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Archive for the ‘Mexican’ Category

Baked Rolled Tacos

This is a really great way to recreate rolled tacos at home, without the mess and added fat of frying.  It is a bit time intensive, but if you have a rolling partner, and you make a whole big batch, it’s worth it.

What you need:

  • Turkey/ chicken/ whatever meat you are using
  • onion
  • taco spice
  • garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth for tortillas, 1 cup for browning meat
  • corn tortillas
  • olive or canola oil, spray
  • toothpicks

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Cook meat (if not already cooked).  For ground turkey meat, brown in a skillet w/ 1 cup chicken broth, diced onions, minced garlic and taco seasoning.  
  3. In another shallow skillet, simmer 2 cups chicken broth for 10 minutes
  4. Once the chicken broth is warm, dip tortillas in, 1-2 at a time, and let soak in broth for a few minutes.  Afterwards, the tortilla should be pliable enough to roll up without breaking.  Continue until all tortillas are done.  
  5. Spray olive or canola oil onto a baking sheet.
  6. Put 2-3 tablespoons of meat mixture onto each tortilla, then roll up tortilla.  Secure with a toothpick through the rolled taco.
  7. Place the rolled tacos onto sheet, and coat with oil spray.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crispy.

Just out of the oven

These babies are great when paired with tomatillo salsa and refried beans!  Enjoy!

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Agua Fresca

I love strawberry agua fresca, you guys.  I love it to much, I want to marry it.  I go to the swapmeet in East County, just to get it.  Then I got the courage to ask the cashier at the tamale stand how to make it… What she told me was TOTALLY different than the recipes on line.  She said the secret ingredient is half and half.  The recipes online are always just fruit, sugar, ice, water.  I don’t buy half and half, and always have 2% milk, so I used that instead.  The result was SO GOOD.  Almost just like at the swapmeet, but no pants required.

P.S. Please do not mix up SALT for SUGAR in this recipe.  Trust me, it is the most disgusting thing you will taste all month, if you do.  #ilearnfrommymistakes :/

What you need:

  • 4 cups chopped/ hulled strawberries (about the amount you get from a small container from the store)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • blender

What to do:

  1. Add all the stuff to the blender… and puree! 
  2. Put the agua fresca in the fridge for at least an hour, 2-3 hours is preferred.  Don’t worry if the foam settles on top.
  3. Stir it up and enjoy, preferably in a warm, sunny spot. 

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Refried Beans

I make these all the time, and never really though anything of it until Christina came over for pollo asado one night and was so in love with them.  I think she called them “restaurant beans”, haha.

I got the recipe from the mother of my best childhood friend.  She was a badass Mexicana who would always have some delicious Mexican food on the stove.  I loved going over there on enchilada night.  Anyway, it’s a very simple recipe that doesn’t require a lot of brain power (read: measurements) and makes a great side dish!

What you need:

  • Sun Vista pinto beans, what size can you want.  I usually use the 29 ouncer (the cheese amounts are based on this size can):
  • Cheese, shredded, about 2 cups.  Can be any of the following: cheddar, jack, mozzarella, cotija, queso fresco, anything similar.  I usually use whatever I happen to have on hand.
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated, 1/2 cup or so.  This is key.  Romano should work, too.
  • Optional:
  • Minced garlic or onion
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chili paste, crushed red peppers, or anything else to make it a bit spicy
  • Potato masher, or some other way to smash the beans up

What you need to do:

  1. Pour the contents of the pinto bean can into a large skillet.  If you are adding any of the optional ingredients, add them now.
  2. Cook over medium high heat until the beans start to bubble.
  3. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally… no worries because you can’t really over cook it.
  4. Smash a few beans with a spoon to see if they smash easily.  If they do, you are ready for step #5.
  5. Grab your potato masher (or other smashing tool, hah) and CAREFULLY smash all the little pintos up.  Seriously you gotta be careful because sometime you can create a suction when you smash the beans then pull the masher back up and then you end up with a beansplosion ALL over your kitchen… it’s VERY messy, ask Christina.  It’s not complicated, just try not to be an idiot like me.

    look at my fancy masher!

  6. Once the beans are homogenous, stir in the parmesan cheese.  And then stir in the other cheese.  Stir, stir, stir until it all melts.
  7. Enjoy 🙂

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So I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Pati’s Mexican Table blog, but you should definitely check it out.  I used her recipe for the enchiladas and the tomatillo salsa in this post.  The enchiladas are kind of a PITA, but they were delicioussssss.  The salsa, on the other hand was easy and I am in love with it.  I want to make it every week, now.  Also, I love going to the mexican market, Pancho Villa to get cheaper, fresher ingredients for stuff like this.  Check out this huge hunk of queso fresco I got for less than $4!

Anyway, I will separate the two recipes so you can make one or the other easier, if you wish.

Tomatillo Salsa

What you need

  • Two pounds green tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2-5 garlic cloves, to your taste
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles (I accidentally bought anaheim, wah)
  • 1-2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola oil

What to do:

  1. Put the tomatillos and garlic into a large stockpot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil. 
  2. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatillos change color to pale green.
  3. Put the tomatillos, garlic and 1/2 cup of the cooking water into a blender.  Puree and then add the onions, cilantro, salt and chiles.  Puree until the salsa is mixed throughout. 
  4. In the same stockpot, heat a tablespoon of oil, and add the salsa back into the pot.
  5. Simmer the salsa for another 10 minutes or so, until it thickens up a bit.  Add more salt to taste.
  6. Enjoy!

Enchiladas Verdes

What you need:

  • 2 pounds of chicken breast
  • a few cups of chicken stock
  • oil
  • 12-14 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup mexican style crema Brand doesn't matter, but this one is great
  • queso fresco
  • a generous amount of tomatillo salsa, at least 4 cups

What to do:

  1. Add the uncooked chicken and the chicken stock to a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  3. In a saute pan or cast iron skillet, add enough oil to cover a tortilla lying flat in the pan.  Preheat the pan on low for 5 mins for a normal pan or 10-15 for cast iron.
  4. Let 2-3 tortillas soak in the oil for a minute or two, then take them out, let the oil drain, and repeat until with the remaining tortillas.  You will be able to tell when they are ready because they will become WAY more pliable, and won’t break when rolled up.  The first time around, I didn’t soak them long enough and ended up with a bunch of broken enchiladas… Don’t repeat my mistake!
  5. Fill each tortilla with a 3 tablespoons of chicken and some queso fresco
  6. Roll up the tortilla around the chicken and queso, seam facing down, and place into oven safe dish
  7. Cover generously with tomatillo salsa
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes
  9. Serve with queso fresco and crema on top on the enchiladas.  Enjoy them while they are hot!

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So I am trying to be a better blogger, and post more often, so today you will get TWO.  Savor it, folks.

I love tacos.  Who doesn’t really?  If you don’t, I wouldn’t really want to be your friend.

So when it’s taco night, we (me, BF and Frito the cat) get pretty damn excited.  This time around it wasn’t really anything fancy… Basically lean ground turkey with some onions, garlic and TACO seasoning.  Then I got creative and sauteed some zucchini with more garlic and onion (I had a lot to use!), then threw in some frozen corn for good measure.  Everything was topped with DELICIOUS salsa stolen from my favorite local taco shop with the best salsas ever: Lucha Libre.

Below are some pics, along with some successful (and hilariously failed) attempts at making tortilla chips. My sister taught me how to make, and burn, your own corn tortilla chips!  Gotta use up that huge bag of 1034 corn tortillas from Costco somehow…

corn and zucch!

Cut up, coat in oil and salt, bake at 450 for about 10 mins

FAIL (do not let this happen to you... it is VERY SMELLY)

yum

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Chipotle Rip-Off

I love Chipotle’s rice, but if I eat a whole burrito or bowl there, I feel so full I want to barf (plus its $5+ a pop).  So I decided to make my own chipot-bowls.  I went on the internets and found what looked like a respectable recipe for rip-off rice and went from there.   Basically it’s rice, beans, chicken, cheese and salsa/ lettuce if you want.   Makes enough meals for 4 hearty lunches for under $15.

Rice (I just threw it all in my rice cooker, because I’m Asian like that):

2 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
3 tsp. fresh cilantro
2 cup white basmati rice
2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
juice from 2 limes

I didn’t have basmati rice so I used half brown rice and half jasmine (I think?).

Beans:

I just used canned black beans from Henry’s.  If you empty the can of all the bean juice you won’t get a soggy mess AND that lowers the sodium A LOT.

Chicken:

I cooked the chicken in the slow cooker.  Bought 2 lbs chicken tenders (was on sale, vs. breasts) from Henry’s, threw ‘em in there for about 6 hours on low with 2 cups of chicken stock and 4-5 tablespoons of taco seasoning (I buy the kirkland kind, but any kind works).  Easiest chicken ever.  Once it’s done, just shred with a fork.

Cheese:

Shredded cheddar

Other:

I was lazy and forgot salsa so I just added some black olives.  I bought some cabbage for it, but then realized that it would get soggy if I heated up in the microwave at work…oh well.  I guess you could pack lettuce/ cabbage separately.

finished product

finished product

Then I just threw it all in containers for lunches (rice, beans, chicken, cheese, other) and I’m good for the week!

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