Dec 26

Aztec Soup – Easy and Deliciously Mexican

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Aztec soup, or sopa azteca as it is known in Mexico, is a famous dish. It varies from region to region and different chilies are used in different versions of this tasty dish. This tomato-based Mexican food recipe is richly flavored with garlic and onions and the avocado, tortilla chips and chicken add even more delicious taste.

This is one of the best and most authentic Mexican food recipes and it is believed that Aztec soup was invented to use up stale tortillas, since some versions of the dish use tortillas rather than tortilla chips.

An Economical Soup

Soups are a great way to stretch ingredients as far as they can go and this is a very satisfying soup which tastes every bit as wonderful as it smells. You can serve sopa Azteca as an appetizer or as an entree, depending on portion size.

This soup is found throughout Mexico, at everywhere from top class restaurants right down to basic street food stands. Soup is economical not only because most soups are water-based but because you can make a lot of different soup recipes in bulk and freeze it. You can also add your own touches to homemade soup recipes.

How to Make Sopa Azteca

This delicious blend of Mexican staples is not difficult to make and the following recipe makes enough for six people. If you do not have Asadero cheese, use mild cheddar, Monterey Jack or anything that melts well.

What you will need:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Flesh from 1 avocado, in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups tortilla chips, broken
  • 1 1/2 cups Asadero cheese
  • 1 thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 toasted, dried pasilla chili pepper, no stem or seeds
  • 1 lime, in 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 lbs grilled chicken breasts, in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt

How to make it:Add the chili and tomatoes in juice to the blender and blend until everything is well combined. Heat the oil in a soup pot over a moderately high heat and saute the garlic with the onion until golden, stirring it frequently. This will take 5 to 10 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat and scoop out the garlic and onion with a slotted spoon. Squash them against the side of the pan to squeeze out as much oil as you can. Put the garlic and onions in the blender with the tomatoes and process until the mixture is smooth.

Pour this mixture back into the pot and cook for 8 minutes, stirring all the time. You are aiming for a thick consistency. Add the chicken broth and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Add some or all of the salt.

Add the chicken to the soup a couple of minutes before serving it. Divide the tortilla chips, cheese and avocado between 6 serving bowls, then spoon the soup on top. Garnish with some sour cream and serve with the lime wedges on the side.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 21

How To Make Mexican Mixiotes

Mexican Mixiotes

Mexican Mixiotes

Mixiotes are wonderful to eat and if you enjoy traditional Mexican foods you will love them. The word “mixiote” refers both to a meat stew and to the wrapping used to contain each stew. This wrapping is made from the outer layer of a maguey leaf.

If you cannot buy these leaves from a Latin food store you can use “papel para mixiotes” which are plastic baggies. If you use those to steam your bundles, wrap each one in foil before you steam them.

Making these mouthwatering treats is easier than it sounds. They taste so good that you will want to make a lot. They freeze well too. You can use beef, lamb, or chicken for them.

The following recipe calls for mixiote leaves but you can use plastic baggies and aluminum foil for the same results. You will also need avocado leaves and you can get these wherever you buy your fresh chili peppers. These delicious little bundles make a fantastic dinner and because this is one of the most authentic Mexican food recipes it is also nice to serve at a dinner party. These little treats will certainly be a conversation starter.

Mexican Mixiotes

What You Need:

  • 12 mixiote halves or 12 plastic baggies and 12 foil squares
  • 12 halved chicken breasts or 12 chicken thighs
  • 4 finely chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 oz achiote paste
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice or 3/4 cup regular orange juice with 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 6 stemmed, de-seeded guajillo chilies
  • 6 stemmed, de-seeded ancho chilies
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 roasted, peeled, chopped tomato
  • 6 sliced carrots
  • 12 new potatoes in 1 inch cubes
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 12 dried avocado leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme, and marjoram

How To Make Them:

Salt and pepper the chicken and prick the pieces with a fork in several places. Puree the orange juice with the garlic, spices and achiote paste and transfer the mixture into a bowl.

Put the chicken pieces in this marinade. Put the chilies in a pot with the water and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer them for twenty minutes, covered. Puree them in a blender with the tomato, onion, and salt. Strain them into the pan and simmer the mixture for ten minutes.

Soak the mixiotes for ten minutes or until they are pliable, then put an avocado leaf in each one, as well as a piece of marinated chicken, some potatoes, and carrots and some sauce. Tie the packages with string. If you are using plastic baggies, wrap each one in aluminum foil and seal them well.

Fill a pot with water and put the mixiotes on a rack or tamale steamer. Cover the pot and steam the bundles for an hour and a half or two hours. Chicken thighs take longer than chicken breasts. Remove the aluminum foil and put each mixiote in a bowl. Each person unwraps their own and lets the liquid flow into their bowl with the meat. Serve tortillas and sliced avocado on the side.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 20

Chilaquiles – A Traditional Mexican Food

Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

So, what are chilaquiles exactly? They are a classic dish from Mexico, usually made with corn tortillas, which are stir-fried with spices and chicken and served with cheese. In the Sinaloa region of Mexico, a white sauce is served over them. Fried or scrambled eggs are sometimes used in the recipe. Red or green salsa or mole sauce is sometimes poured over them and that would make a dish called “totopos.”

This classic weekend breakfast dish is also great for lunch or dinner. Making these is a good way to use up leftover salsa and tortillas. You can enjoy them for breakfast after a night out if you fancy something warming and tasty. Serve it with sour cream and perhaps some refried beans on the side. The name comes from “chil-a-quilitl” which is a Nahuatl word meaning green vegetables or herbs in a chili broth.

Printed recipes for this tasty meal date back to 1898 and there was a Spanish recipe cookbook printed in the United States at this time. There was a recipe in this book for regular chilaquiles and one for the same dish but made with dry shrimp.

Chilaquiles and Migas

Do not confuse these two dishes. Migas is a Tex-Mex dish, which uses tortilla strips or tortilla chips. It is kept simmering in pots in Guadalajara all day and becomes thick like polenta.

Not Just A Hangover Cure

Although this snack does have the reputation of being a hangover cure, they make wonderful food for any occasion. Mexicans used to believe that spices were beneficial for hangover sufferers so most spicy dishes in Mexico are called hangover cures!

In Mexico, they can be made with pork or chicken, although there are vegetarian versions too. The following recipe serves six moderately hungry people or four very hungry ones.

What You Need:

  • 4 cups grated Jack or Chihuahua cheese
  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked, cubed, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 7 oz chopped canned green chilies

How To Make Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tortillas into strips an inch thick. Fry them in the oil until they are crisp, and then drain them on paper towels. Mix the sour cream with the enchilada sauce in a pan and heat it up. Layer the tortilla strips with the chicken, chilies, Jack or Chihuahua cheese and sauce in a nine by thirteen inch dish, then repeat these layers.

Top it with a layer of tortilla strips, then a layer of sauce and plenty of cheese. Bake for twenty five minutes or until the chilaquiles are bubbling and the cheese has melted. Garnish each serving with some sour cream.

If you enjoy authentic Mexican food recipes, there is no reason why Mexican food has to be limited to dinner time. If you want to make something warm and tasty for breakfast, try the above recipe. It will take about forty five minutes to make, including the cooking time.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 12

Tasty Mexican Churros

Churros

Churros

Churros are a popular treat in Mexico and are sometimes called a Spanish doughnut. These fried strips of dough are crisp and sweet, thanks to their coating of cinnamon sugar. In the United States, you can often get churros at the local county fairs. They are the perfect portable snack. The first time you taste a churro you should remember it. It should be crisp and light. There are many different recipes for this tasty treat, but this one is pretty authentic. When you make them at home, use the star tip on your pastry bag to get the authentic shape to these delicious desserts.

Churros can be purchased from street vendors in Mexico and make an excellent afternoon pick-me-up. Churros can be eaten as is or filled with cream. The filling can be dulce de leche, vanilla or chocolate. It is said that the unique shape of the churro is supposed to resemble the horns of the churro sheep, a breed that is unique. It is descended from the Churra, an ancient breed from the Iberian peninsula in Europe. The Spanish brought them to the New World, where they became part of the native culture, providing wool and meat.

Churros are often eaten with coffee or hot chocolate in the morning or enjoyed as an afternoon snack. You can find then in straight strips, as well as twisted into rounds or pretzel shapes. Do not worry about the shape yours ends up in… it is perfectly okay for them to be curved or curly. The ideal churro should be moist and light on the interior with a delicate, crisp exterior. When you make them, be sure the oil is hot enough so they do not get greasy, but not too hot so they cook all the way through. While churros are good at any temperature, once you have eaten them warm and fresh from cooking, you will want them that way every time you eat them. Once you have had real churros, nothing else will do. By making your own, you are sure to get excellent churros every time.

Recipe for Mexican Churros

These crispy treats can be eaten on the go.

What You Need

  • 1 cup water
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts frying oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to Make It

Mix the water, 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then remove it from the heat. Stir in the flour and mix until the dough forms a ball.

Heat the oil for frying in a deep skillet or deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Using a pastry bag, pipe strips of dough into the oil. Fry the dough until golden brown. Remove them and drain on paper towels.

Mix the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll the churros in the mixture to coat well.

Makes 4.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 12

Using Cinnamon In Mexican Desserts

Cinnamon

Cinnamon (Chocolate Chili Brownies Recipe Below)

Reddish brown in color and pungent yet sweet in flavor, cinnamon is a rather popular spice that warms the taste buds and adds an incredible amount of interest to even the most ordinary of dishes.

Although the aroma of cinnamon usually invokes visions of hot apple cider or freshly baked cinnamon buns, the spice can be used in a variety of interesting Mexican themed recipes including those for delicious desserts.

Cinnamon is often used in many different types of Mexican cuisine along with a selection of other flavorful spices and regularly appears in recipes for berbere, garam masala, and moles. Some of the other spices and flavors that pair perfectly with cinnamon include allspice, black or red pepper, cardamom, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla.

One of the oldest known spices, cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the evergreen tree genus Cinnamomum. The bark is stripped, dried in the sun and curls into the familiar, curled shapes known as quills. Cinnamon can then be ground into powder form and used in all types of dishes including sweet desserts.

Different types of cinnamon are popular in various regions of the world. Cinnamomum burmannii, which is imported mostly from Indonesia, holds the distinction of being the most widely used type in the US. Saigon cinnamon, or Cinnamomum loureirii, is known as the finest type of the spice available while the uniquely flavored Cinnamomum zeylanicum imported from Sri Lanka is the cinnamon of choice throughout Europe.

In addition to its great taste, we now know that cinnamon offers health benefits as only recently it was discovered that the spice may play a role in lowering cholesterol and helping to curb diabetes.

Chocolate Chili Brownies Recipe

What You Need

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons mild flavored chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a double boiler or the microwave, melt the unsweetened chocolate with half of the butter then allow it to cool.

While the chocolate is cooling, cream the other stick of butter with the sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer on low speed. Increase the speed gradually while adding in the chili powder and cinnamon. Add the eggs individually mixing well after each one.

Grease and lightly flour the bottom and the sides of a 13 x 9 inch glass pan.

Add the cooled chocolate to the mixing bowl and blend well.

Combine the salt with the flour then add into the mixture. Mix on low speed until the batter is just blended together.

Stir the chopped walnuts then pour into the glass pan.

Bake the chocolate chili brownies for 25 minutes or until the center of a plastic knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

Top each brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream just before serving if desired.

Serves 6.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 09

4 Recipe Ideas for Mexican Dips

guacamole and queso with tortilla chipsMexican dips are a great idea if you are looking for inspiration for a buffet or dinner party. They can be quick and easy to prepare and most chilled ones just involve combining ingredients.

If you are looking for something exciting, what about making a layered one or something hot? Here are four great, tried, and tested recipes to get your mouth watering.

Brilliant Baked Two Cheese Dip

You can use any kind of cheese you want for this one, as well as your favorite type of salsa. Use regular oregano if you cannot find Mexican oregano. First preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend a pound of sour cream with half a pound of cream cheese until the mixture is smooth. Stir in an ounce of taco seasoning powder, a teaspoon of crushed, dried Mexican oregano and a cup of salsa. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a nine by thirteen inch baking dish and top with slices of Pepper Jack cheese. Bake the dip until the cheese melts over it; this will take about ten minutes.

Lovely Layered Bean Dipping Sauce

Stir a tablespoon of taco seasoning mix with a can of refried beans and spread this mixture over the bottom of a nine inch pie plate or an eight inch square glass dish. Spread eight ounces of sour cream over the refried beans and then spread a cup of picante sauce or salsa over that.

Next, add a layer of shredded lettuce (you will need about a cup), half a cup of diced tomatoes, a cup of shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican cheese and finally quarter of a cup of green or black pitted olives. Try to keep the layers neat. The whole point of using a glass dish is so that you will be able to see the different layers.

Chill this layered recipe for a couple of hours and then serve it with corn chips or tortilla chips. Any leftovers of this will make a great burrito filling the next day.

Special Spinach And Cheese Dip

This is another warm one, so you will need to preheat the oven to 400 degrees F to make it. Thaw ten ounces of spinach and drain it well, squeezing it to get all the water out. Combine the spinach with a sixteen ounce jar of salsa, two cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a cup of evaporated milk, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar in a glass baking dish.

Stir in a couple ounces of pitted black olives and eight ounces of softened cream cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Bake the dip for about twelve minutes or until it is bubbly, then serve it with tortilla chips.

Quick And Easy Cilantro Sauce

This is not one of the authentic Mexican food recipes but it is delicious and well worth making. Process eight ounces of softened cream cheese, two ten-ounce cans of Mexican style diced tomatoes, a cup of sour cream, three minced garlic cloves and two cups of fresh cilantro leaves in a food processor until well combined.

You can serve this dip as it is or garnish it with a sprig of fresh cilantro. This dip is great with everything from tortilla chips to raw vegetables. It is also nice spread over chicken burgers or served with fish.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 07

Mole Negro Recipe For A Special Occasion

Mole Negro

Mole Negro

There are lots of types of mole, a famous Mexican sauce, but this one is especially rich in flavor. Mole negro takes a long time to cook and you will need a number of different ingredients, many of which are only available from Mexican food stores or online.

If you want to make something extra special, consider making this mole negro recipe and serving it with chicken or turkey. Do not switch the chilies in this recipe for others because the finished sauce will not have the correct flavor.

What You Need:

  • 2 shredded flour tortillas
  • 2 oz chihuacle negro chilies
  • 1/2 sliced onion
  • 2 oz pasilla chilies
  • 5 1/2 oz mulato chilies
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 4 oz chopped tomatilloes
  • 8 chopped plum tomatoes
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup each almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves (not peeled)
  • Oil or lard, as required
  • 1 pasilla de Oaxaca chili or a dried chipotle meco chili
  • 3 oz Mexican chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 slices toasted bread
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 ripe banana
  • White sugar and salt, as required

How To Make It:

De-seed the chilies and keep the seeds. Fry the seeds and tortilla in a pan over a high heat until they are black, then rinse them under water until the water is clear. Put them in the blender and clean the pan. Add the toast to the blender.

Saute the garlic and onions over a high heat and remove the garlic flesh. Roast the nuts in a 350 degrees F oven until they are fragrant. Heat half an inch of oil or lard to the pan and heat it up. Fry the chilies in batches, and then remove them to paper towels to drain when they lighten. Do not let them burn.

Put the chilies in a bowl and cover them in boiling water. Let them soak for half an hour, then drain them. Put all except quarter of a cup of the toasted sesame seeds in the blender. Add two cups of the stock and puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, tomatillos, and quarter of a cup of stock to the blender and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Grind the cinnamon and cloves and add them to the blender.

Add the garlic, onion, thyme, oregano, banana, and quarter of a cup of stock and puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Puree the chilies in a couple of batches in a blender, each batch with two cups of the stock, and transfer to a bowl.

Heat three tablespoons of oil or lard in a big pot, and then add the tomato and tomatillo mixture, stirring all the time and cooking until it is thick. Add the chili mixture and turn the heat down low.

Let it cook until it is thick and dark, stirring it every few minutes. Add the nut mixture and repeat, then add the banana mixture and repeat. Add the chili mixture and repeat.

Add the chocolate and remaining stock, mixing well, then pour everything into a crockpot and cook on low for five or six hours. You could cook it on the stove but be careful about the nuts falling to the bottom and burning because then you will have to start the recipe all over again!

Taste the mole and add salt or sugar if necessary. Strain it and then serve it over cooked chicken or turkey. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted sesame seeds over the top and serve immediately.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 07

Japanese Mexican Recipes – The New Fusion Trend

Crispy tuna taco with tomatillo and avocado salsa with pickled jalapeno

Crispy tuna taco with tomatillo and avocado salsa with pickled jalapeno

You might not think that Mexican food recipes and Japanese ones have much in common but it is amazing how well these two cuisines can be combined. Asian Mexican fusion food has recently become to get popular, in parts of Mexico and also in the United States and Europe.

There are various misconceptions about both Mexican food recipes and Japanese dishes. For example, many people assume that Japanese cuisine is nothing but raw fish. Actually beef, chicken, tofu, and other proteins are widely used in this cuisine.

People might think that food from Mexico has to feature hot chilies, tortillas, and cheese but that is not true either. Mexican food can be spicy or it can be mild. Cheese is a component in some dishes but is not essential in all of them and tortillas are popular but not universal and certainly not used in every recipe.

Fusion Food Ideas

If you like sushi rolls, what about trying a Mexican style sushi roll? Imagine chilled salmon or tuna, corn, avocado and queso fresco (or queso blanco) wrapped in Hierba Santa (an herb from Mexico that tastes like aniseed) instead of seaweed, or chocolate with a ginger wasabi sauce. Chocolate with chili is amazing and chocolate with wasabi is just as good.

You can combine ingredients like coconut milk, cilantro, mango and pineapple or chili, mint, green apple and marinated with your fish to make exciting appetizers or entrees. Vegetarians can enjoy tofu or vegetable dishes and meat lovers can enjoy yakitori or teriyaki beef served with a Mexican salad on the side.

How To Make Fusion Fish Tacos

The Guacamole:

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 halved, pitted, peeled avocados
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1 minced, de-seeded jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 5 leaves each basil and mint
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix all the guacamole ingredients except the tomato, salt and pepper together until everything is well combined and you are happy with the texture. You can make it chunky or smooth. Stir in the tomato and add the salt and pepper to taste. Add some hot pepper too if you like.

If you keep the pit from one of the avocados you can put it in the container with the guacamole; this keeps it fresh. Make the guacamole before you make the fish tacos, then you can chill it until you need it.

The Tacos:

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tilapia filets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

You can use any kind of fish for this. Cod or red snapper is fine if you do not have tilapia. Cut the fish fillets into one inch strips and put them in a plastic bag with the spices.

Give the bag a good shake until the fish is coated. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the fish for a minute or until it is done. Arrange the hot fish on the tortillas with the guacamole. You can add any other condiments you like to your tacos.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

How To Make Mexican Lamb Stew

stewMexicans enjoy cooking lamb or chicken over the barbacoa (fire pit) during the main holidays and lamb is also used in some other traditional Mexican recipes. You can use it in place of beef or chicken to make tacos or fajitas, perhaps substituting the cilantro for fresh mint, since lamb and mint are so good together.

This meat also cooks well in crockpot recipes so, if you fancy making something in the slow cooker, choose an economical cut and then slow cook it in there with your other favorite Mexican ingredients until it is tender and delicious.

Lamb is versatile and there are also plenty of different cuts to choose from, including big ones like the leg or shoulder, medium cuts like the neck fillet or smaller ones like individual cutlets and chops.

You do not have to construct a fire pit and roast a whole sheep, like some Mexicans do during the holiday season but, if you enjoy the flavor of this meat, using the neck fillet to make a stew will show you just how good it is when combined with typical south of the border ingredients.

If you want to use this ingredient to make your own Mexican food, why not try the following recipe? It is not difficult to follow and the resulting meal will feed six people. You can either serve it as a complete meal or serve tortillas on the side. Why not mix it up a bit by serving French fries or your favorite rice or potato side dish?

What You Need:

  • 2 lbs lamb neck fillet
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 14 1/2 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 5 oz white wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 lbs canned cannellini beans or black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons mango chutney
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, seasoned with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, to serve
  • 6 portions cooked rice, to serve
  • Fresh mint or cilantro, for garnish

How To Make It:

Remove the excess fat from the meat, and then chop it into big cubes. Heat a big, heavy pan and brown the lamb in batches. Transfer it to a plate. Turn the heat down, then add the oil, onion, and garlic to the pan, and saute for three minutes.

Add the cumin, coriander, and flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine and return the lamb to the pan. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Season to taste, then cover and cook for one and a half to two hours.

Stir in the mango chutney and beans ten minutes before the end of the cooking time. Serve this Mexican stew recipe with the seasoned yogurt and garnished with fresh herb sprigs.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 06

Mexican Hot Chocolate & Champurrados

Tasty churros and hot chocolate

Tasty churros and hot chocolate

We are surrounded by chocolate. It is in candy bars of course, cakes, and other baked goods. Then there are the little hints of chocolate in other things, like lip gloss, perfume, even a men’s body spray. Now it is beginning to appear in savory combinations. This should not come as any surprise. Mexican cooks have been making Mole Poblano for centuries.

Chocolate, spelled the same in English and Spanish, was after all the Food of the Gods in Aztec culture. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, it was known as Xocalatl, meaning “Bitter Water.” This was made by boiling together fermented, roasted then pulverized cocoa beans, chili peppers, vanilla, and achiote (a seed that yields annato, a colorant used in food and giving a slightly bitter tang to food).

Cortez came to the new world in search of gold. He returned gold, silver and slaves to his queen. He also returned the “Food of the Gods,” chocolate.

Europeans never developed a taste for the Bitter Water. Instead, they modified and adjusted it to fit their tastes. Water was replaced with milk, achiote and chilies were replaced with sugar. In Spain, they added just a pinch of cinnamon.

Traditional Mexican Chocolate can be found in the local grocery stores. Abuelita is one brand. It comes in a seven sided yellow and red box with a picture of someone’s sweet grandmother (Abuela) on the front. The disks inside are the same shape as the box. and are scored seven wedges

To recreate the modern Mexican version of food of the gods, you will need:

Mexican Hot Chocolate

What You Need:

  • Four cups of milk
  • one whole disk of Abuelita Chocolate

How to Make It:

Grate the chocolate over the milk. Heat on low until it is almost to the boiling point.

With a wire whisk or a Molinillo (a special implement invented by a Spaniard in the late 1700s). Before the invention of the Molinillo, chocolate was frothed by pouring from cup to cup. The Molinillo is made from turned wood, and fits down inside a container, such as a chocolate pot, and is rubbed back and forth between the palms the chocolate develops a meaningful froth.

If you want something a little more substantial than just hot chocolate, why not try Champurrados?

Champurrados are a hot beverage, but they have a little more “body” to them. You will need:

Champurrados

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup masa
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tablets of Abuelita Chocolate, grated or roughly chopped.

How to Make It:

In a large saucepan, combine the water and mama, adding the water gradually and working out the lumps. Add the milk and the grated chocolate. Heat over medium heat until it reaches the boiling point, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for another one to three minutes, or until it has reached the desired thickness.

When you pour it into the cups, serve with a cinnamon stick to stir.

 

Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.org/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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