Archive for the ‘Mexican Food’ Category

I recently joined a Facebook group called Bayless’ Best Ever and the members have been posting some wonderful, homemade AUTHENTIC dishes for us to drool over.  Chef Rick posted a contest using his recipe for salsa (Chef Bayless Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa) and we were supposed to make it (or a variant of it), add it to our dish and post about it.


Roast the peppers on a hot griddle, blistering the skin for easy removal.



Roughly grind the chilis in a molcajete (volcanic rock mortar & pestle) OR give it a rough chop in your food processor.  Add the fire roasted tomatoes and the other ingredients in the recipe, especially the fresh cilantro.  I love the smell of fresh cilantro (I know, I know, some of you out there hate it!).  I tried to make this simple and used canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes.  The recipe calls for lime juice or cider vinegar, I used both!  Loved the flavor!


Here’s the finished product!  SO easy!

Coincidentally, I had made some machaca from scratch a few days ago and filled my chimichanga with the delicious meat.

I’m not really sure of the origin of this machaca recipe.  Some say it is from La Hacienda restaurant which used to be open in Imperial, CA and others posted an extremely similar recipe from a place in El Centro, CA that closed called La Reina.  I kind of changed it a little to suit my tastes.


Approx 2.5 lb Chuck Roast

3 cups water

3 peppercorns (if you don’t have, just heavily pepper the roast)

Sprinkle roast with crushed black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 large or 2 small bay leaves

1/2 medium white onion, sliced

Cut the roast into big chunks (about 3 ” square).  Place the roast in a shallow pan, add 2 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil and turn heat down to a simmer.  Cover and simmer until meat is tender (about 2 hours).  Be sure to check on it every half hour or so to make sure your heat isn’t too high and the liquid is still there.  Remove meat to a plate or tray to cool off.   When it is cool, shred it with 2 forks and set aside.  You can reserve the liquids and add later if necessary to add some flavor.


MACHACA ingredients:


1 Tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil if you prefer)

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 California  (Anaheim) chili pepper, sliced into 3″ strips

1 or 2 chile serrano, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped (approx 1/2 pound)

1/4 teaspoon salt

ground pepper (to taste)

In large saute’ pan, put oil, onions, Anaheim chili strips and chopped Serrano.  Cook on medium heat until softened.  Add minced garlic, tomatoes and add salt and pepper.  Add shredded beef and check moisture level.  Add more water or the juices from cooking the meat.

Reduce heat to a low simmer and let cook until vegetables are tender.  Add more salt or pepper if needed.  This is even better the next day which allows the flavors  of the veggies to meld with the meat.



I used the machaca meat to make a chimichanga, which is essentially a deep-fried burrito.  This one was too big, I normally make them smaller than this.

Warm  your tortilla on a griddle, fill with machaca and fry in hot vegetable oil.  Make sure the oil is hot enough to quickly fry it or your chimichanga will be greasy.  When I was first learning, I would seal it with a toothpick to keep the filling from coming out.  Now, I just start the frying on the flap side of the burrito and spoon hot oil over it and it will stay closed when you flip it over.  Don’t walk away from the skillet during this part.  It is easy to scorch them and you just need a golden crust as shown in the photo.

Top your chimichanga with Rustic Tomato Salsa, finely chopped lettuce, thinly sliced radishes, guacamole and sour cream.





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UPDATE 5/1/16:  My Mom’s recipe (Anna’s Steak Ranchero) was picked by Sam Zien (Sam the Cooking Guy) to be part of his Reader Recipe Roundup!  Yay!    Sam used garlic powder instead of garlic salt (and in my opinion, you should prepare a recipe as given the first time and THEN do your modifications) and he used a different type of El Pato sauce I’d never seen before.  I put a picture up of the correct can of sauce. Someday maybe I’ll try the red can he used, which is MUCH spicier!  Anyway, here it is…hope you like it!

* * * * * * * *

Yup, that’s what my Dad used to call my Mom (Anna)…”Fastest” Cook in the West.  Now, you notice he didn’t say “Bestest” Cook in the West (and yes, Grammar Police, I know Bestest is not a word! Ha Ha!)  My Mom is a “good” cook but not what we would call a “great” cook.  She always worked while we were growing up.  She was a “Girl Friday” at a local newspaper, became a social reporter and eventually a columnist.  That kept her pretty busy so by the time she got home, she needed to whip something up quickly for her hungry brood.

This dish was one of her standbys.  It was relatively cheap (beef wasn’t outrageously priced like it is now), it was simple and it was quick.  This could be ready to eat in about 20 minutes but it tastes better if you let it simmer for at least a half hour and even better after an hour.

(Did you ever notice that the 3 basic ingredients that are used in a LOT of Mexican dishes are the same colors as their National Flag?  I just did…)



1 1/2 lbs Sirloin Steak

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 large white onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 8 oz can El Pato tomato sauce

Garlic Salt

Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice your sirloin into thin strips (across the grain for tenderness).  Saute in 2 TBSP vegetable oil until most of the pink is gone.  Add vegetables, seasonings and sauces.  Season with Salt and Pepper.  Cover and let simmer 20-30 minutes on low.  In the last 5 minutes, you can add chopped cilantro if you want.  This tastes even better the longer you let it simmer and is great for leftovers.  Serve with Spanish rice (look in the search box above to get my recipe – it is in the post for Albondigas soup) and refried beans and flour tortillas.

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin Steak

Slice into thin strips

Slice into thin strips

Saute in 2 Tbsp vegetable oil.

Saute in 2 Tbsp vegetable oil.

Season with a few sprinkles of garlic salt and salt/pepper

Season with a few sprinkles of garlic salt and salt/pepper


1 regular tomato sauce and 1 spicy tomato sauce

1 regular tomato sauce and 1 spicy tomato sauce

The finished product!

The finished product!

After it simmers more, the meat becomes more tender.

After it simmers more, the meat becomes more tender.

Spanish Rice is a good accompaniment, along with refried beans.

Spanish Rice is a good accompaniment, along with refried beans.

So….tell me about your QUICK and EASY “go-to” recipe!

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