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Mexican 101 (Win a free Cookbook!)

Written by Zipporah Malka Heller & Shifrah Devorah Witt on Thursday, 15 March 2012. Posted in Food Mood

Update: We have a winner - Mom2MandJ. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Jewish food has always been influenced by the regions where Jewish people have lived. From falafel to stuffed cabbage - your Jewish food is not necessarily somebody else's Jewish food.  Zipporah Malka Heller and Shifrah Devorah Witt, a mother-daughter team bring us the basics of  Mexican food - Kosher edition! - CookKosher

The colors pop. The taste tingles. Your guests and family can’t wait to sit down to the table. Because you are a great Mexican cook. Gone are the days of picking up a soggy burrito from the freezer section of your grocery store. Gone is the longing for the pre-kosher days of picking up tacos at the local fast food drive-in-window. Now you can do it all yourself and do it better, faster, healthier, faster and infinitely more delicious. 

"Not me" you say, "I don't even like Mexican food". Now it the time to expand your horizons and think white wine, cinnamon, almonds, raisins, tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, and of course, chilies. Now is the time to make you the star of your Mexican kitchen. What’s the appeal? It is delicious and easy. And we mean E-A-S-Y! But not only is it easy, it’s fresh, flavorful, colorful, and adaptable for meat –lovers and vegetarians alike. Plus it’s delicious. Mexican food can turn every meal into a fiesta!

To become a master Mexican cook, first get organized. Pull out your shopping list, read your recipes to make sure you have all the ingredients, then add to your shopping list anything you still need. Make the recipe exactly as it’s written. Don’t substitute anything until you know how the recipes should taste. 

Mexican Brownies

Start with the basics of Mexican cooking; fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, and homemade tortilla chips. You might use a few kitchen gadgets to make your life easier: a blender for Chimmichuri Sauce and icy cold Margaritas and an ice cream maker to create our tasty Vanilla Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Chocolate Bits. Add the Mexican Brownies if you have time and oh la la. 

If you’re a purist or like to play in the kitchen, we have recipes for all the classics from taco seasoning, taco sauce, fajita seasoning, to homemade tortilla chips and make your own taco shells. However when it’s getting late and you need to get dinner on the table quickly, it’s fine to have pre-packaged taco kits, a jar of bottled salsa, and tortilla chips for last minute go-to-meals, or you can make them from scratch if you have the time. 

Enchilada Chicken

Now about chilies, a frequent ingredient in Mexican cooking, if you don’t like heat at all, leave it out! If you aren’t sure, start slowly, taste, and add more a little at a time. Some like it hot and some don’t. Start with bottled jalapeños and fresh Anaheim’s, seeds and ribs removed. Always protect your hands with plastic gloves or just put a sandwich bag over your hands if you don’t have gloves. 

Never touch your face or eyes after you’ve handled chilies. Whatever your preference, none, mild, medium, or hot, suit yourself. Don’t try to force yourself to eat something hotter than you like. Remember if you serve something hotter than you anticipated, a tortilla chip or bread will absorb the heat. Water will spread the heat. 

Mexican Rice

Pull out those old sombreros and your colorful pottery and tablecloths.  Let’s get started with our Enchilada Chicken, Mexican Rice, and Mexican Brownies. Add a colorful tablecloth and let the Fiesta begin. Ole!

Here are three delicious Mexican recipes:


Mexican Brownies

These brownies are quick and easy to prepare, and they are even quicker to disappear from your table.

Enchilada Chicken

The taste of chicken enchiladas without all the work

Mexican Rice

This rice dish has become a classic Mexican side dish.


Want to win "Mexcian Kosher Cooking"? Leave a comment telling us how many cookbooks you own.



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About the Author

Zipporah Malka Heller & Shifrah Devorah Witt

Zipporah Malka Heller and Shifrah Devorah Witt are a mother-daughter team who authored The Best of Mexican Kosher Cooking and The Complete Asian Kosher Cookbook. They love to cook and eat together and reminisce about great food they’ve eaten. Living in the heart of Jerusalem near the shuk, Machne Yehudah, they have access to wonderful produce. Their vision is to bring high quality authentic kosher ethnic cooking to lighten up your meals and please your family and friends.

Comments (39)

  • shayndya
    16 March 2012 at 00:23 |

    Between my Pesach and chometz cookbooks, probably about 50!

  • whisktyler
    16 March 2012 at 00:24 |

    I have about 10 and can use more considering I love Mexican food this would be an asset to my collection

  • yadinoe
    16 March 2012 at 00:39 |

    Cookbooks? Probably too many to count. I would guess that I have around 70 and I'm always looking for and buying new ones. Also borrow from the library.

  • sbgm11
    16 March 2012 at 00:44 |

    Only have about 8 cookbooks. I make up a lot of recipes on my own, but would love to have another cookbook!!!! Mexican sounds so good!

  • busyrae42
    16 March 2012 at 00:57 |

    Do I really need to admit I have around 200 (8 shelves, approx 25 each)? I teach, so am always looking for new inspiration.

  • shoba
    16 March 2012 at 01:06 |

    not too many... i'm a cook kosher addict! That's where i get most of my dinner ideas!

  • jaimewinst
    16 March 2012 at 01:31 |

    I have two that were published in the '80s I got at a yard sale recently (not realizing many of the "recipes" were spilled all over the the pages through the decades), one that's just about blueberries, one from high school and one very good one. But among my five, none are kosher. I need a kosher cook book, since my fiancee Elise is banking on me being the cook, and Mexican is her favorite cuisine.

  • Mom2MandJ
    16 March 2012 at 01:50 |

    I used to collect cookbooks and had over 200 at one point, then we moved to a smaller house and I had to weed them out. I now have about 30 or so.

  • aniszys
    16 March 2012 at 02:38 |

    Around 16 books, kosher and specialty books (soups, salads, italian, etc) I love recipes! thanks for all the ones you post!

  • AidelK
    16 March 2012 at 02:59 |

    I think I have at least 50 cookbooks, none of them Mexican! Looking forward to trying the above recipes.

  • TanyaR
    16 March 2012 at 03:00 |

    Maybe 10, I love chilli peppers

  • miritaub
    16 March 2012 at 05:38 |

    I'd love to win a cookbook! But will that ever happen???? Idk... LOL

  • OvertimeCook
    16 March 2012 at 06:11 |

    Is the winner the person with the most? Because then I for SURE win! ;-) I have about 20 I look at frequently, but many more that I pull out once in a while. Whew.

  • elle
    16 March 2012 at 06:22 |

    at present i have about 30. had to down size from 100. i love to read cookbooks.

  • rozebush
    16 March 2012 at 11:55 |

    I own 10 actual cookbooks and have a drawer full of recipe tear outs and internet printouts!

  • Dyanne
    16 March 2012 at 12:43 |

    I have 23 cookbooks, 3 index card file boxes, 2, 5 slot accordion folders with recipes printed from the internet and 15 - 20 magazines from Kraft and Taste of Home.

  • RachieJ
    16 March 2012 at 15:13 |

    Not enough! About 10, plus three on my NookColor.

  • alla4you
    16 March 2012 at 15:14 |

    I have around 50 cooking books: Some of them on Russian, Ukrainian, but most of them on English. I used to americanize a lot of old recipes we brough from Russian including Jewish ones. For me, Mexican kosher is something really new.

  • MimiS
    18 March 2012 at 03:31 |

    9 cookbooks, 1 recipe book, and 2 binders for magazine recipes.

  • ShirleyS
    18 March 2012 at 20:20 |

    47 cookbooks (yes, I've used recipes from all of them), 3 binders with internet and magazine recipes, 2 overstuffed index card boxes and 1 computer program!

  • cappuccino
    20 March 2012 at 00:11 |

    20 cookbooks! More can never hurt!

  • Getmeoutofthekitchen
    20 March 2012 at 00:44 |

    At least 25, maybe more

  • scook
    20 March 2012 at 15:57 |

    I would say i have about 10 cookbooks, thought it was a lot, but compared to the collection people here have, i guess i still have some collecting to do, i'm just starting out :). But i do really use a lot of recipes from each, i like to really try most recipes before i buy a new one... A mexican cookbook would really add a zing!

  • AbbyPires
    20 March 2012 at 19:39 |

    Ooooh, that looks like a good one!

    I have five cookbooks. That's including my recipe idea book, and MY cookbook that I write finalized recipes in. I'm only fifteen years old, though. If I can get a job this summer, I'm going to work on the 'only five cookbooks thing' ;).

  • mommyrenee
    20 March 2012 at 20:09 |

    For the Purim seudah, our hostess served Mexican food that she made. It was enjoyed by all - adults & kids! What a delightful change! Hope I'll be lucky and will win the free cookbook!

  • rebecs25
    20 March 2012 at 20:25 |

    I own 24- but always looking for more! i love trying new recipes.

  • lkirshstein
    20 March 2012 at 20:43 |

    I own about 100 cookbooks. I like to collect them!

  • Voira
    20 March 2012 at 22:25 |

    I own 3 cookbooks!

  • RochelS
    21 March 2012 at 01:35 |

    I have six! Always looking for more!!

  • flourgirl
    21 March 2012 at 04:22 |

    About 20 and always adding. I love reading them!

  • Bizzy
    21 March 2012 at 14:36 |

    I read cookbooks like novels so I have many. If I had to guess, I would say about 50. I use them. I pick one a week and cook from it.

  • Broniemom
    22 March 2012 at 02:18 |

    Approximately 150 but nothing Mexican. I relax and learn by reading cookbooks. Find them to be cultural treasures.

  • dkny
    22 March 2012 at 04:01 |

    Approximately 50 cookbooks. I also see new titles and reserve them from the library for casual cookbook reading.

  • marchum
    22 March 2012 at 11:25 |

    I am passionate about cooking and I do the cooking at home, not my wife. I have no cookbooks at home as I print what I need off the internet because I have not been able to afford the ones I like.

  • ShaindyN
    22 March 2012 at 12:46 |

    I have 20 cookbooks, plus a binding spiral with a lot of clipped out recipes

  • Blima
    22 March 2012 at 16:21 |

    1 can you believe it, My family will like if I cooked more

  • olivia
    23 March 2012 at 09:23 |

    I also have 1 cookbook

  • ellabella
    26 March 2012 at 17:45 |

    about 8

  • cookinmomma
    29 March 2012 at 16:48 |

    I honestly don't own a single cook book. :( I borrow cookbooks from my mother in law, sister, and my hubby's cousin. I think its about time I own one!! =)

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