Culture

These Extra AF Esquites Recipes Will Leave Your Mouth Watering And Wondering Why Didn’t I Think Of That

This is a #TeamEsquites fan page only, y’all. For anyone who needs further proof that esquites are the most versatile way to enjoy elote, por favor, send them our way. As perfect and savory a classic esquites dish is, we would like to point out that esquites make any other dish extra extra.

The esquites you’re about to be inspired by are very real and replicable. Beware: so many elotes were harmed in the making of this gallery.

Anything you can do, esquites can do better.

@EloteFinder / Twitter

This Unicorn Elote is made by dying queso and mayo different colors, and then “painting” the end product. Then, each layer is adorned with a variety of Flaming Hot Cheetos, Takis, or other dyed condiments to add a crunch that matches the layers.

Detroit-based La Catrina is giving us the “Flaming Hot Esquites” from all angles.

@lacatrina_lp / Instagram

The best part of esquites is that they can be easily added to any dish as that extra special layer. This one is more like Flaming Hot Cheetos with a side of esquites, and we’re okay with it.

Yes, Sandia Loca is real.

@lafresitabionicos / Instagram

When Tajín is responsible for the tangy spice of esquites, you know fruit is invited to the party. Americans like to keep watermelon and corn on the cob separate at pool parties, but these two flavors party better together.

Latinos did that. Maruchan + Esquites=🔥🔥🔥

@lachocitadelelote / Twitter

This service announcement is made possible by Latino ingenuity and Tajín™. Thank you for coming to this TED talk.

Esquites served in a Dodgers baseball hat:

@LADExecChef / Instagram

You know Mexicans run L.A. when you can go to the local baseball stadium and order esquites off the menu…. in a keepsake Dodgers hat.

Head to Lincoln Park to find this Elote Loco.

@lacatrina_lp / Instagram

Let it be known that La Catrina’s base level esquite looks like this. From there, it gets more and more extra. You can’t even see the cup under all that queso!

Like this Bacon Supreme Esquites:

@lacatrina_lp / Instagram

It’s your standard, absolutely insane, Elote Loco, with a base of Flaming Hot Cheetos and topped and stuffed with bacon, esquites, and queso. Consider it a protein add on.

We’re going to call this the low-waste way to enjoy esquites:

@churritoloco / Twitter

Garnish those Flaming Hot’s directly in the bag whence it came. Try your best to seal the bag, mix it all up, and steal a few extra cheetos from your friend to top it off.

Pro tip: You can do this with your favorite chippys.

@HerreraUzziel / Twitter

Using spicy Doritos basically makes it a nacho meal on the go. Like I said, this gallery is all about Latino innovation, baby.

This person decided to layer their favorite foods into one bomb-looking dish.

@paulabendfeldt / Instagram

We kid you not, that is an Eggo waffle. Who says you can’t live in a food desert and make pretty things happen? Snap that pic and then smother it all with crushed up Flaming Hots.

Seed to Sprout has a lil something for the vegans.

@seedtosprout / Instagram

Statistically, 1 in 2 Latinos report lactose intolerance, and the number get higher with other people of color. Good thing this restaurant is ‘gram advertising it’s ” 🌽 Roasted sweet corn with cashew lime crema, cashew cotija + fresh cilantro” for us dairy-averse folk.

This person just mixed guacamole with esquites and added the mayo on top.

@PatiJinich / Instagram

We know what you’re thinking. Yes, it is healthy esquites and technically avocados are a fruit, so consider this your serving of fruits and vegetables for the day. 😇

We bow down to the elotero who started serving cacahuetes with these esquites.

@buevitoconcatsun / Instagram

Are you drooling yet? Send this to that coworker who needs a little inspiration to walk a block with you to meet your friendly elotero. We all know its worth it.

Chipotle Is Expanding Its Menu Options For A Limited Time Only, They’re Adding Carne Asada To Stores Nationwide

Culture

Chipotle Is Expanding Its Menu Options For A Limited Time Only, They’re Adding Carne Asada To Stores Nationwide

Chipotle / Instagram

Word on the street is that Chipotle has added a new source of protein to its menu for the first time in a year. According to CNN Business, Chipotle is rolling out carne asada for a limited time at its more than 2,000 stores in the United States. 

The real question here is, however, is it better than the carne asada at your tio’s BBQ on Sunday’s? Guess we’ll have to read the reviews and try it out for ourselves.

According to CNN Business, the carne asada option was tested in three American cities over the past year and the company states that it was received “incredibly well.” Chipotle also said that it approved the new addition to steak for three popular diets that you might have heard of recently — ketogenic, Paleo, and Whole 30. 

Here we thought Chipotle was simply trying to cater more to their Latinx consumers, but alright, we see you. 

Since news broke that Chipotle would now be serving carne asada, Twitter had some thoughts. Some positive, some negative, and others downright hilarious.

If you’re a member of Chipotle’s app-based rewards program then you were most likely one of the first to receive notification about the new menu item, and if you’re not — don’t worry, because carne asada is already available for you to order.

However, before we dive in @VidaByJen on Twitter is asking the REAL question on our minds.

Can guac just be free now? Please. Thanks.

Twitter users were also quick to publicize their own personal reviews of what the carne asada was like.

One Twitter user said that “upon first bite the difference in flavor from the regular steak is noticeable.” But in the larger scheme of things, it doesn’t have a noticeably significant effect on taste. The reviewer then went on to say that the carne asada “comes in bigger pieces than the regular steak” making it “difficult to bite into and chew.” Well, the Latino community is used to that, but fair point. 

The bottom line? The carne asada “is tasty but not a huge game changer especially if you typically order steak.” The price point is also a bit higher, so she said she would “not recommend it to a friend.” Welp, there you have it. 

Another Twitter user pointed out the obvious, the carne asada is just steak cut into long strips but go off Chipotle.

Don’t @ us!

One Twitter user said that Chipotle was playing y’all, “you know they already had steak. They’re just adding a lil lime and calling it carne asada.” 

Hmmm, where’s the lie? 

However, these facts still didn’t dissuade anyone from being excited. 

We’ll let them have this one. But y’all should get invited to a BBQ instead of spending your coins at Chipotle, tbh.

Chipotle also spoke up when asked exactly what the difference is between carne asada and steak.

A twitter user asked “what’s the difference between this and regular steak?” To which Chipotle replied, “The original steak is marinated in adobo sauce so this lime and cilantro Carne Asada recipe adds a whole new flavor profile to the protein.” See, the previous Twitter user was onto something. 

Even with Chipotle’s transparency, people are still not believing it.

We’ve been led astray! Carne asada IS steak. 

Someone who may or may not be a Chipotle employee also tweeted that “the amount of times we’re all gonna have to explain the difference” is going to be tired.

We feel ya, but good luck girl! 

Kat Thompson of Thrillist also reviewed Chipotle’s new carne asada addition. Here’s what she had to say: 

Did the carne asada turn out to be better than the steak? “This is something I’ve been going back and forth on. Would this new version of steak replace my beloved cubes? And the conclusion I’ve come to… is no,” Thompson wrote. Although the carne asada was delicious, she still found herself craving and thinking about the steak cubes. 

Despite the steak cubes fairing better in her experience, she still thought the carne asada addition was a great idea. “The acidity of the lime is welcomed, and perhaps the protein would function better in a taco — where it wouldn’t be lost amongst the pool of rice, beans, and salsas,” Thompson wrote. 

Will you be trying Chipotle’s new carne asada? Let us know in the comments below! 

This Traditional Mexican Ingredient Is Ending Up On More And More Menus In The US But Do You Know What It Is?

Culture

This Traditional Mexican Ingredient Is Ending Up On More And More Menus In The US But Do You Know What It Is?

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Corn smut, fungus, Mexican truffle — these are just some of the aliases of huitlacoche(pronounced whee-tla-KOH-cheh). But what exactly is this soft, spreadable and dark-as-night ingredient? In simple terms, it’s a plant disease (yes, it’s a parasite) that grows on ears of corn around the kernels in puffy, gray clouds that look kind of like river stones. But when you take this strange fungus into the culinary world, huitlacoche becomes a delicacy used in all sorts of dishes from soups to enchiladas to sauces.

This is an ingredient that Indigenous people have been working with for centuries but as it becomes more common on menus across the US, people are wondering what exactly it is.

Yes, it’s even referred to as the Mexican truffle.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Because it’s technically a fungus, much like the ultra expensive truffle, many restaurants – especially upscale ones – across the US are truing to market it as a truffle. Sure. Whatever floats your boat. 

So where is this Mexican delicacy from, exactly?

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

The name huitlacoche is Nahuatl, which is the language of the Aztecs still spoken by more than a million people in Central Mexico today. Utilizing this ingredient also dates back to this time. Corn, or maize, was a staple in the Aztecs’ diet, and they used the corn fungus mainly in tamales and stews.

The Native American Hopi and Zuni tribes have also worked with huitlacoche from the get-go. The former called the fungus “nanha,” and the latter held the ingredient in such high standing they say it symbolized the “generation of life.” In fact, huitlacoche has been an important food for indigenous peoples of the Southwest for centuries. So much so that the fungus has ceremonial, culinary and medicinal uses. As far as the healthfulness aspect is concerned, huitlacoche offers more protein than regular corn and has high amounts of lysine, an essential amino acid not found in normal kernels.

Nowadays, chefs are popularizing this once lesser known ingredient in restaurants from LA to NYC.  

Credit: Rosa Mexicano / Screenshot

Of course, as they say, an ingredient could be used for thousands of years by a certain culture but once the white folk ‘discover’ it, it’s said to have gone mainstream. Although it’s true that many US-based chefs are cooking with huitlacoche, it’s still predominantly an ingredient you’ll only find in Mexican driven kitchens. 

Ok, where can I get it? 

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Huitlacoche can be bought at most Mexican food specialty stores and comes frozen, jarred or canned. Since you don’t have to strip the corn of the fungus, using huitlacoche in this way proves pretty easy and requires little to no prep. If you do happen upon it fresh, pick the spores when they are light gray in color on the outside and have a spongy texture. Firm samples are overripe and bitter. For a superior earthy-corn taste, go for huitlacoche that forms on the ears, not the stalk. Occasionally, you may find this ideal huitlacoche at a farmers’ market

Now, I’ve got it. What can I do with it?

Since it’s technically a vegetable, you can use it raw. And because it’s a soft fungus, you don’t have to worry about chopping, pureeing or shredding, especially if you get it in a can or frozen. If you do manage to source some fresh huitlacoche, first thank the corn gods, then throw it into dishes whole, or delicately tear it apart with your fingers. Don’t be surprised when the gray fungus turns black with heat — this is a signature characteristic of the ingredient and the reason why many dishes that contain huitlacoche have a dark hue.

At the Rosa Mexicana chain, executive regional chef Joe Quintana says the ingredient goes with so many things, you will have no trouble finding a way to play with it: “Huitlacoche has many uses, and its earthy flavor gives you options to put it into dishes as well as sauces.” At the restaurants, he has paired it with chicken, beef and, surprise, more corn! He also says it goes particularly well with cheese, especially in quesadillas. In a way, you can think of pairing huitlacoche with items that you would normally add mushrooms to, and beyond

Here are some of our favorite uses for this delightfully tasty ingredient. 

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Quesadillas de huitlacoche are a go-to on the streets of Mexico City and the earthy flavor of huitlacoche (which also somehow tastes similar to corn) pairs perfectly with the fried masa and salsas. Remember, in Mexico City quesadillas don’t traditionally come with cheese – you have to ask if you want ‘em cheesy. 

You can also throw huitlacoche on top of a sope.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Sopes were built to showcase the flavor of its toppings, which make them the perfect vessel for huitlacoche. 

Or in a gordita. 

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Paired with the crisp dough of a gordita, the flavor of the huitlacoche is allowed to shine through and I couldn’t be happier when I eat a huitlacoche gordita. 

They also make an amazing filling for enchiladas. 

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Because of their rich, earthy flavor, enchiladas de huitlacoche are often served bathed in a rich mole sauce. Seriously, one of my favorite go-to dishes. It’s rich and kinda heavy but you don’t regret a thing. Get a super good recipe here.