Tlaxcala

Region
Beautiful paths through the gardens. Photo: Edythe Anstey Hanen

Preserving the Past: The Cactus Gardens of Cadereyta de Montes

If Mexico calls to you with its old-world beauty, its bloody but glorious history, its rich culture and the profound pride and love of life that is reflected in the faces of its people, then like me, you will never tire of searching out the country’s endless natural treasures. From the cathedrals of power to […]

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Welcome to the new MexConnect!

If you are new to MexConnect, we hope you enjoy the site and discover its incredible richness of information. If you are a previous reader of the site, we hope you will take the time to discover how truly powerful the new design is as a means of discovering all your old favorites, as well […]

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Blue Demon takes on assorted bad guys in mano a mano lucha libre combat. © Anthony Wright, 2009 © Anthony Wright, 2009

Dining at the lucha libre: An unlikely seafood feast

Mexican Kitchen We’d always thought it would be fun to see the lucha libre, or “free fight,” that colorful form of professional wrestling wildly popular in Mexico. After many years in the country, my husband and I had bought countless wrestling dolls, wrestling masks, wrestling themed tee shirts, purses and refrigerator magnets for eager friends and family […]

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A good way to get the seed out of the avocado without much effort is by letting the blade of a knife fall into it and twisting to release the seed from the creamy pulp. © Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Avocado soup with tequila: Sopa de aguacate con tequila

This cream of avocado soup uses tequila in place of the traditional sherry. It is a refreshing first course or, served with a salad, a light spring or summer lunch. The ingredients should be well-chilled before the soup is blended. Ingredients 4 medium Haas avocados, cut in half, pits removed, and pulp scooped out 3 […]

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Bronze earrings by Mexican artisan Armando Lozano take the shape of masks. © Alvin Starkman 2008

Armando Lozano Ramirez, master sculptor and jeweler: Oaxaca’s “man of steel”

A Voice from Oaxaca Gallery: Some 30 years ago, a youthful 27-year-old acquired a piece of machinery by chance. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, or how it could somehow become a positive factor in his life, he took a gamble and purchased some modest tools and metal. Armando Lozano Ramírez was then […]

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Native to Mexico and the rest of tropical America, the dwarf poinciana blooms in orange-red and yellow flowers. © Linda Abbott Trapp 2009

Crossandra, mango and jellybean plant: ornamental plants and flowers of tropical Mexico

Common names, scientific names, use and care, cultivation and propagation tips, flowering habits, history and little-known facts for the curious tourist or resident. Family: Acanthaceae Alternate Names: Firecracker Flower. The scientific name is from the Greek, meaning “fringed antlers.” Use: This tropical shrub is originally from India but is widely cultivated for its beautiful, long-lasting flowers. It is […]

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Mamay © 2018 Marisa Burton

Mexican frozen treats: Helados, nieves and paletas

The long, nasal cry of the ice cream vendor reverberates throughout the mercado. On a busy market day, he has some serious competition from people hawking other wares, but he trundles along with his huge wooden containers, successfully drowning out many of the other vendors. “¡Nieve-e-e-e-e-s!” The Spanish word for snow, a general term for frozen treats in […]

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diving group

Diving in Cancun

Unlike Cozumel with its abundance of dive shops, Cancun is home to only ten. But, as I discovered, this city has much to offer a diver looking for a unique diving experience. Located twelve miles from Cozumel on the mainland, Cancun is home to some of the best diving found anywhere. While many people know […]

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The costumes worn by Conchero Dancers can easily cost a life's savings. They are heavily influenced by Miztec or Aztec design.

Masks and feather headdresses: Mexicans celebrate danzas

Mexicans love to wear masks, to dance and make music in a blazing display of fireworks, feasting and shooting off pistols. Appearances are deceptive; even the poorest pueblo collects money to celebrate the patron saint’s day, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Independence Day and whatever else calls for gaiety and loud noise. Religious and historical dances […]

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Monarch butterflies in a Michoacan sanctuary © Tony Burton, 1997

Butterflies by the million : the Monarchs of Michoacán

Every winter, more than one hundred million monarch butterflies fly into Mexico from the U.S. and Canada. On arrival they congregate in a dozen localities high in the temperate pine and fir forests of the state of Michoacán. As a species, monarchs are native to North America, but they subsequently island-hopped their way around the […]

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Mexican microeconomics: The Tuesday market in San Miguel de Allende

Like a shimmering mirage that lasts only until your next blink, the Tuesday Market, or tianguis, appears once a week at dawn, assembled upon a vast windswept concrete slab near the parking lot of the San Miguel municipal sports complex. Just as quickly, it evaporates after sunset. Each week, from battered pickups and vans, a hoard of […]

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Huatulco

 

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La Paz, Baja California Sur

 

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Mexico City

 

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Lake Chapala: Chapala, Ajijic, Jalisco

 

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Merida, Yucatan

 

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Patzcuaro, Michoacan

 

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Cancun, Quintana Roo

 

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Veracruz

 

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Gulf coast

 

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Queretaro

 

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Tlaxcala

 

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Sinaloa

 

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Tamaulipas

 

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Baja California Sur

 

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Cuernavaca, Morelos

 

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Hidalgo

 

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Morelos

 

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Puebla

 

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Guadalajara, Jalisco

 

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Michoacan

 

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Central Highlands

 

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Nayarit

 

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Guanajuato

 

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Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

 

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San Luis Potosi

 

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Zacatecas

 

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Colima

 

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Jalisco

 

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Aguascalientes

 

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Baja California

 

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Chihuahua

 

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Coahuila

 

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Durango

 

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Guerrero

 

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Oaxaca

 

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Sonora

 

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San Miguel de Allende

 

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Northern Mexico

 

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Chiapas

 

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Southern Mexico

 

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Quintana Roo

 

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Campeche

 

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Yucatan Peninsula

 

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Caldo mixe

Oaxaca’s Sierra Mixe: Exploring an ancient cuisine

Mexican Kitchen On a shelf under the glass top of our coffee table sit two singular and beloved pieces of pottery, reminders of a visit to a wildly beautiful region with a distinctive culture. They bring back vivid memories of the Sierra Mixe, a unique part of the state of Oaxaca with an ancient culinary […]

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© 2000 by Maria Elena.

El Panteon: Cuernavaca’s new cemetery

In Cuernavaca, on the top of a hilly barranca, parallel to Calle Morelos on its way out of town, lies a beautiful new cemetery. A Panteon, already lush with bougainvillea and shrubbery lovingly planted on graves and crypts. Trees had been left standing, framing the natural landscaping and parading like sentinels for the dead on the upper levels of […]

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This unrenovated home on Paseo de Montejo is for sale -- a wonderful opportunity to live in a historic mansion. © John McClelland, 2007

Devil of a good time in Merida, Mexico’s white city

It is pushing midnight on a Thursday, but you’d never know it by the looks of Maternity Park in the central historic district of Merida, Mexico. Cafes on the square are jammed, shops bustling, the streets electric with energetic life. In this open-air setting, young sweethearts sip cocktails and entire families gather for late al […]

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Riding the cart to the train, near Ixhuatan, Oaxaca © Tony Burton 1985

Did you know? Mexico has many “Est”raordinary railway places

An earlier column, “Microwaves (with a view)”, examined the scenic delights to be found by following the “Microondas” road signs that puzzle many first-time visitors. That column probably didn’t appeal to any passing historians, but another road-sign abbreviation, “EST”, could easily have been invented just for them. EST stands for Estación. In some contexts, this would […]

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The Battle of Calderon Bridge (Tony Burton)

Did you know? Independence battle map is upside down

The battle in question is the Battle of Calderon Bridge (Batalla del Puente de Calderon), fought just outside Guadalajara in January 1811 as part of Mexico’s fight for Independence. The decisive battle was waged on the morning of Thursday, January 17. Imagine the scene. One side, led by Ignacio Allende, had some eighty thousand ill-equipped […]

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Mexican chicken with caramelized onions and nutmeg © Karen Hursh Graber, 2014

Mexican chicken with caramelized onions and nutmeg: Pollo con cebolla y nuez moscada

This recipe for Mexican chicken with caramelized onions and nutmeg, adapted from Marge Poole’s 1,000 Mexican Recipes, is an unusual and delicious example of how one spice can lend character to a simple dish — in this case baked chicken — with just a few ingredients, a lot of flavor, and a simple preparation. I have this […]

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© Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Puebla style apple and blueberry marmalade: Mermelada de manzana y mora azul

This is a classic apple and blueberry marmalade recipe from the Sierra Norte, adapted from Patricia Quintana’s Cocina de los Angeles. Blueberries are nearly as abundant as apples in the Sierra of Puebla, and the two make a wonderful combination. Ingredients 3 pounds blueberries 2 pounds apples, peeled and grated Sugar as necessary 2 2-inch pieces […]

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Huazontle with onions and cumin © Daniel Wheeler, 2010

Cumin flavored Mexican huazontle with onions

Cumin flavored Mexican huazontle with onions: Huazontle con cebollas y comino This is a quick and easy side dish, a flavorful accompaniment to simple grilled or roasted meat or poultry. The recipe is adapted from 1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore. Ingredients 1 pound huazontle bud clusters (the tops, with stems and leaves removed) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 […]

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Dried shrimp makes a surprising but tasty addition to pico de gallo or fresh salsa mexicana — chopped tomato, onion and serrano chile © Karen Hursh Graber, 2013

Fresh Mexican salsa and dried shrimp appetizer

Fresh Mexican salsa and dried shrimp appetizer: Pico de gallo con camaron seco A lively accompaniment to margaritas or cold beer, this fresh Mexican salsa and dried shrimp appetizer needs to be made as close as possible to serving time. The soaking is crucial here, so that the dried shrimp doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients. […]

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German Valdes "Tan Tan" prepares pollo a la plancha in "Paso a la juventud" (1957), directed by Gilberto Martinez Solares © Producciones Diana Internacional, Coleccion IMCINE

Cinematic cuisine: Mexican recipes from a Golden Age

Mexican Kitchen I read cookbooks the way some people devour novels, not with the casual perusal of, say, a newspaper or a magazine, but with the curl-up-and-dig-in enjoyment of die hard mystery or romance fans. Many, though not all, of the cookbooks I’ve read in the last 25 years or so are Mexican, and my […]

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Caldo mixe

Mixe meat and vegetable soup: Caldo mixe

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 can get. Either fresh or dried beef, plus both chicken and turkey, are frequently used. This […]

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Scene from "Pasion jarocho" (1949), directed by Carlos Vejar © Producciones Churubusco, Coleccion IMCINE

Whole fish in Mexican green sauce: Pescado en verde

What better recipes to accompany a still from the 1944 film Pasión Jarocho, or “Veracruz Passion?” This classic regional dish od whole fish in Mexican green sauce goes perfectly with the story of lovers in a small Mexican fishing village who seem destined to be kept apart by rumors and jealousy. Will Rosalinda and Hugo ever find […]

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Fresh papaya seeds have a spicy, peppery flavor. © Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Papaya seed salad dressing: Aderezo de semilla de papaya

This tangy dressing is perfect for a salad of mixed greens. The recipe was adapted from one by Vicky Cowell, who writes an interesting and informative food column for the Herald Mexico, Mexico’s English language newspaper. Ingredients: 2 teaspoons sugar ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon dry mustard 4 large scallions, coarsely chopped 1/3 cup white wine vinegar […]

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Mexican guavas go well with pork © Sergio Wheeler, 2011

Mexican pork tenderloins with guavas

Mexican pork tenderloins with guavas: Escalopas de cerdo con guayabas The Mexicans, like the Chinese, have created some wonderful dishes combining pork with fruit. Pork tenderloins with guavas is an example of the inventiveness of nouvelle Mexican cuisine. Escalopas de cerdo con guayabas have the same sweet-and-sour tanginess of many oriental dishes. The seeds of the guava […]

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Salsa de Pera © Karen Hursh Graber, 2013

Mexican pear salsa: Salsa de peras

The white pear flesh, green herbs and red onion give this salsa the colors of the Mexican flag and the Christmas season. Just as tasty as it is visually appealing, Mexican pear salsa goes well with pork and is a nice accompaniment to simple grilled pork chops or a holiday roast. Ingredients 1 ½ pounds […]

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Chayotes in a street market resemble green pears © Daniel Wheeler 2009

Chayote: Squash dresses up for the holidays

Mexican Kitchen In the fall, my culinary thoughts inevitably turn to Thanksgiving. Although it is not celebrated as a legal holiday in Mexico, it is called El Día de Acción de Gracias, and some of my fondest holiday memories are of the Thanksgiving dinners put together by the American faculty members at the university where I worked […]

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The secret to perfect Mexican guacamole is a flavorful, ripe avocado. © Jeanine Thurston, 2011

Avocado Mousse: Mousse de Aguacate

The mousse may be made in a six-cup ring mold or individual molds. It is frequently served in Mexico with camarón pacotillo – small cooked cocktail shrimp – in the center of the ring or as a garnish on individual molds. Ingredients: 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin 1 ½ cups chicken or shrimp broth 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed […]

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Ingredients © Daniel Wheeler, 2010

Blackberry atole: Atole de mora

A traditional early morning or late night favorite in the Sierra de Puebla, this atole makes a warming, nutritious breakfast drink. Kids love the purple color. Ingredients 1 cup blackberries 4 cups milk 2 tablespoons cornstarch ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Place the berries and 2 cups of the milk in a blender and puree. […]

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Herbs in a botica or yerberia in Amarillo are sold by the ounce or bag, and the price of the herb will include advice from the yerbero who will specify what quantity of the herb to use and how to take it. The most common form is herbal teas. In other cases the herb may be applied directly to the affected area. © John G. Gladstein, 2010

Mexico’s alternative medicine in Amarillo, Texas

In Mexico, alternative medicine has long been popular. With the increase of healthcare costs, insurance, traditional medicines and a visit to the doctor’s office in the U.S., many people are seeking alternative means to treat ailments, both physical and mental. “In most cases with non-traditional treatment, there is no language barrier, no need for an […]

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A message declaring "Palm Sunday" spins atop a castillo during Palm Sunday festivities in Mexico. © Julia Taylor, 2007

Fireworks artist: José Zuñiga, castillero

Jose Zuñiga has been making castillos for the better part of 25 years. His father was a Maestro de Fuegos Artificiales, and from boyhood, he remembers being part of the family business. Today, he runs his own fabrica, with 5 men who help with the armature, delivery and illumination of Mexico’s favorite fiesta perk. Castillos are lightweight towers of cane and wood, which […]

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Savory Pea Pudding: Budín de Chícharo

This is a Mexican classic, which can also be made by substituting corn or carrots for the peas. The recipe is adapted from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy. Although it calls for sugar, this is a first course or side dish, rather than a dessert.   2 pounds fresh or frozen peas 3 eggs, […]

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Yucatan Fish Panuchos: Panuchos de Pescado

Combining the classic Yucatecan ingredients of achiote seasoning, black beans and pickled red onions, true panuchos need to be made with fresh tortillas that will inflate when placed on the comal or griddle, so that the thin top layer (called the “pancita”) puffs up while it is heating up. If you do not have access to […]

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Oyster mushroom chileatole: Chileatole de setas

Mushrooms proliferate in the mist-covered hills of north central Veracruz, the only place I have ever seen chileatole made with them, in this case with setas or oyster mushrooms. It would probably work with other fresh, wild mushrooms, but for me, the meaty texture of oyster mushrooms is perfect for this soup, which manages to be rustic and elegant […]

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Mayan cold avocado soup with ginger: Sopa fria de aguacate con jenjibre

This recipe is adapted from one at the Mayan Beach Garden on the Costa Maya. Avocados should not be cut in advance of using, since they oxidize quickly, turning their beautiful yellow-green color into an unappetizing brown. Tossing with lime juice will prevent some of this, but cutting avocados is not a “do ahead” recipe […]

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

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 tablespoon vegetable oil 6 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 bay leaves 1 sprig […]

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Fried cutlet torta: Torta de milanesa

While a torta can be filled with any kind of savory sandwich filling, the beans, avocado and tomato are always present. Leave out the onion if you are not a fan, or substitute mayonnaise for the crema; some torterías use melted butter instead of crema. The milanesa is probably the most popular filling, and part of its appeal is the crunch of […]

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Ceviche De Camarón

Ingredients 2 pounds of shrimp 1 white onion 2 or 3 seeded jalapeno peppers 2 peeled and seeded tomatoes 1 large ripe avocado How to Prepare Mince and mix all ingredients together squeeze enough lime juice over top to cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink (cooked), 3 to 4 hours. Published or […]

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Mixed Green Salad With Passion Fruit Dressing: Ensalada Mixta Con Aderezo De Maracuya

Passion fruit pulp is now more readily available north of the border than it is in Mexico. Here we have to wait for maracuya to come into season, whereas in the north, it is available year round in the form of Welch’s frozen passion fruit pulp. Coriander seeds, a characteristic ingredient of many fruit vinaigrettes, are not […]

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Beef short ribs with pumpkin: Costilla de res con calabaza

The combination of meat and squash is typically West African, combined here with tomatoes, an indigenous Mexican ingredient, and spices introduced by the Spaniards. The original recipe, as presented by Raquel Torres and Dora Elena Carriaga in Recetario Afromestizo de Veracruz leaves out the tomatoes and spices, but nowadays most jarocha cooks use them.   2 tablespoons vegetable oil […]

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Poblano Corn Chowder: Crema Poblana

This is probably the most famous soup from the Puebla region. This version is thicker and more textured than most, more of a chowder than the creamy pureed version often found on poblano menus.   3 tablespoons butter 6 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 ½ […]

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Chicken Enchiladas in Peanut and Almond Sauce: Enchiladas en Cacahuate y Almendras

This is a delicious and unique version of enchiladas, reminiscent of the chicken in nut sauces served in Oaxaca and Veracruz. If you can’t find raw peanuts, use the ones that come already roasted in bags, and in that case, do not toast them. If you do use raw peanuts, be sure to remove the […]

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Sweet and sour tomatillo conserve: Tomates verdes encurtidos

Visually, these remind me of the pickled green tomatoes that are nearly always on the table in New York’s kosher delis. But the sweet-and-sour vinaigrette, with the addition of green chiles, makes them very much a unique product of Chihuahua Mennonite kitchens. Chilacas are long, fresh green chiles, mild to medium hot, commonly found in […]

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Cream of Sweet Potato Soup: Crema de Camote

Cremas, or cream soups, are popular all over Mexico, especially as first courses on wedding menus. The addition of sherry at the end makes this a good starter for a festive fall dinner. Ingredients: ½ cup chopped white onion 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons butter 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 3 cups chicken […]

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Chipotle Chiles in Spicy Sauce: Chipotles Adobados

These have become a kitchen staple, both north and south of the border. Besides using them to make the currently popular “chipotle mayonnaise,” they can be added to sauces, marinades, salad dressings, soups and stews. I like the homemade chipotles adobados much better than the canned because the taste of fresh tomatoes is missing in the canned […]

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Tehuana Mamas Cook Up Magic: Food and Fiestas in the Isthmus

Mexican Kitchen Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of Oaxaca is the tremendous difference between one region of the state and another. The sierras which crisscross it form natural boundaries between enclaves of culture which have existed since pre-Hispanic times. One of the most unique and charismatic of these is a group known as istmeños, inhabitants of the […]

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White Rice with Vegetables: Arroz Blanco con Verduras

I like to vary the colors and textures of a comida, and for this meal I would choose a white rice dish such as this one, rather than repeating the red tomato base of the soup course above. This recipe, prepared like a risotto, is made especially flavorful by the addition of cream cheese, called queso filadelfia after the […]

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Mexican tres leches cake with sprinkles: Pastel de tres leches con chispas

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. Ingredients For the cake: 1 ½ cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ cup milk For […]

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Chicken Cooked in Avocado and Banana Leaves: Pílte de Pollo

This dish, which I first had at a wedding in Atzompa, Oaxaca, is sometimes called barbacoa de pollo. It is flavored with either avocado or hoja santa leaves, both of which have an anise-like flavor. Ingredients: 8 banana leaves 10 guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped ½ medium white […]

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Mexican jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese and smoked fish: Jalapeños rellenos con queso crema y pescado ahumado

Mexican jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese and smoked fish are a wonderful botana adapted from Susana Trilling’s Oaxaca cookbook, Seasons of My Heart. Just be sure to use the pickled jalapeños and not raw ones, or they will be too hot for most people. Ingredients 6 ounces cream cheese 6 ounces smoked mullet, sable, tuna or salmon, boned and […]

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Mexican yogurt avocado dip: Dip de yogurt con aguacate

Serve this very easy Mexican yogurt avocado dip with totopos (crisp fried tortillas) or tortilla chips, or with raw or steamed vegetables. Ingredients 1 ripe avocado ¾ cup yogurt ¼ cup mayonnaise 1 fresh jalapeño chile, seed and finely chopped (or include seeds for more “heat”) ¼ teaspoon ground cumin Salt to taste Chopped cilantro for garnish, […]

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Mango and Avocado Salad: Ensalada de Mango y Aguacate

The combination of mangos and avocados gets a colorful and tasty lift from the addition of red bell peppers. Fresh bell pepper ( pimiento morrón) once meant green bell pepper, and red ones were available only in cans, but today the markets sell red and yellow bells year round. The avocado should not be peeled or […]

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Shredded Venison Salad: Salpicon De Venado

This dish is found on restaurant menus throughout Mexico, but particularly in the western part of the country and in the Yucatan, where it is called zic de venado. This recipe is a good buffet dish, to be piled on tostadas or served with warm tortillas and habanero salsa. It makes an attractive presentation served on a […]

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Cheese-filled Sweet Potato Patties: Tortitas de Camote

In most of Mexico, these fried patties are made with white potatoes, whereas in Veracruz they are made with sweet potatoes or yucca. This cheese-filled version is more versatile than most, because it can be served as an hors d’oeuvre as well as a side dish. Ingredients: 2 pounds sweet potatoes 1 cup all-purpose flour […]

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Rompope Mousse: Mousse De Rompope

Rich yet light-textured, this can be made in a decorative mold and garnished with whipped cream and candied cherries for an elegant presentation. Ingredients: 1 ½ cups evaporated milk 2 cups rompope, either homemade or purchased 1 cup sweetened condensed milk 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (1 ounce altogether, or 28 grams) 1 cup cold water Preparation: Pour […]

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Crepes with Mexican chocolate sauce: Crepas con chocolate

Crepes, frequently topped with the goat’s milk syrup called cajeta, are a very popular dessert in fine restaurants throughout Mexico. This recipe uses a syrup made of Mexican chocolate instead of cajeta, and a banana filling. Bananas and chocolate are a popular combination at the fried banana stands at every small town plaza, and this […]

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Mexican quinoa and eggs ranchero: Quinoa con huevo, estilo ranchero

This protein-packed power brunch could probably be called a “deconstructed” version of Mexico’s classic huevos rancheros. In this Mexican quinoa and eggs ranchero recipe, the whole beans take the place of the refried version, and the fresh salsa is used in place of a cooked sauce. Ingredients 2 tablespoons corn oil ½ cup diced onion ½ teaspoon […]

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