Here's what your Mexican dishes have been missing. Add a whole leaf to meats as they are cooking (don't forget to remove them prior to serving). Or use your grinder and add 1/2 tsp to each lb of meat or every 2 quarts of soup or sauces.
Bay leaves were used for flavoring by the ancient Greeks. They are a fixture in the cooking of many European cuisines (particularly those of the Mediterranean), as well as in the Americas. The leaves also flavor many classic French dishes.
They are used in soups, stews, meat, seafood, vegetable dishes, and sauces.
The leaves are most often used whole and removed before serving (they can be abrasive in the digestive tract).