Mezcal: Past and Future

Nothing has been more tied to Mexican identity than tequila. While this one Mexican spirit was celebrated, many others were pushed into obscurity. I was invited to write about the past and present of tequila, and mezcal in general, for the Best of Phoenix 2016 issue of the Phoenix New Times: If the agave is…

A No Tajín Home: Seasoned Chile Flake

I’ll put chile powder on almost anything, but not just any chile powder. Store bought Tajín? Never. Nothing technically wrong with it, but also not the greatest. This recipe is based on a seasoned chile flake I bought at a spice shop some time ago in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora. The puya chile used in…

Paletas de Agua de Coco y Limón

If there is one flavor I instantly think of when I think of my childhood it is the bright tartness of lemons (limes to you), with a hint of sweetness poking through a salty, smoky, spicy layer. My childhood had complicated and yet extremely simple tastes. Watermelon with salt and chile. Lemon if you want…

Strawberry, Blueberry and Lime Preserves

Berry picking is much like one of the greatest moments in the Shakespeare meets modern American teenager movie, ’10 things I hate about you.’ No, really. Stay with me. I used to love strawberry picking. Crouching in the straw-covered dirt, the wide brimmed hat on my head casting a huge shadow. Searching between the drooping…

Un Antojito: Spicy Pickled Hard Cooked Egg

I am a dedicated snacker willing to forgo regular meals in place of endless snacks for days at a time. It’s rather fitting I write this as I stuff myself with popcorn doused with Cholula and lime. This is lunch. Don’t worry, it’s not all so unhealthy. There will be a large handful of berries…

Yogurt and Cajeta Paletas

I can already tell this will be the summer of the cold and refreshing paleta. Not because I myself am suffering from the horrors of relentless summer heat, but in my sympathy for those that are. It’s a funny thing to have lived in the Arizona desert for years, it absolutely kills your tolerance for…

Pickled Jalapeños, Or How to Use Many Jars

Did I mention before I have a jar hoarding problem? I have a jar hoarding problem. Fortunately, I also have a jam and pickling problem, and a giving jams and pickles away problem, so things generally even out. The jar count for the last few months has been this: Pineapple marmalade: 3 8-oz jars Pineapple…

Cajeta – Goat Milk Caramel

The first time I sold a jar of cajeta I had the kind of cultural disconnect I hadn’t experienced in some time. The customer, after sampling every one of the products I had made and had for sale at the farmers market, discussing their history within Mexican cuisine and their exact ingredients, asked a very…

Serpentinas de Tamarindo – Tamarind Leather

The wealth of tamarindo sweets in Mexico speaks volumes of the Mexican love for complicated flavors. Tart, sour, sweet, it tastes of citrus, apricots, dates and a tannins heavy wine all at once. My favorite tamarindo sweet as a kid were cachetadas de tamarindo, literally tamarind face slaps, large flat round lollypops of slightly spicy tamarindo…

Rum Glazed Fried Plantain and Coconut Bread

If you haven’t heard, the Cavendish banana, that delicious yellow supermarket treat, is in danger of becoming extinct. With so much of the world’s banana cultivation focusing on one single subspecies, the world-wide spread of a banana killing fungus, Panama disease, is unfortunately inevitable. Does this mean no more bananas? No more banana bread? Not…

When Tepache Goes Horribly Horribly Wrong…

Its not often I see one of my recipes go horribly wrong, not even something less easily controllable such as a ferment. It isn’t as if I’m some form of insanely perfect cook, but rather careful recipe testing and preparation. Yet once in a while, something does go horribly, disgustingly, putridly wrong. The beautiful result…