Casa Enrique Gives a Rare Glimpse of the Cooking of Chiapas, Mexico


Cochinito Chiapaneco (“little female pig ribs from Chiapas”) is a dish that demonstrates the adept way Chiapas cooks use dried red chiles to create subtle sauces.

This week, Counter Culture rides on donkey back into the remote mountains of Chiapas in far southern Mexico, via a series of meals at Casa Enrique in Long Island City. Here are some of the dishes typical of that Mexican state, the cuisine of which has been rarely seen in New York before, if at all.

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Enchiladas don blanca (“poor woman’s enchiladas”) are a dish eaten all over Mexico, in dozens of vastly different permutations. The version at Casa Enrique features roasted peppers and fresh cheese wrapped in enchiladas with plenty of tomatillo sauce. As in most dishes there (and presumably in Chiapas), ripe avocado provides garnish.

Pozole comes in various shades in southern Mexican states, white in Puebla and green in Guerrero. But Casa Enrique offers a red version — milder than it looks — attributed to chef Cosme Aguilar’s aunt. The toss-ins are shown in the foreground of the picture, and radish matchsticks garnish the soup.

These delectable and delicate crab tostadas are typical of the seaboard cooking of southern Mexican states.

And, of course, good old guacamole — plainer than you’ve ever tasted it before, allowing the fruit to shine.

Check out another dish from nearby Oaxaca, chamorro de borrego al huaxamole, on the menu at Casa Enrique.

Casa Enrique
5-48 49th Avenue
Long Island City, Queens