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Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole

Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole
Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle

Serves: 6 to 8

Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle" alt="Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole
Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle" />


1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, divided, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste to season chicken

2 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo, or to taste

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded, or to taste, optional

1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound penne or elbow pasta

3 cups chicken broth, homemade or store bought

2 cups (8 ounces) grated melty cheese, such as Oaxaca, Monterey Jack or mozzarella

1 ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and cut into slices (optional for garnish)

Mexican crema, Latin-style cream, crème fraiche or sour cream (optional for garnish)

To Prepare

Place the tomatoes and garlic in a medium (3-quart) saucepan and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and simmer until the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked and the skins have started to come off, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic, along with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, to a blender or food processor. Once it has cooled slightly, add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, adobo sauce, and chipotle chile if using, and puree until smooth.

Sprinkle chicken with oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large, deep and thick casserole or skillet set over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear the chicken thighs about 2 to 3 minutes per side until browned. Remove from skillet, reserve in a bowl.

Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the casserole, set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pasta. Fry the pasta for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until browned, but not burnt, and it smells toasty. Pour the tomato puree over the pasta. It will jump all over the casserole, so you may want to use the lid as a shield over the casserole. Stir, cover partially and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it darkens and cooks into a thick puree consistency.

Nest the browned chicken thighs in the pasta, pour the chicken broth on top, stir gently, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the lid, sprinkle the cheese all over the pasta and place the casserole uncovered in the oven. Bake anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and begun to lightly brown. Serve hot. You may garnish with avocado slices and Mexican crema. Cut into thick slices and serve as you would a cake, since there will be a light crust on the bottom and sides and top.


Chef Rod's Chorizo Burger

Chef Rod’s Chorizo Burger
Recipe courtesy Chef Rodrigo Albarran-Torres, Mission Restaurant

Serves: makes 5 burgers

Recipe courtesy Chef Rodrigo Albarran-Torres, Mission Restaurant" alt="Chef Rod’s Chorizo Burger
Recipe courtesy Chef Rodrigo Albarran-Torres, Mission Restaurant" />


1 1/4 pounds ground beef

3/4 pounds Mexican chorizo

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 tablespoon black pepper

1/4 tablespoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

2 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled

1/4 cup water

5 slices bacon, cooked

5 slices pepper jack cheese

Tomato slices, to garnish

Red onion slices, to garnish

Green leaf lettuce, to garnish

Hamburger buns

Chipotle Mayo:

1 chipotle pepper from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 cup of heavy mayonnaise

To Prepare

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and the chorizo.

In a blender, add the onions, black pepper, salt, cumin, and garlic and mix at medium speed adding water. Pour the blender mixture into the beef mixture, mix well, and form into burger patties by hand.

To make the chipotle mayo: Using a blender, mix the mayonnaise and chipotle pepper on low speed.

Cook burger on a skillet, grill pan, or grill to desired temperature. Butter the buns and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.

Spread chipotle mayo on both halves of the buns.

To assemble burger, start with the base of the bun and layer on the lettuce, a slice of tomato, sliced onions, the cooked burger patty, pepper jack cheese, cooked bacon, and the top of half of the bun.


Honey Chipotle Ribs

Honey Chipotle Ribs
Costillitas con Chipotle y Miel

Serves: 4

Costillitas con Chipotle y Miel" alt="Honey Chipotle Ribs
Costillitas con Chipotle y Miel" />


1 cup ketchup

2/3 cup honey

4 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce

3 chipotle chiles from chipotles in adobo sauce, minced, seeded optional, or more to taste

10 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 tablespoons Maggi or soy sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried oregano

3 pounds baby back or spare ribs

To Prepare

In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, honey, sauce from the chipotles, chipotle chiles, garlic, olive oil, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, Maggi, black pepper and oregano. Mix well.

Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Pour some sauce on the bottom of the pan, put in the ribs and pour the remaining sauce on top. Cover with foil, sealing the entire top of the pan, and marinate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours. If marinating more than 30 minutes, keep the ribs refrigerated.

When ready to cook the meat, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slip the pan with the ribs into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Take the ribs from the oven and carefully remove the aluminum foil, taking care not to be burned by the steam. Spoon the thickened sauce from the bottom of the pan on top of the ribs and place them back in the oven to roast another 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are beautifully browned and sticky. Remove from the oven, let rest, then slice into 2- to 3-bone pieces and pile on a platter.

Alternatively, after you remove the foil, you can finish off the ribs on the grill at medium heat, for about 15 minutes.


May 2, 2013
Chipotle Cheesy Pork Sliders with Avocado Spread

It was my friend Tamara´s birthday party. Her husband, Sean, an American who speaks and acts like a Mexico City native (says a Mexico City native), made the dinner for the 40+ guests. The guests were drinking, eating and laughing until their stomachs were hurting, usual for their home. Sean came up to me when he saw me walk in, gave me a plate, placed two of these sliders on and said, “You are going to like these.”

I ate one. YUM.
I said, “There’s chipotle in them!”
I ate two. OMG.
I said, “I can take that platter”, and ate the remaining four. Of course, he was grilling some more.

No, I didn’t even try his Asian tuna sliders. No, I didn’t try his regular cheeseburger sliders. No, of course, I didn’t try his vegetarian sliders. All I wanted were these Chipotle Pork Sliders. I was hooked.

After I had my fill, I told Sean I had to post his recipe on my blog, as I was sure you all would love them just like I did. He obliged, and I tested his recipe many times giving it a few tweaks (hey, you know, I can’t help myself). I added a bit of onion, garlic and oregano to the meat mix and more chipotle (come on Sean, you talk like a Mexican!). I took some of the mayo out of the avocado spread and added the refreshing chives.

Continue reading Sean’s Cheesy Chipotle Pork Sliders with Avocado Spread

This episode puts a twist on tequila by using it in a number of tasty, savory and sweet recipes sure to impress special guests. Mixologist extraordinaire Derek Brown shows Pati how to make one of his signature cocktails, and she uses tequila to ignite a main dish.

Camarones al tequila
Serves 3 to 4

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup Tequila Reposado
1/4 cup Mexican cream, Latin style cream, crème fraiche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or to taste
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, optional, seeded and minced
10 chives, sliced

Peel and devein the shrimp. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large and heavy sauté pan set over medium-high heat, let the butter melt. Once it starts to sizzle, add the garlic; stir and cook for 10 to 15 seconds, until it becomes fragrant.

Incorporate the shrimp, making sure that the pan is not overcrowded, and let them brown on one side and then the other, for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Don’t let them overcook; they should be browned on the outside but barely cooked through.

Add the tequila, and slightly tilt the pan over the flame to ignite it. Let it cook until the flames disappear. Stir in the cream and the chipotle sauce (and the seeded minced chile if using).

Serve immediately, with the chives sprinkled on top.

These home-style dishes are a staple at the small restaurants known as “fondas” in Mexico — and delicious inspiration for busy cooks in American homes today. Make them once, and they’ll become easy to make but special treats in your own kitchen.

Albóndigas al chipotle
Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons white onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or to taste
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, optional
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 to 3 fresh cilantro sprigs, or to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat with the eggs, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a spatula.

Place tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; simmer over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through and mushy.

In a blender, add the cooked tomatoes along with 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid, 2 garlic cloves, white onion, the sauce from the chipotle chiles in adobo and, if desired, one whole seeded chipotle chile. Purée until smooth.

Pour the oil into a large soup pot and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, pour in the puréed tomato mix. It will sizzle and jump, that is ok! Let it simmer, with the lid ajar, anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes, or until it has changed its color to a deeper red, thickened in consistency and lost its raw flavor. Add the chicken broth and salt to taste and reduce heat to medium low.

Place a small mixing bowl with water to the side of the soup pot with the simmering tomato broth. Wet your hands and start to make the meatballs, one by one. They should be anywhere from 1 to 2″. Gently place the meatballs in the simmering tomato broth.

Once you have shaped all the meatballs, add the cilantro sprigs to the pot, then simmer over medium-low heat for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot with a side of Mexican avocado slices, some warm corn tortillas and, if desired, frijoles de olla or white rice and plantains.

Puré de papa con chipotle
Serves 6

3 pounds red potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 scallions
1 chile from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoon chipotles in adobo sauce, optional
1/2 cup milk
Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Rinse and quarter the potatoes. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes over medium- high heat, or until thoroughly cooked and soft. Drain.

In a large, heavy skillet set over medium heat, add the chunks of butter. Once it melts and begins to bubble, stir in the scallions and cook for a couple of minutes until they soften. Add the chopped chipotle chile and combine well. Add the cooked potatoes along with the milk.

Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, mash the potatoes roughly as you mix them with the chipotle and scallion mixture. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Simple, easy, home-style cuisine that you’d find in just about any Mexican home, recreated for the American kitchen. This meal was my favorite “everyday” meal growing up in Mexico, and one I regularly make for my own family today. I am proud to share the steps so that you can enjoy it too.

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