Caballeros Pobres - Mexican Style French Toast

Caballeros pobres recipe - Mexican Style French Toast

Caballeros Pobres (“Poor Knights”) is a dessert popular in the Yucatan peninsula, very similar to another dish known as “Torrejas” in the rest of the country. You could think of it as a Mexican version of French toast, but with a twist, since we also add a special syrup on top. The syrup itself has many versions: some like to add nuts like almonds or pine nuts, and others like to add a little bit of brandy.

One of the main differences I’ve found between “Caballeros Pobres” and “Torrejas” is that the first one uses eggs that are beaten until they form stiff peaks (similar to a meringue), while the latter only uses mixed eggs and is then dusted with sugar and ground cinnamon after frying. Torrejas is also the given name to other desserts that use the same cooking process, but use yams or fruits instead of bread, like the yuca or plantain torrejas. There is even a version where the bread is moistened in sherry wine or another type of liquor.

Pineapple Atole Recipe

Pineapple Atole recipe

The good thing about Atole is that it can be made in as many flavors as your imagination allows. Yes, like in this pineapple atole, you can add any of your favorite fruits, nuts, and spices to the mix and it will still be great. One of my favorite flavors is pineapple, so I'm taking advantage of the last cool evenings here where I live and enjoying a nice, hot cup of pineapple atole made with DOLE® pineapple chunks.

My grandma used to make atoles during the cooler months of the year, and would always offer a hot cup of atole to visitors when they came to visit her farm. I wish she could taste my own version with some pineapples chunks added and a dash of ground cinnamon!

Tequila Shrimp Recipe

Tequila Shrimp Recipe

As many of you may know, I grew up in Tampico, Tamaulipas, a fish town in the Gulf of Mexico. This gave me an exposure to a great deal of seafood dishes, as my hometown is known for its many seafood offerings.

I remember that my older brother used to work at a nearby shrimp packing company during the summers. Once the fishing boats came back from the sea during the afternoon hours loaded with fresh shrimp, the packers would get to work in a speedy fashion, in order to preserve the freshness of the product. They would pack all the highest quality shrimp very nicely in attractive cardboard boxes that would be placed in large freezers. “It’s going to the United States,” they would say. At that point in my life, I wouldn’t have thought that one day I’d live in the US.

Pork in Tomato Sauce

Pork in tomato sauce recipe

A couple of weeks ago, I cooked this Pork in Tomato Sauce dish and posted it on my Instagram Stories, and some of the readers asked me if they could make it using other types of meat, and the answer is yes, absolutely! You can use this same process to cook other types of meats like beef, chicken, or even shrimp or fish, but you have to add the latter ones later in the process, as they cook faster than beef or chicken.

The nice part of those Instagram Stories is that many people get inspired to cook what they see in the video. Some even send in their pictures of the dish they cooked, the same day they saw me making it in the video! Like many of you, I don’t always have a lot of time for cooking a meal that needs some preparation, but this dish is well worth the effort. Plus, while the meat is cooking, you have plenty of time to cook the rice and prepare the salad. And you know what else? The best reward is seeing the happy faces from your family at the table and listening to the “mmms!” and “aaahs!” when they give it the first bite.
Pork in Tomato Sauce recipe

Some of the popular pork recipes on the blog are Three Pepper Stew, Pork with Zucchini and Corn, & Pork in Tomatillo Sauce.

Nopal Soup (Nopales Navegantes)

Nopal soup Nopales navegantes

Nopales are a favorite ingredient during Lent season, since they are so versatile that you can add them to almost any dish. Like in this soup, for example, which is called “Nopalitos Navegantes”, which roughly translates to “sailing cactus soup”. Some people make a dry version of this dish and add Pasilla pepper to the sauce; both the soup and the dry version are quite appetizing. The addition of the eggs (whole or scrambled) creates a robust meal, as you have your veggies and your protein all in one bowl!

Nopales are an important (and delicious!) ingredient of the Mexican gastronomy. There is one called “Nopal Cambray”, a small type of Nopal, with a thin paddle and with a size ranging from 8-10 centimeters. People prefer them for their tenderness, and because they render less of that viscous liquid common in Nopales. Here in the States, you can find Nopales being sold at Latin stores, and some even sell them already cleaned or even chopped in small plastic bags, just the way they are sold in some places in Mexico.

Other recipes using Nopales are Nopalitos Salad,  Grilled Nopales with melted cheese, Nopales with ground beef in a piquin sauce,  Nopales and eggs,  Nopales a la Mexicana, and Nopales Smoothie, just to mention a few of the recipes here in the blog.

Restaurant Style Red Fried Salsa

An step by step tutorial to make this delicious restaurant style salsa.
It is common to be offered a small bowl of salsa with some chips when you are seated at a Mexican restaurant. Here in the United States, some of the restaurants use canned tomatoes to make it, but using fresh tomatoes will always render the best salsa.  My mom would almost always have this salsa ready, as it can be used for many things, like the famous Huevos Rancheros, scrambled eggs with salsa, entomatadas, or to add to the many typical Mexican meals we call “antojitos”.

When we talk about salsas, the combinations are endless: they could be as simple as the raw serrano salsa, or a little more complex with more flavor like a Piquin Salsa. A few tomatoes (or tomatillos), onion, garlic, and peppers are the soul of a salsa, but not all of them are hot, spicy salsas. Sometimes, we use a salsa to add some heat to a meal, while other times it constitutes an actual part of the dish, like with the Dried Shrimp Patties in Guajillo sauce. Salsas are in our everyday life, and almost always you will find a homemade salsa at every Mexican dining table. Which brings me to this last note: we also call them “Salsas de Mesa”, or “table sauces”, since they are placed on the table when the meal is served.
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