Many of these ingredients are found in the recipes I shared this week and if you don't make Mexican food on a regular basis, (then there is something wrong with you.... I kid. I kid!), you may not be familiar with some of these ingredients. And even if you are familiar with these foods maybe there is a fun food fact below that you don't know or at the very least there is a great group of Mexican food recipes you should most defiantly check out at the bottom of the article!
*Photo credit: Gameanna via Free Digital Photos
Mexico has a rich and flavorful food history, which uses native ingredients mixed with worldwide culinary inspiration to form the popular dishes we all know and love. Authentic Mexican cooking starts with traditional ingredients that are found in various regions of Mexico.
Below is helpful information about these popular ingredients that give Mexican cuisine its unique flavor.
• Tomatillos, a member of the gooseberry family, are small, round green fruits enclosed in a papery husk. They have a tart flavor and are often roasted and pureed into Mexican sauces or salsas, referred to as verde.
• Hominy is dried maize kernels that have been soaked in lye to soften the tough outer hulls. Hominy is often ground to make grits or masa flour or added whole to stews and casseroles.
• Cilantro is a green herb that comes from the leaves and stems of the coriander plant. It has a strong flavor that compliments spicy dishes. Cilantro is most common in Mexican cuisine, but can also be found in Asian and Indian cooking.
• Chayotes are native to Mexico and are a member of the squash family. They are mild in flavor and look like a wrinkled, pale green pear. Chayotes can be boiled or baked or eaten raw in salads. Zucchini or another summer squash makes for a great substitute.
• Chile is a generic word referring to a large variety of capsicum peppers. There are over 100 varieties of chiles, including the most popular varieties such as the spicy jalapeno, fiery habanero and large poblano. As a general rule, the smaller the chile the more concentrated the heat; which is from the capsaicin found in the chile's veins and seeds. Chiles are available fresh, dried, and pickled, and are found in many Mexican dishes.
Looking for some tasty Mexican cuisine to serve up for a Cinco de Mayo celebration or simply taco Tuesday? Well look no futher than the wonderful recipes below:
Crispy Fish Tacos (Kitchen Concoctions)
Sweet Potato Foil Packet Tacos (Tasty Kitchen Blog)
Leftover Turkey/Chicken Creamy Enchiladas (Kitchen Concoctions)
Layerd Mexican Dip Stack-Up (Cook, Learn, Grow)
Mexican Corn On The Cob (Kitchen Concoctions)
Tres Leches Cupcakes (Lick the Bowl Good)
Gooey Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas (Kitchen Concoctions)
Strawberry Quesadilla (Real Mom Kitchen)
Slow-Cooker Posole (Kitchen Concoctions)
Refried Beans (Annie's Eats)