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The New Americans Cookbook
Tacos, burritos, nachos and more have become available in most major cities across America. While Americanized fast food versions of Mexican dishes abound, we’ve asked Ventura Flores for a few traditional recipes that bring back the authentic flavor of her native Mexico. Learn how to make Calabacitas , Nopales and Carne Adobada.

Three Mexican Dishes from Ventura's Kitchen
A traditional dish of the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest.


2 lbs. diced zucchini
1 cup onion
Garlic to taste
Cumin to taste
2 serrano chilies


1) Fry 1/2 onion, chili and tomatoes until soft.

2) Add zucchini.

3) Add more onion.

4) Add a pinch of cumin.

5) Fry together until tender.

Can be served with warm corn tortillas or as a side dish.

Nopales have been popular as a food source in Mexico for hundreds of years. Recently, they have gained increasing popularity in the United States as well.

Thorny needles must be removed with a knife or vegetable peeler before cooking. Remove any nodules, the thick stem, and trim the edges off of the pads as well. Wear rubber gloves when handling nopales to avoid injury.


1 lb. nopales (cleaned)
1 small diced onion
2 tsp. cilantro
1 serrano chili


1) Slice and dice the nopales.

2) Boil it in water until it becomes soft.

3) Strain water.

4) Add diced onion.

5) Add cilantro.

6) Add serrano chile to taste.

7) Mix together.


2 lbs. pork chunks
5 serrano chilies
1 lb. tomatoes
1 red chili
1 tooth garlic
Salt (to taste)


1) Fry pork chunks until they are brown. Set aside.

2) Roast serrano chilies.

3) Roast tomato with chilies.

4) Add red chili.

5) Add garlic.

6) Blend together and add a little water so it's not too thick and you've created a sauce.

7) Add mixture to browned meat continue and cook until you bring it to a boil.

8) Let it simmer for a few minutes.

9) Add salt to taste.

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The Flores family dines together at a round table. Detail picture of nopales cooking on the stove in large frying pans
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