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19 Jan

La Parrilla’s Fajitas from LA Times
1 to 1 1/4 pounds skirt steak or rib eye steak

1 (8-ounce) bottle Italian dressing

4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch squares


2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

2 poblano chiles, cut into strips

1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices

5 plum tomatoes, quartered

4 yellow chiles

4 green onions

1/2 small lemon



Marinate steak overnight in dressing. When ready to cook, drain meat and cut into strips. Cook meat with bacon on large griddle or in heavy skillet 4 minutes, sprinkling with small amount oil. Season with Worcestershire and some of garlic salt while cooking.

Cook poblano chiles and onion alongside meat on griddle or in separate skillet for same amount of time, sprinkling with oil and remaining garlic salt. Add tomatoes to vegetables and cook about 2 minutes.

Place yellow chiles on griddle or in skillet and cook until brown in spots. Dip green onions in oil, place on griddle or in skillet and char lightly.

Combine meat and vegetables except green onions on sizzling hot griddle or on heated platter. Arrange green onions over top. Squeeze lemon juice over before serving. Accompany with tortillas and salsa. Makes 4 servings

Wine Country Vineyard vs Beach Cantina

17 Aug

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A week in western Canadian wine country packed with vineyard touring, tastings and fabulous charcuterie offerings. Trust us to stumble upon a beach shack cantina and return to it within a day or two.

These al pastor tacos were perfect both times. Pork coated by a combination of dried chilies, spices and pineapple, then crisped almost like bacon with just-grilled white onion (maybe the effects from a quick trip under the broiler – look how crunchy!). Supple yet crunchy corn tortillas delivered the goods topped with lashings of thin sour cream and avocado sauce.


We’ve often pined to try making al pastor at home, but balked at the difficulty: we are not rotisserie-type people.

But huzzzah: here’s a cheat that looks uncompromising. A thick chili coating on sliced pork threaded onto skewers, resting on a bed of pineapple to slow cook for two to three hours in the oven. We are that kind of people!

The trick is slicing the meat as thinly into pieces about 3 inches by 3-inches, and ¼-inch thick. Thread onto two parallel skewers to hold in place, packing tightly so there are no gaps. (you’ll have enough to make three rows using six skewers.) Then it goes into a 250 degree oven for two to three hours.

Sounds as uncomplicated and delicious as our favourite carnitas recipe.

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 dried avocado leaves (no idea if we can find these)
1/4 cup achiote paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 pineapple
12 corn tortillas, warmed




25 Jan


Brace yourselves…






And this treasure to wash it all down with:11836858_10152881018981566_8651046290023923223_n

From a 1977 menu under Mexican Specials: “three layers of corn tortillas filled with beef, melted cheese, lettuce and enchilada sauce.”

Here’s a super beautiful image to inspire you.

Using our fave Tres Marias corn tortillas, you could easily bake six stacks at once on a baking sheet.

From online recipe: “I buy ( 9 or 10″) aluminum foil pans to make these. Each person gets their own pan.”

For one serving:
4 oz. ground beef
Diced fresh tomatoes
Oregano, white and black pepper, salt and garlic powder
3 corn tortillas, blanched in hot oil
8 oz. heated enchilada sauce
1 1/2 oz. blended shredded cheese, 2 parts Cheddar and 1 part Monterey Jack

For Garnish:
shredded lettuce
sliced black olives
diced tomatoes

Cook ground beef; stir in tomatoes. Season with oregano, white and black pepper, salt and garlic powder.

Center the foil pan with one of the tortillas. Top with 1/3 of the ground beef, enchilada sauce and cheese; repeat step with the other tortilla, cheese, sauce and beef.

Place third tortilla over rest of the ingredients, covering torte completely with enchilada sauce. Sprinkle cheese over top for color. Bake in 450º oven until hot and cheese melts. Garnish with lettuce, olives, onions and tomatoes.

Ottawa Citizen, 1987
Recipe provided by Neil Prakash, general manager of GuadalaHarry’s

2 large, ripe avocadoes, peeled

1 small clove of garlic, peeled

1 or 2 small fresh green chilies

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 fresh lime

1 tablespoon sour cream

2 or 3 tablespoons of water

In a medium-sized bowl, mash the avocadoes. Mash the garlic, chilies, pepper and salt until it forms a paste. Mix into the mashed avocadoes and add the lime juice, sour cream and enough water to create the desired consistency. Chill and serve with tortilla chips.

Makes 4 servings.

Lucky Peas

1 Jan

New Year’s Day is fast becoming our preference over boozy eve.

We like the idea of greeting the new year with an outdoor adventure, and a celebration with friends and family.

We also just managed to snag our dear friend’s super scrumptious hot bean dip. Although the ingredients are similar to most, she combines beans, cream cheese and sour cream, and then spreads it thinly in a 9 by 13 pan. Gooey, melty bites of yum.

Thinner layers make all the difference. I have seen this called Texas Trash on Pinterest, but don’t let that dissuade you. This is a go-to hot bean dip that everybody loves.

2 cans of re-fried beans, one cup of sour cream, one package of cream cheese, some parsley and chives and 10 drops of Tabasco. (some recipes call for a packet of taco mix)
You spread that into a 9 by 13 pan and sprinkle liberally with your favourite chili powder. Cover with at least two cups of shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese and then sprinkle liberally with chili powder. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes and serve immediately with crackers sturdy enough to get through the cheese.


1 can refried beans
6 to 8 pickled jalapeño nacho slices, or to taste (I like Mrs. Renfro’s)
1 tablespoon brine from the jalapeño jar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Gebhardt-style chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Dump everything into a food processor and whir it up till smooth. Serve with Fritos.



2 8-oz) block of cream cheese, softened
Old El Paso Taco seasoning packet or homemade
4oz cans of Old El Paso diced green chiles, divided
¼ cup Old El Paso green enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Using a stand mixer, mix cream cheese, taco seasoning and diced green chilies (reserve 2 Tablespoons for top)
Place cream cheese mixture in a medium sized baking dish (about 8X8). I used a medium sized cast iron pan. Smooth until you have an even layer.
Next top with ¼ cup of green enchilada sauce. Place in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese, and green chiles. Place back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with your favorite tortillas