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Enchiladas Suizas

Photo by Garrett Ziegler

As we all know enchiladas are usually made with a chile-based sauce; enchiladas rojas with tomatoes, enchiladas verdes with tomatillos, enchiladas de mole with mole, and so forth.

These enchiladas however, not only have a cream-based sauce, and the chile is just a flavoring, but are also baked! Things have changed very much since I lived in Mexico City, but one would hope that at least some traditions prevail. After all, Mexico is an old country, and as such it is full of traditions. A family tradition, was to go downtown to any of the many good family restaurants on Saturdays, and if we were in the mood for enchiladas, the place to go was to the only restaurant that served at that time the Enchiladas Suizas.

Casa de los Azulejos

Casa de los Azulejos

La Casa de los Azulejos or The House of Tiles, located in the Centro Histórico was where the first Sanborns Restaurant opened for business in 1919. This beautiful building was originally the home of the Counts of the Orizaba Valley, descendants of Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador. It is a magnificent example of Spanish colonial architecture, and this unique building along with the Casa del Marqués de Ramos in Lima, Perú, are considered by experts to be the only such buildings outside of Spain, masterly preserved for almost five hundred years.

With the fall of the Aztec empire on August 13, 1521, a chapter in history of more than two hundred years of one of the most extraordinary cultures of America came to an end. Cortés began organizing the political, economic and religious life of La Nueva España or New Spain, and one of the very first things he did was to provide his best men with land where they could build homes and start a family. Cortés gave them a few years either to bring a wife from Spain, or to marry an Indian.

Around 1530, at the onset of the colony, the construction of a modest house started for the first count of Orizaba. In the course of several decades, the house was then passed on to the different heirs who in turn made additions to the house in order to accommodate their family necessities. By 1828, several changes and additions had been made to this already majestic house. One of the most important additions, if not the most important, was the addition of the blue tiles to the facade known as Talavera of the Queen, made by the last count of Orizaba who died shortly after. Thus, the name of La Casa de los Azulejos or translated the House of Tiles.

The House of Tiles changed owners several times. One of them, Mr. Martinez de la Torre, a well known businessman, would organize literary gatherings at which prestigious poets and writers of the time were invited to read their works. After the demise of Mr. de la Torre, the Iturbe family bought the palace and just a few years later while residing in Paris, decided to rent it to two American entrepreneurs, the Sanborn brothers, Walter and Frank. The government was severely criticized for allowing the Iturbe family to rent such a property to foreigners. The deal finally went through with the condition that the building would be properly maintained and the architecture preserved. The Sanborn brothers converted The House of Tiles into the first restaurant of what it is nowadays, a huge chain of restaurants all over the country.

These new owners maintained and preserved the colonial style of the building and, coached by talented architects, added their own touch. The most visible addition to the building was the glass vault ceiling that covers the beautiful courtyard which serves as the main floor restaurant. This addition allowed famous painters to decorate the walls around the courtyard. Worth mentioning are the paintings of the well known Mexican muralist, Jose Clemente Orozco. La Casa de los Azulejos was declared a National Monument in 1931.

The Sanborns restaurants are very popular at any time of the day. Breakfast business meetings take place while savoring a great assortment of Mexican antojitos, delicious pan dulce (sweet rolls), or just to have coffee with friends and do some browsing or shopping. Fine costume jewellery, leather women’s purses, watches, photography equipment, books, magazines, newspapers of around the world, etc. All this, plus good food makes Sanborns or La Casa de los Azulejos, a place to visit when you are in Mexico City. In the meantime, try this version of the Swiss Enchiladas, which is a bit different from the one served in Sanborns, equally good if not better.

SWISS ENCHILADAS
4 servings

1 large chicken breast
½ celery stalk with leaves
¼ small onion
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup chopped black or green olives
3 green onions, chopped
¼ cup chopped Serrano chiles, seeded
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
12 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Manchego or Chihuahua cheese

In salted boiling water, cook the chicken breast with the celery and onion for about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the chicken breast and cool, reserving the chicken broth for future use. Discard the celery and onion. When cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in ¼ cup of the whipping cream. In a saucepan, mix the dissolved cornstarch with the remaining whipping cream and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the cream starts to boil. Add the olives, onions, chiles, and salt and pepper to taste. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Remove the sauce from the heat and keep it warm. Mix about ½ cup of this cream sauce with the shredded chicken. Set the chicken and the rest of the cream sauce aside.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium-to-high heat almost to the point of smoking. Using a spatula, quickly dip each tortilla in the hot oil and transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep them warm until you have finished frying all the tortillas.

Dip a tortilla into the cream sauce, add about 2 tablespoons of the chicken, and roll up. Place the enchilada in a baking dish. Repeat this process with the rest of the tortillas. Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and cover with the cheese. Bake the enchiladas for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and they are heated through. Serve at once.

Another popular dish of the Sanborn’s Restaurants is Molletes, usually served for brunch, topped with a tomato salsa. For a light merienda or supper, these are also served with scrambled eggs .

For the sake of variation, I am also including the recipe of a tomatillo salsa with avocado, a family favourite.

Molletes

Photo by El Gran Dee

Molletes
Yields 6 molletes

6 slices of bolillos or French bread, sliced lengthwise
¾ cup refried beans
½ cup of green salsa with avocado
½ cup Queso de Oaxaca, sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the bread with the refried beans. Add the salsa and top with enough cheese to cover bread. Place the molletes on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese melts and the bread starts to brown. Serve immediately.

Green sauce

Photo by Tamera Clark

Green Salsa with Avocado

8 medium tomatillos, husked, stemmed, and washed
3 tbsp. chopped onion
1 large clove garlic
4 serrano chiles, stemmed
½ medium avocado, peeled
A free drops of lime juice
Salt

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, onion, garlic, chiles, avocado, lime juice, ¼ cup water, and salt to taste and purée until smooth. Add a bit of liquid if the salsa is too thick. Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl or salsera and serve.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little more on history of Mexico, the story of Sanborns, the Swiss Enchiladas and a simple but delicious Molletes recipe. Please comment below your thoughts, and what you’d like me to write about if you have any suggestions. I’d love to hear them!

Mexican Culinary Treasures: Recipes From Maria Elena's Kitchen

Mexican Culinary Treasures: Recipes From Maria Elena's Kitchen

Maria Elena Cuervo-Lorens is the author of Mexican Culinary Treasures cookbook. She takes you back to her childhood, spent around her grandmother’s table on a shopping expedition with her mother to Mercado La Merced, and for a merienda (snack) of café con leche and biscochos (Mexican sweet rolls) at a bakery in downtown Mexico City. The authentic Mexican recipes she shares with us include tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas. The nouvelle cuisine of cosmopolitan Mexico City, such as cuitlacoche (huitlacohe) crepes, oysters with chipotle chile.

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Guest Post by Nancy Gerlach.

The tradition of exchanging cards on St. Valentines Day began during the Middle Ages. The giving of flowers to attract the attention of a new partner also originated in Europe. Over the years, sweets and candy were added to the list of popular Valentine gifts. And of all the sweets, chocolate became the most popular. Maybe because it is supposed to be an aphrodisiac or just because almost everyone seems to love it, chocolate has become the overwhelming favorite Valentine gift.

Since we all love chiles, and most everyone likes sweets of some sort, I’m proposing combining the two for Valentine’s Day. This may sound strange, but the combination of chiles and sweets goes back to the Mayas, who flavored their hot chocolate with fiery chiles and honey. Today, hot sweets are becoming more available, but as someone once said, the sweetest gifts are the ones you make yourself. So the following are some recipes to heat up your Valentine’s Day. Yes, these require a little more work than just going to the local candy store and buying a heart shaped box of chocolates, but isn’t the love of your life worth it?

Cascabel Caramel Turtles

Cascabel Caramel Turtles

The word cascabel means rattle in Spanish and this full-flavored dried chile probably received its name due to its shape and the fact that its seeds rattle around when you shake it. These turtles are like no others you’ve tasted before, hot as well as sweet. This recipe is from the book Sweet Heat by Melissa Stock and Dave DeWitt, Ten Speed Press.

  • 24 soft caramels
  • 2 tablespoons frozen whipped topping
  • Butter flavored vegetable cooking spray
  • 72 pecan halves
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 cascabel chiles, stems and seeds removed, finely crushed

In a microwave safe mixing bowl, combine the caramels and whipped topping and cook on 50 percent power for 45 seconds. Remove the bowl, stir, and place back in the microwave. Continue this process in 10-second increments until the mixture has melted and is smooth and well blended. Let the mixture cool slightly.

Spray a cookie sheet lightly with the cooking oil. Place the pecan halves on the pan in groups of 3, arranged so that each pecan group forms a “Y” shape. These form the turtle’s head and legs. Carefully spoon the caramel mixture over each, leaving the ends of the pecans showing. Set aside until the caramel has hardened.

Place the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave on 50 percent power for 45 seconds, remove and stir, and repeat the process in 10-second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the cascabels and let the chocolate mixture to cool slightly.

Spoon the melted chocolate over the caramel, being careful not to cover the exposed ends of the pecans.

Set aside until hard, then store in a covered container in a cool place.

Yield: 2 dozen

Heat Scale: Medium

For more food history and recipes on the subjects of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, just click on the image below.

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Banderita by Cristiano Oliveira


There are many versions of the popular sangrita, a chaser for a straight shot of tequila. It is common in Mexico City to serve premium tequila accompanied with sangrita, a favourite of my family. There always seems to be a batch of this sophisticated sangrita in the fridge.

The Spaniards brought with them to La Nueva España (New Spain), their knowledge of the distillation process learned from the Moors, giving birth to one of the most wonderful beverages: Tequila.

Agave tequilana Weber is the scientific name of the cactus that produces tequila. This agave plant grows in a semi-dry climate in clay-like soil with a high basalt and iron content, conditions that are found mainly in the State of Jalisco, around the city of Guadalajara where the township of Tequila is located.

Tequila is aged in white oak casks. Once this process is finished Tequila is ready to be bottled. The name ‘Tequila’ is protedted and recognized as a native beverage.

The following recipe is my sister-in-law Beatriz’s version, and I must say it is especially good. She serves it in a clear glass pitcher and it looks extremely appealing. It keeps very well, refrigerated, for up to two days. Enjoy sangrita with good Tequila. Any tequila worth buying will have on its label: 100% agave. *

2 green onions or ¼ cup of minced white onion
¾ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 to 4 serrano chiles, finely chopped
4 cups V-8 or tomato juice
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Maggi sauce
1 teaspoon Jalapeño Mexican Hot Salsa Bufalo
Salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix the onion, cilantro and chiles with the V-8, lime and orange juices. Add the Worcestershire, Jalapeño, and Maggi sauces, and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the sangrita to a glass pitcher and refrigerate, covered, overnight or for several hours before serving.

Mexican Culinary Treasures: Recipes From Maria Elena's Kitchen

Mexican Culinary Treasures: Recipes From Maria Elena's Kitchen

Maria Elena Cuervo-Lorens is the author of Mexican Culinary Treasures cookbook. She takes you back to her childhood, spent around her grandmother’s table on a shopping expedition with her mother to Mercado La Merced, and for a merienda (snack) of café con leche and bizcochos (Mexican sweet rolls) at a bakery in downtown Mexico City. The authentic Mexican recipes she shares with us include tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas. The nouvelle cuisine of cosmopolitan Mexico City, such as cuitlacoche (huitlacohe) crepes, oysters with chipotle chile. There are many more recipes of cocktails with tequila on pgs. 212 and 213 of her book.

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Memorial Day is a holiday in which we remember all those who gave their lives while serving in the US Armed Forces. MexGrocer loves and appreciates our military customers. We have been sending orders all over the globe, even to submarines for over 12 years. We have many stories we could share about these orders. Thank you to all these great people who protect our country.

Let the SUMMER begin!

Memorial day also marks the start of the summer vacation season. What best to kick off one of our favorite seasons that with Margaritas. The margarita is one of the world’s great cocktails: smooth and tangy-sweet, it goes down easily and tastes like more.

HIBISCUS MARGARITA

Hibiscus Margaritas (Photo by Sara Remington)

Yes! Margaritas!
This Hibiscus Margarita is made with a gorgeous fuschia-colored infusion of dried hibiscus, also known as flor de jamaica (pronounced ham-í-ka). Hibiscus has a sweet-tart taste that blends deliciously with a good, smooth tequila and a hint of cinnamon sugar. The syrup is also delicious as an agua fresca, poured over ice and topped off with sparkling or still water and a squeeze of lime. The infusion is rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids, a great nutritional bonus while you enjoy your margarita.

HIBISCUS MARGARITA
Adapted from Amor y Tacos by Deborah M. Schneider
Makes 1 margarita.

Chef Deborah Schneider Cookbooks1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Lime wedge
1 cup ice
4 ounces Hibiscus Syrup (recipe follows)
1 ½ ounces 100% agave blanco tequila
1 ounce sparkling water
Lime wedge or cinnamon stick

Combine sugar and cinnamon on a small plate. Rub rim of glass with lime wedge. Dip the rim of the glass in the cinnamon sugar and shake off excess.

Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice and pour over the tequila, hibiscus syrup and top up with sparkling water. Stir carefully. Squeeze the lime on top of the drink and discard it. Garnish with a fresh wedge of lime, or a cinnamon stick.

Variation:
Chill a 7-ounce martini glass, and prepare the rim as described above. In a shaker jar combine ice, hibiscus syrup and tequila, along with 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Shake well for 15 seconds and strain into the glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lime.

HIBISCUS SYRUP
Use as a base for drinks, or freeze into a delicious sorbet.
4 cups water
2 cups white sugar
2 cups dried hibiscus flower (flor de jamaica)

Combine all ingredients and simmer over low heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Cook at a slow simmer for 30 minutes. Let stand 2 hours (or as long as overnight) and strain, pressing down on the flowers. Keeps indefinitely refrigerated.

About the Author:

Chef Deborah Schneider

Chef Deborah Schneider is the executive chef and partner at SOL Cocina in Newport Beach, California and Scottsdale, Arizona. She lives in San Diego with her family, married a surfer, and began exploring nearby Baja where she found her love for Mexican food. She worked her way up through the professional kitchen brigade, eventually leading some of San Diego’s finest kitchens and receiving her Certified Executive Chef designation from the American Culinary Federation in 2001. Chef Deb has been with MexGrocer.com since April 2012.

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Pozole comes in Red, White and Green.

Pozole, a heartening soup and a favorite dish for people coming out late in the evening from the theater or a nightclub or, better, to cure a terrible hangover, originated in the state of Jalisco, where they use pork instead of chicken. Here’s a little more history:

  • Background: Pre-Hispanic origin, prepared with cacahuazintle corn, pork meat, chicken and/or shrimp. Serves with vegetables, or you can make an all vegetarian version by excluding protein.
  • Red Pozole: Is typical of Sinaloa and Jalisco, usually prepared with chile guajillo salsa.
  • White Pozole: Is more popular in Central Mexico.
  • Green Pozole: Originates in the state of Guerrero, where it’s color comes from a tomatillo salsa. In some regions they add sardines, egg and chicharron.

The spicy combination of the ancho and guajillo chiles with the tomato, oregano, and cloves turns an ordinary chicken broth into the most flavorful broth for the hominy corn.

Pozole is really what we call a plato fuerte or main dish, when served with lots of chicken and all its trimmings. This recipe can be found on pg. 69 of Mexican Culinary Treasures.

RED POZOLE WITH CHICKEN
Pozole Rojo

1 whole chicken breast
1 chicken backbone
2 chicken wings
3 dried Guajillo chiles
2 dried Ancho chiles
2 large tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup chopped onion
½ tsp. oregano
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. vegetable oil
4 to 5 chicken cups chicken broth
2 (900 g) cans hominy corn*, drained
Salt
6-8 corn tortillas, fried until crisp (tostadas)
Garnishes:
Chopped radishes, finely chopped lettuce, finely chopped onion, avocado slices, ground piquín chile, and quartered limes.

In 6 cups of salted boiling water, cook the chicken breast and backbone for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken breast is tender. Reserving the broth, drain, remove the skin and bone, and shred the chicken breast with your fingers. Set aside, discarding the backbone and the wings.

While the chicken is cooking, stem the chiles, shake out the seeds, and wash them under running water. Soak the chiles in 1 cup of the reserved chicken broth for about 15 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the chiles with the soaking liquid to a blender and process with the tomatoes, garlic, onion and oregano until puréed.

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and fry the chile mixture for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the tomato sauce, the remaining chicken broth, hominy corn, salt to taste, and the shredded chicken. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes longer to allow the flavours to mix.

Divide the pozole between soup bowls and serve hot, with the tostadas. Let everyone add their choice of garnish to their own bowl.

Mexican Culinary Treasures: Recipes From Maria Elena's Kitchen

Mexican Culinary Treasures: Recipes From Maria Elena's Kitchen

Maria Elena Cuervo-Lorens is the author of Mexican Culinary Treasures cookbook. She takes you back to her childhood, spent around her grandmother’s table on a shopping expedition with her mother to Mercado La Merced, and for a merienda (snack) of café con leche and biscochos (Mexican sweet rolls) at a bakery in downtown Mexico City. The authentic Mexican recipes she shares with us include tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas. The nouvelle cuisine of cosmopolitan Mexico City, such as cuitlacoche (huitlacohe) crepes, oysters with chipotle chile.

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I discovered Cherimoya (Chair-ee-moya) one day as I was looking at a list of fruit in season. Recognizing every fruit listed but this one, of course, my interest was sparked to do some research. Finding an article that called this the “Ice Cream Fruit” drew me in further. The fruit looks like a cross-pollination between an artichoke and an avocado… oval,  with a smooth or slightly tuberculated skin. The fruit flesh is white and creamy, and has numerous dark brown seeds embedded in it.  According to one article, “Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. ” which is probably the reason why Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men.”

Unfortunately, you won’t find this treasure on the shelf of your local Whole Foods Market. Though grown throughout Central and North America (even making it up to growers in California), the soft skin and short season of this fruit makes it hard to produce commercially. After doing a little search for it myself, I found it online for $15 a fruit! Despite it’s rarity, the cherimoya’s popularity in the U.S. and Mexico is growing. There’s even a Cherimoya Fair held in Irvine, Ca (and a website dedicated to the fruit, too: cherimoya.com).

And it’s no wonder, though the flavor could sell itself, the cherimoya has multiple health benefits too.

  • “100 g of fresh fruit pulp provide about 75 calories. It contains, however, no saturated fats or cholesterol. It characteristically contains a good amount of dietary fiber (3 g per100 g) that helps prevent absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
  • Cherimoya contains several poly-phenolic antioxidants. Among them, the most prominent in annona family fruits are Annonaceous acetogenins. Acetogenin compounds such as asimicin, bullatacinare…etc are powerful cytotoxins and have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-malarial, and anti-helminthes properties.
  • It is very good in vitamin-C.
  • In addition, cherimoya fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). 100 g fresh fruit provides 0.257 mg or 20% of daily-recommended levels. Pyridoxine helps keep-up GABA neuro chemical in the brain. High GABA levels calm down nervous irritability, tension, and headache ailments.Further, it has a well balanced sodium-potassium ratio. A good potassium level in the body helps control heart rate and blood pressure; thus, counters the bad influences of sodium. It also contains more minerals weight per weight than many common fruits like apples, rich in copper, magnesium, iron and manganese.”

    I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed. Looks like I’ll be ordering some cherimoya very soon.

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    En un cacerola derrita la inercia, la amargura y el tedio. Unte bien con mucha risa, especialmente sobre las propias tragedias. En bol aparte, pele y corte en tiras la ansiedad, pique fino el egoísmo. Ponga en remojo el yo hasta que se macere, pero cuide de no derretirlo enteramente.
    El rencor (que es furia rancia) aplástelo contra una tabla, troce el reproche y la envidia. Tire a la basura el pellejo, la pereza para pensar, la vanidad de no cometer errores y la cobardía de no admitirlos. Deje largo rato bajo la canilla, hasta que se vayan por el sumidero, el remordimiento por el pasado, la culpabilidad por el presente y el miedo por el futuro. Amase todo con ternura, sin ahorrar algún gramo de locura.
    No se preocupe si tarda en ablandarse: la impaciencia no es compatible con la ternura. Sazone con la defensa de algún derecho, propio, y sobre todo ajeno. Cocine al fuego lento de la pasión, pero vigile que no se queme. Para decorar, use armonía con la existencia y distribuya en la fuente combinando imaginación y lucidez. Deje reposar dos horas (o veinte años) y sirvalo con mucho amor.

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    Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe es una de las grandes milagrosas aparaciones de la tan renombrada por la religión Católica Romana “Virgen María”. El 9 de Diciembre de 1531 cuenta la historia que un indio llamado Juan Diego mientras caminaba hacia la Ciudad de México vió en el Monte Tepeyac la visión de una niña de aproximadamente 15  o 16 años de edad. Cuando el Indio se acercó afirmó que era La Virgen de Guadalupe la que se encontraba ahí. La Virgen en el lenguaje natal Náhuatl le dijo a Juan Diego que una iglesia debía ser edificada sobre el suelo que pisaban. Inmediatamente el Indio fué a comunicarle al Fray Juan De Zumárraga. El Fray  no le creyó al instante y le pidió que confirmara que en realidad era La Virgen la que le había hablado. Cuando el Fray y el Indio regresaron al Monte Tepeyac La Virgen estaba ahí y les pidio que reunieran flores, un estilo de flor muy peculiar que en ésa época no se encontraba en La Ciudad de México. El Indio tomó su manto y La Virgen reunion las flores. Juan Diego con las flores en el manto lo tomó y las flores cayeron. El día 12 de Diciembre el Indio y el Fray presenciaron la aparición de la Virgen de Guadalupe sobre el manto de el Indio Juan Diego. Milagrosamente al despejar las flores de el manto apareció la famosa imagen sobre el manto, manto que se encuentra en la Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en la famosa Ciudad de México.

    El pueblo Mexicano y sudamericano celebra el 12 de Diciembre la conmemoración y adoración a la Virgen de Guadalupe. Las celebraciones consisten en miles de peregrinaciones desde diferentes estados de la República Mexicana y Centroamérica hacia la Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

    En México La Virgen es el ícono más fuerte y más reconocido por la Religión Católica. El 12 de Diciembre se celebra el día de la “Patrona de México” La Virgen de Guadalupe.

    Imagen de Sumandoluz.com

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    The winter holiday brings a season of festivities, friends, and food. I LOVE this holiday season, who doesn’t? And MexGrocer is here to help your party planning all the way. You know we sell food, but our website also features recipes and sells decor too! Here’s something to get your inspiration kick-started for your next fiesta:

    Choose your menu

    Most of these recipes are a breeze to prepare –  but only you need to know how easy! Impress your friends with a delicious spread of finger foods, and the stand-by staple: chips and guacamole! Click a name for the full recipe details.

    Killer Chile Rellenos

    Chiles rellenos are made of Chile Poblano (Ancho)or Anaheim chiles, with skins removed, dipped in batter, stuffed with cheese or meat and covered  with lightly spiced red sauce.

    Queso Fundido – Mexican Fondue

    This is always popular at parties. Serve with tortilla chips or roll up some of the dip in a warm tortilla.

    Guacamole Mixtec Style

    Guacamole is a spicy Mexican paste made from crushed avocado and various seasonings, usually including onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes.

    Set the soundtrack

    No party is a party without some music! Here are a few of our favorite tunes sure to get the party moving:

    Bamboleo by Gipsy Kings

    Cool and catchy with a strong vocal

    La Marea by Manu Chao

    Lively and busy – great fun with friends

    Plan party game
    Forget pin-the-tail, play a couple of party games that get your guests up and moving!

    Fiesta Flash

    Here’s a great idea for a simple game to play with mates – all you need is a camera with a self-timer and a few ‘up-for-it’ friends!

    Number of players? As many as you have!

    Who can play? This one’s for everyone – especially the camera shy!

    What’s needed? A camera with a flash and self-timer (most digital cameras and some disposable cameras have both – just check first!)

    What’s the gist?
    1. Grab the camera, set the self-timer and the game begins.
    2. Each player must hold the camera at arm’s length and point it at themselves for a second or two – before passing it on to their left.
    3. Keep going, until the camera goes off with a flash of light, a startled face and much laughter.
    4. If the flash goes off, that person must do a quick forfeit (you decide!) before the game continues. Of course, random forfeits can also be awarded for not holding the camera long enough…

    Who wins? Anyone lucky enough to avoid the flash.

    Sombrero Dance

    In this fiesta game if you get caught with the sombrero you must eat a hot pepper!

    To play you’ll need a sombrero, music, fun loving players, and chili peppers. As your dancing to some festive music take the sombrero and place it on somebody else’s head, they then must place it on another’s head, and so on.

    When the music stops whoever last had the sombrero on must eat a pepper!

    Decorate your space!

    Don’t forget to make your space lively by adding some fun colors and decor! Check out what MexGrocer has to offer:

    Party Decorations

    Party Tableware

    Party Drinkware

    Enjoy your fiesta! And don’t forget to check out MexGrocer.com for more recipes, decorations, party favors, and ideas!

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    Maybe some of you out there are like me. When it comes to cooking, I can hold my own, but when it gets down to the really good stuff, I’m pretty lost. That’s why I’ve taken an active interest in learning from the masters. Perhaps, like me, you’ve also never considered taking a cooking class — but in my research, cooking classes (even the online kind) are surprisingly pretty good deals.

    Here’s a few (online) cooking classes that you might like to check out:

    Epicurious Cooking School

    Mexican Cuisine: http://cookingschool.epicurious.com/c1-catalog-detail.php

    Cost: $49 for four hours of instruction, PLUS the first class is free!

    Lessons:

    • Overview and Salsas
    • Chiles
    • Moles
    • Tamales
    • Ceviches
    • Pork & Tortillas
    • Rice & Seafood
    • Beef & Beans

    Universal Class

    Tex-Mex Cuisine: http://www.universalclass.com/i/course/tex-mex-cooking-101.htm

    Cost: $30 for six-month subscription ($55 for a CEU Certificate)

    Lessons:

    • Tex Mex Cuisine
    • Classic Tex-Mex Recipes
    • Salsa, Rice, and Cheese
    • Pasta
    • Tex-Mex Flavors
    • Guacamole, Beans and Quesadillas
    • Beer Battered Fritters, Pizza, and Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
    • Nachos, Beef and Chipotle Pasta, and Corn on the Cob
    • Chimichangas, Potato Bake, and Baked Chicken
    • Chili
    • Marinades, Soups, and Potatoes
    • Beverages

    Live Linga

      Mexican (Link: http://www.livelingua.com/mexican-cooking-classes.php)

      Cost: $99 for 4-5 hours of instruction (cooking and language instruction simultaneously)

      Lesson: (Choose one of four)

      1. Sopes – Salsa de Chipotle Molcajeta – Jamaica

      2. Tostadas de Tinga – Guacamole en Molcajete – Pepino con Limon

      3. Gorditas – Salsa Verde Molcajeta – Pina con Apio

      4. Mole – Enchiladas de Pollo/Queso -Tamarindo

      Happy Cooking!

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