S: Recetas de Mama Licho
FC: Recetas de Mama Licho | An Authentic Mexican Cookbook
2: Dedicated to Mama Licho and the Savior we and she so dearly loves. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.(Psalm 145:4)
4: Recetas de Mama Licho An Authentic Mexican Cookbook | Recipes Elisa "Mama Licho" Ramirez Bracamontes Research and Compilation Tania Hernandez Evans General Editor Shawn David Evans Photographs Lydia Ruth McGuire Copyright 2011 Shawn and Tania Evans. All rights reserved.
5: Contents | Introduction Entrées Sides Desserts Salsas Glossary of Terms
6: Introduction | This set of recipes are written with those folks in mind who look to authentic experiences, who would describe themselves as dedicated fans of Mexican food. Recetas explains in plain language the steps to traditional, authentic flavor of Central Mexico. My grandmother Elisa Ramirez de Bracamontes was born on April 15, 1942 in a small village in central Mexico called Lobatos. Her father was a farmer, and In my Grandmother's region in central Mexico, most of the fare is essentially reliant on varying combination of garlic, cloves, cinnamon and chocolate, but it's the guajillo chile that sparks it to give the comida the right accent. The robust dishes compiled in this book are characteristic of that regional flavor. If you had sourced your ingredients 20 years ago, you might have found the task quite difficult, depending on the area. Today, with increasing Hispanic immigration into Canada and the USA - the large part being Mexican - community import shops are more and more common, so finding what you need is no longer difficult.
8: Mole Verde | In a large pot over med-high heat, warm enough water to cover the chicken. Cook the chicken in the water until its internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. Meanwhile, husk the tomatillos and wash them under running water. Grill the peppers and tomatillos on a griddle until the pepper's skin is blistered and browned with a few blackened points. Seal the peppers in a plastic produce or ziploc bag for 15 minutes. Remove the peppers from the plastic bag and peel the skin. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling peppers. Optional: Remove the seeds from the peppers to reduce the spiciness. Blend peeled peppers, salt, tomtillos, cilantro, garlic, lettuce leaves and 3 C of the chicken stock (what we now have from the cooked chicken) until you have a smooth consistency. Heat 1 Tb of vegetable oil in a large pan and saute sauce over medium heat for 10 minutes. Optional: debone the chicken and piece into 2 to 3 inch segments. Add the segments to the sauce and let simmer on med-low heat for 10 minutes. SERVES 6 | 3lbs of chicken (any cut or combination of cuts). 350 g of poblanos, jalapeno, and/or serrano pepper (any combination) 500 g of tomatillo 1 garlic clove 1 C of cilantro, stems removed 3 lettuce leaves 2 t salt | Serve with warm tortilla and white Mexican rice.
11: Asado de Puerco | In a pot or large frying pan 0n med-high heat, sear the pork until it's cooked through on the inside and crisp on the outside. Use only enough oil to prevent sticking. Soak the peppers in warm water for about 15 minutes to ready them for blending. Blend the peppers, salt, clove, peppercorns, cinnamon, saltine crackers and 1.5 C of water (2.5 if your blender will contain it) until it makes a very agreeable and uniform sauce. Once seared, spill the pepper sauce over the pork and decrease the heat to med-low. If the extra cup of water wasn't added, add it now and stir the pan well. Add piloncillo, orange peel, bay leaf and chocolate to the mixture, stirring occasionally to make sure the piloncillo and chocolate have melted. You can sweeten the sauce to taste by adding more piloncillo. SERVES 4 | 2 lbs of pork meat, cut into 1 inch cubes 100 grams dried guajillo peppers 2 cloves 2 black peppercorns 1 inch cinnamon stick 1.8 oz of saltine crackers (1/2 package) 1/2 tablet of of Abuelita chocolate orange peal, 2 inch slice 1 bay leaf 1 oz. of piloncillo 1 t salt , add more toste
12: Flautas de Pollo | In a large pot over high heat, warm enough water to cover the chicken. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper to the pot. Cook the chicken in the water until its internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the water and shred or cut it once it's cooled. In a large skillet, heat 2 C vegetable oil over med-high heat. The oil is ready when it sizzles to the touch of a tortilla. Warm 5 tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften them. Meanwhile, place 2 layers of paper towels on a large platter Place 2 Tb of shredded chicken near one edge of a tortilla; roll it tightly and place in the hot oil edge side down to seal it. Repeat the process either individually or a few at a time. Fry flautas for 1-2 minutes on each side and place them on the platter. Repeat until all your chicken and/or tortillas are use up. Top with Mexican cream and your favorite salsa from page ************. SERVES 4 | 1 lb boneless chicken breast or thighs 24 corn tortillas 1/4 onion 1 garlic clove 2 t salt 1/2 t pepper vegetable oil Toppings 4 C shredded lettuce mexican cream 2 tomatoes, sliced salsa | Serve with a side of rice and lettuce and tomato, drizzled with some lime and salt.
15: Pozole | Place the cubes and bones in a large stock pot and cover with 1.5 L of water. Add 2 t salt. Cook at med-low heat for 2 hours or until meat is fork tender. Meanwhile, soak the peppers in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften them. Blend the peppers with garlic, 2 C of water and 1 t salt and add the blended mixture to the pot. When meat is cooked through, add the can of hominy and simmer for 20 more minutes. Serve with lime juice, shredded cabbage, oregano, finely chopped relish, and finely chopped onion. Accompany with corn tortillas or tostadas. SERVES 6 | 2 lbs boneless pork meat, cut into inch cubes Pig backbone or other pig bones (for flavour only) 3.4 oz dried guajillo peppers .7 oz of dried chile de arbol or pequin peppers 2 large garlic cloves 1– 28 oz. cans of hominy, drained 3 C shredded cabbage oregano 2 C chopped relish 2 C finely chopped onions tostadas or corn tortillas salt
16: Mama Licho's Guacamole | Grill peppers and tomatoes on griddle over medium heat, turning so that all sides are grilled. Alternatively, grill them in the oven or toaster oven on 300 degrees F, turning once. These are ready when tender and the skin has separated from the pepper. Meanwhile, peel the avocado and place in a medium bowl. Place grilled peppers and tomatoes in a plastic bag and seal; leave for 15-20 minutes. Remove the peppers and tomatoes from the plastic bag and peel the skin off - open the peppers and separate the seeds to cut the spiciness. Mash the tomatoes and avocado to the consistency of your liking. Cut the peppers into thin strips and add to the avocado and tomato combination. Add salt to taste (start with 1 t) and mix everything in a bowl with a large fork SERVES 4 | 2 large avocados 3 poblano peppers 3 tomatoes salt to taste | The classic: Guacamole can be served as an appetizer with tortilla chips or rolled in tortillas and cheese for a tasty and healthy snack.
18: Tamales Rojos | Approximately 2 hours before you are ready to start assembling your tamales, cook beef in a pot of boiling water with onion and 1 Tb of salt. (The meat is ready when it can be shredded). At this time also soak the corn husks in warm water until soft and fry or bake pumpkin seeds in oil and salt. When your meat is ready, take it out of the pot and break into chunks in a large container. Let the meat cool. Soak peppers in warm water for 20 minutes to soften them. Prepare your corn dough according to the package instructions. 4 C of corn flour will yield approximately 35 tamales. You can use your beef broth or just water. Blend soften peppers, garlic cloves, cumin, pumpkin seeds and 2 C of beef broth until a smooth sauce develops. Shred the beef and add it back into your pot (make sure remaining beef broth has been taken out of pot). Add sauce and 1 C of broth to meat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. | 2 lb beef, cut into large cubes 4.5 oz dried guajillo peppers 3 garlic cloves 1/2 t cumin 8 oz of pumpkin seeds (fried or baked with oil and salted) salt onion 4 C (1 lb) Maseca Corn Flour for Tamales (or other Brand) baking powder Lard Beef Broth (made from cooking beef) 35 corn husks | Many variations of tamales exist. Mama Licho 's include green tamales made with chicken in tomatillo sauce and sweet tamales made with pineapple. These recipes are include in this book.
19: Hold your corn husk with the narrow to the top. Spread centimeter thick layer of corn dough evenly over corn husks and add 2 - 3 Tb of meat mixture to the center -bottom porition of the husk (Avoid putting meat in the top inch of the tamale). My grandmother and women in Mexico use the back of a spoon to spread the the dough. They hold the husk in one hand and use their other hand to spread the dough. You can also purchase a tamale masa (dough) spreader. Fold edges of tamale toward the middle, overlapping them, just slightly, so meat doesn’t spill out. Fold the top inch to inch and half of the corn husk down. Press the “open” side of the tamale so that the dough seals that edge and you have made a pouch. Cook tamales in a steamer for 1 - 1.5 hours. Check every 30 minutes. The tamales are cooked when they separate easily from the corn husk. Tip: Tamales freeze well and are best reheated in the toaster oven or over a griddle. Some people freeze their pre-steamed tamales, steaming them when they are going to be eaten. YIELDS 35 TAMALES
21: Nopalitos en Salsa | If using raw cactus, bring water to boil in a large pot; add 1 Tb salt, garlic, 1 t oregano and onion to water. Add cactus to boiling water and let cook until fork-tender Once cactus is cooked, drain them and save the water. If using jarred cactus, skip this step. Cut pork meat into 1/2 inch cubes and fry in a large pan until meat is crispy. Add oil if needed. Meanwhile, soak peppers in hot water for about 20 minutes to soften them. Blend softened peppers with 2 garlic clove, 1 Tb salt, 2 t oregano, and 2 C of the cactus water (if using jarred cactus, just use regular water) until you have a smooth sauce. Add this sauce to the meat. If using jarred cactus, add to the meat now. If cooking raw cactus, cut them into small cubes and add them to the meat. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 15 mintues. SERVES 4 | 1 lb pork 1.5 - 2 lbs of cactus (raw or jarred) salt 3 large garlic clove 3 t oregano onion 2.3 oz of dried guajillo peppers | Serve with warm corn tortillas and a pot of freshly made pinto beans.
23: Enchiladas de Mole | Soak pepper in hot water for 25 - 30 minutes to soften. Blend softened dried peppers, clove, pepper, cinnamon, saltine crackers and 3 C of water until a smooth sauce forms. Heat 4 Tb vegetable oil in a pan; add sauce mixture and chocolate. Bring to boil and then simmer, stirring frequently until chocolate melts Mix finely chopped onion and grated cheese. Set aside. In a small frying pan, heat 1 C vegetable oil over med-high heat. (Oil should sizzle when placing a tiny piece of tortilla in it); fry each side of each tortilla in the heated oil for 5-7 seconds. Stack tortillas on a plate as you fry them. Dip a tortilla into the sauce mixture, covering the tortilla completely on both sides. On a clean plate lay tortilla out and fill with approximately 2 Tb of cheese mixture. Roll tortilla up and place in a baking dish or other serving dish; repeat for remaining tortillas. YEILDS 24 ENCHILADAS | 3.5 oz dried guajillo peppers 1 clove 1 black peppercorn 1 inch of a cinnamon stick (or 1/8 t ground cinnamon) .9 oz of saltine crackers 1/2 tablet of of Abuelita chocolate 4 C grated cheese – queso fresco or mozzarella 1/2 C - 1 C finely chopped onions vegetable oil 24 corn tortillas | Enchiladas are typically served with mexican rice (recipe included in this book) and a side of fresh lettuce and tomato slices glazed with lime juice and salt.
24: Barbacoa | Wash meat, pat dry and cut into inch cubes. Place in slow cooker. Soak pepper in hot water for 20-25 minutes or until soft. Remove majority of seeds in peppers and blend them with all the remaining ingredient, except the bay leaf and taco toppings. Pour blended sauce over the meat, and add bay leaf to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours; meat should be easily pulled apart. Serve pulled meat in corn tortillas as tacos. Top with cilantro, onion and lime. If desired, the barbacoa can also be served in its broth as a soup. Also topped with lime, onion and cilantro. SERVES 4-6 | 2 lbs boneless beef, cut into large chunks 4.5 oz dried guallio peppers 2 black peppercorns 1 large garlic cloves 2 cloves 1 t salt 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp dried coriander 3/4 C red wine' 1.5 C water 1 inch of a cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf Taco toppings 1 C finely chopped onion 1 C bunch finely chopped cilantro 3 limes cut into halves at least 2 dozen tortillas | Barbacoa is a delicious and easy dish to make in a slow cooker when feeding a large crowd. Place barbacoa along with tortillas and toppings in the middle of the table and allow guest to make their own tacos.
27: Gorditas | It is recommended that you prepare and cook your gordita's fillings before you make the gorditas. Four different filling recipes are included in the following pages. Mix maseca with water and salt until you form a dough. Make fist sized dough balls and flatten them out into 3/4 inch thick disks. Heat a large griddle or comal (a round, flat griddle) to medium-high heat. Add the gorditas and cook for 1 and 1/2 minute then turn and cook for another 3 and 1/2 minutes. Turn once more and cook for 1 more minute, pressing lightly on gordita with your turner if its not beginning to puff up. Take gordita off the griddle and slice it like you would a pita pocket, being careful not to slice all the way through. Fill immediately with the filling of your choice, to prevent gordita from sticking together. YEILDS 11 GORDITAS | 3 3/4 C Maseca 3 C water 1/2 t salt Gordita mold or rolling pin 1 lb pork 1.5 - 2 lbs of cactus (raw or jarred) salt 3 large garlic clove 3 t oregano onion 2.3 oz of dried guajillo peppers | Gorditas, meaning "chubby" in Spanish, are corn dough pockets stuffed with a variety of fillings. They are a bit labour intensive, but large quantities can be made at once and frozen to be enjoyed for several meals.
28: Gordita Fillings | Egg in Red Salsa Soak peppers in warm water for 20 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, cook tomatillos in boiling water until very tender. Seed peppers and place in a blender along with 1 C of water (you can use your tomatillo water), garlic clove, salt, and cooked tomatillos to make a smooth salsa. You can run salsa through a strainer if you wish to discard pepper skins. Scramble eggs and simmer in salsa for 10 minutes. Add more salt if desired. | 1.75 oz guajillo dried peppers 1 C water 8.6 oz of tomatillos 3/4 t salt 7 eggs | 1 C beans 8 C of water 1/4 onion 1 t salt (or to taste) 2 C of grated queso fresco (or feta) | Refried Beans with Cheese Place beans, water, salt and onion in a large pot of water (water should come up at least 3 inches above the beans) over medium-high heat for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook beans for 1 and 1/2 hours more or until fork tender. Add 5 T of oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat; Drain beans, and add to heated oil. Mash beans until desired smoothness. Top with cheese.
29: Ground Beef Mix Chop onion and tomatoes very finely and saute in a 3-4 T of oil. Add ground beef and seasoning salt; Cook beef thoroughly. | Gordita Fillings (cont.) | Fried pork rinds in Green Salsa Grill jalapenos and tomatoes over medium-high heat in a frying pan or on a griddle, turning frequently until tender Once tender place jalapeos and tomatoes in a sealed glass container (cover container with plastic wrap if a lid is not available) for at least 15 minutes. Remove jalapenos and tomatoes from glass container and peel and discard skins. Place jalapenos and tomatoes in a blender with 1/4 t of salt; blend for 10 seconds (over-blending will cause sauce to become foamy). Heat 5 T of cooking oil in a large frying pan and saute onion for 5 minutes; Add blended sauce and chicharron to frying pan and bring to boil then simmer for at least 15 minutes. | 1/2 lb of chicharron (fried pork rinds) 4 jalapenos 2 large tomatoes salt to taste 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced cooking oil | 1 lb ground beef 1 t seasoning salt 1/2 c onion, chopped finely 3 tomatoes, chopped finely cooking oil
30: Mole Rojo con Pollo | Boil chicken over medium-high heat. Soak guajillo peppers in warm water for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove the pepper's vine and seeds and place in blender along with cloves, peppercorn, salt, cinnamon stick, saltine crackers and 4 C of the broth made from cooking your chicken; blend until a smooth sauce forms. (You can run sauce through a strainer if you wish to discard pepper skins). Optional: Take cooked chicken and cut into 2-3 inch pieces or pull into shreds. Heat 4 T of vegetable oil in a large pan; add sauce and chocolate, stirring frequently until chocolate dissolves. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 20 minutes. S ERVES 4 | 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken pieces (or 4 lbs bone-in chicken pieces, skinned) 3.5 oz dried guajillo peppers 2 cloves 3 black peppercorns (or 1/8 t ground black pepper) 2 inches of a cinnamon stick (or 1/4 t ground cinnamon) 1.8 oz of saltine crackers 1 tablet of Abuelita chocolate 1 t salt (or to taste) 4 C of chicken broth (save broth made from boiling chicken) | Mole is a simple recipe that doesn't take much time or effort to make if you have all the ingredients on hand. It is typically served with rice and corn tortillas.
33: Carne de Res en Jugo de Tomate | Season meat chunks with a few dashes of seasoning salt. Brown meat in a large frying pan and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes Add potatoes to pan, and allow meat and potatoes to continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Cut tomatoes into quarters and blend them with 2 C of water and 1 t of salt; add tomato blend to pan. Add 1 can of tomato sauce to pan and stir well. Bring to a boil, and then add sliced onion and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. SERVES 4 -6 | 4 potatoes 2 lbs beef, cut into 1 inch pieces Seasoning salt 1 can of tomato sauce 3 medium Roma tomatoes 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced 1 t salt | This simple dish is easy to make and goes a long way thanks to the hearty potatoes. It can be served with plain white rice and/or Mexican beans in their broth (Frijoles de la olla). I recommend adding some peas to the rice for more nutrition.
34: Mexican Red Rice | Chop tomatoes in quarters and blend along with onion and 2 C of water. In a sauce pan, heat 2-3 T of cooking oil over medium heat. Add rice to pan and fry for 5- 7 minutes or until rice is just beginning to brown. Add blended sauce and bouillon to pan; stir well and continue cooking rice over low heat until all the liquid is absorbed. S ERVES 2-4 | 1 C of white rice 2 t tomato or chicken-tomato bouillon 2 Roma tomatoes 1/4 of an onion 2 t of consome de tomate 1 t salt (or to taste) cooking oil
37: Frijoles de la Olla | Place beans in a large pot; add 10-12 C of water, onion and salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low-medium heat for 2?? hours or until beans are fork-tender. Serve in broth topped with queso fresco, feta or shredded mozzarella. Accompany with tortillas. If desire, drain left-overs and refrigerate or freeze to make refried beans at a later time. SERVES 4 | 2 C dried pinto beans 1/2 large onion salt to taste; 1 T is recommended | Frijoles de la Olla means "beans from the pot." This high fiber, high protein dish serves as a side for many entrées, or can be eaten as a meal in of itself.
38: Salsa Roja con Tomatillo | Grill tomatillos on griddle or toaster oven/oven until very tender. Place dried peppers on hot griddle for 60-90 seconds, turning once. Remove vein and seeds from the guajillo pepper and soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Blend pepper with 1/2 cup of water, salt and garlic clove for 2-3 minutes; add tomatillos and blend again for 10 seconds (blending any longer will cause salsa to be foamy). YIELDS 1 C OF SALSA | 5 medium tomatillos 3 dried piquin peppers 1 dried guajillo pepper 1/2 C water 1 garlic clove 1/2 t salt | XXXXXXX
41: Salsa Rojo con Tomate | Grill tomatoes and peppers on griddle or toaster oven/oven until very tender. If using a griddle, turn frequently. Place tomatoes and peppers in a sealed glass container. (cover container with plastic wrap if a lid is not available) for at least 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes and peppers from container and peal off their skins. Place tomatoes and peppers in a blender along with the onion, water and salt; blend until smooth. Avoid blending too long or you will get a foamy texture. Alternatively you can mash everything in a traditional molcajete, and mix in finely chopped onion. YIELDS ??? C OF SALSA | 5 tomatoes 1 jalepeno pepper 2 serrano peppers (Alternatively, you can use just 2 jalapenos) 1/2 t salt 1 medium onion, quartered 3/4 C water | This simple dish is easy to make and goes a long way thanks to the hearty potatoes. It can be served with plain white rice and/or Mexican beans in their broth (Frijoles de la olla). I recommend adding some peas to the rice for more nutrition.
42: Salsa Verde | Grill tomatoes and peppers on griddle or toaster oven/oven until very tender. If using a griddle, turn frequently. Place tomatoes and peppers in a sealed glass container. (cover container with plastic wrap if a lid is not available) for at least 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes and peppers from container and peal off their skins. Place tomatoes and peppers in a blender along with the onion, water and salt; blend until smooth. Avoid blending too long or you will get a foamy texture. Alternatively you can mash everything in a traditional molcajete, and mix in finely chopped onion. YIELDS ??? C OF SALSA grill everyting and blend with C water optional: finely chopped onion and cilantro S ERVES 4 | 5 tomatillos 2 serrano peppers 1 jalapeno pepper 1/2 salt | Mole is a simple recipe that doesn't take much time or effort to make if you have all the ingredients on hand. It is typically served with rice and corn tortillas.
45: Carne de Res en Jugo de Tomate | Season meat chunks with a few dashes of seasoning salt. Brown meat in a large frying pan and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes Add potatoes to pan, and allow meat and potatoes to continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Cut tomatoes into quarters and blend them with 2 C of water and 1 t of salt; add tomato blend to pan. Add 1 can of tomato sauce to pan and stir well. Bring to a boil, and then add sliced onion and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. SERVES 4 -6 | 4 potatoes 2 lbs beef, cut into 1 inch pieces Seasoning salt 1 can of tomato sauce 3 medium Roma tomatoes 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced 1 t salt | This simple dish is easy to make and goes a long way thanks to the hearty potatoes. It can be served with plain white rice and/or Mexican beans in their broth (Frijoles de la olla). I recommend adding some peas to the rice for more nutrition.
46: Glossary of Terms | Guajillo Peppers - a moderately hot pepper that is made by drying mirasol peppers. Their rich chile flavor and color make them one of the most popular peppers used in Mexican cooking. They are smooth, shiny, and reddish-brown. Their tough skin requires them to be soaked longer than other dried peppers. They can be found at any Mexican food store or mainstream supermarkets in heavily Hispanic-populated areas. Abuelita Chocolate - a brand of chocolate tablets made of sugar, cocoa and cinnamon produced by Nestlé. It is used in Mexican recipes or to make Mexican-style hot chocolate. The name is an affectionate Spanish word for granny. Other Mexican chocolate tablet brands are Ibarra and Moctezuma. Any brand can be used in these recipes. Substitute with cocoa powder and brown sugar (to taste) if you have a hard time finding mexican chocolate. Piloncillo - a raw form of pure cane sugar that has not been processed. Because it has not been processed, it has a golden brown color and a delicious rich flavor similar to molasses. Piloncillo is sold by the ounce in a cone shape. The measurements for Piloncillo are always in weight. The cones make it easy to measure since they are pre-formed in common weights for recipes. Do not break up the cone and then measure it by the cup (sometimes referred to as 8 ounces) or you will have an inaccurate amount. Mexican cream - a thickened creme with a slightly tangy, slightly nutty flavor. It is produced commercially and can be found in Mexican food stores. If you are not able to find Mexican creme, e substituted with sour cream or try making your own Mexican creme by mixing equal parts sour cream and heavy cream or half and half. Poblano Peppers - a mild green chili pepper, averaging 5 to 6 inches in length and 3 inches in width. When very ripe the pepper turns red and is significantly hotter and more flavorful than the less ripe, green poblano. For purposes of this book use green poblano peppers. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they can have significant heat.
47: Tomatillos - a green fruit (not sweet) surrounded by an paper-like husk. They are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Serrano Peppers - a relatively spicy pepper (notably hotter than the Jalapeño pepper), averaging 2 inches in length and 1/2 inch in width. Unripe serrano peppers are green, but the color at maturity varies. For purposes of this cookbook use green serranos. Chile de arbol - are closely related to cayenne peppers. They are bright red, 2-3 inches long and pointed. They have a searing, acidic heat. Pequin peppers- A small, extremely hot chile. It is orange and red and has light, sweet and somewhat nutty flavor. Chicharron - Are often referred to as pig skins. They are the the layer of fat right under the skin of the pig, and are often cooked with the skin attached. For the purposes of the recipes in this book, purchase chicharron with a good amount of skin attached; don't use the packaged variety.