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MEXICAN-STYLE CUMIN-PEPPER STEAK TACOS

November 1, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Skill Level: Moderate

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INGREDIENTS:
For the steaks:
2 pounds flatiron steaks
Olive oil, for drizzling
1 rounded tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 limes
For the poblano sauce:
4 large poblano peppers
1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 jalapeño peppers
4-6 medium tomatillos
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
Drizzle of agave or light honey, such as Acacia honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
For the peppers and onions:
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 large red bell pepper or frying pepper, sliced
1 large green frying, mild or bell pepper, sliced
1 large red onion, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper
A splash of dry sherry or white wine
For wrapping:
16 corn tortillas (4-6 inches), charred in hot dry pan on both sides
Romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves, for wrapping (instead of tortillas)
For the fixin’s:
Sliced radishes
Cilantro leaves
Sliced avocado
Sour cream or Mexican crema
Shredded Manchego cheese
Lime-picked red onions (red onions dressed with salt, pepper and lime juice) or chopped raw onions
PREPARATION:
Bring the steaks to room temperature and coat lightly in olive or canola oil. Combine the cumin, granulated garlic and onion, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub into the meat. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 500°F.
Lightly spray or drizzle the poblanos, onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers with olive oil and roast until the peppers and tomatillos charred and the onions are tender. Take the garlic out when light golden and tender; the peppers may need turning as well. Cool the peppers in a covered bowl, then peel and seed. In a food processor, combine the peppers, onions, garlic and tomatillos with cilantro, honey, cumin, lime juice and salt, and pulse to chop or puree to your desired consistency; adjust the seasonings, to taste.
Heat a griddle or grill pan to medium high heat for steaks.
Heat a large skillet with canola or olive oil, two turns of the pan. Add red and green mild peppers, red onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies to tender-crisp, 4-5 minutes, deglaze the pan with sherry or white wine.
Char the tortillas (if using) in a dry skillet over high heat for 20-30 seconds on each side. Assemble the toppings of your choice.
Grill the steaks for 8 minutes, turning once for medium rare, 10-12 minutes for medium-well. Grill 2 halved limes alongside steaks. Let the steaks rest and thinly slice on an angle against the grain. Douse the meat with the juice of grilled limes. Assemble the lettuce or corn tacos as you like.
  
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by Alex

Easy Mexican Chicken and Beans

October 25, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Cuisine: Poultry, Skill Level: Easy

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Ingredients:
7 Chicken Fillet
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can corn 
red and green pepper, chopped
2 cup water
Olive oil
salt and pepper
Directions:
pour olive oil in a pan, add chicken and cook them until brown. stir beans, corn, red and green pepper and seasoning. after 10 minutes add water and let it cook slowly until sauce is slightly thickened.Serve with tortillas.
  

Red Chile Halibut Tacos with Hatch Chile Guacamole and Jicama-Tomatillo Relish

October 21, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Skill Level: Easy

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Hatch Chile Guacamole
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 ripe avocadoes, diced
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 serrano chile, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt
Add Hatch chiles and avocado to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and fold until thoroughly mixed. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Jicama-Tomatillo Relish
4 radishes, quartered and sliced
½ large jicama, peeled, quartered and sliced
3 tomatillos, removed from husk, rinsed and patted dry, quartered and sliced
Juice of 2 limes
Cilantro, chopped
Salt
Place all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and fold to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Red Chile Halibut
4 dried guajillo chiles
12 dried chiles de arbol
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 3 limes
2 garlic cloves
2 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Kosher salt
10 ounces halibut, cut into 1-ounce fillets (approximately 1½-inch pieces)
Corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
1. Place the dried chiles in a medium bowl, and pour boiling water over top. Let rehydrate until the chiles are softened and pliable, about 5 minutes. In a food processor, combine the chiles and the remaining ingredients, except for the halibut, and puree until smooth — approximately 3-4 minutes. Pour all but ½ cup of the mixture into a shallow dish large enough to accommodate the fish. Serve the remaining ½ cup of the chile sauce as a spicy condiment to accompany the tacos. Place the halibut fillets into the dish, turn to coat, and let marinate for 15 minutes.
3. Place a cast iron pan on medium high heat for 5 minutes prior to cooking the fish. Using slotted spoon and working in batches, remove fish pieces from marinade, lightly season with salt on both sides, and place them into hot pan. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan, or the fish won’t get the proper sear. After about 1 minute, carefully flip over the fish and continue to cook for another minute until done.
4. Heat the tortillas over an open flame to soften and warm, and wrap in a cloth to keep warm. Assemble the tacos: place two or three pieces of halibut in the center of a corn tortilla; spoon hatch chile guacamole over top, and garnish with a pile of jicama-tomatillo relish and a drizzle of red chile marinade.
  

Fried Fish Tacos with Avocado Tartar Sauce & Red Cabbage

October 14, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Skill Level: Easy

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Avocado Tartar Sauce
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, dived
5 cornichon, finely diced
2 pickled jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
1 large scallion, green and pale green part, thinly sliced
1. Combine the avocado, mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a blender. Add a ¼ cup of water and blend until smooth. The mixture should be pourable; if too thick, add a bit more water a tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition.
2. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, fold in the cornichon, jalapeño and scallions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.
Fried Halibut
2 cups AP flour, divided
1 cup dark Mexican beer, such as Negro Modelo
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups canola or vegetable oil
Six 6-inch flour tortillas
12 ounce halibut fillet, cut into six 5-inch by ½-inch slices
Juice of ½ fresh lime
¼ small head red cabbage, finely shredded
Cooked tomato salsa
1/3 cup crumbled queso blanco
Jalapeño hot sauce
Cilantro leaves
1. Whisk together 1 cup of the flour, the beer, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of crème anglaise (unset custard). Add a bit more beer if batter is too thick. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 250°. Heat a cast iron or nonstick pan over medium heat until the pan is hot. Sear the tortillas on each side, until lightly golden brown, about 20 seconds per side then stack on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Keep warm in the oven while you prepare the fish.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until to 365°. Put the remaining cup of flour on a large dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the fish on a plate, toss with the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Dredge the fish pieces in the flour and tap off the excess. Dip the fish in the batter, one piece at a time, and let excess run off. Fry (in batches) in the oil until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper.
5. Lay a warm tortilla on a flat surface and place a piece of the fish in the center. Drizzle the fish with avocado tartar sauce and some of the cooked tomato salsa, top with shredded cabbage, hot sauce, queso blanco and garnish with hot sauce and cilantro. Devour immediately!
  

Mexican-Style Cumin-Pepper Steak Tacos

October 6, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Skill Level: Moderate

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Ingredients:

For the steaks:

    2 pounds flatiron steaks
    Olive oil, for drizzling
    1 rounded tablespoon ground cumin
    2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    2 teaspoons granulated onion
    2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
    Salt and pepper
    2 limes

For the poblano sauce:

    4 large poblano peppers
    1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
    4 large cloves garlic, crushed
    2 jalapeño peppers
    4-6 medium tomatillos
    2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
    Drizzle of agave or light honey, such as Acacia honey
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    Juice of 1 lime
    Salt, to taste

For the peppers and onions:

    2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
    1 large red bell pepper or frying pepper, sliced
    1 large green frying, mild or bell pepper, sliced
    1 large red onion, halved and sliced
    4 cloves garlic, sliced
    Salt and pepper
    A splash of dry sherry or white wine

For wrapping:

    16 corn tortillas (4-6 inches), charred in hot dry pan on both sides
    Romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves, for wrapping (instead of tortillas)

For the fixin’s:

    Sliced radishes
    Cilantro leaves
    Sliced avocado
    Sour cream or Mexican crema
    Shredded Manchego cheese
    Lime-picked red onions (red onions dressed with salt, pepper and lime juice) or chopped raw onions

Preparation:

Bring the steaks to room temperature and coat lightly in olive or canola oil. Combine the cumin, granulated garlic and onion, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub into the meat. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes.
 
Pre-heat the oven to 500°F.

Lightly spray or drizzle the poblanos, onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers with olive oil and roast until the peppers and tomatillos charred and the onions are tender. Take the garlic out when light golden and tender; the peppers may need turning as well. Cool the peppers in a covered bowl, then peel and seed. In a food processor, combine the peppers, onions, garlic and tomatillos with cilantro, honey, cumin, lime juice and salt, and pulse to chop or puree to your desired consistency; adjust the seasonings, to taste.
 
Heat a griddle or grill pan to medium high heat for steaks.
 
Heat a large skillet with canola or olive oil, two turns of the pan. Add red and green mild peppers, red onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies to tender-crisp, 4-5 minutes, deglaze the pan with sherry or white wine.
 
Char the tortillas (if using) in a dry skillet over high heat for 20-30 seconds on each side. Assemble the toppings of your choice.
 
Grill the steaks for 8 minutes, turning once for medium rare, 10-12 minutes for medium-well. Grill 2 halved limes alongside steaks. Let the steaks rest and thinly slice on an angle against the grain. Douse the meat with the juice of grilled limes. Assemble the lettuce or corn tacos as you like.

  

Braised Pork Tacos

August 16, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Skill Level: Moderate

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ingredients:

2 ancho chiles

2 dried chipotle chiles

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 (3 to 5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder

Salt and pepper

2 onions, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

4 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand crushed

1 orange, halved

1 lime, halved

Corn tortillas, recipe follows

Avocado, sliced thin, for garnish

Radishes, sliced thin, for garnish

Tomatillo Salsa Verde, for garnish, recipe follows

CORN TORTILLAS:

4 cups masa harina

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups warm water

2 teaspoons honey

TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE:

1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed

1 jalapeno, stemmed

1 small Spanish onion, quartered

3 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1 lime, juiced

Directions:

Put the chiles into a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. Brown the meat well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side; remove the meat and set aside. Add the onion, pepper, garlic, cumin, thyme, and bay leaf; fry until softened, about 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits in the pan. Stem and seed the soaked chiles reserving the soaking liquid; hand tear them into the pot. Return the meat to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Top the meat with the tomatoes. Pour in the chili soaking liquid, straining out any seeds, until it almost covers the meat; add water if you need more liquid. Squeeze the orange and lime juices into the pot and add the rinds. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is very tender. Remove the meat to a platter and cover to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid and reserv.

Shred the pork. Add some of the reserved braising liquid if the meat is dry. Take a tortilla and place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top. Garnish with the avocado, radishes, and Salsa Verde; fold the sides up and serve.
Put the masa harina in a bowl and mix in the salt. Add about 1 cup warm water and mix with your hands; add more water as needed until the dough comes together. Knead for a few minutes to smooth the dough out. The dough should be firm and springy and should not stick to your hands. Test by forming a small disk, if it cracks around the edges you need more water.

Place a piece of heavy plastic (like from a garbage bag) onto a tortilla press. Form a 1 1/2-inch ball of dough and place it in the center of the press. Top with another piece of plastic, close the press, and push the lever down to form the tortilla. (Alternately, the dough balls can be rolled between plastic sheets with a rolling pin.) Open the press and remove the top layer of plastic. Carefully peel the tortilla off the bottom plastic and place it onto a hot, ungreased cast iron skillet; cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the tortilla and place it on a clean tea towel; keep it covered to keep it soft and pliable. Continue until you have used up all the dough.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatillos are soft but have not burst. Add the cooked vegetables to a blender with the cilantro leaves and lime juice. Pour in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and process to a coarse puree. Taste and adjust seasoning with more cilantro, lime juice, or salt.

  

Chipotle Chicken Fajitas

August 2, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Cuisine: Poultry, Skill Level: Moderate

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ingredients:
1 pound (about 6) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut lengthwise into strips about 1-inch wide
1 chipotle en adobo, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, quartered and sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 medium bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh oregano
6 to 8 flour tortillas, warmed, for serving
Pico de Gallo salsa, optional for serving
Guacamole, optional for serving
Sour cream, optional for serving

Directions:
Place chicken in a bowl, add chipotle, and salt and toss until meat is well coated. Set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it smokes, add half of chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and, return pan to stove, add 1 more teaspoon of the oil, and repeat with second batch.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon of the oil, add onion and garlic and cook until golden and soft, about 2 minutes. Add peppers and cook until softened and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan, add broth and cook until sauce is slightly reduced, chicken is cooked through, and peppers are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in oregano, taste, and adjust seasoning, as necessary. Serve immediately over steamed rice or potatoes.

  

Mexican beef chilli

July 5, 2014 in Cuisine: Mexican

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Ingredients:
2 red onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 fresh red chillies
30 g fresh coriander
olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 fresh bay leaves
2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 kg beef shin, bone in, sinew removed
1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
1 green pepper
4 spring onions
150 g cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
white wine vinegar
Optional:
fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve
Method:
I absolutely adore cooking dishes like this with a nice hunk of meat on the bone, and shin is great value. You get tender sweet meat, and the marrow from the bone gives the sauce great flavour. This will completely reset your standards of what a really good chilli is, and it also makes wicked party food if you’re feeding a crowd.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic with the chillies and coriander stalks, then put into a large casserole pan on a medium heat with a good lug of olive oil. Add all the spices and the bay leaves and cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, and adding a splash or two of water to stop it sticking, if needed.
Pour in the tinned tomatoes and two tins’ worth of water and bring to the boil while you rub the meat all over with salt, pepper and olive oil. Pop the meat into the sauce, cover with a lid, then transfer to the oven to cook for 5 hours, stirring halfway and adding a good splash of water to loosen, if needed. Twenty minutes before the end, drain the beans and stir through, adding a splash of juice from the tin if the chilli looks a bit dry.
Meanwhile, deseed the pepper, trim the spring onions, then chop with the cherry tomatoes and most of the coriander leaves. Season to perfection and toss with a lug of extra virgin olive oil and a swig of vinegar to make a quick salsa. When the meat is falling apart and the chilli is thick and delicious, shake the marrow out of the bone and stir it back through the chilli. Season to perfection again, if needed, then sprinkle over the remaining coriander leaves and serve with the salsa, and a dollop of yoghurt, if you like. Delicious with grilled corn on the cob and baked sweet potatoes on the side.

  

Beef Fajitas

July 3, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican, Skill Level: Easy

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Ingredients:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried crushed Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 pounds flank steak, fat trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 large flour tortillas
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Lime wedges, accompaniment
Cold Mexican beer, or tequila shots

Directions:
In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, tequila, garlic, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the Worcestershire sauce, oregano, pepper flakes, cumin and coriander. Pour into a large zip-lock bag, add the steak, and seal. Place in a baking dish and refrigerate for at least 12 and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove the meat from the bag and pat dry. Season on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper.
Preheat the grill to high, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes to warm and soften. Remove from the oven and keep warm in the aluminum foil.
Cook the steak over the grill to preferred temperature, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onions, and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic, remaining teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Divide among the warmed tortillas and top with the vegetables. Squeeze with lime juice and serve immediately with cold beer or tequila shots.

  

Fish Tacos with Corny Guac

June 30, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Mexican

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Ingredients
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granualted onion
1 1/2 pounds tilapia, mahi-mahi or other sustainable white fish, cut into 1-inch strips
Salt and pepper
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño or 2 serrano chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, grated or pasted
2 ripe avocados, preferably Hass, halved and pitted
1 ear corn, grilled or roasted, kernels scraped, or 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn kernels, thawed
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
12-16 small (6-inch) corn tortillas
Shredded iceberg lettuce

Preparation
In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Add the fish, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
In a medium size bowl, combine the red onion, chili peppers, lemon juice and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and let stand until juices form, about 10 minutes. Scoop the avocado into the bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the corn, tomato and cilantro; season.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook the fish, working in batches if needed, until lightly browned and opaque in the center, 2-3 minutes per side.
Heat a small skillet over high. Add one tortilla and cook until blistered in spots, 20-30 seconds per side. Wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Fill the tortillas with the lettuce and fish; top with the guacamole.