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Tag: Latin

Foods from South of the Border

Waffles Rancheros

Waffles Rancheros

Waffles Rancheros


1 tsp olive oil

¼ cup finely diced onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp finely chopped seeded jalapeno

1 cup flour

¾ cup masa harina

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1¾ C. whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled


1 tsp olive oil

½ cup minced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (14-oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry

1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp fresh lime juice

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and pepper to taste


Fried eggs

Queso fresco cheese, crumbled

Avocado, diced or sliced


Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for several minutes until onion is translucent. Add the beans, drained tomatoes, chipotle pepper, cumin and lime juice. Warm on medium heat. Add the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for several minutes until onion is translucent. Add the jalapeno. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, masa harina, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and cooled melted butter. Add onion mixture to wet mixture. Fold wet mixture into the dry mixture. Heat the waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Make waffles based on size of iron. Top each warm waffle with black beans, a fried egg, avocado and crumbled queso fresco cheese.

Fried Green Plantains with Avocado Black Bean Salsa

Fried Green Plantains with Avocado Black Bean Salsa

Fried Green Plantains with Avocado Black Bean Salsa


Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large avocado, diced

1 cup (about 175 grams) diced papaya, mango, or pineapple

1 cup (250 grams) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed


3 firm green plantains

Vegetable oil, for frying



Whisk the lime juice, garlic, olive oil, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Put the avocado, papaya, and black beans in a larger bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss with half of the dressing. Taste for seasoning and set aside. Cut off the ends of each plantain so that a small amount of the inner vegetable is exposed. From here, there are many ways to remove the skin. You might be able to peel it with your fingertips, first making a slit from top to the bottom and opening the plantain from the side. You might find it easier to remove the skin in neat sections if you make a few slits down the side. Or, if you have a tough one, you might just use a sharp knife to pare the peel away. If any green skin remains, scrape it off with your knife. Cut each plantain into six to eight 1-inch pieces. Heat 1 inch of oil in a medium-sized heavy skillet over medium-high heat to 325 degrees. If you don’t have the right kind of thermometer, I find plantains forgiving of inexact frying temperatures. As long as they’re not taking more than 5 minutes in the first frying, or not blackening before 2 minutes, you’re probably in a good-enough range.  Add about one plantain’s worth of pieces to the oil, and cook, turning as needed, until they are just a little bit darker in color and hollow sounding when lifted from the oil and tapped, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain them on a large paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining plantains in two batches. Using a heavy skillet or the underside of a can, press down on the still-hot fried plantain chunks until they make 2-to-3-inch flattish discs. Return these to the frying pan a handful at a time, and fry until lightly bronzed, about 1 minute more per side. Drain again, and immediately season with salt. Serve the warm plantains with the salad, with the extra dressing on the side to drizzle over the plantains.

Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

With its sweet, savory, and tangy flavors plus a wonderfully creamy texture that kids love, it’s a great comfort food for any season. The concept works with many different vegetables, so you might want to make budín de camote (sweet potato), budín de maíz (fresh corn), or budín de calabaza (squash or pumpkin), depending on what you have handy.

2 pounds fresh carrots

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup finely chopped piloncillo (This is a Mexican raw sugar, but you can substitute brown sugar, Sucanat, rapadura, granulated palm sugar, or maple syrup)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream (plus extra for garnish)

3/4 cup rice flour (can substitute white flour)

1 teaspoon fine salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cut carrots into big chunks and steam until completely tender, almost falling apart. Transfer into another pot or bowl and mash with a potato masher, fork, or whisk. Combine melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until sugar is dissolved or incorporated (I recommend using an electric hand mixer if you have one. You could also use a food processor or a whisk). Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the sour cream. Add in the steamed mashed carrots and beat until completely incorporated. Mix or sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, then add to the carrot mixture. Beat for another minute or two until everything is completely incorporated. Stir in the cheese and the nutmeg. Pour custard into a buttered baking dish, then bake until set, about 45 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream on the side.

Easy Beef & Bean Enchiladas

Easy Beef & Bean Enchiladas

Easy Beef & Bean Enchiladas


1 1/2 pounds ground beef

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

10 corn or flour tortillas

1 8-ounce package sour cream

cilantro optional

1 cup canned black beans rinses and drained

2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese

1 homemade enchilada sauce recipe


Brown ground beef over medium-low heat. Drain meat to remove any excess drippings. Add ¼ cup of enchilada sauce into brown meat and stir until well-combined. For the Enchilada Assembly: Preheat oven to 350º F. Pour ½ cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 oven-safe, casserole dish. Drizzle oil into the bottom of a skillet over a medium-low heat. Add tortillas, one at a time, and cook for about 1 minute each. Do not allow to become crispy. Drain tortilla and then layer on beef, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and beans. Roll tortilla to keep all ingredients inside. Then place seam side down in the casserole dish. Once all enchiladas have been assembled and placed into casserole dish, pour remaining enchilada sauce over to make sure well covered. Top with remaining cheese. Place in oven and bake 15 minutes, or until cheese has fully melted. Remove from oven and top with additional cilantro, if desired.

Pineapple Chili Margarita

Pineapple Chili Margarita

Pineapple Chili Margarita


1 1/2 ounces silver tequila

3/4 ounce premium triple sec

2 ounces pineapple juice

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1 dash hot sauce

Coarse salt and/or Tajin Seasoning, for optional rim

Pineapple wedge, for garnish

Lime wheel, for garnish


In a cocktail shaker, pour the tequila, triple sec, lime and pineapple juices, and hot sauce. Fill with ice.  Prepare the rim of the glass by rubbing a slice of lime along it, and dipping glass in coarse salt and/or Tajin Seasoning for extra spice, if desired.  Strain cocktail into the ice-filled glass.  Garnish with a pineapple wedge and lime wheel.

Cilantro Rice

Cilantro Rice

Cilantro Rice


White long grain rice

1/2 cup olive oil

1 T. salt

2 tsp. sugar

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

2 T. fresh squeezed lime juice


Cook rice and mix in oil. Add remaining ingredients just before serving so cilantro does not wilt.

Brazilian Style Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri

Brazilian Style Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri

Brazilian Style Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Chimichurri


1 boneless lamb leg, butterflied


1 medium sized onion, quartered

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed

1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves

1 tsp. dried oregano

3 bay leaves

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 C white wine, dry

½ C olive oil


¾ C olive oil

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

½ C parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed

1 T. dried chili

salt and freshly ground black pepper


fresh green chili


Place all marinade ingredients into a blender and process until slightly coarse. Turn lamb so the bottom faces you. Take netting off leg and cut through halfway down and lay the leg flat. Place leg into a large tray and pour marinade over, rubbing into the meat. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove lamb from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. For the chimichurri, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend together; do not mix too much. Let stand for 1 hour. While chimichurri is resting, preheat outdoor grill to medium high. Cook lamb for 30 minutes, turning once. Lamb should be cooked medium. Rest lamb for 20 minutes. Serve with a fresh green chili, if desired.

Instant Pot Brazilian White Rice

Instant Pot Brazilian White Rice

Instant Pot Brazilian White Rice


2 T. olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chopped carrots, peeled if necessary

2 cups rinsed long-grain white rice

3 ¾ cups stock (your choice)


Instant Pot using Sauté mode. Add olive oil. Add onion, minced garlic, and carrots. Sauté until fragrant (about 3 minutes).  Add rinsed rice and sauté with onion mixture until the rice becomes translucent white.. Add stock of your choice and secure Instant Pot lid. Choose Rice setting and press start. If Instant Pot doesn’t have a Rice setting, pressure cook on low for 12 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Remove

Flank Steak Tacos with Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa

Flank Steak Tacos with Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa

Flank Steak Tacos with Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa


1 lb. Flank or Skirt Steak

1 T. Cumin

1/2 T. Chili Powder

1/2 T. Chipotle Powder

1/2 T. Ancho Powder

1 tsp. Oregano

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flake

1 T. Avocado or Grapeseed oil

Salt & Pepper to taste


1 Avocado diced

1 Cup Roasted Corn frozen or fresh

1 Serrano Pepper finely diced

2 Garlic Cloves finely diced

1/2 Red Onion finely diced

1 Lime zested and juiced

1 T. Cilantro chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste


Orange Zest

Flour Tortilla

Queso Blanco


Dry the steak with paper towel. Coat in the spice mix. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Cook the steak on each side for about 4-5 minutes. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. To defrost frozen corn, microwave with a little bit of water for about a minute. Strain off excess water after. Combine all of the salsa ingredients. Heat the tortillas over an open gas range flame for about 30 seconds-1 minute per side. Add the meat and salsa. Top with cheese, orange zest, and torn cilantro.

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese


3 C. corn kernels (from fresh ears or thawed frozen)

1/4 C. masa harina (available on the international aisle of most grocers)

salt & pepper

1/2 C. shredded queso mano or mozzarella

vegetable oil, for frying


Grind the corn kernels to a smooth pulp, along with the salt and pepper. Add in the masa harina. Note: You can use a food processor or a blender for this step. If you use a blender, you’ll need a tamper or long spoon to push the corn into the blade (not while the blender is running, of course!). Once the mixture is smooth, preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Add on some oil, then spoon the batter onto the pan. With the back of your spoon, press the batter into a rough circle. Cook the cachapas for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-5 more minutes, pressing the mixture flat if desired. Sprinkle with mozarella and let melt. If necessary, keep warm in the oven until all cachapas are cooked. Fold in half and enjoy!

Traditional Chimichurri

Traditional Chimichurri

1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 large garlic cloves, minced (2 1/2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons oregano leaves

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (or a small red chili, finely chopped)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor, combine the parsley, vinegar, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and pour the olive oil over the mixture. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.

Quinoa Atamalada

Quinoa Atamalada

Quinoa Atamalada


1 T. oil

½ onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tsp. aji amarillo paste

1 cup quinoa

Salt and pepper

¼ cup evaporated milk

½ cup queso freso in cubes (or any white, fresh cheese)

2 T. parsley, chopped


Heat the oil in a saucepan, and saute the onion, garlic, and aji amarillo paste for a 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Stir constantly. Add the quinoa, stir well, and cover with water (about 4 times the amount of quinoa). Bring to a boil, and simmer for half an hour. If it dries out, add more water. It should have the consistency of a thick soup. Add salt and pepper. When ready, add the milk, cheese cubes and parsley.

Wild Mushroom Tacos with Avocado Cream

Wild Mushroom Tacos with Avocado Cream

Wild Mushroom Tacos with Avocado Cream

4 tbsp oil

Mushrooms 32oz (I used baby bella, shitake, and hen of the woods) sliced into bite sized pieces

1 small yellow onion (diced)

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 tbsp cilantro (chopped) for garnish

1/2 lime for garnish


Avocado Crema:

1 avocado

1 lime (juiced)

1/4 can coconut milk (full fat)

Pinch of salt

1 tsp ground pepper


Heat olive oil in pan at Medium. Add in onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they soften. Then add mushrooms, stir for 1 minute, then add garlic, and stir. Let mixture brown for a few minutes and add smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir until mushrooms are well coated. Cover and set aside. In a blender place avocado, lime juice, coconut milk, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Serve mushrooms in a tortilla, hard shell taco, or even a lettuce wrap and top with cilantro, crema sauce, lime and whatever toppings you like!

Mojo Verde (Canarian Green Mojo Sauce)

Mojo Verde (Canarian Green Mojo Sauce)


1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only

4 large cloves garlic, peeled

2 limes, juiced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 jalapeno, stemmed

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste


In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, jalapeno, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. Process until well-combined. Season generously with kosher salt and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Hatch Green Chile Chili

Hatch Green Chile Chili

Hatch Green Chili


1 pound Hatch chile peppers, halved and seeded

1 (3 pound) boneless pork roast, cubed

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 T. salt, divided

3 T. coarsely ground black pepper, divided

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 cups chicken stock

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 T. ground cumin

3 cloves garlic


Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers with cut sides down onto the prepared baking sheet. Cook under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Place blackened peppers into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to steam as they cool, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard skins; chop peppers into smaller pieces. Place cubed pork in a resealable plastic bag; coat with flour, 2 T. salt, and 2 T. pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook pork in the hot oil until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker set to High. Add the Hatch chiles, remaining salt and pepper, chicken stock, diced tomatoes with peppers, onion, cumin, and garlic to the slow cooker. Mix and cover. Cook on High until pork is tender and flavors blend, about 4 hours, or low for 6.  Chili can be thickened with flour or masa.

Air Fryer Steak Fajitas

Air Fryer Steak Fajitas

Air Fryer Steak Fajitas


1 lb steak (skirt, flank, ribeye)

1/2 green pepper sliced

1/2 red pepper sliced

1/2 onion sliced

3 tbsp fajita seasoning

8 tortillas

shredded cheese


sour cream

1-2 avocados sliced


Let the meat come to room temperature. Slice meat against the bias into bite size thin strips. Heavily sprinkle steak strips & veggies with fajita seasoning – toss to coat. Place steak & veggies in air fryer basket and spritz with olive oil. Air Fry at 375 for 6 minutes. Open the air-fryer basket and using tongs – toss steak & veggies – sprinkle with a little more seasoning. Air Fry for an additional 6 minutes. You can temp check your steak with a meat thermometer – the best steak is medium rare when the meat reaches 135-140 degrees. Serve those air fryer fajitas with warm corn or flour tortillas and all the fixins!

Pima-Papago Cactus and Eggs

Pima-Papago Cactus and Eggs

Pima-Papago Cactus and Eggs


2 to 3 5- to 7-inch fresh nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) with thorns removed or 1 7 1/4-ounce can natural cactus in salt water, drained


4 strips bacon, diced

1/2 C. chopped onion

1/2 to 1 tsp. ground New Mexican red chili or chili powder

4 to 6 eggs

Ground pepper (optional)


Rinse fresh nopales well under cold running water and examine carefully to make sure all tiny thorns have been removed.  Trim around the edges with scissors to remove the base of thorns.  Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove a thin layer of peel.  Rinse again, cut into thin strips, and simmer in lightly salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender.  Rinse and drain.  If using canned nopales, rinse and drain. Cook bacon until crisp in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add onion and chili to the drippings in skillet.  Sauté over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Stir in reserved cactus strips and bacon.  Sauté briefly.  Break desired number of eggs on top of cactus mixture.  Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until whites are set and yolks are cooked to taste.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.

Tacos Dorados (Fried Tacos)

Tacos Dorados (Fried Tacos)

Tacos Dorados (Fried Tacos)

2 chicken breasts or 1 rotisserie chicken

1/2 C. sour cream

16 small corn tortillas

1 sliced avocado

1 1/2 C. shredded pepper jack cheese

2 T. olive oil

1 small package toothpicks


1 C. refried beans

1/2 C. salsa

3/4 C. shredded lettuce


Cook chicken breasts (Grill or boil), until cooked through and tender. Or use a rotisserie chicken.

Shred chicken carefully. Heat tortillas in the microwave until they are easy to fold without breaking. Cover with a hand towel. Fill the tortillas with a little bit of chicken and cheese, and toll it up. Pin it with a toothpick. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large pan, over medium heat. Place tacos into pan, and fry them 4 or 5 at a time

Sheet-Pan Carne Asada

Sheet-Pan Carne Asada

Sheet-Pan Carne Asada

¼ C. vegetable oil

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

1 ½ tsp. ground coriander

¾ tsp. salt

2 ears fresh sweet corn, cut in thirds, or 6 pieces frozen corn on the cob, thawed (from 12-ct package)

1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin strips

1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut in thin strips

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix

¼ tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)

1 1/3 lb. beef flank steak


Tortillas and Toppings, as desired: flour tortillas, crumbled queso fresco, sliced radishes, diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream


Position oven rack 4 inches from broiler element. Spray 18×13-inch rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix 2 T. of the vegetable oil, the cumin, coriander and salt. Add corn, bell peppers and onion to bowl, and toss to coat; transfer to pan. In same large bowl, mix remaining 2 T. oil, the taco seasoning mix and ground red pepper. Add steak; rub mixture in to steak. Transfer to pan with vegetables. Broil 8 to 10 minutes, turning steak and stirring vegetables once, until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of steak reads 135°F (for medium). Transfer steak to cutting board; cover with foil and let steak rest 5 minutes. Stir vegetables in pan; return to oven, and broil 4 to 6 minutes longer or until vegetables are blackened in spots. Thinly slice steak on the bias, against the grain. Serve with vegetables in tortillas with toppings.  Note: If your oven’s broiler only covers the center of your oven, start steak in the center of the pan, then thoroughly stir vegetables and position them in center while steak rests to ensure all elements get plenty of time directly under the flames. If desired, cut corn from cobs for serving.

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Sauce)

1 whole lime, juiced

2 T. olive oil

1/2 C. good-quality mayonnaise, (such as Hellmann’s)

3 ounces queso fresco or blanco

2 serrano peppers, ends trimmed

1 bunch cilantro (remove leaves from stems for blenders other than vitamix)

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 green onions, ends trimmed and roughly chopped

2 tsp. huacatay paste, (optional)

1 T. aji amarillo paste, (optional)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt


To a blender, add the lime juice, olive oil, cheese, mayonnaise, serrano peppers, cilantro leaves, garlic cloves, green onions, huacatay paste, aji amarillo and salt. Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes, until very smooth. At first the cilantro leaves won’t be totally smooth, but keep the blender running and it will eventually become cohesive and smooth. Give it a taste and adjust the salt according to your liking. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Valladolid Tomato Salad

Valladolid Tomato Salad

Valladolid Tomato Salad


1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until lightly browned

1/2 cup basil leaves

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1.4 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup olive oil


6 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each

2 cups sunflower sprouts (use 2 cups sunflower seeds for sprouting)

1/2 cup Pickled Red Onions

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup crumbled queso cotija (or queso fresco, feta, or ricotta salata)


Make the dressing: Combine the sunflower seeds, basil, lime juice, honey, salt, and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth.  Put the tomatoes in a mixing bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of the sunflower sprouts, the pickled red onions, dressing, and salt, and toss to combine. Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with the cotija and remaining 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts.

Mexican Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales)

Mexican Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales)

Mexican Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales)

3-4 medium cactus leaves cleaned of spines

2-3 fresh medium tomatoes diced

2-3 green onions chopped

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

juice from 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup crumbled Queso Anejo, or queso cotija or Feta


Clean the cactus leaves of spines and wash them very well. Slice the nopales thin and put them in a pot with water to cover them. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the leaves on medium high heat until tender, for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the green onions, tomatoes and cilantro. Set them aside. When nopales are cooked, remove them from the stove, drain the water and place the vegetables in cold icy water. When cool, use them for the salad. In a salad bowl, place the cactus leaves, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and dried Mexican oregano. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the salad. Add oil. Taste for salt and pepper and mix everything together. Sprinkle crumbled cheese over and serve. It goes very well with grilled meat, cooked beans, in eggs, tacos etc. Enjoy!

Asado Sandwich (Peru)

Asado Sandwich (Peru)

Asado Sandwich

6 ciabatta rolls or French bread

12 asado slices

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste

Salsa criolla

This comforting sandwich is made when there are roast beef leftovers from lunch or dinner. Whatever is left has two basic fates: it either goes in the freezer to be enjoyed someday in the future, or it goes into a scrumptious sandwich.

Preheat the oven to 3OO°F. Heat the bread for 5 minutes and cut lengthwise. In the meantime, heat the beef with its juices in a saucepan over medium heat, until it is warm. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and aji amarillo paste. Spread on the bread. Put the meat slices (with no sauce) inside the rolls, and top with salsa criolla. Serve immediately.  You may add lettuce leaves, tomato slices, and avocado to this sandwich.




1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon

1 Russet potato, peeled and cut in sticks

Salt and pepper

4 sausages

4 eggs (optional)



Aji amarillo paste


2 parsley leaves, to garnish


This Peruvian fast-food dish is exactly what its name indicates: sausages (salchichas), and potatoes (papas’). With such a short list of ingredients, you hardly need a recipe at all.


Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Dry the potatoes with paper towels and fry until golden brown. If you are using the frozen ready-made variety, heat them in a 45O°F oven for 18 minutes. Once they’re done, season the fries with salt. Cut the sausages in ¥4-inch round slices. Heat a tablespoon oil in a skillet. Sauté the sausages until golden. Combine the sausages and fries on two plates. Fry the eggs, sunny side up, (if using) and place two on top of the sausage mixture. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve with ketchup, mustard, aji amarillo paste, and mayonnaise on the side.

Peru Pollo Al Sillao (Chicken with Soy Sauce)

Peru Pollo Al Sillao (Chicken with Soy Sauce)

Peru Pollo Al Sillao (Chicken with Soy Sauce)

8 chicken thighs with the skin on

4 garlic cloves, sliced or grated

1 lime (juice and zest)

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup honey

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (chuno)


Place the chicken in a baking pan. I left the skin on because it protects the flesh in the oven, but feel free to use skinned chicken if you prefer. Season with garlic, lime juice and zest, and ginger. Combine the soy sauce, honey, orange juice, mustard, and butter, in a small bowl. Pour this over the chicken. Cover and marinate overnight or at least for two hours, in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Uncover the chicken and bake for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes with its own juices. The chicken should have a beautiful brown color when it’s ready. Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and put over medium heat. Dissolve the potato starch in 3 tablespoons of water, and add it to the saucepan, stirring constantly until slightly thick. Serve the chicken with this sauce.

Peru Risotto with Lomo Saltado

Peru Risotto with Lomo Saltado

Peru Risotto with Lomo Saltado


Lomo saltado without rice nor French fries

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup Arborio rice

1 cup white wine

4 cups hot vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter


This dish is a modern fusion created by Italian-Peruvian cooks, to bring their favorite preparations together in one meal.


Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add the rice and continue stirring for 7 minutes. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and when it evaporates, start adding ladlefuls of the simmering stock. Stir the rice as you do this, until the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Season with salt and pepper during this process. Finally, add the butter and stir until it melts. When your risotto is almost ready, make the lomo saltado.  Serve a portion of risotto on each plate and to with lomo saltado.  Serves 3

Peru Lomo Saltado

Peru Lomo Saltado

Peru Lomo Saltado

1 pound sirloin steak, cut in bite-size pieces

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 red onion, thickly sliced

2 tomatoes, cut in thick slices

1 aji amarillo, cut in thin slices (or use 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste)

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons soy sauce

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cups French fries

1 1/2 cups cooked white rice

This robust entree is the result of the fusion between Peruvian and Chinese cuisines. If you feel like making it, make sure you have everything ready to throw in the pan, because it cooks rather quickly. Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes.


Season the steak with salt, pepper, and garlic. Put a wok or a skillet over high heat. When very hot, add the oil and then meat, a few slices at a time so they turn golden brown instead of steaming. Transfer the cooked pieces to a bowl before adding more raw pieces to the wok. Repeat with all the steak. Add all the cooked steak pieces, onion, tomato, and aji amarillo to the same wok, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the vinegar and soy sauce down the sides of the pan and combine everything. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, add the chopped cilantro, and serve at once with French fries and white rice.

Garlic Mojo Sauce

Garlic Mojo Sauce

Garlic Mojo Sauce


8 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 medium Fresno chile or other hot red chile, thinly sliced

½ cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)

½ cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 orange)

1½ teaspoons kosher salt


In a small saucepan set over medium heat, warm the oil. When the oil is just hot, stir in the garlic, cumin, and oregano, then immediately remove the pan from the heat. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then stir in the chile, lime juice, orange juice, and salt. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week

Grilled Nopales with Cheese

Grilled Nopales with Cheese

Grilled Nopales with Cheese

1 Pound Fresh Nopales (small to medium size preferred)

6 ounces Queso Fresco


For grilling: Grill nopales for 4 to 5 minutes over a low flame until lightly charred and cooked through on one side. The nopales will darken in color when completely cooked. Turn nopales to continue cooking the other side and immediately season lightly with salt. Top nopales with 1 to 2 slices of queso fresco. Grill nopales for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until lightly charred and the cheese has melted. Remove from heat. For stove-top cooking: Roast the nopales on a comal, griddle, or grill pan over low heat for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly charred and cooked through on one side. Turn nopales and immediately season lightly with salt. Top nopales with 1 to 2 slices of queso fresco. Cover and let cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until lightly charred and the cheese has melted. Remove from heat




3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds eye round, fat removed

1 large red onion, cut in six pieces

3 tomatoes, cut in four pieces each

4 garlic cloves

5 dried mushrooms

3/4 bottle red wine

4 cups water

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (chuno)

Salt and pepper

Cooked rice (optional)

Mashed potatoes (optional)


This is a homey dish, usually served with rice and mashed potatoes on the side, and it’s one more of Antonella Delfino’s delicious family recipes. The type of meat used (eye round), needs to cook for a long time in a flavorful broth. You may want to marinate the beef overnight to infuse it with more taste, but that is only if you have the time to do it.


Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat, add the meat, and sear it until it forms a golden crust all over. Add the onions, tomatoes, and garlic, and stir until they start to release their juices. Meanwhile, cover the dried mushrooms for 30 minutes with one cup boiling water. Strain the liquid through a colander covered with paper towels (they are full of dirt, so you want to get rid of it). Squeeze the mushrooms, and cut in 1/2-inch slices. Reserve the liquid. Add half the bottle of wine to the pan, along with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dried mushrooms with soaking water, and the remaining water. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook undisturbed for an hour. Take the beef out of the saucepan, drain well, put on a chopping board, and thinly slice it into Vi-inch pieces. An electric knife is very helpful for this, but a sharp knife is fine. Strain the vegetables and put the cooking liquid back in the saucepan. Add the remaining wine and more water if necessary. Put the slices of meat back in the saucepan, and season with salt, pepper, and more soy sauce, to taste. Continue cooking over low heat until the meat is fork tender (about 1 more hour). When the meat is ready, dissolve the potato starch in 3 tablespoons water and gradually add it to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sauce becomes thick enough to lightly cover the spoon. Serve with rice or potatoes on the side, if desired.


Avocado-Lime Black Beans

Avocado-Lime Black Beans

Avocado-Lime Black Beans

One 15-ounce can black beans

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 small shallot, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 avocado, to serve


Drain the beans thoroughly. Toss with the lime juice, cilantro leaves, diced shallot, and ground cumin. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Peel and slice an avocado, and serve the beans at room temperature, with 1/2 avocado on top of each serving.  The beans will last for several days in the fridge. You can take a helping of beans in your lunchbox, along with sliced avocado that has been tightly wrapped to protect against browning.

Homemade Mexican Rice (aka Spanish Rice)

Homemade Mexican Rice (aka Spanish Rice)

Homemade Mexican Rice (aka Spanish Rice)

1/4 C. vegetable oil

2 C. white rice, uncooked

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 C. chopped onion

1 Anaheim pepper, seeds and membrane removed, then diced

1 can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes

4 C. chicken broth

Cilantro, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, then add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn golden brown. Add the salt, garlic powder, and cumin and stir, cooking another minute. Add the onion and Anaheim pepper, stirring to combine and cooking for another 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the tomato sauce or diced tomatoes and chicken broth, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then cover and allow to sit another 5 minutes before serving.

One Pot Cuban Yellow Rice with Chicken & Sausage

One Pot Cuban Yellow Rice with Chicken & Sausage

One Pot Cuban Yellow Rice with Chicken & Sausage


Canola Oil

3 chicken breasts cut into small/medium pieces

2 sausages, sliced (Butifarra Cubana preferred)

1/2 large green pepper

1/2 large onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon whole cumin (or 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

4 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock (make your own)

1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

2 cups white parboiled rice

1/4 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup frozen corn

1 cup of any other veggies you like: red peppers, carrot, even broccoli, edamame etc

Salt and black pepper to taste


Cover the bottom of a large heavy pot with oil. (No more than 1 1/2 teaspoons). Heat stove on medium heat. Add garlic, turmeric, and cumin and cook for about 2 minutes. Add sausage and chicken to pot and cook for about another 8 minutes. Add chopped green peppers and onion and cook for another 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and wine (if using) and heat to boiling. Once boiling, add rice and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add peas and other veggies and stir cover and continue simmer until rice is cooked (water has evaporated)

Pasteis de Bacalao (Brazilian Salted Codfish Savories)

Pasteis de Bacalao (Brazilian Salted Codfish Savories)

Pasteis de Bacalao (Brazilian Salted Codfish Savories)

A popular Street food in Brazil, pasteis have a pleasant texture as the Caçhaca bubbles when fried.  Hearts of Palm can be substituted for the codfish to make pasteis de palmito.

2 lb. Dried Codfish

Water, as needed

2 T. finely minced Parsley

2 T. Olive Oil

Salt, Pepper, to taste

2 C. Flour

½ T. Salt

2 tsp. Sugar

2 T. Caçhaca

½ C. Water

Oil for Frying

Reconstitute the dried codfish in water for 12 hours, changing the water once. 2. Cover the codfish with water in a large Dutch oven and bring the water to a boil, then cook the codfish for one minute. Remove from the heat and cool. 3. Shred the codfish, removing any bones, and place in a large non-reactive bowl. Toss with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. 4. For the pasteis dough: sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. Add salt, sugar, and cachaça to the well and stir with a fork to work the ingredients into the dough, slowly adding water. Knead the dough until smooth and pliable and rest for 15 minutes. 5. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut out rectangles, 4 inches wide by 6 inches long. 6. Divide the filling into 8 equal portions and arrange on one side of the dough. Wet the edges with water, fold the dough and press down with a fork to seal. Place the pasties on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap until ready to fry. 7. Heat the oil in a fryer or in a large, shallow pot to 350°F and fry the pasteis until light brown and crispy on all sides. e 8. Serve immediately.

Quick and Healthy Taco Salad

Quick and Healthy Taco Salad

Quick and Healthy Taco Salad

1⁄3 C. light sour cream
1⁄3 C. low-fat yogurt
½ C. chopped cilantro, loosely packed
2 T. lime juice (about 1 lime)
1⁄8 tsp. garlic salt

1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3⁄4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. chili powder
3⁄4 C. salsa
6 C. chopped romaine lettuce
2 green onions, sliced
3⁄4 C. low-fat Mexican blend cheese
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
Reduced fat tortilla strips, optional

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. For the salad, spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the beef and chili powder to the pan and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until meat is well browned. Stir in the salsa and cook for one minute to combine. Remove from heat. To assemble, place 1½ C. chopped lettuce on each of four plates. Top each salad with 3/4 C. of the meat mixture. Sprinkle on ¼ of the green onions, 3 T. cheese, and 3 T. of dressing. Garnish with tomato wedges and optional tortilla strips, if desired.


Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 280

Fat: 14g

Fiber: 3g




A marocha is a woman with dark hair and smoky coloring; it’s also slang for a party girl, the one who’s always going out and hitting the dance floor. This drink tastes how a marocha looks: earthy papaya (which becomes buttery when pureed) paired with smoky mezcal and brightened with orange juice. It’s also what a marocha might drink to get the night going.


2 shots papaya puree

1 shot smoky mezcal

¼ C. fresh orange juice


Pour the papaya puree into a glass, then fill the glass with ice. Add the mezcal and orange juice and stir well.

Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde)

Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde)

Clams in Green Sauce (Almejas en Salsa Verde)

18-20 Hard Shell Clams, scrubbed, steamed open, and cooking liquid strained and reserved

2 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 T. Olive Oil

1 T. Flour

¼ C. freshly shelled Peas

1-3 T. finely chopped Parsley

Salt & Pepper

Lemons, quartered


In deep skillet or cazuela, sauté garlic in oil until golden brown.  Stir in flour, then add reserved clam cooking liquid, peas, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, add clams and summer 5 minutes.  Serve hot, accompanied by lemons.

Feijoada Completa (Iconic Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

Feijoada Completa (Iconic Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

Feijoada Completa (Iconic Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

¼ lb. salted Pork Ears

1 Salted Pork Feet

1 salted Pork Tail

3 lb. Black Beans

2 Bay Leaves

2 C. Yellow Onions, large dice

1 lb. Carne Seca (3” pieces)

2” thick sliced Pork Ribs

1 lb. Linguiça (Brazilian Sausage)

¼ C. Cachaça (fermented sugar cane liquor)

1 small Orange, whole, pierced with knife

2 T. Canola Oil

¼ C. finely chopped Garlic


Molhi de Tomato


¼ C. Malagueta Peppers, preserved

Molho de Tomate Tomatoes, seeds removed, finely diced

½ C. Yellow Onion, finely diced

½ C. finely chopped Cilantro

2 Malaguetta Peppers, finely minced

¼ C. White Vinegar


Salt to taste

Broth reservedfrom cooking feioada, as needed



White Rice

Couve (Brazlian Style Kale)

Yuca, peeled, boiled, quartered, fried

Farofa Tradicional

Oranges, peeled and sliced


Note:  Cooking in a clay pot will enhance the flavor and texture of the dish and makes a nice tableside presentation.  Clay pots conduct heat well and keep food warm.  One day prior to cooking, wash the salted meats in running water to remove excess salt. Soak the meats in water overnight in the refrigerator, changing the water once. Cook the beans in a stockpot with enough water to cover twice the volume of the beans. Add the pig’s ear, feet, tail, bay leaves, and yellow onions. Cook the mixture for 1 hour. Add the carne seca, pork ribs, and continue cooking for 1 hour. Check the beans for doneness and once the cooked beans and meats are cooked through, add the whole linguiça sausage and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the cachaça and oranges and more reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Cook until the mixture thickens. Sauté the garlic in the canola oil until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the garlic to the mixture and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and remove the orange slices. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.


Prepare the side dishes for the feijoada and season with salt to taste.


Combine the molho de tomate ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Just prior to serving, season

with broth from the beans and salt to taste.


Serve the feijoada family style with the side dishes served in individual bowls, and the molho de

malagueta and preserved malagueta peppers in smaller condiment bowls. Serve with caipirinhas or


Steak Tacos

Steak Tacos

Steak Tacos

1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

1/4 C. olive oil, divided

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 dried chiles de arbol

5 T. fresh lime juice

1 (1 1/2-pound) flat iron or skirt steak

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

Cooking spray

12 Fresh Corn Tortillas or packaged corn tortillas, warmed

3/4 C. Toasted Chile Salsa

1/4 C. Mexican crema


Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until charred, turning once. Remove from pan; chop and place in a bowl. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 2 T. oil to pan. Add garlic and chiles; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic mixture to onion in bowl. Stir in juice and remaining oil. Combine half of onion mixture (including both chiles de árbol) and steak in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Refrigerate 1 hour. Reserve remaining onion mixture. Remove steak from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Wipe any remaining onion and garlic off steak. Sprinkle steak with salt. Place steak on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once. Remove from grill; let stand 15 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into very thin slices. Add steak and accumulated juices to reserved onion mixture; toss. Place 2 tortillas on each of 6 plates. Top each tortilla with 1 1/2 ounces steak; divide onion mixture among tacos. Top each with 1 T. Toasted Chile Salsa and 1 tsp. crema.


Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 395

Fat: 18.3g

Fiber: 3g

Caruru (Bahian Okra Stew)

Caruru (Bahian Okra Stew)

Caruru (Bahian Okra Stew)

2 lb. fresh Okra

1 C. dried, smoked Shrimp

1 Yellow Onion, quartered

4 C. Water

2 T. Dendê Oil (palm oil)

Salt to taste


Finely chop the okra into small pieces.  In a food processor, blend the dried shrimp, yellow onion, and water until smooth. Transfer the blended mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling.  Add the okra and dendê oil and continue cooking until the okra is cooked through and reduced, about 30 minutes. Season with salt to taste.