Posts Tagged ‘tacos’

Korean Braised Short Rib Tacos with Caramelized Leek and Shallot Slaw

December 3, 2012

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Who said you have to drive all the way to California to get great fusion tacos? We’ve broken the “code” and you’ll never want to leave the house again.

I’ve been experimenting with cooking short ribs lately, although I haven’t made the jump to inserting them into tortillas yet. Last night…I did and I can say that they might have been the most interesting (best?) taco combos I’ve ever had. The whole evening was fantastic, from the whole house being bathed in a perfume of sweet yet savory pear soy wonderfulness to the puro margarita I had while preparing it and the meandering path of rare tequilas I enjoyed afterwards. This is a highly recommended recipe and could be easily done with seitan for a much healthier take with all the flavor. Check it out!

Ingredients

2 lbs Short Ribs
1 c Soy Sauce
1/2 c Sesame Oil
1/2 c Mirin, Rice Wine
1 Asian Pear, sliced
6-7 cloves of Garlic, minced
3/4 c Sugar in the Raw
1 c Water

1 Shallot, thinly sliced
1 Leek, julienned
1 Cucumber, julienned

Tortillas

Directions

Soak the short ribs for roughly 30 minutes in your cooking sauce pan, drain, refill with water and simmer for another 30 minutes. Drain again and remove the short ribs. In the sauce pan combine Soy, Sesame Oil. Rice Wine, Garlic, Pear, Sugar and Water in the pot and bring to a simmer, add short ribs and let simmer covered for 45 minutes. Remove the short ribs, trim the fat and remove the bones. Chop according to your liking and set aside while the sauce reduces, about 20 minutes.

While sauce is reducing combine the shallot and leek in a saute pan with a small amount of olive oil and cook until slightly browned, set aside.

In the same saute pan add the chopped short ribs and drizzle a small amount of the reduced sauce over the meat and saute for a few minutes. This step basically warms the meat back up.

Place the meat inside the tacos, top with slaw and enjoy! I had some Mexican Street Corn as my side but black beans would do just as nice. These are god enough you also might want to just forego the sides and have an extra taco. They’re that good!

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Cocktails: Puro Margarita
Tequilas: Siete Leguas Blanco, Chinaco Reposado (red label, treasure), Fortaleza Reposado, El Tesoro Anejo (White Label, treasure). The pic shows a Centinela 3 Year Extra Anejo but I never poured it after the ETWLA. It’s a very delicate spirit and I thought it would have been overpowered by the ET.

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Want to make your tacos go from great to orgasmic?

November 1, 2012

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Did I mention it’s easy? Not all of us have the time to make fresh tortillas every time we want to indulge in some authentic Mexican food. That works on the weekends, but during a work night, it’s just too much work and we settle for store bought tortillas. While some are better than others, this quick step will seriously turn a great meal into one where your spouse(or whoever you have over) tear your clothes off. Whether they are ravaging you or trying to kill you ala Once upon a time in Mexico is to be determined.

Take an extra pan while you’re preparing your meal (tacos I hope) set to medium heat and add a touch of oil or butter to the pan. Brown the tortillas(corn please, it doesn’t work so well with flour) for a minute or so on each side. They will become slightly firm but the flavor increases to 11(insert spinal tap joke here_____). You’ll never go back to regular tortillas again.

Toasted Guajillo Salsa

October 12, 2012

Ok, so it’s not really a salsa in the way that us gringo’s think of salsa in the traditional way. Salsa means sauce and this is more of a sauce than a salsa, at least to americans. I pulled this right off the June issue of Bon Appetit as it looked to good not to replicate. Douse (sparingly) on tacos, burritos, pizza…whatever and enjoy.

Ingredients
4 ounces dried guajillo chiles (about 18), stemmed
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Preparation

-Heat a large dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, toast chiles until slightly puffed and fragrant, 15–20 seconds per side. Let cool.

-Using kitchen scissors and working over a medium bowl, cut chiles into thin rings, reserving seeds. Cover with 2 cups very hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.

-Meanwhile, heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, turning often, until tender and skin is lightly charred, about 8 minutes. Let cool. Peel; trim ends.
Transfer chiles with seeds and liquid to a blender; add roasted garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining ingredients. Pulse until a thick, coarse purée forms. Season with salt.

Homemade seitan thrown into some tacos

October 5, 2012

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The directions below were lifted off the Bob’s Red Mill website being that it was the product I used to make this. It should be available at Whole Foods or online.

2 cups Water
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Marjoram
1/2 tsp Sage
2 cups GLUTEN FLOUR

Broth
2 Tb Soy Sauce
2 Tb Molasses
6 cups Water
Directions

Bring to a boil the water for the broth, molasses and soy sauce.

Mix together the gluten flour and spices. Add water to mixture and stir into a sponge-like dough. This should not be excessively wet. Knead dough a minute to make dough tougher and more elastic. Cut into 2 x 2 inch pieces and place into boiling broth. Cook in broth for about 1 hour, lowering heat as needed. Drain and use seitan for a stir-fry, sandwiches, stews and more.

Makes 12 servings.

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Yesterday was National Taco Day (I know, horrible that I didn’t even make a post about it…and I’m the taco hunter!) so for dinner I made some tacos up with this seitan. By itself, the seitan is lacking. It’s a little rubbery and doesn’t have a ton of flavor. I think some tweaking to the recipe is definitely in order. Especially adding some authentic Mexican spices.

My tacos consisted of some chopped grilled onion, cilantro, a touch of cotija cheese and a light drizzle of Whole Foods Chipotle Ranch salad dressing to add a little fat to the otherwise extremely healthy and reasonably light meal. I tossed the corn tortillas in a skillet for about 20 seconds on each side to warm and char just a bit. For a quick vegetarian meal, it was pretty tasty. A side of my guacamole rounded the evening out.

Check it out and let me know what changes you made to the recipe…if any.

Food Truck Festival in Greensboro

September 28, 2012

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Last weekend some enterprising individuals brought some of the regions food trucks from Charlotte and Raleigh to the Greensboro area for a food truck festival to the Spring Garden and Chapman intersection. I don’t know if the organizors expected it do be as successful but man it was slammed! It looks like this is becoming a normal thing to the area, which brings some much needed innovation to the GSO food scene.

There were about 12 trucks serving burritos, sausages in baguettes, cakes, ice cream, sandwiches, dumplings, bbq, do I need to keep going? There was also music going at the Blind Tiger and at Sessions. Some random folks were hawking their ‘wares. All in all it was a really cool scene. I wish I would have brought more of a hunger to try more things.

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Natty Greens was pouring some beers and there was a winery pouring vino. The blind tiger and Sessions were also serving beers. I thought I was going to have a bunch of smaller meals at multiple trucks but the lines were just too long and the serving sizes were pretty large. I found myself at the 1618 food truck for the some Korean braised pork tacos (what else?) with a side of truffle fries. It was fantastic and well worth the $8 bucks. Crappy pics, but I was shooting a pic with my phone while palming a beer and balancing all of it in a crowd. Did I mention there were hundreds of people here? Those hundreds of people made the lines for food 20 minutes plus.

Below is a link to the food trucks that will be set up during lunch and dinner hours during the week. It’ll be located by the Grasshopper stadium around Eugene and bellemeade streets.

Check it out!

http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/index.aspx?page=3839

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spring-Garden-Food-Truck-Festival/405813872800174

BBQ Tofu Tacos

September 12, 2012

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I made this recipe for my wife as a substitute for the Pork Belly Tacos I’ll be posting shortly. Although I was sucking down braised pork belly, these were pretty damn delicious too. It’s straight up food truck style too. I started with a BBQ sauce I adapted from my fathers recipe and added some Oskar Blues Old Chub beer. It’s a fantastic mix of sweet, spicy and savory and works well on…just about everything.

Outside of preparing the BBQ sauce this meal takes no time to prepare, if of course you dont count the 45 minutes it was in the oven. Oven you say? this means you can easily fit in a couple of drinks and have time to whip up some fresh salsa. The drinks will do double duty to make the meal taste better should you burn it.

In this version I also used an off-the-shelf coleslaw mix that’s readily available at most grocers. Mine came without any sauce to it, just cabbage and carrots so it makes a perfect base to season with a little rice wine vinegar and some spicy peppers should your taste buds be looking for a little bit more heat.

The Souse (spelled incorrectly on purpose)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ cup canned chipotle peppers
1 cup Old Chub or similar beer
Directions
-In a 2-quart pot, heat butter and sauté onions until they’re soft. Add the remaining ingredients except for the beer and simmer 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and return to pot. Add the beer and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. Adjust seasoning as needed and use however you want.
Pressing tofu. This is absolutely necessary if you want the tofu to retain any seasoning. It only takes about an hour so it needs to be done ahead of time and even a day ahead should you want to marinate it. Since tofu is a block of soy soaked in water it will repel marinades and sauces. Fold a paper towel and place it in the center of a deep dish, place tofu on top of the towel and set something weighted on top of the tofu, sauce pans work great. Let it sit for about an hour and pour off the water. You will see immediately the tofu block is drier and lighter. NOW you’re ready to cook up some amazing tofu. It’ll spatter a lot less if you fry it too.
To cook the tofu (in the oven) preheat your oven to 375* and line a cookie sheet or similar in aluminum foil. Spoon out a base layer of sauce and lay the slices of tofu on top. Then spoon more bbq sauce over top of the tofu. Put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how much you’re doing. These times are for one standard block of tofu sliced into pieces about 1/4″ thick.
In a very lightly oiled pan, cook the tortilla’s just to brown them slightly on each side. Add tofu and some slaw. Roll up and enjoy!

INC Street Food

May 15, 2012

Last weekend we took a drive into Downtown Roswell. It was a beautiful day that was calling for food and drink outside and a stroll. We saw an open table at INC Street Food and sat down without a clue as to what was on the menu. Turns out it was inspired by Mexican street food…score!

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These were our damn fresh cocktails. The margarita was good but the Pomegranate Paloma was fantastic. I can appreciate that they used Heradura Blanco and freshly made sweet and sour but it tasted a little flat especially next to the Paloma. While not an authentic Paloma, I can appreciate the new take on it. It didn’t help that it was good. They also had a stout tequila menu with some killer prices. We didn’t try any but we’ll definitely be back. The only thing that I question about the tequila menu is the abnormally low prices. This could be a 1 oz. pour instead of a 1.5-2 oz. pour that other place would normally do. We’ll find out and update you.

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INC Street Food

948 Canton St
Roswell, Ga

770.998.3114

http://www.incstreetfood.com/

Rio Grande

March 23, 2012

Today a coworker and I were digging on some Mexican, well she was at least. I dig on Mexican all the time. Its been a while since we’ve gone out to lunch and we were in the mood for something new. We’ve been to a few places neaerby but none even worth mentioning here, today that changed.

I had checked out the menu online prior and it had promise, but it was also filled with all those typical cheese covered, pre-made salsa type dishes. While eyeing the menu I saw my ticket, Tacos Jalisco Style available in asada, pastor, chicken or carnita’s…Pastor please!

 

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Well you should have known, but I ordered the Pastor AND carnita’s. They were made just how I like too, freshly chopped onion, cilantro, radish and double wrapped in corn tortilla’s. First up was the carnita’s. They were a little light on the amount of meat used but they were still great. You could make the case that they were slightly overcooked but I liked the crisp edges in contrast to the juicy meat inside that added a wonderful “homemade” feel to them. I ended up ditching  the second tortilla being that they weren’t too wet and the tortilla’s were pretty thick and soaked up all the flavors. I ended up doing this for all the tacos although the al pastor tacos were on the verge of busting for the last bite. The al pastor was phenomenal!  Wonderfully spiced with earthy dry flavors of achiote but still moist and sweet from the pineapple. These are a must get. In fact they could be the best in Greensboro…for now. Carnita’s 3.5/5, Al Pastor 5/5.

Everything was fresh, including the salsa and my coworkers veggie burrito was filled with squash and broccoli which also looked great. I didn’t try it but she enjoyed it. They had a decent tequila selection so my next visit will include beers and a shot…or two. Give this place a shot, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Apparently this place must be starting a trend. Soon you’ll see his face just like you see Soprano’s pics in Italian restaurants.

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Rio Grande
6909 Downwind Road, Greensboro, NC
(336) 393-0524
riograndegrillandcantina.com

Poblano’s Mexican Bar & Grill

October 22, 2011

Over the weekend we headed out for some Mexican and decided to try somewhere new. That place, was Poblano’s. You may already know how I feel about the standard Mexican Restaurant that plagues strip malls with their overly sweet margarita’s and the perennial Speedy Gonzalez lunch combo. I’ll save you from the rant about how these places give a false sense of what American’s think of as real Mexican food.  So it this place any different?

The location and decor would not tell you differently. Strip mall next to a grocery store, check. Bright color decor complete with beer ads and sombrero’s, check. I gotta admit, things are looking pretty grim. We were quickly seated which partially worried me that the place was almost empty but it was about 9pm on a Saturday and this place isn’t exactly in the thick of major commerce. In fact I think we saw multiple deer on the way there.

At the table we were greeted with an ad for a Cazadores Repo cocktail with fresh orange, lime and pineapple juice. How can the Cazadores de Taco NOT get Cazadores tequila? I mean this was the tequila that started it all for me. My first true intro to the world of agave. The ad was partially misleading since it wasn’t all mixed together.

5710 High Point Road
Greensboro, NC 27407

(336) 316-1212 ‎
http://poblanosmexicangrill.com/

Pickled Red Onions – a recipe from the gods

September 24, 2011

 

I know, bold statement about something with 5 ingredients that requires almost no cooking but I’m serious. Last night I was having a conversation with my bosses wife about pickled onions and I told her I had a recipe for some Mexican style that added a little heat to them. It’d been a while since I’ve made these delectable little bastards so I decided to whip up a batch and pass along the recipe. Pickled onions are a great condiment to use for tacos, nachos, tortas, or whatever you can dream up. It’s stupid easy to make to boot. Have at it.

The Ingredients

1 Red Onion, sliced thin
2 Serrano Peppers, sliced thin longways
1 c white vinegar
1 1/2 c water
2-3 tbsp sugar, depending on how sweet you want
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt (I always use Kosher salt in my recipes, and no I’m not Jewish)

How-to

In a pot on low heat combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the onions and peppers, stir and remove from heat. Place everything in a bowl to cool and cover. Leave out overnight then refrigerate. This should keep for about a week, if it lasts that long. Enjoy