Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip Recipe

TEXMEX Recipes

Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip (A.K.A. Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip)

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Last year I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and visited my dear friend, Michelle, from years past. Once upon a time our families lived in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at the same time where I taught her youngest daughter at a local Mom’s Day Out program. We later belonged to the same homeschool association and would hang out at each other’s homes while her daughters and my daughter played together.

Allow me to tell you what Michelle did to me; she interjected herself into my personal life. Ha! I tell you this in the most light-hearted way with a smile on my face because I absolutely positively love this woman. It’s a long story and one I am working on writing in it full detail. The abbreviated version is that several homeschool moms, along with Michelle, were praying for me behind my back and asking God to provide me a husband and to give Riley a daddy. I mention, “Behind my back” because my friends knew I had no interest or intention of dating or remarrying. Read here for why…..MY DESTRUCTIVE MARRIAGE. I named Michelle the instigator of this but she insists it was the Holy Spirit. I heard through the grapevine that while some of my friends were meeting for homeschool playdates they would huddle in the garage and pray for me while their children played in the yard.

And they were not the only friends doing this! It began months earlier with my friend Pam speaking to me about the same subject.  Little did I know, God was working out His plan (definitely not mine or Riley’s) for my life and for Riley’s life.

Here is a quote by Michelle, “I figured out a long time ago, that when several God-fearing women walk into God’s throne room together…whatever they are praying about…better watch out!” – #moveoversatan #nottakingGod’sglory #getunderourfeetwhereyoubelong

I obviously got over Michelle’s Holy Spirit led intrusion and allowed her in-depth private details of every aspect of my life; beginning to present day, for Restoring the Foundations ministry. Michelle was training to minister with RTF and is now officially part of the Restoring the Foundations Ministry team. I can honestly testify that RTF was the most beautiful, personal, empowering, healing and tender time I have ever spent with the Lord. I love Him!

How does this connect to a Tex-Mex recipe you may be asking?

Well, before visiting Michelle I texted her and asked if there was a Chuy’s Tex-Mex in Nashville. To my delight she responded that Chuy’s was; in fact, located down the street from her home in Franklin, Tennessee.

Chuy’s was my all-time favorite eating establishment. If I were allowed to have only one option for eating out, from present day to the day I die, Chuy’s would be it. I believe it is impossible that I could ever tire of their deliciousness; however, my body was malfunctioning due to eating many of the foods used in dishes at Chuy’s. Little did I know, I had acquired multiple auto-immune diseases from genetics and a life of extreme stress. Almost every food Chuy’s serves is now on my cannot eat list. Sniff, sniff….

My boys crave Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip, but since we live in the heavily populated Italian cuisine city of St. Louis, Missouri, we have no Chuy’s Tex-Mex.

Every time I ate at Chuy’s I attempted to pull apart the individual flavors; veggie, pepper, herb and spice in the salsas, Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip and meats.

I have made the dip with Jalapeños, Anaheim Chile’s, Poblanos, Serrano Peppers and blends of these peppers. I use fresh Serrano peppers in my Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip—no Jalapeños. We find this recipe every bit as flavorful, if not the same, as Chuy’s. I did ask a manager at a Chuy’s in Kentucky if there were Serrano’s in the salsas and dips and she confirmed that there were.

When it comes to preparing dishes with peppers you get to decide the amount of heat you want in your recipe. Here is the trick:

Mild heat: Remove seeds and devein the inside of the peppers.

Medium heat:  Remove seeds and leave the veins in. You can always add a few seeds if you want more heat.

Fiery heat: Leave seeds and veins in peppers.

I always double this recipe.

~Enjoy!

 Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip (Jalapeño)

IMG_0044

½ cup sour cream

½ cup real mayonnaise (low fat is not tasty in this recipe)

¾ cup milk

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar (this turns milk in to buttermilk)

1 (4 ounce) can green chilies

1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

2 Serrano peppers (remove seeds and veins for mild) Remove seeds for medium heat. Leave seeds and veins for hot heat.

¼ cup cilantro

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

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Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

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Refrigerate for two hours before serving so ingredients can soak into the dressing.

Serve with chips or use as salad dressing on Mexican salads, or sauce for Mexican foods and casseroles.

*Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a cookie sheet of white corn restaurant style tortilla chips in the oven for 3 minutes. Enjoy fresh restaurant style chips and dip.

Tex-Mex Crock Pot Pork Shoulder

huppiemama.com Pork Shoulder Roast
huppiemama.com Pork Shoulder Roast

Freshly Pressed from Huppie Mama:

“{We often do family potlucks at my house with my sister and my parents. Usually it’s a ‘bring whatever you want’ kinda thing, and we end up with something like baked ziti, chicken…”

via Pork Shoulder Roast recipe & Caribbean dinner ideas.

I found Huppie Mama on Pinterest when I was looking to prepare pork shoulder/pork butt with a new twist and she provided the twist—of lemon and orange. I tweaked the recipe a couple of times and came up with my own Tex-Mex version.

I buy the pork shoulder or pork butt at SAMS Club for under $2.00 per pound. I served four people five meals with this recipe.

This recipe can be cooked, divided into 5 portions, and frozen in freezer bags. I sprinkle more spices on the meat before reheating because it tends to lose some of it’s flavor.

Here are seven meals I have made using the recipe:

  1. Pulled Pork, Cilantro Lime Rice (I add chopped cilantro and 1 juiced lime the last five minutes of the 20 minute cooking time for rice and stir.), 2 cans rinsed black beans in beef broth with ½ teaspoon each cumin, onion powder & chili powder; chopped zucchini, yellow squash & purple onion sautéed in olive oil with cracked pepper and Greek seasoning or Adobo seasoning. (I like all the above ingredients piled on top of each other; my boys like the foods separate.) Watermelon.
  2. Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches (Spread butter on hamburger buns or Texas Toast {The yummiest} and brown in a warm pan. Serve meat on the bread with BBQ sauce {Head Country sauce is my fav), baked French fries, salad, grapes.
  3. Pulled Pork Nachos: Shredded Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese, drizzled cheese or queso sauce, pulled pork and drizzled Chipotle BBQ sauce. (I used a medium aggressive heat, smokey Chipotle salsa from Cantina Laredo, the salsa they serve warm.) I made a mix of half Chipotle salsa and half Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. My guys were making happy noises the entire time they ate; except when the stopped eating to ask for more of the sauce. (Any BBQ sauce with smokey chipotle will work. If in the St. Charles county area, Sugarfire has delicious Chiptole BBQ sauce.) Serve with fruit; mixed melons.
  4. Large Yukon Gold baking potatoes with toppings of butter, sour cream, cheese and warmed pulled pork in its broth. Ladle the pork and broth over the stuffed potato. (My boys were not thrilled until they took the first bite; then they were in heaven!) Serve with salad or fruit.
  5. Pulled Pork Chalupas. Serve on warmed flour or corn tortillas with toppings of your choice: Cheese, lettuce or spinach, tomato, onion, lime wedges (for a squirt of juice), chopped cilantro and salsa. Serve with warmed tortilla chips and fresh salsa for dipping.
  6. Pulled Pork dipped in BBQ sauce, baked homemade sweet potato fries drizzled with olive oil—sprinkled with seasoning salt and Rosemary, veggie & fruit.
  7. Pulled Pork Quesadillas served on flour or corn tortillas with shredded cheese. Serve with sautéed or steamed veggies and fruit salad. I core and cut 1 red apple, 1 green apple, 1 cup green grapes, 1 cup red grapes, 1 can chunk pineapple, ½ cup whole pecans; spoon 1 small container of peach yogurt over ingredients and toss.
GiveMe Tex-Mex or Else
GiveMe Tex-Mex or Else

Pork Shoulder Roast Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion cut in chunks, plus 1 whole onion skinned with the slightest portion of ends cut off; just enough to remove the skin off the ends. You want the whole onion to stay together until finished cooking.)
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh lemons juiced, choose the heaviest fruits—they have the most juice
  • 1 large orange juiced or several Clementines juiced
    • (the two juices combined should equal 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • One 5-7 pound, bone-in Boston butt (pork shoulder, pork butt – I used a 7.5 lb pork butt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the whole onion—NOT the whole onion, in a blender or food processor and puree.
  2. Pour half a cup of pureed mixture in bottom of crock pot.
  3. Place pork shoulder or pork butt in the crock pot and pour remaining mixture over the top and down the sides. Place whole onion is crock-pot. (I love onion flavor but putting one and a half pureed onions in the mixture messes with the texture of the finished recipe. The whole onion can be removed after cooking.)
  4. Cook on low for 9 hours. I checked mine at 7 hours. If it is still tough cut several slits across the top then turn it over and cut slits on the bottom.  It will finish cooking and be ready to shred at the end of 9 hours.

Yum!

 

 

Tex-Mex Black Bean Salsa

Tex Mex Black Bean Salsa

My favorite time of year to eat this Black Bean Salsa is when I have fresh Roma tomatoes from my garden which usually places this salsa around the 4th of July. My daughter and I make this salsa throughout the year but tonight was the first batch with homegrown Romas.

My sister, one of the best cooks ever,  introduced me to this recipe years ago and I have since adapted it to my taste bud’s preferences. I like Roma tomatoes, Serrano peppers and lots of lime juice.

 

Fresh ingredients
Fresh ingredients
Black Beans and Shoe Peg Corn
Black Beans and Shoe Peg Corn
chopped veggies
Chopped Veggies
Serrano Peppers
Serrano Peppers

This Jalapeno Corer tool is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It works for any type of pepper and also cores the tops of tomatoes. My favorite use is for coring Jalapenos. Cut the tops offs and rotate the corer down inside the pepper to remove veins and seeds. This allows you to stuff the Jalapeno for baking, grilling or placing in a smoker. The Serranos above are small and need to be cut in half, then deveined and seeded one half at a time.

I ordered my Jalapeno Corer at Amazon.com. I also ordered the Jalapeno Roasting Rack for use in the oven, on the grill or in a smoker.

Jalapeno Corer Tool
Jalapeno Corer Tool
Limes juiced
Juiced limes
Toss chopped veggies with lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder
Toss chopped veggies with lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder
Add tomatoes
Add tomatoes and mix
Enjoy!
Enjoy!

TEXMEX Recipes

 

Tex-Mex Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans

1 can Shoe peg corn

1 bunch cilantro

½ Bell pepper—any color, chopped

1 small or medium purple onion, to taste, chopped

4 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped

2 Serrano peppers seeded and deveined, minced

Juice of 2 medium limes

1 T. Canola oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Drain and rinse beans and corn. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add cilantro, bell pepper, purple onion, Serrano peppers then mix in lime juice, Canola oil, salt and garlic powder. Add and mix chopped tomatoes. Serve immediately. Refrigerate left overs.

Serve with Restaurant style white corn tortilla chips or Tostidos Scoops.

 

Tex-Mex Creamy Serrano Enchiladas

TEXMEX Recipes

 

 

I like flavor—bold—can’t miss it flavor. These enchiladas are full of flavor but not heat.

I often create as I go and since Colson requested some type of enchilada for dinner I used what I could find in the fridge and pantry. I already had the Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip which I had made over the weekend. I had also loaded up the grill at the beginning of the week with hamburgers, hot dogs, fajita chicken and chicken marinated in Italian dressing. I use this chicken in casseroles, pasta and salads. I sometimes throw chops and steaks on the grill too. This saves me valuable time during the week because my meats are already cooked and ready to be used for meal preparations. I slightly undercook the meats on the grill to allow for reheating.

I only have one picture of the dish since I was attempting to quickly prepare dinner in time for Riley to take A.J. to Youth Group for his very first time— ever. I had tears in my eyes as they drove down the driveway. Where did time go? He was still a little boy in my heart. How did he advance to Middle School age? This was not right!

I digressed; back to the subject. When Riley finished eating she told me I needed to write this recipe down because it tasted like restaurant enchiladas.  A.J., who thought he would not like the enchiladas wound up drooling over them, Colson was thrilled with the final product, I could have eaten a whole pan by myself and Farm Boy, who is an Italian food fan, had at least thirds and suggested I write down the recipe.

My family knows I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to preparing meals. They also know that if I don’t immediately write the recipe down I will forget within hours the ingredients I used and the approximate measurements.

If you skip the Grilled Fajita Chicken and the Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip you will have, in my snobbish Tex-Mex opinion, blah Mexican enchiladas—you will.

Here is the recipe with the only, end of the meal, picture I have of the enchiladas.  You won’t be sorry you made these!

Tex Mex Creamy Serrano Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
  • 1 packet McCormick Fajita Seasoning (My favorite)
  • 4 grilled, (small-medium) shredded chicken breasts
  • 10 oz. mild enchilada sauce (I used Great Value brand)
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16-18 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup Creamy Serrano Ranch Sauce/Dip (See recipe below)
  • Canola or olive oil
  • Chopped Cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Rub 4 small/medium chicken breasts on each side with seasoning from a McCormick Fajita seasoning packet. Grill chicken; sprinkling more seasoning once on each side as it grills.
  2. Sauté cream cheese (smash with fork), green chiles, and pre-grilled chicken until they are warm and well combined. If it seems too dry add more Creamy Serrano Ranch.
  3. Heat and oil pan. Warm tortillas on both sides filling one as you warm the next. Reapply oil as necessary.
  4. Fill tortillas with meat mixture and some of the cheese, reserving some cheese to sprinkle on the top.
  5. Roll up tortillas and place seam down in a 9×13 baking dish and an 8X8 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil.
  6. Spoon enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
  8. Top with fresh chopped Cilantro before serving.

 

Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip (Jalapeño)

IMG_0044

½ cup sour cream

½ cup real mayonnaise (low fat is not tasty in this recipe)

¾ cup milk

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar (this turns milk in to buttermilk)

1 (4 ounce) can green chilies

1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

2 Serrano peppers (remove seeds and veins for mild) Remove seeds for medium heat. Leave seeds and veins for hot heat.

¼ cup cilantro

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

IMG_0046

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

IMG_0049

Refrigerate for two hours before serving so ingredients can soak into the dressing.

Serve with chips or use as salad dressing on Mexican salads, or sauce for Mexican foods and casseroles.

*Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a cookie sheet of White Corn Restaurant style tortilla chips in the oven for 3 minutes. Enjoy fresh restaurant style chips and dip.

Original Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip post: https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/creamy-serrano-ranch-dip/

 

Enjoy!

Pico De Gallo Recipe: My habit

TEXMEX Recipes

 

Spring brings great hope to my Tex-Mex lov’in taste buds.

Yes, my gustatory receptor cells know the salsa garden is planted and fresh cilantro is already being harvested. Ah, the scent the taste of fresh cilantro!

Here is my dilemma this spring: The lime supply is not sufficient.

I should not, will not, cannot eat Tex-Mex without lime and the cost of limes has tripled in price. They are sometimes teeny tiny, Key Lime size, and I can only express one to two teaspoons of juice from them. Other times the stores do not have any in stock.

Have you heard about this inconvenience?

The explanation for this disruption is one more reason to abhor the Mexican drug cartel industry. The drug cartels decided they need more money so they set their financial ambitions on lime groves. They are using armed force to take over hard-working farmer’s lime groves and the cartels are ambushing and robbing produce trucks on the way to market. In response to the crime, some farmers are burning down their groves and not giving in to the cartels.

Add to this the Huanglongbing, citrus greening disease, in Mexico, the California drought, and Florida’s poorly sanctioned diseased lime crop policy enacted shortly after Hurricane Andrew over a decade ago. (Read more at  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/lime-shortage_n_5191607.html)

This is why I am forced to pay $1.00 for an almost microscopic lime. Which makes me thankful that our family’s finances allow me the ability to feed my habit—my drug of choice; lime—because I’m a lime junkie.

Juiced limes

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today I am sharing how I make my favorite Pico De Gallo recipe. Some cooks use yellow onion, some use any type of tomato but I only use white onion and Roma tomatoes.

Because the heat and taste of onion can vary from crop to crop, I cut a piece off and inspect it by smelling it and tasting it. This is a necessary evil because not much is worse than taking the time to chop all your ingredients, mix your recipe and find out a bad onion spoiled the flavor of the entire dish. I use equal parts tomato, onion and fresh cilantro but if the onion is too strong I cut the amount back to ¼ to ½ depending on the onion’s strength.

This recipe can be made as small or large as needed.

In my house we consider Pico De Gallo a nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it is eaten as such; with tortilla chips. Yep, that’s it—nothing more—just Pico. I hope you don’t have a problem with that.

Homemade salsa is also served as a meal option. The salsa recipe will be posted soon.

Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo Recipe:

6 Roma tomatoes, rinsed  then core the top, chopped

1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped

1 large bunch of rinsed cilantro, chopped; remove long stems at the bottom of the bunch

1 large lime—juiced, you may use zest too if you like it

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

*Optional-2 seeded, deveined Serrano peppers, minced

 

The importance is equal amounts of tomato, white onion & cilantro. I add lime juice until I can taste it mixed throughout the entire batch. Sometimes I make it with Serranoes, sometimes hot by NOT removing the seeds and veins. Serrano peppers, to me, have the best flavor of all the Mexican peppers. My daughter occasionally likes to make Pico with 2 large chopped (yes, chopped not minced) Jalapeños in the mix.

Serve with restaurant style white corn tortilla chips warmed in the oven for 3 minutes @ 350 degrees.

Eat plain with chips or as a topping on your favorite Taco, Fajita, Burrito, Quesadilla, Chalupa, salad, meat or casserole.

~Enjoy!

Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip

TEXMEX Recipes

Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip (A.K.A. Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip)

IMG_0054

I recently traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and visited my dear friend, Michelle, from years past. Once upon a time our families lived in Stillwater, Oklahoma at the same time where I taught her youngest daughter at a local Mom’s Day Out program. We later belonged to the same homeschool association and would hang out at each other’s homes while her daughters and my daughter played together.

Allow me to tell you what Michelle did to me; she interjected herself into my personal life. Ha! I tell you this in the most light-hearted way with a smile on my face because I absolutely positively love this woman. It’s a long story and one I am working on writing in it full detail. The abbreviated version is that several homeschool moms, led by Michelle, were praying for me behind my back and asking God to provide me a husband and to give Riley a daddy. I named Michelle the instigator of this but she insists it was the Holy Spirit. I heard through the grapevine that while some of my friends were meeting for homeschool playdates they would huddle in the garage and pray for me while their children played in the yard.

And they were not the only friends doing this! It began months earlier with my friend Pam speaking to me about the same subject.  Little did I know, God was working out His plan (definitely not mine or Riley’s) for my life and for Riley’s life.

Here is a quote by Michelle, “I figured out a long time ago, that when several God-fearing women walk into God’s throne room together…whatever they are praying about…better watch out!” – #moveoversatan #nottakingGod’sglory #getunderourfeetwhereyoubelong

I obviously got over Michelle’s Holy Spirit led intrusion and recently allowed her in-depth private details of every aspect of my life; beginning to present day, for Restoring the Foundations ministry. Michelle is training to minister in RTF and I can honestly testify that RTF was the most beautiful, personal, empowering, healing and tender time I have ever spent with the Lord. I love Him!

How does this connect to a Tex-Mex recipe you may be asking?

Well, before visiting Michelle I texted her and asked if there was a Chuy’s Tex-Mex in Nashville. To my delight she responded that Chuy’s was; in fact, located down the street from her home in Franklin, Tennessee.

Chuy’s is my all-time favorite eating establishment. If I were allowed to have only one option for eating out, from present day to the day I die, Chuy’s would be it. I believe it is impossible that I could ever tire of their deliciousness.

My boys crave Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip, but since we live in the heavily populated Italian cuisine city of St. Louis, Missouri, we have no Chuy’s Tex-Mex. We rely on our trips to visit my family in Texas to fulfill our Chuy’s longings.

Every time I eat at Chuy’s I attempt to pull apart the individual flavors; veggie, pepper, herb and spice in the salsas, Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip and meats.

I have made the dip with Jalapeños, Anaheim Chile’s, Poblanos, Serrano Peppers and blends of these peppers. I use fresh Serrano peppers in my Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip—no Jalapeños. We find this recipe every bit as flavorful, if not the same, as Chuy’s. I did ask a manager at a Chuy’s in Kentucky if there were Serrano’s in the salsas and dips and she confirmed that there were.

When it comes to preparing dishes with peppers you get to decide the amount of heat you want in your recipe. Here is the trick:

Mild heat: Remove seeds and devein the inside of the peppers.

Medium heat:  Remove seeds and leave the veins in. You can always add a few seeds if you want more heat.

Fiery heat: Leave seeds and veins in peppers.

I always double this recipe for my hungry guys because even Farm Boy likes this non-Italian Tex-Mex dip.

~Enjoy!

Post with introduction of Farm Boy:  https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/peeper-and-stalker-and-harasser-o-my/

 

 Creamy Serrano Ranch Dip (Jalapeño)

IMG_0044

½ cup sour cream

½ cup real mayonnaise (low fat is not tasty in this recipe)

¾ cup milk

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar (this turns milk in to buttermilk)

1 (4 ounce) can green chilies

1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

2 Serrano peppers (remove seeds and veins for mild) Remove seeds for medium heat. Leave seeds and veins for hot heat.

¼ cup cilantro

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

IMG_0046

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

IMG_0049

Refrigerate for two hours before serving so ingredients can soak into the dressing.

Serve with chips or use as salad dressing on Mexican salads, or sauce for Mexican foods and casseroles.

*Heat oven to 350 degrees and place a cookie sheet of White Corn Restaurant style tortilla chips in the oven for 3 minutes. Enjoy fresh restaurant style chips and dip.

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