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Foods from South of the Border

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!

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!

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.

Fried Eggs with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

Fried Eggs with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

Fried Eggs with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups medium-diced husked tomatillos

1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

8 large eggs


Put a medium saucepan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic, and V2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until all the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes. Pour the contents into a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, and process until smooth. Meanwhile, put a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, swirling it around to coat the bottom. Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the whites are completely set but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.  To serve, transfer the eggs to plates and top with tomatillo sauce.

Authentic Carne Asada & Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Authentic Carne Asada & Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Authentic Carne Asada

2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak, or beef flap meat

1/3 C. orange juice

1/4 C. lime juice

2 T. olive oil

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 jalapeno, minced with seeds removed

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/4 C. chopped green onions

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. chipotle chili powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. pepper


Place the meat in a large gallon-size zip-tight bag or glass bowl.  Mix together all of the remaining marinade ingredients, then pour over the meat.  Seal the ziploc bag tightly and squish the marinade around the meat to make sure it is covering all parts of the meat, then place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 5 hours, up to 12 hours.   Heat a grill to high heat and clean and lightly oil the grates.  When the grill is hot, add the meat and grill to your desired level of doneness, between 5-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the meat.   Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin slices.  Serve with tortillas, beans, rice, and pico de gallo.


Grilled Mexican Street Corn


8 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed

1/2 C. sour cream or Mexican crema

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1/2 C. cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper

2 tsp. lime zest, from one lime

2 T. lime juice, from one lime

1 C. cotija cheese, crumbled and divided

Additional chopped cilantro, for garnish

Lime wedges, to serve


Heat a gas grill to 400 degrees F or prepare charcoal for a charcoal grill.  Husk the corn. While the grill is heating, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, chipotle pepper, lime zest, lime juice, and 1/2 C. of the cotija cheese.  Taste and season with salt, if needed. Grill the corn by placing the husked corn directly onto the grill grates.  Grill for about 10 minutes total, turning every 2-3 minutes until the kernels are lightly charred on all sides of the cobs.  Remove from the grill to a large baking dish or plate. Using a brush or spoon, slather each ear of corn with the sauce, then sprinkle with remaining crumbled cojita cheese.  Sprinkle with additional chipotle pepper and chopped cilantro and serve with extra lime wedges, if desired.

Arroz Blanco Brasileño

Arroz Blanco Brasileño

Arroz Blanco Brasileño


2 C. long grain White rice

2 T. Canola Oil, or Butter

2 Garlic Cloves, peeled

3 tsp. Sea Salt


Cover the rice with hot water and let stand for five minutes. Drain the rice through a colander and rinse until the water runs clear. Remove excess water from the rice by shaking the colander vigorously. Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the garlic cloves until fragrant (you can also add finely chopped yellow onion with garlic, if desired). Add the rice and cook until the rice crackles when stirred, about 3 minutes. Add 4 C. of hot water to the saucepan and allow the rice to come to a full boil. Season with salt.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 20 minutes, or until small holes appear in the rice. Fluff with a fork and cover until ready to serve.

Acarajé (Bahian Fradinho Bean Fritters)

Acarajé (Bahian Fradinho Bean Fritters)

Acarajé (Bahian Fradinho Bean Fritters)

1.5 lb/454 g dried fradinho beans, or black eyed peas

2 C./473 mL grated yellow onion

Kosher salt, as needed

Dendê oil, as needed for frying

1 whole yellow onion, peeled

1 C./237 mL dried smoked shrimp

1 C./237 mL Vatapa

2 C./472 mL Caruru

Molho de Acaraje:

2 preserved malagueta peppers, finely chopped

1 C./237 mL minced white onion

1 tbsp/15 mL freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp/15 mL chopped cilantro

1 C./237 mL seeded and chopped green tomato

Kosher salt, as needed


Using a food processor, pulse the dried beans until the majority of the beans split open. Cover the beans in cold water and remove any film or beans that rise to the top of the water. Soak in cold water over night. Strain the soaked beans and rinse under running water. Use your fingertips to remove the papery skins from the beans. Return to the food processor and pulse the mixture until a thick coarsely textured dough forms. Add water, 1 tbsp/15 mL at a time to help create a light paste. Transfer the bean mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-low speed. Add the onions and season with salt, to taste. Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Molho de Acarjé by combining the peppers, onion, lime juice, cilantro, and tomato. Season with salt, to taste. Cover and rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Heat the dendê oil and whole onion in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 375°F/191°C. Use a 1 ¾ oz/50 g scoop and drop the bean mixture directly into the hot oil. Carefully splash oil over the top of the fritters to help ensure even frying. Cook until the fritters are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the finished fritters to a towel-lined sheet tray to drain. To serve, split open the acarajé and spread a spoonful of vatapá on one side, stuff with a dried shrimp, and top with a generous helping of caruru. Serve with the molho de acarajé.

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

½ tsp. Garlic Powder

1 ½ T. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Sugar

¼ tsp. Oregano

Salt, to taste

8oz. can Tomato Sauce


Place small saucepan over medium heat and add all ingredients except the tomato sauce. Stir until fragrant, toasting the dried herbs and spices. Add tomato sauce and 1 C. of water, stir well and simmer a few minutes to blend spices into the sauce.  Use for homemade enchiladas or enchilada tacos, or try spooned over poached eggs.


Yield: 8 ¼ C. Servings

Calories: 15

Fat: 0g

Fiber: 1g

Breads in Español

Breads in Español

I can’t translate all the colorings and flavorings, but aren’t they pretty?

I see mushroom, a carrot and ?something, basil, chili pepper, spinach and something, chocolate and coffee and I think beet root.

Bright and Sunny Ceviche de Mango

Bright and Sunny Ceviche de Mango

Bright and Sunny Ceviche de Mango

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 large ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch / 2-cm dice

Juice of 4 limes

1/4 tsp salt

1 limo chile, seeded and finely chopped

Leaves from 2 cilantro sprigs, finely chopped


Put the red onion in iced water for 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.  Place the diced mangoes in a bowl and add half the lime juice and salt. Taste for balance and add more of both if necessary; you don’t want it to taste too sour. Add the chile, then drain the onion and add it along with the cilantro leaves.  Stir everything gently to combine and then leave in the fridge for 5 minutes to chill and marinate. Serve in individual large glasses or bowls.

Charro Beans

Charro Beans

Charro Beans

2 cans pinto beans (drained and rinsed, approx. 4 C.) – ( home cooked beans are better but take a lot longer)

1/2 lb. bacon (approx. 7-8 slices)

4-5 plum tomatoes

1/2 onion

3 chipotles in adobo (1 for my family! Or use jalapeno)

2 cloves garlic

2 C. stock (or water)

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)

freshly cracked black pepper

Cilantro for garnish


Give the tomatoes a good rinse and roast them in the oven at 400F for approximately 20 minutes or until you need them.  Chop up the bacon into small pieces.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned (approx. 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the bacon pieces). Chop up a 1/2 onion and add it the bacon.  I usually reduce heat to mediumish after the bacon is cooked.  Let the onion cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add 2 minced cloves of garlic and cook briefly, 30-60 seconds.  Add the roasted tomatoes to the pan (roughly chopping them up in the pan is fine).  Also add:  2 cans pinto beans (drained and rinsed), 3 minced chipotles in adobo, 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional), 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and 2 C. of stock (or water).   Combine well and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced down a bit.  Salt to taste.  I added another generous pinch to this batch (so that is approx. 1 teaspoon total).   You can also add more heat at this point if you want a more fiery batch with adobo or jalapeno.   Serve immediately.  Note that these beans are best served in some of the broth.  Alternatively, you can use part of the batch to make a bean puree.  Simply add them to a blender or food processor and combine into a puree.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.




1 1/3 C. uncooked white long-grain rice

2 whole cinnamon sticks

4 C. water

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup granulated sugar


Ground cinnamon, for garnish


Combine the rice, cinnamon sticks, and 2 C. of the water in a blender.  Blend until the rice and cinnamon sticks are roughly ground up (1 to 2 minutes).  Add the 2 remaining C. of water and blend again. Let the rice mixture soak at room temperature at least 8 hours, or overnight.   Once the rice mixture has soaked for at least 8 hours, pour through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher.  Discard the rice and cinnamon stick solids and rinse the strainer well.  Strain the mixture again one more time, just to make sure the horchata isn’t gritty.   Stir in the milk, vanilla, and sugar, then chill ready to serve.  Serve over plenty of ice with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.

Mojo Flat Iron Steak

Mojo Flat Iron Steak

Mojo Flat Iron Steak

2 teaspoons grated orange rind

¼ cup fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons grated lime rind

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder

1 (1-pound) flat iron steak, trimmed

Cooking spray

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup finely chopped peeled seeded cucumber

3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped


Combine orange rind, orange juice, lime rind, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and next 4 ingredients (through chipotle) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add steak, turning to coat. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, turning occasionally. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle steak with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add steak to pan; grill 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare or to desired degree of doneness. Place steak on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Slice steak across the grain. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Serve with steak.


WIW: Waffled Mexican Migas

WIW: Waffled Mexican Migas

4 large eggs
1 small tomato, diced (about ½ C.)
½ C. diced onion
½ C. shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 soft corn tortillas, cut or torn into about ½-inch pieces
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
PAM Cooking Spray

Preheat the waffle iron on medium. Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with PAM Cooking Spray. In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cooking spray and stir vigorously to combine. Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with PAM Cooking Spray. Ladle some of the mixture onto each section of the waffle iron. Some ingredients may settle to the bottom of the bowl, so make sure you reach to the bottom of the bowl to get a good mixture. Close the lid and cook until the eggs are no longer runny, 2 minutes. Remove the migas from the waffle iron with an offset spatula or a pair of heat-resistant silicon spatulas, and serve. Variations: For a substantial meal, serve with refried beans, along with soft corn or flour tortillas heated for 10 seconds in the waffle iron.
Swap out the tomato or onion for pretty much any diced vegetable. Or keep both onion and tomato and add up to ½ C. of another vegetable. To dress it up, garnish with salsa, cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, or scallions.

Crispy Baked Chicken Tacos

Crispy Baked Chicken Tacos

Crispy Baked Chicken Tacos

1/2 C. chopped onion
1 T. homemade taco seasoning (or 1/2 store-bought packet)
1 C. cooked shredded chicken breast
1/2 16-oz can fat-free refried black beans
1/4 C. salsa
1/4 C. light sour cream
1/4 C. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
20 thin corn tortillas
10 T. reduced-fat cheese (Mexican Blend or Jalapeno Jack)
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole (optional)


Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Set out a cookie sheet. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray, add the onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the taco seasoning and cook one more minute. Gently mix in chicken, coating with seasoned onions. Push to one side of the pan and add the refried beans and salsa to the other side. When warm and softened, fold into the chicken. Gently stir in the sour cream and cilantro and heat until warm. Set aside. Lightly spray the cooking sheet with baking spray. Slightly wet 3 or 4 tortillas at a time and place in the microwave. Heat on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until softened. Place about 3 T. of filling on one side of the tortilla, fold in half, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken/bean filling. Lightly spray the top of tacos with cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are crisp of the tortillas are crisp, the middle starting to crisp, and the filling is hot. Serve stuffed or topped with cheese (1 T. each), lettuce and sauce.


Yield: 10 tacos

Serving Size: 2 Tacos

Calories: 220

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 4g

Nopales and Roasted Corn Tacos

Nopales and Roasted Corn Tacos

Nopales and Roasted Corn Tacos

4 cactus paddles (5-7 inches in length) – cleaned, diced & prepared (as explained above)

1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, diced

1/4 C. fresh cilantro leaves

flaky salt to taste


1 1/2 C. (8 ounces) fire roasted corn kernels (thawed to room temperature if using frozen)

1 T. neutral cooking oil (we use avocado oil)

8-10 corn tortillas

1 C. shredded jack or cheddar cheese

1/2 C. sour cream mixed with juice of 1/2 lime

1 avocado, cut into slices

crumbled cotija cheese

fresh cilantro leaves & lime wedges for serving


Add boiled, cooled & dried cactus with sliced onion, jalape̱o or serrano pepper, cilantro leaves & salt to a medium bowl & toss to combine. Heat a large cast iron skillet with 1 tbsp cooking oil over medium high heat. Add nopales salad to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until mixture is warmed through & just beginning to brown. Add roasted corn to the skillet & cook with the nopales for a few minutes until heated through Рturn off heat & leave skillet on the stovetop to stay warm while you prepare the tacos. Warm a lightly greased griddle over medium heat, once hot, add a few corn tortillas to the griddle & cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a small handful of shredded cheese to each tortilla while still on the griddle. Fill with each tortilla with the nopales & roasted corn mixture, using about 1/3 C. of filling per taco (use more or less depending on the size of your tortillas). Remove filled tortillas from griddle and put on plates to serve. To each taco add 1 tbsp of the lime crema, a slice or two of avocado, crumbled cotija cheese & fresh cilantro leaves. Serve tacos with lime wedges.


Adobo Seasoning

Adobo Seasoning

Adobo Seasoning

Essential in Spanish, Caribbean and Latin American kitchens, adobo is a savory, all-purpose seasoning that imparts a garlic flavor and is normally used to season and/or marinate meat, chicken or fish. It is so fundamental in Latin  Cuisines that adobado means “marinated and cooked in adobo sauce.”

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoo


ns ground black pepper

1 1⁄2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder


In a bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Store in a sealed jar in a cool, dry place.