Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

April 29, 2010
It's easy to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

We're going to spice it up this weekend with Cinco de Mayo recipes from Sheila Kern in the Shop Cheap kitchen. As we reported on Wednesday, avocado is 3/99-cents at Safeway and Save Mart. To top off your celebration, be sure to try the Margarita Pie!

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole

From (California Avocado Commission)

Serves 12


2 ripe Fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1/3 Cup diced tomato, seeded and well drained

1/4 Cup chopped green onion

2 serrano chiles, chopped

1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp salt


Cut avocados into 1/2 inch cubes.

Stir in lime juice.

Fold in remaining ingredients.

Guacamole is best made as close to serving as possible.

For short-term storage, seal in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole with a Southwestern Kick

From (California Avocado Commission)

Serves 12


4 California avocados

1 Cup roasted corn kernels

1 medium lime

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped, or to taste

1 tsp ground cumin, or to taste

1 tsp salt


Coarsely mash (do not puree) California avocados. Fold in remaining ingredients. Squeeze limejuice into mixture. Serve with blue corn chips or deep-fried flour tortilla chips.

Classic Guacamole

From (California Avocado Commission)

Serves 8


4 ripe Fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tomato, finely chopped

1/4 Cup finely chopped onion

1/4 tsp ground cumin

3 drops hot pepper sauce

Tortilla chips


Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic.

Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.

Garnish as desired and serve with tortilla chips.

Cilantro-Lime Rice


Serves: 4


1 cup long-grain white rice

Coarse salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove


In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, 16 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water; blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice, and fluff with a fork.

Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub


EatingWell: March/April 2010

Makes 6 servings


3 tablespoons chile powder, preferably New Mexico chile, or Hungarian paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken


Combine chile powder (or paprika) and oil in a small bowl with lime zest and juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon to form a wet paste.

Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard (or reserve it for stock). Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand. Generously smear the spice rub under and over the skin and on the interior of the bird. Place in a nonreactive baking dish (see Tip). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Preheat half the grill to medium-high (or build a medium-high heat fire on one side of a charcoal grill); leave the other half unheated. Have a squirt bottle of water ready by the grill.

Leave all the spice rub on the chicken. Place the chicken skin-side down over the heat and grill until the skin begins to color and char marks form, about 5 minutes. (Extinguish any flare-ups with the squirt bottle.) Flip over and grill 5 minutes more. Move the chicken to the unheated side. Close the lid and cook, making sure the chicken is flat against the grate, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Tips & Notes

Kitchen Tip: A nonreactive bowl or pan--stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass--is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor.

Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken

Bon Appetit | August 2000

Makes 6 servings


1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup tequila

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno chiles

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin


Mix first 8 ingredients in bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover; chill overnight.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 18 minutes. Transfer to platter.

Chicken Fajitas



1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 cloves garlic

1 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2 jalapeno, seeded

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Salt and pepper


10 flour tortillas


Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap with a mallet or rolling pin. Place chicken breasts in glass baking dish. In a blender combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let chicken marinate for 30 minutes. In a large skillet over medium heat oil.

Add onions and peppers and cook until they are tender and begin to brown.

In a 9x13 glass baking dish toss potatoes with oil and seasonings. Bake in 375 degree oven until crispy, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Heat a cast iron grill pan or an outdoor grill. Toast flour tortillas for about 30 seconds per side and keep warm in an aluminum foil pocket. Grill the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes. To serve slice chicken into even strips. Serve hot with onions and peppers, potatoes, grated jack cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas


Yield: 6 servings


1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 jar or can (12 ounces) red enchilada sauce

1 cup chicken stock

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 (6 ounce) can of pitted black olives, chopped

1 (8 ounce) bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 cup sliced green onions

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

12 corn tortillas

Oil for frying


Whisk oil and flour together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until combined. Let it cook for one minute, then whisk in the enchilada sauce and chicken stock and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile prep all ingredients. Chop yellow onions, olives, green onions and cilantro. Place the olives and green onions in small bowls near the area where you will assemble the enchiladas.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped yellow onion (not the green onions), and cook until browned. Drain fat if necessary and stir in salt, pepper, and diced green chiles. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another skillet, heat a thin layer of canola oil. Fry each tortilla for 10 seconds per side until soft, do not let them crisp. Set them on a plate lined with paper towels to cool slightly.

Set a large rimmed baking sheet next to the stove. Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce mixture and place on the baking sheet. Reserve the remaining sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees and begin assembling the enchiladas. Place a scant quarter cup of meat mixture down the middle of a tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chopped green onion, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped olives. Carefully roll up and place seam down in a greased 9x13 inch pan. You may need to squish them together so that they all fit in the pan. Save any leftover meat mixture as a topping for nachos or filling for quesadillas.

Top with remaining enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

Garnish with leftover sliced green onion and the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Recipe Tip: Vegetarian version: Mix 2 grated zucchini, 1 cup of chopped green onions, 1 cup of corn kernels (frozen is fine), and 2 (4 ounce) cans of diced green chiles in a large bowl. Use instead of the meat mixture to fill the enchiladas, along with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese and chopped olives, if desired.

Beef, Black Bean, and Corn Nachos


Makes 8 servings


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup chili powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

1 16-ounce package frozen corn, thawed

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Tortilla chips

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sour cream


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is very tender, about 8 minutes. Add beef and sauté until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano, and sugar; stir 30 seconds. Add beans, corn, and tomato sauce. Cover; simmer until beef is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in cilantro and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Line 8 serving bowls with tortilla chips. Spoon beef mixture over chips. Top with cheese and sour cream.

Margarita Pie with Pretzel Crust


Servings: 8


1 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pretzels

1 cup Sugar

1 stick Butter, Melted

1/2 cups Fresh Lime Juice

1 can (14oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Tablespoons Gold Tequila

2 Tablespoons Triple Sec

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream, Whipped

5 drops Green Food Coloring, Optional


For the crust, pulse the pretzels and sugar in a food processor several times to combine. Add butter in a steady stream and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

For the pie, combine the lime juice, condensed milk, tequila and triple sec in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream. Tint with green food coloring if you desire a deeper color. Spoon into the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for four hours or up to one week. Garnish with additional whipped cream and lime slices.

Note: do not use fat-free or low-fat pretzels in the crust or the crust will not hold together when cutting. You may substitute graham crackers for the pretzels, but it's just not the same.


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About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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