Vegan Tortas and Pambazos
Mushroom and Spinach Torta
Here's another torta recipe: meaty mushrooms and sautéed spinach take the place of the eggplant, making for a sandwich that's different but no less satisfying that the eggplant pambazo.
Chorizo, Pork, and Poblano Sandwich
Crisp Spanish chorizo, bright poblano peppers, garlic and smoked paprika ground pork, toasted bread, mayonnaise, and crumbles of milky queso fresco end up making a delicious and deeply satisfying, if messy sandwich.
Grilled Mexican Chorizo with Tomato-Caper Sauce
Spicy and tart Mexican chorizo (not to be confused with dry-cured raw Spanish chorizo) gets simmered in a tangy tomato sauce punched up with capers, olives, and a handful of cilantro in this recipe.
This chorizo skips the mild paprika and goes all in with a ton of ancho chile powder—a medium-spicy powder made of dried poblano chilies. To that, salt, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, cloves, and cider vinegar are added, making for a wildly juicy and spicy sausage.
Chicken with Tomatillo and Red Chile Sauce
Piloncillo takes extremely well to spicy sauces flavored with dried chiles, as well as to the juicy tartness of tomatillos. This is adaptable for recipes like tacos, enchiladas, and chilaquiles. Feel free to use it with or separately from the chicken that braises in it (the recipes makes extra sauce, which can be frozen and used later).
Clams with Tequila and Chorizo
This is simultaneously spicy and meaty, briny and fresh, and brightened with the flavors of tequila and lime. The liquid from the cooking clams mix with the chorizo and the tequila to make a sauce that utilizes every bit of the cooked chorizo bits and the saltiness from the clams.
Huevos rancheros—ranch-style eggs—are one of Mexico's most instantly recognizable breakfast dishes: a pair of fried eggs topped with a thick layer of spicy tomato sauce. It's a dish easy enough to make for breakfast, and hearty enough to eat for dinner.
Mexican Roadside Chicken with Green Onions
After a 45-minute cook over indirect heat, a picture-perfect, mahogany-skinned bird is revealed. The feast for the eyes quickly gives way to its succulent flavors—an earthy and acidic combination enlivened by the chicken's juiciness, all of which pairs very nicely with the green onion and tomatillo salsa accompaniments.
Grilled Tequila Chicken and Hatch Chili Quesadillas
Roasted Hatch chiles have a nice bit of spicy heat to them (though some Hatch varietals can range from mild to very hot). Hatches are also bittersweet, grassy, and smoky and have an overall flavor (some say) that are unlike any other chile pepper. However, it is not yet Hatch season, so feel free to substitute Anaheim or Poblano peppers instead.
Tomatillo Chicken Quesadillas
Quesadillas are about a versatile a dish as you can get, and this version has tomatillo salsa, shreds of cilantro-simmered chicken, and Monterey Jack cheese, cooked just long enough in the pan to crisp up the tortillas and melt the cheese.
Roast Turkey and Black Bean Quesadilla
Quesadillas need a good mix of something hearty, something cheesy, and something pickled to keep them in the delicate balance of crispy deliciousness. This is a recipe made from Thanksgiving leftovers, but feel free to substitute any other poultry you may have around.
Vegan Sopes with Refried Beans and Salsa Verde
The key to really satisfying vegan fare is to make sure you hit a whole bunch of textural highs and lows, and offer some sort of dense, fat-and-protein-based food to fill you up. In this case, we get the crispy fried sope shells, followed by a rich and creamy layer of refried beans, a drizzle of hot and tangy salsa verde, crunchy toasted pepitas, and a fresh sprinkle of onions, jalapeños, and cilantro.
Spicy, Smoked Bean Cakes with Lime Slaw and Charred Avocado
These hearty, hit-the-spot, Tex-Mex vegan cakes are a cinch to make. Toss green onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, and cilantro into the food processor along with black beans, kidney beans, and a good kick of chipotle, and blend up. Bake the patties with a bit of olive oil until they're fried-crispy, and serve on a bed of spicy, fresh lime slaw. The avocado is rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, then seared in a hot skillet for a few seconds to make it extra smoky and soft.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilaquiles
Tortillas are crisped in a warm oven, then crumbled into manageable pieces before getting layered in a baking dish with some homemade red salsa, shredded cheese, and a mix of vegetables—a sort of Mexican lasagna, if you will.
Chilaquiles with Pepitas, Charred Corn, and Black Beans
Chilaquiles are a classic Mexican breakfast dish that can be pretty aptly described as a fried tortilla casserole. This recipe combines black beans with charred corn, along with a few slices of avocado and a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds for a meal that's not only balanced in carbs, protein, and high in good green vegetables, but is crazy delicious to boot.
Rick Bayless' enchiladas call for roasted vegetables in place of the usual shredded chicken. The veggie assortment turns sweet and caramelized in the oven, acting as the perfect balance to the spicy, acidic, and creamy sauce.
Enfrijoladas are a Mexican dish made of corn tortillas dipped in a rich and velvety black bean sauce. Simple but intensely flavorful and filling, the beans are fortified with dried (and reconstituted) chiles and aromatics.
Stewed chicken is rolled up in a tortilla and fried, making for a crispy main that get's served up with crunchy lettuce, radish, and a dollop of guacamole.
A short half hour marinade packs the chicken with the unmistakable flavors of lime and cilantro, and the grill gives it a nice slight-crisp crust that held the sugar and cumin portion. Quick, easy, and full of flavor, these fajitas are deserving of a high position on any Cinco de Mayo menu.
Chiles en Nogada
Everyone knows about chiles rellenños, but there is another stuffed poblano dish from the Puebla region of Mexico that is equally delicious, and a little less heavy. Chiles en Nogada—"nogada" refers to the creamy walnut sauce poured over everything—uses a poblano pepper that is charred and skinned, carefully deseeded, and filled with an unusual, delicious mixture of ground meat, fruit, and spices.
Grilled Chorizo-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
These stuffed poblanos really build upon the awesomeness of the chorizo. The filling is a complex mixture that spread across a gamut of flavors and textures: fresh, tangy, creamy, spicy, cheesy, meaty, and more. The poblanos are instrumental in grounding all of these flavors, providing a base for the stuffing both structurally and flavor-wise.