Today I feel like enjoying some Latin American flavors at home. I do not want takeaway food. I want to cook it. Of all the Latin options, I have a preference for Mexican cuisine. Just thinking about its intense flavors and colorful ingredients makes my mouth water. I would love for my family to feel the same way with a homemade Mexican preparation. As far as I know, and for some things I have heard, it is not as difficult as it may seem. Let’s find all wonders of Mexican food and how to prepare an authentic dish.
All About Mexico
When I think about Mexico, I imagine stunning beaches, hospitable people, colorful feasts, and incredible food. The things I know about Mexico include:
Day of the Dead (Día de los muertos): A celebration that takes place on November 1st to commemorate people loved who have passed away. It seems like a party with skull decorations and an ofrenda at a family gathering.
Mariachi Bands: A music group of three or four Mexican dressed in charro suits and singing Mexico’s regional folk music.
Clearwater beaches: Mexico has more than 500 beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters. There, you can find more exclusive hotel resorts for a dream holiday.
Traditional food: I don’t know much about its food, but I have tried most of them. It is spicy and colorful with tons of strong flavors.
In my research for more information about this country, I have learned that Mexico is a Latin American country located in the southern part of North America. It is a multicultural society with deeper roots in the indigenous past and Spanish conquest.
Mexico is renowned for being the home of many incredible civilizations as the Aztecs, the Maya, the Olmec, and the Zapotec. Nowadays, all over the country have traces of these ancient societies. Due to the influences of antique civilizations and the Spanish occupation, its traditions, culture, and gastronomy are varied and unique.
I have just learned that UNESCO declared Mexican cuisine as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. I am not surprised since there are plenty of reasons for winning this recognition. Mexican food is all about freshness, piquancy, and vibrant flavors. Most food preparations are passed down through generations where indigenous ingredients pair perfectly with Spanish influences.
Corn and chili peppers are the foundations of Mexican cuisine. Since ancient times, Mexicans have used them in a vast majority of recipes. These three staples, beans, tomatoes, agave, cactus, and cacao, are joined to create traditional preparations. The Spanish conquest brought new ingredients to this land. Chicken, lamb, pork, lamb, dairy products, sugar, olive oil, and rice were some of the acquisitions in their recipes.
This mix of these influences is what comprises current traditional Mexican food. Some of the food that Mexico is famous for include:
Tacos: This is the most iconic Mexican dish. It is considered a street for its quick way of cooking and eating. It consists of corn tortillas topped with different fillings like roasted meat, seafood, or stews. Onions, cilantro, and sauces are common garnishes.
Tamales: It is corn dough steamed in a corn husk. It is also a stuffed dish. The fillings are made from meat, cheese, herbs, vegetables, and moles.
Mole: There is no unique mole recipe. It is a very laborious preparation with more than 20 ingredients. Mole is a thick sauce whose principal ingredients are: cocoa, almonds, bananas, various types of chili peppers, walnuts, raisins, and spices. It complements most Mexican dishes.
Chile en Nogada: It is a food made of a poblano pepper stuffed with a picadillo, topped with walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds. Picadillo is a stew of ground chicken, potatoes, and tomato sauce. This dish represents with its ingredients the three colors of the Mexican flag: green, white, and red. The poblano pepper is green, the walnut cream sauce is white, and the pomegranate seeds are red.
Guacamole: It is a delightful sauce consists of avocado, onions, garlic, tomatoes, lemon juice, and chili peppers. The ingredients are crushed to form a paste that goes with tortillas and tamales.
Enchiladas: They are rolled corn tortillas with a variety of fillings. They can be stuffed with meat, beans, cheese, and vegetables and poured with sauce.
Mexican Rice: It is a typical side dish. It consists of rice, garlic, tomato sauce, onion, chili powder, and chicken broth. Of all these options, Mexican rice is the easiest and quickest dish to prepare. For a simple recipe, take a look at this one minuterice.com/recipes/mexican-rice
Let’s do it
Does your mouth water already? I bet it does. It is the perfect time to get our hands on it and start cooking a Mexican specialty. Let’s start with the recipe:
Tacos with Mexican Rice
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 1 ½ cups of chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups of long-grain rice
- 1 1/4 cups of enchilada sauce
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 lb. of ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- Bunch of chopped cilantro
- 8 Taco shells
- 4 chopped green onions
- 4 shredded Iceberg lettuce leaves
- 2 diced Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded Mexican cheese
- Monterrey cheese
- Tomato sauce
- Sour cream
- In a saucepan, pour chicken broth, rice, enchilada sauce, Kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Combine very well.
- Cook until chicken broth is absorbed and rice is tender. Keep it warm.
- In a frying pan, add olive oil and heat at medium temperature.
- Add ground chicken, Kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Stir the ingredients.
- Incorporate ground cumin, chili powder, and tomato sauce. Continue stirring, and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside and keep this preparation warm.
- Turn on the oven to 350 °F. Place the tacos shells in a baking tray, and bake them for 10 minutes. They have to remain soft. Take them out of the oven and prepare to fill them..
- Spoon the chicken into each taco shell. Add onions, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and the preferred sauces at the top.
- To serve, place the stuffed tacos with Mexican rice on the side.