Hit the road, Chef!

carretera mexicoIt’s that time of year again. It’s the blissful period where school is a far-away thought on the mind of children and many parents. Some people stay at home to celebrate the 4th of July and others hit the road to visit relatives. Wherever you’re going this summer, the Dancing Chefs want you to bring Salsa and Salsa with you!

When you travel in Mexico, whether it’s by boat, bus or car, you will invariably find ‘antojitos’ on any street corner or at any bus stop. Antojitos literally translates to ‘little cravings’. It’s a variety of snacks that are quick to eat and ready to take away. Antojitos are street and market food and most are made with masa, dough made of corn flour and water.


antojitosThe tortilla is made of masa and serves as bread, plate and cutlery at the same time. Quickly baked on a hot griddle or comal, folded with creamy cheese in between, become a quesadilla. Tacos, soft tortillas, are served with beans, chicken, mole or Poblano chili as well as the crunchy tostadas. Thick stuffed gorditas and panuchos or sopes: their rims folded upwards to keep the filling inside or delicious enchiladas: there’s too much to choose from!

Wherever you eat antojitos, you can find gigantic containers filled with agua fresca: refreshing drinks of mixed fruits with water. Bright-green colors of limes, orange colors of melon or mango are lined up to extinguish the fire after a plate of tacos with salsa! There are two favorites that never miss: agua de tamarindo made from the sticky tamarind pods and the deep-red agua de Jamaica made from hibiscus flowers.


queso-fundidoQueso fundido con champiñones y chile poblano

(Melted cheese with mushrooms and poblano chili)

Queso fundido is a tasty appetizer in many Mexican restaurants world-wide. It’s usually served in shallow clay plates with soft flour tortillas. You can use Mexican chorizo too and don’t forget to prepare some spicy Red Salsa!

1 Poblano chili: roasted, skin and seeds removed, cut in slices

2 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

2 oz. or 60 grams mushrooms, sliced

9 oz or 250 grams grated Chihuahua cheese or Monterrey Jack

10 – 12 flour tortillas

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and shortly fry the poblano chili slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from skillet. Heat another tablespoon of butter in the same skillet and bake the mushrooms until softened. Also sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove from skillet.

Grease the inside of 2 cazuelitas or small oven dishes. Place half of the cheese and half of the strips of poblano chili in one dish and the other half of the cheese and half of the mushrooms in the other dish. Cover with aluminum foil and place under a broiler for about 3 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove the aluminum foil and heat for another 2 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Add the remaining mushrooms and chili to the dishes.

Serve warm with flour tortillas, so the cheese can be used to make tacos. This is a very tasty snacks with Pico de gallo.






Mexican Margaritas from the Dancing Chefs

dancing chef stephanie Margaritas are a very typical drink from Mexico and that of course is because its base is TEQUILA!!!!  As you probably know,  you can make margaritas of any flavor, but the key to a delicious margarita is to use fresh ingredients and high quality alcohol.

As a true Dancing Chef, I love to experiment with new flavors that the bartenders, or “cantineros” as we like to call them, come up with. There are some very strange margarita flavors, like: Avocado, Cucumber-Jalapeño and Banana-Peanut Butter. These flavors are really popular among people that LOVE those vegetables or the particular sweetness of peanut butter.

The most popular margaritas are: Lime, Strawberry, Pineapple, Mango and Tamarind. You are probably wondering what tamarind is. Well, not only is it my favorite flavor of margarita, but it is also a very common pod-like fruit which is used extensively around the world.


In Mexico, it is used in sauces or sold in various snack forms: candied, in sweet soft clusters, or dried and salted. It is also prepared as a fresh beverage called Agua de Tamarindo, or as a cocktail Margarita de Tamarindo. Often in Mexico tamarind is plucked off the tree and eaten raw.

Tamarind has a sour flavor that goes perfect with either chili or sugar. Make sure that on your next trip to Mexico you try tamarind in the different ways it is prepared.


15 fresh tamarinds

1/3 cup of sugar

3 cups of water

Peel the tamarind pods and put them in a small pot with 3 cups of water. Let them boil for about 15 minutes and add the sugar. Mix it up and let it cool down. When it’s room temperature, get ready to squeeze! Wash your hands thoroughly and get them in the pot, squeezing the tamarind so the seeds pop out and remove them. Pour the seedless mix into a blender and blend until is smooth.  You just finished your home-made tamarind syrup!!! This can often be used for Tamarind water or a Tamarind Margarita.

Tamarind syrup


1 cup of home-made tamarind syrup

4 oz of tequila

4 oz of orange liqueur

2 limes

2 cups of ice

Chili powder or Salt to rim the glasses

Here we are going to make Tamarind Margaritas. Pour 1 cup of your home-made tamarind syrup,  4 oz of tequila, and 4 oz of orange liqueur in the blender , and squeeze in the juice of two limes. Add 2 cups of ice and blend! Your margarita is ready to pour into your glass, but make sure you rim your glass with lime and then with chili powder  (you can subtitute salt for chili powder). Once the glass is ready, pour in the margarita. You can garnish with a slice of lime or jicama if you’d like.

Now you only need to raise your glass and toast in Salsa and Salsa style: Salud, Dinero y mucho mucho Amor!!!

Margarita tamarindo

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