Saturday, February 28, 2015

Michelada!

Everybody that knows me knows that my preferred drink is Tequila. If Tequila is not available then I'll settle for other less precious drinks. In winter I'll go for red wine (Malbec!) and if I'm am in the mood, then I'll go for Scotch. Now if the current wife is not in the mood (you know...the headache syndrome) then I just go to bed with the pleasant memory of a good drink.

I have discovered two things by now: one is that the older women gets the more headaches they get and the older men get the more headaches we get. The women's headaches are quite unexplainable whereas ours are easily identifiable: women with frequent headaches.

Most of the time all guys claim that their country of origin beer is the best. Irish (gosh), American (really?), Canadian (hey).... but all are wrong. The only good beer is, of course, Mexican. If you think otherwise then please know that you belong to the wrong side.

The current wife never ever drinks alcohol unless there is some available to her. Then she goes crazy. Lat time she drank, she climbed a tree in peruse of a black bear who she swore it was a bird, that is, a black bird. Hughe fight. Black bear vs current wife. I'm writing this on my black bear carpet, so guess who won that fight.

Beer is nice but in Summer a Michelada is a great drink. There are hundreds of recipes. This is the one. It was given to me by Michaela, the woman who invented it. A woman!... I know...





Michelada


Makes 1 Drink        
       Preparation Time 10 minutes...or less

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Salt to salt the rim of the glasses

1/4 Cup lime juice 

1 1/2 Cups of COLD dark beer (Mexican of course...otherwise please stop reading this recipe)  

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp Salsa Valentina or Tabasco

1 Tbsp  Salsa Maggi (or soy sauce)

Ice

Preparation

MICHELADA

1. In a medium plate we distribute the salt 

2. We frost the rim of the glasses with the lime juice and the salt

3. Put some ice in the glass and pour the leftover lime juice

4. Pour the Worcestershire sauce, the salsa Valentina and the salsa Maggi and mix

5. Very slowly we pour the cold beer (don't pour directly!...use the glass wall). Here you will have two probable results:

** the beer reacts to the salty mix and foams like crazy.  This means that you poured the beer too fast. Don't waste the precious drink. Licking time.
** the beer reacts but you have done it proper;y and then...

6. Enjoy!

Disclaimer:


*This is a temporary loaned picture. I have to fight for the drink with the wife. Eventually I'll post mine.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Slices

Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Slices

Two things in life that I really like are dark chocolate and candied orange peel. Many many times the current wife and I share store bought orange slices with chocolate and... they never last. Then I learned how to make my own and they are fabulous! ...but they don't last either.  I would lie to you if I tell you that we fight for the last piece. I fear her... she always gets the last piece. Life.

When on vacation this Christmas we bought a box of chocolate dipped orange slices, which honestly I have never seen or try. I know... sad, but that is the absolute true. The wife and I really really liked them, so I came back home determined to make them happen. I did. I guess once you have done the peels, then the slices don't look that hard to make.

Just to try I only made one orange. The slices were not even, buy next time they will. In any event, they turned out to be really tasty. I'm hiding the last one under my pillow. I outsmarted her!

So... here I am, sharing with you my new discovery. Next time I will make two or three oranges. I will just keep them in the fridge until  one hour prior to consumption, I'll take them out to allow them to be room temperature which is their best state. They won't last....if the wife is around...

Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Slices


Cooking Time: 60 Minutes   Makes 6 servings
Ingredients

2 Cups of water
1 Cup of sugar
2 Tbsp Clear syrup (corn syrup)
1 Large Navel orange
1 Cup of 70% Dark chocolate bits

Cooking Instructions

1. In a large  heavy pot -the larger the better- bring the water to a boil.
Add the sugar and stir until incorporated. 

2. Reduce the heat to medium low (or the sugar will crystalize) and add the syrup. Stir until incorporated. 

3. While the water is boiling, wash and scrub the orange (you can do more than one: just modify the water and sugar proportions).

4. Slice the orange (1/8 “ slices). Discard the bottom and top.
Place the orange slices in the sugar mix and bring it to a rolling boil for 5 minutes, then turn the slices -carefully- and allow it to keep boiling for another 5 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, turning the slices every 10 minutes, just making sure that they don’t break.

6. Eventually you will have almost no syrup left and the white part of the oranges will look a bit translucent. Remove the slices once the syrup barely covers the bottom part of the slice.

7. Put the slices on parchment paper and allow it to cool a bit.

8. Preheat the oven to 200˚F

9. Put the parchment paper on a cooling rack and put the cooling rack on a cookie sheet. Place the oranges in the oven and allow them to bake for about 30 minutes or so, turing the slices every 10 minutes. Eventually the slices will look a bit dry. Remove from oven and allow them to cool for one day.

10. Next day we are going to temper the chocolate: Take a heat proof bowl that will fit on top of a pot. The water should never touch the pot (heat should be medium high)

11. In the bowl put 1/4 cup of chocolate and allow it to melt completely ( at 105˚F the chocolate is ready for the next step), then reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally.

 12. Add 1/4 cup of chocolate and incorporate without heating or just heating when necessary. Stir to incorporate.  Once fully incorporated we’ll add the last 1/4 cup of chocolate and stir until melted, stirring constantly until you get an even silk looking chocolate.
Remove from heat and dip each orange slice and place them on another clean piece of parchment paper. Do not allow the chocolate to cool or to become more dense!…always keep a balance between warming up the chocolate and dipping the oranges.

13. When you have finished dipping all slices, then allow them to cool for 30 minutes, then place in the fridge and keep them there for at least 1 hour.

14. The slices are ready! I keep them uncovered until they are gone, that is, half a day.

15. Enjoy!






Monday, February 2, 2015

Lobster Tacos!

Lobster Tacos !

Sometimes life is like that. One has to separate himself from the crowd and feel like a million bucks. I do that when the lobster is on special at my local market (actually supermarket). When that opportunity arises, I just buy two or three lobster tails and freeze them until the day comes to enjoy one of the easiest and tastiest Mexican dishes I know. 

I would love to say humbly that I invented the recipe but I would be lying. I have eaten it somewhere (honest I don't remember... an age idiosyncrasy you know) and, based on my taste memory I decided to give it a try. They were a big success!

Something is for sure: I did not went to any restaurant that would have served this amazing dish with the guy who calls himself my cousin, because he is as cheap as they come. He would have said something like why to spend in lobster tacos if I can make those at home, just with pork meat instead of lobster and flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas.

In any event, the current wife has enjoyed them several times as I always make sure that my son or any other uninvited guests are not coming for dinner. 

Lobster Tacos !

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes   Makes 6 servings
Ingredients

6 Medium Lobster Tails (fresh!)

1 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Onion -diced-

1 Medium Lime (fresh!)

1 Tsp Piquin Chile -dried and ground-*

1 Tsp Ancho Chile -dried and ground-*

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

6 to 8 Corn Tortillas (soft)

To Serve 

- Mexican Style Rice (see recipe)

- Black Beans (“Frijoles de Olla”) -see recipe-

- Pico de Gallo Salsa (see recipe)



Cooking Instructions

1. Clean the lobster tails, remove the shells and set aside.




2.In a medium pan, warm up the olive oil and the butter together and mix until incorporated. Use medium heat.

3. Fry the diced onion until it becomes a bit clear but not brown. Reduce the heat.

4. Cut the lobster meat in 1/4” pieces and fry it (low heat) for about 10 minutes. It is important that the heat is low, otherwise the lobster will dry up. Move constantly.


5. Add the lime juice and the piquín-ancho mix (I use Tajín brand pre=prepared mix). Continue mixing until evenly incorporated.

6. Warm up the rice, the beans and the tortillas.

7. Elevate the heat to high and finish frying the lobster for another 2 or 3 minutes. The lobster will absorb the juice. You are ready to serve!

8.  I usually serve the dish in 4 different soup plates:

One for the lobster
One for the Mexican style rice
One for the beans
One for the pico de gallo salsa (smaller plate)

9. Take a warm tortilla and put a lobster spoon full, half a table spoon of rice and half a table spoon of beans. Add some pico de gallo salsa and,

10. Enjoy! 

* Piquín is a variety of hot pepper that grows in bushes that have small and pointy leaves. Usually they are 1 or 2 cm. long (about 1/2 of an inch). They are round and a bit elongated. 
When fresh they are green and when mature they become deep red. People consume it dried and by then its color is brown-red. It is a bit spicy but tolerable (that is, not crazy spicy). 

Also it is called tepín, chilepín, chilito, diente de tlacuache (opossum's tooth), mosquito, pajarito, enano, pulga, amash, chilpaya or just chile piquín

I usually buy it in a pre-prepared form: a mix that contains salt, dried lime, piquín, dried ancho chile and some preservatives (the brand I buy is called Tajín, but there are many others that are just called “chile piquín”. I use it to spice up many Mexican dishes, fruits and veggies...