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With Cinco de Mayo coming up, every foodie website known to mankind is posting recipes for Mexican food- or at least stuff they call Mexican food. Having grown up on the border with Mexico, I feel perfectly justified complaining about how most of the recipes are about as authentic Mexican as kimonos. That being said, I also feel that if it tastes good, you should go ahead and eat it. (Ask me sometime about my pregnant lady pasta salad.) But as you prepare your Mexican-style feast, I’d like you to keep in mind the following:

The 3 basic principles of Mexican food:

1. Everything tastes better with salsa – Red salsa, pico de gallo, salsa cruda, green salsa made with tomatillos. There are very few foods that can’t be approved with the addition of salsa.

2. Everything tastes better with avocado – My husband frequently refers to avocados as a divine gift. They’re high in fat, but it’s the good fat.

3. Corn! – In the US, most people are used to wheat based starches like wheat bread and noodles. But corn was actually around on this continent long before the Spanish conquistadors brought over wheat. Embrace corn based items likes corn tortillas and tamales. Not only does the corn possess lots of nice nutrients and vitamins, but it’s YUMMY.

As much as I love corn tortillas, my husband will only eat wheat flour tortillas. If you are like him, and going to choose flour over corn tortillas, at least use the following authentic recipe from my high school best friend’s mom. (She makes such great food.)

4 tasas de harina ( 4 cups of flour)
3/4 de tasa de manteca vegetal blanca ( 3/4 cup of white vegetable shortening)
1 cda de sal ( 1 tsp salt)
1/2 cda de rexal o sea baking soda (1/2 tsp baking soda)

cuando mezcles todo esto le agregas una pizca de azucar despues cuando ya este todo incorporado agregas 1 vaso de agua .el secreto que te queden buenas es la pizca de azucar que no se te olvide .sea la
cantidad que sea solo una pizca de azucar o sea lo que tomes con 2 dedos
when you mix all that together (cut the shortening into the flour) add a pinch of sugar. after it’s all incorporated add 1 cup of water. the secret to them being good is the pinch of sugar- don’t forget it. it’s the amount you would take with two fingers.

Roll out the dough and cook each tortilla on a hot cast-iron skillet.