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Pati's Mexican Table

Sami's Smashed Baby Potatoes

Sami´s Smashed Potatoes
Papas Aplastadas para Sami

Serves: 6

Papas Aplastadas para Sami" alt="Sami´s Smashed Potatoes
Papas Aplastadas para Sami" />


1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes

6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to brush dish

8 to 10 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground ancho (mild) or chipotle (spicy) chile powder, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled rosemary

1 cup grated parmeggiano reggiano or queso añejo

To Prepare

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Drop in the potatoes and cook until completely cooked and soft, about 20 minutes. The tip of a sharp knife should be able to completely and easily go through one.

Brush olive oil on a large baking sheet or dish. Place the potatoes, one by one, on the baking sheet. With the back of a soup spoon, smash each potato lightly but firmly until it flattens, albeit unevenly, halfway; as if just lightly smashed, but not completely broken apart. Continue with all the potatoes. Don’t let them cool too much, or it won’t be as easy to smash and lightly flatten them.

Place the oven rack in the upper third tier and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the pressed or finely chopped garlic, chile powder, rosemary and salt. Spoon some of the garlic mixture on top of each lightly smashed potato. Cover with grated parmesan cheese.

Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. Serve hot.


Chipotle Salmon, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich

Salmon, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich
Sandwich de Salmón, Tocino y Aguacate

Serves: 6

Sandwich de Salmón, Tocino y Aguacate" alt="Salmon, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich
Sandwich de Salmón, Tocino y Aguacate" />


4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to grease dish

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon agave or maple syrup, or honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, or to taste

1/4 red onion, slivered or thinly sliced

3 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped

3 6-ounce salmon fillets

12 bacon slices

3 cups baby greens

12 slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread

1 large ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and sliced

To Prepare

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, Dijon mustard, agave syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Incorporate the onion, mix, and let it sit so it will pickle or macerate while the rest of the ingredients are prepared.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the adobo sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well mixed. Taste for salt and add more if need be.

Brush a baking dish with olive oil, place the salmon on it, and pour the chipotle sauce over it, spreading it throughout. Bake anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish, until the salmon is cooked through, yet still very moist. Remove from the oven.

On a large skillet or grill pan set over medium heat, cook the bacon for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until crisp and browned. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

When ready to make the sandwiches, mix the vinaigrette with the red onion and incorporate the baby greens, toss well. Toast the bread. On each bottom slice, place a cooked salmon filet, top with a couple bacon slices broken in half, a serving of a baby greens, 2 to 3 avocado slices, and the top bread layer to finish making the sandwich.


This show is all about Pati’s middle son, Sami. Being stuck in the middle of first born, Alan, and Mr. Personality himself, Juju, isn’t always easy for Sami. Every once in a while, Pati likes to give Sami a day all to himself, and he’ll help her as she cooks his absolute favorite foods!

Homemade Cajeta or Dulce de Leche

Homemade Cajeta or Dulce de Leche
Cajeta Casera

Serves: makes about 3 cups

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Cajeta Casera" />


8 cups, or 2 liters goat milk, you can substitute or combine with cow’s milk

2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar or shredded piloncillo

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To Prepare

Place a large pot (I use my new copper one!) over medium heat. Pour milk, vanilla, sugar and baking soda, give it a good stir and let it come to a simmer. Keep it at a steady medium simmer for about one hour and a half, stirring occasionally, every 15 to 20 minutes or so, with a wooden spatula or spoon. The mix will gradually thicken and darken.

After about an hour and a half, the liquid will have thickened and reduced and the simmer will become stronger. Reduce the heat to medium low, to keep it at that constant medium simmer. You want active bubbling, but not over the top angry bubbles. Stir a bit more frequently, as you don’t want the bottom to develop a thicker layer.

You know the cajeta is ready when: It achieves a caramel brown color; it is thick as liquid caramel or syrup, much like a chocolate syrup consistency; it envelops the back of the spoon; when you gently stir across the pot with your wooden spoon, a slightly delayed trail behind the spoon appears, revealing the bottom of the pot if only for a few seconds; as you slowly lift up the wooden spoon or spatula, cajeta takes it’s time to drop and lastly, the sides of the pot show how the cajeta has cooked down and if you run your spoon across that side, you get a fudgy (and delicious) residue.

Turn off the heat and let cool (it will thicken considerably as it cools).

Place in a glass jar, cover tightly with a lid. It will keep in refrigerator for up to 6 months.


Churros with Cajeta or Dulce de Leche

Churros con Cajeta

Serves: makes about 16

Churros con Cajeta


Canola oil for frying, plus 1/4 cup

1 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon

2 cups water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

Cajeta or dulce de leche (optional dipping sauce)

To Prepare

In a large, heavy and extended casserole, or cast iron, high-sided skillet, heat about 1 1/2-inches of canola oil over medium heat until the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees (or test with a piece of tortilla or bread; it’s ready when the oil bubbles actively all around it). It will take awhile to heat, so get this started before making the dough.

On a large plate, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, 1/4 cup oil, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once, turn off the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir vigorously until the mixture forms a dough as smooth as possible with no flour lumps. It will take about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip or a churro press. Pipe the dough into about 6 to 8-inch pieces (or if you want to replicate a churro store, pipe a rope-like dough of about 24-inches) and carefully place in oil. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crisp, flipping in between. Use tongs to remove them and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet or drying rack.

While the churros are still very hot, toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. If desired, serve with cajeta or dulce de leche as a dipping sauce and Mexican hot chocolate on the side.


Street Corn or Esquites


Serves: 8



2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil

1 serrano or jalapeño chile, or more to taste, chopped, seeding optional

8 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 12 ears of corn

2 cups water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh epazote leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried (may substitute cilantro, which gives a different flavor, but it also works!)

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or more to taste

2 limes, quartered (optional for garnish)

1/2 cup mayonnaise or Mexican crema (optional for garnish)

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, cotija, or mild feta cheese (optional for garnish)

Dried ground chile piquín (optional for garnish)

To Prepare

Heat the butter together with the oil in a large saucepan or casserole over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the chopped chile and cook for a minute, stirring frequently, until softened.

Incorporate the corn and cook for a couple more minutes. Pour the water over the corn mix, add the chopped fresh or dried epazote (or cilantro) and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the corn is completely cooked. Turn off the heat. You may leave the corn in the pot for a couple hours.

Serve the corn in cups or small bowls. Let your guests add fresh lime juice, mayonnaise or Mexican crema, crumbled cheese, powdered chile piquín, and salt to their liking.


Miner Style Enchiladas or Enchiladas Mineras

Enchiladas Mineras

Serves: 6 (makes 12 enchiladas)

Enchiladas Mineras


For the guajillo chile salsa:

15 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

For the enchiladas:

2 cups (about 8 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, ranchero or cotija, or farmer’s cheese, crumbled

4 tablespoons finely chopped white onion

1 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into small dice

4 radishes, rinsed thoroughly and cut into small dice

4 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste, plus more to salt the water

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pinch of sugar

Pickled blond peppers or pepperoncini, or pickled jalapeños

To Prepare

On an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, toast the chiles for about 15 seconds per side. The inner skin will turn opaque and the outer skin will crisp. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water and set over medium-high heat. Let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until they rehydrate, soften and plump up.

In the jar of a blender, place chiles along with 1 1/2 cups of their soaking liquid, the garlic, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until completely smooth. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, pour the oil. Once hot, but not smoking, add the guajillo chile sauce and cover with a lid ajar, as the sauce will be jumping. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, add the chicken broth and cook a couple minutes more. Turn off the heat and keep covered.

In a mixing bowl, combine the queso fresco with the chopped onion. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through but not mushy. Scoop out with a spider or a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. In the same water, add the carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked but still firm. Scoop them out, place in the same bowl and set aside. Once the vegetables have cooled a little bit, add the radishes and lettuce. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the oils, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar. Whisk well and pour over the vegetables.

When ready to eat, have the guajillo salsa warmed up. Place a comal or skillet over medium-low heat and wait until it is very hot. One by one heat the corn tortillas, about 15 to 20 seconds per side, until they barely begin to toast. With a pair of tongs, dip each tortilla into the guajillo salsa on one side and then the other. The tortilla will barely get “wet” and soften in the sauce. You don’t want to pour this sauce on top, as it is rather bitter, it should just be a light coating.

On a plate, set the “wet” tortilla and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the queso fresco in the middle. Fold the tortilla making a half moon shape. Prepare one by one, or all one after the other, and place on a platter.

Garnish with the dressed potatoes, carrots, radishes and lettuce. Place pickled peppers on the side.


Street food has always been popular, but these days it’s booming as more and more chefs are bringing food trucks and stands to the streets! In this episode, Pati visits the city of Guanajuato, known for having some of the best street food in all of Mexico, to highlight some of her favorites. Then, she shows us how we can recreate some of them in our own kitchens.

Marbled Tres Leches Cake

Marbled Tres Leches Cake
Pastel de Tres Leches Marmoleado

Serves: 12 to 15

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Pastel de Tres Leches Marmoleado" />


For the cake:

Unsalted butter, to butter the pan

9 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup hot water

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

For the sauce:

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the whipped cream topping:

2 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 disk (about 3 ounces) Mexican-style chocolate such as Abuelita, grated, for garnish

To Prepare

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

To make the cake: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar, beating until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Pour the egg yolks into another large bowl and beat with a whisk or fork, until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the vanilla and continue beating until fully incorporated. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture with a rubber spatula, taking care not to deflate the whites. Fold in the flour 1/4 cup at a time and mix well. The batter will look a bit streaky.

In a small bowl, combine the hot water with the cocoa powder. Pour half the cake batter into another bowl and fold in the cocoa-water mixture with a rubber spatula until thoroughly mixed.

Spread the vanilla batter in the prepared pan. Pour the chocolate batter on top, in a straight line down the center. With a knife or spoon, make a whirling design from one side of the pan to the other. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the top of the cake has lightly browned and feels spongy to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Invert the cake onto a large platter or board and remove the pan and parchment paper. Cover the cake with an upside-down platter large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce and invert again so the cake is right side up. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake, so it will absorb the sauce.

To make the sauce: In a large bowl, combine the three milks and vanilla and stir to blend well. Pour about 2/3 of the sauce over the cake. Don’t worry if it looks like there is too much sauce—the cake will absorb it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Reserve the remaining vanilla sauce.

When you are ready to finish the cake, remove the cake from the refrigerator and spoon the remaining sauce on top of the cake.

Make the whipped cream: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and the confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until it holds well formed peaks, about 6 minutes. Spread the whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with the grated Abuelita chocolate.


Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole

Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole
Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle

Serves: 6 to 8

Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle" alt="Chipotle Chicken Pasta Casserole
Cazuela de Pasta con Pollo y Chipotle" />


1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, divided, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste to season chicken

2 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo, or to taste

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded, or to taste, optional

1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound penne or elbow pasta

3 cups chicken broth, homemade or store bought

2 cups (8 ounces) grated melty cheese, such as Oaxaca, Monterey Jack or mozzarella

1 ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and cut into slices (optional for garnish)

Mexican crema, Latin-style cream, crème fraiche or sour cream (optional for garnish)

To Prepare

Place the tomatoes and garlic in a medium (3-quart) saucepan and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and simmer until the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked and the skins have started to come off, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic, along with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, to a blender or food processor. Once it has cooled slightly, add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, adobo sauce, and chipotle chile if using, and puree until smooth.

Sprinkle chicken with oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large, deep and thick casserole or skillet set over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear the chicken thighs about 2 to 3 minutes per side until browned. Remove from skillet, reserve in a bowl.

Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the casserole, set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pasta. Fry the pasta for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until browned, but not burnt, and it smells toasty. Pour the tomato puree over the pasta. It will jump all over the casserole, so you may want to use the lid as a shield over the casserole. Stir, cover partially and let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it darkens and cooks into a thick puree consistency.

Nest the browned chicken thighs in the pasta, pour the chicken broth on top, stir gently, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the lid, sprinkle the cheese all over the pasta and place the casserole uncovered in the oven. Bake anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese has completely melted and begun to lightly brown. Serve hot. You may garnish with avocado slices and Mexican crema. Cut into thick slices and serve as you would a cake, since there will be a light crust on the bottom and sides and top.


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