Black Bean Mollettes Recipes

BlackBean Mollettes

Mollettes are an ingenious Mexican peasant food. I say “ingenious” because you can use up lots of leftovers in your fridge and create a whole new delicious dish that is perfect for a weekend morning. Or quick desperation dinner when you open your fridge at 6:00 and stare while everyone is asking “Hey! What’s for Dinner???”

If you are lucky enough to have a Latino bakery nearby – buy some bollillos, which are soft and pillowy rolls. Toast them as a base for Mollette perfection.

Here is the entire “recipe” – Cut a bolillo or soft bun in half and toast cut sides; Spread some regular or black refried beans on top; Top with toppings of choice. That’s it. Really.

I used up some leftover rotisserie chicken, some pepper jack cheese – broiled this under the broiler and then topped with some shredded red cabbage that I tossed with honey and lime juice.

Enjoy this southwest treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Be sure to call me when you make some. I’ll be right over.

Other mollette goodness by food bloggers:

Mexican Mollettes, Spanglish Baby
Mollettes with Pico, Pati’s Mexican Table
Mexican Mollettes, Nibbles and Feasts

— posted by Donna

Prickly Pear Jelly – When Life Gives You Prickly Pears, Make Jelly!

Prickly Pear Square

Homemade Prickly Pear Fruit Jelly

At the height of summer in the desert just at the time when you can fry and egg on the sidewalk, when you are sick, sick, sick of feeling like you live in a giant blow dryer, something wonderful happens: prickly pears appear.

I love to visit my mom, for many reasons of course, but when I go to Tucson in August, sometimes I get a bonus – I get to make prickly pear jelly.

Prickly pears in August are filled with tart red nectar similar to pomegranates, but here’s the thing: they’re FREE. All you do is take some tongs out to your nearest cactus plants and harvest the juicy bounty.

Years ago, I sweated all day burning and plucking off the prickles. Not now. I just pick them, chop them, boil them and then strain off the juice in a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Much easier. All you do is follow the directions for apple jelly on the box of pectin. Substitute 1 cup of prickly pear juice and one teaspoon lemon juice for each cup of apple juice in the recipe. That’s it. Really.

The best part of making jelly is at the end of the day when my counters are stacked with jars filled with liquid just beginning to gel. Such a feeling of pride and accomplishment fills my heart. And, I know I have Christmas presents galore stashed away in my cupboards. Who doesn’t love homemade jelly for Christmas?

A few other adventurous food bloggers have had adventures with prickly pears. I thought I would only find Prickly Pear Margaritas like the one at The Daily Meal. Oh No. There’s lots of adventurous stuff out there in the bloogsphere! Hank of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook made prickly pear syrup that sounds amazing on a stack of pancakes. I found prickly pear snow cones over at Bluebonnets and Brownies. Did you know prickly pears are uber healthy? I found out at Nutrition Unplugged. Prickly pear Chiffon Cake? Why Not? Check out My Kitchen Snippets. Scrumptious South Africa made Prickly Pear Granita that looks so refreshing.

What can YOU come up with in prickly pear form?

Happy End of Summer, Everyone!

— posted by Donna


Fajitas on a Stick: The Easiest Way to Make Fajitas – On Your Grill

Fajita Kabob Square

The best southwest thing to do on a grill, IMHO, is fajitas.

You can make them as hot or tame as you like. You can grill just about any meat chunks, slathered with spicy marinade. Tons of grill-worthy veggies make it easy to skewer them and throw them on the grill.

Then, you just serve them up with flour tortillas for wrapping up and getting all of the grilled goodness into your mouth.

I like to cook my kabobs so that all the meat chunks are on skewers together, all the hearty vegetables are together, and all the fruits are together. This way, you can cook the skewers the perfect amount of time for each type of food.


So… “Get Grillin” with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans and have some fun on the grill!

Happy Summer Everyone!

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Cowboy Caviar – A No-Cook Bean Salad with a Southwest Kick for Your Next Outdoor Meal

Square Cowboy Caviar

Cool Cowboy Caviar with a southwest kick

Need a quick, easy, no-cook salad that is a little more exotic than throwing a bagged salad in a bowl and tossing with dressing?

There is a combo of pantry foods often called “Cowboy Caviar” that is surprizingly yummy. And perfect for your next summer time picnic. Most recipes call for corn and black eyed peas, but the other ingredients vary widely. I love this dish – because it is so inexpensive but mostly because it is the kind of thing that you can throw together at the very last minute with whatever beans and corn you have on hand in your pantry. Everybody keeps some beans, corn and vinaigrette around, right?

There are lots of versions of this sassy bean salad out there. As proof that this is a legit side dish, I cite Saveur magazine, who did a repost of the version posted on What’s Gabby Cooking?

Traditionally black-eyed peas are a southern ingredient considered to be essential on New Year’s Day for good luck for the coming year.

The original Cowboy Caviar dish was created by a Texas chef, who hated black-eyed peas but had to put them on her menu. Check out the back story at One Perfect Bite.

I like to give this dish southwest twist, so here’s what I recommend: corn (or hominy); black-eyed peas; black beans; tomatoes, cilantro and a little diced avocado. Also, you favorite chile pepper minced very small – I used a serrano in mine. Then, just toss with a little purchased or homemade vinaigrette, or – better yet! – try our cilantro lime vinaigrette below, and you’re finished! Serve with chips for scooping, or -what the heck – with a spoon.

Happy No-Cook Summer Everyone!

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Chocolate Chipotle Grilled Flank Steak Recipe for a Flavor-Packed Entree on the Grill

Flank Steak Square

Chocolate Chipotle Flank Steak

There are things that are amazingly delicious together that are totally unexpected – and chocolate and chile is one of those combos. In fact, one of the most popular Mexican mole sauces contains this exact flavor combo. Even Top Chef Rick Bayless loves chocolate spiced mole. So, I thought, why not make a marinade for flank steak that tastes like a mole?

We hardly ever eat beef at our house, so when we do it has to be tender, moist and flavorful. This Chocolate Chipotle Flank Steak is an A-plus in all three categories.

You just add the marinade to a zip top bag with your 2-pound flank steak and then 8 to 24 hours later, retrieve it from the cold and let it come to room temperature. Grill away to get a nice char on the outside and your steak will still be most and flavorful on the inside. This recipe will make good tacos, or just serve it sliced on a plate with some charro beans and a salad or rice.

Check out the other fabulous grilled entrees this week at “Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France Cheese, Rösle, Emile Henry, Rouxbe and ManPans.”

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Green Goddess Rice Recipe – Southwest Style, a.k.a. Cilantro Avocado Rice


Green Goddess Rice, a.k.a. Avocado Cilantro Rice

Sometimes rice is just a ho-hum add-on to the main course. Bland. Boring. Forgettable. Just to fill up space on your plate.

No so with this rice as a side dish. Creamy. Flavorful. Even crave-able!

In the early ’70’s, we had Green Goddess dressing. Basically, ranch dressing with some green herbs thrown in for color. The color of this rice reminds me of that dressing, only with more color and avocado flavor.

This dish is a cinch to throw together – the main ingredients are rice and an avocado. Throw the avocado in a blender with oil, lime juice and cilantro and then stir that into the cooked rice. How easy is that?

This is a side dish you will make again and again. Guaranteed.

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Gifts from the Kitchen: Spice-Scented Southwest Chocolate Sauce Recipe


Spice Scented Southwest Chocolate Sauce in Pretty Gifts Jars

You can’t go wrong with chocolate as a holiday gift. Hey! It’s the holidays! No dieting allowed!

I wanted to make a southwest version of chocolate sauce, so I decided to go with cocoa powder and southwest spices, used lightly to give just a hint. To add richness, I added a little dark cocoa powder to the regular Dutch cocoa powder.

This is a beautiful, rich sauce that is full of flavor. Just a few spoonfuls is all you need to top brownies, ice cream or to drizzle over your favorite desserts. My hubby added a spoonful to milk and made a delicious rich hot chocolate drink.

The last few years I have also loved adding a little spice to chocolate recipes to “wake up” the taste. The beauty of this recipe is that you can choose your own flavors to pair with the chocolate. I like southwest spices, so I used chipotle, cinnamon and almond. Or, you could try orange zest or extract. Peppermint is always a perfect chocolate pairing, too!

I say be creative! Go wild! The choice is yours!

Wonderful Season’s Eatings to All Southwest Food Fans!

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Easy Shortcut Tamales, a.k.a. Inside-Out Tamales Recipe – An Everyday Southwest Exclusive!


Easy Shortcut Tamales with Pork and Red Chile (and olives!)

I LOVE TAMALES! Any kind. Any shape. Any flavor. There is something about the texture of the masa that is so comforting to me. (( I admit, it may be because I grew up with a mom that made fabulous tamales. But still.)) The masa is creamy and yet fluffy at the same time. A culinary wonder! Tamales are a traditional holiday food in the American southwest and in many south-of-the-border countries.

But. They are a LOT of work. Just for instance, check out Chowhound’s videos about tamale making. My Mom and I would make tamales for Christmas – one year we made 100 dozen – yes, that’s 1,200 tamales! – and it took us two very long, grueling days. It was worth it, though: we gave them out to friends and family for presents and got rave reviews!. We loved being the Tamale Fairies!

With my life as insanely busy as it is, I was determined to make a shortcut version that has all the flavor and textures of the old school version. Not quite as perfect as those in my memory, perhaps, but very close. So, with that in mind, I decided to avoid the wrapping in corn husks and just cooked the masa like you would individual custards in ramekins set in a water bath. Then, thought I, I will just make the filling and top the individual masa servings with filling and serve them that way. Sort of “inside-out” tamales, if you will.

And the verdict? – – – drum roll please . . .

They are wonderful! They satisfied my craving for that amazing masa taste and texture – and with a fraction of the time and hassle. You won’t find anything out there like these – I searched the blog-o-sphere. All the results of a search for “easy tamale” resulted in blog posts about “tamale pie” or “tamale casserole.” I did love the Homesick Texan’s post about doing a “tamale party” in which, Tom Sawyer style, you enlist your friends and neighbors into helping with the tamale mass production. But this easy shortcut way to do tamales is an Everyday Southwest Exclusive!!!

If you love tamales, but have avoided making them because they are just too much work — try this simplified recipe. But I’m warning you: you will have to make them again and again. And again!

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