Latinx and Hispanic dishes are some of the most diverse in the world. This is partly because of how geographically dispersed people are, but also because of the range of creativity among people and groups. Across different cultures, you will find common cooking methods and ingredients, but generally, dishes are unique and give people a sense of ownership and belonging. Think of gorditas in México and pupusas in El Salvador.
Similar to other cultures, food brings people together through the preparation process and enjoying the meal. Latin and Spanish kitchens might be a little louder – and yes we’re likely to have the music blasting while we cook – but that makes it fun! More than anything, food brings people comfort and healing and creates an opportunity to make memories that last a lifetime.
A few members of our DE&I Hispanic Heritage Month subcommittee have shared some of their favorite savory and sweet recipes below. ¡Buen provecho!
Pan de polvo (Hojarascas or “Mexican wedding cookies”) by Elsa Irby
- 6 cups of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 pound of pure lard (room temperature)
- 1 ½ cup of strong tea of cinnamon sticks (6) and anise (2 tbsp)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
1.Preheat the oven to 350F degrees
2. Mix the 1 cup of sugar and the cinnamon for the sugar dip in a bowl
– Set aside until cookies are baked and hot
3. Boil the cinnamon sticks and anise to make a strong tea
4. Take off the burner and let cool in the pot for about 20 minutes
5. Mix the flour, (1 cup) sugar, and room temperature lard with your hands (mix very well)
– To a mealy (crumbly) texture
6. Then add tea and form into a ball
7. Divide the dough ball into 6 parts
8. Work each ball with your hands until smooth
– Do one at a time
9. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough in between two sheets of wax paper to desired thickness
– Each of the 6 balls must be rolled separately
10. Use small cookie cutters to form as many cookies as desired
11. Place on a baking sheet (Pam is not necessary)
12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown
13. Take hot cookies and dip in cinnamon-sugar mix
– Mix into the sugar mixture until the cookie is entirely coated
Arroz con Leche By Laura Motta-Mena
- ½ cup of rice (washed)
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Pinch of salt
- In a saucepan, combine the water, salt, cinnamon, and sugar and bring to a boil
- Once it’s boiling, add the rice and cook on medium heat for about 15 min
- Add the milk and cook for 5 min
Chilaquiles by Julia Tamez’ Mother
Typically a traditional Mexican breakfast dish consisting of corn tortillas cut into quarters and fried; this recipe has been re-imagined for lunch/dinner.
- 2 Corn tortillas
- 2 Chicken breasts
- 1 can of black beans
- (Preferably shredded) Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 can of La Costeña green salsa (tomatillo sauce)
- 1 container of Cacique Crema Mexicana Agria (Sour cream)
- Cook two pieces of chicken breast strips in salt water; cook the chicken for a while (trust your gut here), drain the salt water from the pan and then shred it.
- Add a can of la costeña green sauce and two tablespoons of black beans to the shredded chicken.
- Toast two corn tortillas and tear the toasted tortillas into pieces – these should look/feel like small corn chips.
- Move the toasted corn tortillas onto a plate and add the chicken/green salsa/black beans combo on top.
- Finally, add garnishes to taste such as: shredded monterey jack cheese and Mexican sour cream.
A famous Puerto Rican dish made with fried green plantains mashed with chicharrones (crispy pork skin) and garlic. Recipe
A traditional Mexican dish that consists of a thick, corn tortilla usually fried with lard or oil, layered with black beans, crumbly queso fresco, Mexican crema or sour cream, and lettuce. Any type of protein can be added as well as your choice of salasita. Recipe
A popular fritter dish from Puerto Rico that is made of green banana, taro, and stuffed with meat. Recipe
A Puerto Rican Coconut Pudding made simply with coconut milk, sugar, and cornstarch. Recipe
You can find HERE some recipes for staples like rice, beans, and tortillas.
We hope you enjoy these recipes. And for those who like to jam out to their favorite playlist while cooking, check out this Spotify Playlist created by our Hispanic Heritage Month Subcommittee and LatinxFolx affinity group, celebrating Latinx & Hispanic music and musicians.