1 ½ medium red onions, cut into eighths
1 cup almonds, toasted
2 chipotle chiles
1 cup slivered pitted dried plum (prunes)
2 corn tortillas, torn or crumbled
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons shaved mexican chocolate (or 2 tbls.natural unsweetened cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh tomato, chopped, seeded, peeled
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1⁄2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add spice paste (from blender), cooking on medium heat until fragrant.
Add tomatoes, sauce, peppers, garlic, broth and seasonings and simmer for five minutes until thickened and creamy.
Serve over chicken or fish.
By Juliann Esquivel
8 large dried chile mulatos, you will have to go to a Mexican market where these are sold.
8 large dried pasilla or ancho chiles. if you live in California, Texas, Miami, New York, or Chicago it should not be too hard to find these dried chile peppers
4 large dried guajillo chiles
6/8 Tbsp. lard or corn oil, for those who have health reasons
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted lightly
1/2 c dark raisins
1/4 c pumpkin seeds, toasted lightly
1/4 c pecans, in pieces, toasted lightly
1/4 c peanuts with skins if possible, not the shells toasted lightly, can be salted
4 slice challah bread or any egg bread, toasted and torn in pieces
1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted lightly, save a tablespoon to a side.
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried Mexican oregano if possible if not possible then the other oregano
4 medium avocado leaves. optional since it is hard to get fresh avocado leaves.
1 1/2 small sticks cinnamon or ground cinnamon about 2 level tsps.
1/4 tsp ground star anise or ground seed anise
2 small cloves, just two whole cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
3 small black peppercorns, whole
2 large plantains ripe sliced, can buy Goya frozen fried plantains
1 large tomato roasted, no need to seed or peel
3 large tomatillos, quartered & roasted
5 clove garlic roasted
1 medium onion roasted
10/12 c rich homemade chicken broth. use homemade, best if you make the day before
8/10 large pieces of cooked chicken or turkey
1 1/2 Tbsp. perhaps a tad bit more sugar
2 large tablets Mexican chocolate there is one called abuelitas chocolate, this is a special chocolate that is mixed with cinnamon, almonds, & vanilla
2 Tbsp. salt or to your taste
1 c flour
2 medium corn tortillas fried crispy golden careful not to scorch
First the day before making your mole you will need to make a rich chicken stock. Cook two chickens cut into pieces, in a deep heavy pot cover pieces with cold water add a medium onion, some garlic cloves a little salt and some garlic powder cover on medium flame and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Ensure you have at least 12 cups of good rich broth. When chicken is done take out pieces and put into a separate pan let cool & cover and refrigerate for the next day. Do not overcook the chicken you want tender nice pieces, not chicken falling off the bone. When broth cools strain and refrigerate. All of the ingredients for this broth are in addition to what is on the sauce ingredient list above. Next day skim of the fat from the top and put on back burner until ready to use.
Clean the dried chilies with a damp cloth. Open the chiles by making a slit and removing the stem, seeds and membranes. Be sure to get all of the seeds out. They will cause you sauce to be bitter. After cleaning all of the dried chilies put into a sauce pan cover with cold water and put on medium flame let the chilies begin to boil for 5 minutes. Then shut off heat and let steep in this water for 10 more minutes. Make sure you have the extractor or ventilator on over the stove when doing this. Chile fumes can be strong. After the chilies have soaked for 10 minutes remove to a blender and with a little of the soaking water blend down to a puree. (Do not throw the remaining soaking water away Save it you will need it later). Take out chile puree and set aside in a separate bowl.
On a cookie sheet place your onion cut in half cut side down, tomatillos cut side down, the tomato leave whole but turn once or twice while roasting. Four peeled garlic cloves all to roast under the broiler. Do not let veggies char only to roast until somewhat brown, keep checking to make sure your veggies do not burn. Turn tomato just to get some nice browning spots. This should take about 4/5 minutes under the broiler. Some people do on a griddle but it’s faster under the broiler. Remove veggies and puree everything in the blender. everything must be completely pureed. Set aside in a separate dish.
In a cast iron pan if available or a heavy large fry pan heat 1 tablespoon lard or oil and fry raisins until they puff up and brown a bit again I can’t begin to remind do not scorch or burn the raisins. Remove the raisins and set aside. Add a little more lard or oil and fry gently the almonds, pecans, and the peanuts frying for five minutes on a medium to low flame careful not to burn. All this takes times you cannot hurry because burning or scorching any of these nuts will cause your sauce to be bitter. Nuts should be a golden brown. Remove nuts and set aside. Next in the same frying pan add a little more lard or oil and fry your torn bread pieces lightly then put bread in the oven for about ten minutes to toast a bit. After 10 minutes remove bread from oven. Next in that same frying pan cut your ripe plantains in small pieces and fry in oil or lard until golden. Remove the plantains to a separate pan. Last fry the tortilla in a little bit more oil or lard until crispy again being careful not to burn. Remove fried tortilla to bread pan. Heat another heavy fry pan no oil or lard please. Keep heat down on medium low Add your spices to toast sesame seeds, cinnamon sticks anise, cloves, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and pumpkin seeds slowly. Toast until they are a fragrant do not burn or scorch. Put into a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until totally ground to a powder. Note if you do not have whole cumin seeds then add ground cumin powder to your mixture at the end after you have pulsed your spices. Next add your powdered spices to the just ground spices referring to the oregano, thyme and marjoram.
At this time start to heat your chicken broth. When hot reduce to a simmer you don’t want it to boil. Place the ground spices, the pureed veggies, the fried plantains, and a cup of chicken broth and blend into a smooth paste. Place in a bowl and set aside. Next place the bread, tortilla, and a little more broth and blend into a puree. Add some of the pureed chiles and continue to blend everything in little batches until all the bread, tortilla mixture is pureed and mixed with the chile puree Everything should be very well incorporated. Next put the nuts, remaining 2 cloves garlic, raisins and chocolate in the blender add a little of the water (about 1/2 cup) from the soaked chiles and blend to a smooth paste. By this time all of your ingredients should be well blended in a smooth paste or pureed except for the flour and sugar. Mix all of your pureed ingredients together. The bread and chiles, the veggies, the spices the nuts and chocolate mixture. Everything mix really good. Taste for salt seasoning. (I have left out the avocado leaves because this is very hard for some to find. If you are close to a location that has fresh avocado leaves wash four and put aside for one of the final steps.
In a deep heavy pot heat some more lard or oil, add the flour and begin to make a roux. Roux should be sautéed to a golden brown then add about 2 cups of all your pureed mixture. With a large whisk begin to mix roux with the puree mixture. Your mixture will begin to get thick and be hard to stir. Start adding 2 or three cupful of hot chicken broth and whisking constantly until you have a nice consistency then add all of the remaining pureed mixture and about 8/10 cupful of the chicken broth. Keep stirring with the whisk until you have a smooth sauce. Taste to see if it has enough salt. If it is a little bitter add the sugar a little at a time. Each time tasting to see if the bitterness is gone. Your sauce should be savory, and spicy not sweet. If you have the avocado leaves now you add them to the sauce whole not cut with your cooked chicken pieces from which you made your broth. Simmer mole sauce and chicken on low flame for about 45 minutes. If sauce is too thick add more chicken broth. Remove avocado leaves and discard. Serve Mole and chicken with Mexican rice and warm tortillas. Sprinkle a few toasted sesame seeds over the mole when serving. I have the recipe posted for Mexican rice. I will be making this mole this weekend and will post the picture of the finished dish. This is not an easy dish. Mole Negro is a labor intensive and the most arduous of all the mole recipes. It is done in steps and takes patience. The reward is a melt in your mouth sauce and chicken that few have a chance to experience here in the U.S. Note: Do not use any other chocolate except the Mexican chocolate your mole will lose its character & notoriety it is famous for. Mexican chocolate can be found in the Latin food section of your supermarket. Enjoy.
8 – 10 pound bone-in pork shoulder*
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
*or 6-8 pound boneless pork shoulder
Cut you pork shoulder in large pieces, very approximately 4-5 inches. Remove excess fat. Season the pork generously on all sides with Kosher salt and refrigerate overnight. (You can skip the overnight part if needed, but I think it helps. At the very least, make sure to salt the pork before the next step).
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a large pot (I used my dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear pork shoulder on all sides until deep golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. If your pot is to small to cook all the pork at one time in a single layer, sear in two batches.
Remove browned pork from the pot and use a paper towel to blot away excess grease. Pour in 1 cup of water and use a wooden spoon to scrap up all the browned bits on the bottom of your pot.
Stir in chile powder, ancho chile powder, bay leaves, cumin, garlic, onion, and a big pinch of salt. Return all the pork to your pot and add enough water so that it submerges ⅔ of the pork.
Place uncovered pot in the oven for 3 to 3½ hours, turning the pork a couple times throughout the braising process. Pork is done when almost all of the liquid is evaporated and the meat literally falls apart as you try to pick it up with a fork.
Remove bay leaves and discard. Shred meat with two forks or allow to cool a bit and shred with your fingers. Discard any visible big chunks of fat.
If serving right away: Discard any excess braising liquid left in pot with a large spoon. Return pot to oven, turning shredded pork occasionally, until the pork is as crispy and caramelized as you want it.
If making ahead: Remove pork from pan, let cool completely and refrigerate for up to a few days. Alternatively, you can wrap shredded pork in foil and then seal in a ziploc bag and freeze for several weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in 350°F oven wrapped in foil placed on a baking sheet. Once pork is heated through, unwrap foil and let pork get all crispy and caramelized if desired.
In Mexico, Capirotada is a traditional dessert similar to a bread pudding that is usually eaten during the Lenten period.
Capirotada has a very long history. Recipes were recorded by the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition in the mid-17th century and can still be found in the archives there to this day. It is typically made from ingredients in common use in Spain at the time of the Conquest. Some New World touches were added along the way, and it’s popular to this day throughout the Hispanic world.
The list of variations in the traditional Capirotada recipe is enormous. Every Mexican cook will have an own version.
- 6 day-old bolillos or French bread, torn in ½-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups water
- 2 8-ounce piloncillo cones
- 4-inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 cup sweetened coconut, shredded
- 1/3 cup raw peanuts, peeled
- 10 dried figs, sliced in rounds
- 10 dried apricots, quartered
- 1/3 cup guava paste, sliced in ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese (or any melting cheese such as Munster or Oaxaca), shredded
- 4 tablespoons colorful sprinkles or grajeas (nonpareils)
- On a large baking sheet, evenly distribute bread pieces. Toast under broiler for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Butter a 12×12-inch or 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, piloncillo cones, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil then decrease heat and simmer until piloncillo cones melt liquid turns into a slightly thickened syrup. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- Arrange a third of bread pieces on bottom of buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with one-third of shredded coconut, one-third of peanuts, one-third dried figs, one-third dried apricots, one-third guava paste, one-third cheese and drizzle one-third of the syrup. Repeat until all ingredients have been used. If any syrup is left over, pour evenly over layers.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and cheese has melted. Garnish with sprinkles and serve.
Recipe Source: Maria E. Salazar
Required Time: 2 days
Ingredients (using 6 pounds of meat makes about 10 dozen tamales and will take over a large American freezer, so feel free to cut this recipe in half or more, but don’t decrease onions or garlic)
*3 pounds’ pork roast
*3 pounds’ beef roast
*2 large onions
*4 cloves garlic
*1/3 to ½ cup chili powder or more (depends on heat of chili powder and spice tolerance of tamal eaters)
*8 cups masa harina
*2 cups shortening or lard
*Corn husks (2-3 packages for full recipe)
Pork and/ or Beef Tamales
- Cook meat (pork or beef, or both in separate pots) in a large pot of water (or in a slow- cooker filled with water) with an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for the day, 4 hours minimum. The more broth you can generate from the meat, the better!
- After the meat is cooked (so that it falls apart and shreds easily), remove from pot, set aside to cool, and puree the onion and garlic with the broth. Season broth mixture to taste with chili powder and salt.
Shred meat finely with two forks (you can even chop it after shredding), and store covered in refrigerator separately from broth.
Soak corn husks in water overnight.
Rinse and clean corn husks thoroughly. Drain well and pat dry.
Season shredded meat with chili powder, salt, and cumin (optional) to taste. As you season the meat, add a small amount of broth to moisten meat, but it should not be runny.
For every 2 cups of masa harina (meal), add 1/2 cup of shortening or lard, 1tsp. of salt, and enough chili powder to make a pink dough. Add broth mixture a little at a time to masa and mix with your hands to get a smooth, spreadable consistency. If you run out of broth, you can use hot water, but you will wish you had plenty of broth. (If you use about 6 pounds of meat, you will likely use about 8 cups of masa harina in total).
Assemble the tamales: spread masa about 1/8-inch-thick on corn husk with fingers, leaving about ½ inch border along the sides and 2-inch border along the top and bottom of husk. Use about 2 Tbsp. of shredded meat to fill the tamal (like a cigar). Fold sides until they just overlap, fold narrow end under, and place tamal folded side down. Tear thin strips of the corn husks to tie a “little belt” around each tamal to keep it secure. Although this isn’t necessary, it does look the nicest and makes each tamal a little gift to be opened.
To cook, steam fresh tamales for 15 minutes or until masa is no longer sticky.
Store in freezer. Steam frozen tamales for 20 minutes. (This is a real treat a few days or a few weeks later.
Copyright Nicole Stich
Rosca de reyes is a Spanish and Latin American king’s cake pastry traditionally eaten to celebrate Epiphany.
Although the name indicates that it should be round, the rosca de reyes generally has an oval shape due to the need to make cakes larger than 30 cm (12 inches) across for larger parties. Recipes vary from country to country. For decoration, figs, quinces, cherries or dried and candied fruits are used.
It is traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of the Día de Reyes (literally “Kings’ Day”), which commemorates the arrival of the three Magi or Wise Men. In most of Hispanic communities this is the day when children traditionally get presents, which are attributed to the Three Wise Men (and not Santa Claus). In Mexico before children go to bed, they leave their shoes outside filled with hay or dried grass for the animals the Wise Men ride, along with a note.
The tradition of placing a trinket (a figurine of the Christ child) in the cake is very old. The baby Jesus hidden in the bread represents the flight of the Holy Family, fleeing from King Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine has the responsibility of hosting a dinner and providing tamales and atole on February 2 (Candlemas Day, Día de la Candelaria).
By Mely Martínez
1/2 cup of warm water
1 Envelopes (2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams) of dry active yeast
4 cups (20 ounces) all purpose flour plus more for dusting
3/4 cup of sugar, if you want sweeter add 1/4 cup extra.
3 large whole eggs
3 egg yolks mixed with 2 Tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon orange extract
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened (equals 6 oz. or 3/4 cup) Plus more for bowl and plastic wrap.
Freshly grated orange zest from one orange
Ingredients for the topping:
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
6 tablespoon margarine
1/2 cup of confectioner sugar
Dry fruit like figs, candied orange or cherries.
1 egg beaten for glazing the bread
1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
White sugar to sprinkle on top of the bread
2 or 3 plastic baby dolls
Ingredients most be warm as indicated in the list.
Make sure your oven is preheated 20 minutes before baking to help the dough rise.
You can insert plastic doll from the bottom before baking. (I prefer after baking)
1. Pour warm water into a bowl, and sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 25 minutes.
2. Mean while mix Flour, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, orange extract, orange zest, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix until crumbly. You can do these steps with a mixer or by hand.
3. Add yeast mixture to the bowl and mix. It will be very sticky. Place into a lightly floured surface and start kneading until you have a smooth dough. It will take about 15-20 minutes to get this results. 7 minutes with your mixer. Do not add too much flour to your working area, the texture should be very soft, sort of wet but manageable. If you add more flour than needed your bread will be dry.
4. Once your dough is smooth and soft, place in a buttered bowl, and cover with buttered plastic wrap. It must be wet and elastic. Let dough stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 and 1/2 hours. Make sure your kitchen is warm to help your dough to rise. If the dough doesn’t double in volume after this time let it rest longer. The fermentation process develops flavor, so slower and longer is always best.
5. While the dough is resting, mix the following ingredients for the decoration: margarine with the confectioners sugar until it creamy. Then add in the flour and egg yolk. Until you have a smooth paste.
6. After the first resting period. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times, then shape into a round cushion and making a hole in the middle shape into a large ring. Transfer to a greased rimmed baking sheet, and loosely cover with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or more until almost double in volume. Gather all your decorations and the egg wash. For the egg wash whisk remaining egg with cream.
Preheat oven at least 20 minutes before baking at 375 degrees, with rack in lower third.
Two different ways to shape the bread into a ring form:
7. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Form strips with the confectioners sugar paste and decorate the dough. Place some of the dried fruit pressing them gently into the dough. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes until bread is a nice golden brown color. Depending of your oven it will require more time.
8. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool. After the bread has cooled insert the plastic baby dolls from the bottom of the bread. Do not forget to let your guests know that there is a baby toy inside the bread. Rosca de Reyes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Salted cod is another traditional dish that’s very popular during Christmas time. It’s funny, but I actually didn’t care much for this dish growing up. I have vague memories as a kid of the grown ups in the family praising this dish and how exquisite the combination of flavors tasted. Now that I’ve grown up and tried it myself, though, I can see that they were right: this really is an exquisite dish. The image of the cod simmering with the roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions, olives, parsley, and raisins just makes my mouth water. Yes, I know, I’ve used that expression before, but I just can’t help it when I come across a really great recipe like this one.
Vizcaina Style Salted Cod originated in Spain, and was later adapted by Mexican cooks by adding more ingredients. Not only is salted cod a common dish for Christmas Eve Dinner, but the leftovers are used to make sandwiches (tortas) using French rolls the next day. It’ll actually taste better, since the flavors have had time to fully blend together.
The sauce for this recipe is very similar to the one for the Red Snapper Veracruz Style, just with some extra ingredients, like a variety of pickled peppers known as “Gueros” (very similar to banana peppers). I couldn’t find that particular type of pepper, so I used Pepperoncini peppers instead. Depending on where you live, you can also use Hungarian banana peppers or pickled jalapeños.
If you’re going to try this recipe out, make sure to make enough to have some left over, it tastes better the next day!
MAKES ABOUT 6-8 SERVINGS
- 1 1/2 Salted Cod
- 2 Lbs. Plum Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup pitted olives
- 2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 1-1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 Lb new potatoes, cooked and peeled*
- 4 Red peppers, roasted and cut into strips
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 6 Pickled Guero peppers (banana, pepperoncinosi or jalapeños peppers will work fine)**
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse Salted Cod in water for at least 3 times until water comes out clean. As you can see on the top right picture, the water has a lot of salt floating in it. This was the first rinsing. After the 3rd rinse, the water is clear, as shown on the picture at the bottom left. Leave the fish to soak in this water for about 6-8 hours. It will be tender after the soaking time, as you can see on the bottom right picture
- Rinse and drain the fish again and place in a large stock pot with clean cold water. Gently simmer over a medium-high heat for about 7 minutes until it is tender. Drain fish and set aside, reserving some of the cooking liquid in case your sauce get dry and you need more liquid.
- While the fish is cooling, place tomatoes on a hot griddle to roast.
- Roasting the tomatoes will take about 10 minutes. If the fish is already cool enough to handle, shred it finely.
- Place roasted tomatoes into a blender and process until you have a smooth sauce. Strain using a sieve and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until transparent, about 4 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the roasted tomato puree and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
- As soon as the tomato sauce starts simmering, add the shredded Salted Cod. Stir and cook until the tomato sauce start simmering again, and, one by one, start slowly adding the raisins, olives, and capers. Allow the sauce to simmer and the flavors to blend. Now, add the potatoes and keep simmering and stirring.
- Finally, add the roasted red pepper strips, freshly crumbled Mexican oregano, parsley, and pickled “Guero” peppers. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Remember that the fish was already salted, so be careful not to add salt before tasting the sauce. Keep simmering for about 10-15 more minutes or tomato sauce has reduced.
Puerto Nuevo is a seaside village in Baja California, Mexico. It was made famous some 50 years ago for its succulent Pacific spiny lobster, which is renowned throughout Southern California.
Back in the old days, local fisherman would cruise up and down the shoreline in their pangas (fishing boats) and dive right off the rocks in search of the best lobsters.
The traditional Puerto Nuevo Lobster is deep fried in lard. They are pan-fried in the lard so the meat of the lobster stays tender and succulent. A good ‘ol Mexican beer or some ice cold coca-cola is a must with this dish. Of course don’t forget the beans, Spanish rice, limes, salsas, and only in Baja you can enjoy a delicious Lobster with rice and beans with a Sonora stile flour tortilla handmade your choice Tequila or beer either way … Amazing!
6 large Mexican lobsters
2 cups lard or solid vegetable shortening
Old bay seasoning
2 cups frijoles (beans)
2 cups spanish rice
Dozen or two of flour and/or corn tortillas
2 cups Salsa Fresca
2 cups Salsa Verde
- Bring a pot of water mixed with a little Mexican beer, to a boil. Throw in a bit of old bay seasoning.
Put the lobsters in for about 3 minutes. They won’t be thoroughly cooked.
Heat lard or vegetable shortening, in a heavy deep skillet.
Split the lobsters in half lengthwise and remove the green tamale inside.
Season the lobster halves with old bay seasoning and pepper.
Pan-fry each lobster halve for about 5 minutes on each side, until meat is tender and crisp.
Drain on paper towels.
You can serve them right away or place them in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Serve up your Puerto Nuevo Lobsters with frijoles, rice, tortillas, lime and salsas. You can eat the lobster either in a burrito or taco or just by themselves. Use the tortillas to scoop and mop up your beans, rice, excess pan juices and salsas – the Mexican way!