Posts tagged “Mexican

Beef Brisket Tacos

I love tacos. I really do. But I get tired of the ground-meat variety and wanted something a little more authentic.

I chose brisket because it has a deep, robust flavor and cooks beautifully when braised for a few hours on low heat.  You can use another tough cut as well, such as chuck, if you don’t care for the taste of brisket.

The coffee gives it a nice background flavor that you really can’t put your finger on, but you know something is there. The brown sugar gives a touch of sweetness to the spiciness of the rub, but it’s not overly sweet.

I prefer to serve these with corn tortillas heated in pan with a bit of oil. It crisps them up just a little bit and makes the texture really nice, as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3lb) beef brisket
  • 3 cups beef broth
  •  1 3/4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Juice of 2 limes

Preheat oven to 325° F

Measure out all of your dry ingredients for the dry-rub. You don’t have to arrange them prettily on a plate, but it sure is fun.

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Liberally sprinkle your brisket with spice mixture and give it a nice rub down. Everyone likes a massage, even beef.

If there is some spice mixture left over, you can add this to the beef broth in a later step.

Heat a large pan, such as Ducth Oven, over medium-high heat and add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Get it nice and hot.

Carefully lower the brisket into the pan and brown nicely on both sides. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the juice of one of the limes over the meat.

Add all of the beef broth and any leftover spice mixture to the liquid. Cover pan with a heavy lid and place in the upper part of the oven.

Cook for about 1.5 hours and turn meat over. At this point, you may want to lower the heat to 300°, if it is boiling too much. Cook an additional 1.5 hours, or until fork-tender. Let cool until you are able to handle it.

Place on a board and shred meat using two forks.

Return to pan with its liquid. Squeeze an additional lime into it and cook for another 20 minutes or so. You may need to add a bit of water if it looks too dry before heating.

Remove from pan, place into a serving dish and serve with your choice of toppings, such as guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese and sour cream. Basically, whatever you like. Even as is.

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

This is so much better than the little package.  And…..you probably have most of the spices already in your spice collection.  I modified it a little and added some of the jalapeno powder that I had, plus a teaspoon of salt.  Exactly 7 teaspoons of this equals what is in that package.

  • 6 tsp. of chili power
  • 5 tsp.  paprika
  • 4 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

I added, optionally:

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. jalapeno powder

Mix all together and store in an air-tight container in a cool place for up to six months.

Recipe courtesy of mex-recipes.com.


Fire-Roasted Chicken Enchiladas

I made this for the first time today.  I call it fire-roasted because I did just that, fire-roasted the chicken and the peppers on the grill.  The canned tomatoes for the sauce are also fire-roasted.

This can easily be a gluten-free meal by using corn tortillas.  Just make sure the package does say “Gluten-free.”

Let me say, this is a time-consuming recipe.  BUT, totally worth it.  It’s not difficult, just a lot to do.   A lot of prepping and chopping. But I know you’re up to the task.  Especially since it’s so good.  And that’s worth it, right?  Plus, it’s fun.

So sharpen up your best knives and get cooking.

For the enchilada filling:

  • 2 whole chicken breasts, grilled and shredded to yield 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup roasted green jalapenos, chopped or 4oz. can chopped jalapenos.
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (low fat is fine)
  • juice from one lime
  • cracked pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin

After cooking and shredding the chicken, mix in a bowl with the sour cream, peppers, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Begin to make the enchilada sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled, diced fine
  • 1 tsp. chili powder- mild or hot
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the chopped onion with the spices. About five minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Assembly:

  • Enchilada filling
  • Enchilada sauce
  • 10 – 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar mix
  • Freshly chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil or spray a baking dish.  Spread about a ladle full (about 4 oz.) of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Heat tortillas. You can either microwave them for about 40 seconds or heat them in a pan with a little oil.

Put a heaping spoonful of the filling on each tortilla and roll up. Roll around in sauce and place seam side down in the baking pan.

Cover with the remaining sauce and top with cheese and cilantro.  Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.

Serve with The Best Guacamole Ever and additional sour cream and maybe a black bean salad on the side. Oh….don’t forget the Margarita.


The Best Guacamole Ever

I had an amazing guacamole one time at El Vez over in Philadelphia. Good thing for me, it was made table side.  I was able to watch how they made it and then was able to make it for my family.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • half of a red onion, diced
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped tomato
  • juice of half a lime
  • kosher salt to taste – about 1/2 tsp.

Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside.

To prepare the avocados:

Cut avocado lengthwise around into two halves.  Carefully, with the heel of your knife, remove the stone.  Or pop it out if it’s ripe enough.  Score the fruit into a checkerboard pattern and scoop or squeeze it into a bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Lightly stir.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Serve with chips or as an accompaniment to dishes such as Fire-Roasted Chicken Enchiladas.