- carne asada.
This popular traditional breakfast dish features lightly fried corn tortillas cut into quarters and topped with green or red salsa (the red is slightly spicier). Scrambled or fried eggs and pulled chicken are usually added on top, as well as cheese and cream. Chilaquiles are often served with a healthy dose of frijoles (refried beans).
Try making your own chilaquiles
Pozole white vs red
The original white pozole is said to have been created in Chiapa, Guerrero during the eighteenth century. It was soaked corn was added to chicken and herbs now it has become a revered national dish. In Jalisco and Michoacan is found a pozole rojo, red with dried chiles ancho or combined with the chiles guajillos. Pozole verde green color and unusual taste and texture comes from ground pumpkin seeds, tomates verdes and various greens.
According to anthropologists, this pre-Hispanic soup was once once used as part of ritual sacrifices. These days chicken, pork and vegetarian pozole versions are readily available in more everyday surroundings. Made from hominy corn with plenty of herbs and spices, the dish is traditionally stewed for hours, often overnight. Once ready to serve, lettuce or cabbage, radish, onion, oregano, lime and chilli are sprinkled on top.
Tacos al pastor
This historic dish is one of the most popular varieties of tacos, with origins dating back to the 1920s and 30s and the arrival of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants to Mexico. To create tacos al pastor (meaning ‘in the style of the shepherd’), thin strips of pork are sliced off a spit, placed on a corn tortilla and served with onions, coriander leaves and pineapple.
What should you do with stale tortillas? Why, fry them of course! Literally meaning toasted, tostadas are a simple but delicious dish involving corn tortillas fried in boiling oil until they become crunchy and golden. These are then served alone or piled high with any number of garnishes. Popular toppings include frijoles (refried beans), cheese, cooked meat, seafood and ceviche.
Try making your own tostadas
Chiles en Nogada
Boasting the three colours of the Mexican flag, chiles en nogada is one of Mexico’s most patriotic dishes. Poblano chillies filled with picadillo (a mixture of chopped meat, fruits and spices) represent the green on the flag, the walnut-based cream sauce is the white and pomegranate seeds the red. Originating from Puebla, history tells that the dish was first served to Don Agustin de Iturbide, liberator and subsequent Emperor of Mexico.
You’ll find someone selling elote, the Mexican name for corn on the cob, on nearly every city street corner in Mexico. The corn is traditionally boiled and served either on a stick (to be eaten like an ice-cream) or in cups, the kernels having been cut off the cob. Salt, chilli powder, lime, butter, cheese mayonnaise and sour cream are then added in abundance.
Try making your own elote
Enchiladas date back to Mayan times when people in the Valley of Mexico would eat corn tortillas wrapped around small fish. These days both corn and flour tortillas are used and are filled with meat, cheese, seafood, beans, vegetables or all of the above. The stuffed tortillas are then covered in a chilli sauce making for a perfect Mexican breakfast.
Try making your own enchiladas
Three states claim to be the original home of mole (pronounced ‘mol-eh’), a rich sauce popular in Mexican cooking. There are myriad types of mole but all contain around 20 or so ingredients, including one or more varieties of chilli peppers, and all require constant stirring over a long period of time. Perhaps the best-known mole is mole poblano, a rusty red sauce typically served over turkey or chicken.
Try making your own mole
Guacamole is undoubtedly one of Mexico’s most popular dishes but few know that this traditional sauce dates back to the time of the Aztecs. Made from mashed up avocadoes, onions, tomatoes, lemon juice and chilli peppers (and sometimes a clove or two of garlic), guacamole is often eaten with tortilla chips or used as a side dish.
Try making your own guacamole
Tamales were first developed for the Aztec, Mayan and Inca tribes who needed nourishing food on the go to take into battle. Pockets of corn dough are stuffed with either a sweet or savoury filling, wrapped in banana leaves or cornhusks and steamed. Fillings vary from meats and cheeses to fruits, vegetables, chillies and mole. Remember to discard the wrapping before eating!
Roasted Beets with Beet Greens
Roasted Beets with Beet Greens are one vegetable that fit the description “eat a rainbow”. Beets come in many intense bright and beautiful colors, taste great, and are powerhouse of nutrients like B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium, health-boosting nutrients that may help lower your blood pressure, fight cancer and inflammation, boost your stamina, and support detoxification and strengthen your immune system, support brain and bone health. Beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, so they should be eaten in moderation. If you can get the beets with the fresh greens still attached it is almost like getting two vegetables in one.
This recipe, Roasted Beets with Beet Greens, is roasted beets, feta cheese. Serve warm or cold as a salad and garnished with the bright green color of the pistachios.
Roasted Beets with Beet Greens
- 8 beets
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 tsp Italian herbs
- 3/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 pistachios or pipasta (pumpkin seeds) roasted and roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and Italian herbs in small bowl to blend.
Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets in a single layer in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with about 2 tablespoons of the dressing. It is easier to peel the beets once they have been roasted.
Cover with foil and bake until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Peel beets while warm. Cut beets in half and slice thinly. Transfer to large bowl.
When the roasted beets are almost done, heat about 2 tablespoons of the dressing, over medium-low heat, in a large skillet add the greens and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stir until greens are wilted and tender.
Transfer greens to a medium bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange beets in center of platter. Surround with greens; sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.
Mix in crumbled feta cheese and a little dressing. Garnish with the nuts.
Fesenjan Greek Chicken In Pomagrante Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 pounds boneless chicken skinless chicken thighs or breast
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts finely ground
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar or honey optional
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup water
In a large skillet, toast the ground walnuts over dry heat until golden. Transfer the nuts into a stock pot or larges low cooker.
Heat the oil in the skillet, sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Remove the onions and add to the walnuts.
Add the tomato paste, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, pepper, and salt to the walnuts and onions. Add broth and water. Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and, if too sour, add the sugar or honey.
Melt the butter and oil in the skillet. Brown the chicken pieces.
When browned, add the chicken to the pot with the rest of the ingredients, simmer for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally.