Mexican Food : Chicharrón Recipe (Video)


Chicharrón en Salsa Verde (Pork Rinds in a  Green Sauce)

Mexicans synonymous with beans to you? You need to learn about Nopales my friend.


There are those who will automatically connect Mexicans with beans some so much so as to venture to stereotype.  The truth unbeknownst to them however,  there is a Mexican diet staple which far surpasses beans when it comes to being emblematic and symbolic. The nopal is a true symbol of our people.  Depicted in artwork,  named in songs , and referenced in sayings.  For example: when a person tries to deny their Mexican heritage they are greeted with the following saying  “Luego,  luego se te ve el nopalote” which would translate to something like “Oh please you might as well have a big o’l  cactus plant growing out of your head, because there’s no denying you’re 100% Mexican.”

But why does the  nopal hold such a notable position in our culture? Although it does play a big role when it comes to : Mexican  diet, agriculture, traditions, and the economy the most  important reason is yet another.  The nopal is  important  because of  it’s role in Mexico’s history. It is forever linked to our people through being  part of our folklore &  mythology.  Mexico’s legendary founding is a tale of how the heavens guided the Aztects to their future kingdom Tenochtitlan by sending them in search of a cactus plant with an eagled pearched on top eating a snake. The tale which  is what is depreciated on our flag.

TORTILLAS MADE OUT OF NOPALES :http://store.nopaltilla.com/

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WHAT’S A NOPAL ?

Nopales (from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit) are a vegetable made from the young cladophyll (pad) segments of prickly pear, carefully peeled to remove the spines. These fleshy pads are flat and about hand-sized. They can be purple or green. They are particularly common in their native Mexico, where the plant is eaten commonly and regularly forms part of a variety of Mexican cuisine dishes. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica, although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.

Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico. In more recent years bottled, or canned versions are available mostly for export. Less often dried versions are available. Used to prepare nopalitos, they have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. In most recipes the mucilaginous liquid they contain is included in the cooking. They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring.[1]

Though Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales (eggs with nopal), “carne con nopales” (meat with nopal), “tacos de nopales”, or simply on their own or in salads with Panela Cheese. Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine.[2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal

Health Benefits-

Nopales are very rich in insoluble and especially soluble dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, but also riboflavin and vitamin B6) and minerals (especiallymagnesium, potassium, and manganese, but also iron and copper). Nopales have a high calcium content, but the nutrient is not biologically available because it is present as calcium oxalate, which is neither highly soluble nor easily absorbed through the intestinal wall.[3] Addition of nopales also reduces the glycemic effect of a mixed meal.[4] Nopales are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.[5]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal

Nopales are a recognized in culinary circles as a gourmet ingredient.

photo credits : http://cdn0.grupos.emagister.com/imagen/flor_de_nopal_330684_t0.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Nopal_cacti_in_Merced.JPG

whatscooking.us

“Mexican” Style?


“Mexican Style” bwah! lmao Oh it is to laugh!  More like “sorta, kinda, barely Mexican style”, more like Tex Mex style/ MexFusion .

It’s  this kind of media that perpetuates ignorant stereotypes and false facts. This is how faux Mexican culture or fusion Mexican culture becomes what some people believe to be 100% authentic.   True Mexican food aficionados, people who grew up on the real deal, laugh at these tacos. To them this is junk food/fast food/snacks  &  some even refuse to eat them. Just like some non Mexican  families might use these kind of tacos to have a “taco” night for the novelty factor , real Mexican families  would treat these tacos the same way. They’d be something like having a hamburger or hot dogs. Just a quick & easy weekday dinner idea.

REAL TACOS LOOK LIKE THIS


Cardinal rule of good authentic tacos, you DON’T start with prefried shells. Speaking of shells, the corn’s all wrong too because traditional tortillas don’t look like that even after being fried. Another thing, Just because  you’re Mexican doesn’t mean you have a sombrero on hand,  What da?! I’m Mexican, have ZERO sombreros at my home & have never seen a single sombrero at the home of any of my Mexican friends or  relatives. Yes there are those who like to collect traditional items and decorate their home with them, but seriously you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’s got a sombrero on hand in the same &  unbelievable fashion show here.

“Genius Mexican Style”?  That’s our genius? We’re ingenious when the situation is taco related??! Also why must our folklore  be desecrated!  I’m tired of hearing “El Jarabe Tapatio” or ” La Bamba”(note the latter used in this ad) to represent all of us and in such a stereotypical & homogeneous manner.  Our music is  significant, symbolic, and representative of each different region of our country. They associate the dessert & adobe houses with all Mexicans, maybe that’s what el Paso looks like, but not Mexico. For example, La Bamba which they thought fit the mood for this commercial, comes from the state of Veracruz. Veracruz  is Mexico’s oldest and largest port , it’s renowned for it’s beaches & fishing industry. I can assure you that when a true Mexican especially a Veracruzano hears “La Bamba” he doesn’t picture a place like the one in the commercial.

Mexican Kitchen’s Secret Wepon


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.


INGREDIENTS
4 Tables spoons of oil(veg or olive will do)
½ an onion (sliced)
1 clove of garlic(chopped)
1 large tomato (Gently boil it for a few minutes then dip in ice water, this will soften the skin & make for a smoother  liquidation of your tomato in the  sauce. You can even remove the skin if you wish.)
2 Ancho chilies (As around they’re bound to have it in the regular supermarket near the spices or veggies) Or you can visit a Latin foods store) They are sold dried & are soaked in warm water for re-hydration right before being used in sauces.
1 Cup of chicken stock (Remember low sodium is available, this helps to give you a healthier more natural home cooked flavor that won’t gross your taste buds out with too much saltiness.
Salt & pepper(to your liking)
50 grams of Pork Rinds (Crushed into small pieces, not a fine powder mine you =)
3 Cups of refried beans(can be home made or canned, however:  homemade beans are better,  since you need a loose bean consistency to cover the enfrijoladas . You can used their original cooking liquid to thin them out.)
INGREDIENTS
4 Table spoons of oil(veg or olive will do) This is for refrying the beans
½ an onion (sliced)
1 clove of garlic(chopped)
1 large tomato (Gently boil it for a few minutes then dip in ice water, this will soften the skin & make for a smoother  liquidation of your tomato in the  sauce. You can even remove the skin if you wish.)
2 Ancho chilies (Ask around they’re bound to have them in the regular supermarket near the spices or veggies) Or you can visit a Latin foods store) They are sold dried & you soak th em in warm water for re-hydration right  using them in sauces.
1 Cup of chicken stock (Used for thinning out the beans & for flavor. Remember low sodium is available, this helps to give you a healthier more natural home cooked flavor that won’t gross your taste buds out with too much saltiness.
Salt & pepper(to your liking)
50 grams of Pork Rinds (Crushed into small pieces, not a fine powder mine you =)  These will be dipped in the chili sauce then stuffed in the been covered tortillas.
3 Cups of refried beans(*Must be pinto. Can be home made or canned, however:  homemade beans are better,  since you need a loose bean consistency to cover the enfrijoladas . You can used their original cooking liquid to thin them out.)

& 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