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The Drinks of Mexico - Café de Olla Recipe
The “olla” is made of clay, rough on the outside and glazed on the inside, pot-bellied and homely. It sits on every market, street and restaurant stove across the country and is used for making one of Mexico’s favourite breakfast drinks: “café de olla”, coffee from the pot.
The Chillies of Mexico - El Pasilla
Pasilla translates as “little raisin”, which is an obvious indicator of its flavour: faintly sweet and reminiscent of dried fruit, even of sun-dried tomatoes, quite earthy, even woodsy or herby, with a hint of sharpness and acidity in the background, and a lush, full aftertaste.
Sweet Mexico - Piloncillo
“Little pylon” or piloncillo is rich and dark, with a deep, seductive, almost chocolatey aroma of caramel which is utterly addictive. Inhale for longer and you pick up a faint smokiness as well as a floral syrupiness - it might also remind you of white sand beaches and brawny Caribbean rum!
Squash Blossom Crêpes Recipe
The season of the very traditional “flor de calabaza” or squash blossom has begun. Every market stall in Mexico is festooned with flowers and garlanded with this highly prized delicacy of late summer and early autumn and every Mexican cook is featuring them in countless traditional dishes.
The Sauces of Mexico - Pipián Verde Recipe
A truly pre-Hispanic sauce, Pipián Verde is rich with pumpkin seeds and the characteristic caramel tones of roasted tomatillos. Like all Mexican salsas it is very versatile and while I am serving it with chicken in this instance, it is equally good with steak, fish and roasted vegetables.
Mexican Refried Beans with Pineapple Salsa Recipe
16th September is Mexican Independence Day and I am celebrating this momentous occasion with a quintessentially Mexican dish: “frijoles refritos”, otherwise known as refried beans. This description, however, is a misnomer as the beans are only fried once.
New Year in Mexico - Shrimp Broth
“La cruda” is such an evocative name. It literally means raw, but in Mexico it is used to describe a bad hangover, from which many Mexicans will be suffering on New Year’s Day.
Christmas in Mexico - Rompope
The “posada” season is in full swing, and in Mexican kitchens, the fragrant aroma of the festive drink called “rompope” hangs in the air like a velvet cloud. Spicy, rich and decidedly boozy, it is one of the essential components of a Mexican Christmas.
Breakfast in Mexico - Bricklayer's Eggs
Huevos del albañil are a typical, traditional breakfast throughout the country, although a popular variation is to toss some stale tortillas into the sauce to make green “chilaquiles” which serve as a bed for the eggs.
Mexican Chicken Soup for the Soul
Wander around any Mexican market and you will be struck by the countless chickens on the butchers’ counters. There seem to be hundreds, if not thousands, and it is difficult to believe that there is a demand for quite so many of them!
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