Texmex rdg5f7

Image: Michael Novak

When the dust has settled over the Super Bowl your guests won’t be yakking about that game-changing runback or the most outlandish commercial—they’ll be recapping your Tex-Mex blowout.

This festive spread from Northeast Portland barbecue-inspired cantina La Taq (the sister operation of Podnah’s Pit) dominates the party playing field with deceptively simple recipes: spicy, smoky salsa; perfectly balanced, textbook guacamole; and chorizo-spiked queso with far more integrity than the ol’ Velveeta standby. Touchdown.

La Taq Guacamole 

(Serves 6)

  • avocados, halved
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Add avocados, onion, and cilantro to a large bowl and, using a potato masher or fork, mash until there are no big chunks of avocado remaining. Add salt and lime juice, and mix well. 

Spicy Salsa Roja 

(Serves 6)

  • 5 jalapeños
  • 1 lb can San Marzano tomatoes 
  • clove garlic 
  • ¼ cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper

Turn broiler on high. Place jalapeños on a cookie sheet and position on the top rack, turning the peppers every few minutes until charred all over, about 15–20 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and roasted jalapeños to a blender, add water, and pulse until chunky. Season with salt and pepper, and add water as needed for consistency.

Image: Michael Novak

Chorizo Fundido 

(Serves 6)

  • 2 lbs shredded Oaxaca cheese (Don Froylan brand)
  • 2 lbs fresh chorizo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with the olive oil. Heat a large, deep-sided, nonstick skillet over medium-high for 1 minute. Add chorizo* and cook for 4 minutes, breaking any big chunks apart. Add Oaxaca cheese, and cook together for 3 minutes more. Remove cheese and chorizo mix to the baking dish. Turn broiler on high and cook for about 5 minutes, or until top of cheese is golden brown. Wanna go for extra points? Serve the queso with warmed tortillas from local outfit Three Sisters Nixtamal

*Vegetarian? No problema! Instead of chorizo, add ½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add either 2 lbs fresh mushrooms (chanterelle or shiitake, sautéed), or 10 poblano peppers (broiled, then steamed in a paper bag, peeled, deseeded, and diced), and cook another 3 minutes before adding the Oaxaca cheese.

Oregon's Top Tortilla Chips

Carmen’s ($3.40 at local supermarkets) Sturdy, round masa chips made in Eugene // Juanita’s ($2.40 at local supermarkets) Blistered, crackling wedges deep-fried in Hood River // Hot Mama Salsa ($6 at local farmers markets) Flaky, small-batch triangles made from fresh tortillas courtesy of one of PDX’s best salsa makers

Filed under
Show Comments
In this Article

Editor’s Pick

Podnah's Pit Barbecue

$$ Barbecue 1625 NE Killingsworth St

Any questions about the Lone Star State’s culinary greatness? With unforgettable piles of pork ribs, red chili, and homemade cornbread, Podnah chef (and Texa...

La Taq

$$ Tex-Mex 1625 NE Killingsworth St

How do you top the downhome charm of Podnah’s Pit? Tuck the barbecue haunt’s signature brisket inside a Three Sisters Nixtamal tortilla and serve it alongsid...