2 medium avocados
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel avocados. Mash with a fork in a medium bowl. Stir in lime or lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Garnish with tomato and onion. Serve at once. Makes 6 servings.


Salsa Fresca
(Fresh Salsa)

This basic sauce goes with many Mexican dishes.

2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 serrano chile or jalapeno chile, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
dash of fresh lime juice

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, chile, cilantro, onion and salt. Serve at room temperature. Makes 1 1/4 cups.


Salsa Verde
(Green Sauce)

2 - 4 jalapeno chiles or other small hot chiles, roasted, peeled
1 pound fresh tomatillos or 1 3/4 cups canned tomatillos
5 cilantro sprigs
1 garlic clove

Remove stems from chiles;do not remove seeds. Set chiles aside. Remove papery husks from tomatillos. If using fresh tomatillos, place in a medium saucepan. Add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, drain. If using canned tomatillos, drain. Place chiles, tomatillos, cilantro sprigs and garlic in blender or food processor. Blend until finely ground. Turn into a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, add salt to taste. Makes 2 cups.

Sopa de Lima
(Lime & Tortilla Soup)

A famous soup of Yucatan. This version is from the Casa del Balam in Merida.

2 corn tortillas
Oil for frying
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 California chile, roasted, peeled, chopped, or 1/4 cup canned chopped green chiles
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 large lime slices

Cut tortillas in 2" x 1/2" strips. Pour oil for frying 1/2 inch deep into a small saucepan or skillet. Heat to 365° F (185° C.) Fry tortilla strips in hot oil until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and chile. Saute until onion is tender but not browned. Add broth, chicken and salt to taste. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add tomato; simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice if desired. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and add some fried tortilla strips. Float a lime slice in the center of each service. Makes 4 servings.

Sopa de Frijol Maya
(Mayan Black Bean Soup)

Serve this simple soup from Yucatan with fried tortilla strips as croutons.

1 cup dried black beans
Hot water for soaking
5 cups hot water
1/4 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 small tomatoes, peeled, chopped (1/2 lb.)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place beans in a large saucepan. Pour hot water for soaking over beans to cover generously. Let beans soak overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Add 5 cups hot water, 1/4 onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 2 hours. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer 2 hours longer or until very tender. Cool beans in their liquid, then puree a cup at a time with liquid in blender. Press through a sieve to remove skins. Return to large saucepan. In a medium saucepan, cook chopped onion in oil until tender but not browned. Add tomatoes. cook until softened. Puree tomato mixture in blender or food processor. Add to beans with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer 15 minutes longer. soup should not be too thick. If necessary, thin with a little water. Makes 5 servings.

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