Green Pea Guacamole

                               As a cookbook collector, there's always a few books that fall by the wayside, forgotten, gathering dust, at the back of a // read more

Pozole Rojo & Chinese-style Slow Roasted Pork Neck Bones

Pork neck bones are one of the last bastions of economy cuts available on the market. Once popularity in the restaurant marketplace hits, prices skyrocket and availability wanes. Lamb // read more

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Papalo Guacamole

Papalo, a native herb to Mexico and South America, fell into my hands the other day in Sooke, a far cry from points south. Markus Weiland, chef and owner of Markus' Restaurant in Sooke, was // read more

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Adding Creativity to Handmade Corn Tortillas

Pressing out handmade corn tortillas is a must-do when I'm teaching Mexican cooking classes. It adds a hands-on element to the class, brings the students together and gives them confidence // read more

Melon Seed Horchata & Agua de Limon – Two Quick Refreshments, Mexican-Style

Cooling down in the heat of the summer comes in all kinds of guises, but here are two dead simple - and unusual - recipes that use two common fruits as their ingredients. Any visitor // read more

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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros is one of those dishes that appears more often on Canadian menus than those in Mexico. It comes in all sorts of styles, eggs on top of corn or flour tortillas, garnished // read more

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Chayote and Apple Salad with Pomegranates in a Jalapeno-Lime Vinaigrette

Cabbage is quickly losing its appeal around here. Spring is in the air and I'm getting itchy for spring greens. I gave our local cabbage a fair shake for the last two months, consuming it // read more

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Chile Colorado with Chicken and Vegetables

Like the next gal, I'm quite happy purchasing locally grown food, especially meats, and I make a concerted effort to seek it out.  With only a few abattoirs on Vancouver Island, buying // read more

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A 3-Chile Salsa with Oaxacan Smokiness

"Oaxaca loves smoky flavours," says Pilar Cabrera, "roasted tomatillos, mezcal, desserts of leche quemada." She is also referring to the smoked chile pasilla de Oaxaca, an ingredient being // read more

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Corn Flake-Crusted Fish with Tomatillo Sauce

  Taking cues from the tomatillo sauce from my previous post, and a Rick Bayless recipe for corn flake-crusted fish, I combined the two to create a delicious dinner. Both versions // read more

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Easy & Versatile Tomatillo Sauce

The tomatillo, a member of the gooseberry family, is distinguished by its papery husk, and is a staple of the Mexican kitchen. They're readily available - mostly - and the fall harvest is // read more

Mixiote. Gift of the Maguey

Through many trips south of the border and the many cookbooks on my shelves, Mexico continues to deliver the delicious and the exotic and never ceases to pique my curiosity. A market is // read more

Sunday Rewards – Limonada & Comida

Mexican agua frescas, or fresh waters, are common throughout that country, usually held in big glass jars lining the counter of a comedor or fonda. They can be made with every kind of fruit // read more

Chintextle Sauteed Mushrooms

Chintextle, or chintestle, is a savoury chile paste hailing from Oaxaca, a state known for its distinct culinary riches. The paste, made with the smoked chile pasilla of Oaxaca, or // read more

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Fire Roasted Anaheims with Orzo & Vegetables

The challenge this week is to scour the fridge and use up the bits, the stem ends and the ingredients bought - in a now forgotten - flash of inspiration. The majority of my menus veer // read more

Speaking with a Broad: Chef Patricio Sandoval at Villas Carrizalillo

Mention the name Sandoval in the restaurant world and the first thing that comes to mind is Ricardo Sandoval. With 28 modern Mexican restaurants under his belt, spanning North America and // read more

Drinking with a Broad. Tropical Afternoon Cocktails Part Two

Seeing Red Deep red hibiscus flowers, known as flor de jamaica in Mexico, are infused in water to create a cool refreshing agua. Its tart cranberry-like flavour, packed with vitamins, is // read more

Drinking with a Broad. Tropical Afternoon Cocktails

It's hot here. Very hot. And the thought of making a complicated lunch, or any lunch for that matter, seems far too daunting a task. But a woman must stay hydrated, so I have created lunch // read more

Enchiladas with Chicken and an Ancho-Tomato Salsa

Enchiladas, a dish of stuffed and rolled tortillas bathed in a chile sauce, has many permutations. At its most trashy, it contains an overdose of cheap gooey cheeses and is laden with salts // read more

Oaxaca’s Smoked Chile Pasilla stuffed with Peaches, Ricotta and Walnuts

Summer came and went far too fast. And by the time I caught up with its crazy fast pace, it was gone, but I still had designs on a few summer recipes I did not want to let pass. Case in // read more

Roasted Jalapenos stuffed with Mint and Two Cheeses

Once you get the hang of roasting and cleaning jalapenos, this appetizer dish, stuffed with goat and cream cheeses, and brightly flavoured with mint, is a hands down winner. Roasting a // read more

Salsa de Chile Pasilla de Oaxaca – Version Two

The smoked chile pasilla de Oaxaca, or chile Mixe ( pronounced, mee-hay) is unique to the state of Oaxaca. It imparts a fiery, smokey flavour to salsas, chiles rellenos, and vinegary // read more

Candied Jalapenos

Not only for salsas or roasted and stuffed with cheese, jalapenos can also be used for purposes of a sweet nature. Washed and dried, stemmed, seeded with the inner white membrane // read more

Chicken Estofado, A Oaxacan Version

In Mexico, and more specifically, Oaxaca, moles play an important part in the country's culinary repertoire. In Canada, we only see moles, usually red, and made with the addition of // read more

Post Christmas Empanadas

After three days of holiday cooking, eating and drinking it seemed vaguely unsettling to enjoy my morning coffee in a quiet, clean kitchen. No lists to go over, no ingredients to pull from // read more

Eating Local in Puerto Escondido

I spend most mornings in Puerto Escondido picking up fresh provisions from the local Benito Juarez market. The produce is perfectly arranged in tidy piles, or tied into bundles, and is of // read more

Chilaquiles Rojos with Huevos Revueltos

Coaxing nourishment and deliciousness out of what's leftover in the fridge can be either daunting or inspiring depending what the ingredients are and your mood at the time. Feeling a tad // read more

Freshly Shucked Oysters and other Favourite Snacks in Oaxaca

The sun is hot and the sand feels so good between my toes. The beer is ice cold and a plate of freshly shucked oysters has just been brought to our outdoor table. Hanging out at a cafe // read more

A Taco Party Vegetarian-Style

When meat's not your thing, you can pull together a rather tasty display of vegetarian fare without relying on soy nuggets or other aberrations of nature. You won't even miss the carne. // read more

Xoco – Chicago

Xoco is the newest restaurant from chef and Top Chef Master Rick Bayless, co-owner of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill. The casual eatery draws inspiration from Mexican street food, but // read more

Summer Cocktails with Hibiscus Flowers. Queso Fundido & Grilled Marinated Chicken

Big glass jars and icy pitchers of agua de jamaica are a common site throughout Mexico. Classified under the agua fresca umbrella, this refreshing beverage is made from dried hibiscus // read more

Corn Husk Boats. Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds and Oranges

Hey, sailor! If you're not up for making tamales, dried corn husks, a common wrapper used for those delectable snacks, can be reconfigured as a fun container to hold rice or salad. First, // read more

Stuffed Chilie Pasilla de Oaxaca with Cheese

Although deemed a regional dish, I can't recall ever eating it in its stuffed form all the years I've been going to Oaxaca, Mexico. (See note below). I first came across it in Diana // read more

Salsa de Chile Pasilla de Oaxaca, Chiles Cooked in Ash

With a bag of ash from Teotitlan del Valle and a bag of smoked chilie pasilla de Oaxaca, I'm picking up where I left off in December. The smoked chilie pasilla is a unique chile in // read more

Pork with Jalapenos and Cilantro

Ground pork shoulder meets chopped jalapenos and cilantro for a bright and juicy recipe that's brilliant as a sausage stuffing, but  equally brilliant as a meatloaf when time is // read more

Chilie Tuxta on a Sunday Afternoon. Salsa Class

A recent chat about Mexican cookbooks had me hankering for a taste of Mexico. What better way than to start cooking those culinary souvenirs from a recent trip. The tiny chilie tuxta, // read more

Tortilla Soup with Mexican Condiments

Like the beet and cabbage borschts of Eastern Europe and the minestrones of Italy, Mexico's tortilla soup is a simple nourishing broth made from readily available ingredients. Tomatoes, // read more

Empanadas – a Doughy Exploration

Like the Chinese dumpling, the perogy, the samosa and Cornish pasty, the empanada has many global cousins, each delicious morsels, all wrapped up inside a half moon shape of dough made from // read more

Oaxacan-Inspired Pork and Chilie Soup

I call it a culinary haunting. Ever since the Christmas comida we enjoyed at La Capilla, I can't shake the thought of the soup we had as a first course. Slow cooked in a pit with the goat's // read more

Let Them Eat Potato Cakes (Making Tortitas de Papa)

A popular snack found at fondas and street food stalls throughout Mexico, potato cakes or tortitas de papa, are wonderful on their own - as any potato-based snack is - or gussied up with // read more

Mexico City Farewell

The San Angel Inn, set in a 17th century hacienda, is a welcome respite from the chaos of Mexico City. The inn is renowned for its margaritas and martinis brought to table in a beautiful // read more

Veracruz Highlights

Imagine an evening sipping cubas or margaritas and having the strange and wonderful unfold before your eyes. Ten years ago in the zocalo of Veracruz city, we were visited by opera singers, // read more

Mole in Xico

After reading the chapter on Veracruz in Diana Kennedy's book My Mexico we went in search of the recommended mole de Xico, a sweet mole redolent with nuts, fruit and chocolate. Xico // read more

My Culinary Souvenirs

Rest assured that I will never be sporting a tank top with CABO emblazoned on the front. Nor will I wear a straw hat with a band around it announcing Puerto Vallarta. My holiday // read more

Zaachila for Christmas

Christmas Day in Oaxaca was once again spent with friends gathered at a long table at La Capilla. We'll be dining on goat barbecue, a welcome alternative to turkey any day. Okay, I lie. I // read more

Making a Pipian. A Few Helpful Pointers

"Pipian is the orphan of the mole family, " says Mary Jane Gagnier co-owner of Rancho Pitaya. "It rarely gets served in restaurants, or talked about." I can see why. Pipian // read more

Tamal Making in Teotitlan del Valle

With stunning views of the Sierra Madres in the distance, I was about to learn the art of tamale making in Teotitlan del Valle, a short distance from the city of Oaxaca, // read more

Salsa Masterclass with Smoke and Ash

Casa Sagrada  sits atop the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle. Located 25 km (15 miles) southeast of Oaxaca city, the village is not only renowned for its colourful and intricate // read more

Ricardo Munoz and Azul y Oro in Mexico City

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is blessed with one of the best restaurants in the city, if not the country. Azul y Oro, a 200-seat restaurant housed in the Centro // read more

Hot Chocolate, Churros and Goat Meat Tacos. A Brief Snapshot of Mexico City

Mexicans are notorious snackers. Every morning, stalls throughout Mexico city are set up to serve tacos with a myriad of ingredients, picante salsas at the ready. Here is one that serves // read more

First Tastes and Sights in Mexico City

Arriving in Mexico City late one evening, we wandered around to get our bearings. The evening was unfolding as it should,  with tiny eateries getting ready for the onslaught of hungry // read more

Chef Roberto Santibanez’ Chilie Relleno with a Picadillo of Chicken, Capers, Olives and Almonds

Stuffed chiles, or chiles rellenos in Spanish , show evidence of the many cultures that showed up on the shores of Mexico. For example, through trade came the introduction of olives, // read more

Iguana Mole, Chayote Salad and Mushroom Quesadillas

I keep three big tubs of chilies in my cool climate pantry, but cooking Mexican has been on the back burner for a while. When I came across a bag of chile costeno rojo, I felt the need to // read more

Mole Amarillo – Not the one with chocolate!

Fall and winter are perfect seasons to make moles. These renowned labour-intensive stews of Mexico, especially Oaxaca state, are slow-cooked, healing dishes infused with earthy chilies and // read more

Cornflake-Crusted Fish in Tomatillo Sauce

Breadcrumbs are versatile but can be substituted in many dishes with crushed cracker crumbs or that breakfast staple, cornflakes. Think breaded and fried oysters whose briny goodness pairs // read more

Albondigas en Chipotle

Good 'ole meatballs. A 1001 variations, tasty little morsels all. Translated to the Mexican table, albondigas (Spanish for meatball) are a national standby, appearing regularly on comida // read more

Two Easy Tomatillo Salsas, Guacamole with Peaches and Chicken Kabobs

Tomatillos, that green fruit surrounded by a papery husk has been a staple of the Mexican diet for eons. It's easy to buy ones of uniform size in Mexico, but in Victoria, B.C., size // read more

Salsa Arriera "Mule Driver’s" Salsa

Any budding aficionado of Mexican cuisine should have one - or the whole collection - of Diana Kennedy's cook books. Therein you'll find a rich resource of dishes - obscure and well known // read more

Nopales/Cactus Paddles/ Guacamole, etc.

A prickly subject. Nopales or cactus paddles are a tasty treat if you can get beyond its stubble. They are worth the trouble and so much better than the cactus bits you can get in a can. I // read more

Watermelon Margaritas

Thirsty? The best way to make easy work of an oversized watermelon is to juice it. Cut off the peel of a seedless watermelon and whip the melon in a blender, until you have juice. There // read more

Salsa Macha

Not for sissies.According to my notes, this earthy salsa macha hails from Central Veracruz. Toast 20 - 24 chiles de arbol, stemmed. Careful not to burn. I use a root brush for scooting the // read more

Salsa, an ongoing exploration

One thing is certain, salsa in Mexico is always on the table. Going through my Mexican food journals and recipe files I was struck with the endless combinations and possibilities for that // read more

Baja-Style Fish Tacos

The key to successful fish tacos, or for any dish you are about to undertake, is preparation.  When friends are coming round, I like to set the table first. To keep things in a fiesta // read more

Squash Blossoms for Quesadillas and Stuffed, Battered and Fried

We wait all year for this event. When the squash blossoms open wide. Really we could care less about the squash, it's the flowers we want. My love of the flower began during my first trip // read more

Queso Fundido with Roasted Anaheims, Mushrooms and Cheese, served with Salsa Fresca

Queso fundido, a dish of hot melting cheese, is a popular Mexican appetizer served with hot corn tortillas. I like to fancy it up a bit, layering cheese with sauteed mushrooms and onions // read more

Mezcal and a Meal in Matatlan

Don Renaldo and the Guttierez family are Oaxacan artisan mezcal makers and gifted cooks. We dropped in one afternoon for a tasting and to partake in a special meal. Unfortunately, we missed // read more

Goat barbeque at La Capilla

La Capilla is an open air restaurant in Zaachila, a 30 minute drive outside of Oaxaca City. My first visit there was over 12 years ago. Peacocks roamed the grounds then, dazzling diners // read more

A Glimpse at Market Specialties from Puerto Escondido

While some people prefer to surf the waves of nearby Zicatela beach, I wake up early in Puerto Escondido to get to the public market. Market days are the best, meaning the days when // read more

Dining in the Clouds/Sunday’s Special in the Sierra Juarez

Sunday is the day that Doña Leecha makes criollo potato and corn tortillas. Her restaurant Casa Piedra located at Rancho Benito Juarez in Oaxaca is located at a breathtaking 10,000 // read more