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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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Zucchini Flowers (Photo by Vladimix)

In many parts of the world, including the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated the second Sunday of May. In Mexico, since 1922, May 10 was declared as a special day to celebrate Mothers. From this date, all day on May tenth, no matter what day of the week it is celebrated on, it’s MOTHER’S DAY . This tradition has become one of Mexico’s most celebrated holidays, where Mexican families meet to celebrate their mothers. Mother’s Day is perhaps the most important Mexican holiday for tasting the typical dishes of Mexican food.

In the United States celebrates Mother’s Day the 2nd Sunday of the Month of May. This tradition dates back to 1907 when Anna Jarvis began campaigning for recognition of this day as Mother’s Day at a national level, in memory of the second anniversary of the death of her mother. The first proclamation to celebrate Mother’s Day “the second Sunday in May” was given by the government of West Virginia in 1910 and was in 1911 when it began to date more popular and spread to the other states of the United States.

In Mexico, all Moms with their children, grandchildren and other in-laws, so that also becomes the day to celebrate grandmothers, daughters, daughters-in, sisters and all those women with a family who have had offspring. And, of course always celebrated and most importantly to the largest of the Mothers of Mexico: the Virgin of Guadalupe is remembered with prayers to all the Moms that are no longer are present.

From MexGrocer.com to all mothers out there, we wish you the greatest day: Happy Mother’s Day!

Zucchini Flower Soup (Sopa de Flor de Calabaza)
8 Servings, Preparation time: 25 minutes
by Jenifer Hernandez

Zucchini Flower Soup (Flor de Calabaza)

Zucchini Flower Soup

1 can of Zucchini Flowers (15 ounces in drained weight)
4.25 cups of chicken broth
1 bar of cream cheese (8oz)
1/4 onion finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1) Strain the zucchini flower and blend with the cream cheese and half of the chicken broth (2 cups).
2) Fry the chopped onion in a pan with butter until translucent.
3) Mix blend and onion in a pot and bring to a boil.
4) Add salt and pepper to taste.
5) Add the remaining chicken broth as needed for consistency during boil.

Enjoy your delicious zucchini flower soup.

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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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Mexican Candy & Snacks Buffet

Whether you’re celebrating a party or a get together to watch your favorite game on TV, we bring you a new concept of creating the Ultimate Mexican Candy and Snacks Buffet for your guests.

A buffet as it’s defined, is “a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners generally serve themselves. It is a popular method for feeding a large number of people with minimal staff.” Okay, so that’s what it means, but can you WOW! your guests? That’s what I’m positive you’re looking for. Traditionally, we think of buffets for a complete meal or for desserts, but what about the goodies, fruits and snacks with a Mexican flair. Your guests will love this! Check out the video on how we have our setup:

As you will notice, we have chosen a variety of mexican candy, fruits, snacks and chips (most of which you can find on our store if you need them delivered right to your home). Below is a list of the items, but you’re always welcome to choose whatever you like. Make them sweet, make them sour, make them crunch or spicy hot, make them healthy concious, make them colorful, make them simple. It’s real Mexican, real simple and really good.

Below is another picture for the layout of your buffet counter:

Mexican Candy & Snacks Buffet Layout

Enjoy! And please share with us in the comment below what your ultimate Mexican candy and Snacks buffet would have for your favorite guests.

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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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      El día de los Muertos es una fuerte tradición para la cultura Mexicana. Esta celebración  tiene como principal objetivo conmemorar a los difuntos. Su principal orígen es prehispánico y ha sido una importante tradición a lo largo de 2,500-3000 años atrás.  Las principales actividades que se  realizaban para la conmemoración consistían en conservar los esqueletos y utilizar los cráneos como trofeos. Estos “trofeos” a su vez simbolizaban reencarnación y celebración de la muerte.

      En gran parte de la región mexicana se celebra el  Día de los Niños Difuntos el 1ro de Noviembre. Se cree que el primero de el mes de Noviembre las almas de los niños difuntos regresan  para reunirse el 2do de Noviembre con el resto de las almas vivas.

      La tradición consiste en brindar ofrendas de comidas típicas mexicanas que caracterízan o simbolízan a la muerte. El ejemplo más popular es el Pan de Muerto, un panecillo dulce que se puede hornear en diferentes formas y tamaños generalmente espolvoreados con azúcar. Otra ofrenda clásica del Día de los Muertos son las Calaveras de dulce; son dulces de azúcar en forma de cráneo decoradas con los nombres de los difuntos sobre el frente y son consumidas por parientes o amigos de el difunto.

      Hay otros materiales comúnmente utilizados para ésta tradición como lo es el Papel Picado que suele decorar los entornos de los altares, La famosa Flor de Cempasúchil y porsupuesto el retrato de el difunto a conmemorar. Estos materiales se colocan alrededor de el retraro acompañados por velardoras. La mayoría de la gente acude al cementerio donde se localizan los difuntos parientes a brindales coronas de rosas y flores típicas regionales.

      Imagen de http://www.scrapbookaholicbyabby.com

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