Aguas frescas are a staple in most Mexican and Mexican-American homes, mine included. The best aguas frescas are made with ingredients that are in season because they’re easiest to get, typically cost less because they are more abundant, and have the best flavor because they’re at their peak growing season. Honeydew melon—also known as melón verde—is in season typically from May to October, with the peak from May to August, but we’ve been seeing a lot of this melon in the grocery stores in Southern California since mid-March. This honeydew and cucumber agua fresca recipe is light and refreshing for warm spring and summer days. You can also opt to serve it straight as a juice with breakfast—just run through a juicer or powerful blender and leave out the water and optional sugar.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been on a healthy homemade juice kick since we returned from Mexico in January. I’ve always loved carrot juice and whenever we vacation at the beaches in Mexico, I always order carrot juice with my breakfast if it’s available. Drinking carrot juice before getting sun, as well as after, can also help you hold onto a tan for a bit longer. (But don’t forget to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.) Carrot juice is high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which aids in tissue and bone development, benefits eyesight, boosts your immune system to help stave off colds, and helps heal dry, flaky skin. Carrot juice is rich in other minerals too, thanks to carrots being a root vegetable, and folates, which are a safe, natural provider of folic acid (and why you’re likely to see pregnant women drinking it). It’s packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, B complex and also has a low glycemic load, making it a healthy and safe drink for diabetics. What’s not to love about carrot juice?
National Margarita Day is February 22 and National Tequila Day is July 24, but who really needs a holiday to celebrate one of Mexico’s most famous libations? This spiced pear margarita recipe has a cinnamon-infused kick and gets a sweet, molasses-like depth from piloncillo.
There are two great things about this recipe: First, it can be served cold or hot, depending what kind of climate you live in and whether you’re suffering through a brutal winter or not. Serving it hot is just like having a fruit-infused tequila hot toddy! And second, the spiced pear puree will keep in an airtight container (I recommend a glass jar) in the refrigerator for up to a week, and the recipe can be easily doubled if you want to make it in advance for a party or just enjoy a few cocktails during the week.
This margarita recipe calls for Bosc pears, which have brown skin and sweet flesh. They’re in season from September through April. If you can’t find Bosc pears, you can substitute Bartlett pears, which also are sweet and juicy, and in season from August through February.
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.
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. …