Food & Recipes

This blog is beginning to look like a stew, a tzimmes, a melange of topics all jumbled up into lots of posts with not a whole lot of organization — or so it seems. Writing about Oaxaca food and posting some easy-to-create recipes is something that is a natural extension of another personal interest that I cultivated years ago when I lived in San Francisco. The blog post, “once I owned a gourmet cookware shop and cooking school,” only touches the surface of foodie-dom. Several lifetimes ago, I cooked only with unsalted butter, sugar, heavy cream, and spent hours in food preparation and taught only classical French cooking in its purest form. My world was incomplete without Calphalon, Henkels, and six different sizes of paring knives. Now, I know better! although in this home kitchen I have embedded a maple chopping block into the counter to make life a little easier as I sweep food debris into the nearby compost container. The neighborhood chickens, ducks and geese just love me. In Oaxaca, the chickens compete for carrot shavings and vegetable scraps alongside the pigs, guacalotes (the local turkey), and other barnyard animalitos. I will fit right in.

There are no written recipes — food is created through family history, women co-mingling together in the kitchen generation after generation, creating mole, tortillas, holiday bread, stewed chicken, soup, hot chocolate, atole. This blog is where you will find these recipes as I meander the villages to record how daily life begins and ends in the kitchen.

Dia de los Muertos Altar

The photo here is the altar table prepared by Eric Chavez Santiago and Elsa Sanchez Diaz for the Dia de los Muertos exhibition they were invited to participate in at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, September 2007. The altar is an offering of traditional Oaxacan foods — pan (bread), chocolate, nuts, and fruits — to sustain the loved ones who return to earth to visit their families each year. This is a perfect example of how food is symbolic of relationship, continuity, and family life … it nurtures, brings us together in life and in death.


15 Responses to Food & Recipes

  1. Can you share or find a queso oaxaca recipe? We used to buy it in AZ where we are from but now we can’t locate it in NC. I’d love to make it homemade!Q

    • Dear DeSoto Family, I have found both queso fresco and quesillo at Mexican markets throughout North Carolina. They are not exactly the same as Oaxaca because the cheese must be sold pasteurized in the U.S. I don’t have a recipe for making Oaxaca cheese. I could look into that. Please tell me if you want the recipe for quesillo (string cheese) or queso fresco (crumbly cheese). Thanks, Norma

  2. You mention blogging about the food you discover on your meanderings, but I don’t see how I access the blog. Please advise.
    Gracias. Frank
    P.S.
    I’ll be in Oaxaca later this month. I know the town quite well but am always on the alert for new places to eat both in the city and in the outskirts. Any suggestions?

    • Hi, Frank, you are on the “blog” for this URL. Just use the keyword search at the top of the right hand column and put in your search terms. It will pull up posts on the topic you are searching for. So, one search term would be “Oaxaca restaurants”. Enjoy your visit to Oaxaca and buen provecho! -Norma

  3. I wondered if you could help me please, my wife and I stayed in Huatulco for a holiday and in a local restaurant we had a shrimp dish with a cheese sause served in a pineapple, I would love to recreate this at home here in England as a special treat for my wife, do you know where I can find the recipe.
    I would very grateful for any help you can give.
    Many thanks
    James

    • James, this dish is not familiar to me. We don’t spend time in Huatulco and prefer the smaller local fishing villages like Mazunte. My suggestion is to contact the hotel concierge where you stayed, describe the dish and ask them if they can provide you with a recipe. Perhaps, if you remember the name of the restaurant they can contact it for you with your question. Or, you can Google the restaurant and contact them directly. You can also contact the blog “Cooking in Mexico” — http://kathleeniscookinginmexico.wordpress.com She may be able to help. I am sorry I cannot give you a better answer. -Norma

    • Hola Norma,
      Thank you for such a nice page. I kind of felt for James that wants the shrimp recipe on a pineapple. I live in Puerto Escondido just one and a half hour from Huatulco and we also have this dish here. I don’t know the recipe but I know that Martha Stewart learned with a Mexican how to assemble the dish. I believe this Mexican chef helped Martha to put this recipe on her page and I would like to pass the recipe to James because I feel he really would like this to have a great dinner with his wife and here is to James;
      http://www.marthastewart.com/332624/roasted-seafood-stuffed-pineapple

      Best wishes to all,
      Ana Quadros.

    • James, take a look at my blog again. Ana Quadros from Puerto Escondido near Huatulco saw your question and found an answer about the pineapple and shrimp recipe. -Norma

    • James, here is the note from Ana.
      Hola Norma,
      Thank you for such a nice page. I kind of felt for James that wants the shrimp recipe on a pineapple. I live in Puerto Escondido just one and a half hour from Huatulco and we also have this dish here. I don’t know the recipe but I know that Martha Stewart learned with a Mexican how to assemble the dish. I believe this Mexican chef helped Martha to put this recipe on her page and I would like to pass the recipe to James because I feel he really would like this to have a great dinner with his wife and here is to James;
      http://www.marthastewart.com/332624/roasted-seafood-stuffed-pineapple

      Best wishes to all,
      Ana Quadros.

  4. You and I share some experiences. I once was in the food business, and now cook in a small kitchen in a small house on the west coast of Mexico. Things have been simplified and we are content. We enjoy living in Mexico and eating well.

    I found you through WordPress tags. I like your blog very much and will be a regular visitor.

    Kathleen

  5. it looks so good and pretty and it is good food

  6. The food in my family is the same–nothing written down, you just know how to make the pie, stew, fried chicken, deviled eggs. It is the same, isn’t it?

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