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Micheladas

Micheladas are great for a hot afternoon or the morning after a big night out. The tomato juice helps calm that riotous stomach and provides vital nutrients while the beer satisfies that lingering alcohol craving.

A michelada is simply Clamato, lime juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce. How do you improve on such a simple and fulfilling recipe?

First, look at the ingredients on the Clamato bottle. It’s basically tomato juice, clam juice and a bunch of preservatives. And corn syrup, because, well, it’s in everything you eat anyway.

Let’s get the ingredients to their most basic and I guarantee you the taste will improve immensely.

One complaint I sometimes get (especially when offering this drink to the novices) is the clam juice. Many will simply not come near it. In my recipe, you can omit it if you want (but you shouldn’t).

Juanito’s Michelada

You will need:

    Tomato juice (big can. Cheap!)
    Clam juice (tiny bottle, you only use a small amount, to taste)
    Limes (Mexican key limes. The little ones)
    Jugo Maggi (it’s like Worcestershire or soy sauce, but better. Find it in your Mexican market)
    Plenty of ice
    Salt (coarse, preferably kosher)
    Pepper
    Hot sauce (Valentina is great. Of the more vinegarey of the rest, like Tabasco or Cholula, use less).

Salt the rim of a pint glass or a beer mug and fill it halfway with big ice cubes. Pour tomato juice to the halfway point as well. Add half a shot of clam juice (or to taste). Squeeze the juice of one lime, add a pinch of salt, couple of grinds of the pepper mill, a few squirts of the Maggi “juice” and as much hot sauce as you like. Top with your favorite Mexican beer and stir to combine.

Some people like to refill the mug with the remaining beer as they drink it but I’d rather make a fresh one.

Milanesa and Green Spaghetti

This is a repost from my old Hellmouth blog (which seems to be dead now).

It’s my now famous “Milanesa and Green Spaghetti.”

Recipe

Espagueti Verde (Green Spaghetti)

2 large poblano chiles
6 large cilantro sprigs, leaves only
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 pound spaghetti or other dried pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Mexican crema or heavy cream (Mexican crema has a tartness to it which regular whipping cream does not. If you see Salvadorean crema you’d think it would do but it’s a bit on the sweet side and I wouldn’t recommend it).
4 ounces Mexican queso fresco or queso panela, they’re soft, crumbling cheeses.

Griddle-roast chilies until blistered all over, place in a plastic bag or in a small bowl with a tea towel on top and let them steam a few minutes to loosen the skin. Peel the poblanos under running water, keep or remove as many seeds and “veins” (the thin, light green strips running inside the length of the chiles). This is where the heat is. Puree in a blender or food processor with the cilantro, onion and garlic.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 5 teaspoons of the salt. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package directions.

While the spaghetti cooks, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, add the poblano mixture.
-You can also throw all of the ingredients into the pan and skip the blender, using a handheld food processor or “wand” instead.-
Cook, partly covered, for 10-12 minutes. Stir in the crema or cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Drain the spaghetti when almost done to your taste. Return to the pot, pour the sauce over it and toss to combine well. Scatter the cheese over the spaghetti and serve.

For the Milanesa, bread thin steaks of beef (put them between plastic sheets and pound them beforehand to make them thinner; I use the bottom of a glass).

For the breading I combine bread crumbs (the cheapest, plainest) with cajun seasoning and freshly-ground black pepper.

Whisk an egg in a separate container and dip the steaks here first, then in the bread crumb mixture.

Place the steaks on an oiled medium-hot skillet or shallow pan, cook until the juices start to come up over the top of the steak. Flip the steak and finish cooking to golden-brown. Don’t go shaking and checking the steaks before the juices come up, you’ll mess up the breading.

Keep the steaks warm in aluminum foil until ready to serve with the spaghetti. Add a halved key lime on the plate.

It’s Bikini Season!

The gorgeous Raquel in an outtake for a calendar shoot. Shot on film. Yeah. Film.

Raquel in a red bikini, University Girls of Texas calendar