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Main Courses/Comidas

Tamale Chepil

25 servings


  • 8 Corn husks
  • 3 C. Water
  • 2 lbs. Masa or 2 lbs. dried maize (masa mix)
  • ½ lb. Asiento (lard)
  • ¼ C. Fresh or dried chepil
  • 1 ½ t. salt or to taste


  1. Cover corn husks in water and soak for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Separate husks into individual leaves and rinse using fresh water.  Put corn husks aside.
  3. Then stir asiento into the masa.  Slowly add water into mixture until the consistency looks like cottage cheese (it is possible that not all water will be used.)
  4. Add chepil and using your hands scrape the wall of the bowl with a scooping motion and press down in the center.  Spread mixture into bottom half of corn husk.
  5. Fold right side of the husk in over the mixture and then the left side in on top of the right.  Then fold the top down.
  6. Place finished tamales fold side down on a steamer for 40 minutes.

Mole Rojo


  • 1.5 cups prepared black mole paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 T lard
  • 3 roasted tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 t cumin
  • 4 avocado leaves
  • 8 mulato chiles
  • 8 pasilla mexicano chiles
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 T sesame seads


  1. Clean the dried chilies with a damp cloth. Open the chilies by making a lengthwise slit down one side of each. Take out the seeds, veins and stems.
  2. Heat 3 T of the lard in a saucepan, and then lightly fry the chilies in it.
  3. In another pan, heat the remaining lard and saute the raisins in it until they puff up and brown a bit. Add sesame seeds and lightly brown.
  4. Roast until browned the tomatoes, onion and garlic on a cast iron frying pan without fat.
  5. Place the spices, tomato mixture, chicken broth, mole paste, chiles, and avocado leaves into the blender. Blend until smooth. Heat entire mixture in large saucepan over low/medium heat until thickened.
  6. Place in bowl. Season with salt to taste. Serve on cooked rice.

Tamale Frijoles

25 servings


  • 50 Avocado leaves
  • 3 C. Pureed black beans
  • 8 Corn husks
  • 2 t. salt or to taste
  • 2 lbs. masa (masa mix)
  • 3 C. water
  • Plastic bag
  • Directions:

Soak corn husks in water for 15-30 minutes.

  1. Separate husks into individual leaves and rinse using fresh water.  Then slowly add water into masa until it forms a moist dough.
  2. Form golf ball size balls of masa dough.
  3. Prepare the tortilla press by cutting the plastic bag at the zipper seam.
  4. Place the seam side of the plastic toward the hinge of the tortilla press.
  5. Place one ball of dough in between the plastic.
  6. Press down and then flip plastic with the tortilla and press again.  Slowly peel off plastic.
  7. With tortilla resting in hand, place about 1 ½ tablespoons of bean puree and an avocado leaf inside the tortilla.  Fold in sides to cover the puree.
  8. Flip the now formed tortilla.  Using the bean puree as a side, put another avocado leaf on the backside.  Place filled tortilla into corn husks.
  9. Proceed to fold sides over filling and the top down.
  10. Place fold side down on a steamer for 40 minutes.



Produces around 3 Cups


  • 2 ½ cups black beans
  • 1 cup reserved bean liquid
  • ½ small yellow onion diced
  • 4 Arbol chilies
  • 3 Avocado leaves
  • 1 garlic clove crushed


  1. Dice yellow onion and garlic clove.
  2. Blend all ingredients together in blender.
  3. Add bean liquid as necessary to achieve cake batter consistency.
  4. Serve as a side dish or use for the inside of tamales.

Sopa de Garbanzo (Chickpea Soup)

4 Servings as main entrée (8 as first course)


  • 2 arbol chilies, halved and deseeded
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 yerba santa leaf
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt, or to taste


  1. In small pot, bring 3 cups of water to boil with yerba santa and onions.
  2. Once brought to boil, add chickpea flour. Adjust to simmer and stir constantly.
  3. Grind chilies with mortar and pestle or food processor with 1/2 cup water until paste.
  4. Add chili paste and bring to low heat.
  5. Add salt.
  6. Serve immediately.

Sopa de Higadito


  • 1 chicken breast, with skin
  • 1 chicken leg, with skin
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • ¼ cup water, plus more to cover chicken


  1. Place chicken in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  1. Heat for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Return the stock to a boil and add onion.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, grind garlic with cumin to form a paste. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if necessary.
  3. Once the paste is formed, add ¼ cup water and pour the mixture through a sieve over the bubbling stock. If needed, force mixture through sieve with a spoon. Add salt.
  4. Place tomatoes in broth and cook for 15 minutes. Remove when soft and set aside to cool.
  5. Return stock to a simmer.
  6. Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk slowly until blended. Quarter and seed tomatoes, leaving core intact.
  7. When the chicken is cool, remove skin and bones and shred meat thinly with fingers. Add chicken to egg mixture and stir to coat.
  8. Slowly pour egg and chicken mixture into stock all at once. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Working from the outside of the pot, gently fold egg mixture into center of the pot, forming a mass of chicken and egg. Continue heating for 10 minutes. You will notice that the eggs coagulate and give the appearance of clumped scrambled eggs. Continuously skim foam from top and discard. Season to taste.
  10. Serve warm with tomatoes on top.
  11. This dish is typically served with a dollop of salsa (recipe below)

Salsa de Ajo (for Sopa de Higadito)


  • 15 dry chiles de arbol, stemmed and seeded
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablesoon water
  • 2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat a griddle on medium high heat and dry-roast the chilies, constantly moving the chilies around the griddle in order to evenly roast. Roast until they are slightly blackened and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Set aside to cool. Remove as much black skin as possible.
  3. Grind the garlic in a mortar and pestle with 1 tablespoon of water to create a paste-like consistency.
  4. Transfer to a blender, adding chilies and rest of water.
  5. Pulse until chilies are paste-like, but not smooth. Add salt.




  • ½ lb dried black beans (soaked overnight)
  • 4 dried chiles de arbol
  • 1½ cups dried corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 sprig pitiona (can be substituted for lemongrass or mint)
  • 6 cups water

Add beans to 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over a medium to high heat and cover. Stir occasionally for one hour then add sprig of pitiona.

Meanwhile, toast the corn kernels on a cast iron skillet or a griddle on low to medium heat, moving constantly (beware, some kernels will pop). Cook until kernels are golden brown and evenly toasted. Remove from heat and place in a food processor. Grind until the kernels are the consistency of corn meal.

Add about a cup of water to the corn and remove the bits of chaff that float to the top with a fine sieve. Add this corn mixture (including the water) to the beans after approximately an hour and a half. At this point, check the beans to see if they are nearing doneness). Remove the stem from the sprig of pitiona but allow the leaves to stay in the pot.

While beans continue to cook, pour boiling water over chilies and allow them to soak for approximately five minutes, or until soft. Remove the stems and seeds and put into a blender with 1 tablespoon of water. Add this salsa mixture to the beans after about 1 hour and 45 minutes of cooking. Rinse blender with another 2-3 Tbsp of water and add this to the beans. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to taste. Cook for another 30 minutes, or until beans are soft and liquid has thickened.

Serve the beans in a bowl with a side of tortillas or quesadillas with salsa.

Sopa de Elote

Makes 5 servings

  • 1 bunch Chepil leaves (approximately 5 cups)
  • 3 Calabacitas (or Zucchini) chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 4-6 squash blossoms
  • 1 cup leaves and vines of squash plant, chopped (if available)
  • 3-4 fresh ears of white corn (3 cups), husked with kernels removed.
  • 1 sprig Chepiche leaves (if available)
  • ½ lb Oaxacan string cheese (quesillo), shredded
  • 1 tablespoon of salt, or to taste
  • 12 cups of water (10 cups for soup, reserve 2 for corn mixture)

Fill a large pot with 10 cups of water, bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the calabacitas, vines, and leaves. Boil for 30 minutes on medium-high heat. To avoid overcooking, take out the calabacitas, and place in separate bowl (these will later be added to each individual bowl of soup).

While boiling, add corn kernels and 1 cup water to blender. Blend until smooth, adding water when necessary.

Add blossoms, chepil, and chepiche to water with calabacitas and cook for 30 minutes. Stir in corn mixture. Boil for 20 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently to prevent corn from collecting at the bottom. Add 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste. Spoon into bowls, adding calabacitas, quesillo, a dollop of salsa verde, and lime juice to taste.

This dish is typically served with the Salsa Verde (see next recipe).

Salsa Verde (for the Sopa de Elote)

  • 9 fresh green chiles de arbol (can substitute for serranos)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Dry roast the chilies until aromatic; avoid scorching the skin. Pour boiling water over chilies and allow them to soak for 5 minutes. Remove any scorched parts of the skin, stems, and seeds (optional: keep seeds for extra heat). Put chilies, garlic, and salt in a blender, adding water to facilitate blending. Serve in a small dish.

Quesadillas con Flor de Calabaza y Epazote

Makes approximately 16 quesadillas


  • 16 squash blossom petals, torn into thirds
  • ¾ cup of epazote leaves, torn in halves
  • ¼ pound of Oaxacan string cheese (quesillo) thinly shredded


  • Instant- Follow instructions for 1 pound of dough OR
  • Homemade- Go to your local tortilla factory and buy 1 pound of dough *(see below for further instructions) OR
  • Premade- Purchase 16 5″ tortillas

Heat griddle on med-high. Place uncooked tortilla on griddle and add a few petals of the squash blossom, a pinch of epazote and a handful of quesillo. Fold tortilla into a half-moon shape and let sit on griddle to let cook and melt cheese. Flip quesadilla. Cook approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until slightly brown.

Nixtamal tortillas

  • 3 Kg dry corn kernels
  • 15 teaspoons cal (slaked lime)
  1. Remove shells from corn.
  2. Place in deep pot or bowl and soak overnight with limestone.
  3. Bring to a molino and grind.
  4. Knead nixtamal.
  5. Form 1 ½ inch balls, slightly flatten by hand, squish in tortilla press.
  6. Gently remove tortilla from plastic and delicately but quickly place it on griddle or cast iron pan.
  7. When it is no longer sticky on the bottom (~1 minute), carefully flip. When it puffs up, remove from griddle and place in a basket in a towel.

Mole Amarillo

  • 10 chilies
  • 1 lb fresh peas
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup dried shrimp
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • ¾ lb yellow masa
  • 10 eggs
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 4 medium or large hierba santa leaves, de-stemmed and cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups water

Pour boiling water over shrimp and let soak for 5 minutes. Remove legs and heads of shrimp. Soak for 5 more minutes with clean water.

Bring 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Cook peas for 15 minutes and drain. Place whole eggs in a pot, cover with water, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

While eggs are cooking, remove seeds and stems from chilies and dry roast over medium heat in a heavy bottom skillet. Roast until aromatic and soft, turning frequently.

Soak chilies in boiling water for 5 minutes. Rinse and place in cold water. Add garlic and cumin to a bowl. Add hierba santa, peas, and shrimp to a large pot and boil.

While cooking, blend chilies with water. Blend into purée. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Blend masa with chilies. Pour into a pot with remaining ingredients and mix. Add 2 tablespoons salt, stirring frequently. Boil for 15 minutes.

Serve in bowl with whole eggs and tortillas on side.