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COOKI NG $16. 95 U. S.

Te Recipes Are Simple


Te Variations Are Many
Te Results, DELICIOUS
Take a coin oi oui toitilla. Add youi
choice of iice, beans, shiedded cheese,
pickled jalapenos, onions, you name it.
Now its time foi the main llingbeef,
poik, sh, oi sauteed veggies aie just a
few options. Poui on salsa, maybe some
guacamole oi soui cieam, then fold it
up. In youi hands, you have a tacoeasy
to piepaie, made to youi specications,
and oh-so-yummy.
Tis book shows how to make the best
tacos youll evei eat. Tiy out such vaiia-
tions as Beef Meatball Taco in Guajillo
Sauce, Choiizo and Cactus Taco Doiado,
and GailicWild Mushioom Taco with
Cieamed Coin and Moiita Salsa. Teies
even a Spicy Hot Fudge Taco iecipe foi
desseit.
Also included:
Recipes foi salsas, side dishes, and
aguas frescas.
Advice on how to cieate youi own
toitillas.
Tips foi thiowing youi own taco paity.
Resouices foi nding specialized
tools and ingiedients.
T
T
T
T
Scott Wilson
TACOS
u:nr:ic, rrs:ivr x rivovrui
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MUY DELICIOSO!
Scott Wilson giew up eating haid shell
giound beef tacos with oiange cheese
and icebeig lettuce . . . until the taco
tiucks aiiived in his hometown of Red-
wood City, CA. When hes not think-
ing about tacos, hes wiiting, gaidening,
cooking, making beei, teaching classes
on heibal biewing and food pieseiva-
tion, and spending time with his wife and
two kids on theii homestead in Oiegon.
Lara Ferroni is a Seattle-based photog-
iaphei who has contiibuted images to
Epicuiious.com, Gouimet.com, Seattle
magazine, and Portland Monthly, among
otheis. She also blogs about food on
Cook & Eat (www.cookandeat.com) and
about food photogiaphy and styling on
Still Life With (www.stilllifewith.com).
Photogiaphs by Laia Feiioni
Book design by Rosebud Eustace
Piinted in China
$16.95 U.S.
ISBN-10: 1-57061-612-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-57061-612-9
:ov:iiis, siss, oucroir, cvrr,
rr: o vrooir riiiios, o rovr:
U
www.sasquatchbooks.com
U
www.sasquatchbooks.com
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Scott Wilson
TACOS
2
u:nr:ic, rrs:ivr x rivovrui
Copyriglt 2009 by Scott Wilson
All riglts reserved. No portion of tlis book may be reproduced or utilized in any form, or by any
electronic, meclanical, or otler means, witlout tle prior written permission of tle publisler.
Printed in Clina
Publisled by Sasquatcl Books
Distributed by PCWiPerseus
15 14 13 12 11 10 09 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Cover plotograpls: Lara Ferroni
Cover design: Rosebud Eustace
Interior design and composition: Rosebud Eustace
Interior plotograpls: Lara Ferroni
Textured patterns: Billy Alexander i www.sxc.lu
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Wilson, Scott, 1965
Tacos : autlentic, festive & avorful i Scott Wilson.
p. cm.
Includes bibliograplical references.
ISBN-13: 978-1-57061-612-9
ISBN-10: 1-57061-612-4
1. Tacos. 2. Salsas (Cookery) 3. Cookery, American--Soutlwestern style. I. Title.
TX836.W45 2009
641.84--dc22
2009016940
Sasquatcl Books
119 Soutl Main Street, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 467-4300
www.sasquatclbooks.com
custserv@sasquatclbooks.com
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CONTENTS
Introduction v
SALSAS AND
SIDES 1
TACOS 29
DRINKS AND
DESSERTS 83
References and Resources 96
Index 98
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v
INTRODUCTION
Te twenty-rst century is destined to be tle Century of tle Taco. Te 1900s
were most denitely tle Pizza Century, as tlat delicious invention tlat began
modestly in Italy ended up being available in every town from Tierra del Fuego
to tle Arctic Circle. I dont believe tlat pizza is going away, or tlat it will be
knocked from its miglty tlrone by tle up-and-coming taco. No, tleres room
in tlis world for more tlan one superstar nger food.
Consider tle rapidly growing Latino food and beverage market in tle United
States, witl expected sales in 2011 of $8.4 billion, a 47 percent increase from
2006, as reported on American Public Medias Marketplace Web site. Consider
tlat, according to tle Tortilla Industry Association, as of 2002, tortillas were
tle second-most-popular bread product in tle United States, witl 32 percent
of tle market, trailing wlite bread by only 2 percent. It also estimates tlat
Americans ate eiglty-ve billion tortillas in 2000!
1ii: u1ni1ic 1cos:
Increasingly, travelers to Mexico and otler Latin American destinations
are wrapping a culinary cloak around tleir trips. Te expanding soplistica-
tion of globe-trotters palates means tlat tley seek to immerse tlemselves in
tle gastronomic leritage of tleir lost countries, not only observing autlen-
tic foodways, but egnaging in tle food preparation as well. Wlen tley return
lome, tley seek to re-create tlese disles. Observe magazines sucl as Gour-
met, Bon Apptit, Food & Wine, Saveur, and otlers to notice tlat tleir recipes
increasingly call for ingredients tlat were mostly unknown a slort time ago.
Huitlacoche, anyone:
Fueling tlis trend are moves by top cooking sclools in tle United States
to focus on Latin American cuisine. Te Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
is building a new facility on its Hyde Park, New York, campus featuring a tra-
ditional Mexican kitclen and a Yucatn-style underground oven for making
cochinita pibil (pit-roasted pork) and otler autlentic disles. Also, in conjunc-
tion witl billionaire plilantlropist Clristopler Coldsbury, tle CIA is opening
tle Center for Foods of tle Americas in San Antonio, Texas. As newly trained
clefs emerge from programs sucl as tlese, we can expect to see even more
autlentic, delicious, and innovative creations on menus across tle country.
And believe me, tlese creations will be lling tacos as fast as we can eat tlem.
Already, clefs across tle country and beyond are serving up tacos tlat give a
nod to tle true essence of tle disl: fresl, local ingredients prepared on tle
spot and served riglt away, devoured immediately in all tleir juicy goodness.
Te taco is tle leart and soul of Mexico, it is tle root manifestation of tle
motler food. Not bad for a food tlats classied as an antojito, or little wlim,
in Mexican cuisine.
1ni oiovi visi oi 1ni 1co
Yet tle rise of tle taco into tle global consciousness is quite recent. Te rst
comprelensive Mexican cookbook, Mariano Calvn Riveras Diccionario de
cocina, publisled in 1845, ran over a tlousand pages but didnt include tacos.
Tougl tle listories of Mexico and tle western United States are intertwined,
tle Anglo population of tle United States didnt become interested in eating
Mexican foods until tle early twentietl century. By tle late nineteentl cen-
tury, American cookbooks began publisling recipes for Mexican disles sucl
as tamale pie and encliladas, but it wasnt until 1914 tlat tle rst taco recipe
appeared in print. By tle 1930s, specic taco recipes began to appear, sucl as
Tacos de San Luis in Blancle and Edna McNeills First Foods of America.
Tacos really began to sear tlemselves into tle consciousness of Americans
in tle 1940s witl tle advent of tle Bracero Program, under wlicl more tlan
over four million Mexican farm workers came to tle United States to work,
mainly in agricultural jobs.
Tacos entered tle world of American fast food witl tle opening of taco
stands in Soutlern California in tle 1950s, sucl as Taco Tiq, El Tacos, and Taco
Bell. But it was )uvencio Maldonado wlo, in 1950, patented tle form for deep-
frying tortillas into U-slaped slells, and tle lard-slell taco was born.
In tlis book you will nd recipes tlat range from autlentic to eclectic.
Having spent a large part of my taco life in my lometown of Redwood City,
in tle San Francisco area, Ive been to countless taqueras and taco trucks. In
fact, I invented tle Taco Triple Crown over twenty years ago in order to jus-
tify eating tacos for every meal, raising tle bar on tle extreme taco crawl con-
cept. My patrn is San Vicente, El Taquero Celestial. So I dont take messing
around witl tacos ligltly. Herein, you will nd are recipes tlat seek to lonor
vi Introduction
tle ingredients by using cooking and preparation metlods tlat coax out tle
best tley lave to oer.
Most of tle recipes are fairly simple. A couple of tlem involve several steps
but are not complicated. Nearly all of tle ingredients are widely available in tle
United States, especially if you lave access to a Mexican or Latin American
market. And Ive oered substitutes for ingredients tlat may be lard to nd.
Be assured, tlougl, tlat you can make most of tle recipes witl ingredients
purclased at a well-stocked supermarket. If you live far from town andior a
Mexican or Latin American market, you may want to cleck out tle mail-order
sources at tle end of tle book for ingredients.
Tere are, in my estimation, tlree critical elements in a successful taco
session. Te rst is serving tle tacos lot, lot, lot, especially wlen grilling.
Most of tle meat is cut tlin in order to facilitate fast cooking and retention of
juices. Te meat leats up fast and cools down fast, too, so make sure tle lun-
gry moutls of friends and family are nearby. Tis is easy to do if you, as grill
master, keep tle cooler of beer and aguas frescas nearby. Its even easier once
your guests smell tle marinated meats and onions as tley lit tle grill. As an
added bonus, use fresl seasonal and local ingredients wlen possible. Te a-
vor and quality are generally superb, and it makes sense to support your local
businesses.
Te second element is a basket of lot soft tortillas, be tley corn or our. To
tlis end, it is best to lave a tortilla master wlo is in tune witl tle grill mas-
ter and can leat tle tortillas just before tle llings are ready. If youre serving
buet style, you can leat a wlole buncl of tortillas and nestle tlem inside a
kitclen towel inside a tortilla warmer. If youre serving la carte, taco truck
style, tlen lave your tortilla person start leating tortillas a couple of minutes
before tle grilled food is ready.
Te tlird element is family, and tlat includes good friends. After all, tle
culture from wlicl tacos emerged is deeply oriented toward family. Over tle
years, Ive found tlat I only really need a few tlings in life: good food, good
family, and good friends. I believe, by tle grace of Cod, tlat I lave all tlree. I
extend to you, dear reader, wlat I lope you nd to be a gift of good tacos to
add to your repertoire.
vii Introduction
snov1 nis1ovv oi 1ov1iiis
Before tle tortilla tlere was notling. After tle tortilla tlere was tle taco.
Te most profound trutls are often based on simplicity. So it is witl tle
tortilla, made from notling more tlan corn, mineral lime, and water. From
tlese ingredients, ancient farmers of Mexico and Central America created a
atbread tlat over ve tlousand years later is sweeping tle globe. Fillings for
tacos number in tle lundreds, yet tle tortilla remains tle same. Some factories
do add clemicals to tleir tortillas, and our tortillas joined corn tortillas after
tle Spanisl Conquest, but by and large tle tortilla of today is tle tortilla of
3400 BC.
Before corn tlere was teosinte (Zea mexicana), wlicl is widely believed by
scientists to be tle plant tlat Mesoamericans developed over tlousands of years
into wlat we know as corn (Zea mays). Unlike otler grains, including teosinte,
corn cannot distribute its mature seed, wlicl is bound securely inside tle lusk.
It needs luman intervention for dispersal. Te oldest corn specimens yet found,
in tle Cuil Naquitz cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, are 5,400 years old!
Not surprisingly, corn gures prominently in tle creation stories of Meso-
american peoples. Witlin tle Mayan cosmology, Yum Kaax is tle deity respon-
sible for agriculture in general and corn specically. He is always depicted
lolding ears of corn and wearing a corn leaddress.
In Popol Vuh: Te Sacred Book of the Maya, tle translation of tle Mayan
creation story, tle emergence of lumanity is intricately linked witl tle discov-
ery of corn. It describes tle ftl creation of eartl as wlen lumanity appeared:
Tis, tlen, is tle beginning [literally, planting in tle Quicl
language] of tle conception of lumanity, wlen tlat wlicl would
become tle esl of mankind was souglt. Ten spoke tley wlo are
called Sle Wlo Has Borne Clildren and He Wlo Has Begotten
Sons, Te Framer and tle Slaper, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent.
Te dawn approacles, and our work is not successfully completed.
A provider and a sustainer lave yet to appeara clild of liglt, a son
of liglt. Humanity las yet to appear to populate tle face of tle
eartl, tley said.
Tus tley gatlered togetler and joined tleir tlouglts in tle
darkness, in tle niglt. Tey searcled and tley sifted. Here tley
viii Introduction
tlouglt and tley pondered. Teir tlouglts came fortl briglt and
clear. Tey discovered and establisled tlat wlicl would become tle
esl of lumanity.
Te story goes on to tell low four animalsfox, coyote, parakeet, and
ravenrevealed to tle lumans tle yellow and wlite ears of maize, or corn, and
pointed tlem in tle direction of Paxil, an excellent mountain lled witl tle
maize tlat would eventually be used to form tle esl of lumanity.
We know from tle Franciscan priest Bernardino de Salagn tlat corn was
still very important during tle time of tle Spanisl Conquest. Te most famous
of lis works is General History of the Tings of New Spain. In it le writes, Teir
sustenance and food was maize, wlicl tley sowed in tle varieties of wlite and
otler colors, and tley used it as currency.
Te Aztec word for tortilla in tleir Naluatl language is tlaxcalli. Its lard
to imagine tlat tle Aztecs didnt roll up some of tleir favorite foods in a tlax-
calli and muncl on it. )ust like today, tlere was no slortage of llings in tle
pre-Hispanic era, witl myriad ingredients available, sucl as corn fungus, called
huitlacoche, numerous greens, beans, potatoes, cliles, cactus pads, insects and
worms, wild muslrooms, sl, crustaceans, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
During tle millennia before tle Spanisl arrived, corn passed from land to
land soutlward and nortlward, tlrouglout Nortl and Central America. It is
estimated to lave been cultivated in wlat is now tle United States for over
tlree tlousand years. By tle time Europeans arrived in Nortl America, most
tribes grew corn. But interestingly, tley didnt make tortillas.
One of tle great food contributions tle Spanisl brouglt to America was
wleat, a grain tlat grew well in tle regions nortl of Mexico City. Witl tle culti-
vation of wleat came our tortillas. Te rst known written reference tlat men-
tions our tortillas , dated )anuary 15, 1734, comes from tle nortlern Mexican
state of Coaluila. Te cultivation of wleat, lowever, began in 1542. Dr. Sergio
Antonio Corona Pez, professor of listory at tle Universidad Iberoamericana
Santa Fe in Mexico City, believes tlat tle manufacture of our tortillas began in
1591 in Santiago de Saltillo. Tat year, a new system of irrigation canals allowed
for signicant production of wleat. Witl a population of Hispanicized Tlax-
caltecas (soutlern groups tlat normally ate corn tortillas) in tlat town, tley
began to make our tortillas. Since tlat time, our tortillas lave become well
establisled and are now generally preferred in nortlern Mexico.
ix Introduction
Wletler you prefer our or corn tortillas is not important. Eacl class of tor-
tilla las its own nuances, avors, and fascinating listory. Corn, witl its ancient
Mesoamerican roots, lolds a venerated place in tle pantleon of food staples.
Wleat, equally ancient in otler lands, but a newcomer to tle Americas, las
found respectability in its adopted land. Ultimately, to lold a taco in your land
is wlat really matters. As long as tle tortilla is delicious, be it corn or our, and
tle lling is satisfying, youre in good landsand so is your taco.
riio vouv o cov 1ov1iiis
i ix1riiZ1io
Corn, or maize (Zea mays), is a grain native to tle American continent and
las been a staple since pre-Hispanic times. It is still a very important food in
todays diet. As I discussed earlier, tle rst tortillas in Mexico were made of
corn. Wleat did not arrive until tle sixteentl century witl tle Spaniards.
In addition to developing tle original corn strains, tle people of Mesoamer-
ica discovered a critical step in tle preparation of corn tlat allows nutrients
(niacin and vitamin C) to be released for luman digestion and stabilizes an otl-
erwise semi-perislable product. Te product is call nixtamal, from tle Naluatl
word nextamalli, wlicl means corn cooked witl water and mineral lime. Te
process is called nixtamalization. From tlis ratler simple procedure comes a
complex clemical reaction tlat turns corn into a liglly nutritious staple, tle
very foundation of Mesoamerican culture.
Wlen ground into our, corn grains release fatty oils tlat decompose rap-
idly. Lime (calcium oxide, not tle citrus fruit) las a ligl pH, meaning its very
alkaline, and stabilizes tle enzymatic process tlat causes decomposition. It is
probable tlat tle rst notion of treating tle corn came from adding wood asles
from a cooking re, wlicl are also very alkaline (and from wlicl good old-
faslioned lye is made) to corn wlile cooking. Te result is called masa, and
keeps tortillas from perisling quickly, even in tle lot, lumid areas of corns
birtl.
Ive made nixtamal a couple of times witl marginal success. Here, Ive
created a maslup from several sources to give you an idea of tle process. If
you really want to try it, I suggest you read Diana Kennedys Te Tortilla Book,
tlen proceed.
x Introduction
xi Introduction
First, rinse tle corn in cold water and make sure tlere are no rocks or pieces
of cob mixed in. Ten put tle corn in a pot and add cold water so tlat tle corn
is well covered. Next, prepare tle lime. For 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of corn, put 1
leaping tablespoon of lime in a bowl and add 1 cup of cold water. If tle lime is
fresl, it will begin to sizzle and give o leat from tle clemical reaction. Tis
process is known as slaking. If tle lime is older, it will take longer to slake. Stir
it once, tlen let it sit. Some residue will settle to tle bottom. After tle lime
las slaked, bring tle corn to a low simmer and add lalf of tle lime water. Te
corn will turn a vibrant yellow riglt away. Ten taste a couple of drops of tle
liquid on your tongue. You slould detect a sligltly acrid, burning sensation. If
not, add more lime solution and taste again. If its too strong, add some water
and taste again. Cook tle corn until tle skins separate easily from tle kernels,
wlicl takes about 20 minutes. Let tle corn sit in tle water overniglt.
Te next day, drain tle corn, rinse it, and drain again. After tlat, grind it in a
land-mill sucl as a Corona or, like tle Mexicans of old (and probably still a few
today), witl a mano and metate, made from porous volcanic stone. Te mano is
tle rolling pin-like piece and tle metate is tle rectangular, sligltly curved stone
witl slort legs. Once ground, tle resulting masa, or dougl, can be patted or
pressed into tortillas, or dried for future use. Obviously, I lave not advanced tle
art of tortilla making lere, but only given a glimpse. I believe its a lot like cless:
a day to learn, a lifetime to master.
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SALSAS AND SIDES
Tomato-Based Salsas
Fresl Tomato Salsa
Sierra-Style Tomato Salsa
Quick Tomato Salsa
Chile-Based Salsas
Poblano and )alapeo Salsa
Clile de Arbol Salsa
Don Felix Red Salsa
Seven Clile Salsa
Green and Avocado Salsas
Fresl Tomatillo Salsa
La Esquina Taqueras Creen Salsa
Tomatillo and Clile de Arbol Salsa
Clunky Cuacamole
Avocado and )alapeo Salsa
Sides
Baja Coleslaw witl Slrimp
Wlole Pinto Beans
Rice witl Vegetables
Roasted Poblano Clile Strips
Pickled )alapeos and Carrots
Pickled Clipotles
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2 TACOS
FRESH TOMATO SALSA
Salsa Fresca de Tomate
Notling satises like a fresl tomato salsa in tle middle of summer. Scooped
up on corn clips or piled liberally on tle tacos of tle day, tle mlange of
ingredients creates an irresistible symplony of fresl avor. Witl red tomatoes,
green cilantro, and red onions, it is as pleasing to look at as it is to taste. Triple
or quadruple tlis recipe at tle leiglt of tle season because tleres never
enougl.
Note: When serving on tacos, use a slotted spoon to drain excess liquid. Watery
tacos arent much fun! If possible use paste tomatoes because they have less free
water content.
rrs nou: z cuvs
1 pound tomatoes
2 tablespoons nely chopped ied onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantio
1 jalapeno oi seiiano chile, stemmed and minced (seed and devein foi a
mildei salsa)
Juice of 1 lime (appioximately 2 tablespoons)
Zest of 1 lime (optional)
Salt
Dice tle tomatoes and put tlem in a strainer or colander to drain some of
tleir water, about 2 minutes. Transfer tlem to a medium-size bowl.
Add tle onion, cilantro, jalapeo, lime juice, and lime zest, if using, and salt
to taste. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Te salsa will
keep in tle refrigerator for a week or longer, tlougl tle onion avor will
grow stronger.
1.
2.
3
SIERRA-STYLE TOMATO SALSA
Salsa Roja de la Sierra
I love anytling tlat las been cooked over a coal or wood re. Somelow, even
food tlat las been clarred in a pan on tle stove las a satisfying campre-like
quality. Te autlentic texture of tlis salsa comes from tle ingredients being
masled in a molcajete. Tese stone mortars are widely available in Mexican
markets, and in addition to creating a salsa witl excellent texture, tley double
as a stylisl serving disl. Te cebolletas found in Mexican markets are similar
to scallions, but tle wlite base is a little bulb. Use scallions if cebolletas are
unavailable. I use serrano cliles in tle recipe because tley lave a fruitiness
beneatl tle leat.
Note: For a slightly more rened salsa, peel and seed the serranos and tomatoes
before adding.
rrs nou: z cuvs
1 cebolleta oi scallion
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 small cloves gailic, peeled
3 seiiano chiles
3 medium tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Preleat a comal, or a medium-size cast-iron pan, over medium-ligl leat for
5 minutes.
In a small bowl, ligltly coat tle cebolleta witl tle olive oil to prevent drying
wlile cooking.
On tle comal, cook tle cebolleta and garlic, turning tlem frequently until
tley brown ligltly. Set aside and let cool. Cook tle serranos and tomatoes
until tley brown and tleir skins blister. Set aside and let cool.
In a stone mortar, or food processor or blender, masl or pulse tle cebolleta,
garlic, and salt until incorporated. Stem and rouglly clop tle serranos, tlen
masl or pulse tlem witl tle cebolleta mixture.
1.
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4.
Salsas and Sides
4 TACOS
Core and rouglly clop tle tomatoes, reserving tle liquid. Add tle tomatoes
and liquid to tle cebolleta mixture, and masl or pulse to incorporate.
Pour tle salsa into a bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to
use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for a week or longer, tlougl tle
onion and garlic avors will grow stronger.
QUICK TOMATO SALSA
Salsa Rpida de los Guys
Tis simple and quick salsa always comes tlrougl in a pincl. I learned it from
los guys, my fellow cooks in tle kitclen of Cordon Bierscl Brewery in Palo
Alto, wlere I worked at tle time. For tle morning snack, I would usually warm
a few dozen corn tortillas and make a big pan of scrambled eggs spiked witl
onions and garlic. One of tle prep cooks would tlrow tle salsa ingredients into
a pot of water and cook it up in time to serve witl tle tacos. Its surprisingly
delicious for being so uncomplicated.
rrs nou: z cuvs
4 medium tomatoes
1 small white onion, peeled
2 oi 3 jalapeno chiles, stemmed
Salt
In a medium-size pot, combine tle tomatoes, onion, and jalapeos, and
cover tlem witl water. Bring to a boil, tlen simmer for 5 minutes.
Witl a slotted spoon, remove tle ingredients from tle pot and put tlem in
a food processor or blender. Blend until smootl, about 1 minute. Add salt to
taste.
Pour tle salsa into a bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to
use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for a week or longer, tlougl tle
onion avor will grow stronger.
5.
6.
1.
2.
3.
5
POBLANO AND JALAPEO SALSA
Salsa de Chiles Poblano y Jalapeo
I rst tasted tlis little gem of a condiment at tle sl taco stall Tacos La Ta
in Ensenada. Fire-roasting tle cliles creates an incomparable avor, elevating
tleir essence wlile adding a rustic, ranclo-style toucl. Tis salsa, blended
witl Mexican Crema (see page 10), is also fantstico on grilled ap steak and
grilled clicken.
rrs 1 cuvs
4 fiesh poblano chiles
1 jalapeno chile
Olive oil (if ioasting on an electiic iange)
Liglt a burner on tle stove and set tle poblanos directly on tle burner
grate, one or two at a time, turning occasionally, until tle entire clile is
blackened. (If you lave an electric stove, leat a cast-iron pan over medium-
ligl leat. In a small bowl, coat tle poblanos ligltly witl oil and blacken
tlem in tle pan.)
Put tle poblanos in a bowl, covered, until cool. Peel tle blackened skins
o tle poblanos. Cut tle poblanos open and remove tle stem and all of
tle seeds. Do not rinse tle poblanos in water at any time. Put tle poblano
pieces in a food processor or blender.
Cut tle jalapeo in lalf lengtlwise. Remove tle stem and seeds. Clop tle
jalapeo into clunks and add lalf of it to tle poblanos. Pure until smootl.
Add tle otler lalf if you desire more leat.
Pour tle salsa into a bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to
use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for two weeks or longer.
1.
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3.
4.
Salsas and Sides
6 TACOS
CHILE DE RBOL SALSA
Salsa de Chile de rbol
Te chile de rbol is a worklorse, used tlrouglout Mexico to make ery
table salsas. Te eartly, sligltly grassy avor of tlese slender, deep red pods
combines well witl garlic and a toucl of salt. Te ensuing blend, a welcome
but not overwlelming splasl of re, is a must in tle arsenal of tle serious
taco-lead. Tey are widely available in Latin American markets and tle etlnic
sections of supermarkets.
rrs nou: z cuvs
2 ounces diied chiles de ibol (60 to 70 pods)
2 cloves gailic, ioughly chopped
Salt
In a small pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil.
Meanwlile, stem tle cliles. Using two bowls, break eacl clile in lalf and
roll tle pieces between your ngers over one bowl to catcl tle seeds. Put
tle clile pieces in tle otler bowl, discarding tle bowl of seeds. (It isnt
necessary to remove every seed, leaving a small percentage wont aect tle
salsa.)
Pour tle lot water over tle cliles until tley are just covered. Cover tle bowl
witl a plate or lid. Let it sit for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Witl a slotted spoon, remove tle cliles and put tlem in a food processor
or blender. Pour some soaking water over tle cliles until it comes lalfway
up tle cliles. Add tle garlic and salt to taste. Blend tle mixture until it is a
smootl pure. Te consistency slould be sligltly tlick yet pourable. Add
more water, a little at a time, if necessary.
Pour tle salsa into a bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to
use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for a week or longer, tlougl tle
garlic avor will grow stronger.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
7
DON FELIX RED SALSA
Salsa Roja Don Felix
Wlile on a West L.A. taco tour, I got on famously witl tle cook at Carnicera
Don Felix. Sle even let me lang out in tle kitclen. In addition to cuerito
(pigskin sauted in lard) and barbacoa (steamed beef ) tacos, I lad a cabeza
(beef lead) taco topped witl a smacking-lot red salsa. Te seora obliged me
wlen I asked wlat was in ler salsa. Here I present my version.
rrs nou: z cuvs
2 ounces diied chiles de rbol (60 to 70 pods)
white onion, ioughly chopped
2 cloves gailic
teaspoon cumin seed
Salt
1 tablespoon nely chopped cilantio
In a small pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil.
Meanwlile, stem tle cliles. Using two bowls, break eacl clile in lalf and
roll tle pieces between your ngers over one bowl to catcl tle seeds. Put
tle clile pieces in tle otler bowl, discarding tle bowl of seeds. (It isnt
necessary to remove every seed, leaving a small percentage wont aect tle
salsa.)
Pour tle lot water over tle cliles until tley are just covered. Cover tle bowl
witl a plate or lid. Let it sit for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Witl a slotted spoon, remove tle cliles and put tlem in a food processor or
blender. Pour some soaking water over tle cliles until it comes lalfway up
tle cliles. Add tle onion, garlic, cumin, and salt to taste. Blend tle mixture
until it is a smootl pure. Te consistency slould be sligltly tlick yet
pourable. Add more water, little by little, if necessary.
Pour tle salsa into a bowl or container and stir in tle cilantro. Cover and
refrigerate until ready to use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for a
week or longer, tlougl tle onion and garlic avors will grow stronger.
1.
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3.
4.
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Salsas and Sides
8 TACOS
9
SEVEN CHILE SALSA
Salsa de Siete Chiles
Tis salsa is so many tlings at once: ricl, tangy, smoky, and sweet. Its even
good on vanilla ice cream. Make tlis salsa a day or two in advance to allow tle
avors to marry completely.
rrs z cuvs
1 pasilla chile
1 ancho chile
1 morita chile
2 diied chipotle chiles
2 cascabel chiles
2 guajillo chiles
2 chiles de rbol
cup vegetable oil
1 laige tomato, nely chopped
6 cloves gailic, ioughly chopped
1 teaspoon nely chopped epazote (optional)
1 teaspoon nely chopped cilantio
cup cidei vinegai
teaspoon salt
cup agave nectai
On a comal, or in a medium-size cast-iron pan, over medium leat, ligltly
toast tle pasilla, anclo, morita, clipotles, cascabels, guajillos, and cliles de
rbol. Set tlem aside to cool, tlen stem, seed, and break tlem into pieces.
In a medium-size saut pan over medium leat, leat tle oil. Ten add tle
cliles, tomato, and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
tle epazote, if using, and tle cilantro and cook 5 minutes longer. Reduce tle
leat to low and cook 3 minutes longer. Set pan aside to cool.
Pour tle clile mixture from tle pan into a food processor or blender. Add
tle vinegar and salt and blend until smootl. Pour tle salsa into a medium-
size bowl and stir in tle agave nectar until well incorporated. Cover and
refrigerate until ready to use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for two
weeks or longer.
1.
2.
3.
Salsas and Sides
10 TACOS
FRESH TOMATILLO SALSA
Salsa Fresca de Tomatillo
If you can get tlem, use purple tomatillos in tlis recipe. Since tleyre not
cooked, tley stay purple, a nice visual toucl to an already tasty salsa.
rrs nou: z cuvs
1 pound tomatillos, husks iemoved
2 tablespoons nely chopped ied onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantio
1 jalapeno oi seiiano chile, stemmed and minced (seed and devein foi a
mildei salsa)
Juice of 1 lime (appioximately 2 tablespoons)
Zest of 1 lime (optional)
Salt
Dice tle tomatillos and put tlem in a medium-size bowl. Add tle onion,
cilantro, jalapeo, lime juice, and lime zest, if using, and salt to taste. Mix
well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Te salsa will keep in tle
refrigerator for a week or longer, tlougl tle onion avor will grow stronger.
TACO TIP
Mexican Crema
Tangy and creamy, its quite dierent tlan American sour cream.
Combine 1 cup leavy cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a small
bowl. Cover, and put in a warm place for 12 to 24 lours, or until
tlickened. Crema will keep in tle refrigerator for a week.
11 Salsa and Sides
12 TACOS
LA ESQUINA TAQUERAS
GREEN SALSA
Salsa Verde de La Esquina Taquera
Tis creamy and tangy salsa from clef )ose Alvarado of La Esquina in New
York City accompanies lis Pork Loin in Clile Adobo witl Crilled Pineapple
(see page 55).
rrs nou: z cuvs
5 tomatillos, husks iemoved, quaiteied
medium white onion, ioughly chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed and ioughly chopped
2 cloves gailic, ioughly chopped
1 laige avocado, peeled, pitted, and ioughly chopped
2 tablespoons cilantio
1 teaspoon sugai
Juice of 1 lime (appioximately 2 tablespoons)
cup watei
Salt
Place tle tomatillos, onion, jalapeos, garlic, avocado, cilantro, sugar, lime
juice, water, and salt to taste in a food processor or blender and blend until
smootl.
Pour tle salsa into a bowl or container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to
use. Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
1.
2.
13
TOMATILLO AND
CHILE DE RBOL SALSA
Salsa de Tomatillo y Chile de rbol
Te tangy avor of tle tomatillos blends very nicely witl tle eartly piquancy
of tle chile de rbol. It tones down tle leat and makes a salsa tlat is nearly
drinkable. Roasting tle tomatillos on tle grill or on a griddle adds avor and
nice little blackened specks to tle salsa. Inspiration for tlis salsa comes from
Tacomiendo in Culver City, California.
rrs nou: cuvs
1 pound tomatillos, husks iemoved
1 cup Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Salt
Put tle tomatillos in a pot witl just enougl water to cover tlem. Bring tle
water almost to a boil, tlen turn tle leat down to low. Cook tle tomatillos
until soft, about 10 minutes. Dont overcook or tley will split. (Alternately,
you can roast tlem on a comal, in a medium-size cast-iron pan on tle stove,
or on a clarcoal grill, until browned and softened, about 10 minutes.)
Witl a slotted spoon, transfer tle tomatillos to a food processor or blender,
reserving tle cooking water. Pure until smootl, or just pulse a few times if
you prefer a clunkier salsa. Add a little of tle reserved cooking water to tle
tomatillos if you wisl to tlin tle salsa.
In a medium-size bowl, combine tle tomatillos and tle Clile de Arbol Salsa.
Add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Te salsa will keep
in tle refrigerator for a week or longer, tlougl tle garlic avor will grow
stronger.
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Salsas and Sides
14 TACOS
CHUNKY GUACAMOLE
Guacamole Casero
Te velvety riclness of avocados (ligl-oil types sucl as Haas), ecked witl
bits of sun-ripened tomato, cilantro, and piquant wlite onion, guarantees tlis
guac will be a lit.
rrs 1 cuvs
2 laige avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons nely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons nely chopped cilantio
1 medium tomato, nely chopped
Salt
Put tle avocados in a molcajete (a traditional stone mortar), or a medium-
size bowl, crusling tlem witl tle mano (a pestle), or a fork, until tley are a
clunky paste. Add tle onion, cilantro, and tomato. Stir. Add salt to taste.
Cover tigltly witl plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. If tle
surface of tle guacamole begins to darken, stir tlorouglly before serving.
Te salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for 1 day.
1.
2.
15
AVOCADO AND JALAPEO SALSA
Salsa de Aguacate y Jalapeo
Im traveling down tle California coast on a cold winter niglt. In Atascadero
tleres a little kiosk tlat las a real trompo, or vertical spit, cooking pork al
pastor tacos exclusively. Tis avocado salsa catcles my fancy. Its botl creamy
and spicy, tle jalapeo and raw onion asserting tlemselves in perfect balance
witl tle ricl avocado. Prepare it no more tlan an lour or two before serving,
just enougl time for tle avors to marry witlout allowing tle avocado to
darken.
Variation: For a very hot salsa, substitute a habanero for the jalapeo.
rrs 1 cuvs
3 avocados, peeled and pitted
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons minced white onion, divided
Salt
Put lalf of tle avocados into a food processor or blender. Put tle otler lalf
of tle avocados into a medium-size bowl and masl witl a fork.
Rouglly clop lalf of tle jalapeo and add it to tle food processor. Mince
tle otler lalf and add it to tle bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of tle onion to tle food processor. Add tle remaining
onion to tle bowl. Blend tle ingredients in tle food processor until smootl,
adding small amounts of water until tle mixture is just pourable from a
spoon. Pour tle avocado mixture into tle bowl witl tle otler lalf of tle
ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add salt to taste.
Cover tigltly witl plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. If tle
surface of tle salsa begins to darken, stir tlorouglly before serving. Te
salsa will keep in tle refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Salsas and Sides
16 TACOS
17
BAJA COLESLAW WITH SHRIMP
Ensalada de Col con Camarones
Tis decadent slaw recipe comes from clef Patricio Herrera, teacler of tle
Food of tle Americas curriculum at tle California Culinary Academy in San
Francisco. It could stand alone as a taco lling on a wicked lot summer day. I
recommend serving it as a cruncly, tangy counterpoint alongside any tacos.
Note: Other shellsh, such as lobster, crab, or sea urchin, can be substituted for
the shrimp.
rrs z Quv:s (rion: 8-oucr srvvios, ov six:rr -oucr
srvvios)
1 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoons mild chili powdei
7 tablespoons extia-viigin olive oil, divided
5 medium cloves gailic, minced, divided
pound iaw medium shiimp, peeled and deveined (appioximately 15 to 20)
cup chopped cilantio, divided
Juice of 3 limes (appioximately 6 tablespoons), divided
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
head gieen cabbage, cut nely into iibbons
1 jalapeno chiles, seeded and nely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, cut into -inch dice
3 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into -inch dice
1 ied onion, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons ied wine vinegai
In a small cast-iron skillet or otler leavy pan, toast tle cumin seeds and
clili powder, stirring constantly, until tle clili powder just begins to clange
color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove from tle pan, and let cool
on a small plate. Once cool, grind in a small electric spice mill. Set aside.
1.
Salsas and Sides
18 TACOS
In a medium-size saut pan, leat 1 tablespoon of tle olive oil over medium-
ligl leat. Add 1 clove of tle minced garlic, tle slrimp, 2 tablespoons of tle
cilantro, 2 tablespoons of tle lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste, stirring
frequently until tle slrimp are just cooked tlrougl, about 3 minutes. Set
aside on a plate to cool. Wlen tle slrimp lave cooled, clop tlem into '-
incl cubes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine tle cabbage, jalapeos, tomatoes, avocados,
onion, and red wine vinegar, tle reserved cumin mixture, tle reserved
slrimp, and garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil. Add salt to taste.
Refrigerate. Serve clilled.
2.
3.
TACO TIP
Lime-Pickled Red Onions
Simple to make, tlese are an awesome taco condiment. Slice 1 large
red onion into '-incl tlick rounds. Break tlem up in a medium-size
bowl and mix witl 1 tablespoon salt. Let sit overniglt. Te next day,
rinse tlem for about 3 minutes in a colander until tley are just sligltly
salty to taste. Return onions to a clean bowl and add tle juice of
2 limes (about 4 tablespoons). Mix well. Marinate for
1 lour before serving.
19
WHOLE PINTO BEANS
Frijoles de Olla
Beans are a staple tlrouglout Mexico, and tle pinto is undoubtedly tle most
famous. Wlile most people know tlem in tleir refried form, pintos truly
aclieve sublime stature simmered to perfection in tlis simple brotl. Fisl tlem
out witl a slotted spoon for tacos, or serve tlem in bowls witl some of tle
brotl for a delicious soupy rst course. Tender and tootlsome, tleir mild pink
esl is deeply satisfying.
Variation: To make black beans, omit the bacon and substitute one 6-inch
sprig of fresh epazote for the bay leaf.
rrs 6 :o ; cuvs or nrs
1 pound diied pinto beans (about 2 cups), picked ovei
3 slices of bacon, oi a 4- to 6-ounce piece of poik fat
medium white onion, quaiteied
1 bay leaf (optional)
Salt
Put tle beans in a cazuela (a traditional Mexican clay pot), or a cast-iron
or otler leavy pot, and cover tlem witl about 3 incles of water. Bring to a
boil, tlen turn o tle leat and cover. Let tle beans sit for 1 lour, tlen add
additional water if needed to cover tle beans witl 2 incles of water.
Meanwlile, fry tle bacon over medium leat until it is sligltly crispy, about
7 minutes. Remove from leat. Break tle bacon into pieces and put it and
its rendered fat into tle pot witl tle beans. Add tle onion and bay leaf, if
using. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low leat, adding water as
necessary to keep tle beans covered, until tle beans are soft, about 2 lours.
Add salt to taste and serve.
1.
2.
Salsas and Sides
20 TACOS
RICE WITH VEGETABLES
Arroz con Verduras
Rice arrived in Mexico witl tle Spaniards ve lundred years ago and soon
began its fortunate partnerslip witl beans as tle dynamic duo of Mexican
cooking (served witl corn tortillas, of course). Mixed witl butter and ecked
witl peas and corn, tlis simple rice disl pleases botl tle palate and tle eye.
Try it witl landmade tortillas and Clile de Arbol Salsa (see page 6) for a really
rootsy taco dinner.
rrs nou: ; cuvs
2 tablespoons olive oil
medium white onion, nely chopped
2 cups medium- oi long-giain white iice
2 cups watei
2 cups chicken oi vegetable bioth
1 to 1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsalted buttei
cup peas, fiesh oi fiozen
cup sweet coin keinels, fiesh o the cob oi fiozen
In a medium-size leavy-bottomed pot, add tle oil and leat over medium
leat. Add tle onions and rice and saut, stirring frequently, until tle onions
lave turned ligltly golden, about 10 minutes. Add tle water, clicken brotl,
and salt. Turn tle leat to very low, cover, and cook until all of tle liquid is
absorbed, about 20 minutes. Turn o tle leat and leave tle pot covered.
Meanwlile, in a small pan, melt tle butter over medium leat and add tle
peas and corn, stirring occasionally until tle vegetables are leated tlrougl,
about 5 minutes.
Stir tle vegetable mixture into tle rice and serve.
1.
2.
3.
21 Salsa and Sides
22 TACOS
ROASTED POBLANO CHILE STRIPS
Rajas de Chile Poblano
Deep green witl medium leat, tle comely poblano clile only gets better wlen
roasted, wlicl softens tle esl, lelps to remove tle skin, and concentrates
tle avor, wlicl is as deep as its color. To make roasting and peeling easier,
cloose poblanos tlat are as straiglt and smootl as possible.
rrs nou: 1z vonio s:vivs
2 poblano chiles
1 teaspoon olive oil (if ioasting on an electiic iange)
On a wood or clarcoal grill, or directly over a medium-ligl ame on tle
grate of a gas range, place tle poblanos and cook until tle downward side
las blackened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn tle poblanos and repeat tle
process until all sides are blackened. If using an electric range, ligltly coat
tle poblanos witl tle oil and place tlem in a preleated medium-size cast-
iron pan over medium-ligl leat and blacken eacl side as mucl as possible.
It may take a little longer tlan witl tle otler metlods of roasting.
Place tle poblanos in a small metal or glass bowl and cover until cool
enougl to landle. Peel tle poblanos and discard tle skins. Black ecks
will remain on tle poblanos, do not rinse tlem. Ten stem and seed tle
poblanos. For a milder avor, devein tlem also. Tear tle poblanos into strips
about -incl wide, place tlem in a small bowl, and reserve.
To serve, place one or two poblano strips on top of eacl taco. Refrigerate
leftovers in a covered container for up to a week.
1.
2.
3.
23
PICKLED JALAPEOS
AND CARROTS
Jalapeos y Zanahorias Encurtidos
Eating tacos at a taquera or taco truck witlout a jalapeo and a few spicy
carrot rounds just doesnt seem riglt, its not riglt at lome, eitler. Te cane
vinegar makes for a more mellow liquid and is available in many supermarkets
and international markets. A nod to Patricia Quintana for metlodology and
inspiration.
Note: Plan ahead when making this dish, as the jalapeos and carrots need to
pickle for at least two weeks.
rrs z Quv:s
12 laige jalapeno chiles
1 teaspoons coaise salt, divided
5 medium caiiots, peeled and cut into -inch iounds
cup olive oil
15 whole cloves gailic
2 medium white onions, cut into -inch wedges
1 teaspoon diied maijoiam
teaspoon whole black peppeicoins
2 cups cidei vinegai
2 cups cane vinegai
Salt
Poke eacl jalapeo several times witl a metal skewer or tle tip of a slarp
knife. Put enougl water in a medium-size pot to cover tle jalapeos, add 1
teaspoon of tle salt, and bring to a gentle boil. Add tle jalapeos and boil,
uncovered, for 6 minutes. Turn o tle leat, let tle jalapeos sit in tle water
for 4 minutes, uncovered, tlen remove tlem witl a slotted spoon and let
cool. Reserve lalf of tle water.
Meanwlile, bring small pot of water to a boil, add tle remaining salt and
tle carrots, and cook until sligltly soft, but still cruncly, about 6 minutes.
Remove tle carrots witl a slotted spoon and let cool.
1.
2.
Salsas and Sides
24 TACOS
25
In a large cazuela (a traditional Mexican clay pot), or deep cast-iron or
enamel pot, leat tle oil over medium-ligl leat. Add tle garlic and onions,
stirring rapidly so tlat tley stay cruncly, and saut until ligltly browned,
about 5 minutes. Add tle marjoram, peppercorns, cider vinegar, cane
vinegar, reserved jalapeo water, and salt to taste.
Cover tle pot and bring to a boil. Remove tle lid, add tle reserved jalapeos
and carrots, and bring to a boil again. Turn o tle leat and let cool.
Distribute tle jalapeo mixture and cooking liquid evenly between 2
sterilized glass quart jars, packing in tle vegetables rst, tlen adding tle
liquid afterward.
Let tle jars sit in tle refrigerator for 2 weeks before using. Remove tle
jalapeos, carrots, and onions as needed to accompany tacos. Tey will keep
in tle refrigerator for several montls.
PICKLED CHIPOTLES
Chipotles la Poblana
Clipotles are smoke-dried jalapeos. Tis recipe from tle Mexican state
of Puebla, adapted from Patricia Quintanas La cocina de Los Angeles, is
refreslingly dierent from tle ubiquitous canned iteration. You can use dried
clipotles or moritas, found in Mexican markets or online. Tis recipe calls for
piloncillo, small cones of unrened solid cane sugar, but you can substitute
dark brown sugar if piloncillo is unavailable.
Note: Plan ahead when making this dish, as the chipotles need to pickle for at
least two weeks.
rrs 1 :o z Quv:s
One 4-ounce package diied chipotle chiles (about 40 chiles)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 laige white onion, cut into quaiteis
1 head gailic, skin on, cut in half thiough the middle of the cloves
1 bay leaf
3.
4.
5.
6.
Salsas and Sides
26 TACOS
teaspoon diied thyme
teaspoon diied maijoiam
teaspoon whole black peppeicoins
4 medium caiiots, peeled and cut into -inch iounds
cup cidei vinegai
4 ounces piloncillo, oi cup daik biown sugai, dissolved in cup watei
Poke eacl clipotle several times witl a metal skewer or tle tip of a slarp
knife. In a large pot, cover tlem well witl water and add tle salt. Bring tle
water to a boil, tlen turn o immediately, stirring once to make sure tle salt
is incorporated into tle water. Adjust salt if necessary. Let cool uncovered,
tlen cover and let soak for 1 day. Remove tle clipotles witl a slotted spoon
and reserve tlem in a bowl.
In a large cazuela (a traditional Mexican clay pot), or deep cast-iron or
enamel pot, leat tle oil over medium leat. Add tle onions and garlic,
stirring frequently, until onions are ligltly golden, about 5 minutes. Add
tle bay leaf, tlyme, marjoram, and peppercorns, stirring for 1 minute.
Add tle reserved clipotles, stirring for 1 minute. Add tle carrots, vinegar,
and tle piloncilloiwater mixture.
Bring tle contents to a boil, tlen stir rapidly to break tle boil. Repeat two
more times. Turn o tle leat and let tle pot cool, uncovered.
Distribute tle clipotle mixture and cooking liquid evenly between 2
sterilized glass quart jars.
Let tle jars sit in tle refrigerator for 2 weeks before using. Remove clipotles,
carrots, and onions as needed to accompany tacos. Tey will keep in tle
refrigerator for several montls.
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27 Salsa and Sides
STRANGE BUT WONDERFUL TACOS
Wlats tle strangest lling tlat you can imagine going into a taco: Does tle
idea of eating a beef tongue freak you out: How about a tortilla loaded up witl
grassloppers:
Since tle dawn of tle tortilla, Mesoamericans lave been lling it witl just
about everytling imaginable. Pre-Hispanic staples included not only numerous
vegetables, lerbs, seeds, muslrooms, sl, amplibians, crustaceans, and fowl,
but also worms and even a lairless dog called tle xoloizcuintle. Many of tlese
are still sold today, mainly in soutlern Mexico.
I always try a new taco if I see it on tle menu. Tis las led me to order tacos
de ojo (beef eyeball), labio (beef lips), cachete (beef cleek), sesos (beef brain),
cuerito (pigskin simmered in lard), buche (pig stomacl), and birria de chivo
con chicharrones (stewed goat witl deep-fried pigskins crumbled on topfor
breakfast, no less!).
If youre really adventurous, keep an eye out for tacos de trompa (pig snout).
Dont mistake tlem for trompo, wlicl is marinated pork (al pastor) cooked
on a vertical spit, a lling witl Middle Eastern origins tlat arrived in Mexico
between tle 1930s and 1950s, depending on wlat story you believe. Look out
for tlese otler delicacies as well: bofe (lung), oreja (ear), higado (liver), corazn
(leart), nana (uterus), pajarilla (pancreas), paloma (dove), machita (lamb tes-
ticle), moronga (blood sausage), and tle ingenious combinations of chanfaina
(lung, leart, and liver) and nenepil (cleek and uterus).
At Tacos Beto in Mexico City, tle specialty is tle taco de cochinada, a term
tlat translates rouglly as ltl, and is appropriately composed of remains from
tle bottom of tle fryer. Te Web site Clilango.com describes it as a toxic deli-
cacy for crude palates. Tere is no underground gourmet tlat doesnt know tlis
temple of seedy gastronomy.
As you can see, tlere are apparently no limits wlen it comes to taco llings,
so long as tle lling can stay inside tle tortilla long enougl for you to eat it.
Unless, of course, youre making a taco de nadaa notling tacoin wlicl case
you simply warm tle tortilla, roll it up, and enjoy!
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TACOS
Tacos de Canasta
Scrambled Egg Taco witl Poblano Strips
Potato and Clorizo Taco
Tacos de Cazuela
Coee and ClileBraised Beef Brisket Taco
Beef Tongue Taco
Beef Meatball Taco in Cuajillo Sauce
La Esquinas Acliote and CitrusMarinated Pork Taco
La Esquinas Clicken in Tomato and Clipotle Sauce
Spice-Rubbed Clicken Tigl Taco
Braised Clard and Cleese Taco
Winter Squasl Taco witl Coriander-Cumin Crema
Duck Breast Taco in Pumpkin Seed Sauce
Pork Loin in Clile Adobo witl Crilled Pineapple
Tacos al Carbn
Crilled Beef Flap Steak Taco
Crilled Clicken Breast Taco
Taco El Perrn
Tacos de Sartn
Baja Fisl Taco
Slrimp and Sofrito Taco
Spiced Cround Turkey Taco
CarlicWild Muslroom Taco witl Creamed Corn and Morita Salsa
Tacos Dorados
Zucclini and Cleese Taco Dorado
Clorizo and Cactus Taco Dorado
Fisl and Sofrito Taco Dorado
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30 TACOS
SCRAMBLED EGG TACO
WITH POBLANO STRIPS
Taco de Huevo Revuelto con Rajas
All over Mexico, tacos de canasta, or basket tacos, are sold on tle streets in
tle morning to busy workers of all classes. Witl deep green poblano strips and
spicy red salsa gracing tle yellow mound of uy eggs, tlese tacos are one of
my favorite breakfast disles (tlougl tleyre delicious at any time of day). Te
queso fresco, or fresl cleese, in tlis and otler recipes is crumbly and sligltly
acidic. A very mild feta cleese is a suitable substitute.
rrs 6 :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
6 eggs
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
2 tablespoons olive oil
medium white onion, nely chopped
Suggested toppings
Roasted Poblano Chile Stiips (see page 22)
Sieiia-Style Tomato Salsa (see page 3)
pound queso fiesco, ciumbled
In a medium-size bowl, wlisk tle eggs until well blended. Add salt and
pepper to taste. Heat a medium-size cast-iron pan over medium leat. Add
tle olive oil and tilt tle pan to coat tle bottom. Add tle onion and saut
until soft, about 4 minutes. Add tle eggs to tle pan and stir gently wlile
cooking until tle eggs are just cooked tlrougl, about 7 minutes.
Serve on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl a couple of poblano
strips, Sierra-Style Tomato Salsa, and crumbled queso fresco.
1.
2.
31 Tacos
32 TACOS
POTATO AND CHORIZO TACO
Taco de Papa y Chorizo
Mexican clorizo is dierent from Spanisl clorizo, wlicl is a cured product.
Te best Mexican clorizo comes louse-made from Mexican markets, redolent
of lerbs and spices and briglt red from achiote, tle subtle and eartly-avored
seed of tle tropical annatto tree. Try to avoid tle cleap clorizo tlat comes
in plastic casing, as it usually contains low-quality meat and a very ligl
percentage of fat tlat renders out during cooking.
rrs 1z :cos
Filling
pound medium iusset oi white potatoes, quaiteied
1 tablespoon olive oil
pound Mexican choiizo in bite-size pieces, iemoved fiom casing
medium white onion, cut in -inch wedges
Coin oi oui toitillas
Suggested toppings
La Esquina Taqueias Gieen Salsa (see page 12)
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
Put tle potatoes in a medium-size pot and cover tlem witl water. Bring
tle water almost to a boil, tlen lower it to a simmer, cooking tle potatoes
until barely tender, between 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure not to overcook tlem
potatoes. Drain tle potatoes and put tlem on a plate to cool. Once tley are
cool, cut tlem into -incl cubes.
Meanwlile, leat a medium-size pan over medium leat and add tle olive
oil. Tilt tle pan to coat tle bottom, and add tle onion, cooking until
translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add tle clorizo and saut, stirring
occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes more, until cooked tlrougl. Add tle
potatoes and stir in gently. Cook until tle potatoes are warmed tlrougl,
about 5 more minutes.
Serve on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl Cooked Tomatillo Salsa
and clopped onion and cilantro, witl lime wedges on tle side.
1.
2.
3.
33 Tacos
COFFEE AND CHILEBRAISED
BEEF BRISKET TACO
Taco de Machaca Estilo Momocho
Tacos de cazuela, tleir llings simmered in pots, are widespread tlrouglout
Mexico. Often, tle cazuela, or pot, is placed on tle table, and eacl person
lls lis or ler own tortillas. Tis recipe comes from Eric Williams, tle clef
and owner of Momoclo in Cleveland and one of tle top clefs in tle country
exploring modern Mexican cuisine. Tis brisket recipe is easy to make, but tle
result is deep and leartwarmingso good, in fact, tlat you will be lappy to
lave leftovers. )ust releat some of tle meat and liquid and spread it onto a nice
piece of baguette, top witl onions and cilantro, and you lave an awesome luncl
or dinner for tle next day. To make anclo clile powder, just break a few dried
anclo cliles into small pieces and grind tlem in a small spice grinder.
rrs 1z :o 1 :cos
Coin toitillas
Filling
2 tablespoons ancho chile powdei
teaspoon giound cinnamon
2 tablespoons fieshly giound Guatemalan coee, medium to full ioast,
oi anothei medium-ioasted coee
3 tablespoons koshei salt, divided
2 pounds beef biisket, quaiteied and tiimmed of excess fat
cup ied wine vinegai
cup unseasoned tomato juice
Juice fiom 2 limes (appioximately 4 tablespoons)
1 cup ied wine
tablespoon fieshly giound peppei
1 bay leaf
medium Spanish oi yellow onion, peeled and quaiteied
Suggested toppings
Fiesh Tomatillo Salsa (see page 10)
Chunky Guacamole (see page 14)
34 TACOS
pound queso fresco, ciumbled
Limes, cut into wedges
In a small bowl, mix tle anclo clile powder, cinnamon, coee, and 2
tablespoons of tle salt togetler. Rub tle seasoning all over tle surface of tle
brisket pieces and place tlem on a large plate or baking sleet. On a grill, or
in a large cast-iron pan over medium-ligl leat, sear tle seasoned brisket, 4
to 5 minutes per side. It slould smell toasty as tle spices caramelize, but not
burned.
In a braising pan or leavy-bottomed Dutcl oven, or otler leavy pot, add
tle brisket, vinegar, tomato juice, lime juice, wine, tle remaining salt, tle
pepper, bay leaf, and onion.
Add enougl water to cover tle brisket, cover tle pan, and place it on tle
stove. Bring to a boil, tlen lower tle leat and simmer, covered, for 3 lours
or until tle brisket is tender. Remove tle bay leaf and onion and discard.
Remove tle meat and slred it, reserving tle cooking liquid.
Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped witl Fresl Tomatillo Salsa, Clunky
Cuacamole, and crumbled queso fresco, witl lime wedges on tle side. To
releat any leftovers, put tle meat and reserved cooking liquid in a pot and
warm over medium-low leat, stirring frequently, until lot. If releating in
a microwave, warm tle meat and liquid 30 seconds at a time, stirring in
between, until lot.
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35 Tacos
BEEF TONGUE TACO
Taco de Lengua
Strange to some, tongue tacos are standard fare at taqueras. I love tle tongue
in a spicy tomato sauce tlat a restaurant in my lometown used to serve. Ive
attempted to re-create it lere witl tle Clipotle Salsa Ranclera below. For a
mild version, warm tle diced tongue in Fresl Tomatillo Salsa (see page 10)
instead. For more adventurous eaters, tlis recipe is tle perfect anclor for a
taquiza, a taco party.
rrs 1o :o 1 :cos
Coin toitillas
Filling
1 small beef tongue, about 2 pounds
1 medium white onion, quaiteied, divided
4 cloves gailic, peeled, divided
4 whole black peppeicoins
1 small bay leaf
teaspoon diied thyme
teaspoon diied maijoiam
2 teaspoons salt, divided
8 medium tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
3 chipotles en adobo
2 tablespoons olive oil
Suggested toppings
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
For tle lling, in a medium-size pot, put tle tongue, 3 of tle onion quarters,
2 cloves of tle garlic, tle peppercorns, bay leaf, tlyme, marjoram, and 2
teaspoons of tle salt, and add enougl water to cover. Bring to a boil, tlen
simmer, covered, for 3 lours, turning tle tongue over after 1 lours and
adding more water as necessary to keep tle tongue covered. Let tle tongue
cool in tle brotl.
1.
36 TACOS
Remove tle tongue from tle brotl and cut o tle small bones at tle base.
Slice tlrougl tle skin on top of tle tongue, lengtlwise from base to tip, tlen
peel tle skin o. Inspect tle tongue, especially tle underside, and cut o
any fat. Clop tle tongue into '-incl cubes. Put tlem in a bowl, cover witl
some of tle brotl, and refrigerate until ready to use.
For tle Clipotle Salsa Ranclera, on a cast-iron griddle or in a large cast-iron
pan over medium-ligl leat, cook tle tomatoes, turning every minute or so,
until tley are softened and lave brown marks, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwlile, rouglly clop tle remaining garlic. Put tle tomatoes, garlic, and
clipotles in a food processor or blender, and pulse until tle ingredients are
incorporated but still clunky.
In a medium-size pan, leat tle oil over medium leat. Finely clop tle
remaining onion, add to tle pan, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add tle tomato mixture and tle remaining salt to tle pan and cook over
ligl leat, stirring frequently witl a metal or wooden spatula until tle sauce
tlickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Scrape tle pan frequently as tle sauce
tlickens to prevent scorcling.
To assemble, rst leat tle clipotle salsa ranclera in a large pot over
medium leat, stirring frequently. Remove tle tongue pieces from tle
brotl witl a slotted spoon and add tlem to tle salsa, discarding tle brotl.
Continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tle meat is leated tlrougl.
If tle sauce tlickens and begins to stick to tle pot, add a little water to
tlin it.
Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped witl clopped onion and cilantro, witl
lime wedges on tle side.
2.
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37 Tacos
BEEF MEATBALL TACO IN
GUAJILLO SAUCE
Albondigas de Res en Salsa de Guajillo
I forget low mucl kids love meatballs until I serve tlese. Crown-up kids love
tlem, too. Use a pan large enougl to t all of tle meatballstley will get
eaten. Tis recipe was inspired by and adapted from various recipes in Diana
Kennedys Te Cuisines of Mexico.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
4 guajillo chiles
6 medium tomatoes (about 1 pounds)
white onion, cut into quaiteis
2 cloves gailic
2 teaspoons salt, divided
cup olive oil
1 egg
1 pound lean giound beef
1 small zucchini, minced (about 1 cup)
teaspoon diied oiegano
teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
teaspoon giound cumin
Suggested toppings
Tomatillo and Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 13)
pound Cotija cheese, ciumbled
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
For tle sauce, stem, seed, and break tle guajillos into pieces. Put tlem in
a medium-size bowl and cover tlem witl boiling water. Cover tle bowl
and let sit until tle guajillos lave softened, about 30 minutes. Remove tle
guajillos witl a slotted spoon and set aside.
1.
38 TACOS
Meanwlile, on a comal or medium-size cast-iron pan over medium leat,
roast tle tomatoes, onion, and garlic, turning tlem, until tley are softened
and lave brown marks, about 10 minutes. Remove from leat, let cool
sligltly, and coarsely clop. In a food processor or blender, combine tle
guajillos, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of tle salt, and pulse until
incorporated but still clunky.
In a large pan, leat tle olive oil over medium leat. Add tle sauce and cook,
stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes.
For tle meatballs, in a small bowl, beat tle egg. In a medium-size bowl,
combine tle ground beef, zucclini, oregano, pepper, cumin, and tle
remaining salt. Mix well witl your lands. Add tle egg and continue to mix
witl your lands until it is very well incorporated.
Lower tle sauce to low leat. Witl a soup spoon, scoop about 2 tablespoons
of tle meatball mix and form into a ball. Repeat tle process to make 36
balls. Place tle meatballs in tle sauce, one by one, close togetler. Spoon
some of tle sauce over tle meatballs, cover tle pan, and cook on low. Stir
gently after about 20 minutes, cover tle pot again, and nisl cooking, about
10 more minutes.
Serve 3 meatballs on eacl warm corn or our tortilla, topped witl Tomatillo
and Clile de Arbol Salsa, crumbled Cotija cleese, and clopped onion and
cilantro, witl lime wedges on tle side.
2.
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6.
TACO TIDBIT
Guisados, or stews, made in cazuelas, are possibly tle most
diverse of all tle taco llings. Tey vary greatly from one region of
Mexico to anotler.
39 Tacos
LA ESQUINAS ACHIOTE AND
CITRUSMARINATED PORK TACO
Cochinita Pibil Estilo La Esquina
Tis recipe comes from clef )ose Alvarado from New York Citys La Esquina.
Tis is one of lis favorite tacos. Traditionally, tlis disl is prepared in a pib,
or a Mayan pit oven. Here, we use a regular oven, and tle process is a bit
involved, but tle results are staggering. Tis is a perfect disl for a big taco party
witl friends and family. Te achiote paste and seeds are available in Latin
American markets.
rrs 1z :o 16 :cos
Coin toitillas
Filling
2 tablespoons achiote seeds
Juice of 2 lemons (about 6 tablespoons)
Juice of 1 oianges (about 7 tablespoons)
Juice of 1 giapefiuit (about 11 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegai
1 teaspoons plus teaspoon giound allspice
2 teaspoons diied Mexican oiegano
teaspoon giound cloves, plus 1 whole clove
2 pounds poik butt meat, tiimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 small tomato, chopped, plus 1 small tomato, quaiteied
medium yellow onion, chopped, plus medium yellow onion, cut
into -inch slices
5 tablespoons achiote paste
1 teaspoons white balsamic vinegai
Juice of lime (about 1 tablespoon)
Zest of lime
1 clove gailic, minced
teaspoon giound coiiandei
teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
bay leaf
Salt
40 TACOS
Suggested toppings
Pickled Jalapenos and Caiiots (see page 23)
Lime-Pickled Red Onions (see page 18)
Shiedded gieen cabbage
For tle marinade, in a food processor or blender, combine tle acliote
seed, lemon juice, 5 tablespoons of tle orange juice, 10 tablespoons of tle
grapefruit juice, 2 tablespoons of tle balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoons of tle
allspice, 1 teaspoons of tle oregano, and tle ground cloves. Blend until
smootl.
Put tle pork pieces in a large pan, pour tle marinade over tlem, and
refrigerate overniglt.
For tle adobo, combine tle clopped tomato, clopped onion, acliote paste,
tle remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice, tle remaining 1 tablespoon
grapefruit juice, tle wlite balsamic vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, tle
remaining teaspoon allspice, tle coriander, tle remaining teaspoon
Mexican oregano, tle wlole clove, and tle pepper. In a food processor or
blender, blend in two batcles until smootl.
Preleat tle oven to 350F.
Place tle marinated pork butt in a large Dutcl oven or otler large, leavy
pot. To nisl tle adobo, add tle bay leaves, tle quartered tomato, tle sliced
onion, tle remaining 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and salt to taste. Pour
tle adobo mixture over tle pork and stir to combine. Heat tle pot over
medium leat until tle contents come to a simmer. Cover and place in tle
oven. Braise for 2 to 3 lours, or until tle pork is fork-tender. Slred tle
clunks of meat.
Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped witl Pickled )alapeos and Carrots,
Lime-Pickled Red Onions, and slredded cabbage.
1.
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5.
6.
41 Tacos
42 TACOS
LA ESQUINAS CHICKEN IN
TOMATO AND CHIPOTLE SAUCE
Tinga de Pollo Estilo La Esquina Taquera
Clicken tinga is great for using leftover clicken. At La Esquina, tley spit-
roast tle clicken wlole, tlen slred it and add it to tle tomato mixture. Serve
tle tinga on warm corn tortillas witl slredded cabbage, sliced avocado, and
clipotle salsa (included lere). Tis recipe calls for sweating tle onions
sauting tlem covered over low leat until tley are very soft.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onions, cut into -inch iounds, plus medium
yellow onion, diced
7 medium tomatoes
2 to 4 chipotles en adobo, puieed
1 pounds chicken, cooked and shiedded
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
1 small clove gailic, minced
teaspoon sugai
Suggested toppings
Shiedded gieen cabbage
Avocado slices
For tle clicken, in a medium-size pan witl a lid, over low leat, warm 1
tablespoon of tle olive oil. Add tle onion rounds to tle oil, cover, and
sweat tlem, stirring occasionally until soft, about 20 minutes. Add of tle
clipotle pure and cook for 30 minutes, covered. Cut 5 of tle tomatoes into
quarters and add tlem to tle pan, cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
Add tle cooked clicken and stir to combine. Simmer until tle clicken is
tlorouglly leated tlrougl, about 10 minutes.
1.
43 Tacos
For tle salsa, on a grill, or in a medium-size cast-iron pan, over medium-
ligl leat, cook tle remaining 2 wlole tomatoes, moving frequently, until
tley are softened and lave brown marks, about 10 minutes. Remove from
tle grill or pan and set aside.
In a medium-size pan over medium leat, saut tle diced onion and tle
garlic in tle remaining 1 tablespoon oil until tley are fragrant, about
2 minutes. Place tlem in a food processor or blender witl tle clarred
tomatoes, tle remaining pured clipotles, tle sugar, and cup of water.
Pure until smootl. Add salt to taste.
Serve tle clicken on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl tle clipotle
salsa, slredded cabbage, and avocado slices.
2.
3.
4.
TACO TIDBIT
San Vicente El Taquero Celestial, aka Saint Vincent of Saragossa, is
tle patron saint of taco makers in San Vicente Xiloxoclitla, Tlaxcala,
Mexico. His day is )anuary 22nd.
44 TACOS
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45 Tacos
THROWING A TAQUIZA
A taquiza is a taco party. In ler book Jergas de Habla Hispana, Roxana Fitcl
denes a taquiza as a meal based on a great variety or luge quantities of tacos.
Sounds good. One example sle gives is, Conozco una lonchera aqu cerquita
donde podemos echarnos una buena taquiza, wlicl translates to sometling
like, I know a luncl place nearby wlere we can tlrow down a buncl of tacos.
Trowing your own taquiza is fun and fairly easy witl some advance plan-
ning. First, cloose tle number and type of llings. Cazuela-style llings (any-
tling served in a pot), sucl as Coee and ClileBraised Beef Brisket (see
page 33) or Braised Clard and Cleese (see page 48) can be made alead and
releated in tle oven just before serving. Crilled llings, like Crilled Beef Flap
Steak (see page 57) and Crilled Clicken Breast (see page 60), can be cooked to
order. Count on about 2 ounces of meat per taco. You slould be safe planning
on two or tlree tacos per person if tlere are also some side disles, tlree or four
if tlere arent.
Second, make your salsas. You can make as many salsas as you cloose, but
tle minimum would be one lot salsa (usually a red variety) and one mild (usu-
ally tomatillo-based).
Tird, decide on accompaniments. If youre grilling, grilled onionseitler
Mexican cebolletas or tlick rounds of wlite onionsand jalapeos are a must.
Also mandatory are clopped wlite onion and cilantro, Pickled )alapeos and
Carrots (see page 23), fresl wlole radisles, and lime wedges.
Warm tle tortillas just before service and place tlem in a tortilla warmer or
inside a linen clotl in a bowl witl a lid. If you are serving our tortillas, nd tle
smallest size possible. Tis is a taco party, not a burrito feed! Many places make
tleir tacos witl double corn tortillasit prevents tle tacos from breaking up
midbite. Instruct your guests about tlis and buy plenty of tortillas.
And dont forget tle drinks. Aguas frescas are a must, as is a cooler lled
witl Mexican beer and soda pop. Serve tle aguas frescas in big glass jars witl
ladles. Make extra to freeze as ice cubes, tlen add tlem to tle clilled aguas
frescas just before serving.
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46 TACOS
SPICE-RUBBED CHICKEN
THIGH TACO
Taco de Pollo en Recado
Clicken breast always steals tle spotliglt, but in tlis recipe, tle dark, moist
tligl is tle star. Rubbed witl a Rick Bayless and Yucatn-inspired recado (an
achiote-based spice blend) and baked in tle oven, tle meat falls riglt o tle
bone and into your waiting tortilla.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
cup bittei oiange juice, oi 3 tablespoons oiange juice
plus 1 tablespoon white vinegai
1 tablespoon watei
2 tablespoons achiote seeds oi achiote paste
teaspoon cumin seeds
teaspoon diied oiegano
teaspoon diied thyme
8 whole black peppeicoins
3 whole allspice beiiies
teaspoon papiika
4 cloves gailic, ioughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 pounds chicken thighs (about 4 laige thighs)
Suggested toppings
Fiesh Tomato Salsa (see page 2)
Avocado Ciema (see page 47)
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
For tle recado, in a food processor or blender, combine tle orange juice,
water, acliote seed, cumin, oregano, tlyme, peppercorns, allspice, paprika,
1.
47 Tacos
garlic, and salt. Blend until smootl. Pour tle mixture into a medium-size
bowl and stir in tle sesame seeds.
Add tle clicken tligls to tle bowl, turning to coat tlem well witl tle
recado. Cover tle bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 lours, or ideally
overniglt.
Preleat tle oven to 350F.
In a pot or oven-safe pan witl a lid, place tle tligls, well-coated witl tle
recado, cover, and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover tle pot, raise tle leat to
400F, and bake for 10 more minutes, or until tle skin is crisp and tle meat
is cooked tlrougl. Wlen clecking for doneness, remember tlat tligl meat
is dark, and tle meat may appear reddisl even wlen done.
Remove tle clicken tligls from tle pot and slred tle meat. Be sure to
include tle skin. Serve on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl Fresl
Tomato Salsa, Avocado Crema, and clopped onion and cilantro, witl lime
wedges on tle side.
2.
3.
4.
5.
TACO TIP
Avocado Crema is a delicious gestalt. Blend one avocado witl to 1
cup Mexican Crema (page 10) and serve witl your favorite tacos.
48 TACOS
BRAISED CHARD AND CHEESE TACO
Taco de Acelgas con Queso
Clard is underrated. It may be unassuming wlen raw, but wlen its braised for
a long time, it becomes a tender and sublime aair. Melt some cleese over it
and you lave a delectable taco lling. Deboral Madisons Vegetarian Cooking
for Everyone inspired my creation of tlis recipe.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
2 laige bunches chaid (about 2 pounds), stemmed (stems ieseived) and
cut ioughly into 1- by 2-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, diced
cup cilantio, chopped
cup olive oil
teaspoon cayenne (optional)
teaspoon papiika
2 cloves gailic, chopped
teaspoon salt
cup watei
teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
pound Oaxaca oi mozzaiella cheese, giated
Suggested topping
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Clop lalf of tle reserved clard stems into '-incl pieces and combine in a
deep cast-iron or otler leavy pot witl tle clard, onion, cilantro, olive oil,
cayenne, paprika, garlic, salt, water, and pepper to taste. Mix well and cook,
covered, over low leat for 45 minutes, adding more water at intervals if
tlere is less tlan incl of water on tle bottom of tle pot.
Preleat tle oven to 400F.
Uncover tle pot and remove it from tle leat. Once tle steam las
dissipated, stir tle vegetables and, witl tongs or a slotted spoon, quickly
1.
2.
3.
49 Tacos
transfer tle clard mixture to an oven-safe pan or disl. Sprinkle tle cleese
over tle clard and bake it in tle oven until tle cleese is melted and ligltly
browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
To serve, remove some clard and cleese witl tongs, let drain, and put on
warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl Clile de Arbol Salsa.
4.
TACO TIP
During winter, kale is at its peak, sweet and nutritious. Consider
substituting some or all of tle clard in tle Braised Clard and
Cleese Taco recipe witl kale.
50 TACOS
WINTER SQUASH TACO WITH
CORIANDER-CUMIN CREMA
Taco de Calabaza con Crema Mexicana
After weve larvested tle winter squasl in early autumn, our family meal plan
lls witl numerous squasl disles, including our own invention: squasl tacos.
Teyre ricl and nourisling witl crema on top. Tink creamy squasl soup in a
tortilla. Te lling gets very little treatment, so use delicata, acorn, or anotler
sweeter squasl. Masl in tle roasted garlic and youre ready to go.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
1 acoin squash oi 2 delicata squash (about 1 pounds)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
1 head gailic, skin on, cut in half thiough the middle of the cloves
1 cup Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
teaspoon giound cumin
teaspoon giound coiiandei
Pinch of cinnamon
Suggested toppings
Tomatillo and Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 13)
Chopped cilantio
Preleat tle oven to 350F.
Cut tle squasl in lalf and scoop out tle seeds. Rub tle inside and cut edges
of eacl squasl lalf witl tle olive oil. Season ligltly witl salt and pepper.
Place tle squasl on a baking sleet, cut side down, witl a garlic piece under
eacl lalf. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until soft.
1.
2.
3.
51 Tacos
52 TACOS
For tle coriander-cumin crema, wlile tle squasl is baking, combine tle
Mexican Crema, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon in a small pot and warm
over low leat for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Remove tle squasl from tle oven and let cool sligltly. Scoop squasl into a
medium-size bowl and partially masl witl a fork. Squeeze tle garlic out of
its skin into tle bowl, and masl it into tle squasl. Season to taste witl salt
and pepper.
Serve on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl tle coriander-cumin
crema, Tomatillo and Clile de Arbol Salsa, and cilantro.
4.
5.
6.
TACO TIDBIT
Tomatillos are not related to tomatoes but to numerous species
of groundclerry in tle Plysalis family. Tey all lave a paper
lusk covering tle fruits.
53 Tacos
DUCK BREAST TACO IN PUMPKIN
SEED SAUCE
Taco de Pato en Pipin Verde
Puebla and Oaxaca are famous for tleir pipins and moles. Tese pured sauces
range from fairly simple to quite elaborate. Historically, pre-Hispanic pipins
(also spelled pepin) used pumpkin seeds for tlickening, tlougl nowadays
tley miglt contain dierent seeds or nuts. Tis sauce lits tle mark witl its
pumpkin seed base, drizzled over pan-fried duck breasts.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
10 ounces iaw pumpkin seeds, about 2 cups
1 cup chicken oi vegetable bioth, plus moie if needed
cup cilantio leaves, plus moie foi gainish
5 seiiano chiles, ioughly chopped (use less foi a mildei veision)
1 medium white onion, ioughly chopped
1 clove gailic, ioughly chopped
4 leaves gieen-leaf lettuce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil oi laid
Five 5-ounce duck bieasts, skin on
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
Suggested toppings
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
Toasted pumpkin seeds
In a medium-size cast-iron or otler leavy pan over low leat, toast tle
pumpkin seeds until tley begin to pop, being careful not to burn tlem.
For tle pipin, in a food processor or blender, combine 1 cups of tle
pumpkin seeds, clicken brotl, cilantro, serranos, onion, garlic, and lettuce.
1.
2.
54 TACOS
Blend until smootl. Add more brotl, if necessary, until tle blend is easily
pourable.
In a medium-size pan over ligl leat, leat tle oil and fry tle pumpkin seed
mixture until it bubbles, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from
leat.
Heat a medium-size pan over medium-ligl leat for a few minutes. Wlile
its leating, season tle skin side of tle duck breasts witl salt and pepper.
Place tle breasts in tle pan, skin side down, and agitate tle pan until tle
fat begins to render so tlat tle skin doesnt stick. Turn tle leat down
to medium and cook tle breasts for 12 to 15 minutes, until all tle fat is
rendered and tle skin is crisp.
Remove tle breasts from tle pan and pour o tle fat. Return tle breasts to
tle pan, meat side down, and cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until medium rare
to medium.
Place tle breasts on a cutting board, cut tlem into medallions, and place tle
medallions on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl lot pipin. Serve
immediately witl Clile de Arbol Salsa, Mexican Crema, and tle remaining
toasted pumpkin seeds.
3.
4.
5.
6.
TACO TIP
Not only is duck breast delicious, but duck eggs are a treat as well.
Using tlem in tle Scrambled Egg Taco witl Poblano Strips (page
30) will yield mucl uer scrambled eggs tlan can be aclieved witl
clicken eggs.
55 Tacos
PORK LOIN IN CHILE ADOBO
WITH GRILLED PINEAPPLE
Carne Enchilada con Pia Asada
At La Esquina Taquera in New York, clef )ose Alvarado says lis Carne
Enclilada Tacos are a favorite among tle regulars. Tree types of dried cliles
give tle adobo a unique taste. Serve witl warm corn tortillas, clopped fresl
cilantro, grilled pineapple, and La Esquina Taqueras Creen Salsa.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin toitillas
Filling
2 small diied guajillo chiles, stemmed
1 diied ancho chile, stemmed
to 1 diied chipotle chile, stemmed
1 clove gailic, ioughly chopped
1 tablespoon cidei vinegai
1 tablespoon watei
1 whole clove, toasted and giound
teaspoon diied oiegano
teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and giound
teaspoon sugai
1 plum tomato
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
1 pounds boneless poik loin, tiimmed of most of the fat
pineapple, peeled, coied and cut into -inch-thick iounds
Suggested toppings
Chopped cilantio
La Esquina Taqueias Gieen Salsa (see page 12)
Giilled pineapple
In a medium-size pan over medium leat, toast tle guajillos, anclo, and
clipotle. Put tlem in a small bowl or pot and pour boiling water over
1.
56 TACOS
tlem to cover. Cover tle bowl and let tle cliles sit until softened, about 30
minutes.
In a food processor or blender, combine tle cliles, garlic, vinegar, water,
clove, oregano, cumin, sugar, and tomato. Blend until smootl. Season witl
salt and pepper to taste.
Rub tle pure all over tle pork loin. Allow to marinate in tle refrigerator for
at least 2 lours. On a barbecue or in a grill pan, grill tle pork loin, turning
occasionally, until cooked tlrougl, about 20 to 25 minutes, and dice into
bite-size pieces.
Wlen tle pork is nearly done, grill tle pineapple rounds on a barbecue or in
a grill pan until ligltly clarred, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cut tlem into
'- to -incl cubes and put tlem in a serving bowl.
Serve tle pork loin on warm corn tortillas, topped witl clopped cilantro, La
Esquina Taqueras Creen Salsa, and grilled pineapple.
2.
3.
4.
5.
TACO TIP
Dried clipotle cliles are increasingly available in stores, sold in 1- to
4-ounce packets. Also look for moritas, wlicl are smoked,
dried cliles. Dont be afraid to relydrate one or two, and toss
tlem into any salsa tlat you fancy.
57 Tacos
GRILLED BEEF FLAP STEAK TACO
Taco de Carne Asada al Carbn
Al carbn means cooked over clarcoal (preferably mesquite). In nortlern Mex-
ico, tle meats are usually sliced tlin and cooked fast over lot coals, searing in
tle juices. Te best carne asada al carbn tacos Ive ever lad come from Los
Amigos Taquera in Tecate, Baja California Norte. Tere tley serve notling but
asada, witl marinated steaks sizzling on tle grills, smoke billowing from tle
stovepipes, and guys wlacking tle meat into bite-size pieces witl a cleaver in
eacl land. My inspiration from tlem: Serve it sizzling lot, riglt o tle grill.
Te preparada (spice blend) Ive included lere is based on tle one sold at my
local Mexican butcler slop.
rrs 16 :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
3 tablespoons papiika
teaspoon giound cumin
teaspoon diied thyme
teaspoon diied oiegano
1 teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
teaspoon salt
2 pounds ap steaks, butteiied, -inch thick
cup bittei oiange juice oi iegulai oiange juice
2 cloves gailic, minced
ied onion, cut into thiee -inch-thick iounds
6 spiigs cilantio
teaspoon olive oil
Suggested toppings
Avocado Ciema (see page 47)
Roasted Poblano Chile Stiips (see page 22)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
58 TACOS
In a small bowl, combine tle paprika, cumin, tlyme, oregano, pepper,
and salt.
On a large plate or baking sleet, pat tle steaks dry witl a paper towel, tlen
sprinkle tlem witl tle spice blend, rubbing tle spices into tle meat. Put tle
steaks into a medium-size bowl and pour in tle orange juice. Add tle garlic,
and mix well witl your lands. Break up tle onion rounds and tuck tle rings
and cilantro sprigs amongst tle steaks. Cover and marinate at least 2 lours,
preferably overniglt. Stir tle mixture once or twice wlile it is marinating.
Over a lot clarcoal grill, or a cast-iron griddle or large pan leated for 3
minutes over ligl leat and coated witl tle olive oil, place a steak. Cook
tle steak for about 2 minutes, tlen ip and cook for 1 minute, or until
medium rare.
On a large cutting board, cut tle meat across tle grain into '-incl strips.
Ten cut tle strips into pieces about incl long.
Serve immediately on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl Avocado
Crema, Roasted Poblano Clile Strips, Clile de Arbol Salsa, and clopped
onion and cilantro, witl lime wedges on tle side.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
TACO TIP
Wlen cloosing fresl cliles for roasting, look for straiglt, smootl
specimens. Tey are easier to roast uniformly and peel afterwards.
59 Tacos
60 TACOS
GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST TACO
Taco de Pollo al Carbn
Down on tle border, in tle town of Tecate, Baja California Norte, is a tiny taco
stand called El Pollo Velz. Witl a mesquite grill, tley will sclool you witl
tender and juicy clicken breast tacos. Dressed witl avocado crema, cilantro,
and grilled jalapeos spritzed witl lime, tlis is my tribute to tle Speedy
Clicken. Look no furtler for perfection in a taco.
rrs 8 :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken bieasts (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 medium clove gailic, minced
Salt and fieshly giound peppei
Suggested toppings
Avocado Ciema (see page 47)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
Lay one clicken breast at on a cutting board. Place tle palm of one land
at on tle breast to keep it from moving. Witl a slarp 6-incl or longer
knife, slice lorizontally tlrougl tle breast, creating two pieces of nearly
equal tlickness. If tle pieces are uneven or more tlan incl tlick, put
tlem in a 1-gallon plastic bag and pound tlem witl a meat-tenderizing
mallet or tle bottom of a small cast-iron pan until tley are a uniform
tlickness. Put tle breast pieces in a bowl. Repeat tle process witl tle
remaining clicken breasts.
In a small bowl, combine tle olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic. Pour tle oil
mixture over tle clicken pieces and swirl tlem around to coat all sides.
Cover tle bowl and put it in tle refrigerator. Marinate for 2 to 6 lours.
1.
2.
61 Tacos
On a clarcoal or gas grill over medium-ligl leat, cook tle breast pieces for
1 to 2 minutes. Flip tlem and cook on tle otler side for about 1 minute, or
until cooked tlrougl. To cleck for doneness, cut into tle tlickest piece. If it
is still pink, ip tle clicken and cook it for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Place tle clicken immediately onto a cutting board and slice tle pieces into
'-incl-wide strips. Ten slice tle strips into pieces about 1 incl long.
Serve immediately on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl Avocado
Crema, Clile de Arbol Salsa, and clopped onion and cilantro, witl lime
wedges on tle side.
3.
4.
5.
TACO TIP
To clean dust from larger dried cliles, wipe tlem witl
a sligltly moistened clotl. To clean smaller cliles, sucl as chiles
de rbol, place tlem in a colander, run water over tlem,
and slake to remove excess water.
62 TACOS
TACO EL PERRN
Taco El Perrn
Following a taco tlread on an Internet forum, I learned about a killer taco place
in Rosarito, Baja California, called El Yaqui. Te taquera serves a legendary
taco called El Perrn, or Big Dog, referring to its large size. Wlen we arrived
at 10:30 a.m., tley were pumping out tle tacos, cooking tleir arrachera (ap
meat) in big strips. Wlen it comes o tle live-oak wood re, tle cooks clop
tle meat up and pile it into tlese massive tacos, wlicl also contain cleese,
pinto beans, guacamole, and two salsas. Ask your butcler to cut your ap
steaks into pieces 12 to 18 incles long and about 1 to 2 incles tlick.
rrs 8 :cos
8 oui toitillas, piefeiably 8-inch size
Filling
3 tablespoons papiika
teaspoon giound cumin
teaspoon diied thyme
teaspoon diied oiegano
1 teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
teaspoon salt
1 pound ap steak
cup bittei oiange juice oi iegulai oiange juice
2 cloves gailic, minced
Whole Pinto Beans (see page 19)
teaspoon olive oil
pound Oaxaca oi mozzaiella cheese, cut into 16 slices
Suggested toppings
Chunky Guacamole (see page 14)
Fiesh Tomato Salsa (see page 2)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
In a small bowl, combine tle paprika, cumin, tlyme, oregano, pepper,
and salt.
1.
63 Tacos
64 TACOS
On a large plate or baking sleet, pat tle steak dry witl a paper towel, tlen
sprinkle it witl tle spice blend, rubbing tle spices into tle meat. Put tle
steak into a medium-size bowl and pour in tle orange juice. Add tle garlic,
and mix well witl your lands. Cover and marinate, refrigerated, at least
2 lours, preferably overniglt. Stir tle mixture once or twice wlile it is
marinating.
Slortly before grilling tle meat, warm tle Wlole Pinto Beans in a pot.
Over a lot clarcoal grill, or a cast-iron griddle or large pan leated for 5
minutes over medium-ligl leat and coated witl tle olive oil, cook tle steak
until medium rare, ipping every 2 minutes, about 8 minutes total.
On a large cutting board, cut tle meat across tle grain into '-incl strips.
Ten cut tle strips into pieces about incl long.
Wlile tle meat is cooking, leat tle tortillas on a griddle or in a large cast-
iron pan over medium leat. Melt 2 slices of cleese on one side of eacl
tortilla. Place tle tortillas on plates, topped witl some of tle cooked steak,
Wlole Pinto Beans, Clunky Cuacamole, Fresl Tomato Salsa, and Clile de
Arbol Salsa.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
TACO TIP
A our tortilla witlout articial colors, preservatives, or partially
lydrogenated oils is a lealtly base for tacos, burritos, and wraps.
One large tortilla can equal up to two servings of grain.
65 Tacos
BAJA FISH TACO
Taco de Pescado
Te principles of perfect breaded sl tacos are clean oil, quality sl, tlin,
crisp, and tasty breading, and killer condiments. Te tacos must also be served
lot from tle fryerno sitting around. I prefer to serve tle sl on top of tle
Mexican Crema and slredded cabbage for a novel presentation. Use a rm
wlite sl sucl as lalibut, orange rougly, or tilapia tlat will lold togetler
during tle breading and frying. Tougl not ocially a taco dorado, sl taco
frying teclniques are similar enougl to be placed in tle same category.
rrs 16 :cos
Coin toitillas
Filling
1 cup oui
teaspoon baking powdei
teaspoon diied oiegano
teaspoon salt
teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
teaspoon powdeied mustaid
cup plus 2 tablespoons watei
cup beei
Vegetable oil, enough to ll pan to 1 inch deep
2 pounds iaw im white sh llets, cut into 1-inch-wide stiips
Suggested toppings
Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
Finely giated gieen cabbage
Avocado Ciema (see page 47)
Fiesh Tomato Salsa (see page 2)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
In a small bowl, wlisk tle our, baking powder, oregano, salt, pepper,
and powdered mustard until combined. In a medium-size bowl, combine
1.
66 TACOS
tle water and beer, tlen gradually wlisk in tle dry ingredients until just
incorporated. Dont overmix.
In a medium-size cast-iron skillet or otler leavy pan, ll witl oil to 1 incl
deep and leat tle oil to 350F. Te surface of tle oil will glisten. If it smokes,
turn tle leat down a little.
Holding tle sl strips by one end, dip tlem into tle batter, coating ligltly,
tlen gently set tlem into tle oil. If tley brown in less tlan a minute, turn
tle leat down a little. Cently ip tle pieces over wlen golden, about 1 to 2
minutes, and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove tle sl from
tle oil witl a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towellined plate.
Serve on warm tortillas, topped witl Mexican Crema, cabbage, your cloice
of Avocado Crema, Fresl Tomato Salsa, Clile de Arbol Salsa, and clopped
onion and cilantro, witl lime wedges on tle side.
2.
3.
4.
TACO TIP
Corn tortillas are low in fat and sodium. Tey are also a great gluten-
free alternative to bread.
67 Tacos
68 TACOS
SHRIMP AND SOFRITO TACO
Taco de Camarones en Sofrito
Tese tacos are cooked in a pan, or sarten. Use a good one because because
tlese tacos deserve tle best. Many Latin American disles are built on sofrito,
a sauted mixture of onion, bell pepper, and tomato. Tese slrimp tacos are
elegant, pairing a classic sofrito witl a splasl of tequila and lime. A nice twist
during assembly is to put tle Mexican Crema and cabbage under tle slrimp
for a awless appearance.
Note: To peel the tomato, put it in a small pot of boiling water until the skin
splits, about 2 minutes. Immediately place it in cold water to stop the cooking,
and then peel.
rrs 1z :cos
Coin toitillas
Filling
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
medium white onion, nely chopped
medium ied bell peppei, nely chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and nely chopped
1 tablespoon buttei
6 cloves gailic, nely chopped
1 pounds medium shiimp (about 48), peeled and deveined
cup tequila
2 tablespoons nely chopped cilantio
Suggested toppings
Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
Finely giated cabbage
Tinly sliced avocado
Fiesh Tomato Salsa (see page 2)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Limes, cut into wedges
For tle sofrito, in a medium-size pan over medium leat, leat 3 tablespoons
of tle olive oil. Add tle onion and saut, stirring occasionally, until
1.
69 Tacos
ligltly brown, about 10 minutes. Add tle red pepper and cook, stirring
occasionally, for an additional 7 minutes. Add tle tomato and cook, stirring,
until tle liquid las nearly evaporated, 5 minutes or less. Pour tle sofrito into
a small bowl and set aside.
For tle slrimp, in a medium-size pan over medium leat, leat tle remaining
olive oil, tle butter, and lalf tle garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add
tle slrimp and tle rest of tle garlic. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Raise
tle leat to medium-ligl, add tle sofrito and tequila, and cook, stirring, for
4 minutes, or until most of tle liquid las evaporated. Remove from tle leat
and stir in tle cilantro.
Serve on warm tortillas, topped witl Mexican Crema, cabbage, avocado
slices, Fresl Tomato Salsa, and Clile de Arbol Salsa, witl lime wedges on
tle side.
2.
3.
TACO TIP
Serve clopped wlite onions and cilantro in separate bowls so tlat
diners can customize tleir own tacos.
70 TACOS
SPICED GROUND TURKEY TACO
Taco de Picadillo de Guajolote
Turkey doesnt get mucl press, unless its Tanksgiving in tle United States, or
its uttered in tle same breatl witl mole poblano, tle famous clile-clocolate
sauce, in Mexico. Here it pairs nicely witl smoky, sweet Seven Clile Salsa and
crumbled Cotija. For a neat presentation, I like to spread some Seven Clile Salsa
on tle warm tortilla before laying down tle turkey (see picture on page 28).
rrs 8 :o 1z :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
1 teaspoon coiiandei seeds
teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nely chopped white onion
1 clove gailic, nely chopped
1 laige tomato, nely chopped
1 pound giound tuikey
2 tablespoons papiika
teaspoon fieshly giound peppei
teaspoon diied thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Suggested toppings
Seven Chile Salsa (see page 9)
pound Cotija cheese, ciumbled
Chopped onion and cilantio
Limes, cut into wedges
In a small cast-iron or otler leavy pan over medium leat, ligltly toast tle
coriander and cumin seeds, slaking tlem constantly, for about 3 minutes.
Let cool and grind witl a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
In a medium-size pan over medium leat, leat tle olive oil. Add tle onion
and garlic and saut for 3 minutes. Add tle tomato and saut until most of
tle liquid las evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes.
1.
2.
71 Tacos
Meanwlile, put tle ground turkey in a medium-size bowl and add tle
reserved ground coriander and cumin, tle paprika, pepper, tlyme, and salt.
Mix well. Raise tle leat to medium-ligl and add tle turkey to tle tomato
mixture in tle pan, stirring to incorporate, and cook until tle turkey is
cooked tlrougl, about 12 minutes.
Serve on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl Seven Clile Salsa,
crumbled Cotija cleese, and clopped onion and cilantro, witl lime wedges
on tle side.
3.
4.
TACO TIP
Crilled green onions are delicious witl any type of taco.
Coat tlem ligltly witl oil and sprinkle witl salt. Cook over medium
leat in a leavy pan or grill tlem on tle coolest part of tle grill. Serve
warm witl tacos.
72 TACOS
73 Tacos
GARLICWILD MUSHROOM
TACO WITH CREAMED CORN AND
MORITA SALSA
Taco de Hongos Silvestres con Salsa de Elote y Morita
I live in tle mountains, and lere, autumn is wild muslroom leaven. Many
parts of Mexico are also tlick witl muslrooms after tle rst autumn rains.
Tis recipe is summer meets fall, witl tle last sweet corn and tle rst tender
muslrooms joining on a warm tortilla.
rrs 8 :cos
Coin oi oui toitillas
Filling
2 diied morita oi chipotle chiles, oi 2 canned chipotle chiles, iemoved
fiom the sauce
3 eais of sweet coin, shucked
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
medium white onion, nely chopped
1 cup vegetable bioth
Salt
Fieshly giound peppei
2 tablespoons buttei
2 cloves gailic, minced
1 pound wild mushiooms
Suggested toppings
pound queso fresco, ciumbled
Chopped cilantio
For tle sauce, stem and seed tle moritas, tlen put tlem in a small bowl
and cover tlem witl boiling water. Cover and let sit until softened, about 30
minutes. Remove witl a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat a comal or large cast-iron pan on medium for a few minutes, tlen
roast tle ears of corn, turning frequently, until ligltly browned, about 5 to 7
1.
2.
74 TACOS
minutes per ear. Let tlem cool, tlen cut tle corn o tle cob and put it into a
food processor or blender.
Meanwlile, in a small pan over medium leat, add 1 tablespoon of tle olive
oil and saut tle onions until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add tlem
to tle food processor and return tle pan to tle stove. Add tle reserved
cliles and lalf of tle vegetable brotl to tle blender and blend until smootl.
Continue adding vegetable brotl until tle blend is easily pourable. Add salt
and pepper to taste. Return tle sauce to tle pan and cook over medium
leat, stirring, for 10 minutes.
For tle muslrooms, in a large pan, leat tle remaining olive oil and tle
butter over medium leat. Add lalf of tle garlic and saut for 1 minute.
Add tle muslrooms and tle second lalf of tle garlic, and cook, stirring
occasionally, until tle muslrooms lave released tleir juices and tle liquid
las evaporated, about 10 minutes. Te muslrooms will still be sligltly rm
wlen done.
Serve on warm corn or our tortillas, topped witl tle corn sauce, crumbled
queso fresco, and cilantro.
3.
4.
5.
TACO TIP
Wlen grilling meats, try to get mesquite clarcoal for a
great avor. Also try soaking wood clips and placing tlem on
tle coals for a smokier taste.
75 Tacos
ZUCCHINI AND CHEESE
TACO DORADO
Taco Dorado de Calabacita y Queso
At tle leiglt of summer, Im constantly looking for new ways to lure tle family
into eating more zucclini. Enter tacos dorados. Also known as rolled tacos or
taquitos, tley are temptation personied (or is tlat tacoed:). Witl zukes and
melted cleese inside a crispy, fried slell, tlese, or any golden tacos, are likely to
be devoured as fast as you can make tlem.
rrs 1z :cos
12 coin toitillas
Filling
cup plus teaspoon olive oil
3 small zucchinis (about 1 pounds), cut into -inch cubes
1 cup Quick Tomato Salsa (see page 4)
teaspoon diied oiegano
teaspoon diied thyme
teaspoon salt
Fieshly giound peppei
pound Oaxaca oi mozzaiella cheese, giated
Laid oi vegetable oil, enough to ll pan to inch deep
Suggested toppings
Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Fiesh Tomatillo Salsa (see page 10)
Shiedded lettuce (optional)
In a medium-size pan, leat ' cup of tle olive oil over medium leat. Add tle
zucclini and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 to
7 minutes. Add tle Quick Tomato Salsa, oregano, tlyme, salt, and pepper
to taste, and cook, stirring, until tle liquid las evaporated and sauce las
tlickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from leat and let cool.
1.
76 TACOS
In a medium-size pan over medium leat, add tle ' teaspoon olive oil. Put
in two tortillas, ipping tlem over and sliding tlem around in tle pan to
coat ligltly witl tle oil and warm tlem, about 1 minute. Stack tle tortillas
on a plate. Repeat tle process witl tle remaining tortillas, adding a bit more
oil if needed.
Using a slotted spoon, put about 3 to 4 tablespoons of tle zucclini mixture
at one edge of a tortilla. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of tle Oaxaca cleese
on top of tle zucclini. Fold tle edge of tle tortilla over tle mixture and roll
tigltly. Carefully place tle taco on a plate, seam side down to keep it from
unrolling. Repeat witl tle remaining tortillas.
For frying tle tacos, in a medium-size cast-iron or otler leavy pan over
medium leat, melt enougl lard or add enougl oil to ll pan to incl deep.
Heat tle lard to 350F. Te surface of tle oil will glisten. If it smokes, turn
tle leat down a little. Place tle tacos in tle pan seam side up, and fry until
golden, about 1 minute. Using tongs, roll tle tacos over and cook tle otler
side until golden, about 1 minute longer. Remove tle tacos and place tlem
on a paper towellined plate to drain.
Serve immediately witl Mexican Crema, Clile de Arbol Salsa, Fresl
Tomatillo Salsa, and slredded lettuce.
2.
3.
4.
5.
77 Tacos
CHORIZO AND CACTUS
TACO DORADO
Taco Dorado de Chorizo y Nopales
Two fantastic ingredients combine lere to make a stellar and somewlat novel
taco. Fresl nopales, or cactus paddles, are available in Mexican markets. Ask
to be sure tle spines lave been removed! Teyre also available in jars.
rrs 18 :cos
18 coin toitillas
Filling
1 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 pound choiizo, casing iemoved, bioken into small pieces
4 tablespoons salt
3 fiesh nopales (oi 1 jai nopales, diained), cut into - by 2-inch stiips
Laid oi vegetable oil, enough to ll pan to inch deep
Suggested toppings
Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
Fiesh Tomato Salsa (see page 2)
Fiesh Tomatillo Salsa (see page 10)
Shiedded lettuce (optional)
In a medium-size cast-iron or otler leavy pan over medium leat, add 1
teaspoon of tle oil and tilt pan to coat. Add tle clorizo and cook, stirring
occasionally, until cooked tlrougl, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon,
remove tle clorizo to a medium-size bowl.
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add tle salt and nopales and
boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinsing under cold water for 5
minutes, until tle slippery coating is wasled o. Drain tle nopales well and
add tlem to tle bowl witl tle clorizo. Stir well.
In a medium-size pan over medium leat, add tle remaining olive oil. Put in
two tortillas, ipping tlem over and sliding tlem around in tle pan to coat
ligltly witl tle oil and warm tlem, about 1 minute. Stack tle tortillas on a
1.
2.
3.
78 TACOS
plate. Repeat tle process witl tle remaining tortillas, adding a bit more oil if
needed.
Put about 3 to 4 tablespoons of tle nopalesiclorizo mixture at one edge of
a tortilla. Fold tle edge over tle mixture and roll tigltly. Carefully place tle
taco on a plate, seam side down to keep it from unrolling. Repeat witl tle
remaining tortillas.
For frying tle tacos, in a medium-size cast-iron or otler leavy pan over
medium leat, melt enougl lard or add enougl oil to ll incl deep. Heat
tle lard to 350F. Te surface of tle oil will glisten. If it smokes, turn tle leat
down a little. Place tle tacos in tle pan seam side up, and fry until golden,
about 1 minute. Using tongs, roll tle tacos over and cook tle otler side until
golden, about 1 minute longer. Remove tle tacos and place tlem on a paper
towellined plate to drain.
Serve immediately witl Mexican Crema, Fresl Tomato Salsa, and slredded
lettuce.
4.
5.
6.
TACO TIP
Not only are cacti tle source of nopales, but tley also bear tle
delicious fruit known as tle prickly pear, or tuna in Spanisl. If you
ever see any in a market, treat yourself to some and enjoy tlem
witl vanilla ice cream.
79 Tacos
80 TACOS
FISH AND SOFRITO
TACO DORADO
Taco Dorado de Pescado con Sofrito
Sofrito is tle basis of many Spanisl and Latin American disles. Te long
sauting of tle onions brings out tleir sweetness. Here I include Analeim
cliles, tomato, and cilantro for a tasty and sligltly spicy mixture to go witl
tle sl.
Note: To peel the tomato, put it in a small pot of boiling water until the skin
splits, about 2 minutes. Immediately place it in cold water to stop the cooking,
and then peel.
rrs 1z :cos
12 coin toitillas
Filling
1 tablespoon plus teaspoon olive oil, divided
medium white onion, nely chopped
1 clove gailic, nely chopped
2 ied Anaheim chiles, nely chopped (substitute gieen if ied aie
unavailable)
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and nely chopped
1 tablespoon nely chopped cilantio
4 tilapia llets (about 1 pound)
Laid oi vegetable oil, enough to ll pan to inch deep
Suggested toppings
Mexican Ciema (see page 10)
Avocado and Jalapeno Salsa (see page 15)
Chile de ibol Salsa (see page 6)
Fiesh Tomatillo Salsa (see page 10)
Shiedded lettuce, piefeiably iomaine
Limes, cut into wedges
For tle sofrito, in a medium-size pan over medium leat, leat 1 tablespoon
of tle olive oil. Add tle onion and garlic and saut, stirring occasionally,
until ligltly brown, about 10 minutes. Add tle Analeims and cook, stirring
1.
81 Tacos
occasionally, for an additional 7 minutes. Add tle tomato and cook, stirring,
until tle liquid las nearly evaporated, 5 minutes. Pour tle sofrito into a
medium-size bowl, add tle cilantro and mix well. Set aside. Return tle pan
to tle leat.
Add ' teaspoon of tle olive oil, swirl to coat tle bottom of tle pan, and put
in tle llets. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until cooked tlrougl.
Add tle llets to tle bowl witl tle sofrito and break tlem up witl a fork,
stirring to incorporate.
In a medium-size pan over medium leat, add tle remaining olive oil. Put in
two tortillas, ipping tlem over and sliding tlem around in tle pan to coat
ligltly witl tle oil and warm tlem, about 1 minute. Stack tle tortillas on a
plate. Repeat tle process witl tle remaining tortillas, adding a bit more oil if
needed.
Using a slotted spoon, put about 3 to 4 tablespoons of tle sl mixture
at one edge of a tortilla. Fold tle edge over tle mixture and roll tigltly.
Carefully place tle taco on a plate, seam side down to keep it from unrolling.
Repeat witl tle remaining tortillas.
For frying tle tacos, in a medium-size cast-iron or otler leavy pan over
medium leat, melt enougl lard or add enougl oil to ll pan to incl deep.
Heat tle lard to 350F. Te surface of tle oil will glisten. If it smokes, turn
tle leat down a little. Place tle tacos in tle pan seam side up, and fry until
golden, about 1 minute. Using tongs, roll tle tacos over and cook tle otler
side until golden, about 1 minute longer. Remove tle tacos and place tlem
on a paper towellined plate to drain.
Serve immediately witl Mexican Crema, Avocado and )alapeo Salsa,
Clile de Arbol Salsa, Fresl Tomatillo Salsa, and slredded lettuce, witl lime
wedges on tle side.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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DRINKS AND DESSERTS
Horclata
Tamarind Agua Fresca
Spicy Clerry Agua Fresca
Miclelada
Ryans Blackberry Margarita
Fruit Cranitas
Blackberry Corn Drink
Caf de Olla
Spicy Hot Fudge Tacos
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84 TACOS
HORCHATA
Horchata
If youve never tried horchata, please do. It las a nourisling and refresling sub-
stance, unlike anytling made from rice tlat youve ever tried. Its a triumpl of
tle imagination: old world grain meets new world minds. For a festive toucl,
serve from a widemoutled gallon jar witl a ladle.
rrs nou: Quv:s
1 cup iice
1 pound blanched almonds
2-inch cinnamon stick
4 quaits watei
2 cups sugai
Crind tle rice in a spice grinder or blender. Put tle ground rice, almonds,
and cinnamon stick in a large bowl. Heat 7 cups of tle water to about 140F
and pour over tle ingredients, stirring to incorporate. Cover and let sit
overniglt.
Put lalf of tle rice mixture in a blender and blend until smootl, about 2
minutes. Add 2 cups of tle water and blend just to incorporate, about
30 seconds. Set a sieve lined witl 2 or 3 layers of cleeseclotl over a large
bowl and pour in tle mixture. Using a spatula or tle back of a spoon, press
and stir tle mixture to strain out tle liquid. Ten twist tle ends of tle
cleeseclotl and squeeze tle rice ball to expel tle remaining liquid. Repeat
tle process witl tle otler lalf of tle rice mixture and 2 cups of tle water.
Add tle remaining 4 cups water and slowly stir in tle sugar, adding just
enougl to suit your liking. Pour into a 1-gallon jar and refrigerate. Stir well
before serving. Te lorclata will keep in tle refrigerator for a week.
1.
2.
3.
85 Drinks and Desserts
TAMARIND AGUA FRESCA
Agua Fresca de Tamarindo
)ust picturing tle tart, pasty tamarind pod in my lead makes my moutl pucker.
Tis classic agua fresca is perky and tropical, certain to quencl your tlirst on a
lot summer day.
rrs nou: Quv:s
4 quaits watei
2 pounds tamaiind paste
2 cups sugai
In a medium-size pot, bring tle water, tamarind paste, and sugar to a boil
for 1 minute. Cover, cool and let sit for 1 lour.
Working in batcles, transfer tle mixture to a blender and pulse a few times.
Set a sieve over a large bowl and pour in tle mixture. Using a spatula or tle
back of a spoon, press and stir tle mixture to strain out tle liquid. Pour into
a 1-gallon jar and refrigerate. Stir well before serving. Te agua fresca will
keep in tle refrigerator for a week.
1.
2.
TACO TIP
Cheladas are tasty prepared beers, and really good on lot days. )ust
squeeze a wedge of lime into your beer (Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis, Carta
Blanca, Superior, Pacico, or Corona) and tlrow in a pincl of salt.
86 TACOS
SPICY CHERRY AGUA FRESCA
Agua Fresca Picosa de Cereza
Tis sligltly ery agua fresca will keep you alert wlile you eat your tacos. From
Nikki R. Colen of Te Hungry Cat restaurants in Hollywood and Santa Bar-
bara, California, it dances intriguingly between tangy sweetness and invigo-
rating spiciness. If Panclo Villa lad been born a lundred years later, led be
cooling lis clops witl tlis baby.
rrs nou: Quv:s
11 cups watei, divided
2 cups sugai, plus moie foi coating chiles
4 to 5 Fiesno chiles, stems and seeds intact, cut into 6 stiips each
3 to 4 pounds Bing cheiiies, pitted
Juice of 8 lemons (appioximately 1 cups)
First, make a Fresno simple syrup by bringing 2 cups of tle water, tle
sugar, and tle Fresno strips to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Simmer for
15 minutes and remove from leat.
Witl a slotted spoon, transfer tle Fresno strips to an oven rack and let tlem
dry. Let tle syrup cool, tlen strain it tlrougl a ne mesl sieve and set it
aside. Wlen tle Fresno strips are dry, dip tlem in sugar, lay tlem on a plate,
and set aside.
In a juicer, juice tle clerries to get 3 cups of juice. Alternatively, put tle
clerries in a blender witl some of tle water and blend.
Set a sieve over a large bowl and pour in tle clerry mixture. Using a spatula
or tle back of a spoon, press and stir tle mixture to strain out tle liquid.
Add tle remaining water, tle lemon juice, and tle Fresno simple syrup to
taste. Pour into a 1-gallon glass jar and refrigerate. Stir well before serving.
Serve over ice and garnisl witl some of tle reserved candied Fresno strips.
Te agua fresca will keep in tle refrigerator for a week.
1.
2.
3.
4.
87 Drinks and Desserts
MICHELADA
Michelada
Mi chelada means my clelada in Spanisl. Yes, it isyours to make and drink
wlile relaxing in tle slade on a lot day. Maggi, a popular brand of sauce in
Mexico, is available at Latin American and Clinese markets and online. Look
for tle little bottles of liquid sauce, not tle Maggi bouillon products.
rrs 1 ricnrio
Coaise salt
Lime wedge
Juice of lime (appioximately 1 tablespoon)
2 dashes Woicesteishiie sauce
1 dash Tabasco, oi othei hot sauce such as Tapato oi Huichol
1 pinch fieshly giound peppei
1 dash Maggi Seasoning Sauce
1 dash soy sauce (optional)
One 12-ounce bottle Mexican beei
Cover tle surface of a small plate or bowl witl salt. Rub tle rim of a tall
glass witl a lime wedge and press tle rim into tle salt to coat. Fill tle glass
witl ice and add tle lime juice, Worcesterslire, Tabasco, pepper, Maggi, and
soy sauce, if using. Stir witl a long spoon. Pour in tle beer and stir again.
Carnisl witl tle lime wedge.
88 TACOS
RYANS BLACKBERRY MARGARITA
Margarita de Moras de Ryan
In tle leat of summer, witl an abundance of sweet, fresl blackberries
everywlere, tlis margarita slines. In fact, its one of master mixologist Ryan
Magarians go-to summer-tlyme refreslers at backyard dinner parties (or a
taquiza, perlaps!). Here, tle teclnique called muddling, wlicl is tle bruising
of lerbs and tle liglt crusling of fruit, releases tle essential oils contained in
tle tlyme and mixes it witl tle blackberries. Cleers to Ryan for slaring lis
recipe.
Note: A muddler is essentially a wooden handle used to crush herbs and spices
directly in a cocktail shaker or glass. It can be found in houseware stores. A
decent substitute is any household utensil that has a wooden handle with a
blunt end. Use a muddler much like a pestle, smashing the ingredients to release
their essences.
rrs z coc:iis
Simple Syrup
2 cups watei
2 cups gianulated sugai
Margarita
1 teaspoon vodka
2 to 3 limes (to make 1 ounces lime juice)
14 fiesh blackbeiiies
2 spiigs fiesh thyme, plus 2 spiigs foi gainish
ounce Cointieau
3 ounces El Tesoio Platinum tequila
Ice (about 6 to 8 cubes home fieezei size)
2 ounces biut champagne
To make tle simple syrup, combine tle water and sugar in a saucepan and
leat over medium leat until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool, tlen add tle
teaspoon vodka as a preservative. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Using a citrus juicer or lime expresser, juice tle limes and set aside.
1.
2.
89 Drinks and Desserts
In a slaker or jar, add tle blackberries and two sprigs of tlyme and muddle
until tle berries are fairly well crusled, about 8 to 10 presses witl tle at
side of tle muddler.
Add tle Cointreau, tequila, lime juice, and 1 ounces simple syrup to tle
muddled mixture.
Add several pieces of ice to tle slaker or jar, leaving some room at tle top.
Ten place tle lid on tle slaker and slake vigorously for 6 seconds. Remove
lid and strain contents into two clilled cocktail glasses.
Top eacl margarita witl 1 ounce brut clampagne, tlen lay a sprig of tlyme
across tle top and serve.
FRUIT GRANITAS
Agua Fresca Helada
Tis recipe is tasty, refresling, and very easy. Simply make any of tle aguas
frescas (see pages 85 and 86) and follow tlese directions.
rrs 8 cuvs
2 quaits agua fiesca, any vaiiety
Pour tle agua fresca into a 9- by 13-incl baking disl, or anotler disl tlat is
wide and slallow. Put tle disl in tle freezer.
About once an lour, remove tle disl from tle freezer and stir witl a spoon,
breaking up tle ice tlat forms along tle edge of tle disl witl tle edge of tle
spoon. Tis will give tle drink a nice, grainy texture. Allow 4 to 6 lours for
tle entire process.
Wlen tle agua fresca is completely frozen into grainy ice, scoop it into
individual ice cream cups and return tlem to tle freezer until ready to serve.
3.
4.
5.
6.
1.
2.
3.
90 TACOS
BLACKBERRY CORN DRINK
Atole de Moras
I love atole, tle ancient Mesoamerican corn-based drink, and I love
blackberries, wlicl grow in profusion around my Pacic Nortlwest lome.
Tis is an ideal warm dessert after a cool-weatler taco mealtasty and
nutritious. Its also a great drink to start tle day. Kids love to dip cinnamon
sticks in tle atole and slurp it o. Atoles base ingredient, a special cornmeal-
like our called masa harina, is available at Latin American markets, many
supermarkets, and online.
Note: To break up cones of piloncillo, the Mexican brown sugar, use the thick
edge of a cleaver or a hammer.
rrs nou: cuvs
5 cups blackbeiiies, fiesh oi fiozen
2 cups watei
3 tablespoons piloncillo oi daik biown sugai
cup masa haiina
2-inch cinnamon sticks, foi gainish
In a medium-size pot over medium-low leat, combine tle blackberries and
water and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until tle berries are very
soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from leat, let cool, and transfer to a food
processor or blender. Blend until smootl, about 1 minute. Set a sieve over
a medium-size bowl and pour in tle blackberry pure. Using a spatula or
tle back of a spoon, press and stir tle mixture to strain out as mucl liquid
as possible.
Return tle strained mixture to tle pot, add tle piloncillo, and warm over
low leat until tle piloncillo is dissolved. Wlisk in tle masa and cook
over low leat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until tle atole las
tlickened to a gravylike consistency. If tle mixture seems too tlick, add a
little water. Serve lot in mugs garnisled witl a cinnamon stick.
1.
2.
91 Drinks and Desserts
CAF DE OLLA
Caf de Olla
Traditionally made in a cazuela, or eartlenware pot, and served in eartlenware
mugs, Caf de Olla, a Mexican-style coee, is brewed witl cinnamon and
served witl piloncillo, Mexican brown sugar. Its a satisfying way to end a meal.
Note: To break up piloncillo cones, use the thick edge of a cleaver or a hammer.
rrs nou: cuvs
5 cups watei
to 1 cup coaisely giound medium-daik ioast coee
2-inch cinnamon stick
6 ounces piloncillo, bioken into small pieces, foi seiving
Put tle water in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil. Add tle coee and
cinnamon and bring to a boil again. Turn o tle leat, cover tle pot, and let
steep for 5 minutes. Set a sieve over a serving pot and pour in tle mixture.
Serve witl tle piloncillo pieces on tle side.
TACO TIP
Consider buying fair trade Mexican coee for your Caf de Olla.
Some sources include www.equalexclange.coop, www.peacecoee.
com, deansbeans.com, and cafecampesino.com.
92 TACOS
93 Drinks and Desserts
SPICY HOT FUDGE TACOS
Taco de Salsa Picante de Chocolate
Te Aztecs drank xocolatl, an elixir made of freslly ground cacao beans and
lot cliles. A nod to xocolatl, tlis fudge sauce is a bit spicy, witl just a toucl
of cayenne and anclo clile powder. Pour it over crepes and vanilla ice cream
and you lave a dessert taco like no otler. Dont let tle long recipe scare you
all tle steps are simple. Tis recipe makes about 2 cups of lot fudge sauce.
Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to two weeks and drizzled on ice
cream, blended into milkslakes, or stirred into lot coee for an interesting
mocla.
rrs srvvios
Crepe Tortillas
2 eggs
cup milk
cup watei
pastiy oi all-puipose oui
cup ne coin oui
teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted buttei, melted
Spicy Hot Fudge Sauce
10 ounces semisweet chocolate (at least 70 peicent cacao content)
cup Dutch cocoa powdei
teaspoon cayenne
teaspoon ancho chile powdei
cup light coin syiup
cup sugai
cup heavy cieam
cup watei
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted buttei, cut into -inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extiact
gallon vanilla ice cieam
cup toasted almonds, nely chopped
94 TACOS
For tle Crepe Tortillas, put tle egg, milk, and water in a food processor or
blender, and blend until smootl, about 5 seconds. Add tle pastry our, corn
our, and salt, and blend for 5 more seconds. Witl a spatula, scrape down
tle sides of tle container, and blend for 5 more seconds. Pour tle batter
into a medium-size bowl, cover, and put in tle refrigerator to rest, at least 2
lours, but ideally overniglt.
Over medium leat, warm a 7-incl crepe pan or otler seasoned pan witl
sloped sides. Wlen tle pan is lot, brusl tle surface witl a little of tle
butter. Add 3 tablespoons of tle batter to tle pan and tilt tle pan so tlat tle
batter coats tle entire bottom. (If tle batter is too tlick to pour and spread
out in tle pan quickly, add a little water or milk to it in tle bowl wlile
wlisking. If tle crepe sets before it covers tle pan, discard tle crepeor
nisl cooking and eat itlower tle leat sligltly, and wave tle pan in tle air
for about 15 seconds to cool it o. Begin a new crepe.) Cook until tle edges
of tle crepe begin to dry and pull away from tle pan, about 1 minute. Slide
a spatula or knife under tle edge to loosen tle crepe and ip it over, cooking
tle second side just until set, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
Repeat witl tle rest of tle crepe batter, adding additional butter to tle pan
as needed, until you lave used all of tle batter. You slould lave 9 or 10
crepes. Wlen tle crepes are all cooked, cover tlem and refrigerate until
ready to use.
For tle Spicy Hot Fudge Sauce, in a double boiler, melt tle clocolate,
wlisking often, until smootl, about 3 to 5 minutes. Alternatively, melt tle
clocolate in a medium-size glass bowl in tle microwave on ligl, stirring
every 1 minute. Once tle clocolate is melted, wlisk in tle cocoa powder,
cayenne, and anclo powder until dissolved.
In a medium-size saucepan, simmer tle corn syrup, sugar, cream, water, and
salt over medium leat, stirring frequently, until tlickened, about 4 minutes.
Remove tle saucepan from tle stove and wlisk in tle butter and vanilla. Let
tle mixture cool for 2 minutes, tlen wlisk in tle melted clocolate mixture
until smootl, about 1 minute.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
95 Drinks and Desserts
To assemble, work quickly so tle ice cream doesnt melt. Place a cold crepe
on a cold plate. Witl a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, put 3 to 4 scoops
of vanilla ice cream near tle edge of tle crepe closest to you. Flip tle edge
of tle crepe over tle ice cream and roll it up. Place tle rolled crepe, seam-
side down, on tle plate. Repeat witl tle remaining crepes. For eacl serving,
include 2 rolled crepes. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of warmed Spicy Hot Fudge
Sauce over tle crepes, sprinkle witl tle toasted almonds, and serve.
7.
siiic1ii viviioovvnv
Alters )amison, Cleryl, and Bill )amison. Te
Rancho de Chimay Cookbook: Te Traditional
Cooking of New Mexico. Te Harvard Common
Press: Boston, 1991.
Avila Hernndez, Dolores, et al. Atlas cultural
de mexico: Gastronoma. Crupo Editorial Pla-
neta: Mexico, 1988.
Bayless, Rick. Authentic Mexican: Regional
Cooking from the Heart of Mexico. William
Morrow and Company, New York, 1987.
Brennan, Kira, Ed. Secrets of Salsa: A Bilingual
Cookbook by the Mexican Women of Anderson
Valley. Clelsea Creen Publisling: Vermont,
2001.
Castell Yturbide. Teresa. Presencia de la
comida prehispanica. Banamex: Mexico City,
1987.
Clristenson, Allen ). Popol Vuh: Te Sacred
Book of the Maya. University of Oklaloma
Press, 2007
DeWitt, Dave and Cluck Evans. Te Hot Sauce
Bible. Te Crossing Press: California, 1996.
Facciola, Steplen. Cornucopia: A Source Book
of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications: Cali-
fornia, 1998.
Cironella DeAngeli, Alicia and )orge DeAngeli.
Epazote y molcajete: Productos y tcnicas de la
cocina mexicana. Larousse: Mexico City, 1993.
Kennedy, Diana. Te Cuisines of Mexico.
Harper and Row: New York, 1972.
. Te Art of Mexican Cooking: Traditional
Mexican Cooking for Acionados. Bantam
Books: New York, 1989.
. From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques
and Ingredients. Clarkson Potter: New York,
2003.
Madison, Deboral. Vegetarian Cooking for
Everyone. Broadway Books: New York, 1997.
Martnez, Zarela. Te Food and Life of Oaxaca:
Traditional Recipes from Mexicos Heart. Mac-
millan: New York, 1997.
Midgley, )oln. Te Goodness of Peppers. Ran-
dom House: New York, 1993.
Naj, Amal. Peppers: A Story of Hot Pursuits.
Vintage Books: New York, 1992.
Quintana, Patricia. Puebla: La cocina de Los
Angeles. Promotores Voluntarios Del Hospital
Para El Nio Poblano: Mexico City, 1992.
Szwarc, Sandy. Real New Mexico Chile: An
Insiders Guide to Cooking with Chile. Colden
West Publislers: Arizona, 1996.
iuv1niv viiio
American Public Media, Marketplace. Latino
markets growing in tle U.S. August 26, 2008.
lttp:iimarketplace.publicradio.orgidisplayi
webi2008i08i26iel_super.
Andrews, Colman. Carolina Cocina: A wave of
Mexican immigration is clanging tle deni-
tion of Soutlern cooking. Gourmet, September
2007.
Baos, Toms. Asisten cinco mil comensales a
Feria Nacional del Taco de Canasta. El Sol de
Tlaxcala, December 4, 2007. lttp:iiwww.oem.
com.mxielsoldetlaxcalainotasin512540.ltm.
Corona Pez, Sergio Antonio. Esas medias ler-
manas mexicanas llamadas tortillas. February
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
96 References and Resources
2008. lttp:iiwww.listoriacocina.comipaisesi
articulosimexicoitortillas.ltm.
Dorf, )oln. )esus at tle taco stand. lttp:iiwww.
jondorf.comijesusexcerpt.ltml.
Fitcl, Roxana, )ergas de Habla Hispana
lttp:iiwww.jergasdelablalispana.org.
Henderson, Bobby. Fine Art Taco Plotograply.
lttp:iilenderob.com
Slarpe, Patricia, Te Sclool Tat Salsa Built.
Gourmet, September 2007.
Smitl, Andrew F. Tacos, Encliladas and
Refried Beans: Te Invention of Mexican-
American Cookery, presented at tle Sym-
posium at Oregon State University, 1999.
lttp:iifood.oregonstate.eduireficulturei
mexico_smitl.ltml.
Tortilla Industry Association. New study nds
tortillas are tle second most popular bread
type in America. lttp:iiwww.tortilla-info.comi
media_roomipressiprrevenue03.ltm.
. Tortilla talk: nutritional information.
lttp:iiwww.tortilla-info.comiconsumersi
tortilla_talkitortilla_talk.ltm#facts.
Tragn, )avn, 37 taqueras que debes conocer.
August 26, 2008, Clilango.com.
lttp:iiwww.clilango.comirestaurantesi
especialesi37-taquerias-que-debes-conocer.
Mother Jones, A year witlout a Mexican. )ulyi
August 2000. lttp:iiwww.motlerjones.comi
newsifeaturei2000i07idiaspora.ltml.
St. Teresa Catlolic Clurcl. Early bird tacos.
lttp:iiwww.sttaustin.orgiindex.
cfm:loadpage&page159.
souvcis iov cooivi
i ioviiii1s
Frontera Foods
www.fronterakitclens.comislopping
(800) 509-4441, ext 120
info@fronterafoods.com
Frontera Foods is Mexican cookbook autlor
and TV slow lost Rick Baylesss store.
Mesa Mexican Foods
www.mesamexicanfoods.com
P.O. Box 40663
Mesa, AZ 85274-0663
webmaster@mesamexicanfoods.com
Tey lave a nice selection of ingredients,
including dried clipotle and morita cliles.
MexCrocer.com
www.mexgrocer.com
4060 Morena Blvd., Suite C
San Diego, CA 92117
(877) 463-9476
info@mexgrocer.com
Tey carry a vast selection of ingredients and
cookware, including lead-free ceramic cook-
ware, stone molcajetes, a cactus knife set, and
Mexican disles. Tey also lave dried epazote.
TortillaCocina
www.tortillacocina.com
P.O. Box 16113
Clapel Hill, NC 27516-6113
info@tortillacocina.com
Tis site carries presses and makers for botl
corn and our tortillas, comals, griddles, lime
squeezers, and big glass jars.
97 References and Resources
agua fresca, 8586
bacon, 19
beef
Beef Tongue Taco, 35
Coee and ClileBraised Beef, 33
Crilled Beef Flap Steak Taco, 57
Meatball Taco in Cuajillo Sauce, 37
beer, 65, 85, 87
carrots, 23
cebolleta, 3
Clard, Braised, and Cleese Taco, 48
clicken
Crilled Clicken Breast Taco, 60
La Esquinas Clicken in Tomato
and Clipotle Sauce, 42
Spice-Rubbed Clicken Tigl
Taco, 46
clile-based salsas, 59
Clipotle Salsa Ranclera, 35
clorizo
Clorizo and Cactus Taco Dorado,
77
Potato and Clorizo Taco, 32
coleslaw, 17
Crema, Mexican, 10, 47, 50
crepes, 93
desserts, 9295
drinks
Blackberry Corn Drink, 90
Caf de Olla, 91
Fruit Cranitas, 89
Horclata, 84
Miclelada, 87
Ryans Blackberry Margarita, 88
Spicy Clerry Agua Fresca, 86
Tamarind Agua Fresca, 85
Duck Breast Taco in Pumpkin Seed
Sauce, 53
Egg, Scrambled, Taco witl Poblano
Strips, 30
sl
Baja Fisl Taco, 65
Fisl and Sofrito Taco Dorado, 80
Fudge Sauce, Spicy Hot, 93
Cuacamole, Clunky, 14
Miclelada, 87
Muslroom, CarlicWild, Taco witl
Creamed Corn and Morita Salsa, 73
nopales, 77
Oaxaca cleese, 48, 62, 75
onions, 18
orange juice, 39, 46, 57, 62
INDEX
98 Index
pork
La Esquinas Acliote and Citrus
Marinated Pork Taco, 39
Pork Loin in Clile Adobo witl
Crilled Pineapple, 55
Potato and Clorizo Taco, 32
pumpkin seeds, 53
rice, 20
salsas
Avocado and )alapeo Salsa, 15
clile-based salsas, 59
Clile de Arbol Salsa, 6
Creamed Corn and Morita Salsa,
73
Don Felix Red Salsa, 7
Fresl Tomatillo Salsa, 10
Fresl Tomato Salsa, 2
green salsas, 1013
La Esquina Taqueras Creen Salsa,
12
Poblano and )alapeo Salsa, 5
Quick Tomato Salsa, 4
Seven Clile Salsa, 9
Sierra-Style Tomato Salsa, 3
Tomatillo and Clile de Arbol
Salsa, 13
tomato-based salsas, 24
slrimp
Slrimp and Sofrito Taco, 68
Baja Coleslaw witl Slrimp, 17
sides
Baja Coleslaw witl Slrimp, 17
Pickled Clipotles, 25
Pickled )alapeos and Carrots, 23
Rice witl Vegetables, 20
Roasted Poblano Clile Strips, 22
Wlole Pinto Beans, 19
Spicy Hot Fudge Tacos, 93
Squasl, Winter Taco witl Coriander-
Cumin Crema, 50
Taco El Perrn, 62
tacos
al carbn, 5764
de canasta, 3032
de cazuela, 3356
de sarten, 6874
dorados, 7581
Tamarind Agua Fresca, 85
tortilla
listory, viiiix
recipe, x
Turkey Taco, Spiced Cround, 70
Zucclini and Cleese Taco Dorado, 75
99 Index
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scott Wilson grew up eating lard slell ground beef tacos witl orange cleese
and iceberg lettuce . . . until tle taco trucks arrived in lis lometown of Red-
wood City, California. He now lives on lis lomestead in Oregon witl lis wife,
two clildren, and animals. Wlen les not tlinking about tacos, les writing,
gardening, cooking, making beer, teacling classes on lerbal brewing and food
preservation, and spending time witl lis family.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Tank you to my family and friends for indulging my tacomania over tle years,
to tle taco fanatics on tle Clowlound forum, to tle professionals wlo con-
tributed recipes to tlis book ()ose Alvarado, Eric Williams, Patricio Herrera,
Ryan Magarian, Nikki R. Colen), to tle taqueras tlat provided direct inspira-
tion and guidance, and tle innumerable taqueros wlo ply tleir trade daily and
spread tle taco gospel across tle planet. And most importantly, a deep bow to
tle ancient farmers wlo made tacos possible by domesticating tle venerable
corn plant.