Cebollitas

I love grilling. The smell of the charcoal, the crackling sound of the fire roasting the food and the anticipation of what’s about to land on my plate. And whenever we grill in Mexico, my suegro is the king of the barbecue.

At any parrillada at la casa de mis suegros, you can count on one side dish being the same, no matter what kind of meats are chosen for the main dish – cebollitas.

This dish is so simple and easy (and almost totally impossible to mess up even if you’re not a grilling pro), it’s the single dish that most reminds me of a Sunday parrillada in Mexico.

You can add as much or as little lime juice and salsa Maggi, a Worcestershire-style seasoning sauce, as you like – it all depends on your taste buds.

Not only is this dish often served at barbecues and family gatherings, you can also often find them at little street food stands around Mexico. In fact, I’m sure I have photos of a few of them somewhere. Sounds like a future Wordless Wednesday post! (Wink, wink.)… 

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Limonada

I love fizzy drinks. And my all time favorite fizzy drink is a Mexican limonada, of course!

Every time we go to Mexico, and particularly when we’re visiting the beach, a limonada is always the drink I choose to quench my thirst after getting my fair share of sunshine.

I’ve also been known to order it everywhere from poolside to fancy restaurants – I just can’t get enough.

This drink is so simple to make, yet I get so many emails and phone calls from friends asking how to make it. And with the Wordless Wednesday post last week about limonada y sol, I figured it would be cruel to not tell you how to make it. I’m finally sharing a recipe so you can have this sweet fizzy drink at home!

You can also make this drink with still water but the carbonated water gives it a little something extra to make it different. I typically use lightly carbonated water, but you can use whatever you like.

I like to drink limonada when it’s hot and sunny, but also when I’m really missing México lindo y querido…. 

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Pico de gallo

When most people think of pico de gallo, they think of a salsa made of tomatoes, diced onion and fresh green chile (such as serrano or jalapeño), lime juice and cilantro.

That salsa is also commonly referred to as salsa Mexicana.

However, in some areas of Mexico if you ask for pico de gallo you’ll end up with a sort of fruit salad-looking thing that you perhaps didn’t intend to order. But make no mistake, this kind of pico de gallo is one you’ll definitely want to try!

It’s a favorite snack in our house–great for a lazy afternoon watching fútbol or even for entertaining guests.

During our last visit to Mexico, one day my suegra made a big batch of this pico de gallo and it was so good that we ate it all before she got a chance to eat any! The truth was, we thought she had saved some downstairs in another dish and given us only a portion of it, so we gobbled it all up. The only solution? To make another batch, of course!

This antojito is especially great for the warm weather months because it’s very refreshing. The crisp, crunchy jicama is the base of the recipe, with cucumbers, diced onion, serrano chile and oranges for a unique salad. The citrusy dressing is a perfect mix of tart and sweet, with a sprinkle of tajín or dash of salt and chile powder on top to round out the flavor…. 

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Easy Esquites

Easy, healthy esquites recipe (roasted corn, chile piquin, cotija cheese, lime juice) from theothersideofthetortilla.comThe weather is getting warmer and that can only mean one thing: an explosion of Mexican street food carts popping up on every corner in the neighborhood where I do all my grocery shopping.

Among the carts that make my mouth water the most is one from which the sweet smell of roasted corn wafts through the spring air – and through my car window enticing me to stop for a quick treat. Yep, you guessed it: esquites.

The key ingredients of this antojito are roasted corn, lime juice, salt and dried ground chile piquin. And then there are the customizations and variations on the snack that can make it so unique from place to place. Sometimes sauteed with butter or onions and epazote, it can also be topped with mayonesa or crema Mexicana. And my favorite touch: a sprinkle of queso cotija, a dry, crumbly cheese with a little bite.

It’s usually served in a Styrofoam or plastic cup on the street, but don’t let the simple presentation fool you. Serve this at a spring or summer backyard barbecue and impress your guests with this simple treat they’re sure to love. Or just make it at home as a weekend snack!

Part of the beauty of this dish is that you can make changes or adjustments to your own tastes very easily without compromising any kind of measurements or balance so long as you follow the base of the recipe by roasting the corn either with butter or by adding a little water to the corn once you’ve cut it to help create a little juice. The portions of the lime juice, chile and toppings is up to you. The end result should be a sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste in every bite…. 

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AGUA FRESCA: AGUA DE TUNA ROJA

I still remember the first time I saw tunas growing wild – José and I were visiting Mexico City one warm week at the end of the summer several years ago. One afternoon we were bored, so my suegra suggested that José take me on an official tour of Ciudad Universitaria. Also referred to as CU, it is home to the main campus of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (la UNAM or in English, the National Autonomous University of Mexico), the largest university in Latin America and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007.

This year on September 22, UNAM celebrated 100 years since its founding as the National University of Mexico as it was conceptualized by Secretary and Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts, Justo Sierra, and inaugurated in 1910 by President Porfirio Díaz. The university is also the successor to the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico, founded by Spanish Royal Decree in 1551 – technically making UNAM one of the oldest universities in the Americas.

On the campus grounds, besides the historic buildings designed by some of Mexico’s most well-known architects, murals and sculptures by famous Mexican artists, an Olympic stadium that has hosted a Summer Olympic Games (1968) and a World Cup (1986), and an impressive number of students, faculty and staff, there exists a serene, green space that is as close to the original land’s flora and fauna as it might have grown freely during the height of the Aztec empire…. 

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