This week I attended a Mexican cooking class given at church by a woman who is from Mexico. I'm not the best chef in the world, but I hope I won't sound proud when I say that I'm actually a pretty good cook. But she gave some tips that I thought were good that I wanted to share with you.
HOMEMADE TORTILLA CHIPS
She uses store bought corn tortillas, I believe she said Guerrero brand. She said to take them out the night before so that they can dry out. This helps keep them from soaking up too much oil. Deep fry them and drain on a paper towel. For a twist, put both salt and pepper on them.
My husband is a salsa officionado, and has really done some great recipes. Her's is much more simple, but it is fresh and is the classic. She doesn't use amounts when cooking, just eyeballs things, but her salsa includes: tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lemon or lime, garlic, and a little cumin. If you want the Americanized version, add some black beans and corn.
Mash or cut up avacados. Put in lemon, and salsa. Do not use mayonaise
She baked a turkey breast, then shredded it. Then she cooked it in some of the salsa. Fry corn tortillas, top with refried beans, shredded chicken mixture, Mexican Queso (a white cheese) fresh salsa, sour cream, avacado. She topped that with grated Romano cheese, but I didn't care for the Romano.
If you want to make it from scratch: clean some dry pinto beans. Soak in water over night. Boil until tender.
OR: Buy a large can of canned pinto beans in the Mexican section of the store.
Put a little oil in a skillet (she uses a little lard). Recook the beans, mashing them as you cook. She leaves some beans whole, I really liked that.
She didn't give me this recipe, but I thought I would add it. Chop some onion. Heat a sauce pan and cook the onion until tender. Add some minced garlic. Add 1 cup of uncooked white rice, and a tablespoon or two of enchilada sauce. (If you don't have this, you can use tomato sauce. I keep it in the freezer in a freezer bag and just cut off what I need.) Stir the rice until it is coated with the sauce. Add 2 cups of water, and some chicken bouillion or chicken soup base. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In general, the spices in the Mexican food section of the grocery store are FAR cheaper than in the regular spice section of the store. My husband and I cook a fair amount of Indian and Chinese food, so we buy our spices in bulk at the Indian stores. I actually think that is the best place to buy spices, although we are spoiled living in the Bay area because these stores are common to most cities.
Some of these recipes were not new to me, but I thought some of the tips were good, so thought I would include it all.