Category Archives: Tex-mex

Roasted Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Salsa and Oaxaca Cheese

Roasted Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Salsa and Oaxaca Cheese

Tacos are one of my favorite foods and I’m always looking for different combinations to try out! This recipe combines tender, shredded chicken with a smokey Chipotle salsa and melty Oaxaca cheese. I roasted the chicken in the oven with fragrant spices, garlic and honey. The nice thing about roasting the chicken is that it produces plenty of juice in the pan to incorporate back into the meat once it has been shredded. This results in the juiciest, most tender meat for the tacos. The Oaxaca cheese melted easily over the tacos and had a mild flavor that complimented the other ingredients. The salsa can be made up to two days beforehand to save time on preparation.

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Roasted Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Roasted Chipotle Salsa

The thing that makes this salsa unique is the charring of the vegetables before blending. This can be done over a skillet or with a pair of tongs over an open flame. I really liked how it amplified the smokey flavor of the chipotle peppers. I used several toasted Puya chiles which aren’t too spicy and have a fruity, chocolatey flavor.  This salsa is the perfect balance between smoky, spicy and sweet. It’s also really simple and goes with so many different tex-mex dishes. I could see it going well with eggs but I made it for tacos which turned out great!
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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork Tacos

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Once I had a batch of Pickled Corn Salsa ready I took a nice pork shoulder and slow cooked it for some tasty tacos! The pork is marinated in tomatoes, onions and spices and slow cooked for about 4 hours in a crock pot. The pork ended up being succulent and fall apart tender. I was really happy with how soft and flavorful it turned out. The acids from the pickled salsa complimented the richness of the shredded pork. For garnish, I added a touch of lime and queso fresco.

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Pickled Corn Salsa

Pickled Corn Salsa

The holidays are over and the doldrums of January are here: time to liven things up and pretend it’s summer, right? This salsa is a great addition to any taco recipe. It goes great with fish, chicken, pork and beef so it’s pretty versatile! Pickling the corn is easy–all you need is some vinegar and lime and it will pickle in the strong acids. I jarred it for a few hours and all the flavors melded together. It ended up being a nice counterpoint to the richness of the creamy queso and the savory meat of the tacos I prepared. Another benefit of pickling: if you seal the salsa in a glass jar it will keep for about a month!

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Korean BBQ Chicken Tacos with Coleslaw and Sriracha Sour Cream

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What draws me to taco recipes is the symphony of flavors from the meats, condiments and sauces.  I have never eaten Korean tacos from a food truck but I would hope that they might be like something like this: barbeque style chicken with crunchy coleslaw and spicy sour cream.

These tacos kick everything up a notch in terms of flavor and texture. The chicken is marinated ‘Dak Bulgogi‘ style with a sweet and savory sauce, grilled until caramelized. The coleslaw is a play on American coleslaw, using Napa cabbage (as used in Kimchi) with fish sauce, green onion, sriracha, and mirin. As the chicken is marinating in the sauce, prep the coleslaw and sriracha sour cream and leave it to chill. That way you’ll have everything you’ll need to assemble the tacos after grilling the chicken. The best way to make tacos is just having everything done so that you can time your dinner perfectly and not be scrambling at the last minute! I loved these tacos and will definitely make them again soon.

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Green Chile and Chorizo Soup with Smokey Croutons

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I love soups and tex-mex food and this recipe combines the best of both worlds! This soup combines a delicious mix of green chilies and tomatillos, chorizo, hominy, potatoes and spices.  I went a little overboard with the garnishes and topped the soup with crumbled queso fresco, green onion,  fresh lime, cilantro and smokey baked croutons.  Even the croutons alone in this recipe are stand out awesome and could easily be snacked on alone!  The recipe does require a lot of ingredients and time to prepare but it is totally worth it in the end. I actually never made anything with hominy before and I thought it worked really nicely with the other ingredients.  The soup was hardy, with multiple layers of sweet, spicy and savory flavors.  I chose a beef chorizo for the meat but soy and pork varieties would work fine in this soup.  All of the ingredients blended together so well and I was happy with how it came out!

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Moroccan Chicken Tacos With Harissa Salsa and Goat Cheese

Moroccan Chicken Tacos with Harissa Salsa and Goat Cheese

One of the great things about tacos is the endless possibilities that comes with them! I’ve always loved Moroccan food and I thought that tacos would be a great way to experience it again. The chicken is seasoned with a fragrant blend of spices and shreds easily with a fork. I always choose whole chickens for taco meat as I’ve noticed they come out perfectly tender every time. I chose a spicy salsa based on the flavors of traditional Moroccan Harissa paste. It gave the tacos a good amount of spiciness and flavor. Since preserved lemon is an important ingredient in Moroccan food I topped the tacos with a refreshing Preserved Lemon and Mint Salsa. To cool things down I garnished the tacos with creamy goat cheese.

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Preserved Lemon and Mint Salsa

Preserved Lemon and Mint Salsa

This salsa is a wonderful way to play on the flavors in both Moroccan and Tex-mex food.  The salsa is moderately spicy with flavors that come from the sweet preserved lemons and chopped mint leaves.  It’s so simple to put together if you already have a batch of preserved lemons pre-made in the fridge.  The mint is wonderful in this recipe and creates a nice counterpoint to the heat that comes from the peppers.  Since the preserved lemons are quite salty I wouldn’t recommend adding any more salt to the recipe.   I used this salsa to go along with the Moroccan Chicken Tacos and it turned out really well!

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Roasted Chicken Tacos with Manchego Cheese and Avocado

Roasted a whole chicken is a perfect meat for tacos because it is tender, flavorful and easy to shred. I chose a basic spice blend of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and oregano for the chicken. Then I baked it in the oven for a few hours which gave me enough time to make some fresh Pico de Gallo and shredded manchego cheese. Manchego is a great cheese for tacos because it has the creaminess of queso fresco but with a little more tartness. The tacos turned out really well! The smoky flavor of the chicken worked nicely with the manchego and creamy avocado. The recipe for the chicken is pretty versatile so I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with different salsas and condiments next time!

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Classic Beef Chili

I guess I always overlooked beef chili a bit. This is probably because I didn’t care much for ground beef for a long time. Lately I have been enjoying this chili recipe because it is so simple and tasty. It gets points for the amount of ingredients (you can count them on one hand.) That is definitely not the norm for chilies which can require up to 20 ingredients! This chili should be cooked on a heavy bottomed saute pan where it slow cooks for about an hour. I like the taste of grass-fed ground beef so I use it for this recipe.  The amount of hot sauce to add into the chili is really up to personal tastes. I like it on the spicy side so I add approximately 1/4 cup.  I topped the chili with sharp cheddar and it can be served on top of rice or with corn bread.

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