12 Awesome Mexican Dishes You'll Seldom Find in the U.S.

Tacos on the grill at a street stand.

Editor’s note: If Steve were still with us, no doubt this list would be longer…much longer. As it was, we had to rely on our panel of bickering in-house experts: Carl Franz, El Codo, and me, Churpa. Lorena was not available for comment and will no doubt be horrified by the preponderance of meat dishes. You may live in Portland or Seattle or New York, and your local Mexican joint may be a bistro that serves ‘authentic moles, farm to […]

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Chiles of Mexico: Chile Serrano

“There is no doubt, nor room for argument, when it comes to chiles: Mexico reigns supreme.”-Diana Kennedy It’s no wonder. Wild chiles were eaten in Mexico  9000 years ago, and Mexicans have been cultivating chiles for at least 6,000 years. Kennedy points out that long before the Scoville scale was invented, the Aztecs had seven words to describe levels of chile heat. The Oxford Companion to Food notes, “It may also be true that chillies, the chemicals within them, or […]

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Lessons of a Reluctant Hunter…

Jazmin is 27 years old and beautiful. She has the fierce, dark beauty of a Mexican Indian, but she’s tall, and when you see her move, you think Masai warrior or maybe ninja. And it’s true: She does have ninja skills. When I first met Jazmin, she’d just killed a pheasant. She was sitting on the deck talking with a friend when she spotted the bird at the edge of the yard, 20 feet away. She casually picked up a […]

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Stewed Iguana

This recipe is from my friend Jazmin, a native of Guerrero. Jazmin is a surfer and all-around bad ass. Killing and cooking iguanas is one of her many talents. She learned this recipe from her mom, Esperanza. Ingredients: 1 medium iguana salt 1 onion 4-5 cloves of garlic cooking oil For sauce: 1 pinch of cumin seeds 1 pinch of oregano 2 jalapeños 3-4 tomatoes Directions: 1. Clean and skin iguana. Add salt. 2. Put  the iguana in a pot […]

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Carjackers, Stewed Iguana, and Pollo Guisado

Just had a great visit with our friends Mark and Jazmin, who live on the coast of Guerrero, about an hour outside of Zijuatanejo. They report that things seem to be cooling off in their area. Last year they made do with a decrepit, rusty truck because they were worried about car jackings. This year, crime seems low enough that they feel comfortable bringing a better vehicle down. I’ll keep you posted. In addition to filling us in on the […]

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Jazmin's Pollo Guisado

Jazmin is a native of Guerrero. She learned this classic recipe from her mom, Esperanza. Ingredients: cooking oil For Poaching: one chicken (cut into pieces) 2-3 cloves of garlic 1/2 onion For Sauce: 2 tomatoes 2 chiles Serranos 2 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon of powdered cumin 1 pinch of powdered oregano salt and pepper to taste In Jazmin’s words: Cut the chicken into pieces. Salt the chicken and put the pieces in a pot with water. Add 2-3 cloves […]

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Eating on the Cheap in Mexico

by Felisa Rosa Rogers The mayonnaise is yellowing in the afternoon heat. The open tub sits atop the food cart, with no ice in sight. I do the math — it’s 3:30 PM, and the elote cart has probably been open for business since noon, which means that the mayo has been exposed to the open air for three or four hours, maybe longer. “Quires mayonesa?” the girl asks, holding up my corn on-a-stick. I hesitate. An elote is a […]

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It's About Time the Tortilla was Digitized…

Rich and I are visiting Carl and Lorena’s lair to work on the new website. Luckily, all this toiling has its perks: for example, Lorena’s spicy  bean soup with tortillas Carl just smuggled in from Mexico. Which reminds me…I discovered an excellent new site, TortillaDigital. The creator, Chef Verónica Ramírez, offers recipes and an impressive region-by-region history of Mexican cuisine. I’m looking forward to trying out her recipe for huachinango a la Veracruzana, and the site has a cool feature […]

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Eating Around Mexico

by Rich Peterson “I don’t know, it’s looking rather sparse out here,” Abigail proclaimed from the driver’s seat. “I think we might be out of luck, guys.” Though the four of us in the Dodge van traveling north toward Nogales had already eaten at a taqueria  just a few hours earlier, our impending return to the United States had us already missing Mexico; especially the food. We all agreed we wanted tacos one more time before we crossed the border. […]

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