Tuesday, April 1, 2014

About Us

We are a group of students from the University of Arizona who study the indigenous way of life. As a group we got together to create a cookbook with a wide range of recipes involving Latin American foods. We have collected the recipes from local restaurants, family members, and food blogs. We hope you enjoy browsing our creation.

Ricas Raíces

Food is life. It has given birth to countless human societies. The cultivation of food has always been considered sacred practice which continues to this day. Throughout history, people have felt a connection with the land. The food we eat is a representation of ourselves. By abusing food, we abuse ourselves. Currently, many argue that food is under attack by agricultural conglomerates and scientific researchers in the hopes of profiting from the industrialization of that which sustains us. Over time, the essence of food, the part that we personally connect with on an individual and spiritual level, has been replaced with a focus on monetization and mass production. In this sense, our identities are at risk.

The purpose of this cookbook is to not only provide healthy alternatives to traditional recipes but to inspire the people of our region to reconnect with their Ricas Raíces, or “tasty roots.”  So as a group of students we hope to inspire you to cook fresh, healthy and traditional.


Xocolatl (Aztec Chocolate)

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 green chili pepper, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a pot.
  2. Add the chili pepper (seeds included), to the boiling water and cook at a boil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the chili pepper and seeds from the water; return the water to the pot.
  4. Add 4 cups water to the chili pepper-infused water, reduce the heat to medium-low, and bring to a slow boil.
  5. Stir the cocoa powder and vanilla extract into the boiling water.
  6. Cook and stir until the powder dissolves completely, 5 to 10 minutes. 


  • 1/2 cup masa harina (masa flour)
  • 5 cups milk or water, according to taste
  • 1/4 cup piloncillo (Mexican sugar cones), chopped fine or graded.
  • 1 stick cinnamon (canela) or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise) or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large saucepan whisk the water or milk into the masa flour little by little until completely mixed and free of lumps.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken. 
  3. Add piloncillo and cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon.
  4. Scrape seeds from vanilla beam into pan or add vanilla extract.
  5. Stir vigorously until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly to keep from becoming lumpy.
  6. Remove cinnamon stick and serve hot in mugs.
Serves: 5-6

Cucumber Water

  • Fresh cold water
  • Fresh cucumber

  1. Remove cucumber skin
  2. Cut the cucumber into thin slices.
  3. Add the fresh water and cucumber into a container. 
  4. Let steep for 1 hour
  5. Serve cold 


Pupusas de Flor de Loroco y Queso

  • 1/4 cup white wine white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 3/4 warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups flor de loroco, jarred in brine and drained
  • Tomato sauce, lightly warmed
  • Salvadorean crema or crème fraiche

  1. To make the curtido, combine white wine vinegar, sugar, oregano, chili, carrots, onions, and cabbage in a bowl. Season with salt, toss, and let chill.
  2. To make the dough, combine the masa haring with lukewarm water, oil, and salt. 
  3. Kneed the dough until it's well combined, smooth and pliable. 
  4. Cover and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.
  5. With wet or lightly oiled hands, scoop out a small amour of dough (about a 1/4 cup) and shape into a ball. 
  6. Begin to palmear, lightly pressing it back an forth between your plans, rotting the dough to form a round disc. about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Cup the flattened disc in your hand to form an oval and add the shredded cheese and lorocoto the center. 
  8. Tuck the filling down as you gate the dough at the top to seal.
  9. Shape the filled dough into a ball and then re-flatted into a disc by repeating the process. 
  10. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  11. Heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  12. Brush lightly with oil and cook pupusas until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes each side.
  13. Serve warm with curtido (picked cabbage), tomato sauce, and crema.
Makes: 10-12 Pupusas

Baked Tortilla Chips

  • Good-quality tortillas
  • Neutral vegetable oil, like grape seed or canola
  • Flaky sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pour a few tablespoons of oil into a bowl and brush a thin coating onto your baking trays. Set aside.
  2. Oil and stack the tortillas; Place one tortilla on the cutting board and brush the top with a light layer of oil. You don't need a lot of oil, but do pay attention to the outer edges of the tortilla, an area that is easy to miss. Place another tortilla on top of the oiled one and brush the top with oil. 
  3. Continue in this manner until all your tortillas are oiled and stacked in one pile. 
  4. Cut into wedges: using a large, sharp knife, cut your tortilla stack in half using one firm chop. if possible. Cut one of the halves in half and cut each of those halves in half again, forming wedges. Repeat with other side. This will give you eight stacks of tortilla wedges.
  5. Arrange on trays and salt: Arrange the tortilla wedges in a single layer on the oiled trays. Place the wedges with the un-oiled sides facing down so that they have contact with the oil in the tray. A little overlapping is fine, but do not overlap too much or they won't crisp. 
  6. Sprinkle a pinch or two of flaked sea salt over the tops, making sure that all of the wedges get a touch of salt.
  7. Place trays in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes. Check your chips at 8 minutes and rotate your pans. Be aware that very thin tortillas are vulnerable to your oven's hot spot and can start to char. 
  8. The chips are done when the edges are crisp and  dry and slightly lifted from the tray. The should be a few shades darker, though not completely browned. (Chips made from handmade tortillas will often have a few brown spots on them so don't worry if you see a few.) The chips will still be slightly flexible in the middle, but will crisp further as they cool.
  9. Remove trays from the oven and let cool slightly. As they cool the chips will continue to crisp all the way through. Test one a if it isn't as crisp as you would like return the trays to the oven for another 2-3 minutes
  10. Once the chips are fairly cool, remove from the tray an serve.  

Grilled Shrimp Margarita with Avocados & Garden Tomatoes

  • 1 lb. large shrimp in the shell (about 24), thawed completely if frozen and blotted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup good-quality tequila
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons green Tabasco or other jalapeño hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups diced ripe heirloom or garden tomatoes, drained (from about 3 medium tomatoes)
  • 2 medium to large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 bunch scallion (green tops only), thinly sliced
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced (optional)
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt (optional; I like French flour de sel)
  • Saltine crackers

  1. Heat a gas grill to a medium high or prepare a medium hot charcoal fire. (If using charcoal, be sure that the grate is hot).
  2. Put the shrimp on the grate directly over the heat and grill until pink and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes, turing once halfway through. 
  3. Let cool completely.
  4. An hour before serving, whisk together the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, ketchup, and green Tabasco. 
  5. Peel the shrimp, cut them into large pieces (about 1/2 inch), and toss with the tequila mixture.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  7. Just before serving, season the shrimp mixture with salt and pepper (Alternatively, omit the kosher salt at this stage and sprinkle on a coarse sea salt like flour de sel just before serving). 
  8. Gently fold in the tomatoes, avocados, and scallions, mixing well.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, portion the mixture into individual serving bowls or margarita glasses.
  10. Garnish with a sprinkling of onion (if using), a wedge of lime, and the optional sea salt.
  11. Serve immediately with the crackers.              Serves: 4-6

Salsa Tropical

  • 1/4 of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 orange belle pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped 
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Toss then serve.

Main Dishes

Garden Vegetable Tamales

  • 1 package dried corn husks
  • 2 cups masa harina (cornmeal)
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock
  • 12 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening (or 6 table spoons lard/vegetable shortening and 6 tablespoons butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 5 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 3-4 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cups crumbled queso fresco (cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place corn husks in a large pot and completely cover with hot water. Soak corn husks for 30 minutes to an hour to soften.
  2. Carefully cut corn from the cob using a sharp knife or a corn stripper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix masa haring with a pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock. 
  4. Add lard and work lard into mixture with your fingers.
  5. Add more vegetable stock in small amounts, kneading after each addition, until you have a smooth, soft dough. Dough should be moist and a little sticky, not stiff.
  6. Add vegetable oil to a heavy skillet and sauté tomatoes, green onions, cumin, and sugar over medium heat. 
  7. Cook until most of the water is evaporated and vegetables are sod and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
  8. Stir fresh corn and sauté 2 more minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro leaves. 
  9. Drain corn husks and spread them out flat. Place about 3 tablespoons of masa harina dough in the middle of the corn husk and use your fingers to press dough into a 2 inch by 3 inch rectangle. 
  10. Top dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the corn and tomato mixture. Place another 2 table spoons of masa on top. 
  11. Fold sides of corn husks in over the filling, then turn pointed ends up to the middle, then fold top fop down making a little package. Tie tamales with a strand of corn husk or twine to secure the corn husks around the filling. To make a larger tamale, you can overlap 2 corn husks and use them together to wrap the tamale.
  12. Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a steam pot, or in a large pot with a colander or steaming casket set into it. Fill the colander or basket with one layer of tamales ( you may have to steam them in batches). The tamales should be about the water- they are cooked by steam only. Cover the tamales with a dish fowl and the pot lid and steam them for 30-40 minutes, being careful to add water to the pot when necessary.
  13. Remove tamales and serve warm. Tamales can be reheated in the microwave. They can also be frozen-reheat them by stem for 15-20 minutes, or by heating them in the oven, wrapped in foil. 
Makes: About 16 medium tamales

Three Sisters Soup

  • 2 cups of hominy
  • 2 cups of fresh green beans
  • 2 cups of peeled and cubed squash
  • 1 1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  1. Put hominy, green beans, squash and potatoes into a pot. 
  2. Add water and chicken bouillon.
  3. Bring that to a boil then reduce the heat to a low until vegetables are soft. 
  4. Blend the flour and butter together and then add it to the pot. 
  5. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until it is think.
  6. Add some pepper on top then serve to your guests. 

Nopalitos con Chile Rojo

  • Prickly Pear
  • Red Pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Lard
  1. Take the Prickly Pear cactus flesh pads and scrape off the thorns.
  2. Wash the pads off and cut them into small square pieces.
  3. Put them in a pot to boil for about an hour. While they boil being preparing the sauce
  4. Remove the stem and seed from the red peppers and boil them in water till they become soft.
  5. After they are done blend the red peppers with the water, 4 garlic cloves and a pinch of salt together till it becomes creamy.
  6. Drain the nopalitos.
  7. In a pot put the red pepper sauce and a bit of lard to cook.
  8. When lard is mixed in well with the sauce mix in the nopalitos.

Fresh Corn Salad

  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin slices

  1. In a large pot of boiling water cook the corn for 3-4 minutes
  2. While the corn is cooking, combine the diced onion, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a salad bowl.
  3. When the corn is done, drain them and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. When cooled, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. 
  5. Toss the kernels with the other ingredients in the salad bowl.
  6. Taste for seasoning and serve chilled or at room temperature.
  7. Add basil just before serving
Serves: 6

Trinidad Stewed Chicken


  • 1 "4 pound " whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
 (makes 8 servings)
  1.  Place chicken on a plate. Sprinkle the green onion, cilantro, garlic, onion, salt and pepper over it. Cover, and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil on a deep pot over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, and cook until the sugar has melted into a nice golden brown syrup. Add the chicken pieces, and brown quickly while turning continuously. Cover the pot, and let cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of water, coconut milk and pepper flakes. Replace the lid, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the ketchup and butter. Continue cooking until chicken is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve chicken with sauce in the pot.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers in a chipotle sauce

  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo
  • 1 garlic clove
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 8 ounces small mushrooms, such as white button or cremini, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black soy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (4 ounces)

  1. preheat oven to 475. On a baking sheet rub pepper with 2 teaspoons oil. Roast until slightly blackened and softened, 15 to 20 minutes, turning once. When cool enough to handle, remove skins. Make small slit in each pepper and carefully remove seeds, keeping stem end intact.
  2. In a blender, combine chipotle, garlic and 3/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Add cilantro and pulse once to combine.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring 2/3 cup water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to medium- low. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.
  4. meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes; add corn and beans and cook until heated, about 2 minutes. Stri in 1/2 cup cheese and quinoa.
  5. Pour sauce in a 9- by- 13 inch baking dish. Stuff peppers with filling and arrange in dish; dot with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before serving.

Mexican Chicken Pozole Verde


  • 7 cups chicken stock or low- sodium broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 chicken breast halves on the bone, with skin
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and halved
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 poblano chiles- cored, seeded and quartered
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and quartered
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • Three 15- ounce cans of hominy, drained
  • Finely shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped onion, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges, for serving

  1.       In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, cover and simmer over very low heat until they're tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and shred the meat; discard the bones and skin. Skim any fat from the cooking liquid and reserve.
  2.      In a blender, combine the halved tomatillos with the quartered onion, poblanos and jalapeños, smashed garlic, chopped cilantro and oregano. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the side. With the machine on, add 1 cup of the cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Season the tomatillo puree with salt and pepper.
  3.      In a large deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce turns a deep green, about 12 minutes.
  4.      Pour the green sauce into the cooking liquid in the casserole. Add the hominy and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Add the shredded chicken to the stew, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through. Serve the pozole in deep bowls, passing the lettuce, radishes, onion, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges at the table. MAKE AHEAD The pozole verde can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated, covered, overnight.

Tacos de Papa con Verdura

  • 5 large potatoes
  • 8 cups of flour
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • ½ tomato diced

  • ¼ whole onion dices
  • 1 lime
  • Teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • Lettuce, carrots and cucumbers diced


  1. Boil 5 large potatoes in a pan with water that covers all the potatoes. After the potatoes become soft, strain the water and mash the potatoes. To make the tortillas, mix 8 cups of flour with 4 1/2 cups of water. Once the ingredients mix, it will become dough. Then, with a tortilla iron grab enough to cover ¾ of your hand. Roll the dough into a ball and place into the tortilla iron and press down and lay on a hot tortilla pan (comal). Once the tortillas are cooked, prepare a pan with enough olive oil to cover the surface and roll the mashed potatoes in the tortilla and place in the oil until they harden. Place in a flat plate with a napkin to strain the oil. After the tacos are done, the salsa should be prepared.  Take 1 jalapeno diced, ½ a tomatoes diced, ¼ whole onion dices, teaspoon of salt and pepper, one whole lime squeezed and mix. Then, if you want to add vegetables to the tacos, add the mixture of lettuce, carrots, and cucumber all diced.
  2. Note: If you like you can also serve with sour cream.    Every 3 scoops of sour cream it needs on teaspoons of garlic salt. 


Mexican Chocolate Crepe

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup chocolate powder
  • 2 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. First mix together the flour and eggs. Once they are mixed add in the milk and water.
  2. Next add in the chocolate powder, agave syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix until it is smooth.
  3. Heat stove until it is at medium heat. Put a frying pan on the stove.
  4. Pour the batter onto the frying pan using 1/4 cup for each crepe.
  5. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so the batter covers the entire pan.
  6. Cook the crepe for 2 minutes.
  7. After 2 minutes flip the crepe with a spatula. 
  8. When fully cooked top the crepe with bananas, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Papaya-Lime Sorbet

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup "lite" coconut milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, divided
  • 2 pinches of salt
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Arrange diced papaya in a single layer and freeze overnight. 
  2. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved and syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Pour the syrup into a glass measuring cup and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the papaya from the freezer to defrost while the syrup is cooling.
  4. Transfer half the frozen papaya to a food processor. Add half the syrup, 2 tablespoons coconut milk, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and a pinch of salt. Pulse two or three times then process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides and stir as necessary. 
  5. Transfer the sorbet to a large serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining ingredients; add to the serving bowl. 
  6. Serve immediately or freeze until ready to use. 
Serves: 8, 3/4 cup each
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes (plus overnight freezing time)

Arroz con leche


  • water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 condensed milk
  • 1 carnation milk
  • handful of raisins


1. First boil water in a pan half full (or cup full depending on the pan size) with a cinnamon stick. When it comes to a boil, pour 1 cup of rice into the water and let it simmer till the rice becomes soft. Then while the rice is cooking, add 1/2 a teaspoon  of vanilla extract, 1/2 condensed milk and 1 carnation milk. Stir all ingredients together and add water if the ingredients are drying. Once the ingredients have mixed add a handful of raisins and let it cool.