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Naturally Light Mexican Food

Spiced Fish Hash from Veracruz (Minilla)

Spiced Fish Hash from Veracruz (Minilla)

Photo by Joaquin Martinez For some strange reason until very recently people did not associate fish dishes with Mexican food. Nothing could be further from the truth. Except for the north,  the whole country is surrounded by water but it…

Shredded Beef Salad with Chipotle Dressing

Shredded Beef Salad with Chipotle Dressing

SALPICON DE RES   Shredded Beef Salad     Salpicon is not exactly a precise term. Depending on the context, it can refer to different kinds of hash or salad. In the Ciudad Juarez-El Paso border area where I began…

Scallops with roasted garlic and toasted almonds

Scallops with roasted garlic and toasted almonds

    On April 6, 1983,  I drove into New York City in my beat-up Ford van with a big Zarela Cetering sign emblazoned on the sides. Because it was a cargo van with no regular seats, my seven-year old…

Grilled Octopus (Pulpo a las Brasas)

Grilled Octopus (Pulpo a las Brasas)

      This was the  octopus I made last night.  It looked great but was not perfect. I must admit that my experiment of broiling the octopus instead of grilling as specified in the recipe was not a total…

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

  Camarones al Ajillo Garlicky Stir-Fried Shrimp   This is an ubiquitous dish in Veracruz and Cuba as well as Spain (where it is called “gambas al ajillo”).  I have eaten and loved many versions, but I think my all-time…

Chilaquiles (Tortilla Casserole)

Chilaquiles (Tortilla Casserole)

Photo by Michael Sofronski , www.michaelsofronski.com   In Mexico, chilaquiles are eaten for breakfast. I used to make them as a brunch dish at home. But at Zarela, they became our most popular luncheon and dinner appetizer, which I suppose…

Shrimp Salad (Ensalada de Camaron)

Shrimp Salad (Ensalada de Camaron)

Photo by Sophia Villarreal This recipe hails from Veracruz and is quick, easy, light and versatile. Ensalada de Camarón Shrimp Salad     In dishes like this garnished with raw onion, I really value the freshness of Mexican onions,     Use…

Wilted Spinach (Espinacas)

Wilted Spinach (Espinacas)

    This dish always brings back memories of the wild greens that we gathered to cook on the ranch. We called them quelites, a name applied in Mexico to various sorts of leafy green plants. Our quelites always grew…

Chicken with Mango Salad- Ensalada Girasol

Chicken with Mango Salad- Ensalada Girasol

    I’ve been wanting to put this recipe up for years but I had not photographed it.  I did not do it when I had the  huge garden and multiple barbecue ovens and such, and now I live in…