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Northern Style Flour Tortillas

Northern Style Flour Tortillas

Northern Style Flour Tortillas

INGREDIENTS - makes 24 to 30 tortillas

4 cups all purpose flour (avoid flours with high protein content, anything under 13%)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, lard, or room temperature butter
1 3/4 cup hot water

  1. Mix dry ingredients. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add shortening. Add vegetable shortening (or whatever fat you are using) and rub it in with your fingers. It should resemble sand with a few pea-sized pieces of fat.
  3. Knead. Add water and mix to form a wet dough. It will be sticky. Turn out onto a unfloured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. It will be really sticky at first but eventually will form a smooth dough. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough off the counter as you go if necessary.
  4. Let rest. Grease a large bowl place the dough inside and turn to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 20 minutes. 
  5. Divide the dough. Pinch off a small piece of dough (a digital scale is really handy for this). The size of the piece will depend on how large your comal or skillet you will be cooking the tortillas on is (a little bigger than a golf ball) which give us 8-inch tortillas. Roll into smooth balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth. 
  6. Heat the pan. Place a comal or other nonstick skillet over medium heat and let warm at least 3 minutes before you cook any tortillas on it. 
  7. Roll the tortillas. Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured counter and flour a rolling pin. Roll each ball into a very thin circle. You should be able to see your hand through it. The thinner the better. 
  8. Cook. As you roll place each tortilla on the hot, dry skillet and cook undisturbed until toasted and bubbles cover the surface, about 1 minute. Flip and cook another minute on the other side. Keep warm in a clean towel and repeat with remaining dough.
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Entomatadas alla Pollock

Entomatadas alla Pollock

This simple homey Mexican recipe is a comfort food for all who know it, entomatadas like enchiladas or enfrijoladas or enmoladas, all carry the same idea but a different sauce.

Entomatadas have a simple non spicy tomato sauce that reminds one of hugs from la abuela!

Entomatadas alla Pollock

Tortillas Komali 15cm Tradicional

3 Chile Guajillo

2 Chile Arbol

3 tomatoes

1/2 onion

1 garlic 

Oil for frying

salt to taste 

Fillings: shredded chicken, cheese, or beans

Toppings: crema, chile oil, lettuce, crumbly cheese

Instructions:

1. Prepare your salsa, clean your chiles by taking out the seeds and veins, soak them in hot water until soft. Add all tomatoes, onion, garlic and chiles in your blender and blend until very smooth, salt to taste. 

2. Fry off your salsa until it gets a bright red color, then fry off your tortillas until they become flexible and soft. Set them aside.

3. Set up your plate with some salsa at the bottom, dip the tortillas in the salsa and fill them with your desired filling

4. Top them with more salsa and your desired toppings.

Provecho!

Abuela’s Tip: Anytime you’re making salsa Macha or chile oil in your blender is a good time to make this simple tomato sauce, since your blender will be coated with an amazing residual goodness, blend the tomatoes/onion/garlic to clean out your blender and make this recipe without using extra Chiles.

 

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Easy Bean Soup or Tlatlapas

Easy Bean Soup or Tlatlapas

Why on this hot Summer day are we craving soup, you may ask?

As early as I remember my mother bless her heart, always decided to cook lentil soup (which I hated as a child, now I love 😆), and I guess the tradition stuck because on this hot summer day I’m here stirring and stirring my Mexican frijoles soup.

This soup is traditionally called Tlatlapas which is an ‘easier’ take on cooking dry beans from scratch (that’ll really make your kitchen hot) which I always find way to time consuming and not very satisfying.

 

Recipe:

Easy Bean Soup or Tlatlapas 

500gr of dry beans (any will do)

1/2 onion

1 garlic clove

2 chile arbol

1 chile morita

12 cups of broth or water

olive oil

salt to taste

1. Heat your pan on medium heat and toast your dry beans on low heat, let them cool off and grind them as fine as powder.

2. Fry off your onion and garlic then add the bean powder.

3. Stir until evenly coated and start adding the liquid cup by cup.

4. Stir occasionally until you achieve an even smooth consistency, salt to taste.

Enjoy! Provecho!

There are a lot of known toppings for this soup like nopales in strips, fried strips of chile or epazote. We love this soup with very thin tortilla strips and a mild chile oil. 

Abuela's Note: If you don't have a mortero or metate (the traditional way of grinding grains and beans) you can use a blender. If the powder is not fine enough, cook it through as much as you can and blend it until smooth.

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Step-by-step guide to the best Holiday Tamales!

Step-by-step guide to the best Holiday Tamales!

The word tamal comes from the Nahuatl tamalli which means wrapped. This delicious dish is of indigenous origin, prepared with cooked corn dough and wrapped in leaves of different plants (banana, corn, maguey, among others). Stuffed with vegetables, chili, sauce, meat, chicken or fruit, sweet or savory, for all tastes! Tamales are the most popular among Mexicans.

They say there are between 500 and 5,000 different tamales across the country. Can you imagine all those flavors?

It is a delicious part of the Mexican traditional dishes, In Mexico we eat them on many important occasions, like the Day of the dead, when life and death are celebrated, tamales are put on altars as offerings to the dead and enjoyed in the company of our loved ones. We also celebrate Candlemas day; On February 2, the person who receives the Baby Jesus figurine in their Rosca de Reyes needs to invite everyone for tamales.

These are some of the tamal varieties from all over Mexico, the possibilities are really endless, they estimate that per year the production and sale of tamales around the country is in the hundreds of millions!

Holiday Tamales Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Tamal leaf
  • Tamal Flour Maseca 1kg
  • Isadora Beans
  • Rajas Jalapeño
  • If you chose the filling rajas con queso: 200 gr of white cheese (we recommend queijo flamengo, gouda or mozzarella)
  • 4-5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of shortening veg or pork lard, you can also sub with a cup of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 2 liters of water
  • Fine Salt 

Equipment Needed

Below is the list of tools needed to make the recipe,

  • 1 large tall stockpot (for steaming the tamales)
  • Steamer basket
  • 2 large bowls
  • Electric Mixer (optional for whipping the shortening/lard)
  • 1 small pot (for making broth)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

Prep for Tamales:

Step 1: Soak the corn husks tamal leaf

Rinse the corn husks to remove any debris, then place into a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them soak for at least one hour.

Step 3: Prep your broth

If you’re making fresh broth, please prepare before hand, if you’re making broth from bouillon cubes make sure its cool to touch by the time of the workshop.

Step 2: Whip your shortening or pork lard

Make sure the vegetable shortening or pork lard is at room temperature for easy handling, the traditional way to whip the shortening/lard to achieve fluffy tamales is to do it by hand which takes 10-15 minutes, but to simplify this step use an electric mixer on medium to high speed for around 2-3 minutes. If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can whip the shortening/lard by hand, the technique is to melt it with the warmth of your hands, by squishing it and tossing it back on the bowl, repeat this for 10-15 minutes. The shortening/lard should look white, light and creamy, adding volume to the shortening/lard will yield a lighter masa for tamales.

Make the Tamales!

STEP 1: MAKE THE DOUGH

Measure out two to three cups of broth, set the whipped shortening, pork lard, or oil on your workspace and in a large bowl, put 3 cups of the tamal flour, with your hands gradually alternate between adding the shortening and the broth. Mix until the masa is uniform and light, the texture should be that of a thick cake batter.

Pro tip: For a foolproof dough, there is a float test! Take a small chunk of your dough and drop it into a cold cup of water, the dough should float, if it doesn’t you have to keep working it!

STEP 2: PREP YOUR FILLING

Today you had two options for filling, Rajas con Queso and Beans with chipotle.

For the rajas con queso, we have provided you a can of rajas which already comes cut in strips, please drain and properly shake out the water, we don’t want soggy tamales.

For the beans and chipotle, open the packet of beans and put the beans in a small bowl. Open the can of chipotle, take out the chilies in the chipotle can and cut them into manageable strips to add to your tamales.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE THE TAMALES

Drain the tamal leaves that have been soaking for the last hour, and pat them dry, then we will fill them assembly line-style:

  • On the wide end of the husk, with a spoon spread 3 tablespoons dough to within 1/2 inch of the edges
  • Top each with 2 rajas and 1 strip of cheese OR 2 tablespoons of beans and 1 strip of chipotle
  • Fold the long sides of the husk over the filling. Make sure they overlap slightly for a secure closure
  • Fold the narrow end of husk over
  • Tie with a strip of husk to secure
  • Repeat until all of the husks are filled and secured 

Pro tip: Treat your spoon like a paint brush and your filling like the paint on the corn husk, put the leaf up to the light and if there are noticeable gaps on the leaf not covered by the dough then you need to cover those. In my family we don’t like to make fat tamales, so a thin even layer of dough on the leaf is optimal.

STEP 4: STEAM

Place a large steamer basket in a your stockpot over 1 in. of water. Place the tamales upright in the steamer and cover with remaining tamal leaves. Bring the water to a boil. Let them steam, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour.

Pro tip: This is a long steam, and water level will drop as the water boils off. Be sure to check on the water frequently, add more water as needed. You don’t want the pot to boil dry; this can damage the pot and makes for sad tamales. Mexican grandmas sometimes put a coin at the bottom of the pot so that it rattles when the water is getting low!

To see if they are cooked take one tamal out let it cool for 5-10 minutes and if the dough peels away cleanly from the leaf its ready, if the dough is still soft steam for another 15-20 minutes.

Tamales of the variety that we’ve just made can be served with salsa on top or sour cream, you can also enjoy these for breakfast with a fried egg on top!

To reheat them, place them in a plate still wrapped in their corn husk in and microwave for 2-3 minutes or take them out of their corn husk and lightly fry them on a pan, they will develop a crunchy exterior!

 

Pro tip: Uncooked tamales can be frozen for later, just be sure to pack them tightly in freezer bags before freezing. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then steam for for 45 minutes to an hour.

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Mexican Christmas dishes that you'll want to make all year!

Mexican Christmas dishes that you'll want to make all year!

What does Christmas mean to you? Absolutely and under all circumstances for us at Casa Mexico it means food!

In Mexico we have our pre Christmas food, our post Christmas food, we even have a whole Marathon of celebrations and of course more eating named Guadalupe-Reyes all with its own dishes and traditions. So let's get started with the best of Mexican Christmas foods that will inspire you to start cooking!

Tamales

As if we already don't spoil each other enough during Christmas, the wonderful cooks in our families also make edible little gift wrapped food, parcels of joy called Tamales. Depending on the region in Mexico you will find different kinds, for example the south will have theirs wrapped in banana leaves because of their abundance in their tropical climate, the north will have more meat based tamales wrapped in corn husk but all made with the spongiest tamal masa that melts in your mouth. My favorites would have to be the chicken in mole and the pork in salsa verde, see the recipes and ingredients available here!

Pozole

A Pozole is a hearty soup that warms your innards and perhaps your frozen cold heart into loving the Christmas spirit. This very special dish is the king of the plates served during this season, wether it be made of chicken, pork or vegetarian, it can't be served without its Mexican oregano, tostadas, radish, onion and accompanying chili oils, see the recipe and ingredients needed here!

Los Romeritos

Romeritos is a traditional dish from Central Mexico, a romerito is a tender sprig of the sepweed boiled and served with a dark mole sauce, this can be served with potatoes, shrimp or nopales (cactus paddle). The story of the romeritos is a special one with a beginning with the Aztecs, which used to eat them mixed with a small egg variety called ahuautles, which curiously have a very similar taste to the shrimp. During colonization this ingredient formed part of the gastronomy of the convents, one of the reasons why it is eaten during Christmas is because like during Lent it wasn't customary to eat meats during Christmas, resulting in the Romeritos staying in our holiday table! See the recipe and ingredients needed here!

 

Atoles

Of course our Christmas would not be complete without it's own special drinks, an atole is a thick corn based drink that can be spiced with cinnamon, chocolate, or seasonal fruits like tamarind and guayaba. See the recipe and ingredients needed here!

 

 

El Turkey

Yes we also have a turkey or huajolote at the table, but being Mexican and lovers of spice we have beautiful preparations and presentations to the sometimes boring, mostly dry regular Christmas turkey. Have you ever heard of a tequila - Guajillo chili - apricot glazed turkey for Christmas? or a Turkey al Adobo? We have endless ways to make our turkey more exciting, see the recipes and ingredients available here!

Buñuelos

These beautiful crispy treats are quintessential to the Christmas celebrations, also known as hojuelas, they're made from frying flour tortillas then serving them with a delicate piloncillo syrup or cajeta if you're feeling extra naughty, they're basically your dream dessert on a plate. See the recipe and ingredients needed here!

#MexicanChristmas #ChristmasDishes #Tamales #Pozole #Romeritos #Atoles #Buñuelos #TequilaTurkey

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Romeritos with Nopales, your new Christmas favorite!

Romeritos with Nopales, your new Christmas favorite!

Are you tired of the same old Christmas dishes every year? Do you want to debut a dish that will be a definite showstopper? How about a traditional Mexican dish called Romeritos made with Nopales, or Mexican cactus paddle. It is a dish that will WOW everyone and will appease even the Vegans at your Christmas table!

Romeritos con Nopales

Ingredients

(Serves 2 to 4 people)
4 cups rosemary or romeritos
2 cups Doña Rosa nopalitos (cactus paddle), cut into strips
1/2 white onions
1 pinch sodium bicarbonate/baking soda
2 cups potatoes, peeled
1 cup dry shrimp
1 egg
Enough oil to fry
Salt to taste

Directions

Place the romeritos in a saucepan with water to cover, cook them over medium heat without being completely cooked.

In a pot, place the nopales and the onions, cover with water and the pinch of sodium bicarbonate/baking soda, together with salt. Let them boil over high heat, reduce the flame, cover and cook over low heat until soft, 15-20 minutes.
Cook the potatoes in boiling water until they soften and you can easily chop them with a fork, about 15 minutes.
Cut the heads and tails of the shrimp and reserve them. Soak the shrimp in hot water for 10 minutes.
Dry grind the heads and shrimp tails, beat the egg to the nougat point and mix it with the shrimp power, form pancakes and fry in oil.

In a large pot, dissolve the Doña Maria Mole Poblano Paste in the water in which the shrimp soaked. Add the romeritos, nopales, potatoes and shrimp. Cook over medium heat and season with salt to taste.

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Rompope de Monjas, the Mexican Eggnog

Rompope de Monjas, the Mexican Eggnog

Rompope is a custardy mixture of eggs, milk, sugar and alcohol (usually a sugarcane alcohol or rum), basically the Mexican equivalent of the American eggnog but better!

The most famous Rompope is made by the nuns or monjas of the Santa Clara Convent in Puebla, because in addition to evangelizing the local population, nuns in convents all over Mexico made the most delicious sweets, mixing European techniques with Mexican ingredients. Convent kitchens were bustling with activity the nuns usually competed with one another for culinary prestige!

Rompope usually contains alcohol but there are versions without, it can also be used instead of milk in a tres leches cake (more on that later;) or simply served on ice.

As we are in the festive spirit, we hope you enjoy your drink with history!

Ingredients

Serves 10 to 12

 

6 cups of milk

3 whole cloves

1 stick of cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/3 cup sugar

12 large egg yolks

3/4 pure sugarcane alcohol like rum, cachaça, brandy or grog to taste

 

Directions

Combine the milk, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and baking soda in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 - 20 min. Remove from heat, add the sugar but don't stir, allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice or ice water.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until the thicken and are pale yellow 1-2 min. With a whisk or spatula, stir the sugar into the milk, it will dissolve easily now, slowly whisk in the egg yolks.
Rinse out and dry the egg yolk bowl and place in the ice bath. Set a fine sieve or strainer lined with cheesecloth over the bowl.
Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until thickened and creamy; do not allow the mixture to boil. It is ready when it leaves a channel when you run your fingers down the middle of the spatula. Remove from the heat and whisk in the alcohol. Pour through the strainer into the medium bowl and cool completely in the ice bath, stirring occasionally.
Once cool, transfer to a jar or container and refrigerate, serve chilled.
Recipe from "Mexican Today" Cookbook.
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