ask a mexican
¡Come to an Adiós!
Why the ¡Ask a Mexican! column has come to an end
Three choice taco recipes
We ran a web contest soliciting top taco recipes from readers. The winners get tickets to our Taco USA party tonight at El Pinto, which stars Al hurricane and ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano. It also stars free tacos.
Here are three winners’ recipes!
1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 ripe tomatoes, cored
2 red jalapeños, stemmed
1 clove garlic, smashed, plus 2 cloves, minced
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup canola oil
18 corn tortillas
thinly sliced green cabbage and tomatoes, and crumbled cotija cheese, for serving
Puree cilantro, oregano, sugar, tomatoes, jalapeños, smashed garlic, and 2/3 cup water in a blender until smooth; set salsa aside.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil, add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Add minced garlic, butter, salt, pepper, and cumin, and mash until smooth. Set potato mixture aside.
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Spread 1 heaping tbsp. potato mixture over half of each tortilla, and fold over to form a taco. Working in batches, add tacos to oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes.
Stuff cabbage, tomatoes, and cotija into tacos; drizzle with salsa before serving.
1 can (~16 oz) pinto beans, drained
1 can (~16 oz) black beans, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (remove the seeds if you don’t want your tacos to be spicy)
1 fresh clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons of chunky salsa
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (increase or decrease amount to adjust spice level)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
8 corn hard taco shells
1 fresh tomato, chopped (topping)
shredded iceberg lettuce (topping)
1 can (~6 oz) black olives, chopped (topping)
shredded monterey jack cheese (topping)
salsa or hot sauce (topping)
fresh cilantro, chopped (topping)
sour cream (topping)
spanish rice (side)
refried beans (side)
Pre-heat the over to 325 degrees F (for the taco shells later on).
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeño, and garlic to the frying pan. Cook this until all the veggies are done to the level you prefer.
Next, take the drained pinto and black beans and add them to the frying pan along with the spices and a few spoonfuls of salsa.
Mix together all of the ingredients that are now in the frying pan and cook over medium heat until everything is all heated up (be careful not to overcook since the veggies should already be just about done).
Place your corn taco shells on a baking pan and bake them in the oven (which should already be heated to 325 degrees F) for about 5 minutes.
Remove the shells from the oven, let them cool off a little bit, then add the cooked vegetarian taco filling.
Top your tacos with any of the optional vegetarian taco toppings above such as fresh tomato, black olives, monterey jack cheese, hot sauce, fresh cilantro and/or sour cream.
Serve with a side of refried beans and rice.
Enjoy your vegetarian tacos!
6 tomatillos, husked, washed and grilled until blackened
1 serrano, grilled until blackened
1/2 small red onion coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
8 blue corn tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
Preheat the grill to medium. Add the blackened tomatillos and serrano to a small sauté pan and briefly sauté in a little olive oil on the grates of the grill.
Place the tomatillos, serrano, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and honey in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the tomatillo mixture in a large sauté pan and place on the grates of the grill. Bring the mixture to a simmer, add the chicken, and heat through.
Place the tortillas on the grill, and grill for 20 seconds on each side. Spoon the chicken mixture into the tortillas and top with a few tablespoons of queso fresco.
Fold the tortillas in half serve immediately.
Ticket giveaway to tomorrow’s taco party!
The first 10 people to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their favorite taco recipe get a free pair of tickets to tomorrow’s Taco USA bash. The legendary Al Hurricane will take the stage at El Pinto, along with ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano.
The festivities will last from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and include a free taco bar, queso, chips and salsa.
You do not have to come pick up your free tickets. Instead, they’ll await you at will call. If you miss out on the free tickets, go to alibi.com/tacousa where they’re half-price.
¡Half-price! tix to see Al Hurricane and Gustavo Arellano[ Fri Apr 13 2012 3:58 PM ]
Right now, you can buy entry into the Alibi’s Taco USA party at El Pinto for only $12.50. The legendary Al Hurricane and his big band will take the stage. ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano will talk about his new book on tacos. Plus, there will be free tacos, queso, salsa and chips.
The party is Wednesday! Get your tickets at alibi.com/tacousa.
Mexican St. Patrick’s Day in Photos
On St. Patrick’s Day, ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano visited Blackbird Buvette in Downtown Albuquerque for a book-signing party with the Alibi. He was in the state gathering research for his next book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (And Soon, the World). An entire chapter will be devoted to New Mexico’s culinary ways. To honor the writer from Orange County and our neighbors to the south, we drank, we danced, we ate, we laughed, we acknowledged the disturbing similarities between the treatment of Irish immigrants in the 19th century and Mexicans today. And we drank some more. Fun and clever discourse abounded, and Arellano wisely got restaurant recommendations from the audience. We can’t wait until Arellano comes back in the fall.
Hispano vs. Mexican
This woman didn’t leave her name or number, but she’s angry about a portion of this week’s feature in which “Ask a Mexican” columnist Gustavo Arellano asks a New Mexican. Her voicemail is awesome. The delivery is fantastic, full of venom but with that particular lilt you only get around here.
"Marisa. I like your paper usually. I'm kinda pissed today. Who is this Joseph Baca that's trying to say that Hispanos in New Mexico are not formerly Europeans many of them? What is he? Is he a MEXICAN? And these Hispanos were also being hanged in the mid 1800s—even if their skin wasn't brown but pink. So why don't you correct that misnomer, his blurb: "Are there still people who call themselves Hispanos or is that some Chicano myth?" Well, it's a Chicano myth, apparently. But it's not a Hispano myth. Get it straight, lady. How long have you lived in this state? And where the hell is Joseph Baca from?"
(To answer, I’ve lived here all my life except for a couple of single-digit years I don’t remember.)
She called back and added:
"Thank you for Jerry Ortiz y Pino's encapsulation of the special session at the Legislature. It was full of information and understanding. It helped a lot. Thank you."
No no, ma’am. Thank YOU.
The Mexican Asks a New Mexican
... and finds true love. The Alibi’s Joseph Baca responds to hard-hitting questions about the Land of Enchantment.
If you’ve never heard of Gustavo “The Mexican” Arellano and his syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican!, printed weekly in 37 newspapers throughout the U.S., you must be living on the hinterlands of pop culture. In his column, which has a circulation of about 2 million, Mr. Arellano uses scholarship, acerbic commentary, irreverent humor, cynicism and simple smarts to break down racist boundaries and answer the most straightforward questions about Mexicans. Questions regarding differences among the broad spectrum of Latinos the world over are addressed. No cultural group is safe from his biting wit, as whites, Chicanos, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Chinese, blacks and even Argentines are all fodder for his humor.
Dear Albuquerqueros: Ustedes will always have a special place in my heart, since the Alibi was the first paper with huevos to print my ¡Ask a Mexican! column. Unfortunately, I can't live in your wonderful town since my demented homeland of Orange County, Calif., needs me to expose skinheads and pedophile priests on a regular basis. But fate is bringing me back to Albuquerque this week on account of a book I'm working on—Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (And Soon, the World)! It'll be released next year and deal with how "Mexican" food has evolved in the United States—and I'll devote a whole chapter to the Land of Enchantment, because the rest of the States used to like "Southwestern" food until pinche taco trucks became popular.
An interview with Gustavo Arellano
One morning, a couple months ago, one of the Alibi's owners handed me some samples of a column called “¡Ask a Mexican!” From what I remember, the first sample was an analysis of Mexican attitudes toward group sex. Another was a primer on Mexican cussing. A third was about why newly arrived Mexicans enjoy American public restrooms so much. My boss wanted to know if I thought the column would be appropriate for the Alibi. My initial reaction: “Are you out of your pinche mind?”
¡Ask a Mexican! Glossary
Bienvenidos to ¡Ask a Mexican!, the world’s foremost authority on America’s favorite beaners! The Mexican can answer any and every question on his race, from why Mexicans stick the Virgin of Guadalupe everywhere to our obsession with dwarves and transvestites. In the course of his answers, The Mexican will use certain terms and phrases for better-rounded answers. Here are the most-used.