Archive for the ‘Mexican Recipes’ Category

What is New Mexico Cuisine

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Different states in America offer different types of Mexican dishes. One type is New Mexico Cuisine. It is found in the state of New Mexico and consists of Mexican- American dishes. The dishes made in the New Mexico style are similar to regular Mexican foods such as burritos, but the difference is the type of chile pepper they use. In New Mexico cuisine, green chile pepper is used. The peppers are grown throughout the state. It is becoming popular in other states also. Green chile pepper can be used in just about any type of dish including hamburgers.

Another difference that separates New Mexico dishes is the way the foods are prepared. The use of spices and sauces are different from Mexico. Also the dishes usually have more meat and fewer beans. The dishes are influenced by the southern state of Chihuahua, which is also known for their dishes having more meat.

The foods are usually named the same as the dishes in Mexico. Burritos, chimichangas, tacos, and others consist of the same ingredients. The reason it is different is by the green chile and other small details. You may also find different items on the menus such as fish tacos and shrimp enchiladas.

Some Mexican dishes that have a different taste in New Mexico include chorizo. It is a sausage that is spicy, being seasoned with red chile and garlic. It is a food that can be served at breakfast. The New Mexican chorizo is said to taste different by its spice blend. Tortillas in New Mexican cuisine are also different. The tortillas are usually more thick and less chewy then tortillas found in other places. Posole is a stew that New Mexico has put their twist into. New Mexico style has many green chiles added to it, which makes it a lot different than the traditional dish.

Salsa picante is a thin sauce with pureed red peppers, onions, and tomatoes with added spices. The spices are similar to others that you would find in typical New Mexican dishes. The chili sauce added is also similar to both New Mexican style and Louisiana hot sauce. Picante sauce is very common and is an added condiment to add an extra punch of heat to any dish.

Even the salsa is a bit different in the New Mexican style. Typical salsa will include tomatoes, chiles, onions, and other spices. In New Mexican cuisine, the salsa has a large amount of cilantro added.

Whatever restaurant you go to, you are likely to have chile sauce on top of your dish. If you are not used to the hotness, you might have to take it slow. Start with small foods like salsa. You will get used to the strength and before you know it, you will be buying your own chile to create dishes from your home. The chile can be sold throughout the year and can be stored easily in the freezer. You will be able to enjoy a touch of New Mexican style cuisine with your Mexican food favorites.

What Are Tortillas

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Tortillas got its name from the Spaniards. The word “tortilla” comes from the Spanish word “torta” with the meaning being round cake. Tortillas are eaten everyday not just in Mexico but also in America. Americans put just about anything in the tortilla. Ever try peanut butter and jelly in a tortilla? Many eat it that way; also the tortillas are used with hot dogs, casseroles, and sandwiches.
Tortillas have been enjoyed for many centuries, but not with all the fillings that are used these days.

Aztecs made tortillas more than 10,000 years before Christ. Aztecs ate a lot of corn, some right from the cob, and others they would save and use later. They would ground it into corn meal and later make into masa, which is corn dough. The masa is added with water. If the water is not the right temperature, the consistency will not be enough to make the tortilla. Once the masa is ready, it is placed in a ball size in the maker’s hands. It takes awhile to go through the process of making the masa flat. It is patted into what looks like a think pancake. Once it is the right size, it is placed on a hot griddle. It does not take long to cook.

Today the tortilla is still made with the same ingredients. Majority of them are made in factories with machines because they are in high demand. They come in many flavors. Anyone can still make them from scratch if they prefer. You can find tortillas in a variety of Mexican foods. Tacos use them as the shell. Enchiladas consist of the tortilla being filled and then rolled, afterwards being cooked. Quesadillas use tortillas as turnovers which are filled and then fried.

If you think that tortillas are just for eating, think again. There is a type of art that is called “tortilla art”. It is fine art that uses tortillas as the canvas. First the tortillas are baked and then acrylic. After that they are painted. Tortilla art is made to represent the culture of Latino artists.

Tortillas are also what are used to make the tortilla chips. The tortilla is cut into wedges and fried. Corn tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt and water. The chips first became popular in the 1940s in Los Angeles, California where the chips were mass-produced, but it is still considered a Mexican food.

Americans use tortillas for a lot of their foods. It is most common found in burritos, which started long ago in northern Mexico. Tortillas are a traditional food of many people from northern states of Mexico and also Native tribes that are found in the Southwestern United States. Just about any restaurant will carry tortillas. You can try many different foods that include them. They are easy to find in the grocery store. You can use your taste buds and imagination to make your own foods which include the tortillas.

There are many different recipes available to search, so join in on a tasty convenient food that many Americans have already discovered.

What Are Tamales

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Tamales have a long history dating back to the Aztecs. They called the tamales, tamalli. In the Aztec language the word means “wrapped food”. They were made in different sizes and shapes in dishes and often served at festivals and ceremonies. The dough was very time consuming to make. The Aztecs would cook the tamales by burying them under hot coals. Once the Spanish conquistadores arrived, the Aztecs cooked the tamales in underground pits, or uncovered pots.

The outside of the tamale is dough with the insides being the filling. Tamales have a variety of fillings which include beef, pork, and green corn. Many Mexicans add other main ingredients. Chicken and pumpkin are also common fillings. Sweet tamales will include raisons and cinnamon. Sometimes you might even find fruit tamales. Once the tamales are made, it is wrapped in corn husks. After being wrapped, they can be steamed in a kettle.

Tamales are becoming very popular in the United States. Fillings besides the typical flavors in Mexico are popular. You will find beef, and another filling that consists of corn that is similar to creamed corn. Tamales are found at many Christmas dinners in the American Southwest. In the Southwest the tamales will have a spicy meat filling that is beef or pork and served with a chili con carne sauce. Tamales are easy to eat, and do not leave a mess. Americans are also enjoying them for dinner. Some grocers carry them in the frozen section along side tacos and burritos. The best way to eat tamales is when just out of the steamer. You can taste all of the spices and flavor. If reheated, they still will be enjoyable.

Another version of the tamale can be found in Arizona and Southern California. It is known as the green corn tamal. Don’t think that the green means that there is something wrong with the corn; it actually means “fresh”. The tamal consists of fresh white corn that is mixed with a variety of cheeses. It is then laid out with a slice of green chile. It is then wrapped in the corn husk and steamed. Another area in the United States that enjoys tamales is the Mississippi Delta. It became known when in the 1900s Mexican workers introduced the food to the African workers in the cotton fields in the South. They tamales have are known as “hot tamales” there and are made with corn meal instead of masa.

Tamales take a lot of preparation to make, so they have become more of a special occasion food. They are common for celebrations on Day of the Dead, and Christmas. Many times, families gather together and make the tamales so it does not take as much time as it would if someone did it alone.

Tamales bring fond memories to people who would eat them all their lives. They are convenient to eat and most of all, tasty! Tamales have a long rich history. If you want to taste an authentic Mexican food, give tamales a try. Once you have, you will understand why many people cannot eat just a few at one sitting.

What Are Some Vegetables Found in Mexico

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Americans love Mexican cuisine. The cuisine usually found in America contains typical vegetables you can find in the states. There is a variety of vegetables not as known in America, but are grown and eaten throughout Mexico.

Jicama is a Mexican potato and also considered a turnip. It is a large, bulbous root vegetable with the roots getting as heavy as 50 pounds. Its flesh is thin and is brown and white in color. Jicama has a crunchy taste to it. The flavor is described as being nutty and sweet, with the texture similar to water chestnuts. In Mexico the vegetable is thinly cut and soaked with Mexican lime, and topped to chili pepper.

Nopales are another common vegetable throughout Mexico. It is a popular vegetable to eat during Lent. Nopales consist of fleshy, oval leaves that are from the nopal cactus. Their color can be anywhere from light green to dark green. They have a light, tart taste to them. The vegetable can be boiled or grilled. In Mexico you will see nopales cooked in scrambled eggs and even sandwiches.

Chayote is a gourd that once was the main food for the Aztecs and Mayas. Its skin varies from being white to pale green. The outside can be found smooth, wrinkled, or full of pricks. People prepare it similar to summer squash. It also is used in salads. Because the taste is mild, seasonings are sometimes added to strengthen the flavor.

Another vegetable that would be great added to a salad is the Mexican Gherkin.
It is a young cucumber that is picked when it is 1 to 3 inches in size. The vegetable can then be cut and added to salads, or other dishes. People also jar the gherkins adding vinegar and dill, which makes them pickled.

Many Mexican dishes have tomatoes added. One popular tomato is called the Mexican husk tomato. It was popular back in the Aztec and Mayan economy. The plant can stand 4 to 5 feet tall. The tomatoes are usually miniature in size. When the tomatoes are ripe the skin will be yellow, purple, and sometimes red, but that is a rare color for the tomato. It gives many different flavors from being acidy, to sweet with many seeds. The Mexican husk tomato is grown in the Summer time in temperate regions of the country. It also needs plenty of sun and not extremely wet soil. Once grown, they are cut and eaten raw, or added to different dishes such as a sauce called salsa verde which goes on meats or green chili peppers or used alone. They also are popular additions to salads.

These vegetables and others that are grown in Mexico can be found at food markets and Mexican grocery stores. Each vegetable has its own purposes and make great additions to dishes. It is great to experiment and see what you can do with them. Before you know it, you may be adding chayote besides tomatoes and avocados in your salad!

What Are Some Types of Mexican Bread

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

There is a wide variety of breads found in Mexico. Wheat was first introduced by the Spaniards. The cereal was cultivated throughout all of Mexico. Nowadays, wheat is abundant. Some bread is for special occasions such as Day of the Dead, and Christmas. Other breads are made especially for breakfast. Some of the breads originate from many centuries ago. People in Mexico bake their own breads from scratch, or purchase them at food markets.

Bolillo is salty bread that is originally from Mexico, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries. The bread is shaped like an oval and baked to about 6 inches. The crust is crunchy with the inside being soft. Bolillo is the main ingredient in different kinds of tortas. Molletes is bread found in Spain and also Mexico. It consists of bolillo by it being cut in half and covered with cheese, beans, cream, and salsa. The bread can be eaten with eggs, and beans. Some people drink milk and chocolate milk with it. Torta ahogada is a sandwich that includes bolillo bread.

This sandwich is popular in all of Mexico. The sandwich is covered with a very spicy sauce made from dried chili peppers. Since it is so spicy, only people that are used to eating very hot chili peppers are able to eat this sandwich. There are less-spicy versions of this sandwich available which uses a tomato sauce. Fillings of the sandwich include pork, chicken, beans, and cheese. It comes with a side of onion rings, avocados, or chili peppers.

If you crave something sweeter, there is Pan Dulce. It is also known as Mexican sweet bread. Pan Dulce is dome-shaped sweet rolls. They have a sugar topping with the flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and sometimes strawberry. Traditional flavorings include cinnamon, anise, and dried fruit. Some of the rolls have designs on the shell. Pan Dulce is made year-round in Mexico, and can be found in Mexican bakeries. These rolls can be eaten as a desert or snack.

Another food that involves bread and your sweet tooth is Capirotada, Mexican bread pudding. The pudding is popular at the Lenten season in Mexico. It is typically made with small bread rolls, or the bread mentioned in this article, bolillos. It also includes fruits and raisons. Cinnamon and anise add spice to the dessert. The pudding is simple to make and is known for being a desert. Some people add roasted peanuts and aged cheese, making the pudding a great breakfast or brunch addition. Capirotada would make a great dish for the Christmas holidays because of its rich, elegant taste.

There are many types of breads, with unique names. Some are named after horns, bald ladies, policemen, keys, and pigs. Whatever type of bread you prefer, they will have in Mexico. If you would like to try the breads fresh, find a local Mexican grocer to purchase a loaf, or a few rolls. You will be able to find the type of bread you enjoy, either for lunch, dinner, dessert, or a snack.

What Are Some Types of Candy in Mexico

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Children in Mexico have a huge selection of candies to choose from. The candies are abundant. Anyone is sure to please their sweet tooth. The candies are not just sweet, though. Many of the candies pack heat! That is right, chili. Mexican’s like to include chili in many of their foods, so it is natural to find candy with it. There are also chocolate candies, gummy candies, and chewing gum. It is obvious that Mexicans have different preferences when it comes to candy. The hotter, the better!

A newer item in Mexican candy is called Salsaghetti. The package has straws of watermelon that look like pasta. They are spicy and come with a sauce to pour over it. The sauce is called Gusano Tamarind. Tamarind is a fruit that is typical in Asia, but widely grown in Mexico. Many candy items contain Tamarind. Salsaghetti looks like a pasta meal, but unfortunately there is no candy meat balls included.

Lollipops are a lot different than what you would taste in other countries. In Mexico they can come very hot. The candies are Jalapeo hot. Americans are used to spicy candies that are full of cinnamon, but children from Mexico love the lollipops with chili powder on the outside. The inside can be different flavors. Mango is a big hit because it offers a different taste than the chili. There are also flavored chili-peppered lollipops. Other flavors include pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, cherry, and more.

You would expect since Mexico gave the world chocolate, back when the Aztecs shared with the Spaniards that Mexicans would eat a lot of candy bars and other chocolate candies, but in Mexico these types of candies are rare to even purchase. Instead, Mexicans enjoy chocolate in their drinks or in traditional dishes such as mole poblano. Sometimes you might find someone enjoying a chocolate pattie candy that may include cinnamon, grounded almonds, and sugar.

A popular candy throughout Mexico is known as Dulce de leche. It means “milk candy”. It is milk-based syrup that is similar to caramel by how it looks and tastes. It can be as a sauce, or as a caramel-like candy. It is simple to make, simply by boiling milk and sugar. Besides being in candy, it is also used in cakes, cookies, and ice cream. People even spread it on toast. It is very popular in other countries besides Mexico. Even Starbucks have recently started selling lattes with the flavor of dulce de leche which is making it popular amongst Americans. Even dulce de leche ice cream is sold in grocery stores throughout the Southwestern states of America.

Mexican candies can be found at local Mexican grocers. Let your taste buds try some new treats. If you cannot find any stores close to where you live, many online stores sell Mexican candies. If hot is not that type of candy you would enjoy, there is also different chocolate, and caramel candies. Give it a try today! You might just enjoy a new sensation.

What Are Some Popular Mexican Desserts

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

When it comes to Mexican deserts there are many to choose from. Flan is a common and popular dessert. It is caramel custard. The dessert includes rich custard with a layer of soft caramel on top. The dish is known as flan in most of the world, even though it is a French word. Flan is simple to make and usually consists of vanilla flavored custard. You may be able to find them made in other flavors such as coconut, lemon, and other fruits.

Empanadas are another dessert found in Mexico. It is a stuffed pastry that contains different sweetened fillings depending on the country. Some fillings you can find in Mexico are cream, pumpkin, and a variety of fruits. In some states in Mexico, the empanadas are filled with different meats. Empanadas can be served as a dessert and also a breakfast food.

Chocolate has a rich history in Mexico. The Aztecs adopted the use of chocolate from earlier Mayan culture. Chocolate played an important role for the Aztecs. They used it both as a food and as currency. One of the items that the Spaniards acquired from the Aztecs was chocolate. The Spaniards took the chocolate back to Spain where it became the King’s official drink. The Aztecs made a variety of drinks with the chocolate which also included nuts, seeds, and honey. Champurrado is a chocolate drink that is very popular at breakfast time in Mexico. It is warm and thick. You can find people in the morning buying a cup by street vendors. It is also considered a dessert which can be served with Churros.

A dessert found in the Yucatan is called sapotes dulces. Sapotes are a fruit grown in Mexico. It is very rare to find the fruit in the United States. Sapotes have an orange flesh that has a unique flavor of being juicy, creamy and can often be said simmiliar to the flavor of coconuts, and vanilla. Sapotes dulces is a dessert using the fruit and mixing it with orange juice, rum, and sugar and served chilled. It is easy to make and has a great flavor.

Cajeta is syrup made in Mexico that’s main ingredient is caramelized milk. The process of making the syrup consists of slowly cooking down the sweetened liquid until it is thick. Sweetened milk is the most common ingredient of the syrup. Cajeta is eaten by itself, on pastries, and even as a topping on ice cream. The Hershey Company introduced their own cajeta targeted for Mexican food lovers that live in the United States.

There are many more Mexican desserts to please your sweet tooth. There is a wide variety of chocolates, cakes, cookies, candies, just to name a few. Recipes can allow you to experiment and discover new sweets. If you would like to sample them before making your own, some local authentic Mexican restaurants include these desserts. You may also have luck finding them at a Mexican grocer in your area. It will be easy for you to get hooked on these tasty and enjoyable treats.