Mexico from 35,000 Feet and Beyond

I did finally get my sea urchin. It was our last full day in Mexico, the water was calm, so I dove down into the rocky crevices off la playa de Conchas Chinas, and returned with a spiny prize.

It was the biggest one I could find. Yet, it looked smaller than I had thought once I got it onshore. I’d been talking about the erisos for a few days, still Marilu looked surprised when I brought the creature into the kitchen. More

Kingdom of Salsa

I think I’ve got salsa running through my veins. My two oldest brothers — twins, twenty years my elders — both married Mexican women. At my childhood home, our brick worker — Cisco — was practically a part of the family. I have formative memories of large, festive gatherings with mariachi and piñatas, huge bowls of crispy tortilla chips and dishes of smoky, addictive and dangerously hot salsa.

(l to r) Chipotle caramelized onion salsa, tomatillo arbol salsa, pan-roasted tomato garlic salsa

I would bravely dip a chip into the salsa — just a corner at first. Then half the chip, and eventually I would actually scoop. I would thrill at both the uncomfortable blazing tingle in my mouth, and at my increasing ability to handle it. And the abuelas would marvel at the Scoville heat tolerance of the little gringo. More

Chilaquiles

I’ve never been one for pancakes and omelets. I’m a fan of cultural breakfasts. I remember eating a traditional Japanese breakfast at a hotel overlooking a zen garden in Tokyo. And then the next day, eating sashimi with beer for breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Tsukiji Wholesale Fish Market. (When in Tokyo…) In Athens I dispatched of great heaping piles of yogurt with honey, while in Alaska I’d relish smoked salmon on Russian rye toast. But the exotic breakfast that makes the most appearances at our own house has to be chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles Casa Colgin

While not as well known a breakfast dish in Mexico as, say, huevos rancheros or chocolate con leche y pan, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying dish on a Saturday morning — especially when you introduce a couple of farm fresh fried eggs on top! If you happen to be a bit hungover, as I often am on a weekend morning, it’s said that the dish is a recognized cure — “recognized” by whom, I’m not sure. But the spicy kick and the supple greasy undernote of pork chorizo will do you a world of good. More