About Johanna

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Chicago/Aurora, IL, United States
I am just like so many busy moms out there. I want to create great meals for me and my family where the food brings us together at the end of a long and hectic day. I want to empower moms to feel like they are able to make Great Everyday Meals by using simple, accessible, and inexpensive ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It’s more about family and less about slaving away in the kitchen cooking. I have been a restaurant industry professional for about 10 years and have a great passion for cooking. I will share tips, recipes and techniques that I have learned to arm everyday cooks with the foundation to simple yet great tasting cooking! Johanna M. Cook

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mexican Pantry Basics

When thinking of beloved ethnic foods, Mexican food can argueably be in the top 3.

Real Mexican food lovers know it's cuisine offers so much more than just the usual tacos and burritos. For you home cooks looking to spice up your pantry and incorporating a little Mexican flare to your everyday cooking, take this list of basic Mexican pantry ingredients and add it to your repetoire.

Herbs/Spices
Oregano
Cilantro
Paprika
Cumen
Garlic

Legumes
Black Beans
Pinto Beans

Chilies
Serrano Peppers or Jalapeno Peppers
Bell Peppers
Canned Chipotle Peppers

Other Ingredients
Onions (Red & Spanish)
Fresh Roma Tomatoes
Canned Chopped Tomatoes
Fresh or Canned Corn
Tomato Sauce
Queso Fresco
Avocado
Limes
Corn Tortillas
Flour Tortillas
Salsa
Guacamole

I like to keep organic enchilada sauce handy as well and will often make my Mexican "Lasagna" using store-bought rotisserie chicken, layering it with corn tortillas, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese pouring enchilada sauce over each layer.

Also try canned Hominy, which is corn without the germ. It is served in soups like Posole, or make your own Chicken Soup swapping hominy for noodles in Chicken Noodle Soup, and add soup lime juice and cumen in the broth and top with crispy tortilla strips as the garnish with some cilantro leaves.

There are so many ways to incorporate Mexican flavors into your everyday cooking. The key to is to start with the correct basic ingredients.

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