05/06/2013 09:00 EDT | Updated 07/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Learning the lingo of Mexican cuisine

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).