Creamy Bean Soup

A longtime Royal favorite!

1kg black beans
5 liters of water
6 leaves of epazote (Mexican herb)
Half a white onion
5oz lard
2½oz garlic
2oz chicken stock powder
¼ gallon of chicken stock

Bring the water to the boil, add the beans (make sure that they are clean of any grit or husks), onion and four epazote leaves and simmer until the beans are cooked.
In another pan add the lard, the two remaining epazote leaves and the finely chopped garlic and lightly fry.
Add to the beans and blend; finally add the chicken stock powder and consommé. Bring to the boil and stir constantly until thoroughly blended.
Note: If you cannot find epazote, you can use chopped cilantro instead – just add more.
This soup can be served with a topping of crispy tortilla strips and crumbled cheese or a drizzle of cream.

Portobello Mushroom Seafood Surprise

A classic seafood recipe courtesy of the chef at El Conquistador Restaurant in The Royal Mayan.

50g cream

100g portobello mushroom (one per person)

55 g shrimp

41g scallop

Diced lobster

30 g clarified butter

15g chopped white onion

22 g white mushroom

Salt & pepper

10g ground almonds

3 teaspoons white wine

80g steamed spinach

20g cherry tomatoes

48g asparagus

Clean the portobello mushrooms, slice in half and grill with a little butter, salt and pepper. Fry the onion in butter, add the shrimp, scallops, lobster and chopped mushrooms and sautée until seafood is cooked. Add the croutons, ground almonds and white wine. Season to taste. 
Arrange the bed of spinach on a plate and top with a portobello mushroom half, add the seafood mixture and drizzle with cream, cover with the remaining mushroom half. Garnish with asparagus and tomato halves.

Cream of Chili Poblano Soup

This mouthwatering soup is popular with diners at La Veranda, the restaurant at The Royal Sands.


2 ¼ oz bar of butter

7 oz of chopped white onion

2 oz of chopped garlic

¼ tsp of thyme

2 bay leaves

9 ½ oz of sliced chili poblano

2 ¼ oz flour

2 ½ cups of chicken broth

1l of skimmed milk

1 oz chicken stock powder

3 ½ oz evaporated milk

1 tsp salt

Clean the chilies, chop and remove the seeds before rinsing the slices in hot water. Fry the onion, garlic and herbs lightly in the butter, stirring constantly. When the onion begins to turn transparent, add the chili slices. Sift in the flour and keep stirring while you add the chicken broth. Once the chili is soft, blend the mixture and add the skimmed milk. Strain and add the chicken stock powder and salt according to taste. Finally, add the evaporated milk and remove from the heat.

Royal Recipes: Lime Soup


Sopa de Lima (Lime Soup) is a traditional recipe from the Yucatan and is a long-standing favorite with Royal Resorts members.

Ingredients:

10 oz sliced green pepper
7 ½ oz of sliced red pepper
7 oz sliced onion
9 ½ oz sliced celery
5 ½ oz of sour lime (lima)
7 oz chopped tomato
3 bay leaves
1 tsp salt & pepper
2 oz chicken stock powder
½ oz chopped garlic
2 oz mixed vegetable oil (20-80)
7 1/2 oz chopped carrot
1 gallon chicken stock

Preparation:

Heat 2 oz of mixed cooking oil, add onion and garlic and fry lightly, stirring from time to time to prevent burning. Add carrot, celery, tomato and bay leaves. Pour in chicken broth, sour lime juice and sour lime slices. Season to taste with powdered chicken stock, salt and pepper. Finally, add the sliced green and red pepper and bring to the boil.
 Cooked, shredded chicken breast and crispy fried tortilla strips may also be added to the soup before serving. Enjoy!

More Royal Recipes

Royal Recipes: Shrimp Tacos

By popular demand, we are delighted to share more of your favorite recipes from the Royal Resorts restaurants.

The Royal Haciendas Shrimp Tacos

Quantities given are per person

3 jumbo shrimp
1/4 tsp of salt and pepper
1 oz. lime juice
4.1 oz. tempura batter
3 flour tortillas
2 oz. shredded lettuce
2 oz. pico de gallo salsa (chopped tomato, onion, coriander with a dash of serrano chili)
1 1/2 oz. chipotle chili flavored mayonnaise
1 1/2 oz. yellow mayonnaise

To garnish: 1 sangria lettuce leaf, 1 1/2 oz. avocado and 1 slice of lime

Preparation
Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and marinate in the lime juice, salt and pepper for a few minutes. Then dip the marinated shrimp in tempura batter until thoroughly coated and fry in oil until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and serve on warm tortillas (two shrimp halves per tortilla). Top with the chipotle mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo salsa, sliced avocado, and drizzle with the yellow mayonnaise. Serve with the lettuce, avocado and lime garnish.

Note: Corn tortillas can be substituted for the flour variety and both fish and shrimp tacos are excellent with a dash of habanero chili salsa if you like a dash of the hot stuff.

Buen provecho!

Stay posted for additional recipes in the months to come. We hope that you enjoy preparing these recipes for your family and friends and that they bring back many happy memories. Remember, however, that for the true flavor to come out you have to add sunny skies, turquoise water and a dash of Mexican hospitality.

More Royal Recipes:

Creamy Bean Soup & Black Bean Salsa

Lime Soup, Cream of Chili Poblano Soup & Portobello Mushroom Seafood Surprise

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Travel Tips

Climate
The Mexican Caribbean enjoys over 300 days of sunshine during the year and the climate is hot and humid. Temperatures in January hit an average high of 27˚C/81˚F and a low of 19˚C/67˚C. Summer temperatures are higher and with 80% humidity, it feels even hotter. July and August are the warmest months with an average high of 32˚C/90˚F and nighttime lows of 26˚C/78˚F registered for July.
The rainy season runs from June to October and rainfall usually takes the form of short, heavy showers and thunderstorms. Tropical weather systems forming in the Caribbean may occasionally bring longer periods of rain and wind. Winter rainfall and lower temperatures are brought by nortes or northerly winds blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. They usually last for two to three days.

Electricity
110 volts. We recommend that you bring a voltage converter with you if you are using 220 volt devices.

Entry Requirements
A valid passport is required to enter Mexico. Citizens of the following countries may enter Mexico without a visa. (FMTTV): Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Island, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway
 Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. Citizens of all other countries may require a visa and should check with their travel agency and the Mexican Embassy in their country well before they are due to travel.
Minors traveling alone require notarized written permission from their parents.

Language
The official language in Mexico is Spanish although English is widely spoken, especially in resort areas. Here in the Mexican Caribbean, some hotel and travel employees can also converse in French, Italian, German and Portuguese. You’ll hear Maya in many parts of the Yucatán Peninsula, one of 66 indigenous languages still spoken in Mexico.

Measurements
Mexico uses the metric system so this means that distances are given in kilometers, heights and depths are recorded in meters, weights are in grams and kilos, and so on. Temperatures are given in Celsius

Money
The official currency is the Mexican peso. Bills come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos. Coins are issued in 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 pesos and five, ten, 20 and 50 cents.
Dollars are accepted in Cancún, Playa del Carmen and other tourist areas but coin change will not be given. You can exchange your US dollars, Canadian dollars, Euros, sterling and travelers checks for pesos at banks and bureau de change. US and Canadian dollars and traveler’s checks can also be exchanged at the Front Desk in your resort.

Time
The Mexican Caribbean is on Central Standard Time, six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Tipping
Waiters generally receive 15% and sky caps and bell-boys $2 US per bag. The suggested daily tip for the maid who cleans your villa at Royal Resorts is $3 US for the suite and $2US for the room or $5 US when the villa is fully occupied.

Water
You can drink the water at Royal Resorts straight from the tap. It is purified to US standards using the reserve osmosis system. Outside the resorts, however, we recommend that you drink bottled water.
If you are going to be in the sun all day on a trip to one of the archaeological sites or nature parks, make sure you drink plenty of water.

What to wear
We recommend that you bring cool, light colored cotton clothing and a pair of comfortable shoes if you are planning to explore the area’s archaeological sites. You will need trousers and long-sleeved shirts for jungle treks. Pack a light jacket or sweater or a shawl for the evenings, especially in the winter. A hat, sunglasses and plenty of sun block are indispensable.

Getting Around in Cancún & Riviera Maya

Taxis
Taxis are available at all the Royal Resorts and you can also hail them in the street. Expect to pay more when you take a taxi from the resort or a taxi station. It is always a good idea to check the fare before getting into a taxi. You’ll find a list of the fares from your resort to a number of important destinations in the Cancún area posted in the motor lobby.
If you are staying at The Royal Haciendas, call the Bellboys to request a taxi 15 minutes before you need it.

Buses
In Cancun, the City buses are very frequent and at $7.50 pesos are a cheap way of getting around. Buses marked Ruta 1, Ruta 2, Ruta 15, and Ruta 27 and “Centro” all go through the Hotel Zone to Downtown Cancun. If you are traveling from Downtown Cancún out to the Hotel Zone, please note that not all buses go as far as the terminus at Punta Nizuc, check with the bus driver to confirm this.
Cancún’s buses are not air-conditioned and tend to become very crowded at peak times.
For buses to Playa del Carmen, Mérida and other destinations, go to the bus station in Downtown Cancún, located on the corner of Avenida Tulum and Uxmal.
The main bus station in Playa del Carmen is located on the corner of Quinta Ave. and Avenida Juárez.

Car Rentals
Renting a car gives you added freedom to explore the area. There are car rental desks in all the Royal Resorts.

Inter-Resort Shuttle
A free shuttle bus links the five Royal Resorts in Cancún; timetables are posted in the motor lobbies of the resorts. A limited shuttle service is also available between The Royal Haciendas and Playa del Carmen during the day. You must reserve beforehand in the Membership Office.
Thomas More Travel also offers a shared and private transport service between the Cancun resorts and The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya on request.

Transport from the Airport
Cancún airport is the second largest in Mexico and one of the busiest in the Americas. Avoid the lines of people arranging and then waiting for transport to their hotel by pre-booking your airport transfer through Thomas More Travel. Save time, head straight for the beach at the Royal Resorts or The Royal Haciendas in the Riviera Maya and start enjoying your vacation right away.
Airport regulations stipulate that you must book your transport before you travel to Cancún and bring the printed confirmation and service coupon with you in order for Thomas More to provide the service. You may receive a call from one of the Royal Resorts Concierges to assist you with your reservation or you can book online at
www.royalresorts.com or www.thomasmoretravel.com
Alternatively, call Thomas More Travel toll-free from the US & Canada 1-800-791-4496; Rest of the World: 52-998 885-1741 or 885-0254; E-mail airportservice@royalresorts.com at least 24 hours prior to departure.

Yucatan Travel Tips
– Wear a hat, sunglasses and have a t-shirt or cover up handy. Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the archaeological sites.
– Apply plenty of sunscreen with the correct factor for your skin.
– Don’t overdo beach sunbathing! Be careful not to spend too much time in the sun at the beginning of your stay. You can gradually extend your tanning time.
– Cool off in the shade or water frequently.
– The hottest part of the day is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
– Bear in mind that you can still burn even if it is cloudy or breezy.
– Sun products should be reapplied after bathing.
– If you do burn, apply aloe vera gel to cool off.
– Always use environmentally friendly, biodegradable sunscreens, especially if you plan to go snorkeling and swimming. The chemicals and oils in standard sun products are harmful to corals and other marine life. We also recommend that you wear a t-shirt when snorkeling.
– Apply insect repellent when visiting the archaeological sites and venturing into the forest. Long-sleeved shirts, socks and trousers are recommended for jungle walks.
– Drink plenty of bottled water.
– Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables.
– Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common during the Yucatán summer, so you might want to take a light waterproof jacket with you.
– Don’t forget your camera and be sure to stock up on batteries and memory sticks.
– Binoculars and a bird identification handbook are indispensable if you are visiting the area’s nature reserves.
– If you plan to go snorkeling or diving during your stay, you might want to pick up a marine life guidebook. Some local dive centers and stores stock waterproof fish identification guides and underwater cameras.
– While most organized day trips include lunch, you may have an early start for some of them and may miss breakfast. The Royal Resorts Express Food to Go counters have the solution. Request a Box Lunch the day before you are due to go on your trip and your freshly made order will be waiting for you to pick up in the lobby.

Language primer

LEARN THE LINGO
When you come to the Mexican Caribbean you have the opportunity to learn not just one but two new languages: Spanish and Maya, the language spoken throughout the Yucatán Peninsula. Stay posted for more pointers.
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BEGINNERS SPANISH

Greetings

Hello –> Hola
Good morning / good day –> Buenos días
Good afternoon –> Buenas tardes
Good evening / night –> Buenas noches
How are you? –> Cómo está usted?
Very well thank you –> Muy bien, gracias
See you soon –> Hasta luego
That’s all right –> Está bien
Don’t worry –> No se preocupe

The Basics

Yes –> Si
No –> No
Please –> Por favor
Thank you –> Gracias
You’ re welcome –> De nada
No thank you –> No gracias
Sorry –> Perdone
What’s your name? –> Cómo se llama?
My name is … –> Me llamo …
I’m hungry (thirsty) –> Tengo hambre (sed)
I’m tired –> Estoy cansado
I’m ready –> Estoy listo
Leave me alone –> Dejame solo por favor
Just one minute –> Un minuto por favor
One moment please –> Un momento por favor
Come in –> Adelante
It’s cheap (expensive) –> Es barato (caro)
It’s cold (hot) –> Hace frío (calor)
It’s too much –> Es demasiado
I (don’t) like it –> (No) me gusta
I’m not sure –> No estoy seguro
I don’t know –> No sé
I think so –> Creo que sí
That’s all –> Es todo
Thank you for your help –> Gracias por tu ayuda
Taxi please –> Taxi por favor

Language Problems

Do you speak English? –> ¿Habla inglés?
Do you understand me? –> ¿Me entiende?
I don’t speak Spanish –> No hablo español
Please speak slowly –> Hable más despacio por favor
I don’t understand –> No entiendo

Questions

Where is (are)? –> ¿Dónde está (están)?
When? –> ¿Cuándo?
Who? –> ¿Quién?
Why? –> ¿Por qué?
What? –> ¿Qué?
How much is (are)? –> ¿Cuánto es (son)?
How far? –> ¿A qué distancia está?
I want (would like) –> Quiero …
What is the matter? –> ¿Qué pasa?
Can you help me? –> ¿Puede usted ayudarme?
Can you show me? –> ¿Puede usted enseñarme?
Can you tell me? –> ¿Puede usted decirme?

In Restaurants

I have booked a table –> Reserve una mesa
May I see the menu? –> Quisiera ver el menú por favor
I’d like… –> Quiero …
A little more –> Un poco más
What will you drink? –> ¿Qué desea beber?
.

A MAYA PRIMER

Greetings

Hello
Spanish –> Hola
Maya –> Oola

How are you?
Spanish –> ¿Cómo estas? or ¿Qué tal?
Maya –> Ba’ax ka wa’alik
(bah’ahsh ka wah ahl eek)

I’m fine
Spanish –> Estoy bien
Maya –> Ma’alob
(mah-ah-lohb)

Good-bye
Spanish –> Adios
Maya –> Tak sáamal
(tahk saahm-ahl)

See you tomorrow
Spanish –> Hasta mañana
Maya –> Tak sáamal
(tahk saahm-ahl)

Take care, good luck
Spanish –> Que te vaya bien, Buena suerte
Maya –> Ka xi’ik teech utzil
(kah shee-eek teehch ootz-eel)

General

Yes
Spanish –> Si
Maya –> Haah
(haah)

No
Spanish –> No
Maya –> Ma’
(mah’)

Thank you
Spanish –> Gracias
Maya –> Dios bo’otik
(dee-ohsboh-oh-teek)

I’m happy
Spanish –> Estoy contento
Maya –> Kiimak in wool

I’m thirsty
Spanish –> Tengo sed
Maya –> Hach uk’ahen
(hahch oo-kah-hehn)

I’m hungry
Spanish –> Tengo hambre
Maya –> Hach wi’iheen
(hahch wee’-ee-heehn)

Questions

How much does it cost?
Spanish –> ¿Cúanto cuesta?
Maya –> Baahux u tohol
(bah-hoosh oo toh-hohl)

What?
Spanish –> ¿Qué?
Maya –> Ba’ax

When, which day?
Spanish –> ¿Cuando, que día?
Maya –> Ba’ax k’in
(bah-ahsh k’eeen)

Why, what for?
Spanish –> ¿Por que?
Maya –> Ba’ax ten
(bah-ahsh-tehn)

What’s your name?
Spanish –> ¿Como se llama?
Maya –> Ba’ax a k’aaba’
Bah-ahsh ah k’aahb-ah’

What time is it?
Spanish –> ¿Qué hora es?
Maya –> Ba’ax oorah?
(bah-ahsh oohr-ah)

Weather & Elements

It’s raining
Spanish –> Está lloviendo
Maya –> Tun k’áaxal ha’
(toon k’aahsh-ahl-hah)

Rain
Spanish –> Lluvia
Maya –> cháak (also ha’)
(Cháahk or hah)

Sun
Spanish –> sol
Maya –> k’iin
(k’eeen)

It’s hot
Spanish –> hace calor
Maya –> k’íilkab or hach kilcab
(k’eeel-kahb)

It’s cold
Spanish –> hace frio
Maya –> ke’el or hach ceel ziiz
(keh’ehl)

I’m cold
Spanish –> Tengo frio
Maya –> Ke’eleen
(keh-ehl-eehn)

Cloudy
Spanish –> nublado
Maya –> nóokoy
(noohk-ohy)

Wind
Spanish –> viento
Maya –> iik’
(eeek’)

Star
Spanish –> Estrella
Maya –> Eek’
(eehk’)

Directions

North
Spanish –> Norte
Maya –> Xaman
(shah-mahn)

South
Spanish –> Sur
Maya –> Nohol
(noh-hohl)

East
Spanish –> Oriente/este
Maya –> Lak’in
(lah-k’een)

West
Spanish –> Poniente/oeste
Maya –> Chik’in
(chee-k’een)

Time

Yesterday
Spanish –> Ayer
Maya –> Ho’olheyak
(hoh-ohl-heh-yahk)

Today
Spanish –> Hoy
Maya –> Behla’e’
(beh-lah’-eh’)

Tomorrow
Spanish –> Mañana
Maya –> Saamal
(sáah-mahl)

Day after tomorrow
Spanish –> Pasado mañana
Maya –> Ka’abeh
(kah-ah-beh

Year
Spanish –> Año
Maya –> Ha’ab

Sunset, dusk
Spanish –> Atardecer
Maya –> Bin ka ak’abtal
(been kah ahk’-ahb-tahl)

Night
Spanish –> Noche
Maya –> Aak’ab
(aahk’-ahb)

Midnight
Spanish –> Medianoche
Maya –> Chúumuk áak’ab
(chooom-ook aahk-ahb)

Dawn
Spanish –> Amanecer
Maya –> Sáastal
(saahs-tahl)

Day
Spanish –> Día
Maya –> K’iin
(k’eeen)

Morning
Spanish –> Manana
Maya –> Hatzkab k’iin
(hahtz-kahb k’eeen)

Noon
Spanish –> Medio dia
Maya –> Chúumuk k’iin
(chooom-ook keeen)
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WORD OF THE WEEK

Tope
Visitors to the Mexican Caribbean may have seen this word and wondered what it meant, and if you are a driver you may have already found out the hard way! Tope is the word for speed bumps or sleeping policemen. You’ll find topes in front of schools and in residential areas and as you enter and leave villages such as those along Highway 180 to Chichén Itzá and Mérida.

Antojito
Pronounced “antoheeto,” this is a word used collectively to describe the Mexican finger food such as tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and tamales we all know and love so much. The verb antojar means to crave or be in the mood for something.

Countdown to the Soccer World Cup

The excitement is building as the countdown continues to the world’s greatest sporting fiesta, the Soccer World Cup in South Africa, June 11 – July 11. The inaugural match in Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium pits host nation South Africa against Mexico while Uruguay takes on France in Capetown. The following day, England plays the United States in Rustenburg; it’s Argentina versus Nigeria in Ellis Park, Johannesburg and Greece against South Korea in Port Elizabeth.
Who’s going to win this time? South American soccer heavyweights Brazil or Argentina, will Italy retain their title, or is this finally England’s year? Will Mexico’s young talents finally come through or are we in for a surprise? The 2010 World Cup from South Africa, the Rainbow Nation, promises to be more exciting than ever. Watch the matches and keep track of all the action at the Royal Resorts Restaurants & Bars where additional screens are being installed for eager soccer fans.
Check resort notice boards for the World Cup match schedule and kick off times.

Good News for Prime Rib Lovers

If you have a hearty appetite and your first question at dinner is invariably “where’s the beef,” then Royal Resorts Prime Rib Night should definitely be on your to do list during your stay. Prime Rib is served at El Conquistador Restaurant at The Royal Mayan on Tuesday, Captain’s Cove on Wednesday, La Veranda at The Royal Sands and La Palapa del Sol at The Royal Haciendas on Thursday. For more information on dining and entertainment during the week at Royal Resorts, visit www.royalresorts.com, ask your Concierge or contact the Restaurant Reservations Center on arrival at your resort.