Posts Tagged ‘Mexican recipes’

Tacoritos Colorado

August 6, 2009

taco1This might look like a mess but boy is it a tasty mess! Tacoritos are 10-inch flour tortillas filled with taco meat, frijoles (refried beans), cheddar cheese, and green chili gravy. Then they are topped with more green chili gravy, lettuce, guacamole, salsa picante, sour cream and black olives. Of-course this size is meant for super-heros who work hard or play hard all day and love firy hot Mexican food. You can make these with 6-inch tortillas and tone down the chili heat by omitting the jalapenos and just use poblanos or Anaheim green chilies in the gravy. I’ve used chipotle chilies in the meat to add a little smoky flavor and used some of the picante salsa in the guacamole. There’s plenty of cilantro in the green chile gravy for earthy flavor and color plus a good heaping teaspoon of cumin for the authentic Spanish flavor.

This was a Tuesday lunch special at my restaurant in Tonga and the Peace Corp always made a good showing for this Tex-Mex dish. The recipe is my version of a popular dish served in Mexican restaurants in Fort Collins, Colorado. Tacoritos have a lot of components but they’re not difficult to make. You can substitute pulled pork or chicken for the beef and whole wheat tortillas for the flour tortillas. Friends always rave when we serve these so invite the gang over for tacoritos and have a party.

Ingredients for 4 10-inch tacoritos or 8 6-inch tacoritos:

The taco meat:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of diced onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 beef steak tomatoes, diced
  • 2 chipotle chiles diced
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

The green chili gravy:

  • 3 poblano chilies, charred, peeled, seeded and deveined
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups of beef stock or juices from pulled pork or chicken stock
  • 2 corn tortillas for thickening

The salsa picante:

  • 5 or 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (add juice and seeds to taco meat)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped (or jalapeno, seeded and deveined)
  • juice of one large lime
  • 2 Tbsp oil (olive or vegetable)
  • sea salt to taste

Other ingredients:

  • Tortillas warmed, your choice of size and grain
  • 2 cans of frijoles (refried beans) warmed with 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated for filling
  • 3 or 4 avocados for guacamole topping
  • juice of 1 lime or lemon for guacamole
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded or chopped for topping
  • Sour cream for topping
  • Black olive slices for garnish


  1. To prepare the taco meat: Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Remove meat and saute onions and garlic until wilted. Return meat to skillet.
  2. Add remaining taco meat ingredients and stir. Lower heat so mixture barely simmers.
  3. To prepare the green chili gravy: Rub olive oil on the poblano chilies. Char the chilies under the broiler until blistered all over the surface. Cover chilies with foil or a bowl for 10 minutes. Peel off skins, remove veins and seeds.
  4. Place prepared chilies in a blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients for green chili gravy and puree until almost smooth.
  5. Place gravy in a sauce pan and heat through. Cover and keep warm.
  6. To prepare frijoles (refried beans): Place beans in an oven proof pan, top with 1/2 of cheddar cheese and cover with foil. Heat in oven at 300° F. until ready to assemble.
  7. Wrap tortillas in a clean kitchen towel. Wrap towel in foil or place in an oven proof pan and seal with foil. Heat in oven at 300° F. until ready to assemble.
  8. To prepare the salsa picante: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready for service.
  9. To prepare the guacamole: Remove avocado flesh from shells, mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add heaping tablespoon of picante salsa and adjust salt to taste.
  10. To assemble the tacoritos: On a warm tortilla, spread 2 spoonfuls of refried beans down the middle of the tortilla, top with 2 spoonfuls of taco meat mixture, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese on top of meat and ladle green chili gravy over all.
  11. Roll tortilla so ends are on bottom of plate. Ladle green chili gravy over filled tortilla. Top with chopped lettuce, a spoonful of salsa picante, a spoonful of guacamole and a spoonful of sour cream. Sprinkle sliced black olives on top.

Chiles En Nogada

April 17, 2009
Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada

A classic Mexican dish popular on Cinco de Mayo with green poblano chiles, white walnut cream sauce, and red pomegranate seeds depicting all the colors of the Mexican flag.  Cinco de Mayo commemorates the defeat of the French army by the peasants of Puebla in 1862…shortly thereafter the French army triumphed again to overtake the country.   Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo because of the heroic efforts of the peasants, the holiday has nothing to do with mayonnaise or Mexican Independence Day.   Everyone is a little Mexican on Cinco de Mayo just like everyone is a little Irish on St. Patty’s Day.  Parties abound at pubs, restaurants and homes.  You can have your own party and celebrate this fun holiday with mariachi music, dancing, sombreros, margaritas, lots of flamboyant zinnias, piñatas, and wonderful Mexican food like this chile stuffed with beef or pork picadillo.

  • 6 large green poblano chiles
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef or pork
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp raisins, softened in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
  • fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish

Roast chiles over a flame or under a broiler until blackened.  Let rest in a plastic bag for 5-10 minutes.  Remove skins, slit open one side of each chile and remove the seeds and veins.  Warm oil in a skillet over medium high heat, add meat and brown until nearly done.  Add the garlic, onion, apple, almonds, spices, raisins, and cilantro.  Cook for 5-7  minutes.  In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, sift flour over egg whites and fold in, then fold in beaten egg yolks  with a pinch of salt.  Warm 2 Tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Stuff chiles with meat mixture, dip each stuffed chile in the egg mixture and fry until golden brown, turning once.  Whisk sour cream with evaporated milk, add walnuts, sugar or honey, and pour over hot chiles just before serving with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds on top.  Serves 6.

Napalitos Salsa (Cactus Paddles)

April 17, 2009
nopal11Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is just around the corner so this recipe is timely, delicious and a cut above the usual fresh salsas.  Napale cactus paddles are harvested from April to August when they are young and tender yet thin and firm.  Most mercados or markets state-side now sell napales without the spines, ready to grill or boil.  They are also very cheap and contain vitamin A and C.  Think of Napale cactus as a green vegetable with green bean flavor. 

To Prepare Napalitos

It’s important to scrub each paddle before cooking with a brush and remove any node where new thorns are developing.  Slice the  paddles from top to bottom about 1/2 inch wide and dice to 1/2 inch.  Place in cold water and bring to a boil for 5-6 minutes, drain and repeat the boil until the napalitos are fork tender.  This will remove the slimey liquid ( called babas) similar to aloe vera juice.  Napalitos can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and are best added to soups, stews, burritos, salads, salsa and scrambled eggs with chorizo.

Ingredients for Salsa

  • 1 lb napalitos, prepared and chilled
  • 6 to 8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 or more jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced (or minced chipoltes)
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 or 2 Mexican oregano leaves, minced (or 1/4 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup or more of shelled pumpkin seeds


Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer so flavors will blend.  Serve with tortilla chips, nachos, burritos, or as a condiment with meat dishes.  Substitute sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or almonds for pumpkin seeds.  Use northern beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans instead of black beans or a combination of beans works well also.