Category Archives: Antojitos

Botanas y Antojitos~ Favorite Mexican Snacks

 I remember on our many trips to Mexico how I loved visiting my Tia Minerva’s home. She would prepare these great dinners for us. But before the dinner, there was always a table full of botanas and antojitos. There were churritos, durritos, spicy peanuts, pepitas, spicy pumpkin seeds, pork cueritos in escabeche, Mexican cheese, tostadas and a variety of salsas . It was always very festive. I learned to make churritos as a kid, when my dad was testing out batches of homemade corn masa. For many years, he designed and repaired commercial size corn tortillas machinery. This required him to grind and test the masa and he would save out a small portion and prepare churritos for us. He would take an empty tin can and drill holes in the bottom, pipe the masa in and push the churritos out into the hot oil. My dad was fun that way, he was so creative and could figure things out like “Macgyver”  , LOL!  This blog post will be all about some of my favorite antojitos I enjoyed growing up and how you can prepare a homemade version.  

 

Churritos and Durritos. Two popular mexican snacks or antojitos
Churritos and Durritos. Two popular mexican snacks or antojitos


1 1/2 cups warm water or chicken broth
2 teaspoons annatto powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups masa harina
3 cups canola oil
Chile Limon seasoning like homemade or store bought, Tajin brand

 

Masa harina is great for preparing tortillas, tamales and churritos when fresh tortillaria masa in unavailable.
Masa harina is great for preparing tortillas, tamales and churritos when fresh tortillaria masa in unavailable.
I keep a box of diposable pastry bags in my pantry. They come in handy for a variety of recipes.
I keep a box of diposable pastry bags in my pantry. They come in handy for a variety of recipes. Insert pastry bag into tall glass, fold over rim of glass and fill with dough.
You can fry the churritos in one continuous string or cut in into segments with a knife.
You can fry the churritos in one continuous string or cut in into segments with a knife.

 

1. In a bowl, mix the water or broth, annatto powder and salt. Gradually add in the masa harina and mix until dough forms. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

2. Fill a diposable pastry bag with masa and cut off the tip. In a heavy pan, preheat your oil to 350 to 365 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near pan of oil. Now you can pipe in one continous piece of masa or you can pipe in a 2 inch section and quickly cut with knife. I tried both methods and the 2 inch section worked best for me.

3. Fry about 12 to 15 churritos at one time for 4 minutes or until crispy. Drain onto lined baking sheets and season with chile limon powder while they are still warm. Continue frying until they are all done. Cool completely before storing in an airtight storage bag. They will keep for 3 to 5 days at room temperature. Yields about 3 cups.

Durritos

 

Durritos come in a variety of shapes. They have the texture of pork rinds when fried, but are made from flour.
Durritos come in a variety of shapes. They have the texture of pork rinds when fried, but are made from flour.

 

4. The Durritos come premade in a variety of shapes. Only drop a few at a time into hot oil. They fry quickly! Remove from oil and season while they are warm. 

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Pepitas de Calabaza~ Spicy Pumpkin Seeds (In the shell) Recipe

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

 

2 cups cleaned  and rinsed pumpkin seeds (fresh from your pumpkin)
juice of 2 small lemons or limes
2 tablespoons tamarindo concentrate
1/2 teaspoon chile de arbol powder or cayenne pepper
1/3 teaspoon smoked serrano powder or chipotle pepper
3 teaspoons Tajin chile limon powder
Salt to taste

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Spicy Pumpkin Seeds Mixed with Tamarindo Concentrate, Chile Powders, Lemon, Chile Limon and Salt
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds Mixed with Tamarindo Concentrate, Chile Powders, Lemon, Chile Limon and Salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir well and taste for salt. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little more chile limon powder. Bake  in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring and spreading back out evenly every 5 to 6 minutes. Make sure you really watch them those last few minutes or they will burn. They will crisp up as they cool. Cool completely and store in a loose covered container. *Too much moisture may cause them to mold because they are so fresh.

 

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds~ Pepitas de Calabaza

 

Clamatongo estilo Batilongo.

Clamatongo Estilo Batilongo

 

This for me is more like a meal than an antojito. I saw a picture come down the newsfeed on Pinterest one day and I had to investigate!! Come to find out, there is a real place of business named “Batilongo”. You can get a generous cup full of some of your favorite Mexican antojitos. You can choose from a variety fresh fruits, peanuts, tamarindo, churritos and so much more. Lime, chile limon powder and salsa botanera are some of the key ingredients as well. And of course you know I had to add some things I like, chile de arbol powder, jalapeño, fresno and mango enchilado. Made for a super kicked up Bloody Mary!

Clamatongo Estilo Batilongo

Clamatongo Estilo BatilongoTips~ I ordered all of my favorites from MexGrocer out of San Diego. Excellent customer service, product delivered right to your door! 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups clamato, if you don’t like clamato, substitute with spicy V-8
juice of 3 key limes
2 teaspoons chile limon
1 teaspoon chile de arbol powder
2 tablespoons Valentina hot sauce or to taste
salt to taste
1 cup jicama diced
1 cup english cucumber, diced
1 jalapeño, sliced
1 fresno, sliced
1/2 cup japanese peanuts
1/3 cup pulparindo or mango enchilado, diced small
more valentina and salsa chamoy
more chile limon
Adult Antojitos~Add 1/2 cup citrus vodka! Oh Man!

1. In a bowl, combine the clamato, lime juice, 2 teaspoons chile limon, chile de arbol, valentina and salt to taste. Then add in the jicama and cucumbers and hot peppers. Mix, cover and let marinate  for a few hours or overnight.

2. To serve, divide into two  to four dishes with the marinated mixture. Top with japones cocktail peanuts, mango or pulparindo, valentina and chile limon.

 Tips~Clamatongo Cocktail. If adding vodka, add it to the mixture after it marinates and before garnishing.

Clamatongo Estilo Batilongo

 

Clamatongo Estilo Batilongo

 

Recipe for Homemade Chile Limon Seasoning

Homemade Chile Limon Seasoning Prepared with Chile de Arbol
Homemade Chile Limon Seasoning Prepared with Chile de Arbol


2 cups chile de arbol (dried)
2 chipotle peppers (dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons sour salt (citric acid)
Kosher salt to taste (I added about 3 1/2 teaspoons)

 

Citric acid is readily available in large, well stocked markets.
Citric acid/ sour salt  is readily available in large, well stocked markets. It called sour salt, but does not contain sodium.
One of my favorite antojitos is homemade chile limon seasoning on fresh fruit.
One of my favorite antojitos is homemade chile limon seasoning on fresh fruit.

 

1. Remove any stems from dried chiles if they have any. Leave seeds in. Add the dried chiles to a skillet. Heat to medium/low heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning often. You just want the peppers to become slightly aromatic and dry out a little more.

2. In batches, grind the peppers to a coarse grind using a spice grinder or coffee bean grinder. I only use my coffee grinder for spices only.

3. Combine the ground up chiles with sour salt and kosher salt to taste. Keep store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 cup. My favorite way to enjoy the chile limon seasoning is on fresh fruit.

Tips~ I only use my coffee grinder for spices. They are fairly inexpensive, so I would suggest using it only for spices. 

Homemade Chile Limon Seasoning and Fresh Fruit!
Homemade Chile Limon Seasoning and Fresh Fruit!

Fruta Fresca

Fresh fruits, pineapple, watermelon, mango with cucumbers and jicama, lime juice, chile limon powder and hot sauce!

 

Dulce de Leche Churros with Orange Zest & Cinnamon

I must have been a toddler when I had my  first Mexican Churro. Growing up in Los Angeles, every other Sunday we would visit one of our local swap meets or as they are known in Texas, La Pulga (flea markets). The swap meet was where you could find, old and new items, fresh produce and of course those warm and sugary Mexican style churros. We never prepared them at home since they were available in a variety of locations. It really was more of a special treat we looked forward to every time we visited the swap meet.

I am not 100 % sure about this, but I believe the origins  of the churro come from Spain.  Although all of my life, I just knew them as a wonderful Mexican treat. Churros are typically fried and sprinkled with a sugar/cinnamon mix. They can be served simply with a cup of hot chocolate or cafe for dipping during brunch. One of my favorite ways to enjoy churros is the way you will find them in Mexico, filled with cajeta or dulce de leche. For this recipe, the already prepared dulce de leche in incorporated into the dough.
This recipe was adapted from Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, owners of  Border Grill. I have been a long time fan of their cooking shows since their days on Food Network.

Dulce de Leche Churros

Toasting the Flour for Churros

Churro dough after dulce de leche is mixed in

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups water
13 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
1 cup dulce de leche caramel

You will also need
Oil for frying
A pastry bag
A large star tip for pastry bag
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2  more tablespoons cinnamon

Dulce de Leche Churros

 

Directions

1. In a large pot, add the water, butter, brown sugar, orange zest and salt. Bring up to a boil, add all the flour and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Using a wooden spoon stir quickly to form a dough ball. Cook for a few minutes to toast the flour.

2. Remove from heat. If you have a stand mixer, you could transfer now. I left mine right in the pot and used my electric mixer to mix while adding one egg at a time. Mix well after each egg.

3. Scrape down sides, add vanilla and mix well. Finally, add in the dulce de leche. You could transfer the mixture to the refrigerator until you are ready to use. If frying right away, transfer half of the mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

4. In a heavy pot, preheat canola oil (about 4 cups)to 375 degrees F. Now you can make bite size churros, about 2 inches long, or you can make a them up to 5 inches long. Use a small knife to cut off as you carefully drop them into the oil. Fry for about 4 minutes, drain onto baking sheet lined with paper towels. Dredge in cinnamon/sugar mixture while the churros are still warm. The centers will be soft because of the dulce de leche. This recipe yields 8 to 10 servings.

mmmmmm....mmmmmm!!
mmmmmm….mmmmmm!!

Tips~ My best tip when preparing churros is if possible, do not fry them until an hour before serving. If you have to make them ahead of time, let them cool on baking sheet. Cover loosely or they will have a tendency to become humid or moist and that will ruin the crispy texture. When I prepared these, after dipping them in the sugar mixture, I stored them in my cool oven uncovered until the next day.

 

Dulce de Leche Churros