Posts Tagged With: tortas

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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