Friday, April 23, 2010

Mexican Feast

Even though I'm eating almost entirely Korean food these days, I've made a new habit to cook something "Western" on every Thursday night. This week, I had a craving for Mexican food, and began preparing the ingredients and searching some recipes online. Here is the resulting meal, enough for six people:

The dishes were made entirely from food I can get locally, with one exception - a package of taco seasoning mix which The Stumbling Mom sent me, which it probably way past its expiration date. I don't think I've ever made Spanish Rice nor Refried Beans before, it was both fun and tasty, if I do say so myself.

I wasn't entirely happy with frying the tortillas to make taco shells and a few nacho chips. While they tasted good, they weren't quite as crisp as you would get in a restaurant. I think this means my temperature wasn't quite right. I read in one recipe to fry them at 175 deg C, which I checked with my thermometer. However, I'll try a diffrent temperature if I do this again. Not to mention all the newspaper and paper towels I needed to drain off all the grease - not something I'll do often.

My only real complaint is there was too much cheese. In the past, I would always say "you can never have too much cheese", but for some reason these days I prefer to eat smaller quantities of cheese and other dairy products.

By the way, mashing the beans was really fun! Test for my Spanish speaking friends - what does "refried beans" mean? I discovered, while searching for recipes, it does NOT mean twice-fried beans.

Is Spanish Rice from Spain? I prepared the rice in the skillet as instructed in the recipe. Interesting fact - hot rice in the skillet will start to jump, similar to popcorn! Then I actually cooked the rice in my rice cooker. It worked just great:

And finally, out of curiosity, I tried a little Korean-Mexican fusion. I ate some kimchi along with the enchillada. It was DELICIOUS! Also with the refried beans! I might be onto something. These days we have the Taco Truck folks in California with their bulgogi tacos. How about a kimchi chicken enchilada anyone?


The Stumbling Mom said...

Who ate the rest of it? That's enough for an army! I think the tacos should probably be done at a hotter temperature, but I think the reason they weren't crispy enough might have to do with the thickness of the original tortilla. If you make these things yourself, you can control how thick they get. I don't much like the store bought ones. Home made is best. You have to have masa harina, not corn meal. Here's a site telling you how to do it.
Want some more taco seasoning?

Chris said...

I gave it away to some friends - if I ate all that myself, it would cancel all my good dieting efforts.

These were standard 10 inch flour tortillas from Costco. They also "bubbled" quite a lot - the recipe I read warned me about that, but it seemed excessive.