Friday, August 16, 2013

Yucatan Dishes Daily In Isla Mujeres

Many of these foods are unique to the Yucatan, while some are Mexican dishes, often made in a regional style. Of course they also vary kitchen to kitchen. This is a list of specials collected over time from Manolito's, a loncheria near our B & B, with some explanations, recipes, and photos. You can visit Manolitos on FB here & see more photos of their tasty food.

*POLLO A LA CAZUELA  Chicken in a Pan (see Beef steak Cazuela)

*BISTEC A LA CAZUELA   Steak in a Pan (w sofrito  sauce)
*BISTEC     Steak
  ( baked tamales of espelon with loin, & colados style tamales which are served cold & the masa is made from fresh corn ground with milk. They also sell steamed tamales on special.) 
*POLLO ADOBADO  Chicken in roasted chile adobo sauce 
*PUERCO ADOBADO   Pork in chile sauce/adobe
*PICADILLO CON PAPAS  Seasoned ground meat with potatoes (photo below)
*CAZON A LA MEXICANA   Young shark (dogfish) Mexicana

*ESCABECHE DE POLLO  Yucatec Chicken & Onion Stew
 *FRIJOL BLANCO CON PUERCO White beans & pork

*PUERCO ADOBADO Pork in Chile sauce/adobe
*POLLO AL CAPARRADO  Smothered Chicken
(link for more info)
*CHILES RELLENOS   Stuffed breaded chiles
*BRAZO DE REINA (after 1 30) see below.

*CALDO DE RES  Beef soup
 *POLLO EN SALSA VERDE  Chicken in green sauce
ALBONDIGAS CON FIDEOS  meatballs with pasta

*PECUGAS RELLENAS  Stuffed chicken breasts
*DZACOL DE POLLO Chicken Dzacol 

 *PUCHERO DE DOS CARNES  Stew of two meats
*CARNE POLACA Polish meat?

«MOLE DE POLLO $55   Chicken in Mole sauce
«CALABACITAS CON PUERCO $55   Pork and young squash
«POLLO PIBIL $55  Chicken Pibil / Yucatec style 
«PEZUÑAS CAPIADAS $55  Pig's Feet in tomato sauce  
*TRAPO VIEJO     Seasoned Pulled Beef  
*POLLO FRITO CON SOPA  Fried Chicken with soup
 *COSTILLAS EN SALSA VERDE   Ribs in green sauce
*POZOLE  ESTILO JALISCO  Pork hominy stew  in red sauce
*MONDONGO KABIC   Tripe stew
*PECHUGAS RELLENAS DE JAMON Y QUESO   Chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese
POC CHUC Marinated, grilled pork slices
CHILMOLE DE FRIJOL CON PUERCO Black beans with pork in black mole  
PUERCO CHIRMOLE  Pork in black mole
~POLLO A LA YUCATECA  Yucatec style Chicken
 CHULETA A LA YUCATECA  Yucatec style pork chop  
~POLLO CON FIDEOS  Chicken w noodles

Explanations of some of the dishes: 

Poc Chuc is marinated/seasoned with achiote, sour orange, & other seasonings which often include black pepper. Then it is grilled over charcoal.

Pollo al Caparrado ior Chicken with capers includes the following incredients (in the recipe I found online): mustard, onions, garlic, a chile, olives, and bayleaf. The chicken is coated with the mustard and browned. The other incredients are made into a tomato sauce & it is served with rice.

Frijol con Puerco is black beans cooked with pork and flavored with epazote* and onions. The pork may include smoked chops, bacon, or chorizo, and other seasonings may be added. It is often garnished with herbs, radishes, tomato, avocado, and onion & served with tortillas. It is often eaten on Mondays & is one of the usual Monday specials at Manolito's.
Pollo a la Cazuela is a chicken stew that is typically made with onion, garlic, and vegetables which often include tomato, green pepper and potatoes, and it is usually seasoned with bay leaf and oregano.
Pollo a la Yucateca is made by marinating chicken  in achiote and sour orange juice, and other recado* spices may be added. It may be grilled or fried to brown it, then it is baked (and may be wrapped with banana leaves while baking.) 
Chuletas a la Yucateca is made by marinating pork chops  in achiote and sour orange juice, and other recado* spices may be added. They may be grilled or fried to brown them, then baked (and may be wrapped with banana leaves while baking.)
Puerco Chirmole /  Chilmole is a black mole sauce & in this dish it is paired with pork, and it is often garnished with hard boiled egg. The mole is made with recado negro, a spice mix*, roasted chiles (multos, anchos, pasillas, habaneros), achiote, black peppers, garlic, epazote,  achiote, tortillas darkly toasted, and a little vinegar.  

This is how Chicken Escabeche is made .. 1. Combine coriander, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon; set aside. Whisk together:  half the spice mix, orange, grapefruit, and lime juices, and minced garlic; add chicken pieces, marinade & refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (Or just use juice of sour oranges)
2. Meanwhile, Roast the garlic gloves & char the  chiles.

3. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade, char chicken on both sides on grill.
4.. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Add onions & remaining spice mix, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Stir in charred chiles and garlic, & return chicken to pan  with reserved marinade and stock; bring to boil, then simmer covered, until chicken is cooked through. Uncover, reduce liquid; serve with tortillas. The chicken is often shredded.
Recipe edited from Pollo en Escabeche Oriental (Yucatán-Style Chicken and Onion Stew) (in English) photo : James Oseland 
How to make Steak Cazuela
First you make a "Sofrito" with oil, onions, garlic, pepper, oregano, cumin, bay leaf and tomato sauce, and then you add the steak & cook for a couple minutes, then add potatoes, cooking wine, olives, salt, enough water to cover, and cook.. one recipe adds a packet of sazon Goya. Some recipes include green pepper, some leave the steaks whole. Details in English HERE    Photos &(edited) recipe (in English) from Cocina de Nathan

Adobo de puercoPork Adobe is made with pork ribs & another cut of pork (pierna/leg) browned & simmered with garlic, salt, & thyme. (They may be marinated first in sour orange & achiote,)  For the sauce: Ancho & guajillo chiles  are roasted & seeded. Cumin, cloves, allspice, black pepper, garlic, & onion are roasted, They are blended & made into a sauce (adobo), added to meat. In this version, Knorr seasoning can be added. Adjust & serve w rice. Photo & recipe HERE  at misrecetas

Pollo adobado is made by marinating chicken pieces in sour orange & achiote, while roasting onions, chiles & garlic; then cooking them together in broth with tomatoes & a bay leaf.  Other recado spices may be used like cumin, cloves, allspice, and black pepper. (This is the same as Pork Adobe, but with chicken)

 Here is an recipe for Brazo de Reina:
..boil and peel a dozen eggs. Season 900gms of masa with salt and pork lard (to taste), and add the 300g of thinly chopped chaya, and 200g of crushed pumpkin seed (calabaza molida) and knead well for 10 mins.Form the "arms" brazos by dividing the dough into four squares 20x20cm, putting the boiled eggs in the center, and carefully roll them up and secure with half a banana leaf and tie (use a strip of the leaf).Cook in a water bath for 90 mins. Serve in 3cm slices topped with tomato sauce and sprinkled with ground pumpkin seeds.(Recipe is courtesy of chef Miriam Restaurant Azcurra Kinich of Izamal in Yucatan, Mexico during the culinary festival 'A taste of Merida' made ​​in the Jaguar Restaurant in Coconut Grove. FL.Site & photo credit F.Cuevas/Univision OnlineBrazo de reina)
Photo of Picadillo with potatoes from Manolito's.. Picadillo is similar to hash, but with different seasoning. The seasoned ground meat is cooked with very finely diced vegs. Included in the recipe often are: green peppers, onion, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, cloves, cumin,olives, cinnamon, chile. Picadillo is used to stuff turkeys at holidays and Manolito's puts it into some very tasty chile rellenos. It means "bits & pieces", and is often made from a mix of ground beef and pork.

 Chicken Pibil recipes vary, but generally it is made by marinating chicken pieces or breasts  in sour orange & achiote with spices;  a recado. There are different recados & there are vendors in Isla Mujeres who sell them. This one commonly consists of  cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, and coriander. Then you can wrap each piece in a softened banana leaf with slices of onion & tomato, epizote, salt, and a little lard, then in aluminum foil and steam or bake. (spices vary, a bay leaf is often included). Chicken is usually served shredded, accompanied by pickled onions, rice, tortillas, and salsa.

Pork & Calabacitas (young squash) is generally made by cutting everything into pieces, browning the pork, then adding tomatoes, onions, garlic, (poblano/can vary) chiles, corn, and young zuccini,  (seasonings vary) & cooking it down in its own broth. 

Pezunas Capeadas is usually prepared by precooking the pigs feet, often with onion & seasonings, then deboning, battering and frying the meat , and simmering it in a tomato sauce.

  White Bean Stew in the Yucatan is made with pork, (cuts vary & can include smoked pork chops, bacon & chorizo) and white beans. Other ingredients usually include tomato, onion, garlic, chiles, & pepper. Seasonings are usually recado colorado*, or cumin & oregano & achote, with sour orange to marinade the meat.  Ingredients that may be included are cabbage, potatoes, chiles, 
squash, carrots, olive oil, greens,and platano macho.  This is also called potaje de ibes. *Recado colorado can be bought in Isla Mujeres, or you can make your own. It usually includes Mexican oregano, achiote, black pepper, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cumin, and garlic

  Meatballs & pasta  (ALBONDIGAS CON FIDEOS)
 In the Yucatan, meatballs & pasta are usually served in a savory broth, called caldo. The meatballs may be seasoned with onion, oregano, cumin, parsley, salt, pepper, and herba buena (mint) and usually held together with eggs & flour (maiz & wheat).  
    Chilmole de friol con puerco is black beans with pork, seasoned with a mole of recado negro, epazote, and tomatoes, thickened with masa or toasted tortillas.
    Lentil Stew---

    Explanation of Ingredients
    *Epazote ("eh pah ZOH tay") is an herb traditionally used to flavor black beans whose name is is derived from Nahuatl: epazōtl. It is believed to reduce the flatulence caused by beans, and has a mild distinctive flavor that you will recognize if you've eaten bean soup in Isla Mujeres. You will see it in most gardens or in containers on patios and roofs around the island.. It grows about three feet tall with tiny green flowers and a weedy appearance. ) 
    *Recado: spice paste with some combination of cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, coriander,. It is often mixed with sour orange & achiote. The common ones sold in Isla Mujeres are colorado, negro, & blanco.
    *Achiote: from the seeds of the annatto plant, used for flavor & color in some recados, tikinxic (grilled fish), pibils, poc chuc, & many other yucatec dishes. Sold in cakes (pressed powder) & often combined with sour orange to make a paste or marinade.

    Achiote is used in most traditional Maya cooking
    Annatto ( English), 
    Achiotl / Ku'u up (Maya), 
    Achiote (Spanish),  
    Native to Mexico, now grown in many countries for its great taste and natural coloring qualities.
     Su'uts' pak'aal (Maya) 
     Naranja-Agria (Spanish)
    Green, with a thick bumpy skin, often used in sauces; tastes like a combination of lime and orange.

    From Food In Isla Mujeres (link)  
         Relleno means stuffed. Poblano chiles are used, removing the seeds, ribs, and skins, so they usually they are not hot, with some 'kick' at the top where the ribs may remain, inside the stem. Picadillo is ground meat (pork and beef, or just one, with finely chopped vegies..often onion, carrot, bell pepper, and potatoes, maybe tomatoes, with seasonings, which may include garlic, and a little cloves.)
    Both meals with sides, including delivery, together were 115p...about $9 plus tip.
     Rellenos moved to a plate...

    We have eaten at Manolitos in the evening & many of our guests have recommended it. Bruce really liked these Chicken Empanadas & the Turkey Salbute

    The Weekend Specials:  Roast Baby Pig  

     ~7am, until sold out. TACOS $12  *TORTAS $30  *KILO $200
    Lechon al Horno Roasted whole pig

    Photo: todos los sabados
apartir de las 8 am
*por kilo
y apartir de las 12 del dia
*queso relleno
*puchero de dos carnes
estamos hubicados a unos pasos de la capilla de guadalupe pedidos al 9981448474Photo: SABADO



        QUESO RELLENO:   Edam Cheese stuffed with picadillo (seasoned ground meat & finely diced vegs), with a white & a red sauce (See below for more info on Picadillo)

     PUCHERO DE DOS CARNES  Stew of two meats- The meats are usually beef & pork, the seasonings may include chiles, cilantro, mint, peppers, cloves, pepper, androasted garlic. Other ingrediants include corn, squash, chayote, potatoes, carrots, limes, rutabaga, platano macho (lg banana). The salsa may include habanero, radishes, cilantro, and sour orange.



*TACOS $12
*KILO $200


    Cochinita pibil  is  slow roasted young pig  marinated with achiote & sour orange, and other seasonings. Traditionally it was roasted in a pit, wrapped in banana leaves. It is tender & succulent, without any strong flavors from the seasonings.  200 pesos is ~$16.50/kg or ~$7.50/lb. The tacos are equal to a dollar each and the sandwiches would be $2.50 US  Those are pickled onions on the torta. Photo of torta from Manolitos fb. other from

    The Other Sunday Specials each week are:
    chilmole / México DesconocidoRelleno Negro is a Yucatan turkey stew with a black broth that is garnished with hard boiled egg, which may be inside a pork meatball. Eaten with tortillas of course, and often rice. It is also called Chilmole. The black color of the broth can seem unappealing; it comes from the roasted chiles in the mole., and from toasted tortillas. Foto: México Desconocido
    I have not seen Relleno Blanco, (White) so I am guessing the difference is probably  the mole, and possibly from using the recado blanco vs the recado negro? And not adding the toasted tortillas that make it black... the mole sauce must be different.  *Recado: spice paste with some combination of cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, coriander. (see Explanation of Ingredients below) 
    Pozole is not a specific to the Yucatan. It has been  eaten at special occasions throughout Mexico for many centuries...long before the arrival of Europeans. It is a stew of shredded pork, often with chicken or turkey,  and pork rinds. The essential ingredient is hominy (nixtamalized maize/corn). It has a richly flavored, savory broth and garnishes that usually include lettuce or cabbage, radishes, oregano & cilantro, onion, and lime.  There may be powdered chiles available. Pozole has different regional styles, and "Jalisco" has red broth & is also called pozole rojo.Foto: Thinkstock/GettyImages
    Mondongo Kabic  is a Yucatec stew made with cow's stomach, (tripe) cooked in sour orange and seasoned with onions, tomato, garlic,achiote, chiles, epazote, and oregano. Garnishes are similar to pozole


     Monday Specials always include  Frijol con Puerco: Yucatec style Beans with Pork is made with black beans, pork, epazote*, chiles, and onions. 

    The DAILY SPECIALS are available ~noon & usually include Pork or Chicken Milanesa (60p):

    Which is similar to  "Chicken Fried Steak" and "Chicken Parmesan";  a seasoned, breaded,  fried cutlet Photo from MexicoFood&more 

     and Poc Chuc (60p) Yucatec pork BBQ  (which is usually marinated with sour orange and achiote)


    Chamoyadas are sweet & sour & spicy. They are a smooth slushy blend of ice, fruit, sugar, and chamoy sauce & chili sauce,  often garnished with a stick of tamarind.  Chamoy is a bottled sauce that is savory & made from pickled fruits. (wiki link for more info in English)

    ..Mexican chamoy is prepared by first packing the fruit in either dry salt or a brine. Occasionally, this brine is acidulated with vinegar. This draws out the natural moisture of the fruit by osmosis. When the fruit has been sufficiently dried, it is separated from the brine and is sold as a snack known as saladitos, literally 'little salty things.'
    Meanwhile, the salted fruit brine created in this process is seasoned to taste with chile powder, becoming chamoy. This liquid may be further reduced, or thickened with pureed fruit, to achieve a variety of consistencies.
    Because of differences in the type of fruit chosen and the composition of the brining solutions used, chamoys vary quite widely in taste. Most are quite savory and spicy due to the addition of chile powder, and salty due to the brine. Depending on whether and how much vinegar was used, they may also vary from sour to sweet. . Wiki   You can make it from apricot preserves, lime juice, sugar, ancho chiles, and salt..

    The video shows you how they are made (There are, of course, different recipes)

    THE RECIPE....
    1.Un frasco de "Tajin" con limon o sin limon. A bottle of Tajin w or w/o lime
    2.Un frasco de "Chamoy" en liquido. Bottle of Chamoy, liquid
    3.Un bote de Mango en liquido para ser Smoothie mix marca "Torani" o puede ser algo similar. Mango smoothie mix or something similar. This is Torani brand
    4. 3 tasas de hielo. 3 cups of ice
    5.Un frasquito de "Lucas Bonbaso". a lil bottle of "Lucas Bonbaso"
    6.Un palio de "Tirolo" de tamarindo. A stick of Tirolo Tamarind
    7. Y lo mas importante un mango. And the most important: A Mango
    Todos los productos de liquido los agredas a tu gusto. Blend them to your liking.



    1. Hi, I'm wondering what the address/phone number is for Manolito's? When I was on Isla last, our cab driver took us to a place called Manolito's that was no more than a counter on a busy highway with a few daily specials. It definitely did not have a whole big menu or seating area, so I'm guessing it's a different place than what you describe?

    2. That's the place! They do a lively 'to go' and delivery business. It's on the street thru colonia Meteorologica that becomes the Caribbean perimeter road. They have a couple tables along the sidewalk & the bigger menu in the evenings until ~11pm. Weekdays they have specials from noon-5 (best chile rellenos on the isle). Weekends they have early specials ie cochinita on Sun starting ~7a. Sat they usually have queso relleno, which is not usually available around the isle. Fresh, reasonable home made authentic Yucatan dishes...As for ambiance or much dining space...not really. Friendly folks, clean kitchen.

    3. Here's a sample of the specials (todays) ...and their phone numbers *CALDO DE RES
      -POC CHUC
      -POC CHUC

      SERVICIO A DOMICILIO AL 2742637/9987054158

    4. That list of their specials was collected over many was my way of learning about Yucatan dishes that I was unfamiliar with. Here's a link to a page with their evening menu...

    5. Great post and photos, everything looks delicious. Isla mujeres is a great place for food and activities, it all adds to the beauty of the place. Here is some info on the activities you can do there: what to see and do in Isla Mujeres.