Learn how to make authentic Mexican dishes from award-winning chef Barbara Sibley

We recently joined Chef Barbara Sibley at La Palapa Cocina Mexicana Restaurant for a demonstration of tasty nutritional foods from Mexico. Check out these delicious wholesome foods below, and watch the demonstration on Facebook Live.

Guacamole de La Palapa
Makes about 2 cups; serves 4 to 6

2 large avocados, preferably Mexican, halved and pitted
½ sweet onion, such as Vidalia finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, finely chopped ~ to taste!
About 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt

  1. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the avocado pulp into a small bowl.
  2. Add the onion, cilantro, chiles, and lime juice. Mix well and season with salt. Taste and adjust with more lime juice if necessary (it both provides flavor and keeps the guacamole from turning brown).
  3. Guacamole tastes best when eaten right away. Or, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent discoloring and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Guacamole con Durazno
Guacamole with Summer Peaches; serves 6

2 medium ripe Mexican avocados
1 cup cubed, semi-soft peaches, nectarines or apricots (about 2- 3)
2 skinned tomatillos, finely chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
½  small red onion, finely chopped (about ½ a cup)
½  cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (about 1 bunch)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey

  1. Cut both avocados in half. Scoop the pulp of 1 of the avocados into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash gently.
  2. Add the peaches, tomatillos, chiles, onion, cilantro, lime juice, honey, and pepper to the avocados and toss gently.
  3. Cut the pulp of the other avocado into cubes and mix into the guacamole.
  4. Season to taste with salt.

Corn Masa “little boats”
Handmade corn masa tortilla boats called Chalupas were named for the canoe like boats that were used in the narrow waterways of the floating gardens in Xochimilco, near Mexico City. Depending on what region they are from Chalupas take on various shapes. They can be flat or oval or canoe shaped. At La Palapa we make them round, as they do in Puebla. Chalupas can be filled with many delicious ingredients, from guacamole to beans, chorizo or shredded chicken and seasoned with a green sauce, topped with chopped sweet onion and queso fresco.
Makes 12 Chalupas or Sopecitos

1 cup of corn masa harina
1 cup warm water
2 T. corn oil
1/2 tsp. salt

  1. In a large bowl, mix the masa and salt and slowly add the water , using your hands work the masa until it is smooth . Knead the dough until it is moist and smooth, but not sticky. About 3-5 minutes. If the dough seems too dry, moisten hands with water and knead some more. If the dough seems to wet add a little more masa harina, no more than one tablespoon at a time , to achieve a moist, smooth dough.
  2. Divide the masa dough into 12 equal balls. Form each ball into a round disc about 1/2 inch thick
  3. Cook on a griddle or cast iron pan for about 3 minutes on each side until a crust forms. Remove from the pan and pinch up a 1/3 inch rim all the way around the edge. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use so that they do not dry out.
  4. To reheat brush with a small amount of oil and place on a griddle or cast iron pan
  5. May be kept for up to one week wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Agua Fresca de Chia (Chia Limeade)
Makes 1 quart

  • Chia is a seed that is indigenous to Mexico. To add chia to your diet it is important that the seed be soaked first as it absorbs a relatively large quantity of water and this can affect digestion.
  • Aguas Frescas or “fresh waters” are traditional fruit and herb flavored infusions. They are healthy alternatives to sodas.

4T. chia seed
1 quart  water
2 T agave syrup or sweetener to taste
¼ cup lime juice
lime slices and ice for garnish

  1. In a one quart pitcher add the chia and top with the water. Allow to soak at least half an hour or until the chia seeds are suspended in the water in the get formed by the seed coating and no longer sink to the bottom.
  2. Add the sweetener and lime juice to the chia water and adjust to taste.
  3. Chill and adjust for sweetness once it is cold.
  4. Serve over ice with lime slices in the agua fresca.