Mexican Alambre

You know when you have that craving for tacos, or better yet fajitas? Yeah, I know, I pretty much have that craving all of the time! This dish, known as alambre, is a popular Mexican dish that should be on everyone’s menu, but is not. This Mexican alambre is a mix of beef, bacon, peppers, and cheese, topped with avocados and limes, only to be folded into nicely grilled flour tortillas. This feeds an army and is packed full of awesome flavors and textures, that I’m positive will have you making this more than once.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Alambre, in Spanish, literally translates to ‘wire’ and I suspect that it could be due to the fact that meats and vegetables were skewered and grilled before getting chopped up and folded into tacos. Regardless, I simply throw things on the grill to get a nice char before slicing and serving.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon,  cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional

Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.

To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree.  Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

Mexican Alambre
Mexican Alambre

When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)

Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.

While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about 1/4 cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.

Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.

Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.

Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!

Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.

Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.

Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

This was a great meal to serve at the table. The kids loved the interactivity (and the rocking flavors), and it was a great conversation piece. My oldest, who typically does not like melted cheese (especially on tacos), nor peppers, was spooning this into about 4 tacos. I think he loved this Mexican alambre, and I’m certain you will to! Enjoy.

Mexican Alambre
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.
  2. To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree. Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.
  3. When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)
  4. Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.
  5. While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about ¼ cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.
  6. Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.
  7. Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.
  8. Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!
  9. Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.
  10. Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.
  11. Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.
  12. Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

 

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken

For some time now, gochujang has been one of my favorite condiments. There is something about it, whether that combination of sweet, spicy, or savory, but whatever it is gochujang has got it going on. I have used gochujang in a couple of different recipes including Korean style zucchini as well as some Korean style quick pickles, both of which were delicious, but not it was time to try to incorporate the gochujang into a chicken marinade and see how it would turn out. Actually, I knew how it was going to turn out, and I was right, it turned out pretty awesome.

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe
Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional

Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.

Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.

Gochujang Chicken
Gochujang Chicken

Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.

Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.

During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.

Now it is time to serve.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.

Serve and with rice. My kids totally loved these. They are typically not fans of thighs like I am, but that told me something, and that something was most likely that awesome gochujang marinade. Hope you enjoy!

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Korean Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.
  4. Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.
  7. Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.
  8. During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.
  9. Now it is time to serve.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.
  11. Serve and with rice.

 

Salsa Macha

Salsa macha may not be something you have heard of before, but trust me it is such an unusual and awesome salsa that it’s texture alone will have you wondering. Salsa macha is unlike your common red or green salsa that you may have come to know, and typically referred to as ‘macha’, the feminine version of ‘macho’, this one lives up to its name. It’s bold, unique, and strong in every way.

Salsa macha is a blend of chilies, oil, and nuts, and is just crazy out of this world. I’ve been stirring this up and drizzling over morning omelettes, and dipping warm tortillas in it. It reminds me of a red chili sauce I made a couple of years ago, but a bit different in terms of the chilies that are involved.

Salsa Macha Recipe
Salsa Macha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chile arbol peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 chile morita peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 chili ancho peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add in all of the chili peppers and garlic. Toss the chilies in the skillet for about three minutes. This helps bring out the oils. Remove from the stove, and set to the side.

Next, heat a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil, and carefully add in the chilies, pecans, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

During this time, add the oregano to a small bowl, and season with the salt and pour in the vinegar.

How to make salsa macha
How to make salsa macha

Once the chili oil is cooled, pour it into a blender, along with the vinegar and oregano mixture, and blend until smooth.

Pour the salsa macha into a seal proof jar, and use it up. A little goes a long way. You may think it is super spicy but it is not the case, at all. It’s more of a smokey flavor with a hint of chili. There is something about this that I question every time I use it. It’s like the Mexican version of pesto in a way when I think about it, and trust me that is not a bad thing. To store, simply place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it up. The ingredients sink to the bottom, and the oil comes to the top, so give it a good stir when you are ready to reuse. Hope you enjoy!

Salsa Macha
Author: 
Recipe type: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 chile arbol peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 chile morita peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 chili ancho peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • ½ cup of pecans
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add in all of the chili peppers and garlic. Toss the chilies in the skillet for about three minutes. This helps bring out the oils. Remove from the stove, and set to the side.
  2. Next, heat a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil, and carefully add in the chilies, pecans, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. During this time, add the oregano to a small bowl, and season with the salt and pour in the vinegar.
  4. Once the chili oil is cooled, pour it into a blender, along with the vinegar and oregano mixture, and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the salsa macha into a seal proof jar, and use it up. A little goes a long way. You may think it is super spicy but it is not the case, at all. It’s more of a smokey flavor with a hint of chili. There is something about this that I question every time I use it. It’s like the Mexican version of pesto in a way when I think about it, and trust me that is not a bad thing. To store, simply place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it up. The ingredients sink to the bottom, and the oil comes to the top, so give it a good stir when you are ready to reuse. Hope you enjoy!

 

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb

Onion bomb you ask? Yes, let me welcome you to an onion bomb. What the heck is it? Essentially an onion that is cored out, stuffed with a spiced ground meat, and well, you could stop there, or take it another step forward and wrap it in slices of bacon, and then smoke it. Yep, that’s an onion bomb, and one that is going to rock your world.

The onion bomb came out of the idea of stuffed peppers, a dish that I grew up eating.  I wanted to create something where maybe, just maybe, I could get my oldest to try. I knew he would devour the exterior bacon, and the interior meat, and my other would devour the onion, but maybe they would try the entire thing. I was correct on my assumptions, and no they did not eat everything together, but at least a dad tries, right?

Barbecue Bacon Onion Bomb Recipe
Barbecue Bacon Onion Bomb Recipe

You can do these on the grill, on your smoker, or in your oven. It’s up to you. I added them on the smoker for a bit of that great smoke flavor, but I’ll let you decide. Your overall goal is to have an internal temperature of 165.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, cored
  • ~ 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Few dashes of Maggi (optional)
  • 4 slices of your favorite bacon
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce

Start by coring out most of the onion. You can do this carefully with a pairing knife, or if you have a jalapeno corer, use that as it works really well. Leave a couple of external layers in tact so it holds up well with the meat mixture.

Add the meat to a mixing bowl and add in the salt, pepper, Maggi, and Italian seasoning.

How to make an onion bomb.
How to make an onion bomb.

Mix well, and gently stuff into the onion. Wrap the slices of bacon around the onion, securing each piece with a toothpick. Place the onion on a baking sheet and place onto your smoker (or 325 oven or grill), and smoke for about 20 minutes. Once the smoke is cleared, cook over indirect heat until the bacon is crisp and your internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Brush on the barbecue sauce, and let it continue to cook until it is nice and sticky from the sauce. Brush with more sauce, then remove the toothpicks.

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb
Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb

Using a serrated knife, slice it in half, or quarters, and get into it. I honestly have to save that when I served this, I left the room for only a couple of minutes, and sure enough it was almost completely devoured by my wife and kids.

You get a great smokey flavor, along with the great barbecue sauce, and no lie, the interior, along with the sweetness of the onion really make this a great dish to serve. I wish I had made another one to be quiet honest with you. If you are looking for something unusual to make, give this one a try. To me it was a real winner. Hope you enjoy!