Acapulco's Black Bean and Corn Guacamole Dip

Acapulco's Mexican Restaurant Copycat Recipe

1 vine-ripened tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (could use feta or shredded Monterey Jack)

 Black Bean Dip:
1 (15 oz.)  can seasoned black beans OR 1 regular black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped onion or shallot
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper

Sweet Corn Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
juice of 1/2 lime
1 garlic clove, microplaned or minced
salt and pepper
3/4 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Combine the  ingredients for the black bean dip in a food processor the process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Smooth into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan then place into the refrigerator while making  the Sweet Corn Guacamole.

Add the avocados, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl then mash until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Fold in the thawed sweet corn and cilantro then smooth on top of the black bean dip. Sprinkle on  the chopped tomatoes and crumbled Cotija cheese then serve with tortilla chips and crudite.

Acapulco's White Cheese Dip

Acapulco's Mexican Restaurant Copycat Recipe

1 cup monterey jack cheese or 1 cup asadero cheese or 1 cup chihuahua cheese, shredded fine
4 ounces green chilies
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons onions, chopped fine
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 serrano pepper, chopped fine (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine (optional)

Put all ingredients in a double boiler and heat on medium.
Cook until melted and well blended, stirring occasionally.
Serve with fresh tostadas or hot flour tortillas.

Z'Tejas Dos XX's Pork Carnitas

Z'Tejas Restaurant Copycat Recipe

6 pounds pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 quarts water
1 quart orange juice
3 (12 oz.) bottles Dos XX beer
1/4 cup achiote powder or 1/4 cup paprika
4 ancho chilies, stems removed
6 bay leaves
3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 pound white onion, chopped

Place the pork, water, orange juice, achiote, beer, bay leaves, ancho chilies, onion and garlic in a large roasting pan. Place the pan over low heat; cook about 1 hour or just until the meat is about to fall apart. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat to a sheet pan; let cool slightly. Drain the juices from the pork. Reserve for later use. Discard the onions and remaining solids in the roasting pan.

In a large saucepan, heat corn oil to about 350 degrees (Caution: Make sure there is at least 6 inches of room between the top of the pan and the oil, otherwise, the oil could boil over). Being careful not to burn the meat, slowly and carefully add the chunks of meat to the hot oil; fry until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, place the meat in the reserved sauce. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

Z'Tejas Green Chile Barbacoa Enchiladas

Z'Tejas Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Green Chile Barbacoa:
4-6 pound beef chuck, cut 3 by 3 inch
1/2 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/3 cup garlic, chopped
2 ounces ancho chilies, stems removed
3 cups yellow onions, quartered
3 tablespoons green chili powder
diced green chilis

Green Chile Barbacoa Enchiladas:
2 corn tortillas
2 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
3 ounces green chili sauce
2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 ounce iceberg lettuce, shredded
sour cream
pickled green chilies

To make the Green Chili Barbacoa:  Place all the ingredients in a stainless bowl and mix well. Transfer to a roasting pan and top with a tight lid. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours in a 325 degree oven. Let cool and shred using 2 forks. Strain juice that the meat was cooked in skim off fat. Add about 1 1/2 cups to shredded meat. Mix in green chilies as well.

Assembling Green Chile Barbacoa Enchiladas:  Fry the tortillas to soften. Place on an oval plate.
Put barbacoa in center. Put 1 ounce of jack cheese on each tortilla with 2 ounces of barbacoa and 1/2 ounce of green chile sauce. Roll tortillas and leave in center of plate. Ladle 2 ounces of green chile sauce on top of enchiladas and sprinkle beans and enchiladas with cotija cheese. Put under broiler to melt cheese; when cheese melts top enchiladas with iceberg, dollop of sour cream and put pickled chiles in center. Serves 6-8.

Uncle Julio's Spiced Mango Passion Margarita

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

1 1/2 ounces 1800 Reposado Tequila
1 ounce mango passion puree
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice with fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño sliver
chili powder

Combine the tequila, mango passion puree, and lime cilantro mixture in a cocktail shaker over ice. Dip the rim of the glass in lime juice, lightly dip into the chili powder, and add fresh ice. Shake the combined margarita mixture vigorously and pour into the glass. Garnish with the jalapeño sliver.

Mango Passion Fruit Puree:
1 large ripe mango, diced (if you're using a smaller varietal use two)
1 cup passion fruit nectar

Combine both ingredients in a blender, puree until smooth, and strain.

Uncle Julio's Spicy Tuna Tacos

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

Mango Jicama Slaw:
1 1/2 cup mango, julienne cut
3/4 cup jicama, julienne cut
1/4 cup cucumber julienne cut and peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well Salt to taste.

Chipotle Crema:
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (blended together)
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 ounces olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend smooth.

To Cook Tuna: (makes 6 tacos)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounce ahi tuna steak (sushi grade)
2 pinches salt
2 pinches black pepper
2 pinches cayenne pepper

Oil  a saute pan using a towel to coat the pan. Place the saute pan onto a burner and heat on high.
While the pan is heating sprinkle salt, pepper and cayenne over top and bottom side of tuna. Once the pan is hot, add place the tuna into pan and sear for about 15 to 20 seconds until a thin while line forms across the bottom of the tuna. Flip the tuna over and repeat the previous step. When the tuna is cooked remove from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife cut the tuna into 6 long strips.

To Build Taco: Heat a corn tortilla in a hot pan for 10 to 15 seconds on each side. Remove the heated tortilla and place onto a plate and add the mango jicama slaw. Add one strip of the tuna on top of the mango jicama slaw. Drizzle with chipotle crema.

Uncle Julio's Cozumel Shrimp Tacos

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

Mango Jicama Slaw:
1 1/2 cup mango, julienned
3/4 cup jicama, julienned
1/4 cup cucumber julienne cut and peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon lime juice

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Salt to taste.

Mango Habanero Sauce:
1 fresh mango peeled and pit removed
1-2 habanero peppers seeded (depends on preferred heat level)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend smooth. (if sauce is to thick or wont blend, add water in small amount to thin sauce to the desired viscosity)

Shrimp Marinade:
1/2 cup achiote paste
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon salt
2 pounds (26/30) shrimp peeled and deveined

Mix Achiote paste, orange juice and salt in a bowl. Add thawed shrimp and mix well until all shrimp are coated. Place into refrigerator and let marinate for 2 hours or more.

To Cook Shrimp:
1/8 cup olive oil
2 pounds Achiote Marinated Shrimp
2 cups pineapple, 1/2 inch dice

Place a saute pan onto a burner and heat on high. Once hot, add shrimp and saute over high heat. When shrimp is cooked, add pineapple and toss then continue to cook for 30 seconds. Place shrimp onto a serving plate over a bed of julienned vegetables. Serve with mango jicama slaw , lettuce wraps and/or corn tortillas on the side.

To Build Taco: Heat corn tortilla in a hot pan for 10 to 15 seconds on each side. Remove heated tortilla and place onto you plate and add mango jicama slaw. Add shrimp and and pineapple on top of the mango jicama slaw. Drizzle with mango habanero sauce. Top of with fresh chopped cilantro and diced red bell pepper.

Uncle Julio's Honey Chipotle Glaze

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

1/3 (7 oz.) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin

Place the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce in a small bowl. Store remaining peppers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one month or freeze for another use. Remove peppers from sauce, seed and finely dice.

Place peppers and adobo sauce in a medium saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently to prevent scorching. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes to dissolve sugar and thicken. Set aside to cool.

The glaze can be made up to three days in advance and refrigerated. Allow glaze to come to room temperature before using.

Cook's Notes:  This Honey Chipotle Glaze is used on salmon, shrimp and chicken at Uncle Julio's.

Uncle Julio's Pineapple Bacon Guacamole

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

1 cup Uncle Julio's guacamole
2 tablespoons diced pineapple
2 tablespoons chopped, cooked bacon
1/2 teaspoon diced red bell peppers

1 piece green leaf lettuce
1 tablespoon chopped, cooked bacon
2 teaspoons queso fresco
1 tablespoon diced pineapple
1 lemon wedge

Place the guacamole in a mixing bowl. Add the pineapple, bacon and red bell pepper and fold into guacamole carefully. To serve, top lettuce with guacamole, sprinkle with bacon and queso fresco and side dress with diced pineapple and a lemon wedge to squeeze on guacamole. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 2-3.

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

6 avocados
guacamole oil ( 1/4 cup olive oil infused with 1 peeled and minced clove of garlic)
juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cup white onion, chopped

Halve and pit the avocados. With a tablespoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash the avocados using either a fork or potato masher, leaving them a bit chunky. Stir guacamole oil into avocado. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Salt to taste. Lay a piece of plastic wrap tight on any remaining guacamole so it doesn't brown and refrigerate. To serve, scoop onto a green leaf lettuce leaf, sprinkle with 1/4 ounce white and yellow cheese and garnish with a lemon wedge. Makes 6 cups.

Uncle Julio's Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa

Uncle Julio's Restaurant Recipe

5 large tomatoes
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cayenne powder
1 chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon adobo sauce, from the chipotles
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tomatoes and onion into quarters, place on a baking sheet and drizzle with vegetable oil. Then sprinkle with the chili & cayenne powder. Bake in oven for about 40 minutes.

About halfway through, flip the vegetables over. Check in occasionally to make sure the vegetables are not drying out. There will be extra oil on the sheet, so you can use tongs or a spatula to move them around & redistribute the oil. They are done when soft and the skin is blistery and slightly brown.

Remove the stems and seeds from the chipotles. Place all the prepared vegetables and the chipotles in a blender along with the garlic cloves, cilantro and squeeze lime juice into the blender and blend well.

NOTE: For chunkier salsa, just pulse the blender button only for a few seconds. For smoother textured salsa, process to your desired consistency. Salt to taste. You can also add another chipotle pepper and adobo sauce to make it more spicy and enhance the smoky flavor to your own taste. Allow the salsa to chill for a couple of hours. Serve with white or blue corn tortilla chips.