Chile-spiced hot apple cider brandy cocktail

chile-puya-spiced-apple-cider-recipe-TOSOTT

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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Pellizcadas

How to make pellizcadas with refried black beans, queso panela and salsa verde. Recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com.

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

Pellizcadas are the perfect appetizer for those who love sopes, but want something a little smaller to snack on.

Pellizcadas can be eaten alone, as an appetizer, or along with a meal such as lunch. In Veracruz, where part of our family is from, it’s common for pellizcadas to be served with small pieces of crushed chicharron and topped with salsa. In other parts of the country, there are many variations when it comes to the toppings. This particular variation is similar to one I’ve eaten in Acapulco, where this dish is sometimes referred to as pellizcadas acapulqueñas…. 

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Atole de calabaza

How to make Mexican atole de calabaza. A gluten-free hot beverage perfect for fall and winter! Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.com.

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

Atole de calabaza is a masa-based beverage made with milk, thickened with Maseca corn flour, and served hot. This pumpkin-flavored version tastes similar to pumpkin pie and is perfect for serving around Thanksgiving.

Although vanilla, chocolate (called champurrado) and strawberry are the most common atole flavors, there are many other common flavors such as pumpkin, or modern, non-traditional flavors such as blueberry cardamom atole. I love to serve this pumpkin atole with conchas (a type of pan dulce, pictured above).

RELATED RECIPE: Atole de vainilla

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and pumpkin pie is always a staple in my house at this time of year. As a kid, I always used to want to drink the leftover pumpkin pie filling, which my mom would warn me against doing since it contains raw eggs. I’d manage to drink some anyway and usually everything was fine, but occasionally, I’d end up with a stomachache. This atole tastes very similar to pumpkin pie filling thanks to the creaminess from the evaporated milk and has no risk from the eggs like pumpkin pie filling. What more could I ask for? It’s the perfect breakfast or dessert when served with some pan dulce!… 

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How to make orejas

Instructions how to make orejas, also known as palmiers. This popular Mexican pan dulce has only three ingredients: puff pastry, cinnamon and sugar. Recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com.

Orejas, also known as palmiers, are a puff pastry cookie and kind of pan dulce commonly found in panaderías all over Mexico.

Pan dulce was made popular during the French occupation in the mid 1800s, and as Mexican President Porfirio Díaz was considered to be a Francophile, French influence on Mexico’s gastronomy was allowed to grow from the time Díaz first took control as president in 1880 and flourish into the early 1900s.

In 1911, Díaz left Mexico to live in exile in Paris when Madero became president; he would live there for four years before he died in 1915. And although Díaz died in exile, the French pastries and sweet breads adopted by Mexico morphed into uniquely Mexican creations, with a variety of shapes, textures and creative names that still exist today.

RELATED RECIPE: Cafe de olla… 

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Lasaña Azteca

Mexican-inspired white lasagna Azteca rolls. Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.com

This post is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with Barilla and Latina Bloggers Connect, but the recipe and all opinions here are my own.

Rollitos de lasaña azteca, or Aztec lasagna rolls, are an easy and flavorful dish that you can prepare in advance and pop into the oven to get dinner on the table without much effort.

Several years ago, my Tía Annette gave me a copy of a Mexico City Junior League cookbook from the 1980s. The thing I loved most about the book was that it had expat fusion recipes that were Mexicanized versions of American comfort foods, and it was a window into what the most popular recipes were among these women at the time the book was published.

This recipe is my modern spin on a fusion of two recipes that were particularly popular at the time that edition of the Mexico City Junior League cookbook was written: A white lasagna made with Mexican cheeses, and a dish known as budín Azteca or pastel Azteca, which is basically a lasagna dish that uses tortillas in place of lasagna noodles, and has a cheesy, spicy chile and vegetable filling.

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