Kitchen Radio

Learn the art of global cuisine from Calgary's best chefs and foodies. They'll give you the tools you need to bring the world to your kitchen.

Tune in Wednesdays at 5:15pm.

Norma French teaches Mexican cooking classes in Calgary. She also owns Los Sabores de México, which does Mexican catering in the city. You can get in touch with her by email at

Tex Mex vs Mexican
Roasted tomato-chipotle salsa

salsa de tomates asados y chipotles

1 or 2 canned chipotle peppers
6 roma tomatoes
½ medium onion
1 garlic clove

In an iron skillet over medium heat roast the tomatoes, until the surface starts to turn black. Transfer to a blender. Roast the onion and garlic and transfer to the blender, add the peppers and purée the mixture. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

They look like tomatoes. But they're NOT tomatoes! Starting the May Long Weekend, you can buy tomatillo plants to grow in your own garden.
Green tomatillos salsa
salsa verde cocida

½ lb. of green tomatillos (fresh or canned)
¼ medium onion
1 clove of garlic
½ a bunch of coriander
1 serrano pepper or 1 jalapeño (to taste)
1 cup of water

Remove husks from fresh tomatillos and rince. In a saucepan add the fresh tomatillos, serrano peppers and barely cover with water, turn to a boil for 10 minutes (If you are using canned tomatillos skip the boiling). Transfer the tomatillos and the peppers to a blender, add the coriander, onion, garlic, and pure. Add salt to taste

Pot of Black Beans
Frijoles negros de la olla

2 cups of dry black beans
½ small onion
2 Tbsp of olive oil (or bacon drippings or a piece of pork leg)
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of fresh epazote or 2 Tbs. of dry epazote
10 cups of water
salt or chicken bouillon

Rinse the beans, cover with cold water and let soak at least 3 hours or overnight. Discard any beans that float, then drain (discard the water). Place the beans in a large pot or Dutch oven and add the water, onion, garlic, epazote, lard or oil and salt. Cook covered, over medium heat for 2 hours or until tender. Make sure that there is always enough water to cover the beans. Add more hot water if needed.



3 large avocados
2 roma tomatoes (diced)
¼ onion finely chopped
1 serrano pepper finely chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro chopped
1 small garlic clove finely chopped or puréed
¼ cup of lime juice
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop out the flesh. Mash with a fork. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and adjust the salt to taste. Stir well and serve with tortilla chips.

Dried chillies
Ancho pepper salsa
salsa roja de chile ancho

3 ancho peppers
1 garlic clove
1/8 of a medium onion
1/8 tsp of marjoram
1/8 tsp of oregano
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 Tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of water & salt

In a saucepan bring the water to a boil, add the peppers and simmer until soft (1-2 minutes). Remove the stems and transfer the peppers to a blender (including the seeds and the membranes), add the garlic, onion, vinegar, oregano, cinnamon, marjoram and salt to taste, purée until smooth. Strain, and transfer to a skillet, add the oil and fry the salsa for 3-4 minutes. Add the orange juice and cook for another 5 minutes. You can use this salsa over pasta, or add some chicken pieces and cook them in the salsa.

March 18, 2009
Fresh chillies
Fresh fruit salsa
salsa pico de gallo con fruta

4 ripe roma tomatoes (diced)
½ cup of fresh fruit diced (pineapple, mango or watermelon)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 serrano pepper, chopped
½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup of key lime juice & salt
1 bag of tortilla chips

Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl, adjust salt to taste. Stir well and serve with tortilla chips. For some variation, you can use pineapple and mango together. I recommend use watermelon alone (without any other fruit).

March 11, 2009
Corn tortillas dipped in a bean sauce. You can add shredded chicken on top of the dish to make it more of a hardy meal.

8 corn tortillas
½ cup of canola oil
½ cup of thick cream
2 cups of cooked beans (pinto or black) with their liquid
½ cup of crumbled fresh cheese (or feta)
½ cup of onion thinly sliced
pickled jalapeño peppers (slices or strips)

In a blender, purée the beans with their liquid (it should have the consistency of a thin sauce). Trasfer to a frying pan and simmer for three minutes, add salt to taste.

In a frying pan add the oil and fry each tortilla briefly for about 20 seconds on both sides. Immerse each tortilla in the bean sauce and fold in half, then in half again to form a triangle. Transfer to a serving dish, scoop a little of the bean sauce on top of the tortillas and garnish with the cream, cheese and onion slices. Serve one to two tortillas per plate with some pickled peppers for garnish.

March 4, 2009
Es muy fresco
True Mexican cuisine is made with fresh products. It's not fried or greasy. Also, the Mexican food we eat today is actually a fusion of indigenous Mexican, Spanish and South American cuisine.

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