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MexicoKaren's Profile

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basa, a kind of fish?

Hi Cristina - I also live in Mexico, on the Pacific coast, and I have been buying basa regularly as well. I had no idea that it was a form of catfish - it looks more like a saltwater fish. Like tilapia, it takes on the seasonings in which it is cooked, but it has a superior texture, in my opinion. I agree that it is absolutely delicious.

Aug 16, 2010
MexicoKaren in General Topics

Freezing Fish Chowder?

I doubt the flavor and consistency would survive freezing. There is no safety issue - just that it may be grainy and a bit curdly when it thaws.

May 11, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

Two great frosting recipes needed please. Maybe a lemon cake too...?

Here is my tried and true lemon cake recipe. It has a glaze that you put on as soonas it comes out of the oven, but I suppose you could frost over it as well; I just never have. Trust me - this is a spectacular moist, dense cake.


Heat oven to 325F
Grease and flour a 10 inch tube or bundt pan

3 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Zest or grated rind from two lemons

I cup unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temp

Sift together the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest
Cream the butter and sugar for three minutes, then add the eggs, beating after each addition.
Add vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and sour cream alternately, starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by ½ sour cream, etc., ending with flour mixture. Beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl often.

Bake at 325F in a greased and floured 10-inch tube/bundt pan for about an hour.
While cake is baking, make GLAZE by combining one cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, zest of one lemon, ¼ cup water and 2/3 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer until it is reduced to about ½ cup.

When cake tests done, let it rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then brush ½ of the glaze on the cake. Turn onto rack and brush remaining syrup on cake.

Apr 28, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

Let's talk iced tea

I found this recipe somewhere on the internet a few years ago and make it often. It is a little sweet, but not cloying. Very refreshing. I substitute lime juice for the lemon juice because I can't usually get regular lemons where I live...Hope someone likes it as much as we do.

DAVE'S WORLD FAMOUS TROPICAL ICED TEA (also makes a good drink mixer)

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 quart hot water
8 tea bags (any black tea)
2 quarts iced water
2 cups fresh orange juice (about four 3" oranges)
3/4 cup lemon juice (about four lemons)

sprigs of mint
slices of lime
slices of orange

Combine 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a large saucepan.
Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add 1 quart hot water and tea bags.
Steep tea bags for 3-5 minutes, according to strength desired.

Discard tea bags and add hot brew to 2 quarts of iced water.

Add orange and lemon juices to iced water. Strain to remove pulp.
Stir well and refrigerate, or serve immediately over ice.

To serve with ice: In a tall glass filled half way with ice cubes (not
crushed), add a slice of lime, then fill rest of way with ice. Pour in tea.
Garnish glass with a slice of orange and a sprig of fresh mint.

Yield: 1 gallon.

Apr 26, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

Jalisco-style cheese burritos: Help, please!

I think it is possible that the enchilada sauce you are referring to is made with dried chiles...I live in the state of Nayarit (just over the border from Jalisco) and this is the way enchilada sauce is made in our region. Not sure if you can find the dried chiles where you live, but here is the recipe:

Enchilada sauce roja

6 chiles guajillos
3 chiles ancho or pasilla
3 or 4 roma tomatoes
¼ onion
2 cloves garlic
1 and ½ cups chicken broth (or tomato bullion if you can find it)
2 TBS oil (usually corn oil)
salt to taste

Toast the chiles by putting them in a hot fry pan for just a few minutes, pressing down and then turning them over to release their fragrance. This takes 1-2 minutes. Then remove the stems, seeds and membranes and soak in hot water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes and onion and cut into pieces.

Drain the chiles and transfer to a blender (this is probably the most important cooking tool in the Mexican kitchen!). Add the tomatoes, onion,, garlic and chicken stock and puree.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the pureed sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat and add salt to taste.

As far as cheese goes, I cannot imagine finding processed cheese in an enchilada in Mexico, or cheddar cheese, for that matter. They generally use a soft white cheese they call asadero, from Oaxaca. It's almost like string cheese, and muenster might be a good substitute. Also, I have never seen a flour tortilla used for enchiladas, just for quesadillas and chalupas.

One more thing - most Mexican cooks do not use ovens, so enchiladas are never baked like a casserole. Just rolled up and served right away.

Hope this helps!

Apr 25, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking


I live in Mexico and mango season is just beginning - I cut up LOTS of mangoes, and the method described by Diane in Bexley works pretty well. The dicing method works, too - it depends on the firmness of the mango. The Oxo gadget does not work at all unless the mangoes are not ripe. To use up those pits with lots of fruit still on them, put them in a pitcher, sprinkle some sugar on them and fill the pitcher with water. You have agua fresca - very popular drink here in Mexico.

Apr 25, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

Cauliflower Alfredo help

I've eaten cream of cauliflower soup that was smooth and creamy, haven't you? I don't know why it wouldn't work - maybe you can thin it with chicken (or vegetable) broth if it is too thick, and be very careful that it doesn't curdle. Add a little nutmeg, maybe. Just a tiny bit.

Apr 15, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

cooks illustrated

I agree. That was an interesting discussion, with various points of view expressed. As a fairly new reader of this board, I sometimes wonder if I even belong here...I am a US expat who lives in Mexico and enjoy cooking authentic Mexican food as well as many of the comfort foods my husband and I grew up with. The wonderful fresh ingredients I find here make them better, and I often rely on the CI website for recipes and ideas. Although I am a confident cook, I can learn new tricks, such as how to make a better meatloaf. Really. Now many of the people on this board probably don't eat meatloaf, but if you do, check out the CI recipe. It is moist and flavorful and good.

Apr 15, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

dinner menu for picky gourmets

Since this whole anticipated event is causing you such anxiety, I'd simply pick the meal that you cook best. A tried and true. I have a chicken dish that never fails to please, and I serve it often without apology. Maybe try a special dessert to top it off, but I wouldn't try a recipe you've never made before.

Apr 15, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

Best Place for Seafood in PV???

I second Mauricio's - $120 pesos for a huge plate of combo seafood, served with soup, salad, rice and an after-dinner Kahlua and cream. It's in the little town of Ixtapa. A little rustico, but you will find it brimming with local people, not so many tourists. We live in Bucerias, a bit north of PV, and also like Adautos here in Bucerias very much.

Mar 10, 2008
MexicoKaren in Mexico

Store bought bread vs. bread machine bread

I have read this with interest, and hope it is OK to add a slightly different perspective. I used to love using my bread machine - went through two of them, and then took my sister's advice and started making my bread the REALLY easy way - using my KA stand mixer. Every bit as easy as the machine - the mixer does the kneading for you, and you have more options as to shaping the loaf, adding ingredients, etc. I make all my own bread, and it is really easy....

Mar 10, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

PV opinions on Vista Grill, La Kliff, Xitomates, La Palapa, etc...

I live in Bucerias, and it is much easier to get here from Nuevo Vallarta than to go all the way into PV. It is a small town, but we have some good restaurants. On the beach, Adauto's (not to be confused with Adriano's). Not on the beach - lots of people like Mark's - a little spendy and pretentious for my taste. Sandrina's is excellent, with a lovely courtyard dining area and Mediterranean food. In PV, I would always choose El Dorado over La Palapa, which is, to my thinking, overpriced and also pretentious. In Mexico, labor prices are (unfortunately for the people who work here) very low. It seems criminal to charge NOB prices paying SOB overhead. Just my 2 cents.

Jan 25, 2008
MexicoKaren in Mexico

Nopal ideas?

Here in Mexico, nopales are often served as a side vegetable, and sliced in a salad. Yesterday, we went out to lunch at a little neighborhood restaurant, and their lunch special was spaghetti (kind of a creamy tomato sauce) with nopales. We didn't order it, but it looked good. I think alot of people must eat them, because they are for sale in large quantity in the grocery stores.

Jan 25, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

cheese and artichoke bread

I have made this, but it was awhile (several years) ago. It seems to me that it was difficult to slice and keep pretty. The recipe I used is:

Stuffed French Bread

1 loaf french bread
1/2 cup butter
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T sesame seeds
1 and 1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups jack cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese
2 T. parsley, chopped
2 tsp lemon pepper
1 can artichoke hearts (plain, not marinated), chopped
1 can (6 oz) sliced black olives

GARNISH: 1/2 grated parmesan cheese, sliced tomatoes

Cut bread lengthwise and tear out the soft bread to the crust
Brown garlic, sesame seeds and bread chunks to a golden color in butter.
In a bowl, combine the next six items. Add the olives and the bread mixture; mix well. Fill the bread shell and top with parmesan cheese. Wrap in foil and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes. Uncover, add tomato slices and continue baking open for 15 more minutes to brown.

Evil, but delicious!

Jan 17, 2008
MexicoKaren in Home Cooking

How do you eat tostadas & quesadillas?

All I can tell you is that, in Mexico, you eat them both with your hands. Just pick it up and eat it. A tostado is tough to eat with a fork because it will break. Just enjoy!

Jan 11, 2008
MexicoKaren in General Topics

How do you eat your corn on the cob?

I am new to your forum and I'm having a great time exploring the site. I am an American living in Mexico, and especially enjoy the Mexico forum. I could not resist this question about corn - when I moved to Mexico, I was not surprised to see that corn is a popular street food, but the way it is served did give me pause: dipped in a huge jar of mayo (that has been sitting in the sun for hours), covered with powdered red chilis (not chili powder) and then topped with grated cheese (usually queso fresca or cotija). And the corn here is not tender sweet corn - more like field corn. I've not been brave enough to try it yet....

Jan 10, 2008
MexicoKaren in General Topics