Monday, September 19, 2011

Double Take: Chorizo, Poblano, and Beef Soft Tacos with Homemade Cheese Sauce

September 16th, 1810....The beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.
September 16th, 1910....The beginning of the Mexican Revolution that removed Dictator Diaz from power.

2011 marked the year long celebration of Mexico's bicentennial. With that in mind, I realized I knew very little of Mexico's history. I knew that the Spanish went there and that's why most people there speak Spanish. Our church from back home did annual shoe donations to indigenous Indians in Mexico or I probably wouldn't have even known they existed.

I knew the Spanish conquered the Aztecs...but  I didn't know the Aztecs were ruling over other tribes and that the other tribes banded with the Spanish to defeat one conqueror only to be conquered by the Spanish.

I knew the Spanish ruled Mexico as a colony but I didn't know their rule lasted for 3 centuries!

I had no idea that Mexico used to be called New Spain or that it operated with a cast system with 5 classes of people!

The Mexican Revolution (from Spain) was aided by Napolean and was started by a man named Father Hildago ringing a bell to call people together. The same bell that was originally rung in 1810 is rung every year on September 16th. It's amazing to me that the bell is still in good enough shape to ring. Wow.

In honor of Mexico's Independence, we wanted to share a Mexican dish with you today. The key thing here is that its a lot like your basic taco but includes the Spanish sausage, chorizo, and the poblano pepper native to Mexico. Fun foodie fact: Ancho chili is simply dried poblano. The chorizo brings an interesting flavor to the dish that I liked a lot. For those of you who've struggled with making a good Mexican cheese dip...look no further. This one is tasty but in the future I'd encourage those with tongues who can't take tons of heat to dial down the cayenne in the cheese dip.

Chorizo, Poblano, and Beef Soft Taco with Cheese Sauce.



Chorizo, Poblano and Beef Soft Tacos with Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce (adapted from Savour the Senses)

Time: 30 min
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup flour
1.5 - 2 cups milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 3/4 cups grated pepper jack
1/2 lb chorizo
1/2 lb ground beef
1 tspp parsley
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 yellow onion (minced)
1/2 poblano chile (diced)
2 green onions (sliced)
1 small tomato (diced)
3 cups romaine lettuce (chopped)
6 soft taco tortillas


How To:

To make the cheese sauce:

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Whisk the flour into the mixture, stirring constantly until it begins to turn golden (about 3 minutes).
Add the milk into the mixture and continue to whisk until clumps have broken up and sauce begins to thicken (about 10 minutes).

Add the next 7 ingredients, salt through the pepper jack cheese, to the sauce and continue to stir until all of the cheese is melted and the consistency is smooth. Turn to simmer, cover and keep warm for the tacos.

To make the meat mixture:

In a large skillet, cook the chorizo and ground beef, making sure to break up any large clumps (about 5 minutes).

Add the onion, seasonings and poblanos and continue to sauté until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

Add the meat mixture to each taco, drizzle with cheese sauce, top with green onion and lettuce, then serve.

Chorizo, Poblano, and Beef Soft Taco with Cheese Sauce....ready to serve!

Reaction:

I really liked the flavor the chorizo brought to the tacos. I love beef but the the chorizo brought a depth of flavor of its own to the tacos that I really appreciated. The cheese sauce was great! Its easy to modify so if it becomes a little stiff to your liking, simply add a little more milk or water and stir it in to get your desired consistency. If you want, toss in some fresh tomatoes too!

Looking for a second opinion on this dish? Hop over to Mel's blog, Fabulously Fun Food.

Happy Mexican Independence Day!

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