Mexican Recipes from Richard Sandoval at iVillage.

There's much more to Mexican food than burritos and tacos. Chef Richard Sandoval has redefined this historic cuisine through his collection of upscale restaurants in New York; Washington, DC; Denver; Las Vegas; and San Francisco. His modern take on traditional Mexican has made him a leader in the upscale Latin culinary movement. The recipes below are modern interpretations of classic dishes.

 

Margarita Maya

Ingredients:

  • 4 Count Don Julio Blanco tequila (1.5 ounces)
  • 1.5 ounces sour mix
  • 1 ounce Hibiscus Syrup (recipe below)

Directions:

Add the tequila, sour mix, Hibiscus Syrup and ice to a shaker. Shake and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with dried hibiscus petals.

 

Hibiscus Syrup(makes just over 1 liter)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 liter dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 liter water
  • 1/4 liter sugar

 

Directions:

Boil the hibiscus and water for 25 to 30 minutes. Strain with a sieve and puree the remaining flowers. Add the flower puree and sugar to the liquid and strain with a fine sieve.

 

Lobster Guacamole (serves 4 to 6)

This guacamole is delicious plain, so if you prefer, you can make it without the lobster.

Ingredients:

  • 4 avocados
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons minced serrano chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped cooked lobster (substitute crabmeat if desired)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato

 

Directions:

Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Scoop the meat into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the lobster and tomato, and mix well. Gently fold in the lobster and tomato. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, lemon juice and more chiles, if desired.

 

Tinga Sopes

Chile en Nogada

Tinga Sopes

Ingredients:

  • Sweet chipotle sauce (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white Spanish onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sherry-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Ingredients for Chicken tinga:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small white Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cups Sweet Chipotle Sauce

Ingredients for Sopes (makes about 30):

  • 4 cups instant corn masa for tortillas
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • Canola oil for frying

For serving:

  • 1 cup black bean puree
  • Grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped cilantro

Directions:

Make the sweet chipotle sauce: In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook or sweat over medium heat until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Working in batches, spoon into a blender or small food processor and puree. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve placed over a small bowl, forcing the mixture through with a ladle or a rubber spatula. (Can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

Make the chicken tinga: In a large saucepan, combine the chicken breasts with enough cold water to cover. Simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and let cool. With a knife, shred the chicken. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. And the onion and saute until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the sweet chipotle sauce, salt, pepper and shredded chicken.

Make the sopes: Prepare the dough for the corn tortillas. Pat into 30 (4-inch) tortillas, about 1/4 inch thick. Lay on the cooler part of a griddle. Let the tortilla sit until it releases from the griddle, 10 to 15 seconds. Carefully flip over onto a hotter part of the griddle and let cook until the bottom begins to speckle with brown spots. Remove from the griddle and transfer to a clean kitchen cloth. Using the cloth and your fingers, pinch up the edge all around to form a 1/2-inch-high rim. Set aside, covered.

Serve: If necessary, reheat the chicken mixture. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sopes, in batches, and fry until crisp, about 1 minute, turning over once. With a slotted spoon, remove the sopes to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Add more oil to the skillet as needed. Spread each sope with some black bean puree and then top with some of the chicken mixture. If desired, garnish with cheese and cilantro.

 

Chile en Nogada (makes 4 servings)

Ground-Beef-Stuffed Poblano Chile with Walnut-Almond Sauce

Ingredients for Nogada sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup blanched sliced almonds (about 1 ounce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Ingredients for Chiles:

  • 4 fresh large poblano chiles

Ingredients for Stuffing:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dark seedless raisins
  • 1/3 cup blanched sliced almonds (about 1 ounce)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts (about 1 ounce)

Ingredients for Garnish:

  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions:

Make the nogada sauce: Place the walnuts and almonds in a blender. Pulse to finely grind. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add 1/4 cup of the milk and blend to puree. Add the remaining milk and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The sauce is served chilled.

Prepare the chiles: Preheat the broiler. Place the whole chiles on a broiler pan rack. Broil about 4 inches from the heat, turning the chiles over occasionally, until evenly blackened on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Place the chiles in a paper or plastic bag and seal. Let stand until cool enough to handle and the skins have loosened, about 15 minutes. Remove the skins. Cut a slit from the top of each chile down the side. Remove the seeds and veins. Set aside.

Make the stuffing: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. For the last 2 minutes, add the garlic. Add the ground beef and salt and saute, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raisins, almonds and pine nuts. Cook over medium heat until cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Spoon the stuffing into the chiles, dividing equally.

Serve: In the center of each large salad plate, spoon a little of the nogada sauce. Place a stuffed chile in the center of each and spoon more sauce over the chiles. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve at room temperature.

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