Pati's Mexican Table - A Local's Tour of Culiacan (801)
Enchiladas de Suelo
Makes 12 open enchiladas Serves 6 as a main dish
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided, plus more for boiling water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup slivered red onion
- 5 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 ripe tomatoes, divided, 1 whole and 1 cut into thin slices
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped white onion
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into half-moons of about 1/2-inch
- 1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed, chopped
- 12 corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
- 6 leaves of romaine lettuce, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 6 ounces (about 5 to 6) radishes, halved lengthwise and cut into half-moons of about 1/2-inch
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, cut into thin slices
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into slices
- 1 cup crumbled queso Cotija, ranchero or fresco
In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with the vegetable oil, a teaspoon of salt, and a dash of black pepper. Add the red onion, stir, and let macerate for at least 15 minutes or while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Place the ancho chiles, garlic clove, and the whole tomato in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the chiles have rehydrated and the tomato is cooked and mushy.
Transfer the chiles, tomato, and garlic clove, along with 1 cup of their cooking liquid, to a blender. Add the chopped onion, oregano, remaining tablespoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and a dash of black pepper and puree until completely smooth. Pour into a medium skillet and set aside.
Bring salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced zucchini and blanch for 30 seconds. Strain, or remove with a spider, and set aside in a bowl.
In a medium skillet or saute pan, fry the chorizo over medium-high heat, crumbling it into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, for about 6 minutes until crisp and brown. Add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil if the chorizo doesn’t have enough fat to fry. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
Pour about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a large deep skillet set over medium heat. Once hot, dip each tortilla one-by-one into the ancho chile sauce until drenched, then gently place it into the hot oil and let fry for about 20 seconds, remove with a slotted spatula and set on a plate. Arrange 2 per person on dinner plates. Cover each tortilla with lettuce, zucchini, radishes and arrange slices of avocado, tomato, cucumber on top. Finally, top with the chorizo, pickled red onions, and crumbled queso.
Taquitos Dorados Ahogados
Makes 40 taquitos
INGREDIENTS For the taquitos:
- 2 pounds beef chuck roast, rump roast or other stewing meats, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 white onion, halved
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 Roma tomato
- 2 carrots, cut into large pieces
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
- 1 cup refried pinto beans
- 40 corn tortillas
- Wooden toothpicks
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 head green cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup Mexican crema
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
- Pickled red onions
Place the meat, onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, chiles, peppercorns, tomato, carrots, and salt in a large casserole or soup pot. Fill with water until covered by at least an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, skim off any foam that may formed on top, and cover and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Add the potatoes, and continue simmering for another 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the meat is easy to shred and the potatoes are fork tender.
Transfer the meat and potatoes to a large bowl. Strain the broth into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about another 30 minutes until reduced slightly.
Meanwhile, place the meat on a cutting board and finely chop. Mash the potatoes in the bowl, and add the refried beans and chopped meat. Mix until combined and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a comal or a dry skillet over medium heat until hot. Heat the tortillas on the comal or skillet for about 30 to 40 seconds per side; this will prevent them from breaking when rolling them into taquitos. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded beef on one side of each tortilla and roll them up tightly, inserting a wooden toothpick through the seam to hold them together. You can insert a toothpick through 2 to 3 taquitos at a time, so they will fry evenly and hold their shape. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Fill another heavy pan or large casserole with about an inch of oil. Heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes before frying the taquitos.
Once the oil is hot, gently drop in the taquitos in batches, being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Fry them until they have crisped and turned golden, about 2 to 3 minutes on one side, then flip and repeat on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the taquitos from the oil and put them on a plate or tray lined with paper towels.
To serve, place 3 to 4 taquitos on a rimmed plate. Top with shredded cabbage, crema, queso fresco, and pickled red onions. Pour hot broth onto the taquitos and serve drowned! Or, you can serve the broth on the side for dunking, or for people to drown the taquitos as they please.