Did not we say Mexican food is as varied and colorful as its history? Come and see for yourself.
Mexican food is full of variety
A burrito for breakfast is far from unknown. But there are many other choices on the menu, as well. Huevos rancheros is a great favorite for those who want eggs for breakfast. A tropical fruit salad is a perfect possibility for those who want to get their morning helping Mexican style.
Have a busy lifestyle and need to eat breakfast on the go? You can still enjoy it Mexican style and have a pineapple tamale muffin. If you have more time, treat yourself to delicious apricot chimichangas - a combination of egg, Ricotta cheese on a flour tortilla, topped with apricots and a delightful sauce. If you happen to have some stale corn tortillas left over, use them to make chilaquiles.
For lunch the options grow by leaps and bounds. A frittata made from zucchini, peppers and onions atop a layer of tortilla supported eggs and topped with Swiss cheese is healthy and filling. Haven't had enough eggs yet? Try an egg and chorizo enchilada. With a garnish of avocados you'll get plenty of flavor.
Too busy to cook lunch? Fine, grab a plantain or two. If you prefer a more potato-like flavor get these banana-like fruits ultra fresh. If you like a sweeter option get some that have had more time to ripen. Of course, you could go for that basic taco instead. But be adventurous and try a carne asada torta. A Mexican-style sandwich, it houses refried beans, tomatoes and lettuce served on a telera roll.
A traditional Mexican dinner is light and small. Lunch is the main meal. But in English-speaking countries the tradition has been modified to coincide with the larger intake during the evening meal. Still, it doesn't have to be all heavy fats and huge amounts of calories.
Seafood is an outstanding choice for a Mexican dinner and perfectly in line with tradition. Swordfish and tuna are common in the waters around Mexico and fishing is a tradition in the country that goes back centuries. For something a little different, try a shark burrito. For a tried and true Mexican dinner you can't go wrong with a Red Snapper a la Veracruzana.
Even apart from the standard division of meals into three periods of the day there are a variety of Mexican foods that can be enjoyed anytime.
Mexican desserts are enjoyed by everyone. Flan, an egg custard with caramel sauce, will please palates of any nationality. Churros are another traditional favorite. Similar to donuts, you can find them sold by street vendors on any corner in Mexico City. But even bread can be a Mexican dessert. Sopapillas have been popular for centuries. Covered in cinnamon and honey, they will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Expand your horizons and your view of Mexican cuisine. Try a variety of traditional Mexican dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, anytime!
Utensils and Cookware for Mexican Cuisine
As in every culture, Mexican cuisine is prepared not just with traditional native ingredients but with the tools to shape and cook them. Those tools have developed over centuries of experience and combined today with modern technology to give the chef the best of both worlds.
One of the most basic and widely used is the comal - the humble iron skillet. Hardy and versatile a good comal will last generations. It will provide a high heat retention material to prepare tortillas, fish and many other traditional Mexican foods. Comals come in an astounding variety of shapes and sizes, too.
But before it can get to the pan an ingredient has to be put into the right form. One superbly useful pair of tools for doing just that are the molcajete and the tejolote. These are the traditional mortar and pestle used to grind ingredients. Whether used to grind corn for masa by hand or powderize a dried chile pepper, they're indispensable to any kitchen that prepares fresh Mexican cuisine.
Another tool that can be used for that purpose, one that requires less effort, is the molino de maiz. Its primary function is to grind corn, but it can be used on chile peppers, garlic and a wide variety of other foods and spices. While more contemporary grinders are electric, even the ones with a hand crank are easy to use (and great fun).
But there is yet another step before that tortilla makes its way to the comal. Mashing corn to make a ball of masa is great, but tortillas are flat. To pound them by hand is acceptable, but requires a lot of effort. Make life easy on yourself by getting a tortilla press. If you make Mexican dishes, one of these cast iron presses will repay you many times over. Tortillas are used throughout Mexican cuisine.
While you're at it, don't forget the tortilla warmer. You'll usually make more than you consume in one round. A warmer will keep the tortillas steamy hot, ready for the next eager diner.
But cooking, per se, isn't the only function performed when preparing a Mexican-style meal. Aqua de fresca, horchata and many other drinks are mixed or blended. A traditional molinillo de madera is a great tool on those occasions.
These wooden, hand-held mixers/crushers can mash fruit and stir juices. Whether you're making a delicious fruit drink, a hot chocolate beverage or an arroz con leche (thickened milk and water with rice and sugar), one of these will come in handy.
When you think of grinding or mixing, don't neglect the lowly batidor. A simple masher, it can be used for potatoes, carrots or anything else that needs to be made into a pulp. Add to the tool set a rodillo de madera, a wooden rolling pin, and you can make that delicious ensaimada sweet bread you've been dying to try.
There's no end to the list of utensils and cookware you could acquire. The more you have, the wider array of dishes you'll be prepared to tackle with traditional tools. That turns cooking from a chore into great fun.