Adobo

4 large ancho chiles
1/8 teaspoon cumin seed
1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup mild white vinegar

Toast the chiles lightly, turning them from time to time so they do not burn. Slit them open and remove the seeds and veins. Put the chiles into a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for about 20 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon to a blender container. Add remaining ingredients and blend into a fairly smooth paste. Do not over-blend.

To use, coat both sides of meat with Adobo. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oil and fry meat very slowly on both sides, about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat.

When meat has cooked through, raise the heat and brown it quickly. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Death By Cinnamon Dough

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs slightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Filling
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Topping
1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining sugar, butter, salt and eggs. Stir well. Add yeast mixture to bowl and 3 cups of the flour; beat until smooth. Add additional flour until dough is stiff. Knead dough on well-floured board for 10 minutes. Place dough in bowl and cover. Set in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and let it rest for 5 minutes. Roll dough on a floured surface to a 15 x 20-inch rectangle. (Don't use too much flour or the dough will get stiff.)

For the filling: Spread 1/2 cup of the softened butter on dough leaving 1/2-inch around the edges. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the sugar with the cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll like a jellyroll and pinch edge to seal. Cut dough into 12 slices, about 1-inch thick.

Melt remaining butter and coat the bottoms of both a 9 x 13-inch pan and an 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place slices close together in pans. Smaller pan will be only half full. Let rise until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the topping: In a saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup, cooking until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Pour over rolls. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. Cool before serving.

Serves 12.

Nutrition values per serving: 920 calories, 48 g fat, 116 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein, 162 mg cholesterol, 438 mg sodium

Kahlua Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cups very warm water
1/3 cups boiling hot milk
1/4 cups shortening
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
1 large egg, beaten
Spiced Raisin Sugar Filling
Kahlua Pan Syrup

Soften yeast in water.

Combine hot milk, shortening, sugar and salt in mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour and beat well. Add yeast, egg and remaining flour and mix to moderately stiff dough. Turn out onto floured board. Knead gently to smooth out and round up dough. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, 50 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Spiced Raisin Sugar Filling and Pan Syrup.

When dough has risen, turn out and roll to rectangle, about 16 x 12-inches on lightly floured board. Spread with Spiced Raisin Sugar Filling. Roll up like a jellyroll, starting from long side. Cut into 12 slices. Arrange slices in 9-inch round cake pan prepared with Kahl ua Pan Syrup. Press slices to flatten slightly. Let rise in pan until almost double in bulk, about 25 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until richly browned. Remove from oven. Let roll stand in pan 5 minutes, then turn out upside down onto serving plate. Spoon reserved Kahlua Pan Syrup over top.

Spiced Raisin Sugar Filling
1/4 cup softened butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1/3 cup coarsely chopped raisins

Beat butter, sugar and cinnamon together until smooth. Beat in Kahlua mixed with raisins.

Kahlua Pan Syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup Kahlua

Measure butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and Kahlua into small saucepan. Bring to simmering. Reserve 1/3 cup syrup to spoon over baked rolls. Turn remainder into 9-inch round cake pan.

Cilantro Pesto

Use this as you would traditional pesto ? with pasta or on grilled chicken or fish.

1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts

Place all ingredients in a blender container. Cover and process until well blended. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Hamburger Or Hotdog Buns

1 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup Crisco?
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 packages yeast
1 egg
2 cups flour

Stir the water, milk, Crisco?, salt and sugar to blend. Sprinkle the yeast over this mixture. Let stand for 2 minutes.

Add the egg and flour. Beat well. Add about 2 cups more flour to make a manageable dough. Knead for 1 minute. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Add more flour (about 1 cup) and knead. Cover and let rise. Grease cookie sheets.

Divide dough into 16 pieces. Make firm balls. Press with the heel of hand into a 3-inch diameter. Cover and let rise 45 minutes until double.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on racks.

Crema

Crema is the traditional garnish for many Mexican foods. In the United States, sour cream is often used as a substitute. Prepare Crema 24 hours in advance. It can either be spooned over or  piped onto the top of soups and other dishes in various designs, such as cacti, zigzags, etc. An easier crema can be made by whisking 2 tablespoons of buttermilk into 1 cup of sour cream.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until the chill is off the cream (do not heat above 100 degrees F). In a small glass jar, combine ingredients. Cover the jar loosely. Let it stand at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, until the cream is thickened and tart.

Stir the Crema well, cover it, and refrigerate it to complete the thickening. Refrigerate. Use as needed. It keeps for up to 10 days.

Use instead of sour cream to garnish dishes.

Ancho Crema
3/4 cup Crema or sour cream
2 tablespoons Ancho Pur?e
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour the crema through a funnel into a squeeze bottle. If not using right away, wrap the tip of the bottle with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Let the crema sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes, then cover the top of the bottle with your finger and shake well before using.

Avocado Crema
1 fresh avocado
1 cup Crema
Juice of 1 Mexican lime

Put ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.

Chipotle Crema
2 cups Crema
1 clove garlic, roasted and peeled
2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

Pur?e ingredients in a blender.

Red Chile Crema
4 whole dried red chiles
1 cup water

Place dried chiles on a baking sheet and roast at 325 degrees F for 5 minutes.

Remove seeds, and boil in 1 cup of water until soft. Pur?e in a blender and season with a pinch of salt.

Death By Cinnamon Rolls

Dough
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup milk
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs slightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour

Filling
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Topping
1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining sugar, butter, salt and eggs. Stir well. Add yeast mixture to bowl and 3 cups of the flour; beat until smooth. Add additional flour until dough is stiff. Knead dough on well-floured board for 10 minutes. Place dough in bowl and cover. Set in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and let it rest for 5 minutes. Roll dough on a floured surface to a 15-by-20-inch rectangle. (Don't use too mu ch flour or the dough will get stiff.)

For the filling: Spread 1/2 cup of the softened butter on dough leaving 1/2-inch around the edges. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the sugar with the cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll like a jelly roll and pinch edge to seal. Cut dough into 12 slices, about 1-inch thick.

Melt remaining butter and coat the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan and an 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place slices close together in pans. Smaller pan will be only half full. Let rise until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the topping: In a saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup, cooking until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Pour over rolls. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. Cool before serving.

Serves 12.

Nutrition values per serving: 920 calories, 48 g fat, 116 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein, 162 mg cholesterol, 438 mg sodium

Buttermilk Pan Rolls

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 package Red Star? Quick-Rise Yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shortening

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In large mixer bowl, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda; mix well. In saucepan, heat buttermilk, water and shortening until warm (120 to 130 degrees F); shortening does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Press dough evenly into greased 9-inch square cake pan. Sprinkle top of dough lightly with flour. With table knife, cut dough into 12 rolls, cutting almost to bottom of pan. Cover; let rise in warm place about 20 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes until g olden brown. Remove from pan. Break apart into rolls; serve warm.

Makes 12 rolls.

Refrigerator Rolls

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
2 cakes yeast
8 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
2 eggs, beaten

Mix boiling water, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and shortening together; cool until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water; add 1 teaspoon sugar and stir in 4 cups of flour; beat well. Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix thoroughly to a smooth dough; knead slightly. Place in a large greased bowl; grease top of dough; cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Remove as much as needed and shape as desired. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Seasoned Sticks

2 cups lukewarm water
2 packages active dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg white, beaten
Seasoned salt, onion powder, coarse salt
    or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water in large bowl. Stir in sugar, flour and oil. Knead on lightly floured board for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl. Cover; let stand for 30 minutes

Divide dough into thirds. Pat out dough to cover 3 well-greased cookie sheets. Cut dough into 1-inch wide, 5 inches long sticks. Brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle desired seasoning over the tops of sticks. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.

Yields 7 1/2 dozen sticks.

Cumin Salt

Sprinkle this on freshly-made corn tortilla chips!

1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Escabeche

1 pound tomatillos, husked and halved
1 whole mild green chile, roasted and
    sliced in several fat strips
1 whole mild red chile, roasted and
    sliced in several fat strips
2 fresh jalape?os
6 garlic cloves, halved
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Arrange tomatillos, chiles and garlic decoratively in a 1-quart jar or bottle. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour into the jar as much of the liquid as will fit. Cool the mixture to room temperature, cover, and chill for at least 5 days.

These vegetables will keep, refrigerated, for 2 months or longer.

Fajita Marinade

2 pounds skirt steaks (fajitas)
3/4 cup Mexican lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Halve the skirt steaks lengthwise. Mix the remaining ingredients. Marinate skirt steaks for no more than 1 hour. Grill the skirt steaks slowly over mesquite.

Raspberry Buns

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup tepid milk
1 large egg, beaten
8 to 10 teaspoons raspberry jam

Mix the flours, salt and baking powder together. Rub in the butter and then work in the sugar. Add the milk to the egg and mix them into the dry ingredients. Form the mixture into eight to 10 balls and place them on a buttered baking sheet. Make a well in each ball with your finger and put 1 teaspoon of raspberry jam into the well. Fold the dough over the well to seal it. Bake the buns in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

Firehouse Chili Powder

This powder is fresher tasting and more pungent than a store-bought brand, so use a bit less. If you are a purist, never substitute this for pure chile powder.

6 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon dried mild or hot chile peppers
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix all ingredients and grind to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, or process in a food processor or blender. This has a shelf life of up to 6 months.