Miel de Tuna – Prickly Pear Syrup

There are so many methods to working with tuna, prickly pear, the fruit of the nopal cactus. This is just one of them, and the one which works best for me, as I generally do my kitchen work without an extra set of hands. There’s a few important things to remember when working with tuna….

Tepary Bean Stew

This is the second of the three recipes I presented at Tucson Meet Yourself, and one of my favorite dishes I’ve made for a few presentations and demonstrations, yes a dish I somehow magically forget to photograph. Oh well. This soup couldn’t be more simple and more suited to deal with the different dietary restrictions…

Polvorones de Pechita y Nuez – Mesquite and Pecan Shortbread

I was fortunate enough to be invited to present at this year’s Tucson Meet Yourself a Folk Life festival, the 46th annual festival representing many of the diverse cultures residing in this Sonoran desert city. This was both hugely flattering and terrifying. This is an event attended by thousands, and though my own audience would…

For the summer: nieve de fresa

  For years my preference for ice creams would be for rich custard based ones, an extra egg yolk or two thrown in seeking that perfect velvet texture. And they were. Rich, velvety, filling, and decidedly not refreshing. They’re more of a winter ice cream, or a sweat inducing summer one, if you live in…

Tamales, Tamales, Tamales

If I were to tell you making tamales is easy, I would only be telling you a half truth. Tamales are not easy. Tamales are not difficult. Tamales are something you are either devoted to, or have no interest in ever making. There is no in between. You do not meet the non-comital tamal maker…

Waste Not: Horchata de Melón

The simplest of things are the ones I most enjoy. Lately it has been glasses full of this drink, made with the pulpy mass of melon seeds which would normally end up tossed into a garbage can. The cuisines of the world are full of dishes made with someone else’s garbage. Offal is what most…

The food of Summer: Coctél de Pulpo y Coco

  Let me tell you one thing about living in the heat of Arizona. No, nothing about it being a ‘dry heat.’ Don’t even start with that. No. The thing about the special brand of Arizona heat is this: The human body very quickly forgets how to live with it. Exposed skin starts to freak…

A Quick Note: Accents and Tamales

Some of my least favorite things to be told by a complete stranger: You don’t look Mexican. You’re too tall to be Mexican. You don’t sound Mexican. Your accent is all wrong to be Mexican. You’re not brown enough to be Mexican. And so on. This happens all the time. Living in upstate New York…

Tamales de Jamaica, Granada y Piloncillo

There’s been a journey of months and miles back across the country from the backwoods of upstate New York back to the traffic, car break ins, searing sunlight and heat of the Phoenix desert. But I am glad for the move. Along with all the bad listed above comes the rich flavors of the city,…

Road Trip: Quintana Roo and Yucatan, Part 2

Cobá and Cenote Choo-Ha, Quintana Roo Spending the night at Cobá isn’t necessary for visiting the ruins, as the town is only a short drive away from Valladolid and from Tulum, but once I read the words ‘spider monkeys on the grounds,’ I couldn’t pass up spending the night at Hacienda Cobá.     The…

Road Trip: Quintana Roo and Yucatan, Part 1

I went to Cancún so you don’t have to. Well, no. Go to Cancún for the nice warm beach. Have a cocktail or two in a hollowed out pineapple. Then spend the rest of your time cruising around Quintana Roo and Yucatán. We (2 adults and a child just shy of 2 years old) visited the…