mexican food

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Here’s my guide to 10 can’t miss Mexican inspired dishes in Tucson, Arizona. For the Food Network.

Tucson, Arizona, is famous for its Sonoran-style Mexican food. A college town located just 60 miles north of the Mexican border, and situated between Santa Fe and Southern California in both geography and style, Tucson boasts a truly unique regional cuisine.

In fact, Tucson has been designated the first U.S. City of Gastronomy by UNESCO, celebrating its unique regional cuisine, which is influenced heavily by the city’s proximity to Mexico and its location in the Sonoran Desert, where prickly pear, mesquite and chiltepin grow wild. Native American and Hispanic cultures mix with those of generations of settlers who moved to the Southwest looking for a new life.

Visit FoodNetwork.com to see my 35 can’t-miss Tucson dishes with a distinctly Sonoran-Mexican influence.

Janos' J-dawg Chorizo black beans, smoked poblano crema, whole g

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White and Red Menudo with all of the Fixings from Teresa's Mosia

I’ve written and photographed a guide on what to eat in Arizona for the Food Network. “Grub in the Grand Canyon State: The Best Things to Eat in Arizona,” features 29 of the the most iconic dishes across the state.  

Though Arizona is geographically and culturally diverse, there are many dishes that signify the state not only to its residents, but also to outsiders looking in. I photographed all of the food in Tucson with links to best places to find each dish in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the rest of northern and southern Arizona as well.  Pictured above are bowls of white and red menudo. Below is the the combo plato from Cafe Poca Cosa. Combo plate from Cafe Poca Cosa in Tucson, Arizona.

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Tucson Lifestyle’s Home & Garden Magazine asked me to develop and photograph recipes featuring corn, beans and squash (AKA The Three Sisters), which are companion plants and staples of Sonoran cuisine.
You can check out the full article online starting on page 30: http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=321779

The recipes featured are: Three Sisters Pizza with Corn Masa Crust, Grain Bowl with Tepary Beans, Mexican Green Rice, Zoodles and a Fried Egg, Sweet Corn Paletas with Pico de Gallo Seasoning

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I’m happy to have written and photographed my first feature article for Edible Baja Arizona Magazine that includes a bunch of my super easy summer recipes inspired by Sonoran food classics, including these baked Carne Asada Tostadas with guacamole and pickled red onions. Here’s the link:   http://ediblebajaarizona.com/sonoran-101

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In my latest article for Random House’s TasteBook I share recipes for my favorite Mexican street snacks, including TostiNachos and these Walking Tacos made with Tapatio Doritos. They’re perfect for the Super Bowl, a day when it is perfectly acceptable to eat all of the junk food you’ve been attempting to avoid the rest of the year.

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I’ve been on a hot dog eating binge ever since I went to the Pima County Fair (see below), and had one of the best hot dogs of my life from a tiny stand in one of the buildings there. Since then, I’ve been buying every hot dog I see, trying to re-create the experience, which is impossible. So, I decided to conduct a taste test. I’ve bought every hot dog I can find that I haven’t tried before. So far Trader Joe’s all beef uncured franks have won, but I heard there was a sausage place on the other side of town that I have to try.  All of this culminated in me having to eat a Sonoran style hot dog today at El Guero Canelo which are rumored to be the best in town. Sonoran style hot dogs have become all the rage here in Tucson for the past couple of years and have gotten international attention due in part to this article in The New York Times.

Here are a few photos from my adventure today.

Note: My husband is a vegetarian so he had a whole bean and cheese burro which was excellent.

Our Hero! The Sonoran Hot Dog at El Guero Canelo

Grilled onions, cucumbers & salsa from the condiment bar

 

Someone Else's Order at the Counter

 

Burro filled with white cheese and whole beans

 

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Yes, I Did Eat Menudo

November 16, 2010

I was a little worried, because the menudo I’d had in the past was awful. Greasy and of questionable origin. Plus, it’s tripe. But, when I’m on assignment, I always like to taste the food I’m photographing. So, I was determined to give the menudo at Teresa’s Mosaic cafe a try. It was delicious! Not greasy at all, and they serve the menudo spices on the side so you can make it as hot as you like. And speaking of hot, they garnished the margarita with a jalapeno in addition to the usual salt and lime. It was the perfect combination of salty, sweet and spicy.

White menudo with all of the fixings.

Giant margarita

Jars of drinks sit on the counter.

Teresa making handmade tortillas at the comal.

I won two honorable mentions at the IPA awards (Lucie’s). I checked out the website and was floored by the quality of the other honorable mentions. And, it turns out that there were like 24,000 entries overall so I guess I did pretty well. They are all listed here: http://photoawards.com/en/Pages/Gallery/hmentionPRO.php

And here is a link to my specific entries:
KnMex-19-3-2 rice pudding-3d

Pumpkins Simmering

Mexican Hot Chocolate