Street Food

Tacos Dorado

Tacos Dorado

I have this fantasy that someday I’ll throw a cocktail party. I did that sort of thing when I lived in Chicago, or my previous life, as I think of it. It will have a theme: Street Food. I will serve, my favorite Chat … and Choa Tom and these very tasty Tacos Dorado, as I first had them, in a plastic bag with a bit of shaved cabbage in the bottom, a good drizzle of hot as hell salsa verde and dollop of crema. The tacos get a little mush-crunchy wonderful as they sit in the spicy cream. You chomp off the bottom as they reach that perfect texture and then slurp the salad out of the bag as a palate cleanser. It’s a perfect mess.
Tacos dorado are often stuffed with mashed potatoes , chorizo, or spicy minced pork. But this recipe with requeson is the most unique, and they really don’t need a thing they’re so yummy. Requeson is Mexican ricotta. It’s much drier that Italian style ricotta, so you’ll have to drain the cheese, if you’re not using requeson, by hanging it in cheesecloth above a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. If your cheese is too wet the hot oil will splatter, which is messy and dangerous. Or you can make your own; for the most authentic flavor cook it over a wood fire, the smoke imparts a wonderful earthiness.

mise en place

mise en place

Tacos Dorado de Requeson
2 cups Requeson
1 roma tomato, seeded, finely chopped
1 chili serrano (seeded if you want it less picante)finely minced
Salt to taste
corn tortillas
Vegetable oil

Toothpicks

stuffing the taco

stuffing the taco

It is important to use very fresh tortillas or they break and mess up your oil. Most Latin groceries receive tortillas daily. You can tell they’re fresh when they feel floppy and they will often still be warm. I don’t recommend using day old tortillas.
Mix the cheese with the vegetables and salt. Press a rounded tablespoon of the cheese mixture solidly into the bottom third of the tortilla, roll up and secure with a toothpick(I use huizsache thorns). Place in enough hot oil that the taco is at least half submerged, turn when its light brown. You could also use a deep fryer. I use a wok and fry three at a time. The recipe makes about a dozen tacos.
Pair with a hand-shaken Tesoro Blanco margarita topped with Chichcapa mezcal … yea, I’m fantasizing again. 
Probecho y Salud!

Haba Tacos

Haba Taco

Ok, I’m fudging the authenticity on this a little. We do have fava bean tacos here but they’re made with dry habas…and are usually quesadillas. But I love favas and they’re in season, so I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I didn’t because the tacos were delicious.

Haba Taco Filling
2 lbs favas, cleaned of pods, blanched and peeled
2 Tbles olive oil
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
Sauté the garlic until tender, add the favas and sauté one minute. Add water to barely cover, simmer until tender, varies according to the age of the beans, 5-15mins. Uncover and raise heat to med-high and cook out the fluid, the beans will be soft and creamy, but intact. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
soon to be salsa
I served mine with salsa cruda because I wanted a very light spring flavor. I used my food processor rather than my molcajete because I like the texture, and I char the vegetables for molcajete salsa, technically cook, thus it’s not salsa cruda(raw).
Salsa Cruda
3-4 roma tomates (about two cups)
1-3 serrano chilies
1 clove garlic
1 tbles onion
a handful of cilantro, I like a lot about a ½ cup
process until its juicy but not juice

Salsa Fresa

I chose a bit of queso cincho, as garnish and my hand made corn tortillas, but I think I’ll make flour tortillas next time, or buy machina tortillas(processed corn tortilla) something a little more innocuous that doesn’t compete with the favas.

Probecho!

Tacos!

 

Mushroom Tacos

Mushroom Tacos

I have a friend who’s partial to Taco Johns bean tacos as a hangover cure. When I learned this, many years ago, I thought to myself, why would anyone ever eat a bean taco? It’s amusing to me now because beans and tortillas are the foundation of my diet.

When I moved to Mexico I discovered many authentic non-meat taco fillings.  For the next few weeks I’ll share some of the more interesting veggie taco recipes.  I like this recipe because the salsa is cooked into the filling. It’s very simple, very easy, and very good, indeed.

I’m lifting (though not the exact recipe) this recipe from the Essential Cuisines of México, by Dianna Kennedy because my goes something like…chop up some mushrooms throw’em in a pan with some chilies and tomato… Oh, don’t forget the oil!

 
Tacos de Hongos

The original recipe calls for huitlacoche but any wild or cultivated mushroom could be used.

 

3 Tbles Vegetable oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
2 cups tomatoes finely chopped
3 serrano’s cut into strips with seeds and veins
1 Ib. mushrooms roughly chopped
2 sprigs epazote or parsley (I use cilantro is I don’t have epazote) roughly chopped
Tortillas
Sour cream or,  I add 4 Tbles of heavy cream

 

Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic gently, do not let them brown.

Add tomatoes, chilies, mushrooms and salt. Cook over medium heat uncovered, stirring from time to time,  until the mushrooms are soft and the juices reduced—about 15 minutes.

If you’re using the heavy cream add and cook on high heat for two minutes to reduce the fluids, then toss in the epazote and cook at medium heat for 1 min.  If not using the heavy cream, garnish your tacos with sour cream if you wish.

Fill tortillas of your choice, I recommend corn. You can see I put some Queso de Cincho on mine; it’s a salty cheese that doesn’t melt, its similar to Romano. I don’t recommend a melting cheese because the tacos are really rich and can be unctuous with too much creaminess.

Probecho!

 

 

 

 

Very Simple, Very Easy, Very Authentic

My favorite aqua vendor.

My favorite aqua vendor.

Aguas. Cheap, healthy, easy, simple, authentic and good. Que mas Quieres?
The concept is simple. Blend and strain fruit– strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, Jamaica flowers, or fresh squeezed citrus juice. Add water and simple syrup. Voila. Tasty beverage.
How to make it.
2 cups of fruit blended with enough water that you can pour it through a sieve.
Simmer one cup sugar in one cup water until dissolved. It’s a good idea to add half the syrup and taste, adding more as needed.
Combine both with a liter of water. Chill.
A good aqua is a balance of sweet, tart and it’s refreshingly watery.

Preparing to boil tamarindo pods.

Preparing to boil tamarindo pods.

Here I’m making aqua de tamarindo, which is a little different because you must cook the pods.
I cup tamarindo pods
1 cup simple syrup
I litre water
Break away the shell that comes easily. Cover with water and simmer for 10 mins. Cool and blend. Pour into a strainer and press flesh through.

Tamarindo debris after straining.

Tamarindo debris after straining.

Combine with syrup and water to taste. Chill.
The gringa a version; use sparkling mineral water.
Probecho!

I hope you enjoyed the first installment in my Very Simple, Very Easy, Very Authentic series, a monthly post exploring the Cuisine of rural Morelos