Mexican Archives

It’s tamale time! Made from masa filled with a variety of shredded meats, cheeses, vegetables and chiles, tamales are wrapped in corn husks and then steamed. The savory packets originated in Mesoamerica (central Mexico through northern Costa Rica) and have been made and eaten for thousands of years. Tamales are more abundant around Christmas because they’re part of the celebration of Las Posadas, the commemoration of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter.      You can make your own, but the Valley is home to many...

As I took a bite of Chef Jeff Smedstad’s "pay de queso" (Mexican cheesecake), my mind took me back to my childhood’s kitchen. I pictured my mom baking pays for the holidays and a younger me eager to eat. This is the real deal I told Smedstad. The chef and owner of the reknowned Elote Cafe in Sedona says he was influenced by a trip to Veracruz where he learned about the craft of homemade Mexican cheesecake sort of a lighter, less sweet, less dense version of our beloved New York cheesecake. He put a spin on the traditional Mexican dessert with goat cheese from Fossil Creek Goat Farm in Strawberry, Arizona, near Payson. The result is absolutely exquisite.

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