Ingredients

Huitlacoche

Whenever it starts pouring down rain in late Spring, I hanker for huitlacoche. A true Mexican delicacy, also called cuitlacoche, it is a form of fungus, similar to some mushrooms, that grows on fresh corn. In the Mexican rainy season, which starts in April (some say March…) and ends sometime in September (some say October…),…

Chorizo

I grew up eating chorizo in Mexico, and I love it.  It comes in deep-burnt-reddish links of fresh, moist, exotically seasoned ground meat, that once, fried, becomes crisp and filling bites with bold flavors and a thousand uses. When I moved to the United States, more than a dozen years ago, I was thrilled to…

Beans: Black Beans

Beans are a crucial part of any Mexican meal, where the black bean is the most common bean used generally speaking. However, speaking regionally, it is favored in the Southern states and also in Veracruz.  In the northern areas of Mexico, the lighter colored beans such as the Pinto are more common, and in the center…

Beans: Fava Beans

Fava beans have been around for quite a long time. Ancient Egyptians prized them so much that they were buried with them inside of their tombs! Originally native to Africa and southwest Asia, today Favas are cultivated all over the world. Thanks to the Spaniards, Mexicans have been enjoying them since the XVI century, in…

Guajillo Chile

The Guajillo chile is one of the most commonly used Mexican dried chiles, and it is now widely available in the United States. It is long and pointy, with a beautiful maroon color. Its skin is quite smooth and shinny on the outside, but it is hard and tougher and less pliable than others, like…

Dried Shrimp: Camarón Seco

Dried shrimp are used not only for the Caldo de Camarón, or Shrimp Soup or Broth. They are  also used to make shrimp patties that are then bathed in different mole sauces. Also to prepare tamales, rice, bean and potato dishes.  Even some salsas that used them ground as a seasoning and thickening base. Dried…

Tamarind

Tamarind, also called Indian date, is the pod of a tropical tree that is said to have originated in Asia and North Africa. It was brought to Mexico sometime in the 1500’s in the galleons that came from Asia, manged by the Spaniards, that landed in the gorgeous beaches of Acapulco. Now somewhat touristy… Tamarind…

Oaxaca Cheese

Oaxaca cheese is a mild tasting, gently salty, stringy white cheese with a deliciously chewy, full and filling bite. It is made in the same way as Mozzarella cheese. In fact, they taste very similar! Once the curds are formed, they are heated in water, stirred, and heated in water again. Throughout the process, as…

Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms are considered a true delicacy in Mexican cuisine. Available in rainy months, they fly out of the markets as soon as they are set on the floor mats and stands. No wonder they are such a hot selling ingredient: They are gorgeous looking, with orange and green Fall colors, a velvety texture, a…

Poblano Chile or Pepper

The poblano chile is a star in Mexican kitchens. It is used in a wide range of ways and in a wide range of dishes. Some well known examples are chiles en nogada, rajas, pickled, and stuffed with meat or cheese and bathed in a tomato sauce. But there are hundreds of other ways… Aside…