Taco/Quesadilla Al Pastor by Jose Olivia

This last Valentine’s Day I had the privilege of introducing my girlfriend to tacos and quesadillas al pastor. My girlfriend and I both grew up in the Midwest when we were in high school, but unlike me she was not exposed to very many authentic Mexican foods, so the experience would be very special because she would be trying something new to her taste buds. The night of Valentine’s Day we had pre-prepared the meat in my kitchen and I taught her how this style of meat is very different from other meats that are normally in tacos and quesadillas. I also explained how in Mexico and here in Texas families work very hard selling food to people from carts to big food trucks. She was very intrigued by what our tacos and quesadillas would taste like. I decided to introduce her to this variation of the two dishes because I have always had very special and dear memories attached to eating tacos al pastor with guacamole, cilantro, and pico de gallo. These memories are often linked to times with family gatherings and celebrations where we would converse and laugh. Quesadillas themselves have always been big amongst my family members especially when we want to make something fast and simple, but when we have the time, we indulge by putting al pastor in our quesadillas. Tacos/quesadillas al pastor do not really hold any specific meaning to my family or our culture, but like most Mexican families, we love our food and we get more joy when we share something we love with the people we love. So for me, to share this dish with my girlfriend on valentine’s day, for me, held a deeper meaning. To me I felt like I was sharing a piece of my heart and culture with her, which means much more than chocolates and flowers.

Bow Tie Pasta by Nayla Hernandez

For my final food blog, I have a dish in mind that calls for yet another simple recipe. This dish is quite common and can be made to accompany a variety of different foods, or you can simply just have it on its own. The dish is known as bow tie pasta. Usually, my mother, grandmother, aunts, godmother, and I make this cold based pasta for certain familial occasions such as baby showers, bridal showers, and birthday parties. We take it as a potluck dish. I do not think that I will ever get tired of expressing how much I love cooking with my family. It is a hobby that binds us together in many different ways. This dish, like the other ones that I have mentioned in previous food blogs, and in my opinion, is delicious, and by far one of my favorites. One can appreciate how pretty and colorful it turns out, due to all the fresh vegetables it requires to prepare it. This dish will leave you wanting more even after the first and second servings.
1 box of bow-tie pasta
1 bottle of Italian dressing 16oz
1 tbls of grated parmesan cheese
1 tbls of poppy seeds
2 tsps of salt
1 tsps of paprika
Half a tspn of minced garlic
Half a tspn of black pepper
Half a tspn of red crushed pepper
1 whole cucumber
1 red onion
2 whole tomatoes

My Moms Green Chili Enchilada by Serica Jacquez

I have never really been a fan of green chili, as a matter of fact I hate green chili. However, the only time I like green chili is when my mom makes her famous green chili enchiladas. Her enchiladas are by far the best I have ever had. I have had my grandmas and they just aren’t the same. Making enchiladas is a process. You have to fry the corn tortillas, chop up the green chili and mix in with cream of mushrooms, and you also have to make the chicken. After all this is done you then have to put it into a 13 by 9 in pan and then layer tortillas, chicken, green chili sauce, and cheese. Finally you have to put it into the oven to melt the cheese. My mom loves to cook therefore this meal is not hard for her at all. I love when my mom makes her favorite meals because they turn into my favorite meals.

MAma’s Chile Relleno by Amy Puente

This is one of my absolute favorites that my mom makes. It is such an easy and simple food to make but it’s amazing! It is just a poblano pepper filled with tons of monterey jack cheese and fried in an egg coating. She usually makes it as a snack for the two of us when we are able to take time out of our busy lives to just have a snack and conversation. I truly value the time that I spend with my mother and her advice and guidance is so important to me. I am graduating in December and recently got engaged so I will be moving to Ohio early next year. I am so sad that I will be leaving San Antonio where all of my family lives. I really hope that my mother and I enjoy many more conversations while sharing our favorite snack over the remainder of this year. However, I am also excited to make chiles rellenos for my future husband and for myself as a reminder of my South Texas roots. I am definitely going to be that daughter that calls her mother all the time just because!page-0

Discada by Nayla Hernandez

After cooking and growing up eating Mexican food, I very well know that most recipes are on the simpler side of ingredient count. There is one that is so extensive, I personally only make it on special occasions. The dish I am talking about is called a “Discada”. I know that there are several different versions, but the recipe I use is one that I got from my godmother. The discada includes five different types of meat, and those are sausage, pork, shrimp, steak (beef), and chicken. The recipe also calls for a variety of vegetables ranging from green peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and jalapenos. Essentially it is a stew and takes about an hour and a half to cook. This dish is great by itself, but I like to pair it with a bed of steamed white rice to balance all the hearty meats. Like most Mexican dishes, my family also likes to have this with a side of corn tortillas, nice and toasted, to scoop up the food.

Pork and Cabbage Steam by Nayla Hernandez

For this food blog, I want to write about a dish that my mother learned to make from my paternal grandmother. It is a simple dish, but a delicious one at that. I should start by saying that I am also one-eight Chinese, and that many of the dishes I enjoyed growing up involved the accompaniment of Chinese steamed white rice. Pork and Cabbage on a bed of white steamed rice is a dish my mom loves to make on cold wintery evenings, even up until this day. As for me and my partner, we enjoy this dish throughout the year. It is easy to prepare and make, so it is not a problem for us college students with very busy schedules. This dish is versatile in itself. I have changed the recipe quite a number of times by substituting the cabbage with other vegetables like asparagus and squash. It turns out that they complement the pork just as well. I cannot help but to think about my paternal grandmother and how much I miss her every time I make this dish. She not only taught my mother certain recipes, but she helped expand her taste pallet, leading us to have an open mind about other types of food as well.

Carne Asada by Nayla Hernandez

As a child, I remember looking forward to the weekends because I had the luxury of spending them with my entire family. All of my uncles, aunts, and cousins would gather at my maternal grandparent’s house for a family Mexican barbeque, also known as a “Carne Asada”. It is very much like an American barbeque in the sense that the food is cooked over an open fire. The actual carne asada is seasoned poultry, beef, and/or pork accompanied by many side dishes such as, red Mexican rice, charro beans, guacamole, potato salad, pico de gallo, a wide range of salsas, and either corn or flour tortillas. I happen to know that many, if not the majority of Mexican, and/or Mexican-American families enjoy this dish and custom in particular, and like my own family, they too gather with their own friends and family to feast on great food. Like I mentioned before, attending these family gatherings and lending a helping hand to prepare these dishes was something I looked forward to with anticipation. Although times have changed, and we are busy with our own individual lives, I still look forward to traveling home and keeping up this tradition that I hope will never be lost.

Chipotle Salsa Chicken by Nayla Hernandez

I come from an extremely authentic Mexican family. Growing up in Eagle Pass, Texas, a small town just two hours south of San Antonio, provided us the chance to indulge in not only “Tex-Mex” food, but delicious true Mexican food. You see, Eagle Pass is a border town that sits right across from Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, and being that my mother was born and raised in Piedras Negras, she learned a good amount of Mexican food recipes that are quite common in our culture. With that said, the first recipe that comes to mind is Chipotle Salsa Chicken. It is a dish that requires making the salsa from scratch, using fresh ingredients such as chipotle chile, tomatillos, garlic, and salt. It is on the spicier side, which is why I love it even more. Not only does this dish remind me of getting home from grade school on a Monday afternoon, and enjoying it with some fresh corn tortillas, but it was also the first dish I learned to make on my own for the first time.
6 tomatillos
2 chipotle chiles
3 garlic teeth
2 cubes of Knorr spice (Chicken flavored Bouillon)
3 chicken breasts
½ flour
2 cups of white rice

Banana Vries by Kimberly Roman

Banana fries are by far, my most favorite side dish/ snack in the world. They are so deliciously sweet and easy to make, they remind me of home and days that I would home alone. Why does it remind me of being home alone? Because I purposely made them at those times because I never wanted to share! They have been made in my family since I was a kid, and they just remind all of us our childhoods. I have made banana fries for my roommates and friends and they all liked them. They even started making them for themselves. Sharing food is like sharing cultures, and that is a nice thing to happen. If I am not mistaken, fried sweet plantains originate from Cuba. My family is from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, which is nowhere near Cuba, however cultures mixed and we all found new food ideas.

Pescado by Kimberly Roman

In my household, it is very rare for us to make pescado (fish), because my brother had a bad experience with eating one when he was little. However, when my mother prepares it, its heaven to me. Personally, I am a seafood fanatic, and I love fish. When we make fish, we fry it whole, so it has the bones and everything. Because of this, we always have to be cautious with eating it. No one wants to swallow a fish bone. Not many people in my family like whole fish as much as I do, but I want to learn how to make fish so I can cook it for myself. Since eating fish was uncommon in my family, it is like a luxury for me when I have the chance to eat it. I do not believe that there is any social implication with fish other than locally which it impacted my brother since he does not want to eat fish.