Recipes courtesy of Stephanie Banyas.
If you’re seeking inspiration to take mealtime from bland and boring to new and vibrant, look no further than these at-home fiesta recipes. With options ranging from tongue-tingling spice to smooth, creamy and simply delicious, you can call on global flavors to bring life to your kitchen.
The lively tastes of the Spicy Shrimp Remoulade in Lettuce Leaves and Mexican Style Paella with Chicken and Sausage really pop! For a fiery, zesty twist, this Red Pepper Chickpea Soup with Gazpacho Relish and Tortilla Croutons has a creamy texture and savory taste that balances out the spice.
Red Pepper Chickpea Soup with Gazpacho Relish and Tortilla Croutons
1/4 cup finely diced seeded English cucumbers
1/4 cup finely diced seeded Roma tomato
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, juice only, divided
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 cups canned low-sodium vegetable stock, divided
1/2 cup salsa (mild or medium)
1 container (about 10 ounces) roasted red pepper hummus
tri-color fried tortilla strips
In small bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, onion and cilantro. Add half the lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit at room temperature.
In blender or food processor, process one cup stock and salsa until smooth.
Pour mixture into medium saucepan. Add remaining stock and hummus, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining lime juice.
Divide soup between two bowls and top with relish and tortilla strips.
Spicy Shrimp Remoulade in Lettuce Leaves
Yield: 8 leaves
1/2 cup chunky salsa (mild or medium)
9 cups water, divided
1 lime, sliced
12 sprigs cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound fresh shrimp (31-35), peeled and deveined
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chile powder or smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chunky salsa (mild or medium), drained well
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish
8 butter or Boston lettuce leaves
cilantro leaves, for garnish
lime wedges, for garnish
chopped black olives, for garnish (optional)
chopped hard-cooked eggs, for garnish (optional)
To make shrimp: In food processor or blender, blend salsa with 1 cup water until smooth.
Fill large bowl with ice water; set aside. Transfer salsa mixture to large saucepan and add remaining water, lime slices, cilantro sprigs and salt. Bring to boil over high heat; stir in shrimp, cover, turn off heat and let shrimp poach off heat in liquid 10 minutes.
Drain in colander. Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let sit 5 minutes. Drain again.
To make remoulade sauce: In large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, chile powder, sugar, salt and pepper until combined; fold in salsa.
Put half of remoulade sauce in large bowl. Fold in shrimp and cilantro, adding remoulade as needed to make mixture creamier; taste for seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours.
Arrange lettuce cups on platter. Spoon equal portions shrimp mixture into lettuce cups. Garnish with cilantro leaves; lime wedges; black olives, if desired; and eggs, if desired.
Mexican Style Paella with Chicken and Sausage
1 container (16 ounces) chunky salsa (mild or medium)
12 ounces chicken tenders, patted dry
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
12 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage or pork sausage links
3 cups low-sodium canned chicken stock, water or combination
2 cups long-grain rice
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Remove 1/2 cup salsa and set aside. In blender or food processor, process remaining salsa until smooth.
Put chicken in bowl, add 1/2 cup pureed salsa and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours in refrigerator.
In large, high-sided sauté pan over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until it begins to shimmer. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until both sides are golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to plate, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes then slice into 2-inch pieces.
Add remaining oil to pan and heat until shimmering; cook sausage until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to plate, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Slice on bias into 2-inch pieces.
Wipe out pan with paper towels. Add remaining pureed salsa and stock; bring to boil. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle peas on top. Let sit, covered with lid, 5 minutes. Fluff with fork then stir in chicken, sausage, peas and cilantro. Spoon remaining salsa on top.