Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Food Spotlight: Guadalajara Mexico!

My parents, sister and I took a trip to Guadalajara to meet my sister's boyfriend Jaime's family. It was a wonderful vacation filled with good people, warm sunshine, bustling markets and fabulous food. Jaime's family truly enjoys good food, and they are amazing cooks! Here is a snapshot of some of the best things I ate. I am planning to incorporate many of these ideas into my recipe collection, so be on the lookout!

Fresh salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, shredded carrot and kiwi. I loved the addition of the kiwi, its sweetness and texture combined with the creamy avocado and other fresh ingredients made dressing unnecessary!

Chicken Mole, served with rice. Mole is a Mexican specialty that I had never tried. It has lots of ingredients, including chocolate, and its depth of flavor is unforgettable. It is rich and succulent, and I can't wait to have it again!

Refried Beans with Mexican Queso. Did I really used to eat these out of a can? After having the homemade variety I don't think I can ever reach for that can again. Making them involves soaking the beans overnight, heating a skillet of oil and seasonings, then pouring in the beans, boiling them, and mashing them. Work? Yes. Worth it? YES!

Fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast. I have never tasted fruit or juice so good. I usually find melon bland and unappealing and oranges too acidic, but the fresh, ripe fruit enjoyed here was so moist and flavorful that it was unrecognizable. It's so easy to eat healthy when fruits and veggies are this flavorful!

Huevos Rancheros (front), Huevos Mexicanos (back left), and Chilaquiles (back right- more on these later). How could I have ever been satisfied with a bowl of cereal or frozen waffles for breakfast? This is breakfast! Farm fresh eggs with veggies and spices served with fresh tortillas and beans. So satisfying!

Micheladas- Sounds weird, tastes good! A large glass of ice cold beer with ice cubes, lots of lime juice, a dash of tomato juice and salt on the rim. SO refreshing on a hot afternoon!

Jaime's mom taught me how to make Chilaquiles, a Mexican breakfast specialty.  (The pan in the back is oil with sizzling peppers, onions and chillies, which are pulled out and the oil is used for the refried beans. Yum!)

1. Start with chopped up tortillas and cook them in vegetable oil until they soften and just barely begin to get crisp.

2. Once the tortillas are ready crack six eggs into the pan and stir while the eggs cook. Then pour in tomato sauce, made by blending fresh tomatoes and onions with salt.Cook the mixture for 10 minutes or so to combine flavors and reduce slightly.

3. Then add lots of crema! Crema is a Mexican cream that has the texture of sour cream without the sourness. I'm sure sour cream would work well here too!

Chilaquiles con frijoles... NOW THAT'S BREAKFAST!!

We had lunch at a Mexican "food court" in Tequila where little stands sold every type of local food imaginable. Here is Carne Asada with both pork and beef, topped with lots of fresh melted Mexican queso.

Torta Ahogado, meaning "drowned sandwich" is amazing French-style bread loaded with pulled meat and drowned in a rich red sauce. Delish!

Chicken Enchiladas as God intended. Fresh homemade corn tortillas wrapped around shredded chicken and smothered in a flavorful red sauce. Topped with lettuce, onions and fresh queso.

Sopes! Fried tortillas topped with refried beans, red sauce and fresh veggies and cheese. So fun and delicious to eat with your hands!

We enjoyed these amazing sandwiches for breakfast. The bread and flavorful meats were complimented with creamy sauces and fresh veggies. A wonderful and totally satisfying handful!

My strawberry smoothie, shown here with chocolate milk, was one of the best things I had all trip. The fresh strawberries were blended with yogurt and topped with fresh cinnamon. I don't have the words to describe how amazing this tasted!

Jaime's uncle grilled Carne Asada- thin strips of beef seasoned with salt and lime juice and wrapped in tortillas with fresh pico de gallo.

I make guacamole frequently and always thought it was pretty good... That is until I tasted Jaime's mom's. Her simple recipe is a testament to the value of fresh, ripe ingredients. This guac contains nothing but avocado, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, salt and lime juice. Heaven!!

I hope you enjoyed this visit to Guadalajara through the food! I know I will never forget it, and am so excited about all of the culinary inspiration it provided. Muchas gracias a la familia de Jaime por un viaje fabuloso! Te amo!


  1. mmmm delicioso! the food sure was great and I am so happy you enjoyed it so much, I knew you would! And I have a feeling that I am going to be making many of my own micheladas once the weather starts heating up...Salud!

  2. I am now officially starving. I especially want that guacamole and the huevos rancheros. Will have to eat Mexican this weekend but don't think it will be like what you had!