How do I learn how to make my favorite mexican meal?

I live in san Diego and there are some great Mexican taco shacks.. I want to learn how to make my favorite mexican meal just like these restaurants.. can anyone think of any way I could leanr how to make it just like them? I was thinking of trying to write someone like the food section for the San Diego papers and see if they would try to reverse engineeer it for me.

If I spoke spanish or knew someone who spoke spanish and was really familiar with this type of food I could find out that way. How can I contact some Mexican American people who know how to cook (who speak English too) to possibly help me with this?
The thing is.. Bayless is TOO authentic.. the food I like is either slightly Americanized.. or less old school or something.. maybe from a specific region? I don’t know. Even in San Diego there are only a couple restaurants that make food this way. But they seem to be following the same pattern.
Carne Asada Burrito with guacamole and salsa inside

three rolled tacos with guacomole and cheese

spicy carrots

mexican rice

It sounds simple enough but the devil is in the details. Like what ingredients are used in their tortillas? Do they marinate the carne asada? how do they prepare the meat for the rolled tacos? What do they put in their guacamole? How do they make their salsa. etc.
Maybe the burrito is the only americanized thing, Poodle? Do you know different ways carne asada is cooked? IS it usually marinated or no? What meat is usually used for carne asada in mexico? I found a recipe for salsa de arbol.. are there different ways of making that in mexico? How about guacamole and flour tortillas? How about rolled tacos?


  1. I regularly learn how to make my favorite restaurant meals at home–ethnic and non-ethnic. It’s just something I have fun doing.

    Here’s what I do and hopefully I’m remembering all the steps. It would help if you describe or list the dishes you want to learn to make. What are they?

    I write down the name of the dish from the menu. I also write down the description and my remembrances of what flavors it has in it.

    I start looking online at all the usual websites for recipes. allrecipes, recipezaar, blogs, google search and also if it’s ethnic, I go to ethnic grocery sites because many times, they list recipes there as well. So try Mexgrocer for your search. I also check forums because many times, someone has already done a lot of leg work(or is it finger work?) for you.

    I also will look at the cookbooks I have or borrow some from the library and I usually read a cookbook through especially if it to do with things unfamilar to me. This is a great way to learn how a culture uses certain spices and herbs together, what techniques they may use during the cooking process.

    I look for recipes that include the likeliest set of ingredients and I print out several and study them

    If one stands out as a very good recipe, I’ll try it as is. If no recipe is a stand out, I’ll wing it but WRITE IT DOWN. Don’t count on your memory.

    Then it’s a matter of tasting and critiquing. Write down what you think might be missing.

    Taste the restaurant version again with new eyes and tastebuds because you have an idea now what it should have in it. Ask the waitress what that elusive spice might be.

    Try another recipe with your new knowledge

    Repeat until you are satisfied.

    It’s a lot of work but if you enjoy cooking, the process is usually enjoyable and the people around you will probably be happy to taste test!

  2. it is very funny but well it is. you are looking for somebody who cooks authentic mexican food, and me somebody to help me how to cook Portuguese american food,, no problem what do you want to learn,, to cook enchiladas,sopes, tacos de lengua, pozole, mole oaxaca, carnitas, sopa 7 mares, well mexican food is so rich, each state From the mexican republic has its own stile and specialty on dishes , burrito no , that it is not a authentic mexican food,, that is an invention of pochos no mexican people, , authentic mexican food girl you named an i make sure to find you the recipe.

  3. If you eat at the same places all the time, try to get to know the chefs there. Start out with honest compliments, ask how they make things so delicious, maybe get to meet the cook or get to watch them prepare the food. It never hurts to lets the chef know he/she is appreciated and maybe they will give you some tips.

    Linda T

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