Mexican Restaurant Recipes:
to Make Classic, Authentic Mexican Restaurant Recipes at Home
I had to choose only one type of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, it would
be Mexican food. I wouldn't even have to think about it.
not talking Americanized, franchised crap like the baby food from
Taco Bell. I'm talking the real deal: the stuff you get at the little
taquerias that are often nothing more than a hole in the wall.
of my favorite restaurants offers tacos that are so good that it's worth the 2
hour drive just for them. They're nothing extravagant; in fact, there's not much
to them at all. They consist of bite-size pieces of steak marinated in olive oil,
salt and pepper, lime, and a touch of beer, mixed with fresh onions and cilantro
and served over two thin flour tortillas. Garnish and additional flavor is 1/3
of a key lime. There is no cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, or sour cream. They would
take away from the delicious and simple flavor.
the tacos a basket of chips with three distinct salsas arrive at your table. These
chips and sauces are very different from the usual complementary appetizer you
get at most Mexican restaurants, including the ones that claim to be "authentic."
As you'll read below, I have perfected that standard tomato-rich restaurant salsa,
but I'm not even close to duplicating the wild fresh flavors of the three sauces
this restaurant offers.
of salsa, let's get started with this signature, cornerstone item of Mexican food.
You can't have good Mexican food without good salsa. On top of salsa for chips,
you also need it for your Mexican rice as well as beans.
Salsa -- Restaurant Style
28 oz. can diced fancy tomatoes, petite (open can and empty
out as much water/juice as possible)
4 Tbs bottled HOT jalapenos, finely minced
1 Tbs pickle
juice from jalapeno jar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbs fresh cilantro, finely minced
1/4 cup red onion, finely minced
dried chili peppers, finely minced
mince jalapenos, cilantro, and onion. Soak dried peppers in hot tap water on the
counter for 15 minutes then prepare. Chop peppers as finely as possible -- a
food chopper is ideal.
Remember, the seeds are what really add the heat, so use as
many or as few as you'd like. I used all the seeds from 3 peppers
but only used the skin of 1 whole pepper.
all ingredients into a blender and fold in and then blend to desired consistency.
Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
our salsa is good to go we can start talking about the spread. We'll be breaking
down a combination of meals and platters, which can be enjoyed over the course
of several days.
ingredients are the key to good Mexican food. We'll be using onions, tomatoes,
cilantro, bell peppers, and hot peppers. High quality meat is also important.
We use grass-fed beef as it's less greasy and more tender. Once you try
real organic, grass-fed ground beef, the factory-farm variety will never taste
the same again.
can also make vegetarian burritos and tacos with beans and rice.
cornerstone of Mexican food is the tortilla. They come in a number of sizes from
small for tacos to grande for stuffed and rolled burritos. They're also available
in corn, flour, or whole wheat. The important thing with tortillas is to warm
them in a toaster oven or in a pan with a little oil because they'll fold so much
is key to authentic Mexican food. Some people don't care for the "soapy"
taste of cilantro, so you can leave it out or substitute Italian parsley.
But you're just not going to get the classic flavor if you don't use
and onions are also required, along with garlic. You can use fresh hot peppers
or bottled jalapenos. Personally, I like to incorporate both.
we get started with the recipes, here is a handy list for the grocery store. If
you're not setting up a weekly
meal plan and grocery
shopping plan, I encourage you to start. You'll find you save time and money
and will always be having a good meal every night of the week.
and choose from the below items. You don't have to get everything, unless you
want Mexican food several nights of the week.
or serrano peppers, optional
(little green tomatoes with a paper-like sheaf), optional
of cilantro (quick storage tip: open the bunch when you get home and let
dry on a paper towel for twenty minutes. Then tightly roll cilantro in paper towel
like a tortilla and return to bag.)
cans of fancy petite-cut tomatoes
of Rotel tomatoes with chilies
of good Mexican refried beans, or pintos, or black beans
of tortillas (one Grande and one taco-sized)
beef and/or your favorite chopping steak (I use shoulder but any steak that's
good cut to bite size pieces will work)
beer like Corona, XX, Tecate, Modelo, or Sol (my favorite),
how to make a classic burrito. Note there are multiple recipes below for the "fillings,"
so you can make tacos, enchiladas, etc. another night.
prefer steak meat in tacos and I keep them simple, having beans and rice on the
and Rolled Burritos
beef or steak, cut to bite size pieces
Refried, black, or
Chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh lime juice
Pico de gallo,
Diced green onion, optional
Tortillas, large or Grande
using steak, chop into bite size pieces and marinate in a bowl with olive oil,
salt and pepper, minced garlic, and dried oregano. You can also add an ounce or
two of beer for added flavor. Let sit in refrigerator for ten minutes to an hour.
using ground beef, brown beef in pan and season with the following: salt, black
pepper, minced garlic or garlic powder, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, and
cayenne pepper powder. All seasonings are added to taste.
rice per instructions on bag. However, before cooking, add a tablespoon
to 1/4 cup of salsa and 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of chili powder (depends on
how much rice you're making). Stir well and cook as normal.
beans in saucepan. Add 1/2 cup salsa and 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese.
Stir well and heat until cheese has fully melted and beans are hot.
making pico de gallo, follow these directions:
4-6 plum tomatoes, deseeded
1 red onion
jalepeno, deseeded (or a whole one if you want it HOT)
of one lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
best way to make pico de gallo is in a vegetable chopper. But you can slice the
vegetables manually too; just be prepared to spend half an hour getting everything
all vegetables as finely as you can.
jalepeno in half and remove seeds. The seeds are the true source of the pepper's
heat and can overpower the pico de gallo.
the lime, add the garlic and cilantro, and season to taste. Stir well and let
sit in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.
your meat, beans, and rice are heated and ready, chop green onion
cheese into a bowl.
tortillas in toaster oven or pan -- if using steak, remove steak from pan and
heat the tortillas in the pan. They will soak up a lot of flavor.
cheese on warm tortilla. Then fill with meat, beans, rice, cilantro, salsa, green
onions, and pico de gallo, if desired. Slightly fold up ends and then roll tortilla
top to bottom, ensuring the folded ends seal the burrito.
Be careful when
you serve Mexican food. It can become very addicting. You may start eating it
can be used in tacos, more burrito shells, and even form a Mexican casserole with
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