Posts Tagged With: queso fresco

Chicken Flautas

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN FLAUTAS

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (4 cups more later)
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ pound queso fresco or feta cheese
½ cup salsa
12 uncooked or freshly made corn tortillas*
4 cups vegetable oil (or at least ¾” deep)
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro

* = Cooked tortillas from the store will require softening in the skillet or microwave. Uncooked tortillas while harder to find will make preparation easier.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

toothpicks

Makes 12 flautas. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken breasts and enough water to cover to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken to plate. Shred chicken using forks.

While chicken simmers, mince garlic and dice onion. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add shredded chicken and cumin. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Add equal amounts of the shredded chicken/onion mixture, queso fresco, and salsa to the middle of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and pin together with toothpicks.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a tiny piece of the tortillas starts to dance in the oil. Add rolled-up tortillas to pan seem-side down. Sauté at medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until tortillas turn golden brown. Turn frequently, but carefully, to ensure even browning. You will most likely need to cook in batches. Remove from heat. Drain on plate covered with paper towel. Dice cilantro. Garnish with cilantro. Goes well with salsa.

TIDBITS

1) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “The Angler of Vienna,” was also a pretty darn talented musician, writing such toe-tapping operas such as, Il re pastore, Zaide, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cossi fan tutte.”

2) By the way, Mozart’s agent, Paolo Fettucine, arranged for tutti frutti, a new ice cream with chopped and candied fruits in it to be served at Cossi fan tutte’s debut. It was a stroke of P.R. genius. Ice cream lovers came for the dessert and stayed for the opera. Wolfgang never looked back, except when on the way to his secret fishing places.

3) But it is in Mozie’s culinary operas where The Angler of Vienna’s talents really shined. Who can fail to be uplifted by his sole English work, The Three Penny Hot Dog? or feel the anguish of Gibt es wirklich keine Apfelkuchen? (Is There Really No Apple Pie?)

4) The years 1784 – 1787 were his happiest; he had great fishing spots to himself. These interludes of quietude were also the moments of his greatest musical creativity as witnessed by the Fish Cycle operas: Der Kabeljau auf dem Markt (The Cod at the Market), Limone Pesce Impanati (Lemon Breaded Fish), and of course, “The Angler of Vienna’s favorite, Il Mio Punto di Pesca (My Own Fishing Spot.)

5) It’s ironic that Mozart, a famous fan of German cuisine, would write his greatest opera about Mexican food. But who could not be inspired by the brilliant cuisine of Vienna’s famous restaurant, “Los Cinco Tacos?” Wolfang tried the restaurant’s chicken flautas and fell in love with them. He would stay up all night to compose the brilliant, brilliant I say, opera, Las Flautas Mágicas (The Magic Flautas.) Unfortunately, the politics of that year dictated that no operas be performed in Spanish. (Do try to see it if it’s being performed nearby.) Broken hearted that he was, Mozart rewrote his opus. And so we have the not too shabby Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute.) But Mozart would never again write about Mexican food.

6) Then on December 5, 1791, Mozart’s muse, Ernestine, imparted to him the idea of writing the opera Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch, (Puff the Magic Pufferfish.) So strong was Mozie’s excitement over what he knew what would be his magnum opus that he grabbed his fishing pole and raced to Danube River. He continually glanced over his shoulders to see if anyone were following, for all the local anglers would descend on him en masse and fish and fish out his little side pond. It was heartbreaking. Mozart had to scrap one seafood opera after another because he couldn’t bring in enough fish to give a true, abiding sense of its flavor and abiding soul. On one occasion, competitors once fished all the trout from his special inlet. This is why we never got to hear his Guten Morgen, Forelle (Good Morning, Trout) and had to settle for the markedly Don Giovanni.

7) Anyway, Mozie eluded all anglers that day and caught six pufferfish. (1791 was an extraordinarily bountiful year for Viennese pufferfish.) Wolfie scurried home as fast as his chubby little legs would carry him. He cooked all the fish. Unfortunately, he died. For while his wiener schnitzel was second to none, he didn’t know how beans about preparing the potentially fatal pufferfish. His last words were, “Gott im Himmel, where are my car keys?” There were, of course, no cars in 1791 and so need for car keys. Culinary historians Mozart had channeling the frustration of millions upon millions of people two centuries later.

9) But Wolfgang’s musical vision for the pufferfish lasted through the centuries floating through the atmosphere until it found a suitable vessel, a worthy receptacle. This is how we got the classic song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Sure the name and length of Stoßen der magische Kugelfisch changed a bit, but that magnum-opus had been floating around for centuries and became susceptible to modern musical scenes. And there you go.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Locro de Papa – cheesy potato soup

Ecuadorian Soup

LOCRO DE PAPA
(cheesy potato soup)

INGREDIENTSLocroDePapa-

AJI SAUCE

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon aji amarillo pepper
2  green onions stalks (3 stalks more later)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (1 1/2 tablespoons more later)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream (1/2 cup more later)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin (2 teaspoons more later)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (1/2 teaspoon more later)

SOUP

1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
1 scallion
6 medium potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon achiote or annatto powder
1 teaspoon cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese
1 egg
2/3 cup grated or crumbled queso fresco or Monterey jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 avocados
2 aji peppers or cayenne peppers
3 green onion stalks
2 small tomatoes

PREPARATION AJI AMARILLO SAUCE

Mince green onions. Melt butter on medium heat in sauce pan. Add 2 green onion stalks, aji amarillo pepper, and oil. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until all ingredients are well blended. Stir frequently.

Put sautéed mixture in mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, lime juice, cumin, black pepper, and sea salt. Whisk together.

PREPARATION OF SOUP

Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1″ cubes. Dice avocado, 3 green onion stalks, tomatoes, and aji or cayenne peppers.

Mince onion, garlic, and scallion. Put aji amarillo sauce, onion, and 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in pot. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion is tender. Stir frequently.

Add potato cubes to pot. Stir until spices coat potato cubes. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add water, chicken broth, achiote, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Simmer soup on low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Mash the potatoes in pot with potato masher until only small bits remain. Soup should be creamy. Stir occasionally. (No turning back, you’re almost there. Excelsior!)

Add milk, sour cream, egg, and mozzarella cheese. Simmer on low for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with avocado, green onion, aji peppers, tomatoes, and queso fresco.

Lavishly praise anyone who went to the store to get you all these ingredients. Serve and enjoy.

TIDBITS

1) Since 2001 the official currency in Ecuador has been the U.S dollar.

2) The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar in the United States and the U.S. dollar in Ecuador is 1:1. Hee! Sorry, that was the economist in me making a mad dash for supremacy.

3) The Ecuadorean flag is yellow for the nation’s diversity, blue for the sky and the sea, and red for the blood of those who fought in the war for independence.

4) There should be a Vulcan flag. Here goes. The Vulcan flag is yellow for the planet’s diversity, red for the sky, turquoise for the sea, and green for the blood of those who fought in the Federation’s Wars.

5) Ecuador was the first nation in 2008 to declare constitutional rights for nature. The Vulcan embassy is mute on this point despite numerous requests.

6) Wouldn’t it be way cool to have a contest to see who could visit the most embassies in Washington, DC? You’d have to get your contest book stamped by the embassy or pick up literature from the country about agriculture or something.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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