A few weeks ago, we had friends over for taco night. I made a batch of carnitas, tacos al pastor (which I’ll share with you in another post), pickled carrots & jalapenos, crunchy tomatillo-avocado salsa and peach salsa.
Peach salsa may sound a little weird but I wanted something different. I thought a fruity salsa would go well with the tacos al pastor (I was totally right) and it was prime peach season. Sadly, peach season is almost over but there’s always next year… Read more…
Sick of soup? I’m not but I thought I’d give you a break (next up is a Vietnamese crab and asparagus soup). While I didn’t take pictures of the finished product, I did want to document this recipe since it was so delicious and easy! (Edited 9/9/12 to include a few more pictures)
I love carnitas and always order it at taquerias. I’ve never tried to make it myself because I assumed it would require a lot of work and the fatty techniques would turn me off of carnitas forever. The carnitas at Costco (just heat and serve) is pretty good and also cheap so why bother making your own? That’s what I thought until I tried this recipe–it is ridiculously easy, has a brighter flavor than what you get at Costco and is less greasy than what I get at taquerias. Read more…
I’m getting better at staring into our pantry for inspiration. I had anaheim chiles and corn tortillas in the fridge and a portion of pork chile verde in the freezer. I picked up some cotijo cheese and some of Rick Bayless’ Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (found at Whole Foods). Though I’ve never made enchiladas before (nor do I ever order them), but my friend made them once for dinner over ten years ago.
I only had enough pork chile verde for 3 enchiladas, so I stuffed the other two with slices of roasted anaheim chiles and cotija cheese. Since I had leftover chunks of roasted chiles, I stuffed those with cheese and tucked those into the pan as well. Finally, I sliced some yellow squash for extra vegetables. Next time, I would shred the yellow squash and add it to the stuffing. Breakfast enchiladas (scrambled eggs, chorizo & zuchini?) would probably be good too!
Once everything was assembled, I poured the enchilada sauce (which matched perfectly with my chile verde) over the top, sprinkled on some cheese and baked it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 375F.
My favorite taqueria is El Grullense, a chain based in Redwood City with 5-6 restaurants all within walking distance of each other. The one I go to most often is in a former A&W near the corner of El Camino and Jefferson. Not only is it just a few blocks from where I grew up, but this location has an awesome pickle and salsa bar (the sister restaurant kitty corner from here doesn’t have one). I usually order a mix of tacos with al pastor and carnitas and then head straight to the bar to grab some fresh salsas, a few slices of cucumber and a heaping pile of pickled carrots and jalapenos.
Since we make tacos once in a while and our supply of giardiniera was running low, I thought I’d try making some Mexican pickles. Many of the recipes I found online required boiling the carrots for five minutes, which I knew I wouldn’t like. I hate mushy carrots and know that I like my pickled carrots raw based on my experience making Vietnamese do chua and giardiniera.
We have been eating these pickles with our sausage sandwiches–one of our go to meals on nights we get home from the gym at 8:30pm and need to eat ASAP. Later this week, we’ll be serving these pickles with some fish tacos. Read more…
When I eat Mexican food, it is almost always from a truck or a taqueria. Sitting down at a Mexican restaurant is a rare…and ordering chile verde has never happened. I must have taken a delicious bite off of someone’s plate long ago because last week, I was suddenly craving chile verde.
I mostly used Simply Recipes for ingredients but also consulted Food Network for spices and technique. For the chiles, I used 2-3 roasted Anaheims, 2-3 roasted Poblanos, 2 Serranos and 2 Jalapenos. I only had 2.5 pounds of pork, but would keep the same amount for next time–extra sauce is good! I had enough chicken stock left over from my Khao Man Gai, and added cumin, coriander and oregano to the mix. Originally, I had intended to add masa towards the end of the stew but the texture seemed fine. Now I have extra masa harina so I guess I’ll try making my own tortillas at some point.
For the Spanish rice, I again consulted Simply Recipes, also using leftover broth from the Khao Man Gai. I added some plum tomatoes that were going bad in the fridge, halved the onions, sauteed the onions & garlic, and threw it all into the rice cooker. Next time, I would use less oregano…or even try cilantro lime rice…or chile verde tacos!
One of the things I love about taco night is breakfast tacos the next morning! I usually scramble two eggs (with a dash of milk) per person with leftover meat, cheese and salsa. We did not have any leftover fish (and I haven’t tried that for breakfast tacos) but we did have just enough leftover pork for breakfast. Put the scrambled eggs on top of some warmed tortillas and you have a hearty start to your day.
Neither of us had any opinions about dinner. We couldn’t think of anywhere inexpensive but relatively healthy to go to and we didn’t really have much in the house to cook with (aside from my emergency pasta sauce in the freezer). However, Joel lives in a neighborhood with plenty of Mexican groceries so after a lot of indecision, we finally came up with fish tacos (yes, you’ve seen this before).
When we got to the market, I picked up some pre-marinated pork adobado (it looked good) and tilapia fillets from the meat counter. Joel gathered ingredients for his world famous guacamole and I wandered around wondering what type of salsa/slaw to make.
I ultimately came up with a green mango and jicama slaw. First, I grabbed the jicama because, while I had grown up eating this as a snack, I had never cut through the root myself. It was time. Right next to the jicama were some unripe mangos, which I figured would add a complementary tartness for the fish. I mandolined the jicama and mangos, squeezed two limes in it, sprinkled in chopped cilantro, and threw in some serranos and jalapenos that we had put in the food processor for the guacamole. I will definitely make this again–bright, fresh and just a little spicy.
Pork adobado: Thinly sliced, marinated pork that I cut against the grain after cooking. Could probably use some additional spices next time, as the market we got this from did not season it as well as it looked.
Stay tuned for breakfast tacos–one of the best things about taco night!