May 19 2012


A rental home in Soliman Bay, Mexico. Wonderfully talented, husband and wife team, chefs. 10 days of relaxation and good food. One great flan recipe.

Thank you Louis and Marta.

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Sep 12 2011

authentic chicken mole

Mole is Mexico’s national dish. Mole is a sauce usually thickened with ground nuts, seeds or corn that includes chilies, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.

2 Medium Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 ounce Santa Isabel Mole Seasoning
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1/2 Cup White Onion, Diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Minced
2 Medium Tomatoes, Diced
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Golden Raisins
1 teaspoon Glace de Poulet Gold®
1 Cup Water
12 ounces Dark Beer
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
cooked white rice
warm flour tortillas
sour cream
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides, set aside.

In the same skillet, sauté onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables are soft and slightly caramelized. Stir in Santa Isabel Mole Seasoning.

Add tomatoes, raisins, water, Glace de Poulet Gold®, beer, peanut butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring often.

Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor; cover and blend until smooth.

Transfer the chicken into a large skillet. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm over cooked white rice with warm tortillas. Garnish with sour cream and fresh cilantro, if desired.

Drizzle extra sauce over rice and chicken. The remaining sauce can be frozen and served at a later date.

Don Messina currently sits on the board of directors for Sandcastle Hospitality, and serves as the Executive Chef for Iguana Isle, an “Island Inspired” company based in Naples, Florida . He has been inspired by his travels throughout the Caribbean to create his own blend of spices to help the average home cook bring authentic flavors of the islands to their home.

Aug 29 2010

coctel de camarones

Coctel de Camarones – Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

1 pound of cooked shrimp, tails removed
1 cup of ketchup
1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of red onion, chopped
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced (you could use more if you prefer)
½ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of orange zest
½ teaspoon of salt

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes. In Mexico we eat this with saltine crackers.

I use an avocado slicer when preparing this recipe. It removes the avocado perfectly from the skin while making consistent slices. The slices are then easy to chop into cubes. You can find this avocado slicer on Foodie-isms Amazon store (located on this website) under the tab called “foodie finds.”

While growing-up in Jojutla de Juárez, Morelos, México, Brenda Tirado Rugman recalls enjoying Coctel de Camarones with her family during the summer time, family reunions, cookouts, or any cause for a family celebration. It is an easy, healthy and a great fat free food that everyone enjoys.

Jun 2 2010

‘extra point’ enchiladas

What husband wouldn’t earn extra points for making dinner for his family? What if the meal consists of delicious chicken enchiladas and cornbread made from Dad’s own recipe? And what if Dad is a busy professional football player with three kids (one of them newborn)? That should be worth at least a two-point conversion!

I caught up with Casey Rabach, Center for the Washington Redskins, and his family at their home in Leesburg and watched as Casey showed that he knows his way around the kitchen when it comes to enchiladas.

Casey makes his version of chicken enchiladas from memory using a recipe he has perfected over time at lots of gatherings with friends and family back home in Wisconsin. These are not your average enchiladas: the chicken is creamy and they are topped with a spicy Mexican tomato sauce. His preferred brand of tomato sauce is El Pato. It’s packed with just the right amount of spiciness to finish off these tasty enchiladas. To accompany the enchiladas Casey makes cornbread topped with honey.

Casey not only prepared dinner for his family, he provided my family with a big tray of enchiladas and cornbread too. Score!

Casey Rabach is the starting Center for the Washington Redskins and is enjoying some leisure time before summer practice begins at Redskins Park in August. Casey lives with his wife Nicole and three children in Leesburg, Virginia.

‘Extra Point’ Enchiladas

4 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4.5 ounce can of chopped green chilies
8 ounces of cream cheese, cubed
2 cups of Monetary Jack cheese, shredded
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
8 large flour tortillas
2 – 7 ¾ ounce cans of El Pato brand tomato sauce

Boil chicken for about 15-20 minutes.

Sauté onion and garlic for about 4 minutes, then add the can green chilies and continue to sauté until heated through.

Heat tortillas slightly to make them more pliable. Add shredded chicken to the center of a tortilla, top with onion mixture and cubed cream cheese. Roll the tortilla and transfer to a baking dish. Continue with remaining tortillas.

Drizzle heavy whipping cream over the enchiladas to coat evenly. Top with Monetary Jack cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Before serving, top enchiladas with El Pato (Mexican hot-styled) tomato sauce.