Posts Tagged With: Mexican

Slow Cooker Tacos Barbacoa

Mexican Entree

SLOW COOKER TACOS BARBACOA

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2 ancho chiles, dried or fresh
1 chipotle chile from can. (Keep 2 tablespoons of the can’s liquid)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons epazote or oregano
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon more later)
1¾ cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar

INGREDIENTS – LAMB

3 pounds boneless lamb parts*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large bananas leaf or 3 avocado leaves**
2 cups bone broth, beef broth, or water

INGREDIENTS – GARNISH

1 medium onion
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
12 8″-flour tortillas

* = Beef is the most popular meat for this in Mexico. Goat is also popular. Regions in Mexico usually have a strong preference. But NO ground meat.
** = Bananas leaves and avocado leaves are mighty hard to find outside of Mexican or Asian supermarkets. If you cannot find them, use cornhusks, parchment paper, or tin foil as a substitute. Leaf or leaves should be able to cover the width of the slow cooker.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor or blender
slow cooker
serving platter

Serves 6. Takes 9 hours 40 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Remove stem and seeds from ancho and chipotle chile. Add all marinade ingredients to food processor. Puree in food processor.

PREPARATION – LAMB

Rub salt onto lamb. Cut lamb into as many pieces necessary to fit them in a slow cooker. Add oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until it starts to ripple. Carefully, carefully add lamb pieces. Sauté lamb at high heat until all sides are well seared or you get a dark-brown crust on the lamb. Turn over to sear the other side of the meat.

Wrap lamb with banana leaf. Add wrapped lamb and marinade to slow cooker. Ladle broth over banana-leaf wrapped lamb. Set slow cooker and high and cook for 9 hours or until lamb becomes fall-apart tender. Shred lamb with forks. Keep liquid.

PREPARATION – FINAL

While lamb cooks, dice cilantro. Thinly slice onion. Cover serving platter with banana leaf. Place shredded lamb on banana leaf. Ladle juice from slow cooker over lamb. Sprinkle with lime juice. Warm tortillas by placing on pan with the heat set at medium. Remove as soon as they get warm. Or microwave tortillas for 10 seconds. Fill tortillas with lamb. Garnish with cilantro and onion. Goes well with with green salsa.

TIDBITS

1) The stars in our universe exhibit a red shift. That’s because they’re moving away from us. This observed red shift in our celestial orbs gave rise to the Big Bang Theory. The color red makes objects move things move from other things. For example, forest fires are red. Forest fires move away from their starting points.

2) Red picnic-table cloths, left unchecked, would move themselves away from the picnic table. This is why people have potlucks. The plates laden with potato salads, hot dogs, and corn on the cob provide enough weight to counteract the Moving Away Force (MAF) on the red table cloths.

3) The Germans experimented with red tablecloths in World War II. They hoped their table cloths would move away from the ground and into the path of Allied bombers. The red objects, however, moved away from the bombers as well. These Nazi tablecloths still continue outward trek. Look for them in the Asteroid Belt, if you have a powerful enough telescope.

4) Naturally, other red objects such as plates exhibit MAF. A totally red plate would leap off the kitchen table and crash through a window in a quest to join its brethren in the Asteroid Belt. Plates with only a tiny bit of red in them display a tiny MAF. (See above picture.) Such plates require only a little bit of food to keep them in place.

5) Of course, blue objects show Moving Toward Force (MTF.) This is why so many people end up wearing blue shirts. To be safe, you really should avoid blue and red altogether. If, however, you must use these colors, for Pete’s sake, you them in equal amounts. (See above picture again.)

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tacos Al Pastor

Mexican Entree

TACOS AL PASTOR

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

1 ancho chile
4 guajillo chiles
4 garlic cloves
3 cloves
1 small onion (1 more onion later)
1 large tomato
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup orange juice
⅔ cup pineapple juice*
2¼ pounds pork loin

INGREDIENTS – REST

1 can diced pineapple (*You can use the pineapple juice from the can)
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small onion
5 limes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time)
12 -to-24 corn tortillas*
1 cup pico de gallo
1 cup guacamole

* = If you like to put a lot of food in your tacos or if your tortillas are a bit on the crumbly side, then use 2 tortillas for each taco.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
6 metal skewers
drip pan

Serves 6. Takes 5 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Add ancho chile and guajillo chiles to pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Boil for 10 minutes or until chiles soften. Seed chiles. Add chiles and remaining marinade ingredients save pork loin to food processor. Blend until you get a smooth marinade. Add marinade and pork loin to large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

PREPARATION – REST

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pork loin into ½” thick slices. Cut slices into 1″ squares. Alternate threading pork squares and pineapple pieces onto skewers. Place on oven rack. Place oven pan underneath to collect drippings. Cook for 12 minutes or until pork is no longer pink inside. Turn every 4 minutes.

Dice cilantro and 1 small onion. Cut limes into 4 wedges each. Add 1 tortilla and ½ teaspoon oil to pan. Sauté at medium heat just long enough to warm tortilla. Flip tortilla once. Repeat for remaining tortillas.

Make tacos by filling tortillas with pork squares and pineapple pieces. Garnish tacos with cilantro, diced onion, and lime wedges. Serve tacos immediately alongside bowls of pico de gallo and guacamole.

TIDBITS

1) Pastor Alfonso Hernandez was a itinerant preacher who wandered the Pacific Coast from Seattle to Acapulco. He preached the word of God to whomever would listen. Sometimes he enthralled large crowds. Other times just one person would hear him out. His sermons brought peace beyond understanding to all his listeners.

2) Random acts of kindness would brake out after he left. These people felt grateful for the love he showed them. “Please take some money, your words moved me,” they’d say. He’d always reply, “I can take no money for those aren’t my words. I only borrow them.”

3) The good people would then say, “But you look hungry. Have some food.” The good man accepted their offerings, for he was indeed hungry. Sometimes his listeners gave him ancho chiles. Sometimes he received guajillos chiles. He even accepted garlic cloves. After preaching to an assembly of eight, they might even offer him onion, tomatoes, and cumin.

4) An even larger gathering might present him with Mexican oregano, paprika, pepper, and pepper to spice up his tomatoes. After getting all these spices, the holy man was especially grateful for orange juice to drink. The good people of Ensenada gave him pineapple juice and pork butt. Sometimes, the religious throngs gave him too much to consume at any one time. Whenever this occurred, he’d put the surplus in his coat of many pockets.

5) After ministering to the faithful at Acapulco, the many wealthy Catholics showered him with: diced pineapple, fresh cilantro, small onions, limes, vegetable oil (½ teaspoon at a time), corn tortillas, pico de gallo, and guacamole. This was, too much for any one man to eat. So he shared all the bounty he’d received that day. He then brought forth from all his pockets all the food and spices he’d been accumulating on his travels. “Why,” Pastor Al said, we have enough for a feast of tacos.”

6) “Gracias,” shouted the happy people, “for the tacos from Pastor Al’s coat!” Since the inhabitants of Acapulco were incurable anagramists, this wonderful culinary creation would soon be known forever as Tacos al Pastor.

7) Olé.

 

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Hot Pickled Carrots

Mexican Appetizer

HOT PICKLED CARROTS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound carrots
1 small onion
2 jalapeno peppers or 6 ounces sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or oregano
1 cup white vinegar or cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
½ tablespoon sea salt or salt
1 teaspoon sugar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (optional, but so helpful)
2 3-cup Mason jars

Makes 4 cups. Takes 40 minutes preparation, 1 hour 30 minutes cooling to room temperature, and up to 1 day in refrigerator.

PREPARATION

Use mandoline to cut carrots into ¼”-to-½” thick diagonal slices. Use julienne blade, if possible. Use mandoline or knife to slice jalapenos into rings ¼”-to-½” thick.. Use mandoline to cut onion into ⅛” thick slices. Cut each garlic clove into 4 pieces.

Add vinegar and water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Add all other ingredients to pot. Let boil for 5 minutes. Stir until sugar dissolves, then enough to prevent burning. Remove pot from heat. Let cool for 1 hour 30 minutes or until contents, hot pickled carrots, reach room temperature.
Pour everything into Mason jars. Let sit in refrigerator for 1 day for best taste. They should keep for 1 week.

TIDBITS

1) To be “pickled” is slang for “to be drunk.” So, pickled carrots are drunken carrots. How do we know when carrots are drunk? Culinary patrolmen will tell you weaving while driving is a sure sign of an inebriation. Fortunately, drunk carrot driving remains quite rare as hardly any carrots attain the minimum driving age of 16.. Indeed, most carrots get eaten within days of being plucked from the ground. Another sign of a soused carrot is slurred speech. However, you really do need to listen carefully for this as carrots have tiny voices. Mostly, though, a drunken carrot resorts to giving people the silent treatment, which has proved to be a feeble defense against being eaten. And anyway, surly carrots are annoying. Just eat them. Show them you’re the boss.

 

Paul De Lancey, concerned citizen and Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: international, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Am a Fashion Model – Spring Sock Wear

 

The very latest fashions from France! Socks are in for men. Socks are chic. Socks are now. And what socks are the stylish man man wearing? Food themed socks. Men are wearing socks that shout, “I will seduce you with my food.”  Mais oui, buns of steel are out, buns on socks are in.

Above, we see sexy socks from straight from the prestigious La Maison de la Nourriture. Your sweetheart will want to eat you up after feasting her eyes on this handsome hosiery

Why not make yourself a six-course dinner for your lovely lady with socks affirming: fantastic fresh fish, lively lobster, stunning shrimp, tasty tacos, spectacular SPAM(tm), and beautiful breakfasts? Certainement, turn yourself into a meal that your date will always remember with inspiring food socks from La Maison de la Nourriture. Bon appétit.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., fashionisto

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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I Am a Fashion Model – Spring Wear

 

The very latest fashions from France!

On the left, we have trend-setting dinner pajamas. This delightful, matching ensemble comes from Chez Ours and sports bear silhouettes on an avant-garde white background. Your date won’t be able to take her eyes off you whether you’re stepping out at an after-Oscars(tm) party or planning a candlelit conquest at home. Ooh, la, la.

What will you be wearing to celebrate Cinco  de Mayo? Why the bold affirmation of Mexican cuisine seen on the right. It’s straight from the renowned designers at La Maison de Taco. This bright-yellow shirt shouts, “Look at me! Look at me!”  People will indeed see you, whether you’re crossing an unlit street at night or simply acting as a part-time strobe light at a Tex-Mex disco. And you won’t even need to know Spanish when dining in Mexico. When the waiter comes by to take your order, simply point to the desired food on your shirt. Olé.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., fashionisto

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posole Rojo

Mexican Soup

POSOLE ROJO

INGREDIENTS – PORK

3 pounds pork shoulder or leg
60 ounces canned-garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
2 bay leaves
7 garlic cloves (4 more later)
3 quarts water

INGREDIENTS – RED SAUCE

6 guajillo chiles or ancho chiles
3 ancho chiles or guajillo chiles
3 cups water
½ small onion (½ more later)
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano or marjoram or oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

2 avocados
¼ head cabbage
4 red radishes
½ small onion
1 cup tortilla chips

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric blender

Serves 16. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – PORK/GARBANZO BEANS

Cut pork into 1″ cubes. Drain garbanzo beans. Cut 7 garlic cloves in half. Add pork, garbanzo beans, bay leaves, 7 garlic cloves, and 3 quarts water to 1st, large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour or until pork cubes can be pulled apart easily with a fork. Skim off foam with spoon. Stir enough to prevent burning. Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove pork and garlic. Keep water in pot. Shred pork completely using 2 forks. Smash garlic bits with fork. Return pork and garlic to pot.

PREPARATION – RED SAUCE

While pork simmers, add 3 cups water to 2nd pot. Bring to boil. Seed guajillo and ancho chiles to pan. Roast at medium heat for 8 minutes until they start to soften. Stir occasionally . Add chiles to 2nd pot. Cover and remove from heat. Let chiles sit in water for 15 minutes or until they have completely softened. Cut ½ small onion into 4 pieces. Add guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, 4 garlic cloves, 4 onion pieces, and water from 2nd pot to blender. Set blender to puree and blend until pureed. This is the red sauce. Add red sauce, Mexican oregano, pepper, and salt to the pot containing pork and garbanzo beans. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Add red sauce/pork/garbanzo beans to bowls. Cut avocados into 16 pieces each. Shred cabbage. Mince ½ small onion. Slice radishes as thinly as possible. Spread avocado, cabbage, onion, radish, and tortilla chips evenly over bowls of red sauce/pork/garbanzo beans.

TIDBITS

1) The Italian peninsula in 1848. Peasants rioted against the nobles. The nobles suppressed the peasant uprising. Italians took up arms against their foreign masters. The foreign masters fought back. Bullets were positively whizzing everywhere.

2) Then the Second War for Italian Independence began in 1859. Armies marched all over the place. Bullets and cannonballs streaked against the sky. It was all too much for the simple chef, Fabio Marinara who determined to leave for America. His customers pleaded for him to stay. “No,” said Fabio at length.

3) So, the plucky Italian sold all his possessions and bought a ticket to New York on the SS Seaweed.

4) But he boarded instead the SS Flan to Veracruz, Mexico. But that was okay, for Mexican food was love at first sight for Fabio. “Tacos, where have you been all my life?” thought Chef Mariana.

5) Well, across the Atlantic Ocean. But anyway, Chef Fabio opened up a restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico. Within weeks, he perfected this soup, the posole rojo.

6) People loved his soup. They’d burst out singing, “Posole Rojo” everytime this food of the gods went by their tables.

7) A Italian lyricist, Giovanni Capurro heard these outbursts of ecstasy. He thought they were referring to Veracruz’s magnificent red sunsets. He interpreted them to say, “O sole rojo” or “O my red sun.”

8) But Capurro found that the song burgeoning within his heart flowed much easier when he tweaked the words to “O solo mio” or “O my sun.”

9) He took his song back to Naples. Capurro’s song has been an enduring global hit ever since. “O Sole Mio” has even been sung twice on Sesame Street. Now you know.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chicharrones

Mexican Appetizer

CHICHARRONES

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds pork skin*
1 cup lard
½ teaspoon salt

* = The best source is a Mexican supermarket. It can be quite difficult to find online.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut pork skin into 3″ squares. Add lard to electric skillet. Heat lard at 375 degrees until a tiny bit of pork skin will start to dance in the oil. Use spatula to carefully add pork-skin squares to electric skillet. Be careful, adding the squares might cause the hot oil to splatter. (May I suggest wearing an apron, standing an arm-length from the skillet and holding the skillet lid in the other hand when adding the squares?)

Fry the pork squares at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until the pork skin starts to pop and then turn golden brown. Stir frequently to the squares from sticking to the bottom of the skillet and burning. Remove deep-fried pork squares, chicharrones, and let cool on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Chicharrones may be eaten as is or broken into smaller pieces.

TIDBITS

1) Ronaldo Gonzalez used to operate a Mexican supermarket. One of his items was chicharrones. This clever Ronaldo did anagrams in his spare time. He soon discovered that chicarrones is an anagram for Ron’s Chic Hare.

2) He asked his wife, Desdemona, a talented seamstress to design a stylish outfit for his hare, Harry. Here is her design. I’m sure you’ll agree that the outfit is très chic.

3) Indeed, D&R Designers, in just two years has leaped from selling a hundred hare outfits to dominating the global rabbit clothing scene. Runway shows for bunny models appear to be their next business step. Tryouts will be held soon.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chilaquiles

Mexican Breakfast

CHILAQUILES

INGREDIENTS

3 serrano chiles
2 tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
18 corn tortillas
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup shredded Oaxaca or Monterrey Jack cheese
¼ cup sour cream

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
8″ casserole

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Seed chiles. (Or leave seeds in for a spicier entree. Add chiles and tomatoes to food processor. Blend until tomatoes are pureed. Dice bell pepper. Mince onion. Cut each tortillas into 8 pieces.

Add oil to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat until a little piece of tortilla in the oil starts to dance. Add tortilla pieces. Sauté for 12 minutes or until tortilla become crispy, but not burnt. Stir frequently. Remove tortillas pieces and place them on plates covered with paper towels. Add bell pepper and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove bell pepper/onion mix. Add eggs to pan. Reduce heat to medium and scramble eggs until they are done to your liking.

Add ⅓ of tortilla to casserole dish, then ⅓ bell pepper/onion, followed by ⅓ egg to casserole. Smooth after each layer. Repeat 2 more times. Pour serrano chile/tomato puree over everything. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from over and spoon sour cream evenly over everything.

TIDBITS

1) “Chilaquiles” is an anagram of “Ah, ice quills.” Unlike their American cousins, Greenlandic porcupines have quills made from ice. These northern critters are also stupendously tasty. This is why Eskimo porcupine-hunters exclaim, “Ah ice quills,” whenever they come across ice quill remnants. And of course, it was but a matter of time before vibrant Greenlandic/Mexican chef community transformed porcupine stew into chilaquiles. Ah ice quills, indeed.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Chicken Chipotle

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN CHIPOTLE

 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 chicken breasts
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh parsley or oregano
2 limes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Serves 6.  Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Use mandoline or knife to slice onion as thinly as possible. Add onion and oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove onion. Add chicken breasts. Sauté at medium heat for 15 or until browned on both sides. Flip chicken breasts once. While chicken sautés, add crema Mexicana, chipotle powder, pepper, and salt to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly.

Ladle crema Mexican/chipotle sauce over chicken breasts. Simmer at low heat for 15 minutes. Flip chicken breasts once. Stir occasionally. Ladle chicken stock over breasts. Simmer at low heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally

While chicken simmers, dice parsley and slice limes into quarters. Add sautéed onion to serving dish. Place chicken breasts on onion. Ladle crema Mexicana/chipotle powder sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley and lime quarters. Goes well with rice and warm corn tortillas.

TIDBITS

1) A conga line is a fun way to dance. A mango line has people dancing while slicing mangoes. This idea proved to be dangerous as mango bits on the floor made people slip and fall. The dancing stopped. Knives were replaced by mangolines. Then a typo in the influential cookbook, Latin Cooking, by Auntie Matter, changed mangolines forever into mandolines.

2) Chefs soon discovered that mandolines sliced onions better than mangoes. Within a week of Latin Cooking’s publication, the timid Juan Chipotle created Chicken Chipotle. Life is good.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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