Champurrado (Mexican Chocolate Atole)

Champurrado(Mexican Chocolate Atole)

For today’s blog post, I share with you a super easy recipe for preparing a traditional Mexican recipe called champurrado.  Champurrado starts with a Mexican chocolate base. It has cinnamon, piloncillo(natural cane sugar), milk, water and masa harina(corn flour). There are variations on how to prepare it and also the ingredients added could vary as well. Some recipes will add star anise, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. And often, it is prepared with no dairy, just simply water. The key to this simple recipe, is to let it heat up slowly as it thickens. This will also allow the masa harina to cook and for the flavors to develop. I will often prepare this and let it cool. I then store it in my refrugerator to enjoy the next day!  Champurado is often served during dia de los muertos and during the posadas(Christmas celebrations). Serve with your favorite pan dulce(Mexican sweet bread).

Champurrado(Mexican Chocolate Atole)

Champurrado

Yields 4 cups

Ingredients

2 cups milk
2 cups water
3 ounces piloncillo, grated
3.5 ounce disc mexican chocolate, grated
1/3 cup masa harina
1/2 teaspoon Mexican canela, ground

*1/3 teaspoon Mexican vanilla

 

 

Directions

 

Combine all of the ingredients into the blender. Blend on high for 30-40 seconds.

Transfer to a mediun saucepan and heat to medium/low.

After about 8-10 minutes, when champurrado begins to warm up you will need to stir it often. Turn heat up slightly.

As it heats up and becomes thicker, make sure to stir, scraping the bottom. You will get a few small lumps of masa harina, but nothing major. Serve right away.

Tips~ If you would like a thicker champurrado, dissolve 1 tablespoon of masa harina in some water and whisk into the hot champurrado.

 

Champurrado(Mexican Chocolate Atole)

 

 

Champurrado(Mexican Chocolate Atole)

 

Champurrado(Mexican Chocolate Atole)

Camarones a la Diabla (Diablo Shrimp)

Camarones a La Diabla(Diablo Shrimp)

Sometimes, as a food blogger dealing with many recipes, it takes a while to get come full circle with favorite recipes. This recipe for camarones a la diabla, I developed a few years back. I originally served it with rice and corn tortillas. The next time this spicy diablo shrimp became the filling for flaky, baked empanadas! Tasty! Since then, the recipe has varied from time to time depending on which ingredients I had on hand. Many of the traditional recipes for camarones a la diabla include tomato in the blended sauce. I decided that if it’s called diablo shrimp, then it should be a pure chile sauce with no tomatoes. You could certainly add the tomatoes if you like.  Just remember that the tomatoes should be poached or roasted before blending with the dried chiles. There was a time when cooking shrimp terrified me! Not anymore! Especially not since my better half decided he really enjoyed seafood, and yes, spicy seafood too!  I once had a lady comment to me that shrimp was not part of traditional Mexican cooking. That statement could not be further than the truth. Mexico is surrounded by a beautiful gulf of Mexico that is rich in seafood. Growing up with Northern Mexican food, meat and potatoes and more meat! I have some catching up to do! #foodieforlife #camaronesaladiabla

Camarones a La Diabla(Diablo Shrimp)

Camarones a La Diabla(Diablo Shrimp)

Yields 2-4 Servings

 

Ingredients

 

1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned,seasoned w/ salt and pepper, set aside.

6 chile guajillo or chile california, stems and seeds removed

6 chile de arbol, stems and seeds removed

1 large poblano pepper, previously roasted and sliced into thin strips

1 small white  or red onion, sliced into thin strips

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of chicken broth

1/3 tsp. ground cumin

Salt and fresh cracked pepper,olive oil

 

Directions

 

1. In a large bowl, combine the chile guajillo and the chile de arbol, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. While the peppers are softening, prep the rest of your ingredients, set aside.

3. After 30 minutes, drain the peppers and transfer to the blender, add the chicken broth, cumin,salt to taste and a pinch of fresh cracked pepper, blend until smooth. Strain sauce through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl. Set aside.

4. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium/high heat, add the onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the poblanos and shrimp. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the strained sauce and stir well to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat.

5. Serve with rice and a salad, over tostadas, in a corn tortilla…Garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

Note: Roast your poblano pepper in a 400 degree F. oven, drizzled w/ a little oil, on a sheet pan for ten minutes on each side. Remove from oven and cover the pepper w/ a clean kitchen towel to steam for a few minutes.

 

Camarones a La Diabla(Diablo Shrimp)

 

Camarones a La Diabla(Diablo Shrimp)

 

Camarones a La Diabla

 

 

 

Pan de Muerto(Day of the Dead Bread)- Mexican Chocolate

Pan de Muerto

The mornings are brisk and my thoughts imediately go to visions of warm bolillos, conchas or pan de muerto coming out of my oven. But in all honesty, I have been known to bake in the middle of summer just to satify my cravings for fresh pan dulce(sweet bread). I guess it would be different if there were a panaderia(bakery) near to purchase pan de muerto, conchas and bolillos. No such luck! But, that is a blessing in disguise. At least that is the way I see it. The lack of Mexican foods, snacks and baked goods has forced me to learn to develop my own recipes at home. In the long run, it is a good learning experience. Getting back to the day of the dead bread. Dia de los muertos is observed on October31st – November 2nd through out Mexico. In the evening of Oct. 31st, Dia de Los Angelitos, the souls of the departed children are invited to visit the colorful alters set up by family members. Favorite treats and toys are left on the alters for the departed children souls to be welcomed back. The alters are typically filled with pictures, flowers, insense, candles, special paper decorations, water, fruits and nuts and the special bread. Each item having it’s own special significance.  November 1st is Dia de los Muertos or Dia de los Difuntos. On November 2nd, the family make there way to the cemetary. They place special foods, pictures and momentos on the gravesite. Special music is often played to welcome the departed souls. The families celebrate, that on this day, they are reunited with their departed loved ones. #pandemuerto #diadelosmuertos #mexicantraditions

Dia de Los Muertos-Pan de Muerto

Part of the small alter. This blog post includes pictures of pan de muerto I have baked for the past three years. Alway learning something new.

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto-Day of the Dead Bread

Yields 3 loaves
Ingredients 

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1 cup warm water(110-115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons orange blossom water, optional
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
4 cups, plus of bread flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt

You Will Also Need
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
colored sugar crystals, assorted
parchment paper

 


Directions

In a large measuring cup, combine the yeast, agave, warm water and orange blossom water. Stir gently until mostly combined and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Mix in the eggs and zest. Then mix in the yeast/water mixture just until combined.

Combine the flour and salt. Gradually mix in the liquids to the flour until dough begins to form. Transfer to a flat work surface and knead the dough for a good 10 minutes. If dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoons of  flour at a time, until dough is less sticky, but not dry. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

After one hour, transfer dough to flat surface and knead gently for a few seconds. Using a pastry cutter or knife, divide the dough into 4 equal balls.

Working as quick as you can, shape 3 sections of the dough into a ball and place onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Divide the last dough ball into 3 equal pieces. Then divide each piece into three separate pieces. All together, you should have 9 pieces of dough. Shape 3 of the pieces into an oval like shaper to resmble a skull. Set aside. Take the remaining 6 pieces and genlty roll with your fingers onto a flat surface in a cigar shape. As you roll, separate your fingers and apply gently pressure to create the shape of a bone. See the pictures below. 

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with water, set aside.

Lightly brush the loaves with some egg wash and place the bones in a criss cross shape over the tops. Add a little egg wash to center and place the round skull shape in place. Cover loosely and let rise for one more hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If adding colored sugar crystals, brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with desired sugar crystal colors. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Internal temperature of bread should be at least 190 degrees.

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto can be finished three ways. 1. You can simply brush with egg wash and bake.  2. You can brush with melted butter after it bakes and dust with granulated sugar 3. You can brush with egg wash and sprinkles with colored sugar crystals before baking. 

Pan de Muerto

On occasion, I like to add fresh ground canela(cinnamon) and anise seeds to my pan de muerto. It is not traditional, but I do enjoy the flavors.

Pan de Muerto

I need to practic more on shaping the bones, but you get the idea.

Pam de Muerto

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto

Mexican Hot Chocolate

The bread is pan de muerto in a dark chocolate flavor! Use the dark chocolate conchas recipe on site to prepare pan de muerto.

For Mexican Hot Chocolate:

2 cinnamon sticks
2- (3.5 ounce) disc of Mexican Chocolate
1 1/2 -2 liters of milk or water

Heat milk or water with cinnamon sticks at medium heat until right before it comes to a boil. Add the chocolate and stir using a wooden spoon to break up the pieces. If possible, use a wooden molinillo to mix and froth the hot chocolate. Serve right away.  

Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.

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