Tag Archives: Mexican Food

Flan Napolitano

2 Apr Flan Napolitano

In the center of Mexico City, not far from where the Aztec main temple, Templo Mayor, once stood, there is the famous restaurant, El Cardenal. El Cardenal is an elegant place with white table cloths, white coated staff, and wonderfully delicious traditional Mexican cuisine. We go to this restaurant each and every time we are in Mexico City, primarily because they have the most decadent desserts to be found anywhere in Mexico. Among my favorites is Flan Napolitano, a delicious creamy custard covered in a sugary caramel, it is one of Mexico’s most famous desserts!

Flan Napolitano

Flan Napolitano

Flan has a long and glorious history that reaches back as far as Ancient Rome. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the custard recipe they developed became popular throughout medieval Europe.  As the recipe was replicated and adapted, it became more and more sweet. In Latin, the dessert was known as flado, for custard, it is from the French that it eventually became Flan.

In Mexico, flan was taken to a whole new level. Traditional flan is made with eggs, cane sugar, vanilla,  and cream.  It is prepared by first making sugar syrup cooked to a caramel, poured into a mold, or in my case, small soufflé molds, then finally adding the custard. It is cooked in the oven in a water bath to prevent the custard from curdling and to keep the top of the custard moist. Flan Napolitano is a bit different, in that it is made by adding cream cheese and queso doble creama to the custard. This gives the flan a much more rich and creamy texture. Flan is perfect for cooling the palatte after a spicy, chile based dish, this is why it is so popular in Mexico. There are other flavors as well; pumpkin, almond, and even coconut. But my favorite is still the classic vanilla.

In my interpretation, I decided to try to use marscapone instead of queso doble creama. The result was simply MexItaliano!

Right from the oven

Fresh from the oven taking a little bath!

 

Flan Napolitano MexiItaliano

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 9 ounces cream cheese
  • 9 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

For the caramel:

  1. Combine 1 cup sugar with the a bit of water in a saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
  2. When the sugar begins to melt, swirl the pan over the heat for 10 minutes, until it darkens to a honey-amber color.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour into each flan mold, tilting it so the caramel evenly coats the bottom.
  4. Place the molds in a large roasting pan and set aside.

    Making the caramel

    Making the caramel

For the flan:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bring about 4 cups of water to a simmer and keep it hot. You’ll use this for your water bath.
  3. You will need to slice the vanilla bean down the sides and remove the inner seeds, to do this take a pairing knife and slice it lengthwise, open it up and scoop out the inner seeds and place it in the bowl.
  4. Combine  the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese, crema and vanilla in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
  5. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, but don’t allow it to come to a full boil, once it is throughly combined into a cream, remove from heat.
  6. Whisk together the eggs and remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl, add a pinch of salt. Whisk vigorously until thick and pale yellow in color.
  7. Now, GRADUALLY whisk the cream into the egg mixture, but be careful not to add it too quickly or the eggs will cook (What I do is combine the cream and the eggs together a ladle at a time)
  8.  Pour the custard into the caramel-coated flan molds.
  9. Carefully pour the hot water from the kettle into a roasting pan so that it’s about halfway up the side of the molds. 
  10. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  11. If you notice during this time that the surface is starting to turn golden-brown but it’s not fully cooked yet, cover it with foil so it doesn’t burn.
  12. You may also periodically insert a knife into the center of the flan to check for doneness. When the knife come out clean, it’s done; when the custard is just set and slightly jiggles, it’s time to take it out.
  13. Let custard cool completely in the water bath. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  14. To serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a serving plate over the mold and invert it to pop the flan out

    Flan Napolitano

    Flan Napolitano

Pozole Verde

13 Mar

cjdelgrosso:

This is a recipe that tugs right at my heartstrings. I love Pozole and this recipe for verde from Karen at The Back Road Journal does this traditional dish proud! Viva Pozole!

Originally posted on Back Road Journal:

How about a nice steaming bowl of pozole verde? Haven’t heard of it…what if I said pork and hominy stew with green chilies. This traditional dish is the comfort food of Mexico. There are many varieties of pozole using different meats but the classic is made with pork. Their color comes from the different chilies which are used and will be called white, red or green pozole, which happens to be the colors in  the Mexican flag.

Throughout the state of Guerrero in the southwest part of Mexico bordering the Pacific, every Thursday the locals sit down at pozolerias where all they serve is this dish. I just had to try something that famous. I can tell you that I could definitely eat pozole once a week also, it is that good.

Pozole Verde With Traditional Condiments

Pozole Verde ( Pork and Hominy Stew With Green Chilies)

The word pozole actually means hominy…

View original 444 more words

Tlacoyos de Frijol

20 Feb Blue Corn Tlacoyos
Blue Corn Tlacoyo

Blue Corn Tlacoyo with nopales, salsa roja, and queso fresco

One of the things that I love about Mexico is the open air markets that pop up across neighborhoods throughout the city each day. These bazaars are called Tianguis. In my suegras (mother-in-law)neighborhood, Tianguis is usually on Sundays and Wednesdays, but you do not have to travel very far to find another local Tianguis on any given day. For me, I just love wandering through these markets, especially once I get to the section that is selling food. One memory that I have is going to a Tianguis with my suegra and I stopping by this stall with a little old lady and her large comal, a pot of refried beans, and a large bowl of fresh corn masa. My suegra put up three fingers and the little old lady took a ball of masa, formed a thick tortilla in her hands, stuffed it with beans, and flipped it back and forth between her two hands. Once she has formed a large, mostly flat, football shaped cake, she slapped it on the hot comal. A few minutes later, I had this delicious toasted treat called a Tlacoyo.

Yellow corn Tlacoyo

Yellow corn Tlacoyo topped with sour cream, nopales, salsa verde, and queso fresco

Tlacoyos are a simple, but delicious antojito that are oval shaped fried or toasted cakes made of masa. They are similar to fresh corn tortillas, but are somewhat torpedo or football shaped and fatter. They are usually stuffed with refried beans, requeson, fava beans, or chicharon (pork rinds) or other ingredients. The toasted or fried Tlacoyo is traditionally consumed with only salsa and cheese. We usually just pile on some fresh sautéed nopales, salsa, and cheese, but you can experiment with all sorts of toppings here. Start with some shredded chicken or chorizo and don’t stop until you have topped it with some fresh queso canasta or queso cotija!

Forming your Tlacoyo takes a bit of skill and a LOT of practice. As I made them, I had a few failures, but by the end, we had made a few perfect Tlacoyos to shoot and eat! Maybe someday in the future I will shoot my own videos, but until then, you can view a YouTube video on how to make Tlacoyos here : How to make Tlacoyos.

Duo de Tlacoyo

Duo de Tlacoyo

Tlacoyos de Frijol

  • Frijoles de Olla
  • Salsa Roja or Salsa Verde (see below)
  • Sauteed Nopales (see below)
  • Queso Fresco or Queso Cotija
  • 2 cups Blue Corn Masa Harina or Maseca Masa Harina
  • Water

1. In a large mixing bowl dump in the masa harina and make a well in the center.

2. Start adding water with about 1/2 cup at first then mix in the masa just as you would to make fresh pasta dough.

3. Continue to add water at little bit at a time until you form one cohesive mass of dough, it should be a little bit on the wet, tacky side.

4. At this point you can follow the YouTube video or you can follow my method (warning: this takes a bit of practice to perfect and it is difficult to write a procedure!) Take a little larger than a golf ball size bit of masa and form an oblong mass, take it to a tortilla press and LIGHTLY press out a rather thick tortilla.

5. Take the thick tortilla and spread some beans down just the center of the tortilla. Then fold one side halfway in and then the other side halfway in, then fold down the top and bottom to cover the beans completely.

6. Take it back to the tortilla press and press it out lightly to form a long torpedo shaped, or football shaped thick tlacoyo.

7. Place it gently on your heated comal and toast well on both sides.

9. Once you have all your tlacoyos toasted, spead a bit of corn oil on both sides of the tlacoyo with your finger or a brush, then fry until crisp and golden.

10. Take your tlacoyo, spread some fresh sautéed nopales, put a liberal spoonful of salsa on top of the nopales, then add some crumbled cheese and serve!

Fresh Sauteed Nopales

 

  • 6-8 Nopales (Cactus Paddles)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • Pinch of Salt  

1. Clean the nopales by cutting off the needles and the nodes, and then cut the stem and the edges off the paddles.

2.  Cut each nopal into thin strips about 1 inch long in length.

3. Once they are all cleaned and cut, place in a pot of boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes or until tender.

4. Rinse under cold water.

5. Take a medium sautee pan and about a tablespoon of corn oil and heat until shimmering.

6. Add the nopales and sautee for about 2 minutes.

7. Add the oregano and salt and toss well. Continue to cook for about 1 or 2 more minutes.

8. Serve!

 

Salsa Verde 

  • 3 Tomatillos
  • 6 chile jalepeño
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 peel of onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro loosely packed
  • Salt to taste

1. Toast the tomatillos, jalepeño, and garlic on a comal.

2. Once they are all nice a toasted (but not burnt!), halve the tomatillos, peel the garlic, and remove the stems from the jalepeño. You can also remove the seeds and veins from the jalepeño for a slightly milder salsa.

3. Place in a food processor with the onion and the cilantro.

4. Pulse until you get the consistency you desire, less for a chunky salsa, more for a smoother salsa.

5. Spoon into a serving bowl, add the salt, and mix well.

Blue Corn Tlacoyos

Blue Corn Tlacoyos with beans, nopales, salsa roja, and cheese

 

Tostadas de Salpicón

25 Jan Tostada de Salpicon

Of all the places that I have been in Mexico City, by far, my favorite is Coyoacan. Coyoacan is a town of legends inside Mexico City. It was the headquarters of Hernán Cortés as he completed his conquest of Mexico, it was home to the great Mexican artist Diego Rivera, and the birthplace of Frida Kahlo. The name Coyoacan comes from Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) and most likely means “place of coyotes”.

Coyoacan

Coyoacan

What makes this place so special to me is that it is inside the urban sprawl of Mexico City, yet it still keeps its small town charm and colonial architecture. Coyoacan provides one with a brief escape from the city, but still sits inside of the city! Walking along the cobblestone streets of the town center, or el centro, you can smell the cinnamon flavors of the buñuelos, the caramel and sweet doughnut-like churros. One of my favorites is the rich, beautiful, and delicious smells of the fresh roasted coffee beans as you pass by Café el Jarocho! Just a bit further down the street is the Mercado Coyoacan…

 Inside this market there is a place called Tostadas Coyoacan.  It is a must-stop destination everytime we go to Coyoacan. This stall has large platters of almost any topping for a tostada you could think of, seafood, beef, chicken, pork, they have it all. I usually get three of my favorties, one of pata de rés (pickled beef feet), one of tinga (chicken in a chipotle -tomato sauce), and one of salpicón de rés.

Tostadas Coyoacan

Tostadas Coyoacan

Salpicón is essentially a beef  “salad” that is great as a topping for tostadas and especially easy to prepare.  Salpicon is not uniquely a Mexican dish, as salpicón is served throughout Central and South America, but the Mexican version does have its own unique ingredients, mainly the chile jalepeños, you will even find different versions of salpicón in each region of Mexico. I love this version, which I have adapted from a version of pata de rés that my mother-in-law  taught me.

Tostadas de Salpicon

  • 2 lbs. Skirt Steak
  • ½ head of garlic
  • ½ onion quartered
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 10-12 cilantro stems tied together with butchers twine.
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup of La Costena Green Pickled Jalepeno Peppers, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Tostadas Charras

Garnish

  • Romaine Lettuce sliced
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa Roja
  • Queso Fresco or Queso Cotija
  • Sliced Avocado
  1. Fill a stockpot filled with about 3 quarts of water, take the skirt steak and cut into quarters and put in the pot with the garlic, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, cilantro stems, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 40-45 minutes over low heat. Let meat cool in broth once done.
  2. Once meat is cool, take from broth and shred by hand with the grain, so that the shredded meat is in long strands and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Slice the onion and put into the mixing bowl with the fresh cilantro, oregano, chiles, and salt to taste.
  4. Whisk the olive oil and red wine vinegar together in a separate bowl, then dress over the meat.
  5. Toss well to incorporate, cover and put in the fridge.
  6. Prepare the garnishes and the salsa.
  7. To make the tostada, spoon a bit of cream on a tostada, serve some of the salpicón on top of the cream, garnish with some shredded lettuce, salsa roja, and a few slices of avocado.

 

Salsa Roja

  • 6-8 Fresno Chiles
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh cilanto (the leaves only)
  • 1 peel of Onion
  • Salt
  1. Roast the chiles, garlic, and tomato on a comal or iron skillet until the tomato skins char slightly and begin to release their juices and the chiles are nicely charred and soft as well.
  2. Remove the seeds, stems, and membranes from the chiles and place in a food processor or blender.
  3. Quarter the tomato and place in with the chiles
  4. Peel the garlic, wash the cilantro and place in with the tomatoes and chiles.
  5. Finally, put the peel of onion (half an onion and take off a single layer of the onion) into the blender.
  6. Pulse the blender or the food processor until the salsa is the desired consistency (I like a loose, paste-like salsa. If you want it with a bit more liquidity, try a squeeze of lime instead of water!)
  7. Season with salt to taste.

 

Tostada de Salpicon
Tostada de Salpicon
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