Cinco de Mayo Appetizers

TCL’s Home Cook-off Winner, Patty Morrissey stopped by the TCL kitchen with recipes for carnitas tortilla rolls and stuffed Anaheim peppers right in time for Cinco de Mayo.

Carnitas Tortilla Rolls

Ingredients

1 ½ cups carnitas meat (alternatively, 1 chicken breast sautéed or baked, then shredded)
1 Tablespoon oil
2 Tablespoon onion, chopped
2 Tablespoon bell peppers, any color, chopped
2 Tablespoon fresh jalapenos – remove seeds first, and then chop jalapenos
1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup frozen corn
¼ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoon frozen spinach, thawed and drained
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
¾ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
5 large tortilla shells

Method

  1. Heat oil in skillet; sauté onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos in oil until softened.
  2. Add meat, cilantro, corn, beans, spinach, and spices. Sauté on low for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Divide mixture into 5 sections in pan.
  4. Place 5 large tortillas into a kitchen towel and microwave for 1 minute. To each tortilla, add the filling, fold up the bottom of the tortilla, then each of the sides, and roll into a log or envelope shape. Fasten loose end with 1-2 toothpicks.
  5. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and freeze in a pan for 4 hours.
  6. Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes, or warmed inside and slightly browned outside.
  7. Remove toothpicks, slice on the diagonal, and serve with Avocado dressing.  (Alternatively, you may deep fry the rolls in oil to quickly brown on all sides and finish warming in the oven for a few minutes – they will not get hot in the middle before they get too dark on the outside with just the deep fry method.)

 

Avocado Ranch Dip

Ingredients

½ ripe Avocado
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Dash dill weed
Dash garlic powder
Dash black pepper
2 Tablespoon chopped tomato for topping
1 Tablespoon chopped green onion for topping


Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Ingredients

4-6 long Anaheim chili peppers, seeded (Anaheims are the mildest of the pepper family)
1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 ounces Cojito Mexican Cheese crumbles
¼ cup roasted pine nuts
½ fresh lime, squeezed
½ cup chopped cilantro
Dash salt
Freshly ground pepper
Pickled Red Onion and Cilantro leaves for garnish
Fresh lime wedges
Tortilla chips – choose heavier weight chips that are closest to flat. Mission brand works well.

Method

  1. Put on rubber gloves or use baggies to protect hands. Wash peppers. Cut off cap end of Anaheim peppers and remove seeds.
  2. Roast pine nuts in a small hot skillet just until browning.
  3. To a bowl, add jalapeno peppers, cheeses, pine nuts, lime juice, cilantro, salt and black pepper. Mix well with fork or potato masher.
  4. Stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture, using a knife and the small end of a kitchen tool to press cheese into end of peppers.  Chill for a few hours.
  5. Cut the peppers with a sharp knife into thin slices. Place a few pieces of red onion and cilantro leaves on a tortilla chip and add a slice of the stuffed pepper to the top. Plate up several chips and add fresh lime wedges to the plate for garnish.
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