Minerva Orduño Rincón Rancho Gordo's beautiful amaranth seeds.
The beauty and taste of food may be half in how you describe it and what you name it. In that case, the simple Mexican snack called alegría (happiness or joy), may be one of the most beautiful foods available.
Learn how to make your own happiness.More »
Minerva Orduño Rincón The famous Tartine morning roll.
Welcome to Cook's Day Off, chronicling the food-centered wanderings of a Valley cook -- away from the heat, noise, and chaos of the kitchen. Just because it isn't a day in the kitchen, it doesn't mean it isn't a day about food.
In San Francisco, the hills are alive with the sound of cocktail shakers, sad-looking women drunkenly stumbling in inappropriately high heels, and, of course, those famous trollies. But it's not all clanging bells and unsteady heels on rollercoaster sidewalks. There's also the whoosh of those cocktail shakers as they craft a perfectly foamy and oh so popular pisco sour.
Here's where to eat, drink, and tipsily stumble out of in the City by the Bay.More »
With the massive popularity of tequila, the increasing profile of Oaxacan mezcal, and the omnipresence of Mexican beer, it's easy to forget that Mexico produces other varieties of liquors. It's time to learn more about one of these beverages (and a taste of northern Mexico), the regional mezcal of the town of Bacanora, Sonora.
Minerva Orduño Rincón
It's hard to complain about the 70-degree Phoenix winters, especially while a good portion of the country digs out from piles of snow and exposes their flesh to frostbite. But you know what? I'm going to. I used to be a hot chocolate-loving member of society, guzzling cup after cup of steaming Abuelita chocolate, greedily dunking cookies into its milky embrace. I blame the weather for the break in my addiction.
Minerva Orduño Rincón Thick and warming champurro.
Thinking about the hot cocoa of days gone by reminds me that it might just be possible -- with windows wide open on a relatively cool Phoenix night, heat turned off, and a wooly pair of socks on -- to feel cold enough to turn on the stove and whip up a batch of thick champurro.More »
Ate de membrillo is delicious on its own, or simply paired with cheese, but made even better when you take the time to encase it in a lightly sweet and light empanada. Here's how:
Minerva Orduño Rincón
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: northern Mexican food consists of more than just carne asada and bacon wrapped hot dogs. Don't get me wrong, I cherish both, but I also cherish the multitude of other foods that make up the rich culinary traditions of northern Mexico. In an effort to get the perception of northern Mexican food to go beyond carne asada, this column will feature the food and places that make northern Mexico as noteworthy of a place as the more frequently celebrated Oaxaca.
Minerva Orduño Rincón Tree ripened membrillo.
Making tamales can be either a long, monotonous solo session filled with corn husks, masa, filling, and beer or it can be an out-of-control party. Those solo tamales might be neater, but there is some serious fun in teaching a bunch of newbies the pleasures of tamal making, even if the results are a bit mixed. Read up to get ready to throw your own tamal-making party.
Evie Carpenter Tamales for days -- literally.
If making flour tortillas is all about the rolling pin, corn tortillas are all about the press. No flour dusting, no endless rolling, no lard-lubricated hands. Not to imply that corn tortillas are a walk in the park; the difficulty here isn't in the pressing, but in variable nature of the corn dough itself.More »
My nightmares are filled with the drunken faces of American college kids smeared with paint depicting garish skulls, twisted toothy grins, hollow cheekbones, black pools of pain for eyes . . . Death isn't the scary part here, it's the ever increasing popularity of the Day of the Dead and its related imagery in American pop culture -- and its identification with all things Mexican. Spring fills me with dread waiting for the 5th of May to come and go, with its cheap sombreros and fiesta promoting beer commercials. Fall now brings craft store advertisements promoting discounts on Day of the Dead face painting kits. If the reduction of a 3,000-year-old pre-Columbian tradition into a sale promo doesn't fill you with nightmares, you're made of sturdier stuff than me.
Minerva Orduno Rincon Pan de Muerto
Let's get back to basics and learn more about the Día de los Muertos, and Pan de Muertos, a simple baked offering for the departed.More »