Category Archives: Mexican

Mexican Red Sauce

I don’t know about you but we have tomatoes that are just growing off the charts right now. We planted a variety of tomatoes back in May, and now they are finally beginning to ripen. We have bowls of cherry tomatoes, as well as these great roma tomatoes sitting on our kitchen counter right now. In the meantime, I am pulling these great, large tomatoes off of the vine. With that said, I’ve been creating things such as loaded bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches, simple pico de gallos, and recently came up with this Mexican red sauce.  I’m calling this a sauce because it is so diverse that I have been marinating with it, topping omelettes with it, and well, pretty much using it on a majority of things, including drizzling it on pizza.

Mexican Red Sauce

What turned me on to creating this sauce is some dried chilies I recently purchased, the Puya pepper. After reading Pok Pok, I was interested in the puya pepper as Chef Ricker was using them in his Thai cooking.

The puya chiles have an intense heat that is somewhat pungent and have a light fruity flavor profile with an almost berry flavor. Puya chiles are grown in Mexico, and are somewhat similar to the guajillos chilie. I thought they would be perfect in a sauce, and they were.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large tomato, such as Beefsteak or Better Boy
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 4 puya chilies
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • additional water

Start by adding the puya chilies to a skillet, and cook on medium heat, flipping along the way for about 4 minutes. Remove the chilies, and let cool.  Once cooled, slice, and remove the stem and seeds.

During this time, bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Add in the tomato and the chilies. Cover, and cook for about 15 minutes.

Remove the tomato and chilies with a slotted spoon, and let cool on a plate.

How to make Mexican red sauce

Add the chilies to a food processor, along with the remaining ingredients. Remove the skin from the tomato. The skin should easily come off.

Pulse until you have a smooth sauce.  Taste and adjust any salt to your liking.

Pour into a large mason jar, and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

This sauce had just the right amount of heat to it. A subtle punch of heat in the beginning, and then that fruitiness from the chilies, along with the garlic and onion. It’s really good. If you are looking to try a new Mexican chili, give the puya a try. I’m certain you will love it. Enjoy!

Mexican Cemita

I’ll admit that I could probably eat Mexican food every day if I could. Anything from the soups, stews, enchiladas, tacos, and heck, even a plate of rice and beans with some roasted chili toreados.  I love everything about Mexican cuisine to be honest, and to me, it has comfort food written all over it. There is yet another item I love off the Mexican restaurant menu, and that is the Mexican torta.  It’s a simple sandwich but it is loaded with amazing textures and flavor. There is however, a sibling, if you will, to the classic torta, and that is the Mexican cemita. Very similar, but a bit different in terms of a couple of the ingredients. If you are looking for a great sandwich, look no more, because this sandwich is awesome!

Mexican Cemita

Yes, that is one massive piece of beef milanesa that you see placed between a cemita roll!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cemita roll, halved
  • 1/2 roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • Oaxacan cheese, pulled into strands
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted red salsa, or your favorite
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 cup refried beans, cooked
  • 1 piece of beef milanesa (thinly pounded breaded beef)
  • 2 cups of cooking oil

Start by adding the oil to a large skillet, and bring up to temperature, about 350 degrees. During this time, begin preparing all of your ingredients.

When the oi comes to temperature, carefully slide in the beef milanesa. Fry for about three minutes on each side, until each is a deep golden brown. Once cooked, remove and place on some paper lined plate to drain any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt.

How to make a Mexican cemita

Now you can use something other than beef milanesa, such as shredded chicken or heck even carnitas, so you are not limited to beef milanesa, however it is a classic, and I highly recommend it.

To assemble the sandwich, take the bottom cemita roll, and lather on the cooked refried beans. Next, top with the beef milanesa, the shredded Oaxaca cheese, the cilantro, mashed avocado, tomato, and red salsa. Top with the seeded cemita bun, and get in attack mode.

It’s a great sandwich. Now granted you could go with a smaller piece of beef milanesa, but this is what was purchased from my local Mexican grocery store, so it was great biting into it, and getting a bit of the cheese and salsa, and then you get into the awesome cemita itself, and well let’s say it’s hard to put down.

The creaminess of both the beans and avocado are perfectly balanced by the heat from the roasted salsa, and well the saltiness of the cheese goes so well with the crisp and tender beef milanesa. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches, and I know you will love it! Hope you enjoy…

Mexican Cemita
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cemita roll, halved
  • ½ roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • Oaxacan cheese, pulled into strands
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup roasted red salsa, or your favorite
  • ½ avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup refried beans, cooked
  • 1 piece of beef milanesa (thinly pounded breaded beef)
  • 2 cups of cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the oil to a large skillet, and bring up to temperature, about 350 degrees. During this time, begin preparing all of your ingredients.
  2. When the oi comes to temperature, carefully slide in the beef milanesa. Fry for about three minutes on each side, until each is a deep golden brown. Once cooked, remove and place on some paper lined plate to drain any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Now you can use something other than beef milanesa, such as shredded chicken or heck even carnitas, so you are not limited to beef milanesa, however it is a classic, and I highly recommend it.
  4. To assemble the sandwich, take the bottom cemita roll, and lather on the cooked refried beans. Next, top with the beef milanesa, the shredded Oaxaca cheese, the cilantro, mashed avocado, tomato, and red salsa. Top with the seeded cemita bun, and get in attack mode.
  5. It’s a great sandwich. Now granted you could go with a smaller piece of beef milanesa, but this is what was purchased from my local Mexican grocery store, so it was great biting into it, and getting a bit of the cheese and salsa, and then you get into the awesome cemita itself, and well let’s say it’s hard to put down.
  6. The creaminess of both the beans and avocado are perfectly balanced by the heat from the roasted salsa, and well the saltiness of the cheese goes so well with the crisp and tender beef milanesa. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches, and I know you will love it! Hope you enjoy…

 

 

Carne Asada Fries

Sometimes you just have a real craving for junk food, and if you are like me, that doesn’t equate to a bowl of potato chips. See, this past weekend I had this idea in my head that I wanted to make a batch of hand cut french fries, while on the other hand I had the idea of grilling out some carne asada and possibly making some tacos, and that’s when it knocked me in the face with the idea of making carne asada fries. Now if you have never had carne asada fries, well, watch out because these things are freaking amazing. Basically fries loaded with awesome carne asada, cheese, guacamole, and other toppings that you would desire. Almost like a nachos gone wild.

Carne Asada Fries

You are probably never going to see these on a Mexican restaurant’s menu, and typically will see these on menus throughout San Diego, but this is where you can make it all your own. I prefer using hand cut fries, but you can use frozen if you prefer to make the hand cut fries.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the Carne Asada:

  • 1 1/4 pound flank steak
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano

Ingredients for the Carne Asada Fries:

  • 2 whole russet potatoes, cleaned and cut into match sticks
  • water
  • 3 cups of canola oil
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp sour cream, (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • limes, (optional)

You can get as creative as you desire on your toppings, however I think this was a great balance, and well, they rocked.

Start by combining your ingredients for the carne asada, and rub all over the meat. Place in a sealable bag, and let this marinate over night if you can, but at least 6 hours.

Soak the sliced potatoes in cold water for about 20 minutes, then drain, and place back in cold water again to remove a bunch of the starch. Drain again, then place on a lined baking sheet, and place in a preheated, 300 degree oven for 20 minutes, just to lightly cook them.

Heat your coals, and get that grill piping hot. During this time, take the meat out of the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature as you are heating the grill. Once the grill is heated, place the meat on the grill, and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or to your desired doneness. Remove and place on a plate to let rest, about 20 minutes prior to slicing.

Heat the oil to about 350 degrees, then carefully add the potatoes, working in batches, and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a paper lined bowl. Repeat with the remaining (batches) of fries.

Once the first cooking of the fries is completed, bring the oil up to about 375 degrees. Add the fries, working in batches, back into the oil, and cook until golden brown. The result will be a crisp exterior with a nice and tender interior. Remove with the slotted spoon, and place back into a paper towel lined bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining fries.

How to make carne asada fries

Slice the carne asada across the grain in thin slices, then chop into bite-sized chunks. Add the carne asada to the bowl of fries, along with the serrano chilies, green onions, and cheeses. Give a good toss, then place in a 300 degree oven in a baking dish, and cook until the cheese just begins to melt.

Remove, and top with the tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream.

The end result is nothing short of amazing. The fries were perfect and when paired with the carne asada, and dipped into the sour cream or avocados, man, I’m just hungry thinking about them! Give these a shot. They are perfect game day grub, and will feed about 4, or two very hungry people. Enjoy!

Carne Asada Fries
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Courses
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the Carne Asada:
  • 1¼ pound flank steak
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • Ingredients for the Carne Asada Fries:
  • 2 whole russet potatoes, cleaned and cut into match sticks
  • water
  • 3 cups of canola oil
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tbsp sour cream, (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • limes, (optional)
Instructions
  1. You can get as creative as you desire on your toppings, however I think this was a great balance, and well, they rocked.
  2. Start by combining your ingredients for the carne asada, and rub all over the meat. Place in a sealable bag, and let this marinate over night if you can, but at least 6 hours.
  3. Soak the sliced potatoes in cold water for about 20 minutes, then drain, and place back in cold water again to remove a bunch of the starch. Drain again, then place on a lined baking sheet, and place in a preheated, 300 degree oven for 20 minutes, just to lightly cook them.
  4. Heat your coals, and get that grill piping hot. During this time, take the meat out of the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature as you are heating the grill. Once the grill is heated, place the meat on the grill, and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or to your desired doneness. Remove and place on a plate to let rest, about 20 minutes prior to slicing.
  5. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees, then carefully add the potatoes, working in batches, and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a paper lined bowl. Repeat with the remaining (batches) of fries.
  6. Once the first cooking of the fries is completed, bring the oil up to about 375 degrees. Add the fries, working in batches, back into the oil, and cook until golden brown. The result will be a crisp exterior with a nice and tender interior. Remove with the slotted spoon, and place back into a paper towel lined bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining fries.
  7. Slice the carne asada across the grain in thin slices, then chop into bite-sized chunks. Add the carne asada to the bowl of fries, along with the serrano chilies, green onions, and cheeses. Give a good toss, then place in a 300 degree oven in a baking dish, and cook until the cheese just begins to melt.
  8. Remove, and top with the tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream.
  9. The end result is nothing short of amazing. The fries were perfect and when paired with the carne asada, and dipped into the sour cream or avocados, man, I’m just hungry thinking about them! Give these a shot. They are perfect game day grub, and will feed about 4, or two very hungry people. Enjoy!

 

Enchiladas Suizas

There are many things I never order off the menu when dining out at a Mexican restaurant, and one of those is enchiladas. I have no idea why I don’t order them because I do love them, and everything about them for that matter. I’m probably just stuck in my ways of defaulting to ordering the tacos because darn it, they are just so flipping delicious. Enchiladas are something that I make at home quiet a bit however, and it is something that both my wife and I really find comforting. When I began thinking of making enchiladas, I was reminded by this hole in the wall in Dallas where I first encountered enchiladas suizas, and I fell in love with them.

Enchiladas Suizas Recipe

I would typically have enchiladas with a red chili sauce ladled over the top, however enchiladas suizas is something special, and it is really easy to make. The Swiss were lucky enough to influence Mexico on this dish, and as there are a couple of different ways to go about making these, I find that a simple roasted chili verde sauce, along with a combination of cheeses hits the spot. If you want to go out and make a bechamel sauce, feel free.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 serrano chilies
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema, or sour cream
  • 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 russet potato, peeled (optional), cubed and cooked
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • Corn tortillas
  • oil

Start by adding the tomatillos, garlic, peppers, and chilies to a roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Place in a preheated 425 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove and immediately place the poblano peppers in a sealed plastic bag to let steam, and hence allow for the skin to be removed.

During this time, add the chicken to a pot of water, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Pull the chicken apart with a couple of forks. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and set aside.

How to make enchiladas suizas

If you are using the potato, add to a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, and let cook for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and set aside.

Add the roasted items to food processor, removing the skins from the garlic prior to doing so. Toss in the cilantro.  Revisit those pobalano peppers, and remove the skin from the exterior of the peppers. Remove the stem, slice open and remove all of the seeds. Add the poblanos to the food processor as well.

Pulse until you have a fine sauce. Taste, and season with any salt. Add about 1 cup of this sauce to the bottom of your baking dish. This sauce can actually be used as a salsa as well, so reserve some if you desire. It’s good. It’s really good.

Add the Mexican crema to the rest of the salsa verde, and give a good mix. This is now your creamy salsa verde that will be used on top of your enchiladas before baking.

Lightly brush oil on each corn tortilla, and stack them up. I used about 10 tortillas. Once they are stacked, place them in the microwave for about 45 seconds, until they are warmed through and pliable.

Take a tortilla and add some potato and shredded chicken, then roll, and place seam side down onto the salsa verde in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Pour over the creamy salsa verde, top with the shredded cheese, then place the Swiss cheese slices to cover.

Bake in a 350 degree oven, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and melted through.

Serve with Mexican or Puerto Rican rice and refried beans.

These enchiladas suizas have comfort food written all over them. I add a bit more of the reserved salsa verde on top as well. Super cheesy with just that great, subtle Swiss cheese flavor, and then the creamy salsa verde is just over the top in flavor. Tender,  and delicious, it is a perfect dish any day of the week and great for leftovers, and who doesn’t love that during a busy work wee, right? Hope you enjoy!

Enchiladas Suizas
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Courses
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 5 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 serrano chilies
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Mexican crema, or sour cream
  • 2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 russet potato, peeled (optional), cubed and cooked
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • Corn tortillas
  • oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the tomatillos, garlic, peppers, and chilies to a roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Place in a preheated 425 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove and immediately place the poblano peppers in a sealed plastic bag to let steam, and hence allow for the skin to be removed.
  2. During this time, add the chicken to a pot of water, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Pull the chicken apart with a couple of forks. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. If you are using the potato, add to a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, and let cook for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add the roasted items to food processor, removing the skins from the garlic prior to doing so. Toss in the cilantro. Revisit those pobalano peppers, and remove the skin from the exterior of the peppers. Remove the stem, slice open and remove all of the seeds. Add the poblanos to the food processor as well.
  5. Pulse until you have a fine sauce. Taste, and season with any salt. Add about 1 cup of this sauce to the bottom of your baking dish. This sauce can actually be used as a salsa as well, so reserve some if you desire. It’s good. It’s really good.
  6. Add the Mexican crema to the rest of the salsa verde, and give a good mix. This is now your creamy salsa verde that will be used on top of your enchiladas before baking.
  7. Lightly brush oil on each corn tortilla, and stack them up. I used about 10 tortillas. Once they are stacked, place them in the microwave for about 45 seconds, until they are warmed through and pliable.
  8. Take a tortilla and add some potato and shredded chicken, then roll, and place seam side down onto the salsa verde in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  9. Pour over the creamy salsa verde, top with the shredded cheese, then place the Swiss cheese slices to cover.
  10. Bake in a 350 degree oven, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and melted through.
  11. Serve with Mexican or Puerto Rican rice and refried beans.
  12. These enchiladas suizas have comfort food written all over them. I add a bit more of the reserved salsa verde on top as well. Super cheesy with just that great, subtle Swiss cheese flavor, and then the creamy salsa verde is just over the top in flavor. Tender, and delicious, it is a perfect dish any day of the week and great for leftovers, and who doesn’t love that during a busy work wee, right? Hope you enjoy!