MOLCAJETE

I was intrigued having seen delicious versions of Molcajete in social media and by bloggers online.  I decided to challenge myself and attempt to make it.  It was much easier than I thought. I also love to put a twist on whatever I make, this time was using a different Fresco blend on each of the proteins. What can I say…. sooooo much flavor! What a fun and entertaining dish to serve up for any event!

This steak, chicken and shrimp Molcajete may look like a complicated dish when really it is just well seasoned shrimp and steak with a tomato-based sauce with peppers served in a molcajete. A molcajete is the Mexican version of a mortar and pestle and is often used for grinding various food products. A molcajete can also be used as a warming vessel to serve food. Typically, the dishes are not prepared in the molcajete but, keep the dish warm once it is served as the stone can keep heat over a period of time. I absolutely love this casual full of flavor dish!  This Molcajete dish is the perfect complement for a refreshing margarita or your favorite ice-cold Mexican beer. I can’t think of a better way to finish a memorable meal.

I improvise for large crowds and warm a 12” cast iron skillet on high heat in the oven. Remove pan from oven, add meat, seafood and the warmed sauce poured into a dish placed in the center of the pan. Toast tortillas, serve with a side guacamole and sour cream. Authentic Mexican cuisine at its finest! A true crowd pleaser!

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INGREDIENTS

Sauce

4-6 serrano peppers (roasted, skinned, seeded and chopped, see below)

3 tablespoons oil of choice

4 large tomatoes, quartered

2 garlic cloves, smashed

¼ white onion halved

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp cumin seed

3 oz. tomato paste

1 whole chipotle pepper with some sauce (use only 1 pepper from can)

Pinch of sugar

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy skillet over med-high heat.  Add tomatoes, garlic, and onions.  Cook until the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.  Add the oregano, cumin, tomato paste, sugar, Serrano and Chipotle Peppers. Stir until fragrant, about 2 min.  Add 1 cup of water to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the chili peppers are soft about 2 minutes.  Let mix cool slightly at least 5 minutes (See below, blending hot liquids). Transfer the mixture to a blender, add 1 cup of water and blend until smooth.  Strain sauce into medium bowl.  Makes 4 half pint containers.  Use one and freeze the rest for later.

 

Molcajete Ingredients

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 small steak of choice

12 jumbo shrimp

4 oz. med – large slice mushrooms

Other options to grill:  6 scallions, 2 slices of Panela cheese

Flour & corn tortillas of choice

 

Large Cast Iron Skillet – place empty pan in 425-degree oven. This is your serving dish. Reheat ahead of time.

 

Season and grill or sauté chicken, steak, shrimp and mushrooms with your favorite Fresco Blends such as:

Chili Lime Chipotle, City Grille, Coffee Steak Rub, Fajita, Mexi Blast, Mexicali Salsa, Orange Chipotle Grille, Signature Blend, Southwest Chipotle, Taco or any of your Fresco Blend of choice.

 

Remove cast-iron pan from oven with hot pad.  Reheat sauce if needed, pour sauce into a 1-2 cup size bowl or small cast-iron serving dish and place in center of pan. Arrange steak, chicken, shrimp and mushrooms around the pan. Place hot pan on a trivet.  Serve with toasted corn and flour tortillas.

 

How to roast peppers:  Place peppers on grill or gas stovetop. Blacken all sides. Remove and immediately place in brown bag for a few minutes. Remove peppers and peel off skin. Cut of top and remove seeds and chop in pieces. Can make ahead and freeze for later use.

 

Blending hot liquids:  When blending hot liquids, remove liquids from the heat and all to cool for at least 5 minutes.  Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway.  If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions.  Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth.

Sheila CapitoComment