Archive for Geo:Mexican

Beef Short Ribs with Tomatoes, Roasted Poblanos and Herbs (Costillas de Res a la Mexicana)

The Latin American grocery store in our town had a thin cut of beef ribs which we prepared into Costillas de Res a la Mexicana, braised in a charming sauce of poblano peppers.

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Chocolate with The Key Chocolate Class

We had a cooking class with teenagers from The Key, a youth-run community-based organization.
champurrado The common ingredient was Mexican chocolate — which we prepared as Champurrado, a hot drink, slightly thickened with corn masa. Here is the Champurrado recipe.
and a luscious chile sauce called Red Mole. In the picture, it is served with roast turkey. Here is the Red Mole recipe.
Traditionally, the meat is slowly cooked (braised) in the mole for about 1 1/2 hours. But to fit into our 2-hour class schedule, we roasted free-range chickens instead. Here is the Roast Chicken recipe.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time to prepare a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, a fun dessert with a brownie-like layer that floats on a pudding-like chocolate sauce. Here is the Hot Fudge Pudding Cake recipe.

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Home-Rendered Lard (Manteca Hecho En Casa)

I received a gift from my neighborhood butcher — pork fat.
It was rendered into lard that will be used for Mexican dishes. Here is the Lard recipe.

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Tomatillo

tomatillo Today, we prepared two dishes with tomatillo, a green vegetable with a thin brown husk and a relative of the tomato. First, we stewed chicken Mexican-style with a green sauce that was thickened with pumpkinseeds. Second, we prepared a spicy green salsa.

Here are the recipes.

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Cantaloupe and Spinach

Today, our Coop organized several demonstrations for children. Strider, our produce manager, asked us to take advantage of a new shipment of cantaloupes from California and baby spinach from our neighboring town of Farmington. Kathy, our grocery manager, asked us to use a soy milk product on promotion.

To combine the various themes, we prepared three kid-drawing dishes:

image the cantaloupe into a refreshing drink

the spinach into a creamed sauce, and the soy milk into a honeydew smoothie. Kids and grown-ups relished the results.

Here are the Horchata de Melon, Pasta With Creamed Spinach, and Honeydew Smoothie recipes.

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Tamales

Today, we concluded our Mexican series with two types of tamales — a savory tamale filled with pork in a red chile sauce, and a sweet tamale filled with banana in coconut cream. Earlier in the week, Señora Carmen showed us how to make them.

Since making tamales involves assembly work, it is ideal to prepare them in the company of friends. We were fortunate to have Marina and Nazish help us.

Tamales

Here are the recipes.

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Mexican Seafood Soup

Today, we made a delightful seafood soup flavored with fresh squid. The key to this soup was cooking the squid in a gentle boil for 25 minutes to make it tender.

Preparing the squid enthralled the children.

Squid with Kids

The soup delighted squid-lovers, intrigued the unacquainted, and converted many skeptics.

Here is the recipe.

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Mexican Rice and Beans

Today, we used three classical Mexican ingredients — beans, rice, and pork. The first dish was Frijoles Mexicanos, also known as Mexican Refried Beans. Preparing the dish was easy — boil beans over a gentle simmer for 25 minutes with epazote (a Mexican herb that adds a subtle flavor and reduces digestive gases) and bacon lard, mash them, and then fry them with onion and garlic.

Preparing rice was a little trickier. It required a balance of heat and water to produce tender and separated cooked rice grains. Cooking involved three steps — fry the rice, boil it with tomato sauce, then gently steam it with water.

Preparing the pork dish, called Picadillo Oaxaque, was a bit involved. We fried coarsely ground pork with onions and garlic, and seasoned it with cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, vinegar, and raisins.

Here are the Frijoles Mexicanos, Arroz Rojo, and Picadillo Oaxaque recipes.

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Tortillas

Today, we started a series on Mexican cuisine by using two of the most famous Mexican ingredients – corn and chile peppers. Corn was prepared into the ubiquitous tortilla and the peppers into salsa (sauce). Señora Carmen, my friends’ mother who is visiting from Mexico, showed us how to make tortillas by hand.

Senora Carmen

The tortillas were topped with red salsa and green salsa to make memelas, which resemble miniature pizzas. The tortillas were also folded with cheese to make quesadillas.

Here are the recipes.

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