Cotija and chile-spiced palomitas

How to make cheesy, spicy popcorn with queso cotija, chile powder, butter and lime juice. Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.com.

This post is part of a compensated campaign with Cacique and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions and the recipe here are my own.

Winter and family movie nights seem to go hand in hand, and you can’t have a movie night without a great snack! I love making up my own popcorn flavors, so this cheesy chile-spiced palomitas recipe is just what I want for a night in with the family and my Netflix account.

When I got an air popper several years ago, I stopped buying microwave popcorn. The beauty of freshly popped popcorn made with an air popper is that you can make as little (or as much) as you want, and you can dress it up differently each time you make popcorn! And you’re not getting any chemical additives either, so you won’t feel unhealthy eating it. If you don’t have an air popper, you can also easily make the popcorn on the stovetop without any oil.

I love to mix and match flavors all the time, but one of my favorite combinations is melted butter, chile powder, queso cotija and a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. Sometimes, I substitute the chile powder for a liquid hot sauce such as salsa Búfalo or Tapatío. If I’m feeling like something really spicy, I might even use a habanero salsa!

Popcorn (also known as palomitas) is also an awesome street food treat in Mexico, so I love recreating street palomitas at home…. 

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Huevos al albañil

How to make huevos al albañil (Mexican bricklayer's eggs). Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.com.

This post is part of a compensated campaign with BUSH’S Cocina LatinaTM and Latina Bloggers Connect but all opinions and the recipe here are my own.

Holiday vacation is my favorite time of year because it means I have time to make a special breakfast every day! This version of huevos al albañil, also known as bricklayer’s eggs, is a popular breakfast dish in Mexico.

The key to what makes huevos al albañil different from other egg dishes is that the eggs are scrambled and mixed with salsa, and cooked together so the salsa fuses with the eggs. They shouldn’t be too soupy when cooked; just wet enough that the salsa keeps everything moist. Whether you prefer to use salsa verde or salsa roja is up to you! The dish is served layered from the bottom up with a fried tortilla, beans, a scrambled egg and salsa mixture and then toppings such as crema mexicana and queso cotija, if desired.

RELATED RECIPE: Trenza de huevo con chorizo… 

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Roasted chickpeas with tajin

A roasted chickpea recipe made with oil, lime juice, tajín and ground cumin. Get the full recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com.

Roasted chickpeas (also known in Spanish as garbanzos) with Tajín, lime juice and cumin is an easy, healthy snack that’s also naturally gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

This is a great alternative to mixed nuts because the roasted chickpeas are crunchy, tangy, salty and have less than half the fat per cup. One cup of oil-roasted mixed nuts has about 72 grams of fat, while oil-roasted chickpeas have only about 31 grams of fat (which comes almost completely from the oil)…. 

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Chile-spiced hot apple cider brandy cocktail

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Growing up in the Midwest, I went apple picking every fall and loved to drink mulled hot apple cider. Although apple cider the way I grew up drinking it is really not consumed in Mexico, I came up with this recipe with the traditional American apple cider in mind; it’s made with apples that are easily found in Mexico along with Mexican cinnamon sticks, chile puya for a little kick, and sweetened with piloncillo — all ingredients that are muy mexicano.

Chile puya brings an earthy, fruity, moderate heat to this mulled hot apple cider that can be served with a splash of brandy on cold winter nights. It’s the perfect warm cocktail to serve during the holidays as well!

Chile puya looks just like a smaller version of chile guajillo, both in color and shape, but is spicier. If you can’t find chile puya, or want a milder spice, you can substitute a guajillo chile in this recipe. I advise that you start out with one chile and work your way up if you think it needs to be spicier. Either way, be sure to remove the seeds and veins inside the chiles…. 

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Crema de elote

How to make Mexican crema de elote soup, garnished with roasted corn, diced poblano chile, crema mexicana and crumbled cotija cheese. This recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly. Get more Mexican recipes at theothersideofthetortilla.com.

This post is part of a compensated campaign with Maseca, but all opinions and the recipe here are my own.

Crema de elote, also sometimes known as crema de maíz, is a cream of corn soup commonly served in Mexico. This version is garnished with roasted corn, diced poblano chile and crema Mexicana.

It’s a hearty soup that can serve as a meal on its own, or can be divided into four portions for an appetizer or small first course. Perfect for cold winter days, crema de elote will stick to your ribs and keep your belly full. This soup is thickened with whole milk and Maseca instant corn flour. Many crema de elote recipes call for butter or oil, but in an effort to be healthier, this one does not. Many other recipes also include a clove of garlic (sometimes roasted to mellow it out a bit), but I really prefer this soup without garlic so the sweetness of the corn can shine through. The diced poblano chile as a garnish gives it just a little bit of heat, and the optional sprinkle of crumbled queso cotija lends a a salty bite to complement the sweet corn.

RELATED RECIPE: Black bean chipotle soup… 

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Frijol con puerco

Frijol con puerco is a popular dish from the Yucatán area of Mexico and is considered a guiso, or stew.

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This post is part of a compensated campaign with the National Pork Board but all opinions and the recipe here are my own.

I like to use boneless country-style ribs for this dish, as they typically are very meaty and juicy. This cut comes from the sirloin or rib-end of the pork loin.

Traditionally, this dish was sometimes also made with the tail and ear as well. However, in modern times, it’s become more common to see the dish made without it. This recipe was originally taught to me by a family friend in 2009 and I’ve since adapted it to my own style.

RELATED RECIPE: Slow-cooker cochinita pibil
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