What's your favorite Mexican dish to make at home?
We love crockpot chipolte chicken thighs:
One large sliced sweet onion goes into the crockpot. On top of that a few sliced up cloves of garlic then a few sliced bell peppers (I like green, he likes yellow). Sprinkled a bit of cumin and chipolte powder (Penzys). Add a layer of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4-8). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and maybe more chipolte. Pour some chopped tomatoes over (I like the muir glen fire rosated ones). Add the juice of one lime. Cook on low or med for 4-8 hours. We serve this with fresh corn cut off the cob. Sometimes we like polenta with queso Chihuahua or tortillas with the queso.
You can use the canned chipoltes if you want, but I just love the penzys dried powder.
My fav - Chiles Rellenos stuffed with fresh corn and cheddar and then fried in a beer batter. I usually serve with with both green and red sauces with sides of refried black beans, spanish rice, and salsa fresca.
My most frequent - make-it-yourself tacos. Layout all the ingrediants (beans, rice, roasted chicken, veggies, salsa, etc.) and have everyone roll their own using heated tortillas.
without a doubt-quesadillas!
our go-to meal when we're both exhausted from a day at the salt mines or working in the yard.
I don't know if these are even really true quesadillas because they have 'whatever sounds good' in them. As my dad used to say "Sweep the Floor!!" which is an old time expression for 'everything'. (As in "what do you want on your hamburger?" "Sweep the floor!")
Iv'e put everything from the usual suspects (meats, cheeses, veggies) to leftover casserole, slaw, hard boiled eggs, etc. As long as it's good and savory, it goes in.
h-m-m-m--maybe it's whats for breakfast today!
WISH I made more often;
rellenos(since I've started using Casera cheese)
Tacos al Carbon with grilled tomatillo/chipotle salsa. Simple, fresh and delicious. I make these at least once a month.
Salsa: While preheating the grill (on high), put about 10 husked tomatillos and 6-10 cloves garlic (separated, but don't worry about removing paper) in a grill basket. Roast for 10-15 minutes, removing tomatillos when they start to blacken, and garlic when it begins to soften. Put tomatillos and garlic (papers removed after grilling) in a blender with 2-4 chipotle peppers (either canned in adobo sauce or dried and reconstituted in warm water), a big pinch of sugar, and a little water (1/4 c. or less) and puree until smooth. Chill. (This recipe is based on one found in several of Rick Bayless' books)
Tacos: Sprinkle fresh lime juice and sea salt on thinly sliced skirt steak, or whatever other thin cut is available. If you some good ground chili powder sprinkle that on too (I use chipotle powder). Chop/slice (as appropriate) some fresh tomatoes, cilantro, cabbage or lettuce, avocados and red onions. Radishes and chiles, too, if u like em. Crumble some queso fresca or feta. Cut up a few limes. Grill the steak on a very hot preheated grill about 2-3 minutes a side. If you want, grill some green onions and/or serrano peppers alongside. Heat some corn tortillas on the grill to soften.
After steak is done, squeeze a little fresh lime juice on it, and roughly chop it (1/2 inch squares or so). Mound some steak on tortillas (use 2/taco), top with the fresh/grilled veggies, cheese and salsa. Fold it, hold it, eat it and Enjoy.
You can do the same thing with grilled fish or chicken instead of (or in addition to) steak.
For chicken, I marinate a cut-up fryer in orange juice, oregano and beer for about 2-4 hours, then grill for about 30-45 minutes over medium heat, cool until you can shred it, and serve.
For fish, I mix some store-bought Achiote paste with a little fresh orange or lime juice and rub it over the fish, then grill. Snapper, Mahi-Mahi, Halibut or any firm fleshed fish will do. You can also wrap the fish in banana leaves and grill in packets for about 10 minutes.
Favorite dishes are more things made with traditional ingredients, but not exactly traditional.
I marinate a lot of meats in bitter orange with a few spices (can vary from cumin, oregano, etc) and garlic, then sear them. Bitter orange is both available fresh here and bottled from goya, which is ok (and doesn't have MSG). Skirt steak is excellent via this manner, which can be served over a salad with avocado and tomatillo sauce (just blend those with garlic). Thinly sliced pork chops (bone-in better) marinated in the bitter orange can either be seared and served as is with mexican rice and salad, or if your bitter orange marinade is not salty (eg not goya mojo), you can brown the pork chops, take them out, and then finish all of them together with the marinade until it coats the chops nicely.
For breakfast my favorite is super crispy hash browns (russet potatoes shredded and fried in a cast iron pan), with soupy refried beans (preferably homemade), eggs, and ranchero sauce. Sometimes nopalitos or chorizo with eggs. Or salsa fresca with smokey bacon, and shrimp makes a super tasty omelette.
And fresh plantains, pan fried (and sometimes I salt them)... or mango slices with lime juice and a bit of chili powder.
I make these tacos about twice a month. It's my recipe. You can use other meats besides beef, but best is really flank steak. Guacamole rounds this out nicely.
Tacos al Carbón Indoors
Those of us who cannot indulge in outdoor barbecuing certainly needn’t deny ourselves the pleasures that grilling can yield. This is nice, messy, Saturday night fun, though not for company, unless you enjoy seeing your friends with sour cream all over their faces.
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
5-6 drops of “Liquid Smoke”
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
droplets of jalapeño hot sauce, to taste
1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
(or sirloin, skirt steak, or even top round, sometimes called London Broil,
though with the latter cut, I’d go with 6 hours’ marination)
30 scallions, different sizes, slender to thick, trimmed
(leave no more than 3” of green top), split lengthwise if large,
and cut into 2” pieces
1-2 tablespoons peanut oil (or corn oil)
12 6” corn tortillas
Hot sauce and/or salsa of your choice
Chopped fresh jalapeños
Chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives, or your favorite olives, pitted
3/4 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Plenty of sour cream
After squeezing the lime juice, run the garlic cloves through a garlic press into a one-quart glass measuring cup. Immediately pour in the lime juice, then the olive oil, soy sauce, Liquid Smoke, cinnamon, mace, oregano, salt, pepper, and hot sauce droplets.
Score the steak lightly in a cross-hatch pattern on both sides, and place it in a large sealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over, and refrigerate, turning it once or twice, for 4 hours. Let the meat spend a half-hour at room temperature before searing. That seems to relax it. Reserve the marinade.
Prep all vegetables and garnishes. Heat a large empty cast-iron skillet for five minutes over high heat. Add a slicking of oil, lower the heat to medium, then carefully lay in the steak. Cover the pan, unless you dearly love smoke. Cook for no more than 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and keep it warm.
Lay the scallions into the undrained pan, and pour in the reserved marinade. Cook, covered, stirring once, until the scallions are lightly browned and tender, 7-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a few teaspoons of peanut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and fry until just pliable, 10-20 seconds per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding a little oil as needed.
When the scallions are done, place them in a serving bowl. Carve the flank steak across the grain and at a slight angle into 1/2” slices. Cut the slices crosswise into 1/3” cubes. Place on a heated serving plate and serve immediately, with the grilled onions, salsa, chopped jalapeños, chopped olives, grated cheese, and sour cream.
Yield: a good dozen overstuffed tacos
Steak cut into strips (seasoned), quick pan fried to seal juices then removed
One onion, diced and sauteed till soft
add one can mushrooms
one can Herdez salsa (red)
heat and then add the meat back in at the last minute.
Serve with warmed corn tortillas
Leftover brisket, shredded and thrown into a pan with favorite seasonings (salsa or some such to your taste)till juices are cooked off.
Lightly oil a pan and warm corn tortilla in it. Add brisket, and fold over. Season Salt the outside of the tortilla and brown both sides. Finish by adding Mont. Jack cheese, sliced alvacado, diced onion, dop of sour cream
Quesadillas with Chicken Tinga is our favorite...found this recipe in Sunset magazine a few years ago...it is really delicious. Combination of chicken, chorizo and chipotle chilies is really great. Link below for recipe. Of course, once you make the tinga, you can put it in tacos or whatever else, but we love the quesadillas best.
Shrimp Sonora Style
The original recipe is for shrimp but you can substitute fish if desired. Any firm fleshed fish, cut into small pieces will be fine.
1 large head garlic
1-1/2 pounds medium shrimps, peeled, deveined and butterflied
1 cup flour for coating shrimp
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large fresh jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (or increase amount to suit taste)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil + 2 - 4 tsp. for roasting the garlic.
1 stick butter
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp semi-sweet white wine such as Marsala, Rhine or Riesling.
Juice from 1 small or 1/2 large lime
Lime wedges for serving
Separate the garlic head into individual cloves. Place the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil or cooking oil. Seal and bake in a 400-degree oven until soft and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Take the roasted garlic cloves and squeeze garlic out of the skins. Then mash the skinned garlic cloves into a coarse paste. (I always roast garlic cloves from 2 heads of garlic with twice the oil so that I can use half and reserve the remaining half for other uses. They will keep well in a refrigerated, covered container.)
Place flour and salt into a plastic bag and shake to mix well. Add the shrimp and shake until all the shrimps are coated with flour. Remove shrimp from bag and shake off excess flour.
Heat the oil in a skillet or wok. Over a medium-high flame, saute the shrimp while stirring. The shrimp will curl as they cook. Remove them when they begin to brown. Do not overcook! Reduce the heat to medium.
Place the chopped jalapeño pepper and red bell pepper in the skillet/wok with the remaining oil and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add mashed garlic and the stick of butter, lime juice and wine. Simmer for 1 minute. Add the cooked shrimps, mix well and simmer 1 minute more. Add cilantro and green onion. Serve immediately with Yellow rice pilaf or Spanish rice, lime wedges and a dollop of crema fresca.
Just did two nights of chicken mole...and yes, Dommy, I used Doña Maria paste! Homemade broth, though.
I'm still working on what's gonna be favorite Mexican here. First, it'll have to cool down enough for me to get excited about cooking anything. Then I need to go back to what I started, cooking my way through both - oops, now I have four! - my Rick Bayless books. But for the last few years my favorite's been chicken enchiladas Suiza...or maybe it was posole...or was it...?
4-5 avocados - ripe (soft but not mushy)
1/2 chopped white onion
Bunch of cilantro
1 chopped ripe tomato
2-3 serrano chiles
Heat an iron skillet over high heat. Put the chiles in the skillet and blister evenly. Remove and cool.
Put 1 tsp salt in the molcajete and add half of the onion, half the cilantro and all of the chiles. Pound it into a paste. You may want to add a bit at a time to prevent the contents from jumping out from the pounding.
(If you haven't used a mortar or molcajete before, the key is to keep patient and just keep pounding. Eventually you will get a paste. And you don't need to expend much energy; the point is to just keep lifting the pestle and letting it fall into the mortar. Let the weight of the pestle do most of the work though you may have to work on the chiles a bit to get them pulverized. )
Once you've made the paste, cut the avocados in half removing the pits. Scoop out the meat of each avocado and put into a separate bowl.
Mash the avocado meat with a potato masher.
Chop the remainder of the cilantro.
Add the paste from the molcajete into the mashed avocado with the tomato, the remainder of the chopped onion, the chopped cilantro and the juice of the lime mixing to a fairly smooth consistency.
Add salt to taste. Voila!
6 poblano chiles
1 white onion
Blacken chiles on open flame to blister, steam inside paper bag until cool then peel and cut into thin strips. Slice onion into even 1/4 inch rings.
Heat oil in pan and saute onion over med heat until soft but do not color. Add poblano strips, cover and cook over low heat for 8-10 min until soft.
Serve with tortillas.
Corn tortillas - fry and/or crisp up in pan (I just brush both sides with a little oil, to keep them from being to bad for me)
Toppings (from bottom layer to top):
-tofu with chile/cilantro/lime (after letting firm tofu drain between paper towels with some weight on top for about 15 min, I dice up into 1/2" by 1/2" or smaller cubes, add to hot frying pan with about 1T canola oil. Saute in a single layer, flipping occasionally, until golden on all sides. Add minced garlic, jalapeno, shallot or red onion, saute. Add cumin, salt, pepper, maybe some chile powder if it needs it. Turn off heat and add lemon juice and cilantro.)
-sauteed onions and peppers (I use combo of bell peppers, anaheim, poblano, jalapeno, etc - and make sure they are nice and caramelized) of course I add a little garlic/salt/pepper too
-chopped cabbage with a squeeze of lime juice
-maybe a little pepperjack
Guacamole - dice avocado, make a paste with garlic and kosher salt, mix together, squeeze some lemon or lime juice over top. Add chopped cilantro and mix gently so not to break up the avocado too much. I've also added some finely minced white onion and/or jalapeno if I've got either on hand.
Spanish rice - I use the same recipe that was posted above from Cooks Illustrated.
Enchiladas - I'm still trying to get my Mexican mother-in-law to teach me how to make them. In recent years her's have become way too salty, so I'd love to know the recipe so I can bring the salt back down to acceptable levels. She even makes her own tortillas.
The enchiladas a la plaza (red-chile enchiladas with cheese and vegetables) from Rick Bayless' cookbook Authentic Mexican. The sauce, made with dried ancho and guajillo chiles, is a labor of love but worth every bite. These enchiladas take me back to my travels through the interior of Mexico and some of the wonderful meals I've had in open-air markets.
My mom's fried tacos. Not authentic in any way, but so damned good and friends love them. You have to spend a little time in the kitchen right before serving, but everything else can be done ahead of time. I'm just rattling this off from my memory, but it's so easy, it's not much of a recipe.
Brown some ground beef (or turkey) and drain off most of the fat. Add mexican spices to your taste such as mexican oregano, cumin, chile powder, garlic, salt and pepper -- really season it up. Add either a small can of v-8 (the best option) or any kind of tomato puree/pasata that you have to make a loose tomato-y sauce. Reduce down to a sloppy joe consistency, maybe about 15 minutes.
Bring a large non-stick skillet to a high heat and add canola oil to coat the surface. Put a few spoonfulls of taco filling into a flour tortilla (mom used full size, I like the daintier fajita size) and sprinkle with some shredded jack cheese. Fold in half and fry for a few minutes on each side until the tortillas are golden brown and even dark brown in spots. They puff up when you cook them but don't worry, your goal is to melt the cheese and remove the raw flour taste. Remove fried taco to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Now dazzle your guests by presenting fried tacos with optional toppings -- I usually choose a searingly hot salsa, a milder chunky tomato salsa, sliced green onions, jalapeno peppers, maybe some beans, shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream. people can add whatever they like, and be careful not to overfill. Fried taco rule of thumb -- better to have more emptier tacos than fewer more stuffed tacos. Better tortilla to filling ratio.
Be careful, they drip down your arm as you try to eat them. Mom always served with paper towels. :-)
Two things, both humble, homey, and very comforting.
For leftover roast or chicken on days when we are exhausted: shred, reheat. Heat a can of hot chili beans (for beef) or black beans (for chicken) in a skillet; simmer out most of the liquid and mash so they are kind of like refrieds. Add whatever spices and herbs you like. Fold into tortillas with cheese (I tend to use American for beef, jack for chicken),have Pace picante sauce (than which there is no other) at the ready, and call them tacos or burritos depending on the size of the leftover tortillas that you need to use up. No, you won't find it in Saveur any time soon, but we love it.
My husband makes his mom's enchiladas, which are dear to our heart, and involve Wolf brand chili (add cumin and chili powder with a heavy hand), lots of cheese, and chopped onion to taste. We can throw those together in about ten minutes, and they only need about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
My favorite dish when tomatillos are plentiful is Enchiladas Suizas - I make my own sauce ( a pound of tomatillos cut in half, 1 chopped onion, 1 jalapeno, cilantro, and season to taste, cook down in a cast iron pan until tomatillos are translucent. Put in blender and puree. Add a 1/2 cup of cream. Then assemble as shown here:
It's a one pan stovetop dish that has no name. I adapted it from a casserole that you bake in the oven, but I didn't want to bake it in the oven.
Saute garlic, onion in a dutch oven. Add a package of ground turkey or ground turkey breast, cook until no longer pink. Add seasonings: you could use taco seasoning if you are lazy, or add a mix of your own favorite mexican seasonings such as chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, chipolte, cayenne, etc. Add a can of diced tomatoes with chilis. Add a bunch of frozen tri-color pepper strips and corn kernels. Cook until the frozen veggies soften, and all of the flavors meld. Top with dollops of fat-free refried beans (1 can) to cover the top. You could also sprinkle some mexican cheese over the top now, too. Put the lid on, let the beans warm and soften, then spoon out.
That's the general idea. I don't measure anything. It's a quick, healthy, filling one pot meal with lots of mexican flavors. Leftovers are even better.
spanish rice, arroz con pollo, quesadillas on the grill.....
Here is the recipe I use for Spanish Rice. It's from Cooks Illustrated. My arroz con pollo recipe comes from Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen, and I don't have it in my 'puter.
2 med. tomatoes, quartered
1 med. onion, quartered
3 jalapeno peppers
2 cups long grain rice
1/3 cup oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat oven to 350F.Process tomatoes and onion in food processor till thoroughly pureed. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup. If you have more than 2 cups, spoon off enough to measure 2 cups. Remove the seeds and ribs from 2 jalapenos, and then mince the peppers. Mince the other jalapeno with rib and seeds, set aside. Place rice in a large strainer and rinse under cold water till water runs clear. Shake to drain all water off. Heat oil in a large oven proof skillet or dutch oven. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently till golden(6-8 min.)reduce heat to med., add garlic, and seeded peppers; cook, stirring constantly for 1 1/2 min. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions, chicken broth, tomato paste and salt; increase heat to med. high and bring to a boil. Cover pot and transfer to oven; bake till liquid is absorbed and rice is tender,30-35 min. stirring well after 15 min. Stir in cilantro and reserved jalapeno. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over serving
Shread cheddar cheese and chop cilantro, keep aside.
Heat up drained and rinsed black beans mixed with canned ranchero sauce, keep on the back burner.
Fry up eggs in skillet and keep another burner on high to heat/toast tortillas as you assemble.
Not gourmet but very satisfying in a pinch on a Sunday morning.
Fideos. Recipe is in Diana Kennedy's old Tortilla book
Chilequilas, recipe is rather ubiquitous. Day old or stale corn tortilla fried and drained. Return to skillet, toss in a generous serving of well seasoned salsa verde, heat through so the tortilla strips begin to soften but retain some crunch. Garnish with diced white onion, queso chihuahua or oaxaqueno (or other melting cheese), chopped cilantro and a generous drizzle of crema. Sometimes I add shredded leftover chicken, or sometimes I fry an egg and put it on top. You can do it with salsa rojo as well.
Quesedillas. So easy. I buy salsa from a place down the street that we really like and make Goya yellow rice. Sometimes vegetarian refried beans from a can - not bad at all, really.
Tacos sometimes. And mexican shrimp cocktail.
I make a mean margarita. And occasionally sangria, which requires some time.
For breakfast: huevos con chorizo or chillequilles.
Almost forgot plain old melted queso w/ tortillas and pico de gallo. Good snack or lunch.
My mother's enchiladas and spanish rice. Perfection...
I don't have a recipe on me at the moment, but the enchiladas are made with reconstituted dried chiles, blended, then cooked with spices. The tortillas are lightly fried in vegetable oil and then either stacked or rolled with just onions and shredded cheese. If you're so inclined, you can have a fried egg on top.
The rice starts by sauteeing diced onions, then browning the rice in vegetable oil and the onions. Once browned, add 1 small can of tomato sauce and water. Garlic, salt, pepper, and chicken bullion poweder are added and cooked until done.
Make some sangria the night before and it's a great meal.
I help mom make tamales every Christmas. Tons of work, but nothing beats two heated tamales and a cup of coffee for breakfast.
Fave quicky lunch: (on foil in toaster oven for 15 minutes at 400.) A flour tortilla, layer of refried beans, left-over cooked white rice, generous sprinkling of grated or crumbled jack cheese, minced jalanos (pickled are fine if no fresh available. When cheese is all melted, top with minced tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce and hot sauce (some like it hot). Fold in half and enjoy.