Is it a hot dog? Is it a taco? Is it Beans & Franks? Yes, it is! My hot dog tacos are made with charro beans and topped with pickled red onion and a special sauce. This recipe is an excerpt from Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona by Jackie
Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes
Sonoran Hot Dogs are a Tucson, Arizona tradition. This recipe comes from Daniel Contreras whose restaurant, El Guero Canelo was presented with a James Beard America’s Classics Award. This is his version of the Sonoran style hot dog which I am honored to include in my cookbook, Taste of Tucson.
Grilled flour tortillas stuffed with carne asada, green onions, cheese, & crispy corn tortilla chips for extra crunch! It’s everything you always wanted in a quesadilla but with more crunch!
Sweet and sparkly tortilla snowflakes – an edible version of the popular Mexican folk art, papel picado which will brighten any winter holiday table.
Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.
My version of Elote en Vaso. Roasted corn kernels in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile, lime and chives.
How to dehydrate and grind chile peppers, with recipes for chili powder and custom spice blends using fresh homegrown and/or exotic store bought chiles. Preserve expensive and/or hard to find chiles.
Old West style spicy vegan chili recipe made with plant-based meat, black beans and mushrooms. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
This Tucson Sonoran style Arroz con Pollo recipe is made with Salsa de chile fresco for medium spicy kick of heat.
When life gives you lemons, make spicy shrimp ceviche tostadas. A bright and light Sonoran style Mexican treat.
This easy Sonoran style Mexican shrimp cocktail with crisp cucumber, creamy avocado, red onion and hot sauce is ready in about 5 minutes.
Make this quick & easy, satisfying Sonoran Style Mexican chicken tortilla soup from my Taste of Tucson cookbook in 30 minutes or less!
This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai/Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes. It’s inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).
Crispy tofu adds just the right amount of heft and bite to Chile Colorado served on crunchy baked tostada shells.
Sonoran cooking resource and shopping guide for the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers, with lists of ingredients, pantry staples and photography equipment recommendations.
These open-faced breakfast sandwiches are made by slathering refried beans onto toasted bolillo rolls and then heaping avocado slices, a fried egg, hot sauce, and lots of cheese on top.
Sweet bell peppers stuffed with creamy nacho cheese, avocado, pickled jalapeños, black beans and crunchy tortilla chips.
Meet the chefs that contributed to the Taste of Tucson Cookbook.
This infused tequila makes a mean margarita or straight-up sipper.
Wondering what the difference is between different types of tequila and mezcal? Includes recipes for Tequila Citrus Sipper and Paloma cocktails.
Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.
I ate this for breakfast every day for weeks while writing my Taste of Tucson cookbook. The fat from the chorizo makes the egg really crispy and adds a lot of flavor without too many extra calories.
This crispy matzo based breakfast is a cross between molletes and huevos rancheros. I used beans from a can and my homemade chiltepin salsa.
Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe.
Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.
Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would.
There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.
This super-refreshing citrus beer cocktail is served in a chile and salt rimmed glass over ice. It’s kinda like a beer margarita. I love it because it’s a big drink that lasts a long time and it has considerably less sugar and calories than a margarita.
This hibiscus agua fresca isn’t too sweet, so you can drink it all day long and even into the night (perhaps with vodka!) It’s healthy too.
A Tucson Sonoran craft cocktail made with Earl Grey tea and whisky muddled with pomegranate seeds, finished with bitters and fresh ground pepper.
Making authentic cowboy steaks is really easy. When I asked Bryan Keith, the Grill Master from Pinnacle Peak Steak House if he had any additional tips he said, “Put some love in it!”
I marinated myself a flank steak using my mom’s recipe from the 80s, adding in some Mexican oregano and extra citrus to #sonoranize it a bit so now it’s an Ohio meets Tucson recipe.
Inspired by Mexican Street Corn, this whole beef jumbo hot dog is topped with roasted corn, mayo, lime and spices and served in a top-cut, whole grain bolillo roll. Food photo and recipe by Jackie Alpers.
Spicy Ranch French Onion Dip. Two Dips That Live As One, Together At Last!
The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine.
Healthy burrito bowl recipe with quinoa, black beans and avocado tossed in a chipotle lime vinaigrette dressing.
Biscotti means “twice baked” in Italian. First you form the crumbly dough into one stiff mass and bake it whole. Then you let it cool, slice it, and bake it again at a lower temperature. That’s what gives biscotti an almost cracker-like quality, which goes especially well with coffee. This triple-chocolate double-baked treat is dipped in a dark chocolate coating with sprinkles on top.
Why isn’t corn used in more desserts? It’s naturally sweet, and the kernels add a nice pop. These paletas are made with sweet corn, cinnamon and Tajin.
Corn, beans and squash are three of the earliest domesticated crops grown by Native Americans in the Sonoran region. For this recipe, prepared corn masa, which is usually used to make tortillas or gorditas, is pressed into a cast iron skillet for the crust. If you’ve never tried tepary beans, this recipe is an excellent way to experiment with them, but you can substitute black beans instead if you want.
Start your day with this Tucson Sonoran style power breakfast bowl. It’s high in protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.
How To Make Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers. I first developed this recipe for the Food Network.
Recipe for healthy breakfast taco cups. Low-carb tortillas filled with eggs, bacon, pinto beans, cheese and salsa.
Ohio meets Arizona! Cincinnati style chili cheese nachos, “Cincinnachos” as they will henceforth be known. The best of everything for snacking season. Start with my recipe for Cincinnati Style Turkey Chili, substituting ground grass-fed beef or vegetarian ground beef crumbles if you prefer.
This spicy and crunchy Sonoran chipotle chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads.
Visually stunning sugared cranberries are a study in contrast. The tart, dark berries which appear to have been encrusted in tiny jewels, add a magical quality to these brie crostini.
These wings are hot! The spiciness will vary greatly though, depending on the heat of the chili flakes you are using, and the barbecue sauce you select. This recipe also works well for boneless skinless breasts or thighs.
My Mexican Day of the Dead house was inspired by the sugar skulls that typically signify the holiday.
I want some figgy pudding! How could I not after hearing that song year after year. So, I came up with this recipe for Chocolate & Coffee Figgy Pudding. Make your Christmas past a Christmas present.
My choice for snack of the day is a crunchy Sonoran style Mexican and Jewish deli mashup. Try it, you’ll like it.
Yay! It’s National Taco Day! Here’s a recipe of one of my favorite kinds – Carne Asada, from the book Knack Mexican Cooking by Chelsie Kenyon. Please note: these are not the Sonoran Style carne asada tacos from my Taste of Tucson cookbook but they are damn good none the less! Photos by me.
Similar variations of dishes develop in different parts of the world. Shakshuka is somewhat similar to Sonoran Eggs Diablo.