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How to Harvest and Prepare the Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear

These cactus fruits are sweet and delicious, but due to their hair-like thorns, they can be tricky to use.  Find how to pick and prepare this amazing fruit.

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Mexican Food Spotlight10

Yucatan Table Salsa- Xnipec

Thursday April 17, 2014

This salsa is very hot and spicy and should only be eaten by those who are used to extremely hot dishes. Xnipec is made with habanero chiles which give it ridiculous amounts of heat. If you can tolerate the heat it is a delicious sauce that is popular in the Yucatan area of Mexico and is also known as "house sauce" or "table sauce" because it is served at nearly every meal. Kind of like how you find ketchup on every restaurant table in the U.S. or soy sauce on every table in Chinese restaurants. The bitter orange in Xnipec combined with the subtle fruitiness of habaneros is a delicious match and will go deliciously in place of your usual salsa.

Chilled Hibiscus Tea

Monday April 14, 2014

Hibiscus TeaAs spring is in full swing and the flowers are blooming, cool and refreshing drinks are replacing the warm and cozy beverages of winter. And what better way to enjoy the flowers blooming around you then to enjoy a drink made from them.

Jamaica Agua Fresca or "Hibiscus Tea" is a perfect springtime beverage that can be enjoyed hot or cold, though I prefer it cold. It is similar in color and flavor to cranberry juice and is full of vitamin C. You may actually have hibiscus growing in your yard somewhere... but just enjoy the blooms as they are. In order to make them into a drink, you need to buy dried hibiscus flowers also known as "Jamaica" (say huh-MY-ih-kuh.) Read the recipe here.

Achiote (Annato)

Friday April 11, 2014

Achiote Seeds (Annatto Seeds)

Achiote trees (also known as annatto) grow abundantly in tropical locations. These trees produce pretty flowers as well as seed pods in which you will find a bright red pulp as well as red seeds. It is these seeds that are used to make a paste which in turn, flavors many Mexican dishes. Because of it's bright red color, achiote is also used as a natural dye for cheese, butter and cosmetics. Just look for "annato" in the ingredients. Achiote Paste can be used as a delicious marinade for chicken or pork and it is fairly easy to make. Pick up some achiote (seeds) next time you're in the market for a unique and earthy flavor.

Guide to Red Chiles

Monday April 7, 2014

Dried Red Chiles

There are thousands of types of red chiles, but some are more popular than others. Here is a quick guide to some of the most common red chiles with a description and photo of each one. Use this guide whenever you are selecting red chiles for a recipe.

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