Glossary of Mexican Cooking

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Jun 11, 2003, 8:34:17 PM6/11/03
Glossary of Mexican Cooking

Tortillas: A basic part of most any Mexican meal. They are made either of
wheat flour (popular in the north of the country) or ground corn, and are
served hot. When fried, they are called tostadas.

Frijoles (beans): A standard Mexican dish served with just about
Frijoles de olla are boiled beans with seasoning; frijoles refritos are
mashed and fried.

Chicharrón: Fried pork rind. A popular appetizer, often served with
and guacamole or salsa.

Salsa: Hot sauce, served with most everything. It may be made of red
or green tomatoes (or both), and usually contains chili pepper, onion,
and other seasonings. The texture varies from liquid to chunky and
relish-like. Each cook and each restaurant has their own recipe.

Guacamole: Avocado mashed or blended with green tomatoes, chili peppers,
onion, garlic, and other seasonings.

Wheat flour tortillas (in the basket), and two common shapes of white
bread -
bolillo and telera.

Queso Fundido: Melted cheese served with tortillas and often with
and/or salsa.

Ceviche: Raw fish or other seafood, marinated for hours in lime juice and
served as a cocktail, often with chopped onion, avocado, cilantro, and

Huitlacoche: A black fungus that grows as a parasite on ears of corn. It
is a
delicacy when cooked and served in quesadillas or as a filling for

Flor de Calabaza: Squash flowers, cooked and served in quesadillas or by

Nopales: Cactus, most commonly served cooked in salads or grilled.

Gorditas: Fried corn dough filled with refried beans or chicharrón, and
topped with cream, cheese, and lettuce.

Huachinango al Mojo de Ajo: Red snapper (fish) fried with lots of chopped
garlic. Generally served with the head and tail attached.

Machaca: Dried shredded beef, sautéed and served with wheat flour
Sometimes served scrambled with eggs or in various sauces. It's most
in the northern states of Mexico.

Tamales: Banana tree leaves or corn husks filled with corn meal and
pieces of chicken or pork. Sweet tamales often have sugar and raisins, and
are served as dessert.

Barbacoa: Mutton, cooked in an underground pit and served in tacos. In the
north of the country, they often use goat meat instead of mutton, and
roast it
on a spit.

Tostadas: Fried corn tortillas covered with shredded chicken or beef,
beans, tomatoes, lettuce, cream, and salsa.

Enchiladas: A semi-fried corn tortilla filled most commonly with chicken
covered with cheese, sauce, and often cream and onion slices.

Mole: A truly Mexican sauce composed of ground chili peppers, many
spices and herbs, and a bit of chocolate. (It is often referred to as a
"chocolate sauce" in English-language cookbooks, but in my opinion the
proportion of chocolate used in the recipe and the absence of chocolate
flavor in the
finished dish make this description seem silly.) Mole is usually poured
chicken or turkey, or used to make enchiladas. There are two main types:
poblano (a deep red-black in color), and mole oaxaqueño (black).

Carne Asada: Grilled thin slices of beef, served with tortillas.
(grilled green onions) and lime juice are a common garnish.

Carnitas: Chunks of roasted or deep-fried pork. Served with tortillas,
chopped onion and cilantro, and guacamole and/or salsa.

Romeritos: An herb, somewhat like fresh-cut grass in appearance, prepared
mole sauce or some other sauces.

Quesadillas: Fried tortillas filled with cheese, chopped beef, squash
flowers, or any one of many other items. Served with salsa and/or

Sope: A grilled tortilla, topped with refried beans, salsa, cheese,
onion, and often lettuce and meat.

Tacos: Soft corn tortilla filled with meat, beans, chicken, pork, or some
other food. Very Unlike U.S.-style tacos.

Burritos: Wheat flour tortillas filled with meat, cheese, or ham and

Chorizo: Spicy Mexican sausage, fried and served with scrambled eggs,
sprinkled on pizza, made into tacos, spread on sopes, etc.

Pozole: Hearty hominy soup with shredded pork, garnished with lettuce or
cabbage, radish slices, chopped onion, dried oregano, and chili peppers.

Menudo: Pieces of intestine (tripe) served in broth and accompanied by
tortillas. (Said to be a good cure for a hangover.)

Chilaquiles: Fried tortilla chips served on a platter with sauce, onion
slices, and often cheese and/or cream sprinkled on top. Shredded chicken,
asada, or a fried egg is also often put on top of it all.

Cochinita Pibil: Shredded pork served with a spicy sauce. It is native to
Yucatán peninsula.

Chile Relleno: A chile pepper, stuffed with beef, cheese, or another
dipped in beaten egg and fried, then served in a thin tomato broth.

Chile en Nogada: A poblano chili pepper, stuffed with a sweet-savory beef
filling, sometimes dipped in beaten egg and fried. It is served covered by
sauce made of white cheese, cream, and walnuts or pecans. Pomegranate
seeds are
sprinkled on top. The green of the pepper, white of the sauce, and red of
seeds represent the three colors of the Mexican flag.

Cabrito: Roasted kid. Very popular up north.

Cecina: Dried slices of beef or pork prepared in all sorts of sauces or

Milanesa: Breaded and fried pork, beef, or chicken steak. Served with

Torta: A bolillo or telera loaf, filled with meat, cheese, sliced tomato
onion, avocado, or any number of other items; a very hearty sandwich.

Churros: Tubes of fried dough, dredged in sugar and usually served with

Flan: Rich custard topped with a caramel sauce.

Natilla: A thinner custard pudding.

Taken from


Jun 12, 2003, 11:57:18 AM6/12/03
Thanks Linda, it is very nice.


"Linda" <> wrote in message

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