Are you Mexican?

It was one of those rainy days in Portland.(if you haven’t read the keeping weird post, now it’s a good time to do it!) I decided to go shopping, another of my favorite activities. I went to a couple of stores downtown. I used to love it there! I tried on about a million things, only to buy 2 blouses and some jeans. My body is helpless I thought.  I usually have a lot of trouble buying stuff, I blame it on the genetic blend that I carry… Maybe I’ll talk about this later.

I was waiting on the line to pay when one of my Portland friends called me. I answered my cel.  It was my mexican born girlfriend. Hello! Where are you? she asked. Oh I’m just shopping, go figure. I’ll be heading for lunch after this, I said.  All of this was talked in my beloved native language.. Spanish! Once done, the guy at the register said…

The Guy: Hi miss! May I ask, are you Spanish?

Whaaaaat? I though,

Me: NO! I´m Mexican!!.

The Guy: Really? he said.

Me: Yes, really.

The Guy: Are you sure?

Are you kidding me? Do you think someone will get confused about the country they were born and raised? Not to worry I didn’t say this to the guy.

Me: Yes, I´m sure. But, you know, you have me thinking, maybe I should re-read my passport and check.

I left.  When I talked to my husband that night he was laughing so hard! This was certainly not the first time someone doubted my “Mexicanity”, but never before I had been insulted by the are you sure question…

Thinking about this, the fact that many people believe in Mexico we are all yellow cheese lovers plus I feel a whole in my stomach when someone says “I have eaten real Mexican food” (once I investigate, I usually find out they  they ate some kind of junk), I decided to share a recipe with all of you. Thus, I present you with a REAL taco stuffing that is easy to make and is really tasty. This is only one of the many things that you can make tacos with. It is my grandma’s recipe with a bit of a twist of mine…

© mylunchanddinner

Picadillo de mi abuelita

**Picadillo (which is just mexican-spanish slang for really chopped)

400 grams (1 lb) of ground beef (try it to be lean and good quaility)

1/2 small chopped onion

1 garlic clove chopped

1 medium carrot cut into small squares

1 medium potato cut into small squares

4.5 oz of tomato sauce (just plain, no italian tastes!)

2 teaspoons of oil (I usually go for extra-virgin olive oil, but any will do)

salt and pepper to taste


If you are brave enough…  1 fresh jalapeño or serrano pepper chopped

If you are not too brave… 1/2 chopped green pepper

The how…

  1. Heat a large pan to medium temperature.
  2. Add the oil and immediately the onions.  Once the onions are transparent, add the chopped garlic and cook for about a minute.
  3. Place the beef in the pan, and using a wooden spoon move the meat to separate it into small pieces (this usually takes about 5 minutes of stirring and pressing, but it won´t kill you).
  4. Season with salt and pepper  and add cumin (I use about 1/4 of a teaspoon, but you can add more or less depending on your likings).
  5. Stir until the meat starts browning.  At this point, incorporate the vegetables, pepper of your choosing and the tomato sauce and season again with salt and pepper, just to taste!
  6. Cover the pan and turn the heat to the lowest point.  Cook for about 15 minutes and you are done!

You can eat picadillo by itself or you can use corn tortillas to make tacos.  In anyway eaten we usually have it with grounded beans. If you are going to add cheese to the tacos, please for the love of God, look for some asadero cheese in the grocery store! haha…Eaten with salsa everything is better! Enjoy!!

© mylunchanddinner 2012