Traditional recipes

Oaxacan String Cheese in Green Salsa

Oaxacan String Cheese in Green Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, seeded
  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 large white onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon (about) sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds queso oaxaca, cut into 6 portions

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring 2 cups water to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatillos and jalapeño chile and cook until tomatillos are tender, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos and chile to blender. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid, cilantro, and garlic. Puree until sauce is almost smooth.

  • Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onion and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Mix in broth, then sugar; season sauce with salt and pepper.

  • Heat heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add cheese and cook until slightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Bring tomatillo sauce to simmer. Add cheese to sauce and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Transfer cheese with sauce to shallow platter or divide cheese and sauce among 6 individual gratin dishes. Serve with tortillas.

Recipe by La Olla Restaurant Bar of Oaxaca Mexico,Photos by Pornchai MittongareReviews Section

Mexican Grilled Quesadillas (The Casa Oaxaca’s Tlayudas)

You won’t be able to reproduce these exactly, not unless you’re willing to make corn tortillas, refried beans, and salsa pasilla from scratch. (The latter is a fragrant, moderately spicy salsa made from dried pasilla chiles.) You’d also need Oaxacan string cheese, which you may be able to find at a specialty market. I take a more liberal approach, calling for ingredients you might be able to find without spending a day shopping and salsa making.

Mexican Grilled Quesadillas (The Casa Oaxaca’s Tlayudas)


Recipe Summary

  • 12 Anaheim chile peppers, charred and peeled
  • 1 pound Cheddar cheese, cut into strips
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour for coating

Remove seeds and membranes from peppers. Stuff each pepper with a strip of cheese.

In a small bowl combine milk, the 1 cup flour, egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and canola oil mix well to make a batter.

Pour enough oil in heavy frying pan to reach 1 inch in depth and heat over medium-high heat. Roll each pepper in the remaining flour and dip in the batter. Fry until lightly browned on both sides.


Oaxaca Cheese Dip: How to Make this Easy and Authentic Queso Dipping Sauce?

What is Oaxaca cheese dip? As its name suggests, it is a dip sauce made from Oaxaca cheese. You might wonder, what is Oaxaca cheese anyway? It is a Mexican-born cheese, coming long way from Oaxaca County in the southern Mexico. Its white color and semi-hard texture makes it perfect to make it as a queso (cheese) dip, as it also has similar texture like mozzarella string cheese. Oftentimes, Oaxaca cheese is interchanged with asadero cheese. However, Oaxaca is different as it got more moisture.

As we know, Oaxaca cheese is often used in many Mexican cuisines, like in quesadillas or empanadas. In both delicacies, Oaxaca cheese is melted and is combined with other ingredients, such as squash flowers and huitlacoche. You can make Oaxaca cheese dip in less than 30 minutes. Just make sure these ingredients are ready, and you are good to go. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces of Oaxaca cheese
  • 4.5 ounces of chopped green chilies (both fresh or canned ones work fine)
  • ¾ cups of milk or half & half
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, small diced
  • ¼ cup of jalapeno, chopped
  • ¼ cup of chopped cilantro (recommended amount, feel free to add or reduce)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Firstly, break up Oaxaca cheese and place it on your saucepan/skillet. Make sure to use low heat.
  2. After that, add ¾ cup of milk (or half & half). Heat it and have the cheese melted. You will need to do occasional stirring to avoid making clump and crust – which is a bit hard to clean once it sticks on your kitchenware. Combine the two ingredients and mix it until it smoothly thickens.
  3. Add in the chopped green chilies, diced tomatoes, cilantro, as well as chopped jalapeno. Mix it well.
  4. Once all the ingredients are well mixed, you can turn off the heat and pour the queso dip into your preferred serving bowl.

That is how to make your cheese dip from Oaxaca cheese. Having the cheese dip served with your tortilla chips or any Mexican dishes will enhance the authenticity of the cuisine. Do you want to use this cheese dip made from this Oaxaca cheese dip recipe by drizzling it on top of your taco bowls? Or, biting tortilla chips with the classic taste of queso dip? Don’t worry since oaxaca cheese dip will be ready in no time.


Oaxacan Tamaleo

Billy Stoute often saw Leonor "Leo" Baños at a bus stop. After Billy repeatedly asked her out, Leo finally said yes, leading to a blissful marriage. Before her first trip home to Oaxaca in six years, Leo made a huge batch of tamales for Billy to eat during her absence, so he would save money by not eating out. He shared with friends, and they all wanted to know where they could get some more of those amazing tamales. A light bulb went off over Billy's head.

After Leo's return from Oaxaca, the couple made another huge batch and took them to First Thursday on South Congress, where they rapidly sold out. Leo and Billy knew they needed an approved kitchen to cook the tamales, so a deal was made with the old G&M Steakhouse at Sixth and Lamar.

Now they have their own place, as one side of the La Chica minimart on the corner of Gault and West Anderson. Oaxacan Tamaleo's seating capacity is 21, and the decor might best be described as homey. The menu is small, but every single item is rock-solid and delicious, and service is as friendly as one could hope for.

The tamales are superlative: the best in town (chicken with red mole, pork with green salsa, and black bean with cheese, $2.75 each, $24 per dozen Leo sells them at the Downtown Farmers' Market on Saturdays, while Billy's son is at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market). They're banana-leaf wrapped, with a masa that's light as a feather and fillings that are rich and flavorful. The Pozole ($3 for the small bowl, $4.50 large) looked vapid until the first bite proved otherwise: an intense chicken stock with hominy and lots of hidden moist chicken underneath (it comes with a radish and cabbage salad on the side). The Caldo de Mariscos (Friday only, $4.50) is sinfully good: a rich, spicy, tomato seafood broth loaded with shrimp, crab, mussels, and clams.

Daily specials run Monday through Friday: lunch is $4.98 dinner, $6.45. We've had Monday's delightful chile relleno: a big roasted and peeled poblano stuffed with lots of gooey Oaxacan string cheese, then grilled. Wednesday's albondigas are huge beef and rice meatballs that have simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce lightly spiced with chiles. Friday's scrumptious mojo de ajo is marinated whole tilapia, with the sides scored and slathered with garlic before it's grilled on a griddle.

Tuesday is pork in green chile sauce, and Thursday is turkey in red mole sauce (sorry – we haven't had those yet, but we sampled the mole and loved it: It has lots of depth and seductive chile flavor up front, with the nuts and chocolate lurking in the background). All the specials come with perfect black beans topped with white cheese, fluffy Mexican rice, tortillas, and Tamaleo's award-winning red or green salsas. Another entrée we sampled was an incredible Lamb Shoulder Barbacoa ($6.45): meltingly tender chunks of lamb that have been cooked in banana leaves, then topped with a rich, piquant seasoned lamb stock. There are limited breakfast options, as well as liquados, tamarindo and jamaica drinks, and flan for dessert.

Every dish we have tried has been dynamic and full-flavored, and overflowing with authentic Oaxacan taste. Based on price and portion size, it's the best interior Mexican meal deal in town, and once you meet Leo and Billy, you'll understand the source of the love they put into their food.


Oaxaca Drinks

34. Tejate

An indigenous drink (from the Mixtec and Zapotec people) made of corn, cacao, and other unusual bits like the seeds of the mamey (or zapote) and flor de cacao (or Rosita de cacao). As such, the drink is mildly chocolatey and earthy. It feels like it ought to do something transcendental to you.

We tried our hand at a couple versions, including at one of the stands in the main hall of Oaxaca’s Etla market.

35. Hot Chocolate

Yes, you have to try real hot chocolate. Even though you may be accustomed to taking it with milk (de leche), try it local style with water (de agua).

Wherever you buy it, be certain to ask for it nice and frothy, preferably using a hand-spun frother called a molinillo. A good place to try several types of chocolate is Chocolate Mayordomo.

36. Coffee

Though coffee culture suffers south of the Mexican border (it is getting better), it’s alive and well in Oaxaca. So alive and well, I might go so far as to say I’ve had some of the most consistently good coffee ever in my life in Oaxaca. Just check it out and let us know. Best coffee in Oaxaca? We say Cafe Nuevo Mundo.

37. Beer

If you drink beer, you must drink beer in Oaxaca, so you can be a world beer aficionado.

Corona? I’m sorry, but I try to avoid touching the stuff. Pacifico and Negra Modelo are OK, but our favorite refreshing go-to beer: Victoria. If you want something different, try Cucapá, a Mexicali microbrew.

38. Mezcal

Growing up, I always thought of mezcal as dirty, like an outlaw tequila. It was probably the agave worm, which by the way does not appear in all bottles of mezcal. So what is it?

I go to Oaxaca and I find the real story (or at least the story told by Oaxaquenos): a smoky, double-distilled roasted mash made from the heart of the maguey plant (of the agave family) called a piña (as in pineapple, which is not surprising as the maguey hearts look like enormous barrel-sized pineapples hearts).

Tequila, by the way, is a specific type of mezcal made from the blue agave.

Experience this yourself with a half day tour that includes mezcal tasting right from the source. Or, if you really want to go deep into the subtleties of mezcal, sign up for this organic mezcal tasting at a local mezcal cooperative.

39. Margaritas

By no means am I a margarita expert, but I certainly enjoyed a margarita (or two) on the rocks in Oaxaca. Blended margaritas are for the beach. The margaritas at La Biznaga were our favorite. But, be careful after a few of them…


&quotOaxacan Feast&quot at Guelaguetza

This past Monday, I hosted an "Oaxacan Feast" and let me tell you, our group definitely did some major feasting as we experienced a total of 14 different dishes. Two of those dishes were the obligatory rice and beans, but the other 12 are what I'm going to talk about below.

When we arrived, they first took our agua fresca drink orders. Throughout the evening, we could get refills of mango, guava or orange. I pretty much stuck with the guava drink the whole night. It was a little sweet for my taste, but I still liked it. Before our main food orders came out, we noshed on tortilla chips, which was topped with red mole sauce and maybe, cotija cheese? The mole sauce was tasty which definitely was a good indication of what was to come, so here we go:

1. Ensalada de Nopalitos (cactus tossed salad)

– I didn't care for this salad too much. The nopales seemed a little slimy to me. I didn't think the cheese added much to the salad and whatever dressing they used was really bland.

2. Botana Oaxaquena (assorted tasting plate, including Oaxacan string cheese, memelas, chorizo, tazajo and cecina, a fresh stuffed chile with picadillo, fried pork ribs and guacamole)

– This appetizer plate is meant just for 8 people, but I think that it can probably feed 10. It's a lot of food. I liked everything on the plate, but my favorites were the chorizo, which are spicy fried sausages. If you cut into and spread the sausage meat into the tortilla, put a little salsa and than fold it, that was just another way to enjoy it, but just on its own was good enough for me.

I also liked the Oaxacan cheese, stretchy and a little salty, but good and the memela, once I got over the fact that it was cooked with lard, was really good. It was a thick corn tortilla that had a bean puree and melted cheese on top of it and was really yummy.

3. Camarones Enchipotlados (shrimp sautéed in a chipotle sauce (spicy)

– The chiptole sauce for this shrimp was awesome. You got a little bit of heat with smoky undertones. I would have liked it spicier, but still a very good dish.

4. Filete a la Talla (red snapper fish marinated with a unique in-house salsa, oven cooked)

– This was actually an interesting dish in that it's not on the menu at the Koreatown location, but it is on the menu at the Olympic location, but since I really wanted it, they accommodated me by sending the Olympic chef to the Koreatown location to make it. I'm so glad that I insisted. Although the fish was a teensy bit dry, the sauce that was encrusted on it really made the dish. I'm not sure what the sauce was made of, but it reminded me of a rich flavorful tomato sauce with a little bit of spice, but not overwhelming.

5. Nopal Zapoteco (grilled cactus, topped with grilled beef, onions, tomato, bell pepper and cheese)

– After having experienced this dish recently also at La Casita and now here, I think I know that I'm not a fan of this dish. I just don't like the mouth texture of the cheese, beef and nopales combined.

6. Coloradito Con Puerco (pork covered with Oaxaca's famous red mole, made from chiles, nuts, seeds, spices and Oaxacan chocolate)

– Finally, we get the first of the 4 mole dishes that I had picked out. I already experienced a bit of this with the tortilla chips, but now we have it in its full glory. Of the four, this red mole was my favorite. There was just so much to it. I can't describe completely why I liked it so much, but there just seemed to be more flavor layers, compared to the three moles that followed this one.

7. Amarillo de Res (bowl of beef with yellow mole flavored with chiles, cloves and cumin)

– This is the first time I ever had yellow mole and it was interesting. With the cumin as a part of this sauce, for some reason, I had visions of Indian food in the sense that the spicing seemed kind of similar. It had just a different flavor profile than the red mole, but one I enjoyed.

8. Verde de Pollo (bowl of chicken with green mole made from fresh spicy green chiles with herbs including hierba santa and epazote)

– This was also the first time I had green mole. It was definitely lacking in any kind of heat as opposed to the red or the yellow moles, but again, a completely different flavor profile from either the red or yellow moles. It was a lighter mole than the others and tasted "greener", "grassier", but the epazote and hierba santa gave it a little bit of pungency that made it from being too bland.

9. Tamal Oaxaqueno de Mole con Pollo (finely ground corn dough packages, filled with shredded chicken in black mole and wrapped in banana leaves)

– This tamal was wrapped in the way that I didn't expect. Instead of opening up the banana leaves to see all of the tamal, it was if it was wrapped in layers. You open up one layer to eat part of the tamal and than open up the second layer for another part of the tamal, etc.

What bothered me about this dish was the shredded chicken because the meat was dry and a little stringy. The masa was good, but I've had better. The black mole was good, but it didn't wow me that much. Compared to the red mole, which I loved, this particular sauce didn't pack the flavor punch I would have expected. It could also be that my palate was exhausted. We had a whole bunch of food before this black mole came out, so I feel like I have to go back and check it out again to see if I like it better.

10. Chuleta De Puerco Enchilado Frito (chile-marinated and fried pork chops)

– I really liked this pork, but it was interesting in that it reminded me of Chinese BBQ Pork.

11. Empanadas de Huitlacoche (huge, handmade corn tortilla folded and stuffed with huitlacoche)

– For the life of me, I couldn't get into this dish. The texture of this corn fungus just didn't do anything for me.

– So ends our meal with dessert and we all got flan. I didn't care for the flan at all. It had the consistency of jello gelatin. I prefer flan that's creamier.

So ends the "Oaxacan Feast". You can imagine that we were all stuffed beyond compare. Overall, I liked the food at Guelaguetza, but I'm glad that I was able to do a pretty good sampling of what's on their menu, because there are certain things I would certainly go back for and others I would skip entirely.

Guelaguetza
3337 1/2 W. 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
213-427 0601


Eating and Making Gringas or How to Make Tacos in Jalisco, Mexico

Yesterday was one of those magical days that can only happen in Mexico. We had driven to the mountain town of Mascota in the state of Jalisco to take care of some business. Just the drive itself, through the scenic, greening mountains, would have made the day special enough. Going to Mascota always includes a visit to Cuka and Capi’s rancho to buy eggs, cheese and cream. Cuka invited us to stay and eat the afternoon meal with her family. She was going to make Gringa Tacos, often seen on local menus and seeming to have no explanation for its curious name. The mountain air had made us hungry and we would have been fools not to accept an invitation to sit at Cuka’s table. Suddenly, the day was even brighter.

I had my camera, but I didn’t have my reading glasses, so I couldn’t see the settings on the camera view finder. Even though some of these photos aren’t as clear as they could be, the meal was too special to not share with you the making of Gringa Tacos in Jalisco.

Gringa Tacos, at least the way Cuka makes them, are freshly made corn tortillas filled with cheese and seasoned beef, served with an avocado salsa, a tomatillo salsa, and chopped cilantro and onion. For a simply made meal, the tacos were muy mexicano y excelente!

It took Cuka about two minutes to make an avocado salsa in the blender, using one large avocado, three raw, chopped tomatillos, a few tablespoons of chopped onion, salt and enough milk to thin for a pourable consistency. Never, never have I come across a salsa with avocado and milk. I should know by now to expect the unexpected when I’m in a Mexican kitchen. Cuka said a green chile could be added for piquancy, but she didn’t add it this time.

In another two minutes, she had a red salsa prepared by first grinding in the blender a small handful of toasted chiles de árbol, then adding raw garlic, cooked tomatillos, water, salt, and a bit of yesterday’s salsa roja, the latter to add color, she said. I liked her freestyle use of some left-over salsa for the sake of a redder color.

Next, she tore apart some queso adobero, so named for its resemblance to the shape of an adobe brick. It was stringy, like Oaxacan string cheese.

A pan of coarsely ground beef, chopped tomato, chopped poblano chiles (which Cuka called chile gordo), onion and a bit of chopped bacon were already cooked. She told me this was similar to chorizo, a common Mexican sausage usually made with pork. Words can not describe the fine balance of flavor and seasoning achieved with so few ingredients.

Cuka was zooming and I had to move quickly to keep up with her. She dashed into the adjacent laundry/sink room to knead masa dough — purchased from a Mascota tortillaria — on a metate. How many photos I miss because the room is too dark, and I don’t want to intrude with a camera flash! This was another missed shot, with Cuka in a blur of motion.

Then back to the kitchen, with a primitive wooden bowl full of pinched off pieces of masa, each the exact same amount, despite their irregular shape, to produce perfectly round tortillas of the exact same size. (This is where I would be using my kitchen scale, weighing by the gram, and still coming up with strangely shaped tortillas. Not Cuka, who must have made by now thousands of tortillas in her life time.) The tortilla press was set up next to the stove, a comal already heating. Cuka got to work.

As Cuka pressed tortillas and placed them on the comal, her sister was turning them over, and adding cheese and meat once they were cooked. Each was topped with a cooked tortilla, sandwich-like, and heated through.

You can see the tortilla press in the foreground. I like the salt container — a coconut shell with a blue enamel lid. I want one.

Upon being served, I learned the name of their ranch —Rancho La Escuadra, so named for its square shape of land. We had green mango ate for dessert, bought in San Sebastian, a near-by town famous for its ate. A cross between jelly and fruit leather, ate is usually too sweet for me, but this was just right, with a sublime taste of mango, this month’s favorite fruit on Cooking in Mexico.


Tacos al pastore, pulled pork, red cabbage, green tomato sala

These instructions are to serve 2 people. When cooking for 1, 4 or 6 the same techniques apply but the preparation and cooking times may change slightly.

Please note we have included flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas.

METHOD:

1. Warm the tortillas: Heat and soften the tortillas directly over a gas flame or in a frying pan. Keep warm by wrapping in a tea towel or in a low oven.

2. Reheat the pulled pork: Place the pulled pork into a small saucepan, gently reheat over medium heat.

3. Prepare the vegetables: Wash the vegetables. Thinly slice the onion, soak briefly in cold water. Slice the avocado. Chop the coriander. Slice the cheeks off the lime.

4. To serve: Divide the tortillas between serving plates. Top with the pulled pork, cheese, pickled cabbage, green tomato salsa, avocado, onion and coriander. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.


Eating and Making Gringas or How to Make Tacos in Jalisco, Mexico

Yesterday was one of those magical days that can only happen in Mexico. We had driven to the mountain town of Mascota in the state of Jalisco to take care of some business. Just the drive itself, through the scenic, greening mountains, would have made the day special enough. Going to Mascota always includes a visit to Cuka and Capi’s rancho to buy eggs, cheese and cream. Cuka invited us to stay and eat the afternoon meal with her family. She was going to make Gringa Tacos, often seen on local menus and seeming to have no explanation for its curious name. The mountain air had made us hungry and we would have been fools not to accept an invitation to sit at Cuka’s table. Suddenly, the day was even brighter.

I had my camera, but I didn’t have my reading glasses, so I couldn’t see the settings on the camera view finder. Even though some of these photos aren’t as clear as they could be, the meal was too special to not share with you the making of Gringa Tacos in Jalisco.

Gringa Tacos, at least the way Cuka makes them, are freshly made corn tortillas filled with cheese and seasoned beef, served with an avocado salsa, a tomatillo salsa, and chopped cilantro and onion. For a simply made meal, the tacos were muy mexicano y excelente!

It took Cuka about two minutes to make an avocado salsa in the blender, using one large avocado, three raw, chopped tomatillos, a few tablespoons of chopped onion, salt and enough milk to thin for a pourable consistency. Never, never have I come across a salsa with avocado and milk. I should know by now to expect the unexpected when I’m in a Mexican kitchen. Cuka said a green chile could be added for piquancy, but she didn’t add it this time.

In another two minutes, she had a red salsa prepared by first grinding in the blender a small handful of toasted chiles de árbol, then adding raw garlic, cooked tomatillos, water, salt, and a bit of yesterday’s salsa roja, the latter to add color, she said. I liked her freestyle use of some left-over salsa for the sake of a redder color.

Next, she tore apart some queso adobero, so named for its resemblance to the shape of an adobe brick. It was stringy, like Oaxacan string cheese.

A pan of coarsely ground beef, chopped tomato, chopped poblano chiles (which Cuka called chile gordo), onion and a bit of chopped bacon were already cooked. She told me this was similar to chorizo, a common Mexican sausage usually made with pork. Words can not describe the fine balance of flavor and seasoning achieved with so few ingredients.

Cuka was zooming and I had to move quickly to keep up with her. She dashed into the adjacent laundry/sink room to knead masa dough — purchased from a Mascota tortillaria — on a metate. How many photos I miss because the room is too dark, and I don’t want to intrude with a camera flash! This was another missed shot, with Cuka in a blur of motion.

Then back to the kitchen, with a primitive wooden bowl full of pinched off pieces of masa, each the exact same amount, despite their irregular shape, to produce perfectly round tortillas of the exact same size. (This is where I would be using my kitchen scale, weighing by the gram, and still coming up with strangely shaped tortillas. Not Cuka, who must have made by now thousands of tortillas in her life time.) The tortilla press was set up next to the stove, a comal already heating. Cuka got to work.

As Cuka pressed tortillas and placed them on the comal, her sister was turning them over, and adding cheese and meat once they were cooked. Each was topped with a cooked tortilla, sandwich-like, and heated through.

You can see the tortilla press in the foreground. I like the salt container — a coconut shell with a blue enamel lid. I want one.

Upon being served, I learned the name of their ranch —Rancho La Escuadra, so named for its square shape of land. We had green mango ate for dessert, bought in San Sebastian, a near-by town famous for its ate. A cross between jelly and fruit leather, ate is usually too sweet for me, but this was just right, with a sublime taste of mango, this month’s favorite fruit on Cooking in Mexico.


Watch the video: 2º salsa social oaxaca (January 2022).