Cinco de Mayo

Everyone loves a reason to celebrate so why not honor the Mexican heritage that has given us the best food and drinks! I cooked up my version of a Mexican feast including: Corn Chowder, Chicken Taquitos, Chips and Salsa and Coconut Margaritas! Enjoy :-)
*I only cook for two so my recipes only yield 2 to 3 servings
Corn Chowder
1 Tbsp unsalted butter                                              
1/4  onion, chopped                                                   
1/2 large carrot, chopped                                                              
1/2 celery stalk, chopped                                            
2 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs        
1/2 cup heavy cream                                                 
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock                                   
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced                            
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped                   
 salt and fresh ground pepper                                         
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves                                            
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon of minced garlic    
*In saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions & sauté 3-5mins. Next add celery, carrots,red pepper, garlic and sauté for another 7 mins. Season with salt, pepper,thyme and flakes.

*Add stock and bring to boil, once boiling add potatoes and cream then continue boiling for 7 mins. Add corn & simmer until corn is soft. 

*At this point scoop 2 ladle fulls of soup into blender and puree. Add the puree back to the soup and mix well. (This will thicken soup). Serve hot and garnish with parsley.  

Chicken Taquitos -preheat oven to 425
4 flour tortillas                                                             
1 med. to large chicken breast                                            
1/4 cup sour cream or heavy cream 
*(I did not have any sour cream so used some extra heavy cream from my soup; both work fine) 
1/4 cup shredded cheese, whatever is your favorite  
1 tablespoon of diced jalapeño if desired
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1-2 teaspoons of hot sauce or any kind of taco sauce
A dash of: cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste-I like things spicy
*I like to boil my chicken for recipes like this to keep the chicken moist and easy to shred (TIP: add some vegetables and your favorite seasonings to the water and it will not only add flavor to the chicken but you will be left with the best homemade chicken stock). Boil for 20 to 30 minutes. 

* Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl. When chicken is cooked and semi cooled shred and add to mixture.

*Dip the tortilla briefly in the stock 1 at a time just to soften. Add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of mixture and roll up. Place seam side down on a sprayed, foil lined sheet pan. Cook for 15mins. 

Coconut Margarita with Salted and Toasted coconut
1/2 cup tequila 
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup of heavy cream+teaspoon coconut abstract or if you have it cream of coconut

*Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut out on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. bake for about 10 mins; checking on and stirring frequently. Just until golden brown.  

* Rub the rim of the glass with lime and then dip into coconut (mine had trouble sticking for some reason!)

*Meanwhile blend rest of ingredients in blender with a cup of ice. Taste before serving may need some sugar are more or less of any of the ingredients! 

Hope everyone enjoys!

Mise en place

Mise en place (pronounced [miz ɑ̃ plas], literally "putting in place") is a French phrase defined by the Culinary Institute of America as "everything in place", as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients.

I highly recommend this, especially for the starting out chef, that way you are not trying to scramble to chop and prep while cooking.. It keeps you organized and and makes for an easier clean up. 

Produce Delivery!

Most people are familiar with GROUPON these days and know that they have incredible deals. The deal for my town today is one you should never pass up rather you like to cook or not!
Fresh local produce delivered to your door at a fraction of the cost. Most cities are now exploring this idea and it's readily available.
Check out your local GROUPONS at: and stay tuned for what I make with my fresh local produce :-)