert empty handed, impress your friends with these no cook meals for Burning Man. No need for fire or refrigeration. Pack your tu tu, feather boa, a festive burner bike, lots of H2O, adult beverages, everything on this […]
Make these easy sushi towers with fresh ahi tuna poke and perfect sushi rice. The stacks are beautiful and will serve two as an appetizer or one as a lunch or dinner portion. I’ve used some of the traditional Hawaiian ahi tuna poke ingredients with […]
The ultimate vegan gluten free zucchini brownies made with coconut flour, cinnamon and walnuts. Use up your abundance of zucchini in this delicious chewy, moist guilt free chocolate dessert that tastes a little like Mexican hot chocolate.
These might be a challenge to make in Baja because some of the ingredients are a little hard to find but I have seen gluten free flour so if you substitute that for the coconut flour let me know how it turns out.
I will continue my series of “Flips and Flops” which is all about necessary substitutions and the frustrations of failures – flops and the triumphs of success – flips, while cooking in Baja.
Hey Baja chefs, what frustrations do you encounter while cooking in rural Mexico? Please share in the comments and I’ll explore the substitutions.
The original Vegan Gluten Free Brownie recipe was introduced on my blog at www.WhatsforDinnerDoc.com so you might have seen them there. They are too good to keep hidden. I’m sharing them at Fiesta Friday where you can find recipes from all over the world.
Brownies are my go to company dessert in Loreto but I usually make a cinnamon and/or bourbon variation of Alton Brown’s chewy gooey brownies. They are not guilt free with 4 eggs and a stick of butter but sometimes a girl just has to indulge. I can’t find cake or brownie mixes in Loreto without trans-fats so I make all desserts from scratch. These vegan gluten-free zucchini brownies are a nice healthier guilt free treat any day.
Mexican hot chocolate in a chewy brownie. Try these with a glass of vino tinto, red wine. Delicious.
The recipe card is below but for some unknown reason my recipe builder isn’t working on the mobile setting. Grrrrrrr So here’s the written recipe without the html.
Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Brownies
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp flaxmeal
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup coconut sugar or sugar of your choice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 8 X 8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside. Shredded 1/2 zucchini with the food processor shred attachment. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in the food processor with the blade. Add water and vanilla and combine. Add zucchini and pulse to combine all ingredients except the walnuts. Stir in chopped walnuts.
Spoon batter into the prepared baking dish and spread and smooth down firmly with the back of the spoon.
Bake 19-20 minutes, then pat down hard with a pancake spatula or another sheet of parchment. Refrigerate overnight for a firmer brownie or eat when cooled for a fluffy, soft brownie. Let zucchini brownies sit 15 minutes before trying to cut into squares.
Vegan Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies
Vegan brownies with a serving of vegetables and a touch of cinnamon for a gluten free chocolate treat.
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp flaxmeal
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar or sugar of your choice
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 8 X 8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside. Shredded 1/2 zucchini with the food processor shred attachment. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in the food processor with the blade. Add water and vanilla and combine. Add zucchini and pulse to combine all ingredients except the walnuts. Stir in chopped walnuts.
- Step 2 Spoon batter into the prepared baking dish and spread and smooth down firmly with the back of the spoon.
- Step 3 Bake 19-20 minutes, then pat down hard with a pancake spatula or use another sheet of parchment and press with your hand.
- Step 4 Refrigerate overnight for a firmer brownie or eat when cooled for a fluffy, soft brownie. Let zucchini brownies sit 15 minutes before trying to cut into squares.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Inspiration from Katie at Chocolate Covered Katie. I used only zucchini instead of apple sauce and added walnuts and cinnamon. I used coconut sugar. Check out her other chocolate recipes.
A shopping list and menu for 3 days of healthy no cook meals. Perfect for an end of Summer, Labor Day camping trip, or exploring and surfing trips all year-long in Baja Mexico. One of the best reasons to travel is to explore the local […]