Mexican Tlayuda

I know what you may  be thinking right off the start. T-what? Tlayuda. It’s essentially Mexican street food, in particular of the pizza descent. Think of great Mexican ingredients loaded onto a cooked, large flour tortilla. This is typically street food, and good Lord is it ever good, and fun to eat. This is a popular snack food, but let me tell you, it can be turned into a meal depending on the ingredients you put onto it. Typically a single tortilla, I was super hungry and decided I would go full force and make this a ‘double tlayuda’. Think of it as an open faced pizzadilla. You can make these with all sorts of your favorite proteins, but I wanted chorizo, a classic Mexcican ingredient, and in particular on the tlayuda. The classic uses some drizzle of lard, but I’m not into that as I am getting enough from smashed black beans cooked in some oil, garlic, and onions.

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Recipe
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large flour tortillas (You can use one if you prefer)
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained, cooked, lightly mashed
  • Approximately 1 cup of Mexican chorizo, fat strained, and cooked until a bit dry
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of raw slaw
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • your favorite hot sauce or salsa
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz bag monterray jack cheese

Start by getting a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Add in the oil, then toss in the onions, cooking a few minutes until lightly softe

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Ingredients
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza Ingredients

ned, then add in the garlic. After about a minute, toss in the black beans and water. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium to medium-low heat. Once the beans have softened a bit, use a fork, or potato masher, and start to mash the beans. I do not go for a few refried blend on these as I like some texture from the beans. Go about 50/50 on that mash.

OK, next step. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a flour tortilla, smear some black beans on it, some cheese, and some jalapenos to your liking, (again I  used two on this one as a stack), and place it on a sheet pan and place in the preheated oven. Cook for about 2 minutes, just to cook it slightly to lightly brown.  Once the cheese is slightly melted, remove from the oven.

Stack another tortilla on top. Gently press. Add enough bean mash to lightly coat the the entire top tortilla, then a generous amount of cheese to cover the top, then more jalapenos (if ou desire). Spread the cooked chorizo all over the top tortilla, along with a generous amount of cheese, and place back into the oven. Cook until the cheese is nice and melted, the tortilla nicely browned, and then remove.

Once you remove, shower with some of the raw coleslaw, fresh cilantro, and drizzle your favorite salsa or hot sauce.

Now you can fold this, or you can slice into wedges. I’m a wedge man. Wedges are good.

Mexican Tlayuda Pizza
Mexican Tlayuda Pizza

Holy Moly. If you think about this all together, well you are going to drool. When you eat it, it makes you want to be alone and devour the whole thing so no one is looking. It’s so good, and something that should probably come off the street and onto Mexican restaurant menus. Spice, cheese, crisp, soft, veg. What’s not to love. Make it (stacked or not), and I’m sure you will love it. Enjoy!

 

 

Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham

I have bee tinkering with Vietnamese nuoc cham for some time now, tinkering with both a red version and a green version. The subtle difference between the two is the red uses sambal (which I totally love), and the green one does not. Both versions can be used in many different ways, but my preference for either one is to be used as a dressing, or dipping sauce for grilled meats, or spring rolls. There is something so addicting in both that when no one is looking, I will simply eat it by the spoonful.

Packed full of tart, sweet, and spicy ingredients, this sauce is one of my favorites. Hands down.

Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham Recipe
Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham Recipe

As with any nuoc cham, it uses fish sauce, so if you have never tried either, this is a great chance to stock up on some good fish sauce, a super ingredient for umami goodness.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of quality fish sauce (I like 3 crabs brand or Red Boat)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 green Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced

Mix all of these ingredients in a bowl, and mix until you get that sugar dissolved. Give a taste. See? Flavor bomb!

You can keep this out at room temperature until you are ready to serve. This was used in fresh lettuce wraps, along with vermicelli noodles, and egg rolls, all wrapped in lettuce and drizzled with that sauce. My boys, and wife do not care for the sauce as it is a bit too spicy for them, but my daughter and I simply love it. This can be stored in the refrigerator, cover, for a few weeks, but my guess is that if you fall in love with this sauce, that it will not last that long. Hope you enjoy!

Pizza Montanara

I’ve probably said it before, but I will say it again. If there were a couple of things I could eat on a regular basis, it would be pizza and tacos. There are so many different ways to make either of those, and the toppings could be endless, hence why I could rotate those on a daily basis. Maybe it is the hand food, who knows. But there is one pizza known as pizza montanara that I’ve been wanting to make for the kids as they love a thicker style crust. This pizza is not only a thing of beauty, but it may have been one of the better pizzas I’ve made, and I’ve made a lot of pizza, trust me.

 

Pizza Montanara Recipe
Pizza Montanara Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough, tossed into a size that will fit into your large skillet
  • Canola oil, enough to fill about 1 inch of your skillet
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • your favorite pizza sauce
  • fresh basil, optional
  • sliced pepperoni, to your liking
  • mozzarella cheese, to your liking
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Now these pizza toppings are to my family’s liking, but use your favorite toppings.

Once you have your dough shaped, and about 1/4 inch thick, take a fork and poke the dough all over. This will assist when cooking in the hot oil from having it balloon out.

Pizza Montanara Ingredients
Pizza Montanara Ingredients

Heat your large skillet on medium heat. Add enough oil to be about one inch in depth and bring that up to about 350 degrees. During this time, heat your oven to 450 degrees, along with a sheet pan.

Once the oil is heated, carefully add it to the skillet, and fry the dough for about 2 minutes, then using some tongs, carefully raise it out and flip it to the other side, cooking an additional 2 minutes. It should be a bit stiff and a light golden brown.

Raise the cooked dough from the oil, and let any excess oil drip back into the skillet. Now I know what you might be thinking, that this is going to be an oily mess, but trust me it does not. As a matter of fact you would probably think this was a pan style pizza, or deep dish style if you did not tell anyone how you made it.

Next, add the pizza to your pizza peel, and add the sauce, onions, pepperoni, and cover with the mozzarella cheese.

Pizza Montanara Recipe
Pizza Montanara Recipe

Slide onto the preheated baking sheet and cook for about 5 minutes or so or until the cheese is nice and melted and the sauce is heated through.

Remove and shower with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

The end result was nothing short of fantastic. As much as I love thin crust pizza, along with pan and deep dish pizza, this was something in between all of that, and it was way too easy to make. My family loved this one, and I will be making many more in the near future. Hope you enjoy!

Garlic and Sage Fries

This past weekend, like most folks in my area, I was out in the yard pulling weeds and hacking down plants only to get ready for the winter. As I walked past one of our planting areas, I realized I had not used a lot of the sage I had planted in the Spring. Sure, I’ve made a couple batches of pasta with sage and brown butter for my kids, and thinking of how much I love sage, especially this time of year, I decided that I would pull a nice handful and come up with a side dish with some roasted chicken I was about to make for dinner. These garlic and sage fries were not only loaded with flavor, but they were baked until crisp and were a perfect side dish for that roasted chicken.

Garlic and Sage Fries Recipe
Garlic and Sage Fries Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 yukon gold potatoes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup of fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • generous pinch of salt
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

Soak your sliced potatoes in cold water for about 5 minutes, then strain, and rinse them, and pat them dry.

Add them to a large bowl, add the garlic, sage, olive oil, and salt, and give a nice toss to make sure the potatoes are lightly coated.

Garlic and Sage Fries
Garlic and Sage Fries

Add the fries to a baking sheet (I like to add parchment paper for easier cleanup), and place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until they are crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside.

Remove, plate, and shower with parmesan cheese.

Talk about a winner, these things didn’t last long on our dinner table, and if you are roasting that chicken along with it, make some grave, and drizzle some of that love all over those fries. Hope you enjoy!