Friday, February 28, 2014

Chicharrones en Salsa Verde

I haven't had these in years...and by years I mean decades!! Mom used to make these when we lived in Mexico City, back in my teens. I'm not sure why she didn't frequent this delectable recipe once we returned to the States. They're delicious and super simple to make. I'm so glad I learned to make these. Here you go!


INGREDIENTS:
15 tomatillos, peeled and washed
1/2 onion
1 /2 bunch cilantro
1 chile pasilla (this was not in mom's recipe, but we added it :-) )
2 garlic cloves (mom said 1 but I used 2)
1/2 lb. of chicharrones, broken into small pieces
salt to taste
vegetable oil
*fried pork rinds found in a mexican market

Roast pasilla over open flame on the stove. You'll need to move it around with tongs, to allow the entire pasilla to get black. Once blackened, place in a plastic bag and let it steam, the black skin will loosen. You can either remove the skin using your hands by rubbing the chile over the bag, or rinse the chile with water. Cut the stem off.


Place all tomatillos in a pot, cover with water and boil.


Blend the cooked tomatillos with onion, cilantro, pasilla and garlic.
Take in the smell of the salsa....YUM!
 

 

Now I'm thinking this salsa can be used on just about anything...enchiladas maybe??!! I'll try it and let you know later.

Warm oil in a pan. Add the salsa with a little water, not too runny.
Add chicharron a few pieces at a time, they don't all fit in the pan until they soften, stirring frequently. You may not need the entire chicharron. Stop adding it to the pan once you see that you still have some salsa. Add salt to taste.


 

 


Serve with refried beans and enjoy!!


 










Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tacos de Crema

These have been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Most would call these enchiladas, but growing up mom always called them Tacos de Crema, so Tacos de Crema it is!! These are always a hit too!!




Ingredients:
2 dozen tortillas
2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded*
2 pasilla peppers
8 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz. sour cream
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
vegetable oil
*can also used store bought roasted chicken, just shred it.

Turn oven to 325 degrees.

Sauce:
Roast the pasilla peppers over the open flame on your stove. Turn them constantly until the entire peppers are black. You may have to use tongs at times to hold pepper over the open flame from time to time to ensure every spot of the pepper is black. Warning...it  begins to smell delicious now!!!
Once completely roasted, place both peppers in a plastic bag or ziploc bag and let sit for about 10 minutes. The bag will steam up and ease the removal of the black skin. Without opening the bag, with your hands rub the pepper (over the bag) to slip the black skin off. Remove the peppers and dispose of bag. Cut the stem off and place the peppers in a blender.
Add the sour cream and tomato sauce to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Take a whiff of the sauce .....and imagine just how delicious these tacos will be. Place the sauce in a shallow bowl for dipping of tortillas in a later step.

Tortillas:
Warm oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee one tortilla at a time for about a minute on each side. They should still be soft and foldable, you don't want them fried. Place them on a plate with paper towel to soak up the oil.


Assembly:
Grease a baking dish or cookie tray, you may need two.
Set up a production line to ease assembly. Dip a tortilla in the cream sauce and place it on the baking dish. Add some chicken and cheese. Roll the tortilla like an enchilada, and align it against the edge of your baking dish with the seam down to prevent it from opening up. Repeat until all tortillas are gone....your fingers will be messy through this process, but it'll be totally worth it! It is best not to layer tacos on top of one another, only side by side, as they will stick to each other during the baking process. 
Pour additional cream sauce and mozzarella over the tacos. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve with refried beans to complete the dish.

Just thinking about it is making me crave these, but I'm out of pasillas. Note to self, ALWAYS have pasillas in the pantry!! They can be used to make salsa, in refried beans for added flavor, in potatoe dishes...oh the possibilities. Pasillas are the best!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Fish Tacos, just on time for lent

Just on time for Taco Tuesday...and lent!
Here is my recipe for delicious fish tacos.
I don't care if these tacos are "Mexican" or not.  Just eat them!  
And thank me later.



Tilapia filets marinated in...
-lime juice (squeezed fresh from a lime)
-pepper
-salt
-minced garlic

Pan fried with very little olive oil.  I lke to start at medium heat, then raise it because I like a few seared, well done parts... then really low heat while I heat up the tortillas on the stove (en un comal...how do you say comal?)

Oh, but make the salsa and red cabbage "slaw" first!!

For red cabbage slaw, mix... 
Sour cream
red cabbage
lime juice (you know the deal)
salt

For salsa, blend...
3 dried guajillo chiles and 3 dried California chiles, soaked in warm water for about an hour (poured just a bit of this chile juice in the blender before mixing all this)
1 pasilla chile, roasted then placed in zip lock bag to steam for 15 minutes, then wash the burned layer off)
2 tomatoes (forgot to roast them, dang it)
1 (or more) small chile of your choice for kick
lime juice (esqueeeezeee...)
salt (blow it off your hand like it's fairy dust...)
cilantro
yellow onion (like a fifth of it)
large garlic clove

Put the caggabe slaw mix on the warm corn tortilla.
Follow with tilapia.
Pour some slasa on those puppies.
Then top with cilantro. 

Que rico!  Don't forget to wash them down with a refreshing cerveza.

I should have cooked more fish...I devoured my tacos in minutes.  I'm still thinking about them now, shooot. :)


Provecho!
Sandy

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Salsa Fresca - Fresh Salsa

Super easy, quick and tasty fresh salsa.
Sorry, I made this so quickly and last minute I completely forgot to take pictures of the process. But trust me, it's simple.

1  large tomato
2  chiles colorados (red chiles)
1  bunch of cilantro
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Place tomato in a pot and cover with water. Boil for a few minutes.
Cut the stem off the chiles.
Blend the tomato, chiles, cilantro and garlic with just a bit of the water the tomato boiled in. Add more water if you need a more runny consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Done and done!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tacos de Papa


Ingredients:

-2 lbs of Russet potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
-2-3 small cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
-Fresh cilantro
-2 green onions (as topping)
-3 tablespoons of olive oil for coating potatoes
-1/4* cups of olive oil for frying
(*depending on size of pan-I used a small one)
-Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oven at 400 degrees.  Cut potatoes and toss in a bowl with olive oil, garlic,
salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro.  Make sure the potatoes are generously coated.
Place in a baking pan and heat for about 30-35 minutes, or until the potatoes are
soft to a fork's touch.



Once the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, place in a bowl and mash 'em up!
(I chose to add a small amount of shredded cheese here.)
Meanwhile, heat up some olive oil over medium/high heat.  I chose a small deep pan since
I'm only cooking for one tonight-by choice. ;)
Anyways, taste the mixture to see if it needs more salt, it probably will.

To prevent tortilla breakage, heat tortillas slightly in a microwave before
you spoon some of the potato mixture onto them.
Use a piece of tortilla to test
if the oil is ready for frying...

Fold the tortilla in half and fry on each side for about 20 seconds.
Notice that I prepared a drying area with paper towels.
Please be careful not to place the paper towels too close to the open flame!
Just sayin'...

Serve immediately with toppings of your choice.


There are so many choices of toppings to dress up these tacos.
I dressed mine up with some avocado salsa and a side of avocado slices.
I've seen them topped with chopped tomatoes and lettuce.
My mom tops these with the same sauce used on the tostadas from a previous post:

I have so many ideas to improve this recipe!  Feel free to share your variations
We would LOVE to hear from you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Easy and Delicious Holiday Buñuelos


I bought this white flour tortilla mix at a local Mexican market grocery store.  To make 2 dozen you mix 4 cups of the mix with 1 cup of WARM water (I ended up adding about 1/4 cup of water extra...you want to the dough soft enough to knead.)

Knead the dough for 5 minutes then cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Divide the dough into separate balls.  If you were making tortillas, you would make a ball for each tortilla in the size of your choice.

In this case, I used LARGE holiday themed cookie cutters on the rolled out dough. 

I used gingerbread man and Christmas tree shapes.  The gingerbread men came out looking kinda funny.  But it's always fun to bite their heads off. :D
This is what they look like before they get fried!


I heated up some vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  I used enough oil so that each buñuelo would be submerged just barely (so the amount depends on the size pot you use).  I tested the oil's heat by dipping the end of a buñuelo.


Poor gingerbread man!  I fried for about 10 seconds on each side sometimes using the spatula to flatten them out.  This gingerbread man was looking pregnant at one point. Oh, and cover a plate with some paper towels to set the freshly fried fritters on.

Make sure you have a container ready with a white sugar and cinnamon mix.  After the buñuelos are done frying they get tossed in this sweet concoction.  Now....here's my secret ingredient: honey. I LIGHTLY DRIZZLE some honey on the buñuelos (I do one side only) before I coat them in the sugar and cinnamon mix.

Your done!  Now make sure you try one before you serve them.



Perfect with a hot cup of coffee.....drool....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Holy Mole!!


Finding a mole recipe we felt capable to try was not an easy task.  The Tonaya recipe book we had used before did not have a mole recipe.  Mom admitted she hasn't cooked traditional mole in a long time.  We decided to look online.  Yeah, I know.  SO many recipes to choose from!  Yikes! Some recipes more traditional-meaning more complex and labor intensive-than others.  It was hard to choose.  We finally made a decision so we could get started.  We opted for one of the simpler versions. 

SO....you know how on our blog headline, you are asked to join us and to learn from our delicious mistakes as we embark on the journey to learn a traditional family recipe every month?  Well, we thank you for taking this ride with us.  
Now, buckle up.


The ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (3lb) chicken, cut into pieces
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I recommend a little less so it doesn't overpower)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5) can dived tomatoes
2 teaspoons brown sugar 
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 semisweet chocolate chip
1/4 cup raisins (we omitted this ingredient)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (to garnish)












Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the chicken pieces in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides-about 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in the bay leaf, black pepper cayenne pepper, paprika, cloves, and cinnamon until fragrant-about 30 seconds.  Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent- about 5 minutes.
(Meanwhile we are also cooking white rice with a little bit of butter and a bay leaf in a Pampered Chef Rice Cooker...hey, it works.)



















Stir in the tomatoes, brown sugar, and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Once simmering, stir in the chocolate chips until melted, then return the chicken pieces to the pot.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender and no longer pink at the bone-about 15 to 20 minutes.
The recipe then asks to stir in the raisins and cook an additional 3 minutes.  
But we skipped the raisins, feeling the sauce was already sweet enough.






Finally, you sprinkle sesame seeds to serve with white rice and warm corn tortillas.
Provecho!


By the way, we got the recipe here:  

Reflection Notes:
What key ingredient seems to be missing from the recipe above? Chiles, of course! It seems we should have looked for a mole recipe that included chiles.  The sauce could definitely be spicier and would simply benefit from the flavor of chiles.  I also mentioned that the sauce turned out a tad too sweet.  Perhaps we will use less chocolate, or less brown sugar.   
The good news is that mom finally found a mole recipe among her many handwritten recipe notebooks.  You know, I still have recollections of my mom sitting at the table or kitchen counter copying recipes from notes and the recipes of others.  With a pen, on notebooks with lined paper.  Wow, handwriting... remember that?  I joke. :)
Perhaps we should scan her recipes to preserve them.  I can see those notebook pages turning yellow...
...but I digress.

In conclusion, Sonia and Sandy shall try mole again!!  We feel this recipe deserved another try!  There is a plethora of mole recipes out there!!  In fact, we are curious if you have a mole recipe you would like to share.  If so, please include it in the comment box below; we would love to see your yummy versions of mole!
Nos vemos!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nearing 300 Facebook friends. Who knew?


Hi there friends. Been a while since we've blogged a recipe. But the day is coming up quick. Planning on making something delicioso this weekend. Maybe mole? That should be interesting.

On another note, I just checked our Facebook page and was quite surprised to see we're nearing 300 Facebook friends. Wow! Who knew? All because two sisters want to learn to cook like mom.

We began this journey about a year ago and I have to say, its' been a quite rewarding journey for me. I can now cook frijoles refritos (refried beans), carne con chile (beef in chile sauce), chiles rellenos (stuffed chiles), arroz (spanish rice), tostadas de lomo (pork loin tostadas), camarones a la diabla (spicy shrimp), micheladas (a yummy beer and Clamato concoction), pan de muerto (day of the day bread)...just to name a few.

For those who follow our blog and all our dear Facebook friends, thank you for accompanying us in this journey of food love. Here's to another year of good food, good company and good times.

~Sonia

PS: sign up to follow our blog directly from this site ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemas)

Today is another feast day. Whomever got the Baby Jesus figurine in the Rosca de Reyes on January 6th, traditionally hosts a party today with tamales and champurrado. Sandy got the figurine, but since it's a "school day" and we all have commitments, our Candlemas celebration will be this Friday at her place.

Check out fellow Latina blogger's Muy Bueno Cookbook blog for a more descript article on Candlemas and a slew of yummy recipes!

Did you get the Baby Jesus figurine in the Rosca de Reyes? Are you celebrating Candlemas?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rosca de Reyes (King's Bread)


Dia de Los Reyes Magos!!
That's the holiday we looked forward to as children when we lived in Mexico City. To wake up on January 6th to find what gifts the Three Wise Men brought us...our version of Santa Claus on Christmas Day! Oh, how I remember those days fondly. I'll never forget my favorite gift...a three story Barbie house. And I remember my brother received a remote control racetrack that year.


The epiphany, January 6th, marks the end of the Christmas Season for catholics (12 Days of Christmas). In Mexico, this day is celebrated as the day the Three Wise Men on this day. Traditionally, Rosca de Reyes (King's Bread) is eaten with hot chocolate after opening the presents. It is baked with a porcelain or plastic baby Jesus inside. Whoever gets the Baby Jesus in their serving, throws a party with tamales and champurrado on February 2nd. Hey, any opportunity for celebrating with friends and more food!


(The Baby Jesus. If you get this, you're feeding us tamales and champurrado on Feb. 2nd)

This year I'm not up to baking a Rosca de Reyes. However, I will be enjoying one I will pick up at my local Mexican bakery. If you're up for it, here's a recipe I found online. Let me know if you try it.


Buen Provecho!!


http://http//whatscookingmexico.com/2009/01/07/rosca-de-reyes/

Sunday, December 12, 2010

TAMALES, savory pork, rajas con queso and dulces!

Wow! Well, this was no easy feat. There was so much going on in the kitchen.

I arrived at mom's and she had already started everything. In fact, she was already assemling the tamales. This is definitely time consuming, but if you prep ahead of time, it doesn't have to be.

I'll start with the delicious pork filling first.

PORK FILLING:


Ingredients:
3 lbs. pork riblets, with or without bone
2 garlic cloves
8-10 dry chile guajillos, like the ones in the picture above. Soaked in warm water for 1 to 2 hours tomato
a handful of fresh oregano
salt

Place pork in a pan, and fill the pan 1/2 way up with water. Cook in the water, add salt and garlic. Simmer until pork is cooked through.

Blend the soaked chiles, fresh oregano, garlic cloves with some of the juice from the chiles, and tomato.

Once the pork is cooked, drain some of the juices out, and add the salsa (drained). Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Salt to taste.


Cooked pork.



TAMALE MASA:


Ingredients:

(Makes about 6 dozen tamales)

10 lbs. of masa (you get this at a mexican food shop)

1 cup white rice

6 dozen corn husks, soak in very hot water for 1 hour prior to assembling tamales (you get this at mexican food shop). Refer to picture above.

Tortilla maker, it'll make things easier :)



Tamale masa


Soaking corn husks

Cook the white rice with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 20 minutes, until water is evaporated. Mix the rice in with the prepared tamale masa in a deep bowl.

Assemble tamales:
Place a corn husk on the tortilla maker. Place a ball of masa in the center of the corn husk. Squeeze the tortilla maker down gently, ever so slightly. You may have to place a piece of plastic on the top portion of the tortilla maker so the masa doens't stick to it. Keep the plastic just a little moist with water.

Take the corn husk off the tortilla maker and onto a flat surface. Put the filling on it.


Then fold the right side toward the center and lay the masa over the filling. Open the leaf back toward the right. Fold the left side over toward the center, and leave it there. Fold the bottom portion of the corn husk toward the top. Then fold the right side over the left side, snugly.


Folding the bottom of husk toward the top



Folding snugly

Place the tamales in a steamer, standing. Fill the steamer with tamales. Make sure the bottom portion of the steamer has plenty of water.


Place a towl over the tamales and tuck into the sides of the steamer. Put the lid on the steamer and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, or until masa is completely cooked.




BUEN PROVECHO!!!



We also made tamales de rajas con chile (chile and cheese tamales) and tamales de dulce (sweet tamales)

Tamales de Rajas con Chile filling:

Monterrey Jack cheese cut into sticks

Chile pasilla, roasted and cut into strips

To roast the chile place it right ove the stove fire and leave until every surface turns black. Once done place the chile in a plastic bag so it sweats and the peel comes off easily. After about 10 minutes, remove the chile from the bag and peel all the black off by sliding it off with your fingers. Then cut into strips, and remove seeds and stem. Cut enough strips to use one for each tamale.

Assemble the same as the pork tamales, but instead of adding pork filling to the corn husk, add a strip of cheese and a strip of chile. Fold the corn husk closed in the same manner and cooke for an hour, or until masa is completely cooked.


And now for the sweet tamales!!

Sweet tamale filling:

2 lbs. of prepared tamale masa

1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of chopped fresh pineapple, or out of a can ;)

1/4 cup of raisins

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

To assemble the tamales, place a large dollop of sweet masa in the center of a corn husk. Then fold the right side to the center, followed by the left side of the husk toward the center, covering the masa. Then, take the bottom edge of the husk and fold up in half toward the top edge. Tie together with a strip of corn husk to keep it from opening. Place all tamales in a steamer and cook for an hour.


These are so delicious, I couldn't stop eating them today! Can't wait to make them again for Christmas!!

BUEN PROVECHO...enjoy. Let me know if you're brave enough to try them and how it all turns out.