Taqueria Cajema, Mesa AZ
I was moving this weekend, and starving. I needed Mexican, and somehow ended up driving all the way down Mesa Drive, to University. (I was looking for Rosa's Grill, which was right there, but closed). I'm so glad I did, because I stopped in and had lunch at Taqueria Cajema. It was a seafood-centric Mexican restaurant, and everything I had was so good. Started with Sol, my favorite Mexican beer. I ordered shrimp Culichi (sp?). It was carmelized onions, beautiful tail-on shrimp, swimming in a green salsa based sauce with cheese melted over it. Served with homemade flour tortillas, I devoured everything, and left feeling uncomfortably full.
My sister's marinated steak enchiladas had a really yummy sauce, better than most. The beans served alongside were addicting (and likely full of lard). Her boyfriend's stingray soup was divine. Now, I can't get it out of my head. Anything similar closer to my new location (in Ahwatukee)? Has anybody else tried this place? Having a serious craving here.
356 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201
I've been searching high and low for a recipe for culichi. A year or so ago I did a google search and wound up with nothing. Anybody? The waitress at Mariscos Chihuahua here in Tucson said it was cream and poblano chiles, but there was more there than those two ingredients! Of course, I was hoping it would be low in calories, but I've given up on that, I just want to know how to make it!
Here's a recipe (in Spanish) for pan-fried fish. Unfortunately, I have to run right now. If you'd like I can take a stab at translating the recipe.
4 filetes de pescado en trozos(su preferencia).
5 chiles poblanos.
3 dientes de ajo.
1/2 cebolla blanca.
3 cucharadas de consome.
sal y pimienta.
1 lata de media crema.
1/4 de queso monterrey.
1 taza de leche.
aceite de oliva.
- se salpimienta y enharina el pescado.
- se tateman los chiles, desvenan y limpian.
- se licua; los chiles, cebolla,ajo, consome, crema y leche.
- se pone a freir el pescado en el aceite y/o mantequilla.
- se añade lo licuado bajando el fuego a minimo.
- para salir se añade el queso rayado encima y se deja gratinar.
Nota; se puede añadir camarones, o bien el platillo ser a base de camarones
- se sirve acompañado de verduras al vapor y arroz, o bien con arroz con verduraz.
* Raciones: 5
* Grasa: g
Just for fun, from Google translation:
4 fillets of fish in pieces (its preference).
5 poblanos chili peppers.
3 teeth of garlic.
1/2 white onion.
3 spoonfuls of consome.
salt and pepper.
1 tin of average cream.
1/4 of cheese monterrey.
1 milk cup.
- salpimienta and enharina the fish.
- the chili peppers are tateman, desvenan and cleaned.
- it is liquefied; the chili peppers, onion, garlic, consome, cream and milk.
- it is put to fry the fish in the oil and/or mantequilla.
- the liquefied thing is added lowering the fire to minimum.
- to leave the cheese lined above is added and it is let gratinar.
Note; it is possible to be added shrimps, or the subject of gossip to be with shrimps
- one uses accompanied as vegetables to the steam and rice, or with rice with verduraz.
Below is (possibly) a slightly better translation than what Google provides. My notes, comments, and tentative translations/interpretations are enclosed in square brackets. I would probably approach the preparation a bit differently than is described below--(1) cook the fish in an oven-safe skillet and drain any excess fat; (2) warm and reduce the chile-crema mixture in a separate pan; (3) pour the chile-crema mixture over the fish, sprinkle with shredded cheese; (4) put skillet under a broiler just long enough to get the cheese slightly brown
Fish Culichi Style
4 fillets of fish in pieces (your choice of fish)
salt and pepper
olive oil and/or butter for frying
5 poblano chiles
1/2 white onion [diced fine]
3 cloves of garlic [minced]
3 TBSP broth [made from Knorr powder or similar product]
1 tin of media crema [a Nestle product; sub 1 cup half and half]
1 cup milk
¼ [lb? kg?] Monterrey cheese
- season the fish with salt and pepper and coat it with flour
- roast, remove the veins from, and peel the chiles
- in a blender, liquefy the chiles, onion, garlic, broth, crema (or half and half), and milk
- fry the fish in the oil and/or butter
- pour the chile mixture into the pan reducing the heat to low
- [prior to serving, put shredded cheese on top and allow to melt]
Note; it is possible to add shrimp, or [to use shrimp as the base of the dish]
- can be served accompanied by steamed vegetables and rice, or with rice mixed with [peas, corn, and diced carrots]
We made a beeline to Taqueria Cajeme today. Judy and I shared Garlic Shrimp and Shrimp Culichi. Both were served with a side of rice, fried sliced potatos and your choice flour or corn tortillas. The Culuchi is as described above and the Garlic Shrimp reminds us of a Mexican version of Shrimp Scampi. It has the carmelized onions and a hint of spice, possibly cumin. Both were delicious but both preferred the Caluchi due to it's uniqueness.
We were given menus in English but no one in the restaurant, when we were there anyway, spoke any English, I mean zero. I tried communicating in Portuguese but that didn't go very far either so we wound up just pointing at items on the menu. It wasn't a problem at all and we will be going back again to try some of their other items. Hot Dogs are even on the menu but I don't know if they're served Sonoran style. There is an interesting-looking condiment bar in the center of the dining area. Kirsten if you go I'd be interested in comparisons to El Galeon. We've been to EG several times but never ventured into their seafood menu.