Chicharrón en Salsa Verde (Pork Rinds in a Green Sauce)
When it comes to Mexican food and it’s flavors, specifically heat, it seems like I’m always hearing salsa this and salsa that. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Salsa, it’s just that thanks to far too many stereotypes, & the lack of proper knowledge, the culinary art of salsa making has been devalued, reduce to a very mild, & oversimplified one cheap trick pony. In reality, when it comes to heat & spicy flavors in the Mexican kitchen, the realm of possibilities is so vast. Your options are so diverse, and varied that you can be at no loss when looking to turn up the taste in your dishes. With the right ingredients you can arm yourself with the ability to produce: unique, extraordinary, and super flavorful surprises. What sort of ingredients? Well, Take for example today’s spotlight food: “Chiles en Vinagre” = Chilies in Vinegar, pronounced (Chee -lehs- ehn -Bee-nah- greh). Chiles en vinagre are pickled peppers. Some use Serranos in their recipe, others use Jalapeños. The basic Chiles en Vinagre recipe actually calls for the pickling of green chilies,carrots,and onions. There are those that will add other things such as cauliflower for example, but I’m more familiar & used to the basic recipe.
So salsa gets all too often automatically associated with Mexican food, to the point that it leads to a constrained singularization. Though this is one of the first things to be mentioned when talking of Mexican cuisine,the fact is that to some, Chiles en Vinagre are far more important. In some cases truly indispensable. There are people who claim they can not eat a proper meal without their chiles. To some this condiment is as important as salt & pepper. Week after week this is something on my grocery list. In my house, on our dinner table there’s always been a bowl of “chiles en vinagre” present.
The spicy treat is a great addition to all kinds of food. You can sprinkle the pickled juice on almost anything, you can munch on a crunchy carrot, or bite on a spicy, juicy pepper while you enjoy your meal. You can have “Chiles en Viangre” with : beans, eggs, on a torta(sandwhich),with tacos, along with stews, heck even with burgers or pizza… seriously the list goes on & on. With these chilies you can add spice to an already flavorful dish or you can spruce up a simple & humble meal. The latter is the key that is at the heart of true Mexican home cooking.
Find Chiles en vinagre in your local supermarket in the international foods isle, hispanic products isle, visit your local Hispanic Super Market, or
find them online at :
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Mexican products. MexGrocer is definitely Mega Super Chido stuff! Some of the products they sell you can find in regular super markets, but other stuff is exclusive & special finds that are only available online. And even though some stuff is sold in supermarkets there are those who do not live near a Hispanic shopping center. But if that’s your case, then no prob, MexGrocer is her to help.
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Ceviche is a dish that can consist of: raw fish, shrimp, and other shellfish or sea food, marinated/ cooked lime juice. It is very popular in coastal parts of Mexico knows for their ports and fishing industry.The marinated fish , is further flavored with the addition of chopped: chiles(serranos), tomatoes, avocado, onion & cilantro. Then the mixture is served a top golden tostadas.
Now if you’ve ever tasted REAL ceviche, then you know that there is no substitute for such a rich, yet simple & refreshingly satisfying delicacy. The problem is that making Ceviche is like making sushi, you must be able to start with the absolute freshest fish due to the whole raw factor. Finding fish sometimes can be a hassle, you need it to be fresh, cheap can and sometimes you just don’t get lucky. More often than not, we are way to put on our chef hats. During those times we are just looking for a quick yet yummy bite to eat.That’s where our “Faux Ceviche” comes in. Of course it’s no where near the real deal, but it’s an interesting concoction that taste pretty good.
Chop your ingredients into bite size equal dices, make sure that you have enough ingredient to flavor your tuna, but too many, so as to out number or overpower. Make sure to finely ingredients such as onion & chile. The smaller the dices, the more even & mellow the flavor will be. Trust me in the middle of enjoying your tostada you don’t wan’t to bite into a big ol fragrant onion piece or a spicy chunk of chile.
After your done with your ingredients, open your can of tuna & drain. * I recommend tuna in water, because this is a dish that should taste fresh & light. Tuna in oil can have a more of deeper complex flavor, we want simple & clean. Drain your tuna & add your chopped ingredients, don’t forget your salt & pepper . Then add your lime juice & mix up evenly. Refrigerate & let sit & chill for as long as you wish, there’s no need for waiting too long since it’s cooked all the way.
* One word of caution about lime juice make sure that you add enough lime juice so that your tuna won’t be too dry & so that it will be flavorful, but taste it as you go along so it won’t become too bitter. Some people like to add cucumber to the mix, but I think that works better with fresh fish, on the other hand I’ve never tried it on tuna. If you’re intrepid enough go ahead & try. That’s simple enough isn’t it?? Cheat your way to a cool, fun, Mexican food inspired meal.
AS ALWAYS, BUEN PROVECHO(Bon appetite, enjoy your meal.)
WHAT YOU WILL NEED*
Tomatoes = any kind will do, but try going for a firm variety, we are using them raw not cooked like in spaghetti sauce or anything so a bit of firmness is ideal.
Limes= because the tuna is not raw, you will only need enough to flavor the Tuna.
Onions = Red or white will do. You just need enough to sprinkle into the mix not a whole bunch. If you are making very little, you probably won’t even use up a whole one.
Chiles= This recipe calls for Serranos.
Avocados= A good avacado will not be to green or to dark. Make sure if you squeeze it, that it is not too firm or inversely give in too much. These are indications of a flavorless unripe one or one that is bitter, mushy and past its prime.
Tostadas= find them in the internationals foods isle, or next to the tortillas which are sometimes in the displays at the end of isles.
Don’t forget the Cilantro! It really is one of the ingredients that makes the dish.
ALSO VERY IMPORTANT : Don’t forget to put in a least a little dash of hot sauce.
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Wife: Can you handle it? ( the groceries)
Wife: Hey , did you notice the chocolate ?
Husband: (nervously) Uh… No.. Wha.. what about it?
Wife: It comes granulated now. Isn’t that great?!
Husband : Aww man what dummy I was.
* The joke is, chocolate usually comes in tablets so he thought he broke the chocolate =P Silly guy.
From one culinary culture to another there is a golden rule that holds true: Some of the most famous, delicious, & beloved recipes were born from handy/common ingredients, & continue to survive because of simplicity of preparation Weather you’ve never tried Mexican food, were introduce to it and fell in love, or grew up on it , I hope u’ll enjoy this next video. It’s a really simple recipe for “Enfrijoladas” (tortillas rolled in beans). This is a good end of the week recipe for when you’re feeling tired or for when the fridge is empty & waiting for a refill, but you just haven’t been able to make it to the supermarket.
& of course after the beans ,there is no ingredient more important in this recipe than : THE TORILLAS!(*corn tortillas needed for this recipe)
1 CUP of grated cheese- can be any kind of Mexican cheese that u are able to find in your super market . SOME RECOMMENDATIONS:(Cotija, Fresco,Oxaca)
If all you can find is Monterey Jack that will do just fine.
For garnish you may also want to drizzle some creame on top. Sour cream will do, however I really recommend you don’t substitute Mexican crema for it. Honestly it really does make a difference. Mexican crema has a softer, sweeter taste that won’t take the saltiness of your dish too far. You can find it in the dairy section of most supermarkets.
SO you see, Everyone can embrace & eventually adapt & create their own twist on this lovely lovely simple simple Mexican kitchen secret. My mom actually adds a bit of chopped onion to her enfrijoladas & it gives the a soft little zest that goes great with the sweetness of the beans.
GOOD LUCK & BUEN PROVECHO = ENJOY YOUR MEAL