mexico

Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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While  in most parts of the world and in many languages “Torta” or “Torte” is generally understood to be a sweet concoction, it can also describe a sandwich, made with flatbread or a leavened bread, depending on the country/region of origin.
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Wiki excerpt:
Mexican Sandwich

In Mexico, a torta is a kind of sandwich, served on an oblong 15 cm firm, crusty white sandwich roll. Depending on the region, this is called a bolillo, telera, birote, or pan francés. Tortas can be eaten cold or hot, grilled or toasted in a press in the same manner as a Cuban sandwich.
Garnishes such as avocado, chili pepper (usually poblano or jalapeño), tomato, and onion are common. The dish is popular throughout Mexico, and is also available anywhere with a large number of Mexican immigrants. In Northern Mexico, the torta is very frequently called “lonche by the influence of the English “lunch“, as it may be eaten during lunch break.
The sandwich is normally named according to its main ingredient:

  • Torta de jamón, ham-filled torta
  • Torta de aguacate, avocado-filled torta
  • Torta de adobada, adobo meat-filled torta
  • Torta de huevo, scrambled eggs-filled torta
  • Torta de milanesa, milanesa meat-filled torta
  • Tortope, chicken sope-filled torta

Although the torta ahogada (meaning “drowned” torta) of Guadalajara is so called because it is smothered in a red sauce, different fillings are available and they may be mixed to create an original torta.
Due to the practicality of being hand-carried, tortas are sold at massive events, such as football matches, parades, and outdoor concerts, but they are also available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at dedicated establishments or sold as street food by food carts.
In Mexico, the sweet cake is normally referred to as pastel, which is also used in other parts of Latin America with this meaning.
Origin:
The origin of the torta is unclear, but some claim it sprouted in Puebla due to Spanish-French interaction. Teleras (the bread usually used in tortas) were inspired by French baguettes ”
End of Wiki excerpt.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pozole

Pozole

Pozole

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Partial  excerpts from Wikipedia:
“Pozole. Variants: pozolé, pozolli, pasole), which means “hominy”, is a traditional soup or stew from Mexico, which once had ritual significance. It is made from hominy, with meat (typically pork), and can be seasoned and garnished with shredded cabbage, chile peppers, onion, garlic, radishes, avocado, salsa and/or limes.
It is a typical dish in various states such as Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Morelos, State of Mexico and Distrito Federal. Pozole is served in Mexican restaurants worldwide.
Pozole is frequently served as a celebratory dish throughout Mexico and by Mexican communities outside Mexico. Common occasions include Mexico Independence Day, quince años, weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and New Year’s Day.
Pozole can be prepared in many ways. All variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. Vegetarian recipes substitute beans for the meat.
Dried hominy can be used for pozole, but it must be soaked and cooked
The three main types of pozole are blanco/white, verde/green and rojo/red.
White Pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green Pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients, possibly including tomatillos, epazote, cilantro, jalapeños, and/or pepitas. Red Pozole is made without the green sauce, instead adding a red sauce made from one or more chiles, such as guajillo, piquin, or ancho.
When pozole is served, it is accompanied by a wide variety of condiments, potentially including chopped onion, shredded lettuce, sliced radish, cabbage, avocado, limes, oregano, tostadas, chicharrónes, and/or chiles.
Pozole was mentioned in Fray Bernardino de Sahagún‘s General History of the Things of New Spain (c. 1500). Since maize was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions. The conjunction of maize (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars, because the ancient Americans(which?) believed the gods made humans out of masa (cornmeal dough).”
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According to research by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with maize, and the resulting meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the Conquest, when cannibalism was banned, pork became the staple meat as it “tasted very similar” [to human flesh], according to a Spanish priest.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pozole

Pozole

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Pozole

Pozole

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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This  is probably the dish I have eaten the most often in restaurants while living in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. It is of course served with country-specific sides depending in which place you are, but it has never disappointed and continues to be one of my favorite beef cuts – a close second to rib eye. And, at a fraction of the cost of rib eye, it can be served frequently, unlike rib eye, which has become a special treat because of its high price.
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Bom Proveito !   Buen Provecho !
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Click here for more  Steak  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for  recipes of  Guacamole, Escabeche De Cebolla and Salsa Mexicana  on  ChefsOpinion

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

Arrachera (Sobrebarriga)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Lately, some chefs, food bloggers and food-writers would like us to believe that a  “Rice Bowl” is the latest, newly invented, “IN” thing. Nothing could be further from reality. A rice bowl is a very old, very traditional thing, born out of necessity, at least in many parts of the world.
In all my travels around the globe, the most widespread food staple I encountered was rice. In most places where the majority of the population gets most of their daily nourishment from rice, which is the main food-staple of the land, a large bowl of rice, topped with “stuff”, (aka a “Rice bowl”), will have to do on most days as the single meal available.
The “stuff” can be anything – a single egg, a small amount of vegetables of any type, a tiny bit of animal protein, or just a flavorful, starch-thickened sauce.
I used to live in places where a single chicken wing was a great addition to a rice bowl (Philippines) ; In other places I met families who had to share a single fish head (Indonesia); Places where workers came in on their day off because the rice bowl contained chicken back stew (literally only the backbones),(Grenada); Or rice and beans (literally just rice and beans only), (Jamaica).
Of course, all these rice bowls are interchangeable from one country to another, and to this day can still be found in large parts of the world, where balanced nutrition and a better way of life has not trickled down to the general populace, even in the twenty-first century. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget that to obtain basic nutrition is still a daily struggle for many millions of people around the world, sometimes closer to home as we can and want to imagine, so a basic rice bowl is most appreciated in more places than we want to acknowledge.
I guess you’ve got the idea – a rice bowl can be a lifesaver because it constitutes the only meal of the day and the main source of nutrition.
On the other hand and on a happier note, a rice bowl can be a real culinary delight, as in the dish featured here today.
As with all other rice bowls mentioned above, it consist mostly of rice, topped with simple, filling and tasty “stuff” 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Comfort In A Bowl.......Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Comfort In A Bowl.......Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Comfort In A Bowl.......Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

Comfort In A Bowl…….Lamb, Peppers, Onions And Rice

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Huevos Rancheros

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I’ve  been “feeling Mexican” this morning 🙂
Solution: Huevos Rancheros, my kind of breakfast, any time of the day 🙂
I have put my own little twist on the original by replacing the chili/tomato sauce with  Salsa Mexicana  and the  Queso Fresco  with freshly grated  Asiago Cheese.
While this is definitely not “Original”, it is the way I like it and the way I always had it while I was living in Mexico (usually replacing the queso fresco with grated parmesan, which was always available, – asiago not so much). But this is of course just a personal preference, so, by all means, go “original” if you prefer.
Serve with fresh guacamole and refried beans.
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Link to Guacamole
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Link to Salsa Mexicana
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All about Refried Beans
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Bon Appetit and have a great day !
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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Chicken Tostada

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I used  to eat tostadas two or even three times a week when I was living in Cancun.
There was this small bar/restaurant on the beach of the lagoon across from where I lived, about a five minute walk away. (I believe it was on Blvd. Kukulcán KM 21 – I wonder if the place still exists?) On one side of the road is the ocean, on the other side, less than five hundred yards across the street, was this tiny place on the beach of the lagoon with a wooden pier protruding about thirty yards into the lake. Many a night I gave the waiter a small tip to set up a table for me at the end of the pier, to enjoy the night and a few drinks and snacks all by myself, usually while on the phone for a while with Maria who was back in Miami, taking care of things there. On most nights I had shrimp or chicken tostadas and a few “Negra Modelo” .
Happy times ! Aaahhhh, the memories 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Link to Salsa Mexicana
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Link to Guacamole
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Link to Tostadas De Camarones
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Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

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flour tostadas, chicken in chipotle, salsa mexicana, tomato/onion salad, sour cream, guacamole, pickled chili

flour tostadas, chicken in chipotle, salsa mexicana, tomato/onion salad, sour cream, guacamole, pickled chili

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Milanesa Mexicana



Playing with food 🙂
Green
, white and red –
very easy to come up with a real Mexican dish using the  mexican flag  colors.

 ¡ Buen Provecho !    ¡ Viva México!


Click here for  Guacamole  recipe

Click here for  Salsa Mexicana  recipe


Mexican Flag (without the eagle)

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana



Preparation :

mise en place

mise en place

season veal cutlet with kosher salt and cayenne pepper, bread with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, saute in olive oil and butter until golden and cooked medium well, remove to absorbent paper

season thinly pounded veal cutlet with mustard, kosher salt and cayenne pepper, bread with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, saute in olive oil and butter until golden and cooked medium well, remove to absorbent paper

place onto serving platter, drizzle with lime juice, top with guacamole, sour cream and salsa mexicana, sprinkle with chives or cilantro

place onto serving platter, drizzle with lime juice, top with guacamole, sour cream and salsa mexicana, sprinkle with chives or cilantro (however, there is already plenty cilantro in the guacamole)

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana

Milanesa Mexicana



Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂






The Well Travelled Hot Dog



Tonight’s  hot dog took a long, imaginary jouney from being a simple German veal bratwurst (kalbsbratwurst to “The Well Travelled Hot Dog”.
Born in Germany, it went to  France where it was joined by garlic aioli. On to Mexico for some ensalada de repollo con chipotle and from there to India to pick up freshly baked naan. From there to it’s final stop in the USA, where it became “The Well Travelled Hot Dog” 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

For  Garlic Aioli  recipe click here

For  Chipotle Coleslaw recipe click here

For  Naan  recipe click here

For more about  German Bratwurst  click here

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog



PREPARATION :

saute bratwurst

saute bratwurst

prepare chipotle cole slaw

prepare chipotle cole slaw

chipotle cole slaw

chipotle cole slaw

top naan with bratwurst

top naan with bratwurst

add cole slaw, sprinkle with pickled jalapenos, drizzle with garlic aioli

add cole slaw, drizzle with garlic aioli, sprinkle with pickled jalapenos

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled Hot Dog & Chipotle Cole Slaw

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog

The Well Travelled  Hot Dog

The Well Travelled Hot Dog



Dear Friend’s, to help support this blog,
please be so kind and click on the video on the bottom of this page.  Thank you 🙂





Best Fish Taco

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Well, at least for me they were the best in a very long line of disappointing restaurant and food truck fish tacos.
Most of the time, if you want to have the really good stuff, you’ve got to prepare it yourself 🙂
The secret here is the fish batter. You don’t want to have to prep something complicated or difficult for such a simple meal. So here I give you my  “secret”  easy and quick batter recipe:
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A/P flour, crushed ice, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, granulated garlic, chilled sparkling water (I use syfo lemon-lime, the only bottled water for me).
Mix all ingredients lightly, don’t worry about a few lumps, they fry out in the hot oil and become crispy. See the prep pic to get an idea about the texture. Then dip the fish into the batter and fry at 375F until crispy and fish just done. Remove to absorbent paper. Build your tacos with your favorit ingredients / condiments.
Voila !  Best fish taco 🙂
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Viva Mexico !   Viva Los Tacos !   Viva La Vida !
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Best Fish Taco

Best Fish Taco

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” Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre packaged corn taco shells???? Yeesh! “

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Dear Friend’s
In response to my post :  ”  Tacos Al Camaron ” ,
the following esteemed comment was posted by a young lady who obviously knows and loves her food and with whom I basically wholeheartedly agree :

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”  Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre packaged corn taco shells???? Yeesh!  “

Whilst I agree with the reader that fresh made tacos are (usually) a tremendous improvement over ready made products, my reply below should help to clarify a bit about how and why I enjoy food the way I do and most of all, how and why I choose the content I put on my Blog :

Dear disgusted reader of ChefsOpinion. First,  let me assure you that I agree with you inasmuch that ” freshly made anything” is usually better then crappy ” store bought anything “.

Although I am in no way an expert on Mexican food, I’d like to tell you that I lived for a year in Mexico while I was married for the first time, back in the seventies.
Then In the early 2000’s I went back to Mexico, where I was in charge of the food operation’s (at the same time) of  three high class boutique hotels,  as well as one five star Westin hotel and one four star Sheraton hotel, all in the Yukatan,  Mexico.
I am a huge fan of Mexican food and have certainly had my shares of the good, the bad and the ugly.
I have had the finest tacos in the best restaurants and in the grimmest joints and at any place in between.
I have taught hundreds of cooks and thousands of culinary students about tacos, tortillas, flautas, burritos, you name it,  I’ve done it.
However,  when it comes to ChefsOpinion, I try to have a good time with like minded folks who “GET IT”.
Good food is what we enjoy to eat;  What is practical at the moment, what makes economical sense and what’s the best you can do whilst your time is extremely limited.
What I try to do on my blog is to share and discuss food and food related issues with a broad range of folk’s, from culinary students to hobby cooks to perfectionist’s.
Also with old warrior’s like myself, who have seen it all and done it all, who are maybe just a bit more tolerant to situations where we must substitute with a lesser ingredient for some reason, or when we are just too damn exhausted to move another finger.
If I had a choice I would eat and drink only the best, freshest, most refined, most exquisite food and drinks available.
While I was privileged to live in that ideal world for most of my professional life, there where and there are situations when a sudden lust for a specific food or drink can sometimes require a quick fix just to take care of that overwhelming craving.
I have been immersed in this wonderful world of food service for 45 years. I have been in charge of meals  for kings and queens,  heads of states, the famous and not so famous. I am certainly aware of quality and perfection for which we should strife whenever possible. However, at this point in my live I have just started a new job which keeps me away from my home for 11 hours.  I live alone with my dear dog Bella, so before I take off for work at 5.00 am, there are already two solid hours of me getting ready for work, taking care of Bella for an hour, walking her, playing with her, trying to keep her from chasing the neighbors cat’s, etc.
When I come home at 5.00pm, my first priority is to take Bella for a long walk.
Then on to take care of the blog, usually for about three hours. Then cooking dinner, taking pic’s of the food for the next post,  enjoying dinner, cleaning the kitchen, walking Bella for another hour. By the time I finally get to rest it is usually 12.30 am.

So then, please, forgive me for using pre-made tacos (They were actually very good, all things considered). The folks who will use the pre-made stuff will enjoy a quick and easy to follow food inspiration. The folks who are a bit more dedicated to only the best will no doubt spent the extra time and effort to produce awesome fresh tacos.
Hopefully, in the end,  “Life is Good”  for everybody .   🙂

So then :
Why would anyone EVER EVER EVER use those crappy pre packaged corn taco shells???? Yeesh!

Because sometimes………

P.S.
Have you noted the  store bought!  mayo in the picture ?   Yeesh!    🙂
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