This jicama citrus salad from the Yucatan is known as “Xec” or “Xe’ec”, which comes from the Mayan word for “ensalada” (salad). It is also known by other names, like “check” and “sheck”. It is a healthy, quick, and easy to prepare dish, and is a classic side dish during the Day of the Dead. This citrus salad is also sold by street vendors and in local markets, when the fruit is in season. In Mexico, jicama is in season from November to January. One of the ingredients used in Yucatan is the Bitter Seville orange, which is really hard to find here in the USA. I usually substitute it with a mix of orange and grape fruit, with a little squirt of lime juice.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Today I was remembering how 8 years ago I sent my friend Nora a picture of my “Tamales with Black Beans,” and she asked me for the recipe. I simply said: “Oh, it’s really easy, just mix the corn flour, lard, and beans, and that’s it!” How vague, right? I didn’t even think about measurements or directions, because when you’ve been cooking for decades without depending on recipe books, that is the way you do it. So, long story short, I never sent her an actual recipe, but knowing that she is a good cook, I’m sure she figured it out by herself.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Crispy potato tacos, known in Spanish as “Taquitos Dorados de Papa”, is one of the most popular dishes that are loved by young and old. You don’t need many ingredients to make them, and they can even be prepared ahead of time and reheated the oven. They’re usually eaten for dinner time, and are a very popular meal during lent time, when some families restrain from eating meat. Lent time in Mexico is observed right after Mardi grass and Ash Wednesday have passed. During the following Fridays, and up until Easter Sunday, people will eat fish, seafood, legumes, and vegetable dishes. Cooks get creative preparing meatless dishes, and these potato tacos (as well as potato patties) are some of those many dishes we enjoy during this season.
Friday, January 29, 2016
This is a very delicious way to prepare nopales, the addition of the tomato sauce creates a complete meal when served with rice and corn tortillas. In just one plate you have your protein, vegetables and grains. And even though they have small piquin peppers, this is a mild stew. Of course, if you like to make it spicier, just add more peppers.
Nopales can be eaten raw in smoothies mixed with other fruits, but it is more common to eat them cooked. Prepared in a simple salad, adding tomato, onion, cilantro, oregano and salt. Or added to stews made using dried peppers like ancho, guajillo or mulato. Combined in soups or dishes with chicken, pork or seafood. Another way to cook nopales is grilling them over a charcoal grill or stove top on a griddle.