The easiest way to make Mexican Hot Chocolate is to use Abuelita, which is a brand of chocolate tablets, made by Nestle. Bring 4 cups of milk (not water) to a boil in a saucepan, add the tablet of chocolate, and stir continuously with a whisk or molinillo (a whisk-like wooden stirring spoon) until melted and frothy or creamy. Top with fresh vanilla whipped cream, sprinkle with powdered cinnamon, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Mexican-style hot chocolate is often prepared for special occasions, like Christmas. Abuelita chocolate tablets can be purchased at most local grocery stores or at any of the Mexican markets. Abuelita is an affectionate word meaning “grandma”.
Abuelita brand Mexican-style chocolate tablets
4 cups of milk
vanilla whipped cream
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Sweet potatoes give creamy body to this soup, while spicy chipotle peppers balance the sugary flavor of the tubers. Recipe from Saveur Magazine.
Spicy sweet potato pumpkin soup
Makes 4-6 servings
For this recipe you will need:
Squash blossoms bring color and a light texture to this fresh vegetable stew. Serve it, if you like, with warm corn tortillas. Recipe courtsey Saveur Magazine.
1 tbsp. canola oil
¼ small yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ red jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, minced
2 calabazitas (Mexican squash), summer squash, or zucchini, halved, seeded, thinly sliced crosswise
1 ripe tomato, cored, minced
2 tbsp. minced fresh epazote
20 squash blossoms, stemmed (both the epazote and blossoms are available from Melissas.com)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in epazote, squash blossoms, salt, and pepper; let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
In coastal Oaxaca, both fresh and dried shrimp appear in all kinds of preparations. Here, they bring texture and intense umami flavor to a classic pico de gallo. Recipe courtsey of Saveur Magazine.
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
1 lb. plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
4 oz. Mexican dried shrimp (available at melissas.com), soaked overnight, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup roughly chopped pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tbsp. brine from jar
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
½ small white onion, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Kosher salt, to taste
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, shrimp, jalapeños plus brine, cilantro, onion, and juice. Season with salt, and let sit at room temperature to meld flavors, at least 1 hour.
Apricots’ ripe acidity lend themselves well to this cooked fruit salsa, simultaneously tangy and sweet, says our friends over at Saveur.
We found this interesting cooked Apricot Salsa recipe, and thought we would share.
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
½ cup orange juice
½ cup champagne vinegar
1½ tsp. kosher salt
1½ lb. apricots, cut into ½” pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
½ large red onion, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped mint leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves, tightly packed
Bring juice to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until slightly darkened and syrupy, 5-8 minutes. Add vinegar and salt, stirring until salt is dissolved. Return to a boil and add apricots, garlic, jalapeño, and onion; reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook until apricots begin to break down and vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in mint and cilantro; refrigerate until chilled.
You could also can this recipe using traditional canning/preserving methods.
Pico de gallo (literally meaning rooster’s beak), is a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, white onion, and chilis (typically jalapeños or serranos) and is used in Mexican cooking for flavor and color.
Use it over top carne asada tacos, on top of a salad, or even with a steak, for added fresh and healthy flavor.
Pico De Gallo
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
½ white onion
1 Serrano chile, minced
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lime, juiced
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes hour to allow the flavors to marry.
Yield: 2 cups
Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces originally used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces.
The sauce is most popular in the central and southern regions of the country with those from Puebla and Oaxaca the best known, but 60% of the mole eaten in the country comes from San Pedro Atocpan near Mexico City.
Mole is a rich, complex sauce bursting with layer upon layer of flavor.
Easy Mole Sauce
makes 6 cups
4 dried ancho chiles
2 cups chicken stock
3 corn tortillas baked or fried.
2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves minced
7 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
4 Mexican chocolate discs
Salt & pepper
In a microwave safe bowl place chiles and cover with water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
Drain, remove stem and seeds. Set aside. Break tortillas into pieces and place in blender.
In a large saucepan over medium high meat add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onion and a pinch of salt.
Cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, being careful not to burn garlic.
In a blender with tortillas add onion, garlic, chiles, peanut butter, chicken stock, cumin and oregano.
Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Return blended mix to large saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes on medium high.
Reduce heat and add chocolate. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Allow to cool and store in fridge for up to 1 week. Mole can be frozen for up to 3 three months.
As if Pancakes are not good enough, along comes Mexican pancakes, and we could not be more excited. From the Love and Cupcakes Blog, this recipe looks easy enough for a busy morning, and the Mexican flare turns up the flavor a bit. Think Churro turned pancake.
Pair with Mexican coffee or hot cocoa, and a bowl of fresh Mexican fruit, and you’ve got a brunch fit for guests.
Mexican Pancakes with Brown Butter & Cinnamon Maple Syrup
Makes about 12 pancakes
For the pancakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
For the syrup
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup good quality maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the syrup:
Brown the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue cooking it on medium-high heat until the butter boils and begins to brown. When the butter begins to brown, you will see specks of darker brown develop at the bottom of the pan. Stir these up and cook until the butter has a nice and even dark honey color. In a separate oven proof container, combine hot butter with maple syrup and cinnamon, stir vigorously to emulsify. Keep warm in a low temp oven (180-200 degrees).
For the pancakes:
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a wooden spoon to blend. Stir until it’s just blended together, but don’t over do it. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides. Place pancakes on an oven safe plate in the oven as you go to keep them warm. Serve with warmed brown butter & cinnamon maple syrup.
This Mexican dessert looks light and flavorful, a perfect Spring dessert.
This dessert is a variation on a similar Mexican sweet made with limes.
4 thin-skinned oranges (such as Valencias)
4 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 2⁄3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Simmer oranges in a large pot of water over medium heat for 1 hour. Drain. In the same pot, dissolve 4 cups of the sugar in 4 cups water over medium-low heat.
2. Slice about 1⁄2″ off the top of each orange, then add oranges and tops to water. Simmer over low heat for 2 1⁄2 hours.
3. To make the filling, dissolve remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar in 1⁄2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut. Boil over medium-high heat until most of the water evaporates, about 15 minutes.
4. When oranges are done, remove, set aside to cool, and reduce cooking liquid until syrupy, about 15 minutes. Spoon filling into oranges (interiors will have almost dissolved), and serve cool with syrup.
A classic version of a Mexican cerveza preparada (prepared beer), the chavela couldn’t be simpler: tomato juice, hot sauce, beer, lemon, and ice, with a salted rim. Drink it on its own, or pair it with a shot of tequila for a real kick.
MAKES ONE COCKTAIL
Kosher salt, for rimming the glass
3 oz. tomato juice
6 dashes hot sauce, like Tabasco or Cholula
12 oz. bottle light-bodied Mexican beer, like Corona
1.5 oz. tequila (optional)