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Carne Asada Recipe

Carne Asada11a.jpg This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Kikkoman and Latina Bloggers Connect

From time to time, I receive emails asking some common questions about the Carne Asada recipe, the first one being how to marinate the meat. I always give out the same answer: every cook or grill master has their own unique way of seasoning their meat. In Mexico, if you were using a high quality meat, like those from the State of Sonora, for example, you would just add salt, but there are other marinating techniques and customs that vary depending on the region of the country that you’re dealing with. For example, in the south and in the Gulf of Mexico where bitter orange (Seville Orange) is grown, cooks will add some of it’s juice to the meat; in other regions they will add lime juice, and in still others cooks will add a splash of beer while grilling or marinating the meat. Everyone has their own preference of beer, as well.
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Aguas Frescas Pineapple, Watermelon and Cantaloupe Drinks

   Watermelonwater1a.jpg “Aguas Frescas” are the typical  Mexican household everyday’s beverages. Usually the drink is prepared using the fruits available according to the season and, sometimes, depending of the family’s economy, the flavor of the drink will rely on the fruit that has the lowest price in the market. Sometimes the market vendors will offer a discount on the fruits reaching the peak of their shelf life. Many housewives take advantage of these on sell produce to prepare “Aguas Frescas” to serve at lunch time.

But, why do we call them “Aguas Frescas”? These are beverages prepared with a mix of water, fruits,
sugar and ice cubes. The ice is added to the water/fruit mix in the pitcher to cool. Cool means Fresco in Spanish, and water means agua, hence the name Aguas Frescas. They are not a thick drink like a smoothie or juice. The fruit is added to the water to add flavor. The different types of fruits used to prepare the beverages will also vary from region to region, but some common ones are: Papaya, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Jamaica, Tamarind, Pineapple, Lime and Mango.
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There are some Aguas Frescas that  instead of fruit use grains, leaves, flowers or seeds, like Agua de Horchata, Jamaica, or Chaya. A typical place to find an Aguas Frescas vendor is at the markets, fairs, and other large community events.
Agua de Melon@ 
 
This recipe can be used as a basic recipe for different types of aguas frescas. Below you will see the pictures for Pineapple, but you can use Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Mango, or Cucumbers.

MAKES 2 QTS.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 Cups of pineapple, watermelon or cantaloupe, peel and seeds removed, cut in cubes.
  • 4 Cups of water.
  • 1/3 Cup of sugar*
  • 2 Cups of ice cubes
NOTES:
  • *You can use either one of the above mentioned fruits or any other fruit of your preference.
  • **Some fruits, when in season, are very sweet and there is not need to add to much sugar. Adjust the sugar according to your taste.
  • Some cooks like to add a few drops of lime juice to their Watermelon or Cantaloupe Agua Fresca.
 DIRECTIONS:
Pineappledrink9.jpg 1. Place the fruit in a blender with 2 cups of water and sugar, puree until completely smooth.

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2. Pour the blender contents into a pitcher, add the 2 extra cups of water and the ice cubes. Taste for sweetness. Add more sugar if needed.  If you want it less thick in consistency, add more water. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Maybe you would also like these recipes for Aguas Frescas de Tamarindo, Horchata & Hibiscus.


What is your favorite drink?









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Chilaquiles Verdes with Chicken


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Although it’s a dish with humble beginnings, chilaquiles are now found in many varieties all throughout Mexico. Many (including myself) believe that this dish was created from some leftover tortillas and the creativity of home cooks. The Nahuatl words closest to the name “chilaquiles” are “chilli” and “quilitl”, which mean “dipped in chile sauce” or greens-herbs in chili broth . This is not confirmed and still up for discussion though, according to Nahuatl language experts.
The types of Chilaquiles you will find in Mexico are very diverse, since nowadays cooks will add any sauce that they like to use. Of course, the most common Chilaquiles are the ones with red or green sauce. In central Mexico, people are more familiar with the green chilaquiles, which are often served as a side dish for breakfast next to scrambled or fried eggs, beef steak or grilled chorizo, and some refried beans.
If you have some salsa left over in your fridge, whether it be green salsa, guajillo salsa, even poblano salsa, you can use it to make chilaquiles. The process is the same, and you can enjoy your own chilaquiles creation!
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Salsa Verde Cruda

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Some foods have the magic of reviving memories. A taste of that particular dish, and you are reminded of a specific time, place, person, or season in your life. This salsa takes me to the Mexican State of Hidalgo, on a cold morning when we were traveling from Mexico City on our way to Tampico. We had just passed by the Teotihuacan Pyramids and were entering Hidalgo when we saw a small road-side stand selling Lamb Barbacoa, and decided to stop by to have some breakfast. An old couple was just setting up all their cooking tools to start the day. While we waited for our food, I asked the old woman about the green salsa in the molcajete. “It’s Salsa Cruda with Xoconostle”, she said, pointing to the large cactus patch to the right of the road. Xoconostle is very similar to the “prickly pear” cactus, but, unfortunately, is not easy to find here in the US. Even though it doesn’t have Xoconostle, every time I make this salsa, it reminds me of that old lady selling lamb barbacoa on the road side that cold morning, and how before we finished our breakfast, she gave me a large parcel wrapped with newspaper. When I opened, it had a Xoconostle plant. “Now, you can have your own Xoconostles”, she said.
This salsa pairs well with carnitas, lamb barbacoa, and carne asada.
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MAKES 1 1/4 CUP OF SALSA
INGREDIENTS:
  • 10 oz Tomatillos or Miltomates, chopped. (about 5 medium size tomatillos) husks remove and previously washed
  • 3 Tbps. White Onion, chopped
  • 2 Serrano Pepper, chopped*
  • 1 Small Garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • Salt to taste.
 NOTES: 
  • For this salsa I used miltomates, which are smaller than tomatillos, and have lots of seeds. You can use either one to make the salsa.
  • *Use Serrano or Japaleno peppers, adjust the amount as you like. It can be mild, medium or hot. It keeps well for 3 days in the refrigerator.
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DIRECTIONS:
1. Put tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano pepper, and cilantro in a blender (or food processor). Process until it forms a chunky salsa. This salsa is very thick, with the texture of a relish. Do not add water. Season with salt and serve.
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Sometimes when I’m in a hurry and in the mood for tacos I just cook some ground beef, fix this quick salsa, and voila! Taco Night is ready.


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