Friday, May 5, 2017


Today being Cinco de Mayo, and the emphasis is on all food Mexican. It's always so delicious with the variety of spices married to simple ingredients. Other recipes can certainly benefit from these ingredients and spices. Cooking Mexican style can definitely liven up any ordinary meal.

One of the most popular condiments in Mexican cuisine is salsa. Everyone usually pours it into a bowl and plunk tortilla chips in it. However no many know it can turn into a popping dressing. Mix a cup of  fresh or jarred salsa with a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and three to four tablespoons of olive oil. Smoky paprika can be added for a different layer of flavor. If you want a smoother textured dressing pour into a blender or blend to smooth with an immersion blender. It'll be great with either a chicken or grilled steak salad. The dip can also be tasty in a frittata with the addition of chorizo and chopped sweet onion.If you want more zing , toss in some sliced jalapeno. Add some rice and black beans for a zingy brunch dish or a fun Saturday or Sunday night supper.Oregano, long a staple in Italian cooking is also a must have in Mexican. Its' aromatic scent and flavor can also add zing to cooked string beans with onions Try some sprigs in a white bean chili that's loaded with canalini beans , ground turkey and onions. Cumin is another spice prevalent in Mexican cooking. Many people associate it with Indian cuisine but it is also used frequently in many south of the border recipes.It's usually in taco and fajita fillings but could easily be added to homemade burgers and meat loaf for added zest.

Mole has always been misunderstood by many American home chefs.Mention adding chocolate to any main dish and watch them cringe or wrinkle their noses.Mole is simply a mix of unsweetened cocoa powder, dried garlic and cumin blended with vegetable oil and tomato  puree. Ancho, pastillo and chipotle peppers are added for fire. Chicken is the most popular meat served with it but it can also be ladled on roast pork or brisket. Shred both meats and serve them in soft or hard tacos for a fun weekday dinner.Grilled veggies such as eggplant and zucchini  can also benefit from this zippy sauce. Chili powder, one of the most well known of Mexican cuisine ingredients , is not only for a five alarm chili but for other dishes as well. It gives boring grilled shrimp a burst of flavor.It's simply brining the seafood in a mix of chili powder, sugar and four cups of water. The spiced shrimp is then sauteed in a mix of vegetable oil, garlic and ginger. Surprisingly the spice can also turn simple chocolate cupcakes into the culinary equivalent of fireworks. Just add a teaspoon and a half of dried
ancho chili powder to any devil's food cake mix or scratch recipe.It and cayenne can even be added to a cream cheese icing for more spark.

Salsify and satisfy tastebuds with the flavorful ingredients  of Mexican cuisine.They'll bring an exciting edge to any meal or sweet!

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