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!

 

Rapini with Sauteed Garlic

I’ve lately became a sucker when it comes to dark, leafy vegetables. I spent many years in my young adulthood avoiding things such as spinach, kale, collards, chard, and the like, however these past several years, I have really enjoyed eating them, whether I throw them in my juicer, or slowly cook them down and eat them by the forkful.  This past week  I was caught browsing the produce aisle where there were great organic root vegetables, bok choy, and then the rapini that caught my attention. I’m not sure why, but either rapini, or broccolini always catches my attention when I see it. The dark green leaves, along with the small broccoli style buds entices me every time, and this visit was no exception. I decided to bring the rapini home, and turn it into a great side dish to pair with some seared tuna.

Rapini with Sauteed Garlic

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini, tough stems removed and discarded
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Start by cutting the rapini into 3 inch segments, or you can leave whole if you prefer. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the rapini to the salted water, and cook for about two minutes. Remove and shock the rapini in ice cold water. Drain, and push out any excess water. Set to the side.

Rapini with Sauteed Garlic

Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the oil and garlic, and let the garlic slowly cook in the oil, to infuse the oil if you will.

After a few minutes, add the rapini, and gently toss in the oil. Season with a bit of salt, toss again, then serve hot.

The result is a perfect balance between the slight bitterness of the rapini, along with the nuttiness, and that great garlic oil. It’s a perfect side dish, and goes perfect with fish, or heck, even mix in some pasta and you will be in great shape. Hope you enjoy.

Rapini with Sauteed Garlic
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch rapini, tough stems removed and discarded
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by cutting the rapini into 3 inch segments, or you can leave whole if you prefer. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the rapini to the salted water, and cook for about two minutes. Remove and shock the rapini in ice cold water. Drain, and push out any excess water. Set to the side.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the oil and garlic, and let the garlic slowly cook in the oil, to infuse the oil if you will.
  4. After a few minutes, add the rapini, and gently toss in the oil. Season with a bit of salt, toss again, then serve hot.
  5. The result is a perfect balance between the slight bitterness of the rapini, along with the nuttiness, and that great garlic oil. It’s a perfect side dish, and goes perfect with fish, or heck, even mix in some pasta and you will be in great shape. Hope you enjoy.

 

Thai Cucumber Salad

It’s official, it’s spring time in the United States! For you warmer climate states, that probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, but to us Northerners, it means a great deal. It’s the first time we can see our yards, granted they are littered with winter debris, and the color of brown grass is not appealing, but we will take what we can get! With spring time said, it is that time where the chili dishes take a step to the side, and where other brighter dishes take a step forward, for example, this dish, the Thai cucumber salad.

I’ve made this recipe numerous times and I’m surprised I have never posted on the matter, as after all this salad is bright, diverse, easy to make, and super delicious. Need I say more?

Thai Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole cucumber, partially peeled, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili sauce
  • Fresh mint leaves, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, optional
  • roasted peanuts, optional

Start by adding the sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, add the chili sauce, and let cool.

How to make Thai Cucumber Salad

Once cooled, add the cucumbers and red onion to a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, and gently stir. Let this sit for about 30 minutes, or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, feel free to sprinkle with roasted peanuts and fresh herbs such as mint, or cilantro, however without these, this salad stands tall.

The great thing about this salad is that you can serve it with practically anything. It is really perfect as an accompaniment to pretty much everything. It’s flavors are sweet with just that subtle amount of heat from the chili sauce. You can use the cucumbers and onions on sandwiches, as a side to grilled meats for vegetables, on omelets, or what I did, and serve with a side of seared tuna.

However you decide to serve it, I’m certain you are going to love this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Cucumber Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole cucumber, partially peeled, sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili sauce
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, add the chili sauce, and let cool.
  2. Once cooled, add the cucumbers and red onion to a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, and gently stir. Let this sit for about 30 minutes, or overnight.
  3. When you are ready to serve, feel free to sprinkle with roasted peanuts and fresh herbs such as mint, or cilantro, however without these, this salad stands tall.
  4. The great thing about this salad is that you can serve it with practically anything. It is really perfect as an accompaniment to pretty much everything. It’s flavors are sweet with just that subtle amount of heat from the chili sauce. You can use the cucumbers and onions on sandwiches, as a side to grilled meats for vegetables, on omelets, or what I did, and serve with a side of seared tuna.