February 28, 2015

Green Enchilada Sauce

Since we’re on the cusp of St. Paddy’s Day, bring on the green. It’s been a month since I posted this recipe for authentic red enchilada sauce made with dried chiles. Don’t you think it’s time for a green enchilada sauce with fresh citrus-spicy serrano chiles, tart green tomatillos, and a handful of emerald cilantro?

Green Enchilada Sauce

Mexican green sauces, like Mexican red sauces, come in different shades of both color and picante bite, some spicy hot, some not so. The variations depend on the ratio of green chiles, cilantro and tomatillos, whether or not you char the ingredients, and if the sauce gets cooked after it’s blended. Continue Reading…

February 22, 2015

Achiote Red Rice Pilaf

From the Caribbean I bring you achiote. Ah-chee-o-tay, a seasoning paste and frequent companion to fish and meat down in the Mexican Yucatán peninsula. This incredible delicious achiote red rice pilaf is simply rice, onions, and carrots cooked in a broth of achiote and tomato-y V-8 juice.

Sauté of Rice for Achiote Red Rice Pilaf

Achiote red rice pilaf has that deep color that I’ve always dreamed about/aimed for in Mexican red rice. But even more than its color, this pilaf’s gentle earthy flavor hits a high mark, a level that classic red rice can’t even imagine. Praise be to the Mayan gods of the Yucatan, I’m a fervent convert. You’ll be evangelical too, after you see the orange light of achiote. Continue Reading…

February 16, 2015

Jicama Fruit Salad with Cilantro and Lime

It’s like pineapple, orange and mango got all dressed up looking for dessert. Bright white jicama and three shades of yellow and orange fruit, jeweled with emeralds of herby cilantro–this crunchy juicy jicama fruit salad with cilantro and lime dances in your mouth. A refreshingly light finish to Mexican and Southwestern meals, it’s welcome at breakfast too. And lunch. Here is sweet tooth satisfaction, any time of day.

Jicama Fruit Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Did you know that cilantro is basil and mint’s cousin? Were you thinking cilantro too pungent and would be weird in dessert? It must be the family resemblance that works, because cilantro is a wonderful counterpoint to the agave sweetened citrus juices and fruit. (If you are one who loathes cilantro, you can easily substitute basil or mint.) Continue Reading…

February 7, 2015

Guajillo Chile Dressing and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Tart and spicy, honey sweet and just a little bit smoky, this vivid orange-red guajillo chile dressing brings zing to salads. Paired with a rainbow of dark green arugula, white jicama and carrot matchsticks, and thin-sliced purple cabbage—we’re talking bling. Zing.

Guajillo Chile Dressing

We took a vacation from our vacation last week, airplane and first-class bus, to San Miguel de Allende, the historic colonial city full of cobblestone streets, about 4 hours north of Mexico City. The idea for this guajillo chile dressing comes from a salad I enjoyed on our trip. Continue Reading…

February 1, 2015

Red Enchilada Sauce

Red enchilada sauce, salsa roja, is the perky salsa that bathes and brightens our favorite stuffed and rolled tortillas, enchiladas. It’s a basic cooked not-too-hot Mexican sauce with deep earthy pure chile flavor. Salsa roja is what makes enchiladas “en-chil-ada”, or “seasoned with chile.” Make this easy blender sauce once, and the next time you won’t even need a written recipe.

Red Enchilada Sauce Salsa Roja

Hanging out in Baja Mexico, my goal, call it a New Year’s resolution if you want, is to get a couple of Mexican sauces down pat, to be able to make them from memory. This rusty red enchilada sauce is one of those recipes. I think it’s in my brain for good, but check back with me in a year. Because if I had a nickel for every baking recipe I knew by heart and forgot, I’d be rich.

Continue Reading…