My Texas Kitchen

Guacamole – 3 Great Styles

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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.

Guacamole

Guacamole Tostadas

Elena’s Guacamole
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.

Variations:

  • 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.
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Written by mytexaskitchen

August 21, 2010 at 8:36 am

Posted in Summer Side Dishes, Tex-Mex

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Tostadas / Joe T. Garcia style nachos

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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.

We also made:
Guacamole Tostadas
Huevos Rancheros
The Classic refried beans, tomato, lettuce and cheese Tostadas

Local Ingredients used:  El Milagro tostadas from Austin available at Central Market.

Written by mytexaskitchen

August 21, 2010 at 7:48 am

Refried Beans

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I hope you never use refried beans from a can ever again. Once you have the real deal it is tough to go back. It is simple and really delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked pintos the amount you want to eat, I usually fix 3-4 ladles. (you can sub canned pintos)
  • 1 Spoonful of Lard, this is not exact I just use a normal spoon and get a small spoonful, (you can use vegetable oil, enough to thinly cover the bottom of a small sauce pan)
  • 1 Chile Pepper, sliced in half (I like to use Serranos, or Jalapenos)

Directions:
In a sauce pan over medium high heat add your Lard or vegetable oil. When hot, add the pepper halves (It should sizzle). Cook for 30 seconds, don’t let your oil start to smoke, if it is to hot turn it down some. Add your beans and it should make a serious sizzling sound. Stir to turn the beans around in the hot oil and so they wont stick to the bottom of you pan. Discard the pepper halves. Remove from the bean pan from the stove and place on top of a towel on your counter top. Use a potato masher and mush the beans up until they are all mashed and smooth with just a few chunks. Return to the stove on a medium low heat. Now you adjust the liquid level in the beans if the beans are stiff and need some liquid then add a little water and stir until they are a more runny than you would like to serve. If the beans are too watery then cook stirring frequently on a low heat. The beans when you take them off the heat will thicken a bunch so you want them a bit runny in the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning, use salt and garlic powder to get it to the right flavor place.

This whole process takes about 5 minutes.

Health notes: Lard has less saturated fat than butter. I buy organic lard with no preservatives, it costs $2. I think lard has a bad wrap. If you don’t have any lard vegetable oil works just fine, but you do lose some great flavor. You can make these with out any fat, by just mashing up a pot of warm beans and it tastes good; I have done this several times.

Substitutions: Canned beans work just fine.

Local Ingredients used: I highly recommend Busy B’s: Lard. They are down in the local shed at the Dallas farmers market every week. Just cost $2. I keep it in the fridge and it will last for months. They sell all kinds of organic farm products like meats, yogurt, eggs.   I tried some of their hot dogs and I was not wild about them.

Written by mytexaskitchen

August 21, 2010 at 6:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Beans! My favorite.

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Pinto Beans

Beans are good

Beans are great for so many reasons: tastes great, versatile, healthy, super super cheap, and easy to cook. I like to keep my beans simple so that I can do whatever with them after they are cooked. Such as: add sausage and peppers; refried beans; serve over a slice of cornbread with some hot sauce.

Cleaning Notes:
Make sure and give your beans a quick look over to check for small rocks or bad beans. I usually just cut corner of the bag and slowly pour the beans through one of my hands so that I can see bad beans and stones better. Sometimes I don’t find anything funky.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of dried pinto beans, rinse, then soak in a big bowl of water for 3 – 6 hours (soaking time will effect the cooking time, the less soaking the longer the cooking time)
  • 1 half of an onion
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Drain beans from the soaking water. Put in a dutch oven with the onion, garlic, and salt. Fill pot up half way make sure there is plenty of water on top of your beans. Bring to a boil, stirring a few minutes. Cover and reduce to medium low (I reduce to #2 on my stove dial). Cook for 1-4 hours taste and adjust seasoning and stir every hour. When beans are soft and tender but not falling apart they are done. Remove onion. Put in your favorite big tupperware and store in the fridge.

You can use whatever kind of beans your want, but pintos are the most versatile.

Written by mytexaskitchen

August 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Arroz Con Crema

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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.

Ingredients

  • Cook 1 Cup of Long Grain White Rice, cook rice using this method, let it cool down before you use it
  • 2 Poblano Chilies, roasted, peeled & chopped (use this method)
  • 2 Ears of Corn (kernels cut from the cob, I cut the cobs in half then strip the kernels so they don’t bounce all over my kitchen floor)
  • 2 Cups or melty cheese I prefer white cheese like Jack, Munster, Asadero or Chihuahua
  • 1 Cup of Mexican Crema or sub 1/2 Cup Sour Cream & 1/2 Cup of Milk (this is what I used, it works great)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spray Non-stick spray on oven safe baking dish (I use Steve Sprinkles totally awesome dishwasher safe handmade historic cookware).
  3. Mix Rice, Corn, Peppers, 1 cups of the cheese, Crema, Salt and Pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Top with The rest of your cheese.
  4. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until cheese is golden brown.

Substitutions:

Healthy Style: No cheese, Skim Milk & Low fat sour cream. You could also use brown rice.
Roasted Chilies: Use whatever kind of roasted peppers you want, Green Chiles would work great.
Corn: You could use 1 1/2 cups frozen but if you do add a little honey to increase the sweetness. I would not suggest canned corn because it tastes like a can. But if you dig on that then do it.

Local ingredients used: Farmers market poblano chilies, and corn, and Texas Harvest Milk.

Rice with Corn Chiles and Crema

Note the awesome handmade cookware

Top with cheese

This is going to be good!

Arroz con crema

I couldn't wait for the picture

Written by mytexaskitchen

August 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm

My Perfect White Rice

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Use a rice cooker. Just kidding those things are expensive and can take up some serious space. So unless you eat rice every day use this method. You might wonder why I am telling you how to cook rice. Well, the directions on the bag usually result in pretty bad rice. I know… I cooked bad rice for years.

Ingredients
1 Cup of Long Grain White Rice
1 1/2 Cups water
Pinch of salt

Directions
Put rice, water, and a pinch of salt in medium size pot. Bring to a boil (uncovered), stir occasionally. When it comes to a boil put the lid on and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, don’t stir or uncover your rice for any reason. Turn off burner, keep covered and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Then fluff rice with a fork.

Variation: If you want Cajun style rice add 2 bay leaves in with the water, rice and salt in the first step. Discard after it has cooked.

Written by mytexaskitchen

August 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

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Summer Coolers

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Lemon Lime-aid

Summer Coolers

Get wild with your drinks. It is fun to get creative with left over fruit or seasonal stuff that is in abundance at your market. It is so easy. I used to think making lemonade took 20 lemons but it really only takes 1.

Lemon Lime Summer Cooler Recipe:
Glass Pitcher (plastic can get screwy with acidic juice)
1 Lemon, 1 Lime juiced (or just use one instead of both)
1/2 Cup Sugar

Cucumber Cooler:
One cucumber peeled and seeded and cut into chunks
1/2 Sugar
Water to fill up the pitcher

Cucumber Lemonade
One cucumber peeled and seeded and cut into chunks
1 Lemon
1/2 Cup Sugar
Fresh Mint Leaves

Blueberry Cooler
1/2 to 1 Cup Blueberries (Use potato masher to mash in with the sugar)
1/2 Cup Sugar
Dash of Almond Extract

Finish Mixing
Put ingredients in pitcher and  fill up with water.  Mix well and store in the fridge.

The options are limitless
I just pick my drink flavor base, mix with 1/2 cup sugar and water. Drink freedom. Power to the people.

Written by mytexaskitchen

August 17, 2010 at 11:12 am