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Cooking with Abuelita

Abigail Diaz

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with my abuelita in her kitchen to cook up a delicious lunch. One of her signature dishes is enchiladas, which is staple to any Méxican household. But just like barbecue cooking styles change from Kansas to Texas, the same is said for enchiladas.

My family is from Tampico, Tamaulipas which is a coastal city. The style of enchiladas isn't what we traditionally would see here in the States. The chili pepper sauce we use or “gravy” as some call it in America isn't thick and we don't mound our enchiladas with melted cheese. The key to our enchiladas is fresh ingredients, fast cooking and simple ingredients. I requested my abuelita for a basic Enchilada Tampiqueñas, which just states where the enchiladas are from. We kept it simple with our version of cheese enchiladas, in which we used fresh Mexican Cheese for the inside and Cotija Cheese for the topping. This dish is traditionally served with a cabbage salad, aguacate, arroz y frijoles.

Overall the day was special and memorable. I don't get to spend that much time with my abuelita, but making time to learn the skills and sharing the kitchen with her was all worth it.

Photo Credit: Marco Torres of