With a bigger-than-usual meat patty topped with mashed avocado and fresh pico de gallo, these burgers are a double handful of drippy good fun. Mexican chorizo does the heavy lifting, flavor-wise, along with a bounty of fresh cilantro in both meat and pico. As for the cheese, American is the platonic ideal for burgers—salty, creamy-melty, and, well, what burgers need in order to taste like burgers.
I love classic chiles rellenos—I make them a lot in the summer, when poblanos are in season—but the traditional method of dipping them in batter and frying just a couple at a time makes them hard to cook for a crowd. This casserole solves that problem. It has all the fresh flavors I love, but I can make it ahead of time and then put it in the oven just before my guests show up. It even makes a great brunch dish; just assemble it the day before and throw it in the fridge overnight so it’s ready to bake the next morning.
Citrus and oregano make this grilled chicken taste sophisticated. It is inspired by my mom’s traditional pollo en oregano, which is usually fried. (You can find that recipe in our first cookbook Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico.)
There is something about making a salsa in a molcajete that makes it taste better. I swear that something magical happens when you crush chiles between two pieces of stone that no blender will ever replicate. We like to bust out the molcajete to make a salsa as regularly as we can to remind us of this magic and continue this ancient tradition with my children.
This white pozole recipe from comedian Dulcé Sloan of The Daily Show on Comedy Central is her quick go-to for days when she’s feeling under the weather. An extremely easy soup to make, made with chicken thighs, hominy, and aromatics, it might be your next comfort food as well. One word of advice, don’t skip the garnishes!
Serve with Rice and Tortillas, garnish with cilantro & lime
Of all the recipes in this book, this savory dish is the one I make the most often, not just because it’s delicious, but because it connects me to my past. Throughout childhood, my grandma would make me various versions of this soup, and as an adult, it brings me so much comfort to make it and share it with others. Expect a vegan, Mexican-inspired twist on a Chicken and Rice Soup with tofu swapped in for the chicken and with the addition of fresh lemon juice and cilantro. So delicious!
In Mexico you are as likely to find the comforting pasta dish fideo seco on the table as beans or rice, especially in central Mexico, where it is very popular. We cook fideos not as the Italians do, but like the Spanish, who brought them to Mexico, first frying them in oil until they are toasty and nutty-tasting, then simmering them in a tomato-based sauce or broth until the sauce thickens considerably and coats the noodles. Forget al dente—our pasta is soft, and that’s the way we love it. The dish is called fideo seco—dry noodles—because it is not saucy at all. It’s also very convenient, because you can make it ahead. You can get packages of fideo pasta, thin noodles broken into pieces, in stores that sell Mexican ingredients, but you can also use thin Italian noodles such as vermicelli, angel hair, thin spaghetti, or spaghetti, and break them up yourself.
I include three different kinds of dried chiles—ancho, guajillo, and chipotle—here in addition to tomatoes, onion, and garlic. For one more layer of complexity—a bit of sweetness in addition to smoky heat—I add some adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo. Top with a drizzle of crema and a sprinkling of tangy cheese, with some sliced avocado to counterbalance the heat of the chiles, and I guarantee that you’ll make it again and again.
A football-shaped or oval masa pocket, commonly filled with puréed beans, favas, or other pulses and topped with cheese, crema, salsa, and/or onions with cilantro; looks like a diminutive, stuffed huarache
Lentil soup seasoned with bacon is a Mexico City staple, with every fonda offering it at least weekly. If you like, add a dollop of Tomatillo Salsa and offer warm tortillas at the table.