Pickled Red Onions

These pickled red onions are a typical garnish in food from the Yucatan peninsula and are most famously used as the topping for cochinita pibil, a delicious slow-cooked pulled pork dish.

I absolutely love these onions for their tart acidic flavor, because they go with everything and their gorgeous color. They sit for 1 to 2 days and during this time the dark purple exterior bleeds off transforming the thin slices of onion into bright magenta strips. Basically, they will make any dish that you make beautiful. I use them to top tacos, in salads, with meat, on eggs and sometimes I just eat them plain.

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Jamaica Market Style Chileatole

Atole is a pre-Hispanic, usually sweet, corn-based drink that continues to be sold on street corners and prepared in homes all over México.  Chileatole is a savory version of this ancient beverage that, as its name lets on, is prepared with chiles.

As with many dishes in Mexico, I’m sure that there are thousands of versions of chileatole, especially because the recipe is prepared throughout the states of Michoacan, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Veracruz and Mexico City. It’s frequently served as a soup-like beverage in ceramic mugs or, when sold on the streets, in styrofoam cups. Some versions of the recipe use epazote and fresh chilies such as serranos and/or poblanos while others opt to use dry chilies such as the slightly sweet ancho pepper. Additionally, there are other variations that are prepared with shredded chicken and grated piloncillo (cones of dark unrefined sugar) giving it a sweet and spicy finish.

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Stewed Savory Beans with Avocado Leaves

In previous posts I have recommended serving these beans, so today, I will finally explain how to prepare them.

Frijoles de la olla or savory stewed beans are a typical side served with main dishes in the central states of the Mexico.  Traditionally, they are prepared in earthenware pots, in Spanish called ollas de barro, with onion, garlic and pungently flavored herbs such as epazote, cilantro or in this case avocado leaves.   The beans are served whole and with lots of flavorful broth.

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Chipotles in Vineger Sauce

The first time I tried chipotles that weren’t canned was when my mom was visiting me in México City and was staying in a hotel a few blocks from my apartment in the San Rafael. Breakfast was included in the cost of her room and one morning she invited me to eat with her at the hotel.  I don’t remember anymore what we ate for breakfast that morning – it may have been huevos a la mexicana, fried eggs or any number of Mexican breakfasts.  What I do remember is that when we were served we weren’t brought any salsa.  I asked the lady working if she could bring us salsa to accompany our breakfast and she brought us a small plate of homemade chipotles.

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