These are our top recipes–the results of lots of mess, many calories consumed, rating cards, feedback, and honest critique. Enjoy!

Meso Cochinita Pibil
8 lbs of lamb cut in large cubes
Blend together the following to make a sauce:
7 guajillo and 2 chipotle dry peppers
150 grams of achiote
salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and any other spices that inspire you, to taste
2-6 garlic cloves
2 cups of fresh orange pulp
juice of two lemons
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
Marinate meat overnight whit the sauce you just made.
One pack of banana leaves. Roast but do not burn.
Add water to the pot and use a steam rack. Wrap the meat with the banana leaves with all the marinating sauce and wrap with aluminum foil. Place over rack, cover, and cook for about four hours.
Or, roast in the oven at 380 F for approximately four hours.
Meat must be well cooked but be careful to not over dry it.

Zucchini Blossom Lasagna
1 16 oz jar of zucchini blossoms
5 poblano peppers
2 large onions
16 oz cream
2 cups corn
1 tbs butter
8 oz mushrooms
2 zucchini
2 boxes lasagna
2 cups half and half
2 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese
4 cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Boil lasagna and set aside. Saute mushrooms, sliced onions, zucchini flowers and zucchini. Set aside. Roast the poblano peppers, peel, and slice and add to mushroom mix. In a saucepan, saute garlic and butter until fragrant and add cream, keep under a boil and then blend. Add the corn and set aside.

To assemble:
Put a ladle full of sauce in the bottom of ungreased 9×13 pan. Add layers of cream, lasagna, veggies, cheese. Repeat layers until out of ingredients.

Bake 1 hour in preheated 375 degree oven covered in foil, and remove foil for the last 15  minutes of cooking.

Mole-Spice Chocolate Glaze

1 guajillo pepper
1 ancho pepper
2 anise stars
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
¾ cup dark baking chocolate
¼ cup raw cane sugar
handful of pumpkin seeds

In a pan over medium-low heat, toast the peppers, anise, and sesame seeds until fragrant. Grind them together (we used a blender), and combine with cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of salt.

In a double boiler, combine chocolate, butter, and corn syrup, stirring until smooth. Add spice mix and vanilla. Adjust sweetness to your liking with sugar (but we recommend you retain some of the bitterness). You may need to add a little more butter to retain the silky texture.

Toast the pumpkin seeds separately, over medium-low heat. After you have poured the glaze, sprinkle with toasted seeds and a pinch of salt.

Mexican Iced Coffeemeso-horchata
equal parts spicy horchata and cold-brew coffee
1 pinch of salt
1 shot of dark rum
Combine in a tall glass, enjoy!

Spicy Horchata
2/3 cup rice (any type–we used short grain white rice, try a few to see what you like!)
1 1/4 cup almonds, blanched
a 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 ½ cups hot tap water
2 cups cold water
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 guajillo pepper, toasted
1 ancho pepper, toasted
star anise, toasted

In a large bowl combine rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 ½ cups of hot tap water. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
After toasting the peppers and anise, blend them until they are a medium-coarse consistency.
Add the rice, almond, and cinnamon mixture into the blender, add the sugar, and blend on high for several minutes.
Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth, squeezing on the solids until only a dry pulp remains. Repeat straining process with additional two cups of cold water.

Cold Brew Coffee
1 1lb bag of coarse ground coffee, medium roast
10 cups of cold water
Combine the two in a pitcher and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover and leave overnight to steep at room temperature, for up to 12 hours. Drain through a sieve. This can also be made in smaller batches with a ratio of 2/3 cup grounds and 3 cups water.

Café de Olla
1 quart of water
⅔ cups coffee, coarsely ground
4 oz piloncillo
1 stick of cinnamon

Bring water with sugar and cinnamon to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour in ground coffee. Stir and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour through fine mesh sieve to separate grounds from coffee. Serves 3.

Elote Palomitas
1 cup popcorn kernels
2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 packets of mac and cheese powdered cheese (we used Annie’s Homegrown White Cheddar)
1 T garlic powder
1 t salt
2 T guajillo chili powder
1 T other chili powder of your choice (we used Nanami Togarishis Assorted Chili Pepper)
2 T fresh lime zest

Pop your kernels however you’d like! We popped them in the microwave, ¼ cup at a time, but you can also use the stove or an air popper. Put them in a big paper grocery bag, preferably one with handles. Melt butter with one pack of mac and cheese powdered cheese. Slowly drizzle the butter mixture over the popcorn, gently shaking the bag as you add the butter. Add the second packet of cheese, garlic, salt, chili powders, shaking the bag between each addition. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. At the very end, add the fresh lime zest, shake once more, and serve.
*Note, for a tangy variation, squeeze in the juice of three limes with your melted butter.

Cajeta Corn
1 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups cajeta (we made ours with goat milk and cane sugar, but we also tried Coronado brand Cajeta Quemada and it was excellent)
½ stick butter

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Pop the corn and place it in a large bowl (we divided this into two batches). Heat the cajeta and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until well blended and very smooth (this should only take a few minutes). Drizzle over popcorn, stirring it to coat as evenly as possible. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (again, we divided between two baking sheets), and bake for approximately 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Serve!
*Note, for a variation, swap the butter with bacon fat and crumble in 4 slices of cooked bacon.

The Chicago Mixed
Combine Elote Palomitas and Cajeta Corn in whatever proportions you prefer.

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