Page 1

Dozens of Salsas & Sauces

Mexican the best of

100+ Recipes Enchiladas, Fajitas, Tamales, and More

Taco Night!

Fantastic fillings, toppings, and tortillas from scratch

LEARN TO MAKE:

Silky, Smooth Flan Mexican 2015

Shredded Brisket Tacos with Chipotle Dressing, p. 41


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contents MEXICAN 2015, NO. 103

THE BEST OF

Mexican

16 26 36 48 60 72

p. 42

p. 88

p. 102

80 90 100

Pork Fajitas with Pan-Roasted Corn and Pineapple Salsa, p. 55

www.finecooking.com

starters soups & salads beef pork poultry seafood meatless sides desserts


CONTENTS

113 117

117

117

11 122 15

D E PA R T M E N T S 6

Welcome

110

Test Kitchen Tips, techniques, ingredients.

8 10

Links Discover how easy it is to make these bright, flavorful toppings at home.

14

114

Credits

117

Sources

118

Nutrition

120

Recipe Index

122

Mexican Crema

Fresh Salsas

Mexican Sips From cool and fruity to warm and chocolatey, here are favorite Southof-the-border drinks.

Skip the sour cream and turn to this delicious, easy-to-make topping.

Pp 4

MEXICAN 2015

Cover photography by Scott Phillips; food styling by Ronne Day.


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W E LC O M E

THE BEST OF

Mexican Issue Editor

Sarah Opdahl

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Issue Art Director

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Editor

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Acting Art Director Deputy Art Director Staff Photographer Associate Food Editor/Stylist

Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken, p. 66

Associate Food Editor/ Test Kitchen Manager

Mexican Favorites Nearly everyone adores Mexican food for its fresh, bright ingredients, rich, piquant meats, and flavor-packed sauces and salsas. In this special issue of Fine Cooking, you’ll find more than 100 authentic and Mexican-inspired recipes that will inspire you to head to the kitchen. Create the classics, like smoky Pork Tamales with Double-Chile Sauce (p. 52) or crispy Baja Fried Fish Tacos (p. 74), or make Mexican-inspired meals, like three-cheese Chicken and Poblano Quesadillas (p. 62) or Quick Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde (p. 47). Relish side dishes like the tasty Yuca Fries with Garlic Mojo on p. 92. And don’t miss the rave-worthy Vanilla Tres Leche Cake on p. 102—it’s positively addictive. —The Fine Cooking Editors

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Teresa Fernandes Pamela Winn Scott Phillips Ronne Day Julissa Roberts Abby Simchak Tinsley Morrison Julia Levy Danielle Padula Susie Middleton Melissa Denchak Tasha DeSerio Abigail Johnson Dodge Maryellen Driscoll Rebecca Freedman Allison Ehri Kreitler Kimberly Y. Masibay Melissa Pellegrino Tony Rosenfeld Molly Stevens Patrick Watson Joanne Weir Carolyn Mandarano

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MEXICAN 2015


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On the Web Go to FineCooking.com to find more fresh Mexican recipes, videos, tips, and more.

Recipes for the Ultimate Taco Party

To contact us: Fine Cooking The Taunton Press 63 South Main Street PO Box 5506 Newtown, CT 06470-5506 Tel: 203-426-8171 Send an email to: fc@taunton.com Visit: www.finecooking.com To submit an article proposal: Write to Fine Cooking at the address above or Call: 800-309-0744 Fax: 203-426-3434 Email: fc@taunton.com

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The fruity ice pops known as paletas—with their intense, herb-and-spice-infused flavor combinations—are an essential part of Mexican cuisine. Learn the simple method, and you can create an endless array of ice pops just the way you like them with our interactive Recipe Maker.

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MEXICAN 2015


BLUE RIBBON

CANNING

AWARDWINNING RECIPES

JAMS, PRESERVES, PICKLES, SAUCES & MORE

Linda J. Amendt

Homespun wisdom from

State fair winners Relish the results with your own homemade jams, pickles, chutneys, and more. With the nearly 140 recipes and dozens of time-tested techniques in Blue Ribbon Canning, you can preserve a great tradition – and do it with confidence.

Available at www.TauntonStore.com/BRC or wherever books are sold. © 2015 The Taunton Press

Taunton


party ready sa l sa s • s i p s

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mexican 2015


Fresh Salsas Discover how easy it is to make these bright, flavorful toppings at home. salsa is a nearly ubiquitous component in Mexican menus, and rightly so. The vibrant, lively flavors in fresh salsas match perfectly with the meats, cheeses, spices, and other common ingredients used in Mexican cooking. While supermarkets are now offering better off-the-shelf options, the best salsas are made from scratch and rely on fresh, ripe produce and pungent herbs. In the recipes here, you’ll find a perfect balance of flavors, textures, and gorgeous colors. From grilled fruit to toasted tomatillo, these salsas can’t be beat.

grilled corn and tomato salsa The smoky heat of the chipotle chile makes this salsa a bold accompaniment to grilled beef, pork, or chicken. Yields about 2½ cups 2 ears corn, husked Olive oil for brushing 5 ripe plum tomatoes ¼ cup very finely diced red onion

¾ cup cooked black beans, drained 1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeño 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint 13 cup finely chopped red onion 2 tsp. fresh lime juice 2 tsp. rice vinegar ½ tsp. salt; more to taste

in a food processor or blender, purée ½ cup of the diced mango until smooth. in a serving bowl, combine the remaining diced mango, the jícama, beans, jalapeño, mint, onion, lime juice, and vinegar. Gently stir in the mango purée. Season with salt. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. The salsa can be made up two hours ahead.

avocado, cucumber, and red pepper salsa This clean, fresh flavor combination goes well with fish, chicken, or lamb. Yields about 2 cups ½ cup diced seeded cucumber

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

1 small red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)

1 canned chipotle chile, finely chopped

3 scallions, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)

1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano or 2 tsp. dried

1 small jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

½ tsp. salt; more to taste

Heat the grill. Brush the corn with olive oil and grill over medium-hot coals until tender and slightly blackened, about 10 minutes. Scrape the kernels from the cob and reserve. Grill the tomatoes over medium-hot coals until the skins are blistered and charred, about 8 minutes. Slice the tomatoes lengthwise and dice. in a serving bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle, oregano, lime juice, and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. The salsa can be made up two hours ahead.

mango, jícama, and black bean salsa Jícama (pronounced hee-kah-mah) is a big, beige, roundish tuber with a tough skin and a sweet, crisp, almost apple-like flavor. Look for it in the produce section. Yields about 2½ cups 1½ cups diced mango ¾ cup diced jícama

1 Tbs. rice vinegar ½ tsp. salt; more to taste 1 medium avocado, diced (about 1 cup)

in a serving bowl, mix the cucumber, red pepper, scallions, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, and salt. Gently toss in the avocado. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. The salsa can be made up two hours ahead.


SALSAS

roasted tomato salsa Serranos are generally hotter than jalapeños, but they’re also smaller, so you can use either, in the same quantity. Yields about 2 cups ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced 1½ Tbs. fresh lime juice (from about ½ lime); more to taste 6 medium Roma tomatoes 3 fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, halved lengthwise, stemmed, and seeded 1 clove garlic, peeled 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 1½ tsp. kosher salt; more to taste

in a small bowl, soak the onion in the lime juice for 15 minutes. in a dry, heavy-duty skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat, “roast” the tomatoes, chile halves, and garlic clove until charred on all sides, about 2 to 5 minutes for the garlic, 8 to 10 minutes for the chiles, and 12 to 15 minutes for the tomatoes. Pulse in a blender; the mixture should remain slightly chunky. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the onion, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed. This salsa can be made up to a week ahead and refrigerated. Return it to room temperature before serving.

grilled mango, poblano, and passionfruit salsa Add minced habanero or jalapeño if you like it spicy, but taste your roasted poblano before adding any more heat; some poblanos can be just as hot as jalapeños. This salsa works with chips and shines over grilled chicken or fish. If using orange juice instead of passionfruit, add a little extra lime juice since orange juice is less tart. Yields about 3½ cups Vegetable oil, for the grill 1 fresh poblano 2 large ripe mangos 2 large ripe peaches About 1 Tbs. peanut or hazelnut oil Kosher salt ½ cup finely chopped red onion 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more to taste 2 Tbs. passionfruit juice or purée, or fresh orange juice 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest Freshly ground pepper ¼ to 1 habanero or jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

Heat a gas grill to high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Brush the grill grate clean. Put the poblano directly on the grate with the lid down. Turn occasionally until the skin blackens and blisters all over. Put the poblano in a paper bag or a bowl (cover with plastic) and let cool. meanwhile, turn the grill burners to medium high or let the charcoal fire die down slightly. cut the mangos in two lengthwise, slightly off center, cutting off the wide sides of the flesh from each side of the pit (you'll have some flesh left on the mango

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which you can snack on). cut the peaches in quarters and pit them. Brush the cut sides of the fruit with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill the mangos and peaches cut side down until nicely marked, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip skin side down, cover and continue grilling until the juices in the fruit begin to bubble, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cool. Skin, seed, and roughly chop the poblano. Transfer to a medium bowl. With a paring knife, score the mango flesh lengthwise and then crosswise, forming ½-inch cubes and taking care not to cut through the peel. Pop each mango half inside out to force the cubes upward and then slice the cubes free from the skin, letting them fall into the bowl with the poblano. Skin the peaches and chop into ½-inch pieces. add to the mango and poblano, along with the onion, mint, lime juice, passionfruit or orange juice, and lime zest. Toss gently to mix. Season to taste with salt, pepper, more lime juice, and habanero or jalapeño (if using). Let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving. The salsa can be made 1 day ahead.


fresh pico de gallo Pico de gallo is a zesty Mexican salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, and chiles. Yields about 3¼ cups 4 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes (3 large tomatoes) 1 cup small-diced white or sweet onion (1 medium onion) 13 cup fresh lime juice 2 to 3 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro Kosher salt

combine the tomatoes, onion, lime juice, serranos, cilantro, and 2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. mix well, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Season to taste with more salt if necessary. This salsa can be made up to 3 days ahead. Strain before using.

poblano-pepita salsa Toasted pumpkin seeds add a surprising crunch to a fresh topping for enchiladas. Yields about 2½ cups 2 medium poblano chiles

tomatillo salsa

1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed

This salsa is best served within an hour. Yields about

½ cup unsalted, roasted, hulled pepitas ¼ cup packed chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup

Kosher salt

½ lb. tomatillos, husks removed 1 large or 1½ small serrano chiles, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped white onion 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro ¾ tsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. finely chopped garlic

cut the tomatillos into quarters. Put them in a blender, along with the chiles, onion, cilantro, salt, and garlic. Pulse, scraping the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula after a few seconds, until

the ingredients are very finely chopped and combined (the salsa should be somewhat smooth, but still have some texture), 30 to 60 seconds.

char the chiles over a gas burner or under a broiler until blackened on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic, and cool. Peel, stem, seed, and finely chop the chiles. Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. cook the tomatillos, turning occasionally, until dark brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. coarsely chop the pepitas in a food processor; transfer to a medium bowl. Without washing the food processor, add the tomatillos and process to the consistency of a chunky sauce. Transfer to the bowl with the pepitas. Stir in the chiles, cilantro, and salt to taste. The salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Return it to room temperature for serving.

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DRiNKs

mexican Sips From cool and fruity to warm and chocolatey, here are favorite South-of-the-border drinks.

watermelon agua fresca A refreshing agua fresca is a popular drink in Mexico and all over Latin America. Agua frescas are basically fresh ripe fruit juices, sweetened and served over or blended with ice. An interesting variation is to freeze a fruity white wine and then crush it and substitute it for the crushed ice. Make two batches of this recipe to serve six people. Yields 3 cups

pineapple-orange sangria A splash of club soda adds a dry, bubbly note to this summery drink, which was created by Kim Haasarud, the author of 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks. Yields about 8 cups; serves 8 to 10 1 750-ml bottle dry Riesling 6 fl. oz. (¾ cup) peach vodka, preferably Cîroc 6 fl. oz. (¾ cup) canned pineapple juice ½ cup agave nectar, light or amber 1 small navel orange, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced 1 cup bite-size pieces fresh pineapple Club soda

in a 2½- to 3-quart pitcher, stir the wine, vodka, pineapple juice, and agave nectar until well mixed. add the fruit and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve over ice, garnished with the fruit. Top off each glass with a splash of club soda.

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4 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon flesh Juice of 1 medium fresh lime 1 cup crushed ice or 1¼ cups ice cubes 1 Tbs. superfine sugar (or to taste) Orange slices and mint sprigs for garnish

Purée the melon in a blender. add the lime juice, ice, and sugar and blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with the orange slices and mint.

spicy hot chocolate The Aztecs, inventors of hot chocolate, commonly added chiles to their brew; this version uses cayenne. Serves 6; yields 4½ cups 23 cup cold heavy cream 1 Tbs. plus ¼ cup granulated sugar ¾ oz. (¼ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder Table salt 4 cups 2% milk 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate (65% to 70% cacao), finely chopped (about 1¾ cups) 18 tsp. ground cayenne; more to taste ½ tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. smoked paprika

in a medium bowl, beat the cream and 1 Tbs. sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium speed to medium-soft peaks. Refrigerate while making the cocoa. Put the remaining ¼ cup sugar, the cocoa powder, and ��₈ tsp. salt in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan. add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. add the chocolate and cayenne and reduce the heat to low. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is a little frothy, 1 minute. add more cayenne to taste, if you like. Divide the hot chocolate among 6 mugs and top each with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and smoked paprika on the whipped cream and serve.


the michelada This beer cocktail is simple and delicious. For an even simpler version—the Chelada—salt the rim of an ice-filled pint glass, add light lager and fresh lime juice, and enjoy. Serves 1 Kosher salt ½ small lime 1 12-fl.-oz. bottle light lager, such as Corona or Modelo Especial, chilled 2 dashes Worchestershire sauce 2 dashes soy sauce

peach-basil margarita

2 dashes hot pepper sauce, such as Cholula or Tabasco

This refreshing cocktail is a delicious destination for peach liqueur. Makes 1 3 large fresh basil leaves; plus small sprigs for garnish, if you like 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 1 fl. oz. (2 Tbs.) peach liqueur 1½ fl. oz. (3 Tbs.) silver tequila 1 slice ripe peach

Put the large basil leaves, lemon juice, and peach liqueur into a cocktail shaker or mixing glass; crush with a muddler or the end

of a wooden spoon for about 10 seconds to release the flavor from the basil. add the tequila and enough ice cubes to fill the shaker ¾ full, then stir for about 20 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, and garnish with the peach slice and basil, if using.

Freshly cracked black pepper

Pour 2 Tbs. salt into a small, wide dish. Wet the rim of a chilled pint glass with the lime. Dip the rim into the salt, margaritastyle. Fill the glass with ice and squeeze the lime over the ice. Fill the glass with beer and then add the Worchestershire, soy, and hot sauces. Give a pepper mill a single twist over the ice. Stir gently until the drink takes on a uniform color. Serve immediately, with the remaining beer on the side for adding to the glass as you empty it. By the time you’ve finished, the heat of the drink will have subsided, and you’ll be ready for another.

tequila-grapefruit cocktails This cocktail is a riff on the classic combination of tequila and grapefruit soda known as a Paloma. Here, fresh grapefruit juice and grapefruit-infused tequila add bright, citrusy flavor to the drink, while elderflower liqueur adds a touch of sweetness. Yields 2 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) grapefruit-infused silver (blanco) tequila (see note below), preferably Partida (or Don Julio Blanco or El Mejor) 2 fl. oz. (¼ cup) fresh grapefruit juice 1½ fl. oz. (3 Tbs.) St-Germain elderflower liqueur 1 fl. oz. (2 Tbs.) fresh lime juice Club soda Grapefruit twists or lime wedges, for garnish

Put the tequila, grapefruit juice, St-Germain, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. cover and shake vigorously for

10 seconds. Strain into 2 double old fashioned glasses filled with fresh ice, and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a grapefruit twist or a wedge of lime. Note: To make the grapefruit-infused tequila, shave the zest from 2 grapefruits with a vegetable peeler. add the zest to a 750-ml bottle of silver tequila (pour off enough tequila to make room for the zest). chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 days and up to 2 weeks. Remove the zest after 2 weeks. The tequila will keep indefinitely once the zest is removed.

F i n e c O O K i n G .c O m

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Crabmeat–Avocado Quesadillas, p. 18

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Leg of Lamb with Heirloom Grain and Bean Salad and Spring Chive Vinaigrette, p. 48


Starters Starters

Impress your guests with one of these delicious and memorable main courses. Flavor-packed bites and dips.

the recipes Crabmeat–Avocado Maple-Balsamic Roasted Leg of Quesadillas p. 18 Lamb with Heirloom Grain and Bean Salad and Spring Chive Tostadas with Mashed Black Vinaigrette p. 48 Beans p. 18 Bourbon-Orange-Glazed Ham p. 48 Fresh Corn Fritters with Charred Tomato Salsa p. 20 Crown Roast of Pork with FennelApple Stuffing and Cider-Bourbon Charred Tomato Salsa p. 21 Sauce p. 51 Seared Scallops with Cucumber Roast Rack of Pork with a and Jalapeño p. 21 Cranberry-Walnut Crust and Sauce p. 52 Coconut-Chile Shrimp Tostadas with Salsa and with RoastPineapple Leg of Lamb Stuffed Guacamole p. 22 Basil Pesto p. 55 Warm Black Roasted PorkBean Loinand withChipotle MapleDip p. 23 Mustard Crust p. 57 Classic Guacamole p. 24


S TA R T E R S

crabmeat-avocado quesadillas This recipe makes tiny two-bite hors d’oeuvres, but you can make a full-sized quesadilla and simply cut it into wedges after frying—not as pretty, but quicker. Yields sixty 2-inch quesadillas FOR THe MAnGO SALSA 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced into 4-inch cubes 2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

When frying the tortillas for the tostadas, cook them a little darker than you think is good; it’s important for the tortilla to cook through to its core or it won’t stay crisp. Plus, the toasty flavor that results is more authentic. Yields 6 tostadas 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 Tbs. mild olive oil 2 tsp. onion powder

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

4 tsp. garlic powder

1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

4 tsp. ground chipotle

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper FOR THe QueSADiLLAS 12 8-inch flour tortillas 12 cups cooked crabmeat, picked over to remove any bits of shell 12 cups shredded Monterey Jack 2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed 1/3 cup finely chopped scallion 1/3 cup lightly packed, finely chopped cilantro leaves 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Grapeseed or canola oil, for frying MAKe THe SALSA

Combine all of the salsa ingredients and let stand for at least an hour at room temperature so the flavors can develop. Chill until ready to serve. MAKe THe QueSADiLLAS

With a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out 120 rounds from the tortillas (you’ll get about 10 per tortilla). In a large bowl, gently mix the crab, cheese, avocados, scallion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Spread the crab mixture onto 60 of the tortillas (about 1 Tbs. each) and top with the other tortillas. (You can assemble these a couple of hours ahead; refrigerate them until ready to fry.) To cook, heat a little oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and cook the quesadillas in batches until lightly browned and the cheese is melting, about 2 minutes per side. Serve warm with a bit of salsa on top.

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tostadas with mashed black beans

MEXICAN 2015

4 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican 6 good-quality corn tortillas Safflower or other light vegetable oil Mexican crema (see recipe on p. 122) or sour cream (optional)

In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the beans, olive oil, onion and garlic powders, chipotle, oregano, and ¼ cup water. Cook, mashing with a potato masher, until the beans are hot, well mashed, and thickened to a spreadable consistency, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Stack the tortillas 3 at a time and prick through the stack in several places with a fork to prevent the tortillas from puffing up as they fry. Add enough oil to an 8- to 9-inch skillet to measure ½ inch deep (about 1 cup) and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add a tortilla and cook, flipping 3 to 4 times with tongs and gently holding the tortilla under the oil until it’s crisped and golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding more oil as necessary. Serve the tostadas slightly warm or at room temperature, each spread with some of the beans and drizzled with a little crema or a dollop of sour cream, if you like.


black beans Small, glossy purplish-black beans are common in Mexican, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine. They are widely available both dried and canned. Canned black beans should be thoroughly rinsed before using.


S TA R T E R S

fresh corn fritters with charred tomato salsa Try these as an appetizer (served with the salsa here), as a side with grilled chicken or fish, or for breakfast with maple syrup. Yields about 26 bite-size fritters 4½ oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour ¼ cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. sugar ½ tsp. table salt; more for sprinkling ½ cup whole milk ¼ cup sour cream 2 large eggs 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 1 large or 2 small ears of corn), coarsely chopped 1 to 1½ cups vegetable oil 1 recipe Charred Tomato Salsa (see recipe at right)

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In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, sour cream, and eggs. With a rubber spatula, gently stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Stir in the corn. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F. Pour the oil into a small, heavy frying pan, preferably cast iron, to a depth of 2 inch. Heat over medium heat until it’s hot enough that a small dollop of batter sizzles when added. With a spring-lever miniature ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop up a ball of the batter and gently release it into the hot

oil. Add three or four more balls of batter to the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low so that the fritters cook gently. When golden brown on the bottom and barely cooked around the top edge, after 1 to 2 minutes, use a slotted spatula to turn the fritters and cook until golden on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the fritters to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, sprinkle generously with salt, and keep warm in the oven. Continue to cook the remaining batter in small batches, adding more oil as needed to maintain the 2-inch depth. Serve right away with the salsa.


charred tomato salsa This salsa is great on grilled steak or chicken tacos, too. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. Yields about ¾ cup 1 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes (about 3 medium) 1 unpeeled medium clove garlic ½ medium chipotle from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce Kosher salt 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro 1½ tsp. fresh lime juice

Position an oven rack about 4 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until the tomatoes are charred on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn the tomatoes and garlic and char on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Let cool. Peel the tomatoes and garlic, discarding the skins and saving any juices that are released. In a blender, briefly purée the tomatoes and their juices, the garlic, chipotle chile, and 2 tsp. salt—it needn’t be perfectly smooth. In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When a drop of the puréed tomato mixture sizzles when added, pour in the remaining purée. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Adjust the heat to an active simmer and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to a scant cup and thickened to a sauce consistency, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in the cilantro and the lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Serve at room temperature.

seared scallops with cucumber and jalapeño These cool bites offer a wonderful combination of flavors and textures, pairing tender, caramelized scallops with crunchy cucumber, spicy jalapeño, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. You can easily double the recipe to serve more guests. Serves 6; Yields 12 2 tsp. canola oil 6 dry-packed sea scallops Kosher salt 1 small English (seedless) cucumber ½ medium lime 1 Tbs. finely chopped seeded jalapeño 12 leaves fresh cilantro

Chill a small tray and a medium serving plate in the freezer. Heat the oil a 10-inch heavy-duty skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. meanwhile, remove the side muscle from the scallops, halve them horizontally to make 12 thin rounds, and pat dry. Season each with salt. Cook, flipping once, until just cooked through, 3 minutes total. Transfer to the cold tray and return it to the freezer while you prep the remaining ingredients. (Don’t freeze for more than 15 minutes or the scallops will be too hard to eat.) Slice twelve ��₈-inch-thick rounds from the cucumber and arrange on the chilled serving plate. Top each cucumber with a scallop. Squeeze the lime over the scallops, sprinkle with the jalapeño, and garnish each with 1 leaf of the cilantro. Serve right away.

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S TA R T E R S

Make Ahead The shrimp can be made a day ahead. The salsa can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

coconut-chile shrimp tostadas with pineapple salsa and guacamole Traditional chips and guacamole get the sophisticated small-plates treatment in this mini version of a flat taco. Serves 8 FOR THE TOSTADAS 3 cups corn oil 12 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas Kosher salt

48 shrimp (41 to 50 or 51 to 60 per lb.), peeled and deveined Classic Guacamole (see recipe on p. 24) MAKE THE TOSTADAS

¼ cup granulated sugar

Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a 3- or 4-quart saucepan. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F. meanwhile, cut the tortillas into 22- to 3-inch rounds using a biscuit or cookie cutter—cut 2 rounds from each tortilla for a total of 24. Add as many tortilla rounds as will fit in a single layer to the hot oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown, 30 to 60 seconds per side. Use tongs to transfer the tostadas to a plate lined with paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt. Let cool. Repeat until all the tostadas are fried, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil temperature between 350°F and 375°F.

½ medium rib celery, roughly chopped

MAKE THE SALSA

FOR THE PINEAPPLE SALSA ½ cup small-diced fresh ripe pineapple ½ cup peeled, seeded, and small-diced cucumber (about ½ medium cucumber) 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice 2 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh cilantro 1 tsp. unseeded minced serrano chile; more to taste Kosher salt FOR THE SHRIMP 3 ancho chiles 1 14-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest 2 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

Combine the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl, seasoning to taste with salt. Set aside at room temperature if serving within 2 hours.

1 bay leaf

PREPARE THE SHRIMP

1 medium clove garlic, cut in half

Kosher salt

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Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan and then turn off the heat. Toast the chiles in a small, dry skillet over medium-

high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute per side. Stem the chiles, put them in the hot water, cover, and let sit until the skins are soft, about 15 minutes. meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, sugar, celery, lemon zest, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Purée the chiles, 1 cup of the soaking water, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Add the purée to the coconut mixture. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the shrimp to the simmering liquid and cook until they start to curl, 1 to 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the shrimp sit in the liquid until cooked through, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine strainer set over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and discard the remaining solids in the strainer. Pour the liquid back into its saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick sauce, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Let cool briefly and then stir 4 cup of the sauce into the shrimp. Refrigerate the shrimp. Discard the remaining sauce or refrigerate for another use. ASSEMBLE THE TOSTADAS

Spread 1 scant Tbs. of the guacamole on each tostada, followed by 1 tsp. of the pineapple salsa, and top with 2 shrimp.


warm black bean and chipotle dip This is a great party dip that can be fully assembled up to 2 days ahead. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to bake. Serves 10 to 12 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the baking dish 2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into medium dice 2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed 1 large yellow onion, finely diced 3 large cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbs. chili powder 2 15½-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained well 2 canned chipotles in adobo, minced (about 1 Tbs.), plus 3 Tbs. adobo sauce 3 Tbs. cider vinegar 1½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (if frozen, thaw first) 1½ cups (6 oz.) grated sharp cheddar cheese 1½ cups (6 oz.) grated Monterey Jack cheese ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro Freshly ground black pepper Tortilla chips for serving

Heat the oven to 425°F. grease a 12-qt. baking dish with oil and line a baking sheet with foil. Set the tomatoes in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the salt.

Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add half of the black beans, the chipotles and adobo sauce, and ¾ cup water and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid reduces by about half, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor, add the vinegar, and process until smooth. Let cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a large bowl. Add the rest of the beans, the tomatoes, corn, half of each of the cheeses, and 2 cup of the cilantro. mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake on the foillined baking sheet (to catch drips) until the cheese melts and browns around the edges, about 15 minutes (longer if refrigerated). Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve with the tortilla chips for dipping.


S TA R T E R S

variations There are endless ways to shake up guacamole. Here are a few favorites below. Whether you try one or make them all for your next party, these guacamoles are sure to get things rocking.

• Seafood Guacamole, a spicy blend of crabmeat and shrimp or lobster • Cucumber-Pineapple Guacamole, a cool cucumber and sweettart pineapple mix • Blue Cheese-Smoked Almond Guacamole, a super-flavorful variety

classic guacamole Big chunks of avocado are important to the texture of guacamole, so mash it just enough to hold it together. When seasoning to taste, try the guacamole with the chips you’re serving. They can vary in saltiness, so this is a good way to make sure you add just the right amount. Serves 6 to 8 ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Find these recipes and more at FineCooking.com/ guacamole-recipes.

2 Tbs. finely chopped white onion 1 Tbs. minced fresh serrano or jalapeño, including seeds; more to taste Kosher salt 2 6- to 7-oz. ripe Hass avocados, preferably Mexican 2 tsp. fresh lime juice; more to taste

start with the best avocados Like many fruits and vegetables, avocados from different regions taste different. Hass avocados from Mexico are one of the creamiest tasting, but other Hass work, too, as long as they’re perfectly ripe. Here’s how to tell:

• Look for dark green, almost black skin. • They should give readily

under gentle pressure. If you have to squeeze, let them ripen at room temperature for another day or two.

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Using a mortar and pestle, or the side of a chef’s knife, mash half of the cilantro, the onion, the chile, and ½ tsp. kosher salt to a paste. Leave the paste in the mortar, if large, or transfer it to a serving bowl. Halve and remove the pits of the avocados. Use a paring knife to score the flesh in a ½-inch crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut through the skin. Use a spoon to scoop the avocado into the bowl. Add the remaining cilantro and the lime juice, and mash the avocado gently with the pestle or a fork, leaving some chunks. Season to taste with more lime juice, salt, and chile. It’s best served immediately, but can be made 1 hour ahead; cover the surface with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.


how to make guacamole

Mash the onions, chile, and half of the cilantro thoroughly to form a paste, but don’t worry if you can still see cilantro leaves. A Mexican stone mortar and pestle, called a molcajete, is a great vessel for this.

Use the pestle or a fork to scrape the paste off the bottom of the mortar as you mix it with the avocados. Mash just enough to bind everything together, leaving some of the avocado pieces intact.

Authentic Mexican In Mexico, guacamole is a favorite accompaniment for rice, meat, or warm tortillas. Guacamole loosely translates to “avocado mix,” and, in Mexico, there are many, many regional and personal mixes (see “Variations” at left). ✽

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Chicken and Tortilla Soup, p. 28

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Leg of Lamb with Heirloom Grain and Bean Salad and Spring Chive Vinaigrette, p. 48


Soups & Salads Light, bright plates and flavorful bowls.

the recipes Chicken and Tortilla Soup p. 28 Chopped Salad with Roasted Peppers, Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocado p. 29 Garden Lettuces with Skirt Steak, Avocado, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds p. 30 Carrot and Coriander Soup p. 33 Grilled Chicken Salpicón p. 33 Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy p. 34 Tomatillo Gazpacho p. 34 Jícama, Radish, and Pickled Shallot Salad with Feta p. 35


SOUPS & SALADS

chicken and tortilla soup Be sure the broth is very hot so that it heats up the ingredients in the bowl and offers a strong contrast with the cool, smooth chunks of avocado. The spice level is very low—just a slight chile warmth—so if you prefer more of a kick, add more chili powder or use a hotter powder. This recipe is easily doubled. Serves 2 as a light main course or substantial first course 1 Tbs. vegetable or olive oil, plus another 2 to 1 cup for frying the tortillas 4 cup finely chopped onion (from about 2 small onion) 1 Tbs. chili powder; more to taste 1 Tbs. tomato paste 2 skinless chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) Salt to taste 4 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth Fresh cilantro: six 2-inch stems for the broth, plus 4 cup roughly chopped leaves for the garnish 4 fresh corn tortillas, 6 inches across, cut into 4-inch-wide strips 2 cup corn kernels (canned is fine) 2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained 4 cup diced fresh tomato FoR THe GARniSH 1 ripe avocado, diced and tossed with a squeeze of lime juice 4 cup crumbled queso fresco, feta, or ricotta salata 2 dollops sour cream Lime wedges for serving

Put 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large saucepan or small soup pot, add the onion, and cook over medium heat until the onion has softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder and tomato paste and stir with a wooden spoon to mix and cook briefly; take care not to let the chili powder scorch. Season the chicken thighs lightly with salt and nestle them in the chile paste, turning them once so they’re entirely coated. Pour in about 2 cup of the broth and adjust the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the chicken, turning once, until it’s

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extremely tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes. (add a little more broth if the pan is drying out). When the chicken’s done, remove it from the pan, let it cool a bit, and cut or shred it into bite-size pieces, discarding any bones and bits of fat or gristle; set aside. If there’s any visible grease in the pan, spoon it off, add the remaining broth and the cilantro stems and simmer, uncovered, until the broth has reduced by about one-third and is quite flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. While the broth is reducing, fry the tortillas; see the sidebar at right. Divide the shredded chicken, the corn, black beans, tomato, and tortilla strips between two large soup or pasta bowls. Reheat the broth if necessary so it’s piping hot and pour it over the ingredients in the bowls. Serve immediately, and let each diner add the avocado, cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime juice at the table. RiB-eYe VeRSion

Instead of the chicken thighs, use an 8-oz. rib-eye or other tender cut of beef. Trim all the fat and silverskin and cut the meat into bite-size strips, slightly more than 4 inch thick. Toss the steak with a little salt. Start the recipe by heating the 1 Tbs. oil until quite hot, add the steak, and stir-fry it to brown the outside. The meat will cook more in the broth, but if you like your meat medium or well done, continue cooking it a few more minutes at this point. Remove the meat from the pan and reserve. Continue with the recipe above, skipping the chicken, of course.

cook the crispy strips Line a plate or tray with two layers of paper towels. In a small, high-sided saucepan, heat enough oil to come to about a 1-inch depth. Heat the oil over medium heat; when it reaches 375°F or when a strip of tortilla sizzles immediately when dipped in the oil, add six to eight strips of tortilla. With tongs or a long fork, “scrunch” them for a second or two so they take on a wavy shape (top photo). Fry until the strips aren’t bubbling much and have become pale brown (bottom photo), about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towels. Repeat with the remaining strips.


chopped salad with roasted peppers, corn, tomatoes, and avocado Chop all the salad ingredients up to four hours ahead and store them separately covered in the fridge. Serves 8 FoR THe PePPeRS AnD CoRn 2 large orange or red bell peppers 2 ears fresh corn 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper FoR THe HoneY-LiMe-CUMin VinAiGReTTe 1 small clove garlic Kosher salt

To ASSeMBLe 2 large firm-ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 4-inch dice (about 14 cup) 1 small jícama, peeled and cut into 4-inch dice (2 cups) 2 large firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into 4-inch dice (about 22 cups) 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 12 cups home-cooked black beans) 4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

3 Tbs. fresh lime juice

RoAST THe PePPeRS AnD CoRn

3 Tbs. fresh orange juice

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stem, seed core, and ribs. Put the pepper halves on the baking sheet cut side down. Husk the corn and put the ears on the baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the peppers and corn and rub it around to coat the pepper skins and corn kernels evenly. Sprinkle the corn with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the peppers are soft and slightly shriveled and browned and the corn kernels are lightly browned in a

2 tsp. finely chopped shallot 1 Tbs. honey; more to taste 4 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground 4 cup extra-virgin olive oil Freshly ground black pepper

few spots, about 20 minutes (rotate the corn occasionally as it roasts). When the vegetables are done, let them rest until cool enough to handle. Scrape away the pepper skin and cut the flesh into 2-inch dice. Cut the corn kernels from the cob. You should have about 12 cups kernels. MAKe THe VinAiGReTTe

mince and mash the garlic to a paste with 4 tsp. kosher salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic paste with the lime and orange juices, shallot, honey, and toasted ground cumin. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt and honey, if you like. ASSeMBLe THe SALAD

Artfully arrange the corn, tomatoes, peppers, jícama, avocado, and black beans in stripes or piles on a small platter or other wide, shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve the vinaigrette in a pitcher. encourage guests to spoon elements of the salad onto their plates and drizzle on some of the vinaigrette. Or drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad platter just before serving.


SOUPS & SALADS

garden lettuces with skirt steak, avocado, and toasted pumpkin seeds This salad is super versatile, so feel free to vary the ingredients. It’s great with skirt steak, but you can serve it with sliced grilled or sautéed chicken breast as well. To grill the skirt steak, see the directions at right. A mandoline works especially well to quickly, easily, and evenly slice the carrots and radishes. Serves 4 1 clove garlic, pounded to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice; more as needed 1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar; more as needed 1 tsp. cumin seed, toasted and lightly ground (so still a little coarse) ½ tsp. sweet paprika Kosher salt ½ cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1 shallot, thinly sliced ½ cup pumpkin seeds 1 1¼-lb. skirt steak, cold Freshly ground black pepper 2 ripe avocados 4 large handfuls assorted mild garden lettuces, about 8 oz. total, washed and dried 2 medium-size carrots, very thinly sliced 3 radishes, such as French Breakfast, very thinly sliced Aleppo pepper, for sprinkling (optional)

To make the vinaigrette, combine the garlic, lime juice, vinegar, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in 6 Tbs. of the olive oil. Taste with a leaf of lettuce and adjust the vinaigrette with more lime juice, vinegar, or salt if necessary. Set aside.

Put the shallot in a small bowl and cover with ice water. (The ice water crisps the shallot and helps remove some its hot and gassy flavor.) Set aside. Warm a small sauté pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbs. olive oil and the pumpkin seeds. Fry the seeds, tossing or stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate lined with a paper towel and season with salt. Cut the skirt steak into manageable lengths and return it to the refrigerator until shortly before you are ready to cook it. (Because skirt steak is so thin, you want the beef cold to prevent it from overcooking before it browns.) Season the beef with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and place the beef in the pan without overlapping the strips. Cook until the beef is nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the opposite side until medium rare, 1 to 2 minutes more; time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. (If necessary, reduce the heat to medium high to finish cooking thicker sections of the meat.) Transfer to a plate and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pits (see the technique below), and slice the flesh diagonally into about ¼-inch slices. Set aside. Drain the shallot. Put the salad greens in a large work bowl; sprinkle the shallot, carrots, and radishes on top and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss the salad with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Add about half of the pumpkins seeds and toss once more. With a delicate hand, transfer the salad to a platter or individual serving plates, evenly distributing the seeds, carrots, and radishes that may have fallen to the bottom of the bowl. Then, using a large spoon and starting at the very edge of the avocado (where skin meets flesh), scoop the flesh out of the avocado in one swoop. Separate the avocado slices and tuck them here and there among the greens. Season the avocado with salt. Thinly slice the meat against the grain. Arrange the skirt steak on the side or in the salad. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on and around the salad, focusing on the avocado and beef. Sprinkle the Aleppo pepper (if using) and the remaining pumpkin seeds on top. Serve immediately.

pit and cut avocados To pit an avocado, cut it in half lengthwise and gently twist each half in opposite directions to separate. To remove the pit, hold the avocado in the palm of your hand, and carefully tap the pit with your knife blade. The pit will stick to the blade. Then, twist the knife to free the pit. To remove the pit from the knife blade, turn your knife sideways and tap the pit on the cutting board a few times. To slice an avocado while the flesh is encased in its skin, hold a half in the palm of your hand and, using a small sharp knife, slice the flesh diagonally into about ¼-inch slices, cutting through the avocado without penetrating the skin (or your hand). Repeat with the other half. To dice an avocado, slice the avocado as above and then slice again in the opposite direction into a cross-hatch pattern. To remove sliced or diced avocado, use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh in one swoop (start at the very edge of the avocado, where skin meets flesh). At this point, you should be able to easily separate the slices or dice.

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grilling skirt steak If you don’t cook with skirt steak, you should. It’s an inexpensive and delicious cut of beef, especially when cooked properly. Unlike other cuts, it’s best to store the beef in the refrigerator until just before you cook it—the thin steaks overcook easily if not. A hot cast-iron skillet or grill works best to caramelize the beef quickly. Thin steaks are typically ready just after they brown on both sides. When cooking thicker steaks, brown the meat on both sides and then reduce the heat to medium high (or move it to a cooler part of the grill) to finish cooking. You’re after a true medium rare; rare skirt steak is chewy, and steaks cooked over medium have a tendency to be tough and livery tasting. Be sure to let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes, and slice it against the grain.


SOUPS & SALADS


carrot and coriander soup Carrots give their texture more than their flavor to this spicy Mexican soup. You can adjust the thickness by adding more or less liquid. If you can find cilantro with its roots attached, add the roots, well washed, to the soup for an even stronger cilantro flavor. Serves 8 6 Tbs. unsalted butter 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced 3 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 bunch cilantro (about 3 oz.), stems attached, washed well, a handful of leaves reserved for garnish 1 jalapeño, stemmed, halved, and seeded 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 Tbs. coriander seeds, ground 6 to 8 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth or water 2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream Drizzle hot sauce (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cilantro (except for the reserved leaves), jalapeño, salt, and ground coriander. Continue to cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and simmer until the vegetables are completely tender, about 35 minutes. Carefully purée the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. (For less heat, remove one half of the jalapeño before puréeing.) Stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and taste for seasoning. If the soup seems too thick, add a little water. Garnish with a drizzle of crème fraîche, the reserved cilantro leaves, and hot sauce, if you’d like.

grilled chicken salpicón Serve this dish with a stack of warm, fresh flour or corn tortillas. Serves 8 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded slightly to flatten FoR THe MARinADe Juice of 2 limes (about 3 Tbs.) 1/3 cup olive oil 4 cup tequila 4 cup orange marmalade 3 large cloves garlic, minced 1 canned chipotle chile, puréed (optional) Salt to taste FoR THe DReSSinG 2 cup fresh lime juice 2 cup olive oil 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced fine 1 serrano, seeded and minced fine 1 fresh poblano, roasted, peeled, and chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste FoR THe GARniSH 1 large ripe tomato, cut 2-inch chunks 2 large ripe Haas avocados, cut in 2-inch chunks, tossed in lime juice

2 cup lightly packed chopped cilantro leaves 1 small bunch chopped scallions (green parts only) 1 small red onion, chopped Handful of radishes, rinsed and sliced

In a nonreactive container, combine the chicken with the marinade ingredients. Swish to combine. marinate about 2 hours at room temperature or 4 hours in the refrigerator. Heat the grill. Grill the chicken until just done, about 5 minutes. per side. Set aside until cool and then pull it apart into long shreds. While the chicken is marinating or cooling, make the dressing by whisking together the lime juice, oil, jalapeño, serrano, roasted poblano, salt, and pepper. Toss with the shredded chicken. Just before serving, gently toss the chicken with the garnish ingredients. mound the salpicón in a lettuce-lined bowl and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

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SOUPS & SALADS

chicken soup with lime and hominy This is a quick and easy version of sopa de lima, a comforting yet refreshing Yucatan chicken soup made tangy with fresh lime juice. Tasty garnishes include fried tortilla strips (or tortilla chips), diced avocado, and fresh cilantro. Serves 4 12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 Tbs. vegetable oil 1 small white onion (8 oz.), chopped 4 medium cloves garlic, minced 1 small jalapeño, minced 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth 1 15-oz. can hominy, drained 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano, crumbled if the leaves are large 4 to 5 Tbs. fresh lime juice Kosher salt and ground black pepper 2½ oz. cotija or feta cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes (½ cup)

Cut each chicken breast crosswise into 12-inch-wide pieces. Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over mediumhigh heat until shimmering. Add the onion

tomatillo gazpacho This recipe is quick to prepare but needs to chill for at least an hour for the flavors to develop. Yields about 5 cups; serves 4 to 6 1 14-oz. can low-salt chicken broth 1 lb. tomatillos (8 to 12 medium), husked, rinsed, and cut into medium dice (3 cups) 1 medium clove garlic, minced 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium avocados, cut into small dice (1½ cups) ½ seedless English cucumber, cut into small dice (2 cups) ½ large red bell pepper, cut into small dice (½ cup) ¼ small red onion, finely diced (¼ cup) 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more as needed Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the broth in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillos and garlic, bring

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to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer until the tomatillos are cooked through but still hold their shape, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes, and then carefully purée the mixture in a blender along with the olive oil. Pour the purée into a nonreactive 9x13-inch pan and refrigerate to cool quickly. When the purée has cooled, remove the pan from the refrigerator and stir in the avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Before serving, taste and adjust the seasoning with more lime juice, salt, and pepper, as needed. Spoon the gazpacho into individual serving bowls or mugs.

and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the broth, hominy, oregano, and chicken. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pan. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, top with the cheese, and serve immediately.


jícama, radish, and pickled shallot salad with feta Bright, zesty, and refreshing, this crunchy salad can be served over tacos, alongside black beans and rice, or eaten all on its own. Serves 4 2 small shallots, cut in half crosswise and then thinly sliced lengthwise 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar Kosher salt 5 medium radishes, trimmed, quartered lengthwise and then cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices 1 medium jícama (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1 Tbs. cilantro leaves 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice 1 tsp. honey ¼ tsp. finely grated lime zest Freshly ground black pepper Pinch of cayenne 2 Tbs. grapeseed oil ½ cup crumbled feta

Authentic Mexican Peeled jícama can be sliced, diced, julienned, or shredded and prepared many ways. In Mexico, it’s commonly served raw with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of salt, and a touch of chili powder for a snack. Uncooked, it adds crunch to salads (like the one here), condiments, and slaws; cut into large sticks, it can be dunked in guacamole and other dips. Try it sautéed with chicken or shrimp, add it to savory stews, or glaze and broil it. Jícama can also be baked, boiled, steamed, and fried. It pairs well with fresh flavors like cilantro, ginger, lemon, and lime. ✽

In a small bowl, combine the shallots with the red wine vinegar and 4 tsp. salt; let sit until the shallots have mellowed and turned a light pink, about 15 minutes. Strain the shallots and discard the liquid. In a medium bowl, toss the shallots, radishes, jícama, cilantro, and a pinch of salt. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, lime zest, 4 tsp. salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Gradually whisk in the grapeseed oil. Toss the dressing with the vegetables. Fold in the feta and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Chiles Rellenos, p. 38


Beef Delicious, saucy steaks, tacos, and enchiladas.

the recipes Chiles Rellenos p. 38 Shredded Brisket with Chipotle Dressing p. 41 Drunken Chile con Carne Tacos p. 42 Adobo Marinade p. 42 Cube Steak with Lime Mojo p. 43 Margarita-Marinated Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa p. 44 Steak with Three-Chile Sauce p. 45 Mexican Chuck Tacos p. 46 Pico de Gallo p. 46 Grilled Chile Sauce p. 46 Quick Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde p. 47


BEEF

chiles rellenos The filling for these chiles is a take on Cuban picadillo, a blend of ground beef, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and raisins. To vary it, you can add 1 cup of rice or 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack. To use both, add just ½ cup of each. Serves 8

fill and fry the chiles MAKE THE FILLING

M A K E T H E SAU C E

FOR THE FILLING ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic (6 medium cloves) 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped 1¼ lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (about 2¼ cups) or one 28-oz. can whole plum tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

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1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon Kosher salt 1 lb. 80% lean ground beef or ground turkey ½ cup slivered almonds ½ cup raisins ½ cup lower-salt chicken or beef broth FOR THE SAUCE 1 medium yellow onion, quartered lengthwise 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, cored and halved horizontally ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 tsp. finely chopped garlic (4 medium cloves) 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican Kosher salt FOR STUFFING AND FRYING 8 large roasted poblano chiles, peeled, seeds removed, stems intact 4 cups vegetable oil 4½ oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour Kosher salt 5 large eggs, at room temperature, separated MAKE THE FILLING

In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the onion and cook until pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add the green pepper and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and 2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil begins to separate and pool 1 , 8 to 10 minutes.

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Add the meat and stir, breaking up any lumps. Add the almonds and raisins and stir occasionally until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated 2 , about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. MAKE THE SAUCE

Position a rack 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Put the onion and tomatoes cut side down on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning the onion once or twice, until charred and softened, about 8 minutes. Pull off the tomato skins with tongs 3 . Blend the tomatoes and onion to a coarse purée in a blender or food processor. Heat the oil in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant,

about 20 seconds. Stir in the tomato purée, cumin, oregano, and 2 tsp. salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the oil begins to separate and pool 4 , about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and keep warm. STUFF AND FRY THE CHILES

Spoon about ½ cup of the filling into each chile 5 and then press the cut edges together. (If the chiles tear, press the torn edges together.) Arrange the chiles on a tray or baking sheet. Position a rack in the center of the oven, put a paper-towel-lined large rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 200°F. Clip a deep-fry or probe thermometer to an 11- or 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or cast-iron

Watch a video of stuffing and frying the peppers at FineCooking.com/extras.


ST U F F A N D F RY T H E C H I L E S

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skillet. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat to 350°F. meanwhile, mix the flour and 2 tsp. salt in a shallow bowl. In a wide bowl, beat the egg whites and ½ tsp. salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. On low speed, add the yolks one at a time, and beat just until they’re fully incorporated. Working in batches of 2 or 3, hold a chile by the stem, lightly dredge it in the flour 6 , and then dip it in the egg batter, using a silicone spatula to coat all sides 7 . Lower the chile gently into the hot oil 8 . Fry until one side is golden, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon and tongs, carefully turn the chiles 9 and fry until the other side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet in the oven to stay warm while you finish the remaining chiles. Serve the chiles on a pool of the sauce.

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MAKE AHEAD

Filling make up to 2 days ahead. Keep covered in the refrigerator and reheat gently before stuffing the chiles. Sauce make up to 2 days ahead. Keep covered in the refrigerator and reheat gently before serving. Chiles Stuff and keep at room temperature for up to an hour before battering and frying.

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Authentic Mexican A quintessential Mexican specialty, this dish is actually an amalgam of several cultures. It comes from a family of stuffed vegetable dishes popularized by Islamic cooks in southern Spain. The Spaniards brought the technique to Mexico, where it flourished, spawning all kinds of regional interpretations. Most versions are a labor of love, with complex layers of flavor achieved through several steps, but it’s worth the effort. ✽

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Make Ahead You can make the beef brisket filling and the sauce up to five days ahead and refrigerate in airtight containers.


COVER RECIPE

shredded brisket with chipotle dressing This luscious, spicy taco filling is based on salpicón, a shredded or chopped cold beef salad. Brisket tacos are delicious topped with chopped tomatoes, radish slices, and shredded lettuce. Yields about 6 cups, enough for 30 tacos; serves 10 FOR THE BRISKET 4 lb. trimmed beef brisket, preferably the flat half 1 large yellow onion, chopped 10 black peppercorns 4 dried bay leaves 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed 2 serrano chiles, coarsely chopped 1 Tbs. kosher salt FOR THE CHIPOTLE DRESSING ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup fresh lime juice ¼ cup red wine vinegar 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 7-oz. can chipotles in adobo COOK THE BRISKET

Put the brisket ingredients in a 6-quart Dutch oven and cover with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and partially cover. Simmer until the meat is falling-apart tender, about 4 hours. Add hot water as needed during cooking to keep the meat submerged. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle. Reserve the cooking liquid. Scrape away and discard any fat from the brisket. Using your fingers or two forks,

tease the meat into shreds. Cut the shreds crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the meat to a medium mixing bowl and moisten with ½ cup of the reserved broth. Save the remaining broth for another use. MAKE THE DRESSING

In a blender, pulse the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, 2 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper until mixed. Drain the canned chipotles, pouring all of the adobo sauce into the blender. Add chipotles to taste and purée the dressing. (One chipotle will give the dressing a little heat, two or three will produce a medium-hot dressing, four or more will make a fiery dressing.) Chop any remaining chipotles and serve them on the side, if you like. Add just enough of the dressing to the shredded beef to moisten it. Cover the bowl and chill it in the refrigerator for an hour or so. TO SERVE

After chilling, the dressing will have pooled in the bottom of the bowl; toss to redistribute. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl or platter and drizzle with a little more dressing. Serve cold, as is customary, at room temperature, or warm. (You won’t need all of the dressing—serve the remainder on the side.)

top your tacos your way Part of the fun of homemade tacos is that you can garnish them with a variety of fresh condiments and toppings; it’s also why tacos make such great party food. Below are some mexican favorites. Choose any combo you like, and remember to set aside time to prep each one.

•Refried beans Perfect as a base for meaty taco fillings or as a side dish. •Guacamole A coarse mash of avocado, garlic, and lime juice; it’s ideal with seafood and chicken tacos. •R  aw onion relish Chopped white onion with fresh cilantro and lime juice; it’s a Tex-mex taco truck staple. •F  resh salsa Salsa verde made with grilled tomatillos is delicious. (If a tomato or mango salsa is more your thing, that’s fine, too). Or keep it simple with a good jarred salsa. •Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack •Crumbled queso fresco •Chopped ripe tomatoes •Chopped red onion •Chopped canned chipotles in adobo •Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce •Thinly sliced radishes

how to shred

•Chopped fresh, pickled, or grilled chiles, like jalapeños or serranos

A long braise renders beef brisket meltingly tender. It’s easy to shred with two forks or your fingers.

•Lime wedges •Sliced avocado •Sour cream •Small sprigs of fresh cilantro •Bottled hot sauce, like Tabasco, Cholula, or Tapatio

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adobo marinade This is a very versatile sauce. It can be used as a marinade for grilled meats, chicken, and seafood, or as a sauce for braising meats or making chile. Made with ancho chiles, it is full-bodied, earthy, and slightly sweet. When made with guajillo chiles (see the variation below), it is slightly brighter in color and flavor. Makes 1½ cups 5 large garlic cloves, 4 unpeeled and 1 peeled 4 large ancho chiles (2 oz.), wiped clean, cut open, and seeded ½ tsp. cumin seed 5 peppercorns 1 clove ½ cup water 1 tsp. cider vinegar ¼ tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. sugar

Make Ahead

drunken chile con carne tacos

Chile con carne will keep chilled for 3 days.

This chile con carne is made with chunks of beef, which is much more common in Mexico than ground beef. It is slowly braised with beer and chocolate for full flavor. Serve the tacos topped with chopped white onion, avocado, and cilantro. Makes 12 to 16 tacos; serves 4 to 5 2 lb. beef chuck cut into 1-inch pieces 1 tsp. salt; more to taste 3 Tbs. vegetable oil; more as needed 1 cup chopped white onion 1 recipe Adobo Marinade (see recipe at right) 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce 1 12-oz. bottle beer 1 7-oz. can pickled jalapeño chiles with juice, chiles sliced 1 oz. Mexican or bittersweet chocolate 12 to 16 corn tortillas (recipe on p. 94)

Season the beef with the salt. Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat and brown the meat in batches, without crowding, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes per batch; transfer the meat to a bowl as it is browned.

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Sauté the onion in the fat remaining in the pot (or add an extra tablespoon) over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the Adobo marinade and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Stir in the tomato sauce, beer, 1 cup water, and pickled jalapeños and juice and bring to a boil. Return the beef to the pot and simmer, covered, until tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Stir in the chocolate until melted and season with salt to taste. If necessary, simmer uncovered until the sauce is just thick enough to coat the meat. Serve the taco on corn tortillas.

Heat a flat griddle or large, heavy skillet and toast the unpeeled garlic cloves, turning once or twice until they are slightly softened (they’ll give slightly when squeezed) and browned in patches, about 8 minutes total. Peel. meanwhile, in the same griddle or skillet, toast the chiles in batches, turning and pressing with tongs until they are fragrant, pliable, and have turned a brighter red, about 1 minute. Transfer the chiles to a bowl of cold water and let them soak to soften, about 20 minutes. Drain. Toast the cumin, peppercorns, and clove in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Put the spices, drained chiles, toasted garlic and raw garlic clove, water, vinegar, oregano, salt, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes, adding more water, 1 Tbs. at a time, only if necessary to help the mixture blend properly. VARIATION

Substitute 2 oz. guajillo chiles (about 8 large) for the ancho chiles for a brighter red yet equally delicious sauce without the sweet edge from the anchos.

Make Ahead The Adobo Marinade keeps chilled for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.


cube steak with lime mojo Mojo is a garlicky citrus sauce that’s popular throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This lime-heavy version (most mojo is made with sour oranges, a tropical fruit) is a perfect marinade for cube steak, a quick-cooking cut of beef round. Serve with rice and beans or rice pilaf. Serves 4 8 medium cloves garlic, peeled Kosher salt 1½ tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano 1 tsp. ground cumin Freshly ground black pepper ¾ cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 medium limes) ½ cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 large orange) 1 tsp. granulated sugar 4 beef cube steaks (1¼ to 1½ lb. total) 1 Tbs. canola oil ½ large white onion, thinly sliced ½ large red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced

In a mortar, lightly crush the garlic with a pestle. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the oregano, cumin, and ½ tsp. black pepper and mash until a paste forms. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the lime juice, orange juice, and sugar; whisk until well combined. Lay the steaks in a 9x13-inch glass or ceramic dish and pour the garlic mixture (the mojo) over them. Let the steaks marinate for no more than 10 minutes. meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add the onions and peppers

and cook, stirring constantly until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the steaks to the pan along with 2 Tbs. of the mojo (discard the rest). Cook for 2 minutes, flip, add the onions and peppers, cover, and cook for 1 minute more. Uncover and continue cooking until the meat is just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Serve the steaks topped with the onions, peppers, and a drizzle of the cooked mojo.


BEEF

cooking with tomatillos This distant relative of the tomato is a staple of Mexican cooking, lending a tart, zesty flavor to sauces and salsas. Small, round fruits encased in a delicate, papery husk, tomatillos ripen to various colors, from yellow to red to purple. But they’re most flavorful if harvested just before ripening, when they’re vibrant green. Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, tomatillos (“little tomatoes” in Spanish) are also called husk tomatoes or tomates verdes (green tomatoes). Tomatillos are a perfect match for chile peppers, onions, and cilantro— all key ingredients in salsa verde, a popular Mexican sauce for grilled meats and fish. Tomatillos are also good with avocados, corn, lime, and scallions.

margarita-marinated skirt steak with grilled tomatillo salsa This margarita-inspired marinade (it includes tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice) not only adds flavor but also helps give the meat an excellent char. Serves 4 to 6 FOR THE STEAK 2 limes 1/3 cup tequila ¼ cup canola oil 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro 1 Tbs. Cointreau 2 medium cloves garlic, minced 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 2 lb. skirt steak Kosher salt FOR THE SALSA 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the grill 1 lb. tomatillos (10 to 15), husked and rinsed 1 medium yellow bell pepper Kosher salt ½ ripe medium avocado, diced 2 Tbs. minced red onion 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced Freshly ground black pepper MARINATE THE STEAK

Finely grate the zest from 1 lime and put it in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Finely grate 1 tsp. zest from the second lime and set aside for the salsa. Juice the limes. Add ¼ cup juice to the zest in the baking dish and mix 1 tsp. juice into the zest for the salsa. To the baking dish, add the tequila, oil, cilantro, Cointreau, garlic, and pepper flakes; whisk to combine. Season the steak all over with ½ tsp. salt. Add it to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the steak after 1 hour. MAKE THE SALSA

Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Scrub the grill grate with a wire brush and then wipe clean with a paper towel dipped in oil.

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Rub the tomatillos and yellow pepper all over with the 1 Tbs. oil and season with ½ tsp. salt. Grill the tomatillos, turning occasionally, until they have good grill marks and are starting to collapse, about 6 minutes. Grill the pepper, turning occasionally, until charred all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos to a plate and let cool. Put the pepper in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Roughly chop the tomatillos and put them in a medium bowl. Peel the skin from the pepper, remove the seeds, and cut into small dice. Add the pepper to the tomatillos along with the avocado, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and the reserved lime zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. GRILL THE STEAK

Remove the steak from the marinade and pat it dry. Clean and oil the grill grates again. Grill the steak, covered, over medium heat until brown grill marks form on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until medium rare (130°F on an instant-read thermometer), 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut each steak crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces, and then thinly slice across the grain. Serve with the salsa on the side.

Make Ahead The salsa may be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.


steak with threechile sauce For this dish, the earthy combination of three of Mexico’s most distinctive chiles creates a nuanced result that is not nearly as hot as you might expect. Much of the spiciness is cut by the cheeses, leaving only the subtle heat that real chile aficionados love. Serves 4 FOR THE SAUCE 1 ancho chile 1 pasilla chile 1 chipotle chile (from a can of chipotles in adobo) 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/3 cups medium-chopped white onion (1 medium-small onion) 2 cloves garlic, chopped ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro 1 Tbs. brandy ¾ cup low-salt beef broth ¾ tsp. dark brown sugar Heaping ¼ tsp. kosher salt; more to taste FOR THE STEAKS 4 ½-inch-thick boneless rib-eye, New York strip, or T-bone steaks (6 to 8 oz. each) Juice from 1 large lime (about ¼ cup) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup (2 oz.) grated Oaxaca cheese (or mozzarella) 1/3 cup (1½ oz.) grated cotija, anejo, or anejo enchilado cheese (or crumbled feta) MAKE THE SAUCE

Set a dry 10-inch skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toast the ancho and pasilla chiles in the skillet for about 20 seconds on each side; don’t let them scorch. Remove the stems, seeds, and ribs from the chiles. Soak the chiles in a bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes; drain them and put them in a blender. Add the chipotle. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in the 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden brown, lowering the heat as necessary to prevent scorching, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Put the onions and garlic in the blender, along with the cilantro, brandy, and ¼ cup water. Blend to a smooth paste, adding additional water as necessary, 1 Tbs. at a time, to purée the ingredients. Transfer the chile paste to a small bowl.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is just beginning to smoke, add the chile paste. Cook, stirring constantly to incorporate it into the oil, until it’s very thick, 2 to 4 minutes; reduce the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Reduce the heat to medium and gradually stir in the broth. Add the brown sugar and salt. Simmer until the mixture is the consistency of a medium-thick sauce, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt. COOK THE STEAKS

Position a rack 4 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Drizzle both sides of the steaks with the lime juice and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat an 11- or 12-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and sear two of the steaks on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the steaks and sear them on the other side, and then continue cooking, lowering the heat as needed, until they’re done to your liking, about 2 minutes on the second side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a rimmed baking sheet and repeat with the remaining two steaks. When all the steaks are cooked, turn the heat to medium, pour the chile sauce into the skillet, and stir to incorporate any browned bits and juices from the meat. Sprinkle some of the Oaxaca (or mozzarella) cheese on each steak, spoon some sauce over them, and then top them with some of the cotija or anejo (or feta) cheese. Put the baking sheet under the broiler to melt the cheese, about 1 minute, and serve immediately.

Authentic Mexican Say “Mexican steaks” and probably the first thing you think of is fajitas made with sizzling skirt steak. As good as fajitas are, it might surprise you to discover that traditional Mexican steak dishes are often more sophisticated. They feature juicy, tender steaks like rib-eyes, T-bones, and New York strips and get punched up with rich, bold spices or sauces. What sets these steaks apart from their American counterparts is the earthy flavors and spice that comes from adding Mexican ingredients. Typically that means some form of chile—but that doesn’t mean the dishes are hot. Depending on the variety and form, chiles offer a broad range of flavors, from fruity to smoky. As you’ll find in the steak recipe at left, incorporating more than one type of chile in a dish is a way to achieve a rounded flavor, with many notes. ✽

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mexican chuck tacos (agujas) Agujas (pronounced ah-goo-haas) are thin, very flavorful chuck steaks. The secret of this dish is that when highfat meat cooks over a low fire, it will be charred and infused with smoke but won’t dry out. Rice and beans are traditional accompaniments. Serves 4 1½ lb. boneless chuck eye steak or 2 lb. bone-in chuck eye steak, cut no more than ¾ inch thick Juice of 1 or 2 limes Kosher salt Pico de gallo (see recipe below) 1 ripe avocado or 1 cup guacamole Grilled Chile Sauce (see recipe below) 8 to 12 flour tortillas, heated

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill as described in the text at right. Brush the steaks lightly with the lime juice and season with salt. grill as described at right, turning once after 15 minutes, until they’re charred and well done yet tender, about 30 minutes. While the steaks are grilling, prepare the pico de gallo. Just before the meat is done, slice the avocado, if using. Remove the meat from the grill and chop or slice it very thinly. Serve with the pico de gallo, the avocado or guacamole, the salsa, and the warm tortillas.

pico de gallo In northern Mexico, bright and flavorful pico de gallo is the universal table relish.

grilled chile sauce (salsa de serrano o jalapeño asado)

3 serrano chiles or 2 jalapeños, cored, seeded and minced

With the robust flavor of charred tomatoes and chiles, this simple salsa is one of the best all-purpose table sauces. If you like hot sauce, use 3 serranos or 2 jalapeños; for a medium-hot sauce, use 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño.

2 scallions (white and green parts), minced

Yields about 1 cup

Yields about 2 cups 1 medium-size ripe tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

3 Tbs. finely chopped white onion ¼ cup lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro 1 tsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste Kosher salt to taste

Toss all the ingredients together until well mixed. Serve immediately, as this relish does not keep.

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2 medium to large ripe tomatoes 2 to 3 serrano chiles or 1 to 2 jalapeños Kosher salt to taste

grill the tomatoes and chiles over hot coals, turning occasionally, until they’re soft and the skins are well charred, 5 to 10 minutes. Pull off and discard the chile stems. Purée the tomatoes and chiles in a blender for about 30 seconds, strain into a serving bowl, and season to taste with salt. The sauce will be smooth and fairly loose; it will be flecked with bits of charred tomato and chile skin.

Authentic Mexican Cooking al carbón—over charcoal or wood, invariably mesquite—is the heart and soul of northern Mexican cooking. On a long barbecue constructed of cinder blocks, large, thin slices of chuck steak cook over what seem to be inadequate coals. About every ten minutes, someone turns the meat. After thirty minutes or so, a piece of meat is removed, chopped with a cleaver, and served with hot flour tortillas, pico de gallo, and a wonderful salsa. The meat is tender and has a smoky, almost buttery taste. Even though many cooks prefer steak medium rare, you’ll soon become addicted to the flavor and consistency of this well-done meat. ✽


mexican-style barbecue An important difference between the way Americans and mexicans grill is that mexicans usually cook meat over much lower heat for a longer time. The technique has a few advantages: Cheaper, more flavorful cuts of meat can be used; less fuel is needed; precise timing isn’t necessary; and it doesn’t interfere with socializing. To prepare a wood or charcoal fire, ignite about 5 quarts of mesquite or other hardwood chunks or charcoal using an electric or chimney starter. Avoid using lighter fluid, as it gives off an unpleasant odor. When the fire is well established, bank the coals to one side of the grill and grill the tomatoes and chiles for salsa directly over the coals while they’re still very hot. Then let the coals burn down until they’re covered with gray ash and no flames are visible (this will take 30 to 40 minutes from the time you bank the coals). An oven thermometer set on the grill grate opposite the coals should read 250° to 275°F after the grill lid has been on for a few minutes. If you’re using charcoal, toss over the coals a handful of mesquite chips that have been soaked in water for about an hour (mesquite wood chunks put out enough smoke on their own). As soon as the chips begin to smoke, put the meat on the grate opposite from and as far from the coals as possible and cover the grill. If you’re using a gas grill, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting it up for indirect grilling and smoking. Cooking time depends on the heat of the coals, the distance of the meat from the fire, air circulation, and the shape of the grill. As a starting point, a ¾-inch-thick boneless chuck steak will take 30 to 40 minutes, but let experience and instinct be your guide.

quick beef enchiladas with salsa verde An easy, homemade salsa verde adds a tangy kick to these hearty enchiladas. Serves 4 Kosher salt 1 lb. tomatillos (about 15 medium), husked and rinsed 3 jalapeños, stemmed and halved lengthwise (seeded, if you like) 1 large yellow onion, half cut into 4 wedges, half chopped �/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro 1½ Tbs. canola oil 1 lb. lean ground beef 2 tsp. ground cumin Freshly ground black pepper 8 6-inch corn tortillas 1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Give yourself plenty of room to grill by banking the coals as far to the side as possible.

Turn the meat after 15 minutes. No peeking before or you’ll release the smoke.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion wedges; cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a blender along with �/₃ cup of the cilantro. Purée until just slightly chunky and season to taste with salt. meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, chopped onion, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and 4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir ½ cup of the salsa verde into the beef. Position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. grease a 9x13-inch metal or ceramic baking dish with the remaining ½ Tbs. oil. Wrap the tortillas in a few slightly damp paper towels and microwave on high until warm, 30 to 45 seconds. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon some of the beef mixture down the center of the tortilla and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the cheese. Roll up snugly and transfer to the prepared baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and beef mixture. Pour the remaining salsa verde over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Broil until golden brown and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve.

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Mexican-Style Chili, p. 56


Pork Flavor-packed kebabs, tamales, and more.

the recipes Spicy-Smoky Pork Kebabs p. 50 Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Loin with Green Apple Salsa p. 51 Pork Tamales with Double-Chile Sauce p. 52 Pork Fajitas with Pan-Roasted Corn and Pineapple Salsa p. 55 Mexican-Style Chili p. 56 Yucatán Pork Tenderloin with Jícama, Avocado, and Red Onion Salad p. 56 Pork Braised in Banana Leaves with Manchamantel Sauce p. 58 Pork Chops with Green Chiles and Onions p. 59


PORK

spicy-smoky pork kebabs These kebabs are delicious served with grilled butternut squash, though the spicy pork and poblano combination also makes a natural filling for warm tortillas. Serves 6 FOR THE MARINADE 1 dried hot red chile, stemmed and seeded 1 Tbs. grated lime zest 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice 2 cup diced yellow onion 2 cup fresh orange juice 4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. light brown sugar 1 Tbs. chopped canned chipotle in adobo 1 tsp. minced garlic 2 tsp. kosher salt 4 cup vegetable oil FOR THE KEBABS 2 pork tenderloins (1 to 14 lb. each), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 12-inch-thick half-rounds 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 fresh poblano chiles, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch squares 16 medium radishes, trimmed 16 scallions, root ends trimmed 4 cup vegetable oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

MAKE THE MARINADE

Soak the red chile in very hot water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the chile and put it in a blender, along with all the remaining marinade ingredients. Blend until smooth. Set aside 2 cup of the marinade for basting. Put the remaining marinade and the pork in a large zip-top bag, seal, and massage the contents to coat. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the pork; discard the marinade. MAKE THE KEBABS

Thread the meat onto skewers, alternating with the onion, the poblano pieces, and the whole radishes. Build a medium-hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to medium high and oil the grill grate. Grill the kebabs (uncovered for charcoal; covered for gas), turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Once the pork loses its raw look, baste with the reserved marinade each time you turn the skewers. Grill until the pork is firm to the touch and the edges have begun to brown and the vegetables have begun to color and soften, about 15 minutes. Mound the skewers on a warm platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Brush the scallions with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until they begin to brown and soften, turning frequently, 3 to 5 minutes. TO SERVE

Remove pork and vegetables from the skewers, mound on a platter, and arrange the scallions around the edges.

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chorizo-stufed pork loin with green apple salsa If you can find pork bones, roast them in the pan along with the pork loin. They’ll give you flavorful drippings for the pan sauce. Serves 4 FOR THE PORK 3 oz. fresh chorizo or other fresh spicy sausage 1/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs 1 fresh jalapeño, cored, seeded, and minced 2 scallions, thinly sliced 4 cup unpeeled, diced Granny Smith apple, tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning 12 lb. center-cut boneless loin of pork, trimmed 1 Tbs. olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste FOR THE SALSA 3 small unpeeled Granny Smith apples, finely diced and tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 small red onion, finely diced (to yield 1 cup) Juice of 2 limes

1 Tbs. honey 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste FOR THE SAUCE 2 cup water 2 cup dry white wine 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste TO PREPARE THE STUFFING

in a mixing bowl, combine the sausage, breadcrumbs, jalapeño, scallions, and apple. Mix well and transfer to a pastry bag without a tip or to a heavy-duty zip-top bag with a corner snipped off; refrigerate. TO PREPARE THE PORK

Heat the oven to 425°F. Stuff, sew, and truss the pork loin. Rub the pork with the olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and transfer it to a small flameproof roasting pan (you won’t need a rack). Roast until an instant-read

thermometer registers just over 140°F, 45 to 50 minutes. When testing for doneness, be sure to insert the thermometer as far into the loin and as close to the stuffing as possible. Remove the floss and twine, tent the roast with oil, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The roast will continue to cook as it rests. TO PREPARE THE SALSA

While the roast is cooking, combine the apples, cilantro, onion, lime juice, honey, and olive oil in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature. TO MAKE THE SAUCE AND SERVE

Spoon off any visible fat from the roasting pan but keep all the juices in the pan. Heat the pan, add the water and white wine, and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon. continue cooking until reduced to 1/3 cup (the juices should have a saucy consistency) and whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. carve the roast into even slices and serve with the salsa and sauce.

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PORK

Authentic Mexican Tamales are a celebration food served at Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Mexico and Central America. But eating tamales is only part of the fun—making them is a celebration in and of itself. It’s a social occasion, an excuse to bring family and friends together and spend the day in the kitchen. These party-like gatherings, known as tamaladas, always result in a huge batch of delicious, steaming hot tamales—enough to feed everyone, with plenty of leftovers to give as gifts. Making tamales begins with preparing a soft, rich corn dough called masa, along with a meat or vegetable filling and a sauce. The filling can be anything from spiced shredded pork (as in the recipe here) to roast chicken or simple roasted poblanos. Masa and filling are wrapped in corn husks (or banana leaves) and then steamed. The process isn’t difficult; the key is getting the masa right and mastering the wrapping technique. The good news: We’ve got all the tips and techniques for delicious success. ✽

pork tamales with double-chile sauce There are different styles of tamales throughout Latin America, but their essential components—masa, a filling, and a wrapper—are the same. Wrapped in corn husks and served with a smoky chile sauce, these are traditionally Mexican. Yields 24 to 30 medium tamales FOR THE PORK FILLING 2 to 3 Tbs. lard or vegetable oil 3 to 3½-lb. boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, cut into 3-inch chunks and trimmed 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped 6 medium cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled 4 dried bay leaves, toasted 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, marjoram, or mild oregano, or 1 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano 2 to 3 whole cloves 1 to 2 guajillo, New Mexico, ancho, chipotle, or other dried red chiles, toasted (see p. 113), stemmed, and seeded 1½ tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns 1 tsp. whole allspice berries FOR THE CHILE SAUCE 2 Tbs. lard or vegetable oil 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped (about 2 cups) 2 medium heads garlic, peeled (about 35 cloves) 6 ancho chiles, toasted, stemmed, seeded, soaked in very hot water for 15 minutes, and drained

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3 guajillo chiles, toasted, stemmed, seeded, soaked in very hot water for 15 minutes, and drained 2 cups canned, puréed fire-roasted or regular tomatoes 2 cups (approximately) reserved pork cooking broth or lower-salt chicken broth 1 Tbs. tamale-grind masa harina 1 Tbs. brown sugar or honey; more as needed 1 tsp. cumin seed, toasted and ground ½ tsp. dried Mexican oregano, toasted (optional; see p. 113) ½ tsp. ground allspice ¼ tsp. ground cloves Kosher salt 1 2- to 3-inch cinnamon stick FOR THE MASA 3½ cups tamale-grind masa harina 12 oz. (1½ cups) lard, unsalted butter, vegetable shortening, or a combination, softened Kosher salt 2 to 2½ cups reserved pork cooking broth 40 dried corn husks


make the filling, sauce, and masa

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MAKE THE PORK FILLING

Heat the lard or oil in a heavy-duty 8-quart pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the pork until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer each batch to a bowl after browning. Return all of the pork to the pot and add the remaining pork filling ingredients and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. cook until the meat is fall-apart tender, 1 to 12 hours. Remove the meat from the pot, cool briefly, and shred it using 2 forks 1 . Strain the broth, discarding the solids, and let cool briefly. Skim off the excess fat and reserve the broth. (The recipe may be made to this point up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate the meat and broth separately.) MAKE THE CHILE SAUCE

Heat 12 Tbs. of the lard or oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. add the onion and garlic and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a blender. add the soaked chiles, tomatoes, and a little of the broth to the blender and purée until smooth. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. lard or oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, add the masa harina, and cook for about 1 minute. add the chile-tomato mixture and cook, stirring regularly, until it has darkened in color,

3 to 4 minutes. add the sugar or honey, cumin, oregano (if using), allspice, cloves, 22 tsp. salt, and enough pork broth to thin the purée to a sauce consistency 2 . add the cinnamon stick, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the color deepens slightly, the consistency is smooth, and a light sheen develops on the surface of the sauce, an additional 15 to 20 minutes, adding more broth as needed. Season to taste with salt and sugar. (The sauce may be made up to 2 days ahead; keep refrigerated.) MAKE THE MASA

in a large bowl, mix the masa harina with 24 cups hot (140°F to 160°F) water 3 . cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), whip the lard, butter, or shortening on medium-high speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. add 1 tsp. salt and continue beating while adding the masa in golf-ball-size pieces, waiting a few seconds between each addition. When about half of the masa is mixed in, start alternating the masa with the pork broth until all of the masa is used, along with about 2 cups of the broth. add 4 cup of the chile sauce and whip until light and fluffy 4 , adding more broth if the mixture seems too dry.

To test if the masa is ready, take a small piece (about 2 tsp.) and drop it in a cup of cold water. it should easily float. if not, simply whip the masa for a few more minutes and test again. Often, adding a bit more of the pork broth or cool water during this second mixing will help; don’t add too much liquid, however, or you’ll end up with overly soft masa and shapeless tamales. ASSEMBLE THE TAMALES

Soak the corn husks in very hot water for 30 to 45 minutes, or overnight in cool water with a plate or bowl set on top of the husks to keep them submerged. You’ll have enough husks to make the tamales, plus extra to line the steamer and make up for any broken husks. in a medium bowl, mix 2 cups of the chile sauce with the shredded meat and season to taste with salt. Wipe a soaked husk dry and put it smooth side up on a work surface. if necessary, trim the bottom with scissors so the husk can lie mostly flat. Put about 1/3 cup masa in the center of the widest portion of the husk. With a spoon or spatula, spread it evenly over onehalf to two-thirds of the husk leaving a 2-inch border at each edge 5 . Put 2 to 3 Tbs. of the pork filling in the center of the masa about 2 inch from the wide end 6 . continued on p. 54

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assemble the tamales

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STEAM THE TAMALES

Fold the corn husk in half lengthwise so the edges meet 7 . Fold the seam back so it’s in the center of the tamale 8 . Fold the tail of the wrapper to cover the seam (at least half the length of the tamale) 9 . Flip seam side down onto a tray or rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. The tamales can be steamed as they are, or tied to make them more secure or to dress them up. To make ties, rip long, thin strips off one or two corn husks 10. Then place a strip of corn husk under the tamale, wrap it around the middle (making sure that you have some of the tail underneath) and tie securely 11 .

Fill a deep 8-quart pot with a pasta insert with enough water to reach just below the insert. Without the insert in place, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Have ready a kettle or pot of almost boiling water to add if the water gets low. arrange the tamales upright (open end up) in the insert, leaving room for the steam to circulate. Fit the insert into the pot over the boiling water 12 . Use the extra husks to cover the tamales (this helps concentrate the heat). cover the pot with a lid. Steam for 1 to 12 hours, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the water just boiling. check the water level frequently and add more as needed to keep the pot from going dry.

To test for doneness, quickly remove a tamale and replace the lid on the pot to continue the cooking. Put the tamale on the counter for a few minutes and then carefully unwrap it. if ready, the masa should be set and will pull away from the wrapper easily. Let the tamales rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow the masa to firm up. For softer tamales, let them rest in the pot with the heat off and the lid and extra leaves removed. For firmer tamales, let them rest out of the pot, covered with a cloth. Serve the tamales in their wrappers with extra sauce passed on the side, and have diners unwrap them just before eating. Once unwrapped, they cool quickly.

freeze, pack, and give Perfect for serving at holiday parties and family gatherings, tamales also make a special gift from the kitchen. The tamales and sauce will keep for several days in the fridge and for up to three months in the freezer. To freeze, put the steamed and cooled tamales in sealed freezer storage bags to keep them from drying out. Freeze the sauce in sealed freezer storage bags or covered containers. To give, pack the tamales and sauce in a Styrofoam container with a cold pack to create a mini cooler; wrap with ribbon, if you like. To reheat, simply steam the tamales again: 10 to 12 minutes for refrigerated and 25 to 30 minutes for frozen. The frozen ones will have a better texture if they go straight from the freezer to the steamer. Reheat the sauce on the stovetop or in a microwave.

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pork fajitas with pan-roasted corn and pineapple salsa Strips of spiced pork get quickly seared and then topped with a sweet and tangy salsa in this summery dish. Serves 4 to 6 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. packed brown sugar Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 14 lb. pork tenderloin, cut in 22x4x4-inch strips 3 Tbs. olive oil 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels 1 cup small-diced fresh pineapple 4 cup minced shallot (1 medium) 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro leaves 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice 12 6-inch corn or flour tortillas

combine the cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Put the pork in a large bowl and toss with the spice rub until evenly coated. Set aside. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown in spots and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium serving bowl. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, then heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. When very hot, add half the pork

in a single layer. cook, turning with tongs until well browned on the outside and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and pork. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas according to the package instructions. add the pineapple, shallot, cilantro, and lime juice to the corn and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the pork with the salsa and tortillas.

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mexican-style chili Serve this stew-like chili with warm tortillas, chopped white onion, sprigs of cilantro, diced avocado, and grated sharp cheeses (try Cotija or even an aged Cheddar). See the photo on p. 48. Yields 5 cups; serves 4 4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded 4 pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded ½ tsp. cumin seeds ½ tsp. coriander seeds 1 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves or 1½ tsp. dried 1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, drained and seeded 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped 2 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed of any fat Kosher salt to taste 3 Tbs. vegetable oil; more as needed

Heat a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. add the ancho and pasilla chiles and press them flat with a spatula. Toast the chiles, turning them over, until they’re fragrant and their color changes slightly, about 30 seconds. Remove the chiles from the skillet and put them in a bowl. cover with about 4 cups of boiling water. Weight them with a plate to keep them submerged, if necessary, and soak until tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. add the cumin and coriander and toast, giving the pan an occasional shake, until the seeds are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Grind the seeds in a spice grinder or crush them in a mortar and pestle. in the same hot pan,

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toast the fresh oregano (don’t toast dried oregano). Remove the leaves after they’ve begun to dry out but before they lose all of their green color, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid from the soaking chiles and then drain them. Put the chiles and the reserved liquid in a blender. add the toasted, ground cumin and coriander, the toasted (or dried) oregano, the tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Purée until smooth. cut the pork into 2-inch cubes, pat it dry, and season it lightly with coarse salt. in a large, heavy-based skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil until very hot. Brown the pork in the oil in batches (adding more oil to the pan as needed); don’t overload the skillet or the pork will stew in its own juices and not brown. Transfer the browned pork to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain off any excess fat from the skillet but leave a light coating on the bottom and don’t clean the skillet. To the hot skillet, add the chile purée carefully; it will splatter while it sizzles. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. add the browned pork, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 12 hours. add a little water to the pan if the sauce seems too thick. Season with salt to taste and serve.

yucatán pork tenderloin with jícama, avocado, and red onion salad Jícama doesn’t brown after peeling and cutting, making it an ideal player in this refreshing slaw. Serves 4 to 6 2 Tbs. minced garlic 2 Tbs. pure chile powder (preferably ancho) 1 Tbs. dried oregano (preferably Mexican) 1½ tsp. ground cumin Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup grapefruit juice, preferably fresh 2 small pork tenderloins (1 to 1¼ lb. each), trimmed 1 small jícama (about 1¼ lb.) 2 ripe avocados ½ small red onion 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. in a small bowl, combine the garlic, chile powder, oregano, cumin, 1 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper, and enough of the grapefruit juice (about 4 cup) to make a paste. Rub the paste all over the pork and set on a rack in a small roasting pan. Roast until the thickest part of each tenderloin registers 140° to 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board to rest. Meanwhile, peel the jícama and cut it into matchsticks about 4 inches long and 4 inch thick. cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and peel, and diagonally cut the flesh into thin slices. Slice the red onion half as thinly as possible. in a large bowl, gently combine the jícama, avocado, and red onion. Drizzle with the lime juice and remaining grapefruit juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the pork and divide it equally on dinner plates. Serve with the jícama salad.


PORK

pork braised in banana leaves with manchamantel sauce Banana leaves add a tea-like herbal note to the pork. The accompanying sauce, called manchamantel (or “tablecloth stainer”), is a specialty of Oaxaca, Mexico, and combines the sweetness of banana with smoky chiles, earthy pine nuts, and fragrant spices. Serve this pork as a taco filling along with tortillas, queso fresco, and avocados, or use it in pulled-pork sandwiches. Serves 12 FOR THE PORK 1 Tbs. cumin seeds 1 Tbs. dried oregano, preferably Mexican 1 Tbs. sweet paprika 1 tsp. black peppercorns 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh 2 Tbs. packed light or dark brown sugar Kosher salt 42 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 16 pieces (22- to 32-inch cubes)

2 fresh or thawed frozen banana leaves (see Sources, p.117) 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes 5 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 cup) FOR THE MANCHAMANTEL SAUCE 1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks, drained 2 large white onion, cut into chunks (about 1 cup) 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeds removed, plus 1 Tbs. adobo sauce 1 medium clove garlic 1 Tbs. smoked sweet paprika 2 tsp. ground cinnamon Pinch ground cloves Kosher salt 12 Tbs. bacon fat, peanut oil, or corn oil 1 small ripe banana, cut into chunks 4 cup toasted pine nuts 1 tsp. fresh lime juice; more to taste

BRAISE THE PORK Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Toast the cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant; let cool. in a spice grinder, finely grind the cumin seeds, oregano, paprika, peppercorns, and bay leaf.

Transfer the spices to a small bowl and stir in the brown sugar and 1 Tbs. salt. in a large bowl, toss the meat with the spice mixture to coat. Rinse the banana leaves and pat dry. if using fresh stiff leaves, use tongs to briefly hold the leaves over a gas stove burner on medium heat, or under the broiler, moving them around constantly to avoid singeing, until they are flexible, 15 to 30 seconds. (if using frozen, this step is not necessary.) Line a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven with one of the banana leaves, allowing the excess to hang over the edge of the pot. cross the second banana leaf over the first, again allowing the excess to hang over the edge. Spoon the pork onto the banana leaves. Place a sieve over a medium bowl and drain the tomatoes, pressing them to extract the juice. Pour 12 cups of the tomato juice over the pork. Reserve the tomatoes for the sauce and discard or save the remaining juice for another use. Sprinkle the pork with the garlic. cover the meat with the overhanging banana leaves and then cover the pot with its lid. Braise the pork in the oven, basting occasionally with juices from the bottom of the pan, until fork-tender, 22 to 3 hours. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a colander set in a bowl and let drain for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the banana leaves and pour the pan juices into a fat separator or large measuring cup. add any juice that drained from the meat and let sit until the


fat rises to the top. Separate the fat from the juice and discard it. if there is more than 1 cup of juice, reduce it in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat to just about 1 cup; transfer to a heatproof container. Shred the pork into the Dutch oven; keep warm. MAKE THE SAUCE in a blender, purée the reserved tomato pieces, pineapple, onion, chipotles and adobo sauce, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, and 4 tsp. salt until smooth. Heat the bacon fat in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the purée, cover, and simmer rapidly over medium to mediumhigh heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and darkens slightly, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly; then return the mixture to the blender. add the banana, pine nuts, and lime juice and purée until smooth. add the reserved meat juices and more lime juice to taste. add the sauce to the shredded pork, toss to coat, and reheat if necessary before serving.

pork chops with green chiles and onions A double dose of chile—canned and powder—adds pleasant heat to this quick skillet braise. The peppers’ light green hue may fade slightly as they simmer, but their spicy essence intensifies into a delicious sauce. Serves 4 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. pure ancho chile powder or chili powder Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 center-cut boneless pork chops, preferably about 1 inch thick (about 12 lb. total) 4 cup lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles 3 Tbs. chopped jarred jalapeños (from about 12 slices) 1 Tbs. cider vinegar 4 cup all-purpose flour 3 Tbs. olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

in a small bowl, combine the cumin, chile powder, 14 tsp. salt and ¾ tsp. pepper. Sprinkle on both sides of the pork and set aside. in a blender or food processor, purée the chicken broth, green chiles (with their liquid), jalapeños, and vinegar until smooth. Put the flour in a pie plate and dredge the pork chops, shaking to remove any excess. Heat a 12-inch skillet over mediumhigh heat for 1 minute. Pour in 2 Tbs. of the oil and heat until

shimmering hot, about 1 minute. add the pork chops and cook, without moving, until they’re brown around the edges and release easily from the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, flip, and cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate. Over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the onion to the skillet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and golden, about 4 minutes. add the green chile mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly and the onions are completely tender, 2 to 3 minutes more; add a splash of chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the chops to the pan, nestling them into the onions. cover and simmer gently until the pork is fairly firm to the touch with just a little give, 3 to 5 minutes. With a paring knife, make a nick in a thicker chop to make sure it’s only just a little pink. Serve the pork chops topped with the sauce.

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Chicken and Poblano Quesadillas, p.62


Poultry Great takes on chicken and turkey.

the recipes Chicken and Poblano Quesadillas p. 62 Grilled Tamarind Chicken Tacos p. 62 Turkey Drumstick Mole p. 64 Chicken with Chiles and Cheese p. 65 Lime Chicken with Poblano Sour Cream p. 66 Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken p. 66 Turkey and Roasted Poblano Tacos p. 68 Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce p. 68 Creamy Tomatillo Sauce p. 68 Red Pozole with Chicken p. 70


P O U LT RY

grilled tamarind chicken tacos Here, chicken thighs are marinated in sweet-sour tamarind soda, garlic, and soy sauce, and then rubbed with a coriander-chile spice rub. If you can’t find tamarind soda, use lemon, orange, or ginger soda. Serve this taco on corn tortillas and garnish with chopped red onion, avocado slices, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, or choose your own toppings (see p. 41). Yields enough for 15 tacos 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lb.) 1 12.5-oz. bottle tamarind soda (such as Jarritos brand; see Sources, p. 117) ½ cup soy sauce 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed 1 Tbs. ground coriander 2 tsp. pure chile powder, such as ancho Sea salt

chicken and poblano quesadillas This is a fantastic combination of ingredients, but feel free to make substitutions: quartered grape tomatoes, chopped pickled jalapenos, or crumbed chorizo sausage would all be delicious. Serves 4 6 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese 6 oz. grated fontina cheese 4 oz. grated queso blanco cheese ¼ tsp. ground cumin

Put the chicken in a large bowl and cover with the tamarind soda. Add the soy sauce and garlic and mix well. Refrigerate overnight. Prepare a high charcoal or gas grill fire for indirect grilling. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. In a small bowl, combine the coriander, chile powder, and a pinch of salt. Dust the thighs on both sides with the spice rub. Cook on the hot part of the grill until grill marks form on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and mark the other side, about 2 minutes more. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill and grill until cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes and then cut the meat into strips and serve.

¼ tsp. chipotle chili powder Olive oil cooking spray 8 10-inch flour tortillas 1 roasted poblano, skins removed, seeded and diced ¼ cup chopped cilantro 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken ½ cup diced red pepper ½ cup diced red onion ½ avocado, peeled and diced Sour cream, salsa verde and pico de gallo, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, cumin and chili powder. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet to medium low and spray with cooking oil. Spread about 2 cup of cheese on four tortillas, then divide the poblano, cilantro, chicken, red pepper, red onion and avocado between them. Top with any remaining cheese and place the remaining four tortillas on top. Place a quesadilla on the griddle and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another two minutes. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board, allow to cool for a minute or two, then cut into sixths. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas. They can be kept warm in a 200°F oven. Serve with the sour cream, salsa verde, and pico de gallo.

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soda marinade Tamarind soda is the secret ingredient in the marinade for these tangy grilled chicken thighs.


Make Ahead Marinate and refrigerate the chicken the night before. Grill the chicken up to 30Â minutes before you plan to serve it.

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POACH THE DRUMSTICKS

In a large (8-quart) Dutch oven or other heavyduty pot, combine the broth, onions, garlic, and spices. Add the drumsticks and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the meat is tender, about 12 hours. During cooking, add broth as needed to keep the drumsticks submerged, and turn them over from time to time. Transfer the drumsticks to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool. Strain the broth and save. Discard any solids. When the legs are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard. Pull the meat from the bones and remove any sinews. Leave the meat in the largest chunks possible and set aside in a large bowl. (The turkey legs can be prepared a day ahead. Refrigerate the meat and broth separately.) MAKE THE MOLE SAUCE

turkey drumstick mole For rich complexity, three varieties of dried Mexican chiles are used to flavor this classic mole (which also includes bittersweet chocolate). They’re easily found in Latin markets or are available by mail order. Serve this hearty stew over steamed rice. Serves 6 to 8 FOR THE POACHED DRUMSTICKS 6 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and each studded with 4 whole cloves

FOR THE MOLE SAUCE 3 ancho chiles 3 mulato chiles 3 guajillo chiles 1/3 cup raisins 4 cup whole toasted almonds 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about ½ cup) 3 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded (about 1 cup), or 1 cup canned seeded tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen 2 corn tortillas, cut into 6-inch strips

6 medium unpeeled cloves garlic

1 cup chopped yellow onion

6 whole allspice berries

2 medium cloves garlic

4 fresh or dried bay leaves 2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican ½ tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. black peppercorns

½ tsp. ground fennel or aniseed

2 tsp. coriander seeds

1/₈ tsp. ground allspice

2 tsp. dried oregano

1/₈ tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. fennel or aniseed 1 4-inch cinnamon stick 4 large turkey drumsticks (about 3 lb. total)

Pinch of ground cloves 3 Tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

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Tear the chiles into large pieces, discarding the stems and seeds. In a large (12-inch), dry, heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat, toast the chiles, turning them frequently, for 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, add the raisins, cover with 3 cups boiling water, and soak for at least 30 minutes or until soft. (The chiles and raisins may be soaked overnight and refrigerated in the soaking liquid.) Drain the chiles and raisins. Set aside 2 cup of the soaking liquid and combine the remaining liquid with the turkey broth. Put the almonds and chocolate in a food processor and pulse several times to finely grind them. Add the chiles and raisins, the reserved 2 cup of chile liquid, and the tomatoes, tortillas, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, fennel, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. Process until smooth. In a large (8-quart) Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chile mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until it darkens and becomes quite thick, about 8 minutes. Add 4 cups of the turkey broth and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the sauce is thick but still pourable, about 40 minutes. Add more turkey broth if it becomes too thick. Stir in the turkey meat and cook for 10 minutes over low heat so the turkey can absorb the flavors of the mole sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the turkey and sauce into a shallow serving bowl and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.


chicken with chiles and cheese Serve with rice pilaf, or wrap the chicken in warm corn tortillas. Serves 4 1¼ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed and sliced ¼ inch thick 1½ tsp. chili powder ½ tsp. ground cumin Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup all-purpose flour 3½ Tbs. unsalted butter 1½ cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels 1 medium jalapeño, seeded if desired and thinly sliced 1 large clove garlic, minced 2 to 3 medium limes, 1 or 2 juiced to yield 3 Tbs. and 1 cut into wedges 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar

Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Toss the chicken with the chili powder, cumin, 4 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. black

pepper. Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off any excess. Melt 22 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over mediumhigh heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter, the corn, jalapeño, garlic, and 2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until the corn begins to brown lightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken, lime juice, oregano, and 2 cup water. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the Cheddar and transfer the skillet to the broiler. Broil until the cheese melts and browns on top, about 3 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

chile powder vs. chili powder The terms “chili” and “chile” are often used interchangeably across north America, but they don’t always mean the same thing. Chili powder is usually a blend of ground chile pods and other spices like cumin, peppercorn, and salt. Chile powder most often refers to pure ground chile pods with few or no additives; the only way to tell is to read the ingredient label.

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poblanos stufed with cheddar and chicken This stuffed pepper variation has no breading, making it a little lighter. Removing the seeds and white inner membrane of the pepper ensures it won’t be too hot. Serves 4 4 large poblano chiles, slit from stem to tip 2 medium tomatoes, chopped ½ medium white onion, chopped 1 large clove garlic, chopped 1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled 1 tsp. ground cumin Generous pinch of ground cinnamon Kosher salt 1 Tbs. olive oil

lime chicken with poblano sour cream Look for Mexican crema in the dairy case or near the tortillas in supermarkets. To make your own, see p. 122. Serves 4 4 large poblano chiles 1 large lime ½ cup sour cream or Mexican crema 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish (optional) 2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste 1 Tbs. ground coriander 1 tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 8 medium (5- to 6-oz.) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and replace the perforated top part of the pan. Broil the poblanos, turning 3 times, until blackened, 12 to 15 minutes total. Put the poblanos in a medium bowl, top with a dinner plate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the lime in half. Cut one half into wedges and squeeze the other half to get 2 tsp. juice. Measure the juice into a small bowl and stir in the sour cream or crema and the chopped cilantro.

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Transfer the poblanos to a cutting board to cool a bit, then peel away the burned skin, discard the stems and seeds, and cut into 2-inch dice. Add to the sour cream mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. In a small bowl, combine the 2 tsp. salt with the coriander, cumin, and pepper. Coat the chicken with the oil and season on both sides with the spice mixture. Put the chicken skinside down on the broiler pan, and broil until well browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over with tongs and continue to broil, checking frequently, until the chicken is dark brown and cooked through (an instant-read thermometer should register at least 165°F), 4 to 6 minutes more. If the chicken threatens to burn before it’s cooked through, move the pan to a lower rack. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, spoon the poblano sour cream on the side, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if using, and the lime wedges for squeezing over the chicken. Serve hot.

2 cups shredded cooked chicken, preferably dark meat 1½ cups cooked brown or white rice ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (including some tender stems) 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice 2 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 7 oz.)

Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set the chiles on the baking sheet. Broil, turning every few minutes, until blackened all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, peel off the skins, and cut out the seed cores, leaving the stems on. Turn the chiles inside out, flick out any remaining seeds, and turn right side out. Return the poblanos to the baking sheet. Purée the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, spices, and 2 tsp. salt in a food processor. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the purée; cook, stirring, until the liquid evaporates and the mixture looks thick and pulpy, 8 to 11 minutes. Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the chicken and rice, then the cilantro, lime juice, and 1 cup of the cheese; season to taste with salt. Portion the filling among the peppers, wrapping their sides around the filling (some will still be exposed). Broil the peppers until the cheese begins to melt and the tops begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese and broil until the cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.


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turkey and roasted poblano tacos

chicken enchiladas with creamy tomatillo sauce

These tacos highlight the flavor of leftover turkey without overwhelming it. Yields 8 to 12

If you can find Mexican cheese, try queso panela or queso añejo instead of the mozzarella and provolone. Serves 4

3 Tbs. vegetable oil ½ cup sliced white onion Kosher salt

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (to yield about 2 cups shredded cooked meat)

2 large poblanos, roasted, peeled, seeded, and sliced

Kosher salt

½ lb. zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick

Vegetable oil, as needed

2 cups chopped leftover roast turkey or rotisserie chicken 2 oz. (¼ cup) crème fraîche ¼ cup packed chopped fresh cilantro; more for serving 6 oz. queso fresco or Monterey Jack, thinly sliced 16 to 24 (6-inch) corn tortillas 1 medium lime, cut into wedges

Heat 12 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add the onion and 4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the poblanos and 4 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into a bowl. Return the skillet to high heat and add the remaining 12 Tbs. oil. Add the zucchini and 4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring often, until barely tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the onion and poblanos to the skillet and stir in the turkey, crème fraîche, and cilantro. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute to reduce the crème fraîche slightly. Turn off the heat, cover the taco filling with sliced cheese, and cover the skillet. Let sit for a few minutes, until the cheese melts. The filling will weep and become very juicy. Heat a small, heavy skillet—preferably cast iron—over medium-high heat. Heat the tortillas one at a time until hot and pliable, 20 to 25 seconds per side. keep them warm in a cloth napkin. Spoon the filling into a serving bowl (or leave it in the skillet) and serve with the tortillas, wedges of lime to squeeze over, and additional cilantro.

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12 6-inch corn tortillas Creamy Tomatillo Sauce (see recipe at right) 4 oz. (1 cup) grated mozzarella 1/ 1 3 oz. (1/3 cup) grated provolone

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the chicken thighs and a bit of salt; simmer until cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Let the meat cool; shred it (discarding any fat or gristle), season with salt, and set aside. Fill a large skillet with enough oil to submerge a tortilla (between 4 to 2 inch). Warm the oil over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles immediately. Fry each tortilla briefly in the oil, about 10 seconds per side. Use a spatula rather than tongs to flip the tortillas, as they’ll tear easily. The tortilla should stay soft; if it starts to harden, it has been in the oil too long. Drain on paper towels. Heat the oven to 400°F. With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of sauce on both sides of each tortilla. Spoon a heaping 1 Tbs. of shredded chicken just off center of each tortilla and roll into loose cylinders. Set the enchiladas side by side in a 9x13-inch baking dish, pour the remaining sauce over them, top with the cheeses, and bake until bubbling and parts are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

creamy tomatillo sauce The addition of cream or crème fraîche qualifies enchiladas made with this sauce as enchiladas suizas (Swiss-style enchiladas). Yields about 3½ cups sauce 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husks and stems removed, rinsed 2 or 3 fresh serrano chiles, cored and seeded, or 1 canned chipotle pepper, seeded 4 slices white onion, each ¼ inch thick 3 cloves garlic 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro 2 Tbs. vegetable oil 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth 4 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream Kosher salt

Position a rack as close to the broiler as possible and heat the broiler. Arrange the tomatillos, fresh chiles (if using), onion slices, and garlic in a small, shallow baking pan. Broil, turning to ensure even cooking, until the tomatillos are soft and slightly blackened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the cilantro (if you’re using a canned chipotle, add it now, too). Blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Taste the sauce. It should be a little tart, but it shouldn’t make your mouth pucker. If it’s too tart, add more broth and simmer until the sauce thickens again. Remove from the heat and whisk in the crème fraîche or heavy cream and 4 tsp. salt. Let cool slightly before making the enchiladas.


Authentic Mexican Enchiladas hold a place in the Mexican culinary psyche similar to the place of hot dogs, hamburgers, and Philly cheesesteaks hold in ours, but to a greater depth. They belong to the oldest and most popular family of Mexican dishes, antojitos mexicanos—literally “Mexican style whims”—a group that includes other corn- and tortilla-based foods such as tacos, tamales, quesadillas, and gorditas. The word enchilada comes from the Spanish verb enchilar, which is defined as “to season with chile.” But what’s missing from that definition is any hint of the culinary magic that has made this dish, from its simplest to its most exotic forms, an overwhelming favorite on both sides of the border. ✽

Make Ahead The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month.


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red pozole with chicken (pozole rojo con pollo) It’s traditional to serve the chicken in whole pieces, but you can also pull the cooked chicken off the bone and add the meat back to the stew, as you might for a chili. To add to the feast-like feel of the dish, serve with tostadas topped with refried black beans for munching on between bites of pozole. Serves 6 to 8 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth

MAKE THE CHILE SAUCE

2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cored (about 1 lb.)

2 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican (see p. 113)

8 large (5- to 6-inch) dried guajillo chiles (1½ to 2 oz.), wiped clean with a damp paper towel

1 small bunch fresh cilantro (2 to 3 oz.)

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F (or heat a toaster oven). Cut a small x through the skin on the bottom of each tomato. Put the tomatoes on a small, rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and roast until tender and well charred, 20 to 25 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, pull off and discard the skin. Meanwhile, stem the chiles and cut them open lengthwise with scissors or a knife. Remove the seeds and any large ribs. Heat a comal (see Test kitchen, p. 112), a griddle, or a heavy-duty skillet over mediumlow heat until hot. Toast half of the guajillo chiles, flipping and pressing them down with tongs or a spatula until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining chiles. Cover the chiles with cold water and soak until softened, about 30 minutes. While the chiles soak, toast the garlic and onion on the comal over medium-low heat 1 until just tender, turning the garlic as needed

FOR THE CHILE SAUCE

20 medium cloves garlic, peeled (about ½ cup) 1 small white onion, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds 5 whole cloves ½ tsp. whole allspice ¼ cup vegetable oil 3 Tbs. distilled white vinegar 2 tsp. granulated sugar Kosher salt FOR THE POZOLE 2 large fresh poblano chiles (about 4 lb. ) 6 chicken drumsticks, skin removed 6 chicken thighs, skin removed

Kosher salt

5 6-inch fresh mint sprigs 4 15-oz. cans hominy, preferably white, drained and rinsed FOR THE TOPPINGS ½ head romaine lettuce, cored and sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick 6 to 8 medium radishes, trimmed and sliced 1/₈ inch thick 2 limes, cut in thirds 2 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican 4 tsp. chile de árbol powder or cayenne Kosher salt

layering flavor into a pot of pozole

1 Toasting the chiles and roasting the vegetables makes their flavors more intense and complex. It’s traditional in Mexico to toast without oil to get the purest flavors from the vegetables. The chiles, garlic, and onions are toasted on the stove in a comal (pictured) or a skillet. (After toasting, the chiles are soaked to make them pliable.) Because tomato skin sticks to the pan, however, the tomatoes are roasted in the oven on a foil-lined pan for quick clean up.


and flipping the onion slices once, until golden-brown with some blackened spots, about 8 minutes for the garlic and 15 minutes for the onion. Drain the chiles and put them in a blender along with the tomatoes and any juice, the garlic, onion, cloves, and allspice. Purée, adding up to 2 cup water a little at a time as necessary, until very smooth, about 2 minutes. In a 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavyduty pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the purée (it will splatter) 2 , reduce the heat to low and fry, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, until slightly thicker, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water, raise the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, and 1 Tbs. salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a little water as needed to keep the sauce more or less at the same consistency, for 30 minutes. (The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat gently before proceeding.)

the poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet under the broiler. Immediately put them in a bowl, cover, and let steam for 15 minutes to loosen the skins. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and slice them into 4 x 2-inch strips. Add the chicken, chicken broth, oregano, and 1 Tbs. salt to the pot of chile sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Tie the cilantro and mint together with kitchen string. Add the herb bouquet and the hominy to the pot 3 and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through (cut into a piece to check), about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the herbs, then stir in the poblanos and cook until just heated through, about 5 minutes. To serve, divide the chicken legs and thighs among warm, large bowls. Ladle the pozole over the chicken. Garnish with the toppings or pass them at the table.

MAKE THE POZOLE

If you have a gas stove, turn two burners to high and char the poblanos directly over the flame, turning them with tongs as soon as each side becomes fully blackened, about 6 minutes. If you don’t have a gas stove, char

2 Puréeing the chile sauce makes for a more refined stew, while frying it concentrates its flavor. Be sure to use a blender; a food processor can’t get the sauce smooth enough. When you rub some sauce between your thumb and fingers it should feel like cream.

Authentic Mexican In Mexico, if someone is making a pozole, you just know there’s something to celebrate. Pozole (pronounced pohSOH-leh and also spelled posole outside Mexico) takes its name from one of its main ingredients: specially treated corn kernels known as pozole in Mexico, and called hominy in the United States. Besides the big, pleasantly chewy kernels, a pot of pozole also contains meat—pork or chicken or both—and a fragrant broth featuring chiles, herbs, and spices, all of which simmer together for a beautiful one-pot meal that fills your kitchen with the most enticing, exciting aromas. Then there are the toppings: crisp lettuce, crunchy radishes, Mexican oregano, spicy chile powder, and tangy limes. Together, they contribute wonderful textures and bright flavors. There are countless recipes for pozole, but the stew comes in three basic styles: red, green, and white. The broth is what colors the dish. The pozole rojo here gets its crimson hue from an abundance of dried red chiles and is the kind most people outside Mexico are familiar with. ✽

3 Simmering the pozole melds the flavors as the chicken cooks. Because you’ve started with a deeply flavored chile sauce, and because the chicken cooks quickly, this step takes only about 20 minutes.

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Baja Fried Fish Tacos, p. 74 and Yucatecan Grilled Fish Tacos on p. 76


Seafood Deliciously spicy fish and shellfish dishes.

the recipes Baja Fried Fish Tacos p. 74 Crabmeat Empanadas with Grilled Corn Salsa and Poblano Cream Sauce p. 75 Yucatecan Grilled Fish Tacos p. 76 Tequila-Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas with Lime and Sour Cream p. 77 Spicy Chipotle Shrimp, Avocado, and Corn Fajitas p. 79


SEAFOOD

baja fried fish tacos A creamy lime-chipotle sauce gives these crispy tacos a bit of smoky heat. Radishes and cabbage are common garnishes on many Mexican foods and add a nice, fresh crunch. A mild fish like tilapia is the perfect vehicle for a beer batter. Serves 6

dredge & fry

1 cup mayonnaise 3 Tbs. minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice Kosher salt 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage 2 cup thinly sliced white onion 4 radishes, cut into thin matchsticks (see Test Kitchen, p. 112) 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro 6¾ oz. (12 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour

Dredge the fish in flour first to help the batter stick to it.

1 cup Mexican lager, such as Dos Equis 1 lb. tilapia fillets, cut into 5x1-inch strips 7 cups vegetable oil (or as needed for frying) 12 6-inch corn tortillas Lime wedges, for serving

Whisk the mayonnaise, chipotle, lime juice, and 4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Put the cabbage, onion, radishes, and cilantro in a medium bowl and stir in 4 cup of the sauce. Set the remaining sauce and the slaw aside. Stir together 42 oz. (1 cup) of the flour, the beer, and 1 tsp. salt in another medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Toss the fish with 2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Put the remaining 24 oz. (2 cup) flour in a shallow bowl. Pour the oil into an 8-inch-wide, 4-quart pot to a depth of 2 inches. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the pot, and heat over medium heat to 375°F. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, heat the tortillas in a single layer, turning once, until soft with light brown spots. Stack in a cloth-lined basket or plate and wrap to keep warm. Working with a few pieces at a time, dredge the fish in the flour, shaking off the excess. Coat the fish in the batter and add to the oil. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining fish, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature. Put a piece of fish in each tortilla, and top with some of the slaw and a drizzle of the sauce. Serve with the lime wedges.

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Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature.

Authentic Mexican Baja, which juts into the Pacific Ocean in northern Mexico, is a mecca for deep-sea fishing and home to fertile valleys cultivated with acres of vegetables, like the fresh, crunchy cabbage and radishes that adorn its local fish tacos. Its cuisine has been influenced by migrant workers, including a large Chinese population and a smaller Japanese contingent, both of whom often batter and deep-fry meats and vegetables. That may be why the fish in these tacos is coated in a light-as-air batter and fried. Drizzled with a creamy, mildly smoky lime-and-chipotle sauce, this style of taco is comforting and complex, with less heat than its Yucatecan counterpart (see p. 76). ✽


crabmeat empanadas with grilled corn salsa and poblano cream sauce These small bites pack big flavor—here, pillows of puff pastry are filled with sweet corn and succulent crab meat. Serves 16 FOR THE GRILLED CORN SALSA 6 medium ears corn 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice (from 1 medium lime) 2 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper FOR THE POBLANO CREAM SAUCE 3 medium poblano peppers 1 cup heavy cream 1 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil 2 cup small-diced white onion 2 medium cloves garlic, minced Kosher salt FOR THE EMPANADAS 2 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over for shells 2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion greens 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 large egg 4 sheets frozen packaged puff pastry (preferably Pepperidge Farm brand), thawed overnight in the refrigerator MAKE THE GRILLED CORN SALSA

Soak the corn (with husks) in cold water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a mediumhigh gas or charcoal grill fire. Wrap each wet corn cob separately in aluminum foil. Space them at least 1 inch apart on the grill and cook, covered, rolling each ear a quarter turn every 8 minutes until the cobs have made a complete rotation, 32 minutes total. Remove the foil, let the ears cool enough to handle, and remove the husks and silk. Set one ear aside and put the remaining five back on the grill. Cook, turning the cobs once, until they are lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool the corn on a rack. Cut the charred corn from the cobs and put it in a medium bowl. Stir in the lime juice, oil, and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The salsa can be made up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated, but don’t add the chives until just before serving. Serve at room temperature.)

MAKE THE POBLANO CREAM SAUCE

Char the poblanos on the grill, turning them with tongs as soon as each side becomes fully blackened, 6 to 10 minutes. Put the charred poblanos in a bowl and cover. When cool enough to handle, peel and seed them. In a heavy-duty 2-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 2 cup, about 5 minutes. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Put the onion mixture, poblanos, and 2 Tbs. water in a blender and purée until smooth. Stir the poblano purée into the reduced cream and season to taste with salt. Keep warm. (The sauce can be made up to 4 hours ahead; reheat before serving.)

lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. TO SERvE

Pour 1 Tbs. of the warm poblano cream sauce in a circle around a small plate. Put one empanada in the center of the plate and spoon a little corn salsa to the side. Serve immediately. MAKE AHEAD

You can assemble and freeze the empanadas to bake later. Freeze them on a baking sheet and then store in a zip-top bag for up to a month. To bake, heat the oven to 475°F. Put the frozen empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet, reduce the oven temperature to 400°F, and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

MAKE THE EMPANADAS

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the uncharred corn from the cob. In a medium bowl, stir together the corn, crabmeat, scallion greens, lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Beat the egg in small bowl with 1 Tbs. of water. Cut each puff pastry sheet into four 32-inch squares. Drop 1 rounded Tbs. of the crab mixture in the center of each pastry square. With a pastry brush, brush two adjoining edges of each square with the egg and fold the opposite corner over to form a triangle, sealing all the way around with your thumb. Press a fork down on the sealed edges at regular intervals to form small ridges. Transfer the empanadas to two parchment-

Authentic Mexican In Mexico, small plates are called antojitos and they include such familiar foods as tacos and quesadillas. But antojitos are so much more than small plates—they’re a way of life. They’re little bites of flavor that Mexicans nibble on throughout the day, on their way to work or after school. And they’re some of the best dishes Mexican cuisine has to offer. They’re also the most fun, since it’s easy to introduce new ingredients and flavors and turn something into a special dish. ✽

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yucatecan grilled fish tacos These bright, spicy tacos get their authentic flavor from a mixture of orange and lime juices (to replicate the bitter oranges grown in the Yucatán) and herbs and spices like Mexican oregano and annatto (see Test Kitchen, p. 113, for more information). Serves 4 to 6 FOR THE SALSA 2 cup fresh orange juice (2 medium oranges) 4 cup fresh lime juice (2 medium limes)

(The salsa will keep, refrigerated, for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Authentic Mexican

MARINATE THE FISH

In southern Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Its residents enjoy abundant seafood from a massive reef system. Baby shark, or cazón, is popular for fish tacos, although meaty mahimahi and swordfish are good substitutes. The region is also lush with tropical fruit trees, such as mangos and bitter oranges (a Spanish import), and vibrant with local spices, such as earthy red annatto seeds, used in traditional Mayan spice pastes. Those ingredients come together in a colorful taco filled with flavorful grilled fish, avocado, and a sweet-hot mango-habanero salsa. ✽

1/8 tsp. cayenne

Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the cumin seeds, peppercorns, and allspice berries in the skillet, shaking occasionally, until fragrant and the cumin seeds are a shade darker, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar. Add the annatto seeds, oregano, and cayenne and grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl. Mash the garlic with 2 tsp. salt into a paste with a mortar and pestle or the side of a chef's knife. Add to the spices along with the orange and lime juices and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Rub the marinade all over the fish. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

ASSEMBLE THE TACOS

1 small red onion, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup) 2 habanero chile, seeded and minced (about 12 tsp.) 12 tsp. dried Mexican oregano 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 ripe mango, cut into medium dice (about 1 cup) FOR THE FISH 4 tsp. cumin seeds 20 black peppercorns (4 tsp.) 4 allspice berries 4 tsp. annatto seeds 2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano

Kosher salt 1 Tbs. fresh orange juice 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice 1 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed 12 lb. mahimahi fillets or swordfish steaks (about 1 inch thick) FOR ASSEMBLY vegetable oil for the grill 12 6-inch corn tortillas 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced MAKE THE SALSA

Combine the orange and lime juices, onion, chile, oregano, and salt in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the onion begins to turn pink, about 2 hours. Stir in the mango.

Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire for direct grilling. oil the grill grate. Working in batches, heat the tortillas in a single layer, turning once, until soft with light grill marks. Stack in a cloth-lined basket or plate and wrap to keep warm. Brush both sides of the fish with olive oil and lightly season with salt. grill, turning once or twice until just cooked through (the tip of a knife inserted into the center should be warm when you touch it against your lip), 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer the fish to a cutting board. Coarsely shred the fish with two forks. Distribute among the tortillas, and use a slotted spoon to top each with salsa. garnish with the avocado slices and serve.


grill & shred

tequila-chipotle shrimp tostadas with lime and sour cream The fish may need to be turned more than once in order to cook through without burning the outside.

Fried corn tortillas (tostadas) are a great base for spicy shrimp and zingy sour cream. Make them when you don’t mind a little messy eating, as they’re best picked up with your hands to eat. Serves 4 1/₃ cup plus 1 Tbs. olive oil 2 tsp. pure chipotle chile powder Kosher salt 1 lb. extra-large (26 to 30 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and deveined ¾ cup sour cream 2 medium limes, 1 finely grated to yield 2 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 1 Tbs. juice; the other cut into 4 wedges 2 tsp. honey 8 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas

Using two forks makes short work of shredding the fish. If the fish has skin, pull the meat away from the skin as you go.

4 cup white tequila 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage 1 large firm-ripe Hass avocado, diced Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

In a shallow baking dish, combine 1 Tbs. of the oil with the chipotle powder and 2 tsp. salt. Add the shrimp and toss well to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime zest and juice, honey, and 2 tsp. salt.

Heat the remaining ��₃ cup oil in a 12-inch skillet over mediumhigh heat until shimmering hot. Fry the tortillas, one at a time, turning with tongs, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes each. Transfer to paper towels. Discard all but 1 Tbs. oil from the skillet. Add the shrimp and cook over medium-high heat on one side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 minute more. Take the pan off the heat and add the tequila. Return to the heat and cook, tossing, until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Slather each tostada with about 1 Tbs. of the sour cream mixture. Divide the cabbage, avocado, and shrimp over the tostadas, drizzle with the remaining sour cream mixture, sprinkle with cilantro (if using), and serve with the lime wedges.

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spicy chipotle shrimp, avocado, and corn fajitas Arrange the fajitas and fixings on a buffet table, bar style, for casual entertaining, or serve the components on various platters at the table. Serves 4 1 lb. shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), peeled and deveined 4 Tbs. olive oil 1 tsp. chili powder Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 large Haas avocado (about ½ lb.), cut into ½-inch dice 1 chipotle, minced, plus 1 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo) 1 lime, half juiced (about 1 Tbs.) and half cut into wedges 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups) 1 large clove garlic, minced 1 cup frozen corn, thawed, or the kernels from 2 ears corn 8 corn tortillas, warmed ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Toss the shrimp with 1 Tbs. of the oil, the chili powder, 4 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper. In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with the chipotle and adobo sauce, lime juice, and 4 tsp. salt. Heat 12 Tbs. oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until they turn pink and become just firm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the remaining 12 Tbs. oil to the pan. Add the onion, sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until the onion softens and starts to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the corn and shrimp, and cook, stirring, until they heat through, about 2 minutes. Let your guests help themselves by spreading the avocado on a warm tortilla and topping the spread with some of the shrimp mixture, a squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkling of the cilantro.

how to warm corn tortillas so they stay soft and flexible Corn tortillas are delicate and deteriorate quickly, so buy them as fresh as you can find them. To warm and soften them, heat one at a time on an ungreased griddle or skillet, or in a steamer basket over simmering water. If you’re making tacos for a crowd, heat all of them in the oven at the same time. Wrap a stack of tortillas in a damp dishtowel, wrap the whole package in aluminum foil, and heat in a 300°F oven. (If possible, wrap two or three smaller bundles, rather than one large bundle, and heat them all at the same time.) Although the outside tortillas may get a bit soggy, this method keeps the rest of them from drying out. You can also heat tortillas successfully in the microwave—wrap a stack of them in a damp dishtowel and microwave until warm. Whichever method you use, bring the bundle of tortillas, still wrapped and nestled in a serving container, to the table so that they stay warm and flexible. Corn tortillas dry out and stiffen quickly.

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Smoky Refried Bean Tostadas, p. 82


Meatless Lighter, yet substantial vegetarian mains.

the recipes Smoky Refried Bean Tostadas p. 82 Shepherd’s Pie with Black Beans and Yams p. 82 Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Burritos p. 85 Huevos Rancheros p. 85 Scrambled Egg Torta p. 86 Black Bean Burgers p. 87 Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa p. 87 Tomato Rice and Beans p. 88 Grilled Vegetable Tacos with Cilantro Pesto p. 89 Cilantro Pesto p. 89


M E AT L E S S

smoky refried bean tostadas Feta adds a nice tang to the smoky refried beans. Serves 4 7 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil; more if needed 8 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas Kosher salt 1 medium onion, finely diced 1 tsp. ground cumin 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained 2 Tbs. chipotle (smoked) Tabasco sauce 1 cup crumbled feta (about 6 oz.) 4 cup finely diced fresh tomato

shepherd’s pie with black beans and yams This mild dish is perfect for all palates. For a heatloving crowd, add some minced fresh jalapeños to the onion-pepper mixture or sprinkle with some cayenne pepper. Serves 4 to 6 2 yams 1 cup grated Cheddar 2 cup 2% milk, at room temperature 4 Tbs. (2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1 1/8 tsp. coarse salt, divided 10 grinds black pepper, divided

4 cup diced avocado

1 Tbs. canola oil

2 cup matchsticked red radishes

1 scant cup finely chopped red onions

2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

Heat the oven to 200°F (or heat a warming drawer if you have one). Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a small (8-inch) nonstick pan, heat 5 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles right away when the edge of a tortilla is dipped into it. Using tongs and working with one tortilla at a time, fry the tortillas until golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds per side. As each one finishes frying, briefly dangle the tortilla above the pan to allow some of the excess oil to drip back into the pan, and then transfer the tortilla to the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each tortilla with a little salt while it’s still hot. As you fry, adjust the heat to keep the oil from getting too hot or cool, and if the pan goes dry, add more oil, 1 Tbs. at a time. When all the tortillas are fried, keep them warm in the oven. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned around the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 cup water. Working quickly, mash the beans with the back of a fork until most but not all of them are broken apart, and simmer until the beans look creamy and spreadable and much of the water has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chipotle Tabasco sauce and season to taste with more salt if needed. To serve, spread each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the beans, and top with the feta, tomato, avocado, radishes, and cilantro leaves.

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4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers 3 Tbs. finely chopped celery 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 Tbs. tomato paste 1 Tbs. sherry or red-wine vinegar 1 tsp. honey 4 plus 1/8 tsp. ground cumin, divided 4 tsp. ancho chili powder, divided 4 to 1 cup sour cream, for serving 4 to 6 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Heat the oven to 400°F. Poke each yam all over with a knife, place in the microwave, and cook on high until very tender, about 13 minutes (this will depend on the strength of your microwave). When cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop out the flesh; transfer 22 cups to a medium-sized bowl (reserve any remainder for another use). Mash with a potato masher. While still hot, add the cheese, milk, butter, 4 tsp. salt, and 5 grinds pepper, and stir to mix well. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch, heavy sauté pan (with high sides) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, peppers, celery, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the beans, tomato paste, vinegar, honey, 4 plus 1/8 tsp. salt, 4 tsp. cumin, 1/8 tsp. chili powder, and 5 grinds pepper. Cook, stirring to combine the ingredients well, for another 5 minutes. Set aside off the heat. Grease a 2-quart rectangular glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add the bean mixture and spread evenly. Top with the yam mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 tsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. cumin. Bake until hot and the edges of the yam mixture turn golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro leaves.


M E AT L E S S


butternut squash and smoky black bean burritos Serve these cut in half on the diagonal—on their own for lunch, or with a side of rice and a green salad for dinner. Add a cold beer or Mexican soda, of course. Makes 5 burritos 14 lb. 2-inch diced butternut squash (about 44 cups) Extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt 1 Tbs. unsalted butter 1 Tbs. fresh orange juice 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. pure maple syrup 1 tsp. fresh lime juice, plus one or two lime wedges for assembling 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic 2 152-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed 2 tsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo 2 cup water seasoned with a pinch of salt (or 2 cup lowsodium chicken broth) 5 burrito-size (10-inch) flour tortillas 4 cup (4 oz.) crumbled queso fresco (or a combination of feta and fresh goat cheese) 4 cup toasted pepitas 2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and/or tender sprigs 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced (optional)

Heat the oven to 450°F. Line a large heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, toss the squash with 2 Tbs. olive oil and 1 tsp. salt. Spread the squash in one layer on the sheet pan. Roast, flipping once or twice with a large spatula, until the squash is tender and nicely browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Turn the oven down to 250°F. Melt the butter over mediumlow heat in a small saucepan. Add the orange juice, 12 tsp. of the maple syrup, the lime juice, and cinnamon; whisk well until combined and remove from the heat. Drizzle the butter mixture over the roasted squash and toss gently.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the black beans, adobo sauce, the remaining 2 tsp. maple syrup, and the chicken broth or water and stir well. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring frequently until the liquid has been mostly absorbed, another 4 to 6 minutes. (The beans will look a bit creamy.) Remove from the heat and keep partially covered until ready to use. Wrap the tortillas in foil and put in the oven to heat until just warm and pliable, 5 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, warm the tortillas between two damp paper towels in the microwave for a few seconds. Do not over-warm or they will get stiff or rubbery.) Lay all 5 tortillas flat on a counter or other surface. Using a large serving spoon or slotted spoon, spoon a portion (about 2 cup) of the warm black beans onto the lower center of each tortilla (the side closest to you), forming a rough shape a little bigger than a deck of cards. Top the beans on each tortilla with a portion of butternut squash, distributing it as evenly as possible. Top the squash on each tortilla with a portion of queso fresco, some of the pepitas, the cilantro, and avocado slices (if using). Squeeze a little lime juice over the filling in each burrito. To wrap each burrito, start by folding up the bottom (the side closest to you); then fold the two sides in, keeping the filling layered and compact. Then roll the whole burrito tightly over on itself to close it. Cut each burrito in half on a sharp diagonal and arrange the two halves on a plate.

huevos rancheros This colorful dish, with its lively Mexican flavors, is great for brunch or dinner. Covering the eggs while frying helps the whites set without overcooking the yolks. Serves 4 4 6-inch corn tortillas 3 Tbs. olive oil Kosher salt 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice (from 1 small lime) 1 large jalapeño, coarsely chopped, including seeds (about 4 cup) 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.) 3 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped, including seeds and juices (about 12 cups) Freshly ground black pepper 4 large eggs

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet, brush them on both sides with 1 Tbs. of the oil, and sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with half of the cilantro, the lime juice, and salt to taste. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the jalapeño and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften and is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until softened and heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in the skillet over mediumlow heat. Break the eggs into the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, covered, until the whites are set, about 5 minutes. While the eggs cook, heat the tortillas in the oven until warm but still soft, about 2 minutes. Spread the avocado mixture on the tortillas, top each with an egg and some of the salsa, and serve.

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scrambled egg torta Tortas are big, flavorful, overstuffed Mexican sandwiches. This one—filled with scrambled eggs, mild cheese, bright cilantro, creamy avocado, and tangy lime juice—makes a tasty and hearty meal for any time of the day. Serves 2 1 Tbs. unsalted butter 3 large eggs Kosher salt 4 cup (2 oz.) queso fresco or feta 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro 2 medium avocado 2 tsp. fresh lime juice 2 crusty rolls, halved and toasted Freshly ground black pepper 2 thin slices tomato, lightly salted 1 or 2 very thin slices red onion Hot sauce, optional

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Melt the butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt, then pour into the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until the eggs are set, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. In another small bowl, crumble the queso fresco and mix with cilantro. In another small bowl mash the avocado with the lime juice and a pinch of salt. Spread the cheese mixture on the bottom halves of the buns and the mashed avocado on the top halves. Divide the eggs between the two buns, season with salt and pepper, and top each with the tomato and onion. Add a dash of hot sauce, if using, then close the sandwiches and serve.


black bean burgers It’s better to sauté these burgers rather than grill them, because they have a fragile texture and lack the protein that meat and fish have to hold everything together. Serves 4 3 Tbs. olive oil 2 cup thinly sliced scallions (both white and green parts) 1/3 cup finely chopped poblano chile (1 small chile) 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 cup toasted whole-grain breadcrumbs (about 1 slice of bread) 1 large egg, lightly beaten 2 tsp. pure chile powder, such as ancho or New Mexico 2 tsp. ground cumin Kosher salt Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa (see recipe at right)

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, poblano, and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Add the beans and pulse 2 or 3 times to roughly chop. Be careful not to overprocess. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and gently mix in the cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg, chile powder, cumin, and ¾ tsp. salt. Shape the mixture into 4 equal ¾-inch-thick patties. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers until nicely browned on both sides, flipping carefully, about 5 minutes total. Serve topped with the Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa.

tomatillo and avocado salsa This salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. It’s also tasty on pork tacos or with quesadillas. Yields about 1 cup 1 medium tomatillo, husked, washed, and coarsely chopped 1 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion 2 tsp. chopped garlic 2 tsp. seeded and minced serrano chile; more to taste 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the tomatillo, scallion, garlic, and serrano chile in a food processor and whirl until finely chopped, about 15 seconds. Add the avocado and pulse until just combined. The salsa should be chunky. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more chile.

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tomato rice and beans Hot Mexican spices and cool cilantro add zing to this hearty dish. Yields 6 cups; serves 6 to 8 1 cup uncooked medium-grain white rice 1 142-oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably “petite-cut”) 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 medium fresh jalapeño, cored and finely chopped (if you like spicy foods, leave in the ribs and seeds; if not, remove them) 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 2 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. chili powder 4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves and tender stems 4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pan stand, covered, for another 5 minutes. While the rice steams, set a fine sieve in a bowl and drain the can of tomatoes. Pour the tomato juices into a 1-cup liquid measure. Add enough water to the tomato juices to equal 1 cup. Heat a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and stir-fry the garlic and jalapeño

until the garlic browns and the jalapeño smells pungent, about 1 minute. Add the black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder; stir two to three times to incorporate the mixture and cook the spices, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato juice and water mixture and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans absorb much of the liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cilantro, and cooked rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.


grilled vegetable tacos with cilantro pesto If you can’t find the squash-like Mexican chayote, substitute an additional zucchini and yellow squash. Serves 8 FOR THE GRILLED VEGETABLES 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4-inch-thick slices 2 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 4-inch-thick slices 2 medium chayote, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 4-inch-thick slices 3 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 serrano chile, minced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper FOR ASSEMBLING THE TACOS 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed 1 recipe Cilantro Pesto (see recipe at right) 4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese or feta (optional) Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

GRILL THE VEGETABLES

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, yellow squash, and chayote. Add the oil, garlic, serrano, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper and toss gently to coat. Grill, covered, until the vegetables become tender and have grill marks on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The chayote will soften but won’t become limp like the zucchini and squash. Let the vegetables cool slightly and then slice crosswise into thin strips. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

cilantro pesto Yields about 2/3 cup 1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 cup sunflower or vegetable oil 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts 1 medium clove garlic 2 tsp. kosher salt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Set aside, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

ASSEMBLE THE TACOS

Spoon some of the vegetable mixture on top of each tortilla and top with a drizzle of pesto and some cheese and cilantro (if using). The filling can be warm or at room temperature.

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Yuca Fries with Garlic Mojo, p. 92


Sides Delectable ways to round out the meal.

the recipes Yuca Fries with Garlic Mojo p. 92 Jícama Slaw with Carrots and Red Peppers p. 92 Mexican-Style Grilled Corn on the Cob p. 93 Plátanos Maduros Fritos p. 94 Handmade Corn Tortillas p. 94 Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Queso Fresco p. 96 Ancho Chile Red Rice p. 97 Green Rice p. 98 Handmade Flour Tortillas p. 99


SIDES

yuca fries with garlic mojo Mojo (mo-ho) is the Caribbean word for “sauce,” and this garlic mojo is the perfect accompaniment to fried yuca. Peeled frozen yuca chunks can be substituted for fresh (don’t defrost before boiling). Serves 6 Kosher salt 1 large fresh yuca (about 12 lb.) 2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 cup finely chopped garlic (about 8 large cloves) 4 cup finely chopped red onion 4 cup fresh lemon juice 4 to 5 cups vegetable oil for frying

Fill a 4- to 5-quart pot halfway with well-salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Completely remove the yuca’s brown skin and the purple layer under it with a vegetable peeler. Cut crosswise into 3-inch cylinders and halve the cylinders lengthwise. Boil the yuca, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain the yuca and transfer to a cutting board. Remove any hard, fibrous cores with a fork. Cut the yuca into 2-inch-thick sticks and let cool and dry. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Combine the olive oil, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and 2 tsp. salt in a 1-quart saucepan and set aside. Heat 2 inch of vegetable oil in an 11- to 12-inch straightsided sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Working in batches of 12 to 15, cook the yuca, turning occasionally and separating the pieces as needed, until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the fries to the lined baking sheet to drain, sprinkle with salt, then transfer to another rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking more batches. They’ll stay crisp in the oven for about 45 minutes. Heat the olive oil mixture over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until fragrant and the garlic and onion are soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a dipping bowl and serve with the fries.

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jícama slaw with carrots and red peppers Crisp, juicy, and slightly sweet, the jícama is just the thing to cool your mouth when you’ve been eating spicy tacos. Yields about 6 cups; serves 10 to 12 1 medium jícama (about 2 lb.) 4 medium carrots 2 medium red bell pepper 2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 1 tsp. celery seed Sea salt Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

With a chef's knife, cut the skin and roots off the jícama. Using a mandoline or the knife, cut the jícama into thin 1-inch-long matchsticks. Peel and grate the carrots. Core and thinly slice the pepper; cut the slices into 1-inch-long pieces. In a medium serving bowl, toss the jícama, pepper, and carrots with the olive oil, lime juice, celery seed, and salt to taste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Before serving, retoss the slaw, as the dressing will have settled on the bottom of the bowl. You can prepare the vegetables and the dressing up to 4 hours ahead, but don’t toss them together until 1 hour before serving or the carrots and pepper may discolor the jícama.


mexican-style grilled corn on the cob Called elote in Mexico, where it’s a popular street food, this grilled corn on the cob is slathered in a smoky, zesty mayonnaise and then rolled in crumbly, slightly salty Cotija cheese. Mexican-style chili powder is a hotter version of regular chili powder. Serves 4 4 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed 4 cup mayonnaise 2 Tbs. Mexican-style chili powder 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest 4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (or ricotta salata) Kosher salt, for serving Lime wedges, for serving

Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire. grill the corn, turning frequently with tongs, until charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chili powder, and lime zest. Put the Cotija on a small plate. Spread each ear of corn with 1 Tbs. of the mayonnaise and then roll in the cheese to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the corn.

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handmade corn tortillas There’s just no comparison between supple, aromatic, freshly made corn tortillas and store-bought ones. You can roll out tortillas by hand, but a tortilla press makes for faster, more consistent results. It’s an inexpensive tool, and if you have one, it’s more likely that you’ll make fresh tortillas often. Yields fourteen to sixteen 52-inch tortillas 2 cups masa harina; more as needed 4 tsp. table salt

In a medium bowl, combine the masa harina and salt with 14 cups warm water. Mix and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and homogenous. It should be soft but not sticky, like soft Play-Doh; if necessary, adjust the texture with more water or masa harina. Cover with plastic and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Cut two squares or rounds of heavy plastic (from a zip-top bag or a plastic grocery bag) to fit the plates of a tortilla press. Set a large flat griddle on the stove, straddling two burners. Turn one burner on medium low and the other on medium high. (Use two skillets if you don’t have a large griddle.) Pinch off a golfball-size piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Cover the bottom plate of the press with a sheet of plastic and put the dough ball in the center. Cover with the other sheet of plastic and press with your palm to flatten

plátanos maduros fritos Sliced ripe plantains retain a sweet, creamy center and become caramelized around the edges when fried. This tasty side dish makes a good accompaniment to rice and beans, roasted pork, or both. Serves 6 to 8 Vegetable or canola oil 4 very ripe, dark-brown plantains (2 lb.), ends removed, peeled, and sliced 2 inch thick on a sharp diagonal

Fill a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet with 4 inch of oil (about 12 cups) and heat over medium heat until the tip of a plantain slice dipped in the oil sizzles vigorously.

press & cook tortillas

Working in batches of about 12, slide the plantain slices in one at a time, making sure they’re not touching. Fry, flipping once with tongs or a fork, until golden-brown on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper-towel–lined plate. Repeat with the remaining plantains, reheating the oil as needed between batches. Serve hot.

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Make Ahead

slightly. Close the press and firmly push down on the handle 1 . Rotate the tortilla one-half turn and press again. Repeat if necessary until the tortilla is an even 1/16 inch thick. Peel off the top sheet of plastic, flip the tortilla over onto your hand, and carefully peel off the other plastic sheet. (If the tortilla breaks, the dough is too dry; if it sticks, the dough is too wet.) Lay the tortilla on the cool side of the griddle by quickly flipping your hand over the griddle 2 . Cook just until the tortilla loosens from the griddle, 15 to 20 seconds (if the tortilla bubbles, the heat is too high). With a spatula, flip the tortilla over onto the hot side and cook until the bottom is lightly browned in spots, about 20 seconds more 3 . Flip again so the first side is on the hot part of the griddle and cook until the tortilla puffs in spots and browns lightly on that side, about 20 seconds more (if it doesn’t puff, the griddle isn’t hot enough, the dough is too dry, or you cooked it too long on the cool side) 4 . Immediately wrap the tortilla in a clean, dry cloth. Repeat pressing and cooking the remaining dough, stacking and wrapping the finished tortillas in the cloth. Once they’re all cooked, let them rest in the cloth for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. During this time, they’ll steam themselves, becoming soft and pliable. You can also wrap the cloth-wrapped stack in foil and keep warm in a 200˚F oven for about an hour.

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Well-wrapped tortillas keep in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat before using.

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spicy grilled corn salad with black beans and queso fresco Queso fresco, a mild white cheese popular in Latin American cuisines, has a fetalike texture and flavor that pairs well with the starchy corn and beans in this recipe. Serves 6 to 8 3 ears fresh corn, husked 1 medium red onion, cut into disks about 1/3 inch thick 1 large red bell pepper 2 cup olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 small canned chipotle, seeded and minced, plus 1 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo) 2 Tbs. cider vinegar 1 152-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 5 oz. queso fresco or feta, crumbled (1 cup) 4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano

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Prepare a medium charcoal or gas grill fire. Put the corn, onion, and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. pepper. grill the corn and onion, flipping occasionally, until beginning to brown (the onions should still be a little crunchy), 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly. grill the pepper until charred on all sides, about 12 minutes. Put the pepper in a bowl, cover, and cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 6 Tbs. oil, the chipotle and the adobo sauce, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. pepper. Coarsely chop the onion and put it in a large bowl. Cut the corn from the cobs and add to the bowl. Skin, seed, and coarsely chop the pepper; add to the bowl, along with the beans, cheese, cilantro, and oregano. Rewhisk the dressing, add it to the corn mixture, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The salad may be made up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate and return to room temperature, adding the fresh herbs just before serving.)


ancho chile red rice (arroz rojo de chile ancho) This earthy, brick-red rice is made by frying the uncooked rice with a purée of ancho chiles. The addition of milk tones down some of the chile-induced heat. Serves 6 to 8 4 medium to large dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded 4 cloves garlic, chopped 42 tsp. unsalted butter 1/3 cup blanched, slivered almonds 3 Tbs. olive oil 12 cups long-grain rice 1/3 cup finely chopped onion 14 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock 2/3 cup milk 14 tsp. salt 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. dried thyme 2 cup sour cream (optional) 1 avocado, peeled and diced (optional)

Put the chiles in a small saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let the chiles soak for 10 to 15 minutes; drain. Put the chiles in a blender, add the garlic and 1/3 cup water, and blend for at least 1 minute, starting at low speed and gradually turning to high speed, to make a purée; set aside.

Melt 12 tsp. of the butter in a small skillet over medium to medium-low heat, add the almonds and cook, stirring often, until they are golden brown but not burned. Pour onto a plate and set aside. Heat the olive oil and the remaining butter in a large pot or Dutch oven (with a good lid) over medium heat, add the rice and onions, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes. The rice and onions should be starting to turn golden. Turn the heat to between medium and medium high, stir in the chile purée, and continue cooking, stirring every 30 seconds, until almost all the moisture has evaporated and the rice no longer sticks together, 7 to 10 minutes. add the stock, milk, salt, oregano, and thyme, stirring to mix well. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover the pot, turn the heat to very low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the toasted almonds, cover the pot, and let the rice steam, off the heat, for about 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of the sour cream and the avocado.

flavor booster

after toasting the rice, add the chile purée and cook again until the grains begin to separate.

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green rice (arroz verde) Rich and refined, this side goes with any type of meat. Serves 6 to 8

great color, great flavor

2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs (about 2 oz.)  1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves (about 12 oz.) 14 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock 14 cups milk 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbs. olive oil 3 Tbs. unsalted butter 12 cups long-grain rice 4 cup finely minced onion 1 clove garlic, minced

Put the cilantro, spinach, and stock in a blender and blend until the vegetables are puréed. add the milk and salt and blend a bit more until well combined. In a medium (3-qt.) heavy-based saucepan (with a good lid) over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the rice and sauté, stirring about every 30 seconds, until it just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. add the contents of the blender, stir well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the rice carefully to avoid crushing it, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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The striking cooking liquid for this dish is a blend of stock, milk, spinach, and cilantro.


handmade flour tortillas These are light and tender tortillas with soft, flaky layers. Because they’re not loaded with preservatives, these tortillas taste better when freshly made. They’ll stay pliable as long as they’re kept warm. Yields eight 9- to 10-inch tortillas 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for kneading and rolling 1 tsp. table salt 4 tsp. baking powder 4 cup cold vegetable shortening or lard, cut into small pieces

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, salt, and baking powder. add the shortening or lard and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or two table knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in 2/3 cup warm water with a fork until a shaggy dough forms . Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and soft, 3 to 4 minutes, reflouring the surface as necessary. after kneading, the dough shouldn’t be very sticky. Portion the dough into eight equal pieces (about 2 oz. each) and shape each piece into a ball 1 . Cover the dough balls loosely with plastic and let rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. When ready to cook the tortillas, heat a large (11- to 12-inch) dry cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot.

Working with one ball of dough at a time (keep the remaining dough covered) and using just enough flour to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a 9- to 10-inch round. The dough should be so thin that you can vaguely see the pattern of your countertop through it, and it should be more or less circular, though an amoeba shape is fine, too 2 . Peel the dough off the counter and lay it in the skillet or on the griddle. Cook until the tortilla bubbles and puffs and the bottom browns in spots, 45 to 60 seconds 3 . If any gigantic bubbles form, pierce them so the tortilla cooks evenly. Flip with a spatula and cook until the second side gets brown in spots and any translucent, raw-looking areas become opaque, another 45 to 60 seconds. (If the tortillas brown too quickly or start burning in spots, reduce the heat to medium low.) Transfer to a clean dishtowel and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dough, stacking and covering each tortilla as it’s cooked.

Make Ahead Leftover tortillas may be frozen (let cool thoroughly first). Rewarm individual cooled or thawed tortillas on a griddle or skillet, or wrap several tortillas in foil and hear in a 350˚F oven until warm and pliable, about 10 minutes.

shape, roll, and cook the tortillas

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Chocolate Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Cajeta, p. 107


Desserts Tempting sweets to end the meal.

the recipes Classic Vanilla Tres Leche Cake p. 102 Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate Pops p. 103 Pan de Muerto p. 105 Chocolate Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Cajeta p. 107 Mexican-Style Pecan-Chocolate Squares p. 107 Key Lime Cheesecake Flans p. 108 Tequila-Lime Sorbet p. 109


DESSERTS

With a toothpick, prick the cake to the bottom in ½-inch intervals. Pour the soaking liquid slowly over the cake, starting at the edges and pausing to let it soak in before adding more. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake is well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.  TOP THE CAKE

In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium speed. When it begins to thicken, slowly add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat just until it holds firm peaks, 3 to 4 minutes (be careful not to overbeat). Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and serve.

classic vanilla tres leches cake This is the ultimate summer party cake. You can soak the cake in the milk mixture up to a day ahead and top it up to 2 hours ahead. Serves 12 to 16 FOR THE CAKE Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan 42 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour 12 tsp. baking powder 4 tsp. kosher salt 5 large eggs, at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup whole milk ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract FOR THE SOAKING LIQUID 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk 2 cup heavy cream Pinch kosher salt FOR THE TOPPING 22 cups heavy cream 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract BAKE THE CAKE

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch Pyrex baking dish or a nonreactive metal pan. Line the bottom of the baking dish or pan with parchment and lightly butter the parchment. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a medium bowl and the yolks in a large bowl.

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With an electric mixer, beat the yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until combined, 1 minute more. Clean and dry the beaters and then beat the egg whites, gradually increasing the speed to high, until they reach soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 4 cup sugar in a stream, continuing to beat on high, until you reach firm but not dry peaks, 1 to 2 minutes more. Whisk a third of the dry ingredients into the yolk mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in a third of the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients and egg whites, alternately, in two more batches each, until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared dish or pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment, and let cool completely. Return the cake to the baking dish or pan (the cake will soak up more of the liquid if returned to the pan it was baked in), or invert it onto a rimmed platter. SOAK THE CAKE

In a 2-quart saucepan, stir together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, and salt until the condensed milk is well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring to avoid scorching, until it begins to bubble around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof 4-cup measuring cup.

variations To make a chocolate version of the classic or of any of the following variations, replace 1⁄3 cup of the flour with unsweetened cocoa powder.

toasted coconut In the soaking liquid, substitute one 13.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk for the cream. Beat 3 Tbs. dark rum into the whipped cream topping with the sugar and vanilla. Scatter 1 cup lightly toasted flaked coconut over the topping.

cafe con leche In the soaking liquid, substitute strong brewed coffee for ½ cup of the evaporated milk. For the topping, stir 1 tsp. instant coffee into 2Tbs. of the cream until dissolved. Add the remaining cream and beat as directed. Sprinkle the topping with toasted slivered almonds or chocolate curls.

boozy berry Beat 3 Tbs. gin or tequila into the whipped cream topping with the sugar and vanilla. Combine 2 cups each raspberries and sliced strawberries with 1 tsp. finely grated lemon or lime zest. Spoon over the topping.


frozen mexican hot chocolate pops The spiciness of Mexican chocolate lends a little heat to these creamy ice pops. You can substitute rum or orange liqueur for the coffee liqueur, or, for a nonalcoholic version, substitute orange juice or an additional tablespoon of half-and-half. Yields 4 ice pops 12 cups half-and-half 4 oz. Mexican chocolate, chopped 3 Tbs. granulated sugar 1 Tbs. coffee-flavored liqueur

Have ready four 5- to 6-oz. ice pop molds and make room in the freezer, making sure the molds are level and secure. In a small heatproof bowl, combine ½ cup of the half-and-half, the chopped chocolate, and the sugar. Heat in a microwave or over simmering water until melted. Whisk until smooth with no gritty bits left undissolved. Reheat if necessary. Add the remaining halfand-half and the coffee liqueur and whisk until blended. To keep the chocolate mixture from separating during freezing, refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until it’s cold or, for faster chilling, set the bowl over a bowl filled with ice and stir frequently until cold. Pour an equal amount of the chocolate mixture into the molds. Cover each mold with foil and push a wooden ice pop stick through the foil and into the middle of each pop. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. To serve, remove the foil and slip the ice pops from the molds.

mexican chocolate Mexican chocolate is not your average chocolate. Made from ground roasted cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon, it has a slightly granular texture and a distinctive spiced flavor. Besides cinnamon, Mexican chocolate may also contain other spices like nutmeg or allspice, as well as chilies for heat, and nuts for texture. Though Mexican chocolate is often used make hot chocolate, it is also a key ingredient in traditional dishes like mole.

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pan de muerto This bread is delicious dipped in hot chocolate or coffee. Use any leftovers for bread pudding or wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months. Yields 2 loaves; each serves 6 to 8 FOR THE BREAD ½ cup whole milk 2¾ oz. (5½ Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 2 4x1-inch strips of orange zest (use a vegetable peeler; avoid the white pith) 1 Tbs. orange blossom water 3 large eggs, lightly beaten ¼ oz. (1¾ tsp.) active dry yeast 15¾ oz. (3½ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. kosher salt Vegetable oil as needed FOR THE TOPPING 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted ¼ cup granulated sugar

MAKE THE DOUGH

Put the milk, butter, and orange zest in a small saucepan 1 over medium heat; stir until the butter melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm. Discard the orange zest, add the orange blossom water, and whisk in the eggs. Dissolve the yeast in 4 cup lukewarm water (no hotter than 110°F) and let stand until the mixture bubbles slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. (If the yeast doesn’t bubble, discard it and start again with new yeast.) Mix the flour, sugar, and salt on a work surface. Make a well in the center. Gradually pour the yeast mixture and the milk mixture into the well 2 while mixing with your hand 3 . Knead until you have a nice, uniform dough 4 , about

10 minutes. The dough should be smooth but still slightly sticky. If it seems too sticky, add more flour as needed. Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and leave in a warm place (about 70°F) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours. SHAPE THE BREAD

Cut off a piece of dough about the size of a lemon and reserve. Divide the remaining dough in half and shape the pieces on a lightly floured surface into 2 rounds. Lightly oil a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet or line it with parchment; put the dough rounds on it and flatten the tops with your hands. continued on p. 106

make the dough Authentic Mexican

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A Mexican holiday that dates back hundreds of years, the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is celebrated on November 2 in honor of those who have passed away. Though it takes place around the same time of year as Halloween, the two holidays aren’t related. But like Halloween, it has spurred a party trend, with celebrations featuring everything from skull and skeleton decor to Mexican food and Latin music. ✽

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shape and bake the bread Authentic Mexican

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continued from p. 105 With some of the reserved dough, form 2 balls the size of large marbles; set aside and cover with plastic. Divide the remaining dough into 6 pieces 5 and roll them with your hands from the center out, making ropes that are slightly longer than the width of the loaves. As you’re rolling, press with your index and middle fingers spread about 1 inch apart 6 to make knobs that represent bones. Arrange 3 of the ropes on top of each dough round, overlapping the ropes in the center 7 . Cover loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Dab a little cold water on the top center of each round where the ropes meet and put

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In the Mexican tradition, this sweet, buttery bread is a fixture at Day of the Dead celebrations (a holiday honoring those who have passed away). Pan de muerto is easy to make. Here you’ll learn a step by step process, beginning with the orange-scented egg dough. Next learn how to shape the loaves and make the dough “bones” that give the bread its ghoulish charm. Once baked, the loaves get a sugary topping —it’s like the muffin top that everyone loves so much.” ✽

the reserved dough balls on top, pressing slightly so they adhere. Bake until the loaves have an even golden color, 30 to 40 minutes. Cover the loaves loosely with foil and continue to bake until their bottoms are browned and the internal temperature is 190°F, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven 8 and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. TOP THE BREAD

Brush the loaves all over with some of the melted butter. Holding one from the bottom (if it’s too warm, use an oven mitt or a piece of cardboard), sprinkle half of the sugar all over the top, tilting the loaf slightly to help coat it evenly. Repeat with the other loaf and remaining sugar. Cool to room temperature before serving. The bread is best eaten within a day of baking.

choose a shape The shapes and flavors of pan de muerto vary throughout Mexico. In Michoacánán, the loaves are shaped like flowers, the Virgin Mary, skulls, and animals. In oaxaca, you’ll find round breads topped with sesame seeds and adorned with colorful porcelain or plastic heads. The varieties are too many to count, but this version— dome shaped and decorated with “bones”—is made all over Mexico.


chocolate ice cream with cinnamon and cajeta This chocolate ice cream has a distinctive, almost roasty flavor. You can substitute semisweet chocolate for the Mexican chocolate, increasing the sugar to 4 cup and adding a scant 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Ceylon) along with the chocolate. If you can’t find cajeta, make your own as shown below. See the photo on p. 100. Yields about 1 quart 2 cup sugar 22 tsp. cornstarch Pinch salt 1¾ cups milk 7 oz. Mexican chocolate, coarsely chopped 4 cup cajeta 3 large egg yolks 2 cup chilled evaporated milk ¾ cup chilled whipping or heavy cream 2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in the milk over medium heat and add the chocolate, whisking often until the chocolate has melted and the milk is hot and just about to simmer, about 5 minutes. Add the cajeta and whisk until it melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until blended, 30 seconds. Whisk about ½ cup of the hot

milk-chocolate mixture into the yolks and then beat in another ½ cup. Slowly whisk in the remaining hot liquid and then pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat the mixture over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 180°F and begins to thicken; it will look like it’s about to boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the evaporated milk and cream, whisking until the mixture begins to cool. Strain to remove any cooked pieces of egg and refrigerate until it’s colder than about 60°F, at least 2 hours or as long as 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the pecans, if using, and freeze the mixture in an icecream machine (following the maker’s instructions) until the ice cream is very thick and cold. Transfer to a resealable plastic or stainless-steel container and freeze until firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours.

make your own cajeta In a saucepan, combine one can of sweetened condensed milk (14 or 14½ oz.) with 4 tsp. vanilla extract. Simmer very gently, stirring frequently, until very thick and golden brown (it may get lumpy but will eventually smooth out), about 20 minutes. The cajeta keeps in the refrigerator for at least a week. Yields 1 cup.

mexican-style pecanchocolate squares These pecan bars keep well for a few days—if you can resist them. Yields sixteen 22-inch squares FOR THE COOKIE BASE 6 oz. (¾ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 2-inch pieces 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour 2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 tsp. table salt 2 oz. finely grated bittersweet chocolate (a scant 2 cup) FOR THE PECAN TOPPING 10 oz. pecans (3 cups), toasted 4 lb. (2 cup) unsalted butter 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/3 cup honey 2 Tbs. heavy cream 2 tsp. table salt MAKE THE COOKIE BASE

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Put the butter in a food processor, along with the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is well combined (about 20 pulses). Scatter the dough into a 9x9-inch baking pan and press it evenly over the bottom. (Wipe out the processor bowl but don’t bother washing it.) Bake the base until firm and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. When the cookie base comes out of the oven, sprinkle the grated chocolate evenly over the top. (Don’t turn off the oven.) Set the pan aside. MAKE THE PECAN TOPPING

As the cookie base bakes, pulse the pecans in the food processor until coarsely chopped. In a medium-size heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the dark brown sugar, honey, cream, and salt. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pecans. Pour the pecan mixture over the chocolate-sprinkled cookie base, spreading evenly. Bake until much of the filling is bubbling (not just the edges), 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. When ready to serve, cut into 16 squares. Tightly covered, these bars will keep for about five days (though they never last that long).

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key lime cheesecake flans Slightly firmer than a conventional flan but still super silky and smooth, these singleserving custards are an elegant way to feature the flavor of Key limes. They’re ideal for entertaining because all of the elements may be made ahead, and in fact, the flan must be refrigerated for at least 8 hours before serving. Serve with tropical fruits such as mango, passionfruit, or pineapple, if you like. Serves 6 FOR THE FLAN ¾ cup granulated sugar 4 oz. cream cheese, softened 4 tsp. kosher salt ¾ cup evaporated milk ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature 2 large eggs, at room temperature 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract 2 cup fresh Key lime juice (from 14 to 16 limes) or bottled Key lime juice (preferably Manhattan brand) FOR THE MERINGUE 2 large egg whites, at room temperature 6 Tbs. granulated sugar 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar MAKE THE FLAN

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of the sugar and 3 Tbs. water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and

boil, without stirring, until beginning to turn golden-brown on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently swirl the pan over the heat until the caramel is dark amber, another 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately divide the hot caramel among six 6-oz. ramekins, swirling each one to cover the bottom. Arrange the ramekins in a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside. Set a fine strainer over a 1-quart liquid measure or bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, salt, and the remaining 4 cup sugar on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the evaporated and sweetened condensed milks, and mix on low speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs yolks, whole eggs, and vanilla and mix on low speed until well blended. Add the lime juice and mix until incorporated. Pour the mixture through the strainer, then divide it evenly among the ramekins (about ½ cup each).

Pour very hot water into the baking pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins (be careful not to splash water into the ramekins). Tightly cover the pan with foil and bake until just the centers jiggle slightly when a ramekin is gently shaken, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the baking pan to a rack. Uncover and let the flans cool completely in the water bath, about 2 hours. Remove the ramekins from the water, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. MAKE THE MERINGUE

Up to 2 hours before serving, bring ½ inch of water to a simmer over medium heat in a pot that will hold the bowl of a stand mixer without letting it touch the water. Reduce the heat to low. off the heat, put the egg whites in the bowl and gently stir with a balloon whisk to loosen. Gradually whisk in the sugar. Put the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the whites are very warm and the sugar is thoroughly dissolved (when you rub the whites between your fingertips, you should feel no grit), 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually increase the speed to medium high and beat until the whites form thick, glossy, medium-firm peaks, 3 to 5 minutes. TO SERVE

Holding a ramekin upright and slightly tilted in one hand, hit the side with the heel of the other hand; this breaks the vacuum and should create a small gap between the flan and the ramekin. Immediately invert the flan onto a small plate, holding the ramekin and plate together and shaking as necessary to get the flan to release. Scrape any liquid caramel from the ramekin over the flan. Spoon the meringue on the flans and swirl decoratively. Toast the meringue with a torch, if you like. Serve right away or keep at cool room temperature for up to 1 hour.

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how to make cheesecake flan tequila-lime sorbet This cool, refreshing dessert is creamier when made in an ice-cream maker, but you also can make it granita-style (more like an Italian ice) without any special equipment. Yields 22 pints 14 cups sugar 14 cups water 12 cups tequila 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 2 cup Triple Sec 2 cup light corn syrup

Coat the bottoms of the ramekins with the caramel while it’s hot. As the caramel cools, it may not cover the bottom completely, but that’s OK—it will melt and spread as the flan bakes.

2 cup water

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let cool. In a small saucepan, bring the tequila to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (most of the alcohol will boil off), about 10 minutes. Pour the tequila into a bowl and stir in the cooled sugar syrup, the lime juice, Triple Sec, corn syrup, and water. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice-cream maker and process following the manufacturer’s instructions. Store, covered tightly, in the freezer. For a granita-style dessert, pour the mixture into a shallow container. Freeze until a fair amount of ice crystals form, about 1 hour, and then stir vigorously with a fork to break them up. Repeat freezing and stirring every hour or so until the mixture is thoroughly frozen but slightly slushy, about 6 hours. Then allow the granita to freeze completely.

After inverting the flan, scrape any liquid caramel in the ramekin onto the top of the flan. There may be some hard caramel, too; just leave that behind.

Toasting the meringue is optional but recommended for the best flavor and prettiest presentation. To do this, pass a torch in a sweeping motion over each flan.

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test kitchen T i p s • T e c h n i q u e s • i n g r e d i e n Ts

Want more juice? Instead of halves, cut Want more juice?slabs. limes in three Instead of halves, cut limes in three slabs.

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INGREDIENT TIP

a better way to cut limes Have you ever had a lemon or lime wedge squirt back at you? To keep the fruit’s membranes and fibers from sending juice in all directions, take a lesson from mexico where limes are used daily. When you’re prepping for recipes like the Chopped Salad with Roasted Peppers, Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocado on p. 29, stand the fruit on its stem end, cut three lengthwise slabs around the central core, and squeeze away.

chipotles in adobo a can of chipotles (smoke-dried jalapeños) in adobo (a spiced tomato sauce) is a convenient ingredient for adding smoky flavor and spicy heat to recipes like the Steak with Three-Chile Sauce on p. 45. But a little chipotle in adobo goes a long way, so here are a few ideas for how to use it all. Start by puréeing the chiles in their sauce—this makes them easier to portion and store. The purée freezes well, too, so if you can’t use it within a week or so, divide small amounts into an ice cube tray, freeze into cubes, and then transfer to a zip-top bag for longer storage—the cubes should keep for about 6 months. Chipotle and honey glazed roast chicken combine honey with chipotle purée, salt, and pepper. Brush a whole chicken with the mixture and then roast at 425°f. Chipotle-Cheddar twice-baked potatoes Bake russet potatoes until tender. Halve and scoop out the flesh. mash the flesh slightly, then mix in chipotle purée, butter, sour cream, grated cheddar, chopped chives, salt, and pepper. Stuff the filling back into the skins and bake at 375°f until heated through. Romaine salad with chipotle ranch dressing mix mayonnaise, buttermilk, chipotle purée, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss the dressing with chopped romaine lettuce and thinly sliced red onion. Top with croutons.

EQUIPMENT

a mexican lime juicer is perfect for key limes key limes are too small for most citrus squeezers, so when you need to squeeze a lot of them (as you will for the Key Lime Cheesecake Flans on p. 108) you should reach for a hand-held mexican lime juicer for easy juicing. if you’re unfamiliar with this kind of juicer, the correct way to use it might seem counterintuitive. You put a lime half in the bowl of the juicer cut side down, which looks backwards. But the shape of the bowl combined with pressure from squeezing the handles together turns the lime inside out, forcing out every last drop of juice.

Butternut squash and chipotle soup Sauté chopped onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt in oil over medium heat until tender. add diced butternut squash, a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf, and enough chicken broth to cover by 1 inch. Simmer until the squash is tender. Discard the thyme and bay leaf, and purée the soup until smooth. combine heavy cream and chipotle purée; stir into the soup, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

TIP

Want to gauge a chile’s heat? follow your nose This issue includes many recipes that call for fresh chiles, like the Chicken with Chiles and Cheese on p. 65. even chiles of the same variety can range widely in heat; some jalapeños are mild and others spicy. But you don’t have to set your mouth on fire to find out how hot your chile is. instead, cut it open and bring it close to your nose. if it’s hot you’ll immediately feel a tingling sensation, which can vary in intensity. if you sense no tingling, the chile is mild. You have to cut the chile to determine its heat level because most of the heat is contained in the white, spongy mass of the core and the ribs. (it’s a misconception that the heat is in the seeds themselves.) if the tingling tells you that the chile is hotter than you like, you can use less of it or cut out the core and ribs. We prefer the former for small chiles because the hot parts also contain a lot of flavor.

Rib (hot)

Flesh (not hot)

Core (hot)

f i n e c O O k i n g .c O m

111


test kitchen

TIP

Two ways to make matchsticks quick matchstick-cut radishes (also called a julienne) add texture and exclamation points of color to the Shredded Brisket with Chipotle Dressing on p. 41. While a julienne may seem a little fussy for something as casual as a taco, it’s easier to do than it sounds. Simply slice the radishes into rounds about 1/8 inch thick, then stack or shingle them so that when you slice them into strips, you’re cutting more than once slice at a time.

STACK...

EQUIPMENT

OR SHINGLE

TIP

Distinguishing parsley and cilantro cilantro is a key ingredient in many mexican recipes, including the Classic Guacamole on p. 24. in the produce aisle, we often see people staring at the bunches of flat-leaf parsley and cilantro, trying to figure out which is which. While the two look quite similar, they aren’t identical, and once you know what to look for, it isn’t hard to tell the difference. compared to parsley, cilantro leaves tend to be more delicate looking. The serrations on cilantro leaves are rounded and lacy looking, whereas parsley usually has pointy serrations. Parsley is typically a slightly darker green. if you still can’t tell the difference, there’s nothing wrong with pinching or rubbing a leaf to check its aroma.

What is a comal? Widely used in mexican and Latin american cooking, a comal (pronounced koh-mahl) is a round or oblong flat griddle with a shallow rim. Originally made of clay but now more commonly made of cast iron or steel, it’s used for cooking tortillas as well as toasting spices, chiles, and vegetables (you can use one for the Red Pozole with Chicken on p. 70). much like a cast-iron skillet, a cast-iron comal is passed from generation to generation because its patina only gets better with use. although a skillet can be used in place of a comal, it’s easy to burn the side of your hand on its higher sides while flipping tortillas or chiles. a flat griddle, whether cast iron, steel, or nonstick, is a better substitute.

112

mexican 2015

parsley cilantro cilantro


Annatto

INGREDIENT

annatto and mexican oregano The authentic flavor of the Yucatecan Fish Tacos on p. 76 comes partly from a couple of seasonings that may not be familiar to many cooks outside of mexico: annatto seeds and mexican oregano. Brick red and triangular, annatto seeds (also called achiote) are a common spice in mexican cooking, especially in the Yucatan, where they’re toasted and ground into flavorful pastes. The seeds impart an earthy flavor and an orangeyellow hue. (in the U.S., they’re used commercially to color foods like cheddar cheese and margarine.) mexican oregano looks similar to mediterranean oregano, but mexican has a stronger resinous and earthy flavor. (The plants are from different but closely related botanical families.) While you can substitute the latter in recipes calling for mexican oregano, it won’t impart the same robust flavor. Look for dried mexican oregano and annatto seeds at well-stocked supermarkets and Latin markets (for a mail order source, see Sources, p. 117). Like other spices, they should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container, where they’ll last for years, though their flavor may dissipate over time.

Mexican oregano

TECHNIQUE

How to toast dry chiles and spices The recipe for Pork Tamales with Double Chile Sauce on p. 52 calls for toasting dry spices and chiles. Here’s the recommended method: Be prepared to work quickly and ventilate well, as chile smoke is irritating and may cause you to cough and sneeze. Heat a heavy-duty skillet (such as cast iron) over mediumhigh heat until you can feel the heat radiate from the surface. Working with one type of spice or chile at a time, add it to the skillet. flip or stir frequently for even toasting, until browned for spices or lightly charred—not scorched—for chiles. immediately transfer to a cool container. Wipe out the skillet before adding the next ingredient, or any particles remaining may burn and taint the flavor of the new ingredient being toasted. it helps to toast coarser items like whole chiles and seeds first, followed by herbs and leaves, then ground spices, and lastly ground chiles. The finer ingredients are done last because they’re the most difficult to completely wipe from the skillet, and they’re more likely to burn because they have more surface area exposed to heat.

f i n e c O O k i n g .c O m

113


CREDITS Many of the recipes & photos in this issue have appeared previously in Fine Cooking. Listed here are the original authors & issue numbers. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Scott Phillips. Black Bean Burgers; Tomatillo & Garden Lettuces wSkirt Steak, Avocado Salsa, John Ash, #94 Avocado, & Toasted Pumpkin Mango, Jícama, & Black Bean Salsa; Chicken & Poblano Quesadillas, Seeds, from Salad for Dinner by Tomato Rice & Beans, Raghavan Iyer, Grilled Corn & Tomato Salsa; Ronne Day, not previously published Tasha DeSerio (The Taunton Press, #71 Avocado, Cucumber, & Red Pepper Poblanos Stuffed wCheddar & 2012), photo: Kate Sears Grilled Vegetable Tacos wCilantro Salsa, Liz Dobbs, #22 Chicken, from Big Buy Cooking Grilled Chicken Salpicón, Park Kerr, Pesto; Cilantro Pesto, Sue Torres, #94 by Fine Cooking (Taunton, 2010), Grilled Mango, Poblano, & Passionfruit #16; photo: Ellen Silverman photo: Maren Caruso Salsa, Elizabeth Karmel, FineCooking Tomatillo Gazpacho, Pamela Turkey Drumstick Mole, Bruce Aidells, .com web-only recipe Anderson, #86 Yuca Fries wGarlic Mojo, Julissa #107 Tomatillo Salsa, Jim Peyton, #64 Jícama, Radish, & Pickled Shallot Salad Roberts, #121 Chicken wChiles & Cheese, Tony Roasted Tomato Salsa, Robb Walsh, #73 wFeta, Melissa Pellegrino, #108 Jícama Slaw wCarrots & Red Peppers, Rosenfeld, #99 Fresh Pico de Gallo, Sue Torres, #94 Carrot & Coriander Soup, Seen Lippert, Robb Walsh, FineCooking.com webGrilled Tamarind Chicken Tacos, Robb Poblano-Pepita Salsa, Jeanne Kelley, #107 #32 only recipe Walsh, #112; photos: Colin Clark Mexican-Style Grilled Corn on the Cob, Turkey & Roasted Poblano Tacos, Roy Jessica Bard, #118 Peach-Basil Margarita, Denise Finamore, FineCooking.com webChiles Rellenos, Maricel Presilla, #125 Plátanos Maduros Fritos, Julissa Mickelsen, #130 only recipe Shredded Brisket wChipotle Roberts, #124 Pineapple-Orange Sangria , Camper Chicken Enchiladas wCreamy Dressing, Robb Walsh, #112; Homemade Corn Tortillas, Jennifer English, #117 Tomatillo Sauce, Jim Peyton, #47 photos: Colin Clark Armentrout, #94 Watermelon Agua Fresca, John Ash, #40 Lime Chicken wPoblano Sour Cream, Drunken Chile con Carne Tacos; Spicy Grilled Corn Salad wBlack Beans & The Michelada, Lew Bryson, #100 Lori Longbotham, #84 Adobo Marinade, from Just Tacos Queso Fresco, Tony Rosenfeld, #106 Spicy Hot Chocolate, Nicole Rees, #115 Red Pozole wChicken (Pozole Rojo by Shelley Wiseman (The Taunton Arroz Rojo de Chile Ancho (Ancho Tequila-Grapefruit Cocktails, Bill con Pollo), Roberto Santibañez, Press, 2011) , photos: Romulo Yanes Chile Red Rice); Arroz Verde, Jim Telepan, #110; photo: Pernille #120; photos: Colin Clark Steak wThree-Chile Sauce, Jim Peyton, #35; photos: Martha Pedersen Peyton, #87 Holmberg Mexican Chuck Steaks; Grilled Chile Homemade Flour Tortillas, Jennifer Baja Fried Fish Tacos, Shelley Sauce; Pico de Gallo, Jim Peyton, Armentrout, #79 Crabmeat–Avocado Quesadillas, Wiseman, #130 #46 Paula LeDuc, #14 Crabmeat Empanadas w Grilled Cube Steak wLime Mojo, Julissa Tostadas wMashed Black Beans, Corn Salsa & Poblano Cream Roberts, #112 Classic Vanilla Tres Leches Cake, Roberto Santibañez, #120; photo: Sauce, Sue Torres, #94 Margarita-Marinated Skirt Steak w Fany Gerson, #117 Colin Clark Yucatecan Grilled Fish Tacos, Grilled Tomatillo Salsa, Melissa Frozen Hot Chocolate Pops, from Fresh Corn Fritters wCharred Tomato Shelley Wiseman, #130 Pellegrino, #100 Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Salsa, Maryellen Driscoll, #100 Tequila-Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas w Dodge (The Taunton Press, 2010), Quick Beef Enchiladas wSalsa Seared Scallops wCucumber & Lime & Sour Cream, Laraine Perri, #127 photo: Kate Sears Verde, Liz Pearson, #98 Jalapeño, Allison Ehri Kreitler, #126 Spicy Chipotle Shrimp, Avocado, & Key Lime Cheesecake Flans, Hedy Coconut-Chile Shrimp Tostadas w Corn Fajitas, from Big Buy Cooking Goldsmith, #123 by Fine Cooking (Taunton, 2010), Pineapple Salsa & Guacamole, Sue Spicy-Smoky Pork Kebabs, Bruce Tequila-Lime Sorbet, Mary Sue Millikin photo: Maren Caruso Torres, FineCooking.com web-only Aidells, #72 & Susan Feniger, #26; photo: Grey recipe Yucatán Pork Tenderloin wJícama, Crawford Warm Black Bean & Chipotle Dip, Avocado, & Red Onion Salad, Kate Mexican-Style Pecan-Chocolate Smoky Refried Bean Tostadas, Tony Rosenfeld, #82 Hays, #76 Squares, David Norman & Paula Jennifer Armentrout, #74 Classic Guacamole, Roberto Pork Fajitas wPan-Roasted Corn & Disbrowe, #70 Shepherd’s Pie w Black Beans & Santibañez, #127 Pineapple Salsa, Nadia Arumugam, #129 Yams, from Meatless All Day by Dina Chocolate Ice Cream wCinnamon & Pork Tamales wDouble-Chile Sauce, Cajeta, Jim Peyton, #40 Cheney (Taunton, 2014), photo: Daniel Hoyer, #102 Pan De Muerto, Fany Gerson, #107; Kate Sears Chicken & Tortilla Soup, Martha Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Loin wGreen photos: Colin Clark Butternut Squash & Smoky Black Holmberg, #50 Apple Salsa, Gwen Kvavli Gulliksen, Bean Burritos, from Fresh from the Chopped Salad wRoasted Peppers, #36; photo: Grey Crawford Farm by Susie Middleton, photo: Corn, Tomatoes, & Avocado, John Homemade Crema, Jennifer Mexican-Style Chili, Ben Berryhill, #29 Alexandra Grablewski Ash, #79 Armentrout, #84 Pork Braised in Banana Leaves wManchHuevos Rancheros, Tony Rosenfeld, #120 Chicken Soup wLime & Hominy, amantel Sauce, Nicole Rees, #109 Scrambled Egg Torta, Layla Schlack, #134 Dawn Yanagihara-Mitchell, #104

fresh salsas

poultry

sides

mexican sips

beef

seafood

starters

desserts

pork

meatless

soups & salads

make it fresh

Recipes for Inspired VEGETARIAN MEALS

meatless all day

SUSIE MIDDLETON

1

2

3

Dina Cheney

Salad

desserts

today

FL AVORFUL DESSERTS with just FOUR INGREDIENTS

FOR D I N N E R

Simple recipes for salads that make a meal

1 Fresh from the Farm by Susie Middleton (The Taunton Press, 2014); photos © Alexandra Grablewski & Susie Middleton; food stylist: Mark Pederson. 2 Meatless All Day by Dina Cheney (The Taunton Press, 2014); photos © Kate Sears; food stylist: Paul Grimes. 3 Big Buy Cooking by Fine Cooking (The Taunton Press, 2010); photos © Maren Caruso; food stylist: Katie Christ. 4 Salad for Dinner, by Tasha DeSerio (The Taunton Press, 2012); photos © Kate Sears; food styling by William Smith. 5 Just Tacos, by Shelley Wiseman (The Taunton Press, 2011); photos © Romulo Yanes; food styling by Paul Grimes. 6 Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge (The Taunton Press, 2010); photos © Kate Sears; food styling by Suzette Kaminski.

Look for these cookbooks & more at bookstores & at Tauntonstore.com.

S

4

TASHA DE SERIO

5

Abigail Johnson Dodge

6


Start with a mug, end with a meal! Tastier than takeout and faster than fast food, Mug Meals is a healthier, more satisfying way to enjoy a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. With 125 recipes perfect for one, and simple onecup cleanup, it makes a great gift for students, singles, and busy families.

More bestsellers by Dina Cheney Y E A R -R O U N D

Recipes for Inspired VEGETARIAN MEALS

meatless all day

Dina Cheney

“these hearty, creative recipes are all winners” - Greenwich Magazine

SLO W COOKER 100 Favorite Recipes for Every Season

D I N A

C H E N E Y

Available at www.TauntonStore.com/cheney or wherever books are sold. © 2015 The Taunton Press

“100 seasonal recipes to make use of this reliable old friend throughout the year.” - Epicurious.com


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Taunton

© 2015 The Taunton Press


SOURCES

tamales, p. 52 From Mexgrocer.com, 877-463-9476: • Maseca corn masa flour for tamales, $7.95 for a 4.4-lb. bag. • Corn husks for tamales, $12.95 for a 16-oz. bag. From Thespicehouse.com, 847-328-3711:

pan de muerto, p. 105 • Orange blossom water, $4.99, 4 oz.,

Igourmet.com, 877-446-8763. • Stainless-steel 12-quart mixing bowl, $19.95,

Chefscatalog.com, 800-338-3232.

• Guajillo chiles,

$1.99, 1 oz. • Ancho chiles,

grilled chicken tamarind taco, p. 62

$4.49, 4 oz.

• Jarritos tamarindo soft drink,

$1.99 for 12.5 oz, Sodaemporium.com.

pozole, p. 70 • Lodge Logic 10½-inch round griddle (comal),

$24, Lodgemfg.com, 423-837-7181. • White hominy, $4.39, 28-oz. can, Shopfoodex.

com; 800-990-6398. • Ground chile de árbol, $5.28 for 2.6 oz.,

Spicesinc.com; 888-990-6398.

classic guacamole, p. 24 • Molcajete, $34.95, Crateand

barrel.com, 800-967-6696.

test kitchen, p. 111

• Green metal lime squeezer, $10.99, Amazon.com, 866216-1072.

homemade corn tortillas, p. 94 • Metal Tortilla Press,

yucatecan fish tacos, p. 76 From Penzeys.com, 800-741-7787: • Annatto seeds, $3.45 for 4-oz. bag. • Mexican oregano, $3.09 for 1-oz. bag.

warm black bean and chipotle dip, p. 23 • Chipotle en adobo, $4.10,

from $18.95, Mexgrocer.com, 877-463-9476.

pork braised in banana leaves with manchamantel sauce, p. 58

• Frozen banana leaves, $4.99 for 1 lb., Grocerythai.com, 818-469-9407.

Loschileros.com; 888-328-2445.

F I N E C O O K I N G .C O M

117


NUTRITION RECIPE

CALORIES (KCAL)

FAT CAL (KCAL)

PROTEIN (G)

CARB (G)

TOTAL FAT (G)

SAT FAT (G)

MONO FAT (G)

POLY FAT (G)

CHOL (MG)

SODIUM (MG)

FIBER (G)

FRESH SALSAS, p. 10

Mango, Jícama, and Black Bean Salsa (per ¼ cup)

40

0

1

9

0

0

0

0

0

110

2

Grilled Corn and Tomato Salsa (per ¼ cup)

45

25

1

6

2.5

.5

1.5

.5

0

125

1

Avocado, Cucumber & Red Pepper Salsa (per ¼ cup)

40

25

1

4

3

.5

2

.5

0

140

1

Grilled Mango, Poblano, and Passionfruit Salsa

50

10

1

11

1

0

.5

0

0

140

1

Tomatillo Salsa (per 2½ Tbs.)

15

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

290

1

Roasted Tomato Salsa (per 2 Tbs.)

7

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

107

0

Pico de Gallo (per 1 Tbs.)

5

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

45

0

Poblano-Pepita Salsa (per ¼ cup)

35

10

1

5

1

0

0

0

0

140

2 0

MEXICAN SIPS, p. 13

Peach-Basil Margarita

210

0

0

16

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pineapple-Orange Sangria

170

0

0

22

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Watermelon Agua Fresca

100

10

1

23

1

0

.5

.5

0

5

2 0

The Michelada

110

0

1

8

0

0

0

0

0

1170

Spicy Hot Chocolate

420

250

9

37

28

18

9

1

50

135

5

Tequila-Grapefruit Cocktails

230

0

0

13

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

STARTERS, p. 16

Crabmeat–Avocado Quesadillas

50

28

2

4

3.5

1.5

1.5

.5

5

85

1

Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans

190

70

4

25

8

.5

2.5

4

0

230

4

Fresh Corn Fritters with Charred Tomato Salsa

70

35

2

7

4

1

1.5

1

20

120

1

Charred Tomato Salsa (per 1 Tbs.)

20

10

0

2

1

0

1

0

0

75

1

Seared Scallops with Cucumber and Jalapeño

50

15

6

3

2

0

1

.5

10

470

0

Coconut Shrimp Tostadas w/Salsa & Guacamole

270

130

9

25

15

4

3

7

65

150

2

Warm Black Bean and Chipotle Dip

230

110

12

19

12

6

4.5

.5

30

510

4

Classic Guacamole

50

40

1

3

4.5

.5

3

.5

0

75

2

Chicken and Tortilla Soup

670

320

34

61

35

8

15

9

75

1140

15

Chopped Salad w/Roasted Peppers & Tomatoes

270

150

5

28

16

2.5

11

2

0

250

10

SOUPS & SALADS, p. 26

Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy

320

100

29

27

12

4

4

3

65

680

4

Garden Lettuces with Steak, Avocado & Seeds

780

580

40

17

65

12

39

9

95

410

10

Grilled Chicken Salpicón

430

262

29

14

29

4

19

3

75

280

3

Tomatillo Gazpacho

190

140

4

12

15

2.5

10

2

0

170

6

Jícama, Radish, and Pickled Shallot Salad with Feta

170

100

4

14

11

3.5

2

5

15

360

5

Carrot and Coriander Soup

230

130

5

21

15

9

4

1

40

390

6

Chiles Rellenos

630

420

20

35

48

8

25

12

150

930

6

Shredded Brisket with Chipotle Dressing

420

260

34

3

30

10

15

1.5

5

650

1

Drunken Chile con Carne Tacos

630

280

32

51

32

10

13

5

80

1010

5 0

BEEF, p. 36

Adobo Marinade

2

0

0

.5

0

0

0

0

0

24

Steak with Three-Chile Sauce

650

450

39

9

50

18

24

2.5

130

720

1

Mexican Chuck Steaks

400

270

31

1

30

12

13

1

120

360

0

20

0

1

5

0

0

0

0

0

150

1 1

Grilled Chile Sauce Pico de Gallo

30

0

1

7

0

0

0

0

0

150

Cube Steak with Lime Mojo

230

90

27

6

10

2.5

4.5

1.5

60

200

1

Margarita-Marinated Skirt Steak w/ Tomatillo Salsa

380

200

33

9

22

6

12

2.5

85

290

3

Quick Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

580

280

36

40

31

12

12

3.5

110

790

6

PORK, p. 48

Spicy-Smoky Pork Kebabs

332

164

34

7

19

4

8

6

100

470

2

Yucatán Pork Tenderloin w/ Jícama Salad

330

140

33

17

16

3.5

9

2

85

380

9 4

Pork Fajitas with Corn and Pineapple Salsa

370

110

22

46

12

2

6

2

50

310

Pork Tamales with Double-Chile Sauce

270

160

12

16

18

7

8

2.5

40

250

2

Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Loin with Green Apple Salsa

670

340

44

36

37

13

19

3

140

1010

4

118

MExiCAn 2015


RECIPE

CALORIES (KCAL)

FAT CAL (KCAL)

PROTEIN (G)

CARB (G)

TOTAL FAT (G)

SAT FAT (G)

MONO FAT (G)

POLY FAT (G)

CHOL (MG)

SODIUM (MG)

FIBER (G)

Mexican-Style Chili

610

320

46

31

35

9

12

8

140

970

9

Pork in Banana Leaves w/Manchamantel Sauce

350

150

35

13

17

6

7

3

105

570

2 6

POULTRY, p. 60

Chicken and Poblano Quesadillas

980

450

51

82

50

24

18

4.5

145

1830

Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken

500

260

34

29

29

12

5

2

115

580

5

Turkey Drumstick Mole

480

230

33

33

25

5

12

5

110

420

6

Chicken with Chiles and Cheese

470

210

38

28

23

13

4

1.5

130

610

3

Grilled Tamarind Chicken

60

30

7

1

3

1

1

.5

25

105

0

Turkey and Roasted Poblano Tacos

240

70

11

31

8

1.5

2.5

2.5

25

180

3

Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

760

420

42

47

46

18

13

12

170

1520

7

Creamy Tomatillo Sauce (per ¼ cup)

80

70

1

4

7

3

2

2

15

140

1

Lime Chicken with Poblano Sour Cream

540

350

39

4

39

11

17

6

160

700

1

Red Pozole with Chicken (Pozole Rojo con Pollo)

570

190

46

46

21

4.5

8

6

210

1500

8

Baja Fried Fish Tacos

630

360

20

46

41

6

11

22

55

680

4

Crabmeat Empanadas w/Corn Salsa and Sour Cream

470

290

9

37

33

7

8

16

45

560

2

Yucatecan Grilled Fish Tacos

440

150

26

49

17

2.5

10

3

85

460

9

Tequila-Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas w/Lime

600

320

27

38

35

8

20

4.5

190

560

6

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp, Avocado, and Corn Fajitas

520

230

28

48

25

3.5

16

4

170

660

8

Smoky Refried Bean Tostadas

640

320

20

62

36

8

17

9

35

1400

14

Shepherd’s Pie with Black Beans and Yams

380

190

12

36

22

12

7

1.5

55

510

7

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Burritos

630

220

21

84

25

7

14

3

20

950

15 5

SEAFOOD, p. 72

MEATLESS, p. 80

Huevos Rancheros

320

210

9

22

23

4

14

3.5

185

400

Scrambled Egg Torta

380

210

17

24

24

9

10

3

305

620

5

Black Bean Burgers

300

170

9

26

19

3

13

2.5

55

490

9

Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

20

15

0

1

2

0

1

0

0

35

1

Tomato Rice and Beans

200

35

6

34

4

.5

3

.5

0

620

5

Grilled Vegetable Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

290

200

6

18

23

3.5

5

14

5

260

3

Cilantro Pesto (per 1 Tbs.)

90

90

0

0

10

1

2

6

0

45

0

SIDES, p. 90

Yuca Fries with Garlic Mojo

350

240

1

27

28

3.5

17

6

0

380

1

Jícama Slaw with Carrots and Red Peppers

120

80

1

9

9

1.5

7

1

0

160

4

Grilled Corn on the Cob

240

160

6

17

17

5

3

6

20

480

2

Plátanos Maduros Fritos

150

60

1

24

7

1

3

3

0

0

2

Handmade Corn Tortillas (per tortilla)

50

5

1

11

.5

0

0

0

0

40

2

Spicy Grilled Corn Salad w/ Black Beans

240

140

7

20

16

3

10

1.5

5

420

4

Arroz Rojo de Chile Ancho (Ancho Chile Red Rice)

290

120

6

36

14

4

7

1

15

420

2

Arroz Verde

210

70

4

30

8

4

3

1

15

320

1

Handmade Flour Tortillas

160

50

3

23

6

1.5

2

1.5

0

300

1 0

DESSERTS, p. 100

Classic Vanilla Tres Leches Cake

370

200

7

37

22

13

7

1

135

160

Frozen Hot Chocolate Pops

290

130

4

37

15

9

4.5

.5

35

40

1

Key Lime Cheesecake Flans

450

150

11

65

17

9

5

1.5

230

240

0

Tequila-Lime Sorbet

270

0

0

45

0

0

0

0

0

25

0

Mexican-Style Pecan-Chocolate Squares

430

260

4

43

30

11

11

5

40

160

3

Chocolate ice Cream with Cinnamon and Cajeta

350

160

6

44

18

10

5

1

125

105

1

Pan De Muerto

410

150

9

56

17

10

4.5

1

115

180

2

50

50

0

0

6

3.5

1.5

0

20

5

0

MAKE IT FRESH, p. 122

Homemade Crema (per 1 Tbs.)

The nutritional analyses have been calculated by a registered dietitian at nutritional Solutions in Melville, new York. When a recipe gives a choice of ingredients, the first choice is the one used. Optional ingredients with measured amounts are included; ingredients without specific quantities are not. Analyses are per serving; when a range of ingredient amounts or servings is given, the smaller amount or portion is used. When the quantities of salt and pepper aren’t specified, the analysis is based on ¼ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper per serving for entrées, and 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/16 tsp. pepper per serving for side dishes.

F i n E C O O K i n G .C O M

119


RECIPE INDEX

Chicken & Turkey Chicken and Poblano Quesadillas ..........................................62 Chicken and Tortilla Soup ..............28 Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce ...... 68 Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy .........................................34 Chicken with Chiles and Cheese .........................................65 p. 77

Cover Recipe Shredded Brisket Tacos with Chipotle Dressing .............................. 41

Beef & Pork Chiles Rellenos ...................................38 Chorizo-Stuffed Pork Loin with Green Apple Salsa ................... 51 Cube Steak with Lime Mojo ...........43 Drunken Chile con Carne Tacos ........................................42 Garden Lettuces with Skirt Steak, Avocado, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds ................................. 30 Margarita-Marinated Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa ........... 44 Mexican Chuck Steaks .................... 46 Mexican-Style Chili ...........................56 Pork Braised in Banana Leaves with Manchamantel Sauce ............58 Pork Chops with Green Chiles and Onions ...................................................59

Grilled Chicken Salpicón .................33 Grilled Tamarind Chicken Tacos ....................................62 Lime Chicken with Poblano Sour Cream ........................................ 66 Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken ......................67 Red Pozole with Chicken ............... 70 Turkey Drumstick Mole ................... 64 Turkey and Roasted Poblano Tacos ................................... 68

Fish & Shellfish Baja Fried Fish Tacos ........................74 Coconut-Chile Shrimp Tostadas with Pineapple Salsa and Guacamole ......................22

Spicy-Smoky Pork Kebabs ............ 50 Steak with Three-Chile Sauce.......45 Yucatán Pork Tenderloin with Jícama, Avocado, and Red Onion Salad ................................56

120

MEXICAN 2015

Salads Chopped Salad with Roasted Peppers, Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocado.................29 Garden Lettuces with Skirt Steak, Avocado, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds ................................. 30 Grilled Chicken Salpicón .................33 Jícama, Radish, and Pickled Shallot Salad with Feta.....................35

Soups Carrot and Coriander Soup ...........33 Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy .........................................34 Chicken and Tortilla Soup ..............28 Tomatillo Gazpacho ........................34

Eggs Huevos Rancheros ...........................85 Scrambled Egg Torta....................... 86

Beans

Crabmeat Empanadas with Grilled Corn Salsa and Poblano Cream Sauce ......................................75

Black Bean Burgers ...........................87 Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Burritos ..........................85

Seared Scallops with Cucumber and Jalapeño........................................21

Shepherd’s Pie with Black Beans and Yams.................................82

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp, Avocado, and Corn Fajitas .............79

Pork Tamales with Double-Chile Sauce .........................52

Shredded Brisket Tacos with Chipotle Dressing .............................. 41

Yucatecan Grilled Fish Tacos ........76

Crabmeat–Avocado Quesadillas .......................................... 18

Pork Fajitas with Pan-Roasted Corn and Pineapple Salsa ..............55

Quick Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde.................................47

Tequila-Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas with Lime and Sour Cream .........................................77

p. 68


p. 108

p. 47

Breakfast

Smoky Refried Bean Tostadas...... ......82 Tomato Rice and Beans ................. 88 Tostadas with Mashed Black Beans ......................................... 18

Huevos Rancheros ...........................85 Scrambled Egg Torta....................... 86

Warm Black Bean and Chipotle Dip ........................................23

Sauces & Toppings

Vegetables Carrot and Coriander Soup ...........33 Chopped Salad with Roasted Peppers, Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocado.................29 Garden Lettuces with Skirt Steak, Avocado, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds ................................. 30 Grilled Vegetable Tacos with Cilantro Pesto .................................... 89 Jícama, Radish, and Pickled Shallot Salad with Feta.....................35 Jícama Slaw with Carrots and Red Peppers ...............................92 Mexican-Style Grilled Corn on the Cob ...........................................93 Tomatillo Gazpacho ........................34 Yuca Fries with Garlic Mojo ............92

Avocado, Cucumber, and Red Pepper Salsa ........................................ 11 Charred Tomato Salsa ......................21 Cilantro Pesto .................................... 89 Classic Guacamole ...........................24 Creamy Tomatillo Sauce ............... 68 Fresh Pico de Gallo ........................... 13 Garlic Mojo ...........................................92 Grilled Chile Sauce ........................... 46 Grilled Corn and Tomato Salsa ...... 11 Grilled Mango, Poblano, and Passionfruit Salsa ...............................12 Homemade Mexican Crema ....... 122 Mango, Jícama, and Black Bean Salsa ................................. 11 Poblano-Pepita Salsa ....................... 13 Roasted Tomato Salsa......................12 Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa ........87 Tomatillo Salsa ................................... 13

Beverages The Michelada .................................... 15 Peach-Basil Margarita ...................... 15 Pineapple-Orange Sangria ............. 14 Spicy Hot Chocolate ........................ 14 Tequila-Grapefruit Cocktails......... 15 Watermelon Agua Fresca ............... 14

Desserts Chocolate Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Cajeta ....................107 Classic Vanilla Tres Leches Cake ......................................102 Frozen Hot Chocolate Pops ....... 103 Key Lime Cheesecake Flans ....... 108 Mexican-Style PecanChocolate Squares .........................107 Pan De Muerto ................................. 105 Tequila-Lime Sorbet ..................... 109

p. 85

Sides Ancho Chile Red Rice .......................97 Fresh Corn Fritters with Charred Tomato Salsa ..................................... 20 Green Rice .......................................... 98 Handmade Corn Tortillas .............. 94 Handmade Flour Tortillas .............. 99 Jícama Slaw with Carrots and Red Peppers ...............................92 Mexican-Style Grilled Corn on the Cob ...........................................93 Plátanos Maduros Fritos ................ 94 Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Queso Fresco .................................... 96 Yuca Fries with Garlic Mojo ............92

F I N E C O O K I N G .C O M

121


MAKE IT FRESH

Mexican Crema Skip the sour cream and turn to this delicious, easy-to-make topping. Crema is the Mexican version of French crème fraîche. Both are slightly soured and thickened cream, milder and less thick than American sour cream, with crema being the thinnest. Many recipes in this issue will have a more

authentic touch if made with crema. You can buy crema in Mexican markets or even in some supermarkets, but it’s easy to make it yourself, and the result has a smoother flavor than that of the commercially prepared version.

homemade crema (mexican sour cream) Use crema as you would sour cream, dolloping or drizzling it on soups, tacos, potatoes, or anything else that needs a little tang. Start with pasteurized cream if you can find it—it makes a richer, thicker crema than ultrapasteurized cream does. Yields about 1 cup 1 cup heavy cream (pasteurized or ultrapasteurized) 1 Tbs. buttermilk (with active cultures)

In a small saucepan, warm the cream over medium-low heat to about 95°F, just enough to take off the chill. If it goes over 100°F, let it cool before continuing. Stir in the buttermilk and transfer to a clean glass jar. Set the lid loosely on top of

the jar—don’t tighten—and let sit in a warm spot, such as near the stove or on top of the fridge, until the cream starts to thicken, 18 to 24 hours. Stir, tighten the lid, and refrigerate until the cream is thicker and thoroughly chilled, 12 to 24 hours more. Stir well before using. The crema should have a thick but pourable consistency. It will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, continuing to thicken as it ages.


Natural Whole Grain Goodness! Green Chile Brown Rice – a tasty side dish.

For this recipe and more visit mahatmarice.com or carolinarice.com. Š2015 Riviana Foods Inc.

Fine cooking mexican 2015  
Fine cooking mexican 2015  
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