All posts filed under: Mexico

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Mexican corn on the cob | Spiced Elote

A well-roasted corn kernel is smoky.  Chewy. Juicy. Irresistible. This much, Mexicans know. Some elote are cooked for hours inside clay ovens. They sit over shimmering coals until their bright yellow kernels turn deep, toasty brown and their husks turn brittle.* More simple recipes speed up the roasting process, but have triple-decker toppings: salty cotija cheese, rich mayonnaise (just enough to make the cheese stick), and smoky ancho chili powder. Then the whole cob is sprinkled with cilantro and a good puckering of fresh lime juice. The end result is an ear of corn that is practically a meal in itself. Ultimately, the lime juice is what sold me on elote. Even a single, tart wedge does wonders to bring the richly spiced corn into relief… though I found myself squeezing much more on each cob. One bite satisfies me almost as well as a good margarita does. My version of elote takes extra limes into consideration as well as an interesting technique from America’s Test Kitchen – adding the ancho chili powder before grilling in order to bloom the flavor. …

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Grilled “Pizza” | Tlayuda

Sometimes I want it all: A clean house and a lazy weekend. A good night’s sleep and a Doctor Who marathon. Salad and pizza. Mexican and Italian food. I might not be able to balance out the former two, but as for the latter? Yes and yes.  The biggest tortilla in town. Tlayuda is Mexico’s answer to pizza. But don’t expect tomato sauce and basil leaves. This popular Oaxacan street food is made on an enormous tortilla and spread thickly with black beans (Take note: these aren’t ordinary black beans – they’ve been blended with a heaping of roasted garlic and onion, cumin, and chile powder). Purists will spread the tortilla with lard, too – though I prefer a light brush of vegetable oil. Finally, cheese is sprinkled on top, as is your choice of meat (beef, pork, or browned chorizo) and a garden’s-worth of toppings (think avocado, tomato, cheese, cilantro, lettuce, and jalepenos). It can be served open-faced or folded in half. When the first hot bite passes your lips, be prepared for a flavor explosion –  especially when you add a puckering of freshly …

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Monday Meal Review: Mexico

THE SCENE: I wipe the sweat from my forehead. “Why is it 92 degrees in March?” I ask the cat. Malky draws his back up into a leisurely stretch, pads lightly onto the floor, and lets out a startlingly abrasive meow. Apparently he doesn’t care. He is ready to go outside. I crack open the door enough to smell the humidity and watch his tail flick out into the sunshine. I shake my head and get back to work. The blender cranks into high gear as I buzz together the homemade rice and almond drink, called horchata.  This summertime sipper will chill all afternoon in the refrigerator, along with a bundle of fresh strawberries, cinnamon and vanilla. And the joyful purpose of this drink is fulfilled in Ava’s happy slurp. Pure delight. In the afternoon I’d wind the blender up again to blast the mole into smooth submission. In mere minutes, 24 million ingredients would become one – a symphony of flavor so complex I’d have no way of understanding it. I simply would have to listen to …

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Cheesy Roasted Poblanos | Rajas con Crema

Listen. Not everything has to look perfect. We don’t always need lipstick and hair straighteners (In fact, I haven’t seen either of those since Ava started crawling). Some days I don’t even look in a mirror until night time. Until it’s too late. Let yourself off the hook once in a while. Let your hair down. Smear your lips with chapstick and call it good. While you’re at it, eat messy food. Because, no matter how it looks, if it tastes good, then all is well in your world. Which brings us to Rajas con Crema… There’s nothing like two weeks of 90 degree weather in March to make me want to fire up the grill.  Thankfully, Rajas con Crema gave me good reason to do so. While not exactly a princess on the plate, this messy looking dish is simply strips of roasted poblano cooked with onion, cheese, and Mexican cream. Some people like to add bits of roasted corn as well. Talk about addicting. What to do with Rajas con Crema: Mexicans enjoy this for …

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Strawberry Almond Horchata

There should be a rule. Whenever the weather is sunny and fine, when it is hot enough to swim in the deep seas – you should absolutely swim. Even if you forgot your bathing suit. Likewise, if you are ever offered horchata – the famous Mexican summertime sipper – consider yourself lucky and drink, drink, drink. The freedom of swimming, no matter what – that’s what I taste in this drink. This is a summer’s worth of happy – chilled and served with a straw. You’ll taste almond and rice milk. Your smile will be made of strawberries, deepened by a dusting of cinnamon and splash of vanilla. This is fresh, summer joy. This is laugh out loud good. Ingredients: 1 cup of long grain white rice, ground fine in spice mill 1 cup of blanched almonds 1 large cinnamon stick (4″) 3 cups of hot water 1/4- 3/4 cup of sugar, as desired 3 cups whole milk 1 Tbsp vanilla extract Garnish: Strawberries shaved ice Method: Even if you see clouds, close your eyes …

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5 Step Mole Poblano

I’ll be honest. On the onset, learning how to make Mole Poblano sounded a lot like learning how to knit a wedding dress. Outrageously epic, but not entirely something I had the skills for. In case you’ve never heard of it, we’re talking a Mexican recipe from Puebla that has a million, gazillion ingredients (ok, really just about two dozen), many cooking phases, and centuries of history behind it. Yikes. After staring at dozens of recipes, drinking several cups of tea, and more than a little sleep lost, I broke mole poblano down into 5 basic steps. Deep sigh. Smile. This feels better. Five steps are manageable. So, my goal today, is to make you Mole happy. To encourage you to give it a try. Because if you do, you’ll be in Mexico with every bite. NOTE: This Mole Poblano is vegan, although you can serve it on whatever you’d like – veggies, meats, etc. Traditionally it is served with turkey and made with turkey stock. Makes 6-7 cups Ingredients: These ingredients get toasted: 1 Tbsp …

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Menu: Mexico

After letting you all decide our fate for this week’s Global Table in polls, I am happy to present the menu – your menu. Each item won lovingly – with no close seconds. These are nibbles for rainy days, sunny days, and everything in between. You’ll use your grill and your blender. You’ll open wide and you’ll dance on the roof. Well, maybe not on the last item… but you should. When was the last time you danced like a cat on a hot tin roof? Are you ready for Mexico? Rajas con Crema [Recipe] Just when you thought you’d run out of ideas for peppers, comes this Mexican favorite. Often eaten for breakfast, Rajas con Crema is a simple but incredible mixture of char-grilled poblano peppers, ooey gooey cheese, and Mexican crema. 5 Step Mole Poblano [Recipe]  This is authentic mole – including the chocolate and 5 million other ingredients – but simplified into five easy-to-remember steps. Strawberry Almond Horchata [Recipe] Cool off with this creamy drink made with rice, almond, and regular milks, cinnamon, vanilla extract and …

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About the food of Mexico

My first time to Mexico was all “rainbows and puppy dogs.” In fact, the only reason I got to go was because a co-worker broke up with his girlfriend and his two free tickets were simply passed down the line to me. A totally free vacation! In all my 27 years I had never won anything like this. The scene was set for perfection. There was just one catch: I found out on a Tuesday. The flight took off on a Thursday. There wasn’t much time to plan. Keith (a.k.a. Mr Picky) – who had been my boyfriend of a just a few months – would be my companion. He had never left the country. He didn’t even have a passport. Thankfully, this was in the days before passports were required to enter Mexico. He simply had to track down his birth certificate. This first trip to Mexico would be his initiation (at age 36) into the world “out there,” beyond the border. Let’s just say I’d be watching for signs of an open mind …