More to Come!

'Susanna's Zabato de Guacamole,
and other Mexican delights'

Frozen Gringo Margaritas
Salsa Mexicana
Quesa Fundido Con Hongos Y Chile Chipotle
Chicken Pibil
Nachos with Shrimp Salsa
Caesar's Salad
Pork Chile Verde
Camarones al mojo de ajo
Fish Tacos

New Recipe added 2-28-2001


I made some flan last night...
it takes you right to a spot in small homestyle restaurante in Mexico after you have enjoyed a wonderful meal!
It is very easy to make... and I hope that all of you will try it.

Susanna's Flan Top of Page

Get out your bundt cake pan...
even a fluted one will work...
if you dont have one, a round cake pan will work suffice.

Pour 3/4 cup of sugar into a non stick pan and swirl it over high heat until it melts into a thick dark caramel syrup.

Pour into the ungreased pan.

Make sure you hold it with oven mitts as it is like molten lava...

and swirl it around the pan to coat the sides and bottom.

Set aside.

In a blender container add the following.
4 eggs plus 2 yolks
1 3/4 cups of milk... whole, 2% or even skim
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
3T of Kahlua
1t pure vanilla
Cover and blend until combined.

Pour into prepared pan. Put the filled pan into a roasting pan set it on oven shelf and fill roasting pan with hot water to a 1 inch depth.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Allow to cool at room temperature. Run a knife blade around the edges to loosen...dont forget the inner edge.
Place large plate over pan and carefully flip flan onto plate... allowing caramel to drain over flan. Advisable to perform this manuever over the sink

Felt like having a Margarita this afternoon so we went to a local Tex Mex establishment. Had the worst Margarita I ever tasted... it was so bad, I only had one!
Wish it tasted like one of these...

Susanna's Frozen Gringo Margaritas Top of Page


4 oz can of MinuteMaid frozen Limeade (the Gringo part)
4 oz Tequila
1/3 can Triple sec
Mixing instructions:
In blender add the frozen can of limeade. Using the empty can measure the tequila and the triple sec and add to the blender. Blend, adding ice until the drink becomes smooth and slushy and holds in peaks.

Cranberry Margaritas

add 1/2 cup of whole cranberry sauce to the above blender... and serve in glasses with sugared rims.

Mango Margaritas

add 1 cup of ripe mango chunks ... serve in glasses with salted rims. Really kick up a notch by mixing pure ancho chile powder with the salt for the glasses.

Green Iguana Margaritas

add 1/2 can of Midori Melon liqueur to basic mix in blender...
serve in glasses with salted rims.
Kick it up a notch by adding honeydew melon chunks to blender along with the ice cubes.
Kick up two notches by using ancho chile and salt blend for the glasses.

To salt or sugar the rims of your glasses... cut a wedge of lime... rub over outside and top edge of glass... dip into a saucer filled with Kosher salt or granulated sugar.


Okay, how can we have a site for Mexican recipes without Salsa and Guacamole? Time to break out the botanas and get the Gypsy Kings CD!

Salsa Mexicana Top of Page

8 Roma plum tomatoes - plan ahead and let them get really ripe on the kitchen counter
(we all know not to refrigerate tomatoes...correct?)

1 medium onion
2 serrano chile peppers or jalapenos as a second choice
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
2 or 3 limes
Kosher salt
small squeeze of catsup - just a tablespoon or so
bottled habanero or tabasco sauce

Cut the tomatoes in half and cut out the stem end. Cut tomatoes into small 1/4 inch dice and add to large bowl... sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and toss.

Cut onion into same size dice as tomatoes, place in strainer and rinse with cold water. Shake out water and drain further on paper towel. Before adding to bowl... drain accumulated juices from tomatoes. Then add the onions.

Cut peppers, remove stems and seeds... cut into fine lengthwise strips and cut across threads to mince. Add to bowl.

Cut limes in half. Over bowl, stick fork into lime half and twist to juice.

Add coarsely chopped cilantro and toss together... mix in catsup and add hot sauce to taste.

Guacamole Top of Page

4 ripe avocados - Haas variety are the smaller pebbly skinned ones -plan ahead and leave on counter until skins are dark. Avocados are ripe when you can make a slight indentation when you gently press with your thumb.

4 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of the salsa you just made - just spoon it, don't measure!
2 tablespoons of Hellmans mayonnaise - actually 2 'glops'
2 limes
salt (I use Kosher salt because of its flake like texture and mild taste... try it!)

Cut around the lengthwise circumference of the avocados. Twist halves to separate. Remove pit and score avocado flesh with knife... scoop out of shell with spoon and place in large bowl. Mash slightly with fork. Peel and chop garlic on cutting board...sprinkle with salt and smash into a paste with side of chef's knife. (or use garlic press as you dont want chunks of garlic in your guacamole) Add garlic paste, Hellmans, the salsa... and the juice of 1 of the limes. Mix until creamy and add the additional lime juice to get correct consistency. Check seasonings and add more salt if needed.

Fill shoe with guacamole and serve with chips.

If you are ambitious you could cut corn tortillas into quarters, fry in Crisco oil, drain and serve warm... or just open a bag of plain Tostitos because you are NOT at Lol Ha, you are just making believe!

This is such a delicious appetizer and great for company... it is so impressive to set a beautiful Mexican clay cazuela in the middle of the table with the delicious cheese bubbling around the edges and a basket of steaming corn tortillas. I have made this by placing the dish of cheese and the packet of tortillas on the grill for an outdoor fiesta. I also serve salsa fresca as an accompaniment and of course plenty of cold Mexican beer.

Quesa Fundido Con Hongos Y Chile Chipotle Top of Page
(Melted Cheese Casserole with mushrooms and smoky chipotle chile)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
1 large red onion, sliced
6 to 8 ounces full-flavored mushrooms such as shiitakes, oysters, crimini or practically any variety, stemmed (discard woody stems or chop them finely) and sliced (you will have about 2 generous cups)
2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles, removed from the canning sauce, seeded and thinly sliced
12 corn tortillas, the fresher the better
8 ounces mozzarella, preferably whole milk (but not 'fresh' or 'wet' mozzarella which will not melt) or Mexican quesillo cheese, shredded
A generous 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
A little fresh ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet (preferably non-stick), heat the oil over medium-high. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softening and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir nearly constantly until they have softened and any juice they release has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the sliced chile, then taste and season with salt, usually about 1/4 teaspoon. Transfer the mixture to a 9- or 10-inch shallow baking dish, Mexican cazuela or pie plate. Very lightly dampen a clean kitchen towel. Check the tortillas to make sure none are stuck together. Wrap them in the towel, then in foil, sealing the edges tightly. Place in the oven and set the timer for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, stir the shredded cheese into the warm mushroom mixture. Set in the oven alongside the tortillas and bake until the cheese is just melted, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme and black pepper and serve without a moment’s hesitation, accompanied by the warm tortillas.

Achiote is a incredible spice made by grinding the annato seed. It gives chicken, pork and fish that beautiful orange color and unusual flavor that is purely Yucatecan. You will swear that you are at the Loncheria Akumalito if you close your eyes at the dinner table. This is one of my favorite dishes... and I make sure that I bring home plenty of Achiote Paste from the San Francisco grocery store in Playa.

Chicken Pibil Top of Page

1/4 cup Achiote paste (dark orange PlayDoh consistency block of spice paste)
10 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
6 chicken legs and 6 thighs thighs, skin removed and flesh scored to the bone (use any configuration of chicken...I sometimes use boneless breasts and cut baking time to 30 minutes)
2 onions cut into thick slices plus 2 onions diced
3 Italian Roma tomatoes sliced
Banana leaves (sold in the frozen food section of many grocery stores but if you really cant find them just sadly omit them... NOTE: houseplant leaves wont work!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cups chicken stock

In a blender combine Achiote paste, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into a glass baking dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a heated, dry, cast iron or heavy skillet char onion slices until blackened on both sides. Remove and char tomato slices until blackened on both sides. Reserve. Use 6 Reynolds foil packets or use large squares of foil. Take banana leaves, and cut into 8 inch squares. Toast squares over a burner to soften, about 2 seconds on each side . Place banana leaves in packet or on top of each piece of foil. Remove chicken from marinade and place 2 pieces on each banana leaf in packet. Top each with tomato and onion slices. Fold over foil packet to enclose chicken, banana leaf and grilled vegetables. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Make sauce... saute the diced onions in the butter until golden brown. Stir in the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes longer.

Slice open the packet and using banana leaf slide chicken onto dinner plates. Pour accumulated juices from packets into sauce and thicken with a bit of cornstarch dissolved in cold water...bring to a boil. Generously pour sauce over chicken. Take a large scoop of white rice and place on banana leaf next to chicken... a scoop of black beans fits nicely also.

Nachos are a dilemma for me... as good as they are, I don't order them in Mexico to avoid having the local restaurateur replace authentic cuisine like ceviche mixto with 'Super Nachos'...thinking he is doing the tourists a favor by having 'their kind' of Mexican food. Can you follow my logic? However, I love to make them at home for my friends... and these nachos are a great combination of authentic and Tex Mex mexican food.

Nachos with Shrimp Salsa Top of Page


1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced, fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil


1 tomato, seeded and diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
kosher salt
bottled habanero sauce to taste
8 ounces tortilla chips (making your own is easy...cut corn tortillas into 1/4 's, fry in hot vegetable oil until golden brown and drain on paper towels...taa daa)
3 cups refried black beans (these are easy too, but that is another recipe)
1 cup grated jack cheese

In a glass bowl (dont use metal), combine marinade ingredients. Add shrimp, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and saute, stirring and shaking the pan to prevent sticking, until cooked, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer shrimp to a large bowl to cool. When cool, chop shrimp coarsely.

Add tomato, green onions, lime juice, cilantro and salt to shrimp and toss to mix.

Preheat the broiler. Spread tortilla chips out in an oven proof platter.
Spoon the black beans over the chips and sprinkle with cheese.
Place under the broiler until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

To serve, top with shrimp salsa.

MMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm................ another Dos XX, por favor!

In the 1920's Caesar Cardini had a small hotel in Mexico. The Hollywood crowd would drive to Mexico to party in those days of Prohibition, and often they wound up at Caesar's Hotel for a meal before returning home. On the 4th of July, 1924 people arrived in droves sending the kitchen into a panic. There weren't enough fresh vegetables to go around. Caesar thought he could make a salad they'd really go for, and he would make it tableside. Using ingredients that are basic to every Italian kitchen, he took romaine lettuce, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, croutons, a little Worcestershire sauce, and a coddled egg, and he created a salad that looked so good that every table of diners ordered one. Over the years, it became quite the thing to do, to drive to Tijuana for a Caesar Salad. I believe this is one of Bill in Tulsa's favorites!
I have authentication from Rosa Cardini, for the following method of making

Caesar's Salad Top of Page

1 cup cubed day-old Italian bread
3/4 cup olive oil, divided use
2 small heads romaine lettuce
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 egg, coddled *(boiled in the shell for 1 minute)
Juice of 2 medium lemons
8-10 drops of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. To prepare croutons, pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Toss bread cubes with 1/4 cup olive oil mixed with a clove of crushed garlic and spread on a pan or baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 30 min.
2. Wash, dry and crisp (in the refrigerator) the leaves of the romaine lettuce. Originally, Caesar left the lettuce leaves whole, and the salad was eaten with the fingers.
3. Mash a clove of garlic in bottom of large wooden salad bowl. Place lettuce in bowl and toss with remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add salt and pepper, again tossing gently. Break the coddled egg over the lettuce, add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and gently toss until the egg disappears. Add croutons and cheese. Toss lightly once more.

*I am squeamish about barely cooked eggs, so I either combine all the dressing ingredients in my food processor and toss with the lettuce, cheese and croutons or omit the egg. Sometimes I add anchovies, they're not an original ingredient, but I love them!


When the North wind is blowing and the snow is swirling... a steaming pot of chile verde will warm your soul and make you feel a little nearer to the Mexican sol. If you can't find tomatillos in your area... try the natural food section in your grocery store and see if they carry either Paul Newmans roasted tomatillo salsa or any roasted tomatillo salsa for that matter or a good roasted chile verde salsa in a pinch. You will love this wonderful pork recipe. I think that this would also be a great crock pot recipe.

Pork Chile Verde Top of Page

4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder or Boston roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
` 1/4 cup olive oil
3 yellow onions
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 jalapenos, seeds removed, and finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound tomatillos, peeled and chopped or a jar of roasted tomatillo salsa
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bunch of cilantro, cleaned and chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups of beer or white wine

Trim off any excess fat from the pork and cut into 2 inch squares. Season the pork meat generously with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, over a high heat, sear the pork in the olive oil until golden brown. Lift pork out of pan and place in large bowl. Saute onions and peppers in the same skillet and sweat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add all of the chiles and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. To the sauteed vegetables, add the meat, the tomatillos, dried herbs and cilantro. Cover with the stock and beer then bring up to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is 'melt in your mouth' tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with white rice and black beans.
Serves 4 hambre hombres

I received a copy of the Rick Bayless cookbook
'Mexico, One Plate at a Time' and it is fantastic!
This easy recipe from the book makes the best shrimp I have ever cooked. If you are a shrimp lover... Me gusta camerones... then this is one you will LOVE. Frozen shrimp are available everywhere. They come in 10 pound bags and are individually frozen. Instead of buying them after the supermarket has thawed them... I ask for my 2 lbs. frozen. That way I can defrost them by ploping them in a bowl full of cold water in my sink an hour before dinner... that is fresh!

Quick-Fried Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic (Camarones al mojo de Ajo)

Top of Page

Recipe courtesy of Mexico:
One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless

3/4 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 2 large heads)
1 cup good-quality oil, preferably extra-virgin olive oil
Salt Juice of 1 lime
2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 pounds (about 48) medium-large shrimp, peeled (leaving the last joint and tail intact if you wish)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

Preparing the mojo de ajo:
chop the garlic with a sharp knife into 1/8-inch bits
You should have about 1/2 cup chopped garlic.
Scoop into a small (1-quart) saucepan, measure in the oil (you need it all for even cooking) and 1/2 teaspoon salt and set over medium-low heat.
Stir occasionally as the mixture comes barely to a simmer (there should be just a hint of movement on the surface of the oil). Adjust the heat to the very lowest possible setting to keep the mixture at that very gentle simmer (bubbles will rise in the pot like sparkling mineral water) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is a soft, pale golden (the color of light brown sugar), about 30 minutes. The slower the cooking, the sweeter the garlic.
Add the lime juice to the pan and simmer until most of the juice has evaporated or been absorbed into the garlic, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chiles, then taste the mojo de ajo and add a little more salt if you think it needs it. Keep the pan over low heat,so the garlic will be warm when the shrimp are ready. Scoop the lime wedges into a serving bowl and set on the table.

The shrimp:
De-vein the shrimp:
one by one, lay the shrimp on your work surface, make a shallow incision down the back and pull or scrape out the dark (usually) intestinal tract.
Set a large heavy skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat and spoon in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil (but not any garlic) from the mojo.
Add half of the shrimp to the skillet, sprinkle generously with salt and stir gently and continuously until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in half the cilantro or parsley. Scoop the shrimp onto a deep serving platter.
Repeat with another 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlicky oil and the remaining shrimp.
When all of the shrimp are cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the warm bits of garlic and chiles from the mojo pan, and scatter them over the shrimp.
(You may have as much as 1/3 cup of the oil left over, for which you'll be grateful as it's wonderful for sautéing practically anything.)
If you're a garlic lover, you're about to have the treat of your life, served with the lime wedges to add sparkle.

Serves 6 generously (I say 4 or just 2 if one of them is me!)

I usually don't interject in Susanna's recipes but this is my most favorite of all. Try it you will like it if you like Shrimp and Garlic. bill in tulsa

I have been researching Puerto Vallarta for a May vacation after a week at Dona Estela's cooking school in Tlaxcala (tlas-Kal-lah). So I have been thinking about fish tacos. There are stands all over Baja and the west coast selling these tasty treats and we cant get enough of them. (yes, we eat from street carts if the food is hot... but if you dont, you can surely enjoy them in your kitchen!)

Fish Tacos for 2 Top of Page

¾ lb snapper, grouper, cod, catfish or mahi filets
4 bottles of your favorite beer
1/2 c flour salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4t chili powder (pure ancho or chipotle preferred)
1/4t garlic powder
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup salsa (fresh or jar)
lime wedges
¼ head cabbage thinly sliced
6 corn tortillas

Open a beer and test for flavor.
Cut fish into 1 inch thick strips.
Test beer again.
Put the flour in a bowl and mix in enough beer to make a foamy batter.
Stir in spices,salt and pepper.
Dip fish in batter and fry in 1/2 inch of peanut or veg. oil until golden.
Drain fish and set aside.
Mix sour cream, mayo, ½ cup of salsa and the juice from ¼ lime.
Moisten a paper towel with olive oil and wipe each side of a corn tortilla and place it on a hot griddle or nonstick skillet... flip and toast other side.
Place in a cloth lined basket and toast the remaining tortillas. Take a warm tortilla. Place pieces of fried fish in the center and top it with some shredded cabbage. Generously drizzle with salsa sauce and hit with a squeeze of lime.
Open another beer and taste with tacos to check for flavor.

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