Most people that know Mexican food think of the basic things, enchiladas, tacos, rice and beans. That is what has invaded America in all it’s glory. We can now find these common items anywhere, in pretty much every street in our neighborhood. But really our cuisine is so much more than that. If you travel throughout Mexico you will quickly find that out. Seafood is huge having thousands of miles of coast in the Pacific, Caribbean and the Gulf of course. There are so many flavors, textures, and so rich in ingredients that it has been named an Intangible heritage of humanity.
Such an honor but so deserved, influenced by our ancestors the Mayans and Aztecs. But also the Spanish and of course the Caribbean. Our country is so strategically located where we have the most tremendous ingredients, from the most common beef, chicken and pork. To wild game and interesting things like rabbit and grasshoppers. Huitlacoche is what we call our truffles and they are so rich, and so many things to make from it. We always think outside the box as long as we got the right ingredients, we simply combine, add tons of love, plenty of spice and a great Mexican meal is created and enjoyed to its fullest at your dining room table. Next time you are in the mood for something with lots of spice don’t assume you will get rice and beans and a thing that looks like a taco. There are so many great dishes at Tapatio coal creek parkway in Newcastle, WA that you can try and will take you south of the border in seconds.
November 8, 2011 Comments Off
Most everyone enjoys a good taco, a delicious and juicy carne azada, or a mega burrito. The quality of the ingredients has to be fresh and all the flavors have to pull together to make it absolutely outstanding, and that is exactly what we try to do here at Tapatio Newcastle day in, day out. Mexican Cooking is so much more than a taco and a burrito, it’s so complex and full of tons of ingredients, that have no end to it. Sesame seeds, peppers, chocolate, almonds, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and of course tons of fresh seafood are some of the key ones, that you will find in our menu but not all. It has contributed so much to the culinary world, that along with the most prestigious cuisine like the French, it has been placed on the United Nation’s List of World Heritage.
So few get to make it, and our cooking has because it’s truly a gift from our ancestors. Of course, there is much influence from the Spanish, and we use spices that were brought from South America, Asia and India. But the flavors are indisputable, tangy, rich, spicy, sour and absolutely delicious. Here at our Restaurant we bring you a taste of years in the making, we take so much pride in what we do, because all of our ancestors did. Which ever dish you may have tonight, each one has a history and lots of emotions attached to it, it is all made with love from our kitchen to Bellevue, the entire East Side, and Seattle area.
October 1, 2011 Comments Off
Soups are so good for you, they taste good, they make your tummy feel good, and can turn a bad day into something a little more bright when you are enjoying a hot bowl of soup. And even though you may not think of it when you are in the mood for soup Mexican Cuisine is very rich in this department and has the most delicious soups out there, that are meant to make your day a whole lot better.
Among my family’s favorite are tortilla soup which by the way is found in tapatio’s menu and is extremely popular, but others that we run as specials sometimes. Lentil soup, chicken soup, sopa de lima, and there are pasta based soups, with noodles, and flavored chicken broth. And of course the cream based soups, like pureed bean, poblano pepper, corn, cilantro and many others.
Just like anything else with Mexican cooking you just have to have the right ingredients, for this matter vital and irreplaceable are tomatoes, onions, chicken broth and cilantro as a garnish. We cannot forget about the caldos which is also a soup but not really a caldo is the juice of something and in this case it’s the actual protein. There is caldo de pollo, caldo de res, caldo de camaron, and pescado. This are usually clear broths in which big bulky vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, and chayotes are added. Not a lot of spice but tons of flavor.
March 31, 2011 Comments Off
Many people when they eat at the best Mexican restaurant in Seattle, after a wonderful meal end up asking themselves, “I wonder what they put in that? I tried making it a home and cannot get the same results”. Chances are they are one of those full of flavor dried chillies that are just about in any of the recipes cooked. Could be ancho, guajillo, pasilla, cascabel, morita, puya, pasilla, mulato, etc or many others that are available although not as common.
The secret to cooking with these is to rehydrate before using them so all the flavors come back to life and your food will taste just the way you want it. If you are making a salsa for a set of tacos, boil the chillies with along with the tomatoes, tomatillos until the tomatoes are soft. Blend with your favorite spices and season with salt.
When making other dishes like picadillo or shredded chicken to make tortas or flautas the chillies are also put in the tomatoes but make sure you strain this sauce because you want a lighter flavor and a lighter color.
The biggest factor when cooking with dried chillies is not to over do it and to pick the right chili for the right food. Some are bolder some are spicier and some are simply for color so, read recipe carefully and use it appropriately. Be sure to visit us in Newcastle, south of Bellevue, and north or Renton. Have fun and enjoy!
February 23, 2011 Comments Off
Christmas is only a few days away and you are probably stressed out because you have no idea what to put on that beautiful table of yours on Christmas day or on Christmas Eve, whichever one is that you celebrate, in Mexico usually the big dinner is on Christmas Eve.
So here are some ideas for your menu if you are having a hard time deciding and you want it to taste really good:
Tamales are a good way to start and you want to make this maybe a day before so on the day of your dinner you only have to steam them and have time to get everything else ready. Use turkey, veggies or whatever your favorite fillings are. Make sure you save some of the masa and instead of adding salt add sugar to make sweet tamales which can be filled with guava paste, pineapple, cranberry chutney or whatever pops into your imagination. With tamales the perfect drink is atole, so make this the day of, and simply set it on the table on a pitcher so everyone can help themselves.
A good salad that is just as good as beautiful is the noche buena salad it is bright and purple and simply delicious. This is made by boiling some beets and dicing them. Combine with chopped jicama, orange wedges, nuts, orange juice, olive oil and a tiny bit of sugar.
If you are in the mood for something that will make your tummy feel good because where you live it’s very cold, like in Seattle and Bellevue, WA where the temperature is quite chilly this time of year, consome de pollo or a shrimp soup it’s what should be on your menu. There are tons of ideas, the important thing is not to overwhelm yourself and plan your menu a few days ahead. Spend lots of time with your family and have a great time. Feliz Navidad.
December 21, 2010 Comments Off
We have seen this popular item in many places. In Mexican dances all over whether you have been to Mexico or not, on mexican festive days like Cinco de Mayo or Independence Day, and probably even at some school plays. It is a big player when you hear the popular “Mexican hat dance” known in Mexico as the Jarabe Tapatio. It’s the beautiful dress worn by the female dancer that is full of lively colors, tons of life and it just looks like it’s alive when being moved by the hands of the female. This dress is known as the China Poblana dress. The literal translation for this “Chinese Poblana” and what that does mean? Well Chinese we know is someone that is from china, and Poblana is someone that is from the state of Puebla in Mexico, near Mexico city.
How did this name come together? Well the legend goes that a Spanish conquistador brought from the Philippines a young girl from India who might have been at the service of another Spanish official there. This girl was then kidnapped by Portuguese pirates and taken to India, where she escaped and joined a jesuit mission, and where through them she was able to make it back to the Philippines. There she was turned in back to the Spanish Conquistador who then brought her to Mexico known then as “New Spain”. And her last place was where she was sold to a merchant from Puebla as a slave. You can then now imagine how this China Poblana name came about. With her Indian culture this girl named Mirra carried her dresses with her full jewels, and stuff that shines. From there this dress over time has been changed by Mexican women designed to fit their bodies better and to where they feel more comfortable, comfortable enough to dance.
December 17, 2010 Comments Off
There are ways to make things taste good while keeping them healthy and good for your body. The information below is intended to give you a bit of advice on how to make healthy refried beans.
I have been to hundreds of Restaurants here in Seattle, Bellevue, Mercer Island, and of course back in Mexico. And I can now say I’ve had my share of beans, refried and not fried, both are good, delicious and sometimes even good for you but there is a secret way to making them just perfect and healthy, which still tastes great and there is way that is the complete opposite.
Refried beans can be made out of just about any bean, black, pinto, peruano, white, whatever your favorite bean is. What is the difference between healthy and unhealthy, simply the fat they are cooked in. I have found that some Restaurants in Seattle still use lard, which is pork fat and really is the unhealthiest of them all. If you want flavorful beans it is alright to once in a while use bacon, render it, and used the fat from it, by simply throwing the beans in there once you have crispy bacon.
So what is the healthiest and still flavorful way to make refried beans, use oil. Corn Oil even Olive Oil and throw it some chopped onions, wait until they caramelize and then throw the beans in there. Wait until they come up to a boil and then go ahead and use one of your kitchen gadgets to smash and get the right consistency.
Pair them up with your favorite dish and be prepared to enjoy a wonderful meal.
December 8, 2010 Comments Off
Christmas is a big celebration all over the world. It involves different cultures, countries, tons of ways to do things and of course the food pretty much varies in every table of each family that gets together.
So what do the people of Mexico do? What is it like? What do they eat? How do they make it fun? Well just like everything else they try to make things unique and full of fun accompanied with great food.
The Christmas Season begins in Mexico 9 days before Christmas. And when I was a little kid this was much known to me because it was the start of the Posadas. The Posadas are assigned parties to a block of the city you leave in. All the families from that block get together make food, drinks, prepare give away gift bags usually stuffed with peanuts, fruit and candy. And of course prepare a play from a Christmas story. After wards everyone gets fed usually with tamales, posole, potato fried tacos, and hot drinks like canela which is made from cinnamon, water and sugar or ponche which is a fruit drink. It is at this point where the kid’s get to brake a couple piñatas and then go home. Usually the adults stay around to a dance or more of chatting and having fun.
And the next day everyone gets ready for another day of fun in another part of town. These are the memories that stay with every child until their adulthood and it is what we look forward to every year as the Christmas season rolls around.
The Best Mexican Restaurant Bellevue, WA invites you to come enjoy a Margarita or two along with some of our tasty menu items with your friends and family this Holiday season, or you can place an order to go.
December 7, 2010 Comments Off
When we think of fruits there are certain flavors that come to mind. Sweet, tangy, sour and of course what types of foods we expect them in where they don’t seem foreign like pies, cakes,salads or eaten plain, which is just as delicious.
And you probably also have a very clear picture of what Mexican food should taste like and look like, as well as what ingredients are familiar, like cheese, tortillas, tomatoes, peppers, onions and lime. So what happens when you combine fruit with Mexican food, well you get something that is out of this world Delicious, but definitely uncommon.
To do this you must have a bit of familiarity with fruits that sometimes are hard to find but if fresh are not available the canned do wonders for some types of recipes as well. Fruits to consider are guavas, jicamas, pomegranates, sugar cane, oranges, mandarins, and of course mangoes. These are available at the best markets right here in Newcastle, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Issaquah, Renton, and other surrounding areas.
Guavas for example are great to include in pork recipes where you make a simple sauce just like you would with cranberries, great for salads, and of course drinks like atole or ponche which are holiday drinks and are usually made to accompany sweet tamales. Jicamas can be used for pickling with your jalapenos, salads, soups and great for garnishes, I would used it almost just like you use and onion but remembering that it’s quite crunchy.
The important thing is to keep an open mind and don’t let your cooking get old or boring. Always be on the search for new ingredients and new ways to make your food look vibrant and taste great, which is something for all types of cooking not just Mexican cooking. These are ideas that are only fulfilled at the Best Mexican Restaurants in Bellevue, WA.
November 29, 2010 Comments Off
There is a difference with just about everything in this world. Some things are the best, and today we will review one of those things. Please take a minute and read below so you can enjoy the benefits.
Tequila was born in the deep Mexican soil. From the city of Tequila in the state of Jalisco, in the beginning now there are 5 states that are classified as “denomination of origin” the states are other than Jalisco, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Michoacan. Which is where the good quality tequila comes from. The drink to be called tequila can only be made by Blue Agave Weber, anything else is simply not.
There are five types: Blanco or Plata, Gold or Young, Reposado, Anejo, and Extra Anejo, this is very important to take this into account when you are planning a party or ask for a margarita at a restaurant the best thing to ask for is a Blanco or a Plata. Always better to ask for a specific brand and have it made natural, this means no sweet and sour and excessive triple sec. A shot of your favorite tequila, limes and a little cointreau is all you need, when you are picking a tequila make sure it’s not too expensive because you just can’t tell the difference.
If you enjoy the taste of tequila, than you really want to enjoy a anejo which is the same as the blanco but it has been aged for at least ten years. Better if poured in to a sniffer glass, just like you would with a cognac and zip to enjoy. Or you can enjoy it by not taking any of the popular Mexican ingredients out of it. Rocks glass, ice, lime, tequila and salt, tastes really good, to make it a Mexican favorite drink simply add grapefruit soda like squirt, known throughout Mexico as the Paloma.
Drink responsible, get creative and share the best signature drink at Tapatio’s Newcastle Mexican Restaurant. We are located in the Seattle area, south of Bellevue and Mercer Island, and north of Renton and Kent. Take exit 10 off of I-405 and drive east on Coal Creek Parkway.
November 24, 2010 Comments Off