Torta De Jamon – Better Than A Sandwich

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Just Like Chavo Del 8

If you grew up watching Chavo del 8 this is going to make a lot of sense. If you haven’t get ready for a simple but delicious Mexican version of a ham sandwich.

Ingredients

  • Bolillos (how ever many you plan on making)
  • Ham
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Refried Beans
  • Queso Fresco
  • Mayonaise or crema

All Bolillos Are Not Equal

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I recently discovered these bolillos from Artisana are the closest thing to the bolillos street vendors use in Mexico the other option would be sourdough bread but that’s not quite right for this.

Slather Those Frijoles On

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Please don’t use canned beans. Always have a pot of cooked beans on the stove for occasions like this. To make them simply heat up a pan with some oil throw the cooked beans on there and smash them down with a spoon. It’s quite relaxing.

Begin The Stacking

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After the beans and mayo begin to stack the ham, veggies and cheese on top. Odds are you will put too much in your torta. It happens.

Fit Everything Inside

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Press everything together and take a bite to sample.

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Destapa La Fanta

 

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Pop open that glass bottle of Fanta and take this time to admire your torta. Slice it in half and share with someone you love.

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

Prickly Pear Juice Recipe

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Keep Tweezers Nearby

For those that aren’t familiar with prickly pears or “tunas” as we call them in Spanish, they will prick you.

Ingredients

  • 6 Prickly Pears
  • 1 Cup of Sugar (borrow from the neighbor if your out)
  • 6 Cups Of Water

Cut Without Fear

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There are several methods to handling the tunas. I’ve seen people burning the tiny needles off and using tongs to avoid getting them stuck on fingers. Where I’m from in Mexico people just peel them right off the cactus.

 

 

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Avoid the small circular spot on the tuna and place the tips of your fingers to hold it in place. Cut the top part of the prickly pear and make a shallow cut down the middle only piercing deep enough to cut the skin.

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Place the tuna down and peel back the outer layer to pull the piece of fruit out.

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Once you’ve cut them all out its time to throw them in the blender.

Bathe In Water

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I usually place about 3 cups of water along with 3 of the prickly pears. Only do half the recipe at a time. It wont all fit in the blender.

Add A Lil’ Bit Of Sugar And Blend

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The cool thing about adding in the sugar while it blends is you don’t have to stir it in. The blender does it for you!

Strain The Mix Not Your Eyes

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After blending for about 6 Mississippi’s it’s time to pour the mix through the strainer and into your container.

Ice, Ice Baby

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Cool the juice off in the fridge or fill a glass with ice and pour it in.

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

 

 

Elote Asado Or Corn On The Cob

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Let The Flames Die Down

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Something magical happens when you’re handed an elote asado. It’s almost like love at first sight but better.

Anytime the grill happens to be fired up I take the opportunity to throw some corn on it. It’s majorly hot here in Houston but if someones already started the fire it would be a shame to not take advantage of it.

Ingredients

  • Corn
  • Powdered Cayenne Pepper
  • McCormick mayonnaise
  • Queso Fresco(as much as you want)

Add Chile At Your Own Risk

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When hitting up your local grocery store make sure to throw some mayo, cheese and chili powder into your shopping cart along with the corn.

You could just throw the corn in a pot of water and boil them but that’s not as fun as leaving them on the grill. Once they are on the grill cookin’ it up let them sit out there for a couple hours turning them every once and a while. It’s okay if they get a little charred.

For The Mayo Fans

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I tend to be picky when it comes to mayonnaise on my corn it has to be this McCormick one with the little lime wedge on the picture. It might just be me but I feel that this is the best mayo ever created.

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Slather up the corn with as much mayo as you want. I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much mayo on elote. Or prove me wrong.

When You’re Feeling Cheesy

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If your short on time use the dried parmesan cheese in the jar. Or if your feeling like taking it to the next level then shred up some queso fresco and sprinkle it all over.

Powder Chili Or San Jose?

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I didn’t happen to have the liquid chile and instead used powdered cayenne pepper. It tasted pretty good. Although I have noticed most refresquerias will use the other kind of chile.

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After adorning your corn on the cob open up a cold drink and make sure you have a napkin nearby. Cause it gets messy.

 

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

Refrescante Topo Chico Drink

 

Sparkling water? As if.

This Agua Mineral can cure the worst hangover. IMG_6217

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Lime
  • Topo Chico
  • Tajin

Extra snack fun

  • Cucumber spears
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Tajin

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Topo Chico Is A Drink Best Served Cold

Fill your glass with ice and start squeezing those limes away. I usually put extra lime in mine.

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Fill the glass to the top with Topo Chiko and watch the water show. It never stops bubbling.

 

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Sprinkle Tajin on top and then sprinkle a little more because you can never have too much.

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Cut up the cucumber throw some salt, lime, and Tajin. Drop a couple of the cucumber spears in your drink and enjoy.

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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I had a terrible shrimp cocktail from a restaurant near the Kema Boardwalk once. It had three shrimp on ice with ketchup for dipping sauce. It was a boring and expensive appetizer. I expected something with spice and vegetables just like the kind my mom makes. Here’s my mom’s recipe so you won’t get stuck eating boring shrimp cocktails.

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Trust me its not just three shrimp and ketchup in a little white paper cup. There’s crunch, flavor, and spice.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds of shrimp
  • 4 Limes
  • 1 Large tomato
  • 1 Celery stick
  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Jalapeños
  • 1/4 Large red onion
  • Handful of cilantro

 

  • Tomato sauce (8 oz.)
  • V8 (5.5 oz)
  • 1/4 Cup of Ketchup
  • 4 Dashes of Tabasco
  • 1 Cup of Shrimp Broth
  • Saltine Crackers

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Tell The Shrimp To Chill Out

For cooked shrimp just let those guys defrost then squeeze the juice from all the limes over them. For uncooked shrimp place them in a pan with a cup of boiling water for about 1 minute or until they turn slightly pink. Separate the broth and shrimp. Pour the lime juice over the shrimp and place in the fridge to chill out along with the broth.

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Chop Everything

Start chopping all the veggies! The onion, tomato, celery, cilantro and jalapeño should be chopped pretty small. The avocado will have the chunkiest cubes.

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Mix it up

Put the cold shrimp in a larger bowl and add the tomato sauce, v8, ketchup, tabasco, and shrimp broth. Stir and taste. You might need to add a little salt or more tabasco. Add in the veggies and mix. Bust open the package of crackers and enjoy!

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¡Saluda!

Socializing Is Hard For Introverts

The thought of having to talk to someone and give eye contact terrifies me, probably because I’m paranoid that they can read my mind. The word saluda is Spanish for greeting. Being somewhat of an introvert in a large Mexican family is tough.

img_7124Mexican Roots

My parents were born in Mexico but I was born in the United States. We only had one uncle who lived nearby and family gatherings were small. Once my parents got their citizenship we began to make trips to Mexico and that’s where I learned I had a town full of family. My Spanish was terrible even though for years I thought I knew how to speak it. Everyone in the family participates in the daily chores and goes to church. The daily meals usually consisted of nopalitos con frijoles but man was it good! The tortillas were made by hand and cooked on a comal over open fire. It was mesmerizing to watch my grandma place the tortilla down, flip it then watch it slowly puff up.

My mom would constantly tell me my manners were terrible compared to my cousins from Mexico. When called they would answer “mande” politely which would be the equivalent to yes how may I assist you and me well…

I yell QUE!!! from across the room. If we had visitors and I tried to greet them with a simple nod or a smile that wasn’t enough. Naturally my parents would call me out and ask me “ya saludaste” while gesturing towards the visitors and of course I’d get red, embarrassed and frustrated.