I whipped up a version of a traditional drink from Veracruz for everyone, called a torito. A name I love because torito translates to “little bull,” which refers to the little kick it gives. It can be deceiving because it’s so sweet and creamy. Since pumpkin is such an essential ingredient in Mexico, I did a pumpkin torito this time.
The last time I went to Los Angeles, one of our producers reached out to Liz and Ramon, who have watched my show for a long time. They were asked if they’d like to make some of my recipes on camera, but weren’t told that I was going to be there. So it was a great surprise when I walked in. In return for them welcoming us into their home and feeding me and my team, well, drinks were on me! I decided come up with a new drink to share with them, a Melon Basil Margarita.
For us Mexicans, celebrating means having tequila around. We even joke about it. You got a promotion at work? Come over for some tequila! You are getting married? Do you have enough tequila?!? You have a dinner at home and are having me over? Can’t show up without your favorite tequila because, frankly, you probably don’t have enough.
Why a malted tequila milkshake, you may ask? Because we can! And because it is outrageously delicious and silky and smooth and a true treat. And because we have so much to celebrate: Mexican cuisine is stepping out of the “ethnic” denomination and proudly stepping into the mainstream as people’s appetite has increased to the point of wanting to get to know it better…
Any occasion to celebrate the beauty, the warmth, the richness of Mexican food and culture, the resilience of our people, is welcome by Mexicans everywhere. To help celebrate, here is my gift for you this Cinco: A crazy good Coco-Lime Margarita. One that transports you to the beach where you can taste the salty sea breeze…
My mom is the best cook I know. Growing up in Mexico City, she used to make the most incredible ponche, or warm fruit punch, every New Year’s Eve. Just once a year. My sisters and I used to pace up and down the kitchen as she peeled, diced and threw the ingredients – many of which were only available at this time of year in the markets – into a gigantic pot.
I had fallen for the city of Puebla almost 20 years ago. And you know how that goes, sometimes when going back to things you loved while young and are nostalgic about, there’s a risk of disappointment. Just the first night I was back, I felt myself fall for it all over again. After days of scouting, eating, researching, testing and filming with Cortez Brothers, I left with a disorganized mental list of things I didn’t even had the chance to try.
I am crazy for Tepache. Gently sweet, with an innocent hint of home brewed alcohol, a deep freshness and a gorgeous amber color. Tepache: A home made fermented drink that comes from the state of Jalisco – also breeding ground of other Mexican symbols like Tequila, Charros and Mariachis. Tepache has a base of fresh pineapple, true cinnamon, piloncillo and water and has been drank in Mexico since Pre-Colonial times.
Story goes, that for centuries, a woman could find a mate in many Mexican regions if she was able to make a good and considerable amount of foam when making hot chocolate. Otherwise, suitors would not turn their heads to her direction regardless of any other virtue. What’s more, it was the mother of the groom to be, who judged how good the foam was.
As we returned from our 10 day vacation to Mexico this December and walked out of the Dulles airport, I felt my bones freeze. Say what? I told my husband, I think I am turning around and catching the next flight back to Mexico. Now we are home, with the heating so high it seems we moved to the Equator.