Chiles en Nogada

By Jessica Toledo - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

By Jessica Toledo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

As I mentioned on our “About” page, the original cookbook never made it into print. At the time the marriage dissolved, one important recipe was still pending, as we were having trouble convincing the family to invest the time necessary for making this complicated dish and allowing us to do all the measuring.

Since it never happened, I’ll point you instead to a very authentic version on The Mija Chronicles blog.

Lengua de Res

Lengua1 beef tongue
2 cloves garlic
1 T. salt

Boil tongue, salt and garlic in water until tender, about 3 hours. When done, drain and let cool. Peel outer skin layer off and discard, and slice meat. This is another excellent taco option in flour tortillas with salsa.

Lengua Lampreada

Sliced cooked tongue
5 eggs
Oil for frying

Separate eggs and beat yolks with whisk until fluffy. Beat white with electric mixer until stiff and fold into yolks. Coat tongue with flour and then dip in egg batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Lengua en Salsa (top photo)

1 beef tongue
2 cloves garlic
1 T. salt
1 large bell pepper, sliced
2 T. chopped onion
1 T. olive oil
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 chopped jalapeño
1 c. liquid from cooked tongue

Boil tongue, salt and garlic in water until tender, about 3 hours. When done, drain (reserving 1 cup liquid) and let cool. Peel outer skin layer off and discard, and slice meat.
Lightly brown onion and bell pepper in oil in large skillet. Add remaining ingredients and the sliced tongue. Simmer covered until pepper is tender.

Filetes a la Tampiqueña

Filetes a la Tampiquena4 (8-10 oz.) flank steaks
2 T. olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
2 large bell peppers, cut in thin strips
1 large onion, cut in rings
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. water

Tenderize (pound) steaks and fry in oil in skillet until done. Remove steaks from pan and keep warm. Add remaining ingredients to oil and simmer 15 minutes (I actually had to cook the sauce 25 minutes to reduce the liquid down enough). Pour sauce over steaks (may be served over Arroz or white rice, if desired) and serve.


Arroz con Carne

Arroz con CarneServes 8
2 T. chopped onion
2 T. chopped celery
2 T. minced parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T. butter
2 lbs. cubed round steak
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
2 T. flour
2 c. beef stock
½ c. raisins

Saute onion, celery, parsley and garlic in butter until golden brown. Add steak and brown. Stir in salt, pepper, flour*, beef stock and raisins. Simmer covered one hour. Stir into the cooked rice and serve.

*I prefer to take ½ c. of the stock and mix into the flour separately to make a roux before adding it to the pan.


BurritosFlour tortillas
Refried beans
Grated cheese (longhorn, cheddar or colby)
Oil for frying*
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomato

Make your own tortillas or use the large commercial ones especially for burritos. Fill heated tortillas with beans, picadillo and cheese. Fold ends in and roll to close. Fry in oil until crisp.* Drain on paper towels. Garnish with lettuce, tomato and salsa on the side.

*For a healthier option (and the one most common today), skip the frying and eat burritos after rolling, putting lettuce, tomato and salsa inside.

**I used Picadillo I, omitting the nuts and raisins.

Filetes Compuestos

Filetes compuestos6 ¼-inch thick beef filets (flank steak or well-pounded round steak)
2 T. lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
1 t. marjoram or oregano
½ t. thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ c. grated cheddar cheese
18 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
¼ c. sliced bell or Italian sweet peppers
6 slices toast

Sprinkle filets with lemon juice and let stand 10 minutes. Fry in oil until brown. Mix marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle on steaks. Place each steak on a slice of toast in a pan, sprinkle with cheese, olives and peppers and place under broiler 1-2 minutes to melt cheese.


Turcos                                Makes 10
2 c. flour
¾ c. shortening
1 t. salt
4-5 T. cold water
1 t. comino
½ t. peppercorns
¾ t. oregano
Heaping ½ t. garlic powder
3½ t. chili powder
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. vinegar
1 lb. pork steak or beef round steak (pork is juicier)
Salt to taste

Combine flour, shortening, salt and water to make dough and refrigerate 1 hour.

Grind comino and peppercorns in molcajete and mix well with oregano, garlic, chili powder, water and vinegar in shallow pan. Pound steak well and marinate in vinegar mixture for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake meat 45 minutes, turning once. When done, remove from sauce and shred. Salt to taste.

Turn oven up to 400 degrees. Hand pat dough into 4-inch circles. Place filling in center. Fold circles in half and crimp edges. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 30 minutes.

Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2-3 medium zucchini or yellow squash (or a mix of both), sliced
1 small head cabbage, cored and cut in eighths
2 ears corn, halved
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
1½-2 lbs. beef hind shank with bone
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime wedges

Fill large soup pot half full of water. Add all ingredients except lime; add more water if needed to cover. Cook covered over medium heat until vegetables are tender, approximately 2 hours.

Serve hot with tortillas and Mexican rice on the side. Squeeze lime over soup to taste.

Frito Pie

Frito Pie is very difficult to photograph, but I tried to show the layers in this shot.

Frito PieServes 3-4
3 c. Chili con Carne
1 large onion, chopped
2 c. grated cheese (longhorn, cheddar or colby)
1 (7 oz.) bag Fritos corn chips

In greased 1½-quart casserole, layer chips, chili, onion and cheese. Repeat until ingredients are used up, ending with cheese on top. Cover and bake in 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Chili con Carne

In The New York Times of November 5, 1980, food critic Craig Claiborne said he “…would travel—ha[s] traveled—several hundred miles by air, by rail, by Land Rover and by foot in search of the perfect bowl of chili con carne.” He added that he had made hundreds of batches of chili and eaten chilies “of all makes and persuasions.” Even 35 years later, I think he perfectly captured the quest of the “chilihead.”

Just as anything can be put in a tortilla to make a taco, anything can be put into a chili pot to make chili con carne. Chili cook-offs held around the country add new recipes to the chili canon on a regular basis. Many purists insist that true chili does not contain beans, but my belief is that the cook should do whatever individual taste and budget dictate. Start with one of the recipes below and make it your own.

Chili con CarneServes 6
2 lbs. ground beef or cubed stew meat
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. comino
1 t. oregano
2 c. tomato sauce
5 c. water
Salt to taste
3 t. powdered chile ancho
3 t. powdered chile pasilla
2 c. cooked pinto beans (optional)

Brown meat in pot. Add onion and garlic and fry until golden. Drain off half the grease, if desired. Grind comino in molcajete and add to meat. Add in oregano, tomato sauce, water and salt; add chile powders slowly, mixing well.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 1 hour. Add in the beans during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. For thicker chili, add 3 T. of flour during the last 5 minutes.

Chili con Carne de Puerco

Serves 4-5
1½ lb. pork, cubed
2 T. flour
2 T. chili powder
1½ t. salt
½ t. pepper
1 t. comino
2 cloves garlic
2 c. red chile salsa or tomato sauce
3 c. water

Heat meat in pot and drain off grease. Add in flower and chili powder, stirring well. Cook over medium heat until pork is well browned. Grind comino and garlic in molcajete and add to meat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 1½-2 hours.

Red Chile Salsa

5 T. powdered chile ancho (or chili powder)
3 c. water
2 t. salt
1 T. shortening
1½ t. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. flour

Combine chile powder and water and let sit for at least an hour.

In large saucepan, heat shortening and oil over low heat. Grind garlic in molcajete and add to saucepan. Add flour and brown lightly. Add in chile mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Here are some published chili recipe examples. One well known recipe is called Amarillo Chili.

Lone Star post card

Here’s the recipe Craig Claiborne traveled to taste back in 1980, created by Milton Hernandez of Palmyra, Pa.:

Hernandez chili