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What is Guacamole?

Guacamole is an avocado-based sauce that originated with the Aztecs in Mexico around the 16th century. The name comes from an Aztec dialect via Nahuatl. It has become a very popular appetizer in the Mexican cuisine as well as the American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete (mortar and pestle) with sea salt. Some recipes call for tomato, onion, garlic, lemon juice, chili and/or additional seasonings.

Ingredients for 1 batch

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Bag of tortilla chips


In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Local high school mariachi groups win state titles in Texas


mariachiHSMcALLEN — The Rio Grande Valley is now home to three new state mariachi champions.

Valley high school mariachi bands captured Class 3A, 4A and 5A Texas High School Mariachi Competition championships Saturday in San Antonio.

McAllen High School took home the 5A title, Rio Grande City High School won the 4A title, and Grulla High School the 3A title.

Of the 26 state-wide finalists within all UIL classes, 11 came from the Valley, said Alex Treviño, director of McAllen High School’s band, Mariachi Oro. Among the 11 Class 5A finalists, five call the area home.

“The kids just did a phenomenal job,” Treviño said of the 15 members of Mariachi Oro. “It’s a hard-working group.”

Mia Treviño, a sophomore violinist and vocalist with Mariachi Oro, wasn’t sure how to describe her group’s state championship.

“It’s such a big title,” she said.

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Chicken Enchiladas


What is Chicken Enchiladas?

Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times. The people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented a feast enjoyed by Europeans hosted by Hernán Cortés in Coyoacán, which included foods served in corn tortillas. Traditionally, enchiladas consist of a tortilla stuffed with meat and other food items, which is rolled up, covered with a spicy sauce, and baked. However, this dish can be filled and covered with a seemingly endless variety of ingredients.

Ingredients for 8 servings

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes


Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts.

Optional: Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.

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Grammy winning artist shares his passion for mariachi music with students

The orchestra hall at Lubbock High School was filled with the distinguishable sound of mariachi music Wednesday, Feb. 5, as students showed off their best skills to guest instructor Jesus “Chuy” Guzman with a rendition of “Los Laureles.”

Guzman — a two-time Grammy award-winning mariachi artist who toured with rock legend Linda Ronstadt — is in Lubbock this week to share his knowledge with students of the craft at both LHS and Texas Tech.

“Mariachi — it’s my life, it’s my passion, it’s my everything,” Guzman said. “I’m here to give my passion, my life to the kids because they deserve it, they want to learn our tradition of music, our passion. I hope my visit to Lubbock gives a good memory to them.”

Guzman grew up in the state of Sonora, Mexico, and moved to the U.S. in 1985, he said. In 1988, he joined the critically acclaimed Mariachi los Camperos de Nati Cano as a violinist.

The group joined Linda Ronstadt on a tour of the U.S. and Europe in 1988 and was on the road with the singer until 1994 as she promoted her albums “Canciones de mi Padre” — Spanish for “songs of my father — and “Mas Canciones,” which means “more songs.”

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Boehner picture causes a stir on Twitter

A photo of a sombrero-wearing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on the Drudge Report website stirred a passionate Twitter discussion Thursday as House Republicans gathered at their annual retreat to discuss immigration principles.

Republicans are deeply divided over immigration reform, with some in the GOP saying the party needs to move forward with legislation and others decrying plans to give legal status to illegal immigrants as “amnesty.”

Matt Drudge played up the tensions on his site Thursday, leading his page with an image edited to make Boehner appear to be wearing a sombrero.

The image on Drudge’s site, closely watched by the news and political worlds, was linked to a column by conservative writer Ann Coulter titled “Coulter: Republicans on Suicide Watch.”

Some on Twitter applauded the photo, saying they found it humorous.

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Chile Relleno Recipe


What is a Chile Relleno? 

Chile Relleno is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the city of Puebla.  It consists of a stuffed, roasted, fresh poblano pepper, sometimes substituted with non-traditional Hatch chile, Anaheim, pasilla or even jalapeño chili peppper. In its earliest incarnations, it was described as a “green chile pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs.  In current cuisine, it is typically stuffed with melted cheese, such asqueso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca or picadillo meat made of diced pork, raisins and nuts, seasoned with canella; covered in an eggbatter or simply corn masa flour and fried. Although it is often served in a tomato sauce, the sauces can vary.

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 6 poblano chile peppers
  • 5 plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 3 large egg whites plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging


  1. Char the chiles.
  2. Turn a gas burner on high. Char the chiles on the burner grate, turning with tongs, until blackened all over. You can also char the chiles under the broiler.
  3. Let them soften.
  4. Transfer the charred chiles to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and close. Let stand 10 minutes. The chiles will steam in the bag, making them soft and easy to peel.
  5. Remove the skin.
  6. Gently rub the chiles with paper towels to remove as much skin as possible. If a few flecks remain-they’ll add flavor, don’t rinse them off.
  7. Open the chiles.
  8. Using a paring knife, make a slit across the top of a chile just below the stem, leaving the stem intact. Starting from the middle of the slit, slice lengthwise down to the tip of the pepper (cut through only one layer). Open the chile like a book and pull out the seeds and inner membranes. You may need to use a paring knife to loosen the top of the seedpod. Repeat with the remaining chiles.
  9. Prepare the sauce.
  10. Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender until smooth. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato puree and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  11. Make the filling.
  12. Place the cheese in a bowl, then add the oregano, crumbling and rubbing it with your fingers to release its flavor. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  13. Stuff the chiles.
  14. Fill each chile with about 1/4 cup cheese mixture. Fold in the sides to cover the filling, then thread 2 toothpicks across the seam to form an X. You will probably need to make a second toothpick X to secure each chile so the filling doesn’t leak out when you fry.
  15. Mix the batter.
  16. Beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolk and beat 3 more minutes.
  17. Batter and fry.
  18. Heat about 1 inch vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.
  19. Dredge: Pour flour into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. One at a time, coat the stuffed chiles with the flour.
  20. Batter: Holding each chile by the stem, lower it into the egg batter to cover completely. Let any excess batter drip off.
  21. Fry: Add the chiles to the hot oil, 1 or 2 at a time; fry, flipping once with tongs, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  22. Place a fried chile on each plate and pour the warm sauce over it. Serve immediately.
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Margarita Recipe


What is a margarita?

Although, there is no solid proof who invented the Margarita. The margarita is a cocktail consisting of tequila, Cointreau and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the glass’ rim. It is the most common tequila-based cocktail in the United States. Often the drink is served shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen margarita), or without ice (straight up).

Ingredients for 1 serving 

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Triple Sec
  • 1 slice lime
  • Salt


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour in the tequila, lime juice and orange-flavored liqueur and shake well.
  3. Pour over ice in a margarita glass and garnish with the lime slice.
  4. Line the rim with salt (if desired)


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Ceviche Recipe


What is ceviche?

Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and coriander, may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors, such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, avocado, plantain or tortilla chips.

Ingredients for 12 servings

  • 2 -3 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 large Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, diced
  • 1 serrano peppers or 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 8 limes, squeezed
  • 8 lemons, squeezed
  • 2 oranges, squeezed (preferably sour oranges)
  • 2 large Avocados, diced
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced


  1. Blanche shrimp in boiling water for about 1 minute, then shock in ice cold water. Strain when cooled.
  2. Cut shrimp into 1-inch pieces and add to bowl.
  3. Add citrus juice and marinate for 2 hours.
  4. Add red onion, tomatoes, chilies and cilantro, marinate for 2 more hours.
  5. Add avocados and cucumber before serving.
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Flan Recipe


What is flan?

Flan is an oven-baked caramel custard desert that is very popular in Puerto Rico, Spain and Mexico among many other Latin countries. It is made with a top layer of custard paired with the sweetness of a light caramel sauce, which is put in the bottom of the pan underneath it. Both are baked together. When chilled and then inverted to un-mold, the sauce pours over the custard and is served as is. The typical flavoring is simply vanilla, but there are numerous variations. Flan may be prepared in a soufflè dish or in individual ramekins or flan dishes.

Ingredients for 6-8 servings



  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

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  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon aged rum (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) whole milk
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 8” round metal or glass baking pan



  1. Preheat oven at 350° F
  2. For caramel: Place sugar and water in a heavy pan. Mix and cook at medium heat until sugar is dissolved and acquires a light amber color. Cover the bottom of the custard pan with caramel and set aside.
  3. Mix the first seven ingredients (six if you exclude the rum) in a blender. Add the heavy cream, whole milk and evaporated milk and continue mixing until an even consistency is reached.
  4. Strain this mixture through a sieve and pour into the caramel-coated pan.
  5. Place pan in a larger metal tray with ½” of water and bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes. The flan will be ready when an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  6. Bring to room temperature before refrigerating. Cool overnight in the refrigerator or for a minimum of 4 hours.
  7. Flip the flan out of the pan and onto a plate for serving.
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Chicken Flautas Recipe


What is Chicken Flautas?

A tightly rolled corn tortilla filled with chicken into a thin cylinder and sometimes deep-fried and garnished with sour cream, guacamole, or salsa.

Ingredients for 8 servings

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup Mexican cream
  • 1 cup salsa of your choice
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced
  • 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled


  1. In a deep skillet, preheat 1 inch deep of oil to 350 degrees, set over medium heat. Or you can also test if the oil is ready for frying the flautas, by dipping a flauta or tortilla to see if the oil actively bubbles around it.
  2. Place a comal or a dry skillet over medium heat until hot, then heat the tortillas on the comal for about 30 seconds per side; this will prevent them from breaking when rolling them into flautas.
  3. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken on each tortilla and roll them tightly. They should be thin, not chubby rolls. You can insert wooden toothpicks through 2 to 3 flautas at a time, so they will fry evenly and hold their shape.
  4. Once the oil is hot, gently dip the flautas in it. Fry them until they have crisped and turned golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip them over so they will brown evenly, for another minute. Remove the flautas from the oil and put them on a plate or tray lined with paper towels.
  5. Alternatively, you may want to toast the flautas on a comal or bake in the oven lightly brushed with oil at 375, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Arrange them on a serving platter and garnish with lettuce, cheese, Mexican cream and salsa, or let your guests tailor to their taste.
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Serenade your loved one with a mariachi band on Valentine’s Day

mariachi-Valentines Day-love
Struggling to find a present for a loved one on Valentine’s Day? How about a Mariachi band serenade? That is what Groupon is offering one lucky person.

Almost 17,000 people have signed up to the competition, which will see an authentic Mexican folk band rock up to a workplace or similar location and perform a romantic classic.

Groupon expands: “Kitted out in authentic charro garb, the players will tenderly perform two traditional standards, handpicked for their romantic sentiments and ability to get listeners as hot and heavy as a Guadalajara summer.

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Carlsbad mariachi group receives recognition

CARLSBAD >> It was a match made perfect, courtesy of Facebook. Cipriano Anaya said he posted on his page looking for a singer to join him in a mariachi group.

He found one in Olga Dominguez and “Amor y Lagrimas” was formed. It only took a couple of months before the local residents saw what exactly their new partnership could bring them.

It led them to win an award for Best Mariachi Group Award at KUPB-TV Univision’s Stars of the Permian Basin show in November.

And now the pair is getting ready to launch their official album release at Romance on the Pecos, their release party taking place on Feb. 8 at the Walter J. Civic Center. The event will feature the unveiling of the group’s 11-song album and a live performance from the group and other acts.

Although the CD release may seem rushed, they say it could not come at a more perfect time.

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