Campechana Means “From Campeche”
Mexican food in Tucson comes in many shapes and sizes, and has many inspirations. At Guadalajara Grill, we see our Mexican restaurant as taking inspiration principally from our home state of Jalisco, but we are incredibly inspired by the diversity of regional cuisines from across Mexico. That's why we started our Mexican Culinary Tour, to showcase some of this diversity and share some authentic and less common Mexican dishes with our wonderful Tucson guests. These recipes, like those we've published previously, have their roots in authentic local recipes in their state of origin, and we strive to prepare each dish authentically and with care, always using only the freshest highes quality ingredients.
This month, we're featuring Campeche, so why not dig in a little bit to the food traditions of Campeche. In the old days, corn was the base of the food pyramid for the inhabitants of Campeche and the rest of the Mayan civilization it formed part of. They complemented it with beans, vegetables and fish, seafood and small game local to the region. Today, the cuisine of Campeche is a rich combination of local, regional and imported ingredients first introduced by European settlers. The diverse flavors include typical dishes such as panuchos,empanadas, tamales and tacos as well as exquisite seafood such as poached and braised fish, crab legs and a variety of dishes based on octopus and squid. In the Summer, Moro Crab and shrimp are local delicacies. Specialities not made from seafood, such as this delicious Pollo a la Pibil, are influenced by Mayan traditions and feature achiote ( made from a seed typical to the region, and are often slow cooked while wrapped in banana leaves to keep in the juices and flavor.
Try these simple, unique and visually appealing dishes at home with friends and family or use it to impress company. Authentic Campeche style!This month, we feature two typical Campechana style dishes as part of our Culinary Tour of Mexico. Even if you haven’t been to Campeche, we hope they will give you a small taste of what you’re missing!
Pescado a la Campechana
• 4 White fish fillets ( fish of your choice)
• 4-6 New Potatoes (small and round), cooked and cut into slices
• 3 Tomatoes, diced • 1 oz Cilantro, diced • 4 Chile Ancho, cooked and liquefied in a blender • 2 Green Peppers, grilled or broiled, peeled and sliced • 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic, diced • Butter, salt and pepper • 2 Avocados, peeled and halved, then thinly sliced
• Pan fry the fish fillets in butter for 4 minutes on each side, then add the diced tomato, onion and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.
• Add the blended Chile Ancho liquid and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
• Add the sliced new potatoes, sliced green peppers to the mix, and cook for another 2-3 minutes
• Serve, accompanied with with black beans and white rice, and one half sliced avocado and lemon wedges.
Pollo a la Pibil
• 4 chicken breast, boneless or bone in as you prefer • 1 cup of orange juice • 2 oz of white or apple cider vinegar • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 2 Tomatoes, sliced • 1 Onion, sliced • 1 Orance, sliced thinly • 4 banana leaves • Butter, achiote powder, salt and pepper to taste
• Whisk the achiote powder in the vinegar and orange juice, adding salt and pepper to taste and place in a shallow dish.
• Marinate the chicken breasts for 30-120 minutes
• Spread out the banana leaves, and place one chicken breast inside of each. Cover with achiote sauce, and several slices of tomato, onion and orange.
•Wrap and fold the banana leaves to seal in the chicken and juices. If the seal is incomplete, wrap again in aluminum foil to avoid dripping.
• Bake at 300, or place on a covered grill, for one hour to slow cook.
• Serve with white rice and black beans, atop a bed of spinach leaves and garnish with sliced tomato and avocado.
Want to download the recipes? Just click here:
Guadalajara Grill's Mexican Culinary Tour continues in April, 2011 to our neighbor State of Sonora. The cuisine of Sonora has a long and rich tradition and has been influenced by many cultures. Living in the desert southwest of Arizona, you may eat a lot of Mexican food... but until you have eaten the Sonoran style Mexican food... you won't know why we think it's one of the best tasting styles of Mexican food... ever!
Since we share a desert border with Sonora, it's easy to forget that Sonoran cuisine is enriched by the delicious fresh seafood from the Sea of Cortez, and we've captured that influence with two delicious seafood dishes this month. We'll also introduce you to our original version of another Sonoran staple, Frijoles Charros, served alongside a tasty marinated Cowboy Style Sirloin.
This month, Chef Edgar Gomez offers you three traditional & innovative Sonoran favorites that embody the diversity and native ingredients of the region. Available every day after 4:00pm starting April 8th, 2011. Reservations recommended.
Pescado a la Mexicana $18.95
Fresh fish fillets pan fried in a flavorful sauce of tomato, garlic and Chipotle chiles, surrounded by a cornucopia of Sonoran vegetables including onion, carrot, zucchini squash and green peas plus green olives to add a Spanish touch. Served with white rice and black beans.
Bistec Ranchero Sonorense $17.95
Top quality Sirloin of beef, cooked in a light and tangy marinate of freshly blended tomatoes and cilantro, with chunks of potato and onion and Anaheim chile. Served with our original version of the Sonoran favorite "Frijoles Charros" and white rice, this is a traditional Northern Mexican Cowboy style favorite.
Camarones y Mejillones en Salsa de Cerveza $17.95
Sonora is famous for its excellent beers, which have been brewed there since 1835. In this local Sonoran favorite, we start with juicy shrimp and fresh mussels cooked in a uniquely flavorful sauce of dark beer mixed with and freshly blended tomatoes and Guajillo chiles, onion and garlic. Served with white rice and black beans. Wash it down with a dark Mexican beer, now available on draft.
The cuisine of the Mexican State of Yucatan is both delicious and diverse, consisting of a mouth watering mixture of flavors of Mexican and European origin.
The presence of the ancient Mayan culture is everywhere visible, and the people of Yucatana today enjoy an unbroken link to the culinary traditions of their ancestors that date back milenia and make use of the abundant local incredients like fish, fruit, corn, bitter orange, tamarind, squash, lime and avocado.
Long isolated from the rest of Mexico by difficult terrain that made travel by road nearly impossible, but blessed with many natural ports, Yucatan's cuisine was influenced by the ingredients and styles that arrived on ships from Europe, New Orleans, and Cuba, who introduced meat and fowl.
This month we are featuring three authentic dishes that are simple and elegant. Come in during the month of March to try them, and download the recipes to try them at home.
Guadalajara Grill's Culinary Tour is our deep dive into the authentic local and regional cuisines of Mexico. Chef Edgar, Seth and Emma, and the entire staff take great pride in sharing their love of Mexican food with the people of Tucson. While our inspiration comes principally from Guadalajara, our commitment to preparing both traditional and innovative Mexican cuisine challenges us to continue to expand our horizons, and we could think of no better way than immersing ourselves further into the rich culinary traditions from across Mexico.
If you're looking for a fun and family-friendly dining experience in Tucson, then are sure that our Tucson restaurants will provide you a fun, delicious and entertaining night out. And now, with our Mexican Culinary Tour, you can come along for the ride and experience an incredible variety of authentic Mexican food right here in Tucson.
Make a reservation to visit us at our West location at 1220 Prince Road, or our new East location at 750 N Kolb Rd.
Say hello to Edgar Gomez, the man behind the Mexican Culinary Tour at Guadaljara Grill, as well as all the other top quality dishes featured on our regular menu of delicious traditional and innovative Mexican food.
In developing the Mexican Culinary Tour, Chef Edgar searched far and wide for sources of authentic Mexican recipes. In so doing, he built up an enormous collection of cookbooks and articles that bring together one place the tremendously rich diversity of Mexican cooking, to add to his already extensive collection and years of experience as a chef in Mexico and the United States. There is so much diversity of cuisine in Mexico that even Chef Edgar was astonished by its depth and breadth. As legendary Mexican Chef and cookbook author Diana Kennedy knows and would likely attest, it would literally take a lifetime to become familiar with all the variants of Mexican cuisine.
Notably, Chef Edgar came across a rare collection of out of print books that were published by the Mexican Department of Cultural Preservation in order to preserve for posterity many of the authentic recipes of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. These recipes are as authentic as they get.
In developing the recipes Guadalajara Grill is featuring in our Mexican Culinary tour, he and his assistants have spent countless hours testing these original recipes and adapting them where needed to ensure a great final outcome with ingredients typically available locally in Tucson or other locations in the US. Since recipes are living things, just like language, they represent a tradition, and a lineage of people who have shared and transmitted them. As such, they can be adjusted and personalized to taste by whomever is following them.
Chef Edgar and the entire Guadalajara Grill team hope that you will try our authentic Mexican specials, using Mexican recipes that are as real and time-tested as they come. Try them out yourself at home, by downloading the recipes on the Culinary Tour page of this site, and share them with friends. If you do try the recipes, please let us know what you think by leaving us a comment here on this blog or by reviewing our restaurant and your meal on one of the leading review sites such as Yelp, Urban Spoon or Trip Advisor.
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Calabacitas Olmecas are Olmeca-style Zucchini squash stuffed with Shrimp. The Olmecas were a native people of Tlaxcala over 1,000 years ago, and were a close relative of the Mayans. Among the first tribes to inhabit Tlaxcala, they built a large and important city at Cacaxtla, near present day Tlaxcala. This is Mexican Food in Tucson at its most original and authentic best.
This flavorful shrimp dish will make a great impression on any occasion.
- 1 cup of cooked yellow corn 12 small or 6 large zucchini squash (depending on what is available where you shop)
- 4 Tomatoes (baked or slow cooked in a frying pan to soften)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 large onion, 1/2 finely diced
- 1 lb small shrimp
- 2 Chiles Serranos or Jalapenos
- 1 cup of Queso Fresco
- 4 Chiles Poblanos (cooked, cleaned, and cut into strips)
- Salt and Pepper
- Oil, Butter or Margarine
- Blanche the zucchini for several minutes in hot water, just below a boil, or Microwave for 2-3 minutes, to partially cook and soften.
- Without breaking their outer shell, slice the top 1/4 lengthwise off the zucchini, and carefully scoop out the inside with a teaspoon, leaving enough thickness in the outer walls and shell to retain structure. Place in a baking dish.
- Using a blender or food processor, prepare the salsa by pureeing the garlic, 1/2 non-diced onion, cilantro, chiles serrano and cooked tomatoes. Set aside.
- In a sauce pan, heat the oil or butter and add the diced onion and shrimp, and allow to cook 5 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of the salsa to the shrimp, and cook another 5 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill the zucchini squash with the shrimp and salsa mixture, sprinkle the top generously with queso fresco, then lay the strips of Chile Poblano on top of the cheese.
- Place in oven at 400 degrees 3-5 minutes or until the cheese has turned a golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and decorate each piece by sprinkling yellow corn kernels on top.
- Serve 2 small, or 1 large stuffed zucchini per guest, accompanied by with white beans and rice or the sides of your choice.
Come join Guadalajara Grill Tucson's Mexican Culinary Tour.
This month of July, 2010 we are going to take you to Puebla, home to Popocatepetl the volcano called “Popo” by locals. Still steaming hot, Popo often spills molten red lava down the hillside.
And if you want to fill your home with the delicious tastes of Puebla, and serve up something as hot and steamy as Popo, try our Sopa de Flor de Calabaza, or Squash Blossom Soup.
Here is our recipe:
- 2 lbs. Squash Blossom, Cleaned and Chopped
- 1 Liter of Chicken Broth Oil
- 2 Roasted Poblano Chiles Cut Into Strips
- 2 Cleaned Potatoes
- 1 Diced Onion
- Manchego Cheese
- Salt, Garlic, and Pepper to Taste
- Fry the Onion in Oil
- Add the Potatoes, the Chicken Strips, and the Chopped Squash
- Blossom and Leave Frying in Oil
- Add the Chicken Broth and Boil.
- Finally, Add the Cheese, Lower the Heat and Serve
Accompany the Soup with Flour Tortillas
Just like Popo, our Squash Blossom Soup is a local attraction in Puebla. Served steaming hot, this chicken broth based soup is chock full of fresh potatoes, chiles, manchego cheese chunks and colorful squash blossoms. Just don’t be like Popo: keep it in your bowl!!
If you were walking between the aisles at Puebla’s Los Sapos market, you might see women colorfully attired and laboring over a molcajete (yep, the same kind of stone dish we use for our Molcajete dishes), grinding the spices for Chile en Adobo with a mortar & pestle.
The market in Puebla is filled with everything you could possibly imagine, from fresh nopales and corn, to every kind of fresh or dried or smoked or ground chile that you can imagine. You would even see large baskets full of dried grasshoppers that are lightly dusted, like most every snack food in Mexico, with a light red chile powder. They're aren't that bad, honestly!
And you would see other large baskets and bags filled to the brim with nuts, and dried fruits, cloves and other spices like cinnamon, not to mention all the fresh fruits and vegetables that converge from all over Mexico's heartland.
Throughout the market are food stands, where small vendors set up shop to serve local dishes made from the very foods that surround you in the market. One dish you might see in the market is now on our menu during the month of July at Guadalajara Grill in Tucson, Pescado en Adobo.
The smiling Mexican marketplace cook, in her bright and colorful clothing, would start out by taking adding her fresh ground Adobo spice mix to hot oil and pan frying it to meld the flavors, before adding a fillet of fresh Pacific or Gulf whitefish and searing on both sides while cooking in the delicious, tangy, slightly spicy Adobo sauce that has an almost smoky quality.
Traditionally served with rice and fresh salad, this authentic Pueblan dish is light, fresh and satisfying. Pull up a stool and join us! Served every day after 4pm during the month of July, and weekends all day after 11:00am.
Here's the recipe:
- 8 White Fish Fillets (we used Alaskan Halibut this time, which is not a fish that would be typically be used in Mexico...but we loved how it performed in Adobo sauce. Use the fish of your preference.)
- ¼ oz. Cumin
- ½ oz. Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 5 Chiles Anchos2 Guajillo Chiles
- 3 Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Cinammon Stick
- 1 Roll of White Bread
- Queso Fresco ( A Creamy, Soft, Mild Unaged White Cheese)
- Clean Chiles / remove seeds & soak 10 min
- Grind Cloves, Cinnamon, Pepper, Salt, Garlic, Cumin, Oregano with Tomatoes, Chiles & Bread
- Fry all of the ground ingredients in hot oil, add a little water but let marinade remain thick, then let stand
- Fry the Fish in Margarine for 5 Minutes on each side Until Fish is Cooked
- Place the Fish on a Plate and Bathe with the Marinade.
- Decorate with Queso Fresco
Accompany with White Rice and Salad. Serves 8.
Just a few hours southeast of Mexico city, after passing quaint farms and cactus-studded hillsides, one comes to PUEBLA. Seat of viceroys, and one of two historic centers of the Catholic church in the New World. It’s a place where Spanish and indigenous cultures and cuisines converged. Some call it the culinary capitol of Mexico. The colors are so bright you might think the whole town was painted with a box of Crayola crayons.
At Guadalajara Grill, we want to teach you about Mexican food and culture from all across the many great regions and states of Mexico right here at our Tucson restaurant. Our Chiles en Nogada, synonomous with Puebla, are a delicious and uniquely flavorful mix of these rich and colorful traditions.
Here's the recipe if you want to try them at home:
Chiles Rellenos en Nogada (Walnut Sauce)
- 1lb. Ground Beef
- ½ Cup of Almonds
- ½ Cup of Raisins
- 12 Roasted Poblano Chiles, with stems and seeds removed
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 2 chopped peaches
- 2 chopped pears
- 2 chopped apples
- 3 roasted tomatoes,chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of Picadillo
(Ground Beef Minced with Fruits & Vegetables):
- Place the Garlic and Onions in Hot Oil Add the Ground Beef When it Starts to Brown
- Add Tomatoes and Cook for 5-10 Minutes
- Add All Fruit, Salt, Sugar, and Pepper to Taste for Seasoning
- Let Simmer for 15 Minutes
- Fill the Chiles with the Picadillo
- Put the Chiles in Oil Until Slightly Brown and Serve
Nogada Ingredients (Walnut Sauce):
- ¼ Liter of Creme
- Queso Fresco ( A Creamy, Soft, and Mild Unaged White Cheese) or Cream Cheese
- 2 Cups Walnuts
- 2 Pomegranates
Preparation of Nogada:
- Liquefy walnuts, cheese and crème cheese
- Season with Sugar, Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pour Mixture Over Stuffed Chiles
- Decorate by sprinkling with Pomegranate kernels