AGUA FRESCA: Agua de melón

Today on the Kenmore Genius Blog, I’m sharing a quick and simple recipe to make agua de melón in your blender. I especially love to drink this with breakfast.

The basic ingredients: Cantaloupe, a little sugar, water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If your melon is super ripe, you can also reduce the sugar by half or leave it out completely for a healthier, no-sugar-added version—it’s up to you. Hop on over to the Genius Blog for more on this recipe. This recipe calls for cantaloupe, but you can also use honeydew melon (melón verde).

Agua de melón

Prep Time: 10 minutes

10 minutes

Yield: 3 to 3 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a ripe cantaloupe
  • 1/4 cup of sugar dissolved in a half cup of warm water
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • Optional: juice of half a lime

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the sugar in a half cup of warm water to create a simple syrup. Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.
  2. Cut the cantaloupe into cubes and put it into the blender with 1 cup of water until it’s completely liquified and smooth.
  3. Place a fine sieve over a pitcher and pour the contents of the blender through it to strain. Use a spoon to press any remaining juice through the sieve.
  4. Add the simple syrup to the pitcher and stir well. If you opt to use the lime juice, add that after the simple syrup.
  5. Serve chilled or over ice. Yields 3 to 3-1/2 cups of juice, depending on the ripeness of your cantaloupe. Refrigerate any juice you’re not going to drink immediately and consume within two days.
http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2011/09/agua-fresca-agua-de-melon/

If you want to read more about aguas frescas, check out some of my previous recipes here on The Other Side of The Tortilla:

Did you like this recipe? Please share it with your familia and amigos! ¡Gracias!

Wordless Wednesday: El plátano macho

I love plantains, known as plátano macho in Spanish. They look a lot like big fat bananas, but they aren’t quite the same and the peel is much thicker than on a regular banana. You can buy them green or yellow with black spots like the ones pictured above depending on what you’re using them for. My two favorite ways to eat them are plain and fried with a little crema Mexicana or as empanadas rellenos de frijol, which is a recipe that comes from Veracruz (and is a family favorite) that I’ll have to share with you soon.

  • What’s your favorite way to eat plantains?

AGUA FRESCA: AGUA DE PIÑA

During my last visit to Mexico City, I was a bit rushed to squeeze in my favorite places to eat since I was only in town for a few days before and after our family trip to Aguascalientes for Abuelita Ana’s birthday.

After visiting the Frida Kahlo museum with my suegra in the late morning and a quick stop at the mercado Coyoacán to pick up a few goodies to take back to Chicago, we headed to El Bajío in Polanco for lunch.

As we pulled up to the restaurant on the corner of Campos Elíseos and Alejandro Dumas, the afternoon sky turned gray and it looked as if it was going to rain. Just as we were seated it began to sprinkle and the dining room, usually bright with sunlight thanks to its large plate glass windows and a few skylights, grew a bit dim. One of the many things I love about Mexico City is how it sometimes rains in the afternoon just for a few hours and then the sun comes out shining again. The afternoon rain somehow always appears just at the right time for a siesta and reminds me to take it easy. It’s like mother nature’s way of telling us to rest and relax; to take respite from the daily grind to refresh our spirits.

Since we were in no hurry, what with the rain and all, we settled in to a cozy little table for two in the back near the beverage bar where they make the coffee and juices. We each decided to have agua de piña to drink, so when it came time to order we asked for a large pitcher to share. The pitchers used at El Bajío, and common all over Mexico, are made of a thick hand-blown glass with a cobalt blue rim. Sometimes there are little bubbles still in the glass – one of those slight imperfections that makes them so beautiful to begin with; a reminder that they’re handmade and each is unique.

My suegra has a set of these cobalt-rimmed drinking glasses as well as little tequila glasses in the liquor cabinet in the living room. I’ve always wanted to bring a set of these glasses home with me, but since my suitcase is usually full of other goodies, I never quite have the room. Someday I’ll reserve a spot in my suitcase for them to travel back with me, but until then I’ll just have to dream about it. And I’ve got many memories to choose from – every place I’ve ever been in Mexico, from Baja California Sur all the way east to Quintana Roo, I’ve been served aguas frescas in a cobalt-rimmed glass…. 

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GUAYABAS EN SANCOCHO

guayabas en sancocho

I love the smell of ripe guayabas Mexicanas. Their creamy white flesh and tropical fragrance are simply intoxicating. They remind me of this one particular little stall that sells fruits at the Mercado Coyoacán (consequently, also the same place that made me appreciate higos–or figs; a topic for another post). Whenever I visit Mexico City, I’m always eager to tag along with my suegra when she needs to grab something from the mercado because I love walking among the vendor stalls discovering new things.

José also likes the smell of guayabas–but for a different reason. You see, as a big brother, José has always dabbled in a serious form of sibling rivalry.

My cuñada, on the other hand, can’t stand the smell or taste of guayabas. The smell actually makes her wretch. A few years ago when we were visiting around Christmastime, we bought a big bag of guayabas for making ponche Navideño. I’m sure you can guess what happened next…. 

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