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Pati's Mexican Table


Basket Tacos

Tacos de Canasta

Serves: makes 12 tacos

Tacos de Canasta

Ingredients

Vegetable oil for frying

1/2-inch slice of white onion

3 garlic cloves

12 corn tortillas

1/2 cup finely sliced scallions (or cebollitas de cambray in Mexico)

1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped, more or less to taste

1 pound roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1/2 cup chopped cilantro or epazote

1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) requesón or farmer’s cheese

To Prepare

Prepare a basket: Line it with large, thick layers of plastic wrap to cover the entire interior of the basket (they should be big enough that they cover the interior of the basket and fold over the top). Place a couple kitchen towels in the bottom of the basket on top of the plastic. Lastly, add butchers’ style paper or parchment paper on top of the kitchen towels and on the side of the basket.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat enough oil to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Once hot, add the onion slice and garlic cloves, let them brown for at least 10 minutes.

Pass the corn tortillas, one by one with a set of tongs, “through hot oil.” That is, quickly fry for 3 seconds per side, and set on a cooling rack or plate covered with paper towels, until all are done.

In another skillet, set over medium heat, pour 3 tablespoons of the onion and garlic seasoned oil. Once hot, add the scallions or cebollitas and chile, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and salt, and cook stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes until completely cooked and mushy. Stir in cilantro or epazote, cook for a couple more minutes and remove from heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the requesón, along with the tomato mixture and season with more salt to taste, if needed.

Pre-heat a comal or skillet over medium heat.

One by one, add a couple tablespoons of the cheese and tomato mix into a fried tortilla and fold into a half-moon shape. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. (You may eat them at this point, but they won’t be “basket” or “sweaty” tacos yet!) Place the filled tortillas on the hot comal or skillet. Heat thoroughly for about a minute per side.

Arrange the heated tacos in layers in the basket as they come off comal. Once you are done, add another layer of paper over the tacos, cover with another kitchen towel, and finally the plastic, which should fold over it all from the interior lining of the basket. Let the tacos rest and sweat (at least 10 minutes) and keep covered until ready to eat.

Serve with your choice of salsa, slices of Mexican avocado or pickled jalapeños.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/04/basket-tacos-fresh-cheese-basket-a-k-a-sweaty-tacos/


Homemade Corn Tortillas

Corn Tortillas
Tortillas de Maiz

Serves: makes 12 tortillas

Tortillas de Maiz" alt="Corn Tortillas
Tortillas de Maiz" />

Ingredients

2 cups corn tortilla flour

Pinch kosher or coarse sea salt

1 3/4 cups water (or enough for a Play Doh consistency, may vary with climate)

To Prepare

Set a comal, griddle or ungreased dry skillet over medium heat for at least 8 to 10 minutes, until very hot.

Meanwhile, cut 2 circles about the size of the tortilla press plates out of thin plastic bags, such as produce bags from the grocery store.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the corn tortilla flour, salt and the water and knead in a circular motion. It should feel smooth and without lumps, like Play Doh. Though, it shouldn’t be too wet or sticky. If it doesn’t feel smooth and feels coarse when you attempt to make the masa balls, add a bit more water. Masa dries out fast, so if you leave it unattended, cover it with a clean moist kitchen towel or cloth.

To make the tortillas, one by one, make dough balls of about 1 1/2-inch in diameter. Place one plastic circle on the bottom of the tortilla press and place the masa ball on top. Place the other plastic circle on top of the ball and clamp down the press to make a flat disk. As you clamp down the press, jiggle it a little as you are getting to the bottom, this makes for a rounder tortilla. It should be about 5-inches in diameter and about 1/8-inch in height.

If the edges of the tortilla seem cracked and jagged, the dough needs a bit more water. Once you have a tortilla with smoother edges, you are set. (Alternatively, you can place a ball of dough between two plastic pieces and roll the tortillas out with a rolling pin).

Open the press, take the top plastic off, lift the bottom plastic with the tortilla in one hand and peel the tortilla from the plastic with the other hand. I peel it with my right hand, as I am right handed. Lay it on the griddle, skillet or comal softly, but swiftly.

Once the tortilla is on the hot surface, don’t touch it for the next 30 seconds! Even if it didn’t lay completely straight, resist the temptation to fiddle with it. Let it cook until it can be flipped without sticking to the comal, just like pancakes, or until a spatula can easily lift it. Another sign that it is ready to be flipped, is it becomes opaque on the side that it was cooking on.

Turn over, and cook for a minute, until opaque and starting to get brown freckles on the side that is now on the hot surface. If it is opaque but it has white-ish areas, you need to leave it a bit longer until it becomes freckled with brown spots.

Turn over once more, and now after 10 to 15 seconds, the tortilla should puff up like pita bread, if not all over tortilla, at least in an area of it. If it is not puffing, gently tease it by poking with your finger softly in an area of the tortilla around the center. Once it puffs, let the tortilla cook for another 15 to 20 seconds, so that it cooks internally in the puffed up area. That is the difference between ok tortillas, and to die for, malleable, fully cooked, soft tortillas.

Transfer each cooked tortilla to a clean kitchen towel or a cloth-lined tortillero.

If eaten that same day, tortillas may be kept wrapped in a clean kitchen towel or cloth. If not, wrap in a kitchen towel, place inside a closed plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 3 days, afterwards they will turn too hard. Reheat on hot comal for 30 seconds or so on each side before eating. They can also be frozen and kept for months.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/04/homemade-corn-tortillas/


There are so many delicious ways to enjoy tacos, and Pati is constantly trying to impress her boys with new twists on traditional taco recipes. Her sons love tacos so much that the Jinich’s have a family tradition every couple of weeks: Taco Night! While the family is on vacation in San Miguel, Pati has decided to bring their Taco Night tradition to Mexico.


Chardonnay Mango Pecan Tart

Mango Pecan Tart
Tarta de Nuez con Mango

Serves: 10

Tarta de Nuez con Mango" alt="Mango Pecan Tart
Tarta de Nuez con Mango" />

Ingredients

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Pinch kosher or coarse sea salt

1 large egg

4 tablespoons cold butter


For the Pastry Cream:

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch


For the Fruit:

3 large ripe champagne or Kent mangoes


For the Glaze:

1/4 cup apricot jam

1/4 cup chardonnay from a bottle that you would like to drink

To Prepare

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse again a few times until combined. Add an egg and the butter, pulse again a few times until thoroughly mixed and the butter has broken into the smallest of pieces, making it hard to distinguish it from the mix. The mix should resemble a coarse meal; it will not appear to be a homogeneous dough, but it will be all crumbles. That’s what you want.

Turn all the pecan mix into a tart pan with a removable ring. Press into bottom of the pan with your hands, leveling it all around. As you press, the mix will start looking like dough. Press a bit to the sides to form a 1/4-inch border all around.

Bake for 15 minutes, until cooked through and appears to be lightly golden. Let it cool completely.

For the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, pour in the milk and vanilla, stir well with a whisk and let it come to a simmer. Just until it begins bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks along with the sugar and the cornstarch. Slowly, in a thin stream and with the help of a ladle, pour the milk into the beaten eggs, whisking along to combine thoroughly until all the milk mixture has been poured. Transfer it all back into saucepan. Set over medium heat, stirring occasionally and keeping a good eye on it, let it come to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes, until it thickens to thick cream consistency. You may stir with a spatula as it simmers so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Remove from heat. Let it cool, wrap with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the fruit: When ready to assemble the tart, vertically slice the cheeks of the mangoes. With a small knife, cut around the cheeks to make it easy to remove from the skin, and scoop out with a spoon. Cut the cheeks into slices.

For the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the jam with the wine. Set it over medium heat. Stir or whisk a couple times, until it dissolves and it begins to simmer. Let it simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble the tart: Pour the pastry cream onto the crust. Place the mango slices, going around the tart until you reach the center. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze all over the mangoes. If the glaze has cooled, heat for a few seconds until it becomes liquid again.

Place the tart in the refrigerator at least for an hour to set and chill.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/03/chardonnay-mango-pecan-tart/


Orange Blossom Rice with Pepitas

Orange Blossom Rice
Arroz con Flor de Azahar y Pepitas

Serves: 6 to 8

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Arroz con Flor de Azahar y Pepitas" />

Ingredients

2 cups long-grain white rice

3 tablespoons corn or safflower oil

1/2 cup finely chopped scallions

4 cups chicken broth, store-bought or homemade, or veggie broth or water

2 tablespoons orange blossom water (agua de naranjo o de azahar), or the rind of an orange (trying to get the least amount of white pith, mostly the orange peel)

1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt

1/2 cup raw and hulled pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

To Prepare

Place rice in a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for about 5 minutes. Strain and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well. If you don’t have time to soak and drain the rice, you can skip this step…

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or casserole, over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the drained rice and cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes milky white and feels heavy in the pan as you stir, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and stir and cook until softened, 2 to 3 more minutes.

Add the chicken broth, orange blossom water or orange peel, salt and stir. When the mixture starts to boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to lowest setting and cook until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

If the rice grains don't seem soft and cooked through, add a bit more chicken stock or water and let it cook for another 5 more minutes or so. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Serve and decorate with the lightly toasted pumpkin seeds.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/03/orange-blossom-rice-with-pepitas/


Fish with Plums Pasilla and Tequilla

Tilapia with Plums, Pasilla and Tequila
Huachinango con Salsa de Ciruela, Pasilla y Tequila

Serves: 6

Huachinango con Salsa de Ciruela, Pasilla y Tequila" alt="Tilapia with Plums, Pasilla and Tequila
Huachinango con Salsa de Ciruela, Pasilla y Tequila" />

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 2 more for cooking the fish

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups slivered white onion

3 pressed or minced garlic cloves

4 ripe plums, halved, pitted, sliced

4 to 6 pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, sliced

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste, plus more to season the fish

2 tablespoons silver tequila

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 red snapper fillets, skin on (about 6 ounces) or another flaky and mild tasting fish of your choice such as tilapia, rock fish, or grouper

To Prepare

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet set over medium heat. Once the butter melts and begins to sizzle, before it browns, add the onion. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it softens and begins to gently brown around the edges. Add the garlic, mix well and cook for another minute. Toss in the sliced plums and chiles, sprinkle in the sugar and salt, stir, and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes. The plums should be cooked and gently browned and the chiles softened.

Pour in the tequila, gently tilt towards the fire to ignite it, cook until flames disappear. Add the orange juice, stir, and cook for a couple minutes more. Set aside.

Heat a couple tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear the fish, skin side down first, for 2 to 3 minutes, until skin has crisped and browned. Flip the fish to the other side and cook until desired doneness, my choice is 2 to 3 minutes more.

Serve with a generous spoonfull of the chunky plum sauce on top.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/03/fish-with-plums-pasilla-and-tequila-2/


Pati is vacationing in San Miguel de Allende, which has lots of opportunities for rest and relaxation, but today Pati is here for one thing – FOOD! From street food to fine dining, San Miguel has always been one of Mexico’s top culinary destinations! Pati is going to show us the highlights of the food scene, then she’ll head back to the kitchen to cook up recipes that reflect the region.


Pati is on the road in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a pretty, tourist-friendly vacation town in the state of Guanajuato, known for its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, art galleries and, of course, a wide range of delicious eats. This week, Alan, Sami and Juju have a break from school, so she and Dany brought them along! In this episode, the Jinich family has just arrived in San Miguel, and Pati has decided to kick off the week with a delicious breakfast. But first, she wants to introduce us to San Miguel.


Juju's Mango Smoothie

Juju’s Mango Smoothie

Serves: makes about 3 cups

Juju’s Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

2 cups diced fresh mango, or thawed from frozen

1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract

2 cups orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed

1 ripe banana, sliced

To Prepare

Combine the mango, vanilla, orange juice, and banana in a blender and puree until smooth. Add a couple handfuls of ice cubes and puree until well blended.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/02/jujus-mango-smoothie/


Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo
Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado

Serves: 8

Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado" alt="Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo
Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado" />

Ingredients

3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil, seperated

3 pounds fresh nopales, rinsed, cleaned and diced

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

½ cup chopped white onion

2 ounces guajillo chiles (about 7 or 8 chiles) cleaned, seeded and chopped

2 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 3 cobs, or thawed from frozen

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice

To Prepare

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the diced nopales, sprinkle the salt and stir for a minute or two. Place the lid on, reduce the heat to medium and let the nopales cook and sweat for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. They will have exuded a gelatinous liquid that will begin to dry out. Take off the lid, stir and make sure most of the liquid has dried up; if it hasn’t, let them cook for a couple more minutes until it does.

Pour in the third tablespoon of oil, mix with the nopales and incorporate the garlic, chopped onion, guajillo chiles and corn. Mix well and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze in a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, mix and place the lid back on. Let the nopales cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if need be.

If you have any leftovers, they make a wonderful filling for quesadillas.

© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

http://patismexicantable.com/2015/02/warm-nopalitos-with-sauteed-corn-and-guajillo/


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