Friday, June 11, 2010

¡Arriba! Tex Mex Comida

We ran to the border in creating dishes from Tex-Mex cuisine.

Our menu consisted of LBJ chili, jalapeno cornbread, crab quesadillas (empanadas) with green chile chutney, lone star chicken-fired steak with creamy gravy, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas, wedding cookies, pork flautas, guacamole, pico de gallo; and a tex-mex plate consisting of shrimp tacos (with green chile sauce), cheese enchiladas, Mexican rice and refried beans. To finish off the two evenings with a classic desert...flan!

The chili is very simple to make and it's very beefy; in fact it tasted to me like pot roast. You brown some cubed beef chuck and set aside; then saute onion, garlic, add the spices, return the meat and add diced tomatoes. Then you top it off with some stock; adjust the seasoning and simmer. Viola! It was good with the jalapeno cornbread we made...

The cornbread consisted of a homemade recipe no quick cornbread muffin box on this one. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; add cream style corn, shredded cheddar cheese, 2 beaten eggs, sour cream and a minced jalapeno. Pop it in the oven in a greased muffin tin; for 30 -40 minutes at 400 degrees..and BANG!

Our crab quesadillas were ok...they needed more seasoning and I am not sure why they are called quesadillas when they are fried and look like empanadas. You make the dough using masa harina, flour, shortening, chicken stock and salt. Then roll it out and cut circles to fill; next fill them with a heated mixture of crab meat, diced onion, tomato, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Close them up and fry in a pan of oil heated to 375 degrees. Cook until golden and drain on paper towels...Yeeeehawww! The chutney from Peggy's group was killer; ours was burned by someone who forgot she was cooking chutney. Glad we have other groups in the class. You combine the following ingredients bring them to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes and cool. The ingredients are 2 roasted jalapenos diced, toasted and ground Mexican oregano, slivered almonds, lime juice, cider vinegar, sugar and salt.

The lone star chicken fried steak with creamy gravy, mashed potatoes and black eye peas was like eating down on the range...mmmmmm mmm. The steak was tenderized beef round; beaten with a hammer. You dip the steaks in a milk egg mixture then dredge in seasoned flour; then pan fry and drain on paper towels. Make your favorite mashed potatoes to go with the steaks. You make the gravy in the way of a bechamel. Use the dripping fat from frying the steaks and add flour to make a roux; then add warmed milk and whisk until combined. This dish was again very good and easy to make.

Maria made the Mexican Wedding cookies and they were really good for something that feels like you should be throwing them at your arch rival baseball team. These are creamed butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. You then stir in flour, add chopped pecans, chill the dough for one hour; next make balls out of the dough, bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven and then roll in powdered sugar.

The pork flautas were really good...they were stuffed with pulled pork in a corn tortilla and pan fried. The guacamole and pico de gallo I have made a hundred times. This time was no exception...awesome! I added a little tomatillo (green tomato) to the guacamole and it turned out great. The Tex-Mex plate was a combination of all of our efforts and it turned out great; especially the enchillada. The brown sauce which was poured over the top was GREAT! The flan is a combination of sugar, lemon juice, milk, eggs, condensed milk and vanilla. You make the custard and a caramel separately. Pour caramel in the bottom of a small tin then fill with custard after it hardens. Next put in a shallow pan and add water to the pan to go up 1/2 way on the tin. Next bake them for 30 minutes at 325 in the fridge and serve COLD! These turned out great and even my Latinos were impressed.

Overall great menu and definitely had fun working with this one...

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