Chipotle Fish Tacos ala Deb!

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Yay!  I am finally getting my world-famous Fish Taco recipe on the interweb-thingie! You know, that thing that a certain Billionaire said wouldn’t catch on?  I wonder what he thinks about that statement now?

Anyway, back to fish tacos….yum..yum..yum! Ramona ~ This is for you, so go ahead and share away!

This recipe is great when you need to whip up a dinner fairly fast, the only part that needs time to percolate (love that old fashioned term) is the salsa, it’s basically being pickled to develop the favours.  It is also fairly waist friendly when the chipotle sauce * is used in moderation,  for an even lighter option, check out the * tip at the bottom of the page.


Chipotle Fish Tacos ala Deb!


1 Haddock fish filet per person (or any firm, white fish), sliced into 1″ chunks
2 Cups shredded iceburg lettuce
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced red or green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced radishes or jicama
1 Tbsp finely diced jalapeño
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (recipe below to make your own)
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp mayonnaise (Hellman’s)
1/4 tsp (or more to taste) of Chiptole Chile powder
3 Large whole wheat flour tortillas
Fresh cilantro leaves
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste


1. At least 4 hours before serving, prepare the salsa by combining the radish (or jicama)   , peppers, onions and the juice of 1 lime.  Stir to combine, cover and keep refrigerated until time to assemble.



2. Thinly slice the lettuce into a bowl, cover and chill until needed.

3. Prepare the Chipotle Mayo by combining the mayonnaise, chipotle chile powder and 1/2 tsp of the fresh lime juice.  Stir to combine then refrigerate until needed.


4. In a frying pan set over med-high heat, add 1 Tbsp of Olive oil and sprinkle half the cajun seasoning all over the bottom of the pan.  Add fish and liberally sprinkle the remaining seasoning on the top side of the fish.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until fish starts to brown on the bottom, flip fish and cook until the bottoms start to brown.  Add remaining lime juice to pan and cook for another 2 minutes or so until the juice cooks off and the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove from heat.

To assemble Tacos

1. Warm tortillas by zapping in the microwave for 15 seconds.
2. Spread a tsp of chipotle mayo in the middle of each tortilla.
3. Divide shredded lettuce evenly among the 3 tortillas
4. Divide the salsa evenly among the 3 tortillas.
5. Divide the fish pieces evenly among the 3 tortillas.
6. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

We roll our tacos up burrito style, but these would also be good in hard corn tortilla shells but way messier!

Note ~ This makes 3 tacos ~ 1 for me and 2 for hubs,
so increase amounts for feeding more people.

* To lighten up the chipotle mayo, sub fat-free yogurt for the mayo.

Make your own Cajun Seasoning

In a mortar and pestle, combine the following ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):

1 1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Oregano

We have ours with a large side salad, but these would also be great with a side of Mexican rice. Enjoy!




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Huevos Rancheros

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If you love eggs (like I do), and if you love Mexican food (like I do), then you will love this breakfast staple.  How can it be better? If you use my leftover Charro Beans as the base, that’s how.

Making huevos rancheros can be time consuming due to all the chopping/sauteing of veggies/beans, but utilizing the leftover charro beans has made for a breakfast that is ready in under 30 minutes instead of almost an hour.


Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small baking dish (spray with cooking spray first), press a warmed 6″ flour (or corn) tortilla into place.

Add 3/4 cup of charro beans

Top with 2 tbsp shredded cheese (mozz/cheddar or monterey jack, whatever suits your tastebuds)

Crack one egg onto the top, season the egg with salt and pepper and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes or until egg is done to your liking.

Garnish with cilantro. Salud!

Easy-peasy…. and boy, was it tasty.  I have enough charro beans in the fridge for one more breakfast.  I am so looking forward to tomorrow morning.


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Guacamole Wrap

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I wonder how many posts I have written with the word guacamole in it?  I must search the site one day to see…or maybe not, lest I discover I am an guacamole addict.  Oh wait, I already am.

Well then, now that we have confirmed that I am indeed a guacamole addict, let’s get this blog post over with.

I came back from grocery shopping yesterday morning and was famished.  So I grabbed an acovado, a wrap, some leaf lettuce and the bowl of leftover salsa from Tuesday’s dinner of fish tacos (which is one of hubby’s favs).  The salsa is a snap to put together and is a perfect condiment to the fish tacos.  So I figured I would combine the leftovers with a mashed avocado and heap it on top of lettuce and chopped cucumber.

What a winning combination.  As I was famished, it certainly didn’t last long.  Time to keep a bowl of this salsa on hand in the fridge for further famishness (is that a word?).


One, large 10″ whole wheat wrap
One large leaf of red leaf lettuce (bibb lettuce would also do nicely)
One avocado, flesh scooped out and mashed (keep skins and pits for another use in freezer, more on that later)
1/2 fish taco salsa (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
Cilantro for garnish


Place lettuce in middle of wrap, top with chopped cucumber and avocado/salsa mix.  Roll up and dive in.  Lament you only made one.

Fish Taco Salsa

1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1/3 cup finely diced radish (or use jicama if you can find it)
juice from one lime

Mix all of the above in a small bowl, cover and let sit in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Try it and let me know how you like it!


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Vegetarian Fajitas for my Sweetpea

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Yes, for my darling daughter the vegetarian.  She is coming up to the Homestead for a week and I need to feed her since her hubby will not be around for the entire trip.  Coming up with new and exciting recipes for her to be a guinea pig for can be a challenge, but knowing her likes and dislikes, I have pretty much made her stuff she has not turned her nose up at….yet.

Today’s dinner was Vegetarian Fajitas.  Super simple to make in less than 30 minutes with stuff you most likely already have in your fridge.  Kitchen Tip: when you cook rice for a prior meal, make triple the amount to be used for just such a culinary adventure, extras can be frozen in individual containers and pulled out when needed.DSC03204

Vegetarian Fajitas with Chunky Guacamole


1/2 cup cooked brown and wild rice (sub white if that is what you prefer)
1/2 cup prepared salsa (mild, medium or spicy; your choice)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion (sweet or white)
1/4 cup chopped green and red bell peppers
1 tbsp. finely diced jalapeño pepper (or to taste)
1 slice of Monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro (divided)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 roma tomato, diced
1 lime (divided in half)
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 ~ 10″ whole wheat (or white) tortilla


In a large skillet, heat Olive Oil over medium heat, reduce to medium-low and add onions, peppers, garlic and sauté until vegetables are just starting to get tender (5-6 minutes).  Add rice, salsa and cumin, combine and cook another 3-4 minutes until heated through.  Add a squeeze of half a lime and salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble:  Place a slice of Monterey jack cheese in the middle of the tortilla, spoon over the pepper/rice mixture.  Top with chopped cilantro and roll up.

Serve with chunky guacamole (To a small bowl, add one diced avocado, one diced roma tomato and the juice from half a lime, salt, pepper and half the chopped cilantro then mash together).

Serves 1 (in this case, a very hungry mama)

Oh, and make sure you either have a cold Corona, Dos Equis or Tecate on hand.

Buen Provecho!



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Sabores Mexicanos de Sobras

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Mexican Flavours from Leftovers

Sounds better in Spanish :)

I wasn’t going to do a post today as I don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to my blog lately with packing underway for the big move, but I threw a Mexican meal together last night and posted a photo on Facebook and someone asked for the recipe so here it is.  If I had known I was going to be doing a post about it, I would have staged the plate a little better.

Beef Enchiladas

Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Mexican Red Rice and Guacamole

Enchilada Filling:

1. Prepare a rectangular baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and a layer of Roasted Salsa Roja (recipe link below)
2. Slice 2 rings of red onion and half a green pepper into thin strips; saute slowly in a tablespoon of Olive Oil until caramelized then remove to a bowl and set aside to cool.
3. Shred 1/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese; divide in half.
4. 1/2 Cup shredded beef * in a smoky BBQ sauce (I made my own sauce, but any smoky store bought flavour will do)
5. 2  6″ Whole Wheat Tortillas

Assemble enchiladas by placing the cheese first in the middle of a tortilla, followed by half of the onion/pepper mixture. Top with the beef and roll up tightly and place seam side down in prepared pan.

Top with a couple more spoonfuls of the salsa, cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

See recipe here for the Mexican Red Rice and Roasted Salsa Roja.

For the guacamole: Mash 2 avocados with fresh lime juice, ground black pepper, salt and a tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro.

The enchilada filling is enough for only one person, you will have to increase accordingly for more servings.

* I roasted a whole beef rump roast in the slow cooker for 12 hours on the weekend and then shredded it.  I usually get 3-4 meals of BBQ Beef Sammies but there was a little leftover, therefore having enough to make the enchiladas.

Buen Provecho!

now…back to packing…

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Stuffed Poblanos With Red Mole Sauce

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¡Buenos Dias Todo! (Good Morning All!)

¡Bienvenidos a mi clase de cocina! (Welcome to my cooking class!)

Today we are making stuffed poblanos cooked in a rich and earthy red mole (moh-LAY) sauce.  The flavours are out of this world.  With every bite, your taste buds will be doing a happy dance.

So let’s get started as this recipe has a few components that have to be done separately.   I made the rice, salsa roja and red mole sauce  prior and used them in other ways but don’t let the long list of instructions scare you as they all come together in star studded finale that is well worth the effort!

* Prepare Red Mole (Enchilada) Sauce (Mole Rojo) Click here for the recipe, and set aside.

Stuffing Recipe:

2 Cups Mexican Red Rice (recipe below)
1 Cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 Cup cooked black beans (if you don’t have time to rehydrate and cook dried beans, use canned)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (white and green parts)
1/2 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper
1/2 of a jalapeño, deseeded and diced
1 clove of garlic, mashed
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh Cilantro for garnish
*1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese with jalapeño pepper (to be added later)

In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, peppers, garlic and corn; sauté until onions and pepper are tender and corn starts to brown.  Add salt, pepper and cumin and mix well.  Add black beans and Mexican red rice and heat through.  Remove and set aside.

Mexican Red Rice

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 chopped onion (1 medium sized onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ancho chile pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown & wild rice mix (or use white long grain rice)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or veggie broth (I used veggie broth)
1 cup Roasted Salsa Roja (recipe following)
1/4 cup water
1/2 chopped Cilantro

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, ancho chile pepper and salt.  Sauté for a couple minutes.  Stir in uncooked rice; cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add broth, roasted salsa roja and water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is done (about 30-40 minutes), if using white rice, cook time will be shorter.    Remove pan from heat, place a clean kitchen over the pot, replace the lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.  Makes about 4 cups which is great for freezing separately and adding to other recipes like the stuffing for the poblanos.

Salsa Roja Asado (Roasted Tomato Salsa)

3 large Roma tomatoes, quartered and cored
1/2 of a white onion, chopped
1 fresh jalapeño, halved and seeded
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 – 3 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro

Preheat broiler.  In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeño; toss with enough oil to coat.  Spread mixture evenly on a baking pan.  Broil 5 to 6″ from heat for about 10 minutes, turn veggies and broil for another 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to a blender or a pot if using a stick blender.  Add lime juice and water and pulse until desired consistency.  Mix in chopped cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Makes about 3 cups.  Freezes well.

To assemble:

* Preheat oven to 375°F

*Coat a shallow 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup of Red Mole sauce on the bottom.

DSC02743* Cut 2 poblano peppers so they resemble boats, slicing off a section lengthwise leaving the stem intact.  Remove seeds and veins (save remaining pepper sections for another use).

DSC02748* Stuff filling mixture inside poblanos and place on top of the sauce in the casserole dish

* Bake, covered for 30 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle cheese on top and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

DSC02753To serve:

Scoop some of the sauce out of the bottom of the casserole dish and spread on a plate.  Top with the stuffed poblano and garnish with cilantro.  Serve with slices of avocado or a small side salad.

DSC02757Buen Provecho!





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¡Bienvenidos a Mexico!

DSC01147 DSC01214¿Como está Ustedes?  ¿Bien?…¿Muy Bien?…¿Maravilloso?

Ok, enough of the Spanish, but I am still on Mexican time after having just returned a couple days ago from the land of sun, sand, clear skies and clear blue-turquoise waters.  Oh and HEAT…did I mention the HEAT?  If not, let me assure you, there was HEAT!  Much better than this minus crap we have been having in arctic cold Canada.

Holidays are a great time to clear the head, enjoy the company of your loved ones, experience awesome food, great scenery and to laze around and do nothing but expand your waistline (paying for it now though).  Hubby and I spent a week at the El Dorado Royale Resort in the Mayan Riviera with my daughter and her husband, whom were experiencing Mexico for the very first time.  Sorry kiddos if you caught the Mexican travel bug, but you probably knew you would after listening to your mother prattle on about the place all these years.

We had the best time there and one of the things that the El Dorado (our second visit) is known for is that the food being served in all their restuarant’s is absolutely fantastic.  We did not have one lousy meal, even our vegetarian daughter had plenty of choices.  Every meal was drop dead delicious and left us drooling for more.  The buffet breakfast featured the traditional North American fare of eggs, bacon, pancakes, roasted potatoes, sausage, muffins and breads to platefuls of fresh fruit and cheese, but also featured a well stocked omelet station manned by Alejandro who can deftly make an omelet in under 1 minute.

The newly added Mexican breakfast items of tamales, chicken tacquitos, cheese quesadillas, churros (these were OMG material) and a huge pot of Mexican hot chocolate served in traditional clay pots were a nice touch and I for one ate cheese quesadillas and tamales every morning.  Lunch (if you were indeed hungry after devouring half the buffet) featured a pizza joint down by the beach bar as well as an outdoor buffet for those not wanting to sit inside a restaurant for lunch.  Dinners were a sit down affair with extremely friendly and attentive “meseros/as” or “camareros/as” that spoke English for those not speaking Spanish and made you feel like royalty.   Dinners were Top Chef caliber and if  you ever get to the El Dorado, you must try the Dinner Theatre at the Fuentes restaurant.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed.  I will not go into detail here as it would spoil it for those wanting to try it as it is a fabulous experience.

DSC01114So this brings me to today’s post.  Now that I have returned from Mexico, my tastebuds are still stuck there.  So for the next couple weeks, I will be featuring some really yummy Mexican recipes either for breakfast, lunch or dinner that will transport you back to the clear blue waters and warm sunshine of the Mexican Riviera.

¡Hasta luego!



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Leftovers Turkey Tortilla Soup

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Happy New Year!!!

All the best to all my loyal readers for 2015.

I know it has been a crazy long time since I posted, but in my defense (such as it is), I was hogtied to the stove, the retail shopping cart and Christmas hoopla for the last 3 weeks of December.

It is now January and I have been on an organizational/cleaning spree the past couple weeks as we are getting the house ready for the market.  Don’t worry, this is not the Northern Homestead going up for sale (banish the thought!), but the Southern one.  There is simply too much property/things to look after here and with the *kids* now grown and gone, what the heck to do we need a large home for?  If I stay here any longer, I may just fill it up with more looms…..much to hubby’s dismay.

Anyway, that is what I have been doing and hence why no recent posts.  Until today. Yay!

So yesterday I was looking for an empty tupperware container in my *tupperware cupboard* (everyone has one of those) and I realized either a) someone was stealing my containers or b) there were way too many in use at the moment and I needed to do something about it.  So, I went through the fridge/freezer pulling out all kinds of containers that were filled with various things in varying amounts.  Next I pulled out the crockpot.

Crockpots are great, you dump ingredients in, set it to low or high depending on what it is, pop the lid on and walk away.  4-6 hours later, dinner is done!  They are also great for experimenting with….like my meal today.

DSC02656Leftovers Turkey Tortilla Soup

4 cups of homemade turkey stock (made from Christmas turkey carcass), this freed up 2 containers!
3 cups cooked brown and wild rice (again, 2 containers returned to the cupboard)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (one container emptied)
1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded turkey breast
1 cup frozen corn kernels (that were just starting to show evidence of being in the freezer too long)
2 cups home-canned crushed tomatoes with chiles
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 of an orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 of a large white onion, diced
2 very small poblano peppers (frozen whole from the summer), de-seeded and diced
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, diced
2 Tbsp dried cilantro (had no fresh on hand)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
salt and pepper to taste

Stir to combine and let sit for 4-6 hours for the flavours to get happy.  Garnish with tortilla strips and avocado slices.

This is one of those completely customizable recipes, toss in whatever you have in the fridge or freezer and mix up your spices to suit your chosen protein.

A very hearty, low-fat meal with the bonus of my tupperware cupboard being restocked.



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What To Do With Leftovers

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I love leftovers.  In a pinch, they are a quick meal heated up the next day, but they also have tremendous experimental appeal for the adventurous kitchen types.  I am just such a type.

The other day we had shredded beef tacos with rice for dinner and I was left with about a cup of brown/wild rice and about a cup of the beef in BBQ sauce to ponder what to do with for last nights meal.

I didn’t want tacos again so grabbed a couple frying pans and some veggies from the fridge and got to work.  I also had one plantain left that was getting too ripe to be successfully sliced and baked into chips, but would work awesome sauteed with some butter and olive oil.

I sliced up some green pepper, half a jalapeño, some green onions and a couple tomatoes.  I sauteed the onions and peppers for a few minutes in some olive oil, added the tomatoes and leftover rice with a few shakes of ground chipotle chile powder, not enough to blow the roof of your mouth off, but enough to give it some zing and flavour.  Add some fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt and that dish was pretty much done.

The beef I just reheated, but the plantains were actually the star of the show.  I sliced the plantain on the bias and tossed the slices into a hot skillet that was sizzling with a pat of butter and olive oil.  Cooking over medium-low heat, turning often until both sides were crispy and brown, I then drained them on a paper towel and plopped them on the plate.

I heaped the rice mixture onto the plate topping with some fresh chopped chives along with the reheated beef.  It ended up being a very tasty dinner utilizing random ingredients from the fridge to supplement the leftovers.

I now wish there were leftovers of the leftovers!

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Rajas con Crema

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The other day I hosted a luncheon with some real estate associates and the theme was Mexican (what else?!).  One of the side dishes featured was Rajas con Crema (Rajas is pronounced “Ra-Has”) which translates to “Strips with Cream”, a luscious Mexican side dish that doesn’t look very appetizing, but the flavour more than makes up for it.

I first tasted this dish in Mexico when I attended a one day cooking class with a Mexican Chef at The Little Mexican Cooking School in Puerto Morelos a few years ago.  It was a fantastic experience where I came away with such an appreciation for their cuisine that it only fueled my desire to delve deeper into it.  Since then, I have spent the past couple years trying out different recipes and expanding my Mexican recipe collection.

The following dish truly stands out with its bold flavours that contrast sharply to its simplicity in preparation.  I will warn you that the dish does have some heat to it, not painfully spicy, just a nice little zing that gets your attention without having you diving for a fire extinguisher.

I hope you enjoy it.

rajas con cremaRajas con Crema (Strips with Cream)


8 Poblano Chiles
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Sweet Onions, cut into thin slices
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste


On a foiled lined baking sheet, roast Poblano chiles in a 350°F oven until blackened all over (turning once during cooking time).   Remove from oven and tent with foil to allow peppers to ‘steam’ for 15 minutes.  Peel skins off and remove stems, seeds and membranes.  Cut  into thin strips lengthwise and set aside.

Meanwhile; in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat, add onions and garlic and saute slowly (do not brown) until onions are transparent.  Add poblano strips and cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Add cream and then season with salt and pepper.  Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Goes well with any grilled fish or chicken dish.

Makes 8 servings.

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