Archive for the ‘Tex-Mex’ Category
I am a taco monster. Corn tortilla filled with shredded crispy well seasoned pork Carnitas, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, chopped onions, cilantro, lime, hot sauce. Or a flour tortilla filled with Carnitas with re-fried beans, chopped onions, and hot sauce. These are flavors I crave and I let the fate of the universe or at least the price of the pork determine whether I cook this or not. I cook this dish whenever boneless pork ribs or pork shoulder roast go on sale. This is a great dish to fix on a Saturday morning so you can spend the rest of the day eating these tacos and rocking out. It is a ton healthier and more flavorful than Carnitas that you buy in a restaurant, which are usually slow fried in pork fat. I keep my pork frozen, and I thaw out in the fridge the night ahead in a bowl filled with some salt and water to cover. This makes it super tender.
- Mix these Spices together:
- 1 teaspoon cumin, preferably fresh toasted whole cumin crushed in a mortar & pestle
- 1 tsp Dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1-3 pounds of Boneless Pork Ribs or a Pork Shoulder, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 onion, cut in half and sliced into 1/2 inch half moons
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved with the germ removed.
- 1 orange , halved
- 1 lime, cut in half
- 1-3 cups water
Adjust oven rack so that your dutch oven will fit in there without touching the top. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add into dutch oven: pork, spice mix, citrus juice, onion. Add enough water to almost cover the pork. Mix around until seasoning and onions are well distributed. Place the left over citrus halves on top of the pork mixture and press down but not to the bottom of the pan. Cover dutch over and bring mixture to a boil on top of the stove. Then move it into your 350 degree oven. Cook for about 45 minutes. Take dutch oven out of the oven and turn the meat, and discard the citrus peel. Place back into oven for 45 more minutes or until pork is completely tender to a prick of a fork.
With a slotted spoon drain and remove just the meat from the pot, and place on to a foil lined baking sheet. Move the rack to the middle top and set oven to broil. When hot, place the meat on the cookie sheet under the broiler and cook until it starts getting golden and crispy, flip the pork and do it again. Remove and shred the pork with 2 forks.
If the liquid left over in the pot has not already reduced into a gravy like consistency then pour into another pot and reduce until thick like gravy. Mix onions and liquid into the shredded pork and serve.
No local ingredients used, but I did drink some local beer in the making of this food. Still enjoying that Amber by Rahr & Sons out of Fort Worth.
My totally perfect Guacamole:
As you can see this recipe has no tomato. I love tomatoes but I really like this combo. It is a flavor explosion!
- 1 nice sized ripe avocado, I use Hass, halved, seeded and peeled
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/4 of a medium onion diced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 small serrano chile (or half a large), minced a small as you can go.
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped fine so there are no big pieces
- Pinch of Cumin
- Kosher Salt
Mash up avocado, add rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for salt level and adjust. The key is to balance the salt and the lime flavor.
This is my secret: Cover with plastic wrap by pressing it directly down onto the guacamole so that no air is touching the top surface or it will turn brown and oxidize. Place in the fridge for 1 hour. It allows the chiles to mellow and the flavors to blend and get cold. It makes it 10 times better.
My wonderful lady loves to make guacamole. Her style is more traditional.
- 2 ripe Hass Avocado, halved, seeded and peeled. Chopped
- 1 Lime, juiced
- 1/2 a tomato chopped
- 1/4 onion chopped
- Black Pepper, A few grinds
- Kosher Salt
In a bowl Mash chopped avocado, leaving some chunks. Mix in other ingredients, combine well. Taste salt level and adjust. Serve.
My Dad’s Superbowl Guacamole
When I was a kid for the Superbowl every year we would eat beef chili over tamales with a side of chips and his famous guacamole. It is a truly great football combo.
- 2 large ripe Hass Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1/2 onion, chopped small (but not too small)
- 1 Large Roma Tomato or 2 small Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- Table salt
Mash the avocados. Mix in the lemon. Add salt. balance the lemon and the salt, it requires more salt than you might think. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Serve with Chips.
- I like to serve it in a bowl and sprinkle chili powder on top. It is really great with tortilla chips.
- Serving on warm tostada shells is great too. Just place your tostadas in the toaster under close supervision and toast for about 20 seconds. DO NOT TOAST A FULL CYCLE OR THEY WILL BURN! Top with your favorite guacamole.
So I usually make my own Tostadas. I pan frying corn tortillas in vegetable oil until they are golden and crispy and then drain on a paper towel. But the El Milagro, from Austin, the taste, texture, and quality are better than mine and they keep fresh for about a week. Here is a simple recipe that we made with the tostadas.
Joe T. Garcia style nachos
- 1-2 Tostadas per person
- 1/4 Cup shredded cheddar per tostada (I think they use more like 1/2 cup at Joe T’s)
- Chopped pickled jalepenos about 1 small spoonful per tostada
Put the ingredients on the tostada, and broil in the oven until melted. Don’t burn your tostadas!
Joe T’s, a Fort Worth institution, is my lifelong favorite Mexican food joint. My folks started going there back in the 60’s when they were going to TCU. So I have been going my whole life and it is classic. The family style diner is the only thing to get, it comes with two nachos to start, then two beef tacos, two cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, and guacamole, and fresh corn tortillas. Dang, that makes me hungry just typing it. They serve fajitas but that is a ridiculous choice when that family style dinner is an option.
Local Ingredients used: El Milagro tostadas from Austin available at Central Market.
|Oh man, this is so freaking great! Fun to cook, smells really good, looks really good and it tastes even better. I was inspired by the classic Mexican dish. I have never had anyone else’s so I have no point of reference, but I think this is a flavor home run.
Healthy Style: No cheese, Skim Milk & Low fat sour cream. You could also use brown rice.
Local ingredients used: Farmers market poblano chilies, and corn, and Texas Harvest Milk.
Roasting Green Chili peppers makes me so happy. I love fresh crunchy chili peppers, but when you roast them they transform into something totally different. They loose that bright fresh garden taste. The peppers changes into a more savory flavor profile with a slow mellow buttery heat, and a soft melting texture. It is also one of my favorite smells in the kitchen, right up there with brownies, and fresh baked bread. When I smell roasting chilies I know I made a great decision.
I bought a basket of Anaheim peppers at the market for $3 bucks. Two dishes immediately popped into my head.
- Ojeda’s beef and cheese chili relleno topped with ranchero sauce.
- One of my very favorite cheese burgers, my green chili cheese burger.
I wanted to try to make a healthy version of chili rellenos that was not fried and it worked great. And my green chili cheeseburger just keeps getting better every time I make them, it is seriously crazy!
|Roasting Green Chilies
Position oven rack to the top shelf, and turn on the broiler. Wash peppers. Cover baking sheet with enough foil to fold the peppers up after they have cooked. Place in oven keep and eye on them checking every 2 minutes. When they skin of the pepper is blistered, dark brown and black remove the pan from the oven and flip the peppers over. Place back into oven until the uncooked side is blistered, dark brown and black. Remove pan from oven and fold the foil around the peppers and place into the plastic bag and seal bag. Wait 10 minutes and remove foil to a cutting board.
2 preps for roasted green chilies:
Easy Chili Rellenos
In a skillet on medium high, cook beef with onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Break up the beef as much as you can while it cooks. When meat is cooked through add the spices with salt and pepper to taste. Then add enough water to cover the mixture and boil down stirring occasionally until the water has evaporated, break up any meat chunks. Remove from heat and let it cool down. When cool, mix in a bowl the meat mix and the grated cheese. Use your hand to gently stuff the peppers with the meat and cheese mixture. Don’t put so much filling in that it would cause an over flow when baked. When you have it stuffed gently squeeze the pepper to evenly distribute the filling and close the slit in the pepper. Refrigerate over night so that they can firm up.
The next day. Cook your Ranchero sauce and bake the peppers.
In a skillet on medium high heat oil then add all the veggies. Cook until it starts to brown then add chicken stock and reduce temp to medium and boil down till it is the consistency has thickened to a nice sauce texture. Using a potato masher to break down the veggies works great to thicken sauce.
Baking the Chilies:
When they come out of the oven. Put the chilies on your plate and pour over the some ranchero sauce and enjoy.
Serve with mexican rice & refried beans (recipes coming soon)
Cheese options: Any good melting cheese with work, Jack, Cheddar, Chihuahua
Vegetarian Options: Instead of beef uses, chopped mushrooms, squash, or spinach
Pepper Options: You could use poblanos, if you do stewed shredded chicken works better than beef mixture with the poblano flavor.
Green Chili Cheeseburgers
In a skillet on medium high get pan very hot and place hamburger patties in and cover skillet with a lid or a baking sheet or a big metal bowl. In about 3 minutes flip, top the cooked side with green chilies and the cheese and cover, cook 3 more minutes or to your desired done-ness. I like mine cooked medium. You can toast your hamburger buns in the skillet or in the toaster. I like a little mayo on both sides and my then the cheese green chili patty and that is it. It is really really an amazing flavor and texture combo.
Vegetarian Options: Uses a sauteed portabello mushroom or a black been patty instead of the beef patty.
Cheese options: Any good melting cheese with work, Jack, Cheddar, Chihuahua
Farm Fresh & Local ingredients used: All peppers, grass fed beef, & tomato