I know I can’t dedicate every new post to someone but I absolutely have to dedicate this one to my sister as she posted a picture on facebook the other day of, what I think we would both say is, The Best greasy down-home Mexican food- which is not really from a restaurant but is instead a Mexican supermarket with a resaurant in it. This place is fabulous and is one of the sort of places that you only get in border towns like El Paso, not in Missouri (where I’m from). You walk in and it’s like a Latin party in full swing – salsa music playing, pinatas hanging and a smorgesboard of every chili imaginable, all surrounded by the wonderful wafting smell of fresh Mexican food. The first time I went there was on a visit to El Paso with my sister, as that is where she used to live. Needless to say, we went back there several times together before I went back home. On the last trip I stocked up on dried chilis, fresh made tortillas, sopes, and Mexican spices. Ironically, I went to Mexico on vacation shortly after this trip and I was unexpectedly dissapointed with the food compared to what I had had in Texas. Mexican food was better in Texas than in Mexico (in my experience of course)!
So when I saw that pic I was brought back to that day, walking in for the first time to my latin party supermarket with my sister, to the two of us eating bean burritos that were bigger than our heads, and finishing them off and then going shopping with our bellies about to burst and still having to think about what to buy for dinner that night – I hignly recommed avoiding this,! My cravings for Mexican were sent through the roof with that pic and I felt a small twinge of jealousy at the same time . . . so of course I had to make my own ‘El Rancho’ supermarket Mexican, and here it is, a fabulous taco bowl with jerk ‘chicken’.
2 heaping cups of dehydrated soy chicken
1/2 cup ground allspice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 to 8 garlic cloves
4 to 6 Scotch bonnet peppers, (seeded and cored if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 Tablespoon thyme
2 bunches spring onions
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1. Blend all the ingredients together until it forms a paste. Coat the rehydrated soy chicken and leave to marinate for at least a couple of hours – like always, the longer you leave it the tastier it will be. Also depending on how hot you like it, you can take the seeds out of the chilis and always reduce the amount of chilis you use.
2. Once the chicken has marinated for awhile you can now cook it on the stove top in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil.
Cooling Cashew Cream Sauce
1/2 c. cashews, soaked in hot water
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 mins. Once they are soft, blend all the ingredients together.
* This sauce helps with the heat from the peppers.
You can either buy them premade or if you have this niffty little gadget picutred below you can use this. Just place them in the mold and bake in the oven until they are nice and crispy.
After baking your taco shell, throw in a bit of chicken, top it off with some fresh tomatoes, spring onions, avocado and greens and finally a drizzle of the cashew sauce. You can always opt for salsa and guacamole too, I just decided to go the easy route and put them in as is.
I hope you enjoy this fiesta bowl and that it reminds you of fun times sipping margaritas on vacation or going to your favorite Mexican restaurant!