CARLOTA DE LIMÓN

Mexican dessert: carlota de limón o postre de limón, known as an ice box cake or a Charlotte in English. Get the recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com

This past weekend, I was trying to decide what I should bring for dessert to my family’s Easter fiesta. I was considering taking either flan or capirotada, but couldn’t decide so I asked my Twitter amigos what to do. I got just about equal votes for each, including one really funny comment after I referred to our gathering as “Mexi-Rican Easter” since we’ve got some Puerto Rican cousins in my extended family.

Eventually, my friend Nelda suggested I bring a carlota. We debated a bit about the method and the kind of cookie to be used (ladyfingers versus galletas María), but ultimately we decided the best version would include cream cheese. I can’t remember the last time I had a carlota, but I’ll tell you what: It’s making a comeback in my kitchen this spring and summer.

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CHURROS

In the U.S., I’ve seen several different versions of churros. Make no mistake: none of them are very authentic. Some make my stomach churn at the thought (think theme park churros filled with chocolate or fruit-flavored goo), while others are passable for some quick cinnamon-sugar satisfaction during a desperate moment. It’s important to fry the pastry dough just right because if they’re over-fried, they’re just no good.

Churros WEB

churros

Several years ago when José and I were still dating, I made my first trip to the legendary Churrería El Moro in Mexico City. Founded in 1935, this cultural culinary gem is more than just a 75-year-old churro depot. It’s an incredible experience. The storefront has a big glass window so you can watch the churros being made. That alone makes it worth the trip. In fact, even famous Chicago-based chef Rick Bayless is rumored to have stood outside El Moro for hours upon hours when planning the concept for his new quick eatery, Xoco.

The waitresses at El Moro wear mustard-yellow diner uniforms with white trim and aprons. The blue, white and yellow patterned tiles, stained glass and yellow stucco walls inside are elements of any dream I have had dealing with churros ever since. (Yes, I dream about churros.) It’s all a part of the experience. With four types of hot chocolate to choose from and for the equivalent of a few dollars, you can’t go wrong when ordering churros y chocolate, especially in the chilly winter months. … 

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