Sopaipillas (Fried Biscuit Puffs)

“One of our class projects for Sra. Fabrin’s Spanish class in high school was to bake a traditional Spanish/Latin American item. I chose these sweet dessert pastry puffs. Apparently, they are also supposed to be filled with something, if a dessert, honey. Depending on the region, these may also be made into savory treats, filled with taco or enchilada type fillings. The cinnamon-sugar type variety are great with vanilla ice cream.” – April Ferre

Sopaipillas (Fried Biscuit Puffs)

Course: Pastries
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Shortening
  • 2/3 Cup Water Lukewarm
  • Fat For Frying
  • Honey Or Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

Instructions

  • Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Gradually add the water, stirring with a fork (dough will be crumbly). Turn onto floured surface; knead into a smooth ball. Divide dough in half; let stand 10 minutes.
  • Roll each half into a 12.5×10 inch rectangle. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares (do not re-roll or patch dough). Fry a few at a time in deep hot fat (400 degrees) until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  • Serve with honey or roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Best if served soon after frying. Makes 40.

2000 Recipe – April Ferre – From Better Homes and Gardens Mexican Cookbook, 1977

Anupama’s Flan

“Anupama made this for Tim’s Mexican-themed graduation celebration and send off to Emory University in Atlanta. Along with Donna’s Margaritas, it was a big hit! So much so that it keeps being requested. We’ve had it for Julie’s Birthday and Delandy’s going away party as well.” – April Ferre

Anupama’s Flan

Course: Custards, Puddings & Mousse
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 14- Ounce Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 12- Ounce Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside until completely cool.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs. Mix in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in hot water-bath in a preheated oven for 60-70 minutes maximum. Check if flan is done by inserting a clean knife in the center and if the knife comes out half clean and half watery that’s fine since the flan will harden in the fridge when left overnight. It’s very important to let flan cool at room temperature for 4-5 hours and then place in fridge overnight.
  • To serve, carefully invert on serving plate after warming the baking dish in a hot water bath.

Notes

1) For first time flan makers: The recipe does not say that the sugar will go from syrupy to hard and rocky looking and that continued cooking and stirring will return it to the liquid caramel state you are striving for. Be patient, it takes almost half an hour. Keep the heat low and keep it moving in the pan.
2) Keep your baking dish warm/hot in the oven while you make the flan, so that when you do pour your caramel (melted sugar) into it, the caramel doesn’t harden as quickly.
3) When you pour the custard into the sugared pan, pour it through a sieve to strain the mixture (recommended with all custard type dishes). Bake the flan in a hot-water bath. It’s not hard to do, and yields much better results.
4) Last, bake this dish a day ahead of time. Let it sit overnight in the fridge (cover with wrap) before warming the pan’s bottom in a warm water bath, then invert to release on a plate. Much of the caramel will have liquefied and will run over the flan.

2010 Recipe – Anupama Ganesh – From Allrecipes.com

Taco Seasoning

“Too many taco seasonings have MSG, by making your own seasoning, you can eliminate the MSG without having to read all the labels.” – Calla Ferre

“For ground beef tacos, I generally prefer our other Taco recipe; however, for a more classic flavor it is nice to have this spice blend available. I do make a couple changes. I halve both the salt and the cumin and add 1 teaspoon Paprika for color.” – April Ferre

Taco Seasoning

Course: Miscellaneous
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 2 Teaspoons Minced Dried Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Oregano

Instructions

  • Makes 2 Tablespoons; enough to season 1 Pound Ground Beef.
  • Add 1/4 Cup Water to ground beef along with the seasoning. May add Paprika for an orange coloring.

2010 Recipe – Calla Ferre – From the San Jose Mercury News

Grilled Chicken Street Tacos

“Worthy of any restaurant. The marinaded chicken would also be good in a burrito or over a salad.” – April Ferre

Grilled Chicken Street Tacos

Course: Main Courses – Poultry
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Taco-sized Corn Tortillas
  • Chipotle Cream Sauce
  • Onion Chopped
  • Cilantro Coarsely Chopped
  • Shredded Cheese Optional
  • Sliced Avocado Optional

Instructions

  • Combine oil, lime juice, brown sugar and spices in a small bowl. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness and pierce with fork or meat tenderizer. Place chicken and marinade in a plasti bag and refrigerate overnight.
  • Make Chipotle Cream Sauce.
  • Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • Assemble tacos with Chipotle Cream Sauce, onion, cilantro, cheese and avocado.

2019 Recipe – April Ferre – Adapted from www.lecremedelacrumb.com

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Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce on April’s Chicken Enchiladas

“It may be easier to open a can, but it is nice to have your own recipe because the flavors can vary so from brand to brand and it can make such a huge difference in how your recipe comes out. I’ve opened up many a can and threw it out because I didn’t like the taste. This way, you can also vary the amount of heat.” – Calla Ferre

“In the very first version of this cookbook, when I was preparing it for my move into my very first apartment, I made a little mistake in this recipe. Well, maybe not so little. The original recipe called for 3 Teaspoons of Chili Powder. I happened to know that 3 Teaspoons equals 1 Tablespoon, and it is easier to measure once than 3 separate times, so I converted it to Tablespoons. Except I accidentally wrote it down as 3 Tablespoons. Yikes! I had to call everybody I had made copies for and let them know, or else they would have had quite a surprise when they took a bite of their enchiladas! Oooops!” – April Ferre

Enchilada Sauce

Course: Sauces & Gravies
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 1 8- Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cans Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  • Stir together flour and spices. Add tomato sauce, water, oil and vinegar. Simmer 45 minutes.

Recipe – LeAnne Grube – Monterey Bay Dental Hygiene Component Cookbook, 1982

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Chipotle Cream Sauce

“I’ve probably mentioned it elsewhere in this cookbook, but I am a big fan of fish tacos. I jump at the chance to eat at Rubio’s when I am near one. They have a fantastic Chipotle Cream Sauce for their tacos, and this is my version that I cobbled together from various recipes off the internet. It’s also great with chicken or carnitas.” – April Ferre

Chipotle Cream Sauce

Course: Sauces & Gravies
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced
  • 1 to 2 Chipotle in Abodo Sauce, Chopped, Plus 1 Teaspoon Sauce

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and process in blender until smooth.
  • Best if made the night before to allow flavors to blend.

2019 Recipe – April Ferre

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Spanish Rice

“It’s nice to have a good Spanish Rice recipe to accompany your Mexican fiesta.” – April Ferre

Spanish Rice

Course: Side Dishes – Rice & Beans
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Chilies
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 1 Cup Minute Rice
  • 1 14 Ounce Can Stewed Tomatoes Reserve Liquid
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

  • In large skillet, cook green pepper, onion, chilies, garlic, basil, rosemary in hot oil until vegetables are tender.
  • Drain stewed tomatoes well, reserving liquid, and chop well. Add water to tomato liquid to equal 1 Cup. Stir rice and tomato liquid into vegetables. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  • Cook covered over low heat until liquid is absorbed and rice is done.

1984 Recipe – Jean Hansen (Modified 2012 – April Ferre)

Quick Seasoned Black Beans

“I often like to add black beans to my tacos or enchiladas. While they are fine plain, having them seasoned makes for a much better meal. The quick version uses items in stock at all times in my kitchen, but depending on what you have in stock, you can add all or some of the enhanced recipe ingredients. ” – April Ferre

Quick Seasoned Black Beans

Course: Side Dishes – Rice & Beans
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1 Can Black Beans Undrained
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Oregano

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to saucepan and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.
  • Enhanced version: If you want to put in a little more effort, first sauté 1/2 chopped onion and 1/2 to 1 finely chopped Jalapeno pepper in saucepan until soft. Then add spices and sauté until fragrant. Add black beans and simmer. Finish with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tablespoon lime juice.
  • Recipe may be multiplied as needed.

2019 Adapted recipe – April Ferre – Adapted from www.geniuskitchen.com

Mexican Rice

“The original name from Let’s Dish Recipes was ‘Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice’. I’d say this is a bit spicier than I normally find at a Mexican restaurant, but it is close. Adjust the level of spice to suit your own tastes.” – April Ferre

Mexican Rice

Course: Side Dishes – Rice & Beans
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Cup Uncooked White Rice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Onion Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Cilantro Chopped

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until just golden. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, pepper, and cayenne and cook a few minutes more.
  • Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in chicken broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Caution: rice is very hot, addition of chicken broth will react violently.
  • Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with fork and stir in cilantro.

2019 Recipe – April Ferre – from Let’s Dish Recipes

Garlic Cilantro Lime Rice

“I was making a ‘Buddha Bowl‘ for the first time and wanted something other than plain brown rice as a base. The recipe had called for cilantro, so I decided to incorporate that ingredient into the rice portion. I had some extra toasted almonds, so I thew those in as well and it was a nice addition. This rice can be used with so many different types of food, from Thai to Mexican.” – April Ferre

Garlic Cilantro Lime Rice

Course: Side Dishes – Rice & Beans
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Large Onion Chopped
  • 2 Cups Long Grained Rice
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 to 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Juice of 3 Limes
  • Zest of 2 Limes
  • Cilantro Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds Toasted, Optional

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large skillet. Add the garlic and onions and cook until translucent.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the rice and salt. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the rice doesn't burn. Add 2 cups broth and the juice and zest of 2 limes.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is done. Add more liquid as needed. The rice shouldn't be sticky.
  • Before serving, add remaining lime juice, cilantro, and toasted almonds.

2017 Adapted Recipe – April Ferre – From Ree Drummond, Food Network

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