Posts Tagged With: Mexican Revolution

Carne Asada Tortas

Mexican Entree

CARNE ASADA TORTAS

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

¼ cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1½ pounds flank or skirt steak
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – OTHER

1 medium onion
1 Roma tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bolillo, telera, or French rolls
grilling or cooking spray
½ cup refried beans
1 avocado
¼ cup crema Mexicana or mayonnaise

Makes 4 tortas. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (optional)
outdoor grill

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Dice cilantro. Mince garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix by hand until steak is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Let excess marinade drip off steak. (If not, you will have some rather exciting flames coming from the outdoor grill.)

PREPARATION – OTHER

Preheat outdoor grill to high. Use mandoline or knife to cut onion and tomato into ¼” thick slices. Add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté onion at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add steak to grill. Grill steak on high heat for 5-to-10 minutes on each side, depending on your desired level of doneness. Remove steak. Spray the cut side of roll halves with grilling spray. Put roll halves spray side down on grill. Grill on high heat for 1 minute or until grilled side of roll halves turn golden brown. Watch carefully. Remove from heat. Cut steak against grain into 4 pieces.

Add refried beans to pan. Cook on medium-high heat until beans are warm. Remove from heat. Peel and cut avocado into 4 slices. Spread crema Mexicana on all roll halves. Add steak strips to bottom halves of rolls. Add onion, tomato, and avocado slices to bottom halves. Make an indentation in top halves of rolls. Place refried beans in indentations. Carefully turn over top halves with refried beans onto the bottom halves with the meat and veggies. Olé.

TIDBITS

1) The Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 revolved around exceedingly complex issues such as: democracy versus oligarchy, large landed owners* versus impoverished peasantry, the authority of the Catholic church versus secular governments, and the ambitions of powerful generals and local strongmen.

2) * = This is not to imply the land owners were large, perhaps from the eating of too many too many burritos stuffed with shredded beef, lettuce, queso fresco, guacamole, and crema Mexicana. No, they had large estates, haciendas, that ran** for many miles in many directions.

3) ** = Land cannot run. A really big earthquake, 9.0 on the Richter Scale for example, can send shock waves through the ground that look like an ocean wave to any bystander***.

4) *** = Not that you’ll be able to stand up during a 9.0 earthquake. Most likely you’ll be toast.

5) I’ve used my daily allocation of asterisks – *. Life moves on.

6) Anyway, toast in Spanish is tostada. Tostadas are made mostly with beans and corn tortillas, which are cheap. This is revolutionary bands in Mexico ate quite a bit of tostadas.

7) The factions uniting, however briefly, behind successive central governments always had much more money than the rebelling peasants. The authorities could afford steak. Their armies ate well, often dining on carne asada tortas, the dish featured here.

8) The Mexican civil war was a lengthy, bloody affair. Armed bands and their leaders, jefes, shifted allegiances like the wind. Sometimes they fought for the rights of the peasants and sometimes they deserted to the government, the desire to devour a juicy, scrumptious carne asada torta proving too strong the resist.

9) Of course, the Mexican vegetarians stayed true to the cause of the bean tostada. Sometimes, even the most carnivorous soldiers in the Federal army felt the need to cleanse the palate with the delightfully simple bean tostada. When this happened, they deserted back the rebels.

10) And so it went. Battles went this way. Battles went that way. It all came down to which side would strike the decisive blow, to which side appeared the fiercest.

11) Both the Federales and the rebels used people. That was kind of a tie. The forces searched for something else. Then in an accident of fate, Pancho Villa and El Presidente Carranza both hit on the idea of using giant inflatable balloons made from MylarTM. Villa’s soldiers brought huge inflatable squirrels to the battlefield of Celaya. Carranza’s men, however, carried enormous inflatable snakes with them. Snakes are much fiercer than squirrels. Villa’s army broke and ran. The Mexican Revolution was effectively over. This is also why there’s a snake on the Mexican flag. There you go.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Carnitas

Mexican Entree

CARNITAS

INGREDIENTScarnitas

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or loin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lime juice

1 large onion
½ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup orange juice

3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 orange
¾ cup shortening or lard
8 9″ or 20 5″ flour tortillas

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

Makes 8 or 16 carnitas depending on size of tortillas. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Chop pork into 1″ cubes using cleaver. Add pork, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and lime juice to large mixing bowl. Turn pork cubes until they are well coated. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.

While pork marinates, dice small onion and fresh cilantro. Add diced onion, cilantro and orange juice to small mixing bowl. This is your salsa.

Mince garlic cloves. Cut medium onion into slices ¼” thick. Separate orange into sections. Add shortening to Dutch oven. Melt shortening using medium-high heat. Add marinated pork, garlic, sliced onion, and orange sections. Cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until pork cubes brown on all sides. Stir frequently. Cover Dutch oven and reduce heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours or until pork cubes are tender to the fork. Stir every 5 minutes.

Uncover Dutch oven. Continue to simmer pork/veggies for another 30 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed. Microwave all tortillas for 30 seconds. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of pork/veggies and salsa.

TIDBITS

1) It seems hard to believe, but culinary historians assure us that cars were once made with carnitas. It’s true, carnitas is an anagram for satin car.

2) It all goes back to 1910 and Mexico. The tightly knit Mexican aristocracy monopolized the nation’s political power, wealth, and satin. Black satin dresses were all the rage among high society. No wealthy woman would think of appearing in public without one. That was fine. That left just satin for peasant women to wear on weddings, bar mitzvahs, and the such.

3) Then in early 1910, Doña Josefa Enero regarded her Allis Chalmers with disdain. Although her motorman kept the car purring and shiny, something was missing. Something that made her embarrassed to be riding in it in public.

4) “Cinco albondigas!” she shouted. The car was made of metal! A true lady with Spanish blood could not been seen wearing a metallic vehicle. Satin! Satin! She needed to be clothed in a satin car.

5) So, the Eneros ordered a satin car for everyone in their family. Their neighbors, the Tortas, the Flans, and the Ceviches did as well.

6) Naturally, with the whole Mexican elite making their cars out of satin, there was no material left for the peasantry.

7) No satin for the peasantry. No weddings. No bar mitzvahs. No docile peasantry.

8) One evening in early 1910, an angry Nita Menudo dipped six habañero peppers in Doña Febrero’s tea before serving. Her mistress’ mouth erupted in fire. She slapped Nita. Nita ran crying all the way home.

9) Her irate husband, Roberto, took to the hills. Realizing that was useless, he came back.

10) “I will avenge you!” he roared. He clutched a knife and headed to the Febrero estate. The Revolution of 1910 – 1930 had begun.

11) It was a long walk–Nita was always driven–and by the time he got there, he was too tired to attack anyone. He limped home in shame. “We need transportation,” said Roberto’s astute neighbor, Ernesto Flautas, “if we wish to launch raids against our greedy pig masters.”

12) “O drato,” said Roberto, “we have no money to buy metal to make a car. Ai, yi, yi.”

13) “Que frijoles you are,” said Nita. “We have vast herds of wild pigs destroying our crops. Slaughter the pigs and let the meat bake in the hot sun until it becomes tough as metal. Then you make your cars. Then you can attack the rich. Then we can be free.”

14) So, the Mexican peasants made car out of pork. The people called the car “Nitas” after the woman who hatched the idea. Hence, “carnitas.”

15) The Revolution would rage for twenty years. This dish was created to honor the car that won it.

cookbookhunksChef Paul

 

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World,  with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Crispy Shredded Beef Tacos

Mexican Entree

CRISPY SHREDDED BEEF TACOS

INGREDIENTSCrispyShreddedBeefTacos-

1 medium yellow onion
2 pounds rump roast
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves
4 ounces diced green chiles

5 green onion stalks
4 Roma tomatoes
¼ head lettuce
2 cups vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
2 cups Four Mexican Cheeses
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 cup salsa

SPECIAL UTENSILS

crock pot or slow cooker
9″ loaf pan
electric skillet
Lazy Susan

takes about 7 hours

PREPARATION

Slice onion into thin rings. Rub rump roast with: chili powder, cumin, and salt. Dice garlic. Add ½ of onion slices to bottom of crock pot. Add rubbed rump roast, garlic, and green chiles. Top roast with remaining ½ onion slices. Add water to cover roast. Cover crock pot. Cook on low for about 7 hours or until roast is tender enough to be easily pulled apart by a pair of forks. Shred roast with forks. (Save liquid from crock pot, it makes a great broth.)

Dice green onion and tomatoes. Shred lettuce. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees. The oil is hot enough if it sizzles when a tortilla is added. Add 1 tortilla at a time. Use tongs to sauté tortilla for 15 seconds on each side. The tortilla should be crispy but still flexible enough to be folded. Fold tortilla in half and place it upright in bread pan.. Put a paper towel on each side of tortilla to drain off grease. Repeat for 11 remaining tortillas.

Place tortillas, shredded beef, green onion, tomato, cheese, lettuce, cheese, crema Mexicana, and salsa in Lazy Susan. I love tacos. I always asked for it on my birthday. when I was a kid.

TIDBITS

1) Señor Pedro Lascuráin was president of Mexico for only fifteen minutes in 1913.

2) He did not accomplish much.

3) However, nearly all of Europe went to war in 1914. World War I lasted four years, involved many nations and resulted in millions of casualties. The unsettled conditions of World War I resulted in the Communist Revolution in Russia and the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. The communists shed much blood before and during World War II.

4) Makes Lascuráin’s administration look positively great in comparison.

5) I don’t think El Presidente Lascuráin shed much blood at all during his term in office, unless he gave himself a nasty paper cut while signing his acceptance or resignation papers.

6) Mexico has remained at peace ever since the end of the Mexican Revolution. I think it’s because of the peaceful example of President Lascuráin.

7) Poway, California, my fair town, has been at peace with all its neighbors even since I moved in.

8) My presidential term of office, zero minutes, is similar in length to President Lascuráin’s.

9) El Presidente Lascuráin probably had a paper cut. I’ve had paper cuts. Gentle reader, I’m guessing you’ve a paper cut as well. They hurt, don’t they?

10) Señor Lascuràin, the Great Man of Peace, often ate Mexican food. I love Mexican food. He had a Mexican grandmother. I had a Mexican grandmother. He was subject to the Laws of Physics. So am I.

11) It’s all uncanny. If Lascuràin had lived at the same time, people would have had trouble distinguishing between the two of us.

12) I wonder. I wonder.

13) I look at his picture on the internet. I run to the bathroom and look in the mirror.

14) Whew! Lascuràin and I are not the same person.

15) But Poway is at peace with all the neighboring towns. Can a Nobel Peace Prize for me be far behind?

16) I do hope I don’t get a paper cut while signing for my prize.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enchiladas Verdes From Forthcoming Cookbook

Mexican Entree

ENCHILADAS VERDES

SAUCE INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (4 tablespoons more later)
1 16 ounce can green chile enchilada sauce
1/2 tablespoon basil
4 tablespoons parsley

FILLING INGREDIENTS

1 fresh green chile
2 jalapeno peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro (1 1/2 tablespoon more earlier)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups grated Four Mexican cheeses

OTHER INGREDIENTS

12 corn tortillas (You might want more in case some fall apart)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
no-stick cooking spray

You might need two baking dishes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use no-stick cooking spray on baking dish.

SAUCE PREPARATION

Dice 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro. Add cilantro, green enchilada sauce, basil, and parsley to first saucepan and bring to boil on high heat. Then simmer on warm heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Set aside.

FILLING PREPARATION

Remove seeds from green chile, jalapeno peppers, and green bell pepper. Dice green chile, jalapeno peppers, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, and 4 tablespoons cilantro. Use second saucepan to saute green chile, jalapeno pepper, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, and cumin in vegetable oil for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

TORTILLAS PREPARATION

Heat the tortillas for about 20 seconds in a microwave to make them easier to roll. Pour enough oil to cover the sauce pan. Dip one tortilla at a time in the hot oil. Cook for about 5 seconds.

USE TONGS TO DO THIS. You really don’t want your hands near searing oil. USE A BACK BURNER to heat the tortillas. Repeated dipping tortillas into hot oil can result in hot oil splattering on you. (While you scurry to the faucet for blessed cool relief, be thankful you live on a planet where 71 percent of the surface is water. You’d be out of luck on Mercury. No water utility companies there.)

Have a plate just a few inches away for your heated tortilla. It’s distressing to find out how quickly a hot, oil-dripping tortilla can fall apart.

Cover each heated tortilla with a paper towel to absorb oil.

FINAL PREPARATION

Dip tortilla in sauce. Add about 1/12 of the fillings’ ingredients plus grated Four Mexican cheeses on top of each tortilla. Roll each tortilla and put it against the side of the baking dish or as close to another rolled tortilla as possible. Hold the tortillas together with a toothpick if desired. (Be sure to have the toothpick as conspicuous as possible to avoid biting into it later.)

Pour the sauce evenly over the tortillas. Sprinkle any remaining ingredients on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until any cheese on top bubbles.

TIDBITS

1) Enchilada means “served with chile pepper.”

2) My aunts fled from their ranch before the forces of Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution. One of them made enchiladas from scratch. Pancho Villa was not after them for their enchiladas, only their ranchero.

3) Every year Las Cruces, New Mexico makes the world’s biggest enchilada.

4) The Nixon administration was fond of the expression, “the whole enchilada.”

5) “Enchiladas Suizas” means “Swiss enchiladas.” Swiss immigrants to Mexico topped their enchiladas with cream-based sauces. Swiss immigrants in Mexico, who knew?

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Burritos

Mexican Entree

SUPER BURRITOS

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion
2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup salsa
2 cans kidney beans, drained of water
1 1/2 cups grated four Mexican cheeses
10 large flour tortillas

PREPARATION OF THE BURRITO’S INNARDS

Mince the onion. Mix it and the cumin into the ground meat by hand. Cook the meat until browned. Note, browned turkey meat is whiter than browned beef.

(You can substitute other meat for turkey. You can even use ground up vegetarian chicken. I don’t recall what went into this meat substitute, but it did taste vaguely like chicken and turned out well in this recipe.)

Add the mayonnaise and mix. (Why are there two “n”s in “mayonnaise?”) Stir in the salsa. It is essential to taste now. If your taste buds tell you it needs more spice, add more cumin or salsa. If you want your creation to be smoother, add more mayonnaise. If your mixture isn’t thick enough, you can lose liquid to evaporation by letting the mix simmer longer. Or as I prefer, use any liquidy mix as a sauce or a fantastic soup.

Remember to constantly stir, especially after adding the cheese. It takes forever to scrub off burnt cheese from the bottom of the pan.

Add kidney beans and cheese. Cook at medium heat until all the beans are hot enough and the cheese melted.

ASSEMBLING THE BURRITO

The tortilla should be big. A big tortilla is much more likely to hang together during rolling than a small one, especially given most people’s tendency to put too much meat mix onto the burrito. Size matters.

The tortilla must be pliable or easy to fold. Tortillas that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a while get brittle. Microwave them in the microwave for about ten seconds or so, until they become soft.

Never, but never, make burritos with corn tortillas. They will break apart. The burrito’s innards will ooze out the sides. You’ll panic and try to keep everything together with toothpicks. Maybe these burritos will hold together until served. (However, they will surely fall apart when the millionaire parents of your fiancé pick them up. A bad first impression of you? You bet. So, use flour tortillas, okay?)

Anyway, scoop about two tablespoons burrito mix onto the center bottom of the burrito. Fold the bottom over the mix. Fold the sides in until they almost touch. Roll the bottom of the tortilla over and over until your burrito is formed.

It takes some practice to do this right. It is easier than it might seem to burst the tortilla with too much mix or have the mix escape out the sides. But you will get it right after one or two tries.

Your family will smile beatifically at you. Your kids, who have been grunting monosyllabic words at you for months, will favor you with, “Awesome food” and “Parental figure, may I enjoy an additional helping?.” Cooking doesn’t get much better than this.

TIDBITS

1) “Burrito” is Spanish for “little burro.” Why Spanish-speaking people think a burrito looks like a little donkey is beyond me.

2) Not many people believe Marco Polo brought back burritos from China in the 1200s.

3) Probably because it is not true.

4) Many do believe, however, the burrito was first made by Juan Mendez during the Mexican Revolution.

5) So, revolutions have their upsides.

6) Bad for the part of my family that lost its ranch in the Mexican revolution.

7) But Mexico also gave us the crispy corn taco with shredded beef. How can I not forgive and forget?

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken Tortilla Soup From Cookbook

Mexican Soup

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

INGREDIENTSChicToS-

1/2 jalapeno pepper
2 green onions
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1 red chile pepper (omit to make milder)
1/2 avocado
2 chicken breasts
4 corn tortillas
32 ounces chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
7 ounce can diced mild green chiles (4 ounces to be milder)
2 teaspoons cilantro
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Poultry MagicTM spice
no-stick spray
1/2 cup shredded Four Mexican cheeses

PREPARATION

Mince jalapeno pepper, green onions, onion, garlic clove, and red chile pepper. Avocado should feel slightly soft when squeezed. Peel skin from avocado. Remove avocado pit. Cut avocado into 1/2-inch cubes. Shred chicken breasts with knife or food processor. (Why, oh why, does the innocent, harmless chicken get cooked so often for our meals? Because it tastes good, goes well with so many spices, veggies, and sauces. So fire up that processor. Rrr!) Cut tortillas into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip into three pieces.

Pour chicken broth into large sauce pan. Add jalapeno pepper, green onions, onion, garlic, red pepper, avocado, lime juice, diced tomatoes with juice, green chiles, cilantro, pepper, oregano, and poultry spice. Stir occasionally. Bring to a boil.

Add shredded chicken. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally.

While soup is cooking, spray baking sheet with no-stick spray. Place strips on sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 15 minutes until crispy and golden. (Note ovens vary wildly in cooking times, due to age or size. Toaster ovens can cook much faster than a large, old oven. Watch out.)

Pour soup into bowls. (Should make about 8 bowls.) Sprinkle grated Mexican cheese and tortilla strips equally over all bowls.)

This is tasty. As the chef you’re entitled to a nice cold cerveza or root beer. (And be thankful you’re not a chicken.)

TIDBITS

1) I once had this soup served to me in the smallest soup bowl I have ever seen.

2) May 5 is my birthday. It is also Cinco de Mayo. When I was little, I thought all Mexico celebrated my birthday. Such kindness made me happy.

3) I later found out it was a minor holiday in Mexico. Basically, in the 1860s the Mexicans beat the French in a battle this day.

4) Who caused this French invasion of Mexico? Napoleon III, who was related to Napoleon I, who is my great-great-great-grandfather.

5) I am not responsible for my ancestors’ attempts to conquer the world.

6) My family is responsible for the first ice-cream store in New London, Connecticut. I am rather proud of this.

7) Part of my family came from Sonora, Mexico.

8) We had a ranch in Sonora. We lost it in the Mexican Revolution. My aunts fled Pancho Villa. Boo, Pancho Villa, boo!

9) I wish I could go back in time and serve lutefisk to Señor Villa.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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