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Top Rated Mexican Recipes
This dish is far from authentic or traditional in content, flavor profile, and technique. Originally created to appeal to the expat audience here in San Miguel de Allende (not very spicy), it has developed a following of both travelers and Mexican nationals alike.
The inspiration for this dish comes from many places: the pairing of pork chops and applesauce; the way that a good barbecue sauce accents slow smoked or roasted pork shoulder, and, most importantly, a genuine adoration of carnitas.
When creating the dish, several goals came to mind. First was the desire to have a full-flavored dish that would not overwhelm the somewhat delicate (by comparison) expat palate. We have several housemade hot sauces and salsas on hand at all times, and it is far easier to add heat than to try to mask it.
The second goal was to deliver the profound depth of flavor and beautiful contrasting textures associated with well-crafted carnitas yet alter the traditional preparation to be more health conscious. By using a three-stage cooking process (hard sear, braise, shallow fry), we have drastically reduced the fat content of this dish while not compromising any flavor. The pork process is relatively lengthy and, for a quick fix, you could substitute high-quality BBQ pulled pork.
The eggplant in this recipe gets its raciness from a spicy red chile salsa and some chipotle chiles en adobo — think of it as a Mexican-inspired ratatouille. It gives a boost of flavor to an omelette so you won't be missing the lack of cheese, making it an exciting yet healthy breakfast dish.
Chilaquiles is a Mexican dish that uses leftover tortillas, crisped, as the base for a topping of a sauce, cheese, and eggs (or chicken). Just as a frittata uses up extra sautéed vegetables and yesterday’s pasta, or as fried rice makes the most of Sunday night’s dried-out takeout, Chilaquiles takes these ingredients and makes them each transcend their individual taste value into a dish that you would never think was composed of leftovers.
I’d had in mind, actually, to make something more like Migas, a Spanish dish of leftovers — stale tortilla chips specifically. In Migas, the tortilla chips (or tortillas or just bread) are scrambled with the eggs, but there was no way I was scrambling my chips in with my eggs.
Because, wanting to make use of the mandoline I got for Christmas, I decided to make fresh, homemade potato chips. (I had neither tortillas nor tortilla chips, incidentally. I can’t figure out where the decision to make Chilaquiles or Migas came from in the first place.) The chips were warm, thin, salty — so good — and I didn’t want to sacrifice their crispness to the eggs. So I subverted tradition, made chips solely for the purpose of using them in a leftover-inspired plate of food, and enjoyed the fresh fried-ness of my lunch. — Cara
Click here to see 7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Make with Potato Chips.
When he was growing up in Mexico City, chef Alfredo Solis enjoyed Pan de los Muertos at his aunt’s annual Dia de los Muertos feast.
Quick, simple, and delicious, these quesadillas let the clean flavors of mahimahi truly shine. I like a fair amount of heat in my "Mexican" food but if you want to tone it down, just use fewer jalapeños.
Click here to see Quesadillas to Suit Every Taste.
At trendy Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende, executive chef Jorge Boneta has a best-selling dish on the menu that’s a year-round favorite at the hotel — Hotel Matilda Tortilla Soup.
For chef Boneta, his tortilla soup is an expression of his culinary persona — his lifelong passion for cooking shaped early on by an intimate family life that centered around the kitchen and good food, extensive travel in Mexico to hone his knowledge of the varied and unique cuisines of the different regions of the country, and professional experience at several of Mexico’s leading resorts.
Translation: His Hotel Matilda Tortilla Soup is the way Mexican foodies prepare tortilla soup at home!
The hint of lime in these wings elevates this from the ordinary to the POW! And, the honey and coffee softens the bite of the chile. It makes a great appetizer and a delicious entrée to take on picnics and, of course, to the baseball game, be it Little or Major League. Because they're baked, they can be made in any season and served with rice and a salad, or crudités and a Thai noodle dish. Thai Iced Coffee is a terrific accompaniment.
Spices, sauces, and chiles are available in the Asian or Mexican sections of most major grocery stores.
This twist on the traditional Mexican stuffed chile is rich, creamy, and delicious, filled with a medley of seafood — here I use shrimp, calamari, and bay scallops — instead of the usual ground beef. This was one of the first items on the menu at Maya, and it remains a popular item to this day.
Chorizo is a magical ingredient, the kind of thing that makes your food taste way more accomplished without asking anything of you beyond just buying it. D’Artagnan sells a good-quality chorizo that is readily available; just make sure you’re buying Spanish chorizo, which is already cooked, and not Mexican chorizo, which is raw. You can expand or contract this dish based on your needs: Feeding a bigger crowd? Double the amounts. Feeding just yourself? Cook as much chorizo and shrimp as you’d like to eat. It’s really that simple.
In the same way many people love Italian food so much that a part of them wishes they had a vowel on the end of their names, I sometimes think I'm so in love with the flavors of Mexican food that I wish I had some of that culinary heritage. Without having any family recipes to fall back on, I've created my own, and I'll immodestly cop to making one of the most kickass salsas around.
But over the years, as the tacos-gone-global trend has gone full-steam, I've made my own international variations too. In this one, the salsa takes a Greek spin. I love a good gyro, but one of the issues I always have with them is that there's too much bread. Using corn tortillas and making Greek tacos, you get all the great Greek flavors, but in mini-gyro form. This tomato mint salsa, along with a tzatziki, makes for the perfect finish.
The mint I used recently came from Farmer Lee Jones' Chef's Garden in a CSA-style Seasonal Vegetables and Herbs box, and it was some of the most fragrant, beautiful mint I've ever had the privilege of using. It gave the salsa a fresh, cool feeling that you're not used.
Click here to see more Tasty Tomato Recipes.
The Cactus Salad with Portobello Mushrooms is a unique and savory salad offered at Talavera Restaurant, an authentic Mexican destination in Miami's Coral Gables. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, the Cactus Salad is anything but ordinary with its flavorful mix of cactus, spinach, feta cheese, and fresh mushrooms. This salad is perfect for those looking to keep things healthy and light on Cinco de Mayo.
See all mushroom recipes.
Click here to see Healthy Recipes for Cinco de Mayo.
This dish is a take on a recipe my husband used to make for me when we were dating. He worked at a sports fishing landing in San Diego while he was in graduate school, so he always had access to freshly caught fish that people didn’t want or had too much of.
You can use any white, mild flavored saltwater fish — red snapper, mahimahi, sole, tilapia, and so on. I used pargo that my husband caught in Mexico.
I recommend using cotija cheese, a Mexican cheese similar to feta. If you can’t find it, you could use a mild feta instead. I also recommend using a pico de gallo.
Click here to see 15 Easy Fish Recipes for Summer.