New Favorite Product
I recently purchased this box of Knorr's Chipotle
Minicubes. I love this product. One of the tiny cubes is equal
to one chipotle. So easy to use. For lunch today, I made a taco
filling out of left over pork roast and threw in a chipotle
cube. It was perfect, just a little heat and that great smoky
flavor you get from chipotles. I found this product in the Mexican
food section at my local supermarket. Check it out!
In my cookbook, Stewing in Texas, I write about
the history of the margarita and how Mariano Martinez invented
the frozen margarita machine. Mariano has received many awards
and recognition for his invention which put the Mexican restaurant
business on the map. The original frozen margarita machine sat
in his restaurant on Greenville Avenue in Dallas for many years
until the restaurant closed in 2005 and Mariano donated the
machine to the Smithsonian Museum.
Recently the Smithsonian listed the top ten
American inventions and there along with the electric light
bulb, artificial heart, electric guitar and telephone was Mariano's
frozen margarita machine. Congratulations to Mr. Martinez's,
I will drink a toast to his machine next time I visit his restaurant
in Arlington, Texas.
Shack, Paola, KS
Recipe for Jalapeno Poppers featured on Food
Drive-Ins and Dives - Real Deal BBQ Episode
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is one of my favortie Food Network
shows. Don't watch it on an empty stomach, all the food looks
so good. The Real Deal BBQ episode has run quite a few times,
the owner of the BBQ Shack makes jalapeno poppers using the
Chile Twister tool. Every time the episode runs, the Jalepno
Cafe gets orders for Chile Twisters.
Thank you Guy and Food Network!
BBQ Shack's Poppers
Jalapeno Cafe Main Page
This time of year, gardeners are harvesting jalapenos
and wondering what to do with their bumper crops.
Jalapeno peppers are easy to preserve, you can freeze
them, can or pickle them or make them into delicious
jellies and sauces.
When harvesting peppers for preserving, be sure
to only take the perfect peppers, discard any with
signs of rot or insect damage. Jalapenos can be
harvested when they are still in the green stage,
this is the jalapeno we are most famaliar with.
You can leave the peppers on the plant and allow
them to ripen until they turn bright red, these
are good for jellies, just remember the ripe red
peppers are much hotter than the green ones.
When working with chile peppers, you should use
rubber gloves and rememeber to never touch your
face, most especially in the eye area. If you do,
splash plenty of water on the area to help stop
Freezing jalapenos is easy, wash them, cut off
tops and stems and split lengthwise. Remove seeds
and white membranes. Drop jalapeno pieces in boiling
water for about 60 seconds, them place in bowl of
ice water to cool. When cool, drain well and place
in freezer bags or containers and freeze. They should
be good for about 12 months.
Jalapeno peppers are delicious when pickled. You
can make round slices, pickle them whole and add
vegetables to the pickling mix. Look under
to find recipes for pickled jalapenos
You can make jelly from the jalapenos either at
the green stage or red stage (or both, if you have
enough jalapenos). Here is link for a recipe for
Remember when canning or preserving jalapenos (or
any vegetable or fruit), your jars and utensils
should be boiled in water to sterlize before usuing.
If canning jalepenos without any vinegar or acid
liquid, the filled jars should be processed in a
pressure cooker to insure safe canning following
instructions that come with the pressure cooker..
Jars of pickled jalapenos which have an acid vingear
liquid can be boiled in a hot water bath for 10
to 15 minutes. Be sure to lightly screw the lids
and rings on the jars but do not tighten until after
the hot water bath and cool down period.
Jarritos is a popular brand of Mexican soft drinks.
The name "Jarritos" refers to the Mexican
tradition of drinking water and other drinks from
clay pottery jugs. In 1950, Don Francisco "El
Guero" Hill started the Jarritos compamy in
Guadalajara, Jalisco. The Jarritos brand quickly
gained popularity in Mexico. They are made of natural
fruit flavors and are less carbonated that American
made soft drinks. In 1989, Jarritos started exporting
to the United States and within a few years, became
the most popular soft drink among Hispanic consumers.
Jarritos come in eleven flavors, fruit punch, grapefruit,
guava, jamaica, lime, mandarin orange, pineapple,
strawbery, tamarind, mango, and watermelon. The
next time you are serving a Mexican meal, buy an
assortment of Jarritos. The rainbow colors of the
drinks in tall glass bottles will give a festive
look to your table. The sweet fruit flavors go well
with the spicy Mexico food. (Thanks
to the Dallas Morning News for the Picture of the
I recently acquired
an issue of Arqueologia Mexicana magazine which
featured foods and recipes from Mexico's Pre-Hispanic
times. Here are a few recipes to give you an idea of Mayan
and Aztec cooking.
Stone Broth - from
1 pound shrimp
1 pound fish
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
10 cloves of garlic
Chopped chives and dry chiles to taste
Sprig of epazote.
Before preparing the broth, you must also obtain
five gourds, five small forked sticks to use as
spoons, a terco of fire wood and 25 small white
To prepare, build fire and place the stones in
the fire until very hot. Place equal amounts of
tomato, garlic chives, chiles and epazote into each
gourd. Add one or two of the stones to each gourd
and stir to cook, removing stones before adding
other ingredients. This procedure is repeated until
ingredients cooked. Add the shrimp and fish. Finally
add another hot stone to each gourd to allow the
broth to finish boiling. Remove stones from the
gourds and the broth is ready to eat.
- From Zacatecas
1 pound lean pork
4 ancho chiles
2 pasilla chiles
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons toasted peanuts
1/2 of a dry corn tortilla
18 small freshly made corn tortillas
Cook the pork in water until soft and tender.
Drain and shred, keeping the stock. Remove veins
and seeds from chiles, toast and soak in a little
of the pork stock. Fry the dry tortilla in a little
oil. Place tortilla, chiles with broth, garlic,
onion and peanuts in blender. Blend until smooth.
Add salt to taste. Heat two table spoons oil in
skillet and add chile mixture, adding more broth
as needed. Add meat and cook until mixture thickens.
Fill the freshly made tortillas with this mixture
and fold in half. Place in a steamer lined with
a layer of corn leaves, cover with more corn leaves
and steam until tacos begin to perspire, make sure
they do not come apart.
Ha'Sikil-P'ar - From Yucatan
The name of this Mayan dish is taken from it's
ingredients: ha', water, sikil, squash seed. and
p'ak, tomato, The dish is still served in Yucatan
and is called sikil pak. It is a soft squash seed
paste that is served with crisp corn tortillas and
makes a excellent appetizer.
1 cup squash or pumpkin seed (sold at Mexican
1 habanero chili, roasted
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 large ripe tomato, roasted
2/3 cups water, or as needed
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons minced chives
Toast squash seed in dry skillet or comal, taking
care not to burn. Place squash seeds, about half
of the habanero chili, salt, tomato and water in
blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir
in cilantro and chives. Serve with crisp corn tortilla
Easter is coming up
and it's time to start saving egg shells for cascarones.
These colorful confetti filled eggs are an important part
of the Easter celebration for Mexican families in Texas.
It's supposed to bring you good luck to have a cascarone
cracked on your head. In San Antonio during Fiesta week,
everyone has cascarones to crack on their friends' heads.
Make enough to give a dozen to each child and of course
the grown-ups have to have some too. This is a good craft
project for kids.
Some people make elaborately
decorated cascarones, and others just spray them with spray
paint. I color mine with Easter egg coloring and fill with
paper confetti. One year, I made the mistake of using the
mylar confetti sold at the craft store. It does not degrade
and I think is is still in my lawn. Sometimes I can find
paper confetti at the Mexican party stores, if not, I get
out my scissors and snip enough crepe or tissue paper to
make a bag of confetti.
To get started, you
will need to eat lots of scrambled eggs and omelets and
save the egg shells. To open the eggs, take a knife and
punch a tiny hole in one end of the egg. Break the egg open
at the other end, making a large enough opening shake the
egg out into a bowl
Rinse the empty egg
shell and put it in an egg carton. When you are ready to
make the cascarones, dye the shells just like you would
Easter eggs. Put them back in the egg cartons to dry. Once
they are dry, you can write or draw on the shell or paste
on gold stars. Fill each egg with confetti and paste a piece
of tissue over the top to hold the confetti in.
Here are some website
that tell more about the custom of cascarones. Cascarones
, Cascarones -Egging
at Mexican Fiestas .
Popular Arts and Crafts of
Mexico has a tradition of arts and crafts that is
as colorful as its cooking. I have included a link
for a picture gallery of some old and new Mexican
handcraft items for you to see.
here to see the Mexican Craft Gallery
The Jalapeno Cafe's
10 Favorite Mexican Cookbooks
1. The Cusines of Mexico - Diana Kennedy
- 1972 - Ms. Kennedy is sometimes called the "Julia
Child of Mexican Cooking", This is a must have
cookbook if you want to learn about Mexican cooking.
The recipes are sometimes hard to follow, but well
worth the effort. Learn the secrets of making perfect
Mexican fried rice using the recipes in this book
|2. The Tortilla Cookbook - Dinan Kennedy
- 1975 - Several good enchilada verde recipes, plus
more. As with all Kennedy cookbooks, the instructions
in the recipes are detailed.
|3. Food from My Heart - Zarela Martinez -
1998- Zarela's first popular cookbook, great recipes
and many interesting stories.
|4. Mexican Family Cooking - Aida Galilando
- Nothern Mexican recipes. Aida Galilando is Zarela
|5. El Norte - The Cusines of Northen Mexico
- Great meat recipes,
|6. Authentic Mexican Regional Cooking - Rick
Bayless - Can't go wrong with a Rick Bayless cookbook.
7. The Taste of Mexico -
Patricia Quintana 1986 - Her recipes are elegant
intrepretations of Mexican cusine
|8. Mexican Cookery - Barbara Hansen -1975
- Hansen was the food editor of the Los Angeles Times
and really knew her stuff. The Christmas Salad recipe
is the best for this classic Mexican recipe. A good
cookbook for someone just starting to try Mexican
|9, 365 Easy Mexican Recipes - This is a solid
cookbook, has lots of good recipes with shortcuts
and easy preparation. This one is a good "starter"
|10. Mexican Cooking for American Homes -
Josefina Valazquez de la Leon - 1948 - Hard to find
paperback book with recipes in English and Spainsh.
Recipes are broken down by region and are authentic.
This book documents the origins of popular Mexican
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Check out the new
cookbooks. I have researched the web and found
the best of the best hot and spicy cookbooks, and
information regarding chilies. I will be adding
to this list often so keep visiting!
favorite hot and spicy recipes, I will post them immediately.
I would love to help you share your recipes with the
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