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Learning to cook Mexican Food abroad.

Mexican food consulting4
Back in July, I received an email from a student of the South African University (UNISA), her name is Mashudu Ibeag. She mentioned that she was in her last year as a Gastronomy student and that she was doing her final project about Mexican cuisine, for which she needed to write and prepare a 3 course menu. She even mentioned to me how nervous she was about this project. After many back and forth emails, I was able to give her some ideas on what to make. I took into consideration the ingredients available to her in South Africa, the time needed to prepare the dishes ahead of time, the complexity of the recipes, and her own ideas that she suggested. In the end I sent her a menu that she was able to adjust to her own needs and preferences.
The good thing was that she had a lot of time to test and prepare her dishes ahead of time before her presentation in October.
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Pasta with Chorizo and Tomato Sauce – Espagueti con Chorizo en Salsa de Tomate

Pasta con ChorizoA This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Hunt’s Tomato Sauce and Latina Bloggers Connect
This recipe has been in my family for years, and was passed down to me by my Uncle Marcos, who lives in Veracruz. He is now retired from the Mexican Navy, where he was a Frigate Captain, the equivalent of a Commander in the US Navy. He and my dear Aunt Nono are great cooks, and an inspiration for me both in the kitchen and on this blog. I can still vividly remember the day that he came to my home carrying 2 large grocery bags from the market. He showed up and said: “Hola mija, I will be cooking for you today”. He took charge of the kitchen like everyone from his family, with a passion for cooking. His mother and siblings were in the restaurant business for most of their life. Now, I am passing this family recipe down to my son. This dish is really easy to make, and is very convenient when using the 100% Natural Diced Tomatoes from Hunt’s.
Many authentic Hispanic dishes call for the use of tomatoes, and Hispanic women are known for using fresh, natural, quality ingredients when they cook for their families.
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Chipotle Sauce Meatballs – Albondigas con Chipotle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. & its advertiser.  Opinions are 100% mine.
Chipotle Meatballs Albondigas1AB
This is one of the most popular and favorite ways of eating meatballs in Mexico. The mild spiciness and smoky taste of the Chipotle peppers are the key ingredients of this dish. It’s hard for my mouth to not start watering just by looking at the picture above. If you love meatballs and Chipotle peppers, you’re definitely going to love this recipe. It’s very easy to make, and takes meatballs to a whole other level. You’ll be gathering bread just to soak up the remaining sauce. The quality of the ingredients you use is very important in order to get great results. I know that not everyone can go to a Latin food store or a Wal-Mart to buy a can of La Morena Chipotle peppers, but you can buy them online and store them for whenever you need them. There are many uses for Chipotle peppers, and I’ll be posting another really easy recipe using Chipotles in the weeks to come.
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Tamales de Rajas Con Queso - Cheese and Roasted Peppers Tamales

Tamales de rajasCheesePoblanoTamales                   This is a compensated post by Cacique and Latina Bloggers Connect, all opinions and recipe are 100% my own.

The Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is fast approaching, and families all throughout Mexico will be cooking the favorite foods of their lost loved ones. The will either take the food with them to the graveyard when visiting their lost family members, or place it on altars built at home for them. On of the most common things people cook are tamales, like these Tamales de Rajas. The mellow flavor of the Queso Fresco makes a perfect match with the spiciness and smoky flavor of the roasted Poblano peppers. Not everyone fills them with Poblano peppers, though, as some cooks use Serrano or jalapeño peppers. I used Cacique’s Queso Fresco in this recipe, but you can use pretty much any of the other Mexican Cheeses by Cacique. The key ingredient is the cheese.
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Spicy Pickled Carrots – with La Morena

  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are 100% mine alone.Pickled Carrots Zanahorias en Vinagre10a
Whenever we're in the mood for morning tacos, like the famous “Cachetadas”, I have to make sure we have some spicy pickled carrots to go along with them, because tacos without pickled carrots and jalapeños are like fries without ketchup, and nobody wants that kind of drama. Thankfully, these carrots are really quick and easy to make, all thanks to “La Morena” and one of my sisters who taught me this recipe when I was visiting my mother once. We add these pickled carrots to chicken and tuna salads, tortas, sandwiches, tostadas, sopes, and tacos, but you can add them to virtually any type of Latin Food.

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Fried Plantains / Platanos Fritos

 Platanos Fritos2
As I’ve mentioned before, I worked as a teacher for several years in the southern State of Tabasco, five of which were spent in an area known as “La Chontalpa”. It is a place that is filled with abundant vegetation, and remains green all year long. The two main crops of the region are cocoa beans and bananas, although the bananas are a lot more obvious. Banana trees are everywhere, and some roads are lined with them for several miles. Many other states produce bananas, like Chiapas, Veracruz, and Guerrero, but Tabasco was where I saw how people used it in their everyday meals. Many home cooks will serve their main meal at noon along with a side of rice and fried plantains. But the creativity of cooks doesn’t consist of just fried plantains, there are dozens of dishes ranging from sweet to savory that use plantains as their main ingredient.
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