A Taste of Café de Olla

Mexico

Mexican Coffee
Warm, sweet and spicy, a steaming cup of Café de Olla is a perfect kick start to your day. Traditionally prepared in a clay pot (the Olla), I prefer to serve this spiced coffee in a big cappuccino bowl. Café de Olla (cah-FAY day OY-ah) is sweetened with little cones of rich, dark unrefined sugar called piloncillo which give a delicious burnt-sugar taste to the coffee, and are easily found in Mexican grocers or online at www.mexgrocer.com.

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups water
1/2 cup grated piloncillo (or dark brown sugar)
4 cinnamon sticks
2/3 cup coarse ground dark roast coffee
3 cloves
1/4 tsp anise seed (optional)

Special Equipment:
Fine sieve
Cheesecloth or French press for filtering

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a medium high heat until sugar is dissolved, and bring to a boil.

Stir in coffee and remove from heat. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes.

Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth or pour into French press and push plunger down to filter. Pour into mugs and serve. Sprinkle with anise seed if desired.

Note: This is quite a sweet coffee, so reduce the amount of sugar if you usually drink your coffee unsweetened.

Serve with: Churros or pan dulce (Mexican sweet rolls).

Mexican Churros

Dabble Chef - Churros

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp ground cinnamon

6 tbsp sugar

1 cup water

1/4 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

2 large eggs

Vegetable oil for frying

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine ground cinnamon with 4 tablespoons sugar. Place cinnamon mixture aside.

Combine water, butter, salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until the mixture forms a ball.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat in eggs, until dough is smooth.

Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 3”x 1″ strips onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively, use a knife or scissors to cut the dough.

Fill a deep saucepot with vegetable oil, approximately 3/4 full. Heat oil to a temperature of 300-350F. Using a spoon, place the dough into the oil. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until deep golden brown on each side. Remove churros from the oil using a slotted spoon and let the excess oil drip.

Toss churros in cinnamon mixture immediately after frying. Coat evenly. Repeat until all dough is used. Serve warm.

Makes approximately 3 dozen churros.

A Taste of Oaxacan Tlayuda con Chorizo

Mexico

Mexican Flatbread

Spicy and delightfully crispy, Tlayuda is a popular “antojito” or street snack in the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups canned black beans, drained, liquid reserved

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp ancho chili powder

1 tsp cumin

2 large (12-inch) corn tortillas

1 cup chopped quesillo, queso fresco or feta

1 cup sliced chorizo

1 cup chopped cabbage or iceberg lettuce

1 tomato, cut into wedges

1 avocado, cut into wedges

1 lime to serve, cut into wedges

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450F.

Place drained beans, garlic, onion, chili powder and cumin in a small pan. Cook gently over a medium heat until onion has softened a little. Place drained beans into bowl of food processor along with a little of the reserved liquid. Blend until roughly pureed.

Place tortillas on baking sheet and spread with black bean puree. Sprinkle with cheese, chorizo and bake for about 5 minutes until topping is hot and tortilla is crisp on edges. Top with avocado and tomato. Cut into wedges and serve with lime and fresh salsa.

Serves: 6