Paletas de fresas con crema

Fresas con crema are a traditional, popular dessert all over Mexico.

Irapuato, a town in the state of Guanajuato, is particularly known not only for its bountiful strawberry fields, but also its roadside stands where you can get freshly picked berries or an impromptu treat of fresas con crema. Most of the roadside stands keep a cooler with crema on ice for highway travelers hankering for this sweet and simple treat. With only three ingredients—strawberries, cream and sugar—it’s easy to fall under this dessert’s spell.

MAY IS NATIONAL STRAWBERRY MONTH, so I’m delighted to share this spin on fresas con crema made into popsicles. You’ll love them so much, I promise you’ll want to eat them all spring and summer long until you can’t get any more strawberries.

#Paletas de fresas con crema (Mexican strawberries and cream popsicles) #recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com

Variations on the traditional fresas con crema recipe mostly come in the choice of the “crema” part of the dish. Some people like to use crema Mexicana, while others may use a canned version known as media crema table cream. These Mexican strawberries and cream popsicles are made a little less dense—but equally creamy—with a quick homemade whipped cream made from scratch. Paletas de fresas con crema are one of my absolute favorite desserts for spring and summer, and my friends, family and co-workers all love when I make a big batch of these popsicles to share. During the hottest days of the summer, I suggest freezing them overnight before serving so they aren’t quick to melt in the heat.

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Trenza de huevo con chorizo

This savory Mexican breakfast pastry braid stuffed with scrambled eggs and chorizo—known as a trenza de huevo con chorizo—is a simple recipe to please your breakfast or brunch crowd.

If you ask me, breakfast pastries are a pretty genius invention, whether they’re sweet or savory. And I admit it: I will pretty much eat anything wrapped in puff pastry. It’s one of my weaknesses. This recipe is one of my go-to breakfast or brunch recipes when I’m trying to do something fancy that looks like I put in a ton of effort but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen cooking. I like to serve slices of this savory breakfast pastry braid with coffee, fresh-squeezed juice and seasonal fruit.

If you like, you can choose other mix-ins with your scrambled eggs such as chile poblano strips and onion, chiltomate (a salsa made with Roma tomatoes and chile habanero), or anything else you normally would scramble in with eggs.

Pastry braid stuffed with scrambled egg and chorizo. Get the recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com.… 

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Agua fresca de melón verde y pepino

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.

Honeydew melon and cucumber agua fresca recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com… 

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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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Mexican-Style Carrot Juice With Lime and Chile

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?

Mexican-style carrot juice with lime and chili-lime salt (Tajín) recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com

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