Palanquetas de Cacahuate y Pepitorias (Peanut and Pumpkin Seed Pralines)

  

I absolulety love tradional Mexican sweets, they are so delicious, full of nice and healthy things like these mouthwatering palanquetas (pralines). There are many different types of  “palanquetas” in Mexico, but all are made with either seeds, nuts or dried fruit. I’m making mine with just peanuts and pumpkin seeds to give as Christmas presents to my friends.

Makes around 10 little squares of each 

Cook 10 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 50 gr peeled and toasted peanuts
  • 50 gr pumpkin seeds

Utensils

  • 2 medium saucepans
  • 2 plastic cooking spoons
  • 1 small tray 

Method

  1. First toast the peanuts. Heat a frying pan, once hot place the peanuts on the pan and stir from time to time to avoid burning. Toast them for around 7 min and keep aside on a bowl.
  2. Place one of the saucepans on medium heat and put one cup of caster sugar and let the sugar dissolved. 
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved and has become caramel, add the 50 gr peanuts. Mix very well until all the peanuts are coated with the caramel.
  4. Transfer them onto the tray and flat them. 
  5. Once cool, cut them into squares.
  6. Repeat the same procedure but with a clean saucepan to make the pumpkin seeds praline.

Tips

  • I tent not to stir the sugar when it is melting. I just let the heat to do its job, but keep an eye on the caramel as it can burn very easily and if it burns then it tastes very bitter, so I recommend you to keep the heat medium low.
  • They are delicious and you can wrap them as little Christmas present for friends and family.

Listo!

Provecho!

    
    
   

Salsa de Aguacate (Avocado Salsa)

 
Today I am cooking “Beef Birria” at home, it has been raining all afternoon and the hubby and I fancied something wintery, so I remembered this very nice recipe for a birria and to have with it, I did this very easy spicy avocado salsa recipe that my dad used to make at home. 

My dad was the king of the salsas in my family, when he was alive, there was always a spicy salsa on the table in time for lunch. So I hope you like this quick and easy recipe.

Serves 4

Prep 5 min

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 peeled onion
  • 2 fresh jalapeños
  • 100 gr fresh coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tbls water
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch pepper

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Add the water and blend until getting a smooth consistency.
  3. Serve and eat inmediately to avoid the salsa turning dark.
  4. Have it with some birria tacos, get the recipe to make Beef Birria click HERE 

Listo!

Provecho!

Berenjenas en Mole (Aubergines in Mole)

  

Aubergines! I love aubergines and I can eat them any time, they are very nutritious and they are an excellent option for vegetarians because they have a very meaty texture, so when you mix them with a sauce, you think you are eating some sort of meat, so these days they have been saving me when “el inglés” doesn’t want to eat meat, like today. 

This is my own recipe and I hope you like it, I used mole sauce already made from “la costeña”, they do a good mole and from time to time is ok to cheat a bit and besides making mole from scratch is not on my list of things to do on a very busy day like today.

Serves 4

Prep 15 min

Cook 40 min

Ingredients

  • 4 large aubergines washed and cut lenghwise (one per person)
  • 3 tbsp of “La Costeña” mole
  • 2 tbsp tomato puré
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rapeseed oil

To garnish

  • 1/4 iceberg lettuce washed and shredded
  • Fetta cheese 
  • Sour cream
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chilli finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or gas mark 6. Place the sliced aubergines on a baking tray, add oil, salt and pepper to taste and put them in the oven to bake for around 30 min.
  2. In the meantime prepare the mole sauce. Add two cups of hot water in a saucepan and add the 3 tbsp of mole, stir until the mole has disolved, add the tomato puré and simmer for 10 min.
  3. Have the lettuce, cheese, sour cream and jalapeño chilli ready.
  4. Once the aubergines are cook take them out of the oven and place the slices one on top of other one, pour plenty of mole sauce and garnish with lettuce, cheese, a dollop of sour cream and some chopped jalapeño.

Tips

  • You can buy La Costeña mole in www.lacosteña.co.uk

Listo!

Provecho!

    
 

Champurrado (Mexican Thick Chocolate)

Champurrado is a hot Mexican drink made with chocolate and “atole”. In Mexico we use maize in different ways, the most popular way is masa (lime-treated maize), whit masa we make tortillas, tamales, gorditas and many other dishes, we also use it to thicken sauces or soups, and we also use masa to make drinks, like chapurrado.

Champurrado is the mixture of Mexican chocolate and a drink call “Atole” which is a drink made with masa, milk, water and piloncillo. There are different types of atoles: guava, strawberry, vanilla. It is very common to drink champurrado while eating tamales, specially during special ocassions like the Day of the Dead or Christmas.

In my family my sister Cynthia makes a very delicious “Guava Atole”, she prepares this drink for Christmas, it is a very comforting drink, perfect for a winter day.

I decided to make champurrado at home, it has been raining in London and I feel a bit tired, so I thought to make myself feel better and get into the Christmas spirit, so my son and I will drink some hot champurrado while we make some Christmas art and crafts.

Serves 4

Prep 5 min

Cook 15 to 20 min

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Maseca or Masa harina (corn flour)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tablet Mexican chocolate
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Method

  1. Mix the maseca with the 2 cups of hot water until all the lumps have dissolved. If needed, use a strainer to get a fine mixture.
  2. In a medium saucepan, simmer the milk along with the chocolate, cinnamon and sugar until it dissolves. This will take about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add the maseca mixture to the milk and stir continuously until getting a smooth runny consistency.
  4. Serve in cups and enjoy.

Tips 

  • If you want to make champurrado for more people, just double the ingredients for every 4 people.
  • This drink has a thick and smooth consistency, if you want it runnier, just add more milk or add less maseca.

Listo!

Provecho!

Barbacoa Estilo Sinaloa (Barbacoa Sinaloa Style)

I feel very honoured to be  able to share this recipe with you today, this Barbacoa recipe belongs to my brother-in-law’s family, the Armenta’s, who live in Gabriel Leyva in Sinaloa, Mexico, they are a great family of excellent cooks, specially the mother, Doña Hilda, so thank you a million to her and to my brother-in-law and sister to share this recipe with me and to let me share it with all my lovely subscribers.

Barbacoa is the method that it is used to cook some meats, it is an old method that goes back to pre Columbian times. In Mexico the states of Hidalgo, Mexico, Tlaxcala and Queretaro are the precursors of a special barbacoa method, therefore we call this the traditional method, but other regions have their own way to cook barbacoa. In the traditional way people dug a hole in the ground, then is covered with stones that are heated in advanced, the meat is seasoned and wrapped in “maguey” leaves, this parcel is placed in the hole and everything is covered very well, making sure the heat is trapped, the meat is left there for hours, so when it is taken out the meat is very tender, juicy and with a great flavour.

The Armenta’s family do a similar thing, they dig a hole, but they do not use maguey leaves, they also use potatoes and other ingredients that make their barbacoa special with tons of flavour. Here in London I didn’t dig a hole, I used a casserole dish and my oven, but the results were oh! my! just out of this world! You can eat this barbacoa in tacos, on its own or with some beans and Mexican rice. Believe me, you will want some more and more! Happy cooking!

Serves 4

Prep 15 min

Marinate over night or at least 4 hours

Cook 2 hrs 15 min

Ingredients

For the marinate

  • 1.5 Kg Leg lamb, cut in chunks
  • 2 Guajillo chillies, cleaned and deseeded
  • 2 Pasilla chillies, cleaned and deseeded
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion cut in chunks
  • 2 tomatoes cut in chunks
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 5 black pepper corns
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • salt to taste

To assemble the barbacoa

  • 50 gr olives pitted
  • 1 onion julienne
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 1 green pepper julienne
  • 8 baby potatoes, cleaned and peeled

To serve

Method

  1. Place all the chillies with 2 tomatoes (cut in chunks), 1 onion (cut in chunks) in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Put them to boil. Once the water has been boiling for 3 min, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  2. Put the chillies, tomatoes and onion in a blender and add the garlic, vinegar and salt. Blend very well until you get a very smooth sauce.
  3. Pour the marinate into the meat and add the spices: bay leaves and pepper corns. 
  4. Marinate the meat and leave it over night or at least for 4 hours in the fridge.
  5. After the meat has been marinated, heat the oven to 230 C or gas mark 8 and start assembling the barbacoa. In a large casserole dish place a bed of meat, then scatter some onions, tomatoes, green chillies, olives and some of the marinated, repeat this process again and place the baby potatoes on top of all the meat like in the picture.
  6. Place the casserole dish in the oven and after 25 min low the heat to 190 C or gas mark 5 and cook for 1 hr 50 min on that temperature or until the meat is very tender. Check the meat half way to the process to make sure it hasn’t dried, if it has, just add 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Serve it in a plate with some “de la Olla” beans, Mexican style rice, chopped coriander and onion, lime, spicy salsa and warm corn tortillas.

Tips

  • If you want to make this barbacoa for a bigger crowd, just multiply the ingredients for every 1.5 Kg of meat.
  • If you can’t find Anaheim chillies, it is fine to use only guajillo chillies.

Listo!

Provecho!


  
  
  
  

Pozole Blanco (White Hominy Stew with Pork)

If I have to choose a Mexican dish for a winter day, I would choose pozole, any time and in any style, pozole rojo (red), verde (green) or blanco (white). I love pozole, it is such a nice cosy dish for a cold day that I love cooking it at home. My hubby and my children love it too, so when I make pozole or posole, I made a lot.

The word Pozole, comes from the Nahuatl word “Pozolli”, which means hominy. It is a Mexican dish that has been in the Mexican cuisine since ancient times. The Aztecs used to make pozole in special occasions and the dish was share among the people, the type of meat used then was different, it was after the Spanish Conquest that they start using pork. Nowadays this dish is usually prepare in special occasions, like birthdays, Christmas and New Year.

In my family we usually have pozole for New Year, my sister Sonia is the one that always makes it, as she has this special way to do it. Today I decided to make pozole blanco (white pozole) and I used pork osso bucco (that is the name for this type of cut), it is a very simple recipe, but it tastes very good. This type of pozole is eaten with chopped coriander, onion, squeeze of lime, some oregano and some chiltepin chilli, in my family we don’t eat it with shredded cabbage or lettuce, like the red pozole.

Serves 4

Prep 15 min

Cook 1 hr 40 min

Ingredients

  • 4 large Pork Osso Bucco pieces
  • 300 gr Carey already cooked pozole (hominy grains), drained and washed
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion peeled and cut in halg
  • 1.5 litre pork stock or water
  • salt to taste

To garnish

  • chopped coriander
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 2 limes cut in quaters
  • Chiltepin chillies (one is enough as they are extremely spicy, you need to crush them before serving them) or any other spicy chilli or salsa.

Method

  1. Place the pork osso bucco in a large casserole dish with the bay leaves, onion, garlic, salt and pork stock or water. Bring it to a boil and low the heat and let it simmer for around 1 and 20 min.
  2. Add the pozole grains and cook for 15 more min. Make sure not to cook the grains for too long.
  3. Once the meat is cooked with the pozole grains. Discard the bayleaves, onion and garlic.
  4. Serve it in a bowl and scatter some chopped onion and coriander, squeeze some lime and add something spicy. Enjoy it with a nice cold beer.

Listo!

Provecho!

Sopa de Pollo con Papas (Chicken with Potatoes Soup) 

 

Today El inglés, aka the hubby, is at home, so I am cooking a nice cosy lunch for him, this is my mum’s easy and quick recipe for chicken and potatoe soup.

In my family my mum is the queen of quick and easy recipes, I remember when I was a child, when she didn’t want to cook, she used to do what she would called “comida de flojos” (lazy dinner) and this recipe used to be in her repertoire. So I hope you like it, as I said, it is a very easy recipe, but full of flavour and perfect for a winter day.

Makes 4 servings

Prep 30 min

Cook 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 peeled onion cut in half
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée 
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock 
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch ground pepper

To garnish

  • Avocado slices
  • Chopped coriander
  • Fresh or Fetta cheese
  • Dollop sourcream

Method

  1. Place the chicken breasts, tomatoes, onion, chicken stock and garlic in a casserole dish, add salt to taste and a pinch of pepper and cook for 20 min approx or until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Take the chicken breast out, shred them and reserve.
  3. Peel the potatoes and cut them in medium chunks.
  4. Take the tomatoes, onion and garlic out of the casserole and place them in a blender, add the tomato purée and purée them until getting a sauce and smooth consistency.
  5. Place the tomatoe sauce back in the casserole and add the potatoes. Cook them for 5 min and add the shredded chicken.
  6. Cook the chicken with the potatoes on low heat for around 20 min or until potatoes are cook.
  7. Serve them in a bowl and garnish with avocado slices, chopped coriander, fresh or Fetta cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Listo!

Provecho!

Galletas Navideñas de Chocolate Mexicano (Christmas Mexican Chocolate Cookies)

Christmas!! I love Christmas, my favourite time of the year. When I was a child, we used to spend Christmas in Culiacan, Sinaloa, at my grandma’s house, I used to love it, I had so many nice memories playing with my cousins, eating nice cosy Mexican food, playing “Loteria”, going to the Christmas fair, turning on “Luces de bengala” (sparklers), oh! I wish I was a child again, seriously!

In Mexico we celebrate Christmas on Chritmas Eve on 24th, so at my grandma’s all my aunties and my grandma used to spend all day in the kitchen, so at night we could have a Christmas Feast, they used to do Tamales de Res, my mum’s family signature dish for Christmas, you can find the recipe in my blog, just click over here and we would eat these sitting on the table in rounds as my mum’s family is very big.

Today, I am sharing with you the recipe for these beautiful Mexican cookies, they are made with “Mexican Chocolate” (Mexican Chocolate), which is a bit different from the common chocolate bars you find in the supermarket. Mexican chocolate is made with cinnamon, sugar and cocoa, these ingredients, give the chocolate a very nice flavour. There are two famous brands of Mexican chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita, which is the one I used for this recipe or Ibarra, which is the one that you probably will find here in London. You can find Mexican chocolate in one of the Mexican online shops.

All this month I will be sharing with you different Mexican Christmas recipes or Christmas recipes with a Mexican touch, so stay tuned and do not forger to subscribe to the mail list.

Makes around 20 medium cookies or 30 small

Ingredients

  • 1 Mexican Chocolate Bar (it can be Abuelita or Ibarra) crushed into tiny pieces
  • 1 3/4 of a cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg or 2 small
  • a splash vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 C or gas mark 5
  2. Combine the flour with the baking powder.
  3. Beat the butter with the sugars until getting a soft consistency, then add the egg and the splash of vanilla.
  4. Add the flour and baking powder to the sugar and butter mix and then add the Mexican chocolate. Mix all the ingredients until they are well combined.
  5. Take little batches of the mixture with a tablespoon and place them on a baking tray, remember to use greaseproof paper before putting the cookie mix on it.
  6. Place the cookies in the hot oven and bake for around 10 min or until they are a bit golden on top. Sprinkle them with some icing sugar to give them a more Christmas look.

Tips

  • You can buy the Mexican chocolate in www.mexgrocer.co.uk
  • If you can’t find Mexican chocolate, you can always used a 70 % dark chocolate, just use a bit more sugar and add cinnamon.

Listo!

Provecho!

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