Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mariscos El Paisa San Diego - Estilo Culiacan Sinaloa Mexico

Mariscos El Paisa Truck San Diego

A taco truck that has two waitresses??? What??? Well technically according to the Webster Merriam Dictionary the definition of a waitress is “a woman who waits tables (as in a restaurant)”. Well this is not a restaurant, and no tables are in site, but it gets so busy here they have a team of two outside the truck that take your order and serve you.

Mariscos El Paisa Truck San Diego

I’ve been to an abundance of taco trucks and I have not seen an arrangement quite like this. If it gets that crowded “it must be good”, right? Especially when Mariscos German on Beyer Ave is a stone’s throw away. In San Diego Mariscos German has long been my bench mark for Seafood Tacos, followed by Mariscos El Pescador for Fish Tacos. So how does Mariscos El Paisa stack up????

I’ve had everything on the Menu at Mariscos German and 90% of El Pescadors so it would not be a fair comparison at this point, however I will tell you the Fish and Shrimp Tacos are definitely worth a try at this point. With one stop already under my belt I ordered only two tacos, I’m glad I did because the tacos were huge.

Shrimp Taco

Shrimp Taco Mariscos El Paisa San Diego

Fish Taco

Fish Taco Mariscos El Paisa Truck San Diego

Now “taco purist” may scoff at the use of lettuce rather than cabbage on Fish or Shrimp Tacos but I must say in this case it worked well. The fish and shrimp were both fresh and plump. The crema was tasty and unique and the lettuce and tomatoes were fresh. Other then the tortilla falling apart it’s defiantly worth your buck.

I typically order beyond the basic Fish and Shrimp so I’m eager to get back this week and sample the rest of the goods on the menu. The menu is not very extensive however a few things on the board captured my attention.

Mariscos El Paisa Truck Menu San Diego

I’m eager to check out their Gobernador Taco which is usually grilled shrimp with melted cheese but has varied at every Restaurant or Taco Truck I have tried it at. I’m not a huge Burrito fan but the Alazan sounds interesting. At first look I thought the “Super Ranas” was going to be frog leg tacos however the Super Ranas is a taco with melted cheese Marlin, Octopus, Shrimp, and Fish with a minimum order of two. I also look forward to sampling their Caldos (Soups); I just hope I have room for it all.

I will update this report as soon as I try more of the fine offerings representing Culiacan Sinaloa Mexico. This may be too far south for some but if you’re in the area check it out, it’s been here years and is here to stay. Spanish helps.

Mariscos El Paisa Truck
3170 Iris Ave San Diego 92154 (Cross Street 30TH)Near Trolley

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chiles en Nogada (Chilies In Walnut Sauce) Recipe

Chiles en Nogada is probably my favorite Mexican dish of all. I had have versions at Restaurants in the past but nothing has compared to this homemade version. My wife and I were first inspired to make this after reading a post on Chowhound last year.

Chiles en Nogada

Agustin de Iturbide was a military commander who fought in Mexico's War of Independence, and later went on to become Emperor of Mexico in 1822. Agustin signed the treaty of Cordoba that granted Mexico its Independence. On his way to Mexico City, Agustin stopped in the city of Puebla where the townspeople decided to hold a feast to celebrate the Independence from Spain and Iturbide’s saint’s day, August 28th. The Augustinian nuns of Santa Monica convent were in charge of creating a special dish for the occasion. Using local ingredients that were in season they came up with a dish that proudly bore the colors of the Mexican flag; in this dish were the green chilies, the white sauce, and the red pomegranate seeds.

Serves 10


10 Large Poblano Chiles, charred, peeled, seeds and veins removed
1 Pound of Ground Pork
1 Pound of Ground Beef
Salt to Taste
9 Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
Pinch of Oregano
1 Whole Crushed Garlic
1 Chopped White Onion
1/2 Chopped jalapeño (optional for extra spice)
1 Chopped Apple core removed
1 Chopped Peach pit removed
1 Chopped Pear core removed
1 Ripe Plantain peeled and chopped
2oz Raisins
1oz Walnuts
1oz Pecans
1 stick of Cinnamon
3oz chopped dried Pineapple
Cooking Oil

The Walnut Sauce (Nogada)

1 lb of Mexican Crema
¼ - 1/2 Cup Milk
¾ Pound Queso Fresco
½ Ounce Chopped Pecan
2 Ounce Chopped Walnut


1 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
½ Cup Cilantro

Cover tomatoes with water and simmer until soft about 10 minutes, Remove skin from tomatoes and blend.

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Line large pot or skillet with cooking oil; add whole crushed garlic, onions, and jalapeño. Stir in ground pork and beef and cook over medium low heat until meat is browned. Salt to taste, add pinch of oregano, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste.

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Stir in the raisins and chopped walnuts. After several minutes add the chopped pear, apple, plantains, and mix well, continue cooking over medium-high heat until most of the moisture has evaporated. Stir often let cool, cover, and set aside.

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Smear a light coating of vegetable oil on the poblano chile, directly place chile over an open flame. Turn the chiles from time to time to allow skin to blister and char lightly. Place them immediately into a plastic bag or seal with plastic wrap and leave them to sweat for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the skin to moisten. Remove skin and clean off with the edge of a spoon. Make a slit in the side of each chile and carefully remove the seeds and veins. Gloves are recommended; we also recommended you do not rinse the chilies.

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Stuff the chiles with the picadillo until they are full, place seam on bottom of plate

Chiles en Nogada Recipe

Blend the crema, milk, queso fresco, pecans and walnuts until smooth. You can play with the amounts of cheese and milk until you get your desired consistency. Cover the chiles in the nogada sauce and sprinkle with fresh cilantro and pomegranate seeds.

Here is a video from last year which was made with the help of the author of the original post from chowhound. We pretty much stuck with the same recipe with exception of the nogada was made with water instead of milk on the video.

Chiles en Nogada is a very complex dish that maintains a pleasing balance between the savory and sweet. We love serving it to guest and have them guessing the ingredients. If you have any questions regarding the preparation feel free to leave a comment.

Chiles en Nogada

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tacos El Poblano Chula Vista and some Ensenada News

Back in July I reported on Tacos El Poblano, arguably one of the best spots for Carne Asada Tacos in Tijuana. When I was talking with the owner he had mentioned he wanted to open a new place in Chula Vista/San Diego area, well he was true to his word and Tacos El Poblano is now open for Business in Chula Vista. I can’t wait to see how they stack up to their Tijuana counterpart. If you want to check it out yourself the address is on the ad below. You can read about the history of the original in Tijuana here…… . You can also check out a report on the Chula Vista location at my friend Kirks (mmm-yoso) awesome blog here....

Tacos El Poblano Now In Chula Vista

UltraMarino by Barra Azul Now Open
I had a chance to stop by Ensenada’s newest bar UltraMarino Bar a few weeks ago. I’m a big fan of their sister restaurant Barra Azul and was curious what menu options they would bring to their new Bar. Ultra Marino is a Bar first and foremost but I was pleased to see I could get my tempura battered oyster fix here. The presentation differs from the picture below(Taken at Barra Azul) but the taste is identical. They serve a wide variety of drinks including some interesting martini offerings that include oyster flavor.

Tempura Oysters

UltraMarino is Located at First and Ruiz.



Last month Jay (The Linkery Restaurant in San Diego) informed me about a new a restaurant on the coast of El Sauzal Ensenada called Gazuza. Gazuza is located at the same location the Oaxacan Restaurant at Viento was previously located. They actually moved it closer to the coast the scene is breathtaking. I hope to get back their soon and provided a full report. Thanks Jay.

Gazuza View