Ric Orlando's South of the Border Street Food


Great class last night at Different drummers kitchen. Had a lot of "Tongue virgins" but we deflowered em all!



New World Tongue Tacos


Many people squirm when they even think about eating tongue, but most of our ancestors loved it. When properly cooked it is the most silky and succulent eating experience ever! And frankly, no one does it better than the Mexicans. Their technique of braise/dry cook/braise make it unbelievable! This is a two day process but the results are well worth it.

BRAISE #1
In Dutch oven add the following ingredients
1 fresh beef tongue
2 cups yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, , smashed with flat of knife
2 tbs Ancho chili powder
4 dried Mexian chiles, gualjillo, ancho or pasilla will do
1  3” stick Canela (Mexican cinnamon) or regular cinnamon
1 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbls Mexican oregano
½ cup, chopped of cilantro
1 tsp epazote
juice of two limes
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350
Wash tongue well with cold water and put in a heavy pot.
Put chile powder, oregano and cumin in a dry pan and toast until light plumes of smoke are released. Add to pot.
Put dry chiles in oven and baked until puffed  and soft, about 3 minutes. Using gloves, remove seeds and stems and add to pot
Add all other ingredients  to the pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Skim any scum. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for two to three hours, or until tongue is beginning to feel tender under the skin.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Refrigerate tongue with the cooking liquid at least 4 hours or overnight.

ROAST
The next day, Preheat oven to 350.
Remove tongue from the cooking liquid and reserve both the tongue and the liquid. Place the tongue in a roasting pan and bake 1 hour.

Let cool.

BRAISE #2
A 12 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, pureed in a blender
   or one can round tomatoes and juice*
½ cup cilantro
hot sauce to taste

*If you cannot find fire roasted tomatoes, try this:
Get a can of round, inexpensive tomatoes without basil and strain, reserving the the tomatoes and the juice separately.
Preheat broiler
Put the drained tomatoes on a cookie sheet. Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil to lightly coat.  Cook under broiler until beginning to get a little charred and freckled on the edges.  Turn the tomatoes over and char the other side the same way. Put in a blender with the resrved juice and puree until smooth
Strain the cooking liquid and put in a braising pot
Put the sliced tongue into a pot.
Add the tomatoes and cilantro.
Braise gently for 30 minutes to one hour until he meat is soft as silk. Add some Tapatio or chulua to taste.

Pickled Cabbage for Tacos
Here is the German influence on Mexican cooking. Tongue and cabbage!.
This will keep for about a week in the fridge so make enough!
2 cups white cabbage shredded fine
pinch salt
¼ cup lime juice
1 tbls white vinegar
1 tbl cumin seed, dry toasted until almost black
Toss together well!

Mexican “Crema”
If you can’t find this ingredient, which is essentially loose Crème Fraiche, simple whisk a little buttermilk in to sour cream to thin it to a creamy but pourable state. Done.


Street Cart Tortilla technique

Tortilla technique
This is how to get those soft, lovely corn tortillas used in Food carts all over America and Mexico.
Use ONLY thick Masa corn tortillas.
To cook the tortilla, dip in hot water for only 3 seconds, and shake off water.
Over a  small flame on the stove or grill, toss on a tortilla,
keep it moving and turn until it just starts to
scorch.
Stack in a tortilla warmer, or in a warm bowl covered with a dish towel
to help maintain warm/humidity.
To serve & eat
Grab a tortilla from the warmer. Add spoonful of the
cabbage then a spoonful of the tongue with the sauce. Garnish with some crema, a sprig of cilantro and a squeeze of lime, perhaps more hot sauce?






Pupusas
Pupusas are stuffed masa pancakes cooked on a griddle or in a skillet. The Cake is made from masa harina and water and the traditional fillings include shredded meats, cheese and veggies. The sky is the limit. The most important factor in designing your own fillings is to consider texture. The corn dough is delicate; golden on the outside and smooth and almost creamy textured on the inside. A filling with too much crunch or chew would counter the sexy nature of the dough. Pupusas are accompanied with assertive and acidic Curtidos or salsas (see below).
You should have seen how proud my El Salvadorian Sous Chef Carlos Arroyo was when an article about our New World Pupusas graced the cover of a major restaurant industry magazine.

The following recipe  makes 8-12 pupusas.
Each filling recipe will make 8-12 pupusas also.
Ric-ter scale – depends on the filling

Pupusa dough
3 cups Masa Harina
2 cups or more room temperature tap water
Mix the water and masa together with your hands.  Fold and blend well.  A soft, slightly sticky dough will form.  It will feel like play-dough (remember?) Use more water if needed in small drops. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

It’s easiest to use a tortilla press to flatten the masa dough but you can also use your hands.
Form a ball of dough about the size of a ping pong ball. Flatten to about 1/8 inch thick between sheets of plastic wrap. Repeat until you have 16-24 flattened tortillas. Keep between plastic wrap until ready to use.

Assemble the pupusa.
Remove the top layer of wrap from one tortilla.
Spoon a scant tablespoon of filling into the center of the tortilla. Top with cheese.
Top with another (unwrapped, obviously) tortilla and pinch around the edges to seal. The masa will seal itself.  Press the stuffing down gently with the palm of your hand.

Cook the Pupusa:
In a large lightly oiled skillet or griddle at medium heat cook the pupusa gently on one side until golden, flip and finish---sort of like grilled cheese.  Pretty easy once you get the hang of it, isn’t it?


Black Bean and Mozzarella Filling
Makes 12
1 can “quick” refried black beans*  
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
What are “Quick” refried black beans you ask?
Take a can of black beans and drain. Now take a cup of nice red salsa (preferable your own, but you can cheat in a pinch with a reputable brand.  Pure together in a food processor.
In a cast iron skillet add a lil oil or “drippings” you may have stashed. Add the bean –salsa mix and cook, stirring regularly until tightened up and a little crusted round the edges.
Churros!!!
With coco-cocoa!
Churros or Mexican doughnuts, or not really doughnuts at all. They actually show the influence of the French missionaries and are a variation of Choux pastry, or crème puff dough.
Quickly fried, rolled in cinnamon sugar and dipped in coconut milk hot chocolate. They are insanely delish!!

Churros
Makes about 8
1 cup water
2 tbls brown sugar
pinch salt
6 oz butter
1 cup AP flour
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

Vegetable oil for frying and a frying thermometer
sugar and cinnamon or ground Canela for dusting

In a sauce pan add the water, brown sugar, salt, and butter and heat to a rolling boil to melt everything.  Remove from the heat and add the flour and rapidly stir it in to make a paste.  Set aside while you do the eggs.
In a separate bowl, whip up the eggs until well scrambled and  add the vanilla.
Now add this to the flour mixture. Fold in until the eggs are incorporated but done overwork.

In a heavy pan, Heat at least 1 inch deep of oil to 375
Fill your decorating tool with the churro dough and attach the largest star tip you have.
Test your oil by placing a small amount of dough in it. The dough should bubble up right away or that means the oil is not hot enough.
Once the oil is hot enough, squeeze some dough (with decorator) into the oil about 4 inches long. I used my finger to release the dough from the decorator. Careful not to burn yourself.
You should be able to cook 4 or 5 churros at a time. Cook them about 1 minute and turn them over with a slotted spoon. Cook an additional minute or two. You're looking for that nice golden brown color.
Remove the churros with the slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain.
While still warm, roll each churro into the dish with the sugar and cinnamon until coated.

Coco-Cocoa “Hot Chocolate”
Easy? Yes. Will it be a got to for your winters? I hope so!
Makes 4 cups
2 cups coconut milk
½ cup bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate
pinch of cinnamon
Heat the coconut milk to a simmer. Fold in the chocolate and stir until  melted and creamy. Add cinnamon to taste ( or not).
You can make this lighter by using less chocolate or turn it into a fabulous ganache by bringing the coconut milk-chocolate ratio up to 50/50/