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June 24, 2013

On my recent trip to Mexico, I visited the carnitas capital of the world – Quiroga, Michoacán! So, of course, this time on ABC‘s The Chew, I had to share my perfected recipe for carnitas. I made Carnitas Tacos with Daphne Oz, and we mixed up some Salsa Verde Cruda to top them.

Watch the segment on the Carnitas Tacos…

Watch the segment on the Salsa Verde Cruda…

For the recipe, click here.

Tacos de pescado adobado con salsa de piña
Serves 6

2 oz or 3 ancho chiles, rinsed, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup white onion, coarsely-chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound of mild and firm fish fillets like snapper, striped bass, rock fish, snook or tilapia
4 pineapple slices
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, chopped, or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher or coarse sea salt, to taste
Corn tortillas

To make the Adobo Sauce:
Cover the chiles with boiling hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes. Pace the chiles along with 1/2 cup of soaking liquid, onion, garlic, oregano, vinegar, sugar and salt in the blender. Purée until smooth.

In a saucepan set over medium heat, heat the oil. Once hot, pour the sauce into the oil; cover the saucepan, leaving it slightly open, and let the sauce season and thicken for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring here and there. Remove from the heat.

To make the Fish:
Baste the fish fillets with the adobo sauce; you may refrigerate them and let them marinate for up to 24 hours.

In a large skillet coated with oil and set over medium-high heat, cook the fish for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

To make the Salsa:
Heat a grill pan, a grill or a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and lightly coat with safflower or corn oil. Cook the pineapple slices for about 4 minutes per side until they are slightly charred. Remove from the heat, once cool enough to handle cut into bite-size chunks. Place in a mixing bowl and toss with the cilantro, chile, lime juice, oil and salt to taste.

To assemble Tacos:
Place the warm tortillas, the pineapple salsa and the fish on the table, then assemble the tacos!

This episode explores three very different, very authentic and very simple twists on Mexican tacos, one of Mexico’s most iconic foods.

October 25, 2011

You can do fabulous things with pumpkins aside from spooky faces and pumpkin pie… Just ask any Mexican. We have a way with pumpkins.

Native to Mexico, pumpkins have been devoured there for centuries, in their entirety. The seeds are addicting as snacks, used as a hefty base for salsas, soups and sauces and more recently sprinkled on top of many dishes. The pumpkin meat is used for soups and stews, and along with the entire rind cooked in a piloncillo syrup, becoming a traditional favorite known as Tacha.

Yet there is something else you can make with those fall pumpkins: Mole!

An easy to make, silky textured and exquisite tasting mole sauce, that can bathe anything you can think of. From chicken to meat, fish, seafood and veggies; it all goes beautifully swaddled in it. I like it mostly with chicken or turkey, which is how I am most used to eating thick and rich Mole sauces….

So that you can try it too, here it goes.

Continue reading Pumpkin and Ancho Chile Mole

October 24, 2011

I was planning on making some spicy smooth guacamole for JC, but found out she likes it chunky. If you like guacamole, smooth or chunky, just click below

May 3, 2011

Now that Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, friends are asking me what we will be eating to celebrate…and what I am craving most are Enchiladas Verdes. The perfect yummy family food that stays messy on the casserole.

Even though most native Mexicans know that Cinco de Mayo isn’t a big celebration in Mexico (as a matter of fact, it is mostly celebrated in Puebla), we embrace it outside of Mexico with all our hearts without really knowing why. I guess it is a great excuse to celebrate what we love and miss about Mexico- like the tomatillo. A native Mexican ingredient that is the corner stone of so many dishes.

Continue reading Enchiladas Verdes: in a Tomatillo Sauce

Salsa Verde con Aguacate y Queso Fresco
Makes about 2 cups

1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 garlic clove
1 or 2 chiles serranos (can adjust for desired spiciness level)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 tbsp white onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/2 lb queso fresco diced, or can use farmer’s cheese or mild feta instead
1 ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted and sliced or cut into chunks
Warm corn tortillas or tortilla chips

Place tomatillos in a sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos are soft and mushy, but not coming apart, about 10 minutes.

Place the tomatillos, garlic, chiles serranos (add one by one to taste for spiciness desired and adjust the heat as you go), cilantro, onion and salt in the blender.  Blend until smooth. You may also mash it all up in a molcajete.

Serve in a bowl or molcajete, along with the queso fresco and avocado slices.  Offer warm corn tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.

This salsa may be used to spoon on top of thousands of things; including tacos, quesadillas, eggs in the morning, or grilled meats.

Meet the tomatillo–this small, plump, green fruit was a favorite of the Aztecs and stars in any number of Mexican dishes today. Its tart flavor is worlds apart from the taste of tomatoes, but is just as juicy and unforgettable. This episode will show you where to find tomatillos, how to cook with them, and tips and tricks for creating amazing dishes.

April 11, 2011

There are countless versions of Pico de Gallo salsas.  Their trademark is having ingredients that are fresh rather than cooked, and diced and chopped rather than pureed.  This is the most common and well-known version.

It is also incredibly colorful!

Continue reading Pico de Gallo Salsa


Salsa de Chile Guajillo
Makes about 2 cups

3 guajillo chiles, about 1 oz, stemmed and seeded
1 lb roma tomatoes, or about 4 or 5 tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled
¼ cup white onion, roughly chopped
¼ tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 tbsp safflower or corn oil

Toast guajillo chiles for about 20 seconds per side over an already hot pan or comal set over medium low heat. Be careful not to burn them or they will taste bitter.

Place toasted chiles, tomatoes and garlic in a pan covered with hot water and simmer for about 10 minutes until the guajillos are softened and tomatoes are cooked through.  Place the chiles, tomatoes and garlic in the blender with about ½ cup of the cooking liquid, the onion, oregano, cumin and salt and puree until smooth. Strain the sauce.

Heat oil in a sauce pan set over medium high heat. Once hot, pour in the sauce, careful because it will jump a bit, and simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and seasons. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Once cooled down, the sauce may be refrigerated for a couple weeks.

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