Tomato and basil quesadillas


Yesterday's brunch was an exercise on how to use shredded mozzarella that was so near its expiry date. I thought about making grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches but there was fresh basil in the garden and the idea of fresh herbs in my first meal of the day was too irresistible. Pizza Margherita would have been nice but making the crust would take too long and I could … [Read more...]

Cucumber and mint agua fresca


We had quesadillas for brunch earlier and I thought I'd complete the Mexican theme by serving the quesadillas with agua fresca. I think themed meals are fun -- but only when it's not too fussy. I remember another Mexican-themed breakfast when I made potatoes with chorizo and chili, and enjoyed it with cafe con leche.I was actually thinking about that delicious cafe … [Read more...]

Tequila Sunrise


Another layered drink, the denser Grenadine sinks to the bottom of the glass to mimic the red hues of sunrise while the paler juices emulate the lightening morning sky. I wrote a soliloquy about it, mulling the name of the drink, but I am now convinced that it gets its name from the very town where tequila is primarily produced. The town of Tequila in Mexico is in an area … [Read more...]

Guacamole: a great dip for tortilla chips


My first guacamole experience was straight out of a jar that came free with a bag of potato chips. I loved the guacamole so much not knowing that it was made from avocados, a fruit that I had very little affinity with. An avocado tree grew in my grandmother's garden when I was a child, everyone eagerly awaited for the fruits to turn ripe for picking -- except me. Well, … [Read more...]

Taco lunch for one


What goes into a taco? Anything, really. That's how versatile the taco is. The wrapping itself -- the tortilla -- can vary. There's corn tortilla, flour tortilla and the whole wheat tortilla, a rather new take on the traditional Mexican bread that was probably borne out of this generation's health craze.When I cooked pancit canton a couple of nights ago, I boiled and … [Read more...]

Tortillas: corn, flour and whole wheat


Not too long ago, searching for frozen tortillas in the Philippines was an impossible task. A couple of years ago, flour tortillas started to appear in larger and better supermarkets. A year or so ago, I started seeing whole wheat tortillas too.And, just recently, corn tortillas started making an appearance. … [Read more...]

Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken)


Undoubtedly Spanish in origin, arroz con pollo, or rice with chicken, can be found in the various cuisines of Latin America and the Caribbean. I've found Cuban and Mexican versions, among others, and a recipe for the Puerto Rican version that includes olives and capers among the ingredients and which, according to the author, is not as spicy as the Mexican arroz con … [Read more...]

Agua de naranja y limón (orange and lemon drink)


Aguas frescas, literally, fresh waters, are fresh fruit drinks that are very popular in Mexico. Unlike pure fruit drinks, aguas frescas are made with fresh fruit juice, water, sugar and ice. They are very refreshing especially on hot and humid days. I know it sounds so much easier and convenient to simply dilute commercial fruit juice with water and ice but trust me when I … [Read more...]

Taco pie (a.k.a. quesadilla pie)


Tortillas stacked on top of one another and, in between, an assortment of filling and lots of gooey cheese. The dish is known as taco pie although others refer to it as quesadilla pie. I doubt if it's an authentic Mexican dish; most probably, it's Texan-Mexican, or Tex-Mex, in origin.I made my taco pie with corn tortillas, carnitas, corn, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, … [Read more...]

Carnitas: Mexican “little meats” dish


Carnitas is ultra tender pork that is either pulled apart or chopped. Lightly crisp outside, very tender and moist inside, carnitas is a dish by itself. It is also a traditional filling for tacos and torta (note that unlike the Philippines' torta which is an omelet, the Mexican torta is a sandwich). Insanely simple yet amazingly delicious.Some cooks make carnitas by … [Read more...]