Not All Mexican Food Is Created Equal

I grew up in Southwest US about an hour from the Mexican border,  loved Mexican food, and knew early that some recipes were better than others.  A  kid knows whose house has the best of anything -- toys, food, yard.  My family didn't make Mexican food very often (we had the best yard) so I loved visiting friends who did.

My best friend's mother made these amazing homemade flour tortillas every Saturday.  Fresh, soft, and warm, she'd give them to us as they came off the flat, cast iron griddle.  Then she'd put the rest in the refrigerator for the week.  They were delicious both warm and cold.

Her cousin's mother made chorizo, a spicy, crumbly, sausage-type meat, for big family gatherings.  Whenever there was going to be a birthday or wedding she would stir chorizo into scrambled eggs, roll the mix into soft flour tortillas, and send us out of her tiny kitchen to munch.

Another friend's dad made fresh corn tortillas on a machine that turned them out on a conveyor belt.  He'd wrap them in white paper, tape the package with freezer tape, and sell them while they were still warm.  People bought them at his back door.  Sometimes he'd have a tortilla that wasn't nice and round, or for some other reason didn't look quite up to his standard.  These were piled on the side and if we were very polite he'd give us one or two.  The perfect ones cost a penny and a whole package was twenty five cents.

I learned to make the standard dishes most people think of as Mexican food - - enchiladas, tacos, burritos.  But friends also taught me how to make posole, a traditional New Mexican dish with pork and hominy, sopapillas, a puffy pastry that works as a desert treat, and chili rellenos, a stuffed chili dish, and many others.  I learned the difference between several varieties of  green and red chili and how to roast or dry them depending on the chili and recipe.

I loved Mexican food then and I love it now.  My kitchen wouldn't be complete without a ristra, a hanging string of dried red chili pods.  Even more I love the childhood memories roasting chili, soft tortillas, and melting cheese bring to mind.
woogie1 woogie1
56-60, F
1 Response Jul 30, 2010

I loved reading this, thank you! Would you have a recipe for Mole sauce? (Don't know how to spell it) It's that savory/sweet sauce that goes with meat. If you do would you mind sharing it? Thank you