Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cilantro Recipes

Sandra recently asked if I would post some recipes using cilantro, and I'm glad to do it since it is one of my favorite fresh herbs to use. I can always find it at my Mexican or regular grocery store for as little as 3 bunches for one dollar. I use it in salsas all the time and I even found a recipe to use it in as a rub for chicken.

This salsa recipe is my new favorite because I almost always have the ingredients on-hand to make it. It's adapted from a recipe I found on Fishmama's cooking blog and have made it several times as a sauce for our Mexican cooking.

28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed well
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 chopped canned chipoltle pepper in sauce or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1/2 chopped fresh jalapeno
1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
salt and pepper
In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips or other Mexican dishes.

This is another one of my family's favorites that I got from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It is a vegetarian cookbook but she does such wonderful things with food that I really love trying some of her recipes. Lots of flavor! I originally posted this recipe and the next one on my other blog but since this is my new cooking blog, I thought I would copy onto this post so it would be available to me and to whoever else was interested.

A couple of notes on this recipe: If you don't think you would like lots of salsa on your chili, you can halve the ingredients. I've used it to top brats, burritos, or to mix with scrambled eggs. Okay, on to the recipe.

Black Bean Chili

4 cups dried black beans
5 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
Black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Crushed red pepper or cayenne, to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 medium-sized green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree (You can also use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce)
2 (4-oz.) cans diced green chilies

Red Onion Salsa
Grated cheese and sour cream

Soak the beans in plenty of water for several hours or over night. Drain off the soaking water, and cook in fresh boiling water, partly covered, until tender. Check the water level during cooking; add more as necessary. Transfer the cooked beans to a large kettle or saucepan. Include about 2 to 3 cups of their cooking water. (You can certainly do this ahead of time and freeze the beans or put them in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to use them.)
In a big pot or Dutch oven, saute garlic, seasonings, lime juice, and bell peppers in olive oil over medium-low heat until peppers are tender.
Add the the cooked beans, along with tomato puree and canned green chilies. Simmer, covered, over very low heat, stirring every now and then for about 45 minutes. (Make salsa at this time.)
Serve topped with Red Onion Salsa, grated cheese, and sour cream.

Red Onion Salsa
2 cups chopped red onion
1/2 cup packed minced fresh cilantro
2 cups minced fresh ripe tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed minced fresh parsley
Black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix well. For a finer consistency, give the mixture a brief whirl or two in a food processor or blender.
6 to 8 servings

I wish I had a picture of this next dish for you. Better yet, I wish you could taste it and see how very delicious it is. I've made this once using skinless, boneless chicken thighs because that's what I had. It was also in the middle of January, so I used my cast iron grill pan to cook them on inside. The important thing is the rub you put on the chicken. So good!

Chile-Cilantro Grilled Chicken

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno chile
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves or whatever parts you like

Heat grill. Combine all ingredients except chicken in small bowl. Generously rub over chicken and under skin. Grill, covered, over medium heat or coals 14 to 18 minutes or until no longer pink in center, turning once.4 servings

For those of you interested, this dish contains per serving: 235 calories, 11.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 28 g protein, 4.5 g carbohydrate, 75 mg cholesterol, 525 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
This is a recipe I got from the Cooking Pleasures magazine.

There are a couple of things to remember about cilantro: It is best to use cilantro at the end of the cooking time because it will lose some of it's flavor as it heats. As with all fresh herbs, they will only last about a week in the refrigerator. When I bring cilantro home, I will trim the stems a little and place the bunch in a glass of water and set it in the refrigerator. You can also store it wrapped in a damp paper towel placed inside a large baggie.
I hope this gets you started on using cilantro in your kitchen. In fact, I have some in my fridge that I need to use up before it goes bad.


~Shelley~ said...

Cilantro is one of my FAVORITE herbs to use!! LOVE it!! Your chicken recipes sounds so yummy!

Sandra said...

I'm going to buy some cilantro tomorrow and try that salsa. Thanks Darcy!

Debbie J said...

I guess I'm a plain jane cook. I've never used cilantro, but your recipes look wonderful!

Red Couch Recipes said...

I love cilantro too and a salsa made with cilantro is the best!

Jackie said...

Cilantro is the best, isn't it? The cilantro chicken sounds tasty!