Monday, April 9, 2012

4 Mexican Meals 10 Ingredients

I love the Nate Berkus show! He always has such neat tips about saving money decorating, fashion and cooking. These 4 Mexican Meals using 10 ingredients was one of the cooking segments on his show. Go to to learn more awesome tips.

Learn how to make four Mexican meals with just ten ingredients from Chef Marcela Valladolid!

Ingredient List
1. Guajillo Chiles
2. Tomatoes
3. Garlic
4. Onions
5. Corn Tortillas
6. Refried Beans
7. Mexican Crema
8. Whole Chicken
9. Monterey Jack Cheese
10. Lettuce
Standard Kitchen Ingredients
Salt & Pepper
Canola Oil
Olive Oil

Guajillo Enchiladas
4 to 6 servings
6 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, soaked in boiling water 5 minutes (reserve 1/3 cup soaking liquid for sauce)
4 tomatoes, cored
4 garlic cloves, with peel
1 onion, peeled and quartered
8 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded monterrey jack cheese
1 can organic refried beans
2 tablespoons Mexican Crema
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat heavy large saucepan over high heat. Add whole tomatoes, garlic with peel and onion quarters to dry skillet (no oil necessary). Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until vegetables have browned in spots. Transfer vegetables to blender along with soaked chiles and reserved 1/3 cup soaking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Transfer to shallow platter.

Heat enough oil in saucepan to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan to 350F. Working with 2 tortillas at a time, add tortillas and cook 3 minutes until beginning to crisp but still pliable. Using tongs, take tortillas out of oil and dip into enchilada sauce, turning to coat.
Transfer to cutting board. (You make a mess, but it’s worth it).
Fill each with 2 tablespoons refried beans and scant 1/4 cup cheese. Roll up like a cigar and arrange snugly into large glass baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour any leftover sauce over quesadillas. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese and drizzle with Mexican crema.
Transfer quesadillas to oven and cook until cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup
Serves 6
4 large tomatoes, cored
1 small white onion or a 1-inch-thick slice of a large white onion, peeled
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 medium-large dried guajillo chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into large pieces
4 cups chicken broth (recipe is at the end)
4 corn tortillas, torn into pieces (used for soup thickening)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 additional corn tortillas, halved, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
Canola oil for shallow frying
Mexican sour crema for serving
1 medium-large guajillo chile cut into rounds
Line a heavy saute pan with aluminum foil. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Put the tomatoes, onion, and unpeeled garlic cloves in the pan. Roast, turning frequently until garlic is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove garlic when soft, but slightly blackened. Peel garlic and place in a blender. Continue roasting tomatoes and onions for another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove onion and put in blender with garlic. Roast the tomatoes, which should be charred and blackened in spots, for another 5 minutes. Place in blender. Carefully puree the contents of the blender. Check the consistency of the soup. It should be slightly thickened; add the 4 torn-up tortillas to the blender with enough soup to blend easily. Set aside.

Put the chicken broth in a large pot. Add the contents of the blender to the pot along with the guajillo chile. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes to blend flavors. Carefully puree the soup in batches in the blender. (Add more torn up tortillas to blender to thicken if desired). Return to pot, simmer for 5 minutes. Check and adjust seasoning.

Tortilla Strips
In a medium size heavy skillet, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2 an inch. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
To serve, ladle the soup into 6 indivual serving bowls. Drizzle with Mexican Crema and top with dried chiles and tortilla strips.

Chicken Broth
1 whole 6 pound chicken divided into 6 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings) leaving the breasts aside for later use
1 white onion quartered
3 garlic cloves peeled
In large heavy sauce pan, add chicken and fill with enough water to barely cover all chicken pieces. Add onion and garlic. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 1 hour or until chicken is fully cooked.
Turn off heat. Remove chicken and let cool off. Meanwhile, strain liquid and reserve for later use.

Chicken Tostadas
Serves 4
Vegetable oil, enough for frying
4 corn tortillas
1 cup cooked shredded chicken DARK meat, boneless, skinless (what was used to make the broth for the tortilla soup)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can refried bean, preferably organic, warmed
Shredded iceberg lettuce, enough for serving
Purchased canned salsa verde
Mexican crema, enough for serving

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Add tortillas (no oil) and grill until very crisp and beginning to brown, about 15-20 minutes. To make sure it’s a tostada, it has to crumble like a tortilla chip, it shouldn’t be chewy at all.
Season shredded chicken to taste with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of refried beans to tostada. Add 1 tablespoon of shredded chicken. Garnish with lettuce and salsa verde. Drizzle with desired amount of Mexican crema and serve immediately.

Chicken Chilaquiles
Serves 4
For sauce
*Use same sauce as chilaquile guajillo sauce above.

For Tortilla Chips
10 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil, enough for frying
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 cup cooked shredded chicken white meat, boneless, skinless (what was used to make the broth for the tortilla soup)
Mexican crema, enough for serving
Heat oil in large heat sauce pan until hot. While heating, stack tortillas and cut stack into 8 triangles, like a pizza. Working in batches, fry tortilla triangles until crisp and golden in color, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from oil and drain excess oil in paper towel. Season to taste with salt.
Bring tortilla chips to pan with warm salsa making sure all chips are fully incorporated with salsa. Add cheese and let melt. Stir in shredded chicken. Drizzle with Mexican crema and serve immediately.

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