Picadas (Crimped Masa Tartlets)
The size of these crimped tartlets can vary. I’ve seen them as large as five inches in diameter, which is manageable at a dinner table but too messy for a passed appetizer, which is how I like to serve them. Three inches is the most useful size.I am giving directions for briefly frying the picada shells in hot lard, the authentic Veracruzan technique. But when I serve them I often simplify things by reheating the shells on a griddle and just brushing them lightly with melted lard. This saves a lot of calories and a mess! Reduce the amount of lard to 2 to 3 tablespoons if you choose this option.
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The Food Network star, Aaròn Sànchez has an innovative take on the traditional taco, using goat meat braised with his signature Chile Colorado Sauce, resulting in a taco that is sweet, tangy and packed with Latin flavor.  This is just one meal that this sauce can be used to spice up - Chef Sànchez's sauces can be applied to a number of different recipes.
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Salsa de Chile Colorado (Red Chile Sauce)
This is probably the most versatile of Mexico's many red chile sauces. It also shows two important techniques. To develop the flavor of the dried chiles while softening them and taking away any bitterness, they are washed, quickly heated on a griddle, and soaked in hot water. Learn to recognize the moment when they are fragrant but not scorched. Scorched chiles will turn the entire dish bitter and unusable. The other technique to note is one that I have made an even more special point of in my own cooking: After the sauce has been puréed, it is finished by being cooked in a small amount of hot fat. This kind of final sautéing is an important addition to flavor. It both deepens and melds the effects of separate ingredients. This particular chile sauce is also bound with a roux, which is not true of all.Besides being used for picadas, this sauce can be used to make enchiladas rojas (red enchiladas), with any filling you like. It is used with cooked pork to make carne con chile colorado and to season pozole, menudo, or Northern-style tamales. We also used it at my restaurant with string beans or potatoes to make simple Lenten dishes. In that case the sauce would have been cooked with vegetable oil and water instead of lard and chicken stock.
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Next time you're looking to spruce up your favorite Mexican dish, this version by Aarón Sanchez will give a spicy kick of flavor.
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