Category Archives: Traditional Mexican Recipes

Chicken Avocado Salad

This recipe for Chicken Avocado Salad was inspired by those delicious oversized chicken tostadas from Mexico. There was this little “hole in the wall” restaurant that my parents would take us to everytime we visited Monterrey. Tostadas de la Siberia were as I said, oversized corn tortilla tostadas loaded with shredded chicken, fresh guacamole,  mexican crema and sometimes served with thinly sliced tomato. Topped with an extra tostada for scooping and pickled jalapeños on the side.  This was my first time trying Cabot Greek style yogurt  in a chicken recipe. I have enjoyed it in various dip and dressing recipes. The flavor profile is very much like sour cream, so I knew it would be great in this recipe. Besides serving it on a tostada, which is the most traditional  way, you could serve this is in a soft warm corn tortilla. It’s dipped in hot oil just to soften the tortilla and then, filled and rolled like a hearty flauta or taquito. The corn tortilla whether soft or crunchy  pairs well with this chicken, avocado  and crema flavors.


Mexican Inspired Chicken Avocado Salad

Chicken Avocado Salad
 4 1/2 to 5 cups cooked chicken, shredded
*I used both breast and thigh meat that was previously cooked  on the grill
3 roma tomatoes, diced, optional, but tasty!
2 avocados, diced or mashed
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons of brine from pickled jalapeños
1/3 to 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 full cup plain Greek yogurt
salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Chicken Avocado Salad


Chicken Avocado Salad~Cabot Greek YogurtDirections

Combine all of the ingredients. Taste for salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve over a salad, with tostadas, soft corn or flour tortilla(wrap), saltines or with crusty rolls. Yields up to 6 to 8 servings.

Chicken Avocado Salad

The image below shows you exactly how it is typically served in the restaurants in Mexico.  If you wanted to serve a more authentic version, use mexican crema instead of yogurt and serve in layers as shown. For easy serving, you could also mix it all together when serving in a potluck or picnic setting.

*Click onto picture to go directly to tripadvisor site.
Picture courtesy of:


Chicken Avocado Salad


Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camaron~ Zesty Shrimp Chilaquiles

If it were up to me, I seriously could eat Chilaquiles everday! Hearty, thick,  homemade corn tortilla chips tossed in a warm salsa and topped with a little crumbled mexican cheese and crema. Simply delicious. They can easily be served any time of day. Top with an over easy egg, instant brunch. Or toss is some shredded chicken, a layer of good melting cheese and you have a tasty and filling lunch or dinner. No need for any sides with this dish because it’s all about the toppings and layers of flavor one can create. So, do I eat Chilaquiles everday? No, I don’t. But that just makes preparing them all the more special. Once  a month, I will fry up a batch of chips and it’s a real treat. Today’s blog post was inpired by some tasty looking spice/seasoning blends I received from DennyMike’s via Cabot Cheese. The first  and only one I have tried so far was the Fintastic Savory Seafood Seasoning Blend. It’s right up my alley with flavors of onion, garlic, sea salt, lemon and lime. It was perfect for the shrimp I added to this plate of Chilaquiles Rojos con Camaron. 

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camaron

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camarones
For Shrimp
18 to 20 large shrimp. peeled and cleaned. Tails on, optional
Kosher salt
1 full tablespoon DennyMikes Finstastic seasoning
Olive oil
1 poblano, julienned
1 red fresno or jalapeño, diced or julienned
2/3 of a  small sweet onion, diced (reserve the other 1/3 for salsa)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Tips~ If you can’t find DennyMike’s blend, use your favorite blend for seafood or simply season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

DennyMike's Fintastic Seasoning


Chipotle Guajillo Salsa Con Tomatillo

Chipotle Guajillo Salsa Con Tomatillo


For Salsa
3 guajillos(dried red chiles)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 sweet onion
5 tomatillos, washed
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo
1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles
1/3 cup cooking liquid
salt to taste

*The picture above was the salsa before I strained it.

Chipotle Guajillo Salsa Con Tomatillo

Tips~ If you have the time, try toasting the chile guajillo for a few minutes on a dry skillet at medium heat. This will add more smoky flavor to your salsa.

You will also need
12 to 14 oz homemade chips (about 20 corn tortillas)
1 recipe for chipotle guajillo salsa, see recipe
1/3 to 1/2 cup mexican crema
1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
chopped cilantro
lime wedges and avocado slices

Chilaquiles Rojos Con CamaronTips~ If you prefer, roast the poblano first to prepare rajas. Bonus flavor!

Totopos- Homemade Tortilla ChipsTips~ I normally bake my chips, but I have discovered that the baked ones get soggy quicker when I prepare chilaquiles. The fried version stays crispy alot longer. Both the fried and baked version of the chips can be found right on site.


1. Season the shrimp lighlty with kosher salt. Add Fintastic seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Cover and let marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

2. While shrimp marinates, prepare salsa. Remove the stems and seeds from chile guajillo. Rinse to wash off any dirt. Place guajillos, tomatillos, garlic and onion in a sauce pan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, add salsa ingredients to the blender. Also add the chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, 1/3 cup coooking liquid and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. If too thick, add a little more water. Strain through a wire strainer to remove and skins left from chiles. Set aside.

3. When ready pull shrimp from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cook time. Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Cook shrimp for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan. To that same pan, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Add the  onion, garlic, poblano and fresno pepper. Season lightly with spice blend or salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add shrimp back in, fresh lime juice and toss to combine. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

4. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium.  When hot, add the salsa from blender and cook for just 2 minutes.  Cover because it will pop all over. Fold in the chips  with warm salsa and coat evenly. Transfer to serving dish, top with shrimp.  Garnish with mexican crema, cotija cheese,  avocado, lime and cilantro. Yields 4 servings.

DennyMike's Fintastic Seafood Seasoning

My better half’s plate…no cheese and noooo to crema! He’s crazy! Lol!

Chilaquiles Rojos con Camarones

Tips~ No Mexican crema? I prepare my version of light crema with light sour cream, lime juice, water and salt to taste. I love it! Can’t find cotija cheese? Try some crumbled light feta, amazing!

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camaron

Chilaquiles Rojos Con Camarones

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork in Banana Leaves

What to do when it’s raining out and you can’t grill? The next best thing is a low and slow roasted meal that fills your whole house with delicious aromas. On today’s blog post, I prepared a bone in pork shoulder/butt that was almost 10 pounds and taking up way too much room in my freezer. I knew going into this that from start to finish, I was looking at a good 14 hours. But I also knew that it would be worth it in the end.  This dish is most commonly known as cochinita pibil, but is also known as cochinita con achiote or puerco pibil. Made popular in the Yucatan Peninsula with it’s signature flavors of sour/bitter orange and distint color from the achiote. The traditional way is to roast a whole suckling pig, but most commonly prepared by home cooks with a pork shoulder/butt roast. The acidity of the sour orange juice helps break down and tenderize what could be a tough cut of meat. The results are this fall off the bone tender shreds of pork just perfect for those warm corn tortillas.  Sour oranges are not easy to come by, so fortunate for me, a few of the local markets carry a ready made sour orange marinade that can be added to freshly toasted spices and achiote that comes pretty close to the real deal. 


Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Butt/Sholder in an Achiote-Sour Orange Sauce

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder/Butt

Cochinita PibilTips~ Instead of the traditional black beans on the side, I chose to serve mine with a roasted beet salad which is delicious when tossed with the rice.


For Marinade
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons mexican oregano
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed chile de arbol or piquin
4 to 5 whole cloves
1 inch piece of mexican cinnamon stick

Toasting Spices for Cochinita Pibil


Preparing Marinade for Cochinita Pibil

Ingredients Continued..

1 1/2 cups Badia Sour Orange
1/3 cup olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 oz. achiote paste, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small sweet onion, chopped
salt to taste (I added 1 1/2  tsps.)

Tips~ If you cannot find the achiote paste, 3 to 4 tablespoons of achiote powder may be substituted. 

Toasted and Ground Spices for Cochinita  Pibil


Marinade/Sauce for Cochinita Pibil




Cochinita Pibil~Achiote, Sour Orange Marinade

Tips~ The Badia brand sour orange is pretty close to using real sour oranges and less expensive than purchasing fresh oranges, lemons and limes that may not always be very juicy. But if you have the good quality produce available, for every orange squeezed, I add 1 lemon or lime.

You will also need
8 to 10 pounds pork shoulder/butt, I trimmed off some of the fat on top
*I used bone in almost 10 pound shoulder
1 pound package of banana leaves
Foil paper
Large roasting pan with lid

Tips~ Before you start, make sure that the pork is not frozen. Bring to room temperature for at least 40 to 50 minutes before cooking.

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder/Butt


1. Combine the first 7 ingredients, dry spices, in a skillet and toast at medium/low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Stirring now and then so they do not burn. Transfer to grinder(coffee grinder) and process until you have a fine ground. Set aside. I have a coffee grinder that I only use for spices.

2. To the blender, add ground spices, sour orange, olive oil, achiote, garlic, onion and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt, set aside. I chose to roast my pork right away instead of marinating overnight. But, that is up to you.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of roasting pan with foil paper, fill with about 6 to 7 cups of water. Season the water with 1 to 2 teaspoon of salt. Place a few layers of banana leaves so that they extend outside of pan on all sides. Place pork, fat side up into pan.  Take a sharp knife and cut one inch slits over the top of roast. Pour marinade/sauce evenly over pork and massage into pork.

4. Cover tightly with any remaining banana leaves. Cover with more foil paper. Cover with lid and place on top rack positioned in the center of oven. Imediately reduce temperature to 225 degrees F. Let roast slowly for the next 8 hours. Check for water level halfway through. After the 8th hour, I raised the heat to 325 degrees F. and roasted for another 4 hours or until it was fall off the bone tender.

5. Remove from oven and let rest for a good hour before serving. After removing bone and extra fat, there was about 5 3/4 pounds of meat. I served what I needed and packaged the rest in 1 pound portions in quart size freezer bags. Don’t forget to label and date. Serve with warm corn tortillas, Mexican rice, black beans, habanero-garlic salsa and pickled red onions.

Cocinita Pibil Wrapped in Banana Leaves


Cochinita Pibil


Cochinita Pibil


Cochinita Pibil

It is traditional to serve cochinita pibil with a roased habanero salsa and pickled red onions


Roasted Garlic-Garlic Salsa

Roasted Habanero-Garlic Salsa

6 to 8 habanero, roasted
2 cloves garlic, roasted
Juice of 5 key limes
1/4 to 1/4 cup water
salt to taste

Remove stems from habanero. Leave skins on the garlic. Roast  all on a comal or nonstick skillet at medium heat for 15 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to blender, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  

Roasted Habanero-Garlic Salsa


Sour Orange Pickled Red Onions

Sour Orange Pickled Red Onions

Tips~ Instead of using more lime, I used some of the leftover sour orange to marinate and quick pickle my onions. I also like adding oregano, chile piquin and fresh green chile. They are all optional. The longer they sit, the more pink in color they will become.

1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, seeded and julienned
1/2 teaspoon chile piquin, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1/3 to 1/2 cup sour orange (Badia brand leftover)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Let marinate for a few hours, stirring now and then.