Mexican-Style Meatballs and Picadillo

Meatballs (Albondigas)
In soup, with rice, or by themselves, Mexican-style meatballs are flavorful and tender.
·        Albondigas de Jalisco (beef and pork with zucchini)
·        Albondigas para Sopa (beef, pork, and rice)
·        Albondigas de Puebla (beef and pork with onion, mint, and cumin)
 
Here is a meatball soup recipe for you to try with your Central Market albondigas. (That's it in the photo.) Top it off with goodies like tortilla strips, sour cream/plain Greek yogurt, avocado, cheese, and fresh cilantro. I recommend using one of the robust, artisanal Mexican cheeses we have in store for Passport and cilantro from your Herb Fest plant. 
 
 
Picadilo
Picadilio is a hash-like dish made with meat (typically beef), simmered with ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and chile powder. It’s used to fill everything from peppers to tortillas. Picadilo is made in Spain and Latin America with each country putting its own twist on it. We have three varieties for you during Passport:
 
·        Picadilo Oaxaqueno (sweet spiced pork filling for rellenos, empanadas, or soft tacos)
·        Picadilo Blanco (beef filling for flautas or garnachas)
·        Picadilo Norteno (beef filling with olives and raisins for stuffing chiles or tacos).
 

See? I told you we had your dinner drama solved. You'll have an impressive meal on the table and no time. Reward yourself with a mix 'n match 6 pack of Mexican craft beers.(Did you know they have one of the best up-and-coming craft beer scenes in the world?)
 
Passport runs through May 3. Stop by and experience the fiesta!

Image credit: Dinner at the Zoo

Mexican-Style Meatballs and Picadillo

Meatballs (Albondigas)
In soup, with rice, or by themselves, Mexican-style meatballs are flavorful and tender.
·        Albondigas de Jalisco (beef and pork with zucchini)
·        Albondigas para Sopa (beef, pork, and rice)
·        Albondigas de Puebla (beef and pork with onion, mint, and cumin)
 
Here is a meatball soup recipe for you to try with your Central Market albondigas. (That's it in the photo.) Top it off with goodies like tortilla strips, sour cream/plain Greek yogurt, avocado, cheese, and fresh cilantro. I recommend using one of the robust, artisanal Mexican cheeses we have in store for Passport and cilantro from your Herb Fest plant. 
 
 
Picadilo
Picadilio is a hash-like dish made with meat (typically beef), simmered with ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and chile powder. It’s used to fill everything from peppers to tortillas. Picadilo is made in Spain and Latin America with each country putting its own twist on it. We have three varieties for you during Passport:
 
·        Picadilo Oaxaqueno (sweet spiced pork filling for rellenos, empanadas, or soft tacos)
·        Picadilo Blanco (beef filling for flautas or garnachas)
·        Picadilo Norteno (beef filling with olives and raisins for stuffing chiles or tacos).
 

See? I told you we had your dinner drama solved. You'll have an impressive meal on the table and no time. Reward yourself with a mix 'n match 6 pack of Mexican craft beers.(Did you know they have one of the best up-and-coming craft beer scenes in the world?)
 
Passport runs through May 3. Stop by and experience the fiesta!

Image credit: Dinner at the Zoo

Mole Made Easy

To make a version for dinner tonight all you need to do is gather more than 20 ingredients, including Oaxacan oregano, grind your own spices, dry, stem, and seed at least two types of chilies (whoops, did I mention you should have begun drying them yesterday?), render your own lard, make your own chicken stock, burn chile seeds outdoors so the fumes don’t leave you gasping for air…
 
What? No? But we aren’t even halfway through the 2,000 word recipe yet.
 
OK, well here’s a MUCH easier idea. Let Central Market handle of that for you. All you need to do is pop in during Pasaporte Mexico and pick up one of these featured items:
 
Market
Ready-to-Cook Pork Mole
With this dish you basically subtract about 50 steps from your mole to-do list. Just put the ready-to-go pork in the oven. Done. It’s tender, flavorful, all-natural pork butt already sauced and ready to braise. Most difficult part of this method is deciding which flavor to choose! We have Pueblan Mole Poblano, Ancho Fruit Mole (Manchamanteles), Oaxacan Red Chile Mole, and Yucatecan Cochinita Pibil in Achiote Sauce.
 
Chef Prepared
Pollo en Mole Rojo
If you want to even subtract “cook it” from your mole to-do list, then try our chefs’ ready-to-eat version of the national dish of Mexico: Pollo en Mole Rojo. It’s a dish associated with the Puebla region, and features tender chicken thighs in a red mole sauce that blends raisins and nuts with mulato, ancho, and pasilla chiles. The flavor is smoky, sweet, and spicy.
 
Mole Amarillo with Cauliflower and Mushrooms
Moles aren’t just for meat; In Mexico they are paired with vegetables and seafood, too. Our chefs created a roasted cauliflower and mixed mushrooms dish in a yellow mole sauce made with guajilo peppers, charred Roma tomatoes, white onions, and spices, thickened with masa harina (corn flour). Served as a side or front and center, the unique flavor combinations will bring something new to your table! 
 
Grocery
Mayordomo Mole
We can go halvsies with the meal prep with this one. You take care of the meat (or veggies or seafood), and we’ll handle the sauce. Mayordomo Mole is a traditional mole made with roasted mulato chiles, chocolate, and almonds. Just heat it up in a pan with a little broth, and you’ve got the perfect sauce for an authentic Mexican meal.
 
So there you have it: mole made easy. Of course, you can make your own, just please don't ask me for help. I'm exhausted just looking at the recipe. You'll find me in line to check out the Mole Amarillo with Cauliflower and Mushrooms. And the Chocoflan from our Bakery because HAVE YOU SEEN IT?! Major #FOMO happening here. (Fear Of Missing Out) Trust me. You need it in your life. 

Image credit: Edmund Vallance for Bon Appétit 

Keep Traditional Mexican Crafts Alive!

Part of our journey through Mexico was to seek out artists who are keeping traditional craftsmanship alive. We teamed up with Sofia Cruz of TEKITI, an organization that helps these artists reach more people with their goods, and she introduced us to local potters, weavers and wood carvers.
 
We were welcomed into homes and workshops to observe first-hand the skill and craftsmanship thriving in Mexico. We were amazed at the artistry, appreciative of the methods, and knew you'd love them, too.  

One of our favorite stops was watching barro canelo pottery be thrown, fired and painted. We learned that traditional Mexican cooking means it’s prepared in traditional terra cotta barro canelo cookware. So if you're wanting to elevate your Taco Tuesdays to the real thing, you need cinnamon-colored barro canelo in your kitchen! The terra cotta clay pieces are painted with Earth-colored pigments made from natural ingredients found in nature. They are food-safe and signed by the artist. 

It was an honor to watch all of these artists work, and it's an honor to share their art with you. Please come by during Pasaporte Mexico to see these works for yourself. Whether to use in the kitchen or simply display, these pieces are one-of-a-kind, handmade gems straight from the Mexican villages we visited. They'll be a neat addition to your home and make wonderful gifts. Plus, you'll be supporting these talented artists, their families and communities! 

Keep Traditional Mexican Crafts Alive!

Part of our journey through Mexico was to seek out artists who are keeping traditional craftsmanship alive. We teamed up with Sofia Cruz of TEKITI, an organization that helps these artists reach more people with their goods, and she introduced us to local potters, weavers and wood carvers.
 
We were welcomed into homes and workshops to observe first-hand the skill and craftsmanship thriving in Mexico. We were amazed at the artistry, appreciative of the methods, and knew you'd love them, too.  

One of our favorite stops was watching barro canelo pottery be thrown, fired and painted. We learned that traditional Mexican cooking means it’s prepared in traditional terra cotta barro canelo cookware. So if you're wanting to elevate your Taco Tuesdays to the real thing, you need cinnamon-colored barro canelo in your kitchen! The terra cotta clay pieces are painted with Earth-colored pigments made from natural ingredients found in nature. They are food-safe and signed by the artist. 

It was an honor to watch all of these artists work, and it's an honor to share their art with you. Please come by during Pasaporte Mexico to see these works for yourself. Whether to use in the kitchen or simply display, these pieces are one-of-a-kind, handmade gems straight from the Mexican villages we visited. They'll be a neat addition to your home and make wonderful gifts. Plus, you'll be supporting these talented artists, their families and communities! 

Keep Traditional Mexican Crafts Alive!

Part of our journey through Mexico was to seek out artists who are keeping traditional craftsmanship alive. We teamed up with Sofia Cruz of TEKITI, an organization that helps these artists reach more people with their goods, and she introduced us to local potters, weavers and wood carvers.
 
We were welcomed into homes and workshops to observe first-hand the skill and craftsmanship thriving in Mexico. We were amazed at the artistry, appreciative of the methods, and knew you'd love them, too.  

One of our favorite stops was watching barro canelo pottery be thrown, fired and painted. We learned that traditional Mexican cooking means it’s prepared in traditional terra cotta barro canelo cookware. So if you're wanting to elevate your Taco Tuesdays to the real thing, you need cinnamon-colored barro canelo in your kitchen! The terra cotta clay pieces are painted with Earth-colored pigments made from natural ingredients found in nature. They are food-safe and signed by the artist. 

It was an honor to watch all of these artists work, and it's an honor to share their art with you. Please come by during Pasaporte Mexico to see these works for yourself. Whether to use in the kitchen or simply display, these pieces are one-of-a-kind, handmade gems straight from the Mexican villages we visited. They'll be a neat addition to your home and make wonderful gifts. Plus, you'll be supporting these talented artists, their families and communities! 

Mexican Olive Oils Are a Buttery Delight

Spanish explores introduced the plants in the 1500s, and when the plants produced such amazing olive oil when rooted in Mexican soil, Spain burned the trees as a threat to the Spanish economy. But the industry survived and today you’ll find sprawling olive farms producing buttery, top quality olive oils.
 
During Pasaporte Mexico we are happy to introduce you to. It’s the first time they’ve appeared in the United States! They feature olives from OlivioMx, a farm located near Mexico's an internationally recognized El Cielo Biosphere Park. “Reserva del Cielo” protects all kinds of unique plants and animals, giving the olives an exquisite flavor and deep aroma.
 
The olives are collected under the moonlight, with the cool night air bringing out and preserving the fresh and slightly spicy fruity flavor. They are then cold pressed within hours of picking. We have three varieties for you to enjoy:
                         
     Arbequina Rich texture with slight pepper finish
 
     Arbosana Buttery with broad appeal
 
     Koroneiki Grassy with tropical fruit notes, mild pepper finish
 
All three are perfect for pairing for salads, fish, seafood, sauces, and dressings. Join us for Pasaporte Mexico and bring home Olivares de la Sierra extra virgin olive oils today!

Mexican Olive Oils Are a Buttery Delight

Spanish explores introduced the plants in the 1500s, and when the plants produced such amazing olive oil when rooted in Mexican soil, Spain burned the trees as a threat to the Spanish economy. But the industry survived and today you’ll find sprawling olive farms producing buttery, top quality olive oils.
 
During Pasaporte Mexico we are happy to introduce you to. It’s the first time they’ve appeared in the United States! They feature olives from OlivioMx, a farm located near Mexico's an internationally recognized El Cielo Biosphere Park. “Reserva del Cielo” protects all kinds of unique plants and animals, giving the olives an exquisite flavor and deep aroma.
 
The olives are collected under the moonlight, with the cool night air bringing out and preserving the fresh and slightly spicy fruity flavor. They are then cold pressed within hours of picking. We have three varieties for you to enjoy:
                         
     Arbequina Rich texture with slight pepper finish
 
     Arbosana Buttery with broad appeal
 
     Koroneiki Grassy with tropical fruit notes, mild pepper finish
 
All three are perfect for pairing for salads, fish, seafood, sauces, and dressings. Join us for Pasaporte Mexico and bring home Olivares de la Sierra extra virgin olive oils today!

Dasavena Granola: Available in U.S. for Limited Time — Exclusively at Central Market

Simple beginnings. Simple ingredients.

Dasavena Granola started small in a home kitchen, selling to friends and family. It was such a hit, the company grew into a state of the art facility where the original recipe is still handmade, just like mom used to bake it. Here's what makes this granola so delightful:
  • Whole Pecans & Almonds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Flaxseed
  • Oats
  • Raisins
  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar
  • Olive Oil

 
Meet…and eat
We will be sampling this tasty Passport product in our Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio stores. Come meet the lovely folks of Dasavena and see for yourself what all the excitement is about!
 
Bonus!
Here’s a recipe for you to try out once you bring home your bag of Dasavena Granola:
 
Dasavena Salad
• Baby spinach
• Green apple slices
• Goat cheese
• Pomegranate seeds
• Dasavena Granola

Dressing
• 1/2 cup of olive oil
• 1 squeezed lemon
• 1 teaspoon of mustard
• 1 Dash of honey
• Salt and pepper to taste
 
Enjoy it!
 
Or, if you prefer Espanol:
 
Ensalada Dasavena
• Espinacas
• Manzana verde en tiras delgadas
• Queso de cabra
• Granada
• Granola Dasavena

Aderezo
• 1/2 taza de aceite de oliva
• 1 limón exprimido
• 1 cucharadita de mostaza
• 1 chorrito de miel de abeja 
• sal y pimienta al gusto

Que la disfruten!

A Passport Special: Bouquets Inspired by Famous Mercado de Jamaica

The abundance of flowers was breath-taking. They were stacked on tables and mats, gathered in bunches, sitting in crates, and arranged in baskets and buckets. It really was a glorious sight. And the smells! The air was full of the scent of flowers. It really is something to experience. (Unless you have allergies. Then I'm not sure all the Benadryl in the world could save you, and maybe you should just wait at the cantina.)

One thing in particular that caught our attention as we strolled through the market was the incredible bouquets. They were quite creative and were made up of vibrant blooms with lots of texture and many different types of flowers arranged together.

We were so inspired by these kaleidoscopes of  brightly-colored flowers that we have created a series of bouquets for our Passport celebration that are reminiscent of the beauty and variety we saw at the market. Our special Pasaporte Mexico bouquets feature vibrant sunflowers, roses and lilies. They're wrapped in colorful, delicate tissue paper with intricate cut out designs, like the traditional papel picado of Mexico.  

Visit our Floral department and pick up yours today! They will brighten up any room or occasion. Even if the occasion is simply that it's Saturday.