Traditional recipes

Bodega Taco Bar: No Flavor of Mexico

Bodega Taco Bar: No Flavor of Mexico

Another of those Mexicanish places that throws American-style barbecue, Korean food-truck fusion, and just plain gringo misapprehension of Mexican flavors into the mix. The "Baja taco" comes heaped with pico de gallo, with no shredded cabbage or liquified sour cream (which help define the real thing) in sight. A special one day described as "enchiladas al pastor" was made with grilled chicken and non-enchilada'd flour tortillas ("al pastor," or shepherd-style refers to meat — originally lamb, now usually pork — cooked on a vertical spit, and served with chopped pineapple). The beef in the burnt brisket taco was delicious and tasted as if it had come straight from a smokehouse (though there isn't one apparent here); the ground beef in the crisp-shelled "Americano" taco was pretty flavorful, too, but was anointed with a smear of Russian dressing, of all things. Really nothing here tasted very Mexican; purely in terms of what some folks like to call "flavor profile," Taco Bell comes closer.


Let us count the ways we love thee, Bodega Taco Bar – Darien, CT

Dan says the scorpion doesn’t taste like chicken at all…how exactly did he find this here at a taco bar?

Let’s be honest. It’s rare to find a restaurant that expands into multiple locations and still manages to amaze at all of them. Could Chef Michael Young and Chef Luis Chavez keep making the amazing food that we first bragged about devouring at Bodega Taco Bar in Fairfied, and now Bodgea Taco Bar in Darien? Would they be able to keep the Mexican beach food kicking, full of bold flavors, and bring it? In short, hell freaking yes…and here are the reasons why based on a recent press dinner that we attended:

We had our fair share of drinks, trying almost every cocktail on the menu. One of the most refreshing drinks is the Figure 8, a cocktail made with Cabo Wabo anejo, rosemary, fig preserves, ginger, and O.J. This is a summer drink if we ever seen one! It was excellently balanced with the right amount of liquor and just the right taste of rosemary. Another drink we loved is the Bodega Girl, mixed with Corralejo reposado, strawberry-cilantro mash, and lemon juice. This was oh so berry-licious and the cilantro added a nice fresh bite too. Kristien could’ve had 10 of them! And Dan’s favorite was the spicy as hell Tomalito! Lastly, Kristien ordered the Bodega Surprise that included a scorpion from the bottom of the reposado. While most of us at the table were afraid of the scorpion, Dan placed it on his tongue long enough for a pic and even took a nibble. Doesn’t taste like much, actually.

Are fancy drinks not your thing? More of a tequila purest? Well, there’s also an amazing 68 tequilas to order and even flights like the Amazing Gran Centennario that we were privileged to try. We loved the Roseangel quite a lot. You can also have sangria, wine, and cerveza if that’s more your thing!

Dos: Garlic Infused Chili-Crab Guacamole

While we’ve had lots of different kinds of guacamole, we rarely get to have it with crab so we dug our tortilla chips in with excitement. The guacamole was fresh, the crab was delicate and not overpowering, and there was a nice spice coming from the garlic infused chili. We finished every last bit…it was that good.

Tres: Antojitos (little cravings) and sides

We had a chance to try out some of the smaller plates that Bodega is known for. First up were Empanaditas Champinoñes, smaller versions of empanadas stuffed with Portabella and truffle cheese. Definitely not your typical fried stuffed pastry at a Mexican spot, but that’s why we love Bodega. The crust was crispy and just thick enough, the earthiness from the mushrooms was nicely balanced, and the red pepper truffle aioli tied it all together with a lively brightness. We also tried the Sweet Corn Esquites which was a special that night. Fragrant corn served with beautifully cooked Plancha shrimp, Cotjia, and chili dust. There was a citrusy undertone to this dish that played nicely off the corn and the fresh cheese. Finally, we had the 3 for 10 sides which included Blistered Brussels Sprouts, Crunchy Corn Slaw, and Platanos con Creama. We were already fans of the Brussels Sprouts from Bodega Fairfield and we’re still major fans, keeping these at the top of our Brussels list. The platanos were just how we like ‘um: fried, delicate, ripe, a bit translucent (that’s the sign of a perfectly fried plantain). And, we also enjoyed the crunchy corn slaw which was a nice contrast in texture to the platanos.

Quattro: Chicken and Waffle Taco

Ever have the Zachary arepa (named after Michael Young’s son we learned) at Valencia? It’s Dan’s favorite and this lovely special on the menu takes that concept up a few hundred notches. Crispy fried chicken served with a corn salsita and drizzled with chipotle honey. This is a dish that you definitely must order because it is AH-MAZING.

Cinco: Real Deal Fish Tacos

Roasted Red Snapper came into the restaurant fresh, so naturally they were featured in our fish tacos. The fish came out to us cooked whole right in their beautiful Wood Stone oven and stuffed with spices and coconut. This was probably some of the juiciest and flavorful fish we have ever had in a fish taco. We’d flake off some, put it on the tortilla, add some grilled veggies, and some of the jalapeno salsa to make a killer taco. We definitely recommend this dish, if not for the amazing visual appeal, then for how good it is going down!

Seis: Arroz con Pollo Negro

Again playing off the classics, Chefs Young and Chavez took this dish in a new direction. Starting off, the base of this dish was black, forbidden rice. How good is forbidden rice? So good that Chinese royalty were the only ones allowed to eat it. Thank God Bodega has made it legal for us because this was another great dish. It was exciting, fun, and felt to us like a Mexican stir fry dish. The really nice touch was the crispy garlic chips on top.

Seite: Chilaquiles

It was ironic that one of our readers had asked us where to find great Chilaquiles only a day before. Well, after tasting this, we sent him a quick pic and told him he needed to get down to Bodega, stat. This is a classic Mexican dish that Chefs Young and Chavez prepared consisting of stewed pasilla chili tortillas, topped with queso fresco, avocado creme, and a perfectly poached egg. This was rich, beautiful, and prepared so well. Granted it was our first ever chilaquile and we have nothing else to compare it to, but we’ll venture to say that it’ll be hard to beat the flavor profiles with this version.

Ocho: Paella de Mariscos

Our eyes lit up when we saw that paella was on the tasting menu, because, um, paella is awesome. This version included shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari, saffron, and rice. The seafood was cooked nicely, even the shrimp which always tends to be overcooked, so it was obvious to us how much care went in this dish. The rice itself was full of flavor and had a nice hint of saffron with even the slightest touch of orange. We ate it all, right down to that rice that gets crispy on the bottom of the pan.

Nueve: Desserts

Yeah, so we obviously didn’t eat enough, so Chef Young (have we ever said how much we love him?) brought over two desserts for us to try. First up were the churros which we have nomed on before. Like last time, they were beautifully crispy on the outside, yet remained ooey, gooey on the inside. The chocolate dipping sauce was silky and decadent. And, we finished it all off with a special dessert that hopefully you can get your grimy paws on: Upside Down Vanilla Cake. Okay, so, really…what’s so special about an upside down cake? How about the candy bacon and pineapple that’s served on top? EEF yeah! The cake itself was moist and delicious, while the pineapple and bacon combo on top was just perfect because there was that nice fruitiness paired with a salty smokiness. The thing that made this an amazing dessert was that it wasn’t too sweet at all and the bacon added a slightly crunchy texture to play off the moist cake.

Reflexiones Finales

We’d follow Chefs Michael Young and Luis Chavez anywhere. If they said, “Jump off this bridge, we’ve got some killer tacos waiting for you,” we’d consider doing it for a hot second! If they opened a new restaurant in Antarctica, we’d trudge through the snow just for a taste. All hyperbole aside, we are very impressed to see how slick and sexy Bodega Darien is and how the food keeps delivering. The drinks are balanced nicely, full of flavor, and definitely hit the spot. Because Bodega is a smaller restaurant, be prepared to wait for a table…but with such a nice bar and cocktails, waiting ain’t so bad.


Birria Red Tacos Prove Soaking Your Tortillas Is a Genius Move

A taco isn’t truly complete without a few accoutrements—a sprinkle of cilantro and diced onions along with a splash of salsa offer the perfect final touch. But while the focus tends to be on the toppings, when it comes to the red taco (a longtime Mexican favorite and recent sensation in the Los Angeles culinary scene) it’s the tortilla itself which takes center stage, dipped in a fiery oil bath and then fried for a flavorful and eye-popping finish.

It Begins with Birria

The foundation to a red taco is birria, tender hunks of meat that have been braised in a fragrant broth. While birria can be served simply as a soup (you can even add ramen noodles to the mix), tortillas are commonly enlisted to transport all that goodness to your belly.

At popular Los Angeles food truck chain Pepe’s Red Tacos chef Joe “Pepe” Mercado prepares a scratch-made bone broth blended with 11 herbs and spices including a trio of chiles (anaheim, guajillo, and ancho) which give the liquid that signature crimson hue.

A native of Jalisco, the birthplace of birria, Mercado learned the recipe from his mother who would prepare the dish for breakfast when it is traditionally served.

Like many red taco purveyors stateside, Pepe’s specializes in birria de res (beef) which Mercado acknowledges isn’t something you’ll typically find across the border. “If you go to Mexico and ask for birria, you’ll get served goat [chivo]” he says. When you use beef, it’s called barbacoa. Here in the States, it got confused and people just called both birria.”

Mercado’s cut of choice is lean and tender chuck roll which is simmered in the broth for several hours. “We cook it to where all of the fat has broken away from the meat,” he says.

An Overnight Sensation

Ready to eat? Not so fast! If you want to take the red taco route (which, of course you do) a little more patience is in order. Be sure to make room in the fridge because your birria’s gonna need a few more hours to chill out. This is done in order to allow the fatty oils from the broth to rise to the top and solidify.

“We filter that fat and we’re left with all of the pure oil of the meat and all of the flavors that it cooked in,” says Mercado. “That’s what we dip our tortillas in. Some people think you just dip it into the broth. If you just dip it into the broth and grill it, the tortillas will fall apart because of all of the liquid and water.”

The Red Dipping

Now it’s finally time to take the plunge. Corn tortillas are the standard (but flour works too) and Mercado prefers to double up to ensure a sturdy foundation for your tacos. Grab a pair and, holding them together, give them a dip in the oil. After they’ve soaked up that flavor-packed red gold, toss the tortillas on a hot skillet, around 30 seconds on each side until they’re slightly crisp but still pliable. (If you want to add cheese, now’s the time to do it.)

Pile on that meat and all the fixins’ and serve with a side of broth because why let a single drop of that precious liquid go to waste? Sip straight up or take a cue from Mercado and submerge your taco in the broth French dip style. “That’s traditionally how we in Jalisco eat it.”

A Shortcut to Preparing Birria at Home

If you want to recreate the magic of Pepe’s Red Tacos at home, Mercado now sells jars of just-add-water (plus meat and garlic) birria paste, the same base that he uses to prepare his broth.

Birria Paste, $6.99 from Pepe's Red Tacos

Below you’ll find instructions for preparing red tacos using Pepe’s Red Tacos Birria Paste.


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Write to Mandy Oaklander at [email protected]

&ldquoCrispy grasshoppers, better known as Chapulines, are a delicacy in Oaxaca and are popular all over Mexico. They&rsquore often eaten as a snack on their own or used as a toping to add crunch and texture, like we offer on our guacamole at [my restaurant] Johnny Sánchez. Think Mexican bacon bits. After being cleaned thoroughly, we toast them on a comal&mdasha traditional Mexican griddle&mdashwith chili and lime to add spice and flavor. They&rsquore absolutely delicious and are a great source of protein.”

Aarón Sánchez is chef and partner at Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans

“First I freeze the spiders&mdasha humane way to dispatch them&mdashthen I remove the abdomen, which is basically a fluid-filled sac, and singe off the body hairs, using a butane torch. I dip them in tempura batter and drop in hot oil. The end result looks good and tastes even better. I served these to guests, including astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, at the 111th Explorers Club Annual Dinner at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.”

“We’ve made mealworm lettuce wraps, cricket fried rice, and mealworm arancini, which taste just like typical arancini! If you didn’t know that insects were included, you probably never would guess. What’s great is the added protein helps keep you fuller longer.”

Meryl Natow is the co-founder and creative director of Six Foods, a company that makes cricket-based tortilla chips

“In Mexico, there are 398 different species of edible insects. Grasshoppers, or chapulines, are among the most traditional and can be found in the U.S. I like to sauté chapulines from Oaxaca with garlic cloves, chile de arbol oil, sea salt and Spanish peanuts. This is a traditional snack that you can find at the markets in Oaxaca. We serve it at the bar as an accompaniment for mezcal.”

Karen Barroso is the owner and head chef of Guajillo in Arlington, VA

“You&rsquove probably had margaritas rimmed with salt, but what about a mezcal cocktail rimmed with sal de gusano, an Oaxacan chile-salt with pulverized with toasted maguey worms? Salty in flavor, the coarsely ground worms are the perfect accompaniment to a cocktail we call El Mural, made with mezcal, various citrus juices and agave syrup.”

Rick Bayless is a chef, restaurateur, author and winner of Top Chef Masters 2009

“We make blinis with ant eggs and caviar, and a three-egg dish of escamoles, quail eggs and salmon roe. We have been making an escamole [ant larvae] quiche, and, using just the albumen that drains out when the eggs are frozen, meringue. Our signature dish is a corn tortilla resting on a nasturtium leaf and topped with escamoles sautéed in butter with epazote, shallots, and serrano chilis, served with a shot of Mexican beer and a lime gel.

Their delicate eggy qualities, their wildness, their unexpected appearance&mdashlike condensed milk with little pebbles in it&mdashand the responsibility I feel to train the American palate to accept them inspires me to do gastronomy with bugs. The insects will be the solution to feed all those masses, but how do you get insects on the daily table in America? In the last twenty years, we grew here in America from iceberg lettuce to baby frisée. Insects are like any other ingredient: a challenge and an opportunity.”

Laurent Quenioux was the executive chef and owner of Bistro LQ in Los Angeles he now operates pop-ups across Los Angeles

“Cooking dragonflies usually involves some sweat equity on the front end. Swinging a net in classic insect nerd fashion in the heat of south Louisiana summers is typically the only way you can come by large numbers of these notoriously elusive bugs. But after having collected and frozen them, they can be made to taste very much like soft-shelled crab.

I treat dragonflies like fish in that they are run through an egg bath and then dredged in seasoned fish fry. Prior to the cooking of these critters, take equal parts butter, soy sauce, and creole or country-style Dijon mustard (about a tablespoon of each), mix, and heat in a small skillet for a couple of minutes on a low setting. This can be set aside in a little bowl. Then you need just two burners: on one, vegetable oil is over a medium heat in a shallow pan. On the other, sliced portobello mushrooms sauté in a very small amount butter with just a sprinkle of garlic powder.

When the oil is hot enough for frying, dragonflies go in for about thirty seconds, get flipped, and then cook for another thirty. This is perhaps a good time to note that these are delicate insects. In order to insure that they stay intact, I recommend repurposing an entomological tool known as featherweight tweezers and turning them into a culinary device: these wonderful forceps can be used to hold dragonflies by the wings both when prepping them for the pan (the egg and flour procedure) and when they are being turned in and removed from hot oil.

The scientific name for the order of insects to which dragonflies belong is Odonata. When we make this word English, we call them odonates. And so, in seeking a clever, alliterative name for this truly scrumptious dish, I came up with Odonate Hors d&rsquoOeuvre. I describe it as lightly fried dragonflies on sautéed portobello mushroom.”

Zack Lemann is the Executive Bug Chef at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans, Louisiana

&ldquoMy favorite way to enjoy insects like chapulines (grasshoppers), gusanos de maguey (mescal worms) and escamole (any eggs) is fresh, but in order to get these items from Mexico to the U.S. they must be dehydrated. They are very high in protein and, once rehydrated, you can use them in so many ways! Gusanos de maguey are more fatty, and they resemble the taste and texture of crisp bacon. I like to cook them with white onion, butter and olive oil and finish with fresh parsley and serrano peppers.”

Hugo Ortega is executive chef and co-owner of Hugo&rsquos, Backstreet Cafe and Caracol in Houston, Texas and a four-time James Beard Award finalist

“Chapulines taste more earthy and grassy, and I prepare them similar to the gusanos and accompany with tomatillo sauce, guacamole and fresh tortillas for a nice snack or lunch. I also love them in tamales, quesadillas or tostadas and they are nice fried. I also like to prepare sal de chapuline&mdashgrasshopper salt&mdashto salt the rim of a mezcalrita for a true taste of Oaxaca!&rdquo

Hugo Ortega is executive chef and co-owner of Hugo&rsquos, Backstreet Cafe and Caracol in Houston, TX, and a four-time James Beard Award finalist

“My very favorite edible insect recipe was a Spicy Critter Fritter made with ground crickets, aka cricket flour. Cricket flour bakes and cooks much like other nut flours with slightly great binding ability and a nice nutty aroma and flavor.”

Meghan Curry is the founder of Bug Vivant, a culinary website devoted to edible insects

“New on the dessert menu for spring is the Piña Loca Cake: Grasshopper almond flour cake, roasted pineapple squares and coco loco ice cream leche quemada sauce. I like to use insects when baking because they add a nuttiness to the flour. They are also great to use as a salt or garnish. They can be covered with chocolate. And best of all they are a lean protein and very healthy.”

Cesar Moreno is the Pastry Chef at The Black Ant in New York City

“I had an opportunity to cook 17-year cicadas two summers ago. They were great dry roasted with a little salt. The roasted cicadas also worked very well in a sausage made with monkfish. I think roasted insects can be good in anything that could use a little variety in texture.”

Will Wienckowski is the head chef at Ipanema Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant in Richmond, VA

“My best recipe for a wonderful insect dish: take fresh dragonfly larvae, wash them take fresh peppermint leaves and deep-fry the dragonfly larvae with the peppermint leaves briefly. Serve with white rice. Delicious. (The only problem is the availability of the dragonfly larvae&mdashI have seen them for sale in Dali, China, a city on a lake.)”

Marcel Dicke is an ecological entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and co-author of The Insect Cookbook&mdashFood for a Sustainable Planet

“Here’s a traditional preparation from southern Mexico that includes dried grasshoppers: Ripe avocados are mixed table-side with fresh green tomatillos, cotija cheese, onions, cilantro, lime, sea salt, and a dash of red chile cascabel powder. The combo offers fresh flavors and textures, not the least of which is the crunchy, nutty taste of the grasshoppers.

Grasshoppers, or chapulines as they’re called in Spanish, have been part of the Mexican diet since the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. In some parts of Mexico, like Oaxaca where they are a staple, you see chapulines in everything&mdashguacamole, tacos, quesadillas and queso fundido. Before your write off grasshopper guacamole here in Denver, know that grasshoppers are not only very popular in Mexico but they are a traditional food being revived by foodies.”

Richard Sandoval is a chef, restaurateur, author and television personality

“When I was organizing Toloache’s menu, I knew we had to have Tacos de Chapulines on the menu. Grasshoppers are a delicacy so deeply rooted in Mexican culture, and I really wanted to share them with New York. To create the taco I saute dried grasshoppers with jalapenos, then complement them in the tortilla with tomatillo salsa and guacamole.”

Julian Medina is owner and chef of Toloache in New York City

“Asking for one favorite way to prepare any insect is kind of like asking for a single way to prepare any bird&mdashyou could of course roast them, fry them or boil them, but the resulting texture and flavor will vary according to the species and what it was fed. At Bitty Foods, we make snacks and baked goods using crickets that have been fed an organic diet and then dried and milled into a fine powder. For foolproof results, I’d suggest starting with our Bitty baking flour and substituting it cup-for-cup for wheat flour in your favorite cookie or cake, or even cobbler recipe.”

Megan Miller is the founder of Bitty Foods, a cricket flour company

“My favorite way to prepare insects is to toast them in the oven until crispy. Then they can be salted and eaten plain, added to salads, or ground up into flour for use in baked goods or smoothies.”

“Oven toasted, and there’s no need to use any oils as most insects are very fatty&mdashgood fatty! They don’t contain cholesterol or saturated fats. Mealworms make a great dessert item as they have a very nutty flavor, they could replace pecans for a pecan pie.”

Monica Martinez is the creator of Don Bugito, a food cart of edible insects in San Francisco

“I tasted a whole variety of bugs and insects in one sitting on the set of Top Chef Masters (season 3). We had guests from the Discovery Channel show Man, Woman, Wild who helped us find our chefs everything from night crawlers, beetles and bugs&mdashthe contestants cooked them and I ate the lot! No matter how good a chef you are, it&rsquos pretty challenging to cook with these &lsquoingredients.&rsquo There were some really good attempts and some that just didn&rsquot work unfortunately. I actually still have a memory of biting into a worm omelet and feeling the grit in the worm. All in a day&rsquos work I guess!”

Curtis Stone is an Australian chef, television personality, author and chef/owner of Maude restaurant in Beverly Hills

“Boil for about 5 minutes, then simmer the boiled insects in a Cajun sauce before dehydrating. Marinate about 24 hrs in a favorite sauce, then dehydrate to a crispy crunch.”


Reader Interactions

Comments

I love salsa, but I like the less spicy salsa recipes. I would love to try some of these. Thanks for sharing.

Ok, now I want Mexican food for dinner. LOL. But in all seriousness, this looks like a delicious set of salsa recipes! YUM. xo, Suzanne

Oh wow. I need to try all these salsa recipes. A salsa party perhaps… Lol

Yummo. Can’t wait to try these out.
Love Mexican food I’ve brought do many different corn chips not really found ones like you get in a Mexican restaurant?
What ones do you use

Leave a Reply Cancel reply


Birria Red Tacos Prove Soaking Your Tortillas Is a Genius Move

A taco isn’t truly complete without a few accoutrements—a sprinkle of cilantro and diced onions along with a splash of salsa offer the perfect final touch. But while the focus tends to be on the toppings, when it comes to the red taco (a longtime Mexican favorite and recent sensation in the Los Angeles culinary scene) it’s the tortilla itself which takes center stage, dipped in a fiery oil bath and then fried for a flavorful and eye-popping finish.

It Begins with Birria

The foundation to a red taco is birria, tender hunks of meat that have been braised in a fragrant broth. While birria can be served simply as a soup (you can even add ramen noodles to the mix), tortillas are commonly enlisted to transport all that goodness to your belly.

At popular Los Angeles food truck chain Pepe’s Red Tacos chef Joe “Pepe” Mercado prepares a scratch-made bone broth blended with 11 herbs and spices including a trio of chiles (anaheim, guajillo, and ancho) which give the liquid that signature crimson hue.

A native of Jalisco, the birthplace of birria, Mercado learned the recipe from his mother who would prepare the dish for breakfast when it is traditionally served.

Like many red taco purveyors stateside, Pepe’s specializes in birria de res (beef) which Mercado acknowledges isn’t something you’ll typically find across the border. “If you go to Mexico and ask for birria, you’ll get served goat [chivo]” he says. When you use beef, it’s called barbacoa. Here in the States, it got confused and people just called both birria.”

Mercado’s cut of choice is lean and tender chuck roll which is simmered in the broth for several hours. “We cook it to where all of the fat has broken away from the meat,” he says.

An Overnight Sensation

Ready to eat? Not so fast! If you want to take the red taco route (which, of course you do) a little more patience is in order. Be sure to make room in the fridge because your birria’s gonna need a few more hours to chill out. This is done in order to allow the fatty oils from the broth to rise to the top and solidify.

“We filter that fat and we’re left with all of the pure oil of the meat and all of the flavors that it cooked in,” says Mercado. “That’s what we dip our tortillas in. Some people think you just dip it into the broth. If you just dip it into the broth and grill it, the tortillas will fall apart because of all of the liquid and water.”

The Red Dipping

Now it’s finally time to take the plunge. Corn tortillas are the standard (but flour works too) and Mercado prefers to double up to ensure a sturdy foundation for your tacos. Grab a pair and, holding them together, give them a dip in the oil. After they’ve soaked up that flavor-packed red gold, toss the tortillas on a hot skillet, around 30 seconds on each side until they’re slightly crisp but still pliable. (If you want to add cheese, now’s the time to do it.)

Pile on that meat and all the fixins’ and serve with a side of broth because why let a single drop of that precious liquid go to waste? Sip straight up or take a cue from Mercado and submerge your taco in the broth French dip style. “That’s traditionally how we in Jalisco eat it.”

A Shortcut to Preparing Birria at Home

If you want to recreate the magic of Pepe’s Red Tacos at home, Mercado now sells jars of just-add-water (plus meat and garlic) birria paste, the same base that he uses to prepare his broth.

Birria Paste, $6.99 from Pepe's Red Tacos

Below you’ll find instructions for preparing red tacos using Pepe’s Red Tacos Birria Paste.


About the Recipe

When you hear the words “Mexican food” you might conjure up images of becoming a fire-breathing dragon. This slaw is far from that. Rather than spicy with heat, it’s simply spiced with a dressing of classic Mexican flavors.

Lime juice. Garlic. Cumin. Oregano. Coriander. And just a slight dash of hot sauce. Because I just couldn’t help myself and had to add just a dash of heat, but certainly not the whole enchilada.

Rather than mincing the garlic, I’ve totally been into the using a garlic press like my mom always used to do. This one has been a solid helper in my kitchen.

A slither of honey sweetens the dressing that’s then poured over the crunchy slaw with slivers of red onion and freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Then you simply toss and let it sit. If cilantro is not your thing, you can always give good old flat leaf parsley a go or leave it out all together.


Make this recipe Countless Ways!

Mexican Bake is layered with chicken, rice, peppers, tortilla chips, and gooey cheese to get that authentic taco taste. However, this recipe is completely adaptable!

  • Substitute one pound of lean ground beef or turkey for the chicken for a more traditional taco flavor.
  • Make it HEALTHY: Lighten the dish by using light sour cream, reduced-fat cheese, and baked tortilla chips.
  • Instead of tortilla chips use your favorite flavor of Doritos chips
  • Cut up flour or corn tortillas to replace the chips (this will also make it more healthy)
  • VEGETARIAN Mexican Casserole: Use an additional pepper and extra cup of corn to replace the meat.


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Mami Coco in East Dallas Brightens Traditional Dishes

EXPAND

&ldquoThe similarities of bold flavors in both Texas and Mexican cuisine led me to create a menu with a blend of both strong styles,&rdquo he says of how his Mex-Tex idea was born.

The menu is also influenced by the chef&rsquos love for Mexican street food with trompo al pastor as the star of the show. The trompo at El Patio is prepared street style, fire-cooked and served on a tabletop mini-rotisserie, which Hernandez had custom-made in Mexico.

Diners can choose from pastor, chicken or beef and each is served with tortillas, pineapple and a duo of salsas ($22). In Brazilian steak-house style, servers slice meat off the rotisserie for guests, which then collects on the cast-iron plate below. Or customers can slice the meat themselves.

The menu at El Patio has a wide variety of options including tacos that come three to an order, served with Mexican rice. The protein options for the tacos include barbacoa ($10), carne asada ($9.50), chicken ($9), beef birria ($11), and fresh veggies ($9.50).

The beef options are made with brisket that is smoked overnight in a pit. Other menu items include a smoked brisket sandwich ($11), smoked chicken sandwich ($10), a chile relleno ($15), brisket enchiladas ($15) just to name a few.

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If you don&rsquot want to try the tacos, El Patio offers a weekend brunch from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. that has a little something for everyone. They also have a build-your-own dessert cart where you choose from churros, sopapillas, and ice cream that is served in a mini traditional paleta cart.

El Patio Mex-Tex, 4400 State Highway 121 (Lewisville). Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Watch the video: Mexiko Taco Tour: Auf der Suche nach den besten Tacos Mexikos! Abenteuer Leben. kabel eins (December 2021).