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…

Pan de Dulce: Conchas

After living in upstate New York for almost two years, I have begun to see the Phoenix area as the Mexican food outside of Mexico promised land. I could find almost any ingredient or dish easily, most within just miles of where I lived. Sure, I had to go clear across town if I wanted…

Tortillas de Manteca

There was a time in Mexico’s northern states when the use of rendered lamb and beef fat to make flour tortillas was as common as the use of pork lard. The fat of one animal is just as good as another, even if the taste may be slightly different. Tortillas made with tallow, manteca de…

Sebo y Manteca de Res – Suet and Tallow

While lard has enjoyed a revival in the last few years in this country (Praise the Lard t-shirt, anyone?), rendered beef fat, or tallow, remains mostly in obscurity. Unless you’re really into grass fed lip and body balms. I blame poor marketing. Suet, or sebo in Spanish, the large fat deposits near the kidneys, is…

Lenten Recipes: Capirotada

To say there is a definitive version of the dish capirotada would be to blatantly lie. There are as many variations of this lenten sweet bread pudding as there are ingredients in it. Ingredients such as buttered toasted bread, brown sugar syrup, dried fruits, garlic, onions, cilantro and tomato…. Wait, what? Yes, and all topped with grated…

Sick Day Food: Atole de Pinole

Being at home sick means freedom from two things. The wearing of real clothes, and the chewing of food. I simply cannot chew food with a head full of sickness. So I turn to atole de pinole. Pinole consists of lightly toasted dry corn kernels, and ground to a fine powder. Most of the time, this…

Empanadas de Cerveza – Beer Dough Empanadas

Grabbing a round aluminum tray, a pair of tongs and carefully selecting from the sugar topped, soft and flaky pastries on display is one of the great joys of visiting a Mexican pastry shop. Picking an empanada, thinking it is filled with pineapple, only to later realize it is pumpkin or apple, is one of…