2 (19-ounces) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups water
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
Accompaniments: chopped cilantro; lime wedges; chopped white onion
Heat oil in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until onion is beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, water, and bay leaf and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until soup has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
Transfer about 2 cups soup to a blender and purée (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt.
Ever had a moment where you are about to make tacos and you find out that you have no taco seasoning in the pantry? Here is a simple recipe that you can use if you ever find yourself in a pinch and need to throw something together.
¡Lotería! Grill first opened in the LA Farmers Market by Jimmy Shaw in 2002. Now there are five locations across LA. Jimmy wanted to put true Mexican food on a plate after seeing so many Americanized versions of it all over Cali. Lotería is a type of bingo game in Mexico that uses game cards with images that represent Mexico. Many of these images are posted all over their restaurant. I read a guide of best foods to try at the Market and their popular nachos made the list. Some of their other favorites include the Chicharrón de Queso (pork dish), the tacos and their signature Guisos (slow-cooked stews). They also have a full breakfast menu for the early risers. Even though I was just sampling today, this mini nacho plate packed a punch. It consisted of corn tortilla chips, black beans, Pico de Gallo, jack cheese, tomatillo Salsa, onion and cilantro. I love nachos that just ooze with cheese and this one didn’t disappoint. The staff was great and it was fun to sit behind the counter and watch them passionately cook up some great food. I hope to grab a full meal next time around.
This place is always a favorite for my boys and I. It is some of the best Mexican food in Chandler. Si Señor Restaurant has a location here in the Valley and one in New Mexico where they get some of their famous Hatch chiles that they use for some of their dishes. Hatch Chile is a high-grade, sun-dried chile that comes from Covarrubias Farms in the Hatch Valley along the Rio Grande (the “Napa Valley of Chile”). Martin and Irene Castillo established the first Si Señor Restaurant in their hometown of Deming, New Mexico in 1984. This location in Chandler opened in 2001 and is a huge local favorite. They have great happy hour specials, four dipping sauces to choose from for your chips and a live mariachi band on occasions. They even make their own tamales and tortillas in-house. The hospitality is always great here and the food is pretty amazing. And of course you can’t leave without having some delicious Sopapillas for dessert.
A tamale is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. It can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables or chilies.
I’m a huge tamale lover. It’s traditional for me to pick up a dozen or two before Christmas. I get them either from some of the hispanic ladies at my work or from Aunt Chilada’s. Every year before Christmas, Food City puts on this Tamale Festival. My mother wanted to go and we hung out and ate some good tamales while soaking in the hispanic culture.
“The Home of the greatest Carne Asada in the Valley!”
America’s Taco Shop was founded by America Corrales and her husband Terry. America learned to cook from her mother in Culiacán, Sinaloa. Using fresh ingredients, America’s Taco Shop makes the best carne asada in town. I love their tacos and I feel like I’m in Mexico when I have them. Throw in some horchata and I’m in heaven!
Gourmet food trucks have become this crazy phenomenon across the U.S. Even Food Network has a show called The Great Food TruckRace that is inspired by these creative trucks. These trucks are not only creative in the way they design their trucks, but also with their food. Here in Phoenix, these trucks drive around to different locations and events to serve up some great food. Phoenix Street Food Coalition is a website that keeps track of where some of the best street food is served up here in the valley. I got a chance to stop by Phoenix Public Market and partake in Food Truck Friday. For lunch I got the Koreadilla (Bulgogi Skirt Steak with red cabbage, jalapeño, and red onion on a warm tortilla with cotija cheese) from Luncha Libre – a food truck with a Lunchador theme that serves a combination of Mexican and Asian food. My sandwich was super good and I had a fun day doing my first food truck experience!
Casa de Reyes is one of my favorite stops in San Diego. It is part of Fiesta de Reyes, a dining and shopping experience located in the heart of Old Town (the birthplace of San Diego). The original Mexican pueblo was established in 1821. There is live music and beautiful art in the plaza. Casa de Reyes is an outdoor restaurant that serves up traditional Mexican fare with flare. I ordered the Dos Beef Tacos platter and a Reyna’s sangria. It was delicious and filled me up for the evening.
If you grew up in Arizona, then you have eaten at Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen. Founded in Phoenix in 1946 by Woody and Victoria Johnson, Macayo’s has been serving the Valley for 70 years. They have worked hard to create a family feel to their restaurants by making hospitality their number one priority. Many of Macayo’s recipes have remained the same as has many of their traditions. I grew up in the days of ordering an open faced cheese crisp for an appetizer (along with some yummy chips and salsa). I’m also a big fan of their chimichangas with their awesome Baja sauce. But the best deal has to be their Señor Bob or Cha Cha mugs. You purchase one of these and bring it back for a margarita refill at a great price. I have many fond memories of eating here (especially at their Depot Cantina location in Tempe) and hope to keep my own tradition going for years.
For the first night of my Foodie group, we ate at El Zocalo Mexican Grille in Chandler. I’ve been here several times in the past. They have an awesome patio with lots of pretty lights for dining. They are owned by the del la Cruz family. My favorites are the Chile Relleno and the Mole de polo along with their margarita on the rocks. I really enjoyed hanging out with all the Foodies that just love to eat good food. Great bunch of people!