27 April, 2015

Pineapple Salsas

This post contains two Pineapple Salsa recipes.

  • Down-Island Salsa - Cooking Light (1997)
  • Pineapple Salsa - The Cookbook Smasher (2008)

Dole has tips about selecting a fresh pineapple. Here's a video about cutting a fresh pineapple.

If carambola ("starfruit," photo above) is unavailable for this recipe, increase the mango from 1 to 2 cups. 

Down-Island Salsa ingredients
Makes about 4 cups, or about 6 (2/3 cup) servings
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp white rum
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp minced seeded serrano chile
4 cups (1-inch) fresh pineapple cubes
1 cup diced peeled ripe mango
1 cup carambola (star fruit), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

Down-Island Salsa directions
In a large bowl, combine first three (3) ingredients; stir well. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Chill at least two (2) hours before serving at room temperature.

Source: Cooking Light. Jan. 1997: 85. Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. Print.

Fresh pineapple is best, however, you can substitute canned chunked pineapple in this recipe.

Pineapple Salsa ingredients (6)
Servings not stated
1.5 cups (1/2-inch) pineapple cubes or mango cubes
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp jalapeno, finely minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Pineapple Salsa directions
Combine in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with chips or top baked fish or grilled chicken.

Very slightly adapts Rachel, "Pineapple Salsa." The Cookbook Smasher. n.p. 10 Feb. 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

You might like
Sunshine Pico de Gallo
Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadilla via Pioneer Woman
Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa via Everyday Southwest 
Pineapple Mango Salsa via Pioneer Woman
Guacamole al Pastor via Muy Bueno Cookbook

Appetizers and Snacks > Salsas

Page Last Modified 13 June 2015

Mom's Baked Ham

Mom prepared this ham at Easter and Christmas. She always served mashed potatoes, either broccoli or green bean casserole, a garden salad (with homemade Thousand Island dressing), and rolls.

This recipe includes a Glaze which adds flavor, and with the frequent basting, also helps keep the ham moist. The Glaze, consisting of brown sugar, mustard and Coca-Cola® (aka Coke®), is a perfect complement to the smoked ham. 

Mom's Baked Ham ingredients (7)
Servings depends on size of ham
For help estimating size to buy, click here
For the ham
One John Morrell® Bone-In EZ Cut Half ("small family") Hardwood Smoked Ham

About 1 to 2 Tbsp whole cloves, depending upon size of ham

1 (20.0-oz / 567g) can Dole® Pineapple Slices in 100% Pineapple Juice, drained and juice reserved

1 (6-oz / 171g) jar store brand maraschino cherries, drained and stems removed

For the Glaze
Start with about 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, adding more a bit at a time to make a thick but pourable glaze

Two squirts of French's® 100% Natural Classic Yellow Mustard (Do not substitute Dijon mustard here because you won't achieve the desired flavor of this recipe.)

1 (12.0-oz / 355ml) can Coca-Cola® aka Coke®, do not substitute diet version (divided use)

Reserved pineapple juice

Mom's Baked Ham directions
Get started
Preheat oven as directed on the John Morell® package. Discard any "glaze packet" accompanying the ham.

Using a clean absorbent towel, pat the ham dry. Remove any of the hard skin to reveal the fat. Then, set the ham flat side down inside a shallow roasting pan.

Spice and garnish the ham
Score ham by using sharp knife to make diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch / 0.318cm deep. First cut lines in one direction; then, cut in the other direction.

Insert whole cloves at the points (where the lines intersect). If you have difficulty, use a skewer to pierce the ham. Then, arrange pineapple slices and maraschino cherries in a decorative pattern, using toothpicks to hold in place. 

Make the Glaze
In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and French's® Classic Yellow Mustard.

Using just enough liquid to achieve a pourable Glaze, add some of the Coca-Cola® and reserved pineapple juice to the brown sugar mixture, stirring well. The Glaze will be smooth after you've stirred in the liquids; however, you still want it thick enough to stay on the ham. Taste and adjust.

Reserve the remaining Coca-Cola® and pineapple juice to add liquid to the bottom of the pan as needed.

26 April, 2015

Beef Fillings for Latin Dishes Using Your Slow Cooker

This filling may be used in dishes such as burritos, tostados,enchiladas, or Mexican Lasagna. America's Test Kitchen Editors say this filling may be stored in the freezer for up to thirty (30) days. When reheating from the freezer, allow the filling to completely thaw before using.

On the side, try Mexican Rice.

Smoky Shredded Chipotle Beef  Filling (slow cooker) ingredients (14)
Makes about 4 cups, or
About 6 servings of (2/3 cup each)
2 white onions, minced
1/3 cup chili powder
3 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced (reserving some seeds for increasing heat intensity, as desired)
1 Tbsp roasted garlic tomato paste
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
3-lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and halved

Smoky Shredded Chipotle Beef  Filling (slow cooker) directions
Heat aromatics in microwave
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the first eight (8) ingredients (onions through tomato paste) and heat until the vegetables are softened, about five (5) minutes. Stir occasionally.

Spoon into the slow cooker.

Prepare braising sauce
Stir the tomato sauce, sugar, and liquid smoke into the slow cooker.

Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle it in the slow cooker. Spoon over the tomato braising sauce, being careful to evenly coat all of the meat.

Simmer in slow cooker
Cover and cook on Low until meat is tender, about nine to eleven (9 to 11) hours, or on High setting for five to seven (5 - 7) hours.

When meat is tender, transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool slightly before shredding with two forks, tines down.

Meanwhile, allow braising liquid to settle for about five (5) minutes before using a large spoon to remove fat accumulated on the surface. Then, measure out 1 cup of the braising liquid to moisten the cooked meat.

Finish and serve or store
Toss shredded beef with the 1 cup of braising liquid, adding more, a little at a time, as may be needed to keep it moist and flavorful. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Either serve filling warm now for burritos, tostados,enchiladas, or Mexican Lasagna, or store in airtight container(s) for up to three (3) days in the refrigerator, or thirty (30) days in the freezer. When reheating from the freezer, allow the filling to completely thaw before using.

Slightly adapts the Editors at America's Test KitchenSlow Cooker Revolution: One Test Kitchen, 30 Slow Cookers, 200 Amazing Recipes (Stated 1st Edition) (Boston: Boston Common Press, 2011), 206 - 207.

Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Modified 25 May 2015

Beef and Bean Burritos (slow cooker)

This post contains one recipe for burritos prepared in a slow cooker.

Serve burritos warm with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and lime wedges. On the side, try Mexican Rice (or Spanish Rice "Sopa Seca").

Beef-and-Bean Burritos (Slow Cooker) ingredients (11)
Makes 12 servings
1 (2-lb.) London broil
1 (1.25-oz) packet taco seasoning mix
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup chopped white onion
1 Tbsp white vinegar (I prefer infused vinegars)
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles
1 (16-oz) can fat-free refried beans
12 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1.5 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, about 6-ozs
1.5 cups chopped plum tomato
0.75 cup fat-free sour cream

Beef-and-Bean Burritos (Slow Cooker) directions
Simmer meat on Low
Trim fat from meat. Rub seasoning mix over both sides of meat and place it in the slow cooker coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Add onion, vinegar, and green chiles and coat meat evenly. Cover and cook on Low setting until meat is tender, about nine (9) hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker, reserving cooking liquid. Let meat cool slightly on cutting board before shredding it with two forks. After the cooking liquid has settled for about five (5) minutes, use a large spoon to remove any grease from the surface.

After shredding, return meat to the reserved cooking liquid and toss.

Finish and serve warm
Warm beans and tortillas according to package directions.

Then, down the center of each tortilla, spread the following:
  •  2 Tbsps beans 
  • Heaping 1/3 cup meat mixture 
  • 2 Tbsps cheese 
  • 2 Tbsps tomato 
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
Fold the sides in toward the filling, then tightly roll the tortilla around the filling to form a burrito. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information
Calories 350 (30% from fat)
Fat 11.8g
Satfat 6.1g
Monofat 4.1g
Polyfat 0.5g
Protein 24g
Carbohydrate 31.3g
Fiber 3.3g
Cholesterol 49mg
Iron 4mg
Sodium 839mg
Calcium 175mg

Source: Cooking Light. Jan. 1997: 95. Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. Print.

You might like
Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas via The Kitchn

Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Modified 25 May 2015

Rice Casseroles (Texas recipe roundup)

This post contains two Rice Casserole recipes from Texas community cookbooks.

  • Chile Cheese Rice - Seasoned with Sun (1974, El Paso)

  • Spanish Rice, "Sopa Seca"Seasoned with Sun (1974, El Paso)

This recipe for Chile Cheese Rice can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, or frozen, then thawed for one (1) hour and baked.

Chile Cheese Rice ingredients (6)
Makes 10 servings
3/4 cup raw rice
2 cups sour cream
Salt to taste
1-lb. Monterey Jack cheese (divided use and may have a little extra)
2 (4-oz) cans chopped green chile, drained

Chile Cheese Rice directions
Advance preparations
Cook rice according to package directions. Fluff with fork.

Meanwhile, cut block of cheese in half (to equal 0.5-lb.) and cut it in 1.25-inch cubes. Divide the remaining block in half and grate it (should be about 1/2 cup). Wrap and refrigerate any remaining cheese for another use.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 2-quart casserole.

Assemble and bake casserole
Combine cooked rice with sour cream and season with salt; arrange half on the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.

Layer the cubed Monterey Jack and the chopped chiles.

Top with remaining rice mixture and sprinkle with the grated Monterey Jack cheese. Dot with butter.

Bake in preheated oven for thirty (30) minutes.

Very slightly adapts Junior League of El Paso, Inc.Seasoned with Sun: Recipes from the Southwest (Memphis: S.C. Toof & Co., 1974), 197.

Spanish Rice "Sopa Seca" ingredients (9)
Makes 6 servings
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 (4-oz) can diced green chile
3 Tbsp bacon fat
1 cup long grain rice
1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup juice drained from the Italian tomatoes
3/4 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Salt to taste

Spanish Rice "Sopa Seca" directions
Sauté onion, garlic and chiles in fat until transparent.

Add rice and cook over Low heat, stirring occasionally, until rice is golden.

Use kitchen shears to coarsely chop the tomatoes while they are still in the can; add to the rice mixture. Pour in juice and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer about twenty (20) minutes.

Add garbanzos and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed juice, about five (5) minutes more.

Slightly adapts Junior League of El Paso, Inc.Seasoned with Sun: Recipes from the Southwest (Memphis: S.C. Toof & Co., 1974), 239.

You might like:
Jalapeño Corn Casserole

Chile-Cheese Rice casserole
Latin / Latin-style
Spanish Rice "Sopa Seca"

Page Last Modified 31 March 2016

Test: Roasted Corn-Bacon Guacamole

This post contains two Guacamole with Roasted Corn recipes.

  • Roasted Corn-Bacon Guacamole Test

  • Copycat Chili's Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole (bottom of this page) 

Test! Roasted Corn-Bacon Guacamole ingredients (10)
Makes about 4 servings
2 medium ears fresh corn or about 1.25 cups corn kernels (divided use)
3 avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely diced red onion according to personal preferences
1/2 cup seeded and diced Roma tomato, about 1.5 to 2 tomatoes
6 slices cooked bacon, drained well and crumbled (divided use)
1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapeño chile peppers, drained (if you like the heat, add a bit of the brine)
About  1.5 tsp to 1/4 cup chopped cilantro according to personal preferences
About 1.5 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice, about 2 to 3 limes maxium
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste

For serving
Blue corn tortilla chips

For a creamier dip, mash avocados to a smooth pulp (or purée), peel the tomato and add 2 Tbsp Crema Espesa or sour cream.

Test! Roasted Corn-Bacon Guacamole directions
Advance preparation
Choose roasting method (click here for suggestions). Select corn. Roast corn. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off fresh cobs.

Safely cut kernels off fresh cobs
Start by cutting the cob in half crosswise and stand it on its flat, cut end in a bowl. Then, use a sharp chef’s knife to cut kernels off the ear, one side at a time, using a sawing motion. Be careful not to cut into the cob; cut only about the top 1/2 to 2/3 of the kernels.

Then flip your knife over and run the dull side down the length of the ear, to press out the rest of the scrapings and the milk.

Prepare dip
Reserve some of the roasted corn and cooked bacon for garnish,

Mash the avocados. Combine with the roasted corn and other dip ingredients through cilantro. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Garnish top with the reserved corn and bacon.

Serve Roasted Corn-Bacon Guacamole with blue corn tortilla chips.

Adapts "50 Salsa and Guacamole Recipes: Find dozens of new ways to make your favorite Mexican dips." Food Network. Television Food Network, G.P. n.d. Web. 26 Ap. 2015.

Copycat Chili's Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole ingredients
Makes 8 servings
4 ripe avocados, pitted and cut into cubes
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1 to 2 ears fresh corn
1 to 2 fresh jalapeño peppers
3 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
4 tsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp salt

For serving
Tortilla chips

Copycat Chili's Fire-Grilled Corn Guacamole directions
Husk and wash corn, then deep fry for one (1) minute.

Wash jalapeño(s) and deep fry for one (1) minute.

Place corn and jalapeño(s) on gas grill just long enough to slightly blacken each side.

Remove corn kernels from cob and measure out 1 cup of kernels.

Remove stem from jalapeño(s) and dice.

In a large bowl, mash the avocados. Then, add the pico de gallo, fire-grilled corn kernels, jalapenos, lime juice, cilantro, and salt; stir well.

Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.


You might like
Ranch Guacamole via The Recipe Critic

Appetizers and Snacks > Cold dips / spreads
Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Modified 16 June 2015

Charcoal-Grilled Corn with Cream, Cheese, & Chile (and Thick Cream) | Authentic Mexican

This post contains two recipes: Charcoal-Grilled Corn with Cream, Cheese, & Chile and the Mexican condiment, Crema Espesa (Thick Cream).

Charcoal-Grilled Corn with Cream, Cheese, & Chile ingredients (5)
Makes 6 servings
6 ears fresh sweet corn, in their husks
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
About 1/2 cup Crema Espesa (recipe below)
1/3 cup crumbled Mexican Queso Añejo or Queso Fresco (Adobera), or Parmesan or feta
About 1 Tbsp powdered New Mexico chile pepper

Charcoal-Grilled Corn with Cream, Cheese, & Chile directions
Prepare "Crema Espesa" 24 to 30-hours in advance
Directions below.

Ready the corn
About an hour before serving, place the ears of corn in a deep bowl, cover with cold water and weight with a plate to keep them submerged. Start charcoal fire and let it burn until the bed of coals is medium-hot. Then, adjust the grill four (4)-inches above the fire.

Grill the corn
Shake excess water from the corn. Lay corn on the grill and roast, turning frequently, until the outer leaves are blackened, about fifteen to twenty (15 to 20) minutes.

Wear oven mitts to remove from grill because the corn will be very hot. Cool for several minutes. Then, remove the husks and silk.

Finish and serve
About ten (10) minutes before serving, brush the corn with the melted butter and return to the grill until nicely browned. Be sure to turn corn frequently.

Serve immediately. Pass the chilled Crema Espesa with the cheese and powdered chile for individuals to use according to personal preferences.


Crema Espesa is a condiment very similar to crème fraiche.

"Crema Espesa" (Thick Cream, a condiment) ingredients (2)
Makes 1/2 cup
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp buttermilk

"Crema Espesa" directions
Prepare "Crema Espesa" 24 to 30-hours in advance
Into a small saucepan over Low heat, pour the cream  and stir just until the chill is off; do not heat above 100°F (lukewarm). Stir in the buttermilk and pour into a glass jar.

Ripen the "Crema Espesa"
Set the lid on the jar (but don't tighten it) and place in a warm (80-90°F) spot. Let the cream culture and set for twelve to twenty-four (12 to 24 hours), until it is noticeably thicker (perhaps almost set like yogurt or sour cream).

Then, stir gently. Secure the jar's lid and refrigerate at least four (4) hours to chill and complete the thickening.

Use Crema Espesa to drizzle over beans, roasted corn (such as Charcoal-Grilled Corn recipe above) or fresh fruit, to enrich sauces, and to dollop on enchiladas, quesadillas, tostados, or dessert crepes, just to name a few dishes.


Slightly adapts Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless. Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking From the Heart of Mexico (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1987), ??? and ???.

Page Last Modified 25 May 2015

Tips for selecting and storing fresh corn

Sweetness is key to the quality of corn, and harvesting at peak flavor is every grower's challenge. The prime harvest time for sweet corn passes quickly for most varieties except the supersweets," says the National Gardening Association, so both gardeners and consumers need to know how to judge the timing and quality of the harvests.

Also, the sooner you cook fresh corn, the sweeter it tastes, because the moment you pick an ear of sweet corn, its sugars start changing into starches. Other than some newer "supersweet" varieties, most corn varieties convert more than half their sugar content to starch within twenty-four (24) hours of harvesting, says the National Gardening Association.

Selecting fresh corn
Always select carefully fresh corn from your garden and local markets. It only takes a little practice to become a good judge of the corn, and here's some tips we found to get you started:

  • Look for bright grassy green husks fitting snugly around the ear of corn 

  • In your own garden, you might peel back the outer green husk to check and see if the corn looks good
    • However, according to the National Gardening Association, once you open an immature ear, it's susceptible to insect and bird attacks as it continues to ripen.
    • Fold the husk back up to prevent drying.
    • Although a very reliable method of checking quality, many stores and farm stands won’t let you pull back the husks because disarranging it leaves the corn vulnerable to both pests and drying out. The husk helps to keep in moisture.

Storing fresh corn
  • Eat corn quickly after harvest or preserve / store properly

How To

Page Last Modified 16 June 2015

25 April, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Soup (crock-pot)

If using rotisserie chicken (or leftover cooked chicken), stir it in and warm through just before serving.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup ingredients (16)
Servings not stated
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (12-oz/340g) pkg frozen corn kernels, Trader Joe's Roasted Corn, if avaialble
1 medium onion, diced
1 (10-oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (10.75-oz) can low sodium cream of chicken soup
2 cups milk
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1.5-lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

For serving
Tortilla chips
2 limes, quartered
1 (8-oz) pkg shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Crema Espesa or use 1 (8-oz) sour cream flavored with minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 ripe avocado, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup directions
Simmer in slow cooker
Stir the first nine (9) ingredients (black beans through oregano) into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker.

Cover and cook on Low setting until chicken is tender, about four to six (4 to 6) hours.

Transfer chicken to cutting board and cool slightly. Meanwhile, and after the soup has settled for about five (5) minutes, use a large spoon to remove any fat from the surface.

Then, chop or shred (use two forks, tines facing downward, to gently pull apart) chicken into bite-size pieces. Return to soup and warm through.

Into each deep bowl, place some tortilla chips and ladle over soup. Squeeze one lime wedge into each bowl and top with cheese. Pass Crema Espesa (or chipotle sour cream) and avocado for each to use according to personal preferences.

Adapts Rachel, "Chicken Enchilada Soup." The Cookbook Smasher. n.p. 22 Jan. 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

Latin /Latin-style

Page Last Modified 25 May 2015

Yucatán Black Bean Dip: Updated | Celebrate San Antonio

The Yucatán cuisine is distinctive partly because the region was geographically isolated from the rest of Mexico for centuries. The Yucatán cuisine is also unique because of its fusion of various ethnic and cultural strands -- influences from France, Spain and Portugal, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean (read chef David Sterling's "Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition” published by University of Texas Press).

The flavor of this dip is reminiscent of the Yucatán dish, "Frijol con Puerco" (Beans with Pork Stew).

This recipe dispenses with presoaking the beans. Also, I've suggested epazote, an herb native to Central America, South America, and southern Mexico, if you can find it, instead of the cilantro.

Yucatán Black Bean Dip: Updated ingredients (12)
Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings
About (10 to 12 cups / 2.5 to 3-quarts) water
1-lb. dried black beans
1-lb. lean ground pork
2 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped white onion
5 medium radishes, sliced
1 to 4 hot green chili peppers, seeded, peeled and minced
6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 cup green chili salsa
8-ozs. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or coriander, chopped or, if you can find it, about 2 Tbsp fresh epazote, chopped

For serving
Tortilla chips

Yucatán Black Bean Dip: Updated directions
01)  Get started (replaces overnight soak; read LA Times article here)
Assemble ingredients.

Fill a 6-quart stainless steel stockpot about 1/2-full of water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, rinse the beans in water and remove damaged beans, dirt clumps and small stones.

02)  Simmer the beans
Once the water is boiling, carefully add the dried beans to the stockpot and return to a boil.

Then, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking them, covered, until tender, about two (2) hours.

  • Make sure the water level is sufficient to always cover the beans by at least two inches (2-inches). Add more water, as needed.

  • When the beans are soft and the skins are just breaking open, use a slotted spoon to remove them to a large bowl and set aside.

03)  Parboil the pork
Bring bean stock to a boil. Then, add ground pork and oregano and bring to a second boil.

Drain; reserve parboiled pork and set aside..

04)  Sauté the aromatics
In a large, heavy saucepan over Medium heat, melt the butter and sauté onions, radishes and peppers until limp.

05)  Simmer the dip
To the sautéed vegetables, add the cooked beans, parboiled pork, lemon juice, and salt. Lower heat; cover and simmer until tender, about ten to fifteen (10 to 15) minutes.

Add the green chili salsa and grated cheese, stirring well and often so the mixture does not scorch. Continue simmering until cheese melts.

06)  Serve warm
Pour Yucatán Black Bean Dip into a serving dish and sprinkle over the chopped cilantro (or corriander or epazote).

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Adapts the San Antonio Junior Forum, Celebrate San Antonio: A Cookbook Third PrintingEd. Trudy C. Kinnison and Tina C. Knight-Sheen. (Dallas:San Antonio Junior Forum Publications, 1986), 37.

Appetizers and Snacks > Warm dips / spreads
black beans
Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Modified 29 May 2015

Roasted corn methods

When a recipe calls for "roasted corn," what do you do? This post outlines four methods you can use. At the bottom of this post, you'll find links to recipes using roasted corn and to helpful references. You'll find Tips for selecting and storing fresh corn here.

Roasted  Corn Methods

  • Oven-roast frozen corn like Chef Rick Bayless
    • Defrost corn, drain, and pat dry.
    • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
    • Toss corn with a little olive oil and place on lined baking sheet. 
    • Roast for twenty-five (25) minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time. 

  • Oven-roast fresh corn like chef Tyler Florence
    • Preheat oven to 350ºF. 
    • Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and roast until corn is soft, about thirty (30) minutes.  

  • Charcoal-grill fresh corn like Chef Rick Bayless
    • An hour before serving, place ears of corn in a deep bowl and cover with cold water. Weight with a plate to keep submerged.
    • Start charcoal fire and let burn until coals are medium-hot.
    • Adjust grill to four (4)-inches above fire.
    • Shake excess water from corn; then, lay it on grill.
    • Turning frequently, roast until outer leaves are blackened, about fifteen to twenty (15 to 20) minutes.
    • Wearing oven mitts, remove from grill. Be careful because corn will be very hot.
    • Cool corn several minutes before removing husks and silk.
    • About ten (10) minutes before serving, brush corn with melted butter and return to grill until nicely browned. Be sure to turn corn frequently.
    • Serve (or use) immediately.

How do you roast corn? Tell us in comments!

You might like
Roasted Corn Salsa
Test! Roasted Corn-Bacon Guacamole


Articles about cooking corn
Articles about selecting and storing corn


How To

Page Last Updated 17 June 2015

21 April, 2015

Redo: Mexican Layer Dip: Auditioning an Update

With this post, we're auditioning an update of Tracy's  1980s Taco Salad Layered Dip recipe. Served at housewarmings, office events and even a wedding celebration, we've always enjoyed this dip. This version has some "lighter" ingredients but more layers. 

What do you think? Let us know in Comments.

General Tips
To build a "layered dip", the basic procedure is to select and spread different ingredients evenly without disarranging the layer(s) below.

When arranging the layers, it's a good idea to consider the color contrasts (or lack thereof) to provide visual interest. Just a few layers can be quite tasty and tempt the eyes - - just look at Linda C's dip.

You choose compatible ingredients, and whether to include convenience products (e.g. frozen guacamole vs. fresh avocados).

Depending upon personal preferences, you can either let the edge of each layer show (like Genêt Hogan at Raised On a Roux) or spread each layer to the edge (like Ree Drummond at Pioneer Woman). Different styles give you options.

Whichever way you choose, do try to keep each layer level because that helps to evenly distribute each ingredient among the servings for that "perfect bite."

For this recipe update, we're trying seven (7) layers in this order:
  • Seasoned beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream dip 
  • Salsa
  • Finely shredded mozzarella
  • Garden topping
We think this combination and arrangement has options for even more variations (e.g., perhaps season beans with Ranch dry dressing and omit fajita seasoning from the sour cream dip).

Mexican Layer Dip ingredients
Makes about 8 servings
Seasoned beans
1 (15-oz) can refried beans, with or without diced chilies
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cumin

First cheese layer
3/4 cup (12-oz / 340g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sour cream dip
1 (8-oz / 226g) carton no fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1 (1.1-oz / 31g) pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Fiesta Ranch Dips Mix (see Notes below)

2 (12-oz / 340g) containers Wholly Guacamole® Classic Dip or Organic Mild Dip

1 cup (8-oz / 226g) chipotle chili pepper salsa, chilled

Second cheese layer
1 cup (8-oz / 226g) finely shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese

Garden Topping
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 green onions including some tops, thinly sliced
1 (2.25-oz US / 63g) can sliced ripe (black) olives, rinsed and well-drained
Few sprigs fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed and some chopped
Optional: 1/2 to 1 finely chopped fresh chile pepper (please wear gloves and remove seeds)

For serving
Tortilla chips

Chile Con Queso (Texas recipe roundup)

This post contains three Chile Con Queso recipes from Texas community cookbooks.

  • Chile Con Queso Mexicano - Seasoned with Sun (1974, El Paso)

  • Chili Con Queso DipGingerbread and All the Trimmings (1987, Waxahachie)

  • Sausage Cheese Dip - Gingerbread and All the Trimmings (1987, Waxahachie)

Chile Con Queso Mexicano ingredients (7)
Servings not stated
6 fresh green chilies, roasted, peeled and cut in lengthwise slices
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp bacon grease
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2.5 cups grated Jack or Longhorn cheese
Salt to taste

Chile Con Queso Mexicano directions
Sauté chilies and onion in bacon grease. Then, add garlic and cook until soft.

Finish and serve
Add remaining ingredients and heat until cheese melts, stirring often.

Very slightly adapts Junior League of El Paso, Inc.Seasoned with Sun: Recipes from the Southwest (Memphis: S.C. Toof & Co., 1974), 15.

Chili Con Queso Dip ingredients (9)
Servings not stated
1-lb ground beef
1 (16-oz / 453g) box Velveeta® Pasteurized Process Cheese Spreadcut into 1-inch cubes
1 (10.75-oz / 297g) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75-oz / 297g) can cream of celery soup
2 tsp finely chopped fresh jalapeño peppers
2 tsp finely chopped minced garlic
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained 
2 (4-oz / 113g) cans diced mild green chili peppers

For serving
Tortilla chips

Chili Con Queso Dip directions
Brown the ground beef until redness is gone; set aside. 

In double boiler over hot water, melt the Velveeta® with the canned soups, fresh jalapeño peppers and minced garlic. 

When the mixture is thick and smooth, stir in the beef, Ro-Tel® and canned chili peppers. 

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Adapts the Waxahachie Junior Service League, IncGingerbread and All the Trimmings (Dallas: Wimmer Company, 1987), 9.     Back to Top

Sausage Cheese Dip ingredients (5)
Servings not stated
1 (32-oz / 907g) box Velveeta® Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread, cut in small cubes
1 (0.92-oz /26g) packet dry roasted garlic salad dressing mix (product line changes, so for other options, check Kraft Good Seasons® product locator here for 0.75-oz / 21g packets)
McIlhenny Co. Tabasco™ Pepper Sauce, more or less, to taste

For serving

Sausage Cheese Dip directions
Melt Velveeta®, covered, in crockpot on Low setting. When the cheese is completely smooth and melted, about one to two (1 to 2) hours, turn crockpot to High setting just long enough to warm through other ingredients.

Meanwhile, crumble and fry the sausage; drain thoroughly on paper towels.

To the crockpot with melted Velveeta®, add sausage and combine. Stir in the evaporated milk, blending well.

Then, add the dry salad dressing mix and Tabasco™. Reduce crockpot temperature to avoid scorching the dip.

Serve dip warm with Dorito's®.

Slightly adapts the Waxahachie Junior Service League, IncGingerbread and All the Trimmings (Dallas: Wimmer Company, 1987), 13.     Back to Top

Appetizers and Snacks > Warm dips / spreads
Latin / Latin-style

Page Last Updated 25 May 2015

20 April, 2015

Mexican Bean Dip | A Taste of New England

This easy hot dip recipe starts with a canned bean dip and then adds seven yummy ingredients.

Mexican Bean Dip ingredients
Servings not stated
1 (9-oz / 255g) can Fritos® Original Bean Dip
1 cup light sour cream
1 (8-oz) pkg Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1 (1.25-oz) packet taco seasoning mix
20 to 30 drops Tabasco® Original Red Sauce
0.5-lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 bunch green onions, cleaned and chopped

8-oz Cheddar cheese, shredded

For serving
1 (Family Size) bag Frito-Lay Fritos® Scoops!® or
1 (11-oz US / 311g) bag Doritos® Nacho Cheese Flavored Chips or Doritos® Cool Ranch® Flavored Chips

Get ready
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix and bake
In a large bowl, combine all of the Dip ingredients. Pour Dip mixture into ovenproof bakeware and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake until bubbly, about twenty (20) minutes.

Serve warm with chips.     Back to Top

Adapts The Junior League of Worcester, Inc.A Taste of New England (Memphis: The Wimmer Companies, Inc, 1990), 14.     Back to Top

Appetizers and Snacks > Warm dips / spreads

Page Last Modified 17 May 2016

Black Bean Salsa (recipe roundup)

This post contains four Black Bean Salsa recipes.

  • Black Bean Salsa - Food Network

  • Black Bean Salsa - Folks in the Kitchen (1996, Memphis)

  • Spicy Black Bean and Fresh Tomato Salsa - Store brand (2010s)

Black Bean Salsa ingredients (10)
Servings not stated 
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and well-drained
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
1/4 cup each chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 minced garlic clove
1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce plus 2 Tbsp of the sauce
Lime juice to taste
Kosher salt to taste

For serving

Black Bean Salsa directions
In a medium bowl, toss together the first nine ingredients (beans through the adobo sauce). Taste and add lime juice and salt according to personal preference.

(No author stated.) "50 Salsa and Guacamole Recipes: Find dozens of new ways to make your favorite Mexican dips." Food Network. Television Food Network, G.P., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. 

(Anne's) Black Bean Salsa ingredients (12)
Makes 6 servings
1 (15-oz) can black beans
1 can crisp whole kernel corn, drained, or kernels from 3 ears of fresh corn
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Several serrano peppers (mild), seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chipped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt

For serving

Change the Dressing to 2 tsp fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste via Recipe Rebuilder.

Use about 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed, instead of canned corn. If you like, roast fresh or frozen corn (several methods here).

Substitute fresh tomato with 1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, drained. Use kitchen shears to cut-up tomatoes while still in the can.

(Anne's) Black Bean Salsa directions
In a large covered bowl, mix all Salsa ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients and pour over the Salsa mixture. Cover and chill several hours before serving.

Slightly adapts Anne P. The Memphis Child Advocacy Center & Folk's FollyFolks in the Kitchen: Favorite Recipes From Family & Friends (Adamsville: Keepsake Cookbooks, 1996), 34.     Back to Top

Spicy Black Bean and Fresh Tomato Salsa ingredients (11)
Makes 8 servings
2 cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained well
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained well
1/2 cup small diced red onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (4-oz) can diced jalapeño peppers

(1 cup / 8-ozs) Italian-style salad dressing
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For serving
Tortilla chips

Spicy Black Bean and Fresh Tomato Salsa directions
In a large bowl, combine all of the Salsa ingredients (fresh tomatoes through diced jalapeño peppers).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients and pour over the Salsa mixture. Toss to coat evenly.

Serve with tortilla chips. Refrigerate any unused portions.

I believe this Spicy Black Bean and Fresh Tomato Salsa recipe may have originated from a grocery store chain or brand name product.     Back to Top

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Appetizers and Snacks > Cold dips / spreads > Salsas
black beans
black-eyed peas

Page Last Updated 24 June 2015