A recent trip to Monterrey & Saltillo Mexico has reminded me how very much I miss the food of Northern Mexico. This is very different than the fare usually found in Los Angeles Mexican restaurants (LA Mexican restaurants tend toward food from the southern states). Northern and southern are actually ridiculously broad classifications as Mexico has 8 major food regions and many sub-regions. Specifically I am talking about the Norteño food of Monterrey/Saltillo. I am looking for both restaurants and markets.
Specifically I am looking for:
Carne seca - a sort of a jerky like beef that has been dried in the sun and then rolled...it is sort of flakey and is usually dark brown. It is cooked in a bit of oil alone or with tomatoes, onions and lime and served as an appetizer. (usually eaten with corn tortillas).
Machaca- chopped seasoned beef
Cabrito- baby goat slow cooked over coals. (note I am not talking about birria which, while delicious, is something else altogether).
Cortadillo de res- Fried kid goat or lamb.
Arrachera -flank steak marinated with limes & salt and cooked over mesquite until well done.
Carne asada-basically any kind of meat, but grilled over mesquite.
Sopa de fido- a noodle soup made with noodles that are fried with onions and tomatoes and then put into a chicken broth.
Tortillas de azuca - Hand made flour tortillas in which sugar is added to the middle before the dough is cooked. The result is a taco shaped desert. Sometimes honey is used inside. Also there is another variation that produces thick round tortillas with carmellized sugar on the outside.
Menudo - Northern style menu is much spicier than souther menudo. It is often made with a type of chile called chile pequin.
Tacos- Northern style tacos are not nearly as oniony as the southern style tacos you see in LA. They are heavy on the meat (either picadillo, steak, or chicken) and you choose the topping (either a pico de gallo or a salsa). We usually have a range of salsas to choose from including salsa made from nopales.
Nopales -cactus paddles
Jamoncillos-burned goat milk
conitos & bolitas de leche - milk candies
limones- Small, round, seed filled, thin skinned & super tasty mexican limes.