6 tips for a successful Mexican-style bbq (carne asada)
As many know, U MAIN was founded by a "Mexican" couple: Max is Mexican and Pascale is from Quebec!
In Max's family, charcoal bbqs, or "carne asada" is a tradition that brings together all generations of a family. It is an activity that usually takes all day.
In the morning, some family members go to the market to buy vegetables, others to the butcher for meat, others to the grocery store to prepare micheladas (beer with clamato, lime juice, salt and sauces) and at the "tortillería" (shop making fresh corn tortillas).
We usually draw on our reserves of homemade cheese for the occasion!
At the beginning of the afternoon, with a michelada in hand, we gather in the kitchen to prepare the accompaniments and around the barbecue to grill the vegetables and the meat. Once everything is cooked and the tortillas are hot, we sit down at the table and eat.
Then comes the "sobremesa" which consists of a long time of rest at the table, a coffee in hand (or a "carajillo" - cold coffee with liqueur 43), during which we digest and discuss pleasantly. If the "sobremesa" lasts long enough, the time comes when you feel hungry again and you have dinner together.
Here are some tips for making a delicious Mexican-style bbq (carne asada):
A carne asada is only as tasty as the sides and sauces it is served with.
1 - The extras:
- Refried beans served with homemade queso blanco : click here for the recipe.
- Guacamole: click here for the recipe.
- salad of nopales (cactus leaves) (recipe coming soon).
- Quesadillas (even better with your homemade mozzarella) : click here for the recipe.
- Warm corn tortillas (on the grill, heat them for a few seconds on each side).
2 - Hot sauces:
- Pico de Gallo (fresh sauce (in pieces) with diced tomatoes, chopped onion, a chopped hot pepper of your choice, finely chopped fresh coriander, lime juice and salt)
3 - "Adobo" (marinade):
For your meats, seafood and vegetables, it is possible to sprinkle them with salt, pepper and spices before cooking or to prepare a very simple "adobo" (marinade).
finely chop garlic, put in a bowl, cover with vegetable oil suitable for high temperature cooking.
You will then have to brush the ingredients of your choice with it using a kitchen brush. Salt. This will enhance the taste of your carne asada!
4 - Variety:
A carne asada, although its title includes the word "carne" (meat) does not mean that it must contain only meat. It can be served with seafood, lots of vegetables and grilled cheese, or even be vegetarian. What matters is the variety.
Here are some suggested meats, seafood, vegetables and cheese for grilling:
Meat, seafood, vegetable protein and cheese:
- flank steak (snatch),
- Mexican chorizo,
- thinly sliced beef shoulder,
- shrimp brochette,
- scallop skewer,
- marinated tofu.
- nopales (thornless cactus leaves)
- hot jalapeño pepper
- mushrooms (of several varieties)
- Green onions
- potatoes (as in the oven - we cover them with aluminum foil and put them in the embers in a not too hot corner, from the start of the preparation of the carne asada)
- head of garlic (covered with aluminum foil and placed on the grill from the start of cooking in a less hot corner).
- corn cobs
5 - Skewers:
Rather than making skewers with different types of vegetables, meat, cheese and seafood... we recommend putting only one type of vegetable, type of meat, cheese or seafood per skewer.
This will prevent some ingredients from being overcooked (see burnt) and others raw. You can then simply remove the skewers, serve them in dishes that you will place in the center of the table for everyone to use.
6 - To eat together:
In order to eat the prepared foods while still hot and all gathered around the table, place the ready foods in one or more saucepan(s) with a lid that you will leave in a very low heat corner of the barbecue.
Cook the tortillas last and place them in a "tortillero" or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel (this will help keep them warm).
You now have all the tips you need to make a delicious "carne asada". Do not hesitate to share your experience with us!
Enjoy your food !
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