Chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s and Backstreet Cafe in Houston celebrates the authentic cuisine of his homeland, prepared by the true keepers of the country’s artisanal cuisine—Mexico’s home cooks
In Street Food of Mexico, award-winning chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s and Backstreet Cafe in Houston celebrates the authentic cuisine of his homeland, prepared by the true keepers of the country’s artisanal cuisine—Mexico’s home cooks. Unaltered by globalization and fast-food shortcuts, Mexican street food is “fast food” at its best and represents the best of traditional cooking. The scent of these familiar dishes wafts from bustling mercados and colorful carts out onto the street, drawing in hungry diners to experience the unique richness of flavors of this time-honored world-class cuisine. From the tacos and masa-based treats of the central highlands to the cocteles and ceviches of the coasts, each region has its specialties, and each dish conveys both deeply satisfying taste and a delicious feeling of place. In his warm way, Hugo shares the stories behind the dishes and provides recipes and instructions to make them accessible to cooks everywhere. The color and flavor of Mexican street life comes alive in this generous collection of recipes for tacos, tlayudas, cocteles, bebidas, dulces and much more. Join Hugo on his culinary journey, and your kitchen will become a vibrant, savory haven as you prepare these legendary foods of Mexico.
Potatoes, Swiss Chard and Mushroom Tacos
(Tacos de papas, acelgas y champiñones)
Makes 4-8 servings
This vegetarian taco is fulfilling as well as hearty. This recipe shows that tacos are very
versatile for any eating lifestyle. This vegetarian Mexican sauteÅL can also be used as a
substitute for the chicken in the tacos de chile relleno (page 77).
⅓ cup olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
1/2 lb white button mushrooms, cleaned, sliced or a mixture of your choice
1/2 large bunch Swiss chard, washed, stemmed
2 chilaca or poblano peppers, roasted, seeded, peeled, deveined, cut into strips
1 large yellow potato, roasted, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp kosher salt
8 regular-sized tortillas (page 74), warm
1 recipe Hugo’s salsa Mexicana (page 120), optional to accompany
Place cast iron skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to skillet and preheat 2 minutes.
Add: onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard and allow it
to wilt, about 5 minutes.
Add peppers and cook for 6 minutes.
Add potato and continue to cook 2 minutes. Stir gently as not to mash the potato.
Divide evenly among the tortillas. Serve with salsa Mexicana.
Variation: Tacos de papa con chorizo (Cubed Potato with Chorizo Tacos)
Substitutefilling with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped, 6 garlic cloves, peeled, minced,
1 pound good-quality Mexican chorizo, and 2 large roasted yellow potatoes.
Place cast iron skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to pan and preheat 2 minutes.
Add onion and cook for 3 minutes.
Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
Lower heat and add chorizo. Allow to fully cook, about 20 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Add salt to taste. Follow the rest of the cooking directions as specified above.