Breakfast in Mexico City is one of my favorite meals. Usually it’s a fruit plate or a glass of freshly squeezed juice, followed by a heavy, spicy, substantial dish that will keep you satiated until the 3 p.m. lunch hour. Pancakes in DF can be a dinnertime snack. The most typical Mexican breakfasts offer a lovely array of textures: the half-crunch, half-sog of a perfectly executed plate of chilaquiles; the spongy curl of a piece of chicharrón drowned in salsa verde, the toothsome bite of a grilled cactus paddle paired with a slab of queso panela. Everything comes with a […]
When I was a kid and my brother and I were really hungry, my mom used to whip up this quick tortilla-egg thing. She’d tear tortillas into pieces and fry them in a little bit of oil, and then crack in some eggs. She somehow fried the tortillas exactly how I wanted — not too crispy and not too soft. Finding one of these tortilla pieces in my bowl (the tortilla-egg thing was always served in a bowl) always felt so surprising and good. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these comforting, informal dishes we ate as children and […]
In Mexico City, gorditas de nata refer to two things. They can be round, lightly sweet English-muffin type breads, sold at the markets in plastic bags. Or they’re dense, almost creamy cakes, served warm off the comal. “Nata” means clotted cream — it’s what rises to the top when fresh milk is boiled. I prefer the comal version of gorditas de nata, but it’s not easy to find them in DF, at least not in my neighborhood. I saw a few stands pop up after midnight on Independence Day here and the smell was enough to make me want to […]
“Pre-hispanic” is the term used to signify the period before the Spaniards arrived in Mexico. Even though that was around 500 years ago, several pre-hispanic foods (not to mention entire pre-hispanic dishes) are still readily available and widely eaten here.
One of the things I learned at the ashram was that I eat way too much sugar for breakfast. If I’m not making mamey muffins while Crayton is rolling out of bed, I’m dreaming about making them, or flagging down the bicycle-riding pandulce guy. The problem with this — besides calorically speaking — is that I’m usually hungry again a few hours later. And sometimes kind of shaky from the careening dip in my blood sugar. This issue could be solved by eating more protein-rich breakfasts, but the healthy ones, such as egg whites, don’t taste as good. (I know […]
Yeah. I went there.
Last Friday morning, still snuggled in my bed, I suddenly had an intense desire for pancakes. But then I realized I had no flour. My rolling pantry (really a bunch of Elfa drawers from The Container Store) can only fit small packages of flour, and I’d used mine up to make these chocolate and ginger tarts. Whole wheat flour would’ve worked okay. But whole-wheat oatmeal pancakes… ugh, that sounded too dense. (Are you seeing what a picky person I am to live with?) So I brainstormed alternative pancake flours. Garbanzo… no… semolina… no…. Maseca… hmmm. Yeah. Maseca is a corn […]
The black sapote is a popular tropical fruit in Mexico, and it’s a funny-looking thing when it’s completely ripe. The hard green skin turns soft, dimply, and sunken-in in parts. It looks like a shrunken head, kind of. After cutting it open, the flesh resembles dark-chocolate brownie batter. It’s glossy and wet and easy to scoop out with a spoon. I bought a sapote (pronounced “sah-POE-tay” in Spanish; locally they’re known as zapote negro) for the first time last week at the tianguis, figuring I’d think of something fun to do with it. It supposedly makes a great tart filling, […]
Even though Crayton doesn’t start work until 8 a.m., we rarely eat breakfast together. I’m usually still in bed, up late from watching iTunes episodes of Mad Men. And he gets free breakfast at work anyway. Most mornings I eat by myself. It’s actually fine, because sitting alone at the kitchen table, I have an excuse to pamper myself. Toasted pecans on my cereal, maybe. Or oatmeal with agave nectar and diced acitrón. (As I think I’ve mentioned before, Crayton likes things plain and simple. Raisins in his cereal is as far as he’ll go.) Lately, I’ve been on a […]
In an unexpectedly Mexican turn of events, I’ve become addicted to having something sweet and bready with my coffee in the morning. Mamey muffins, which might be the world’s most perfect coffee food, pushed me over the edge. Since then I’ve dabbled in walnut-raisin bread, cornbread smeared with butter, unleavened cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, carrot spice muffins and, the most boring of them all, whole-wheat toast with honey. (Mamey, don’t worry, I’m coming back for you.) Last week — finally succumbing to my addiction, and telling myself, “It’s okay if I just have a little bit, and then […]