Grilled Fish Tacos
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.
Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon
Tilapia, a relatively plentiful fish, has the unfortunate reputation of being dull. All it needs is a spice rub, a familiar barbecuing technique that works just as well indoors. You could also use this rub on chicken breasts or toss it with lightly oiled shrimp before cooking.
Hot Chile Grilled Cheese
This deconstructed version of a chile relleno turned sandwich packs some heat and an ooey-gooey filling. We like the flavor of sourdough, but any kind of bread will work well. Serve with: Coleslaw and sliced pineapple.
Try this spicy Mexican rub on grilled chicken, steak or tofu.
Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub
A quick and efficient way to cook a whole bird on the grill is to butterfly, or "spatchcock" it. When cooking a whole chicken on the grill, try searing the chicken first over direct heat then finish cooking over indirect heat (as instructed in this recipe). That way you avoid the all too common problem when grilling--chicken burned on the outside and raw in the center. For best flavor, let the chicken marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
“Tortilla soup has a place, I feel, in practically every collection of Mexican recipes,” says Rick Bayless. This is a vegetarian version of the classic soup, usually made with chicken. Earthy dark pasilla chile flavors the soul-satisfying broth. (Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless.)
Chile-Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Give ordinary roasted sweet potatoes a big flavor boost with this quick, Asian-inspired seasoning mix.
Ranch Chiles Rellenos with Ancho Chile Salsa
Poblano chiles are the traditional choice for chiles rellenos. They have great flavor, but may be too spicy for some tastes. Anaheim chiles are reliably mild substitutes. For a larger crowd, the recipe can be doubled. Serve the chiles rellenos with beans and rice. Adapted from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008) by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider with Chef Jesús González, Chef of La Cocina Que Canta.
Quick Pork & Chile Stew
The potatoes in this quick, Tex-Mex-style pork stew are cooked until they are falling apart to add body to the stew. Poblano peppers vary in heat: if you want a stew without any heat, use 2 small green bell peppers in place of the poblanos. Serve with: Warm corn tortillas or cheese quesadillas.
Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole
These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.
Chile & Beer Braised Brisket
Brisket, a naturally tough cut, becomes meltingly tender braised in beer and chiles. Try this with corn tortillas or as a filling for enchiladas or tamales. Or serve simply with rice and a green salad.
Homemade Hot Sauce
This homemade hot sauce makes good use of the bountiful tomatoes, onions and peppers in your garden or farmers' market. Adjust the heat to your preference: in our tests, two habaneros yielded a pleasantly spicy sauce without excessive heat--take it up a notch for spicy-food fans by adding extra hot peppers.
Jamaican Beef Patties
Patties are Jamaican fast food, a golden-yellow crust encasing a spicy beef, shrimp, chicken or vegetable filling. Traditional versions use butter, shortening, lard--or a combination of the three--to make the flaky crust. A blend of butter and canola oil cuts saturated fat with equally delicious results. The patties keep very well, so consider making a double batch to freeze for your own “fast-food” lunches.
Jacqui's Jerk Chicken
Sweet, savory and spicy all at once, Jacqui Sinclair's jerk marinade is absolutely addictive. Try it on pork loin, firm white fish or even goat if you can find it. The wood chips are optional if you're grilling, but they add an authentic, subtle flavor to the chicken. Serve with a slightly sweet side dish, such as sweet potatoes or cornbread, to balance the heat.
Catfish with Tomatillo Salsa in Packets
Tomatillos provide a distinctive tart flavor to a super-easy salsa that cooks with the catfish. Try it with tomatoes too.
Turkish Chickpea & Lamb Soup
This recipe was inspired by a hearty lamb and chickpea soup from Turkey. Finishing it with a dollop of pistachio-mint pesto adds another layer of flavor.
Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap
White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Wrap these up to take as a healthy and portable lunch for work.
Steak & Potato Kebabs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce
Steak kebabs get a Southwestern spin with poblano peppers and a creamy sauce spiked with cilantro, chile powder, cumin and vinegar. The potatoes are partially cooked in the microwave before putting them on the grill so they're done at the same time as faster-cooking steak, peppers and onions. Serve with: Green salad and Spanish rice.
Chile Con Queso
Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-gooey-cheese lovers celebrating. Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip without all the fat and calories. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and used sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.
Beef & Bean Chile Verde
Chile Verde, usually a slow-cooked stew of pork, jalapeños and tomatillos, becomes an easy weeknight meal with quick-cooking ground beef and store-bought green salsa. Make it a Meal: Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add cornbread on the side and your favorite hot sauce.
Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles
Everyone gets an individual portion with this vegetarian, Tex-Mex mini casserole. A normal-size casserole like this would take close to an hour to bake--these are ready in half the time. Heatproof ramekins are a cook's best friend--we use them all the time to hold ingredients while cooking. You can buy them at most grocery stores.
Garlic-Chile Flank Steak
Serve this great-tasting, tender steak as part of a taco party or with a mixed green salad and sliced avocados.
Chile-Crusted Scallops with Cucumber Salad
A refreshing salad of cucumbers and roasted cashews makes a nice contrast to these smoky scallops. You can make the salad and scallop skewers up to 8 hours in advance; cover separately and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Sweet-&-Sour Vegetables
These grilled chicken tostadas are topped with rich mole sauce and sweet-and-sour summer vegetables and use store-bought tostada shells for convenience. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the grilled chicken.
Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions
Pork medallions are quick and easy to prepare, and are particularly tasty with a maple-chili glaze.
Ultimate Beef Chili
Offer garnishes, such as reduced-fat sour cream and grated Cheddar cheese (about 1 tablespoon each per person), chopped scallions and chopped fresh tomatoes. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and a green salad topped with orange slices.
Mexican Bison Stew
Mexican cooks are great at turning tough chunks of meat into delicious and tender stews. This one, which uses tougher cuts of bison, such as chuck or brisket, is flavored with chili powder, cumin and tequila. Serve with warm tortillas.
A medley of warm spices tempered with a touch of brown sugar is a great match for rich, nutritious pecans. They make a perfect nibble with a drink before dinner or afterward with a cup of espresso.
Sauteed Snapper & Shrimp with Creole Sauce
In this island-inspired fish recipe, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes and wine complement the shrimp and fish. Serve this healthy fish recipe with brown rice, couscous or quinoa to soak up the fragrant sauce.