Categories
Appetizers Featured Recipes Mexican

Bacon Pineapple Guacamole

National Guacamole Day (September 16) is almost upon us!

Today’s avocado-based recipe comes to us courtesy of Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant that focuses on taking traditional Mexican dishes and presenting them in new and delightful ways. (Just check out their signature Swirl – frozen margarita mixed with frozen sangria… delicious!)

Now, instead of your boring, typical guacamole, you can create your own version of Uncle Julio’s pineapple-bacon guacamole using the recipe below:

BaconPineappleGuacamole_FPO

Pineapple Bacon Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup guacamole (check out some simple recipes here)
  • 2 tbsp pineapple (diced into ¼” x ¼” pieces)
  • 2 tbsp cooked bacon (chopped into ½” x ½” pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp diced red bell peppers

For Garnish:

  • 1 piece green leaf lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp cooked bacon (chopped into ½” x ½” pieces)
  • 2 tsp queo fresco
  • 1 tbsp pineapple (diced into ¼” x ¼” pieces)
  • 1 lemon wedge

Directions:

  1. Place guacamole in mixing bowl.
  2. Add pineapple, bacon, and red bell pepper to mixing bowl and fold into guacamole carefully.

Serving:

  1. Place a piece of Greenleaf on a small plate for decoration
  2. Place guacamole on center of plate.
  3. Sprinkle additional Tbsp of bacon and queso fresco on top of the guacamole
  4. Place additional Tbsp of diced pineapple on one side of guacamole for taste & aesthetics.
  5. Place lemon wedge on other side of guacamole.  Squeeze the lemon on guacamole before eating.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

And of course, if you’d rather have someone serve you your guacamole instead of making it yourself, stop by Uncle Julio’s anytime (list of locations) on September 16 for all-day food and drink specials in honor of the occasion.

  • $2 small guacamole, made in-house with fresh avocados (regular price: $5.39)
  • $4 Julio’s Gold Margarita (regular price: $8.29)
  • $4 Swirl, a frozen margarita layered with homemade frozen sangria (regular price: $7.99)
  • $4 house frozen margaritas (regular price: $7.79)
Categories
Mexican Seafood

Mexican food pairings inspired by today’s hot flavor trends

(ARA) — The summer party season has officially begun, meaning it’s time to plan fun get-togethers with family and friends. Food is central to any great celebration, but you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to create a unique and tasty menu. You simply need some great tips and easy tricks for pairing tasty food with refreshing drinks and party success will come naturally.

You can use today’s most popular food trends from skinny indulgence to dude food to create taco and margarita pairings that will leave all your guests wanting more. The secret is to create dishes that are flavorful and forward-thinking, but use familiar products, like Old El Paso salsa, that you can find at your local grocery store.

If you love the zest of Mexican cuisine and want to serve party fare everyone will remember, try these five new taco and margarita pairing ideas from the culinary experts at the Betty Crocker Kitchens inspired by some of today’s hottest food trends:

Food trend 1: Skinny indulgence

The idea behind the skinny indulgence food trend is being able to enjoy fresh foods that are packed with flavor but not with calories. To incorporate this trend into your next party menu, try serving skinny citrus shrimp tacos. Fill tacos with warm citrus-flavored shrimp, fresh cucumber salsa and Greek yogurt crema for a smart and delicious indulgence. Pair with a light cocktail like a cucumber lime ‘spa’garita – a traditional margarita enhanced with fresh cucumber and orange.

Food trend 2: Dude food

Dude food is a trend that takes traditional foods that guys love to the next level, so that any foodie, man or woman, can enjoy the rich flavors. For this trend, try pairing spicy ‘beer’bacoa tacos with a ‘man’garita. Simply stuff tacos with beer-braised beef barbacoa, spicy chipotle salsa and queso fresco. Wash down with a ‘man’garita – a shot of aged tequila served with an ice cold bottle of Mexican beer.

Food trend 3: Global flavors

Blending authentic flavors in new and exciting ways is a huge food trend right now. It’s fun to think outside the box and see where this crossover flavor adventure takes you. For example, try faux pho chicken tacos for your main dish. This fresh and flavorful chicken taco is inspired by pho – a popular Vietnamese soup. The ‘faux pho’ toppings – Thai basil, fresh chilies and crunchy ramen noodles – are the key to these unique tacos. Pair with a Thai basil ‘mojit’arita that infuses the flavor of basil and agave nectar into a traditional margarita.

Food trend 4: Street food

When you travel, some of the best foods you encounter are made by street vendors. Additionally, food trucks have recently boomed in popularity in the United States, serving delicious food conveniently to patrons. You can bring this food trend to your next party by serving beef bulgogi Korean tacos. Simply load up a soft tortilla with Korean barbecue beef, cilantro-lettuce slaw and fiery Sriracha salsa. Pair with a Fizzy Lime ‘soda’rita by mixing a traditional Mexican lime soda with blanco tequila and orange-flavored liqueur.

Food trend 5: Veggie love

Eating your vegetables is always healthy, but now it’s trendy too. This food movement goes beyond carrot and celery sticks to create dishes that utilize fresh flavors in modern ways. Take cauliflower power tacos for example. Veggie lovers will devour this new take on a vegetarian taco filled with roasted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas and flavorful cilantro pesto. As a bonus it is gluten-free. Pair with frozen mango ‘coco’ritas made with fresh mango and coconut water.

All complete taco and margarita pairing recipes can be found at bettycrocker.com/cinco.

Skinny Citrus Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients

  • Shrimp and marinade
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno chiles
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 8 Old El Paso flour tortillas for soft tacos and fajitas (6 inch), heated as directed on package

Cucumber Salsa Fresca Ingredients

  • 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Yogurt Crema Ingredients

  • 1 container (6 oz) Greek Fat Free plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Directions

  1. In a 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix shrimp and marinade ingredients. Seal bag. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix cucumber salsa fresca ingredients. In small bowl, mix yogurt crema ingredients.
  3. Drain shrimp; discard marinade. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pink. Drain, if needed. Spoon shrimp on tortillas; top with cucumber salsa fresca, and drizzle with yogurt crema. Makes eight servings.

Skinny Cucumber Lime ‘Spa’garita

Add 3 slices English (seedless) cucumber and half an orange slice to cocktail shaker; break up with muddler or spoon. Add 1 ounce blanco tequila, 3/4 ounce clear orange-flavored liqueur and 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice. Fill shaker with ice; cover and shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glass. Top with 1/2 ounce chilled club soda. Garnish with lime slices and additional orange and cucumber slices. Makes one drink.

Categories
Autumn Bake Boston Restaurants Desserts Holidays Mexican Origins Recipe Sources

Pan de Muerto

On Tuesday, November 1st and Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 Chef Erwin Ramos of the Olé Restaurant Group is hosting an authentic two-night Día de los Muertos celebration featuring traditional Mexican cuisine and customs at Olé Mexican Grill located in Cambridge, MA and Zócalo Cocina Mexicana located in Boston, MA. While “Day of the Dead” may have a grave and gloomy ring to it, the holiday itself has no such emotions. Instead, the first two days of November are used to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost along the way. Chef Ramos and the Olé Restaurant Group are inviting friends and family in to both Olé Mexican Grill and Zócalo Cocina Mexicana to partake in the festive occasion with customary Mexican foods available either á la carte or as a three course prix fixe menu. Guests will be able to enjoy a 3 course meal consisting of traditional Day of the Dead foods including a variety of tamales and moles, such as manchamanteles (red mole), mole verde (green) and mole poblano (chocolate)—a fan favorite!  The meal will end on a sweet note, as all guests will receive complimentary Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), made with rich, cinnamon and spice-infused Mexican chocolate brought to each table on a dessert cart.

Here’s the recipe for the Pan de Muerto.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (for glaze)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (for glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (to sprinkle over bread to finish)

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
  6. To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

 

Categories
Boston Restaurants Entree/Dinner Meals Mexican Origins Recipe Sources Seafood

Tamal de Langosta

This is my take on the the lobster tamale, which is featured on our lunch menu at Temazcal Tequila Cantina in the Seaport District. This recipe yields roughly two dozen tamales, perfect if you have a large family to feed or are entertaining.

Dough Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lbs. fresh masa
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lobster stock
  • 1 lb. lard or vegetable shortening

Lobster Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 white onions, finely diced
  • 6 chile anchos, soaked and pureed
  • 4 chile guajillos, soaked and pureed
  • 3 chili chipotle in adobo, pureed
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 1/2 lbs. lobster claw meat
  • Enough banana leaves to make the entire recipe (each, individual tamale calls for a 7×7 inch sheet)

Dough Preparation

  1. Place masa in mixing bowl and incorporate lobster stock in degrees while kneading by hand until smooth.
  2. In food processor whip lard until light and fluffy.
  3. Place masa in mixer and incorporate lard in degrees beat for 25 minutes (Simple trick: Test the dough by dropping a pinch in water and if it floats it’s ready. If not whip longer.)

Filling Preparation

  1. Heat oil in sauce pan and caramelize onions and garlic.
  2. Add pureed chiles, tomatoes, and seasonings and simmer for 15 minutes, set aside and let cool.
  3. Combine chilled sauce with chopped lobster claw meat and set aside.

Tamale Directions

  1. With a rubber spatula spread masa over half of banana leaf leaving an inch border on both sides.
  2. Spoon in lobster filling in center of masa and fold the banana leaf in half.
  3. Fold borders toward the center and fold again.
  4.  Lay tamales seem side down and steam until firm.

 

 

Categories
Boston Restaurants Drinks/Cocktails Featured Recipes Mexican Non-alcoholic Origins Recipe Sources

Jamaica Cooler

Pronounced ha-MIKE-uh, this recipe from Anna’s Taqueria, is a traditional aguas fresca in Mexico and the Caribbean. Made with dried sorrel (also referred to as hibiscus), a flower with a similar, slightly tart, taste to cranberry the drink combines enough sugar to mellow the flavor and make it substantially refreshing. Incredibly simple to make, with only three ingredients, this classic drink is a great change of pace for entertaining.

Throughout 2011, Anna’s Taqueria will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary providing the Boston area with high-quality, Mexican street food.

Ingredients

  • 9 cups cold water
  • 2 ounces dried sorrel (found at most Hispanic food shops)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the dried sorrel.
  3. Boil the sorrel with the water for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and strain out the sorrel pieces.
  5. Add the remaining 6 cups of water to the previously boiled mixture.
  6. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  7. Cover the mixture and refrigerate.
  8. Serve over ice.
Categories
Asian Boston Restaurants Entree/Dinner Featured Recipes Meals Mexican Origins Recipe Sources Steak/beef

Myers + Chang’s Asian Tacos

A hit on their menu, this recipe from Myers + Chang is a unique take on the west-coast trend of Asian influenced tacos.  The recipe makes eight small tacos and is accompanied by a Sesame-Chili Salsa.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2 inch medallions
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, smashed
  • 2 each star anise
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 Asian pear, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Sesame-chili salsa (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Chinese cabbage
  • 8 each corn tortillas
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 pieces
  • 16 large sprigs of cilantro
  • Sriracha chili sauce

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat vegetable oil  in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and cracked black pepper. When the oil is hot, gently place the short ribs into the skillet and turn the heat down to medium.  Sear 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until well browned and caramelized.
  2. Transfer the short ribs to a large casserole dish.
  3. Place the sugar, soy, honey, garlic, ginger, star anise, onion, scallion, sesame oil, Asian pear, and chicken stock in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture over the ribs. Bring to a boil.
  5. Cover casserole dish tightly and place in a 350° oven for about 2½ hours, or until tender enough to pierce with a fork.
  6. Strain the liquid into a fat-separator cup. Pour the defatted braising liquid into the roasting pan and place over high heat. Let it come to a boil (uncovered) so that it has reduced by about three-fourths (this will take 10-15 minutes.)
  7. While the braising liquid is reducing, allow the meat to cool to room temperature.  When cool enough to handle, shred the short rib meat with your hands, discarding any fat from the meat.
  8. Pour enough of the reduced braising liquid over the meat to fully moisten it.

Sesame-Chili Salsa

  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. chili oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chopped kimchee
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix to combine. May be well stored in the refrigerator, well covered, for up to a day.

To Assemble:

  1. Slice the Chinese cabbage and Asian pear into paper-thin strips and season both together with salt and pepper.
  2. Wrap corn tortillas in aluminum foil and place in 350° oven for 5 minutes, until warm.
  3. When warm, place cabbage and pear on bottom of tortillas, then add braised meat.
  4. Drizzle with Sriracha chili sauce.
  5. Add 2 sprigs fresh picked cilantro on meat and finish with the sesame-chili salsa.
  6. Garnish each taco with a wedge of lime.