Last weekend, I hosted a wedding. The bride, of Mexican heritage, wanted food reminiscent of her childhood. The groom, a meat and potatoes kind of man, has milder tastes in food. As I was in charge of the kitchen, I opted for a happy medium that was gluten and dairy-free, without being obviously so, and … Continued
The last place I expected to find a good recipe for Cochinita Pibil, was in the comments of an English-language website that recaps Spanish-language telenovelas. If you’re asking yourself how I wound up reading the comments on that site, I have both an easy and a more complicated answer for you. The easy answer is … Continued
My grandpa Carlos was quite the hipster in his day. He owned a nightclub called El Matador, drove a corvette, and loved his bling. Of course, this came later in life – after years of working hard for others. Less flashy, more family, he was also the cook in the house. Two of the recipes … Continued
Deconstruct: To break something down into its component parts. For a recipe, this means looking at the recipe and determining the essential ingredients – the ones that make the dish unique, satisfying, and flavorful. Deconstruction is one of my favorite ways to reinvent a dish when I want to experience its flavors AND tailor the … Continued
Cubes of pork shoulder marinated over-night in milk and quartered oranges. A 5-gallon pot with pounds of lard and the pork chunks heated to the brink of boiling, and stirred every so often by a 3-foot, home-made wooden paddle. Pork that is extremely tender, has a slight crisp to the outside, and can easily broken … Continued
Lemons? Think again. These are sweet Palestinian limes… When I went to the Mexican market the other day, I saw some for the first time. I picked one up and nonchalantly tossed it into my cart to try later. I looked up to see an older couple watching me. I winked and walked away. Moments later, … Continued
Last week presented a new Iron Chef Night challenge – cocoa, and a good reason to finally make mole, something I’ve shied away from for years because of a childhood memory. I don’t actually know if I ate mole that didn’t taste good or if the combination of flavors just sounded horrible to my undeveloped palate. Either way, I haven’t ventured a taste until now.
Me: “I’d like your red pepper and chorizo tacos, please. Do they have cheese on them?” Waiter: “No, they’re vegan; we use chorizo made from soy. And, what would you like on the side? We have rice or beans rancheros – but they have chicharrón and bacon in them. They’re definitely not vegan.” Me: “Oh, I’m not vegan. I just can’t have cheese. I’ll have the beans, please.”
This dish is de-lish. The recipe is inspired by traditional Mexican stuffed chiles with walnut sauce. I say inspired, because I offer up a version that is easier to prepare and dairy-free, but maintains the essence of the traditional preparation.
I found a bottle of what looked like home-canned garlic tomatillo salsa at the store a couple of weeks ago. It was in a quart-sized Mason jar with a raffia bow and a simple hang-tag for a label. I knew what I’d use it for when I bought it; I’ve just been waiting for the craving. And tonight, it came. Perfect timing, too, as our yellow pear and Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes are finally coming in (very late in the year) and I had my favorite brand of tortillas in the fridge.