Friday, July 08, 2005

Tacos or Tostadas

These taste just like what we used to eat in Sisal. If you fry the tortillas you can make tostadas, but don't hesitate to use the already fried tostada shells that are available in the supermarket. They will make your life much easier. You don't have to serve this with guacamole.  We always just put thin slices of fresh avocado on top, but it is really good with the guacamole.

Serves 4

La carne
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 big garlic cloves, chopped
Handful of coriander stems, chopped
1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander
1/4 tsp each oregano, chile powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup Rotel ot 1/2 cup Goya Sofrito
1-2 tbl red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup stuffed green olives chopped, or 1/4 cup of capers

Saute sofrito with onions, garlic and coriander stems. Add the meat and continue sauteing. Add all the spices.  Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the vinegar and cook for a couple more minutes. Taste & correct the seasonings.


Frijol colado
Recook previously prepared black beans. (See recipe on blog). Cook until thick. Use stick blender to puree or if you don't have one, just mash well with the back of a spoon.

Guacamole
1 large avocado, mashed with the back of a fork
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime & 1/4 orange *
2-3 tbl chopped cilantro
1 tsp chopped, pickled jalapeno
salt, pepper, & pinch of sugar

Mash the avocado with the fork. Add the citrus juices and all other ingredients. Taste & correct seasonings.

Xni Pec - This is Yucatan's answer to pico de gallo. It means dog's nose in Maya because it will make your nose wet when you eat it.
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2-1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 c chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime & 1/4 orange *
1 habanero chile, seeded & chopped **
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, taste & correct seasonings.

*In Yucatan they would use sour orange which is unavailable here. A mixture of lime and orange juices tastes really similar, but it should be balanced, not too sour. You may need to add more lime or orange juice.


** I use a knife and fork to chop the habanero. Don't touch the inside of it with your bare hands and if you do, don't touch your face, mouth, eyes or any other delicate areas. Wash your hands several times.

Tortillas
If you don't have a tortilla keeper (looks like a little styrofoam ice bucket), just put a tea towel on a plate ready to receive the hot tortillas.

Buy a good brand of corn tortillas. Heat an iron skillet or two til it's blazing hot. Put the tortilla in the dry skillet. Wait til it begins to puff a little, then turn. It should puff up some more and have some brown, toasted spots on each side. Place on the towel lined plate & cover w/ the end of the towel. Repeat til you have heated about 3 tortillas per person.

To serve put everything on the table & dig in.

To make tostadas:
A few hours before serving remove the tortillas from the package & spread out to dry. Then heat a 1/2 inch of Crisco in an iron skillet and fry the tortillas til brown & crisp on both sides. As they are done, remove to a paper towel lined rack or cookie sheet.

Spread each tostada w/ a little bit of the frijol colado. Place a little meat, guacamole & xni pec on each one. Arrange on a platter and serve. (These will not be hot, but they will be delicious.)


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