Learning the lingo of Mexican cuisine

05/06/2013 09:00 EDT | Updated 07/06/2013 05:12 EDT
When you're setting out to explore an ethnic cuisine, it always helps if you know what some of the words mean. The new cookbook "200 Easy Mexican Recipes" has a list of food definitions and an explanation of various ingredients used in Mexican cooking.

Chimichanga: A flour tortilla wrapped around a filling (vegetarian or meat-based), deep-fried and smothered in a mild enchilada sauce and melted cheese.

Chorizo: A type of pork sausage made with red chilies.

Empanada: A stuffed Mexican turnover with sweet or savoury fillings.

Enchilada: A lightly fried corn or flour tortilla dipped in red or green chili sauce and filled with cheese, meat or chicken and rolled.

Quesadilla: A flour or corn tortilla stuffed with cheese and grilled until the cheese is melted.

Refried beans: Cooked and mashed pinto beans sauteed or "refried" with oil or lard.

Tostada: An open-faced crispy corn tortilla layered with meat (if you choose), beans, cheese and salad greens.

Source: "200 Easy Mexican Recipes: Authentic Recipes from Burritos to Enchiladas" by Kelley Cleary Coffeen (Robert Rose Inc., 2013).