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Cuisine - Mexican

The wild chiles called chiltepins in Mexico and the Southwest are known as chilipiquins in Texas. We always have some of the berry-like pods available because we grow them as perennials, but they’re difficult to find in markets. So substitute any pequin or small, extremely hot chile. This is a finishing sauce for grilled or smoked beef, chicken, or pork to be applied before serving or served on the side.

Why wouldn’t the cooks of Cerén have developed sauces to serve over meats and vegetables? After all, there is evidence that curry mixtures were in existence thousands of years ago in what is now India, and we have to assume that Native Americans experimented with all available ingredients. Perhaps this mole sauce was served over stewed duck meat, as ducks were one of the domesticated meat sources of the Cerén villagers.

This blend of hot chiles and fresh garden vegetables is known both north and south of the border as salsa fria, pico de gallo, salsa cruda, salsa fresca, salsa Mexicana, and salsa picante. No matter what it’s called, or what part of the Southwest it’s from, the Salsa with Six Names will always triumph over bottled salsas for the dipping of tostadas, as a taco sauce, or a relish for roasted or grilled meats. The key to proper preparation is to never use a food processor or blender. A marvelous consistency will be achieved by taking the time to chop or mince every ingredient by hand. This version of the salsa has more acidity and is designed to be processed in a water bath.

Named from ahuacatl "testicle" and mole, meaning “mixture,” this pulpy sauce moved from strictly Mexican use into America around 1900 and slowly increased in popularity as the avocado became more available in American supermarkets.  It really took off after the introduction of corn chips in the 1960s and now is found pre-made in various packages everywhere, but many of them are bland and lack the full flavor of guacamole made from scratch.  This version is traditionally made with a molcajete y mano, a large Mexican mortar and pestle carved from volcanic rock. If you don't have a molcajete y mano, you can smash the avocados with a fork or potato masher. From the article Avocado Madness!



This casserole has all the basics of tamales but is much easier to prepare. By varying the accompaniments, this dish can serve as a hearty dinner or a light luncheon. The combination of corn and beans is a good for vegetarians as it balances the protein to make them complete.

Tlatonile is a pipian from Jalcomulco, Veracruz. Pipians are spicy dishes from Mexico that utilize ground nuts or seeds. In Mexico, these are most often pumpkin or squash seeds. This recipe is from Susana Rodriguez, who made this for lunch when we were passing through.
This recipe is part of a five-part series devoted to chipotles--those many varieties of smoked chiles. You can go here to start reading--and cooking with--chipotles of all kinds.

recipe image
This classic Yucatecan salsa is definitely wild. Xnipec, pronounced 
"SCHNEE-peck," is Mayan for “dog's nose.” Serve it--carefully--with
grilled poultry or fish.
So named because it was served to visitors of chili con carne cookoffs 
by the Red Ass Chili Team. This mix will spice up your morning and
possibly help with that hangover from the night before. Omit the
habanero unless you like it extremely hot! I've heard that this mix is
also good without alcohol, but I've never tried it that way.
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