Saturday, June 12, 2010

First, let me just say I LOVE mexican food, I could eat it 5 times a week.  But with trying to make healthier choices, Mexican food doesn't exactly carry a very nutritious pack unless you count lard, cheese, white flour and a sprinkling of veggies as good for you.
I did tweak a dish that has worked for me as a great lunch: huevos rancheros.  I've never actually eaten them from a restaurant, so have no idea what the real ones are. I just made my own version and it has veggies and proteins and a much lower calorie cheese.

Start with a corn tortilla warmed in egg pan, fry an egg in either some pam spray or a tablespoon of butter.  Top this off with plain pinto beans ( I make a huge batch and freeze in sandwich bags for smaller portions), then I combine canned or fresh diced tomatoes and green chiles, add some slices of fresh avacado and about a tablespoon of cojita cheese (you must try this cheese-it's salty and yummy).  It is really good and filling, and if served with orange slices, you've got a very balanced meal.

Now for the not so healthy part that I can't do often. But it was so good.
Our menu consisted of fresh corn tortillas, carne asada, pintos (not re-fried!), fresh avacadoes and for dessert-a donut cake-the perfect canvas for  summer fruits (we had blueberries and strawberries, but nectarines,peaches and plums would be delicious.)

I never thought I could do corn tortillas because I have no tortilla press, but my favorite cook over here, showed me how to do with just a pie plate and a ziplock bag. I did tweak her recipe with more water and a little salt, and i did have a cast iron pan to cook them on which is essential.  They were so good.  The carne was just cut up steak browned and seasoned with chili powder, chiles, cumin, garlic and onion powder and a little watered down tomato paste, simmered for a couple hours-a great recipe from my sister.  And the pintos were just cooked for a couple hours in salted water, doesn't get any easier than that.

Okay about the cake-don't be lazy like me and not go to the store for buttermilk (I used a bit of yogurt and milk)-it's adds the perfect amount of moistness.  Also, the recipe has cornmeal in it and I just didn't like it.
I love Catherine Newman's recipes and have tried a ton over at her website-I don't think we've had one we didn't like.   I love to cook and I love to research recipes-anybody else sift through recipes looking for the perfect one and then tweak?  Maybe that's just me.