People have been stuffing vegetables with tasty fillings for centuries. In Mexico, poblano chiles stuffed with cheese are very popular. The fresh cheese gets warm and soft but not too gooey. Angie’s husband prefers the cheese stuffing over the more traditional ground beef filling found in her home state of Monterrey.
The first recipe any Mexican will cook as soon as they move out of their parents’ home and live on their own is chicken tinga. It is easy, reminds everyone of home, and the ingredients are very accessible. Although it is better made with dried chipotle chiles, canned chipotles work if in a pinch. It can be a soupy stew served over white rice and with tortillas. If you cook it down to thicken a bit more, it is a great topping on a tostada with fresh shredded lettuce, some crema, cheese, and fresh salsa.
Traditionally, carnitas are slow cooked for hours in a large copper cazo (pot) filled with manteca de cerdo (pork lard) and stirred occasionally with an oversize (4- to 6-foot) wooden spoon. While the resulting little pieces of crispy fried pork are absolutely irresistible, the reality is: Ain’t no one got time for that. But with the Instant Pot® you can enjoy a healthier and more flavorful version of carnitas in about an hour. Make a feast out of this easy weeknight meal by serving with beans and rice, or serve the carnitas as a simple taco filling and top with chopped onion, cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and your favorite salsa.
This is my take on the traditional Mexican soup, a tomato-based broth that’s made super aromatic by garlic and onions, plus a little heat from jalapeños. It’s hearty enough to fill you up, but it’s not going to bog you down for the rest of the day. This soup is simple enough for a weekday meal, but it’s also a fun dish to entertain with because you can set out a big spread of toppings such as chopped onion and scallions, sliced radishes and jicama, Homemade Tortilla Chips (recipe below) —or store-bought— guacamole or sliced avocado, a variety of grated cheese—you get the idea! It’s especially perfect as a lighter option when having people over to watch a big game on TV. If you are going to be serving this for a crowd, you can leave out the chicken and use veggie broth instead to make this vegetarian-friendly. Then add shredded chicken (or short ribs or pulled pork) to your toppings bonanza for the meat eaters.
Recipe provided by Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza Restaurant in Los Angeles. Hear Lopez talk more about the ingredients and process of making chile rellenos in our story, "It's easy to fall in love with Oaxacan-style chiles rellenos." Find more of Lopez's recipes at the website Mole and More.
Short of investing in a vertical broiler, this hack is the closest you’ll get to al pastor tacos at home.
After my mom passed away, my aunt used to make us tons of tacos de papa dorados—basically mashed potatoes inside a tortilla either folded or rolled up like a flauta and fried—and leave them in big bags in the fridge. My friends and I would grab a few, microwave them, smother them in tart, fresh, bright-green tomatillo salsa, and wolf them down while watching episodes of Richard Bey. It’s a casero-style (homemade) snack, sort of like a Hot Pocket. You wouldn’t really see these on a menu anywhere. So when I first got the cart, I figured why not make this taco with a few modifications.
Be careful when roasting chiles de árbol, or the dried versions of other smaller spicier, because when you start roasting inside your house, the air gets spicy quick. Growing up in southern California, my mom would make chile de árbol by roasting them with a little bit of lard. We’d be such dramatic little kids; it’d be like pepper spray in the house, and we’d have to kneel down and go through the kitchen because it was too spicy. We’d be coughing up a storm and our eyes would be watering.
Tomatillos can be used raw or prepared in one of many ways – roasting, boiling, simmering. That way I like to do them is roasting them over fire – especially if you have an open fire-pit outdoors. You can make makeshift an open fire-pit indoors with a grate placed over gas stove burner, then give some color to your tomatillos. This recipe specifically uses oven-roasted tomatillos for ease of preparation. Use fresh or store refrigerated for one week.
This recipe is old-fashioned in the sense that it doesn't involve any canned milk, powders, or artificial flavorings. It results in a flan that is not too eggy thanks to the use half-and-half instead of milk to help thicken it.