Recipes and Essays

Shrimp Etouffee pops with Chile De Arbol

Shrimp Etouffee pops with Chile De Arbol

Shrimp Etouffee always reminds of me how chiles are beloved all over the world. Cajun cuisine adopted Mexican chiles, creating new tastes, and the results are inspired. Chile dulce (bell pepper) is essential to cajun cuisine. Because it has no capsaicin, chile dulce (sweet chile) […]

Spanish Paella Is All About Friendships

Spanish Paella Is All About Friendships

Paella is Spanish for friendship, right? Well, it should be.  Friendships seem to surround Spanish paella, both making it and eating it.  Although it’s famous all over Texas and Mexico, it’s still a Spanish paella, not Mexican. In the late 1800s and through the 1900s, […]

Grouper With Chile Ancho Almond Mole

Grouper With Chile Ancho Almond Mole

Grouper is a very large, some would say gigantic,  fish that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, close to Texas and Florida. The Spanish name for grouper is mero.  It has a distinctive but mild taste and here I serve it with a […]

Eggplant Served With Fresh Salsa Ranchera

Eggplant Served With Fresh Salsa Ranchera

Growing up in the Westside of San Antonio, I enjoyed eggplant and all seasonal vegetables. They were a big part of my family’s diet because my dad made a living going to market with truckloads of vegetables he would buy from farms just outside of […]

Powdered Shrimp Cakes: A Mexican Culinary Heritage

Powdered Shrimp Cakes: A Mexican Culinary Heritage

My amá (mom) served these powdered shrimp cakes regularly during Lent, especially on Good Friday because we were following the Catholic practice of doing penance by not eating meat. We rarely had meat at our table, so the penance part of this was always a […]

Pinto Beans are Philosophically Correct

Pinto Beans are Philosophically Correct

In our central, south Texas and northeastern Mexico culinary region,  pinto beans are the staple in native Mexican-American homes. No exceptions, not ever.  I was amazed when, working in Chiapas, Mexico during my sophomore year of college, I encountered black beans.  They were such a […]

The History of Texas Mexican Cooking

The History of Texas Mexican Cooking

I grew up with my ama’s (mom) Texas Mexican cooking.  Texas Mexican cooking just like Oaxaca Mexican, Puebla Mexican and all the other regional styles of Mexican cooking, is best described as comida casera home-style-cooking.  Enjoyed by Mexican American families today, this unique cuisine has […]

Lettuce Wedge Salad Starts With Farmworkers

Lettuce Wedge Salad Starts With Farmworkers

In the 1950’s the Iceberg lettuce wedge with blue cheese dressing was ubiquitous in the US.  It remains a cool retro food on many menus and when I see it, I can’t resist ordering it.   Fresh, lush, delicious, especially when the iceberg lettuce wedge is […]

Empanadas De Pino, Iconic Dish Of Chile

Empanadas De Pino, Iconic Dish Of Chile

Empanadas De Pino are the iconic food of Chile. The word, pino, is derived from the Mapuche indigenous word, pinu, which means: pieces of cooked meat. The Mapuche are the indigenous communities of Chile with roots dating back 2,000 years, to the cultures named Pitrén […]

Enchiladas Rojas, Red Enchiladas For St. Valentine’s Day

Enchiladas Rojas, Red Enchiladas For St. Valentine’s Day

Enchiladas Rojas are delicious and delicate.  This red enchilada is perfect for romance and to say I love you. You can make the red tortillas several days before St. Valentine’s Day and keep them in the fridge until you make the enchiladas. I’ve said many […]