Tag Archives: cinco de mayo

Taco de Mayo

6 May

Ode to crumbly tacos of yore.

Beef Tacos
Makes 8 tacos, serving 4.

Tomato sauce is sold in cans in the same aisle that carries canned whole tomatoes. Do not use jarred pasta sauce in its place. cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes are, in our opinion, essential.

Beef Filling
2 teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
1 small onion , chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt
1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces), or Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 small diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1 diced avocado
1 small chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
hot sauce

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally,
until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Using wide, shallow spoon, divide filling evenly among taco shells; place two tacos on individual plates. Serve immediately, passing toppings separately.


From Rick Bayless: Remember those taco-in-a-box kits? You know, the ones with spice packets and U-shaped crunchy tortillas? These…aren’t those. Consider these “North of the Border” Tacos a grown-up (and way better) version.

“North of the Border” Tacos

1 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes and placed in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to firm OR 1 pound 80% lean coarse-ground beef

1/2 medium white onion, cut into ¼ inch pieces

2 tablespoons powdered ancho chile

1/2 teaspoon powdered chipotle chile

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

Sugar

Salt

1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided use

12 warm corn tortillas, for serving

1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

1/2 small head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced, for serving

2 medium red-ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped, for serving Mexican hot sauce (I like Valentina or Tamazula), for serving

If using chuck roast, pulse the freezer-firmed meat in a food processor to a coarse ground beef texture. In a very large skillet set over medium-high, cook onions until golden brown but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, spreading it over the entire surface to ensure even browning. Sprinkle in the chile powders, oregano, cumin and black pepper. Mix everything together and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Taste and season with salt and a big pinch sugar to give the classic American chile powder flavor. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of the jack cheese to the skillet and mix just to incorporate. To make each taco lay a corn tortilla on a plate and spoon on a portion of the meat, sour cream, the remaining Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. Serve immediately.

NYT’s Middle School Tacos

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola, peanut or grapeseed

1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1 cup chicken stock or beef broth

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the onion, and cook until softened and starting to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so to soften, and then the ground meat. Cook until it starts to brown, stirring and chopping with a spoon to break up the meat, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Pour off excess fat, leaving only a tablespoon or two in the pan.

Add the chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cornstarch, paprika and red-pepper flakes, and stir to combine.

Add the stock or broth, stir, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened slightly, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

As sauce cooks, place taco shells (on a taco rack, if possible) on a sheet pan, and toast in oven until they are crisp and smell nutty, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve a few tablespoons of meat in each taco, along with whatever toppings you like.

Serve with refried beans on the side, if desired.

 

 

 

 

Fish Tacos Times Two

5 May


Cinco de Mayo wouldn’t be complete without these delicious fish tacos.

Perfectly paired with cold beer, it would be interesting to serve both of these.

The first is a clean, vibrant and puckery.

The second is a rich, luxurious smokey version.

LEE’S ROCKING FISH TACOS
Gwyneth Paltrow
serves 8
A bunch of cilantro
Juice of 5 limes
1/3 cup of olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 jalapeño or 3 red fresno chili peppers, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
Coarse salt
2 pounds halibut, finely diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
Combine the cilantro, lime juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, onion, garlic, chili, garlic powder, cumin and paprika together in a blender with a large pinch of salt and puree until thoroughly combined and smooth. Set the mixture aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a

large pot and add the halibut. Cook, stirring now and then, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Pour over the reserved cilantro mixture, stir gently just to combine and cook for just another minute to let all the flavors say hello. Serve immediately with deep-fried flour tortillas, crema fresca (or sour cream), cotija cheese, and a fresh pico de gallo with chunks of avocado (mix equal parts diced tomatoes and avocado and then season with salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, lime and diced red onion).

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ACHIOTE-MARINATED FISH TACOS
LA TIMES
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons achiote paste

1 pound yellowtail fillet, skin removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 small corn tortillas

1 cup finely shredded cabbage

1 cup chipotle mayonnaise

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and achiote paste. Put the mixture into a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag with the fish. Refrigerate for an hour.

On a cast-iron griddle or in a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Scrape some of the extra achiote paste from the yellowtail, then grill the fish, about 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until done. If the fish is cooking too quickly or unevenly, adjust the heat as necessary. Let the fish rest for a few
minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain; if the fish breaks apart, that’s fine.

Warm the tortillas on a pan over medium heat; place on a platter or individual plates, two per person.

Divide the fish among the tortillas and top with shredded cabbage and a teaspoonful of chipotle mayonnaise. Serve immediately, with lime wedges.

Chipotle mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 chipotle peppers in adobo, roughly chopped

In a food processor or blender, blend the mayonnaise, garlic, oil, lime juice, salt and chipotle peppers. You will have more chipotle mayonnaise than is called for in the recipe. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Poblano Pepper Party

2 May

We are dreaming of poblanos.

In particular, roasted poblanos stuffed with sweet potato, goat cheese (any combination of Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar, low-moisture Mozzarella, up to 1/2 cup Cotija), chipotles in adobe, beans, raisins, cumin, onion, cilantro, lime.

Or stuffed with fried, diced potato and onion with creamy cilantro dressing.

Or creamy, smooth beans smothered in cheese, napped with enchilada sauce.

True, crumbled chorizo would be a delicious addition to any of these, but not necessary.

There are two ways to make these: either by roasting, removing seeds through a slit, or stuffing them raw and the roasting.

Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise and removing the seeds.

Combine filling, and gently stuff each pepper, taking care not to tear if they are pre roasted.

Carefully place the pepper halves on the section of the grill with indirect heat.

Cover and grill for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the peppers are nicely softened. Then transfer the peppers to the direct heat section of the grill for 3 to 5 minutes until the peppers are charred and softened.

Roasted Potato stuffed Poblanos with creamy cilantro, jalapeno, garlic dressing

6-8 fingerling potatoes or 2-3 russet potatoes, coarse chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, coarse chopped
1/2 medium sized onion, coarse chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican basil (don’t substitute Italian)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Combine filing and toss until potatoes are well coated in oil and spices. Spread the mixture onto a roasting pan, or casserole dish, and place on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Fill poblanos with cooled mixture, top with cheese and cook til heated through.

Creamy cilantro garlic dressing

2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonaise
1 tablespoon fresh goat cheese
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon diced jalepeno
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

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2 large red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 poblano chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 ear white corn, stripped of kernels
2 scallions, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro – I like lots, but depending on your taste, you might want 1/4 cup chopped
1 lime
Fresh avocado, diced

Baja Shrimp Tacos

2 May

It’s Cinco de Mayo week here at Saucy Cherie and we couldn’t be happier.

Here’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s simple, and mighty delicious, grilled shrimp tacos.

Paired with puckery guac, these are clean-tasting and amazing.

BAJA STYLE SHRIMP TACOS
A southern California classic, grilled shrimp tacos couldn’t be quicker to prepare—and they happen to be very healthy at that. The combination of fresh lime juice and Cholula hot sauce is pretty much unparalleled.

2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
the juice of one lime
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 dozen corn tortillas
pico de gallo (see recipe below)
lime wedges for serving
Cholula hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
crumbled cotija or feta cheese (optional)

Preheat your grill over high heat. Toss the shrimp together with the olive oil, lime juice and salt. Grill until cooked through, about 2 minutes a side.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan and wrap them in a tea towel to keep warm. Pile a few shrimp on top of each tortilla and serve with a bit of pico de gallo, fresh lime juice, a few dashes of hot sauce and a little of the crumbled cheese if you’d like.

Pico de Gallo
Simple to prepare and about a thousand times fresher and more vibrant than any jar of salsa, fresh pico de gallo is worth making from scratch.

1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
coarse salt
squeeze of lime
as many finely chopped red jalapeños as you’d like (optional)
Combine the tomatoes, cilantro and onion together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and lime. Reserve some of this mixture for the kids, and then add as much jalapeño as you like to the remaining mixture for the adults.

Black Beans
By adding a few aromatics to a can of black beans, you get that Mexican restaurant flavor without hours of soaking and cooking.

1 can of black beans
4 cilantro stems
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt
Combine everything together in a small pot and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes (I do this while I’m preparing the rest of the meal). Be sure to simmer the beans long enough so that they’re not watery.

Guacamole
A lesson in simplicity—the best guacamole is a showcase for ripe avocadoes. A little salt, lime and cilantro go a long way.

2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons minced white onion
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime
coarse salt
Cut each avocado in half, remove and reserve the pits and score the flesh inside of the shells. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork—you don’t want it to be completely smooth. Stir in the onion and cilantro. Cut the lime in half and squeeze in enough juice to taste. Season the guacamole with salt, and either serve immediately or stick the pits in to keep it from browning (remove the pits before serving).

Cinco de Mayo

5 May


Here’s our Mexican-inspired party fare. The pork turned out amazing!

We have an array of organic corn and flour tortillas, crisp radishes, cheese, salsas, chipotle lime crema, and guacamole, accompanied by a sunny salad of orange supremes, red onion, and lettuces in a cumin-scented roasted garlic and parmesan dressing.

To further the Mexicans conquering the French theme, we are treating our guests to chocolate mousse spiked with cinnamon and cayenne, topped with fruit salsa: kiwi, mango and strawberry.

To begin, we have cassava chips and some corn tortillas chips in the colours of the Mexican flag. For dipping: guac, salsa verde, picante sauce, refried bean dip. And of course, darling two-bite epanadaditas with chicken/achiote/raisin/olive filling.

Now, where’s that margarita?

PLAYLIST: Tequila-The Champs… Tijuana Taxi-Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass…La Bamba-Ritchie Valens…South of the Border-Frank Sinatra… Low Rider-War…Spanish Flea-HA&TB…Conquest-White Stripes… El Paso-Marty Robbins…

From America’s Test Kitchen: “Why this recipe works: Traditional carnitas, Mexico’s version of pulled pork, is fried in gallons of lard or oil. The results are tasty, but who wants to deal with all that hot fat? We wanted to create restaurant-style carnitas—tender chunks of lightly crisped, caramelized pork, subtly accented with oregano and citrus—without the hassle of frying.
Our initial recipe for carnitas started by simmering the meat (taste tests proved boneless pork butt had the best flavor) in a seasoned broth in the oven and then sautéing it in some of the rendered fat. The flavor was OK, but too much of the pork flavor went down the drain when we discarded the cooking liquid. So we kept the liquid and reduced it on the stovetop (after the meat had been removed) until it developed the consistency of a thick, syrupy glaze that was perfect for coating the meat. Broiled on a rack set over a baking sheet, the glazed meat developed a wonderfully rich flavor and the rack allowed the excess fat to drip off. We emulated the flavor of the Mexican sour oranges used in authentic carnitas with a mixture of fresh lime and orange juices. Bay leaves and oregano provided aromatic notes, and cumin brought an earthy dimension that complemented the other flavors.
We like serving carnitas spooned into tacos, but you can also use it as a filling for tamales, enchiladas, and burritos.
Don’t Cut the Fat. Leaving a 1/8-inch layer of fat on the pork is critical to imparting the best flavor and texture to the final dish. Overtrimming the meat will lead to dry, bland carnitas.”

MEXICAN PULLED PORK (CARNITAS)
America’s Test Kitchen: Supper From South of the Border
1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) boneless pork butt , fat cap trimmed to 1/8 inch thick, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 small onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
2 cups water 1 medium orange , halved

Tortillas and Garnishes
18 (6-inch) corn tortillas , warmed
Lime wedges
Minced white or red onion
Fresh cilantro leaves
Thinly sliced radishes
Sour cream

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, onion, bay leaves, oregano, lime juice, and water in large Dutch oven (liquid should just barely cover meat). Juice orange into medium bowl and remove any seeds (you should have about 1/3 cup juice). Add juice and spent orange halves to pot. Bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until meat is soft and falls apart when prodded with fork, about 2 hours, flipping pieces of meat once during cooking.
Remove pot from oven and turn oven to broil. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl; remove orange halves, onion, and bay leaves from cooking liquid and discard (do not skim fat from liquid). Place pot over high heat (use caution, as handles will be very hot) and simmer liquid, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy (heatsafe spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 8 to 12 minutes. You should have about 1 cup reduced liquid.
Using 2 forks, pull each piece of pork in half. Fold in reduced liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread pork in even layer on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet or on broiler pan (meat should cover almost entire surface of rack or broiler pan). Place baking sheet on lower-middle rack and broil until top of meat is well browned (but not charred) and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip pieces of meat and continue to broil until top is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Serve immediately with warm tortillas and garnishes.