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Immigrant cooking in Mexico: The Mennonite kitchens of Chihuahua Karen Hursh Graber

In recent years, immigration has become a topic of intense focus, not only in the United States and Mexico, but worldwide. Although generally seen as a political question, there is no doubt that the mo... read more

The chiles of summer: Pick a peck of poblanos Karen Hursh Graber

Poblano chile peppers
Characterized by the thick skin which makes them ideal for stuffing, poblanos were being used in the cuisine of Puebla when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century. Puebla nuns of the Colonial era created famous chiles en nogada, considered Mexico's national dish. Poblanos go particularly well in a variety of cream sauces for meat, chicken and pasta. See the recipes at the end of the article... read more

July 24 is National Tequila Day: A tequila resource page

Statue in Tequila

Present in the popular margarita, tequila can stand alone as a fine liquor. The popular traditional drink boasts an appellation or denomination of origin. Distilled from the nectar of the Weber blue agave the tequila dates from the 16th century. It may have originated in the Mexican town of Amatitan, Jalisco, where a pre-Hispanic distillery has been discovered in El Tecuane Canyon. MexConnect invites you to celebrate by getting to know this quintessentially Mexican drink — Mexico's gift to the world.

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Mexican spring produce: fresh ideas for warm weather dining Karen Hursh Graber

Agua de Melon
The change of seasons in Mexico brings a shift in the kinds of produce available in the markets. The young greens, stone fruit, and baby new vegetables that appear in mercados in springtime are ideal ingredients for lighter fare in warmer weather. For unlike its north-of-the-border neighbors, Mexico experiences its hottest time of the year in spring, rather than summer. The time between Easter and the start of the rainy season, which brings cooling relief, finds those who can manage vacations headed for the beach, and others seeking shade in parks. Both settings call for picnic food, the kind of portable meal sometimes called itacate, after the bundled mid-day meal that workers used to bring to the fields. read more

Pineapple and strawberry water: Agua de piña y fresa Karen Hursh Graber

    This is as attractive as it is delicious. Be sure to disinfect strawberries no matter where you buy them. Ingredients:   1 whole, small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks ... read more

Baby new potato salad with roasted poblanos: Ensalada de papas con poblanos: Karen Hursh Graber

    The tiny new potatoes that are part of the spring landscape in the Cholula market are firm and perfect for salads. My favorite vegetable stand has some the size of marbles. It is unnecessary to ... read more

For graduation celebrations: Mexican summer buffets Karen Hursh Graber

Besides the seemingly endless string of fiestas, weddings, baptisms and saints' days throughout the year, the warm months bring graduations galore. Everything from a kindergarten commencement to the completion of a PhD is celebrated exuberantly in Mexico. And the season's balmy weather invites merrymakers to move outside. Even the start of the rainy season does not deter al fresco festivities. read more

Mexican winter produce: making comfort food healthy Karen Hursh Graber

The winter season brings with it a culinary conundrum. Part of you craves the comfort foods, mostly creamy and carby, that the cold weather seems to inspire. Some of this is induced by childhood memories of Mom baking bread and cooking hearty stews as chill winds blew outside. Another part of you is facing the expanded waistline and added pounds that arrived as unwanted holiday gifts. This is the adult part, the one who dreads being mistaken for a beach ball on that vacation at Playa del Carmen. read more

Traditional Food Festival in Morelia David Haun

Run, don't walk to the next Michoacan Traditional Food Festival (Cocineras Tradicionales) at the Convention Center in Morelia. The entrance is a stairway to heaven and you are about to eat food fit for gods and goddesses. The name "Traditional" only partially describes the Festival because it is traditional woman, in traditional clothing, cooking traditional recipes, with traditional utensils. However,...

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Artichoke season: a Mexican Springtime treat Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican chorizo and rice-stuffed artichokes 
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2015
Artichoke season has arrived in Central Mexico, the time of year known locally as the temporada de calor, or hot season. By the standards of most other places, it really would not be called "hot," but at 7000 or so feet, it doesn't usually get much hotter.

And the arrival of this Spring weather means artichoke season, when our friend Tim, a French-trained chef and a professor at a Puebla university, makes the eagerly anticipated drive to what we call the "artichoke farm," where the odd-looking thistles are waiting to be picked... read more

Using pistachios in Mexican cooking Karen Hursh Graber

pistachio crusted chicken breast sandwich
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2015

Northern Mexican climate of Chihuahua is ideal for pistachio trees, which require only half as much water as the more common pecan trees and can survive drought conditions.

I knew that a dry climate can indeed support pistachio trees because a friend in Oaxaca bought one as a sapling some years back and it has flourished in the semi-arid Oaxacan climate and borne fruit....

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Mexican pear and candied pistachio salad: Ensalada de pera y pistache garapiñada Karen Hursh Graber

Use whatever dark salad greens are available in your local market for this pear and candied pistachio salad. Mixed baby greens are ideal, but no iceberg lettuce here, please. The nuts can be made ahead... read more

Mexican pistachio cilantro pesto: Pesto de pistache y cilantro Karen Hursh Graber

Serve this Mexican pistachio cilantro pesto over pasta, or spread it on a pounded thin chicken breast filet and roll up to form a spiral before sautéing. Or place a dollop of it on crackers with goat ... read more

Mexican pistachio crusted chicken breast: Pechuga de Pollo con costra de pistache Karen Hursh Graber

A very light coating of olive oil is just enough to adhere the pistachiocrust mixture to the chicken without using egg. This contemporary Mexican recipe is also a nice preparation for fish filets. Baki... read more

Crumbly Mexican pistachio cookies: Polvorones de pistache Karen Hursh Graber

This is a tasty take on the classic polvorones, or Mexican wedding cookies. Try adding one half cup of dried cherries or cranberries to the crumbly pistachio cooky dough. Ingredients 1 ¼ cups ... read more

The carrot: A year-round Mexican resource Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican carrot soup
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2015
I hadn't given much thought to carrots in Mexican cooking until doing a recent search for carrot cake recipes, when it dawned on me that carrots are found in just about every kind of dish in Mexico, from salads to desserts. They are a reliable standby, sold in even the smallest markets.

The carrot is a basic ingredient of countless caldos (soups and broths) and stews. It is part of the flavor base of most chicken and beef stocks, and a flavoring in itself. It is especially appreciated in such Mexican classics as... read more

Mexican-style beef in broth with carrots: Chambarete en caldillo con zanahorias Karen Hursh Graber

Carrots add a subtle sweetness to broths, and beef shanks — with their rich, tasty marrow (called tuétano in Mexico) — make an extra nourishing broth. Ingredients 6 beef shanks 1 tabl... read more

Mexican carrot pudding: Budin de zanahoria Karen Hursh Graber

This versatile Mexican carrot pudding can be served as a side dish or a dessert. As a side dish, it is made with cheese, and as a dessert, with raisins and nuts. Here, it is presented as a dessert. Som... read more

Mexican carrot salad with jalapeño: Ensalada de zanahoria con jalapeño Karen Hursh Graber

Jalapeño adds some zip to this healthy Mexican carrot salad. I like to serve it with enchiladas in green sauce, such as enchiladas suizas, where it is a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the ... read more

Mexican cookbooks go mobile Reviewed by Karen Hursh Graber

Chicken, rice and blck beans prepared with a recipe from Mexico Every Day by Rick Bayless<br>
© Karen Hursh Graber , 2014
There are several e-cookbooks that I use regularly to expand and improve upon my repertoire of Mexican dishes. Whether visiting family in Australia or sitting on a bus from Puebla to Mexico City, I can plan meals, gather information for articles, and always learn more about Mexican cuisine and culture.

Following are some suggestions for Mexican e-cookbooks that fit that criteria and are easy to use, with clear presentations and recipes that are uncomplicated while still featuring authentic flavors of Mexico... read more

Mexican ways with wings: The food craze that took flight Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican chicken wings al pastor
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2014
Wings have landed everywhere. There are endless varieties of these once humble chicken parts, and numerous restaurants are dedicated to serving them. Mexico is no exception to the wing craze, but the many establishments offering these tasty nibbles seem to focus on American style preparations.

But the flavors that characterize the cuisines of Puebla, Yucatan, and other regions are not to be overlooked when it comes to serving this popular food. Home cooks can create versions of wings that incorporate their favorite Mexican flavors. The chiles, adobos, pibil marinades, and even tequila and lime make terrific versions of wings... read more

Chicken wings in a margarita marinade: Alitas al tequila Karen Hursh Graber

This recipe for chicken wings in a margarita marinade is adapted from one in Sunset magazine, but with more emphasis on the fresh taste of lime and less on the triple sec. Ingredients 3 pounds ... read more

Chicken wings with raspberry-chipotle glaze: Alitas al chipotle Karen Hursh Graber

These chicken wings with raspberry-chipotle glaze are incredibly easy, with the sweet stickiness many look for in a wing, and can be made with my raspberry chipotle sauce recipe. Make a double batch of... read more

Mole chicken wings: Alitas enmoladas Karen Hursh Graber

The rich taste of mole works with these chicken wings because they are broiled first. Doing this means that they are cooked through before going into the sauce. This works best with mole poblano or Oax... read more

Chicken wings in chile-pineapple marinade: Alitas al pastor Karen Hursh Graber

If pork can take on these enticing flavors, why not chicken wings? Grill these chicken wings in chile-pineapple marinade or bake them, and make plenty, because they will disappear fast. Achiote paste is widely available in Mexico at larger supermarkets and some market stalls, and in the US at Hispanic grocery stores and online. read more
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