Cochinita Pibil with Homemade Tortillas
Cochinita Pibil (Pibil Pork) is a traditional brunch enjoyed by everyone on Sunday in Yucatan, Mexico where it's available from small street stands to restaurants. Originally, it's wrapped with banana leaves, buried in a pit, and slow-roasted. It comes with pickled red onion, hot habanero sauce (recommended but up to you!), and homemade tortillas.Browse cuisine
Chile Relleno Con Queso Oaxaca
In this dish, pasilla pepper is roasted and coated with egg, then stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, then served with tomato sauce and rice with vegetables as a side. My mother taught me this recipe when I started to feel interested in cooking, and I still love to make it!Browse cuisine
Mexican cuisine is a blend between Spaniard and local Indigenous roots, techniques, and flavors. At its center, our food is really simple and easy. We love fresh vegetables and fruits, freshly made tortillas, simple ingredients that bring out deep flavors. It’s really important for us to keep the recipes that our mothers, our grandmothers, our families have prepared over generations. Families in Mexico love their recipes, they are passed down from your mamá, your abuela, your ancestors, they cherish them so much that they keep each a secret, so it’s really special. There is a lot of diversity in our country, you have coastal regions and mountainous highlands, you have deserts, and tropics.
"Our people come from all over, we have African-descendants, Indigenous Aztecs and Mayas, descendants of Spaniards and the French. Each has left something, a mark, on our culture and cuisine."
For Mexican families, it’s customary to gather on the weekends, usually Sundays. In our culture, eating is about sharing with others, so one tradition that we have is that we wait for everyone to be seated at the table — even the chefs — before we start eating. Many people think jalapeños are the only peppers that we use, but there are so many varieties, poblanos, serranos, habaneros, guajillos, chile de arbol, anchos.
For me, Cochinita Pibil is a really special dish. It is a Mayan recipe from my mother’s state, the Yucatan. The base is an adobo sauce, which is a tangy, orangey-reddish condiment made with achiote seeds and citrus from lime and naranja agria (bitter orange). You smother the pork shoulder in the adobo and then wrap the entire thing in a banana leaf. The most complicated step in the cooking process is that you have to make a hole in your backyard where you build a small fire — basically creating a natural smoker. You slow-roast for hours and it can feed an entire village.
"A typical Mexican dinner table will have tortillas — either made fresh or bought fresh from the local tortilleria, beans — that have been soaking for hours to reach a thick creamy consistency, and many different types of salsas."
It makes me feel really good doing this here, I never thought that I would have the chance to share the meals from my family, from my country, with people here in the United States. It’s difficult for people to really understand true Mexican cuisine, so I try to keep things simple, focusing on introducing dishes that I learned from my mama and abuela. I am trying to prepare recipes that make people feel something, feel good, feel happy.
In a way, I feel it’s like a tiny bridge between my culture, my city, my places, with my new community here in the U.S. people who maybe are unfamiliar, or curious, or want to try something different. I have received many beautiful reviews from people that came and tried and then said they returned because they loved it. That makes me feel confident.