Category Archives: Mexican

Tex-Mex Sopa de Pollo con Verduras

Tex-Mex Sopa de Pollo con Verduras

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mexican Soups or sopas are soul warming with all those flavors of spicy and salty broth with pops of peppers, cilantro, cumin, chilies. This time of year is just so great for fresh vegetables and fruits. Tonight I wanted to make a veggie packed dish that contained as many fresh veggies that I could force into the pot as possible.

When I do soups I seldom measure anything instead it’s a taste and add process. So I will do my best to remember how much of the spices I used.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (diced small)
1 onion (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
2 zucchini (diced)
2 jalapenos (roasted, seeded, diced)
2 Serrano peppers (roasted, seeded, diced)
1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 tomatoes diced
1 avocado
1 lime
1-2 tbs of cumin
1-2 tbs of ancho chilli
1 tbs of taco seasoning
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tbs of ghee
1 carton of chicken broth
1 beer

Directions:
1. Super easy but a lot of chopping. I put the onion and ghee in a medium pan and cooked until lightly browned. I added the carrots, chicken and spices and stirred until chicken was mostly done. While that was cooking I light my gas burner and put the corn and peppers on it to char.

2. Everything but the zucchini, avocado and cilantro go into the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and added the cilantro and zucchini and stirred them for another 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. I serve it over chips and top with cheddar, cilantro and avocado.

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Baja Fish Tacos with Chipotle Adobo Crema and Roasted Corn Salad

Baja Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Baja Fish Tacos with Adobe Crema
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When I think of fish tacos I can’t help but think of my sister and her family living in San Diego. Such great memories of going to the beach with the kids, hanging out all day under the sun and wrapping up the day by watching the sunset on the porch of a little mexican food joint atop one of the cliffs. While enjoying the transition to those cool nights, we would throw on a sweatshirt and enjoy some mexican food, margaritas, beer while laughing at various family stories.

Jill who isn’t a fish monger unless it’s a lobster roll or a crab cake actually took to fish tacos. I know many of the Baja tacos are fried but I made mine on a griddle. I wanted to the fish to shine and also wanted to make a nice pink sauce that combined chipoltes in adobo, sour cream, cilantro and some lime juice.

You have fresh fish with smokey spicy seasoning, the sweetness from the corn tortillas, the creamy spicy smokey sauce and for the acid and crunch from the sweet vinegar cabbage slaw. As a side dish I made a roasted corn salad with fresh jalapenos, red peppers, jicama, black beans mixed with a little of the chipotle adobo sauce and lime juice. Roasted corn is so cheap and delicious this time of year it’s hard not to put a few ears in the basket every trip to the market.

Ingredients
1 lbs of fresh tilapia
corn tortillas

Dry Rub
1 tbs Tajin seasoning
2 tsp Ancho Chili powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Chipotle Adobo Crema
1 cup sour cream
handful of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
2 chipoltes in adobo
3 tbs of the adobo sauce
Salt to taste
you can thin it with milk or cream if it needs it

Slaw
packaged cabbage slaw (half a bag)
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of white vinegar
juice of one lime
Kosher salt

Roasted Corn Salad

5 ears of fresh corn
2 fresh jalapenos
1 red pepper
1 can of organic black beans
diced jicama
3 tsp Tajin seasoning
2-3 tbs Adobo crema

Directions
This recipe is really easy but has a few steps. From a timing perspective let’s start with Corn salad.
1. 5 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned rubbed with some olive oil and some Tajin seasoning. Roast for about 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven. While the corn is roasting, fine dice your jalapeno, jicama and red pepper and add them to a large bowl. Rinse your canned black beans and also add to the bowl. When the corn is done, let it cool and cut off the kernels and add them to the bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. When time to serve, add the adobo crema and some Tajin seasoning. Taste and adjust accordingly. IMG_0123

2. For the crema. I added 1 cup of sour cream in a blender with the juice of one lime. I also added two chipoltes and about 2 or 3 tbs of the adobo sauce. I pinched a handful of cilantro and blended until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.

3. Slaw – Add vinegar and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage slaw and squeeze half a lime’s juices. Taste and adjust accordingly

4. Take your dry rubbed fish and put it in a heated non stick pan on medium heat. Fish cooks quickly so it takes about 3-4 mins on each side. Remove the fish to rest, clean the surface and heat your tortillas for about 1 minute.
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To serve, put some of the slaw on the tortilla and then your fish pieces with the crema on top.
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Dallas Brisket Tacos (Mia’s copycat) with Tomatillo, Avocado, Jalapeno Ranch Side salad

Dallas Brisket Tacos

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Dallas Brisket Tacos
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Mia’s is a Dallas mexican restaurant dynasty. Two of their popular dishes are their brisket tacos and stuffed Chile Rellenos. This small unassuming house converted to restaurant is where Jerry Jones was rumored to have signed Jimmy Johnson as the Cowboy’s head coach. Mia’s family tree branches off to another Dallas fav, Mi Cocina, which also serves brisket tacos that are pretty similar.

Mia’s has well seasoned and super tender brisket topped with some onions and roasted poblano pepper pieces topped with melted Monterrey Jack cheese. They serve it with a little side of brisket gravy, a simple salad, some slices of avocado, mexican rice and refried beans. It’s a perfect plate.

Cinco de Mayo was rolling around and I wanted to create a nice mexican spread. I’ve recently posted recipes of beef/chicken tacos and enchiladas but I don’t think I have created a proper brisket taco recipe. So poking around for recipes I was reunited with one of my favorite blogs Homesick Texan http://www.homesicktexan.com/ by Lisa Fain. She makes my kind of food and likely eats at my kind of joints. She has been at this for a while and her cookbooks are great imho. I have both.

Ingredients
Brisket
Butchered brisket (size depends upon serving size)
1 yellow onion (rough chopped)
7 cloves of garlic (rough chopped)
handful of cilantro
2-3 jalapeno’s seeded and sliced
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
4 cups of beef broth
1 mexican beer
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of ancho chili powder

2 Poblano peppers (roasted, skinned, sliced)
sliced yellow onion (or grilled green onion)
Fresh shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Flour tortillas
Kosher Salt

Side Salad with Avocado Tomatillo Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
1 tomatillo
1 avocado
1/4 cup of pickled jalapenos
handful of cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lime
4 glugs of Worcestershire
4 glugs of hot sauce
1 tbs white vinegar
1/2 cup of Dukes Mayo
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1-2 tbs of Ranch seasoning
milk or cream as needed

1. Knock out the dressing really quickly. Everything in the blender and blend until smooth. If you need to loosen it up do so with some milk or cream do so.
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2. Brisket. Salt and Pepper it and sear it off in a high heated cast iron skillet. Sear it on all sides and then add to a crockpot. Turn the fire down to medium. Add onions and a little oil or bacon grease to soften. Throw in garlic and red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add that to the crockpot along with everything else on the list.
Cook for 7-8 hours.
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3. About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. Remove the brisket and let it rest. Shred it with a fork and bring along some of the onions and jalapenos. Char your Poblano peppers, put them in a bowl and cover to steam them. Remove the skin and slice into strips (seeded of course). Slice some onion into strips.

4. Fill your flour tortilla with the brisket, top with peppers, onions and cheese and put the taco under a broiler so the cheese melts. Toss your salad and serve and eat.
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Quick Chicken Verde Enchiladas

Quick Chicken Verde Enchiladas

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Quick Chicken Verde Enchiladas
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Jill was gone all week attending a conference where she had long days and nights. She let me know she would be getting home all week and said she was ready to be home and wanted to eat at home. I didn’t have time to marinate or do anything that took much time, so I thought comfort=mexican. We also generally go out to a mexican restaurant most Friday nights to kick off our weekend.

Without a recipe in hand, I took off for the store and picked up a rotisserie chicken. Picked up some corn tortillas, verde sauce, cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream and some cheeses. Whipped up some margaritas and had it all done in minutes.

Ingredients:
Rotisserie Chicken
Store bought Pico de Gallo
Cilantro
Small Sour cream
Cheddar cheese block
Monterrey Jack block
1 can Verde enchilada sauce
Corn tortillas

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a large sauce pan or skillet add the pico de gallo and sweat out the onions for about 10minutes. Oil as needed.
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2. In a skillet on medium low heat pour in your enchilada sauce to heat just beyond warm.

3. In a large bowl add your sauteed pico. Shred your chicken and add to the bowl. Spoon in some sour cream until the consistency you like. I then added fresh shredded cheese but saved most for the top. I put about a quarter cup of the verde sauce and fresh Cilantro. Set aside. IMG_9891

4. Since it was two of us I used small pan. Take your corn tortillas and add two at a time to the sauce to soften them up. I use my hands for this because tongs always seem to murder my tortillas. When soft pull them out and spoon in the chicken mixture. Roll them up and place them seam side down in the glass dish. Pour the remaining verda sauce evenly across the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese, cover with foil and cook until the cheese melts. (remember everything is cooked ) IMG_9896

5. When you are about 10minutes out from serving. Put your oven on broil, remove the foil and let that cheese brown up. Serve with cilantro, margarita, rice, beans or whatever else tickles your fancy.
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“California” Ground Beef Tacos

California Beef Tacos

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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California Ground Beef Tacos
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Growing up, taco night right up there with the rare mythical pizza night. Back then, it was the simple hard shell ground beef taco topped with cheddar cheese. Today my taco aperture is fully widened. To adapt a JBJ lyric … “I’ve seen a million tacos and I’ve rocked them all” or something close.

A few decades ago on a visit to the the mother in law, she made us some “California” tacos. At this stage in my game, I had soft and hard shells but not oiled ones. It’s the same basic taco set up but she would take the corn tortillas and softened them in a heated and oiled skillet. Kind of what you might do to an enchilada in sauce.

Between us, I am not sure that single act of hot oil made them “Californian.” My hunch is someone, not from California, made them for her whilst she was living out there in her post college days. To me the California taco is a proper fish taco or some street barbacoa or carne asada tacos. The only reason I point that out is out to calm down any Californian who might read this and feel the need to educate me. I get it. The name is more about my MIL vs the state.

For my beef filling I like to really concentrate and reduce the sauce to a deep, spicy, rich salty mixture. I also like a fine cut of my ground beef while adding beans too. For the flavor, I will play around with my mixture by adding, beer, tomato sauce, green sauce or salsa etc.. This batch I went heavier on the tomato sauce but will use the typical amount in my base recipe.

Ingredients:
1 lbs ground beef (chopped further before browning)
corn tortillas
1 onion
8 oz of tomato sauce
8 oz of beer
4 oz of beef stock
Shredded cheddar for topping
1 green pepper (seeded and spined)
1 jalapeno (seeded and spined)
1 can of jalapeno pinto beans (rinsed)

Spices
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ancho chili powder
2 tbs of Penzey’s taco seasoning
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of paprika
1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of cayenne

Directions:
1. Take your ground beef and chop it on a cutting board. Add to a medium heated skillet to brown. Drain some of the fat.

2. Mince your onion, jalapeno, green pepper and add to the mixture and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Now add your spices and let them bloom for 5 minutes more.

3. Add the wet ingredients and simmer until it is really reduced and tight. You can cheat with cornstarch if you are in a hurry. Just put a 1tbs in a little water and then add and stir. IMG_9850IMG_9860

4. I add my beans towards the end and kind of mash it up a bit.

5. For the tortillas I take about a tablespoon of peanut or vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and heat it up. I use my hand so be careful of burning your self. Tongs tend to rip them. Since I cooked 4 tacos I put all 4 tortillas in the skillet. I flip all four and then take the top two, flip them and then flip all four. The point is each one needs to have contact with oil and heat. This is a one to two minute ordeal. Pull from heat and let them rest on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

6. Fill the tortillas with beef, cheese and anything else you want. I also made a simple salad and used avocado, lime juice and oil and blended it until smooth. I smashed a few chips to top.
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Drunken Pork Sandwich (Tortas Ahogadas)

Drunken Pork Sandwich

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Drunken Pork Sandwich
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One of my favorite shows is Diners, Drive-ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri on the FoodNetwork. Those are the places I like to try when I am traveling. What I like about it is that most of those places do a few dishes really well or they put a unique spin on their version. We go to Cabo yearly and like to try various places. We almost have a full slate of places we like, so it’s hard to fit in new ones.

On Guy’s Big Bite he and Jonathan Waxman made this sandwich called Tortas Ahogadas which I think translates to Drunken Sandwich. Guy got the idea from a little shack he went to while filming an episode of Triple D in Cabo San Lucas. Sad to say the little stand is now gone, but tried to keep it alive with his own spin on it. The way he talked about this sandwich made it a must try for me.

This thing is pretty awesome. It does take a while to make given several steps but it’s not too crazy. Soft and spicy pork butt shredded on a simple roll, smothered in this spicy tomato sauce topped with pickled onions and pico. You get smoky, tangy, sweet, spicy all in one bite. It’s fabulously messy with juices dripping off your hands. And I get to have it for lunch for the next two days.

Ingredients:
Sandwich:
Rolls
Butter for the rolls
Dukes Mayo
Cilantro
Pickled Onions (ingredients below)
Tomato Sauce (ingredients below)
Braised Pork Butt:
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs granulated garlic
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 3 or 4 large pieces
1/4 cup canola oil
2 bottles of Mexican beer

Tomato Sauce:
6 to 8 dried chile de arbol (soaked in warm water)
2 tbs oil
1 white onion (diced)
1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
One 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup of Mexican Beer
Kosher salt and black pepper

Pickled Red Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion (sliced into long strips)
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp of cayenne
2 tbs of honey
pinch of cinnamon
1/ cup of red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf

Directions
This has four parts… the pork butt, the tomato sauce, pickled onions and pico de gallo.

1. Start with the Pork butt. Trim a lot of the big fat parts off the butt. Then cut it into 3 or 4 big chunks because you want to maximize the sear but also allow it to be covered in the beer. Mix your rub and apply it to the pieces of pork butt until well coated. Preheat your oven to 375 or Crock pot. In large cast iron skilled on medium high heat, add some high heat oil like canola or grapeseed and sear the meat on each side. Takes about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and de-glaze with the beer. If you use the oven make sure the meat is covered with beer and then wrap in foil and put it into the oven for 4 or 5 hours. Let it cool and shred with a fork.
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2. Pickled onions: Cut your onion into ribbons. In a medium heated pan add some oil and then the onions to soften.
Add the spices, honey, and vinegar and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Let it cool and then put it in the fridge until ready to use. IMG_9606
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3. Tomato sauce will take about 70 mins. Start by soaking your dried chilies in warm water for about 20 minutes. I microwaved some water for two and half minutes then added the chilies and put another measuring cup on top to ensure they are submerged. (see below)
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Take a large pot and put it on medium heat. Add some canola oil. Dice your onions and add them to the pot to sweat for 5 minutes. Next add your minced garlic, jalapenos and chilies. Let those also sweat for about 4 minutes.
Then add your spices and liquids and let this simmer for 50 minutes.
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Use an immersion blender or carefully pour your tomato sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.

4. Pico: I took four tomatoes, one onion, one jalapeno and a handful of cilantro and diced it all up. I then squeezed the juice of 1.5 limes and salted and peppered to taste.

5. Assembly. Butterfly your roll and butter each side. Place it in your oven on broil until brown and crispy.
Add you shredded pork. Top with your tomato sauce and then add your pickled onions and pico and cilantro. Lastly slather a little Dukes on the top side of the roll. Grab three or four napkins and a beer or cocktail and enjoy.

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J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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J Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Enchiladas
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Chuy’s is one of the TexMex favorites that started in Austin and now has exploded throughout the south. They do everything fresh daily from the beans to the sauces and even the tortillas. They have great salsa that’s tart, tangy and spicy. Jalapeno Ranch (which I have a recipe for) is to die for. Lastly, their chicka chicka boom boom enchiladas.

They used to serve these on Wednesday’s before the became a permanent feature on their menu. When I was in Austin for work I always made sure I scheduled my trip around Wednesday so I could get my Chicka Chicka itch scratched. Thankfully they expanded their locations and as I said they made it a permanent fixture on their menu.

The Boom Boom sauce is made from hatch peppers, tomatillos, onions and of course melting cheese like American. One tweak I made is that they just use chicken on the inside of their enchiladas but I like a little more “stuff” in the middle of my enchiladas so I combined a little sour cream and Monterrey Jack cheese with the roasted chicken breasts. IMG_9452

Ingredients:
1 Roasted Chicken (shredded)
Flour tortillas
Fresh shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 lbs of American cheese (big chunk cut from deli)
2 tbs of sour cream
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of green onions
5-6 Tomatillos
2 yellow peppers
1 jalapeno (for more heat you can add a serrano pepper or two)
2 Poblano peppers (use Hatch if you can)
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1/4 beer or water

Directions:
1. Fire up a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Put your peppers, tomatillos and green onions in the pan to char them. Remove the tomatillos, yellow peppers and onions and set aside. Finish the jalapeno and poblano directly over the fire like below. Put those peppers in a covered bowl to let them sweat.
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2. Take your peppers and slough off the skins and remove the spines and seeds. Cut the roots off the onions. Put the peppers, tomatillos, cilantro, vegetable stock in the blender and blend until smooth. If using beer add and blend slowly. If using water you can put it in at the start with the stock.

3. Pour that sauce into a non stick pan and cook on medium heat. Let it reduce a little. While that mixture is cooking down turn on your oven to 375 degrees. Also take your roasted chicken and shred it in a bowl. Add the sour cream and some mont jack cheese to the chicken. Combine well with your hands. Pinch of salt and pepper.
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4. Back to your Boom Boom sauce. Add american cheese in small chunks and mix it in until it melts with the peppers. Taste and continue to add cheese to your liking. I used about 1 pound.

5. Assemble your enchiladas by spooning in the chicken mixture and rolling them up. Put them seam side down into a glass baking dish. Once you have them all snuggled into the pan top with a little boom boom sauce and mont jack cheese. Put this into the oven uncovered to let everything heat up and the cheese to melt properly. Going into the oven remember everything is already cooked so you are just heating it up. You could put it covered for longer if you needed to. IMG_9446

6. In classic form serve with mexican rice and barracho or refried beans. Top with jalapenos and or cilantro.
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