MexConnect
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Mexican empanadas: Portable pockets of flavor Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican empanadas de picadillo, or seasoned
It would be difficult to think of a food more versatile than the empanada except, of course, the taco. Both consist of a dough-based wrapper around a filling, and both can hold a huge variety of ingredients within. But while the taco has its roots in the indigenous Mexican culinary tradition, the empanada was an import from both Spain and, in the form of Hidalgo's pastes, from Cornwall... read more

Chiapas style pork empanadas: Empanadas chiapacorceñas Karen Hursh Graber

A juicy pork filling, flavored with spices, makes these substantial Chiapas style pork empanadas a good lunch or late supper dish. Any leftover roast meat would be good here. The dough is traditionally... read more

Veracruz style empanadas with tuna: Volovanes de Minilla Karen Hursh Graber

One of the most famous street snacks of Veracruz, this puff pastry empanada is flavored with the classic Spanish combination of raisins and olives, with the distinctly Veracruz touch of pickled jalape... read more

Yucatan style chaya empanadas: Empanadas de chaya Karen Hursh Graber

Here the chaya, a leafy green used throughout the Yucatan, is incorporated right into the corn dough, a common technique in this region. The chopped hard boiled egg filling is complemented by the chile... read more

Mexican mini chicken chipotle empanadas: Mexican empanaditas de pollo con chipotle Karen Hursh Graber

Chipotle chiles give these chicken empanadas a characteristic taste of Central Mexico. I've made these as Mexican mini empanadas (empanaditas) for a party buffet, and recommend chopping everything very... read more

Mexican pineapple empanadas: Empanadas de piña Karen Hursh Graber

Pineapple seems to be the most common fruit filling for empanadas in Mexico, but guava and apple are frequently used and delicious. The dough for sweet Mexican empanadas usually contains some sugar, bu... read more

Mexican plantain empanadas with picadillo: Empanadas de platano Karen Hursh Graber

This recipe is adapted from Alquímias y Atmósferas del Sabor, by Doña Carmen Titita Ramírez, proprietress of Mexico City's famed El Bajío restaurant. The plantains should be cooked a day in advanc... read more

Going locavore in the mountains of Veracruz Karen Hursh Graber

Although mention of Veracruz usually brings to mind a tropical Gulf Coast climate and an abundance of fish and seafood, the western region of the state is home to a mountain range, a cloud forest, and ... read more

Veracruz guava atole: Atole de guayaba Karen Hursh Graber

Fruit atole is a great morning or late night drink. It can be made with several kinds of fruit, but Veracruz guava atole is my hands-down favorite. The easiest way to remove the seeds is to cut the fru... read more

Mexican enchiladas with peanut sauce: Dobladas de cacahuate Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican enchiladas in peanut sauce from Xico, Veracruz
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2014
Dobladas means "folded," and these tortillas can be filled or not before folding into quarters, bathed in peanut sauce, and sprinkled with cheese.
They are a type of Mexican enchiladas from Veracruz. read more

Mexican black bean soup with masa balls: Sopa de frijoles negros con bolitas de masa Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican black bean soup, with little dumplings called <i>bolitas de masa,</i> or masa balls
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2014
Mexican black bean soup with masa balls is a regional recipe from Veracruz.

It could easily be a whole meal, accompanied by a salad. A nopales salad or a watercress and spinach salad would both be good choices. read more

David Sterling's sautéed chaya with smoked bacon: Chayas fritas / Tsajbil chaay Karen Hursh Graber

Chronicler Diego de Landa mentioned chaya in 1566, when he observed that the leaves were especially delicious when cooked with plenty of bacon. What isn't? Chayas fritas is an excellent side dish; it a... read more

Scrambled eggs with sautéed chaya: Huevos revueltos con chaya / Chay-he Karen Hursh Graber

This is another Yucatecan favorite that makes use of leftovers from the day before. Chayas fritas from the afternoon meal are repurposed for breakfast the next day in this quick yet nourishing dish. S... read more

Mexican tres leches cake with sprinkles: Pastel de tres leches con chispas Karen Hursh Graber

Called chispas, chispitas, or in some places just the English "sprinkles," these colored decorations are fun and festive. They add pizzaz to that favorite Mexican cake — pastel de tres leches. Ingre... read more

Mexican mini chicken tortas: Tortitas de pollo Karen Hursh Graber

Miniature torta rolls or any small water rolls work well for these mini chicken tortas. Refried beans, tomatoes and avocados are always found on tortas, but either ham or Oaxaca cheese is an easy subst... read more

May in Mexico: A month of holiday food Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican salpicon de pollo © Karen Hursh Graber, 2014
Look on any Mexican calendar for the month of May, and you will see a lineup of holidays, including federal and civic observations, as well as religious and non-religious festivities. Nearly all of these are celebrated with parties, parades, performances, festive meals, or a combination of these.

A holiday in Mexico rarely passes without food and drink, and some of my best sensory memories are of the fiestas during this month... read more

Mexican seafood salads: Cool food for warm weather Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican crab salad
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2014
Probably the most ubiquitous element in Mexican seafood salads is shrimp, a versatile ingredient that goes equally well with fruit, such as papaya, mango, avocado, and even jicama, which is actually a root vegetable. Shrimp can also be dressed with a variety of sauces and dressings, from tomato-based to oil and vinegar, as well as citrus dressings and herb dressings. read more

Mexican motorcyclists and popsicles in Catemaco William B. Kaliher

I stepped to the front of the restaurant, near the screen, and turned around. From the darkened room, the worst motorcycle gang in southern Mexico stared back. Then I noticed these rough looking, leath... read more

Mixe meat and vegetable soup: Caldo mixe Karen Hursh Graber

  Although the Mixe do not eat meat on a daily, or even frequent, basis, they do go all out for a fiesta, and this rich, flavorful meat and vegetable soup soup uses as many kinds of meat as people ... read more

Oaxaca chile and garlic seasoning paste: Chintestle Karen Hursh Graber

If you live in or visit Oaxaca, by all means buy some pasilla de oaxaca chiles, sometimes called chile mixe. These have a much different taste from regular pasilla chiles. Although in the Mixe, this ch... read more

Cauliflower: A Mexican market staple and vegetable of the year 2014 Karen Hursh Graber

Cauliflower with Mexican poblano cream sauce picture
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2014
Mexican recipes for cauliflower go back a long time, especially in Central Mexico. Diana Kennedy offers a recipe for cauliflower in avocado sauce from a 1911 Mexican cookbook.

And going further back, the monastery cookbook of Friar Geronimo de San Pelayo, written in Mexico City in 1780, has four different recipes for cauliflower.

Pickled cauliflower, called coliflor en escabeche, is often served as a botana with drinks. Another popular version of the vegetable has it divided into florets, dipped in a light coating of egg and flour, and fried, a very Spanish treatment...

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Mexican pickled cauliflower: Coliflor en escabeche Karen Hursh Graber

The combination of the battering technique and the Baja Style Cabbage Slaw makes a copycat Mexican fish taco. Be sure to drizzle the roasted cauliflower tacos with the avocado sauce (below). Ingredien... read more

Mexican cauliflower rice: Arroz de coliflor Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican cauliflower 'rice' is a clever way to cut down on carbs from white rice, and it is amazing how much the "grains" produced by grating cauliflower resemble grains of rice. Ingredients 1 h... read more

Mexican roasted cauliflower tacos: Tacos de coliflor Karen Hursh Graber

The combination of the battering technique and the Baja Style Cabbage Slaw makes a copycat Mexican fish taco. Be sure to drizzle the roasted cauliflower tacos with the avocado sauce. Ingredients ... read more

Cauliflower with Mexican poblano cream sauce: Coliflor poblano Karen Hursh Graber

Cauliflower with poblano cream sauce was easy to cook, making thick slices of cauliflower work like chicken breast halves in a poblano chile and chicken dish. I used my own tried and true chicken recip... read more
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