Experience Mexico Through its Food

The variety of Mexican cuisine

We’ve visited Mexico multiple times, and a large part of our memories revolve around food. My first visit was on spring break from the East coast in 1970 when we camped on the baja beaches and bought local seafood and shrimp to cook over a campfire. Each morning we’d walk into town for a breakfast of chilaquiles.Later visits took us to Mexico city and the Yucatan peninsula, where again, in addition to famous landmarks, we wandered the markets and sampled the food.  One unique evening I dined at a small restaurant that opened at 7:30.  No menu, instead, the waiter arrived with a tray of the evening’s fresh offerings.  I chose ‘the’ fish. Next I was asked how I’d like it cooked.  The waiter proceeded to the other 3 tables, took our orders to the kitchen, then set the ‘closed’ sign on the door.  An excellent, multicourse meal  leisurely followed.

Here are some typical Mexican dishes I created based on our experiences. (Note, Mexican markets provide numerous types of dried chilies and moles. If you can’t find these in your area, chili powder and paprika make an adequate substitute)

 

 

Pollo con cuatro pimientas (4 pepper chicken)

  • 1 T ancho chile powder
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into stirps, 1/2″ wide by 3″ long
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 t fresh black pepper
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 3 med tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Dredge chicken in flour, then heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or
skillet , and sauté chicken for 5’ on each side, letting it brown.

2. Remove chicken, then in same pan sauté red pepper and garlic for 10’.
Sprinkle with ancho chile powder, paprika and fresh black pepper, then add
tomatoes.

3. Return chicken to the pan, mix. Place the sliced onions on top of the
chicken mixture, cover and simmer 30’.

4. Remove from heat, mix onions into chicken.

Mexican Winter Chicken

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 3-4 jalapeno or serrano peppers (canned or fresh)
  • 3-4 dried ancho chiles, prepared (optional), or substitute 1 T chile
    powder and 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 turnips, diced
  • 1 large parsnip, diced
  • 1 quart chicken stock

Saute the chicken pieces in 2 T olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the peppers
and chiles and other ingredients except for the stock. Saute 5 minutes.
Remove to casserole dish. Add 1 quart stock. Cover and bake for 1 hour at
350 deg.

At end mix in 1/4 cup of water with 3 T flour.

Pollo con Pina – Chicken with Pineapple

  • 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, diced
  • 2 zucchini, cut in thick slices
  • 2 cinnamin sticks or 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 T fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 t ground, dry)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced

1. Brown the chicken pieces in a skillet 5-10 min. (optionally, remove
kin). Add the onion, garlic and cinnamon and saute for 5-10 min.

2. Add zucchini, wine, chilies and oregano. Lower heat to simmer for 30′.

3. Add pineapple and simmer another 20′ or until chicken is done.

 

 

  • Famous Landmarks in Mexico City – Zocalo Despite its reputation as huge smoggy sprawl, Mexico City is well worth a visit of several days – exploring some of best museums in world, outdoor markets, great walking, easy access to outskirts by metro.
  • Images of Mexico’s famous landmark – Xochimilco Escape the big city crush and confusion by spending a day drifting the canals of Xochimilco and viewing the art of Diego Rivera.
  • Famous Landmarks in Mexico In Mexico City, alone, you’ll find numerous landmarks Chapultepec Castle and
    Park is famous from the US – Mexican War of 1846 and now hosts many museums, including the excellent Anthropology museum

More recipes & cooking

Recipe – Chilaquiles – Mexican Breakfast Favorite

 


Chilaquiles the Mexican Breakfast or Brunch Favorite Recipe

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast or brunch menu item. Stale corn tortillas are torn in quarters and usually fried. . Green or red salsa or mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles. This Mexican lasagna is then simmered or baked until the dish becomes soft. Various other items can be added, including queso fresco and/or sour cream (crema) Since chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch they’re a frugal use of leftover tortillas and salsas.

Basic Chilaquiles

1 dozen corn tortillas.

  • · 1 lb pork sausage, ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • · 1 cup chopped celery
  • · 1 green pepper, diced
  • · 1 small onion, diced
  • · 1 medium tomato, diced

Seasonings:

  • · 1 t chili powder
  • · 1/2 t cumin
  • · 1 t fresh oregano (or 1/2 t dried)
  • · 2 T fresh coriander
  • · salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated cheese, (Swiss, cheddar or Monterey Jack)

2 cups chicken stock

1. Preferably, the tortillas should be day-old or stale, but if you must use fresh ones, let them sit out for several hours to dry out.

Tear them roughly into small pieces about 2″ across. Traditionally these tortilla pieces are fried until crispy, but I skip this step to keep the fat content lower.

2. Combine meat, celery, pepper, onion and tomato in a mixing bowl. Add seasonings and mix well.

3. In a deep baking dish or dutch oven, add a layer of tortilla pieces, cover with a layer of the meat mixture, sprinkle with cheese. Continue, until all ingredients are used up. Pour the chicken stock over the dish when finished and top with cheese.

4. Bake in a 350 deg oven for 30 min.

 


Green Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients

  • 2T olive oil
  • 2 chicken, breasts, boned, cut aginst the grain into 1/2″ strips
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • · 1 medium onion, diced
  • · 8 oz can of green chiles
  • · 4 T fresh cilantro, chopped·

8-10 tostado shells, or old, stale corn tortillas

12 oz queso fresco (or ricotta or feta)

Instructions

  1. Saute the chicken pieces in olive oil for 3’, then add onion and garlic
    and continue to saute for another 5’. Add tomatillos and chiles; reduce heat
    and simmer for 10-15’ until the tomatillos become soft. Turn off heat, add
    chopped cilantro, let cool a bit. (This can be made ahead and stored in the
    refrigerator.)
  2. In a large casserole dish build layers of broken tortilla pieces, the
    chicken mixture, and crumbled cheese. Bake in 350 deg oven for 30’

 


Other links:

More recipes & Food images