Chiapas style beef with cabbage: Carne de res con col, estilo Chiapas

Chiapas style beef with cabbage is quick, easy, inexpensive and satisfying. And did I say versatile? It can be served with rice, used as a filling for stuffed chiles, or a topping for tostadas. Adapted from Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy. Ingredients 1 pound lean ground beef 3 cloves garlic, crushed 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black […]

Continue Reading

Mexican filled plantain croquettes: Croquetas de platano rellenos

Plantains, called plátano macho in Spanish, play an important role in the diet of southern Mexicans. They should not be used in cooking until ripe, at which point they will be nearly black all over. These tasty croquettes are filled with beans or cheese. Ingredients: 4 ripe plantains, skins left on, cut in half 4 tablespoons flour […]

Continue Reading

Chiapas style chicken and fruit stew: Estofado de pollo en frutas

Somewhat akin to the manchamanteles of Oaxaca and Puebla, this Chiapan main dish typically uses very little chile. Instead it is characterized by the sweet and tart contrast of the vinegar marinade and the fruit. Ingredients: 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces ¼ cup grated onion 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and mashed in a […]

Continue Reading

The traditional Maya sweatlodge in Chiapas: Temazcal and Xun

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, where I chose to live five years ago, is a city time almost forgot. Situated in the highland valley of Jovel at an elevation of 2,100 meters, it’s a city mingling future and past. As the gateway to mountainous communities, more indigenous than mestizo, it’s a city where ancient […]

Continue Reading
Traditional Maya house in Yucatan © John G. Gladstein, 2008

Tricksters, avengers and guardian spirits: Mexican Ghosts

The child, they said, was old enough to collect leña — kindling — from the rugged Chiapas hillsides and to mount and ride a burro. His peasant parents called him “hombrecito” — “little man” — and trusted him to care for the few chickens and goats that provided the family with sustenance. One moonless night, awakened by the barking […]

Continue Reading