There is a groovy little Mexican restaurant in Austin that I used to get to quite regularly if for nothing else to indulge in their Creamy Jalapeno Cilantro Dip. I’ve wanted to try and replicate it for 20 years and never really got close, but found a few possible variations on it online and then tried to make it lower calorie. The result is pretty fantastic and it can be just a dip for chips or as I like to do slather it on tacos, bowls, etc. Here we go:
- Fat Free Greek Plain Yogurt (If you don’t mind the calories go with 3/4 sour cream and 1/4 mayo instead)
- Lime/Lemon Juice
- Pickled Jalapeno
- Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
Mix in 1 Cup of yogurt, juice of one lemon, ½ Cup of cilantro, 8-10 pickled jalapenos (adjust for heat you want), ¼ bag of dry ranch dressing mix. Throw it all in the blender and adjust to taste.
This is a recipe that I have morphed over time. My mama gave me the starter on it (thanks Mama) and I’ve kind of added and changed it up from time to time (added bacon, added spicy sausage, added or taken away more heat). Here go some of my favorite beans that go groovy with just about any Mexican dish and could even be a main dish on its own. These also freeze extremely well, so I’ll double the batch and have more for later. Enjoy:
- 1 – 32oz. package dry pinto beans (soak overnight)
- 4 garlic pods, minced
- 1/2 large purple onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno (adjust as you like for heat)
- 1/2 Cup chopped Cilantro
- 2 – 15oz cans of chicken broth
- 1 – 10oz can of Rotel tomatoes and green chiles
- 3 cans beer (hence the “Boracho”)…I like tecate, but change it up as you like to add more flavor if you like
- 2 tbsp Tony Chaucer’s or seasoned salt (or to taste)
- Olive Oil
- Salt, to taste
- Add spicy italian bulk sausage (Sprout’s has a great one) or bacon if you like
Cook sausage or bacon and set aside. In a large pot, add a bit of olive oil and cook onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients to the pot except cilantro and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are soft, add cilantro, cook a few more minutes and you are done.
Also, this goes extremely well with either this Steak from Hell Salsa (I make the beans mild for the kids and add this to add heat) or this Creamy Chipotle Sauce (love to drizzle this over the top).
If you haven’t figured this out already, I am a massive fan of Steven Raichlen’s BBQ Bible book. So, I have hijacked that which I like and tried to make it my own. For this Steak from Hell recipe, the steaks are fine, but the salsa is amazing and easy. I’ve changed it up slightly below:
- 2 to 4 dried chiles de arbol (I use more, but I like it hot) – they come in a bag at any Mexican grocery store and keep forever
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (I use tomatoes on the vine, but whatever you like)
- 1/3 medium-sized yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Salt and black pepper
- 2-3 cloves garlic
Soak the chiles in a bowl of warm water about 20 minutes. Roast the tomatoes on the grill until the skin is charred and blistered on all sides, maybe 6 – 8 minutes. Drain the chiles and remove the seeds if you prefer a bit milder. Place all ingredients in a blender and process to a coarse paste.
I love this with the Sprout’s pollo asado and Costco tortillas I put on My Favorite “Holy Crap, That’s Good” Off the Shelf Items page and some avocado or just drizzled over some scramble eggs for breakfast…blam!