Here are some Mexican recipes focusing on fresh ingredients that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
The recipes are from Kelley Cleary Coffeen's new cookbook, "200 Easy Mexican Recipes: Authentic Recipes from Burritos to Enchiladas."
Chicken and Lime Soup
This hearty chicken soup has a light citrusy flavour that makes it especially good for summer meals. Layers of garlic and lime embrace the fresh avocado garnish.
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
250 ml (1 cup) chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1.5 l (6 cups) chicken broth
125 ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
500 ml (2 cups) broken corn tortilla chips
2 avocados, diced
4 green onions, green parts only, minced
In a large skillet, heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let cool.
In a large pot, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and tomatoes. Cover and cook until onion is softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chicken broth and lime juice.
Dice cooked chicken and add to pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with equal amounts of tortilla chips, avocado and green onion.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Fresh Baja Fish Tacos
Baja, the peninsula of Mexico located south of California, is famous for its fish tacos, which are gaining popularity around the globe. These lightly fried fish delights are layered with cabbage, cream sauce and pico de gallo salsa.
Mexican White Sauce
175 ml (3/4 cup) mayonnaise
125 ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
175 ml (3/4 cup) light beer
5 ml (1 tsp) kosher salt
750 g (1 1/2 lb) skinless cod or tilapia fillets
8 flour tortillas (15-20 cm/6-8 inches)
250 ml (1 cup) thinly shredded red cabbage
250 ml (1 cup) thinly shredded green cabbage
Pico de gallo (recipe follows)
Mexican White Sauce: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours.
Batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, beer and salt. Mix well to a thick consistency.
Tacos: Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel. Cut crosswise into 2.5-cm (1-inch) wide strips.
Fill a deep fryer, deep heavy pot or deep skillet with 2.5 cm (1 inch) of oil and heat to 180 C (350 F). Using tongs, dredge fish pieces in batter and gently place in oil. Deep-fry 3 to 4 pieces at a time, turning once, until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Discard any excess batter.
In a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat, heat each tortilla on each side until soft and pliable. Wrap in foil to keep warm until ready to use.
To build tacos, divide fish equally among warm tortillas. Top with cabbage, Mexican white sauce and pico de gallo. Fold tortillas in half.
Makes 8 tacos.
Pico de Gallo
The crisp, refreshing flavours of this salsa capture the true essence of Mexico. Although it's tomato-based, two kinds of peppers give it some heat. It's good on all kinds of Mexican dishes and as a dip with warm, crispy tortilla chips.
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 green onions, green parts only, minced
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 serrano chili peppers, seeded and minced
1 onion, finely chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) minced fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
Kosher salt, to taste
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, serrano chilies, onion and cilantro. Add lime juice and mix well. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or for up to 24 hours. Season with salt just before serving.
Makes 500 ml (2 cups).
Although many people may not associate Mexican food with sweets, the refreshing, simple flavours of a margarita are unmistakable in this dessert. The pie is light, luscious and quick to make.
2 egg yolks
50 ml (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (300 ml/14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
75 ml (1/3 cup) liquid margarita mix
3 drops green food colouring
1 purchased vanilla-flavoured cookie crumb crust or graham-cracker crust (23 cm/9 inches)
250 ml (1 cup) heavy or whipping (35 per cent) cream
125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 lime, thinly sliced
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs and egg yolks until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Continue mixing and add lime juice, condensed milk, margarita mix and food colouring and beat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour into pie shell and bake in 180 C (350 F) oven until centre is firm, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until chilled for at least 1 hour or for up to 4 hours.
Just before serving, in a medium chilled bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve slices of pie on individual plates topped with whipped cream and garnished with lime slices.
Makes 6 servings.
Tip: Use a high-quality prepared liquid margarita mix with a medium sweet-sour balance.
Source: "200 Easy Mexican Recipes: Authentic Recipes from Burritos to Enchiladas" by Kelley Cleary Coffeen (Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca, 2013).