Friday, December 9, 2016

How to make Champurrado - Cómo hacer Champurrado

Champurrado recipe mexican thick chocolate drink
This is a Sponsored Campaign with We All Grow Latinas. All opinions are my own. 
Chocolate has been a part of our culture since the time of the Aztecs, when it was prepared as a drink with spices and corn masa. Even to this day, we love to enjoy Champurrado, especially during the holiday season. This recipe is for the classic water-based Champurrado, but you can also make it using milk, and can even add some cloves or orange peel for some extra flavor. Whichever way you prepare this popular drink, I’m sure you’ll enjoy sharing it with your loved ones during these holidays!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Roast Chicken - Pollo al Horno

Roast Chicken pollo al horno recipe

The holidays are always a good excuse to gather the family around and enjoy a great memorable meal together. In Mexico, most families prepare roasted turkey or a roasted pork leg or shoulder. However, some folks prefer a baked chicken, for several reasons, including: chicken might be more affordable, their family may be small, or because they live on a farm and raise their own chickens. Roasted chicken is popular all over the country, and it has a few variations according to the region. Several prefer to add a dried pepper adobo, while others just season it with herbs, like in this recipe. Sometimes, the chicken is even stuffed in the same way a turkey would.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Empalmes, a recipe by Chef Adrian Herrera

Empalmes norteños receta de Monterrey


Here in Nuevo León we have very unique dishes and customs. The key is to always try and use local and regional ingredients to prepare the recipes, as that gives them a particular authenticity and value.

Out of the three meals we make everyday, breakfast is the most important one, for it’s the one that we commence our day with. I’m putting together a small book titled “Desayunos Notables” (“Notable Breakfasts”); it’s a compilation of breakfast recipes that I grew up with and includes recipes from Tampico, the Huasteca region in Veracruz, and Nuevo León, but also features some new recipes that I’ve developed throughout the years.

Today’s recipe is a take on the mythical “empalmes”, which are very common in the northeast: two tortillas passed through some fantastic lard, filled with refried beans. For the beans, I first cook them in water with salt and a few herbs. Then, I mash them and season with salt, cumin (Lots of cumin! Such is the custom around here), and ground pepper. Next, I fry some onion and garlic and slightly caramelize them on a low flame before adding the chorizo ranchero. The chorizos from the north are rough, vinegary, and heavily spiced, and match the humor of the people.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Mexican Christmas Punch / Ponche Navideño Mexicano

PoncheNavideno 2aChristmas time in Mexico is a time to prepare the traditional Ponche Navideño/Christmas Punch. At family gatherings some will have a large pot simmering on top of the stove with the sweet liquid full of fruits, while the cinnamon and citric fruit aromas float in the air. The Ponche Navideño is another essential part of Christmas in Mexico. The recipe calls for some traditional ingredients like cinnamon,  tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), sugar cane sticks, seasonal fruits include guavas, apples, pears, oranges and dry fruits, too. The punch can be found with different added fruits depending of the region in Mexico. You can find punch with acid fruits like oranges, Mexican sweet lime or pineapple. And as far as spices go, besides cinnamon, some cooks will also add anise star and chamomile. This is the good part about this drink, that you can add the fruits you have available and it will still come out fine.Ponche Navideno
I know that for many of us living outside Mexico it’s not easy to find the traditional main ingredients like Tejocotes or sugar cane sticks, but if you live close to a Latin or Asian Store, look for the canned version of the sugar cane sticks. In some Latin stores you can even find a jar that has the hard to find ingredients like guavas, sugar cane and tejocotes in a sweet syrup. You can also find them at our amazon store. To my surprise, I found 3 brands that sell these jars of punch. And the taste is rather good. Use them to complement your punch.
Navidad en Mexico2
I hope you try this recipe, and your whole house will be filled with the Christmas flavors.
12 servings
  • 4 quarts of water (1 gallon)
  • 1 large piloncillo cone (12 oz) or brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lb Tejocotes*
  • 1 1/2 Lb. guavas (about 12 guavas)
  • 1 1/2 cup apples, chopped
  • 1 cup pear, chopped
  • 3/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 sugar cane sticks about 5 inch long, cut into four pieces each.
  • 1 cup of Tamarind pods, peeled (or 1 cup of Hibiscus Flowers)***
  • Rum to taste

Ponche Navideno Mexican Christmas punch
* If you do not find all the ingredients like the tejocotes, you can still make this drink without them.
** Other dried fruits can be used as a substitute.
*** Sometimes I just add the tamarind pods and other times just the Hibiscus flowers. I rarely use the 2 in the same punch and it still comes out really tasty. 

DIRECTIONS:Ponche Navideno

1. Place water in a large stockpot.
2. Add the piloncillo (or brown sugar) and cinnamon to cook for about 15 minutes. If you are using fresh Tejocotes, add them with the piloncillo and cinnamon since they take longer to soften.

Ponche Navideno

3. Add the chopped guavas, apples, and prunes along with the rest of the ingredients like the sugar cane sticks, tamarind pods or hibiscus flowers. If you are using the canned version of the tejocotes then add them in this step.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour. Serve hot in mugs, ladling some of the fruit in and adding rum to your liking.

¡Buen provecho!

There are foods or drinks that sometimes bring you memories of certain people, places, or moments in time. This punch reminds me of my younger brother, Alberto. What kind of food or dish brings back memories to you?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pibil Style Chicken / Pollo Pibil

Pollo Pibil, Yucatan style Chicken with Achiote paste recipe

Pollo Pibil is another classic meal in the Yucatan peninsula, a true gastronomic jewel!  The main ingredient in this dish is the Achiote paste, also known as "Recado Rojo", an essential ingredient and the base of many dishes in Yucatecan Cuisine. These dishes include the famous Cochinita Pibil and the Mucbi-Pollo, a large tamal prepared for the Day of the Dead. The Achiote (Annatto) tree grows in tropical and subtropical weather in different regions of the world. The seeds are used as a natural colorant and seasoning, or as a part of home remedies, but it is also used to give color to cosmetics, paint, varnishes and textiles. In the kitchen, it gives color and seasoning to dishes like rice, soups, broths, atoles, meats, fish, and sausages, besides other cold meats.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sweet Corn Atole and Masa Harina Atole Recipe

When is freezing cold outside, and in a cool fall day a corn masa atole is an excellent way to keep me warm. There are many different ways to make this creamy drink, with the texture of a milkshake. Cooks use corn masa, corn starch, flour, oatmeal, toasted corn meal or rice, just to mention some.
During the times of the Aztec Empire, Atole was a common and popular drink. It was made of cooked corn grains that were grinded and then diluted with water. Sometimes sweetened with piloncillo, our unrefined whole cane sugar. Nowadays, Atoles are so diverse; we use sugar and add fruits like pineapple, guavas, strawberries or nuts to have a flavorful drink. Vanilla, cinnamon, almond, orange or lemon peel gives a sublime aroma to the drink. We also have the famous champurrado, which is an atole with chocolate.

The word Atole comes from the nahuatl “atolli”, which means "watery drink. And when it is made of just corn and water is called “White Atole”
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