Tex Mex Shopping List
Corn varieties are traditional and ideal for enchiladas, taquitos and tostadas. Flour tortillas make stretchier, softer and chewier wrappers for burritos, fajitas and quesadillas.
Buy It: La Banderita, La Tortilla Factory http://www.latortillafactory.com or Mission
2. FRESH CHORIZO
Unlike the hard, cured Spanish version of this spicy pork sausage (spiked with chiles), the Mexican kind needs cooking before eating. Look for it in the refrigerated meat section or butcher case.
Buy It: From the butcher case
3. MEXICAN HOT SAUCE
Mexican hot sauces tend to be more mild and less vinegary than most American varieties, so the smoky chipotle or sweeter green chile flavors really come through.
Buy It: Cholula http://www.cholula.com, Tapatío Salsa Picante http://www.tapatiohotsauce.com and Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce http://www.tabasco.com
4. DULCE DE LECHE
Loosely translated as "candy from milk," this caramel-like sauce is a reduction of milk and sugar. Use it over ice cream or as a filling for cookie sandwiches and layer cakes.
Buy It: La Salamandra http://www.lasalamandra.com.ar or Nestlé La Lechera http://www.nestleusa.com
5. MEXICAN CHOCOLATE
This disk of bitter dark cocoa is stone-ground, giving it a distinctive grainy texture. It's used in mole sauce and hot chocolate.
Buy It: Taza Chocolate Mexicano http://www.tazachocolate.com
6. REFRIED BEANS
These beans are cooked, mashed, then fried. Vegetarians, read the labels -- many brands are made with lard.
Buy It: Amy's Vegetarian Organic Refried Beans with Green Chiles http://www.amys.com
7. CHIPOTLES IN ADOBO
Roland or La Costeña http://www.lacostenausa.com Adobo means "sauce" in Spanish -- a clue that these super-spicy chiles (twice as hot as fresh jalapeños) come packed in a smoky-sweet tomato puree. Take note: Recipes call for a number of chiles or tablespoons of sauce, not cans.