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Summer Favorite, Baja Fish Tacos!

Summer Favorite, Baja Fish Tacos!

One of our favorite meals in the whole wide world is Baja Shrimp Tacos, these delicacies are an explosion of flavor for any discerning palate!

 

Baja Fish Tacos a la Casa Mexicana 

Ingredients:

  • Komali Tortillas Taquera 500gr
  • Fish filets, white firm fish like pescada, this can be done with shrimp
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of pepper
  • ½ tsp of garlic powder
  • ½ cup of cold dark beer (ideally this is Negra Modelo or any lager style beer)
  • Oil for frying 

Step 1: Prepare your fish filets, they should be around 1 inch wide and 4-inch-long strips, we want the fish to fit in our taco because it will gain extra padding with the batter. Pat dry your fish and store in a container wrapped with a paper towel.

Step 2: Prepare the batter, add a cup of flour, ½ tsp of baking powder, a tsp of salt, a ½ tsp of pepper and ½ tsp of garlic powder, ½ cup of cold dark beer. Mix the flour salt and dry condiments in a medium bowl, gradually add the cold beer while whisking, do not over work the batter, you can leave some small lumps of flour it will help with crispiness. The consistency of the batter should be that of a thick pancake batter. Best to let the batter rest for 5-10 min allowing the baking powder to activate which will make for a crispier batter.

Step 3: Heat your oil in a deep pan it should be deep enough to cover the fish 90%, to test the heat of your oil, put a tiny bit of your beer batter in the oil, when the oil is ready the batter will float and be golden brown.

Step 4: Take your fish out of the fridge make sure no condensation has formed any water will make the oil splatter, salt and pepper the fish, first dip them in the white flour, then in the beer batter, slowly release them into the hot oil, fry until golden about 3-4 minutes, don’t overcrowd the pan, place your crispy fish on a cooling rack to keep the coating nice and crisp!

Enjoy with toppings like pico de gallo, thinly sliced cabbage, guacamole and chipotle crema!

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Healthy Baked Flautas

Healthy Baked Flautas

Looking for a fun and tasty Mexican recipe? We got you! Try our baked flautas for a healthier and refreshing option of this delicious treat!

Casa Mexicana’s Baked Flautas Recipe:

Komali Tostada Tortillas
Neutral oil
Toothpicks

For fillings:
Shredded chicken
Chorizo mexicano

Toppings:
Salsa Roja / Verde
Crema
Lettuce
Avocado

Instructions:
Heat your oven to 180* and prepare your fillings, most common are shredded chicken, potato, beans or cheese, today we did chorizo with potato. Heat a pan to medium heat, add a couple of teaspoons of oil, pass your tortillas through the oil until they become soft, about 2 seconds on each side. These tortillas are very thin, specially made to fry or bake for tostadas or flautas. Place two spoonfuls of your filling on the edge of the tortilla, roll tightly and pin with a toothpick. Place all your flautas in a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 min or until crispy.

Enjoy with toppings like salsa roja, crema, lettuce and avocado.

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Mole Rojo para Enamorarse

Mole Rojo para Enamorarse

Every time I think of mole my memory goes first to my paternal grandmother and great inspiration, my Tita, as she was the ultimate mole queen and cook galore. My second thought goes to Laura Esquivel's novel 'Como Agua para Chocolate' or 'Like Water for Chocolate', the main character, also named Tita (crazy coincidence, maybe all Tita's make the best mole) says something about love which I think can be applied to cooking, especially the cooking of such an intricately delicate dish like mole, she says "El amor no se piensa, o se siente o no se siente" or "You don't have to think about love, either you feel it or you don't". When you endeavor on a dish like mole, the task sometimes seems so daunting with almost 30 ingredients on your list, that you feel it or you don't. Like Tita in Laura Esquivel's novel when she wasn't feeling it her food could basically poison her guests but when she was in the mood her guests could feel it from very deep within ;)

So I invite you to be brave and try one of Mexico's most beautiful dishes the Mole, and to send you off with extra courage and love I share with you the Mole Rojo, so make it with love, for a loved one, a husband, boyfriend, or soon to be, and you'll see how they'll be swooning after just one bite!

Ingredients

Serves 10-12 people

9 oz / 255g mulato chiles, stemmed and seeded
Pinch of aniseeds
Pinch of cumin seeds
2 black peppercorns
2 allspice berries
2 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
4 to 6 Tbsp / 50 to 75g lard
2 whole chickens, cut into serving-size pieces
¼ cup / 30g pine nuts
3 Tbsp / 30 g pumpkin seeds
Scant ¼ cup / 30g black raisins
3 Tbsp / 30 g almonds
¼ cup / 30g hazelnuts
3 Tbsp / 30 g peanuts
¼ cup / 30g pecans
3 Tbsp / 30 g sesame seeds
6 Ritz or other rich-tasting crackers
1 corn tortilla
2 slices fluffy white bread (dinner roll or ciabatta)
½ white onion, coarsely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 very ripe (black) plantain, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large garlic clove
5 oz / 140g semisweet chocolate
¼ cup / 60ml water
6 cups / 1.4L chicken stock

Directions

First, lightly toast the chiles by placing them on a hot, ungreased comal or in a skillet over medium heat, turning them constantly as they heat up and begin to release their fragrance. Before they turn brown, remove them from the heat and submerge them in a bowl of water to let them soak and soften while you prepare everything else.

Next, you are going to toast all of the spices on your hot, dry comal or in an ungreased skillet. You should do this in batches because they have different toasting times, beginning with the ones that will toast the fastest: the anise and cumin. As soon as you can smell these toasted seeds, take them off the comal or skillet and place them in a spice grinder. Now do the same with the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon stick. After they’re toasted, add them to your spice grinder and grind the spices together. Dump the ground spices into a large bowl. You will be frying things in batches that you will be adding to this bowl. Eventually, all of this will go into the blender, but for now, you need a place to store the mole ingredients as you prepare them to be blended together.

Now sear the chicken that you are going to cook in the sauce. Melt 4 Tbsp / 50g of the lard in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. When the lard has melted completely and is shimmering, place as many pieces of the chicken in the pot as you can fit without crowding. The goal here is to brown each piece, so be sure they’re not overlapping. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and flip them over so that both sides get seared. When they look golden, using tongs, transfer them to a platter and repeat with the rest of the chicken pieces, adding more lard to the pan as needed.

The chicken should be just seared and not be cooked though at this stage because it will continue cooking in the mole sauce.

Once you’re finished searing the chicken, keep whatever grease and drippings remain in the Dutch oven or skillet to fry other things. You want about ½ inch / 12mm of shimmering oil in the bottom of the pan, and you will have to add more lard as needed. You are going to be frying the nuts and seeds in batches because, depending on their sizes, they will cook at different rates. You are looking for each thing to turn golden but not dark brown.

Begin with the pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, and raisins. Once you can smell the fragrance of these nuts and seeds and they look golden, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in the big bowl with the spices. Now fry the almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pecans until they are fragrant and golden and then add them to the big bowl. Fry the sesame seeds by themselves, being extra careful to monitor them the whole time and moving them around with a wooden spoon or spatula as they fry because they can burn quickly. Add the sesame seeds to the big bowl.

Remember to add more lard to the pan when you need it, since the nuts and seeds will likely have soaked it up. Once the added lard has melted and is shimmering, fry the Ritz crackers very briefly, because they burn fast, then the tortilla, and finally the bread, placing it all in the big bowl with all of the previously toasted and fried ingredients. Add more lard if needed and fry the onion, tomatoes, plantain, and garlic until everything is golden and a bit stewy, then add it all to the big bowl.

In a small saucepot, combine the chocolate with the water and heat until the chocolate melts. Turn off the heat while you blend your sauce ingredients. Due to the amount of volume here, you are going to need to blend your sauce in batches. Know that from this point on, everything is getting blended together and then simmered, so the order in which you blend things doesn’t much matter.

You want a ratio of about 1:1 of stock to solid ingredients. I would suggest blending a couple of cups of solids at a time (4 cups / 960ml total, including the stock). When the contents of the blender are liquefied, dump it into your largest stockpot and then repeat the process. Finally, blend the soaked chiles with the remaining stock and add this to your pot, along with the melted chocolate, and stir well to combine.

Bring the mole to a simmer over medium-low heat. Drop the chicken into the pot and cover. Let it simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, then serve. The mole can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe Courtesy of “My Mexico City Kitchen” Cookbook.
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Salsa Taquera

Salsa Taquera

This is the classic salsa they serve at any taco stand in Mexico, spicy with its chile de arbol base perfect carne asada tacos!

 Ingredients:

3 tomatoes

1/2 white onion

Casa Mexicana Chile de árbol to taste (we recommend 4-5)

1 garlic clove

Salt to taste

2 cups Water

 

Preparation:

  1. Place a pot over high heat, add the water, tomatoes, chili, onion and garlic together, the water level should be the same level as the ingredients.
  2. Cook all the ingredients covered for 15 minutes, we will know that they will be ready when the tomato has started peeling out and the chili has lost its hardness.
  3. Stir the ingredients every 7-10 minutes, so that all the vegetables are cooked.
  4. Let the pot sit and cool for a few minutes before adding the ingredients to the blender.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Blend everything and enjoy with your tacos.
Casa Mexicana
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Mexican Chiles A Complete Guide

Mexican Chiles A Complete Guide

Mexican Chiles are a staple ingredient of many of the best Mexican recipes, there are over 60 types of chiles produced in Mexico adding complexity, spice and depth. Fresh chiles are used to add crunchiness, heat and color to salsas, while they can be eaten raw, when they are dried their complexion and taste change completely, like a culinary chameleon!

Dried chiles need only to be deseeded, destemmed and toasted on a comal, they can also be fried or soaked in hot water to be ready for any recipe.

Here are some of the most iconic chiles in Mexico,

Chile Guajillo

Guajillo chiles are the dried twin of the mirasol chile, they are large, thin chiles with red skin and mild spice, add to that their natural sweetness and earthiness and it gives you Mexico's most popular dried pepper. Mostly used for pastes, rubs and caldos (soups/stews), it also pairs well with chocolate!

SCOVILLE RATING: 2,000 – 5,000

Recipes using Chile Guajillo include; Red Pozole, Red enchiladas, Mole de Olla, Asado de Boda, Salsa Roja.

Chile Ancho

Chile Ancho is the dried version of the poblano, they are like a giant raisin and are incredibly fragrant. They can vary in their heat, but you can generally expect a mild to medium and amazingly smoky flavor. Use it for marinades, like adobos, or to make chile paste, this is one of the main chiles for mole.

SCOVILLE RATING: 500-3,000

Recipes using Chile Ancho include; Mole Poblano, Adobo Sauce, Enchiladas Rojas..

Chile Mulato

The Mulato is a darker chile ancho, a fully matured and dried poblano pepper, if you put them side by side you will be able to see the difference in color and identify the mulato from the ancho. They are generally mild in spice paired with their natural sweetness and smokiness, makes it the best chile for moles, salsas and stews.

SCOVILLE RATING: 500 -3,000

Chile Chipotle

We have two types of Chipotle in our store, the meco and the morita, our favorite is the morita, a small but punchy red and ripened jalapeño. This chile is smoked for a bit less time so it retains a soft and fruity complexion. Let these chiles fully soak to achieve smooth salsas, or try our creamy chipotle salsa on this link.

SCOVILLE RATING: 5,000 – 10,000
Chipotle are very popular, especially the canned version with an adobo sauce, they are used in salsas, and to add flavor and spiciness to stews like Caldo Tlalpeño.

Chile de Arbol

Bright red and to handled with care, these long slender chiles are what brings the most spice to all our red salsas. Try toasting them or frying them as your rehydrating method to intensify their earthiness and heat.

SCOVILLE RATING: 15,000 – 30,000

My favorite way of using Chile de Arbol is the way my grandmother Tita taught me, by making a Chile de Arbol Oil on this link.

Chile Pasilla

Pasilla literally translates to 'little raisin' it is a dried chilaca chile, and true to its name it is dark, wrinkly and sweet like a dried fruit. Because their heat is not overpowering, you can use it to elevate any Oaxacan mole and other complex sauces, check out this pasilla sauce here.

SCOVILLE RATING: 1,000 – 3,999

These are typically used for salsas, but can also be stuffed with meats or seafood.

Chile Piquín

These little bird peppers pack the strongest punch of all, at least 10 times that of a jalapeño. This is a chile that the smaller its size the hotter it will be. The Piquín like the Tepin and other common same sized chiles are mostly from the north of Mexico's arid climate. Turn it into a loose poweder for topping mexican mariscos like, ceviches or aguachiles.

 SCOVILLE RATING: 40,000 - 60,000

Tips on Handling Mexican Chiles

If you've never tried your hand at cooking with Mexican chiles, don't be afraid, we are here to guide you!

First things first, wear plastic gloves and do not touch your face (common mistake) while handling the chiles. You will first need to remove the seeds and the veins, easily done over the bin or over the sink to not make a mess.

Buying dried chiles you should always check that they are not broken or no longer smell like anything, that is a sign that they are old, and they won't yield much flavor. If they break easily when you fold them that also means that they have been sold to you past their prime.

Storing your chiles is easy when you buy them from Casa Mexicana, we sell you the freshest chiles in easy to store resealable bags. If you know you will not be using them in the next months, you can also pop them in the freezer and they will their freshness for 6-8 months. But at Casa Mexicana we make our chiles into pastes or chile oils, which always comes in handy when we are in a rush to cook up a Mexican dish!

 

Find our selection of dried chiles at the best prices here!

#MexicanChiles #ScovilleHeatIndex #Spiceupyourmouth #Chilies #Chili #HandletheHeat

 

 

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