Mexican & Marcela

By: Grant Dudley

When it comes to comfort food, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, casseroles and pot pies will always hold a special place in this Georgia boy’s heart, but right up there are my step-mother’s amazing Mexican classics – homemade salsa, enchiladas, chalupas, and so much more. (Refried beans and mashed potatoes hold the same level of adoration in my heart.)

Marcela Valladolid is a fairly new talent at Food Network but has become the face of Mexican food around here. I find her show, Mexican Made Easy, (and recipes) enjoyable and very tasty. I appreciate Marcela’s different take on Mexican. She actually offers healthy, easy-to-make dishes. And, honestly, I didn’t think that was possible. A lot of the authentic Mexican I’ve seen prepared is an all out chore and lengthy process (if my step-mom is reading this, you know it’s true)! And healthy? Goodness, I don’t think that “health” was ever considered growing up. Marcela is truly busting down Mexican food stereotypes.

Recently, I made Marcela’s Mexican Shrimp Burger. When I first heard of this dish, I was a bit skeptical and thought “Come again?” But the ingredients sounded delicious and then I read the comments from those who tried it: “Maravilloso!” one posted. I couldn’t have agreed more. It was phenomenal, different, easy and the avocado aioli could make you cry it’s so flavorful. I also went to a barbecue this summer where a friend served Marcela’s Watermelon and Mint “Agua Fresca.” I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing beverage, and since it’s non-alcoholic the kids at the party loved it, too.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish? For more of Marcela’s, check out her recipes. Try some and post what you think. You can watch Mexican Made Easy Saturdays at 9:30am/8:30c.

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