Winter fare from Mexico on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting these two lovely winter dishes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.    

 They are surprising easy to prepare and with wonderful results.  I used the cheese from the Dairy Fairy for the Queso Fresco. 

Black Bean Soup with Orange Zest: Sopa de Invierno

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups cooked black beans (if using canned beans rinse them well)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
¼ cup plain yogurt
 chopped cilantro and scallions for garnish
Salt, to taste


In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add the onion and cook, stirring, until wilted and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beans, orange juice and zest, chicken stock, lime juice and yogurt and cook until heated through.

Using an immersion blender, puree the stock to the desired consistency.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and scallions. Makes 4 first course servings.

Cheese-filled Sweet Potato Patties: Tortitas de Camote

In most of Mexico, these fried patties are made with white potatoes, whereas in Veracruz they are made with sweet potatoes or yucca. This cheese-filled version is more versatile than most, because it can be served as an hors d'oeuvre as well as a side dish.


* 2 pounds sweet potatoes
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* salt to taste
* 1 pound queso fresco, farmer cheese or ricotta (not ricotta salata)
* Corn oil or vegetable oil for frying


Scrub the sweet potatoes, boil in their jackets until tender, cool and peel. Alternatively, prick them with a fork in several places, cook until tender in the microwave, cool and peel.

In a mixing bowl, mash the sweet potatoes, adding salt to taste, with a potato masher or fork to a smooth consistency. Add the flour and combine well. The dough should have a uniform consistency.

Using moist hands, shape into 8 large balls (for side dish servings) or 12 smaller ones (for appetizers or hors d'oeuvres.) Poke a hole into each and stuff it with about 2 teaspoons cheese for the smaller size or 1 tablespoon for the larger. Re-form the dough around the cheese to cover, and gently flatten each ball into a patty.

Fry the patties in about 1 ½" - 2" hot oil, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Makes 12 as an appetizer, hors d'oeuvre or buffet item.