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Got: fresh basil, leftover chicken, pasta, heirloom tomatoes, now what?

Make a raw tomato sauce with garlic, a piece of onion, salt & pepper, basil and olive oil. Put over pasta and add the chicken, shredded. Top with more basil leaves. Lovely!

Aug 16, 2009
quintabelina in Home Cooking

Achiote Paste

It's easier to look for the paste that's sold in most market's now a days, comes in a little box and it's already ground up; annato seeds are very hard and might harm your blender.
Put the paste in the blender and add about 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/4 (or more) cup of white vinegar until it becomes a thick sauce consistency so you can marinate meats.
Put in a tupperware and cover pork meat well and be sure to leave it in the fridge at least 24 hrs before cooking. Can be used with chicken or fish (leave less time for fish).... Serve with red onion slices cooked in vinegar in tortillas. This is "Pibil" style from Yucatan.

Aug 16, 2009
quintabelina in Recipes


Here's an easier, faster way to make Carnitas and they're wonderful too. Use a pressure cooker.
Get 4 lbs (ask your butcher) pork cuttings or 80/20 mix of 80% meat and 20% fat, at least.
Salt & pepper to taste
Put the meat in the pressure cooker with 2 tbl water. Close the lid and bring it up to pressure. Once the valve begins to hiss, set the timer to 45 min. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure, open the lid, you'll see the meat is still without color but starting to get tender. Turn the heat back on and boil your meat (should have a rolling boil) until it's browned. The meat juices will get thicker and combine with the fat in the meat and will give you the taste you're after. Check them often and taste, you'll know, it'll take about and hour or 1 1/2 hours. Do not salt until the meat is done (it will make it tougher to cook), add salt and pepper at the end.

Aug 16, 2009
quintabelina in Recipes


Okay, here's my 2 cent's worth, and I know of what I speak (I am Mexican, I'm also an experienced and award winning Chef, specializing in the classic Mexican food of old)- the skinny is with chilaquiles it doesn't matter where in Mexico you're from. We all love them and they come in every color and flavor, they're all great.
As with other ethnic foods, people "bastardize" the recipes yet this doesn't mean they're still Mexican; it just means you've changed it to suit your tastes (we still don't like it, but whatever, c'est la vie....)
BUT to asnwer the question about what is chilaquiles, it's: day old tortillas are used because of the humidity issues (they fry better and they're no longer any good for tacos or guisados)- and once they're fried they don't get dumped in the sauce. The tortillas are placed on the place and then beans (if being used), chicken (we eat the whole chicken not just the breasts, people), the sauce, shredded cheese (if you like), sliced onion, crema, crumbled Cotija cheese, radishes (if you like), cilantro leaves (and sometimes salsa picante for those that like or just make a hot sauce to begin with..)
As far as sauces for these, the traditional is the red and green. The red is usually made with Guajillo chiles, but Anchos might be too sweet for me although they're good; the green with tomatillos of course. I've also made them with Mole (great!), Peanut Sauce, Salsa Ranchera, etc. so use any sauce you have available. The toppings are open, the one's I listed are the "traditional" ones and NO lime. If you put the tortillas into the sauce, they'd start getting soft and the point is they be crisp, so the sauce on top only. Yes, you can use shredded beef, pork, (I've used carnitas), vegetarian, rajas Poblanas, turkey, but chicken is still the most prevalent.
Want more recipes? Check out my blog at
Want a recipe for a particular dish? Let me know.....

Aug 16, 2009
quintabelina in Recipes