Favorite Mexican recipes

From classic margaritas and salsa verde to crab tacos and Mexican chocolate ice cream, here are the dishes you're craving now

20 essential Mexican ingredients

From fresh tortillas to fragrant chiles, here's the scoop on finding essential foods in every aisle of your local Mexican market

Dried chiles

Dried chiles

10 | Arbol (top left). “As flavorful as the habanero, but with a fraction of the heat,” says Esparza. It’s brittle when freshly dried and doesn’t require rehydration.

Use it: Throw it in soups, canned pinto beans, and rice to give lift to a dish (pull it out before serving). Infuse tequila with it by dropping a few in the spirit, or use it in Sangrita de toro.

11 | Ancho (top right). A dried poblano with a rich, smoky flavor that Esparza especially likes with beef.

Use it: For salsa, reconstitute and purée with broth, garlic, and salt, then cook. Cool, then add cilantro and diced onion.

12 | Guajillo (bottom right). Has little heat but a fragrant, earthy flavor; Esparza calls it “the king of dried chiles.”

Use it: It’s central to mole sauces and also commonly used in red chile sauce (Chile colorado).

13 | Negro (bottom left). A chilaca that’s dried; may be sold as “dried pasilla.” It has a black color and deep flavor, like a spicy prune.

Use it: Reconstitute and purée with other dried chiles, then slow-cook with beef or pork.


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