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The Sauces of Mexico - Encacahuatado
A sauce thickened with seeds and nuts is an utterly pre-Hispanic concept, and Spanish chroniclers who accompanied Hernán Cortés during the conquest of Mexico talked in their accounts of great earthenware cazuelas full of bubbling red sauces which were thickened in precisely this way.
The Sauces of Mexico - Guacamole Recipe
Guacamole is one of the best known Mexican dishes and its fame has spread far and wide, to the extent that you can buy it in a tub in the refrigerated section of a supermarket, and even a ‘long-life’ version in a jar - and if that is all you have ever tasted, you are in for a big surprise.
The Sauces of Mexico - Manchamanteles
The name speaks for itself – mancha manteles is Spanish for table cloth stainer, and this brick red sauce, when spilled on a white table cloth or down the front of a white shirt, can cause very serious damage indeed.
The Sauces of Mexico - Mole
The Aztecs called it “molli” or “mulli”. In their Náhuatl language, it simply meant sauce or mixture. For the Spaniards, who encountered it in its countless versions in the cooking pots of the great market place of Tenochtitlán, it became “mole”, the name which it still bears today.
The Sauces of Mexico - Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo translates as cockerel’s beak for some unfathomable reason and is a standard salsa which appears on the table in a restaurant at the beginning of a meal, to be eaten with “totopos” or tortilla chips while perusing the menu or waiting for the rest of the meal to arrive.
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.
The Sauces of Mexico - Recado
The “recado”, like the ubiquitous “adobo”, is not really a sauce, but a spice and herb blend or paste used to flavour meat, fish or vegetables before cooking, and is a particular speciality of the Yucatán peninsula.
The Sauces of Mexico - Salsa Cruda
Salsa Cruda, raw sauce, or Salsa Fresca, fresh sauce – names which could mean anything, but in Mexico, they both refer to one very specific sauce, which is the quintessential and most common of all Mexican salsas
The Sauces of Mexico - Salsa Verde Cocida
Salsa Verde Cocida, cooked green sauce, is made with tomatillos or Mexican green husked tomatoes and comes in many guises, from nothing more than boiled, puréed tomatillos, to considerably more sophisticated versions.
The Sauces of Mexico - Salsa Verde Cruda
A raw “salsa”, made from tomatillos, the Mexican green husked tomato, is one of the pillars, and joys, of the Mexican table.
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