Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Comfort Food Classics: Frijoles de la Olla {Cooked Pinto Beans}

It is said that beans are the most important part of the Mexican diet. If you were to walk into the average home here in Mexico, you would most likely find a batch of cooked beans either on the stove or in the fridge. Frijoles de la Olla (which means beans from the pot) are a staple in every Mexican cocina.

Pinto Beans (Frijoles Pintos) - lacocinadeleslie.com

Frijoles are rich in protein and iron. It's no wonder that bean broth is the first food offered to infants in Mexico. In Mexico, frijoles are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beans are versatile in that they can be prepared in a variety of ways. Frijoles can be used in popular side dishes like in Refried Beans, Frijoles Adobados, and Frijoles Charros, to name a few. But they can also be used as part of a main dish like Bean & Cheese Enchiladas, and Enfrijoladas (enchiladas with a bean sauce). Cooked beans are also great to keep on hand to add to soups and stews. (Some of my favorites include Frijoles Puercos and Pork Chile Colorado.) 

Cooked beans aren't exclusive to Mexican kitchens. I remember my great-grandmother, with whom my dad and I lived with for a short time in Amarillo, cooking a pot of pinto beans about once a week and serving them over a slice of buttered cornbread. (Still one of my favorite ways to eat cooked pinto beans.) 

There are numerous methods on how to cook beans such as soaking the beans overnight, cooking them in a clay pot to enhance their earthy flavor, or adding a couple of epazote leaves to make them easier to digest and less gassy. Like most comfort food classics, there is no wrong way to cook a pot of beans. Every family has their own unique recipe for making Frijoles de la OllaMi abuelito (my grandpa) liked to cook his beans with garlic and patitas de puerco (pigs feet). And my grandmother preferred to add a couple slices of bacon.

My recipe is very simple. All you need is water and dried beans. You can cook the beans in a pot on the stove or you can use a crock pot. (That's how I cooked beans in the States.) Whichever cooking method you choose, I recommend that you don't add the salt until the beans are fully cooked. Once cooked, the beans can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

My bean of choice is frijol tejano (pinto beans), but this method also works for frijol peruano (peruvian beans) and black beans.

One final tip before cooking a pot of beans, that Mexican abuelitas (grandmothers) have passed down for generations is to make sure you are in a good mood while your beans are cooking. According to Mexican folklore if you're mad or upset while cooking beans, the beans will not soften, no matter how long you cook them. I don't know if that's true, but then again having a pot of Frijoles de la Olla cooking away on the stove always puts me in a good mood. 

Frijoles de la Olla
(Cooked Beans)


  • 1 pound peruano or pinto beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Fill a 3-quart stockpot with the 6 cups of water. Bring water to boil over high heat. Sort through beans and remove any rocks. Rinse beans with cold water.

Add beans to boiling water. Cover stockpot and let beans cook for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours until beans are fully cooked. (Add additional water to pot, if necessary.) Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and let simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve with Chile de Molcajete and warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!!!

With Love,
Leslie Limón

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chicken Taquitos (Flautas de Pollo)

When I was a little girl, my grandparents and I would go out to eat every Friday. The restaurants would vary between a Swedish smorgasbord, KFC and a tiny, Mexican restaurant that was only 2 blocks away from where we lived. El Burrito was my favorite! I always ordered the same thing. Not because I was a picky eater, but because I really loved their chicken taquitos served with a side of guacamole.

Chicken taquitos are still a big hit around my house. They're quick, easy and the kiddies love them. I cook two boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. But this is a great recipe to use up any leftover chicken.

Chicken Taquitos (Flautas de Pollo)

  • 1 or 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 12 to 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream

Heat a non-stick skillet, a griddle or a comal over medium-high heat. Warm the corn tortillas on the griddle: wrap in a kitchen towel or aluminum foil to keep warm.

Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken in center of corn tortilla; roll up tightly. (To prevent taquito from unrolling, secure with a toothpick.)

Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place taquitos seam-side down in hot oil. Fry 4 or 5 at a time for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until a light golden brown.

Serve with Guacamole, Sour cream, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans. Enjoy!!!

With Love,
Leslie Limon

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Arroz Poblano {Poblano Rice}

I LOVE rice!  It's one of the few foods that I wouldn't mind eating every day.  Mexican Rice, Sopa de Arroz Blanco (White Rice), Cheesy Rice w/ Broccoli, Rice Pilaf, you name it...I love it!  But my all-time favorite rice dish is Arroz Poblano (Poblano Rice).  Poblano chilies, which are my absolute favorite chilies in the world, offer a wonderful mix of sweet and spicy.  For those of you that can't handle a lot of heat, this is the chile pepper that you should try.

The great thing about my recipe for Arroz Poblano, besides it's incredible flavor, is that it is SO easy to make.  The only "difficult" part is roasting the poblano peppers, but you could also use canned chilies in this recipe.  Roasting peppers is not as difficult as it seems. It's quite easy.  You can toast your chilies on the stove top, using a comal or small skillet, or you could roast them directly over an open flame, or you can pop them into you oven for a few minutes to broil them.  No matter how you choose to roast them, your house is going to smell divine.  So don't be surprised if your neighbors show up unexpectedly to ask what you're making, because very few people can resist such an intoxicating aroma.


Arroz Poblano
(Poblano Rice)


  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/4 or 1/2 cup canned corn kernels
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the chile pepper until the skin begins to blister and turns a dark brown. Turn the pepper until it is evenly roasted on all sides.  Place the pepper in a plastic bag and set aside for 5 minutes. (This causes the pepper to sweat, which makes the skin much easier to remove.)  Peel the blistered skin off of the pepper. Carefully, slice off the top of the pepper. (Cut as close to the stem as possible.) Remove seeds and veins with a spoon. Slice or chop the Poblano chile.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in medium saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and the Poblano chile; saute for 3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels.  Pour the water over the rice. Season with the chicken bouillon and salt. Cover saucepan and bring rice to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!!!


*Note: If your hands come in contact with the seeds, squeeze fresh lemon juice all over your hands; rinse well. If burning sensation continues, apply a paste made with equal parts of baking soda and water, to your hands. Let paste dry, then rinse your hands.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Michelada con Clamato

I'm not much of a beer drinker, but I do enjoy a Michelada every once and awhile. Perfect on a summer afternoon. Micheladas are a great drink to serve at any party.

One thing that I like about Micheladas is that no exact measurements are required. You can add as much of the ingredients that you want. Recipes for Micheladas vary throughout Mexico. This recipe is how Micheladas are prepared in Yahualica and other parts of Jalisco.

Michelada con Clamato


  • Fresh limes
  • 1 Mexican beer, cold
  • Clamato, Kermato or V8
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hot Sauce (Tapatio or Valentina)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ice

Rub a lime along the rim of a tall, chilled glass. Dip rim in salt. Fill glass with ice. Fill the glass half-way with Clamato. Add a few drops of hot sauce, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into glass. Stir ingredients until well combined. Slowly, pour the beer over the Clamato mixture until the glass is full. Enjoy!!!

With Love,
Leslie Limón

Sunday, August 9, 2009


There's nothing like a lazy afternoon to get me in the mood for baking! That and the kiddies insisting on making quesitos. Quesitos are shortbread cookies, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Quesitos' round shape and white color resembles fresh Mexican cheese, thus the name quesito, which means small cheese.



  • 3/4 to 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:In medium bowl, mix together butter, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Stir in flour until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350º F.

On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch round cookie cutter. Using a spatula, carefully pick up rounds and place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 minute on cookie sheet.
Carefully dust cookies with powdered sugar on both sides.


*Note: This recipe yields about 3 dozen cookies. The quesitos seem to disappear before I can count them!

With Love,
Leslie Limon

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Caprichos {Carne Asada Quesadilla/Taco}

What do you get when you cross a taco with a quesadilla? You get a capricho. (Atleast that's what it's called in Jalisco.) It has everything that a Mexican taco has to offer, with the added bonus of melted cheese.

For this recipe, I always use Queso Fresco. It's a fresh, Mexican cheese that is delivered to my door, every Sunday. I realize that queso fresco isn't available everywhere, so use whatever Mexican cheese you like most. This recipe also calls for cooked pinto beans, which is something that I always have on hand. I will post my recipe for cooked beans soon. You can also use canned pinto beans.



  • 1 pound thin-cut steak
  • 12-16 corn tortillas
  • Mexican Cheese
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Red and Green Salsa

In small saucepan, heat pinto beans with bean broth. Set aside.

Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steaks to desired doneness; season with salt. Chop cooked steak into bite-size pieces; set aside.

While steaks are cooking, assemble the quesadillas. Place desired amount of cheese on one corn tortilla; top with another corn tortilla.

When steaks are done, heat quesadillas on skillet until the cheese has melted. Remove quesadillas to plate.

To serve, spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped steak in center of quesadilla. Top with a tablespoon of beans. Garnish with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with red and green salsa. Enjoy!!!

With Love,
Leslie Limón

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mexican Hot Dogs

With the kiddies on summer vacation, I haven't been able to post recipes as often as I would like. I have however, been cooking up a storm, so there will be many recipes coming soon.

This week, the kids have been pretending that they are away at Summer Camp. My dining room has been transformed into a camp site with the chairs and all of the bedspreads as tents. For the first day at camp, the kids requested hot dogs. That's easy enough!

I was introduced to the Mexican way of preparing hot dogs as a newlywed. The hot dog sausages are wrapped in bacon. (Yum!) Then topped with chopped onion, tomato and canned jalapeño peppers. (Double yum!) The recipe is very easy to follow. No measuring required! So, next time you're in the mood for a hot dog, why not try them Mexican-Style!

Mexican Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs 2

Mexican Hot Dogs

  • Pork, Beef or Turkey hot dogs
  • Hot Dog buns
  • Bacon
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped jalapeño peppers (canned not fresh!)
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup

Pierce the hot dogs with a fork 3 or 4 times. Wrap one slice of bacon around each frank. Grill or saute on a griddle until bacon is lightly browned on all sides.

Remove wire twist from the bag of Hot Dog buns.  Microwave the buns in the bag for about 30 to 45 seconds.  Carefully remove buns from plastic bag: cut open buns.  Spread Mexican crema on both halves of the hot dog bun.

Place a bacon-wrapped hot dog in the center of each bun.

Top hot dogs with mustard and ketchup.  Garnish with chopped onion, tomato and jalapeño peppers.  Enjoy!!!

Mexican Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

*Note: Even in Mexico, hot dog sausages are sold in packages of 10 and hot dog buns in packages of 8! Hot dog sausages are also sold in kilos, which is how I prefer to buy them.


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