Tacos 24 Hours a Day

I’m on a mission to get back to Florida. They’ve been having great weather since I left! Hate that! A few days before I got there the temps were in the 80s but it was downhill from there. So another trip is in order to get a little sun, some beach time and some kick-ass tacos! Nothing fancy here at Tacos Al Carbon in West Palm Beach Florida but what you will get is authentic Mexican food. That simple and that good.

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Tacos for $2? I’ll take it!

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Tacos Al Carbon is also open 24 hours so when you’re starving at 3AM after a night of hanging out there are several locations to check out.

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This one is on Lake Worth Ave and has a huge outdoor seating area.

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Love the smell of roasted corn! Sprinkle a little chile pepper, crema cheese and you’ll never have plain corn on the cob again.

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The tortilla chips are homemade and they’re pretty thick so watch your teeth!

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The steak, chicken and al pastor tacos were well seasoned and so good that I forgot to take photos of them all! The guacamole is creamy and well-balanced flavors so you have to try that as well. Check them out if you’re in the area, you’ll thank me later.

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A Smorgasbord of Mexican Foods in a Southern Florida Flea

I was in the West Palm Beach area a couple of weeks ago and found a little gem of a place off of Forest Hills Blvd. If you’re in the area make sure you stop by the Sunshine Flea Market for great authentic Mexican foods like tacos, tostadas, tamales, pozole, menudo, you name it, they have it. It’s a typical flea market of steeply discounted clothes, jewelry, Mexican sweets, and other services but I came for the Michelada. I was told Juanita’s had one of the best in the area and they weren’t kidding! A Michelada is made with beer, spices, tabasco sauce and served in a salt rimmed glass. If you haven’t had one yet put that one on your list.

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I picked up a bowl of spicy roasted corn with a squeeze of lime, crema, cheese, ground chiles and drizzled with hot sauce, the perfect street food.

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Even though there was great looking food around, I was on a hunt for spicy candy and found plenty of it! Mexican candy is spicy, sweet, tart and addictive! Here are a few you can find here at the flea.

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The sales lady laughed when I asked if this was a chicken flavored lollipop! I don’t get why this wrapper has an image of a roasting chicken but this was my favorite. The right blend of sweet, sour and spicy…and no chicken!!

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These spicy mango lollipops were a little too sour for me but you might like them. They’re coated with chile powder too!

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The flea market is in a nondescript strip mall area which cannot be seen from the street but it is next to El Bodegon supermarket. If you go during the weekend be prepared to deal with the crowds and kids running everywhere. People go there to shop but also go there to hang out with their families, surely for the food, candy and snacks! So if you go on a Sunday looking for pozole, get there early, if not I’m sure you’ll find some other delicious treat!

Mini Cheese Steak Tostadas

Would you drive over an hour to Philly after midnight just to get a greasy cheese steak? I did that once with a few folks after watching a special Philly cheese steak episode on TV. We just all looked at each other and said “let’s go”! I rarely have cheese steaks now since I’ve cut down significantly on red meat but every once in a while I’ll get a craving.

I decided to make mini cheese steak tacos made with homemade corn tortillas and sauteed onions and peppers for a lighter version. An unlikely pairing but I didn’t want all that bread from the hoagie either so opted for something a little different. I made a few 4 inch size tortillas and loaded them with steak, onions, peppers and melted cheese. By the time I finished there was no way I could fold them like a taco so had them open faced instead! Is there such a thing as an open face taco? I think not so what we have here is a tostada, yeah, that’s it. Either way, it was hearty and satisfyingly good!

Once you prep your peppers (I used cubanelle for a little spice and because they started to ripen), onions, and garlic, just saute them in a little oil. The onions should caramelize and the peppers should be very tender.

I cooked the beef round strips below then later cut into smaller pieces. These here were a bit too large for the small tortillas I made.

Assemble everything on the tortillas, melt the cheese and add your favorite hot sauce for extra heat if you like.

Spicy Mini Cheese Steak Tostadas

1 lb beef round, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large cubanelle pepper, julienned
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tsp Adobo, see recipe below
1 tsp sea salt
10 mini (4″) corn tortillas, see recipe below
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp parsley
1-2 tbsp butter
hot sauce

Corn Tortillas

1 1/2 cup Masa corn flour (found in Latin grocer or any large supermarket)
3/4 cup of hot water

1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Season the beef  with the Adobo and add to the hot oil. Saute beef until cooked through and nicely browned. After beef browned add about 1/2 cup of water, stir and let it reduce. The beef should be a bit moist and saucy.

2. While the beef is cooking prep onions, pepper and garlic. In a separate saute pan heat up about 1-2 tbsp of oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the peppers and cook until soft, add the garlic and season with a tsp of salt. Once cooked , add to a bowl and set aside.

3. In a bowl, add corn flour then slowly add the hot water and stir until dough forms. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. Knead dough on floured board and divide dough into about 10 golf sized balls. Flatten each in a tortilla press for perfect round tortillas or with a rolling pin between sheets of parchment paper. Cook tortillas in a hot pan with a tbsp of butter for about 1 minute on each side. The thinner the tortilla the less time it needs to cook. Tortillas should be a bit brown on each side.

4. Set oven to broil. Place tortillas on an oven proof dish, top with the steak, then top with the onions and peppers. Top with the mozzarella cheese and place in the broiler only until cheese melts. Top with you favorite hot sauce.

Spicy Adobo Seasoning

Adobo seasoning can be purchased in the Latin aisle of a supermarket but I like making my own. It isn’t a spicy seasoning but I add a little cayenne pepper to mine. You can leave this out if you like. Check out my recipe below.

1 tbsp Himalayan Sea salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp hot paprika
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black ground pepper
1 tsp dried garlic

Grilled Chicken Smothered in Tomatillo Salsa and Cheese

Ok this isn’t the prettiest dish but looks can be so deceiving! This grilled chicken dish is moist, tangy, spicy, and simply delicious. I picked up some tomatillos at the market the other day to make a salsa for chips but decided on using it to smother some grilled chicken. I went full blown Mexican this month and loved making all these dishes so hopefully you’ve enjoyed them as well.

I grilled the chicken using my George Foreman grill because the weather wasn’t holding up. The grill worked just fine and was able to get nice grill marks on the chicken. I then prepared the sauce in a blender and covered the grilled chicken, added cheese and baked until cheese melted. This was an incredibly easy dish to make and took about 30 minutes.

I also made my own tortillas for the first time! I’m never buying store bought corn tortillas again. They came out a little thick but next time I think I’ll invest in a tortilla press for perfect tortillas every time.

Grilled Chicken Smothered in Tomatillo Salsa

2 lbs chicken breast
5-6 tomatillos, roughly chopped
1 tsp cayanne pepper sauce
1 medium onion
1 tbsp fresh parseley, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
y
1 tsp black ground pepper
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 serrano pepper, sliced

Preheat oven to 350. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and squeeze lemon over the chicken breasts. Grill the chicken until cooked all the way through. Add the tomatillos, pepper sauce, onion, parseley, cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt, and half the serrano pepper to a blender and puree ingredients. Add the chicken to a baking dish and cover completely with the tomatillo salsa. Add the cheese and remaining serrano chile slices on top and bake chicken for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. Remove from oven and top with cilantro.

Tortillas
1 cup maseca corn flour
3/4 cup of hot water
1/4 tsp salt

In a bowl add the flour, salt then slowly add the water until a dough is formed. Roll about 2-3 tbsp of dough in hand to shape like a ball then flatten with the palm of your on a floured board. Lay a piece of parchment paper on top and roll until desired thickeness. Heat up each tortilla in a heavy pan (cast iron) with a pat of butter until tortillas are a little browned on both sides.

note: you can get Maseca corn flour from a Latin grocery store. Maseca is the brand name of a very fine corn flour that’s made with a bit of lime.

Spicy Mexican Inspired Recipes Roundup for Cinco de Mayo

Hi folks, here are a few recipes to try for tonight if you’re looking for a couple of great Mexican inspired dishes. Whether you celebrate Cinco de Mayo or not, Mexican food is too delicious to pass up! I know this “holiday” is way overblown here in the US but you know, we’ll take every opportunity to have a great time and enjoy great food. It’s not a holiday in Mexico nor is it celebrated anywhere outside of the state of Puebla in Mexico and it certainly isn’t Mexican independence day as most think…just so you know! 🙂 BUT here are a few great dishes that I think you’ll enjoy!!

Happy Mexican food and drink day!!

Chorizo & Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers – Deconstructed

Huevos Rancheros and Michelada

Spicy Pozole Soup

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Tequila Chile Lime Chicken Tenders

Jalapeno Popper, Guacamole, & Chipotle Mayo Dips

Tamarind & Habanero Margarita