Salsa Database and Adobo Recipe

Salsa at Oaxaca taqueria.

  Chef Verónica Ramírez just called our attention to the salsa database at Tortilla Digital. I’m hankering to try this simple adobo sauce. Here’s a (rough) translation: orégano to taste 7 cloves 5 g of cumin seeds 40 g of lard 250 g of dried chiles guajillos 250 g of dried red chiles anchos 1 head of garlic 2 litres of beef broth salt to taste In a pan, heat the lard over low heat so it doesn’t burn. Grind […]

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Traditional Grilled Chicken Recipe

pollo asado, tender and savory.

Last night Ricardo and I grilled dinner in the garden. He baked potatoes in the dutch oven, and I marinated and grilled chicken. I used a recipe from my friend Jazmin, who grew up in rural Guerrero. The simple guajillo-based marinade packs a powerful punch, and the chicken turned out juicy, with a lip-tingling spice and a smoky undertone. Jazmin butterflies thicker pieces of chicken before grilling. “The secret to barbecuing chicken is to make sure the flame isn’t too […]

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Little Italy in Mexico?

Grilled chicken and fresh cheese from the state of Puebla.

“I smell fresh tortillas,” I said, with the feverish conviction of a bloodhound. Rich, Gina, and I were straggling down the edge of the highway, cooking in the sun and looking for a lunch spot to kill some time while the guy at the nearby taller changed Miss Lousiane’s oil. We approached a roadside restaurant, which was painted bright green and attended by a smiling proprietor of a very old-school breed: long braids, a crisp checked apron over her flowered […]

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Chiles of Mexico: Chiltepín

Pickled and dried chiltepín at roadside restaurant.

“Rich, what’s a burro?” “I don’t know. Maybe a large burrito?” We decide to test our powers of deduction and stop at a comedor by the side of the winding road between Hermosillo and Agua Prieta. This will be our “last supper” in Mexico, and I want something special. I have a good feeling about this place: bright cardboard signs tacked to the hut-like exterior advertise burros, queso fresco, jerky, and salsa chiltepín . I don’t know what salsa chiltepín  is, […]

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Best of Mexico in Pictures: Pescado at Last!

A plate of fried snapper.

Fresh pargo, estilo Roberto                                                                             El Rebalsito, Jalisco Pargo with Bette’s awesome salad                                                               El Rebalsito, Jalisco A new take on an old haunt                                                                         Playa La Boca, Jalisco

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Road Food Round-Up: Barbacoa and the Search for Taco Greatness

A man cuts meat at a Mexico City taqueria.

                                                  “Barbacoa Don Cuco” The white rabbit blinks pink eyes and settles deeper into its nest of foil-wrapped lollipops. No, this isn’t a department store Easter display–it’s just another day at a roadside barbacoa restaurant on the highway between San Miguel de Allende and Queretero. Barbacoa Don Cuco is an airy room furnished with Mexico’s ubiquitous white plastic chairs and tables, a large horno, a sturdy wooden slab where a teenage boy dices meat with a cleaver and an old […]

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Goat Tacos!

A plate of goat birria

Finding a good eatery is a fine art, best practiced when you’re not in a state of hysterical starvation, but instead only pestered by a mild hunger that still allows for careful evaluation. In one such mood, we discovered “El Amigo Pastarano”, probably the fiftieth barbacoa de chivo joint we passed on one five mile stretch of Highway 200, in southern Guerrero. “This is the one!” I said, noting the banner that advertized homemade tortillas, free consome, and, of course, […]

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Road Food: Torta Round-Up

A good torta is a thing of beauty. And in Mexico, a good torta is not hard to find. Any self-respecting Mexican city boasts hundreds of torta shops: from the steaming fondas of the mercado to the tiny tiled diner tucked between the behemoths of the business district. Each of these establishments has its own tricks, but seldom do you see drastic variations. You have your torta de pierna, your torta de milanesa, your torta de jamon, your torta cubana, […]

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Zacatecas! (Shhh!)


Sometimes I like to pretend that I am a 17th Century Marquise. Unlike my disreputable house in the Oregon Coast Range, Zacatecas is a good place to practice this delusion. More specifically, the Hotel Casa Santa Lucia really fosters delusions of grandeur. After two nights in cheap-ass accommodations (180 pesos and 60 pesos respectively) we decided we could afford to splurge on a little colonial luxury. Miss Louisiane lurking disreputably in front of fancy hotel. Located in downtown Zacatecas, The […]

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Road Food: Burrito Round-Up

Desert ridge in Chihuahua Desert.

As I’ve mentioned, burritos are not exactly synonymous with Mexican food in my world. That said, Chihuahua is burrito country and I’ve resolved to eat as many as possible as we cross the state’s vast and thorny expanse. Burrito #1-“RR” Restaurant and Hotel, Jamas, Chihuahua The classic Chihauhau burrito is long, narrow, loosely rolled, open at both ends, and served without a fork. This fifteen peso ($1.20) chicken burrito filled the bill and was especially satisfying because we were cold […]

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