Tag Archives: Latin American

Kendall’s Spicy Beef Taco Meat *****

Kendall’s Spicy Beef Taco Meat

Obviously this recipe gets 5 stars, considering it is my very own creation, which I have spent 2 years now perfecting. I could have posted it prematurely, but instead, I waited until I got everything just right before putting on the blog (be thankful for this because I experimented with a lot of different types of hot peppers, and lets just say several tears and sweat when into getting the measurements just right). The final recipe is not crazy spicy, but it packs a little heat. If you can handle the Fire hot sauce as Taco Bell, then you are fine. If you can’t handle the Fire hot sauce, then go lighter on the cayenne pepper and omit the jalapeno!

This taco meat is almost like a chili, because I let it stew in tomato sauce and chicken broth. It goes great on taco salads, nacho platters, over rice, and of course, on tacos!

The only piece of advice that I can give is make sure that you splurge and buy the lean ground sirloin meat. Yes, it is more expensive, but it is so much less fatty than the ground chuck. The one time I accidentally bought ground chuck, the meat was so oily it was almost inedible. The grease just coated my mouth.

Also, this meat freezes really well. I like to make it and put it in individual freezer containers and it lasts months. Just pop it in the microwave and defrost when you’re ready to eat it.

**This can be made with Ground Turkey as well, and if you like black beans, feel free to add a can (drained and rinsed)**

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 16-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, 8 diced and 1/3 cup juices
  • 4-5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Worcheshire Sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 ½ lbs of ground sirloin
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock or beef stock
  • 2 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 4-5 shakes of Cholula hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion and allow to sautee for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and allow to sautee until fragrant (about 1-2 min), but do not let burn!!

Add the ground sirloin, Jalapeno, Worchesire sauce, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, and Chili Powder, salt, and pepper and crumble meat using the back of the spoon. Keep moving the meat so that it starts to break apart and cook faster. Once the meat looks brown and crumbly, increase the heat and add the tomatoes and their juices and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Add the chicken or beef stock and cholula hot sauce.

Reduce heat to medium and let cook uncovered for 15-29 minutes, until the sauce reduced slightly. (Note: Check the seasonings at this point, add more salt, chili powder, or cayenne pepper now if you need too. Remember, seasoning after something has cooked if not the same as seasoning while its cooking, you need to do this now!)

Removed from heat and serve!

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{ Homemade Churros with Cinnamon Sugar }

Homemade Churros with Cinnamon Sugar and Chocolate Sauce

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to try my hand at making churros for the very first time. I know they aren’t technically Mexican, but they’re Spanish and delicious, and that’s an excuse enough for me! The recipe itself is super easy to make, but you do need a pastry bag and star-shaped pastry tip to squeeze the dough from. Cooking them is also a little bit of a process because hot oil frying always gets messy. However, the work is totally worth it because this recipe is delicious!!

When making the dough, it is really important that you whisk the constantly after adding the eggs to the flour mixture because the pot will still be warm and you don’t want the eggs to become scrambled eggs!

Also, it is very important that the oil is good and hot before you begin frying or the churros will be soggy. I like to test the oil temperature with a breadcrumb or small squeeze of dough first. You know it’s ready if it immediately begins to sizzle around the edges.

This recipe made about 20 small churros (4 inches each), and they were only the table for about 5 minutes before they were gone. I would definitely make these again.

{ Ingredients }

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

{ To Make the ChurrosHeat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high flame.

In a small mixing bowl combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Combine the water, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add the flour, stirring continuously until dough forms and mixture is well blended.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and vanilla extract and then add this to the flour mixture. (NOTE: this is where you need to use some muscle and keep stirring!! You do not want the eggs to sit in the warm pot and turn into scrambled eggs!)

Then fit a pastry bag (or 1 gallon freezer bag) with your largest star tip, and fill the bag with the dough.

Test the oil to make sure that it is hot enough and then squeeze dough straight into the pan. Allow to cook about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown and then turn with slotted spoon, and remove from oil. If you like your churros softer then don’t leave them in the oil as long, and if you like them crispy….let em’ burn.

Once you remove the churros from the oil with slotted spoon, allow to rest on plate lined with paper towels. You want to let some of the oil drip off. Then while still warm, roll the churros in cinnamon sugar mixture made earlier!

**If you want, you can also serve these with chocolate drizzle, which is really good. Or dip them in hot chocolate!

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Barrio Latino ****

16-oz Churrasco with Chimichurri, Served with White Rice, Black Beans, and Yucca

305.692.4455 
3585 NE 207 St
Miami, Fl 33180

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In just a few short weeks, I will be sipping Malbec and eating churrasco con chimichurri off the coast of Argentina. No, I’m not going on vacation. I am moving there….indefinitely (with Ariana, of course!). We have decided to become career gypsies while the US economy recovers…that sounds like a reasonable excuse, right? In the meantime, however,  I have been getting my churrasco fix at a restaurant right here in Miami, called Barrio Latino. They are located in both Aventura and now near Sunset in Miami, and they serve an outrageously good 16-ounce Churrasco for just $20. My favorite part is their homemade chimichurri sauce, which is a little bit unconventional because of its sweetness, but it is awesome. Included in the price are two sides, choices include: rice and beans, tostones, mashed potatoes, yucca, maduros, french fries, or baked sweet potato. I’ve tried almost all of them by now, and my favorites are the rice and beans, maduros, and baked sweet potato. Just as a disclaimer, the baked sweet potato is enormous…don’t tell me that thing is not genetically modified (see photo).

On days when I am really hungry, I also like to start with an appetizer. I suggest the Mariquitas (fried green plantain chips) with Mojo sauce. Their mojo sauce is as good as their chimichurri, but very strong in garlic…so be careful if you’re on a date!

Fried Green Plantains Chips (Mariquitas) with Mojo Sauce

I also love the Proveoleta Parrillera, which is a thick slice of imported Argentine provolone grilled until slightly melted and then drizzled with olive oil and topped with a roasted tomato. There is nothing better than hot cheese, in my opinion, and this shit is hello good! It is also great to put on top of the mariquitas!

Grilled Provolone Cheese Topped with Oven-Roasted Tomato (Provoleta Parillera)

Another great appetizer that I have tried is the Mollejas Al Limon, which are beef sweetbread grilled with lime juice. I was super hesitant to try these at first because sweetbreads refers to the glands of an animal (nice way to sugar coat the name, right?), but after I got over the fattiness of the texture, I realized that they were pretty delicious. Just make sure that you use a lot of lemon juice to help cut the fat taste.

In addition to the churrasco, I have also had the Vacio, which is a 20 ounce Argentine style Flank Steak also served with chimichurri and your choice of two sides. The Vacio is much thicker and juicer than the churrasco (which is a thin skirt steak), so it all depends what you are in the mood for. I usually prefer the skirt steak.

20-oz Vacio Steak and Chimichurri Served with Baked Sweet Potato, White Rice, and Black Beans

If you really cannot decide though, and you want to try a little bit of everything (or if you’re just obscenely hungry…have no shame), then order the Parrillada Argentina, which is a sizzling hot plate packed with Chorizos (sausages), Vacio, Mollejas al Limon, Morillas (blood sausages), and Churrasco. It also comes with your choice of four sides, and is certainly intended for two people to share. Check out my before and after photos….

La Parillada de Argentina when if was brought to the table…..

La Parillada Argentina when my friend and I were finished with it!

And, if you don’t want to do a full steak, I suggest the Ropa Vieja, which is a Cuban classic with shredded beef stewed in tomato sauce, served over rice with black beans and maduros (sweet plantains). Mix it all together, put a dash of Tabasco on it, and call it a day.

Ropa Vieja Served with White Rice, Black Beans, and Maduros

Love, love, love Barrio Latino. Great food, great prices, great service, and you will leave full. It is often a one meal kind of day for me when I go because I tend to over eat.

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El Nuevo Amanecer **

Shredded Beef Quesadilla

212.387.9115
117 Stanton Street
New York, Ny

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Jennifer and I splurged on staying at the ritzy Gansevoort Park Hotel for our girl’s weekend, but found that we weren’t really in the mood for the ritzy hotel nightlife that took place at the rooftop bar. We went up there to find women snobbishly sipping on $25 cocktails, flashing the best of their designer brands and young men standing in circles discussing their plans for the evening, emphasizing how many bottles they planned to buy at the club. Jen and I considered mingling and then looked at each other and simultaneously said, “screw this, lets go dance and drink cheap beer.” So we bee-lined it for the door and took a cab over to Ludlow Street, which is a great little place to go bar hoping. We had a few drinks at Spitzers’ and then went dancing at little club, where we worked up a ferocious appetite.

We exited the club with sore feet and grumbling bellies, so we decided to stop at the first place within sight—a Latin American restaurant called El Nuevo Amanecer. It was one of the few food places still open, and there were an abundance of late night diners inside.

We grabbed a table and looked over the menu while noshing on the complimentary Homemade Tortilla Chips and Salsa. After noticing Guacamole on the menu, we also ordered a side of that for our chips! The chips, salsa, and guacamole were all delicious and definitely my favorite part of the entire meal.

Homemade Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Guacamole

For an entrée, I ordered the Beef Burrito, which I had expected to be shredded meat since the menu read “machada,” but much to my dislike it was like cubed steak. The meat was kind of tough and rubbery, but I was desperate for food and so it didn’t stop me from finishing the entire thing. The burrito was served with Spanish Rice and Refried Beans, and topped with Salsa Verde and Lettuce.

Beef Burrito with Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, and Salsa Verde

Jennifer ordered the Beef Quesadilla with Melted Cheese and Shredded Beef. Hers seemed to be a lot better than mine because the meat was prepared properly. Her was also served with Spanish Rice and Refried Beans.

El Nuevo Amanecer is a decent spot for late night eats because the prices are good, the hours are until late, and they serve alcohol. I didn’t love the food though and wouldn’t go back by choice, however it worked for a drunken food fix last night.

 

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