Category Archives: Mexican Dishes
Where have I been? Since mid January we have had the fortune of having many guests with us here in Yucatan. Between touring, etc. there has been little time to add to the blog. As a matter of fact we just got back from 5 days in Mexico City… talk about great food!
For many years now I have been following Pati Jinich on PBS. She is originally from Mexico but now lives in Washington, D.C. Her TV program is called Pati’s Mexican Table. Her cookbook, available on Amazon, is incredible if you are interested in Mexican cooking.
Recently we were invited to a Canadian friend’s home her in Yucatan where we enjoyed some great chicken enchiladas. She was unable to find the real sauce but managed to prepare an adequate salsa verde to serve with her recipe. This led me to Pati’s cookbook to see how she prepared her sauce. FYI…this sauce is served on almost everything in Mexico in one version or another. Enchilada recipes are widely available, but take the time to serve it with Pati’s version of the salsa –
Pati Jinich’s Salsa Verde
- 1-pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed (little green tomatoes)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, or to taste
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and top part of stems
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
Place the tomatillos, garlic, and chiles in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos change from bright green to pale green and are soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, garlic, and one of the chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro, and salt and purée until smooth. Taste for heat, and add more chile if necessary until you have the desired amount of heat.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Pour the salsa into the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
The sauce will keep a week in your refrigerator.
What to do when you buy a Costco or grocery store rotisserie chicken and have leftovers? SOUP.
This will easily feed 4 to 6 people as a main course. The ingredients list seems long, but it can be simplified by making the changes noted in red.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 Rotisserie chicken (half chicken is enough)
- 1 15-ounce can Black beans (drained)
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery stalks
- 3 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
- 2 cups Corn, frozen (1 small can or corn or more)
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 Lime, wedges
- 1 cups Peas, frozen (1 small can of peas)
- 1 Poblano peppers (Optional)
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Reserved red onion
- 28-ounce can Tomatoes
- 4 cups Chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp Taco seasoning (see elsewhere o the blog for homemade taco seasoning)
- 1 tbsp Olive oil, extra-virgin
- Crispy tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until the vegetables start to become tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the Poblano peppers and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 6 to 7 minutes more. Add the jalapeño and garlic, and continue to cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
- Season the vegetables with the taco seasoning, then stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until a good flavor develops, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, black beans, corn and peas. Return the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla strips and just maybe, a touch of sour cream.
Until recently, soft shell tacos were very hard to find here. Yeah, we could have used tortillas which are everywhere!!! It seems lots of people are on low carb diets these days and I was able to find this GREAT recipe on Pinterest. Who needs a crust? The result was awesome, so much so that we couldn’t believe we ate the WHOLE thing at one sitting.
FYI…. you will notice in the recipe Taco Seasoning. It’s quite simple to make and cheaper. I have included the recipe I use for taco seasoning at the end of the Pie recipe…
Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning (see recipe below)
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup salsa (I like La Costena brand with added chipotle)
- 1 cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded, quantity divided
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- OPTIONAL – a layer of refried beans on the bottom of the pie shell!
- Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9″ pie pan by greasing with butter or spraying with coconut oil.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. If your ground beef is low in fat or if your skillet is not well seasoned, you may want to spray the pan with coconut oil to prevent sticking. When skillet is hot, add ground beef, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Drain beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool while continuing with the next step.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Stir in the green onions, salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the salt.
- Stir prepared taco meat into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared pie pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Bake pie in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is brown and the pie is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, or whatever else you like! Maybe add a few sliced radishes…
Taco Seasoning (enough for this recipe)
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Onion powder
1/4 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tbsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
Happy New Year Bloggers! I am going to try something different this year now that so many of you are really setting the bar high with your wonderful blogs. This old dog is not that techie…LOL…but like John Glenn I can take small steps. Hence my New Years resolution to use actual photos of the recipes when I cook them.
I thought the cocktail looked quite nice in the ice cream dishes we got from our friends one Christmas. Here is the recipe –
Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (food.com)
- 1 (48 ounce) can V8 vegetable juice (spicy if desired)
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1⁄2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed or just buy frozen cooked and thaw
- 2 limes, quartered
- 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
Mix all ingredients in a large nonreactive container.
Chill and serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.
Do not over-cook the shrimp, as they will become tough!
Be careful when steaming the shrimp; you do not want it tough.
AND here is a BONUS..ta dah…if you do not use all of the mixture, put it into a blender and make…GAZPACHO…refrigerate for tomorrows meal!
Bonus day today as I have two similar recipes, one of which originated from our “sister” Jean in Peterborough, Ontario. She served it while we were visiting for her sons wedding in August. It has a great fresh taste when served with tortilla chips.
The second I ran across while waiting for Jeans recipe to arrive. The ingredients are very similar, with the exception of the avocado and the dressing.
- Corn and Black Bean Dip from Jean Johnston
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 can lentils
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup each celery, green pepper and green onion
Jar of pimento ( I used red pepper because I didn’t have any pimento)
I added a few fresh spices. Her daughter suggested adding fresh cilantro which makes sense.
Mix all together and soak for at least 3 hours. Drain and serve.
2. Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Dip
Prep time: 15 minutes Yield: 20 servings Serving size: 1/4 cup
- 15 oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
- 15 oz can yellow corn, drained + rinsed
- 2 avocados, cut in half, pitted + cubed
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- juice of one lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix until combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Let me know if you try either of these at your next event…
Here is a straightforward recipe for a quick meal. I came across it in our local Costco magazine this month and decided to give it a try. My suggested changes are in red as always.
Pollo al Coco (Chicken with Coconut)
- MIX together –
1 teaspoon cumin. 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cilantro
- BLEND into –
4 pieces of chicken cut into cubes ( I used thighs)
- COOK in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through
- ADD –
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 small chopped onion
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 jalapeno chilies minced without seeds (can be omitted)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
SAUTE to blend the spices with the chicken
- ADD –
1 can cubed tomatoes
- SIMMER 7 to 10 minutes, stirring very frequently.
- ADD –
400 ml of coconut milk (next time I would use coconut cream to make a thicker sauce)
- HEAT through…
SERVE over rice…sprinkle with chopped parsley
Lee was asking for some fish dishes a while back. Today and next week, I will post two excellent fish dishes which never fail….here’s my first favourite… you can also search here for salmon…
Filetes de pescado a la Veracruzana (Fish Fillets Braised with Tomatoes, Capers, Olives & Herbs)
No matter where fish is served, you can be sure that pescado a la Veracruzana will be on the menu. It’s a delicious blend of Old and New World ingredients: Capers, olives, herbs, and garlic weave their way through two of America’s greatest contributions to Mediterranean cuisine – tomatoes and chilies. Though practically any firm, white-fleshed fish would work well, when the dish is made with fresh Gulf snapper – as it often is in Veracruz – it’s a revelation.
This is a company favourite in Mexico….well worth the prep time!
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can of chopped tomatoes)
• 1 cup sliced pitted manzanilla (or green) olives, divided
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup capers, divided
• 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeño peppers, divided * (optional)
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 6 (6-ounce) red snapper or other firm white fish fillets
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
• Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup olives, water, 2 tablespoons capers, 2 tablespoons jalapeños*, parsley, oregano, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until reduced to 6 cups. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Discard bay leaves.
Arrange fish in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; drizzle with lime juice, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes; discard marinade.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spoon sauce over fish. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup olives, 2 tablespoons capers, and 2 tablespoons jalapeños*. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.
Looking back and I realize that I have never posted this recipe for a wonderful soup made with limes which is a Yucatecan favourite! If you don’t like the heat, omit the chili peppers. Let your guests add their own spice!
Yucatan Chicken-Lime Soup
(Sopa de lima)
This is about the best chicken soup that I’ve ever tasted. Plus, it’s good for you. Lime juice is loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C. Chile peppers blast open stuffed sinuses. And garlic acts as an antibiotic. I can’t think of a better remedy for a cold or rainy day.
Makes 4 servings
· 4 corn tortillas (6″ diameter), cut into thin strips (or buy the already baked tortilla strips)
· 1 large tomato, halved crosswise and seeded
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 medium onion, finely chopped
· 8 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 to 2 Serrano chili peppers, thinly sliced (wear plastic gloves when handling) (OMIT if you don’t want the heat)
· 4 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
· 1 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
· 1 bay leaf
· 4 to 6 tablespoons lime juice
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
· Salt and ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Arrange the tortilla strips on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
(Skip the two steps above if you can find tortilla strips already baked)
3. Working over a small bowl, grate each tomato half on the coarse side of a hand grater. Discard the skin.
4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, stock or broth, chicken, and bay leaf. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the lime juice and the cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste and add more lime juice, if desired. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each with some of the tortilla strips. I usually slice a lime and puts some in each bowl before I pour the soup in…
Escabeche de Cebolla (Yucatecan Pickled Red Onions)
MAKES ABOUT 1 ¾ CUPS
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
In a bowl, toss salt and onion together; let sit until onion releases some of its liquid, about 15 minutes. Transfer to jar along with peppercorns, oregano, cumin, and garlic, and pour over vinegar; seal with lid. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before using.
While on our trip to Patzcuaro and Janitzio, we passed through the state of Michoacan. We did a day trip to Tzintzuntzan and Quiroga. In Quiroga, we sampled the wonderful Carnitas Carmelo (pork). Unable to convince the owner to share his secret recipe, Larry set out to make his own. The original one I posted on the travel blog – www.mexico1012.wordpress.com, but we never actually made it.
With the end of the Maya calendar fast approaching, we decided to have our “Last Supper” with a dozen of close friends. What to serve? Well, he already had purchased the copper pan in Santa Clara del Cobre…so why not make the famous carnitas? Pouring through the Internet he came up with four recipes. Larry being Larry, he decided to improvise using parts of all four recipes. Et voila! Here is HIS version…
CARNITAS DE MICHOACAN
Feeds 12 carnivores!
Prepare this the day before.
2 kilos boneless pork shoulder, cut into approx. 2 inch cubes
1 kilo pork ribs
1 kilo back bones
1 kilo pork fat
¼ cup soya sauce
2 cups safflower oil, or similar
One slab of pork skin with fat left on, about 12 x 12
One large white onion thickly sliced
1 tsp of whole cumin seeds
2 Tbs of Mexican oregano
3 bay leaves
One 4 inch stick of cinnamon
2 Tbs of chopped garlic
6 whole cloves
3 cups of water
1 cup of orange juice
2 Tbs of course salt
Add chiles to suit your taste!!!
Marinate the pork cubes in ¼ cup of soya sauce for about 30 minutes.
Heat the pork fat and oil and add the onion, oregano, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, cloves and garlic. Cook until the onions are well caramelized in color. Remove onion, bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside to be added again later.
Brown all of the meats, in small portions, in the hot oil. This is necessary so that the meat does not lower the temperature of the oil and allow the meat to become saturated before sealing the outer surface.
When all of the meats have been browned, add the oranges, orange juice and water to the oil, add in the spices and onions that were set aside. Now add in all the meats. Cover the meat in the with the pork skin. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for approximately 2 to 3 hours. Remove the meats. Allow to cool. Remove all bones from the ribs and spine. Add the meat to the boneless pieces and mix together. Remove the onion and other spices from the hot mixture with a strainer. You can add the onions to the meat mixture. Place the meat and the liquid in separate containers in the fridge overnight. Before you combine the liquid with the meat the next day, remove as much of the congealed grease as possible. Reheat the meat in the broth, adding more water if necessary.
Serve in soft tortillas or ‘Italian’ ciabatta buns. Top with onions escabeche (Recipe follows)