Fried Black Bean-Filled Tortillas (Panuchos)

Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

  • 20 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 16oz can refried black beans
Using a 5-inch round cookie cutter, cut a smaller tortilla out of each tortilla, saving the scraps for making chilaquiles, tortilla soup, etc. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in amedium saute pan over medium-high heat. Place beans in pan to warm and soften, about 5 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning. Turn heat off and reserve.

In a large saute pan, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. While oil is heating, form panuchos. Start by spreading 1 tablespoon of warmed beans on the surface of the tortilla. Stack the second tortilla over it pressing on the edges to seal. Remove excess beans on the side of the panucho.

Working in batches, fry panuchos about 3 minutes per side until golden in color. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Top with any desired topping, such as guacamole, fresh vegetables or with Cochinita Pibil, pickled onions and habaneros.

Strawberry-Cucumber Margarita

Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid

  • 1 cup sugar, plus ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 12 strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • ½English or hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ½cup tequila reposado
  • Splash orange liqueur (recommended: Triple Sec)
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 4 whole strawberries, for garnish
  • 8 cucumber slices, for garnish
To make simple syrup: in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

For sugar and salt rim: In a shallow bowl, mix together the remaining sugar and salt. Set aside. To make margarita: In a blender, combine the strawberries, cucumber, tequila, orange liqueur and ice. Blend until fully pureed and smooth.

Using a lime wedge, moisten the rim of a margarita glass. Dip the moistened rim into the bowl of sugar-salt.

Pour the strawberry-cucumber margarita into the prepared glass. Slice the strawberry crosswise along it's pointed end and place the strawberry onto the rim of the glass for garnish. Float 2 cucumber slices in the glass.

Repeat with the remaining 3 margaritas.

Kale and Cheese Tamales

Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 4 leaves of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups shredded Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese (about 8oz)