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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Mixiotes, a Mexican “En Papillote”
The name mixiote is derived from the Aztec Náhuatl language: metl, meaning maguey, and xiotl, skin of the arm, and applies both to the “envelope” and the dish itself. It is simple and very pre-Hispanic, consisting of meat slathered in a spicy sauce and wrapped in the afore-mentioned xiotl.

New Year in Mexico - Churros and Hot Chocolate
A darkened room and a bottle of mineral water may be the best, if not the most rousing, cure for the first hangover of the year, but a cup of hot chocolate and a freshly cooked churro are an infinitely more appealing antidote to the excesses of New Year's Eve.

New Year in Mexico - Pozole Recipe
The Aztecs’ ceremonial “potzolli” still plays an important role in the Mexican diet of the 21st century, and on New Year’s Eve, it will be protecting countless tummies from the effects of all the raucous celebrations and the inevitable - and abundant - consumption of alcohol!

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.

Of Calabacitas, Courgettes and Zucchini
The Squash family, Cucurbita, is Mexican, whatever you may choose to call its various members, and the earliest traces, dating as far back as 7000BC, have been found in Oaxaca and Tamaulipas. However, the modern courgette or zucchini is thought to have originated in Italy in the 19th century.

Oxtail in Oaxacan Coloradito Recipe
Oaxaca’s Mole Coloradito is a splendid partner to braised oxtail – a rich, bold and spicy combination.

Peanut Brittle Recipe from Veracruz
The Aztecs called the peanut tlalcacahuatl or cacao of the earth as it grows underground, and in the state of Veracruz, it makes an appearance in a variety of guises, Palanquetas de Cacahuate, or peanut brittle, among them.

Plantain Crisps Recipe
Un tostón = fifty centavos. I do not believe that the tostón of my childhood still exists, but it was a lovely coin, with an Aztec head on one side and the Mexican eagle and snake on the reverse. My only experience of a tostón nowadays is gastronomic, as the name of a Mexican Caribbean snack.

Plantain, Fruit and Vegetable
Faintly sweet, decidedly starchy, inedible raw, rich and voluptuous when cooked, a fruit which is eaten as a vegetable and can be ground into a flour to make bread and turnovers – this is “plátano macho”, the “male banana” of Mexico.

Poblano Chillies with Cream Recipe
One of the poblano chilli’s best mates in my kitchen is dairy produce, particularly cream which somehow manages to enhance its flavour, its aroma, its warmth and its texture all at the same time. Rajas con Crema makes a rich, mellow, utterly satisfying main dish or vegetable accompaniment.

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