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Posts Tagged ‘mexican’

Killer Chili Rojo (Red Pork) Tamales

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 4, 2015

Killer Chili Rojo (Red Pork) Tamales
I gave you my Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamale recipe a few months back. Though, I probably should have posted it’s carnivore counterpart sooner, I felt, with Christmas right around the corner, now would be a perfect time to share it. While this remains a labor intensive recipe, it really is a very easy dish to pull off. Besides, if you gather your masses together for an assembly line when it comes time to actually fill and roll the tamales, it goes by very quickly. When you finally unwrap one and take a bite, you’ll forget about all the steps involved!

INGREDIENTS

Chili Rojo (Meat Filling):
1 Preparation of Chili Rojo Rub
2.5 Pounds Pork Butt (Shoulder) Roast
1/2 Red Onion
5 Cloves Garlic – Smashed
1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1 1/4 Cups Red Chili Sauce
1 1/4 Cup Chili Rojo Stock – Reserved

Masa (Dough):
5 Cups Tamal (Instant Masa Mix)
4 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
1/2 Cup Chili Rojo Stock – Reserved
2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1.5 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/8 Cups Vegetable Shortening
1 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Package Hoja (Dried Corn Husks)

RECIPE

Follow the instructions for one preparation of Chili Rojo Rub.
Chili Rojo Rub

Cover pork butt roast liberally with the rub. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, place on a plate, and refrigerate overnight.
Pork Butt Roast Covered With Chili Rojo Rub

The next day, remove the roast from the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before you are ready to start cooking. Slice onion into quarters. Peel and smash garlic cloves.
Quartered Onion & Smashed Garlic

Place pork roast into a stock pot. Cover with water by 2-3 inches. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2.5 hours, until fall-apart tender.
Pork Roast In Stock Pot

When done, remove the pork roast from the stock pot and place onto a large platter. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then shred meat with two forks or, if you have them, meat claws. Be sure to separate the meat from the fat, and discard the latter.
Shredded Chili Rojo

Reserve 1 3/4 of the meat stock (1 1/4 for the meat, 1/2 for the masa) and set aside.
Reserving Meat Stock

Place the shredded meat into a large sauce pot, add Red Chili Sauce and reserved meat stock, and heat uncovered over a low flame for 20 minutes. Stir often.
NOTE: You’ll likely have some left over meat filling. Don’t sweat it, it makes for a great version of Carnitas!
Saucing & Reheating Meat Filling

Cover the Hoja (corn husks) with cool water for at least 40 minutes. When thoroughly soaked, squeeze excess water out then place into a colander to allow rest of excess water to drip out. Do not let the husks dry completely – they must be moist and pliable when wrapping the tamales.
HINT: Place a heavy plate on top of the husks so that they stay completely submerged.
Soaking The Hoja (Corn Husks)

While the meat filling is simmering and the Hojas soaking, make your Masa (dough). Place shortening into mixer and whip it until silky (3-4 minutes). Yes, Devo fans. I said, whip it. Whip it good!
Whipped Shortening

Meanwhile, place all the dry ingredients (Tamal, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper) into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Dry Ingredients

Add vegetable stock and meat stock to dry ingredients. Using your hands, mix well until evenly distributed.
Dry Ingredients With Vegetable Stock

Add ingredients from mixing bowl to whipped shortening. Again, whip it until smooth and creamy (3-4 minutes). And yes, again, whip it good!
Whipped Masa (Dough)

Now’s the time to gather the clan and press them into service. Pop open a cold one, put on some good tunes, and make a party of it!
Place one of the large Hoja (husks) on a flat surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the masa (dough) onto it. Now, this is where some tamale veterans may cringe, but I have found that this next step makes things go much faster and smoother. Take a small piece of plastic wrap and place it over the masa. With your hand, smooth and spread the masa out evenly, leaving several inches from the bottom of the husk, a couple inches from the top and far edge, and less than an inch from the near edge. The masa layer should be about 1/4″ thick. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside to use again. Then, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the Chili Rojo (meat filling) into the center of the masa.
HINT: If your Hoja are on the smaller side, just overlap two of them by a few inches to make one big leaf. Use a rubber spatula to spread a little masa on the near edge of the bottom husk to act as “glue”.
Making Tamales: Steps 1, 2, and 3

This is where a history of being a Hippie or Rastafarian, comes in handy. Take the near side of the Hoja and fold it over the the far edge. With your fingertips, lightly press the edges of the masa down to seal in the meat. Then, while holding down the far edge of the husk, push down and draw back the near edge of the husk an inch or two so that the masa forms a sealed tube, of sorts. Now, fold up the bottom (narrow) end of the Hoja, making sure it is snug up to the bottom of the filling. Finally, roll the entire thing away from you, over the remaining flap, and …
Making Tamales: Steps 4, 5, and 6

… KaBOOOOOOOM! You have a tamale!! Most folks say tying up the open end of your tamale is optional. But, tying them up with a strip of Hoja keeps all the ingredients inside, and also helps make them look better when done.
Finished Tamales

Once you have formed all of your tamales, fill the bottom of a large steamer pot with water, place the steam insert into the bottom, and cover it with several Hoja leaves. Stack the finished tamales standing up in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and cover the steamer, allowing the tamales to steam for about 30 minutes.
HINT: You’ll notice that the one tamale I didn’t tie up leaked out the top. Which is why I strongly urge you to give them the “50 Shades Of Grey” treatment.
Steamer, Raw Tamales, and Steamed Tamales

When you think they are done, remove one to test. When it has cooled sufficiently, unwrap it and enjoy. If it has steamed sufficiently, remove the rest from the steamer. Serve with avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, rice and beans … you name it! These also freeze very well for future use. Just re-steam them or nuke ’em in the microwave, once they have defrosted.
Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales

Give these a try … you won’t be disappointed. I’ve had several Hispanic friends swear me to secrecy that they actually liked these better than their Mom’s. Don’t worry, amigos … I’m not naming names! 😉

Marinate Time = 24 Hours
Prep Time = 90 minutes
Cooking Time = 3 Hours
Makes 28-32 Tamales

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Appetizers, Christmas, Holidays, Latin, Main Course, Side Dishes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chili Rojo Rub

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 4, 2015

Chili Rojo Rub
This is a simple Latin flavored, zesty, smokey rub that you’ll need for our Killer Chili Rojo Tamales. Also works great for a unique rendition of Carnitas, as well as many other South-of-the-border dishes.

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons World Spice Merchants Yucatan Rojo
1 Tablespoon World Spice Merchants Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Minced Garlic

RECIPE

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl, and mix well. BOOM … you’ve got rub!

Prep Time = 5 minutes
Makes 3.5 Tablespoons of rub

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Latin, Rubs, Sauces, Marinades & Dressings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Road Trip Hit: Taqueria Cuernavaca (Ventura, CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 1, 2015

Taqueria CuernavacaRoad Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

While the beautiful city of Cuernavaca, Mexico is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, the much more geographically friendly Taqueria Cuernavaca (1117 N. Ventura Avenue, Ventura, California 93001 (805) 653-8052) should be known as the “Restaurant of Eternal Yum”. Located on “The Avenue” in the old section of town, it is a nice departure from the tourist-rich Main Street district of revitalized downtown Ventura. While there are two other locations (Santa Barbara and Oxnard), this one screams of a quaint south-of-the-border hole-in-the-wall.

Taqueria CuernavacaThough, many patrons opt for take-out, there are still 11 tables available for full wait-service. One of the first things you’ll notice is the self-serve salsa bar, loaded with 4 varieties of the Latin sauce plus several types of hispanic condiments like marinated carrots, seared Serrano peppers, onions, cilantro, etc. Also eye-catching is the cold case filled with a wide array of domestic and Mexican beer and soft drinks … including my favorite Jarrtios Mandarin.

Of course, the menu is filled with the usual tacos, burritos, and the like. Taqueria Cuernavaca also offers a breakfast menu (served all day) featuring the customary Huevos Rancheros (fried eggs on fried totillas), Huevos con Chorizo (egss with Mexican sausage), and breakfast burritos. However, once you see the Chilaquiles (tortilla chips topped with eggs and green sauce), sopas (tostada meets a sandwich), tortas (Mexican sandwich), Alambres (grilled meats, bell pepper, onion, and melted cheese, served with corn tortillas), and Pozole (a staple Cuernavacan soup), you realize this is not your usual Mexican fare.

Alambres El Fortachon at Taqueria CuernavacaOn a recent visit to Taqueria Cuernavaca with the Caveboy and his Grandpa, I opted for the Alambre known as El Fortachon – usually served with Carne Asada (steak), Al Pastor (marinated pork), Chorizo, Jamon (ham), melted cheese, onion, bell peppers a generous portion of sliced fresh avocado on top, and a wad of fresh corn tortillas. Though, I asked for no ham (extra Pastor) and no bell peppers. Meanwhile, my Father-in-law went for the same platter with no changes, and the Caveboy chose his favorite as of late: bean and cheese burrito.

Bean & Cheese Burrito at Taqueria CuernavacaWhen the grub arrived, I quickly grabbed one of the warm tortillas and loaded it up with the grilled meat and cheese mixture, topped it with a slice of avo, and drizzled some of the spicy rojo salsa over it all. The first bite was bursting with flavor heaven, as was each mouthful that followed. My father-in-law eagerly agreed … it was “amazing”! My bean and cheese burrito expert readily exclaimed that it was the best one he’d ever had (and he’s had quite a few over the last year). On a previous visit the Cavewoman and Cavegirl had the potato tacos and cheese enchiladas, and both had similar reactions.

Needless to say, Taqueria Cuernavaca has become one of our favorite spots to munch when we are in the Ventura area. We’ve also tried the new location in Oxnard. However, while we found the food to be equally phenomenal, it just doesn’t have that “dive” ambiance of the original location and does not offer full wait-service. We plan on visiting the Santa Barbara location soon. If you find yourself near any of these locations, and you are in the mood for something deliciously different from our neighbors to the South, do yourself a favor and give Cuernavaca a go!

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Road Trip Hit: ToM’s TaCos (Torrance, CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on September 19, 2015

ToM's TaCosRoad Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

Anyone who has lived on the West side of Los Angeles has likely heard of, or eaten at, Tito’s Tacos. A multi-decade mainstay of simplified Mexican fast food in Culver City, CA (originally they had an Anaheim location, too). Most days, you will find long lines of hungry patrons waiting at one of their several ordering windows to get their mitts on the munchable burritos, tamales, enchiladas and, of course, tacos. One of those dedicated locals was a man named Ted Niida, who loved their food almost as much as life itself. So, when Tito’s decided to sell their location behind the Orange Curtain, Ted immediately jumped on the opportunity. He changed the sign slightly so that it read “ToM’s TaCos” (named after his beloved late father) and proceeded to offer the same great menu.

Over the years, Tito’s has raised their prices, reduced their portions, and turned to lower quality ingredients. Meanwhile, ToM’s kept the same dedication to quality, and customer satisfaction that made them both such gastronomic successes … and, even expanded their menu slightly to include tostadas, taquitos, nachos, quesadillas, and french fries. Plus, ToM’s Tacos also offers a chicken version of their taquitos, as well as their namesake dish.

So, about a year ago, it was with considerable glee that I directed a Disneyland-bound friend to nearby Ball Road for some great grub. Though, I was deeply saddened to receive a text from that friend, saying that ToM’s had closed it’s doors. Yes, Anaheim is long way from the Cave. But, there was so much comfort knowing that ToM’s was there waiting for my return to Orange County. Fast forward to this Summer, when I was recounting my disappointment to another friend, who excitedly stopped me mid sentence to tell me that ToM’s TaCos had actually relocated to Torrance, CA (4669 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503ToM's TaCos Tacos & Taquitos 310-371-0625), not far from his factory. Needless to say, I was ecstatic that my beloved ToM’s was not only still in business, but less than half the distance from me as before. “Get the $*&# out!” I shouted, and we immediately packed up the families and headed over for some beef and cheese tacos, all beef and cheese burritos, bean and cheese burritos, and beef taquitos.

Having grown up about a mile from Tito’s, I remember the quality, size, and flavor they used to offer. As mentioned, it has since waned as their prices have skyrocketed … presumably to cover the cost of the TV advertising they now employ. But, one bite of ToM’s fare immediately brought me back to those delectable carefree days. ToM's TaCos BurritosMy beef and cheese burrito was hefty, zesty, and tasty. The pourable quac was thick and full of flavor, and the famous chips and salsa were as mouthwatering as I remember. The Caveboy and Cavewoman exclaimed they had the best bean and cheese burritos they’d ever tasted, the Cavegirl was too busy munching her taquitos to even mutter a word, and the Cave friends all agreed the food was just like what Tito’s used to be … perhaps even better!

The rave reviews should be no surprise considering that ToM’s TaCos uses no trans fats, no lard, and no MSG. They do, however, use the freshest, high quality ingredients they can find while taking no short cuts in their cooking process. Which leads to the most tender, flavorful cubed beef in the Chili Colorado for the burritos; savory shredded beef in the tacos and taquitos; and hearty, mouthwatering refried beans.

ToM's TaCos MenuSo, the next time you are cruising around the South Bay, and your stomach starts to rumble, head over to ToM’s Tacos for some simple but scrumptious Mexican food. You will walk away sated and full, as will your wallet. Plus, if you are a devotee Tito’s, you will readily become a ToM’s convert! Yes, it’s that good!! Do keep in mind that ToM’s TaCos only accepts cash, and is closed on Mondays.

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales

Posted by Caveman Cooking on May 14, 2015

Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales
While this is a labor intensive recipe, and I’m all about the easy, it isn’t a very difficult dish to pull off. Besides, if you gather the whole Caveclan together for an assembly line when it comes time to actually fill and roll the tamales, it goes by very quickly. Plus, when you finally unwrap one and take a bite, you’ll forget about all the steps involved!

INGREDIENTS

Masa (Dough):
3 Cups Tamal (Instant Masa Mix)
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/3 Cups Vegetable Shortening
3/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Relleno (Filling):
10 Ounces Mexican Melting Cheese – Shredded (I prefer Manchego or Oaxaca; can substitute Jack)
1/2 Cup Canned Chilies – Diced
1/2 Cup Salsa Verde

1 Package Hoja (Dried Corn Husks)

RECIPE

Cover the Hoja (corn husks) with cool water for 30-40 minutes. When thoroughly soaked, squeeze excess water out then place into a colander to allow rest of excess water to drip out. Do not let the husks dry completely – they must be moist and pliable when wrapping the tamales.
HINT: Place a heavy plate on top of the husks so that they stay completely submerged.
Soaking The Hoja (Corn Husks)

Place shortening into mixer and whip it until silky (3-4 minutes). Yes, Devo fans. I said, whip it. Whip it good!
Whipped Shortening

Meanwhile, place all the dry ingredients (Tamal, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper) into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Dry Ingredients

Add vegetable stock to dry ingredients. Using your hands, mix well until evenly distributed.
Dry Ingredients With Vegetable Stock

Add ingredients from mixing bowl to whipped shortening. Again, whip it until smooth and creamy (3-4 minutes). And yes, again, whip it good!
Whipped Masa (Dough)

In the interim, place shredded cheese, diced chilies, and salsa verde into a medium mixing bowl and fold together until completely mixed.
NOTE: Believe it or not, now the real work begins! Gather your minions, if you can … or pop open the beverage of your choice and get ready to roll.
Cheese, Chilies, and Salsa Verde

Place one of the large Hoja (husks) on a flat surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the masa (dough) onto it. Now, this is where some tamale veterans may cringe, but I have found that this next step makes things go much faster and smoother. Take a small piece of plastic wrap and place it over the masa. With your hand, smooth and spread the masa out evenly, leaving several inches from the bottom of the husk, a couple inches from the top and far edge, and less than an inch from the near edge. The masa layer should be about 1/4″ thick. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside to use again. Then, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the relleno (filling) into the center of the masa.
HINT: If your Hoja are on the smaller side, just overlap two of them by a few inches to make one big leaf. Use a rubber spatula to spread a little masa on the near edge of the bottom husk to act as “glue”.
Making Tamales: Steps 1, 2, and 3

This is where a history of being a Rastafarian, or a teenager in the 1960’s, comes in handy. Take the near side of the Hoja and fold it over the the far edge. With your fingertips, lightly press the edges of the masa down to seal in the relleno. Then, while holding down the far edge of the husk, push down and draw back the near edge of the husk an inch or two so that the filling forms a sealed tube, of sorts. Now, fold up the bottom (narrow) end of the Hoja, making sure it is snug up to the bottom of the filling. Finally, roll the entire thing away from you, over the remaining flap, and …
Making Tamales: Steps 4, 5, and 6

… BOOM! You have a tamale!! Most folks say tying up the open end of your tamale is optional. But, with cheese tamales, the relleno has a tendency to bubble out, especially if you haven’t sealed in the masa well on the top end. Tying them up with a strip of Hoja not only solves that problem, but it also make them look better!
Finished Tamales

Once you have formed all of your tamales, fill the bottom of a large steamer pot with water, place the steam insert into the bottom, and cover it with several Hoja leaves. Stack the finished tamales standing up in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and cover the steamer, allowing the tamales to steam for about 30-35 minutes.
HINT: You’ll notice that the one tamale I didn’t tie up leaked out the top. Which is why I strongly urge you to give them the “50 Shades Of Grey” treatment.
Steamer, Raw Tamales, and Steamed Tamales

When you think they are done, remove one to test. When it has cooled sufficiently, unwrap it and enjoy. If it has steamed sufficiently, remove the rest from the steamer. Serve with avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, rice and beans … you name it! These also freeze very well for future use. Just re-steam them or nuke ’em in the microwave, once they have defrosted.
Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales

For those of you who are dedicated carnivores, don’t worry. I’ve posted the carne (meat) version of these tasty bundles right here!

Prep Time = 90 minutes
Cooking Time = 30-35 minutes
Makes 22-24 Tamales

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Appetizers, Christmas, Holidays, Latin, Main Course, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cinco de Mayo Musings

Posted by Caveman Cooking on May 5, 2010

When I was a kid growing up in So Cal, other than from some of my Mex-Am classmates, you hardly heard much mention of Cinco de Mayo – a voluntarily observed holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. But, while it is now observed with incredible gusto in the United States and other countries around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, it’s basically ignored in Mexico. However, if you are a true Caveperson, you find any excuse you can to to make mucho merriment! With that in mind, I thought I’d recall a few Cave-faves that make perfect plates for your fifth day of May fiesta.

Rockin' Guac
What celebration of our neighbors to the south would be proper without some Rockin’ Guac?!? Whether you are serving it as an appetizer with chips and margaritas; a topping to tacos, enchiladas or quesadillas; or a condiment on a torta, guacamole is a must! Make sure your avos are ripe and your ingredients fresh, and your guac will certainly rock!

Texas Red Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Tacos. Everyone loves tacos! Well, almost everyone. But, if you have any affinity at all for tacos and happen to like shrimp, too, you will love these Texas Red Grilled Shrimp Tacos! What’s not to love??? They are quick, easy, and best of all, absolutely delicious. Plus, they are a bit different from your everyday street taco. Put some Mariscos on your Cinco menu to make it a fully flavorful fiesta.

Tasty Enchiladas
The enchilada may be the quintessential Mexican dish. This is true south of the border comfort food. But, if they aren’t made well, there is little comfort afforded to those that partake. This recipe for Tasty Enchiladas, authored by the Cavewoman, will assure that you will be safe from sub-par samples of this soul-soothing dish. Plus, we offer both veggie-friendly and carnivore-cordial versions to make sure everyone at your Cinco de Mayo celebration is covered.

Whether you choose any or all of these recipes, or opt for other Mexican favorites, we wish you a fun, flavorful, and frolic-filled fete. Just be sure that if the Mezcal starts flowing to leave the worm in the bottle! 😉

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Holidays, Latin | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »