Chiles en Nogada

By Jessica Toledo - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37857302

By Jessica Toledo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37857302

As I mentioned on our “About” page, the original cookbook never made it into print. At the time the marriage dissolved, one important recipe was still pending, as we were having trouble convincing the family to invest the time necessary for making this complicated dish and allowing us to do all the measuring.

Since it never happened, I’ll point you instead to a very authentic version on The Mija Chronicles blog.

Filetes a la Tampiqueña

Filetes a la Tampiquena4 (8-10 oz.) flank steaks
2 T. olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
2 large bell peppers, cut in thin strips
1 large onion, cut in rings
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. water

Tenderize (pound) steaks and fry in oil in skillet until done. Remove steaks from pan and keep warm. Add remaining ingredients to oil and simmer 15 minutes (I actually had to cook the sauce 25 minutes to reduce the liquid down enough). Pour sauce over steaks (may be served over Arroz or white rice, if desired) and serve.

 

Nachos and more…

No NachosSince Nachos, Tostadas (tortilla chips), Crispy Tacos and Chile con Queso have become part of the American food canon, it seems unnecessary to devote posts to each of them. However, for those unfamiliar with American fast food, here’s the basic lowdown.

Nachos

A basic nacho is simply quartered corn tortillas, shredded cheese (Longhorn or cheddar) and pickled jalapeños, sliced lengthwise or in rounds.

Either fry tortilla pieces in oil until crisp and drain on paper towels (which makes them Tostadas), or, place on cookie sheet and toast in oven or toaster oven. Sprinkle with cheese and top with jalapeño. Place under broiler until cheese melts.

But on menus these days, nachos are anything but basic. Some of our favorite simple additions are:
Bean Nachos: Spread with refried beans first.

Beef Nachos: Spread with refried beans, then top with shredded Carne Asada.
Things can go way beyond this however, and I’ve seen nachos with all the above and corn, whole beans, chicken, guacamole, sour cream—you name it. Just as anything can be a taco, anything can be a nacho according to your individual taste.

Crispy Tacos

For Crispy Tacos, you need taco shells—either homemade or store bought, cooked ground beef, chopped onion, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa or hot sauce or taco sauce and shredded cheese.

To make your own taco shells: Heat oil in large skillet. Dunk tortillas in oil to soften, and use tongs to immediately fold in half, leaving a 1-inch opening. Fry each side until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Fill and eat.

Instead of ground beef, try these options:
• Cooked chicken or turkey
• Avocado
• Sauteed flank steak slices
• Cabrito
• Refried beans

Chile con Queso

This is the only time you will ever hear me speak about using anything other than 100% real cheese. But for Chile con Queso to be the perfect consistency, Velveeta is required. A pound of the stuff, cubed into a microwave safe bowl, and a can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles (whatever level of heat you like), is all you need. Microwave and eat. For more on add-ins and stuff, see http://www.quesoforall.com/

Burritos

BurritosFlour tortillas
Refried beans
Picadillo**
Grated cheese (longhorn, cheddar or colby)
Oil for frying*
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomato
Salsa

Make your own tortillas or use the large commercial ones especially for burritos. Fill heated tortillas with beans, picadillo and cheese. Fold ends in and roll to close. Fry in oil until crisp.* Drain on paper towels. Garnish with lettuce, tomato and salsa on the side.

*For a healthier option (and the one most common today), skip the frying and eat burritos after rolling, putting lettuce, tomato and salsa inside.

**I used Picadillo I, omitting the nuts and raisins.

Chalupas

ChalupasServes 6
12 corn tortillas
Oil for frying
3 c. heated refried beans
¾ c. shredded lettuce
½ c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped tomato
1 c. shredded cheese (longhorn, cheddar or colby)

In large skillet, fry tortillas in oil until crisp, carefully making sure that they remain flat. Drain on paper towels. Layer on remaining ingredients and serve.

 

Chalupas Compuestas

Chalupas CompuestasServes 6-8
12 corn tortillas
Oil for frying
4 c. cooked cubed chicken, reheated
4-5 avocados, peeled and mashed
¾ c. shredded lettuce
½ c. chopped onion
1 c. shredded cheese (longhorn, cheddar or colby)

In large skillet, fry tortillas in oil until crisp, carefully making sure that they remain flat. Drain on paper towels. Layer on remaining ingredients and serve.

Machacado con Huevo

Machacado con HuevoServes 4
1 T. oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 chiles serranos or jalapeños, seeded and chopped
4 oz. machacado*

In skillet, cook garlic and onion to soften. Add tomato and chiles and cook 1 minute. In bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook until soft set. Add machacado and cook until eggs are done. Makes great tacos.

*Use leftover home-made machacado or a commercial package.

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos                         Serves 8
8 poblano peppers
Filling:
2 lbs. ground beef
3 cloves garlic
¾ t. comino
8 peppercorns
½ medium onion, chopped
¾ c. raisins, loosely packed
½ – ¾ c. nuts (pecans or almonds), chopped
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
¼ t. oregano

Flour
5 eggs
Oil for frying

Sear each pepper over open flame until skin blisters on all sides. Place peppers in plastic bag and let sit 20 minutes. Peel peppers and gently slit one side to remove seeds. Set aside on paper towels.

Combine ground beef, garlic, comino, peppercorns and onion in large saucepan and cover with water. Boil covered for 30 minutes. Drain off almost all of the liquid (leave enough to cover the bottom of the pan), and stir in raisins, nuts, tomato sauce and oregano. Heat through and stuff into peppers.

Separate eggs and beat yolks with whisk until fluffy. Beat whites with mixer until stiff and fold into yolks. Roll peppers in flour and dip in egg batter. Fry in oil until golden brown. Serve immediately.

 

Chiles Rellenos con Queso

Serves 8
8 poblano peppers
1 lb. American cheese
¼ c. finely minced onion
3 T. minced pimiento
2 minced jalapeños
Flour
3 eggs
Oil for frying

In double boiler, combine cheese, onion, pimiento and jalapeños. Heat covered over boiling water until cheese is melted.

While cheese is melting, prepare peppers. Sear each pepper over open flame until skin blisters on all sides. Place peppers in plastic bag and let sit 20 minutes. Peel peppers and gently slit one side to remove seeds. Set aside on paper towels.

Using pastry tube, stuff peppers with cheese mixture. Separate eggs and beat yolks with whisk until fluffy. Beat whites with mixer until stiff and fold into yolks. Roll peppers in flour and dip in egg batter. Fry in oil until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Tamale Pie

Tamale pieServes 4-6
Masa harina
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes in puree
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (12 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1½ T. chili powder
1½ t. comino, ground in molcajete
Salt and pepper to taste
½ c. raisins
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

Make the masa according to the recipe on the package. If the directions call for 2 dry cups of masa, that should make just the right amount for the pie. The masa will be a bit sticky.

Butter a 2½-quart casserole and press 2/3 of the masa into the bottom and up the sides to make a crust approximately ¼-inch thick. Set aside. In skillet, brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Drain off excess grease. Add in all remaining ingredients except cheese and mix well. Cook until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Pour into casserole and top with cheese.Tamale pie top

Spread a ¼-inch thick layer of masa over the top and seal to the bottom masa layer on the sides. Bake in a 350-degree oven until masa is done, about 30-35 minutes.

Beef Ribs

IMG_3380                                                                                                                                 Serves 2-4
2 lbs. boneless beef ribs or 3 lbs. of bone-in ribs
Oil for frying
2 c. water
2 medium bell peppers, sliced in thin strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t. peppercorns
1½ t. comino
2 cloves garlic
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste

Ground spices in molcajeteBrown ribs in small amount of oil in skillet. Place in dutch oven, add water, cover and simmer until tender, approximately 45 minutes. In original skillet, cook peppers and onion until tender. Grind peppercorns, comino and then garlic in molcajete; add a little juice from dutch oven to loosen comino mixture. When ribs are tender, remove from pan. Add tomato paste to liquid in pot and mix well. Mix in vegetables and spices, and return ribs to sauce. Cook until sauce thickens.