Food Truck Fridays: Taco Queso

Taco Queso 1

Name of your food truck?  

Taco Queso

Owners names?

Dawn Larsh and Armando Vega Ruiz

Why did you start a food truck?

Well, we’ve always wanted to have our own restaurant because we love food, so last year in the summer we had a little bit of extra money and decided to go crazy!

Taco Queso 2

What do you serve?

Authentic Mexican flavours

Your favorite items on the menu?

hmmm I think it’s a tie between the mushroom tacos and the flautas

The most popular item on your menu?

Our marinated then fried portobello mushroom taco,

Taco Queso 3

Most underrated? Which do you wish people would take a chance and try?

Huevos rancheros, holy crap its good!

Craziest food truck story/experience?

Well when we got the trailer we had a minivan, a chevrolet venture, wonderful car if you have a rock band, but turns out not so much to tow a 8000 pound commercial kitchen. So we got our trailer from this crazy guy in Windsor, ON and we live in hamilton, about a 3 hour drive if you take the 401 but around 6 hours if you’re avoiding highways. So we’re coming back home, and it’s kind of late (around  midnight) and we’re towing this monstrosity with our venture and suddenly a big thud and the trailer starts limping. It turns out something happened between the trailers right wheel and the fender that the wheel just kinda ate part of the fender and just burst. We got out and tried to change the tire but we didn’t have a spare, long story short we called CAA, opened an account with them and they came to save our lives. Later that night we got pulled over because the trailer’s lights had suddenly turned off and I was driving on my G1 very late at night, towing this thing. The officer was awesome though. All this happened the very first night we had the trailer. Haha a good initiation. We also had our first gig the next morning.

Where can people find you?

They can find us on instagram!! @feedmetacoqueso, also twitter and facebook, there we post where we are!

Taco Queso 4

Do you have a store/restaurant etc. as well?

Nope, but you can buy us one if you like our tacos.

El Jefe Port Credit

 

El Jefe Photo 1

Yes you can get great food outside the city.

If you have ventured east of the 427 you will know that little pockets of the GTA are defining themselves as culinary destination.  Jason Tsougios knew that when he opened Door Fifty Five in Port Credit and along with partners Jonathan Harvey and John Martino he continues to hold the commercial trappings at bay with the opening of El Jefe right across the street.

El Jefe Photo 2

Port Credit is a picturesque lakefront town that is slowing enveloping the diversity its neighboring super city has long held supreme over.  Aside from a few burrito joints, Mexican food hasn’t had proper representation outside The Six and with a massive 76 seats patio flanking a stunning graffiti alleyway, El Jefe feeds a niche never lacking customers.

El Jefe Photo 3

Inside the decor is strewn with sombrero’s, sugar skulls and neon lighting. What could potentially be theme overkill  is actually hip and trendy. Nothing is too overdone with just enough “kitsch” to placate families and snap for the city dwellers.

El Jefe Photo 4

A reasonable prized cocktail menu presents all your Mexican staples.  The margarita, sangria and mojito do not disappoint while the creative twist on several classics highlight the use of fresh ingredients and time honored techniques.

El Jefe Photo 5

All good Mexican feasts should be entertaining and the folks here don’t disappoint with options like Mexican roulette peppers (one of the four avocado stuffed peppers contain their super hot Death sauce) and guacamole prepared tableside.  Soft avocado, roasted peppers, citrus, garlic and cilantro are presented in a sturdy mortar and pestle and mashed to your preferred consistency.

El Jefe Photo 6

The kitchen has been tweaking their menu during a soft opening leading up the Cinco de Mayo and while some things have been omitted they are certainly not missed.

Salads, ceviche and empanadas are no surprise o and with 7 different fillings available the tacos are a popular choice.  Each has its own flavour combination that works perfectly together to create delicious mouthfuls of taste.  A heavy use of grilled or roasted tropical fruit is a wonderful surprise.

El Jefe Photo 7

For a more substantial dish you and your guests can tackle the 5 pound burrito or if sharing isn’t something you learned in grade school then the chicken chimichanga is just what you need. Deep fried but not at all greasy this chicken and cheese filled tortilla is nestled on a smoky three pepper tomatillo sauce and topped with mango pico de gallo and sour cream.

El Jefe Photo 8

You will want to end your meal on a sweet note.  While you only have a choice between two desserts either will be a great option.  You can stay true to your love of Mexican food by selecting the churros which honestly never disappoint or you can show you Canadian roots with the beavertail tacos.  Minty mascarpone cheese topped with fruit compote nestled in sugary sweet, warm beavertails.

You don’t need to fight the line ups or parking spot infrequency that comes with eating in Toronto every weekend.  Instead you can drive ten minutes down the road (by highway) or take the scenic lakeshore route and find an amazing meal just as Instagram worthy.

El Jefe

66 Lakeshore East

Mississauga, On

905-990-5200

 

Torta Takeover At Fonda Lolas

 

Torta Takeover Photo 1

Ernesto Rodriguez  loves showing Torontians what Mexican food is really about at Fonda Lola.  During his recent brunch launch he created dishes to showcase his love of his countries amazing cuisine and with his newest venture, a weekday lunch menu of Mexican tortas, he shares with diners food he can’t wait to have the minute he goes home. While Canadians may think of tacos and nachos as more lunch fare it is soft doughy bread filled with meats, vegetables and cheeses that truly encapsulate  the street style of a classic Mexican midday meal.

Torta Takeover Photo 2

Everyone enjoying a slow, savory lunch should start off with a Margarita or two. The Citrus Margarita is a taste bud tingling, hair raising tart affair with lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit juices mixed with tequila while the Rose Kombucha, is the above fruit juices combined with smoked horchata ( a nut milk), and rose kombucha. It literally tastes like a Creamsicle.

Torta Takeover Photo 3

If you need a quick nibble to go with your adult beverage before the tortas arrive appetizers include a handheld Caesar salad and outstanding tlacoyos. These masa tortillas are stuffed with refried beans and topped with cheese, avocado and salsa roja  and are so hearty you wouldn’t think they were meat free.

Torta Takeover Photo 4

It’s the tortas however that steal the show.  Using fresh bread from a Portuguese bakery down the road, Ernesto has developed a selection of  nine sandwiches that will satisfy all possible cravings from tofu to octopus to chicken, steak or egg. These four highlight the brilliance of the menu.

Pork shoulder is braised low and slow in peppers and citrus  for over 24 hours to then be the star of this Torta de cochinita Pibil.

Torta Takeover Photo 5

If you feel like a late breakfast sandwich the Torta de Candied bacon and egg is a perfect choice.  Jalapeno candied bacon gives a sweet and spicy burst while refried beans and avocado temper the heat.

Torta Takeover Photo 6

The chicken torta uses adobo sauce to provide juicy, mouth watering and tender meat while the rice, beans and avocado pull everything together.

Torta Takeover Photo 7

A Mexican twist on a classic steak and cheese sandwich includes the standard fried onions and peppers but takes it up a degree with Oaxaca cheese, avocado and beans.

All sandwiches come with a simply dressed green salad that is refreshing between hearty bites of your torta.

Torta Takeover Photo 8

And if you miraculously have room for dessert how can you go wrong with a plate of fresh sugary churros served with caramel whipped cream. A cheese flan and cheesecake are also available for your sweet tooth.

Lunch is currently being served Tues-Friday between 11:30 and 2:30 and is a perfect way to explore more authentic Mexican cuisine.  With two quick changes to the restuarant, the new brunch and lunch menus, Fonda Lola has shown that while the city continues its love affair with Mexican food keeping it authentic is what makes our passion realized.

Fonda Lola

942 Queen Street W.,

Toronto,Ontario

647-706-9105

 

Cinco de Mayo in the City

 

Cinco de Mato Photo 1 (1 of 1)

Whether you are truly celebrating your heritage or just want an excuse to drink copious amounts of tequila Toronto’s Mexican restaurants will be ready to accommodate all your Cinco de Mayo needs. Make sure you check their websites as most of these are ticketed events.

Cinco de Mayo Photo 2

Fonda Lola

The all night party will feature $5 margs, pinatas and Mexican beers as well as other food and drink specials.

Cinco de Mayo Photo 3

El Catrin

A Live DJ, patio fiesta, drink features, and tequila tasting all starts at 4pm.

Cinco de Mayo Photo 4

El Cabillito

The biggest party in Toronto in the restaurant and El patio sponsored by Corona and Tromba tequila. Live mariachi, food and drink specials available

Cinco de Mayo Photo 5

La Carnita

Limited addition print by Catherine Shaw will be available at all three locations along with drink and food specials.

Cinco de Mayo Photo 6

 Milagro Cantina

Tequila flight specials and food features all night long.

Cinco de Mayo Photo 7

 Valdez

Live Mariachi, DJ and sponsered by Sauza and Hornitas you may want to enjoy Valdez before they are closed for good at the King Street location (moving to a new location).

Reforma 35

Reforma 35 Photo 1

Regulars of the previous occupants of 35 Baldwin Street, Agave y Aguacate will say the meat and bones of the place has relatively stayed the same.  Similar design concepts, brightly coloured walls and closely related logo. It is the heart of the place that’s is noticeably different with the arrival of Reforma 35.

Reforma 35 Photo 2

Keyvan Foroughi knows this space intimately having owned the former Agave.  It’s turquoise walls, bench seating, and creative art work are all part of his constant vision of recreating places he loves most in his travels through Mexico. Vibrant, social and relaxed places. When he partnered up with former co owner of Fonda Lola, Andres Marquez and brought in Chef Marcos Sanchez from Diwan the food and drink finally lined up with their equally shared vision.

Reforma 35 Photo 3

Creative and flavour filled dishes dominant a small menu of Mexican Street food. Expected dishes like enchiladas and guacamole and chips are available but the sheer love of great tasting  Mexican food can be found in abundance throughout the choices. The Cesar en Mano is a brilliant deconstructed take on the Caesar salad.  A create-your-own handheld salad “taco” with lettuce leaves, avocado dressed greens, cojita cheese, candied bacon and crispy pork rinds, it will have you talking about it for days.

Reforma 35 Photo 4

Reforma 35 Photo 5

The rest of the menu continues down that creative line.  Tacos el gobernador is by far the best shrimp taco in the city. Simple citrusy grilled shrimp, cheese and pickled onions.  Taco Tuesdays offers up $2 Taco de Canasta, crispy shells filled with chicken or vegetables and all the prerequisite toppings. Beef lovers can happily indulge in salspicon de res, perfectly grilled steak with crispy leeks and a cilantro dressing.

Reforma 35 Photo 6

Reforma 35 Photo 7

If you want to have a quiet relaxing lunch or dinner at Reforma 35 the dining room upstairs is ideal. However if you want the chance to socialize with the incredibly friendly staff and owners the bench seating on the main floor is where the fun begins.  Many of the dishes have a story behind them, from the Cesar and it’s Mexican and not Italian heritage or the history behind a shrimp taco with cheese.  Or if conversation falls short you can easily kill time watching one of the many talented bartenders sling out classic cocktails or delicious spins on some of your favorites.  The beet margarita is a huge hit with its earthy tones and laid back sweetness. Enjoy some dessert while sitting there. Either option of the Platanos Fritos (fried plantains) or the Flan de chocolate are decadent winners.

Reforma 35 Photo 8

One of the most important things the owners at Reforma 35 wanted to create was a restaurant that was about simple and delicious food.  A place where you can socialize, relax or enjoy the scene around. Simple and delicious is always successful and at Reforma 35 they have it perfected.

Reforma 35

35 Baldwin Street, Toronto

647-748-6448

Cookbook Review: Celebrating the Foods of New Mexico

Foods of New Mexico (2 of 5)

Any cookbook you get that the origins are from a cooking school you are almost guaranteed a go to reference whenever you need it. Not because they are going to give you the basics tools to learn but because they know how to teach someone to cook. And if they can do it live in a classroom they can easily translate it into cookbook.

Foods of New Mexico (5 of 5)

Celebrating the Foods of New Mexico by the Santa Fe School of Cooking (Gibbs-Smith) is such a book.  It holds a regular flour covered, greasy, sticky place in my kitchen because it gives simple techniques to make fresh and delicious Mexican food from homemade tortillas to salsas to Goat Cheese Enchiladas.

Foods of New Mexico (4 of 5)

It takes the basics and adds a little punch like with this grilled pineapple salsa.

Foods of New Mexico (1 of 5)

Most importantly it makes the home cook feel like they can easily accomplish a genre of food that may have been daunting in the past.  It is not a large book. Instead it saves each page for the most flavourful dishes they believe you would enjoy the most.

Foods of New Mexico (2 of 5)

Celebrating the Foods of New Mexico is about the foods the chefs from the school love to cook.  And have cooked time and time again.  Guaranteed success in your own kitchen.  Pick up your own copy over at Amazon or Chapters.  Or enter below for a chance to win your own copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I  received a copy of this book free from the fabulous people over at Raincoast(Thank you, thank you) however all opinions and photography are solely my own.

 

Contest Rules:

Open to legal Canadian (excluding Quebec) and US residents.
No purchase necessary to enter.
Canadian Winner is required to answer a skill testing question. Winner will be notified by email on January 20th, 2016 and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.
Contest runs from January 10, 2016 to January 17, 2016 at 11:59pm.

A Look Back, A Look Forward and of course, Tamales!

2014 has become 2015…..

Damn that went fast!

Probably because I was so busy!  Or its because I’m getting older and the whole age relationship of time continuum thingy.

I like to believe it’s the first suggestion.  Being busy.  And busy in such a great way!

This past year I have developed some amazing working relationships with some great companies.

Mushrooms

mmmmmm mushrooms

I’ve eaten at a ton of fantastic restaurants.

Kamayan Feast (16 of 17)

Kamayan Feast at Lamesa

I’ve attended a pile of killer events; food and drink.

Niagara Craft Beer Fest

BEER ME!

I hung out with cool people

Chef Norman van Aken

Mary Luz Meija with Chef Norman van Aken at The Pan American Food Fest

I’ve tried awesome products.

SweeTango Apples

SweeTango Apples

I’ve cooked loads of wicked things. Including things I didn’t think I could ever do well.

Choux Pastry success!

Choux Pastry success!

And all while I have been working more hours at my day job.

Most importantly this past year I have developed lifelong friendships with an outstanding group of uber talented, smart, beautiful women and spent as mush time I has could in their company (you all know who you are).  They have made me both a better and happier person that despite all my crazy hours and exhausted mornings, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I also know for a fact this coming year will be busier, and even morning exciting.

Watch for:

  • a monthly cookbook review and giveaway.
  • more healthy, veggie centric recipes
  • cooking things outside my comfort zone
  • A NEW SITE DESIGN

And much more great reviews, better photos (woot) and lots of outstanding recipes. Like this one!

Tamales

One of my highlights this past year was definitely these tamales.  Taught to me by Paolo Solorzano from Santo Pecado Catering I have to say I was so proud of myself to be able to recreate them at home.  They are very labour intensive but if you have a group of people willing to help out (and leave with a ton of tamales) an afternoon together could be very productive. Just have them all bring their own filling and viola: tamales exchange!

Below is the recipe for the masa and step by step instructions on how to create the tamales.  I will leave the filling totally up to you.  It can be meaty, cheesy, spicy.  You decide.  Google tamale fillings and pick one that work for you.  And make sure you experiment as well; you really can’t go wrong.  And let me know in the comment section what you made this past year that was out of your comfort zone.  Or what you hope to.

Cheers to a New Year!

Masa Dough

2 cups masa flour
2 cup warm chicken broth (or vegetable)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt, pinch
 
You will also need:
 
corn husks, soaked overnight
tamale fillings
large steamer pot
tamale press (optional)
saran wrap/parchment paper
hot water
dish cloth
 
 
Tamale
 

To make the masa:

Combine all the masa ingredient and mix until fluffy and doesn’t stick to your hands.

Tamales

 

Assemble on a large table all your fillings and tools.  Make a golf ball size ball of masa.

If you are using the tamale press place a piece of saran wrap or parchment down and place ball in middle of press.  Press down until dough is flattened into a circle about 3″-3 1’2″ wide.  Make sure it’s not to thin. If you are not using press make a similar sized circle by pressing dough in your hand.

Tamales

Tamales

Tamales

Place a corn husk in your left hand and using the parchment turn the circle of dough onto the husk.  Make sure the top of the dough is about 1″ from top of the corn husk.

Tamales

Add about 2 tbsp of filling to the center of the circle leaving about an inch top to bottom.

Tamales

Take the cornhusk edge on the right and fold dough over onto itself.

Tamales

Take the corn husk edge on the left and do the same.

Tamales

Take the left edge of the corn husk again and fold over completely continuing to fold until completely wrapped.

Tamales

Fold up the bottom of the corn husk.

Tamales

Using strips taken from another corn husk tie the bottom securely around.

Tamales

Place tamale upright in steamer basket of pot and continue until pot is full. You can cram them in pretty tight. If you still have dough and filling left keep making tamales and use another pot.

Tamales

Tamales

Place the steamer pot full of tamales over the bottom pot filled with boiling water.  You don’t want the water to reach the tamales to be carefully how much is in there.

Securely cover the tamales with a dish cloth making sure no steam can escape. Let them steam for 40 minutes or until dough appears cooked.  Make sure your bottom pot doesn’t boil dry.

Tamales

Enjoy!

Tamales

 

Mexican Cena

Defined as a meal taken between 7 and 9, a cena can consist of a hot drink and bread, a chance to try out some street food or a nice meal eaten in a restaurant. With lunch being the biggest meal of the day items such as soups and tacos are more commonly eaten at this time.
A couple of weeks ago I jumped at a chance to attend a Pop-up Mexican Cena.  I did this for several reasons.  First and for most is my love of anything Mexican.  This is my all time favorite flavour palette and with Cinco de Mayo just a round the corner I figured this was a great way to kick it off.  The second important reason why I had to go?  The Chef cooking up this elaborate feast was my favorite lady Paola Solorzano from Santo Pecado Catering. Specializing in Mexican food Chef Paola is a vibrant, funny, down to earth and incredibly talented woman who loves to share with everyone around her the joy of this unique cuisine.  A month ago she taught myself and several others how to make our own tamales and as you will see later this week her patience and immense knowledge make a tamale queen out of me.  I didn’t even look at the menu before I purchased my ticket to this dinner; that’s how confident I am in her skills.

Mexican Popup (1 of 6)

The event was hosted at a wonderful little expresso bar on Dupont, Cafe Con Leche, owned by the incredibly friendly Sandra and Carlos.  Carlos has developed his own hot sauce line No.7 Mexican Hot Sauce, based on family recipes and before the dinner got under way he treated me to an extensive tasting of his sauces.  Homemade, preservative free and full bodied I had such a hard time deciding which one was my favorite.  Because they are made from pureed vegetables they have this great mouth feel unlike a lot of other more watered down brands.  Head over to the Cafe and grab a bottle or three and make sure you stock these in your cupboard.

Mexican Popup (2 of 6)

The menu that Chef Paola crafted was developed around these hot sauces and it was executed perfectly.

Mexican Popup

The meal started with a light and colorful ceviche of shrimp, crab and scallops.  Dressed with garlic and No.7 habanero hot sauce it was garnished with a  crispy tortilla that Chef Paola had made by hand.  A wonderfully light and refreshing starter with a little heat from the sauce and salt from the chip.

Mexican Popup

Perhaps my new favorite soup, mexican dish, beef dish, everything imaginable dish is this Carne en su Jugo.  A bowl full of thin sliced beef, black beans, bacon, cilantro, green onion and a broth from the juices of the meat and No.7 Jalapeno hot sauce.  Such a warm and hearty soup perfect for the drizzly day we were having.  This is next on my list of dishes I need to learn to make.

Mexican Popup

I was still dreaming of second helping of the soup when we were served this tiny version of a Pambazo. These potato and mexican chorizo sliders were soaked in No.7 Guajillo Barbeque sauce, fried and then topped with lettuce, queso and salsa verde.  The bread was buttery and crunchy and once I had cut mine in two I was able to try one side topped with No. 7 Garlic hot sauce and No.7 Extra Hot Jalapeno.  A bit messy but my plate was still clean when the last course was served.

Mexican Popup (6 of 6)

Of course the meal was not complete without dessert.  Bread puddings are one of my favorite desserts and what I loved about Chef Paola’s capirotada was that they don’t use as much liquid thus creating a crispier, lighter texture. A cacophony of flavors; cinammon, vanilla, almonds, queso fresco, raw sugar and a hint of chile ancho topped with chocolate, whipped cream, raisins and strawberries.  So unbelievably delicious.

Events like these are a great way to meet other food minded people as well as exposing yourself to a wider range of authentic cuisines of the world.  By pushing aside the idea that Mexican food is only tacos and burritos you discover all the other hidden gems that are just as delicious and open yourself up to new flavor combinations and dishes.  Make sure you keep an eye out for more dinners offered by Chef Paola.  Her love of food and her country is evident in every bite you take and will only enrich your senses for the better.

Chicken Fajitas

DH and I have a tradition called fajita Friday.  Basically we would go to our favorite fajita place on Fridays.  Sometimes it would be Saturday or Sunday but we still called it fajita friday. Not every week but pretty much close to it.  Our favorite spot makes the best chicken fajitas we have ever had.  And trust me we have tried them at most restaurants.  For as long as I can remember any time we tried to recreate them at home it usually involved a certain brand name seasoning pack sprinkled over stir fried chicken and vegetables.  No offense brand name company but they tasted yucky. ( I have a stronger word then yucky but want to keep the post PG)

I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I needed to find a better recipe so we could enjoy them at home and not spend so much money eating out.  In my search for the best recipe I discovered one important fact.  Cooking the chicken and vegetables seperately. It keeps the vegetables tender crisp and allows time to brown the chicken.

This recipe is pretty close to perfect in our books.  We still go out for fajita fridays (they also have killer gauc) but it’s nice to have this handy.

Yields 2-4

Chicken Fajitas
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 bell peppers, sliced
  • tortillas
  • toppings of choice ; sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine the chicken breasts with the olive oil, lime juice and spices.
  2. Let marinade at room temperature least 1 hour.
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over med-high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes turning over once to sear both sides. Chicken is done when juices run clear. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  5. Add the onion and peppers to the pan and cook until soft and browned.
  6. Slice the chicken and serve with onion/pepper mixture, tortillas and toppings.
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
7.6.4
247

In a medium bowl combine the chicken breasts with the olive oil, lime juice and spices.

Let marinade at room temperature least 1 hour.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over med-high heat.

Add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes turning over once to sear both sides. Chicken is done when juices run clear. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the onion and peppers to the pan and cook until soft and browned.

Slice the chicken and serve with onion/pepper mixture, tortillas and toppings.

Mexican Lasagna

Sometimes you just need to try something different.  This twist on a classic lasagna is also a fave for kids.

Serves 1/8

Mexican Lasagna
Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 6 flour tortilla
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot over med-high heat brown the ground beef.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes and chilies and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in the seasoning mix and continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  5. Cut the tortilla shells in half and arrange half of them on the bottom of your pan.
  6. Spread have the meat mixture on top.
  7. Spread the sour cream then half the cheese over the meat.
  8. Top with another layer of tortillas, the remaining sauce and finish by topping with cheese.
  9. Bake in preheated oven 35-40 minutes or until bubbling. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
7.6.4
180

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large pot over med-high heat brown the ground beef.

Add the beans, tomatoes and chilies and bring to a boil.

Stir in the seasoning mix and continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Cut the tortilla shells in half and arrange half of them on the bottom of your pan.

Spread have the meat mixture on top.

Spread the sour cream then half the cheese over the meat.

Top with another layer of tortillas, the remaining sauce and finish by topping with cheese.

Bake in preheated oven 35-40 minutes or until bubbling. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Pico de Gallo

Quick, easy and wonderfully fresh.  This dish is perfect just with a side of tortilla chips or sprinkled on tacos, enchiladas and soup.

Serves 1/4 cup

Pico de Gallo

Often mistaken for salsa, Pico de Gallo is a great addition to any Mexican feast. With salsa the ingredients are macerated to make a saucier condiment whereas Pico is merely fresh ingredients diced and tossed together. It's also super fast to make and a really healthy alternative to the more creamy, cheesier dips.

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Ingredients

  • 1 white onion
  • 4 ripe plum or Roma tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Enjoy!
Recipe Type: Sauces
7.6.4
70

 

Finely dice the onion.

Remove the seeds from the tomato and the peppers and chop.

Chop up the cilantro.

Mix everything together in a bowl with the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Enjoy!

 

Chicken Enchiladas

 

Serves 1/6

Chicken Enchiladas

I really enjoy Mexican food. I love the cheesiness, the spiciness and the heartiness of classic Mexican dishes. This recipe for Chicken Enchiladas can take a bit of time to make but is completely worth it in the end. In this recipe I like to make my own seasoned chicken filling to add even more flavour to the dish. The heat (spiciness) of this dish can be adjusted by the amount of jalapenos you use. If you like really spicy, add more. This recipe produces a nice mild bite that can be enjoyed by the more tamer taste buds.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic,smashed
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion,chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup reserved chicken broth
  • 12 small tortillas
  • shredded chicken, see recipe above
  • 3/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 12 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz can green chilies
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken, sliced onion, and smashed garlic in a large stockpot. Cover with just enough water to cover.
  2. Bring the water to a slow boil and cook 20-25 minutes or until chicken in done. Remove the chicken from the pot and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  3. Once the chicken is cooled shred it finely.
  4. In a large pan, melt the butter over low heat.
  5. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper, tomato, black pepper, jalapeno, cilantro and cumin. and mix together well. Saute until vegetables begin to soften about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken then the tomato sauce and reserved broth. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed about 5 more minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Divide the chicken, white onion and 10 oz. of the cheddar cheese between the 12 tortillas.
  9. Roll up each tortilla and placed in a baking dish seam side down.
  10. Meanwhile in a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to boil.
  11. Add the broth and stir constantly for a couple of minutes.
  12. Add the chilies and sour cream and stir the sauce until it's thick and hot. Do not let it boil.
  13. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas then bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle the remaining 2 oz. of cheese over top and bake another 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  15. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onion.
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
7.6.4
72

 

Lets start by doing all the necessary prep work for the shredded chicken (basically the slicing and dicing). I like to put everything in their own little bowls so they are easily accesible.  Cooking can really come together well if you have all this stuff done ahead of time.

Slice half the onion and using the back of your knife smash 2 of the garlic cloves.

Dice the remaining onion finely.  Because you need onion in the assembly as well dice another 3/4 cup.

Mince the last garlic clove.

Dice the tomato, the red pepper and the jalapeno.

Chop the cilantro.

Shred the cheese for the assembly stage. Now shred some more because I’m sure, like me, you’ve taste tested quite a few fingerfuls.

And chop the green onion also to be used in assembly.

Okay let’s get started.  Place the chicken in a large pot.

Add just enough water to cover it.

Add the sliced onion and smashed garlic.

Let it slowly boil for 20-25 minutes until chicken is done.  Remove the chicken to a plate to cool ( you can place it in the fridge to speed up this step) and reserve 1/2 cup of the boiling liquid.

Once the chicken is cool, use two forks to shred into pieces.

In a pan, melt the 2 tbsp butter and add the tomato, diced onion and red pepper.

Foolwed up by the chicken, jalapeno, cilantro, black pepper and cumin.

Mix it all together really good then add the reserved broth and tomato paste.

Cook a few minutes longer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Add any salt to your own taste.  Seasoning with salt can never be a definitive amount.  You need to sprinkle a little, taste, then repeat until you have it just right.  But remember a tiny bit at a time, 1/8 tsp at the most, since a little salt can go a long way.

To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on the counter.

Add a bit of the chicken in the middle and sprinkle with some of the diced white onion.

Sprinkle on the cheese.

Roll up the tortilla carefully so as to not lose any of the filling. (if you do just shove it back in the sides)

Place the rolled tortilla in a baking dish seams side down.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and ingredients.

In a saucepan over medium heat melt the 1/4 cup butter and whisk in the flour.

Add the broth and keep stirring.

Add the sour cream and the chilies.  Stir until the sauce becomes hot and thick.

Pour the sauce over the tortillas and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Look at those lovely pieces of chili…yum.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  The final amount of cheese on top can be completely up to you.  Myself, I could go for two or three pounds worth but for the sake of sanity I used 2 ounces or so. Let it cook another 5 minutes until cheese has melted.

Serve these with a side of salsa or pico de gallo and some spicy Mexican rice.  Oh and don’t forget the sprinkle of green onions.  They add a great fresh flavour to the dish.