Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mojarra Frita a la Mexicana (Tilapia a la Mexicana)

In this dish fish is seasoned, lightly fried, and simmered in a very light sauce (if it can be called that), I am not a fan of whole tilapia, my mother really enjoys it and many Mexicans love tilapia (which they call "Mojarra" pronounced "mo-ha-ra" but you got to roll the "r")

Anyway I'm sure you'll get really good results using any fish you enjoy. I think this would be great with a "Red Snapper", "Black Pomfret", "Catfish", "Sockeye Salmon" cut in segments, "Rainbow Trout" or simply "Trout", "Pollack" etc. you get the point.

-2 medium with slits cut on the side whole tilapias (opened up, cleaned, scales removed by scraping in opposite direction with a knife, remive all guts with hand, and those wierd things in the gills. Then with a knife scrape of anything greyish black inside it will make the fish bitter also don't cut or rip a sack near the head it will make it bitter just remove it whole rinse fish well don't be afraid to use your hands be SAVAGE)
-6-8 cloves or more crushed minced garlic preferably mashed to a paste
-salt 1 teaspoon or more to taste
-ground black pepper 1 teaspoon
-1 large or 2 small tomatoes minced
-1/2 onion minced
-1 serrano chili pepper or jalapeno minced or sliced into thin rounds
-1/2 cup cilantro minced

-Mix garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper together, rub all over the fish, and fill the slits with it to.
-Heat generous amount of olive oil on medium high in a pan and add fish pan-fry fish brown on both sides about 3 minutes on both sides and set aside
-In dripping sautee onions and chili pepper until translucent and fragrant. Add diced tomato and cilantro season with a little of salt
-Add fish back and cover with sautee. Cover and steam for about 5-1o minutes until tomatoes release some juice. It is not suppose to be a saucy dish.

Tortitas de Carne de Puerco (Pork Paddies)

This is a a very delicious Mexican dish. It is paddies made with ground pork topped with a sauce. You can eat it with fresh corn tortillas or anything. It makes a great meat dish to any meal.
Ingredients for paddies:
(1) 1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
(2)1/2 onion finely minced
(3)6 cloves garlic crushed and minced (you may use less but in my household we love garlic)
(4)1/2 cup minced cilantro
(5)1 teaspoon ground black pepper
(6)salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons)
(7)1 cracked whole egg
(8)1/2 cup bread crumbs or ground saltine or unsalted crackers (I just put crackers in a bag and mash it with a cup)
(9)A little oil for griddle

Ingredients for sauce:
(1)1 whole tomato minced
(2)1/2 onion minced
(3)1/2 cup minced cilantro
(4)1 spicy chili pepper (any if you want mild use Jalapeno or kinda spicy use Serrano chilies and so on)
(5)salt and pepper to taste
(6)2 -3 tablespoons water

(1)Mix all paddie ingredients together, incorporate everything well.
(2)Heat a hot griddle or pan lightly oil and brown on 1 side 3-5 minutes and same on other side. Set aside as your finished.

(3)Heat a pan with some oil, sautee onions and chili peppers, when onions are translucent season with salt and pepper add cilantro and tomato, sautee until tomato is kinda cooked and some water until it is a kind of thick salsa like when the tomato has released some of its liquid. Set aside in a bowl.
(4)When serving spoon some sauce over the paddies.

PLEASE NOTE: You can do this recipe with ground turkey, beef, chicken, veal even by grinding your own fish fillets and using ground shrimp. It is very flexible. You can get any meat in your fridge grind it and use it to.

Tita's Salad

We have a family friend we call "Tita" she is originally from El Salvador and she makes this salad very often, I don't know if it's a Salvadoran recipe or not but since she is Salvadoran and she showed us Im gonna label it as Salvadoran.

Though her salad is very basic and similar to many cultures salads. In this recipe the way you cut everything is very important (atleast to me)

-1 romain lettuce
-Equal amounts of raw spinach to romain lettuce
-1 large or 2 small cucumbers
-1 or 2 large fresh tomatoes
-1 cup of radishes (optional)
-2-4 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
-Juice of 2 limes
-salt to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons)
(1)Seperate each leaf from the romain lettuce, wash well, pat-dry, cutin half long wise, pile and roll up then cut into 1/2 inch slices kinda like "chiffounade" (I think I mispelled that)
(2)Wash spinach well, by drowning it in water in the sink, swishing and getting rid of all bad stuff, drain it well and pat-dry. Cut just like lettuce or try to cut it similar by chopping 1/2 inch slices or pieces
(3)Wash and cut large tomatoes in 4, then slice on a angle thinly
(4)Cut ends of cucumbers and then cut cucumber in half then slice in half and thinly slice to make 1/2 moon shapes
(5)Cut radishes ugly parts, slice in half and then slice those halves into 1/2 moon shapes,
(6)Toss all vegetables together
(7)Drizzle olive oil, squeeze juice of 2 limes, and then sprinkle with salt and toss with a tool or clean hands.