Tag Archives: mexican

Taco salad

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Paco made this, isn’t it pretty and colorful?  It’s a nice change from regular tacos.

Taco Salad

romaine lettuce
tomatoes, diced
black beans, heated
cheddar cheese, shredded
tortilla chips for crumbling on top
salsa
avocado or guacamole
ground beef
cumin
garlic, minced
kosher salt
pepper

To make the beef, heat some vegetable oil in a skillet, then brown the beef and garlic, seasoning with salt, pepper, and cumin.

Layer the vegetables, beef, beans, cheese, guacamole, and salsa in a bowl, garnishing with crumbled chips.

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Pozole

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There are flood warnings all over Los Angeles today, so after a soaking trip to the farmer’s market and a mid-day trip to the South Bay for dim sum with my parents, we decided to hole up inside with the dogs.

March Madness for Paco, and pozole-making for me!

I usually use Tori Ritchie’s recipe for New Mexican-style turkey pozole, but after watching someone make pozole with a puree of onions, garlic, and herbs on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, I had to incorporate that technique into my recipe. (I was unable to find the exact recipe online, unfortunately.)  I loved the idea of a fresher, more onion-y flavor. After some internet research, I have found that this technique is most commonly used in pozole verde, which also incorporates tomatillos and jalapenos, but I decided to use it in my pozole rojo anyway.  The result was delicious, and perfect for a stormy afternoon.

Pozole

2-3 turkey drumsticks (2 1/2 lbs)
kosher salt
pepper
1 T vegetable oil
4 c water
2 c chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 T New Mexico chili powder
1 onion, diced
1 T fresh oregano
4 cloves garlic
1 32 oz can hominy, rinsed and drained

Garnish:
shredded green cabbage
red onion, finely chopped
radishes, sliced
cilantro
fried corn tortillas or chips
avocado
lime

Rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Season thoroughly with kosher salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and brown, making sure that the turkey releases from the bottom of the pan before you try to flip it. Brown the turkey on all sides.

Add the water to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the bay leaf, New Mexico chili, dried oregano, and some additional salt, and allow to simmer for an hour and a half, until the turkey meat is falling off the bone.

Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic, fresh oregano, and one cup of the turkey’s cooking liquid into a blender. Blend until the mixture is a chunky liquid.

When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the pot and leave it on a plate to cool.

Pour the onion puree into the soup pot and continue to simmer for 30 more minutes. When the turkey is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the skin and bones. Add the turkey meat and the rinsed hominy to the pot, and bring everything back to a simmer.

Serve with all of the garnishes on the side so that people can create their own perfect bowl pozole. Personally, I like LOTS of lime, onion, and cilantro, a few chips, and a few pieces of avocado.  Buen provecho!

Carnitas

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I had the itch to make carnitas in November, after reading this, but sadly, the itch got lost due to the holidays, etc. I had made carnitas before using lard, but I was very intrigued by the idea of braising them and browning them in the fat that renders. I basically stuck to the recipe, but added beer for fun, and chili powder for kick.

I would say that 3 lbs. of pork shoulder serves four people, depending if you have some big eaters around to help you. A lot of the pork fat will be rendered, so the amount of meat will shrink considerably.

Carnitas
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, where it was adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook)

3 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 lime
4 cloves garlic
1 Mexican beer, like Pacifico
water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

1. Place the pork shoulder fat side down in a single layer in a Dutch oven, along with the lime juice, garlic, beer, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Add enough water to just cover the meat. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, for two hours.

2. After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high, and allow the braising liquid to cook off. When just the rendered fat is left in the pot, the pork should begin to brown.

Cook for 30-40 minutes, turning the pieces over occasionally, until the pork pieces are nicely browned all around.

3. Remove the pork from the pan, and break the bigger pieces apart.

Served with tortillas, pinto beans, and slaw.

Mexican pickled carrots

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You know those pickled carrots and jalapenos that they always have at taquerias, at the salsa bar?  I love them, but I had never thought of making my own until we went our friends Matt’s and Cari’s house for a barbeque.  So delicious!  Now we make them on a regular basis.

I use this simple recipe from About.com.

I like to use the jumbo carrots to make this, so that I don’t have to peel a ton of smaller carrots.

Slice them on the diagonal.

Let them simmer with the vinegar, jalapenos, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns.

And that’s it!