As much as we’d like to think we could be sustained solely by cocktails, eating is important too.
Look, you’re going to need to eat something between all those margarita recipes we’ve given you.
Chipotle Beef Fajita Queso
(Makes 6 – 8 servings)
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound skirt steak
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup diced yellow onion
2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup water
1 pound yellow American cheese, shredded
Guacamole, for topping
Pico de Gallo, for topping
Tortilla Chips, for serving
Place the chipotles, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and cumin in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth to make a marinade. Reserve 1 tablespoon for the queso.
Place the steak in a bowl and add the rest of the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours, turning the steak a couple of times. (Don’t marinate longer than 2 hours or the texture will begin to get mushy.)
While the steak is marinating, in a medium saucepan, warm the butter with the reserved 1 tablespoon marinade over medium-low heat. Add the onion and jalapeños and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk together the cornstarch, half-and-half, and water until well combined, then pour into the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook for a couple of minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cheese, turn down the heat to low, and cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted. Add salt to taste. Cover and turn off the heat.
After the steak has marinated, position a rack about 4 inches from the upper heating element and place a large, broiler-safe skillet on the rack. Preheat the broiler and skillet for 10 minutes.
With a paper towel, wipe the marinade from the steak, pat the steak dry, and cut it in half so it will fit in the skillet. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and lay the steak in the skillet. Broil the steak, turning once, until nicely charred on both sides, 6 – 8 minutes for medium-rare or 10 – 12 minutes for medium. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the queso over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Slice the steak against the grain, then cut the slices into ½-inch cubes. Transfer the queso to a serving bowl, a small slow cooker, or a chafing dish over a flame. Top the queso with the steak and spoon on guacamole and pico de gallo. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
(Cures 1 side salmon)
1 side King salmon, skinned (optional), bones removed
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup mustard seed
2 tablespoons cumin
5 limes, zested
2 cups kosher salt
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup tequila
On a 2 feet-by-2 feet piece of cheesecloth, place the salmon skinned side down in a large, deep baking pan.
Combine the chipotle, cilantro, mustard seed, cumin, and lime zest. Smear on the salmon.
Combine the salt, sugar, and tequila in a bowl. Pour over salmon, wrap with the cheesecloth. Place another pan on top of the salmon and weigh it down, be careful not to overflow the marinade everywhere. Place in the refrigerator 6 – 8 hours.
Carne Asada con Chorizo
(Serves 4 to 6)
Carne asada is a ubiquitous feature of American taquerias, but we wanted to do something different with our version. In Mexico, it is very popular to combine two types of meat or seafood in one dish—typically a leaner meat with a fattier one—so here we added the rich chorizo to complement the nice lean skirt steak. Adding cooked cactus absorbs some of the chorizo fats as well, lending a vegetable component to an otherwise meaty meal. We serve it with salsa borracha, a chunky, dark chile–based salsa with a little sweetness and a splash of tequila for acidity and kick (borracha means “drunk” in Spanish).
Even though this carne asada recipe is an entrée, you can forgo the fork and knife: it is meant to be scooped up with warm tortillas and eaten by hand like we do in Mexico.
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 4 limes), plus the zest of 2 limes
½ cup olive oil
2 pounds top sirloin or skirt steak, trimmed
4 medium nopales (cactus leaves), spines trimmed away
1 cup crumbled chorizo oaxaqueño or crumbled store-bought Mexican chorizo, casings removed
Fresh cilantro leaves
8 – 12 warm homemade soft corn tortillas store-bought soft corn tortillas
In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, and olive oil. Season the beef well with salt and add it to the citrus mixture; let marinate at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, rinse the cactus leaves with cold water and season with salt. In a large skillet or griddle over high heat, working in batches if needed, cook the cactus leaves until charred on both sides and slightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and let cool slightly, then slice into ½-inch-wide strips. In the same skillet, lower the heat to medium and add the crumbled chorizo. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Stir the sliced cactus into the chorizo. Turn off the heat but keep the mixture warm.
When ready to serve, preheat a grill or griddle to high heat. Add the steak and let cook, turning once, until medium, about 3 minutes per side; remove and let rest about 5 minutes.
Slice the steak against the grain into ¼ -inch-thick pieces. Transfer to a large platter or divide among 4 – 6 individual plates. Garnish the steak with cilantro and serve with the chorizo and cactus mixture, the salsa borracha, and warm tortillas on the side.
12 extra-large jalapeños (split lengthwise with core and seeds removed)
24 raw bacon strips
Torpedo mix (recipe follows)
Take a split jalapeño and stuff with approximately 1 tablespoon of torpedo mix.
Wrap entire length of jalapeño tightly with a bacon strip and secure with 2 toothpicks. Smoke or grill torpedoes for approximately 1 hour at 200-225 degrees or until bacon is golden brown
Remove toothpicks and enjoy!
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 pound smoked brisket or chicken, rough chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red chili powder
Add ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients until blended.
Roasted Poblano Mac and Cheese
4 ounces shell pasta, cooked
2 ounces white cheddar to weight
2 ounces preferred lager beer (Campfire uses Shiner or another dark lager)
1½ ounces fire-roasted poblano chiles (Hatch chiles can also be used)
1 teaspoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon water, mixed
2 ounces yellow cheddar
Dollop whipped Boursin cheese
In a medium-size pot, bring green chile and beer to simmer. Add grated white cheddar and whisk until melted. Once cheese is melted, add corn starch, and water mixture. Add pasta. Melt grated yellow cheddar on top and garnish with a dollop of whipped Boursin cheese.
Recipe edited and excerpted with permission from Queso!: Regional Recipes for the World's Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip by Lisa Fain (Ten Speed Press, 2017). Purchase the book at Amazon.com. Photography Courtesy Ten Speed Press. Reprinted with permission from Nopalito copyright 2017 by Gonzalo Guzmán with Stacy Adimando. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright 2017 by Eva Kolenko. Purchase Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen here. Photography Courtesy Ten50 BBQ.
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