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Eat Nopal's Mexican Recipes

A consolidated thread for my recipes...

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  1. Salpicon - Its whats for dinner (well maybe lunch)

    In Mexican eateries throughout the U.S. when they have leftover Carne Deshebrada, Ranchera or En Su Jugo... well they just refrigerate it and serve it the next day, the same exact way.

    In Mexico they make Salpicon... a salad of cold meat "ceviche" with onions, herbs (cilantro, mint, oregano etc.,), chiles, umami / enhancers, and citrusy sweet vinaigrette. For every cook there is a version...

    > Chopped Meat, Shredded or Thinly Sliced? Or reheated & crisped as they do in Oaxaca?
    > Pineapple Vinegar (traditional, ubiquitous vinegar in Mexico often homemade), imported Sherry Vinegar (expensive) or Insitututional Cider (cheap)
    > Key Lime Juice, Seville Orange or Grapefruit?
    > Which herbs... Cilantro, Yerba Buena (Mexican mint), various Mexican "oregano", etc.,
    > Dried Arbol, Piquin or Cascabel chiles... or fresh Serrano, Habanero or Guero chiles?
    > Which common umami enhancer? Worcestire, Beef Bouilloun, Maggi (fermented wheat) or other condiment?
    > Lettuce... whole leaves, chopped, dressed or dry?

    Tonight's version (which turned out rather good)

    > Butter Lettuce with Root (this is the closest thing in the U.S. to the traditional Orejona lettuce grown in Mexico)... Whole Leaves... lightly dressed
    > Shredded Beef leftovers marinated in Key Lime juice, a few dashes of Worcestire & 1/4 tsp of Lawries, with chopped Cilantro, Mexican Oregano, thinly sliced white onions and Chile Arbol flecks to taste.
    > Vinaigrette... Sherry Vinegar (2 pts), Sicilian Olive Oil (1 pt), Valencia Orange juice (1pt)... salt & a few dashes of Worcestire

    Lay the dressed leaves on the center of a plate, spoon the marinated meat in the center of the leaves, sprinkle with chopped mint & a few very, very, very thinly sliced red onion rings.

    1. Aztec / Totonac Hot Chocolate

      For my lazy version I put 3 Cups of water in a sauce pan, along with 4 generous tablespoons of Vahlrona 100% Ground Cacao & 2 tablespoons of Mexican Vanilla. I brought to an almost boil then let it simmer for at least 15 minutes... to your desired thickness. You can also add a little bit of fresh masa dissolved in some water to help thicken it & for additional earthy & floral flavors. Once at the desired point I added about 1 tablespoon of floral honey... just enough to keep it from being too bitter (this is also entirely authentic).

      The Vanilla source does make a difference as you noted the intense floral aromas of the Mexican version versus the Bourbon Vanilla... the artisinal product can be purchased from Gourmet Sleuth & is a pretty good deal on a per ounce basis http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/pDetail....

      2 Replies
      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        First, thanks to whoever resurrected this thread. :) Eat Nopal, can I get this Mexican vanilla at a Mexican grocery store in the Bay Area? There are tons of Mexican grocery stores where I live. Is it a product that is readily available?

        1. re: anzu

          I haven't seen it... but Gourmet Sleuth is actually in the South Bay... I imagine they might sell it into some of brick & mortars in the area as well... perhaps even a place like Penzey's might carry it. Here is a link to the actual product:


      2. Crab Chilpachole (Lazy Version Using Pre-Steamed King Crab Legs)

        > Roast 3 Morita Chiles (Dried Red Chipotles) by passing it over an open flame until you get a little bit of smoke & they begin to soften. Then place in a bowl with luke warm water & cover with foil for 30 minutes.

        > Char 1 1/2 pounds of Roma Tomatoes, 1/2 Onion, 1/2 Head of Garlic on a Grill (or you can explain your method we used when my grill ran out of Propane!). You want them to blacken on all sides & cook on the inside a bit.

        > Place the toasted Moritas, charred vegetables & a handful of Epazote leaves in a blender... add 1 cup of Crab Broth or Clam Juice & blend until its a smooth puree.

        > Head Oil or Lard in a pot until hot... then add the puree to sear it for 5-10 minutes (it will change color & thicken)... then adjust with Crab Broth/Clam Juice, Water & Salt until you get a good soupy consistency and simmer for 15-20 minutes. (As an option you can cobs of corn cut into thirds at this point)

        > At this point you add a couple of peeled & diced Chayotes & simmer for about 8 minutes.

        > Add your Crab Legs (making sure to cut them into sections with sharp scissors & also to cut enough incisions so that you can remove the meat... but not so many that the meat falls out of their shells)... simmer for about 3 minutes.

        Turn off & let it rest until its the right temperature to be served.

        1. Frijoles Charros

          It looks like there is no recipe... so I am posting the one I recently made:

          2 Cups Flor de Mayo, or Mayocoba beans (much more likely to be fresh than Pintos)

          2 Cups sliced Calabacitas aka Mexican Zucchini aka Courgettes

          2 Cups chopped Quelites or any tender wild green

          1/2 lbs Good Quality Chorizo (Not the commercially packed kind... but TJ's has a decent Chicken one)

          1/4 lbs Salt Pork or Pancetta or Thick Cut Bacon

          1 Yellow Onion

          1 Head Garlic

          Pickled Jalapenos & Pickling Juice


          1) Soak the beans overnight, rinse a couple of times... then add fresh water (about 3 inches above the bean line)

          2) Add the whole Onion with beans, bring them to a rapid boil, turn down the heat to a slow boil & cover, cook until tender (if you use the beans I indicate you can start checking them after 45 minutes)

          3) Dry roast the whole head of garlic in a grill until charred & soft... peel, mash & add to the bean pot

          4) Pan fry the Chorizo & Bacon until crispy & the fat is rendered.... remove from the pan, but save as much fat as you would like for sauteeing the calabacitas

          5) Sear the Calabacitas in the rendered fat... I like them to be browned & al dente at the same time

          6) When the beans are tender add the Chorizo & Bacon, salt to taste & simmer for about 20 minutes.

          7) Add the browned Calabacitas and simmer for any 2 to 5 minutes

          8) Add pickling juice & salt to balance out the flavors

          9) Add greens to a soup bowl... pour in the very hot soup let it cook the greens for a couple of minutes.... garnish with pickled jalpeno slices to taste.

          17 Replies
          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            That sounds delicious! A curious note: Here is Mazatlán the charro beans I have eaten have no greens, although they are always good anyway. I am told most cooks here put tuna in them! This is hard to believe, (I sure can't taste it) but has been reported to me several times, including by a Spanish teacher (upper middle class family) and the lady who cleans my house (who says she never does that). Ever heard of such a thing? I am definitely NOT going to try it myself, just curuious. The additions you made of calabaza and greens sound wonderful! Thanks for this thread. It is wonderful. Dee

            1. re: MazDee

              Hi Dee,

              No I have never heard of Tuna per se... but in more tradtional (i.e., indigenous) communities... things like dried shrimp, dried fish or fried charalitos etc., are common in soupy beans.

              With regards to Greens in Charros.... do you see Quelites for sale at the markets? The coasts might not provide much in the way of Greens.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                No, I have not seen anything called quelite, but there are a lot of different greens I have not tried. I usually just buy spinach and chard because I know what they are (not very adventuresome)! There is a small (and lovely) town called El Quelite in the munipality of Mazatlán, so that could be a clue. I will investigate.

                1. re: MazDee

                  Quelites are lambsquarters in English, but I've never seen them for sale, though I haven't frequented Mexican markets that much, so perhaps they are actually available. Anyhow, lambsquarters are easy to grow if you're so inclined, and if you let them go to seed, they'll reseed themselves for years.

                  Magentaspreen is a particularly pretty lambsquarters, with its splash of magenta:

                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                    FYI, lambsquarters are just one type of Quelite. Quelite is derived from the Nahautl word that just means Greens or Wild Greens... it includes just about any edible, typically wild green find in Mexico's various ecosystems including Amaranth greens and nowadays invasive species like Collards & Dandelion greens.

                    Because of its foraged nature... Quelites became unpopular among Urban populations who equated them with rural poverty & backwardness.... however recent trends towards healthy, natural foods, re-embracing the Mesoamerican culinary legacy, their popularity in high-end restaurants... they are making a comeback.... of course places in southern Mexico... quelites never stopped being relevant.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      I just asked a Mexican friend about quelites. There is a particular wild green that they call quelite around Mazatlan. No idea what variety of green it will turn out to be, but my friend promised to take me foraging for some when the rains come. She says they are delicious, so I am looking forward to the experience. Apparently, she and her family foraged them in an area of Mazatlan now occupied by Gigante and Home Depot. That is now in the middle of town! She says that occasionally she will find people from the country selling them at the market (but not at the regular stalls) during the rainy season.

                      1. re: MazDee

                        Welcome to Mexico! The vendors that typically sell Quelites along with things like Huitlacoche, Wild Mushrooms, Heirloom beans, unusual herbs etc., are what we call the "Marias" usually indigenous women that live in mountain villages... they are treated like crap by the establishment & forced to find some small out of the way spot near the market (sidewalks etc.,)... and usually carry just a basket or two of sublime goods, that are completely permeated by their soul, sweat & love.

                        RST is a legendary contributor to the Mexico & Chicago boards... who has written numerous mini homages to the Marias... you might want to search for his inspired posts.

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          EN, you have struck another tender chord, with your description of indigenous women in small villages selling huitlacoche from a basket on the sidewalk. My ladyfriend and I would always buy all they had, and their eyes would show their gratitude but life had so worn them out that they were hardly capable of a smile. I sometimes wondered what they do in the other seasons.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            The Marias are usually quite resourceful... embodiment of the term "hacer la lucha"... when they aren't foraging rainy season foods... its nopales, fire wood, chiles, tomate milpero, basket weaving, rabbit hunting, harvesting & sun drying fish hatchlings... you name it these weathered, hardy women find some way to feed their families.

                          2. re: Eat_Nopal

                            Did a search and have been reading his posts, but can't find anything about the Marias. Am not good with the search function. But, thanks, he is really interesting! Is there a way to post a private reply to you, or should I do it here after my foraging adventure? I am not sure this would be interesting to others.

                            1. re: MazDee

                              Email me at EatNopales@gmail.com ... I also invite you to check out my You Tube page link is on my Chow profile.

                        2. re: Eat_Nopal

                          Thanks for the clarification! I was told that lambsquarters were quelites and I made the mistake of thinking that's what quelites meant. I get it now.

                          Just curious, is there a different word to refer to lambsquarters specifically?

                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                  I have never seen frij. charros w/ greens. My (ex) abuela politica made them with white beans, probably navy, longaniza, salchicha (hot dog), and chiles chipotles. At the rancho en Jalisco. Soooo good but gnarly after effects- if you know what I mean. Mexicanos are so healthy partly due to the loads of fibre in the diet, no?

                  E_N, a question?: I bought 1/2 lb of mole negro and one of mole rojo at the mercado in downtown L.A. about a month ago. I imagine it's still good, but how to prepare tamales de mole negro? In banana leaves- that I have never done before. Is the masa the same? btw, at the central market they had mole verde, mole blanco, every type of mole I have never heard of before. En Jalisco, we only had mole dulce and mole rojo (spicy)

                  1. re: paso_gurl_100

                    Hey what part of Jalisco is your family from? My parents were both born in Los Altos... and in thsoe ports there is also only Mole Dulce & Mole Rojo / Ranchero. How do I put this gently? Well... food in Mexico gets better as you go South.... quality, variety, exoticness, appearance, complexity etc., The variety of Moles in Mexico is mind boggling... there are about 20 or 30 distinct genres (each characterized by their color & major taste characteristics ranging from Coconutty White.... to the Ash Mole Negro of Oaxaca... and everything in between)... and of course for each genre there is a cook's version with some twist.

                    Back to your question.... Mole Negro tamales... are not THAT different than Jalisco tamales... the masa is typically more tender, sometimes strained... .I would recommend going to 'Aqui es Oaxaca' in Mar Vista (West L.A.) to get your masa.... then the Banana Leaves need to get softened over an opened flame, cut to about 8 inch squares.... the masa is spread, topped with a few spoonfuls of chicken braised in the Mole (hydrated with broth & tomato puree) & tamales folded so that its kind of flat.... steamed similarly to others (I am not sure about exact time).... the Oaxacans at the bakery are very nice and will no doubt provide you with some pointers.

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      Teocaltiche, Jal. and the rancho de Belen del Refugio, ha ha! I am going to a Dodger game in May so I will check out Aqui es Oaxaca. I see what you are getting at about the food and going south. I never even SAW a mixtecos (Oaxacans?) I guess you would say, until I moved to Paso Robles and met the campesinos from the vineyards. What a rich culture, to say the least!

                    2. re: paso_gurl_100

                      Everybody has their own recipe for Charros... unfortunately Greens had a bad stigma between 1940 & 1990's.... only the Indians would eat them... but since they have become fashionable in Alta Cocina they are making a comeback.

                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                        I understand completely. It's like the women not breast feeding for the same reason (my mom didn't). And today we find out it's nature's perfect food for baby. Charros are like gringo's potato salad, I guess...

                  2. Oaxacan Black Bean Paste / Sauce

                    Basic Ingredients:

                    Refried Black Beans
                    Fresh Epazote Leaves
                    Dried Avocado Leaves
                    Cilantro or Hoja Santa
                    Your Favorite Fat

                    I started with a 16oz can of La Costena Refried Black Beans (use Rosarita at your own risk). I spooned half into the blender, added 5 leaves of lightly fried Epazote (to temper the flavor), 4 Avocado leaves pulverized between my fingers (through away the "vein" & twigs), a little bit of Olive Oil to thin out the beans.... puree, add the other half of the beans, salt & any water required, pulse a few times until the texture is almost right... add Cilantro or Hoja Santa, pulse a couple more times.... you are now done.

                    What to do? Many applications....

                    1) Chip Dip
                    2) Spread on Tortillas, Memelas, Tlayudas, Bolillos etc.,
                    3) Thin it out a little more for Soup
                    4) Sauce for Enchiladas, Steaks or Grilled Poultry

                    1. Trout with Salsa Borracha

                      Props to 'Cusine of the Water Gods' by Patrica Quintana from which I based my recipe.

                      For the fish:

                      2 Rainbow Trout... butterflied & deboned (Golden Trout is native to Mexico, but Rainbow Trout has been successfully introduced in the wild, and is also Farm Raised there and quite popular... so its a fairly authentic substitution)
                      9 Dried Corn Husks
                      Aluminium Foil
                      4 Scallions
                      1 Lime
                      2 pats of butter
                      Olive Oil
                      1 Cup of Beer

                      For the Salsa

                      2 Dried Chile Pasilla / Negro / Mulato
                      2 handfuls of tomatillos
                      1/2 Cup of Beer
                      1/2 white onion chopped
                      1 handful of chopped cilantro
                      4 Garlic Cloves
                      Olive Oil
                      More Beer

                      Making the Salsa

                      Sautee the Dried Chiles until somewhat soft
                      Cut into strips
                      Cover with beer in a deep dish let them soften for 1 hour
                      Drain & Put in a blender

                      Remove the Tomatillo Husk
                      Boil with Water & Salt until color changes
                      Put in a blender (keep the cooking liquid)

                      To the blender add..

                      Raw Garlic
                      Enough water to blend freely
                      A drizzle of olive oil
                      1/4 tsp of salt

                      Blend until smooth, add cilantro to blender & pulse a few times, add 1/2 Cup of Beer & chopped white onion & refrigerate for at least 1 hour... taste & adjust seasoning (cilantro, onion, salt)

                      For the fish:

                      Soak the Corn Husks over night
                      Form a big rectangle with the aluminum foil
                      Place half the corn husks on the foil
                      Place the fish over the corn husks skin side down, salt & pepper the & squeeze half a lime over it.
                      Strew the fish with thinly sliced scallions, butter pats & olive oil & fold into a loosely sealed roll

                      Steam the fish over medium heat using a combination of beer, reserved tomatillo cooking liquid & 1/2 Cup of Salsa Borracha... 15 minutes should do.

                      Remove, unwrap, serve over the corn husks with a dollop (or three) of Salsa, a wedge of lime & a side of sauteed Mexican Zucchini.

                      2 Mexican Zucchinis (Courgets)
                      Salt, Olive Oil
                      Sautee on Medium heat for about 15 minutes

                      This is a fairly delicate dish... I wouldn't have beer with it, but a fruity Sauvignon would be nice (the salsa is surprisingly fruity with the boiled tomatillos & the very interesting Passilla).

                      1. Tepache... what is it? Its a traditional Mexican beverage particularly common on the Central West Coast (Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco) as well as in Mexico City (where there are immigrants from all over), that is made by fermenting pineapple leftovers (rind, core etc.,).

                        I just tasted my first homemade batch & it is delicious. Its lightly fizzy like a spritzer, refreshing with hints of alcohol, pineapple & woodsy flavors.

                        It is a brilliant way to get full use of all the fruit, & it poses endless chowish possibilities... from a refreshing & exotic beverage, to a cool cocktail mixer, to a Gelatine ingredient (in the same vein as the Sherry Gelatines you find in Guadalajara), Sorbets, Coulis etc.,

                        The following link has the most widely available recipe:



                        > All the recipes in English call for using a whole pineapple. But the ones from Mexico tend to call only for the rind. I am pretty happy with the rind only results... very reminicent to what I used to have in Mexico.

                        > Most recipes call for only 48 hours of fermentation & they suggest adding a beer. My guess is that this is a modern commercial innovation designed to speed up the process & lower costs. However, Prehispanic peoples did not have the luxure of adding a beer so I am going to guess that they just let it ferment for a lot longer. I did 72 hours & I am very happy I did because all the Carbonation seem to have developed in the last 24 hours.

                        > This link is an abstract from Food Science and Technology International on a research study conducted in Mexico City that concluded consumers there preferred a Tepache that had undergone a secondary fermentation. http://fst.sagepub.com/cgi/content/ab...

                        > This link is on beer making & describes the secondary fermentation process. Based on this link I am going to guess that fermenting the Tepache for at least 1 week will provide the best results... particularly in eliminating some of the chemical like flavor notes that are produced in the primary fermentation. http://www.allaboutbeer.com/homebrew/...

                        > The receipes all tend to have a lot of water during the fermentation process... but if we reduce the quantity of water, we produce a more suitable anaerobic environment for the yeast to develop.

                        > Since it is November & we don't all have a consistely warm place in the sun to encourage the growth, I would suggest starting with lukewarm water & periodically microwaving your fermenting product just to get it up to about 100 degrees or so.

                        > The Cinammon & Cloves are too subtle in this recipe.. I would suggest crushing them just a little bit so that the flavor is a little bit more assertive.

                        > Finally, I used a Hawaiin pineapple instead of a Mexican... and it seemed to work just fine. Just make sure not to disenfect the rind in anyway or you will never get the yeast.

                        6 Replies
                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            This drink sounds soooo good...I'm used to making aqua frescas so this will make a nice change. Thanks Nopal!

                            1. re: acme

                              One thing I should add.... its best to cover it with a cheese cloth, or even parchment paper because plastic wrap really enchances the chemically flavors from the initial fermentation.

                            2. re: Eat_Nopal

                              E_N, wouldn't the enzymes in the pineapple make it unsuitable in a gelatine unless cooked?

                              I've made tepache a couple of times. It's fun.
                              Thanks for the tips!


                              1. re: Anonimo

                                The juice yes... I am curious about the Tepache made from rind... perhaps they are restrained enough that they would allow it to set.... but I really don't know until I try it.

                              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                I just tasted my first pineapple tepache and it's wonderful! I only let it ferment 48 hours so I didn't get the carbonation, but I was in a hurry to taste it. I did cut back slightly on the sugar and next time I'll increase the cinnamon and cloves. I didn't want to throw away the pineapple so I cut off the rind, chopped up the fruit, and used it in a batch of cherry jam. The jam set up really firm and there's a hint of pineapple behind the cherry. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks again!

                              3. Nameless Vegetable Soup

                                What is it? Its a soup that is served in small neighborhood eateries throughout Mexico... it is so ubiquitous that it is often not on the menu. Just like sauteed zucchini, frijoles de la olla & green salads... it is something that all eateries seem to carry, but never list on the menu.

                                Broth: Tomatoe bas & usually a little bit spicy. The color ranges from clear red (like a pozole) to an opaque reddish brown like a Mole de Olla.

                                Vegetables: They vary with the seasons & the regions but the usual suspects are Mexican Zucchini, Chayote, Green Beans, Red Potato, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery

                                My mother use to make a decent version of it all the time... which I knew how to make... but she cheated... using tomato paste, knorr bouillion & Buffalo brand bottled salsa. I wanted to know how to make it just like the little eateries do... yet I never found a single recipe for it. So after multiple experiments, I have finally replicated it... & it is damn good... so much so, that my jaded wife (victim of my other attempts)... quickly dispatched two bowls.

                                Here you go... its simple & very worthwhile:


                                > Roast 1 small Ancho Chile (Dried Poblano) & 1 Arbol Chile by passing it over a gas flame for a few seconds until the skin blisters then submerge in hot tap water for 30 minutes
                                > Roast 2 Tomatoes & 4 Garlic Cloves... then peel & set in a blender with the Chiles & 1 Cup of Chicken or Vegetable Broth.
                                > Puree in the blender until smooth, then strain
                                > Brown two whole (peeled) onion in a soup pot using your favorite fat
                                > Add the Tomato-Ancho puree & sear for 5 minutes
                                > Add 3 Cups of Chicken / Vegetable Broth and a two handfuls of fresh cilantro (stalk & leaves), then simmer for about 30 minutes
                                > Remove the cilantro but leave in the onion

                                Finishing the Soup

                                > Add your choice of vegetables... about 6 cups of 1/2 inch dice then add water & salt to your liking.
                                > Simmer for about 10 minutes until vegetables are sufficiently tender (you can add vegetables in stages if they cook at dramatically different times.... the ones I have listed all work together fine)
                                > Remove the onions, drain & slice in half... serve those "dry" as a succulent & simple appetizer with a little bit of salt.
                                > Serve the Soup with a wedge of lime on the side

                                Note... I am sure some of you are thinking... you don't cook Cilantro... but it makes all the difference in the world... most of the cooks in Mexico do it that way & I did a little before & after sampling... and yes, its impossible to pick up a Cilantro flavor... but there is just a rightness, a balance with it that makes the soup perfect.

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                    Thank you very much for this recipe. I would often visit Mexican friends' house in high school. They would always serve up some sort of caldo? with chicken, panza or nopal. I tried to figure out how they made it, but I couldn't. I think they did something similar, pureeing tomato and garlic - maybe onion too. I think it was just one roma tomato and one clove of garlic? I think they may have used a fresh jalapeño and bouillon too. I tried fixing the soup the way you've written here, but it was lacking something I was searching for, so I added a little chipotle en adobo. I got that idea from recipes titled caldo tlapeño. I also kept adding things like oregano, a little cheese - I figured it needed more fat, LOL, and lime juice. It tasted good but I can't honestly tell you if that was one step closer to tasting like their soup or something else? :-o I would like to learn to make tacos al pastor, tortillas and some of the salsas. Easy, huh?! :O). So elusive. I've made tortillas with maseca, salsa taquera, casera, verde, de arbol, guajillo - whatever and none of them really made the cut. I can make guacamole and tamales though! The ceviche I made last time wasn't perfect, but was one step closer. :O). The thick crepes I made once with flour and egg were actually more like flour tortillas than crepes and I ate them as tacos. The tortilla must be between like 1 and 2 millimeters, pliable - wrappable with good mouthfeel. Mine end up like little stiff corn pancakes. If you bend em, they break. Salsas should be full flavored I think - always with some elusive chile.

                                  2. Xonequi Etmole

                                    A widely consumed pre-hispanic dish, this version is still common among Veracruz' Nahuatl speaking communities in the Coffee growing areas near Xico (adapted for U.S. ingredients)

                                    What is it? Etmoles are a style of Mole where the bulk ingredient are beans that are traditionally stone ground into a very fine paste... and then serve as a base for other additions. In the case of Xonequi... we are talking Quelites... tender, flavorful wild greens... lots of things work really well from Watercress to Dandelion Greens to Finely Shredded Cabbage and mature Romaine leaves.

                                    The version I made this weekend:

                                    1/2 lb Dried White Runner Beans
                                    2 Cloves Garlic
                                    1 Jalapeno
                                    1 Avocado Leaf (Hoja Santa is more traditional but harder to find)
                                    1/4 tsp Black Pepper
                                    Better than Bouillon (Chicken) to taste (about 2 Tablespoons)
                                    2 Tablespoons of Quality Rendered Lard
                                    1 Bunch of Watercress

                                    1) Soak & Cook the White Beans with Garlic & Jalapeno (both scored to release aromas)
                                    2) When the beans are tender, let them cool down, strain them into a blender, discard garlic & jalapeno
                                    3) Add Avocado Leaf (previously toasted in a dry skillet), Black Pepper, Bouillon, Lard & enough water to blend to a thin puree
                                    4) Bring puree up to a boil in a Pot, reduce heat... simmer 20 minutes or so until the flavors meld.... (this is a dish that is even better prepared a day ahead)
                                    5) Serve in a soup dish... garnish with raw, finely sliced Watercress (in soup spoon size)... the effect is similar to Pozole with a steamy soup contrasted with lots of cool veggies

                                    1. Gracias, EN -

                                      I just printed them & will report as I try them.

                                      1. Carne Ranchera (Serves 4)

                                        Is with all Mexican dishes there are a gazillion variations on the same basic dish. Tonights version was inspired by one of my mom's friends who used to care for me when I was a kid. I replicated it today for the first... its astonishingly good.

                                        > 2 lb Flank Steak
                                        > 4 Poblano Peppers
                                        > 4 Roasted Serrano Peppers (for garnish)
                                        > 1 Large White Onion
                                        > 6 Large Roma Tomatoes
                                        > 8 New Red Potatoes
                                        > 1/2 Tsp+ Seasoned Salt
                                        > 1/4 Tsp+ Black Pepper
                                        > 4 pinches Dried Mexican Oregano
                                        > 1/2 Tsp Cumin
                                        > Worcestire Sauce
                                        > 1 Head Cauliflour (side dish)

                                        1) Blacken & Roast the Poblanos, Peel, Cool then cut into 2 inch slices
                                        2) Blacken & Roast the Tomatoes place in a blender with seasoned salt, oregano, cumin, worcestire & black pepper and enough water to puree into a medium thick paste.
                                        3) Sear the Sauce with a little bit of lard for 5 minutes then set aside
                                        4) Slice the Onions into 1/4 inch thick half moons, then brown lightly in a skillet and set aside
                                        5) Season the Steak with Seasoning Salt, Dried Oregano, Cumin & Black Pepper to Taste
                                        6) Sear the Flank Steak for 5 minutes on each side, until well browned.. then layer Onions on top.. and pour on the Tomato Sauce... bring to a boil... reduce the heat to barely a simmer covered for 25 minutes
                                        6) Add the potatoes cut into halves & sprinkled with seasoning salt... continue simmering covered for 35 minutes
                                        7) Add Poblano slices and simmer covered for 15 minutes
                                        8) Remove Flank Steak and let it rest for 5 minutes... carve into thick strips with the grain (that way people will cut it against the grain on the plate)

                                        For the side dish.. slice the Cauliflour 2 inches down across the top to release florets... keep slicing at 2 inch intervals until all you are done. Place salted florets in an oven safe dish with a tablespoon of water, cover and Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.... stir then Bake for another 5 minutes or so until desired doneness.

                                        For plating... spoon the thick tomato, poblano, potato sauce on a plate... top with Flank steak slices... spoon some Cauliflour on the side.


                                        > My rural relatives in Jalisco make this is a one dish meal served with handmade tortillas a side of Requeson, and roasted Serranos

                                        > Around Mexico City the Cauliflour is served Capeado (in egg batter like Chile Rellenos)

                                        > In Puebla (probably my favorite version), it is served with Plantain & Black Bean empanadas.

                                        > At Sanborns I've had it sans potatoes in the Guiso... but with roasted potates instead of Caulflour on the side.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                          FYI... the leftovers.. once they have melded for a few days... make a killer omellette... and I suspect they would make a fine burrito as well (not Mission Style though please!)

                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                            Hey EN!

                                            I've never heard of Carne Ranchera before. Is it a dish from Jalisco? Eevrything in it sounds great (and new), from the slicing of the steak against the grain- flank is almost always shredded in Mexico City- to the addition of the poblano peppers.

                                            I'll definitely try it next week !

                                            1. re: davemex

                                              Yes... I think its a specialty of Los Altos de Jalisco.... but I think there are a lot of similar dishes under various regional names:

                                              > Cohete Mechado a la Mexicana (Made a large roast called Cohete)
                                              > Puntas a la Ranchera (similar flavor but with seared Filet Tips added briefly)
                                              > Asados are the more common name throughout Mexico to describe Pot Roasts which are prepared in a wide variety of base sauces / caldillos.

                                              Googling "Asado" within .mx websites will find a bunch of interesting variations of this dish (man... just check out that Asado de Tira made with short ribs) :


                                          2. What a wonderful thing you are doing for us, Eat Nopal. Thank you so much.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Eat Nopal, Could you post your best recipe for Chile Rellenos? Possibly with some recipes for your favorite fillings?
                                              (There was one old post I was reading about goat cheese and squash blossoms that sounded outstanding, but I'm not well versed in mexican cuisine to figure out how to do it from just a small mention)

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: Mellicita

                                                Another recipe request - Chiles en Nogada! The ones I've tried have a cream sauce that's a little too sweet for me. Also, many recipes specify acitron which seems impossible to find here in SoCal. TIA!

                                                1. re: DiveFan

                                                  Ive asked for acitron at nearly every super in CA - even at one in SOuth SD that had a cart with just candied fruits and an attendant. No luck. I know its at the mercado hidalgo in Tijuana.

                                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                                    Give me a few days... I actually like Dried Cranberries in mine.

                                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                                      He He, I'll cook just about anything with dried fruit in it. My last C.E.N. attempt had dried cherries, cranberries, raisins and some pineapple/mango combo I found at GO; it came out pretty good.
                                                      BTW E_N, have you considered using the Member Recipe database to store your recipes and just include links here? Personal recipes can be edited indefinitely :-) and this topic won't turn into a major furball.

                                                      1. re: DiveFan

                                                        Good news on the acitron front!
                                                        A local purveyor just put a stand in my local (Lawndale) Big Saver; it contains an amazing array of Mexican sweetened fruits and vegetables (including acitron) that I've never seen in this part of L.A. All of the items were $3.99/lb.
                                                        Big Saver: http://www.bigsaverfoods.com/location...

                                                        1. re: DiveFan

                                                          He, he... Big Saver... when I was a kid we did some shopping at #1 in Lincoln Heights... it didn't particularly stand out within a 4 block area that had 4 major independent Mexican or Chinese owned markets.... I can't believe they have grown to so many locations... and to offer things like candied acitron.... small scale proof that L.A.'s Mexican offering improves with every generation and new wave of immigrants.

                                                      2. Hi EN, Thanks for sharing; the carne ranchera looks like a great option for next time I do flank steak! A little while back I had posted seeking savory vanilla recipes (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/476496) and kare raisu suggested that you may have a gulf of mexico vanilla shrimp dish. If true, would you be willing to share?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: chilibaby

                                                          I am still looking for a good one (that matches what I think I tasted in Xalapa)... in the meantime this is a version from Mexico Connect... its fine but too European for my endorsement (I am looking for a more authentic Totonac rendition).


                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                            EN, once again I owe you many Thank Yous - both for sharing your own/family recipes/techniques and for the link to mexconnect. I look forward to trying the recipes but have serious worries about my waistline!

                                                            hannaone: Thanks for explaining and giving the link to your Chow database of recipes!

                                                        2. Ok I need:

                                                          --Pollo or camarones borracho ( have the pulque) and suggestions for best accompniments.

                                                          -Mashed potato stuffed poblanos (are there any secret ingredients, techniques, caldillo variations)

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: kare_raisu

                                                            Damn the smell of the Asado i got going is making me hungry! Mashed potato Poblanos... I don't usually make them (because its something my parents frequently prepare for us when we visit)... last weeks version took advantage of my wife's leftover mashed potatoes (Classic American style) and frozen spinach. The mashed potates in Highland Jalisco are different than American because they are usually made with Papa del Cerro (aka Papa de Monte, Papa Criolla, Papa Sylvestre)... basically a very small, incredibly flavorful, creamy, wild potato that is native to Central Mexico... they are simply boiled and crushed with the back of the spoon... and of course Spinach would be rarely used... instead it is usually some type of Quelite (wild green) like Amaranth (Quintoniles)... or even Chard, Collards or Watercress.

                                                            Like I said... we had some mashed potatoes in the freezer, I nuked the frozen spinach & drained it a bit... worked into the potatoes along with some Monterey Jack cubes and Crumbled Cotija... seasoned lightly with Lawries.

                                                            Roasted the Poblanos, peeled them, let them cool down etc.... then I stuffed them with the mixture... put them in a casserole dish (the whole chile lightly lubricated with a little bit of that fabulously fragrant lard I bought in Napa)... sprinkled with shredded Monterrey Jack and heated at 400 degrees until the cheese was melted and a bit brown...

                                                            I had some leftover Pasilla-Ancho-Guajillo caldillo with little bits of fall apart Oxtail meat in it from a previous meal.... you can also use a thinned out Green, Red, Black or Yellow Mole... warmed it up and plated the Chile over a pool of the sauce.

                                                            Now this one... I know is going to just kill you... the first time I visited Puebla de Los Angeles (that is the full name of the City)... we stopped into a random fonda near the Nothern bus depot.... and the lady made multiple Poblano based dishes every single day (guess how the Chile derived its name)... and she served us a Roasted Poblano stuffed with day old cheesy Battered Poblanos, the whole thing was sitting on a bed of Creamy Rajas... and on the side were two Enmoladas.

                                                            Based on your food likes... I think you would just die if you had that dish.

                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                              convulsing...lol ;)

                                                              I made some mashed potato stuffed poblanos today, I just ate it along side chicken soup. How can something so simple taste so good? What was great -was that the roasted poblano had some heat. No caldillo but I topped it with cotija minced onion and cilantro and a little crumbled pequin. besta

                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                Are there many mashed potato dishes in Mexican cookery? I once caught a Despierta America cooking segment - and the host said that where she was from (Veracruz)- instead of beans they would sometimes use mashed potatoes on their tostadas.

                                                                1. re: kare_raisu

                                                                  Oh yeah....

                                                                  > Mashed Potatoes are d'rigeur with Milaneza... although to be fair... its more like Pureed Potatoes.

                                                                  > Didn't you have the Molotes at the Oaxacan place in Rhonert Park? Those traditionally have very coursely mashed Potatoes laced with crumbled Chorizo AND here is what is neat... the "pastry" is made from Masa & Potato.

                                                                  > Mashed Potato Tacos de Canasta... absolutely classic.. right up your alley with the Starch on Starch... now if you just seasoned them with some Fideos and served them with a Potato Caldillo Blanco as a dipping gravy you would be in simple carb heaven.

                                                                  There are others... I don't think Potatoes can be considered a staple in Mexican cooking but they are much more common than most Americans would think.

                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                    Interesting - we always have mashed potatoes when nonna makes veal milanese - must have crossed borders?
                                                                    Weiner schnitzel in germany always had this as well.

                                                                    > Mashed Potato Tacos de Canasta... absolutely classic.. right up your alley with the Starch on Starch... now if you just seasoned them with some Fideos and served them with a Potato Caldillo Blanco as a dipping gravy you would be in simple carb heaven.

                                                                    When i come up you are in charge of making this for me.

                                                            2. I think I was 16 years old when a girl invited me to have dinner at her house... it was the first time I had ever eaten a meal at a White American home. To boot... it was Taco or Mexican Night (I don't remember which label they used), at their left leaning, nice & trying hard to be inclusive Sub-Urban L.A. home. I guess I was very naive regarding what Americans knew Mexican culture & cuisine to be... and I don't understand exactly why this reaction is so common... but the gutteral disgust upon the sight of family style plated Taco Shells, Taco-Seasoned ground beef, shredded yellow cheese, Knudsens Sour Cream, Pace Picante & shredded iceberg lettuce seems so inevitable! A few weeks ago it occurred to me that curious Americans might actually be interested in knowing how Mexicans do "Taco Night".

                                                              Family style tacos are practically an everyday form of eating for most Mexicans... the fillings are often laborious Guisados (kind of like some of the recipes I have listed) or decadent Grills... but very frequently they are simple, fresh ingredients wrapped into a tortilla. Among my relatives... taco fillings can range from something as simply as good salt nothing more (Highlands Jalisco has some well regarded, very tastey local salts) to Carnitas made from Wild game birds dressed with Peanut Salsa...... the variety of homemade tacos is boundless & endless... some people... and I am not condoning this... even like sauteed banana & condensed milk tacos.

                                                              Given some of the gaudy combinations in Mexico... its even more challenging to explain the aversion for sub-urban Taco Night.... but anyways that is not the point of this post. Instead, I am just going to add my own homestyle taquizas... as I go along. I will start with two recent ones.

                                                              > Trader Joe's Red Mole (yes, its a bit sweet & simplistic, but I admit to using it at home for making pizzas, quesadillas & as a general condiment)... spread on a tortilla with slices of queso fresco, and spoonfuls of Frijoles de la Olla (whole beans simmered in a clay pot with garlic & onions).

                                                              > A long time family favorite taught to me by my maternal grandma who still lives in Jalisco... thinly shredded cabbage sauteed with slightly browned bacon squares (and its rendered fat), Chipotles in Adobo.... spread of refried beans on the tortilla, spoonfuls of the sauteed cabbage... and then a dollop of good quality Crema. Absolutely fantastically delicious.... a couple of notes:

                                                              1) Proportions... 2 slices of bacon, 4 cups of shredded Cabbage & 2 whole Chipotles plus 2 teaspoons of Adobo liquid. For a regular size torilla... about 2 tbl of refried beans... spread really thinly, 4 tbspoons of sauteed cabbage, 2 tsp of crema.

                                                              2) Imported refrieds in a can... such as La Sierra, La Costena and even Chata are so good... I wouldn't recommend making them from scratch in a dish like this.

                                                              1. OH MY GOODNESS Eat Nopal, I moved here from LA recently, and 1) don't know how to make Mexican food but 2) miss my hometown cuisine. I definitely appreciate your efforts on this thread. How about some lengua en mole or tortilla or other good, soul-satisfying home recipes for a single dwellin' gal? ;)

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: link_930

                                                                  I rarely cook Lengua but when I do.. I will post the recipe.

                                                                2. Eat Nopal, I'm shy to ask because your recipes in this thread sound so extraordinary and, but I was hoping to have a small gathering of friends in early June, and was going to do a "trial run" of the recipes for my co-workers for Cinco de Mayo. I was thinking of shredded pork tacos, beans, and then some of salad (though, greens don't look that glorious in the upper Midwest until about mid-June) or roasted vegetable dish. I can pick up fresh tortillas across town at a tortilleria that makes them daily--still warm when you get them.

                                                                  Could that kind of menu be authentic? If so, would you have a recipe to share for the shredded pork and for the beans?

                                                                  Thank you!


                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    Sounds quite authentic to me. If you can get the required ingredients... I would suggest doing your pulled pork Yucatan style (Cochinita Pibil)... as well as the beans (pureed black beans)... a roasted habanero salsa... and if you source some credible Cucumbers, Jicama & Mango... you might dress them up with a little lime juice, olive oil & salt, slight sprinkle of Piquin or similiar chile powder and call that your salad.... sound good... or is the weather not warm enough for the more tropical flavors?

                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                      The weather's not warm enough for locally sourced fruits or veggies of any kind...so everything is shipped from afar or frozen. But, tropical fruit, of course, has to be shipped in from afar any time of year for us, so, if we're ever going to have tropical fruit, now is as good a time as any. We all have (or, at least I know I have) spring fever BAD. So, that salad you describe sounds very appealing right now!


                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        Yup... if you can't get good Mangos... you can always puree some frozen ones & include them in the "dressing".... but do you get Cucumbers & Jicama maybe some Oranges that aren't horrible?

                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                          Yes, we get all that! (At least at Whole Foods, if nowhere else). Is it horrible? Not any worse than what you can get in the grocery stores in any other non-orange growing state in the U.S. But, yes, it has to be brought in--it certainly doesn't grow here!

                                                                          Do you have a recommended recipe or source for the recipe for the pulled pork Yucatan style (Cochinita Pibil), the pureed black beans, and roasted habanero salsa?


                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            I have used the following... are perfectly fine & easy for your first time... unless you are comfortable with Pit cooking... then I will get you an appropriate recipe:

                                                                            For Cochinita:


                                                                            For Habanero Salsa & Pickled Red Onions


                                                                            For Black Beans:

                                                                            Cook the beans in water with epazote.... add salt & then grind it all together.... pass through a medium sieve. In a large pan sautee onion & whole Habanero in your favorite fat until the onion is wilted... add the sieved beans & simmer for 15 minutes or so until you have a runny sauce.... who ever finds the Habanero is the winner =)

                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                              Oh, these sound fantastic! And, I'm afraid I'm not ready for pit cooking just quite yet. Thank you so much!


                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                EN: You may have already been asked and answered this elsewhere, do you know of a good source for the bitter orange juice called for in the cochinita recipe rather than using the regular sweet orange juice with vinegar she mentions? Thanks for all your help!

                                                                                1. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                  I had to laugh when I saw this because at Christmas I went into Chavez to get a bunch of things - bitter orange juice, hoja santo, avocado leaves to name a few and started asking the produce guy. He looked at me like I was trying to buy Thai ingredients at a Mexican grocery. I tried different names for the sour orange, tried explaining and finally he just held up a navel and said "These are from Texas, and they are less sweet than the california ones!" Oh well - we subbed for that and the hoja and finally found some dried avocado leaves (which again completely baffled him what I was looking for)...

                                                                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                    He probably was not from the yucatan peninsula - I dont blame him for not knowing.

                                                                                  2. re: RWCFoodie

                                                                                    I was just reading a Cochinita Pibil recipe from May 2007 Gourmet Magazine. They suggest Seville oranges for bitter orange. An alternative, they say, is to add 1/4 c fresh lime juice to 1/4 c regular fresh orange juice.

                                                                                    1. re: sarah galvin

                                                                                      Also Roberto Rodriquez did a little bonus cooking segment on one of his DVDs on Cochinita Pibil--fun segment and I really liked the recipie. Also he has direction for making the achiote paste. Fun video, and the food is good.


                                                                                      1. re: vmorgan

                                                                                        That was great! My pibil didn't look that good. Also, I can't find annatto seeds anywhere but can find the achiote paste so will just use more, I guess.

                                                                          2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                            Can I make Cochinita Pubil and freeze for later? I'm looking at the recipe using banana leaves for wrap.

                                                                            1. re: sarah galvin

                                                                              I think so... since its shredded the texture will just become softer... should still taste good.... perfectly fine for a weekday meal.

                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                I went ahead and froze it and haven't reheated yet. I bought my pork butt too early (couldn't refreeze) so had to cook it. I overcooked my Cochinita Pubil, if you can believe it! Still tasty though.

                                                                                Another question, when I was in Guatemala I had what I would call refried black beans. They served black beans with rice and I loved it. I have been using a recipe similar to your black bean paste/sauce and it is ok. Am I doing the right thing or is there another recipe that would be better?

                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                    Sorry, I should have been more specific. You have so many recipes!

                                                                                    For Black Beans:

                                                                                    Cook the beans in water with epazote.... add salt & then grind it all together.... pass through a medium sieve. In a large pan sautee onion & whole Habanero in your favorite fat until the onion is wilted... add the sieved beans & simmer for 15 minutes or so until you have a runny sauce.... who ever finds the Habanero is the winner =)

                                                                                    1. re: sarah galvin

                                                                                      Ah okay.... what type of Black Beans & Fat are you using? If your ingredients are decent... the results should be very good... but know that this is for bean paste not refried beans. For this recipe to be at its best, I would recommend getting Yucatecan Black Beans... or something from Rancho Gordo.... and for the fat to be some quality rendered lard.

                                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                        I have some really nice rendered fat from a pork butt and I bought my black beans from El Bombazo, a local Central American shop. What would I do to make refried black beans?

                                                                                        1. re: sarah galvin

                                                                                          Buying the beans from a latin Market doesn't guarantee that they aren't U.S. grown (the local variety is chosen for its ability to last many years on supermarket shelves and not for flavor).

                                                                                          Independent of your beans.... this is the Simplest thing in the world.... cook your Beans with a small handful of Epazote leaves, in filtered unsalted water until tender then salt to taste. In the mean time dry roast some Garlic (place an unpeeled Garlic head directly on a grill or griddle & blacken on all sides). Melt some lard in a skillet, cook onions & a whole habenero until soft, add the beans & garlic, mash the beans & garlic adding cooking liquid as needed. Simmer on very low heat until the flavors meld & the texture is perfect. As an option... you can fry up some tortilla strips along with the onions et al., for some textural differences.

                                                                                          Don't throw away the cooking liquid! Strain it & use it to poach eggs... flipping the egg once... serve the Poached Eggs in their Broth (this style of preparation is called Huevos Ahogados)... top with some chopped onions & herbs (tender greens when in season as well)... garnish with your favorite charred chile & some avocado slices.

                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                            This sounds great. Thank you. I am going to try this. I'll also check out the beans better.

                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                              The variations are endless. Using the cooking liquid to poach eggs! I love it. This weekend I have friends for dinner and will make these black beans and cochinita pibil. Practice makes perfect :)

                                                                                              1. re: sarah galvin

                                                                                                Try throwing in some vermicelli noodles (fideo seco) to the beens broth, it makes for a great soup, to which you can add cotija cheese, avocado cubes and/or chipotle.

                                                                          3. Eat Nopal, you need to do a blog or website for this stuff dear.

                                                                            These recipes looks so good...thanks for sharing

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                              Thanks, I am working on the website... but its going slow... in the mean time I need a place to write things down as I go =)

                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                Well, I can't thank you enough for sharing all of this with us. I was intrigued from the first, but then each recipe sounded better than the last! I have hosted several "Mexican" nights at my apartment which went over pretty well (the margaritas were good and strong), but I have a feeling my next one will be like none other :) Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

                                                                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                  Its my pleasure... given your Handle I will post a recipe for Chicken en Escabeche (I believe Vindaloo & the Mexican version both descend from Iberian dishes of Middle Eastern extraction).

                                                                            2. Another suggestion - post any favorite traditional/homemade chorizo recipes! Good ones aren't easy to find on the 'net. TIA, Mike.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                Hi Mike.... let me just clarify... do you want homemade uses for Chorizo... or a recipe for homemade Chorizo?

                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                  Eat Nopal - First, thank you for the wonderful gift of stories, history, culture and recipes that you've shared. On another thread (Coconut) you talk about a white mole, which sounds interesting and incredible. Could you please post a recipe sometime? Gracias por todo...

                                                                                  1. re: janeh

                                                                                    Do you read Spanish? Here is one recipe.... I think is a little bit simplistic... I have prepared it once before... maybe I will try to make it again in the next month or so... I will post the recipe:


                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                      Thanks very much. I do read Spanish, and the recipe sounds really unusual and interesting. Am fortunate to be at a conference in Oahu, but will give it a try when I get home.

                                                                                      1. re: janeh

                                                                                        Oahu... headed for the Shrimp Trucks or Mitch's?

                                                                                2. re: DiveFan

                                                                                  Recipes for homemade chorizo - yours or other ones that you like, definitely!
                                                                                  No problem with finding good uses for it :-).

                                                                                3. Puebla is well known for its gastronomic classics such as Chiles en Nogada, Mole Poblano, Cemitas Poblanas & Tacos Arabes... and its residents share a very foodie nickname throughout Mexico where they are known as the Camoteros... which more or less translates as Those of Sweet Potato... christened as such because Puebla is Mexico's biggest producer of Sweet Potato... and because Sweet Potatoes are an ubiquitous street food... they sell them Roasted, Fried, Candied with many different fruit additions etc.,.. and the home cook's uses for Camotes are even more diverse & resourceful than the street vendors.

                                                                                  This is a dish my mom picked up from our Pueblan neighbors in Mexico City.

                                                                                  > Take greens of your choice (Quelites, Chard or Spinach)... quick blanch & drain... sautee up some Chorizo until almost cooked.... add a generous amount of Garlic & turn down heat, additional fat if needed, add the greens & cook until just tender & melded.

                                                                                  > Bake a Sweet Potato... slice it up into wheels... spoon the Garlicky Greens with Chorizo. over the Sweet Potato.. garnish with Roasted Poblanos or Jalapenos... serve with White Rice or handmade tortillas, or authentic style Chalupas.

                                                                                  My parents like keeping it simple... but many versions make the Sweet Potato into Tempura like fritters... or turnovers stuffed with some black beans.

                                                                                  1. Lentils - particularly the small French brown ones - are very common & popular in Mexico... not nearly as ubiquitous as Beans... but most Mexicans I know prepare them at least a couple of times a month. One of the classic preparations is to combine them with Chorizo & Pineapple in a Soup or thick Stew.. among the many variations out there... I have encountered beer, tepache & pulque added to the broth. My version of this dish:

                                                                                    > Sautee Chorizo in a skillet... remove after it has been nicely browned, turn the heat down & slowly wilt Onions & Garlic in the remaining fat. Remove them... turn the heat up & sear fresh pineapple dice in the fat until you get good carmelization on all sides.
                                                                                    > Bring Lentils (I really like using the Red Hawks) to a boil in a pot & simmer for about 10 minutes, add the carmelized Chorizo, Onions, Garlic & pineapple to the cooking water, along with beer (any light lager works fine)... and simmer for another 10 minutes or so... until the lentils are the proper texture.
                                                                                    > I like it this a side of Quesadillas (Corn Tortillas, Chihuahua or Jack cheese, Queso Fresco or Panela, and a little bit of Cotija or Romano)... if you want to take the trouble... instead of putting the Cotija inside... when you griddle the Quesadilla use a moderate amount of oil on the outside... then toss the griddled Quesadilla in Cotija until coated on all sides.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                      mmmmm, one of the nicest lentil soups I had in Oaxaca had sweet plantain hunks, much like this pineapple version...

                                                                                      really enjoying your posts, EN

                                                                                      1. re: pitu

                                                                                        King Crab Legs????? Every one I've ever had was terrible. They luuvvvvvvvv to serve them at buffets in Reno when I go there for Scrabble tournaments. They are tasteless and watery, yet I see hoards of people loading their plates with them. I think it's like lobster tails at The Sizzler. They're frozen, thawed, cooked and tasteless but THEY'RE LOBSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                        I never see King Crab Legs in my local markets and fish markets. I always thought it was because they were crap.

                                                                                    2. FYI... I just published my first recipe via Chowhound... thanks to those that suggested it:


                                                                                      1. Link to my "current" Recipes thread (will begin updating it tomorrow):


                                                                                        1. Hi Eat Nopal

                                                                                          I want to thank you for your rec on that Birrieria La Barca in El Monte.
                                                                                          Went twice, first time had the birria - delcious, and second time had molcajete a la mexicana - was sooooo good. and those mayocoba beans tasted buttery and oralgasm like tastiness.

                                                                                          do you have any recipes for the soup they give you in the beginning?
                                                                                          one green soup, i think they were lentils and the other one was a red soup? got any ideas? anything would be much appreciated!

                                                                                          Thank you again for the recs, I'll be going back again very soon.