Cheese & Dairy

Pellizcadas

Pellizcadas
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5 from 4 votes

Pellizcadas

Pellizcadas recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 10, Episode 7 “Getting to the Roots”
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Antojos
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cotija cheese, masa, queso fresco, refried beans
Servings: 18 pellizcadas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (231g) masa harina
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 2/3 cups warm water plus more as needed
  • Oléico safflower oil

Toppings:

Instructions

To make the dough:

  • In a large, shallow mixing bowl, combine the masa harina and salt. Gradually add the warm water, stirring with your hands, to make a cohesive dough.
  • Mix and knead the dough with your hands in the bowl until it’s smooth and somewhat firm, about a minute or so. If the dough is sticking to your hands and feels wet, add more masa harina a teaspoon at a time. If the dough crumbles when you roll a piece into a ball, add more water a teaspoon at a time.
  • Cut the side seams of a quart-sized zip-top bag or plastic produce bag so that it opens flat along the bottom seam and then cut along the bottom seam to make two pieces of plastic. You can reuse this bag every time you make pellizcadas, sopes or tortillas. Set aside.
  • Divide the dough evenly into 18 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a clean work surface and cover them with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel to keep them moist.
  • Preheat a comal, cast iron skillet, nonstick pan, or a griddle, over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until evenly hot.

To press the pellizcadas:

  • Working with one ball of dough at a time, sandwich it in between the plastic bag pieces on the bottom plate of a tortilla press. There should be a piece of plastic under the ball and another piece of plastic on top of the ball. Gently close the tortilla press until the dough is about 1/4” thick and about 3” to 4” in diameter. You may need to press it a couple times to get the desired thinness.

To cook pellizcadas:

  • Peel the top layer of plastic away from the pellizcada. Remove the pellizcada along with the bottom layer of plastic and place it in your palm with the plastic side up. Peel away the plastic and quickly, but gently, lay the pellizcada on the preheated pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until opaque and speckled, and they can easily be flipped without sticking to the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and place it on a flat surface or cutting board. At this point, it will not be cooked all the way through. Using a kitchen towel or cloth napkin to protect your fingers from the heat, press and gently pinch a rim around the edge of the pellizcada; the masa should still be soft enough to do this.
  • When finished forming all the pellizcadas, add oil to the comal or skillet, or brush each pellizcada with oil, and cook for one minute more on each side or until it’s cooked through and freckled with brown spots.
  • To serve immediately, remove pellizcadas from the heat and top each with a tablespoon of warm refried beans, some chicharrón en salsa, crumbled cheese, and chopped onion.
  • To serve later, wrap pellizcadas in a clean kitchen towel, seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for longer storage. Reheat on a hot surface (comal, pan, or griddle) for a few minutes before serving. If desired, reheat in a bit of oil to crisp up the outside of the pellizcada.

Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja

chile relleno rice
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3.67 from 6 votes

Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja

Chile Relleno Rice with Salsa Roja recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 10, Episode 6 “Tradition and Innovation”
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile, Mahatma Rice, Oaxaca cheese, Poblano, Tomato
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the chiles rellenos:

  • 6 to 8 poblano chiles about 2 pounds
  • 3 to 4 cups grated melty cheese such as Oaxaca Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Muenster

For the rice:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups Mahatma® Rice jasmine white rice
  • 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth homemade or store-bought
  • teaspoons kosher salt or to taste

For the salsa roja:

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1-inch thick slice of a large white onion outer skin peeled off (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 chile de árbol optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth homemade or store-bought

Instructions

Make and assemble the chiles rellenos:

  • Place the chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly over the open flame. I prefer to broil them. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, while the flesh must be cooked but not burnt. Place them immediately in a plastic bag, close it tightly, and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Lastly, under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin, which should come right off. Make a slit down one side of the chile and remove the cluster of seeds and veins. Once cleaned, pat them dry.
  • Stuff each of the poblano chiles with about 1/2 cup grated cheese, or as much as will fit allowing them to close. You may seal with a toothpick.

Prepare the rice:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring softly for 2 to 3 minutes. Incorporate the onion and stir, from time to time, until the rice begins to change to a milky-white color and feels and feels heavier, as if it were grains of sand; about 3 to 4 more minutes. Pour in 4 cups of broth and salt.
  • When it comes to a rolling boil, place the chiles rellenos into the pot. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cook until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the rice grains don’t seem soft and cooked through, add a bit more chicken broth or water and let it cook for another 5 more minutes or so. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the salsa roja:

  • Place the tomatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are completely smooth, cooked and mushy.
  • Place tomatoes and garlic in a blender along with the onion, chile de árbol if using, salt, and pepper, and puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, pour in the tomato sauce, cover with a lid partially and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring here and there. Add the chicken broth, stir and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes, until well seasoned and lightly thickened.

To serve:

  • Spoon some rice on a plate and place a chile relleno on top. Cover with salsa roja.

Notes

Arroz con Chile Relleno y Salsa Roja

Mosaic Jell-O

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4.5 from 6 votes

Mosaic Jell-O

Fany Gerson’s Mosaic Jell-O recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 10, Episode 5 “Escaramuza”
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: berries, evaporated milk, pineapple, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Vainilla
Servings: 2 large bundt mold portions
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For each fruit flavored Jell-O (you’ll want to make 3 flavors):

  • 1/3 cup cool water
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen fruit such as mango, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, passion fruit, peeled and/or roughly chopped as necessary
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt

For the milk gelatin:

  • 4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water
  • cups milk
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

To make the fruit flavored Jell-Os:

  • Place the water in a wide, shallow bowl, and evenly sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it. Let bloom for a few minutes.
  • In a large pot, combine the fruit, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit breaks down and releases its juices, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Strain the juice through a fine mesh strainer. Measure the juice – you should have about 2 cups of liquid. If you have less, add enough water to have at least 2 cups. Take the temperature of the liquid to make sure it’s not above 212°F.
  • Melt the gelatin in the microwave or over a double boiler being careful that it doesn’t boil. Stir the melted gelatin into the fruit juice liquid, and pour the liquid into heat resistant containers that hold at least two cups of liquid.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator and let the gelatin set until fully chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Repeat this same process to make all three flavors of Jell-O.
  • Once the fruit gelatins are set, using a small knife, cut each fruit flavor into squares, triangles, or rectangles, or a combination (this is a matter of preference). Carefully scoop the cubes out into a container and set aside in the fridge.

To make the milk gelatin:

  • Pour the gelatin powder into a bowl. Mix in 1 cup of cold water. Stir quickly with a fork or whisk until dissolved and allow to sit for 10 minutes until set.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, add the milk and bring to a boil. Once the milk starts to simmer, turn off and remove from heat. Stir in the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt to combine.
  • Once the gelatin has set, microwave it on high for 30 to 40 seconds (or heat in double boiler) until it becomes liquid form but be careful that it doesn’t boil. When ready, pour the gelatin into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  • Get your preferred mold ready. You can use something like a bundt pan or glasses if you want individual portions. Pour in a little bit of milk/gelatin mixture. Add some of the cut up fruit gelatin and pour in more milk-gelatin mixture. Continue layering until you fill the pan. You may have just a little of the milk leftover depending on the size of your pan. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Once the gelatin has set and you are ready to unmold, you can dip the mold into warm water for about 10 seconds, then use a paring knife or small spatula to release one edge of the Jell-O from the mold. This action combined with the heat usually causes the gelatin to slip right out. You can have it unmolded and refrigerated until you are ready to enjoy.

Notes

Recipe courtesy Fany Gerson

Birriadillas

Birriadillas
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Birriadillas

Birriadillas recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 10, Episode 5 “Escaramuza”
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Antojos, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Ancho, corn tortillas, Guajillo, lamb, lime
Servings: 2 birriadillas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat a large non-stick sauté pan or comal over medium heat. Add two tortillas and top with shredded cheese and a generous scoop of shredded birria. Cover with the remaining two tortillas.
  • Heat until the tortillas on the bottom become lightly toasted and cheese starts melting. With the help of a spatula, flip to the other side and let it heat and crisp a bit. I like to wait until the cheese oozes out, browns and crisps a little! Transfer to a plate and slice in half or quarters. Serve with salsita tapatía or salsa of your choice.

Jericalla de Cajeta

Jericalla de Cajeta
Print Recipe
4.17 from 6 votes

Jericalla de Cajeta

Jericalla de Cajeta recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 10, Episode 3 “Jalisco Classics”
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cajeta, Dulce de Leche, Eggs
Servings: 8 individual custards
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cajeta or dulce de leche
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Place the milk, vanilla extract and cajeta in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring. Remove from the heat and let it sit until it cools down.
  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork or whisk, until pale yellow and thick, about a minute. Add the cooled milk a ladle at a time, incorporating with the fork or whisk.
  • Pour the mixture into the individual ramekins, dividing evenly among all. Place in a baking dish or roasting pan and create a water bath by pouring enough boiling water to reach halfway up the ramekins. Carefully place into the oven. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the custard has begun to set and the top has created an evident thick layer. It will still look jiggly in the center.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the top of each jericalla with sugar. Set oven to broil, return pan with ramekins to broil for 30 seconds or until sugar has melted and browned. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly and remove the ramekins from the water bath.
  • The jericalla should be creamy and smooth, but more runny than a pudding. Let cool and chill in the fridge before serving. It will continue to set as it chills.

Three-Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Three-Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Three-Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

These enchiladas are typical of northern Mexico and use the region’s go-to red salsa, as well as three cheeses and crema.
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cheese, chicken, enchiladas
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 16 corn tortillas homemade or store-bought
  • Double recipe Colorado Chile Salsa
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 2 cups grated Oaxaca cheese or mozzarella (8 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated asadero or Muenster, or Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese or grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (4 ounces) 
  • 1 ripe avocado halved, pitted, and sliced, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉, with a rack in the middle. Heat a comal or large skillet over medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes.
  • One or two at a time, heat the tortillas on the comal or skillet, without overlapping, for about a minute per side, until malleable and warm. Cover or wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm.
  • Pour about 1 cup of the salsa into a 9-x-13-inch baking dish and spread it evenly over the bottom. One by one, place each tortilla on a cutting board and sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the chicken evenly down the middle. Roll up into a chubby soft taco and place seam down in the baking dish. Pour the remaining salsa over the enchiladas and top with the cream. Cover with the grated cheeses and sprinkle the Cotija, Romano, or Parmesan over the top.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and begun to lightly brown around the edges. Serve hot.

Notes

Enchiladas de Pollo con Tres Quesos

Asparagus Mushroom & Goat Cheese Enchiladas with Pine Nut Mole Sauce

Print Recipe
4.67 from 6 votes

Asparagus Mushroom & Goat Cheese Enchiladas with Pine Nut Mole Sauce

The tortillas are dipped into the luscious mole and wrapped around the filling of seared mushrooms and crisp-tender asparagus seasoned with orange zest and thyme, and goat cheese, which melts when the enchiladas are topped with the hot mole sauce. When you have vegetarians coming over for dinner, this dish is a must.
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: enchiladas, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the Pine Nut Mole:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 2 ancho chiles stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped or broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon packed brown sugar or to taste

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound white button or baby bella (cremini) mushrooms cleaned and diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound asparagus tough ends removed, peeled from just below the tips tothe bottom, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 6 ounces goat cheese cut into chunks (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted, for garnish

Instructions

To make the mole:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until completely softened.Stir in the pine nuts and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant and changes color and the pine nuts are light brown and smell toasty. Raise the heat to medium- high, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and break down, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the ancho chiles, orange juice, broth, salt, and brown sugar and bring to a simmer.Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chiles have rehydrated and plumped up and the sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes more.
  • Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and let cool for a few minutes, then puree, in batches if necessary, until completely smooth.
  • Rinse out and dry the pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and heat over medium heat. Add the pine nut mole, cover partially, and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has darkened and thickened a bit more. Cover and set aside.

To make the filling:

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and let them sear and brown, without stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan and add the butter to the middle. When the butter begins to foam, add the asparagus, thyme, orange zest, salt, and pepper to taste, stir together with the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To assemble:

  • Heat and lightly toast the tortillas on a hot comal or skillet.
  • Dip a tortilla in the mole, place it on a plate, and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mushroom and asparagus mixture and a tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese. Roll up into a chubby enchilada and place seam side down on a serving platter. Continue with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  • Reheat the sauce if necessary. Spoon a generous amount of sauce on top of the enchiladas (use it all if you wish), garnish with the chives and toasted pine nuts, and serve.

Notes

Enchiladas de Espárragos, Cahmiñones y Queso de Cabra con Mole de Piñón

Sonora Cheese Soup

Sonora Cheese Soup
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4.8 from 5 votes

Sonora Cheese Soup

Sonora Cheese Soup recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 9, Episode 9 "Cooking for my Crew in Sonora"
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: anaheim chiles, caldo, cheese, chicken broth, Mexico, pati’s mexican table, pay de queso, poblanos, queso, queso fresco, Sonora, Sonoran, sopa, soup
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds potatoes about 4 medium, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 1 ripe medium-sized tomato cored and diced without discarding seeds and juices
  • 4 fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles about 1 pound, charred or roasted, sweated, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound queso regional fresco de Sonora or queso fresco

Instructions

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot. When hot, add the potatoes and onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato, prepared Anaheim or poblano chiles, and salt, and cook until the ingredients are softened, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  • Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely tender and the broth has thickened a bit. Taste and adjust salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, slowly add the milk and bring back to a gentle simmer. Gradually crumble the cheese into the simmering soup and stir until cheese is completely melted – or serve in bowls with cubes of the cheese in the bowls adding the soup on top. Taste again for salt and serve hot.

Notes

Caldo de Queso

Cheese Chile Relleno

cheese chile relleno recipe
Print Recipe
4.25 from 4 votes

Cheese Chile Relleno

Cheese Chile Relleno recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 9, Episode 1 "Tucson: Gateway to Sonora"
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: anaheim chiles, cheese, chile, chiles rellenos, chili, chilli, queso, queso Oaxaca, relleno, stuffed, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 to 10 chiles rellenos
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 fresh anaheim chiles about 3 pounds
  • 3 cups shredded queso Oaxaca or asadero, quesadilla or melty cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs separated
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For serving:

Instructions

First, prepare the chiles for stuffing:

  • Roast or char the Anaheim chiles by either placing them on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly over the open flame. I prefer to broil them because you can do more at one time, and it just seems faster and easier. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, and the flesh must be cooked but not burnt.
  • Once charred and hot, place the chiles in a plastic bag, close it tightly, and let them sweat for at least 10 minutes. Lastly, under a thin stream of cold water, or using a bowl of water, remove the charred skin, which should come right off. Make a slit down one side of the chile and remove the cluster of seeds and veins.

Second, stuff your chiles:

  • Stuff each chile with about 1/3 cup cheese or as much as will fit allowing them to close. You may seal with a toothpick.
  • Place 1/2 cup all purpose flour on a plate, roll the stuffed chiles in the flour, and let them sit. The flour coating will help the batter coat and stay on the chiles later on.

Third, prepare your batter:

  • In a mixer, beat the egg whites until they can hold stiff peaks. Gently, over low speed, fold in the egg yolks and only beat enough to incorporate them, a few seconds.

Fourth, batter and fry the chiles:

  • In a large casserole, heat about 1/2” depth of oil, over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, test the oil by dipping in a piece of tortilla or bread — if there are active and happy bubbles all around it, the oil is ready. If and when oil is ready, dip each of the stuffed and floured chiles into the egg batter, making sure that they are entirely covered in batter. Gently place them in the hot oil, trying to keep the side that was open or sealed with the toothpick facing up. Spoon some of the hot oil on top, so that it will seal the chile. Make as many as will fit in the casserole without overcrowding them. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Make sure you flip them gently with a slotted spoon. Once ready, place on a paper covered drying rack or platter.
  • (Note: If you are going to eat later, you may warm up the chiles in a baking dish in a 300℉ oven for 10 minutes.)
  • To make tacos, place the chiles rellenos in flour tortillas and top with shredded cabbage, colorado chile salsa, Mexican crema, and crumbled queso Cotija or queso fresco.

Notes

Chile Relleno de Queso

My Favorite Queso Fundido paired with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila

Jaw-dropping. As soon as you set it on a table it will fly off. Guaranteed. Especially if I am around!

Queso fundido is the epitome of an antojo. What we Mexicans call a food craving that can be eaten anytime of day as a quick snack, or a full meal if eaten in a big enough amount. Antojo literally translates to craving, and I don’t know a single Mexican that doesn’t drool over the thought of a queso fundido.

Queso fundido is not a cheese dip. Queso fundido is not a cheese sauce. Queso fundido is the real deal. It is real cheese. Tons of it. You throw a combination of deliciously flavorful melty cheeses onto a baking dish or a traditional earthenware cazuela. Then place it on a heat source — it can be on a burner, in the oven, under the broiler — until the cheese not only melts, but becomes super bubbly on top and starts making a crust all around the edges.

Wait. Then come the toppings. The most typical and popular toppings in restaurants in Mexico City, where I grew up, are poblano rajas, chorizo and mushrooms. They are separate offerings, so you choose if you want your queso with chorizo or with rajas or mushrooms. Different restaurants have their variations, for example, it can be rajas with caramelized onions, different kinds of chorizo, cultivated or wild mushrooms cooked with epazote or dried chiles, to name some.

When I make queso at home, I like to make a combo of my favorite toppings. No one can stop me and no one should stop you! My take combines caramelized onions and poblano chiles, throws in a bit of seeded and diced tomato for an added juicy bite and tons of crisp chunks of flavorful chorizo.

Most people I know like their queso fundido on flour tortillas. But it is you and your guests’ choice if they want corn tortillas, too. If you have some some salsas and guacamole, place them on the table for optional add ons.

Whichever way, have your Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila out to chase your queso fundido tacos and to wash down that queso fundido. I like to serve it neat or on the rocks as it has such a smooth taste.

Once everything is on the table, all bets are off. Run for it, if you want a chance to make a queso fundido taco before it disappears.

Poblano Rajas Chorizo Queso Fundido

poblano rajas chorizo queso fundido
Print Recipe
3.86 from 7 votes

Poblano Rajas and Chorizo Queso Fundido

The popular Mexican antojo, or craving, Queso Fundido topped with chorizo, onion, poblano rajas, and tomato. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Antojo, Chorizo, Queso Fundido
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus more to grease the baking dish
  • 1/3 pound Mexican chorizo casings removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 white onion halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 poblano chile roasted, sweated, peeled, cut into strips
  • 1 ripe Roma tomato cored, seeded, cut into small dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1 pound (or 4 cups) combination of shredded Mexican-style melty cheeses such as Asadero, quesadilla and Oaxaca (can sub with mozzarella, Muenster and Monterey Jack)
  • 8 to 10 flour or corn tortillas
  • 1 ripe avocado sliced
  • Serve with salsa of your choice optional
  • Pair with Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila neat or on the rocks

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chorizo, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces with a couple of spatulas or wooden spoons until crisp and brown. Remove from the heat and scrape into a bowl.
  • Set a rack on upper third tier of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat, add the butter and once it melts, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan, for 6 to 7 minutes, until they have wilted and begun to brown around the edges. Add the poblano pepper strips, tomato, and salt, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
  • Place shredded cheese in a gently oiled shallow baking dish that can comfortably hold it. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until completely melted. Remove from the oven. Top with the crispy chorizo and poblano rajas mixture. Place back in the oven and bake for another 7 to 8 minutes, until cheese is oozing and browned along the edges and part of the top.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a comal or large skillet over medium-low heat. Heat the tortillas, making sure they are not on top of each other, until completely warmed, puffed and slightly browned. Place in a tortilla warmer or wrap in a clean cloth or kitchen towel.
  • Remove the queso from the oven and place on the table along with the warm tortillas, ripe avocado slices, and salsa of choice, if desired. Let everyone assemble their tacos!

Notes

Queso Fundido

Jalapeño Garlic Cheesy Bread

Jalapeño and Garlic Cheesy Bread
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Jalapeño Garlic Cheesy Bread

Jalapeño Garlic Cheesy Bread from Pati’s Mexican Table Season 7, Episode 6 "Loreto: Baja’s Hidden Gem"
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: garlic bread, jalapeno, pati's mexican table
Servings: 4 to 5 Servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup crumbled cojita cheese
  • 1 cup Oaxaca cheese shredded
  • 1 cup muenster cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Cut slits three-quarters of the way through a baguette about 1-inch apart, making sure not to cut all the way through the baguette.
  • In a bowl, mix together the butter, jalapeno, garlic and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheeses. Spread a little of the butter mixture into each of the slits, and press the cheese mixture into the slits, using all the cheese and butter and filling all the slits.
  • Put the baguette onto the baking sheet lined with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the baguette is golden brown.

Notes

Pan de Ajo con Jalapeños y Queso

Story Goes… Governor Shrimp Tacos

The story goes, governor shrimp tacos, or tacos gobernador de camarón, were created in the state of Sinaloa in the early 1990s to surprise governor Francisco Labastida Ochoa, after he told a few friends how much he loved his wife’s shrimp tacos. That bit of information was passed on to the owners of Los Arcos in Mazatlán restaurant, before he headed there to visit.

The chef was given the quest not only try to match the governor’s wife’s tacos, which no one besides the governor had tried, but to beat them. So quite a few taco recipes were developed and tested. When the governor showed up to eat, he liked them so much he named them “tacos gobernador.”

Now, I do not know if that story is entirely true. But, what I do know is, these tacos became so popular you no longer only find them at Los Arcos in Mazatlán. They are all over Sinaloa and beyond. I had them as far away as Los Angeles and Miami.  Yet, I saw the most renditions on the 800 mile drive throughout the entire Baja Peninsula.

I felt more than obliged to offer my take on tacos gobernador, since my travels in Baja are featured on “Pati’s Mexican Table” in my new season premiering in a few weeks (you can watch the trailer here). And I am thrilled to share my recipe with you, as we all love these tacos in my home!

So what’s in tacos gobernador? First, a combination of shrimp and cheese makes them a cross between a taco and a quesadilla. A ton of cheese is really essential.

Second, cooked onion that is often accompanied by other vegetables, typically bell peppers and sometimes poblano chiles. If you ask me what I prefer, hands down, not even a second of hesitation, poblano chiles. I absolutely adore them. I feel lukewarm about green bell peppers to put it mildly. So my take has a combination of slivered onions and poblanos with just a bit of tomato.

Third, the seasonings. Some renditions have no sauce, only salt and pepper. Some have a simple to a more seasoned tomato sauce. I go for a seasoned, very thick sauce that is almost a paste, really. It combines tomato paste, La Costeña chipotles in adobo and the W sauce — Worcestershire — or as we call it in Mexico “salsa inglesa.”

Lastly, you can opt for corn or flour tortillas. There are no strict guidelines here, different from other kinds of tacos.

There are so many reasons why I like these tacos so much. They end up being a complete meal, they are so easy to prepare, they are irresistibly delicious and messy, the cheese creates an inviting crust as it melts… and they have a great story behind them. I do love a good story.

Governor Shrimp Tacos
Print Recipe
4.2 from 5 votes

Governor Shrimp Tacos

Governor Shrimp Tacos recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 7, Episode 1 "Tijuana’s Culinary Revolution" 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Antojo, Mexican, pati’s mexican table, Shrimp, Sinaloa, Taco
Servings: 6 Tacos
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 white onion slivered
  • 2 poblano chiles stemmed, seeded, slivered
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 ripe Roma tomatoes cored, seeded, slivered
  • 3 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 11-15) shelled large shrimp cut into large chunks
  • 3 cups shredded Oaxaca, mozzarella, asadero or Muenster cheese
  • 6 to 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • Sliced avocado for garnish
  • 1 Chile Manzano sliced and mixed with the juice of a lime, 1/4 red onion and salt to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Once it melts and begins to bubble, add the onion and poblano and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Incorporate the tomatoes, cook for a minute, and as they begin to soften, add the sauce from the chipotles in adobo, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well, cook for another minute, then add the shrimp and cook just until they change color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and scrape into a bowl to prevent the shrimp from overcooking.
  • On a preheated comal set over low heat, heat the tortillas on both sides for a minute. Add about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese onto each one. Once the cheese begins to melt, add a generous amount of the shrimp mixture, fold in half and continue heating until cheese has completely melted and the tortillas have begun to lightly brown and create a crust.
  • Serve with sliced avocado and Manzano chiles and onion.

Video

Notes

Tacos Gobernador de Camarón

Cotija Cheese

Cotija cheese is a salty, slightly acidic, cow’s milk cheese with a strong personality. Named after the city of Cotija in the state of Michoacán, it has been produced in the region for over 400 years. Traditionally, after the dairy cows grazed in the mountain pastures throughout Jalisco and Michoacán during the rainy season, the cheesemakers would bring down their cheese to be aged in Cotija for at least two months.

Cotija is a hard, dry, aged, and mature pressed cheese with a grainy texture that crumbles easily. It has a high salt content, so it isn’t really a cheese you want to take a big bite out of or have on a cheese platter. But it is perfect for adding a tangy and salty finish to a dish, be it savory or sweet. Grate some Cotija over tacos, enchiladas, corn, salads, and more to add lots of savory flavor.

Even though the real Cotija cheese has a collective brand recognition, Cotija producers haven’t been able to have it get the desired and prestigious denomination of origin. Although it is very prided locally, it is also known all over Mexico and increasingly abroad. Its availability in the US is pretty recent, maybe not even a decade.

You can usually find Cotija as a square or round block, cut into pieces, or already grated or crumbled at your local market, like in the photo above. You can think of Cotija as a Mexican version of parmesan.

Chipotle Goat Cheese Spread

Pati Jinich chipotle goat cheese spread
Print Recipe
4.88 from 8 votes

Chipotle Goat Cheese Spread

Chipotle Goat Cheese Spread recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 6, Episode 13 "More Than Just a Meal" 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chipotles in adobo, goat cheese, pati's mexican table, sundried tomatoes, walnuts
Servings: 1 generous cup
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes packed in oil coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely softened and caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the onions into the bowl of a food processor.
  • Place the skillet back over low heat, add the walnuts and let them toast, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the walnuts to the food processor along with the chipotle chiles, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator.

Notes

Dip de Queso de Cabra con Chipotle

Blackberry Cheesecake

During the summer months, which is the rainy season, gigantic blackberries take over the culinary stage in the town of Valle de Bravo, Mexico. They can be the size of a plum, bursting with wine colored juice that is at once sweet and tart and addicting. Literally every morning, women come down from the mountains and valleys to the town’s market with buckets of these fresh picked gems. Of course, they sell out in a matter of minutes.

What to do with them? Oh first of all, eat them by the handfuls straight from the buckets. Just like that. Or puree them raw, maybe with a bit of mint and pour them over vanilla ice cream or pound cake. Or you can eat it like a cold soup! But one of my favorite things is to use them as a topping for cheesecake.

Blackberry cheesecake is definitely a thing Mexican kitchens have been doing for a while. Yes, we have chocolate cheesecake, cajeta cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake… but what is considered the traditional topping in Valle de Bravo is a kind of blackberry jam.

Here I am trying to replicate my favorite ones from Valle de Bravo, as Juju and I just went blackberry picking a few days ago.

Blackberry picking with my youngest boy, Juju… He was showing me how to do Instagram Stories as he is much more tech-savvy than me. You can view our stories on my Instagram.

There are three parts to this dessert – all super simple to make. But each one needs to be just right, so here are my notes on that.

For the crust: After the crumbled crackers are mixed with the melted butter and dash of cinnamon, they need to be applied with pressure to the bottom of the mold creating a somewhat even bottom crust with a gentle rim going up the side. And it is absolutely necessary for the crust to set and chill before the cheesecake mixture is added. If not, the crust will not stand tall underneath it, and it will lose presence.

For the filling: I like it rich and super moist. For me, that means adding sour cream, which also gives it a refreshing tang, and cottage cheese, which adds a gentle saltiness. With this kind of mixture, it is important to not over bake. As your timer kicks the 55-minute mark, stand at the ready to take it out. It should look puffed up and gently browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out just moist, but not with any of the filling covering it.

For the topping: I like to add unflavored gelatin to help it set. This creates a defined layer that will not run all over the place. After the blackberry mixture has boiled, and it has been mashed and the gelatin added, let it cool just to room temperature and then pour onto the cheesecake and chill. You don’t want the blackberry topping to begin to set in the saucepan.

Of course you can make the cheesecake with many other toppings, but before you consider that, give this one a try.

Pati Jinich blackberry cheesecake

Print Recipe
3.34 from 3 votes

Blackberry Cheesecake

One of my favorite things to do with blackberries is to use them as a topping for cheesecake. Blackberry cheesecake is definitely a thing Mexican kitchens have been doing for a while. Yes, we have chocolate cheesecake, cajeta cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake… but what is considered the traditional topping in Valle de Bravo is a kind of blackberry jam.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: blackberry, cheesecake, graham cracker
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled graham crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground true cinnamon or canela

Filling:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 12 ounces) cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 12 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 12 ounces) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt

Blackberry Topping:

  • 4 cups ripe blackberries
  • Juice of a lime (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope (about 1 tablespoon) of unflavored gelatin

Instructions

For the crust:

  • In a bowl, combine the melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon.
  • Scrape onto a ring mold pan. Press around with your hands or the back of a tablespoon to make the bottom crust as even as you can, and push on the sides, to give the crust a short gentle border of about 1/2-inch in height. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and set the rack in the middle.

For the filling:

  • In the jar of a blender, add the eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream. Process until smooth, Incorporate the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, cornstarch and salt, and puree again until fully incorporated.
  • Remove the crust from the refrigerator, pour the mix from the blender on top, jiggle a few times for it to spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake anywhere from 55 minutes to an hour until set. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out just moist, but not with any of the filling covering it.
  • Remove from the oven. The cheesecake will be very puffed up. As you take it out of the oven it will settle and deflate a little, and cracks may appear on its surface, which is totally normal. Set aside and let cool.

For the topping:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the blackberries, lime juice and sugar and set over high heat. Once it comes to a full boil, stir and let it continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes while mashing with a potato masher or mallet.
  • Remove from the heat, add the contents from one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Stir well until fully dissolved and let cool until lukewarm or at room temperature.

To assemble:

  • Pour the cooled blackberry mixture onto the cooled cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours so that the cheesecake chills and the blackberry topping sets.
  • Remove cheesecake from the refrigerator. Have a cup with lukewarm water and wet a normal dinner or butter knife. Run it around the edge of the mold all the way around and going down to the bottom. Release the mold and serve. Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator.

Notes

Pay de Queso con Zarzamora

Chiles Rellenos

chile rellenos pati jinich
Print Recipe
4.17 from 6 votes

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 11 "Family Favorites"
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, cheese, chiles rellenos, chilis, chillis, fried, poblanos, stuffed
Servings: 6 to 8 chiles rellenos
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 poblano chiles (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 batch red sauce or salsa roja
  • 3 to 4 cups grated melty cheese such as Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, mozzarella or Muenster
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

To prepare the poblano chiles:

  • Place chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly over the open flame. I prefer to broil them. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, while the flesh must be cooked but not burnt. Place them immediately in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Lastly, under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin, which should come right off. Make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins. Once cleaned, pat them dry.
  • Stuff each of the poblano chiles with about 1/2 cup grated cheese, or as much as will fit, allowing them to close. You may seal with a toothpick. Place 1/2 cup flour on a plate, roll the stuffed chiles in the flour and let them sit. The flour coating will help the batter coat and stay on the chiles.

To prepare the batter:

  • In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Gently, on low speed, fold in the egg yolks and only beat enough so that they are incorporated, a few seconds.

To cook the chiles:

  • In a large casserole, heat about 1/2-inch of oil over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, test the oil, by dipping a teaspoon of batter into the oil; if there are active bubbles all around it, it’s ready. Dip each of the stuffed and floured chiles into the egg batter, making sure that they are entirely covered in batter.
  • In batches, place them in the hot oil without overcrowding, trying to have the side that was open or sealed with the toothpick facing up. Spoon some of the hot oil on top, so that it will seal the chile. Fry for about 2 minutes per side, flipping genly with a slotted spoon, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel covered drying rack or platter.

To serve:

  • Heat the salsa roja. Serve the chiles with a generous amount of salsa roja spooned on top. Alternatively, you can place the chiles in a casserole and top with the heated salsa roja. Eat while hot and melty!

Grandma Lali’s Floating Islands

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Grandma Lali’s Floating Islands

Grandma Lali’s Floating Islands recipe from Pati's Mexican Table, Season 1, Episode 12 "Vanilla"
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: almond extract, Caramel, custard, floating islands, Meringue, mexican vanilla, pati's mexican table
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the floating islands:

  • 12 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

For the caramel:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

For the vanilla sauce:

  • 3 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-inch piece of vanilla bean
  • 10 strawberries, sliced optional for garnish, or any other fruit of your choice

Instructions

To make the caramel:

  • Place sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until the sugar melts, moving the pan so it will not burn, until it has a caramel consistency. Turn off the heat and pour the caramel quickly into individual flan or custard molds as you tilt them, so the caramel covers the bottom of each mold. The caramel will quickly cool and set.

To make the floating islands:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Place egg whites in a mixer with the salt and cream of tarter and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Add in the extracts and the sugar and mix until combined. Then top each of the molds with the egg white mixture.
  • Place molds in a large baking pan. Pour about an inch of boiling water into the pan to create a water bath. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. The top of the islands will look browned and crispy. Turn the oven off, open the door oven slightly and let the islands cool inside of the oven for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven.

To make the vanilla sauce:

  • In a saucepan, lightly beat the egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of all purpose flour.
  • In another saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean (make a slit on its side and free the seeds into the milk). Let it heat until very hot but not boiling. Slowly, in a very thin stream, add the hot milk into the yolk mixture, emulsifying with a whisk until it is all incorporated. Place over low heat and stir until the sauce almost reaches a boil, and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Turn the heat off and keep on whisking slowly, for about a minute or so. The sauce can be served hot, warm or cold. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month once cooled.
  • Once the molds have cooled to room temperature, you can unmold them. Use a knife to go around the edge of the molds and carefully turn them onto a plate. Drizzle the caramel from the bottom of the molds on top of the islands. Add a couple tablespoons of the vanilla sauce on top. You may garnish with strawberries or any other fruit of your liking.
  • Islands can be refrigerated in their molds, covered, for up to 4 days.

Notes

Islas Flotantes de Vainilla de mi Abuela Lali

Refried Bean and Cheese Chimichangas

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Refried Bean and Cheese Chimichangas

Refried Bean and Cheese Chimichangas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 8 “Mexican Brunch”
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time33 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Brunch, Chihuahua cheese, flour tortillas, jalapeno, Mexican Manchego, Monterrey Jack cheese, onion, pati's mexican table, refried beans, serrano chiles
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil divided
  • 1/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile seeded and chopped (more or less to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups Mexican Manchego Chihuahua, Monterey jack or light chedder, shredded
  • 12 Flour tortillas medium size
  • salsa of your choice

Instructions

  • Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a medium sized skillet set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and let it cook 4 to 5 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the chile, give it a couple stirs and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 15 to 30 seconds more. Incorporate refried beans along with 1/4 cup water and mix well. Let it cook and season for a couple minutes as you mash it all together. Turn off the heat.
  • In a comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, heat flour tortillas one at a time, about 15 seconds on each side, to soften so they won’t break when folded. Add about 2 heaping tablespoons each of refried beans and cheese near the edge of the tortilla, one at a time. Begin rolling as if making a chubby taco, after the first fold, tuck in both edges of the tortilla, continuing to roll to make a thick bundle. Flatten a bit with your hand.
  • Reheat remaining oil in the same saute pan or comal, over medium-low heat. Place chimichangas in batches and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until they achieve a lightly browned crust on both sides. You may also use more oil and deep-fry them over medium heat for less time, but I like the first option more…
  • Serve along the side of the Rabo de Mestiza eggs and spoon some of its sauce on top, or serve with the salsa of your choice.

Notes

Chimichangas de Frijoles con Queso

Salsa Verde with Avocado and Queso Fresco

salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Salsa Verde with Avocado and Queso Fresco

Salsa Verde with Avocado and Queso Fresco recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 4 “Tomatillos”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, cilantro, corn tortillas, feta, garlic, queso fresco, Salsa, salsa verde, serrano chiles, tomatillos, tortilla chips
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 lb tomatillos husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 or 2 chiles serranos can adjust for desired spiciness level
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp white onion roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 lb queso fresco diced or can use farmer’s cheese or mild feta instead
  • 1 ripe Mexican avocado halved, pitted and sliced or cut into chunks
  • Warm corn tortillas or tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Place tomatillos in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos are soft and mushy, but not coming apart, about 10 minutes.
  • Place the tomatillos, garlic, chiles serranos (add one by one to taste for spiciness desired and adjust the heat as you go), cilantro, onion and salt in the blender. Blend until smooth. You may also mash it all up in a molcajete.
  • Serve in a bowl or molcajete, along with the queso fresco and avocado slices. Offer warm corn tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.
  • This salsa may be used to spoon on top of thousands of things; including tacos, quesadillas, eggs in the morning, or grilled meats.

Notes

Salsa Verde con Aguacate y Queso Fresco

Oaxaca-style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas

Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Oaxaca-style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas

Oaxaca-style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 1 “Quesadillas”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: corn tortillas, epazote, jalapeno, Monterrey Jack cheese, mozzarella, Muenster cheese, Mushroom, Oaxaca cheese, onion, pati's mexican table, Quesadilla, serrano chiles
Servings: 12 quesadillas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp safflower or corn oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 chile serrano or jalapeño, finely chopped (seeding optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 lb fresh mushrooms white or baby bello or any that you prefer, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh epazote leaves chopped, optional
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 1 cup Oaxaca cheese shredded (also good with mozzarella, muenster or monterey jack)
  • Corn tortillas store bought or homemade
  • Salsa of your choice

Instructions

  • Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan, set over medium-high heat. When butter starts to sizzle, add white onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the serrano chile and chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, for about a minute.
  • Incorporate the thinly sliced mushrooms and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Their juices will begin to come out and after a couple minutes they will begin to dry out. When they do, mix in the epazote leaves if using, and salt, stir and cook for another minute. The mushroom mix should be moist, not wet or too dry, which will be perfect for filling the quesadillas.
  • Heat the tortillas on a hot comal or dry skillet over medium heat for about 20 seconds. Place a tablespoon or two of the mushroom mix and a tablespoon or two of the shredded cheese (depending on how chubby you want them!) on the center of each tortilla. Fold it as if it were a turnover and press down. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until cheese is completely melted and tortillas have begun to crisp a bit on the outside.
  • Serve with a side of a salsa of your choice.

Notes

Quesadillas de Hongos con Queso Estilo Oaxaca

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 1 “Quesadillas”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, Chihuahua cheese, flour tortillas, ham, Monterrey Jack cheese, Muenster cheese, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, Quesadilla, sincronizadas, turkey
Servings: 6 sincronizadas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 12 Flour tortillas
  • safflower or corn oil optional
  • 8 oz Chihuahua Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, Muenster, or melty cheese of your choice
  • 6 to 12 thin slices ham or turkey
  • Mexican avocado slices optional
  • Salsa of your choice

Instructions

  • Heat a non-stick sauté pan or a comal over medium heat. Place a couple flour tortillas, many as will fit in the pan or comal, top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and one or two slices of ham or turkey. Cover with a second flour tortilla.
  • Heat until the flour tortillas in the bottom become lightly toasted and cheese starts melting. With the help of a spatula, flip them to the other side and let it heat and crisp a bit. I like to wait until the cheese oozes out, browns and crisps a little! Transfer to a plate and slice in half or quarters.
  • Serve with a salsa of your choice and slices of ripe avocado on the side.

Notes

Sincronizadas de Jamon con Queso

Creamy Poblano Soup

creamy poblano soup
Print Recipe
3.63 from 8 votes

Creamy Poblano Soup

Creamy Poblano Soup recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 11 “Puebla: Food From a Colonial Jewel”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken broth, Corn, onion, pati's mexican table, poblanos, queso fresco
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white onion chopped
  • 5 to 6 poblano peppers roasted, sweated, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels fresh or thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • Queso fresco, crumbled optional

Instructions

  • Place a large soup pot over medium heat; add oil and butter. Once the butter melts and begins to sizzle, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has completely softened, and the edges have begun to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Add the poblano chiles, stir and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Make some room in the middle of the pot, and add the corn, sprinkle the salt and pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes, so that the flavors have had the chance to really blend.
  • Reduce the heat to low, wait for about a minute, and gently pour in the milk. Heat the soup through, for about 6 to 8 minutes, and serve. If you make it ahead of time, and want to reheat it, do so over low-medium heat.

Notes

Crema Poblana

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

squash blossom quesadillas
Print Recipe
4.5 from 4 votes

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Squash Blossom Quesadillas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 9 "Xochimilco: Cooking with Flowers"
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Antojos, Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cheese, Chiles, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Poblano, Quesadilla, queso, squash blossom
Servings: 12 quesadillas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano chiles charred, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped
  • 12 ounces fresh squash blossoms rinsed, dried and chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 cups instant Maseca corn masa flour if making fresh masa tortillas, or substitute 1 package store-bought corn tortillas
  • 1 3/4 cups water for the masa, if making fresh masa tortillas

Instructions

To Prepare Filling:

  • Place the poblano chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly on the open flame or on a comal or skillet set over medium heat. Turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes, until they are charred and blistered all over. Transfer them to a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Working under a thin stream of cold water, peel off their skin; make a slit down the sides to remove and discard the seeds and veins, then remove and discard the stem. Cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips or squares.
  • Add butter and oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the prepared poblano chiles, then the squash blossoms and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the blossoms exude their juices and the mixture begins to dry out. Remove from the heat.

If Using Fresh Corn Masa:

  • Mix Maseca or instant corn dough masa with the water and knead for a few minutes until soft. Make 1-inch balls and flatten between plastic rounds on a tortilla press.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese and 2 tablespoons of the filling at the center of the dough disk and, leaving it on the plastic round of the tortilla press, fold it over and press to seal the edges. Repeat to form the rest of the quesadillas, using all the dough and filling.
  • In a deep and large skillet, add enough oil so that it’s at least ¾-inch deep; heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, about 3 to 4 minutes later, add a few quesadillas at a time to the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the skillet. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer, with a slotted spoon, to a paper towel-lined platter to drain. Serve hot, with the salsa of your choice.

If Using Store-Bought Tortillas:

  • If using pre-made corn tortillas, add the cheese and filling to the center of the tortilla. Place on an already hot comal, griddle or skillet, and let them cook until the cheese has melted and the tortilla has begun to lightly crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Notes

Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza

Coffee Flan with Tequila Whipped Cream

coffee flan
Print Recipe
4.34 from 6 votes

Coffee Flan with Tequila Whipped Cream

Coffee Flan with Tequila Whipped Cream recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 8 “Tequila!”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time48 mins
Total Time58 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: coffee, flan, mexican vanilla, pati's mexican table, Sweetened Condensed Milk, tequila, whipped cream
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the flan:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons white or silver tequila

Instructions

To prepare the flan:

  • In a heavy medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Quickly pour the caramelized sugar syrup into individual molds. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place all three milks, the eggs, vanilla and coffee in a blender. Mix until completely blended and smooth. Pour into the caramel-lined molds or ramekins. Set the molds into a larger baking dish or pan. Carefully pour boiling water (it is very important that the water already be very hot) into the larger holding pan up to at least half the height of the molds. Place on the middle rack of the oven.
  • Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes, or until the center comes out moist but clean. Remove the individual molds from the water bath and let them cool completely. Refrigerate the molds, covered with plastic.
  • To serve, run a thin knife around the edge of the pan between the custard and the pan. Invert the flans onto plates to unmold them. Carefully lift up the molds to allow the syrup to run over the flan.

To prepare the whipped cream:

  • Whip the cold cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. When it starts to hold peaks, add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and tequila. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks. Serve flan with a generous dollop of whipped cream; serve cold.

Notes

Flan de café con crema batida al tequila

Mexican French Toast Rolls

Mexican French toast rolls
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4 from 4 votes

Mexican French Toast Rolls

Mexican French Toast Rolls recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 7 “Family-Style Breakfast”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cajeta, cinnamon, Dulce de Leche, french toast, nutella, pati's mexican table
Servings: 8 French toast rolls
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 8 slices white or wheat sandwich bread
  • Cajeta dulce de leche, nutella, almond or peanut butter, or any preserves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Trim the crust from the bread. Flatten the slices slightly with a rolling pin. In the center of each bread slice, add about 1 teaspoon of the filling of your choice and spread.
  • Roll the bread like a cigar or a rolled taco; set aside until you finish all of the slices.
  • In a bowl mix the egg, the cup of milk, vanilla, and salt, and whisk until well combined. In another bowl, mix the sugar with the cinnamon.
  • Set a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of butter.
  • Soak the bread rolls in the milk mixture until fully coated. Add them to the hot pan, which should have the butter already melted. Cook the rolls until they’re golden brown and look fully cooked, flipping a few times as they cook to brown on all sides. Roll the fingers in the sugar and cinnamon mixture; they are ready to eat!

Notes

Dedos gitanos

Tres Leches Cake

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4.25 from 8 votes

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 6 “Fonda Favorites”
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time42 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cake, evaporated milk, mexican vanilla, milk, pati's mexican table, Sweetened Condensed Milk, tres leches, whipped cream
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 9 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13-inch pan, lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.
  • Pour the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they hold soft peaks. Slowly stir in the sugar and continue beating until they hold harder or stiffer peaks. Turn off the mixer and, with a spatula, move the egg white mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  • Rinse the mixer bowl and its whisk. Now, pour the egg yolks into the bowl and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the yolks become creamy and puffy and their color has toned down to an almost cream color rather than a loud yellow. Stir in the vanilla and continue beating for another minute.
  • Pour the egg yolk mixture onto the egg white mixture and, with a spatula, in circular motions, combine them into a homogeneous single batter. Do so gently, trying not to lose too much volume gained from beaten egg whites. Fold in the flour, scraping the bowl with the spatula so that all the flour is well mixed.
  • Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and place into the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It can be a bit moist, but not wet. The top of the cake should be tanned or golden brown.
  • Once it cools down, turn it onto a platter. Remove parchment paper, cover the top with an upside-down platter and invert again. The platter should be large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce you are about to prepare. Using a fork, or two, poke holes all over the cake so that it will better absorb the vanilla sauce.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the vanilla sauce over the cake. It may appear like too much sauce, but it will all be absorbed!
  • In the bowl of your mixer, whip up the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture holds up stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream all over the already-wet cake and place it in the refrigerator. You can decorate the cake with berries or any other topping of your choice.

Notes

Pastel de tres leches

Chunky Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

chunky chipotle mashed potatoes
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Chunky Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

Chunky Chipotle Mashed Potatoes recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 4 “Easy Comfort Food”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chipotles in adobo, pati's mexican table, potatoes, scallions
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds red potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 chile from chipotles in adobo sauce chopped, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce optional
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • To taste kosher or coarse sea salt
  • To taste freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse and quarter the potatoes. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes over medium- high heat, or until thoroughly cooked and soft. Drain.
  • In a large, heavy skillet set over medium heat, add the chunks of butter. Once it melts and begins to bubble, stir in the scallions and cook for a couple of minutes until they soften. Add the chopped chipotle chile and combine well. Add the cooked potatoes along with the milk.
  • Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, mash the potatoes roughly as you mix them with the chipotle and scallion mixture. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Notes

Puré de papa con chipotle

Cajeta Crepes with Toasted Pecans

cajeta crepes
Print Recipe
3.67 from 3 votes

Cajeta Crepes with Toasted Pecans

Cajeta Crepes with Toasted Pecans recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 3 “A French Twist on Mexico”
Prep Time1 hr 45 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cajeta, Crepes, Dulce de Leche, ice cream, pati's mexican table, pecans, rum
Servings: 10 12 9-inch crêpes
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
  • Pinch Kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Extra butter to oil the pan
  • 2 cups Cajeta or dulce de leche
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon rum optional
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped and toasted, to garnish
  • Vanilla ice cream optional

Instructions

To make the Crepes:

  • In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until it melts. Set it aside. Place flour, eggs, milk, sugar, salt and melted butter in the blender and purée until smooth, for about 10 seconds. Add water and blend again until smooth. You can also mix the ingredients by hand, following the same order.
  • Place batter in a container, cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour, up to 12 hours. Once ready to make the crêpes, whisk the batter well with a fork or a whisk.
  • Set a crêpe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Butter the bottom of the pan and ladle about ¼ cup of batter onto it. Instead of working from the center to the sides, tilt the pan and pour the batter over one side and spread it as quickly as possible to the rest of the pan, so that it covers the entire surface.
  • Cook for about 20 to 25 seconds, until edges are cooked and begin to dry out and the bottom of the crêpe is lightly browned. With a small spatula or fork, lift one edge of the crêpe and turn it over quickly with your fingers. Cook the second side for about 10 to 15 seconds, or until it has lightly browned. Flip the crêpe onto a plate.
  • Repeat with the rest of the batter. After 3 or 4 crêpes, you may need to butter the pan again. If it isn’t a nonstick pan, you may need to do it for every one. Stack crêpes on top of each other with the first, darker side down. That darker side will become the outer layer of the crêpe once you fill them up or fold them.
  • If you aren’t going to use all of the crêpes at once, or if you are making them ahead of time, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a closed plastic bag and store in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer for weeks.

To make the Sauce:

  • Pour the cajeta and the milk in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring and gently simmering it for a couple of minutes until it is completely mixed together and well dissolved.

To Assemble:

  • Place a crêpe on a plate and spread a couple tablespoons cajeta sauce all over the surface. Fold crêpe in half, add a couple more tablespoons of sauce into the middle of the half-moon shape. Fold the crêpe again to make a triangle shape (with a rounded bottom) and pour a few more tablespoons of sauce on top.
  • Garnish with the toasted pecans and serve. You may want to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream too…

Notes

Crepas de cajeta con nuez

Ham and Cheese Torta Sandwiches

ham and cheese torta
Print Recipe
4.67 from 6 votes

Ham and Cheese Torta Sandwiches

Ham and Cheese Torta Sandwiches recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 2 “School Lunch with a Mexican Twist”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, bolillo, cheese, chicken, ham, mexican crema, mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, Pickled Jalapeños, queso fresco, refried beans, Sandwich, telera, Tomato, Torta, turkey
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 Mexican bolillo or telera rolls or small baguettes
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 ripe Mexican avocado scooped and sliced
  • 4 slices Mexican queso fresco Oaxaca or Mozzarella
  • 4 to 6 slices ham, turkey or cooked chicken
  • 1 tomato sliced and seeded
  • A couple of thin slices of onion optional
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers to taste optional
  • Salt to taste optional
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican style cream optional

Instructions

  • Slice the rolls in half lengthwise. If they’re not fresh, toast them slightly for a few minutes. On one side, spread a tablespoon of refried beans; on the other, mash 1/4 of an avocado with a fork.
  • Top the bottom half of the bread with a few slices of cheese, 2 or 3 slices of ham or cold cuts of your choice, it may also be shredded chicken or meat, and a couple of slices of tomato.
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of Mexican-style cream and crown your package with as many pickled jalapeños as you wish. Sprinkle a bit of salt on top.
  • Place the top half of the roll on the sandwich and slice the torta horizontally. Eat it or wrap it up so that it can travel along with you.

Notes

Tortas de jamón y queso

Enchiladas in Red Tomato Sauce

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4.5 from 6 votes

Enchiladas in Red Tomato Sauce

Enchiladas in Red Tomato Sauce recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 1 “Classic Mexican Food Battles”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cheese, corn tortillas, cotija cheese, Enchilada, garlic, jalapeno, mexican crema, onion, pati's mexican table, queso fresco, salsa roja, serrano chiles, Tomatoes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove skin on
  • 1 1/4"-thick thick slice white onion about 1 ounce
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste

For the enchiladas:

  • Oil for frying the tortillas optional
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cream
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija crumbled
  • 1/3 cup white onion chopped
  • Ripe Mexican avocado halved, scooped, sliced (optional garnish)

Instructions

  • Place the tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chile on a medium baking dish, roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Place them under a hot broiler and char the ingredients for about 9 to 10 minutes, turning them halfway through as the pieces brown thoroughly. The tomatoes’ skin should be charred, wrinkled, and the juices begin to run. The chile and onions should be softened and nicely charred; the papery husk of the garlic should be burned and the clove softened inside.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic clove and discard. Place the garlic in the blender along with the tomatoes, onion, and chile (start with half chile first, adding the other half or more if you feel you want more heat later), and the salt. Purée until smooth, set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add enough oil to reach 1/2-inch deep; let it heat for about 3 minutes. Gently glide each tortilla through the oil, one by one, for about 15 seconds on each side, so that they soften and become resilient. You should be able to fold them without breaking them. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel-covered plate. Alternately, you can lightly toast them on an already hot comal or skillet set over medium heat, for about 20 seconds per side.
  • Glide the tortillas through the salsa. Fold and then cover, generously, with more of the red sauce. Sprinkle with the crumbled cheese, the cream, and the chopped onion.

Notes

Enchiladas en Salsa Roja

A Crazy Good Dip

It comes in handy to have a couple of lick-your-bowl-clean dips under your sleeve. That way when you know you are going to entertain a large crowd, or a small crowd of big eaters like the ones who live under my roof, you can whip up one of them fast while you figure out the rest of the meal.

This one has become a big hit at home. It combines ripe and mashed smooth avocado with a creamy and very tangy base of goat cheese. It is then beefed up with a generous amount of tasty crisp bacon bites and a judicious amount of jalapeño and shallots. On top of the dip you can drizzle a bit of rich sesame oil and sesame seeds. Continue reading “A Crazy Good Dip”

Panela Cheese

Panela is a moist and fresh, mild, and very mellow, cheese. Its texture is very firm and it can be cut into thick slices, broken into smaller pieces easily, or grated for antojos (snacks). In Mexico, this cheese is often used by cooks who want low-fat or healthier options. That doesn’t mean it isn’t irresistible!

panela cheese

Panela is used in sandwiches, tortas, and quesadillas, just to name some. It is a star of every salad it is added on to and it’s fabulous for grilling because it doesn’t melt or string with the heat; instead, it develops a lovely crust.

grilled panela cheese with salsa verde and salsa rojo

One of my favorite ways to use panela is to grill it and cover it with either salsa verde or salsa roja. It used to be impossible to find Panela cheese in the US. So it used to be one of the first things I craved each time I travel to Mexico. Fortunately, it is now available in the United States thanks to FUD. The possibilities of Panela cheese in the kitchen are truly endless.

 

Sweetened Condensed Milk

I grew up in Mexico City with sweetened condensed milk in my family’s pantry. It is an ingredient that is part of my upbringing, it speaks of home to me.

We had it not only for breakfast, dessert, milkshakes, smoothies, snacks and after school treats (drizzled over fresh fruit or spread over Maria cookies). We also poured it on top of baked plantains and sweet potatoes  (in my view, it’s all they need to take them to the stratosphere), which in my memory remains one of the sweetest things. It was part of our everyday lives.

My mom and dad worked full time during the week, but my sisters and I always had a flan, pound cake or gelatina to look forward to. Every day of the week.

Now, many years later, I feel so lucky to have it in my American pantry too. I love making those traditional sweet things that nurtured me growing up for my boys, now that I have a family of my own. And we also have so much fun coming up with new recipes and modern spins too!

Yes, for sure, the kitchen gets a lot messier when I am concocting things with my boys, but we have such good times together in the kitchen. The boys get so involved, and to be honest, they have fabulous ideas. Juju and I are now playing with a take on lime pie with fluffy meringue on top. Will keep you posted!

Why an ingredient like this is so versatile comes as no surprise: it is made with whole cow’s milk. The water is removed, hence the condensed, and sugar is added. It was originally a way of preserving milk, to spread the health benefits of that ingredient to more people and also to make it convenient. You can have it handy for so many uses in your pantry at anytime.

Right now, I am sitting at my desk in my office, working away, writing blog posts for you and editing recipes. I am doing so while sipping a strong cup of coffee sweetened with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Like I do every morning. Sweet.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

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4.38 from 8 votes

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 3 “My Three Favorite Boys”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cajeta, cheesecake, cream cheese, Dulce de Leche, Maria Cookies, pati's mexican table, pecans, sour cream, Sweetened Condensed Milk
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground Maria cookies vanilla wafers or graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more for greasing the pan

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature

For the dulce de leche topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 14-ounce can dulce de leche or cajeta
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Butter a 9- to 10-inch springform pan and set aside.

To make the crust:

  • In a large bowl combine the ground cookies and melted butter until thoroughly mixed. Turn the cookie mixture into the springform pan. With your fingers, pat it evenly around the bottom of the pan, gently pushing it up the sides to make a crust 1/2- to 1-inch tall. Refrigerate while you make the cream cheese filling and dulce de leche topping.

To make cream cheese filling:

  • Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until smooth and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until well mixed, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, again scraping down the bowl as needed, and continue beating until the mixture is well blended and smooth, set aside.

To make the dulce de leche topping:

  • In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream with the dulce de leche until combined.
  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
  • Remove the springform pan from the refrigerator. Gently spread the cream cheese filling evenly, trying not to distress the crust. Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until it is set and the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before you add the dulce de leche topping.
  • Spoon the dulce de leche topping over the cream cheese filling, add the pecans all around the edge and place the pan back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. It tastes even better if it chills overnight.
  • Before serving, run the tip of a wet knife around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake. Remove the ring, then slice and serve the cake.

Notes

Pay de Queso con Dulce De Leche

Chipilí­n Soup with Masa and Fresh Cheese Dumplings

I have a thing for soups.

Doesn’t matter what time of day, what season of the year, what place I’m in, if I want tasty comfort my entire self craves a big bowl of soup.

As far as soups go, I have concocted some, I religiously repeat some I grew up eating, and then there are others I’ve become enamored with as I’ve ventured deeper into my home country’s cuisine.

As soon as my feet touch new territory, I search for its signature soup: the one everyone knows; the one everyone loves; the one present at every home kitchen. As easy as it may sound, sometimes those soups stir away from restaurants. Luckily, the first meal we had during our trip to Chiapas included that soup.

Chipilin Soup 1

It was at a touristy restaurant serving a regional specialties buffet. The broth was thick and brimming with Chipilí­n, an herb with a grassy taste (like a mellow version of spinach or a gentle variation of watercress) and a silky delicate bite. The best part of the soup was the corn masa dumplings, dfferent from other I’ve tried, these had queso fresco mixed in the masa or dough, resulting in fluffier balls with a deep soft bite.

A couple days later, I bought a big bowl of Chipilí­n soup at a small fonda in Chamula. I sat on the sidewalk and ate it as I watched the church procession pass by.

The Church of San Juan Chamula is one of Mexico’s most famous: probably the most controversial as well, for its wildly eclectic combination of indigenous, pagan and Catholic rituals. Not to mention it’s particular architecture and decorations.

This second version of the soup was lighter, yet it had much more color, like the doors in the photo above. A bit of tomato spiked the broth and I tasted a bit of green heat. Don’t ask me why it didn’t occur to me to take a photo of the soup. Instead, I took photos of the Señores below.

Chipilin Soup 2

Tzotzil Mayas, which form part of one of the twelve indigenous groups that live in this state, were getting ready to walk in the procession, with their unique attire made with goatskin. Some men wear black, some wear white…and the women make skirts in the same style.

If you have never heard “Tzotzil”, a Maya language, you have missed listening to one of the sweetest sounds. As delicate as those Chipilí­n leaves…

Chipilin Soup 3

Ok, back to the soup. That same day, I tried a third version.

A short ride away we landed in a restaurant with a sumptuous buffet that was different from the first. This one boasted a larger display of typical dishes from the region. Their Chipilí­n soup had a much clearer broth, as if the masa dumplings had been cooked separately from the final soup and incorporated in the end. It had less Chipilí­n leaves in the broth, making it look more elegant and light, and there was queso fresco to add as a garnish, as well as Mexican crema and small pieces of chicharrón.

Chipilin Soup 4

I tried a fourth version in a restaurant near the Palenque ruins (which can take anyone’s breath away and I am just adding more photos of the ruins because I can’t help myself…)

Chipilin Soup 5

…let me indulge… and yes I climbed up so high to look at that view…

Chipilin Soup 6

… here is a close up…

Chipilin Soup 7

Alright, back to the soup. This one had the smallest of masa balls, and different than the soups before, aside from having Chipilí­n in the broth, there was a generous amount of Chipilí­n chopped into the masa balls. It also had extra garnishes of more queso fresco and thick Mexican cream. But no chicharrón.

I did think about other things than trying more versions of the Chipilí­n soup and other foods I had no idea existed (which I will write about in other blog posts). Especially when we had the chance to learn about the insanely gorgeous textiles made in Chiapas…

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Once at San Cristobal de las Casas, I tried one last version of the soup in one of the restaurants in that busy street below. This soup included corn kernels in the broth. The contrast of that sweet crunch next to the soft masa balls in the flavored broth worked so well!

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No. I did not take a photo of it, because I didn’t know I was going to write about all the Chipilí­n soups I tried in Chiapas! Of course now I wish I had.

The good thing is that here is a recipe for you to try the soup.

You can find Chipilí­n in the US these days, especially in Latin markets in the Summer and Fall. I just found some at Panam market in DC.

It looks like this. It is so pretty I put a big bunch in a flower vase and admired it as I ate it away and the bunch kept getting thinner.

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Here is a close up, so you can see just how delicate the leaves are…

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If you can’t find it, you can substitute it with sliced baby spinach or watercress.

The recipe I am giving you here, was tested in my kitchen until I nailed down all the elements I enjoyed in the different versions: fluffy masa balls flavored with cheese, an abundance of Chipilí­n leaves in the broth but not in the masa balls, sweet crunchy corn seasoned along with the onion that makes the base of the soup, and cooking the masa balls in the soup so that as they cook, they thicken the broth. I find that extra thick broth to be irresisitible. It almost resembles atole or a very light porridge (in a good way).

Just like Chiapas is not so well known outside of Mexico, it’s cuisine remains to be enjoyed abroad. This soup has many of the features I recognized in the different meals I ate there: distinct, with a lot personality, yet at the same time homey, delicate and comforting. Thankfully, many of the ingredients used in Chiapas, are now accessible abroad too.

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A good soup recipe, I’ve learned, always comes in handy. Especially if it takes you somewhere. This one takes me right back to Chiapas.

Chipilin Soup Main
Print Recipe
4.2 from 5 votes

Chipilí­n Soup with Masa and Fresh Cheese Dumplings

The recipe I am giving you here, was tested in my kitchen until I nailed down all the elements I enjoyed in the different versions: fluffy masa balls flavored with cheese, an abundance of Chipilí­n leaves in the broth but not in the masa balls, sweet crunchy corn seasoned along with the onion that makes the base of the soup, and cooking the masa balls in the soup so that as they cook, they thicken the broth. I find that extra thick broth to be irresistible. It almost resembles atoleor a very light porridge (in a good way).
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken broth, chipilí­n, Corn, masa, mexican crema, onion, queso fresco, Recipe, serrano chiles, soup
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 serrano chile finely chopped, seeding optional, add more or less to taste
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels or thawed from frozen
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups packed chipilí­n leaves rinsed
  • 2 cups corn masa flour or Maseca
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 8 ounces or about 1 cup queso fresco crumbled, may substitute for farmer's cheese or a mild feta
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt divided
  • Mexican cream optional to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has completely softened, the edges have begun to slightly brown and there is a sweet smell stemming from the pot. Add the chile, stir and cook for another couple minutes. Toss in the corn, stir and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth. While it comes to a simmer, prepare the masa for the dumplings.
  • In a bowl, combine the corn masa flour with the water, the vegetable shortening and a pinch of salt. Combine and knead with your hands until the dough is soft and homogenous, it will take a minute. Add the crumbled queso fresco and knead into the dough.
  • Once the soup comes to a gentle simmer, add the chipilí­n leaves. Once it is heated through, lower the heat to low and start shaping the dumplings. With your hands, make about 1 to 1½" balls, as you make them, gently drop them into the soup. Once you are done with all the balls, let the soup cook for about 20 more minutes. It should be gently simmering. The balls should be cooked through and as they cooked in the soup they should have thickened to the consistency of a thin porridge. But it will be a most delicious one! Serve hot. You may garnish with some fresh cream on top of each individual soup bowl.

Notes

Sopa de Chipilín con Bolitas de Masa y Queso

Creamy Poblano Soup

Growing up in Mexico City, I didn’t know a single person who celebrated Cinco de Mayo, except for the people who lived in the state of Puebla. We didn’t even get the day off! Sure we studied it in school–the unprecedented victory of a small Mexican militia against the large French army in 1862–but it was a short-lived victory, as the French won right back.

Fast forward 150 years to 2012: the French and Spanish are gone; Mexicans proudly celebrate Independence Day every September 16; yet, for reasons few of us can explain, Cinco de Mayo has become the greatest, most joyous, colorful celebration–for Mexicans living abroad. As strange as the nostalgia is, the longer I live abroad, the stronger the impact Cinco de Mayo has within my soul. These words fluff up like soft conchas right out of the oven, getting fluffier, sweeter and more comforting as the years go by.

As do so many Mexicans (and, increasingly, non-Mexicans), I celebrate anything that can be celebrated about our Mexicaness: our heritage, resilience, hard-working and accommodating nature, our warmth, hospitality, generosity, the vibrancy and richness of our music, dance and food. Above all, our tendency to tirar la casa por la ventana (to throw out the house through the window) when it comes to throwing a party.

Thankfully, as Cinco de Mayo celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, the spotlight is finally being cast on Puebla, the place where that famous battle took place. At last, the celebration that has become the rage beyond Mexico’s borders is coming back to the place where it originated. It’s about time!

Puebla is a hidden treasure, a colonial jewel with rich history, architecture, arts and culture, coupled with an exquisite overlay of modernity. Most important, its one of Mexico’s main culinary hubs.

Creamy Poblano Soup 1

Some of our most iconic (and most labor intensive) dishes come from Puebla, born in convents where Spanish and Mexican cuisines wedded so beautifully. There’s the classic mole Poblano, with its layers of complex flavors subtly coming together once in your mouth; and there’s the colorful chiles en Nogada whose red, white and green represents the Mexican flag.

Yet Puebla is also home to a bounty of homestyle accessible dishes like the chicken tinga and the corn torte. And it’s home to one of my favorite Mexican ingredients: the chile Poblano. See below? That is how many Poblano chiles I go through a week in my house.

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This key ingredient has never ceased to charm me, from the moment I get it at the store to the moment I taste its exuberant, fruity flavor. It is, quite simply, sublime. Each time I cook a dish with a Poblano it feels like a celebration, as if I were right there in Puebla, but the party just happens to unfold inside of my home.

If you can’t get to Puebla anytime soon, try this soup for a Cinco de Mayo moment, be it Cinco or not.

Article written for and published by NBC Latino, poblano soup photo by Jack Foley.

Print Recipe
4 from 6 votes

Creamy Poblano Soup

This key ingredient has never ceased to charm me, from the moment I get it at the store to the moment I taste its exuberant, fruity flavor. It is, quite simply, sublime. Each time I cook a dish with a Poblano it feels like a celebration, as if I were right there in Puebla, but the party just happens to unfold inside of my home. If you can’t get to Puebla anytime soon, try this soup for a Cinco de Mayo moment, be it Cinco or not.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken broth, Corn, milk, onion, poblanos, Recipe, soup
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped white onion
  • 5 to 6 poblano chile peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds total) roasted or charred, sweated, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels shaved from a cooked fresh ear of corn, or cooked from thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth may substitute for vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  • Place a large soup pot over medium heat; add oil and butter. Once the butter melts and begins to sizzle, add the onion. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the onions have completely softened, everything is cooked through and the edges turn slightly brown (about 10 minutes total).
  • Add the poblano chiles, stir and let them cook along with the onion for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Make some room in the middle of the pot; add the corn and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Let everything cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Pour in the chicken broth. Let it come to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 additional minutes so the flavors start to blend. Reduce the heat to low, wait for about a minute, and slowly pour in the milk.
  • Heat the soup thoroughly for about 6 to 8 minutes, without letting it simmer or boil (if you do, it will appear curdled but still taste fine). Serve hot. Makes about 5 cups.

Notes

Crema Poblana

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas
Print Recipe
4.15 from 7 votes

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas

Ham and Cheese Sincronizadas with Flour Tortillas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 1, Episode 1 “Quesadillas”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, Chihuahua cheese, flour tortillas, ham, Monterrey Jack cheese, Muenster cheese, Oaxaca cheese, pati's mexican table, Quesadilla, turkey
Servings: 6 sincronizadas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 12 flour tortillas
  • Safflower or corn oil optional
  • 8 ounces Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, Muenster or melty cheese of your choice
  • 6 to 12 thin slices ham or turkey
  • Mexican avocado slices optional
  • Salsa of your choice

Instructions

  • Heat a non-stick sauté pan or a comal over medium heat. Place a couple flour tortillas, many as will fit in the pan or comal, top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and one or two slices of ham or turkey. Cover with a second flour tortilla.
  • Heat until the flour tortillas in the bottom become lightly toasted and cheese starts melting. With the help of a spatula, flip them to the other side and let it heat and crisp a bit. I like to wait until the cheese oozes out, browns and crisps a little! Transfer to a plate and slice in half or quarters.
  • Serve with a salsa of your choice and slices of ripe avocado on the side.

Notes

Sincronizadas de Jamon con Queso

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 they are heated and stirred, they are made into very long threads that are pulled once and then again, until the desired consistency is achieved.  Then the long threads are wrapped into balls.

In Mexico, and recently in some places abroad as well, you can find freshly made Oaxaca cheese, as it is usually found in small town and open air markets. You can also find commercially processed Oaxaca cheese in grocery stores, but the flavor and consistency changes considerably from the fresh ones.

Oaxaca Cheese 1

The difference of fresh and non fresh, can be compared to the contrast between an excellent quality artisanal fresh Mozzarella cheese and a general brand, plant processed, grocery store Mozzarella.

Oaxaca cheese tends to be eaten, aside from on its own in chunks, in quesadillas and “queso fundido” or melted cheese. But it is very accommodating and can be used in many other ways: soups, casseroles, salads, to name some.

Quesadillas at the Mexico City Fair

The last time I was at the Mexico City Chapultepec Fair was 20 years ago, with my high school friends. Going back last weekend with my own growing monsters, confirmed that it is not an ordinary Fair experience, ever, regardless of one’s age.

Yes, you find the balloons, with a mix of Mexican and American characters, right at the main entrance.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 1

You will always find Mrs. Bird Lady, somber as can be, with her clairvoyant birds. As soon as she looks you up and down, she knows which of her birds can tell your future more accurately. Maybe…

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 2

For 20 pesos, the cute little bird steps out of the wooden cage, fully concentrated, knowing you think it holds the surprises of your future in its beak.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 3
It elegantly chooses the three cards that will reveal it to you.

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After being completely clueless with the shocking differences from what the three cards said, you go in for the rides.

And wow man, does that Fair have rides. From beastly roller coasters…

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 5

To the dizzying Nao de China. History tells us that the Naos were really Galleons from the Philippines, that traveled the Manila-Acapulco trade route since the XVI century, bringing so many ingredients into Mexico’s kitchens. But who knows why the name has been popularly changed, for centuries now, to the Nao from China. I guess it sounds more exotic.

Oh well, the monsters couldn’t care less about the accurate food history, all they wanted to do was ride that boat again and again.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 6

As well as that crazy ride that goes up and down, which I refused to ride.

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There’s my oldest monster, happy with two of his cousins, after dozens of  rides.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 8

And there is absolutely no Mexican Fair without a Mexican clown. I took a FLIP video, so you can get into the mood.

I had to stop there. If you know Spanish, you heard the clown inviting kids to come up the stage. Some of mine wanted to try. Nope. They didn’t get a turn.

But what is most amazing about the Fair, is the amount and diversity of finger licking foods to be found.

Say, even before you walk in, there is Mr. Cotton Candy Man.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 9

That was some light, fluffy, spongy and delicious cotton candy, we ate first, before anything else.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 10

There are countless stands selling Mexican style hamburgers and hot dogs, which do drive me crazy. In such a good way.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 11

Garnished with raw or cooked onion, tomatoes and Jalapeños. Topped with ketchup and mustard until you say stop. As well as melted – until crisp – Cheddar cheese and crispy bacon, if you like.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 12

There are exotically flavored popsicles: Jamaica flowers, Horchata, Tamarind, Mango with Chile, Pecans, Strawberries and Cream, Zapote, Mamey, Coconut, Tangerine, amongst some… And they can all be drizzled with a healthy dose of Chamoy on top.

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There is a grand place to find all sorts of candies…

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…that tend to be spiced up, with different levels of heat. Not for the faint-hearted.

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As well as different kinds of crunchy snacks like potato chips and chicharrones, which MUST be squirted with Chile sauce, freshly squeezed lime juice and salt. Really, they MUST.

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Popcorn freshly popped, MUST also be squirted with a chile sauce.

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There are taco and torta stands.

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The best torta, this time, was the Torta de Pastor.

Mr. Torta de Pastor was kindly showing me how he prepared the Torta that was about to be all mine. He takes a telera -Mexican style French baguette – and heats it on the grill. He places juicy thin layers of that carne in adobo he is slicing below, crunchy onion and savory cilantro.

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Then you can add the salsa of your choice, from many that he lets you choose from.

You know you want to take a bite into it. I should have taken a FLIP video of that, but I was too eager to sink my teeth into it. Sorry.

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There were also Tlayudas. 

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Tlayudas are very large, thin, toasted and crisp corn tortillas. Here they were covered with refried beans, seasoned cactus paddles, shredded aged cheese, onion, cilantro and topped with both, a red and a green sauce.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 22

You will also find Nachos. Always. But that is Always, a no thank you from me. Not Here, not There, no Nachos for me Anywhere.

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But the best, by far, were the quesadillas. Freshly made.

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There are countless fillings for you to choose from. Right there, on the spot: seasoned cactus paddles, huitlacoche or mushrooms, chicken Tinga, shredded beef, potato and chorizo

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But my favorites are quesadillas with Squash Blossoms, Poblano Chile and Oaxaca cheese.

I like them so, I featured them in last year’s session at the Mexican Cultural Institute focused on Mexican Street Foods.

There are many ways that you can make them. You can make the corn dough from scratch, which is simple these days. Flatten in a tortilla press, add the filling and fry. As below.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 26

Or you can use pre-made corn tortillas, add the filling, heat on a comal or griddle until the cheese melts, and if you want until it crisps a little too.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas 27

Whichever way you decide to make them, with fresh corn masa or already cooked tortillas, the wholesome and tasty filling full of personality is bound to make you happy. I am sure the clairvoyant bird would agree…

squash blossom quesadillas
Print Recipe
4.5 from 4 votes

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Squash Blossom Quesadillas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 9 "Xochimilco: Cooking with Flowers"
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Antojos, Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cheese, Chiles, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Poblano, Quesadilla, queso, squash blossom
Servings: 12 quesadillas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano chiles charred, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped
  • 12 ounces fresh squash blossoms rinsed, dried and chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 cups instant Maseca corn masa flour if making fresh masa tortillas, or substitute 1 package store-bought corn tortillas
  • 1 3/4 cups water for the masa, if making fresh masa tortillas

Instructions

To Prepare Filling:

  • Place the poblano chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill, or directly on the open flame or on a comal or skillet set over medium heat. Turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes, until they are charred and blistered all over. Transfer them to a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Working under a thin stream of cold water, peel off their skin; make a slit down the sides to remove and discard the seeds and veins, then remove and discard the stem. Cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips or squares.
  • Add butter and oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the prepared poblano chiles, then the squash blossoms and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the blossoms exude their juices and the mixture begins to dry out. Remove from the heat.

If Using Fresh Corn Masa:

  • Mix Maseca or instant corn dough masa with the water and knead for a few minutes until soft. Make 1-inch balls and flatten between plastic rounds on a tortilla press.
  • Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese and 2 tablespoons of the filling at the center of the dough disk and, leaving it on the plastic round of the tortilla press, fold it over and press to seal the edges. Repeat to form the rest of the quesadillas, using all the dough and filling.
  • In a deep and large skillet, add enough oil so that it’s at least ¾-inch deep; heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, about 3 to 4 minutes later, add a few quesadillas at a time to the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the skillet. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer, with a slotted spoon, to a paper towel-lined platter to drain. Serve hot, with the salsa of your choice.

If Using Store-Bought Tortillas:

  • If using pre-made corn tortillas, add the cheese and filling to the center of the tortilla. Place on an already hot comal, griddle or skillet, and let them cook until the cheese has melted and the tortilla has begun to lightly crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Notes

Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza

Mexican Style Cream

Mexican cream is rich, thick, tangy and slightly salty. It used to be hard to find in the US, but now you can find it in Latin or International stores, but also mainstream stores! In Mexico, you can find it in any grocery store, and there are richer versions in small towns and ranches, where the cream earns its name “Crema Fresca” and I bet you would feel like me: that you can finish a whole pint in spoonfuls.

If you can’t find it, you can substitute it for other kinds of Latin cream, such as the Salvadoran, they are very similar.

You can also opt for French Crème Fraîche if you can’t find Latin style creams. Crème Fraîche and Mexican cream are similar, though the former is thicker and less tangy and salty than the latter. Depending on the dish, if it is used for a topping, you can substitute it for sour cream. Yet if it is used for cooking, I prefer to substitute it for regular heavy cream.

In the photo above, you can see the consistency of Mexican cream, as well as its shine. It really adds another layer or flavor to so many dishes.