Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!

Hi guys!  Do you know what this Saturday is?  It is Cinco De Mayo!  A great day for all of us gringos to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas!  Did you know that Cinco De Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day?  It is a day to celebrate a victory for Mexico….specifically a victory at The Battle of Puebla.  They beat the French.  It really isn’t even celebrated in Mexico.  They celebrate it in Puebla…but really….it is a totally American thing. 

I am a fan of Cinco De Mayo because I love Mexican food.  Love it.  Any chance I get to stuff my face with tacos is a great day in my book.  To help you celebrate this year, I will be showing you how to make three different kinds of tacos.  Not your typical ground beef tacos, but special tacos.  Yummy tacos.  I am going to show you how to make slow cooker chicken mole tacos, chorizo and shrimp tacos and margarita fish tacos.  Ole.

Let’s start with the fish tacos.  Actually tostadas if you want to get technical.  You can use this fish however you want….tacos, tostadas, etc.

I love fish tacos.  I enjoy them fried, but today’s recipe is for grilled fish.  Not only is it healthier, it is also crazy good.  I love a good margarita, and fish marinated in a margarita is even better.  Fish really goes well with limes, salt, and tequila.  The flavors all really blend.

I used margarita mix, tequila, garlic salt, hot sauce and halibut.  I chose halibut because it is a heartier white fish that will hold up well on the grill.  Sea bass, tilapia and snapper are also good choices. 

You could assemble all the ingredients that go in a margarita and use that….but using a bottled mix is so much easier.  Fewer ingredients is always easier.

I poured the margarita mix, tequila, hot sauce and garlic salt into a bowl.  I added the fish to marinate.  I only marinated the fish for about 15 minutes.  You cannot go longer.  The alcohol and lime juice will start to cook the fish.  You will end up with ceviche, which is good, but not what we are going for here.

Next, I drained the marinade off the fish and put it on the grill.  I used my indoor grill which cooks both sides at the same time when it closes.  My fish was done in less than four minutes.  If you are using an outdoor grill, you might need about 3 minutes per side.

Oil your grill because this fish will stick.

I like to make a lime crema to serve with my fish tacos.  It is essentially sour cream, lime zest, lime juice and hot sauce. 

I start by zesting a whole lime into a cup of sour cream.  The sour limey flavor is really strong in the zest.  That is where all the oils live.

Next, I stir in the juice of that lime and some hot sauce.  This will make the sour cream thin enough to drizzle over your tacos.  You can also sprinkle in some garlic salt if you want.  That would play up the whole “margarita” thing even more.

I served my grilled fish on a corn tostada.  I also added shredded cabbage which every fish taco has to have.  I added some chopped tomato and sliced avocado too.  And cilantro.  To finish off the whole thing, I drizzled on my lime crema.

I served my tostadas with extra limes on the side.  An extra squeeze of lime really finishes off these tostadas.  They are sour, a bit salty, and totally delicious.  And not fried!  Look at me being all healthy.

My next recipe is for a super easy mole chicken that is actually made in the slow cooker.  Now, please….remember that I am a complete gringa just trying my best.  This mole sauce is in no way authentic.  Real mole sauce has like 1032 ingredients.  This is a mole short cut.  It is yummy, but so not authentic.

Before I go on….do you know what mole sauce is?  It is a rich Mexican sauce that contains chilies, spices, nuts, and even unsweetened chocolate to name just a few of the ingredients.  It is often seen on enchiladas at Mexican restaurants.

For my shortcut mole sauce, I used a can of mild red enchilada sauce, peanut butter, unsweetened chocolate baking squares, a can of green chilies, salt, pepper, cinnamon and sugar.

I keep cinnamon and sugar pre-mixed so I have it ready to use for toast, waffles, oatmeal, etc.  So if you are counting ingredients in my picture for some reason, know that my cinnamon and sugar are in the same bowl.  I don’t know why that would be a concern, I just thought I would throw that out there.

I put all my ingredients into the slow cooker.  I also added about a pound of chicken thighs, which you all know by now I prefer over chicken breasts.

I cooked my chicken mole on low for four hours.  My slow cooker is freakishly hot for some reason.  I think that 8 hours on low would work on a non-possessed slow cooker.

When you take your chicken out of the slow cooker, it will literally fall apart when you touch it.  I shredded all of my chicken by poking it with tongs.  It was that tender.

You will be left with a steaming pot of rich, thick mole sauce.  It will need the fat skimmed off of it, but that is easy enough to do.  If you are using the chicken for tacos, you will have a whole lot of sauce left over.  Freeze it and use it the next time you make enchiladas.  Or just make chicken enchiladas right now.  Your choice.

I build my taco on two corn tortillas that I steamed in the microwave to make them more pliable.  I put the tortillas between damp paper towels and popped them in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

I added my mole chicken, some chopped white onion, cilantro and queso fresco cheese.  Yum.  I pretend that this is just like a little Mexican street taco.  I have never had one, so pretending is the best I can do.

My final taco is my favorite.  This has been my favorite taco filling for a long time.  The best part…..this is the easiest one to make. 

This taco filling is just pork chorizo and shrimp.  If you are feeling fancy, you can also add chopped potatoes.  Then it will be “con papas”.

I sautéed my chorizo in a large skillet to start.  Do you know what chorizo is?  If not, do yourself a favor and don’t read the package.  Just know that it is spicy and delicious.

I cooked this for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  It is SUPER greasy.  That grease will kind of just go away once the chorizo is cooked.  It will be crumbly and slightly crispy once it is cooked.

Once it is cooked, throw in the cooked shrimp and stir the mixture around until the shrimp is heated through.  Don’t actually throw it because that chorizo will splatter like nobody’s business.

I built the shrimp and chorizo taco by steaming two more corn tortillas.  I added my shrimp and chorizo mixture, more cilantro, chopped onion and queso fresco.

For the love of Pete, you must try these tacos.  They are so good, and so easy to make.  Don’t you want to celebrate your Cinco De Mayo with these tacos??  They are spicy, cheesy and so, so good.

On Thursday, I will show you how to make my shortcut churros and homemade refried beans!  Look at this gringa go!

Margarita Fish Tacos

1 cup margarita mix

¼ cup tequila

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon garlic salt

12 ounces halibut

Tortillas, cilantro, shredded cabbage, avocado, diced tomato for serving

Pour margarita mix, tequila, hot sauce and garlic salt into a shallow dish.  Add fish.  Marinate for 15 minutes.  Remove fish and discard marinade.

Grill fish for 3 minutes per side.

Serve on tortillas with toppings.

Lime Crema

1 cup sour cream

The zest one lime

The juice of one lime

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chicken Mole

28 ounce can red enchilada sauce, mild

1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

4 ounces diced green chilies

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 pound boneless chicken thighs

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.  Cook for 8 hours on low.

Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.

Chorizo and Shrimp Tacos

10 ounces pork chorizo

12 ounces shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

Sauté chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat.  When chorizo is cooked, add defrosted shrimp.  Cook until shrimp is warmed through.

1 comment:

  1. "I think that 8 hours on low would work on a non-possessed slow cooker."
    made me snot!