Hola friends! I’ve actually had a copy of Jason Wyrick’s fantastic Vegan Mexico cookbook for MONTHS now, but I got it just before Thanksgiving… and then there was Christmas… and I was just so busy and it was sitting on my kitchen counter this ENTIRE time and every so often I would gaze longingly at it but it has taken me until now to actually have some real time to dive deep into it, and I sure am glad that I did.
Plus, I know that this is a food blog and all, but I’m just going to throw this in there that I love Mexico and Mexican people and of course also Mexican food and I believe in building bridges NOT WALLS so let’s all eat Mexican food and seriously, FUCK THAT WALL. Oops, I just got political on a food blog, but there it is. Not sorry.
Back to the food though, Wyrick’s cookbook is a beautiful collection of regional Mexican recipes – real, authentic Mexican food, not the usual Tex-Mex stuff that many of us are used to. I was delighted to discover many completely new-to-me recipes, and other dishes that I’ve only ever seen/eaten while actually in Mexico. Most of the recipes are fairly straight-forward and easy to make, although some of them are quite a bit more ambitious, like the tamale chapter, or the empanadas. Also, as these are authentic Mexican recipes, some of the ingredients can be challenging to find; even in NYC, it’s not always easy to find tomatillos, fresh cactus, some of the chile peppers, or items like huitlacoche.
I did manage to find what I needed to try out a few recipes though. I was very excited to try the Pumpkin Seed Dip called Sikil Pak. Wyrick describes Sikil Pak as “a centuries-old Mayan pumpkin seed dip recipe popular in the Yucatan.” I was immediately intrigued when I saw the recipe, because my husband eats a lot of pumpkin seeds for his health, and this was a brand new way to incorporate them. Did you know that pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, plant-based omega-3 fats, excellent for maintaining prostate health, and more?
The Pumpkin Seed Dip is a combination of roasted tomatillos, onion, and garlic, blended with pumpkin seeds and cilanto. It has a wonderfully charred smoky flavor, a creamy richness, and it really blew us away with flavor. I love love love guacamole but I’m going to have to say that this is my new favorite dip. It is utterly addictive.
Also, I’ve noted elsewhere on this blog what a fan of Austin-style breakfast tacos I am, so naturally I was interested in making the Breakfast Chilaquile, because Mexican food for breakfast is a great start to the day. This is a pretty easy assembly of corn tortilla chips, topped with a chile sauce (or your favorite red salsa), an easy tofu scramble, pinto beans, and avocado. I love a savory breakfast and this was so tasty and easy to put together for a fabulous weekend treat.
There are so many other recipes I have flagged to try, including:
- Veracruz-Style Empanadas
- Tostadas with Hearts of Palm Ceviche
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas
- Oaxacan Chile Masa Soup
- Cocoa-Pistachio Churros
But another recipe that I absolutely loved was the spicy, earthy Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard. Vegan Heritage Press has given me permission to post the recipe below for this Caldo, which is just perfectly warming and tasty these cold winter months. Eat this Caldo and think fondly of our friends to the south. Also, don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom to see how to win your own FREE copy of Vegan Mexico! 🙂
Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard
Caldo de Camotes y Alcegas
Makes 6 servings
This simple soup features a mildly spicy broth married with the earthy sweetness of white sweet potatoes and the lushness of wilted chard. It’s not only delicious, it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Chard, sweet potatoes, and beans conspire to fight cancer and regulate blood sugar and are naturally low in fat. (from Vegan Mexico, copyright © 2016 by Jason Wyrick. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press.)
5 cups water
Corn oil, for frying
4 ancho chiles
10 cloves pan-roasted garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 medium white sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch chard, greens and stems sliced paper thin
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Heat 1/8 inch of corn oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the anchos and fry them for 20 seconds on each side. Place the anchos in the boiling water, reduce it to a simmer, and simmer the anchos for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the water and when they are cool enough to handle, remove the stems.
In a blender or food processor, purée the anchos, garlic, salt, oregano, and the water used to simmer the anchos until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and bring it to a simmer. Add the sweet potato, chard, and beans and cook until the sweet potatoes are al dente, about 6 minutes.
*And finally, for your chance to enter my giveaway contest for your own copy of Vegan Mexico, please just leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite Mexican dish to eat, and if you’ve visited Mexico, then tell me the best place you went to / thing you saw there.** The winner will be selected randomly on Feb.
5th 12th! US residents only please.