Hubby’s all-time favorite Mexican meal has to be Tampiqueña, or number 34 on the menu of our neighborhood Mexican Cantina. Most nights, when we treat ourselves to a relaxing evening out, Tampiqueña is what Hubby loves to order. While I usually order a smaller platter, I will admit the Tampiqueña plate is delicious, offering you a variety of foods. And I’m lucky because Hubby is willing to share a little.
Carne a la Tampiqueña is a meal and not just a dish. It was created by restaurateur Jose Ines Loredo and his brother, Chef Fidel. They sought to create a plate that expressed their love of their homeland. Carne a la Tampiqueña was created in 1939, and each aspect of the dish has great meaning. Carne a la Tampiqueña is always served on an oval platter. You would assume it’s because there is so much food, (steak, enchiladas, rice, beans, and tortillas) that you need these small platters to hold everything. And that would be right, but it’s not the real reason for the oval platter. The shape of the platter represents the Huasteca; a section of Mexico’s eastern gulf region. The thin strip of roasted meat signifies the Rio Panuco, a river that empties into the gulf. The cheese enchilada bathed in spicy green sauce represents the huasteco fields. The white cheese, the purity of the people living in Huasteca; the Verde Sauce and homemade Pico de Gallo, the fruits of the region. The flavorful refried beans are the fertility of these beautiful lands. If it were possible for a dish to have an attitude in intense pride, it would be Carne a la Tampiqueña.
The Main Stars
Carne a la Tampiquena and
All the Rest
Carne a la Tampiqueña
For The Verde Sauce
1 Garlic Clove
¼ Cup White Onion
Salt to taste
1/3 Cup Crema or Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon Celery Salt
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Place the Tomatillos, onion and jalapeno in the heated pan for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and continue cooking until the Tomatillos are slightly browned.
Place the Tomatillos mixture into a blender. Season with salt. Blend until smooth.
Empty mixture into a small bowl. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise. Season with Celery Seeds. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Steak
5 tablespoons hot chili sauce
2 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoons Salt
2 lbs Flank Steak
In a small bowl, combine the chili sauce, lime juice, pepper flakes and salt. Set aside.
Line a broiler pan with foil. Place flank steak on pan and brush the steak with the chili sauce mixture on one side. Turn the steak over and lightly brush the other side. Let rest on the counter for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat broiler. Broil steak about 6 inches from the heat, for 6 to 8 minutes.
Turn the steak over and brush with additional chili mixture. Continue to broil another 5 minutes or until done to your liking.
Remove steak from broiler. Let meat stand for 5 minutes before slicing the steak into four equal portions for serving.
4 Flour Tortillas
1 Lime, quartered
4 Roasted Jalapeno Peppers from a jar
½ Yellow Onion, cut into rings
½ Cup Queso Fresco, Cotija or other Mexican Cheese, crumbled
While steak is broiling, warm tortillas. Keep warm in tortilla warmer until ready to serve.
Cut lime into wedges. Set aside until ready to use.
Cut onion into thin rings. In a small, dry pan, lightly roast jalapeno peppers from a can of hot pickled Jalapenos along with the onion rings. Shake pan for even browning. Hold in pan off heat until ready to serve.
Crumble cheese into a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
When the steak is ready to serve, top steak with the grilled onions, then drizzle some of the Salsa Verde mixture. Place steak on a large oval serving platter. Garnish the serving platter with limes and jalapeno. Serve alongside warm tortillas, remaining Salsa Verde mixture and crumbled cheese. The steak can be topped any way you like or wrapped in the warm tortillas like a burrito.
Simple Cheese Enchiladas with Green Sauce
1 ½ Cup Jack Cheese, shredded
2 ½ Cups Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 Commercial Can Green Enchilada Sauce
8 Corn Tortillas
½ Cup Shredded Jack Cheese for garnish, if desired
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses. Moisten with a little enchilada sauce to help bind the cheeses together. Set aside.
Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into a casserole dish, just enough to lightly coat the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
Warm tortillas to make rolling easier. Spray a griddle pan with a little cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Brush tortilla with Enchilada Sauce. Place brushed side down on warm pan. Brush top with Enchilada Sauce. Flip over and heat until soft and playable. Remove from pan. Stack tortillas on a plate until ready to fill.
Place about 1/2 cup cheese down the center of each tortilla. Fold/roll to hold cheese in place. Place filled enchiladas, seem side down, in the prepared casserole dish. Pour sauce over enchiladas to moisten top.
Bake in the oven until cheese has melted and everything is heated through, about 10 minutes. If desired, immediately sprinkle some shredded jack cheese over enchiladas and allow the residual heat to melt the cheese.
4 ripe Avocados
1 medium tomato, seeds removed
½ medium Red Onion
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1 Serrano Pepper
1 Lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon Cilantro, minced
1 Teaspoon Cumin
½ Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt to taste
Cut avocados in half and scoop out avocado pulp into a mixing bowl and mash it with a fork.
Seed and mince jalapeno and Serrano peppers. Mince red onion. Seed and dice tomato. Add all the minced vegetables to the avocado.
Squeeze in lime juice and sprinkle cilantro over mixture. Season with cumin, chipotle chili, red pepper (Cayenne) and a little salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Transfer into a bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
1 Roma Tomato, chopped
1 Jalapeno, sliced, with seeds
When ready to serve, sprinkle top with chopped tomatoes and a few jalapeno slices.
To serve plate everything in an attractive fashion, garnish as desired and enjoy!