MERIDEN — Mexican cuisine tends to be very popular. The city alone has a variety of restaurants that offer traditional Mexican food.
In a recent interview with the Record Journal, Ana Rojas, kitchen manager at El Sol de Mexico in Meriden, gave us the recipes of some traditional, easy to make Mexican dishes.
With football season approaching, these dishes are ideal for families who enjoy making a meal together and sharing with friends.Shrimp Botana
According to Rojas, shrimp botana is one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant.
Shrimp botana is a plate of seasoned shrimp that are served on top of a salad.
“On a weekend, I make 400 shrimp in botanas,” she said.
The dish is served as an appetizer and Mexicans prefer it to be very spicy, she said. Cooks at the restaurant only make the dish spicy per customer request.
Shrimp Botana is an “easy” and “simple” dish, Rojas said.
The ingredients are shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and lime.
First, the shrimp is grilled and seasoned with the preferred seasoning mix. Rojas uses the house seasoning at El Sol de Mexico.
While the shrimp cooks, the vegetables can be diced or sliced and placed on a plate.
Then, the shrimp is added on top of the vegetables and the dish is ready to be served.
Rojas adds a spicy powder to the dish prior to serving it, if the customer wants it.
She said the trick to cooking shrimp is not overcooking it so that it doesn’t become hard.Nachos
To make Mexican nachos, the staff at El Sol de Mexico, first cut meat in very small pieces.
The meat is then placed on the grill, and while it cooks, the preferred seasoning mix can be added to it.
The next step is to place tortilla chips on a plate and then add shredded mozzarella cheese over it. Then, the plate goes in the microwave for a minute. Lettuce, tomato, onions and cilantro are then chopped in small pieces.
The meat is placed first over the chips and cheese plate. Then, the vegetables are added over the meat and the plate is topped off with sour cream and powdered cheese.Guacamole
To make Guacamole, avocados must be peeled and then mashed. Lime, salt and pepper are then added to the mashed avocados. Chopped onions, tomatoes and cilantro are later added to the mix. At El Sol de Mexico, a spicy powder is also added to the guacamole if the customer requests it. Guacamole can be enjoyed as a snack with tortilla chips or toast. Main dishes such as tacos and fajitas can also be topped off with guacamole.The restaurant
El Sol de Mexico is located at 306 East Main St. in Meriden. They offer eat-in as well as take-out services. The restaurant is open Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Marcelo Gonzales has been the owner of the business for the past five years. He said the restaurant has been open for about eight years.