The final meal of the day is la cena and is usually eaten between 7 and 9 pm. It may simply consist of bread and a hot drink. Sometimes it may be a nice meal eaten in a restaurant or some street food like tacos.
There are many different recipes for this classic custard. Look online to find one that suits your needs. I wanted one that didn’t use a lot of eggs.
This is what I found: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/classic-custard-jericalla.html
Tres Leches Cake
This is a cake I had heard a lot about and have always wanted to try. Oh my goodness is it ever good!!! And oh my goodness is it ever fattening!!!
I used this recipe: https://www.westwyndfarminn.com/tres-leches-cake-recipe.html
These are Mexican Sugar Cookies. The recipe I had used from a children’s book was not working, the dough was not sticking together at all. Interestingly enough, my youngest suggested adding an egg (not in the recipe) and when I compared it to other Polvorone recipes online they all had egg. I also added vanilla, salt and baking powder. Here is my recipe, obviously not authentic at all, but still very delicious.
Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour, ¾ cup sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 cup softened butter, 1 egg, ½ tsp vanilla, ¼ tsp baking powder, pinch of salt.
Preheat the oven to 300F/150C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a separate bowl. In another bowl cream the butter then add the egg with the mixer. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Scoop out spoonfuls and then shape into flattened disks. Bake for 25 minutes. You may sprinkle additional sugar and cinnamon over the warm cookies…but I forgot.
I hope to try the Jericalla recipe soon. Check back later for a photo.
Marranitos or Cochinos
How adorable are these pig cookies?
They are a delicious molasses cookie, too.
Here's the recipe I used:
I'd love to be sitting on this beach
in Cancun eating any of these foods
These coconut squares were a hit with my boys, and they were ridiculously easy to make as they only require two ingredients: one bag of sweetened shredded coconut and ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk! I would recommend cooking with a layer of parchment paper underneath though as mine stuck to the pan (thus no photo of a nicely cut square).
Here’s the full recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/cocada-easy-coconut-bark.amp
Normally this is something made with dried beans and it takes a long time to cook. I never have that much time to devote to dried beans so I like recipes that use canned beans. I found this one called Easy Charro Beans with Canned Beans! Perfect! https://thecompletesavorist.com/easy-charro-beans-with-canned-beans
The Ultimate Mexican Street Food – Tacos:
Use your favourite recipe (or a box...I won't tell) to make tacos using ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded pork, even fish!
I made these 35 minute shredded Chicken tacos: http://nerdymamma.com/shredded-chicken-street-tacos/
I also want to try these pork tacos one day:
I found this easy recipe here: http://www.food.com/recipe/mexican-alambre-336023
The directions are a bit sparse but basically it is stir fried meat (we had chicken and bacon) and onion and bell peppers with spices. We sprinkled the cheese on afterwards instead of in the pan. I serve rice as well and my kids wanted to wrap it all up in a tortilla but I ate mine plain. It was a simple meal that I’d make again.
I hope to try these recipes soon. Check back later for a photo.
Snacks are often called antojitos (little cravings) and are often prepared by street vendors (street food). These include tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, tamales, and tortas.
Botanas are snacks that accompany drinks.
The butcher at my grocery store wasn’t sure what hanger steak was and didn’t have skirt steak so I substituted a package of beef strips for stir frys and that worked great. These were delicious sandwiches and easy to make. I also used burger buns instead of Telera bread or La Bolsa Rolls (which we don’t’ seem to have here in Canada).
Try this recipe: http://triedandtrulydelicious.com/?p=2562
Photo: M. Chambers
Chiles en Nogada
This is a classic dish for holidays as it is white, red and green like the flag! It’s a challenge to make. Here’s a simple recipe: https://www.mccormick.com/recipes/main-dishes/chiles-en-nogada
Mexican Sweet Bread – Conchas
For another baked treat perfect to pair with a cup of hot chocolate make some of these. They are called Pan Dulce in Spanish and some have different toppings, this recipe has them looking like shells! They took a bit of effort to make but were delicious and a hit with my family. Although, mine don't look as nice as the ones on the link below.
Here’s where I found it: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2015/04/mexican-sweet-buns-conchas.html
DESSERTS & TREATS:
A mole is a thick, complex sauce, made with chili peppers and chocolate believe it or not. It is often made for celebrations and so I include it here under dinner as something to try at a restaurant or a bit of a challenge to cook. I do like to cook but so many recipes had ingredients I simply couldn’t find in my little Albertan town so I found an easy recipe online and will make my own changes. For instance, I don't have dried ancho chilies but I have some dried chilies from a friend’s garden so I will use those!
Here’s the recipe: http://nourisheveryday.com/recipe/healthy-chicken-mole-poblano/
Mexican cuisine is vast and delicious. It usually included native staples like corn, beans, tomatoes, chili peppers, and avocadoes, and features rice which was introduced by the Spanish. Obviously each region has its own specialties but I’ve tried to include some basic ones to try as a family.
Pambazo: Chorizo-Potato Sandwich
A Pambazo is a sandwich stuffed with potatoes and chorizo sausage and drenched in a guajillo sauce. I used red chili peppers found at my grocery store for the sauce. The result was a spicy dish my kids loved. You can follow the recipe link or make your own version by cooking up sausages and potatoes and serving them on a toasted but with sour cream, lettuce and store bought taco sauce. Here is the recipe I based mine on: http://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/2016/10/Pambazo-potato-chorizo-sandwich.html
Pico de Gallo:
The best way to get my kids to eat veggies is to make a salsa!
Ingredients: 3 ripe tomatoes, ¼ cup of finely diced onion, ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro, ½ tsp of salt, ½ a jalapeño (or more depending on how spicy your family likes food…also remove seeds to make things less spicy), juice of half a lemon, (Optional) you can add chopped cucumber, chopped watermelon, peaches, mango, orange slices, etc. basically any type of fruit.
Step 1: Add all ingredients in a bowl, mix it up gently with a spoon.
Step 2: Enjoy with corn chips or quesadilla! Yum!
Ingredients: tortilla (homemade or store bought), your favourite cheese or a belnd grated (in Mexico they would typically be made with Oaxaca cheese but I couldn’t find that so I used a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack. VARIATION: you can add ham to this as well.
Step 1: Heat up a griddle or a non-stick skillet
Step 2: Place a tortilla on the griddle and warm up slightly until pliable.
STEP 3: Add some grated cheese to one half of the tortilla
Step 4: Fold over the tortilla to cover the cheese and cook a bit longer on the one side and then flip over to cook the other side until both sides are golden brown.
Step 5: Serve alone or with salsa, guacamole or pico de gallo.
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I found an awesome recipe for homemade tortillas here: http://www.fivehearthome.com/2015/05/03/easy-homemade-flour-tortillas/
If your family likes savory breakfasts this one is for you! There are many different recipes. We used this one as inspiration and tweaked it for what we had in the house: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/04/quick-and-easy-huevos-rancheros-recipe.html
Basically, it is a fried egg on a lightly fried corn tortilla, topped with a tomato-chili sauce (depending on how spicy you like it) along with usually refried beans and slices of avocado. I cheated and used tomato sauce heated in a pot with chilies and cilantro. I also used canned refried beans. Sometimes a Mexican-styled rice is included but we didn’t have that.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
The Aztecs had a hot drink made of cacao beans and chili peppers. When the Spanish came they removed the chilies and added sugar and cinnamon.
Here’s my simple version.
Ingredients: 2 oz (2 baking squares) of unsweetened chocolate, 2 cups of milk (I used 2%), 1 cup of cream (I used Half & Half/ 10%), 5 tablespoons of sugar, ¼ tsp cinnamon
Melt chocolate (I used a double boiler method). Meanwhile, heat up the milk and cream in a pot. Do not boil! Once it is producing a lot of steam take it off the stove. Add a splash of hot milk to the chocolate and stir, then add the sugar and the cinnamon and stir some more. Add the rest of the milk. Stir, pour and enjoy! This makes up three mugs full. You can store unused in a large jar in the fridge and re-heat to enjoy later!
In Mexico Comida is eaten between 2 and 4 pm and is the main meal of the day, often consisting of several courses including sopa (soup), ensalada (salad), guisado (main dish) and postre (dessert).
This fruit flavoured water often accompanies Comida.
I blended a few recipes to create one that would make a delicious yet small amount for my sons to sample. The recipe works best with a high-powered blender. If you don’t have a high-powered one you will have more to strain before serving as it will be thicker.
Ingredients: 1 cup of fresh chopped fruit (I used watermelon for this Theme Day but I’ve made a cantaloupe one for our Top Food Challenge once), 1 cup of water, juice from 1 lime, (Optional depending on the sweetness of your fruit), 1 tsp of sugar.
Simply put in your blender and puree until smooth. Next, strain through a sieve into a pitcher, add an additional cup (or more) of water and some ice. Chill before serving and then enjoy!
In Mexico, breakfast is called "el desayuno." What is eaten for el desayuno varies from region to region and is influenced by what produce is available, which countries are nearby and ethnic diversity, including influences from Aztec and Mayan traditions. Usually breakfast is light and may just consist of coffee, hot chocolate or atole (a hot drink that is thickened with corn, oats or rice) and something sweet or a fruit.
Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados, 1 tbsp of finely chopped onion, 1 tbsp (more or less depending on how spicy your family likes things) of finely chopped jalapeño, ¼ cup of roughly chopped cilantro, pinch of salt, (optional) chopped tomato, juice of ½ lime.
Step 1: Pit and scoop out the avocado and place on a plate. Use a potato masher to smash the avocado to your desired consistency. Some like it smooth (you could use a food processor for that) and some like it chunky. We like it in between.
Step 2: Place the mashed avocado in a bowl and mix in the remaining prepared ingredients, adding the lime juice last.
Step 3: Now dip in and enjoy!