Posts Tagged ‘Mexican’

Pork Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Pepper Jack Cheese

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Have I told you that I’m in love with my slow cooker? Well…yes, him too. But I mean my All-Clad Slow Cooker with aluminum insert from Williams-Sonoma. I do not just love it. I am in love with it. The way it looks. The way it feels. All the ways it cooks. 

I love my slow cooker for the things it cooks. Recently I made a Salsa Verde Braised Pork recipe by Sunset Magazine. I tweaked the recipe slightly, searing the pork on the stove top first in the aluminum insert while bringing the other ingredients to a boil in a separate pot. Then placing the aluminum insert into the slow cooker and pouring the salsa verde over top. For those of you do a lot of slow cooking, you can appreciate what a beautiful thing this truly is. Up until a couple of months ago, I seared in a separate pan, losing some of those delicious bits. I’d dropped large pieces of meat onto counters, onto a floor on one unfortunate occasion. Yes, it was a bit of a splurge this slow cooker of mine, but totally worth it. 

The Salsa Verde Braised Pork was as delicious as it was easy to make. I made enough for an army. In addition to the having it over rice the first night, later in the week I fixed quick nachos with it and this past weekend I made these wonderful Pork Enchiladas. A dish that keeps on dishin’ – gotta love that! 

Pork Enchiladas with Salsa Verde & Pepper Jack Cheese

 

Pork Enchilada dinner with Mexican Rice

 

Pork Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Pepper Jack Cheese 

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups shredded Salsa Verde Braised Pork
  • 3 cups prepared salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp Canola Oil (2 tbsp for salsa, ½ cup for enchiladas)
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 to 7 in. wide)
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves for garnish

Preparation 

Preheat an oven to 400°F. 

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tbsp oil until it is not and rippling. Quickly add tomatillo sauce and fry, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce starts to thicken, 5 minutes more. Add salt to taste. Keep warm. 

To make the enchiladas, in a frying pan, heat the remaining ½ cup oil over medium-high heat until sizzling hot. Using tongs, quickly pass each tortilla through the oil to soften; drain on paper towels. 

Spoon some the tomatillo sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish. Using your fingers, dip each tortilla briefly in the warm sauce, place on a plate, put a large spoonful of shredded pork near one edge, sprinkle with a little cheese and roll up the tortilla. Place, seam side down, in the baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake until thoroughly heated and cheese is bubbling, about 10-12 minutes. 

Remove the enchiladas from the oven. Serve immediately, top with sour cream and garnish with cilantro leaves. 

Mangia Bene!

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Picadillo Tacos

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Here in San Antonio picadillo tacos are very common. They are standard Mexican fare, inspired by family-style cooking, much like spaghetti is in Italy. Every household has their own unique version on this classic dish. Previously, I always made them the same way. They were good, solid food that the family always enjoyed. This time though I added roasted poblano peppers and they were fantastic! The poblano peppers add so much flavor, as well as distinct heat (different, more subtle, than the in your face heat from the jalapeno pepper you will also find in this dish) I really enjoy. So if you are looking for a simple to prepare, inexpensive, yet incredibly flavorful meal that always satisfies? Try these Picadillo Tacos. While being really tasty and easy your time and your pocketbook, they are also pretty healthy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ lbs 96/4 ground beef
  • 1 Large russet potato, peeled and cubed in ¼ to ½ dice
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 8oz can diced tomatoes (EatSA note: I Muir Glen organic), well drained
  • 1 Large poblano pepper (EatSA note: poblano peppers with deep grooved stem ends are most flavorful)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Crushed red pepper or 1 finely diced jalapeno pepper (EatSA note: I use more!)
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt (EatSA note: A little used at each stage of cooking – seasoning throughout the cooking process not just at the beginning and the end is the key to maximizing flavor of any dish. For those of you who are salt conscious by all means use less, but add more cumin and garlic powder to boost the flavor)
  • 1 Tbsp Black Pepper

Tortillas (EatSA note: for those of you in SA – I buy the multi-grain from Central Market – super yummy!)
Grated Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Chopped Fresh Tomatoes and/or Guacamole to dress

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Broil a poblano pepper in the oven for 10 minutes, turning half way, or until charred and skin bubbly. Place in Ziploc until cooled. Peel skin from pepper, cut top off and cut in half lengthwise, scrape inside of pepper gently with back of your knife to remove seeds and veins being careful not to damage flesh. Cut into ¼ x ½ slices.
  2. Meanwile, heat olive oil over medium high heat, add potatoes and brown on all sides. Approximately 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and jalapeno (or crushed red pepper). Cook until onions are translucent. About 5-7 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper.
  4. Add ground beef and break apart. Add remaining salt and pepper, cumin and garlic powder directly onto the meat. Cutting and mixing spices into the ground beef while it browns. When the meat is just short of cooked through add tomatoes and roasted poblano pepper.
  5. After meat is cooked through season again to taste and serve.

Mangia Bene!

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Shortcut Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

With Fall around the corner, I am dreaming of cooler temperatures and craving comfort food. For me one thing that epitomizes comfort food is soup. I adore soup, all kinds. This tortilla soup is one of my favorites though, with the warmth of its spiciness and its cozy smoothness.

Tortilla soup comes in many forms – some are more broth based, some are tomato based. Some are spicy, while others are mild. The tortilla soup I prefer and make at home is a kicked-up, spicy version cream of tomato soup. In fact, I use cream of tomato soup in this “shortcut” recipe, perfect for a weekday meal.

I’ve certainly made tortilla soup the “long” way with canned organic whole fire-roasted tomatoes (or if super motivated, I roast two pounds of Roma tomatoes, cut lengthwise and tossed in olive oil, for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees), half & half and a blender. It is fantastic and I’ll probably write a post about it later in the season, but this recipe is the one I prepare most often and it is really good!

Soup

2 Jalapenos (seeded and finely diced)
3 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 Medium yellow onion (diced)
5 cups organic creamy tomato soup (I prefer Pacific brand)
1 cup organic low sodium chicken broth (again I prefer Pacific brand)
3 cups shredded chicken (I prefer thighs in this case since they have much more flavor, but for a lower fat option use chicken breast)
2 tsp cumin (1 for soup, 1 for chicken)
2 tsp kosher salt (1 for soup, 1 for chicken)
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp EVO Oil (1 for soup, 1 for chicken)
1 tbsp butter
Juice from one lime (half for soup, half for chicken)
Salt and Pepper

Garnish

1 Tomato (diced)
1 Avocado (sliced)
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese or Monterey Jack
Sour Cream
Corn chip of your choice

To prepare chicken, shred previously baked or grilled skinless bone-in chicken thighs (or on the bone breasts). As an aside, I strongly suggest cooking the chicken on the bone since bones add incredible flavor.

Place shredded chicken in a large glass bowl. Whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, juice from ½ of a lime, 1 tsp cumin and tsp salt in a separate bowl. Pour over chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum 1 hour or marinate overnight in an airtight container.

Note: You can also use a store bought roasted chicken to season this way. Or to make it really easy some grocery stores offer pre-prepared seasoned shredded chicken. I am not ashamed to admit I have used this a time or two.

To prepare soup, heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat in medium to large soup pot, add garlic, onion and jalapeno. Sauté until onions are translucent, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add cumin, salt and pepper – stir until vegetables are coated. Add chicken broth, stir to deglaze. Mix in shredded chicken and let cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken is warmed through. Add cream of tomato soup (check for taste – season with salt and pepper, if necessary), reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, stir two or three times during this time. Finally salt and pepper to taste and add lime juice. Stir once and serve. Allow guests to garnish as they desire.

For a vegetarian option, substitute prepared black beans for the shredded chicken and low sodium vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Mangia bene!!!

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El Mirador

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I found myself having lunch with a dear friend, who with good fortune works in Southtown, a thriving and eclectic cultural and economic center of San Antonio. For those unfamiliar with this brilliant part of San Antonio, Southtown is the heart of the arts scene in San Antonio – home to Blue Star Art Complex and First Fridays. And while Southtown is modern and hip and young, this area also incorporates the King William District, steeped in tradition, with its grand historic homes, majestic century old oak trees and the iconic Pioneer Flour Company.

It is also home to some of the best restaurants in San Antonio, serving some seriously good eats, and as widely diverse as the area itself – there are places “in the scene” to be seen, small cafes and funky bars with a friendly neighborhood vibe, and long established restaurants that feel as homey and welcoming as your grandmother’s kitchen. El Mirador on South St. Mary’s Street falls wonderfully into the last category. In 1967, Julian and Maria Trevino opened El Mirador during HemisFair and it has been serving home-style, straight from the soul, Mexican food to its customers “as if they were guests in the Trevino home” ever since. http://elmiradorsatx.com/

I have been to El Mirador on many occasions, but quite some time had passed since my last visit. Not much had changed. This was a good thing. Instantly familiar and warm, El Mirador gave me a feeling of immediate comfort. Like the friend who I met for lunch, El Mirador and I picked up right where we left off, without skipping a beat.

Lunch started off as always with chips and salsa. The fresh tomato salsa was excellent with simple ingredients and bright flavor. The chips were crisp, not oily, and perfectly salted. I ordered the flautas, which were, on this occasion, good but not great. Even understanding that they were made in a very traditional style, they were still on the skimpy side. They were also a bit dry. So I was especially thankful for the dollops of sour cream and guacamole sitting happily atop. The flautas were not in the least greasy, however, the rice was a tad so. I cannot comment on the beans normally accompanying this plate, since I always eliminate them. My friend had the beef soft tacos, which looked and smelled fabulous, and must have been tasty because she ate every last bite.

While my meal was not exceptional, it was good. El Mirador consistently serves high-quality traditional Mexican food. Their caldos (soups) are outstanding and the only reason I passed on this day was because it was so hot outside. And while one of their fantastic margaritas would have solved this, I still had to go back to work and actually get some things accomplished.

I continue to, and will always, have a great fondness for El Mirador. As I drove away, I thought how it had been too long since I’d seen these two old friends, how I had missed them, and how I was not going to let so much time pass until our next visit.

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Comal County Tacos

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010


The breakfast tacos at Comal County Tacos on Highway 46 in Spring Branch are some of the best I ever tasted in or around San Antonio. Having lived in SA for almost 17 years now and eaten more than my fair share of breakfast tacos, I have done plenty of research and know what I’m talking about.


The place is an absolute dive, an old house on the side of the highway. Inside, there is not much to speak of with the exception of the bright sherbet green and orange walls. But everything is clean. All the ladies working there are so friendly, greeting you with sweet smiles. There is plenty of variety, standards include: barbacoa, picadillo, potato & egg, bacon & egg, chorizo & egg and carne guisada. The prices are incredibly cheap; the portions incredibly generous. On our latest visit, four tacos cost $6.70 and each tortilla (homemade flour, fresh off the stove, perfection) was piled with enough filling to make two tacos. The amount of barbacoa in my Mr.’s one taco would have made three tacos anywhere else.


However, no matter how much food you get for the price, if that food is not any good, you are not going back. We have been back a number of times, to eat in and to take out. The food is always good, always fresh. According to one server, they make over one thousand tacos a day – so nothing sits around. But this last time, the food was exceptionally good, exceptionally fresh. The chorizo & egg, which is my favorite, is never greasy, the eggs always cooked perfectly, not at all rubbery. The barbacoa, which has just the right amount of grease, and the carne guisada both have great flavor.

I cannot recommend Comal County Tacos more enthusiastically. Take a Hill Country drive (the wildflowers are amazing right now) and stop by Comal County Tacos. You will not be disappointed!

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