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Mexican Food

s
singingfoodie May 16, 2011 10:03 AM

I'd love to start experimenting with Mexican food. Are there any great products out there that are kosher? Tips, recipes? My husband isn't too into interesting food, so I'd have to start easy!

  1. j
    joejoetheranger May 24, 2011 07:10 AM

    There are lots of Kosher Spanish foods. Most will have the O-U, but some will have hexhsherrim from Isarel. If you go to Shoprite, their Ethnic Foods section will have a great selection. You can also get recipies for Mexican dishes and substitue Kosher ingredients. If you are really lazy or can't cook, just go to Carlos and Gabby's in Riverdale. Excellent food at excellent prices.

    4 Replies
    1. re: joejoetheranger
      z
      zsero May 24, 2011 09:09 AM

      Because the "Cedarhurst sandwich" is a prime example of Mexican cuisine. Got it. (Not that it isn't delicious, but Mexican it ain't.)

      1. re: zsero
        f
        ferret May 25, 2011 08:09 AM

        If you add a Corona I think it qualifies.

        1. re: ferret
          s
          SoCal Mother May 25, 2011 02:52 PM

          No! No! Dos Equis! Corona is for college students.

          Stay thirsty my friends!! (The actor in that commercial is Jewish so we are still on topic. But he isn't really Mexican.)

      2. re: joejoetheranger
        r
        rockycat May 24, 2011 10:02 AM

        Just for the record - Spanish cuisine and Mexican cuisine are two very different animals.

      3. s
        Spicy_Gal May 22, 2011 11:10 AM

        For those of you who want to mix cheese into your Mexican food, I recommend Daiya Cheese, made from tapioca. I found it to actually taste like cheese, definitely better than the soy versions I've tried.
        I see that Daiya has been discussed on these boards before:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/748083

        1. r
          rockycat May 19, 2011 07:06 AM

          It's easier to do kosher "real" Mexican tacos than Tex-Mex ones since authentic ones generally do not combine meat and cheese. Some of the more popular, non-pork tacos include carne asada, pollo, and the newly trendy fish tacos. All can be made kosher easily. Mexican tacos are generally served in small, unfried corn tortillas (unlike the American behemoths) and are garnished with fresh cilantro and onions. Sliced radish and pickled jalapenos are optional.

          Mexican tortas (sandwiches) are another option. If you can't find kosher bollilo or telera rolls, you can substitute an unseeded Kaiser roll or any other bread of your liking. These are big, filling affairs and can be made to taste. An easy "gateway" torta might be a Milanesa. That's just breaded, sauteed chicken cutlet with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado and jalapenos on the roll. Most tortas have mayonnaise, as a rule. You can do the same with carne asada or soy chorizo.

          If you're fish people, there's also Snapper Veracruz-style and many mojarra (tilapia) preparations such as al Mojo de Ajo, a la Diabla, or a la Chipotle. All are made with fish and vegetables.

          Try a Mexican market, if you have one available to you. You'd be surprised at how many canned goods carry an American hekscher and I'm a big fan of the Mexican Aleph Aleph (which stand for Avenida Acupulco, the vaad's street address, not location - they're in Mexico City).

          Believe it or not, it may be easier for you to make authentic Mexican food kosher rather than Tex-Mex. It's really worth a try.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rockycat
            s
            SoCal Mother May 19, 2011 10:33 AM

            "Newly trendy" fish tacos? Rubio's (non-kosher fast food chain) has been making them in San Diego since the 80's and taco shops in Ensenada even earlier.

            http://restaurantrecipesbook.com/rubi...

            This recipe is completely kosher. Decent corn tortillas with the Aleph-Aleph hashgacha should be available at a Mexican market (tiendita) and good enough ones with American hashgachas in any supermarket, Target or WalMart.

            Note: I have not tried this recipe, nor have I ever eaten at Rubio's, so I can't vouch for the recipe, just that Rubio's has been selling them for a LONG time so they must be doing something right.

            1. re: SoCal Mother
              d
              DeisCane May 19, 2011 10:35 AM

              Fish tacos are newly trendy on the east coast. They've been available in SoCal for a long time, of course.

          2. m
            mullertwin May 18, 2011 06:01 PM

            My kids LOVE tacos. We use the regular taco shells and seasonings from Ortega and then use Morningstar Farms Veggie Meat Crumbles for the "meat" and that way it's a dairy meal with cheese and sour cream, too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mullertwin
              s
              singingfoodie May 18, 2011 08:36 PM

              Sounds yummy! Thanks:-)

              1. re: mullertwin
                d
                DeisCane May 19, 2011 08:27 AM

                We do that all the time but with wraps/tortillas and our own blend of spices--chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, etc.

                We also use the veggie crumbles for a ragu of sorts.

              2. s
                singingfoodie May 16, 2011 02:46 PM

                Can we please keep this on topic?
                Thank you.

                3 Replies
                1. re: singingfoodie
                  f
                  ferret May 16, 2011 03:01 PM

                  I thought "any great products" WAS on topic. Soyrizo is a great ingredient for Mexican-style recipes.

                  As far as refried beans goes, it's one of the easiest things to make on your own. Take a can of pinto beans or black beans (including the liquid) and empty into a skillet containing a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Then mash with a fork (or potato masher) as you heat. You want a texture like chunky hummus (or whatever appeals to you). You can sautee chopped onions in the pan first before you add the beans, I do without.

                  1. re: singingfoodie
                    f
                    ferret May 16, 2011 03:13 PM

                    Okay, you want easy, here:

                    http://cookingontheside.com/garlic-li...

                    Works well with chicken breasts cut into strips or pepper steak meat. Most of the ingredients should be handy. Put some of the cooked filling into soft flour tortillas, top with avocado or guacamole and a little Tofutti Sour Supreme and you're done.

                    This is more Tex-Mex than Mexican, but easy and good.

                    1. re: ferret
                      c
                      cheesecake17 May 17, 2011 05:59 AM

                      I make something similar often. Works well with the above proteins or with seitan sliced into strips. We don't like sour cream, but I like to make it with seitan so that we can top with cheese.

                      Another dish I make that's "mexican inspired" is rice with black beans. Basically, I add a can of drained and rinsed beans to white rice along with chili powder. When the rice is done cooking, I fluff and add some lime juice and cilantro.

                      Trader Joe's has flavored tortillas, most of which are kosher. I like to make them into baked chips. Husband likes the habanero-lime flavor (it's spicy!) and I like the 45-calorie whole wheat wraps. The "hand formed" flour tortillas are really good also- they have a chewy texture.

                  2. f
                    ferret May 16, 2011 10:48 AM

                    La Victoria brand has a number of OU-certified sauces and ingredients. The downside of Mexican is that there are a lot of meat/dairy combinations which force you to "pick a side" in a Kosher home. I tend to stick with dairy ingredients because the substitutes don't work as well for my taste and the meat substitutes are "decent." The "Soyrizo" brand chorizo substitute is pretty good.

                    Also "Mexican" means different things to different people. Are you asking about the Americanized tacos/burritos/enchiladas or something more like regional Mexican (fish dishes, moles)?

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: ferret
                      s
                      singingfoodie May 16, 2011 11:23 AM

                      Americanized all the way!

                      1. re: ferret
                        queenscook May 16, 2011 01:46 PM

                        Can anyone clue me in to where I'd find this "Soyrizo" brand chorizo substitute in the Queens area? I have looked high and low for it, but either I'm looking in the wrong places or I am just blind. Do the kosher places carry it (Aron's, Wasserman's, Brach's, others) or will I find it in "regular" supermarkets? Is it frozen? Refrigerated? Please help--I have heard about of it here for quite a while now, but have never seen it. And if anyone does know, can you please be as specific as you can be? Thanks.

                        1. re: queenscook
                          f
                          ferret May 16, 2011 02:09 PM

                          I'm in Chicago but it's in every supermarket I can think of. Usually in the produce department by the Yves brand fake meat products. It's refrigerated, not frozen and it's 2 "sausages" vacuum-packed side-by-side. Whole Foods has a different brand, looks almost identical.

                          1. re: queenscook
                            s
                            SoCal Mother May 16, 2011 02:19 PM

                            I bought chorizo (probably Soyrizo) once in an Albertson's supermarket here in California. It's refrigerated and comes in a tube sort of like a skinny salami. It was vegetarian, of course. You're supposed to put it into scrambled eggs I was told. I disliked it immensely.

                            There is one brand of kosher (star K) refried beans that I know of, called Casa Fiesta. My kids make bean and cheese burritos almost every day when they come home from school. I personally think it tastes like leftover cholent but I go through 2 bags of tortillas and 2-4 lbs of mozzarella cheese every weekend when their friends are around. It looks like the company sells it online for the same price I pay when it's not on sale. Don't know what the shipping costs...

                            There are several Mexican products that carry the Mexico City hashgacha "VK Alef-Alef." It's usually very hard to read.

                            Try going to a Mexican store and buying "Tajin" chili powder (comes from a company in Houston) and sprinkle it on cucumber slices, mangos and jicama if you can get that where you live. (It looks like a HUGE tan colored radish.) Cut up the mango the Mexican way: Cut it in half and score the fruit flesh in small boxes like you are cutting teeny brownies but don't cut through the skin and then flip the mango half inside out, sprinkle some Tajin on it and eat it off the skin. Real Mexicans (well the Jewish ones that I know) make that for their kids to get them to eat salad.

                            Nachos are easy. Tortilla chips (Trader Joe's, Costco, Target) and shredded mozzarella, nuked for a few minutes. Add some sour cream, guacamole (mush up an avocado with lemon juice,) some refried beans and salsa. And jalapenos if you dare...(Target, comes in a can.)

                            My kids have made parve nachos using tofutti cheese and "Better Than Sour Cream." Not as good.

                            Last suggestion: a quesadilla is a grilled cheese sandwich made with a tortilla instead of bread. It's genuine Mexican food and is a non-threatening way to start.

                            1. re: SoCal Mother
                              s
                              SamF1701 May 18, 2011 03:17 PM

                              Another brand of kosher refried beans is Eden Organic (OK Kosher Certified).
                              http://www.edenfoods.com/store/index.php?cPath=21_38

                              I find this makes a really good vegetarian taco "salad." Vary the amounts as you see fit.

                              I combine the following two ingredients and microwave for about two minutes.
                              Eden Organic refried black beans (about 1/3 of a can)
                              Yves Taco Stuffers (about 1/3 of a bag)
                              http://www.yvesveggie.com/products/de...
                              (Yves is OU certified)

                              I then add some grated colby jack cheese, microwave for about a minute more, and then add corn chips, guacamole, and Choula Hot Sauce (VK Alef-Alef) at the end.

                              All it takes is a can opener, a pair of scissors, a cheese grater, and a microwave.

                            2. re: queenscook
                              NE_Wombat May 16, 2011 02:21 PM

                              Soyrizo is made/distributed by Frieda's Inc. You can locate their products from this page:

                              http://www.friedas.com/index.cfm?show...

                              The NY area seems covered by most of the stores I'm passingly familiar with as the occasional visitor.

                              1. re: NE_Wombat
                                weinstein5 May 16, 2011 04:59 PM

                                Another excellent replacement for the chorizo is Upton Naturals Chorizo style seutan -

                                http://www.uptonsnaturals.com/products/ - CRC certified

                              2. re: queenscook
                                m
                                marissaj May 16, 2011 02:41 PM

                                QC- try also looking in TJ's. I *think* they may have a kosher soyrizo. It is made by Light Life and is refrigerated. I have seen it in Shoprite as well.

                                1. re: marissaj
                                  queenscook May 16, 2011 03:46 PM

                                  TJ's has their name on their veggie chorizo and no hechsher. And we don't have any Shoprites in Queens, or certainly not near the Jewish areas of Queens.

                                  As for "keeping this on topic" . . . that's the nature of Chowhound. Threads morph, and people respond to other comments, not just the OP.

                                  1. re: queenscook
                                    s
                                    singingfoodie May 16, 2011 04:02 PM

                                    Chill out peoples, 'twas a polite request. Move on!

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