17 of Rick Martinez’s All-Time Best Recipes (Shrimp Tacos, Chicken Sandwiches & Cookies Galore)

Food52’s Resident Sugar Man Rick Martinez builds a fire time and time again with his twice-monthly recipe and video column, Sweet Heat. While Rick always celebrates the vivid colors and big-time flavor found in Mexican cuisine, today, we’re celebrating…

Food52's Resident Sugar Man Rick Martinez builds a fire time and time again with his twice-monthly recipe and video column, Sweet Heat. While Rick always celebrates the vivid colors and big-time flavor found in Mexican cuisine, today, we're celebrating him because it's his birthday. But instead of birthday cake, we've already got ice cream churning away for Rick's Chocolate-Dipped Concha Ice Cream Sandwiches. His homemade rich vanilla bean ice cream is balanced by a spicy berry sauce and warm chile fudge sauce, which slowly melts the ice cream. "It's like eating a really, really delicious messy burger," says Rick. We can't think of a better birthday treat than that.

And for a speedy weeknight dinner to top it all off? Try your hand at his Shrimp Tacos Dorados, al Pastor-Style, which comes together in just 30 minutes. Or, there's this quick Huevos Rancheros With Chorizo & Porky Refried Beans. Both are packed with gentle heat that will light up any night of the week. Ahead, we're sharing 17 recipes that Rick developed exclusively for Food52. For more delicious content, check out his YouTube playlist, where he demos how to make each of these recipes (and gives us a peek into his beautiful Mazatlán home!).

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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob,…

The post Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

esquites recipe

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob, served in salad form.

Esquites are creamy, tangy, spicy, sweet and savory all at once. In other words, they’re completely irresistible. This elote recipe was the best recipe to come off our grill last summer, and I’m excited to share this stovetop variation with you.

how to make esquites

Esquites share the same ingredients with elote: fresh corn, mayonnaise, cilantro, chili powder, lime and crumbled Cotija cheese. The combination is sublime, and this variation is much easier to eat. I’ve enjoyed both options in Mexico City and love making them at home. I’m going to cook this simple salad all summer and through the rest of the year.

Esquites have one strong cooking advantage over elote—you can start with frozen corn kernels, which really cuts down on preparation time! We’ll just cook the frozen corn in a hot skillet until it’s seared and delicious. If you’re using frozen corn, you can prepare this dish in about twenty minutes, from start to finish.

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The Best Queso

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and…

The post The Best Queso appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best queso recipe

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and utterly irresistible.

This recipe uses a simple secret ingredient—cream cheese—to achieve its gloriously creamy texture and light tang. No flour and no fussy roux required here (as a bonus, this queso is gluten free).

This stovetop queso possesses all of Velveeta’s positive attributes, but it tastes a million times nicer. It even cools down with grace, developing just a slight skin on top that really doesn’t detract from its appeal.

queso ingredients

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need an excuse to eat queso while sipping a margarita. I grew up around a lot of Tex-Mex food and like to consider myself a queso connoisseur. If queso is on the menu, I’ve likely sampled it.

My husband, on the other hand, exercises an impressive amount of restraint when it comes to queso. He tells me he doesn’t like it. (He’s generally a rational man, though I question him in cheese-related matters.) This queso is an exception to his rule. He loves it.

We both agree that this is the best queso we’ve ever had. Try it, and I hope you’ll say the same!

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12 Favorite Taco Recipes

What do you say — tacos tonight? I say yes. ♡ And for those of you happen to be looking for some tasty new taco recipes to try, here are a dozen of our readers’ favorite taco recipes that come highly recommended! Whether you’re looking for some new meat, shrimp or fish tacos to try, […]

Shrimp Tacos

What do you say — tacos tonight?

I say yes. ♡ And for those of you happen to be looking for some tasty new taco recipes to try, here are a dozen of our readers’ favorite taco recipes that come highly recommended!

Whether you’re looking for some new meat, shrimp or fish tacos to try, or really want to add some delicious new vegetarian taco recipes to your repertoire…whether you need some 30-minute tacos that you can whip up in a flash, or prefer slow-cooked taco fillings that can simmer all day in the crockpot…whether you feel like starting the day with some breakfast tacos, trying a lightened-up version of crispy fish tacos, or join the internet’s current obsession of dunking quesatacos in broth…there’s hopefully a little something for everyone on this list. So many great taco recipes to try!

Of course, I also have to recommend that you try making a batch of my favorite homemade flour tortillas or corn tortillas to go with them sometime, which are always guaranteed to take taco night to the next level. And if you’re looking to round out your meal, you can never go wrong with some chips and salsa, guacamole, refried beans, this side salad, and some fun drinks (hello margs, mocktails or aguas frescas) on taco night.

Let’s make some tacos!
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Margaritas

All you need are 3 ingredients to make my favorite margarita recipe!  Instructions included for how to make a single serving margarita or pitcher margaritas for a crowd. Raise your hand if you love a good margarita! ♡ This famously sweet, sour and salty drink will forever and always be my all-time favorite cocktail. But […]

All you need are 3 ingredients to make my favorite margarita recipe!  Instructions included for how to make a single serving margarita or pitcher margaritas for a crowd.

Classic Margarita Recipe in Glass with Lime

Raise your hand if you love a good margarita! ♡

This famously sweet, sour and salty drink will forever and always be my all-time favorite cocktail. But while I adore just about any kind of margarita — frozen or on the rocks, tequila or mezcal, fruity or spicy or fizzy or creamy, you name it — a classic margarita cocktail in my book simply cannot be beat.

By contrast to many of the diluted, super-sweet, and sometimes fizzy huge mugs of margaritas that are often served in restaurants around the world nowadays, a traditional margarita is actually a strong, tart cocktail made with three simple ingredients — good-quality tequila, orange liqueur, and freshly-squeezed lime juice. This simple margarita mix is incredibly quick and easy to make, either for a single serving or a larger batch for a crowd. And it is downright delicious served on the rocks, with or without a salted rim.

I have become quite partial over the years to making margaritas with mezcal instead of tequila, which I highly recommend if you love a good smoky cocktail. And if you feel like spicing your drink up a bit, I’ve also included tips below for how to make a spicy salted rim or muddle a few chile peppers into your drink — so good!

Bottom line, if you love margaritas as much as I do, take a moment to read through my tips below and memorize this simple 3:2:1 ingredient ratio. Then let’s make a round of margaritas together. Cheers!

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Chicken Tinga Tacos

These Chicken Tinga Tacos are made with smoky chipotle chicken, served on warm corn tortillas, and loaded up with your favorite fresh toppings. So flavorful and ready to go in just over 30 minutes! Craving chicken tacos but short on time? Make chicken tinga tacos! ♡ Chicken tinga is has long been one of my […]

These Chicken Tinga Tacos are made with smoky chipotle chicken, served on warm corn tortillas, and loaded up with your favorite fresh toppings. So flavorful and ready to go in just over 30 minutes!

Chicken Tinga Tacos Recipe

Craving chicken tacos but short on time?

Make chicken tinga tacos! ♡

Chicken tinga is has long been one of my go-to recipes to make on busy weeknights or to prep ahead of time for easy entertaining. This traditional dish from Puebla, Mexico with its signature smoky, savory, slightly-spicy sauce is remarkably quick and easy to prepare. And when tossed with shredded chicken, loaded into warm corn tortillas, drizzled with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and sprinkled with your favorite fresh toppings, I’m telling you — these chicken tinga tacos are always a hit.

Feel free to make the chicken tinga however works best for you — either on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot, or in the Crock Pot. And while any tortillas that you happen to have on hand will work here, I can vouch that these tacos are next-level irresistible when made with a batch of these homemade corn tortillas. We just made a batch again the other day and served them with chips and salsa, a simple Mexican-inspired side salad, and margaritas and it was one of the best meals I’ve had all month. Always so good!

So if you’re looking for a new taco recipe to add to your repertoire that’s big on flavor and low on prep time, round up these simple ingredients and let’s make some chicken tinga tacos!

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Mexico’s Most Popular Sandwich Is Also the Easiest Make at Home

On a quiet corner in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, the employees at Tortería Los Güeros, a torta restaurant open since 1974, are going through their opening routine. Genaro Aburto, an owner and torta maker, bends downs to drag a pla…

On a quiet corner in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, the employees at Tortería Los Güeros, a torta restaurant open since 1974, are going through their opening routine. Genaro Aburto, an owner and torta maker, bends downs to drag a plastic tub into view. “Today is the day we make the pickles,” he says, nodding at the mass of mottled red and green jalapeños bobbing in water. “We’ve already got the carrots, onion, and cauliflower cooking.”

Aburto is just one among legions of torta makers in the capital, those dedicated to assembling Mexico’s most popular sandwich. Though tortas have been eaten for more than a century now, wheat consumption was, at first, fiercely resisted. When the Spanish arrived in the early 1500s carrying wheat, they found an entrenched culture of corn that had been in place for more than 2,000 years. The Spanish created smear campaigns to denigrate corn while proselytizing the purity of wheat; when the taste for bread still failed to catch on, they forced indigenous populations to grow and process it. Hundreds of years later, bread has not supplanted the corn tortilla, though it is eaten as sweet pastry in the mornings, served alongside stews for lunch, rolled into tortillas in the north, and used to sandwich cold cuts and proteins in the ubiquitous, pedestrian torta.

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Chicken Tinga

This Chicken Tinga recipe is remarkably quick and easy to make in 30 minutes and tossed with the best smoky, savory, and slightly-sweet tomato sauce. Perfect for serving in tacos, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas and more! With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, the holiday celebrating the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the […]

This Chicken Tinga recipe is remarkably quick and easy to make in 30 minutes and tossed with the best smoky, savory, and slightly-sweet tomato sauce. Perfect for serving in tacos, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas and more!

Chicken Tinga

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, the holiday celebrating the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the First Battle of Puebla, I thought it was the perfect time to share my favorite recipe for one of Puebla’s most famous dishes…

tinga de pollo!

This smoky shredded chicken has long been one of my favorite recipes to make on busy weeknights because it is incredibly quick and easy to whip up and incredibly delicious. If you’re new to tinga, it’s traditionally made with a chipotle tomato sauce that’s seasoned simply with onions, garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaf. But I also like to add in an extra non-traditional ingredient too…honey! It’s not typically added to the authentic chicken tinga that you would find in Puebla, but I find that its floral sweetness adds a delicious contrast to those smoky and savory flavors in the sauce and highly recommend giving it a try sometime if you’d like.

I also love this recipe because it’s easy to make in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, or simply on the stovetop. It’s naturally gluten- and dairy-free. Any leftovers that you might have can also be frozen and reheated easily (and for that reason, I highly recommend making a double batch while you’re at it!). And best of all, this versatile shredded chicken can be used in countless ways. It’s most often traditionally used to make chicken tinga tostadas or chicken tinga tacos. (Stay tuned for my favorite chicken tinga tacos recipe coming later this week!) But you can also use this recipe to make chicken tinga burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, taquitos, salads and more.

So if you are looking for a good chicken tinga recipe to try, here is my favorite way to make it!

Chicken Tinga Tacos (more…)

The 5 Pantry Essentials in My Mexican-American Kitchen

Welcome to Esteban Castillo’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring five staples stocking Esteban’s Mexican-American kitchen.
One of t…

Welcome to Esteban Castillo’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring five staples stocking Esteban’s Mexican-American kitchen.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received came from my mom, when she told me, “Aprende a cocinar una buena olla de frijoles y nunca tendrás hambre,” or, learn how to make a good pot of stovetop beans, and you’ll never be hungry. After she told me this, I realized frijoles de la olla, with pinto beans swimming in a broth with aromatics like onion, cilantro, and garlic, regularly kept me and my siblings fed when our parents couldn’t afford to put anything else on the table. So when I was first learning how to cook, I made sure to follow my mom’s advice: I perfected a pot of beans.

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Homemade Churros Recipe

Homemade Churros Recipe
These churros are soft and tender with a crisp exterior and tons of cinnamon-sugar. Learn how easy it is to make them at home!
READ: Homemade Churros Recipe

A pie pan lined with parchment paper and topped with fresh fried churros.

Homemade Churros Recipe

These churros are soft and tender with a crisp exterior and tons of cinnamon-sugar. Learn how easy it is to make them at home!

READ: Homemade Churros Recipe