I don’t know about you, but all this cold weather had me wanting to warm up my bones (and stomach) with some South of the Boarder inspired food!
Getting in the kitchen is one of my favourite things to do, cooking new foods, discovering new techniques and finding things that make creating a meal interesting and a little easier.
A couple weeks ago we received a slew of dips, spices and mixes from Gourmet Du Village that peaked my interest. They weren’t just your traditional yummy dips, but things like Corn Seasoning for Mexican Street Corn (something I’ve had just once before and drooled over ever since), Mexican Pulled Chicken Seasoning, BBQ Pork Ribs Spice, Baja Shrimp Spice, Beer and Cheddar Cornbread in a skillet, the list goes on. By the time I’d finished unpacking I was thoroughly hungry and had all kinds of ideas for fun meals I could create.
So came the Mexican Winter Feast!
A Fiesta for the soul with lots of good food and a lot of fun in the kitchen.
The starting point? These are the items I drew from at our Store Front to make it all happen.
- Cheesy Mexican Lentils – from NL’s own Blue Box Pantry
- Mexican Pulled Chicken Spices – for Carnitas di Pollo
- Fire Roasted Chipotle Corn Seasoning – for Mexican Street Corn
Carnitas di Pollo
What you’ll need:
- 1pkg of Mexican Pulled Chicken Seasoning
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- Oil and Vinegar
- 6-8 mini tortilla (corn or flour)
- A variety of fresh vegetables for toppings, onions, salsa, red cabbage and lime for a squeeze of acidity.
I started with the Chicken as the package instructions called for slow cooking the chicken until it falls of the bone (also achievable in the oven if you don’t have a slow cooker).
I started by quartering my chicken, I like the blend of White and Dark meat as it tends to give a little more moisture in the chicken when it’s been slow cooked. Alternatively, you can use all chicken breasts and still get the same result 😉
I also randomly scored all my chicken pieces down to the bone to allow the spice blend penetrate more than just the exterior of the chicken.
Mix the spices with a diced tomato, tomato paste, oil and vinegar as per package instructions. Rub this mixture into the chicken and then you’re ready the slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 4hrs.
When done shred your chicken and reserve the juices to pour some over the shredded chicken. This helps to keep your chicken moist and extra delicious. Use to your desired ‘saucy’ level.
Serve on a blistered tortilla topped with a slew of fresh vegetables. I drizzled a chipotle aioli over the works as well as a mango salsa for a hit of sweetness. SO YUMMY and a huge hit in our house!
Mexican Street Corn
One of the “it” foods right now, Mexican Street corn is sweet, saucy and full of flavour. Best of all, it’s WAY easier than you think.
What you’ll need:
- 1 pkg of Corn Seasoning (I used Fire Roasted Chipotle!)
- 4 x Fresh Corn on the Cob
- Real Mayonnaise (Hellmans Mayo for example)
- 1 x Green Onion (thinly sliced for garnish)
- Queso Fresco (optional)
Ideally street corn should be cooked on a grill, sadly it being a like a scene from Frozen outside, we opted to do an inside version.
INSIDE: Boil the ears of corn until tender. About 10mins. Place on a super hot pan or grill pan to slightly char the exterior. It’s all about personal preference here – if you like that kind of burnt char taste let them get dark, otherwise keep it light 🙂 I went for some grill marks but not too heavy.
OUTSIDE: Grill cobs on the BBQ until tender. That’s it!
Slather each cob with a generous helping of mayo, yes it sounds strange but have faith! Sprinkle seasoning all over. Garnish with a helping of green onions and Queso Fresco, we didn’t have any at the time so we just omitted it. (Sidenote: Five Brother Cheese here in St. John’s makes Queso Fresco from time to time!)
Cheesy Mexican Lentils – Blue Box Pantry
We have a huge love for anything the gals at Blue Box Pantry make, and boy, these Cheesy Mexican Lentils did not disappoint. It was a throw it in a pot and wait kinda situation for the most part and I loved it. It especially makes a great cheesy alternative to the traditional Mexican Beans portion of the meal.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 pkg of Cheesy Mexican Lentils
- 1 Tin of diced tomatoes
- 1 Tin of black beans
- 1cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 5 cups of chicken stock
Simply bring your chicken stock to a boil and throw in the package of Cheesy Mexican Lentils and tins of tomato and beans (again, I omitted the beans as its one of my least favourite foods on the plant haha). Bring back to a boil and then simmer on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender and much of the liquid has been absorbed (you can drain any excess liquid if you prefer a harder lentil). Then mix in 3/4 of your cheese. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the lentils and cover until melted. Then you’re READY to serve.
So there you have it! My Winter Mexican Feast ❤ Serve alla Familia style with all the fixings in the middle!
For me the fun I have along the way is just as important as the meal itself. There’s something cathartic about meal prep for me and putting something on the table that I’m super proud of. It’s my quiet time, it’s my creative time, it’s me time (even when my kid is at my knees asking to be picked up 😉 )
Until next time! Happy Eating!