Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Carne Con Chile (Meat in Spicy Sauce)

Carne Con Chile is a very basic Mexican meat dish, it is easy to make. It is made usually from leftover hot salsas prepared or you can make the hot sauce for the dish in particular. You simple brown the meat with salt and pepper or your choice of meat seasoning then brown minced onions, and throw hot sauce so the meat boils in it SIMPLE! (Well atleast for me because we always have container's of homemade hot sauces my mother makes)

I must warn though this is a very spicy dish and makes a very good taco filling, or side dish to any Mexican meal.

*1 1/2 lbs meat cut into bite sizes (me mother uses beef for this but pork, or chicken is acceptable)
*1 onion minced
*salt and pepper to taste or favorite meat seasoning (my mother uses "Chef Merito Steak & Meat Seasoning" it's a blend of salt, sugar, citric acid, black pepper, cumin, paprika, star anise, msg, onion powder, and oregano it's really tastey and my mom likes it)
*1 recipe for a Mexican Salsa (we happened to have leftover "Salsa de Chile Habanero" which is Habanero hot sauce, that we made with tomatoes instead of tomatillos SEE NOTE AT END OF POST)

(1)Clean meat, and cut into bite size pieces, my mother cuts it into small strips (the beef)

(2)Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat (my mother likes olive oil but lard is the traditional fat but any other oil will do), add meat and brown, it will release liquid, let it reduce and evaporate and lightly brown meat, add onions and sautee until translucent.

(3)Add home made hot sauce and about 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer 5-10 minutes.

(1)If using pork, cut pork into little pieces, add water enough to cover and a little oil, boil until water evaporates and it starts browning and cook as directions for recipe apply.

(2)I WISH I WAS GETTING PAID FOR SUGGESTING THE USE OF "Chef Merito's Steak Seasoning for Meats" unfortunately I'm not but hey I'm being honest here it's what my mom used for this dish.

(3)Here is the list of SOME homemade hot sauces we make in my house that can be used to make a good "Carne Con Chile":

-Salsa de Chile Habanero
-Salsa de Chile de Arbol
-Salsa de Chile Verde

We make more different varieties of hot sauces in my house but these are some that I've already blogged about and that we prepare most frequently.

Frijoles Negros Con Epazote

Black beans are popular in some parts of Mexico in most parts though Pinto beans rule. I had heard that Black beans in some parts of Mexico are prepared with a herb called "Epazote"
which is used in Mexican cooking (not sure for what other applications because it is absent from my mother's Mexican cooking) I'll be honest I don't know much about the herb, I just wikipedia'd it (yeah I know that's not a word) and linked it so you guys can read it if your interested.

Well anyways, I went to the grocery store and saw a big bunch of fresh Epazote and I don't know what got into me but I said, "Hey I've heard black beans with epazote are delicious never have made it but I guess I'll try it and see how it goes" and I did.

I will be honest with all my readers, I do dislike Mexican "Frijoles de la Olla" type dishes (bean soups prepared the traditional way which I feel is a little bland and watered down, that is the reason I tend to always when I make them I simple drain them and fry them then mash to a delicious savory paste. (can you blame me I was raised on thick and rich Cuban and Spaniard bean/ legume based stews). For my blog I prepared them watered down to keep it traditional and how most Mexicans would like it, but for my house I almost always make bean soups/ stews thick, or water if I wish to refry them or use them to make "Enfrijoladas"
But I still wanna show my reader's what I know so here goes I will show you how to prepare "Frijoles Negros Con Epazote" and I know many people like stuff prepared like this :)

-2 cups black beans
-1/2 big onion or 1 medium one cut in half
-2-3 cloves garlic whole
-1/2 a big bunch of Epazote cleaned and tied so you can easily remove it
-salt Directions:
(1)Get beans, run your hands through them to get rid of anything that may be hiding in them, rinse well and place in a pot.

(2)Add water enough to cover about 1-2 inches and throw in garlic, onion, and epazote bring to boil and simmer for about 2 hours more or less depends on your beans

(3)When done cooking throw away and remove garlic, onion, and epazote, add salt to taste and let boil another 3-5 minutes.
You can enjoy as a soup, eat with rice or tortilla, good side dish to most Mexican meals (meats, etc.) but I DIDN'T WANNA EAT IT PREPARED LIKE THAT SO I REFRIED IT:

-Prepared cooked "Frijoles Negros Con Epazote"
-1/2 onion minced
-4 teaspoons more or less "lard" or "bacon grease"

(1)I like my black beans really smooth so I put them in a blender and dilute with some of the black bean broth. Set aside. (You can do this in batches)

(2)Now heat a pan on medium high heat, add lard or bacon grease, when it melts and it's hot add onions and brown them until translucent and cooked down a bit on medium high

(3)Now add your black beans that you blended and stir until they come to a boil, let it reduce on medium heat stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick until it reaches the consistency you desire.

(4)Serve as a side with whatever, I went stereotypical and melted cheese over them and ate them with some corn tortillas and a spicy sauce. (yes people I love beans and cheese with tortillas heck I love beans! If you haven't noticed I have tons of bean recipes in my blog haha)

Steamed Vegetables with Vinegar and Soy Sauce dip

Haha yet another thing I learned from my Filipino friend's (Shantall) mother (Herminia). Her mother loves vegetables and usually makes sure that there is always vegetables incorporated into the meal, be it a side dish or within a specific dish.

She sometimes makes a very simple vegetable side dish, she simply steams vegetables (be it broccoli, cauliflower, wedged cabbage, etc.) and will make a vinegar soy sauce dip.

I recommend this if you are ever in a hurry and want some healthy vegetables to eat with your meal.

This has become a regularly prepared thing in my house when we want veggies quickly and have broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage on hand.
Main Ingredients:
-(whatever veggie steamed I've had this prepared with either cauliflower, broccoli or wedged cabbage or a combination of broccoli and cauliflower)

Dipping sauce:
-soy sauce
-In a pot boil some water about 1-2 inches of it, then add veggies cleaned and cut to steam, when ready and they change color check it's doness and if it's good, drain and set aside.

(2)Mix equal amounts vinegar to soy sauce (like 1 tablespoon soy sauce you add 1 tablespoon vinegar) that's how I do it, but it's really to taste.

(3)That's it just get a veggie and dip and eat, it's that simple, trust me! It's good and simple.
-This is delicious with boiled whole okra, just get young fresh okra, boil a pot of water, and boil whole until they just change color a bit, drain and serve with dipping sauce you may shock them in cold water if you wish. Very addicting for me.

-I know it may sound weird or akward to some but try it, you may like it and it's good for you :)