Veracruz’s answer to India's puri is the gordita inflada (“puffed-up little fat one”). In talking about them, most people leave out the “inflada,” which can be confusing since the name “gordita” by itself refers to a motley family of different tortilla-like masa cakes. They are eaten in some form or other in many parts of Mexico, but everyone knows that Veracruz state is headquarters for the most varied and delicious one.Gorditas are easier to eat than to describe. The basis of the dough is always corn masa, usually combined with at least one other starchy ingredient wheat flour, mashed plantain, mashed beans. Gorditas can be sweet (though not very) or savory. What all kinds have in common is that they puff up in cooking — a little or a lot, depending on the technique and shape. When griddle-baked, they expand just enough to be easily split when they come off the heat. Some of the thicker ones may puff in the same modest way when fried, but thinner fried gorditas, like these, absolutely balloon in front of your eyes. Gorditas infladas, the flaky puri-like ones given here, are not meant to be filled at all.You may think that getting a gordita inflada to inflate takes eons of practice. Not at all: If the oil is at the right temperature and you have a large spoon handy to keep flicking the hot fat over the upper surface, they’ll puff as if by magic. The following dough is for basic gorditas infladas as commonly made around the port city of Veracruz and the Sotavento region. It uses a combination of masa, wheat flour, and mashed plantain that produces a pliable, subtly flavored, and easily puffed dough. The cooks of the region often shape their gorditas by hand into rounded ovals, which does take a little extra skill; I’ve opted for round ones made with a tortilla press.Please note that the recipe calls for a chunk of plantain at the last stage of ripeness, black and thoroughly softened. If you have to use one that is still a little hard and starchy, soften it as follows: Increase the amount of milk to 1/2 cup; simmer the milk and sliced plantain in a small saucepan for about 15 minutes. Let cool and proceed as directed below.
The size of these crimped tartlets can vary. I’ve seen them as large as five inches in diameter, which is manageable at a dinner table but too messy for a passed appetizer, which is how I like to serve them. Three inches is the most useful size.I am giving directions for briefly frying the picada shells in hot lard, the authentic Veracruzan technique. But when I serve them I often simplify things by reheating the shells on a griddle and just brushing them lightly with melted lard. This saves a lot of calories and a mess! Reduce the amount of lard to 2 to 3 tablespoons if you choose this option.
Often thought of as a beach food, alcapurrias are Puerto Rican fritters made with a deep-fried batter of green bananas, plantains, taro, potato, other starchy tubers, and stuffed with meat or seafood. This recipe uses yautia, plantains, and beef.This recipe is courtesy of The Food Network.
Would you believe that sometimes I return from a culinary research trip feeling literally fed up with Mexican food? Contrary to what you might think, the effort to find and taste as many new things as possible can be a physical ordeal for people like me, who generally prefer to eat lightly. My biggest problem is usually fresh vegetables — or lack of same — in an endless sea of meat and poultry and seafood dishes. Why do all the beautiful vegetables grown by neighborhood farmers do such a disappearing act between Mexican markets and Mexican tables?Well, of course they don't, really, at least in everyday meals. But both restaurant menus and the proudest offerings of home cooks are so heavy on animal protein that my digestive system starts crying for mercy after a few days. To be able to eat my fill of fresh garden vegetables during one of these trips is a rare treat, so I was in heaven when I encountered this soupy, aromatic stew at La Brisa del Mar restaurant in Veracruz. The rich brothy sauce or saucy broth can be made with either beef or chicken.I wish I had a neat definition for tesmoles, but about all I feel justified in saying is that they belong to the big family of soup-stews so beloved in the central-southern areas if Mexico, and that they invariably seem to include minute and toothsome masa dumplings (bolitas). The medley of green vegetables used in this version can be varied according to what’s good in the market. At La Brisa del Mar, the staff uses large, mature, fresh lima beans that stand up well to cooking. In this country it’s not always easy to find a good equivalent. I’ve successfully used frozen Fordhook limas or fresh green fava beans. I suggest avoiding baby limas. The vegetables in this dish should be full-size and sturdy, not tiny and super-delicate. If you have to use baby limas, add them only at the end, after the other vegetables and just before the bolitas.The bolitas are cousins of the chochoyotes of Oaxaca. The reason for their funny indented shape is that it helps cook them faster when added to a soup or stew. I would not try to substitute any fat other than lard; it holds them together compactly while making them fluffy without a hint of greasiness.This recipe appeared originally in my book Zarela's Veracruz: Mexico's Simplest Cuisine.
Fresh corn is puréed with Mexican corn flour and vegetable broth as black beans and corn kernels are seasoned with red onion and chili powder. Wrapping these tamales in their corn husk package is a great party activity and almost as much fun as chowing down on these black bean beauties. This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Cook. Vegan. Lover.
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This is Meatless Monday kicked up a notch! The warm corn cakes rested on smooth jalapeño sour cream and topped with the cool edamame pico de gallo is not only visually appealing — it is a party of fresh flavors for your palate.
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Click here to see Diane's Dish on... Corn.
Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish of stuffed masa (corn dough) which is then steamed in a banana leaf. Try finding banana leaves in the frozen section of the grocery store or at specialty Latin markets; if you can’t find the leaves, use foil as a substitute. This recipe comes from Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte. Stop by the Day of the Dead Party at Café el Presidente in New York City for a copy of the book.
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Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish of stuffed masa (corn dough) which is then steamed in a banana leaf. Try finding banana leaves in the frozen section of the grocery store or at specialty Latin markets; if you can’t find the leaves, use foil as a substitute. This recipe comes from Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte.
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At Areppas, an upscale fast-casual restaurant in New York City, Executive Chef Gabriela Machado takes a unique spin on a breakfast sandwich staple and has created the Morningside Areppas. This dish - served in a crunchy corn pocket - is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese and ham. The Latin-inspired breakfast sandwich can now be made at home, using Chef Gabriela’s simplified shopping list and directions.
Use leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make our famous Salt Creek Grille Princeton pulled turkey pupusas with pickled cabbage, right in your own kitchen!Click Here to See More Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes
For Super Bowl LI, celebrity chef Guy Fieri will be bringing the heat as the head chef for the players’ tailgate. If you want to eat like the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots at your party, channel Fieri with this hearty, Texas-inspired chili filled with bolder flavors than you can even imagine.This recipe is courtesy of Guy Fieri. You can catch Fieri after Super Bowl LI on Guy’s Grocery Games on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 11 p.m. and on Sundays following the big game at 8 p.m. on Food Network.
Cooking any one of Mexico's famously delicious moles makes me feel more like I'm in an alchemist's workshop than in a kitchen. This delicious amarillito, or "little yellow," mole is a classic. It is easy compared with how laborious some of Mexico's other moles can be — it can be made, as we Mexicans say, "with one hand on your hip." It is light and bright, but despite the fact that it's not actually yellow, the name has stuck.
The dish comes from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico known in the culinary world for its many versions of mole. The chochoyotes, or dimpled corn masa dumplings, enrich and thicken the sauce, and the dimple in the center of each one holds the sauce like a tasty, fluffy edible spoon.
Click here to see 5 Authentic Mexican Dishes for Cinco de Mayo.