Posts tagged ‘mexican’
We recently discovered a local farm that produces ridiculously delicious chorizo, and have been enthusiastically exploring things to do with it. First we made tacos with it, and then scrambled it with eggs. Then we made chorizo sandwiches, and sprinkled it on salads. Finally, we were thinking it might be nice to try it with pasta, imagining something reminiscent of this, when I happened upon a recipe for a spicy pasta and sausage bake from America’s Test Kitchen. With a few tweaks, the dish became an amazing way to enjoy chorizo, pasta, and all the spicy, cheesy warmth of a good casserole.
As the weather cools down, we all find ourselves drawn to more warming foods. Lately we’ve been making things like chiles rellenos casserole and burritos, as well as tossing strips of roasted peps into stews and other warming Mexican dishes, and consequently I’ve found myself roasting up anaheims and poblanos more often than usual! Roasty pepper strips are actually pretty versatile (try topping a burger or sandwich with them!), so I thought I’d share a little basics post to document the ropes. If you have any favorite recipes using roasted chiles, let me know in the comments, and I hope to share our recipe for baked chiles rellenos soon!
There are, again, two kitchen firsts this time around. The first is the making of something pickled! I mean, I guess we made kimchi before, but that hardly seems to be in the same category as these quick red onions. I normally have a pretty so-so reaction to pickled red onions– they strike me as a little slimy and boring, neither a detriment nor an asset to whatever I might eat them with, but these quick pickled ones from America’s Test Kitchen were totally amazing. They had that all-important pickly, briny vinegar flavor, but with just enough sweetness to appeal to people that usually don’t like pickled things. They had a little heat from some jalapeno, but not too much, and they managed to be softened from the pickling liquid but still keep a little bit of crunch! They are so good I could snack on them plain, but I won’t, for the sake of my breath. Also, they are much better on tacos.
The second kitchen first is me deigning to allow a foul, nasty ingredient into my kitchen. Cilantro! Cilantro seems to be a very polarizing ingredient in the food world, and while I’ve heard that you can train your palate to accept cilantro, I have no desire to do so! That is, except for the times that I’m trying to enjoy Mexican or Thai food and cilantro sneaks in to mess up my otherwise delicious meal, or the fact that, despite my undying love for mangos, I have never been able to enjoy a mango salsa due to the ubiquitous sprinkling of cilantro. So actually, maybe it would be in my interest to at least be neutral about cilantro…I guess if anything can accomplish that, it’s these steak tacos.
Last weekend, we borrowed a copy of The Border Cookbook from Stephen’s mom, and I couldn’t wait to get it home and pour over it. Twenty minutes after opening it, I had scanned the whole thing and you could hardly see the cover but for the sticky notes marking must-try recipes on every other page. It was hard to decide what to make first, but the idea of Sonoran Enchiladas was just too enticing to wait for.
I had never heard of a Sonoran enchilada before, but I learned that it is essentially a thick fried tortilla made from corn flour, cheese, and potato that you smother with red sauce, sprinkle with cheese, bake until cheesy gooey, and garnish with yummy stuff like avocados, shredded lettuce, and green onions. We made them within an hour and they turned out delicious! Kind of like little mexican corn cake pizzas! I’m not sure why they’re allowed to be called enchiladas, as there is no rolling and filling of anything (it seems more like a thick tostada to me), but once we started eating them I didn’t really care what they were called.
How did cinco de mayo come and go already? Usually we have a little fiesta at our place and use it as an excuse to go crazy with Rick Bayless recipes (I saw him tweeting about a bacon queso fundido the other day…), but somehow it kind of snuck up on me this year and we were without a mexi-plan for the evening! We ended up doing a quick but tasty taco potluck with friends, but I realized afterwards that I happened to have a little something in my recipe backlog that I’ve been meaning to post that would have been perfect for a cinco de mayo dinner (maybe if I had posted it a few days ago…): quesadilla pie! Luckily, it is awesome enough to enjoy on seis de mayo, siete de mayo, and just about any other day of the year.
Fresh flour tortillas are so many leagues apart from store-bought tortillas, it’s like eating a different food. If you can get them at a restaurant, hallelujah, but we often resort to buying those uncooked tortillas from Tortillaland at Costco and then cooking them up ourselves at home (not as much homemade cred as making them from scratch, but still pretty damn delicious and miles above anything you can buy in a shelf-stable package at the grocery store). Given my love for fresh tortillas and my interest learning to make things myself, I realized the other day that it’s weird that I’ve never tried making tortillas! I quite frequently hear people talking about making homemade corn tortillas, and while I do love a fresh corn tortilla as well, I must admit that warm soft flour tortillas have a special place in my heart belly.
This is one of those blogging moments when we’ve eaten something so ridiculously tasty that I just have to post about it, but then realize that it’s hardly even a recipe! Consider this more a menu suggestion or a prescription for success. It’s the best thing I know how to make in ten minutes, and is perfect for a night when you realize you are just not up to making anything that will keep you in the kitchen longer than that. Or when you just really want tacos.