The Best Huevos Rancheros Ever

2 06 2012

One of my favorite places for delicious mexican food is at La Casa de Lisa. Now don’t even bother trying to google it, because it’s not open for business, it’s the kitchen of my friend, who lets just say, has a passion for mexican food.

One of her favorite dishes to prepare is huevos rancheros, so one morning after a few mexican mimosas (AKA, “beer”) it was on.  Here are the critical elements you need and a few tips to make the best huevos ever:

Ingredients

tortillas — corn or flour, fried

refried beans — if you’ve got time re-refry them, they taste even better

eggs — any way you like them

crema — you can find in any mexican market

cilantro — the holy green of mexican food

salsa — make your own easily, just chop up your own tomatoes, onions and add some lime juice and cilantro

cheese — the white crumbly kind, of course!

yes, there are eggs under all that goodness!

Now here’s the secret ingredient: Rajas

Ra-wha? Rajas!  A mixture of roasted peppers, onions and cream, slowly simmered and topped with salt, pepper and cotija cheese.  Once you try rajas, you’ll start to invent other places to use it as a topping, its that good.

MMMMMMM, my favorite way to start the day.

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The Four “C”s of authentic Mexican Dishes

16 07 2011

Many people love americanized mexican food.  Who hasn’t enjoyed a pile of tortilla chips smothered in melted cheese, a taco salad or a mexican pizza?  And (full disclosure here) I admit to stooping to the point of melting 1 LB of velveeta cheese, mixing in a can of Rotel chilis, grabbing a bag of Tostitos and serving at parties as chili con queso.  Usually to rave reviews.

But if you’re looking for a way to eat in a more traditional fashion, I can offer these quick ingredient suggestions to achieve a more authentic dish.

Crema, instead of sour cream

Crema, instead of sour cream

Crema, instead of sour cream

While sour cream is an ingredient of crema, the inclusion of additional cream or buttermilk makes this a far superior topping to just straight-up sour cream.  Its a staple in mexican markets, or there are a number of online recipes you can try, but it takes some time for the natural cultured bacteria to acidify.  So just do yourself a favor and pick up a jar instead.

cabbage

Cabbage, instead of lettuce

Cabbage, instead of lettuce

Lettuce is often used as a filler in the american versions of mexican dishes and usually doesn’t really add anything from a flavor perspective.  Real cabbage, either green or red, will give your food a tasty crunch.  Just be sure to shred it and use liberally!

Cilantro

Cilantro

Cilantro

I’m always disappointed when I order something from a mexican restaurant and it doesn’t have any cilantro in or on it.  Cilantro has been used for thousands of years to give a fresh and spicy lift to a variety of dishes.  And although the herb has a “love it or hate it” reputation, haters can certainly be turned with just a little exposure. More full disclosure, I used to be a hater, but now I always have cilantro in my kitchen!

TIP:  when you purchase cilantro to have at home, the best way to store it is in a glass of water in your refrigerator.  It will last a lot longer and remain fresh for up to a week.

White, crumbly cheese

White, crumbly cheese

And finally…the Cheese

There are a number of different types of cheeses that are truly authentic, but the rule of thumb is to go for something white and crumbly, not smooth and orange!  And forget about the shredded cheese bags that you can find in the grocery store that label themselves as a “mexican blend”.

Anejo, Cotija, Panela, and Queso Fresco are my favorites, so experiment and decide which one works best for you.





Guacamole Tip

13 05 2011

Black Avocado

Always choose the black avocados when you have the chance….they may be more expensive, but are worth it!

They’re usually smaller and look kinda gross (black and shriveled) but the taste is much creamier.

Enjoy!








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