the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “mexican”

Black Oaxacan Mole

main course mexican sauce


  • 9 oz. (250 g) chilhuacles negros (about 40) [CP: can replace w/ guajillo]
  • 9 oz. (250 g) mulato chiles (about 7) [CP: can replace w/ ancho]
  • 9 oz. (250 g) (Mexican not Oaxacan) pasilla chiles
  • 15 chipotle mora chiles
  • Approximately 9 oz. melted pork lard
  • 9 oz. (250 g) sesame seeds, about 1 3/4 cups
  • 9 oz. (250 g) shelled peanuts, about 1 3/4 cups
  • 9 oz. (250 g) almonds, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 1/2 oz. (125 g) walnuts
  • 4 1/2 oz. (125 g) pecans
  • 9 oz. (250 g) raisins, about 2 cups
  • 9 oz. (250 g) plantain, peeled
  • 1 1/2 small semisweet rolls (pan de yema), sliced and dried
  • 9 oz. (250 g) white onion, cut into wedges and toasted
  • 1 1/2 heads garlic, toasted, heads separated and peeled
  • 3 inches cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tbsp. mild black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves, about 10
  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tbsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 oz. (250 g) Oaxacan drinking chocolate
  • 9 oz. (250 g) sugar
  • salt to taste


Begin preparing the chiles the day before. Remove seeds and veins from the chiles, reserving the seeds, except leave the chipotles whole.

Toast the chiles carefully (very briefly on a hot fire, not allowing them to char). Cover with warm water and leave to soak about 1 hour, no longer. Strain.

Toast the chile seeds in an ungreased pan until very dark brown but not charred. Rinse in two changes of water and strain.

Heat a small quantity of the lard in a skillet and fry the following ingredients separately, adding more lard as necessary and straining to remove excess oil: sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, raisins, plantain, bread. Mix these ingredients with the chiles, onion, garlic, spices, and herbs and grind almost dry, to a paste. Very little water should be used.

Heat the remaining lard in a heavy casserole, add the paste, and fry, adding a little boiling water from time to time to prevent sticking. Stir continuously (get helpers!) over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Add the chocolate, sugar, and salt and continue cooking for about 1 hour more.

The consistency should be that of a thick paste, and you should be able to see the bottom of the pan as you stir.

Make the whole batch and freeze it; when you need it, dilute and cook with tomatoes and chicken or turkey stock. Our standard ratio has been something like a 15-oz. can of diced tomatoes, around 1 or 2 cups chicken broth (depending on how much liquid your meat gives off), and a few pounds of meat (say, a turkey breast or 4-5 chicken breasts).

Señora Luz Allec de Calderon, Cookbook Unknown, via Adam Savage

Tortilla Soup

main course mexican soup


  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or legs
  • 1 pound beef bones, or a cut of beef with a lot of bone in it (like short ribs), optional
  • 1 medium onion, quartered (leave the skin on)
  • 1 head garlic, halved across the equator (leave the skin on)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or more as needed
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chilies in adobo, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cubed
  • 4 to 8 ounces plain melting cheese, like mozzarella (not fresh), Oaxaca or Jack, shredded or cubed
  • Lime wedges for serving, optional


1. Put the chicken, the beef bones if you’re using them, 3 of the onion quarters and the garlic in a large pot. Add water just to cover (about 10 cups) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the liquid bubbles gently. Cook, skimming the foam off the surface every now and then, until the chicken is very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, put the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry 2 of the tortillas (one at a time if necessary), turning once, until crisp and golden, 2 to 3 minutes per tortilla. Drain on paper towels. Cut the 4 remaining tortillas into strips, add them to the skillet and fry, stirring to separate them, until crisp and golden, another 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt while they’re still warm.

3. When the chicken is tender, transfer it to a plate or cutting board with tongs or a slotted spoon (or put it in the fridge or freezer so it cools faster). When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bones and the skin. (If you used beef, discard it or save it for another use.)

4. While the chicken is cooling, strain the stock and discard the solids. Peel the remaining quarter of an onion and put it in a blender with the chipotle, 1/4 cup of the cilantro and a sprinkle of salt. Crumble in the two whole fried tortillas and add enough stock to fill the blender a little more than halfway. Purée until the mixture is as smooth as possible.

5. Pour the purée and remaining stock back into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles gently and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken, taste and add more salt if necessary. Divide the avocados, the cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro among 4 to 6 bowls. Ladle the soup into the bowls and garnish with the fried tortilla strips. Serve immediately with lime wedges if you like.

Rose Garden Restaurant, via Mark Bittman, NYT

Mean Green Pig (Tomatillo Chili)

main course chile greenchile mexican newmexican pork stew tomatillo


  • 3 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1" pieces
  • fresh black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, diced
  • 2 poblanos, roasted and diced small [CP: sub. green chiles for these two chiles]
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • fresh cilantro
  • queso fresco


Heat oven to 400. Toss half the tomatillos with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt, roast for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the remaining tomatillos in a food processor. Reserve 1 1/2 c. in a bowl. Add the roasted tomatillos to the processor, pulse until slightly chunky. Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the pork in batches, transfer to slow cooker. Add onions and jalapeños to skillet, cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Put everything except the reserved tomatillo into the slow cooker. Cook on low until the pork is falling apart tender, about 6 hours. Add reserved tomatillo puree to the pot, stir to incorporate. (Alternately, cook in a dutch oven on low heat until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.)

Garnish with cilantro and queso fresco.

Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine, via Austin-American Statesman

Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa

side dish mexican peach


  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 3 firm peaches
  • 1 minced jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Lightly oil, salt and pepper corn and peaches. Grill on all sides. Cut corn kernels off of the corn cob. De-seed and dice tomatoes. Dice peaches and red onion. Mix all ingredients together with lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño. Let sit at least 15 minutes to marry flavors.

Rachel Mabb

Pork Carnitas with Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa

main course mexican pork


  • 3 lb. pork butt, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 8 ounces cola, plus more for cooking
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce or teriyaki
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 dried habanero or ancho chile
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 recipe Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa


Combine paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder and rub into pork cubes.

Mix cola, soy sauce, pineapple juice, lime juice and zest, orange juice and zest, garlic and cumin and cover pork. Marinate pork in the refrigerator 2 to 6 hours.

Remove pork from marinade (reserve liquid), and sear meat in olive oil on all sides in a heavy-bottom pot. Add reserved marinating liquid and dried chili and simmer for approximately 2 hours. Liquid should reduce to a glaze by the 1 1/2 to 2-hour mark. To keep meat moist during earlier cooking time, add additional cola as needed. Meat should be falling apart tender. Can keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Saute to reheat.

Serve in flour tortillas with slices of avocado and grilled peach and corn salsa. Serves 4.

Rachel Mabb

Pumpkin Soup (Sopa de calabaza)

main course side dish mexican pumpkin soup vegan vegetarian


Makes: 6 servings

  • 9 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 1/4 pounds pumpkin or winter squash, peeled, seeded, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs epazote

Toppings: Crumbled queso fresco, chopped onion, chopped green chilies, lime quarters


1. Combine water, 2 of the garlic cloves and salt in a stockpot. Cut one slice off the onion half; add to pot. Heat to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop remaining onion; reserve. Add pumpkin to the pot; lower heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard onion slice and garlic.

2. Finely chop remaining 2 garlic cloves. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and chopped onion; fry until translucent, 1 minute. Add tomatoes; fry until reduced, about 5 minutes.

3. Place about 1 cup cooked pumpkin in a blender with some broth; puree. Return to pot. Add tomato mixture to soup. Season with salt if necessary. Add epazote; simmer over low heat, about 10 minutes. Set aside to season, about 30 minutes. Heat through; serve with toppings as desired.

Diana Kennedy, Chicago Tribune


side dish mexican pence squash zucchini


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 small can of lima beans
  • 1 small can of corn kernels
  • 1 small can mild green chile


Melt butter and cook zucchini, squash, and onion until softened. Add limas, corn, and green chile and cook until heated. Serve.

Onions Toluca

main course chorizo mexican pence


  • 4 large sweet onions
  • 4 oz. Mexican chorizo
  • 4 oz. ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 thick slices Mexican goat cheese or Muenster (4"x4")
  • chopped cilantro
  • 4 flour tortillas

for serving: additional flour tortillas, picante sauce or pico de gallo, guacamole


Peel the onions. Cut an area off the top on which to set the onion. Hollow out the onions from the root end until about half the center has been removed. [I use the parings for my salsa and/or guac.] Place the onions in a steamer for about 20 minutes or until translucent but not too soft. [I use my microwave steamer, which only accommodates one onion at a time, for about 51/2 minutes per onion.] Remove and let cool on paper towel.

Saute meats and salt and pepper over medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring constantly until well blended. Drain grease and fill onion cavities with stuffing. Place onions in a casserole and top with a slice of cheese. Cook uncovered in a 350 degree over for about 10 minutes, then broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately on the center of a warm flour tortilla with additional tortillas, picante and/or guacamole.

Bitter Orange Juice

miscellaneous mexican orange sauce


  • 1/2 c. grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice


Combine all ingredients and let sit for two hours at room temperature.

Jicama Salad

side dish jicama mexican orange salad vegan vegetarian


  • 2 oranges, chopped
  • 1 small jicama
  • 1/4 c. bitter orange juice
  • 2 tsp. good chile powder (pref. New Mexico)
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro


Chop all ingredients but the cilantro and mix. Let stand for an hour, then add cilantro just before serving.