Wordless Wednesday: Churros for dinner

During my trip to Mexico City a few weeks ago, there was one night that it got very chilly (and by very chilly in Mexico City in September, I mean about 57 degrees F). It doesn’t sound that cold—at least not to a Chicagoan used to blizzard weather—but without a jacket and the need for something warm in my belly, I wrapped myself in a fleece blanket while I chatted with my suegra and my cuñada about what we should have for dinner. After little discussion, we all agreed the best option was a trip to El Convento in San Ángel for churros and chocolate caliente. Pictured above is what ended up rolled in sugar and in my tummy. (Well, not ALL of it, but you get the idea.)

If you’re more than a few miles from the closest churrería, check out my recipe for making your own churros at home.

  • Where’s your favorite place to eat churros?

Cheater’s alfajores

How to make semi-homemade alfajores | Get more #recipes from theothersideofthetortilla.com #cookies

 

Alfajores are basically code for delicious cookie sandwich with dulce de leche in the middle. They’re a popular confection in Spain and parts of Latin America. They’re delicate cookies made with corn starch that give a buttery, satin texture with the perfect amount of crumble. I love alfajores (and usually try to pick up a box of the fancy, individually-wrapped kind from Palacio de Hierro while in Mexico) but sometimes I just need a quick fix without the hassle of making cookies from scratch when I can’t buy the fancy kind.

On the Kenmore Genius Blog, I confessed  my dirty little secret on how to make alfajores with all of the flavor and hardly any of the work. If you’re a disaster in the kitchen, are pressed for time with a busy schedule or just having a lazy moment, this recipe is for you! It’s so easy, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it yourself…. 

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Paletas de mango con chile

I wrote about my love for paletas and shared a recipe for paletas de mango con chile on the Kenmore Genius Blog recently. These are similar to mangonadas, but those usually include chamoy as an ingredient, and this recipe doesn’t.

Hop over there to check out the post with some additional notes on the ingredients. Enjoy the yummy video!

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Paletas de mango con chile

Paletas de mango con chile

Ingredients

  • 4 manila mangoes
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 4 tsp chile powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar (I like Zulka brand)
  • zest of 2 limes

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan, bring the water, sugar and lime zest to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 5 minutes to infuse the flavor of the lime zest and then remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
  2. Peel the mangoes and remove all the flesh. When you get close to the pit, you can just scrape it in a downward motion away from you to get the last bits off.
  3. Put the mango flesh (which should be about 2.5 cups) into the blender with the lime juice, sugar syrup and chile powder.
  4. Pulse on low for 10-15 seconds so that you get a puree that has some small mango chunks in it.
  5. Pour evenly into popsicle molds, making sure not to fill them all the way to the top; the popsicles will expand a little when they freeze, so leave a little room so they don't spill. Place them on an even surface in the freezer for at least 12 hours (or longer if you use bigger molds).
  6. Once they’re frozen through, run the bottom of the mold under warm water just long enough to loosen them from the mold.
http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2011/06/paletas-de-mango-con-chile/

Disclosure: I am compensated for my posts on the Genius Blog and provided with Kenmore small appliances to test but all my recipes and opinions, about the appliances and otherwise, are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Capirotada

Who doesn’t love capirotada? This traditional treat, a bread pudding-like dish often served during Lent, is typically made with toasted bolillo rolls (French bread is an acceptable substitute if you can’t get bolillos), a syrupy piloncillo sauce, raisins and cheese. Everybody has their own version and there’s no one way to make it. This version from El Bajío in Mexico City includes peanuts and queso fresco sprinkled on top, and was enjoyed on our last visit to Mexico City during the winter. I’ll be sharing a recipe here for capirotada just in time for Semana Santa and Easter.

  • How do you like to make your capirotada? What kind of cheese do you use and what kind of garnishes do you like?

GARIBALDI

By now, you all know about my deeply rooted love for pan dulce, especially for a particular chochito-covered panque from El Globo called el garibaldi. In fact, El Globo is credited as the original maker of garibaldi, a little pound cake bathed in apricot jam and covered in white nonpareils. Many bakeries in Mexico try to emulate these little magical cakes, but nobody makes them quite like El Globo.

During our trips to Mexico City, we’ve always purchased them fresh to eat for breakfast. With a little café con leche, I can’t imagine a better way to start a day. On one occasion, we carefully wrapped a few to bring home with us to Chicago, but sadly they got slightly smashed in our carry-on luggage and from then on, we decided they didn’t travel well. And after eating garibaldi on countless visits to Mexico City, I returned from our most recent trip with a serious mission: to spend time in the test kitchen trying to recreate them so I wouldn’t have to wait until my next trip to Mexico to eat them. Looking at my calendar, five months is a long time – too long, if you ask me – to deny myself one of my favorite sweet treats…. 

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Spicy fig jam (Mermelada de higo con chile)

mermelada de higo con chile en yogur (fig jam over Greek yogurt)

I have a love affair with figs and fig jam. A few summers ago when I was visiting Mexico City, my suegra and I went to the Mercado Coyoacán to pick up some handmade tortillas and oranges for making fresh-squeezed juice. As always, we strolled through the market at a leisurely pace, taking in all the sights and smells of all of our favorite stalls.

One of her favorite stalls, run by a wrinkled old lady, had an abundance of just-picked figs. The viejita stood in the middle of the aisle with her hands cupped, filled with figs as she cried, “Higos! Higos!”

We stopped to say hello to the woman and she cut open a fig to show me the inside. It was perfectly pink. She must’ve seen the look of excitement on my face because she stuffed two figs in my hand and said they were a gift to enjoy. She gave my suegra a few as well and after thanking her profusely and buying a few oranges, we were on our way.

higos (figs)

I don’t recall seeing fresh figs often in the grocery store while I was growing up  in the Midwest– and I’m not sure if that’s the reason why they fascinate me so much now, as if I have a lot of catching up to do or if, like many things, I’ve just gained a new appreciation for them while in Mexico. Figs have been growing in Mexico for centuries; the Spaniards are credited for bringing them to the New World in the 1500s.

If you pay attention to the produce in the grocery store or at your local farmer’s market, you may have noticed figs are in season right at this time of year. Recently, a friend who lives in Los Angeles mentioned that she had an over-producing fig tree. Jokingly, I told her if she wanted to get rid of some of her extra figs, she could send them to me and I’d put them to good use. After a few emails, the figs were on their way to me in the mail. They arrived perfectly bubble wrapped in a box and as she had picked the figs before they were ripe so they’d survive being shipped cross-country, they were just starting to ripen. … 

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