Archive for the ‘mexican’ Category

Our cooking group had a great time with Mexican Wednesday night.  We had a fun group of about thirteen ladies, and as far as I know, everyone enjoyed the meal.  I tried to tone down the spice quite a bit to accommodate sensitive palates, and aside from a little bit of heat in the tamales it was pretty tame.  Thanks for letting us use your house GB! 

Wednesday morning I took a trip up to Everett to my old neighbor’s Mexican market, Tienda Chapala.  The market started out as just that, a little neighborhood grocery.  Since then, the owners Jose and Lizbeth, have expanded into the two adjoining stores and have turned them into a butcher and tortillaria. 

I purchased the meat from their sweet butcher, despite our inability to understand each others’ language.  We must have looked pretty funny mixing our broken English and Spanish with a sort of weird sign language.  He already had marinade made up and dumped a bunch in the bag of meat, which saved me a lot of time, and meant that my meat would marinate for seven hours!  Man, was it goooood!

After that I headed over to the tortillaria where I got a couple dozen chicken and pork tamales and corn and flour tortillas.  Each were made fresh that morning and were piping hot.  My kids devoured a tamale on the spot, and the employees got a kick out of my little white children gobbling down spicy Mexican fare. 

Here was our menu:

  • Carne asada
  • Pico de gallo
  • Pork and chicken tamales
  • Rice with black beans
  • Shrimp ceviche
  • Fresh corn and flour tortillas
  • Mexican cheesecake with caramel sauce

Here are the recipes we used; enjoy!  We sure did.

Carne Asada 

Carne Asada

2 pounds flank or skirt steak
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed (best to lightly toast the seeds first, then grind them)
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped (great flavor in the stems)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

1 Lay the flank steak in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

2 Preheat your grill over medium-high flame (you can also use a cast iron grill pan on high heat for stove-top cooking). Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Remove the steak from the marinade. If you are cooking indoors, you may want to brush off excess marinade as the bits may burn and smoke on the hot pan. Season both sides of the steak pieces with salt and pepper. Grill the pieces for a few minutes only, on each side, depending on how thin they are, until medium rare to well done, to your preference. You may need to work in batches. Remove the steak pieces to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.
Serves 4-6.

Pico De Gallo Recipe

Fresh Tomato Salsa

  • 2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 jalapeño chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
  • One clove garlic 
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

1 Start with chopping up 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes. Prepare the chilies. Be very careful while handling the hot pepper. If you can, avoid touching them with your hands.  Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. Set aside some of the seeds from the peppers. If the salsa isn’t hot enough, you can add a few for heat.

2 Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies.Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.Makes approximately 3-4 cups.Serve with chips, tortillas, tacos, burritos, tostadas, quesadilla, pinto or black beans.
Shrimp Ceviche
Shrimp Ceviche
1 pound medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp sea salt
3/4 cup lime juice (juice from 4-6 limes)
3/4 cup lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeño chili, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cucumber, peeled diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, peeled, seed removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts of water, salted with 2 Tbsp salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute to 2 minutes max, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.) Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

2 Drain the shrimp. Cut each piece of shrimp in half, or into inch-long pieces. Place shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in the lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

3Mix in the chopped red onion and jalapeño chili. Refrigerate an additional half hour.

4 Right before serving, add the cilantro, cucumber, and avocado.

Serves 4-6.

*Recipes and photos from Simply Recipes


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