Mmmmm, I can taste it already!

9 Nov

Well, after being stuck here for more than 6 weeks longer than we would normally stay, we’re just a week away from leaving. Both of us have lists of things we need to pick up here, that are either not available in Mexico or so difficult to find that it’s not worth the aggravation. Oil filters for the Grummy, brown rice, our favourite coffee, even vitamins and prescriptions. Yes, most medications are available down there without a prescription but if you’re on a rarely prescribed medication, like I am, or have a specific milligram size you have to take, like Richard, you may find yourself in some difficulty, so it never hurts to be prepared. Oh, and just so you know narcotics require a prescription down there just as they do here.

Our winter destination, Rattlesnake Beach.

While we’re prepping, we’re longing for real Mexican cooked food. Not to say that I haven’t learned a thing or two while there. I have made it a point to ask how to make certain dishes and to watch the experts whenever the opportunity has presented itself. Both of us have noticed that the more often we travel to Mexico, the more heat in our food we can stand. When we first started our travelling, one Jalapeno in an entire dish was good enough to satisfy us. Now though, if it doesn’t have at least a Serrano in it, it’s just not spicy enough. Hell, I’ve even found I enjoy eating the roast Jalapenos that most restaurants serve with their appetizer dishes.
One of our all time favourites dishes is tacos. Yeah, I know that sounds trite, but real Mexican tacos bear no resemblance to what we get up here.First off, the tortillas are all fresh, hand made, plentiful and cheap. Every town, regardless as to size, has at least one Tortilleria. This is the store were most Mexicans buy their daily tortillas, and they eat them with virtually every meal. A kilo of 4 inch, fresh, flour or corn tortillas is worth about 10 pesos, 85 cents, give or take exchange rates.
When you walk into any Baja taco restaurant, the first thing they put on the table will be an appetizer plate, consisting of roasted Jalapenos, pickled red onions, Pico de Gallo, cubed limes and sliced field cucumbers.The cucumber is first covered in lime juice, then salt and eaten at any time during the meal. It’s one of those local things that you only find when you travel and Richard and I just love it. We have introduced it to all our relatives and friends and they all enjoy it as well. The only problem up here is we can’t get the small, sour limes that are plentiful down there and regular limes are just not the right flavour. We’ve found bags of Key Limes available here, they’re expensive, but what the hell, good food requires good ingredients right? Also included with the appetizers might be a root vegetable called a Jicama. This resembles a beige turnip, but once peeled and sliced, it’s white flesh is sweet, crunchy and remarkably refreshing.  It can be eaten with the lime and salt or simply on it’s own, but it is hard to find here, and  doesn’t seem to travel well. If it’s got bruises or a little rot on the outside, DO NOT BUY IT! The flavour will reflect the rot.

Now here’s  all the ingredients and instructions to make real Mexican Beef Tacos or Tacos Carne.
PICO DE GALLO or Fresh Salsa

Tomatoes, minus the pulp and seeds, cube into very small pieces. Roma tomatoes work very well

Sweet White onion. finely chopped

Jalapeno or Serrano peppers, finely chopped, one unless you want it really spicy

Cilantro, finely chopped

Juice of quarter of a lime

Mix together and let stand for a couple of hours to allow the tastes to blend.

Pica De Gallo

You won’t need expensive beef but DO NOT USE GROUND. Real Beef tacos use chunks of meat, so pick up a small piece of chuck, hanger steak or outside round and cut into small 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes. You won’t need more than about 1/2 pound for 2 people.Mix with..

2 tablespoons of Cumin powder

1 teaspoon of Montreal Steak Spice

Mix together, cover and place in fridge till ready to cook.
Prepare all the other ingredients that are part of a good taco. Any or all of the following are perfectly acceptable..
Lettuce, finely shredded

Cheese, either Cheddar or Monterey Jack, grated

Sour cream

Sweet Onion, cubed

Any type of cooked salsa that you prefer

Limes, quartered

Field Cucumbers, peeled and sliced

Tortillas need to be warmed and the best way to accomplish this is to lay them into a dry frying pan until they become limp, turn and place into a tortilla warmer. Don’t let them stay too long as they will become hard and unpalatable.Once the tortillas are ready, cook the beef, until just brown, a little rare is OK.
Place all the dishes on the table and show everyone how to make a real Mexican taco. Beef first, not a lot, just enough to make a line on the taco. Next add cheese and sour cream if you want them, then lettuce, the Pico De Gallo, then top off with a little cooked salsa. Mexicans only roll their tacos, they don’t fold in the ends, but if want to, go right ahead.


Beef Taco dinner for two

Round off the meal with the plate of Cukes, limes and salt, or Jicama if you’ve managed to find some.
And if you want to drink a few Margaritas with dinner, please, be my guest!



5 Responses to “Mmmmm, I can taste it already!”

  1. Elizabeth November 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Nice pics Mom! And great recipe…I’m a huge fan myself.

  2. Sue in Oz November 13, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Hi – I’m a PBCer…can you get Urso in Mexico with or without a prescription and if so, what are the costs?
    Great blog….and thanks for the recipes!

    • Alexis Thuillier November 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

      Don’t know Sue, but the next time we go into Loreto, I’ll try to find out for you OK?

    • Alexis Thuillier November 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

      Sue, The town I’m near doesn’t have any Urso, but it can be ordered in from Mexico City. The price seems to be similar to what one would pay in the US as they don’t have a government purchasing program here. Around $250.00 – 300.00 for 200 pills.

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