What’s on the menu at a typical Mexican picnic? Are some foods, like hot dogs and hamburgers, universal? Turn your backyard into a little slice of Mexico by tweaking some old standbys. Learn how not only Mexican food has been adapted outside of Mexico, but also how American dishes have been transformed in Mexico.
ANCHO CHILE MEXICAN HAMBURGERS WITH LIME AIOLI
Hamburguesas con Chile Ancho y Aioli de Limón
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 lbs ground veal
1 1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
4 ancho chiles, rinsed, stemmed, seeded
1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tbsp
1 tsp grated lime rind
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 hamburger buns
2 red tomatoes, sliced
8 iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup white onion, sliced
Place chiles in a small bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Places chiles in the blender along with 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, onion and garlic, and puree until smooth.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and veal. Add the chile mixture, two lightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Mix until it is all well incorporated.
Heat the grill or pan over medium heat until very hot and brush some oil. With your hands, mold the patties and place them on the hot grill or pan. Cook for about 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on how well cooked you like your burgers. I like them medium-well, so it is about 5 minutes per side for me.
Place the garnishes on the table so that everyone can choose to their liking.
To make the lime aioli, place everything in a mixing bowl, and just mix it all up!
If you want to make this hamburger into a cheeseburger, Monterey Jack is a great companion. Just place a slice of cheese on to the patties once you flipped them on the pan or grill and let it melt as it finishes cooking.
PICKLED ONION POTATO SALAD
Ensalada de Papa y Cebollitas en Escabeche
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 jalapeño chiles, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded (may substitute for habanero or serrano if more heat is desired)
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp all spice
2 bay leaves
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup rice vinegar, or any mild fruit vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 red onions, thinly sliced
3 lbs red potatos, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the jalapeños and the garlic and cook for a couple minutes, until they have softened a bit.
Add the black peppercorns, oregano, allspice, bay leaves and salt and stir for a couple seconds. Incorporate the red onions, stir, let them soften for a minute. Carefully pour in the vinegars. Mix the onions with the rest of the ingredients in the pan, stir for a couple seconds and turn off the heat.
Cook the potatoes in a pot with salted boiling water, for about 12 minutes, until a fork or the tip of a knife goes into the potato. Strain the potatoes and place them in a bowl. Stir in the pickled onion mix. If you do so while the potatoes are still hot, they will absorb the pickle juices much better.
You may eat the salad warm or cold. You can let it cool and place in a container with a cover. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
GARABATO OR SCRIBBLES COOKIES
Galletas Garabato con Chocolate
Makes about 16 to 18 cookies
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for chocolate filling
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a mixer, at medium-high speed beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and keep on beating until fluffy. One by one, add the eggs until well combined. Lower the speed to low, and add the flour half a cup at a time, along with the salt, thoroughly mixed. Remove from the mixer, turn into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly dust all-purpose flour on your countertop and roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut circles of about 3″ round. Place them in a buttered and floured cookie sheet. Bake anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes or until they appear lightly tanned. Let them cool on a cooling rack.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine the cream and the chopped chocolate. Stir constantly, until the chocolate is well dissolved. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
Once the cookies and chocolate filling have cooled, add a couple tablespoons of chocolate on top of half the cookies. Top with another cookie without pressing down on it. Then with a spoon or fork, drizzle more chocolate on top of the cookies, making your own scribble designs.
Once the cookies are set, you may cover and refrigerate. I love them cold!