Independence day….the Aftermath!

How was your Independence Day? What did you do to celebrate?

I went with my partner to his family’s home in Azcapotzalco. We went to the fair that was set up around the Town hall and the market, ate a little too much food, drank a little too much beer and then went and had more food and beer with his family. All in all it was a great night!

Here are some pictures I took…before I became too tipsy on the beer.

Tostadas de Lomo

On my first trip to Michoacán I had the pleasure of eating tostadas de lomo in a suburb of Zamora named Jacona. I remember when they brought me my first tostada, thinking “I’m not very hungry” and then waking up a little while later from a food induced coma and realizing that I had scarfed down three more while I was out!

There’s something about the mild spiciness of the salsas and the softness of the lomo all on top of a bed of corn tostadas, beans and crispy lettuce that I found irresistible. Long after my trip had ended and I was back in Mexico City, I found myself reminiscing about that amazing meal!

I guess my craving got the best of me yesterday because I was able to convince my partners mother to help me reproduce the recipe here at home. The results were fantastic and the flavours were exactly the same as I remembered. The recipe is so easy to do at home and definitely worth a try as an easy weekday meal or a no brainer weekend lunch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 kilo of Lomo (pork loin)

Refried beans (used canned beans, they are easy and taste great)

1 kilo ripe tomatoes

1 onion finely diced

1 can Jalapeños in vinegar

Tostadas

Lettuce (washed and chopped into strips)

1 clove of garlic

Oregano

Salt to taste

Here’s how to do it:

Put the lomo in the pressure cooker (if you don’t have a pressure cooker; cook it on the stove top but be prepared to stand over it for quite a while), cook for 30 minutes. Meat should be tender and have lost its pink colour. Set aside to cool.

Wash all the tomatoes and place in a large pot of water to boil. This will take between 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft and the skins should be starting to peel away. Once cooked, place the tomatoes in a blender with a dash of course salt. liquify tomatoes with the clove of garlic. In a separate bowl empty out the can of Jalapeños, add the finely diced onion to the Jalapeño/Vinegar mixture. Add the tomato puré to the jalapeños with a 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and allow to sit at room temperature till all the other ingredients are ready. Check for salt and add more if needed.

If the meat is cool enough to handle; shred with fingers. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the tostadas.

Wash and slice the lettuce.

Empty the contents of the can of refried beans into a pan, add a bit of water and heat thoroughly.

To assemble the tostadas:

Place a tostada in the palm of your hand, add as much of the beans as you wish and spread them all over your tostada. Add some lettuce, then some of the lomo and finally the salsa. It’s as easy as that, but too good to be true!

Since yesterday, I’ve stuffed myself nearly sick on these tostadas. The price for my gluttony has been a mild case of indigestion, but it was well worth it!

Let me know if you’ve tried Tostadas de Lomo before? Or are you going to try this recipe for the first time in your home?

 

 

 

Carne en su Jugo

Image courtesy of cuauhtemoc.org.mx

We had some people over for dinner last night. As usual I was the one “chosen” to cook but I really had no idea at all of what to serve our guests. I knew that everyone who was coming was a meat eater and that they’d want something tasty….so I did a little web surfing and came across the perfect recipe.

Carne en su Jugo or Meat in its own Juices a dish originally from the state of Jalisco, was just the kinda thing that would satiate a big appetite. Served with Mexican rice and tostadas, it ended up being a huge hit. Here’s the recipe I adapted from Cocina.es.

Carne en su Jugo (Serves approx 6 people)

  • 1 kilo thinly sliced Flank Steak (Cecina), sliced into strips
  • 200 grams of chopped Bacon
  • 1 small bunch Cilantro
  • 1 large clove of Garlic
  • 1 litre of Water
  • 2 cups of cooked Pinto Beans
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Powdered Chicken Stock (in place of salt) to taste

To serve on the side:

  • thinly sliced Radishes
  • chopped Cilantro
  • diced Onion
  • Avacado
  • Tostadas
  • green Limes

Preparation:

Cook the chopped Bacon in a large pot until it is a golden colour (not crispy). Remove the Bacon and any excess of bacon grease, though be sure to leave some of the grease in the pot. Add the Flank Steak which has been previously sliced into strips. Cook the steak until all the meat has turned a unform colour of brown.

While the meat is browning in the pot, place the cilantro and onion and garlic in a blender  with some water and liquify the combination. (Remember to reserve some Cilantro and Onion as a garnish.) Once liquified pour the Onion and Cilantro over the browned meat. Bring everything back to a boil.

Once everything in your pot is bubbling add the litre of water and the beans and again return to a boil. Allow to boil for 15 – 20 minutes, stiring constantly. Add the chicken stock and pepper to taste.

Turn heat down to minimum and simmer until the meat shreds easily with a fork. This could take from 40 minutes to an Hour. If the water evaporates add more. This dish is supposed to be served its own broth.

And there you have it! Easy as pie!

Would you make this dish for your family or friends? Any suggestions or improvements to the dish?

It sure don’t look pretty…

…but it tastes like heaven.

Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to introduce you all to one of my favorite perks of living in Mexico and specifically Mexico City, Cuitlacoche (also spelled Huitlacoche).

Now before you make a judgement based on the picture, allow me to describe to you what it is and why it is so good.

Cuitlacoche, Corn Smut in english, is an edible fungus that grows on corn during periods of high humidity. The  fungus spores penetrate the kernels and causes them to burst. The result is a blackish blue mushroomy/truffley mass.

Still not convinced? Let me describe to you what it tastes like…

Imagine a traditional truffle with a hint of corn, creamy, delicate and light all at once. Delicate enough in flavour that it is compromising yet also strong enough to stand on its own. This ingredient is heaven in cream soups, quesadillas, or even in the stuffing for the Christmas turkey. It’s versatile and delicious!

I strongly recommend you get some and use it if you already haven’t. You won’t be sorry.

Getting it here in Mexico is not hard at all, but if you live far away, try sourcing it out on the internet.

Have you ever tried Cuitlacoche? What did you think? How did you prepare it?