Baked panela cheese and membrillo ‘pan de muerto’ for Day of the Dead

Baked panela and membrillo in puff pastry to look like pan de muerto for a fun Day of the Dead appetizer. Recipe via @MauraHernandez on The Other Side of The Tortilla.

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

This recipe is a fun spin on pan de muerto, a sweet bread typically served during Day of the Dead celebrations.

Traditionally, pan de muerto is perfumed with orange blossom water, has dough adornments on top that represent bones, and then is baked and dusted in sugar. Similar to a baked brie, this dish envelopes panela cheese and something sweet into a flaky puff pastry crust that, when finished, resembles pan de muerto but has a tasty, sweet and savory surprise inside!

I’ve used quince paste in this recipe, known as membrillo in Spanish; you can also substitute guava paste if you prefer…. 

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How to make mangonadas

Mangonada #recipe with homemade chamoy from theothersideofthetortilla.com #mexican #flavorstory @mccormickspice

This post is part of a compensated campaign with McCormick & Company but the recipe and opinions here are my own.

A mangonada is a quintessential Mexican treat, made of mango, orange juice, chamoy and chile lime salt, and they’re sold just about everywhere from street vendors to neverías in Mexico.

It’s very popular, especially in the warm weather months, as it resembles an American slushie. You can grab one to go on the street or enjoy it with friends in an ice cream parlor…. 

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Chiles toreados

Chiles toreados recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com made with serrano chiles, onion, lime juice and Kikkoman soy sauce

This post and recipe are part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with Kikkoman and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Chiles toreados are a dish that you’ll commonly find in taquerías in Mexico.

They’re usually made with serrano or jalapeño chiles that are sautéed in oil until the chiles are blistered. There are many different ways to make chiles toreados—some people use the chiles alone, but I like to cook onions with them too. There are also a variety of ways to make the sauce, which is part of the beauty of this recipe. There’s no wrong way to make them; it’s just a matter of personal taste.

Rather than cook the chiles in vegetable oil, I’ve opted for a slightly healthier method by using coconut oil spray to cut down on the amount of oil used. No need to worry about your chiles tasting like coconut, though—the taste won’t infuse into the chiles.

This dish can be served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to tacos of your choice. Chiles toreados are also naturally vegan-friendly!… 

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Semi-homemade empanadas

April 8 is National Empanada Day, and far be it from me to deny a day meant to celebrate these delightful pastries, savory or sweet. This is more of a kitchen tip than a recipe on how to make semi-homemade empanadas, but I’ve included proportions below as a guideline—though you should feel free to tweak to your liking with different fillings or cutting the dough to different sizes. Whether you’re looking to fool party guests,  need a quick potluck dish, or just want to make a snack or appetizer for your family, here’s my cheater’s guide to making empanadas, 30 minutes from start to finish.

How to make quick, easy, semi-homemade empanadas in 30 minutes… 

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Botana de Chicharrón con Salsa Verde

Mexico is a very nose-to-tail consumer when it comes to eating animals; like in many other developing countries, and often motivated by economic circumstances in an effort to use the whole animal and not leave much—if any—waste, there are a lot of delicious and unique foods that have come out of this scrappiness. One of these simple delicacies is chicharrón, made of fried pork skins. 

Botana de chicharrón con salsa verde

This botana, or appetizer, of chicharrón served with salsa verde is very typical in Mexico. Generally, these pork skin cracklings are made by boiling the skin, hanging it to dry, then deep frying it in hot oil until the skin puffs up. They’re by no means a healthy snack, so should be eaten in moderation, but they’re a guilty pleasure worth the indulgence.

They’re not quite the same as processed food pork rinds or pork cracklings you might find in a potato chip-like bag in the supermarket. For that reason, it’s best to buy them from your local carnicería or near the butcher’s counter in any Mexican market.

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Vegetarian Queso Fundido

This post is part of a compensated campaign from Latina Bloggers Connect and Cacique but all opinions and this recipe are my own.

Queso fundido is an easy dish that even the most inexperienced home cook can make. I share this because with the holidays approaching, menu planning can be stressful and even if you’re great in the kitchen, you may have some helping hands that are not. This vegetarian queso fundido with rajas de chile poblano (roasted poblano pepper strips) and mushrooms is super easy and can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled depending on the amount of guests you need to serve. Alongside a basket of warm tortillas—your choice whether they’re corn tortillas or flour tortillas—this appetizer dish will definitely please the crowd. Especially if you’ve got vegetarians on the guest list, you’ll want to make this veggie version of queso fundido along with my queso fundido con chorizo recipe.

vegetarian queso fundido with rajas de chile poblano and mushrooms

If you’re ambitious and have a little extra time on your hands, you can even make your own homemade chorizo. For this vegetarian queso fundido, you’ll need to know how to roast poblano chiles in advance. … 

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