Mexican Staples: Refried Beans, Guacamole, Carnitas, Red Chile Sauce

On more than one occasion I have been asked if I was Latin (and twice if I was African American, while the person was standing right in front of me). And I have always taken this as a compliment. First, I am about as pale as a dead girl, so to think I am anything other than the living dead is flattering. Second, I would love to think I have that kind of sass in me. Sadly, I am neither Latino or African America. No, I’m a potato peeling mutt from the British Isles.

But just for today we are going to pretend I have some love in me from south of the equator while we get our chow on and walk our way through several great Mexican recipes that can be used in hundreds of combinations. I just happened to whip out my maracas and let my inner fat kids shove this all onto one killer sandwich. Bring extra napkins – you’re going to need them – or you’re doing this one wrong.

So roll up your sleeves and lets get down to business.


A friend of mine once said that the key to great refried beans like her mom’s was the fat. We’re talking bacon grease or lard. I smiled from ear to ear when I saw this recipe called for just that. And I know this is blogging blasphemy, (refried beans will not foster the same love or hits as a cupcake) but these beans were insanely good. Like stand over the skillet and shamefully eat half the batch good.



These carnitas were good and I couldn’t have asked for a more simple way to prepare them, but if you are up for the challenge, this recipe right out of the smoker is also worth checking out.


Ready for the pièce de résistance?


And that my friends, is how you throw down in my kitchen.



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  1. says

    Que rico Kita! It means that it looks delicious :) I’m also impressed that you went the authentic route. I cringe when I see some of the food that is passed of as Mexican. You had me laughing when you said you’ve been asked if you were African American. But then again my Mexican sister is as white as an Irish girl and can’t go out into the sun. Lol:) Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

  2. says

    I want to die looking at these pictures! I HAVE to use this as my inspiration for the enchiladas I plan on making this weekend! And the whole convo about being pale cracked me up – I dated a Mexican several years ago and he was whiter than I was (and half of the time you can pretty much see blood coursing through my veins in my arms and legs), and he used to dye is hair black because it ticked him off that his hair was a lighter brown – he said it wasn’t Mexican-looking enough!

  3. says

    Kita, there is a special place in my heart for pork, especially carnitas when they’re prepared this way. What a great job with this dish. All the components look and sound so spot on.

    BTW, no one ever guesses where I’m nationality/ethnicity either. It’s always fun to hear what people think my ethnic mix is. :)

  4. says

    Ha!LOL. You are seriously so funny. People try to guess my nationality too. When I’m in Italy, I’m a German…the German photographer. Here, I get asked if I’m from Argentina. These carnitas make me so happy. I would love a dish and some beer. right now.

  5. Marlen says

    Your recipes at a glance seem to be so authentic, however, your picture doesn’t make justice to this wonderful dish. I’m assuming you didn’t drawn the tortas in an attempt to keep graphics esthetics intact. The deliciousness of this dish relies in the fact that they get immerse in the sauce and the bread absorbs it, and to make it less messy they are served in a plastic bag. Probably I should mention also that this is a street car kind of food. Tortas is plural, so ahogadas is the right adjective, or torta ahogada for singular. I just want to make this great post of yours perfect, Since all the preparation involve is so time consuming it will be a shame not to achieve the whole experience. And yes, people gives me all kind of nationalities also, Hawaiian, Korean, Indian, Pakistani, Native American, only in France they could tag me right: Mexican, just like a torta ahogada.

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