Frontera At Home
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- 2 medium fresh poblano chiles
- 8 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from its casing if there is one
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 ½ pounds ground chuck (chuck offers a beefy flavor and richness; you can choose a leaner cut if that makes sense for you)
- 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, finely minced, seeded if you wish
- 8 thick slices Monterey Jack Cheese
- 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- Roast the poblanos over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for the broiler.
- Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool. Rub off the blackened skin and pull out the stems and seed pods. Cut into 1/4-inch strips.
- Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up large chunks, until the chorizo is beginning to brown and is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Scrape on to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool.
- Return the skillet to medium heat, measure in the oil and add the onion.
- Cook, stirring frequently until it begins to brown, 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and poblano and cook for 2 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Scrape the rajas into a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, the cooled chorizo, the chipotles and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Mix thoroughly but lightly (to keep from turning out an overly compact texture).
- Divide into 4 portions, lightly pressing them into patties the size of your buns.
- Heat a gas grill to medium-high on one side, medium on the other; or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with white ash (and still quite hot), then bank the coals to one side.
- Lay the hamburger patties on the hottest side of the grill and cook until the grill grates have seared beautiful marks on one side, about 2 minutes if your grill is quite hot, then flip and cook until the hamburger is a little less done than you like (usually a couple of minutes longer for rare to medium rare).
- Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill. Lay one piece of cheese on top of each burger, top with a portion of the warm rajas and then another piece of cheese. Close the lid and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.
- Remove from the grill and place on a toasted bun. Serve immediately.
- 1 large fresh poblano chile
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium bunch cilantro, (tough lower stems cut off, the leafy part roughly chopped), plus additional for serving
- 1 medium bunch parsley (tough lower stems cut off, the leafy part roughly chopped)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (you’ll need pork that’s a little fatty—25 to 30%—and preferably coarsely ground)
- 3 tablespoons spinach powder (available at well-stocked grocery stores and from online sources)
- 2 tablespoons light-flavored vinegar (i.e. rice wine vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 12 fresh corn tortillas
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa for serving
- Roast the poblano chile directly over a gas flame or 4 inches below a very hot electric broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes for the broiler.
- Cool until handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the stem and seed pod.
- Quickly rinse to remove any seeds or bits of skin.
- Roughly chop and scoop into a food processor, along with the garlic, serrano(s), cilantro and parsley.
- Pulse until uniformly chopped, then run the machine until you have a coarse puree.
- In a large bowl, combine the pork with the green seasonings, spinach powder, vinegar, and the salt—your hand is the most efficient utensil for working the seasonings thoroughly into the meat.
- Break up the meat mixture as you transfer it to a 12-inch non-stick skillet set over medium heat.
- Cook turning frequently until cooked through (there will be browned edges), about 10 minutes.
- Scoop the mixture into warm corn tortillas and top with salsa and cilantro leaves, serve immediately.
Budín de Pan y Coco
- 6 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the pan
- 14 ounces bread (i.e. brioche, challah, or cakey white sandwich bread), crusts trimmed off if you wish, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican or dark rum or Xtabentún
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (regular, not “lite”)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup chopped papaya
- 1 cup crema
- Turn on the oven to 400 degrees.
- Scoop the butter into a large, microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute.
- Scoop the bread into the bowl and stir slowly until it is evenly coated.
- Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet, slide it into the oven and toast, stirring every 5 minutes, until it is richly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the bread and turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and scoop the bread into it.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- In a small (1- to 2-quart) saucepan, heat the coconut milk and the granulated sugar over medium-low, stirring until the mixture is just warm (not close to boiling) and the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the warm coconut milk into the eggs in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until well combined.
- Pour the custard over the bread.
- Let the bread soak up the custard for 15 minutes, gently stirring the mixture every few minutes.
- Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake until the bread pudding is barely set at the center, about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into pieces, place them on small plates and you’re ready to delight a few friends.
Variations: Garnish the finished bread pudding with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil and 1 cup chopped papaya. Serve with crema.
Servings: 8-12 as a snack
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- Fresh hot green chiles to taste, stems removed
- 3 avocados, preferably the black-skinned Hass
- A couple of tablespoons Fresh Mexican herbs (such as cilantro, pipisa or papalo)
- 1 small white onion (fresh knob onion—green tops still on—is best), finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- A little crumbled Mexican fresh cheese (queso fresco) for garnish
- Finely chop the garlic and green chiles, and scoop them into a bowl.
- One at a time, run a knife down through each avocado, starting at the top, until you reach the pit; continue cutting around the pit until you reach the point you started.
- Twist the two halves of the avocado apart. Remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh into the bowl with the chiles. Mash coarsely with the back of a spoon or an old-fashioned potato masher.
- Add the herbs and onion, stir to combine, then taste. Season with salt (usually about a teaspoon) and lime juice. Scoop into a serving dish and garnish with cheese and radishes.
Servings: 3-4 People
- 1 small white onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 can (15oz) diced tomato
- 1 jar (16oz) Frontera Chipotle Salsa
- 1 tablespoon vinegar, preferably apple cider
- 4 cups chicken (loosely packed), coarsely shredded, cooked
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8-12 warm tortillas
- 2 ripe avocados peeled, pitted and diced
- 3-4 tablespoons Mexican queso añejo or Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated
- In a large skillet, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until crisp-tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the salsa, tomatoes with their juice and the vinegar.
- Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, cool, then taste and season with salt.
- Serve the mixture in warm tortillas. Let guests add avocado, cheese, and cilantro to taste.
Servings: 8 6-ounce Champagne Margaritas
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 cup Cointreau
- 1 cup silver tequila
- Superfine sugar (if needed for added sweetness)
- 1 lime, cut in half for serving
- Coarse (Kosher) salt, for serving
- 1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling wine
- In a pitcher, combine the lime zest, lime juice, Cointreau, tequila and sugar if you are using it.
- Cover and refrigerate until cold, (at least 1 hour).
- Just before serving, strain the mixture to remove the zest, and pour enough salt into a saucer to cover the bottom.
- Rub a lime half over the rim of each champagne glass and upend into the salt to crust it lightly.
- Pour about 3 ounces of the tequila mixture into each glass, fill the rest of the way with Champagne or sparkling wine and hand to one of your lucky guests.
Arroz Blanco con Plantano Macho Maduro
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups vegetable oil (I like to use oil that’s especially refined for high-heat cooking)
- 4 large (about 2 1/2 pounds total) soft, black-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6 cups white rice, preferably medium-grain
- 2 large (1 pound total) white onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- About 3/4 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Heat the broth. Turn on the oven to 350°. Measure the broth in a large (4-quart) saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, if you are using salted broth, 2 tablespoons if you’re using unsalted broth. Cover and set over medium-low heat.
- Fry the plantains. In a very large (9-quart) Dutch oven (or comparable soup pot), heat the oil over medium to medium-high. When the oil is quite hot (but not smoking), add the plantains and fry, breaking apart any clumps until the plantains are a rich golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or wire skimmer to remove the plantain cubes to paper towels to drain.
- Fry the rice. Set up a large strainer over a metal bowl; set beside the stove on a heat-resistant surface. With the pan of oil still over the heat, raise the heat to high and add the rice. Stir regularly until the rice has turned from translucent to milky white (but not begun to brown), about 10 minutes. Immediately (and carefully) pour the rice and oil into the strainer, making sure to get all the rice out of the pan. Clean off any drips on the outside of the pan.
- Cook the rice. Without washing the pan, set it over medium heat. If there isn’t a generous coating of oil on the bottom, spoon a little of the strained oil back into the pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the rice and broth. Stir several times through all parts of the pan, making sure to scrape down any rice grains that are clinging to the sides above the liquid. Cover and place in the oven. After 30 minutes uncover and test a grain of rice: if it’s still a little chalky in the center and it’s clear that all the liquid has been absorbed, drizzle about 1/4 cup of water over the rice, re-cover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- Serve the rice. When the rice is ready, sprinkle the fried plantains and chopped parsley over the top and gently fold them in—if you’re careful and stir all the way to the bottom, you’ll release a lot of steam, which will stop the rice from overcooking.
- A half of a long baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, brushed with olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 canned anchovies
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup good-quality olive oil
- 4 romaine hearts (36 leaves)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Mexican queso añejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan,
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread the baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until well browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.
- In a very large bowl, mash the garlic into a paste using either the back of a fork or a wooden spatula.
- Add the anchovies and lime juice and mash them to a paste with the garlic.
- Mix in the mustard, then the Worcestershire and finally the egg yolk.
- Slowly drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream into the base, whisking with the fork as you add it until it comes together as a light dressing.
- Pour half the dressing into a jar, cover and refrigerate.
- Add the romaine leaves to the remaining dressing and toss to coat.
- Arrange 6 romaine leaves on each of the 6 chilled plates.
- Sprinkle with the grated cheese and garnish with toasted croutons.
Servings: 8 12-ounce drinks
- 2 cups Spanish Rioja
- 1 cup Cointreau
- 1/2 cup Gran Torres brandy
- 1 cup Jamaica Cooler
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- lime and orange slices
- 1 bottle soda water
- In a large pitcher, combine the wine, Cointreau, Gran Torres, jamaica, lime juice, and the agave nectar.
- Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Add several slices of lime and orange in the bottom of each glass.
- Use a muddler to crush the fruit.
- Fill the glasses halfway up with small ice cubes, then pour in the sangria mixture, leaving room for a splash of soda water.
- Stir to incorporate the soda water.