Amazing Mexican Recipes
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12 Days of Cinco de Mayo – Day Tres

Now we have reached day 3 of our Cinco de Mayo countdown, and today is all about quesadillas. If you are not sure what a quesadilla is, these are cheese-filled tortillas which are pan-fried until the cheese melts. Quesadillas make a great breakfast, lunch or snack, or you could add some extra fillings and enjoy them for dinner. If you want to make these for your Cinco de Mayo party, cut them into small wedges and then your guests can enjoy them as finger food. Quesadillas are nicer served warm, so do not start to cook them until most or all of your guests have arrived.

Cinco de Mayo is one occasion you will need to start planning ahead. Although that applies to most holidays, Cinco de Mayo is a time when you will want to stock up on ingredients you do not usually have in the pantry. Although there are no set foods for Cinco de Mayo, you will need a range of Mexican seasonings and ingredients to ensure you can make some of our tasty south of the border recipes, such as quesadillas. This is a snack the kids love just as much as the grownups. We all love grilled cheese sandwiches, right? Just swap the bread for a tortilla to make quesadillas.

Commercial flour tortillas keep for a long time unopened, and several days in the refrigerator once you open the package. Grab those plus some cheese, and you have all the makings of quesadillas. Optional ingredients include ham, bacon, chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, green apple slices, green onions, bell peppers, and pretty much anything you would add to a grilled sandwich. If you want to add lettuce or anything that does not grill well, simply open up the finished quesadilla, pop the lettuce in there, and close it again. Continue reading

Superfood Quesadillas with Pumpkin and Kale

Quesadillas are basically tortilla filled with cheese and cooked until the cheese melts, a bit like a Mexican twist on a grilled cheese sandwich, but you can add anything you want to make them unique. This recipe, for example, uses pumpkin and kale, not only to add color and nutrients, but to offer a delicious flavor. These could be served for breakfast or dinner, but they are perfect for lunch because they are tasty but not too heavy. You can use butternut squash instead of the pumpkin, depending on what is seasonal, or even sweet potato.

If you want to make extra pumpkin and kale mixture, or you are only making 2 quesadillas instead of the 4, you can keep the mixture refrigerated for a couple of days then toss it with cooked pasta and olive oil. Served with grated fresh parmesan, that would make a delicious meal. These quesadillas are simple to prepare and you could even make them with leftover pumpkin, as long as you chop it into cubes. Perhaps you have made quesadillas lots of times before, but we bet you have never made them with kale and pumpkin, and these are quite unusual.

We are using butter and oil in this recipe but swap some for a nonstick cooking spray if you want. Use oil or butter for cooking the finished quesadillas though, at least a little, because that helps them get nice and golden brown and helps them to crisp up. As soon as they are done, you can use a pizza wheel to cut them into 4 wedges, then serve them in a stack or simply as they are. Sour cream is nice with these because it contrasts with the spicy filling, and you can also consider other sides like guacamole, avocado slices, salsa, or pico de gallo. Continue reading

Pork Pasilla Tamales

What is more Mexican than tamales? Although these take a bit longer to prepare than some other Mexican dishes, they are well worth the effort because they taste so good. Tamales are made from masa, a corn-based, starchy dough, along with your choice of filling. Here we are using spicy pork but cheese, vegetables, fruits or other meats are other options for fillings. Tamales were made by the ancient Mayans as far back as 5000 to 8000 BC and they prepared them for special feasts. The Mayans used tamales as portable food, for travelers, hunters and armies.

Tamales were featured at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, in the United States, and they have been eaten in the US since then. Mexican and other Latin American style tamale are available, but there are also indigenous styles, such as Cherokee tamales which are made with hominy and beans, and African-American tamales made from cornmeal instead of masa. In Chicago, cornmeal is piped into paper using a machine, which is a very modern way of making them. A meat pie or casserole made with tamale fillings and a cornmeal crust is referred to as a ‘tamale pie’.

Tamales are usually made in batches because of the work involved, especially if you are making your own masa (dough). So if you are having a Cinco de Mayo party, a birthday party, or just friends coming over to eat, try this wonderful tamale recipe and you will love the spicy pork filling. These are also nice looking because they are served in corn husks. Tamales can be served as appetizers or as the main dish. This recipe makes 16 tamales in total but double the recipe if you are expecting a crowd. Reduce the amount of chilies if you want them milder. Continue reading

12 Days of Cinco de Mayo – Day Dos

The countdown to Cinco de Mayo has just began, and we are on day 2 already, which means the ice cold cerveza con limon has gone down already and we are turning our mind to savory fare. After all, what is a party without some savory foods, and what is better during Cinco de Mayo than whipping up some authentic Mexican delights in the kitchen for everyone to enjoy? Day 2 of our countdown brings us a recipe for stuffed burritos, a staple Mexican food, and something you can tweak to make your own, choosing your own fillings, toppings and flavors every time.

Like many other Mexican recipes, the burrito is a tortilla-wrapped dish, and there are many ways to make it, including some incredible easy burrito recipes you might want to try out for Cinco de Mayo or simply because you want to rustle up some Mexican food. The word burrito translates to mean little donkey. It is made by wrapping a wheat flour tortilla around your filling of choice. Although a burrito is similar in some ways to a taco (the Mexican version, not the crispy Tex-Mex one), tacos are served open while burritos are rolled up to completely enclose the contents.

Burritos south of the border tend to feature meat with refried beans, although in the United States they might include rice, beans, salad ingredients, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and/or cheese. The first recipe is the most traditional in Mexico of course, but there are plenty of variations including the burrito suiza, literally ‘Swiss burrito’ – so named for the cream served on top which is inspired by Swiss cuisine. Chicken is a popular burrito filling if you do not want to use beef, or you can consider another kind of meat, or even fish or seafood, along with any other ingredients you want to have. Continue reading

Una Cerveza con Limon

This is one south of the border beverage which really needs no introduction. You might be wondering which dishes to prepare for your Cinco de Mayo festivities, but one thing is sure – you probably already have the drinks figured out, and there is sure to be some ice cold beer involved in your planning somewhere. And if there is not, then maybe you simply forgot to add it to your list, because we promise you ‘una cerveza con limon’ is going to be a very popular choice at your party. You will also want to offer soft drinks and maybe some other south of the border choices too.

Early May is usually warm, even hot, depending whereabouts you live, and this refreshing drink is not only typically Mexican and refreshing, but it is fair to say it pairs with pretty much every single cuisine, and Mexican food is no exception. It can really cool your mouth after eating those hot flavors and contrasts perfectly with those chili pepper-rich dishes. Ensure you have enough ice or refrigerator space to keep the beers cold and plenty of slices of lemon or lime to add that Mexican twist. Served as an aperitif or along with your Cinco de Mayo Mexican food, the beer is a must-have.

‘Una cerveza con limon’ is such a simple Spanish phrase, even non-Spanish speakers recognize it. It is often one of the first Spanish phrases learnt in fact! But why are we adding a slice of citrus to the drink? This practice is largely unknown in Mexico, but Mexican beers are often served this way outside Mexico. A premium beer has very little acidity, which is why a little citrus, in the form of lemon or lime, adds a fresh, bright zing to the flavor. Many Belgian and German beers are served with lemon, not just Mexican ones. This is personal choice. If you do not like the citrus, it is an optional touch. Continue reading

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