Friday, December 29, 2006


 The New Year is upon us and before you get to your list of annual promises of eating right and exercising have all of your friends and family over for a New Year's Day brunch. Whip up a batch of our Miraculous Menudo which is rumored to cure the most viscous hangover. And for the non-menudo eaters make up a couple of quiches and other goodies to satisfy everyone's tastes.

!Feliz Año Nuevo!

You will need
A large saucepan
1 Calf's Foot (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds)
2 pounds Honeycomb Tripe
1 large Onion
3 cloves Garlic, peeled
6 Peppercorns
2 teaspoons Salt, or to taste
4 quarts of Water
A Comal or Griddle
3 large Chiles Anchos
A Spice Grinder
A large Chile Poblano, peeled or 2 canned, peeled green chiles
½ cup canned Hominy (1 pound), drained
Salt as necessary
1 scant teaspoon Oregano

Have the butcher cut the calf's foot into four pieces. Cut the tripe into small squares. Put them into the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours, or until the tripe and foot are just tender but not too soft. Meanwhile, toast the chilies well. Slit them open and remove the seeds and veins from the chile poblano, cut it into strips, and add to the meat while it is cooking. Remove the pieces of calf's foot from the pen, and when they are cool enough to handle, strip off the fleshy parts. Chop them roughly and return them to the pan.

Add hominy and continue cooking the menudo slowly, still uncovered, for another 2 hours.

Add salt as necessary. Sprinkle with oregano and serve.

This amount is sufficient for 7 or 8 people. It should be served in large, deep bowls with hot tortillas and small dishes of chopped chile serranos, finely chopped onion and wedges of lime for each person to help himself, along with Salsa de Tomate Verde Cruda to be eaten with tortillas.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hot Rum Punch

This is the the traditional punch served during the Posadas with bunuelos or pan dulce. If you would like to make this punch but can’t find or don't like some of the ingredients (perhaps, prunes) use substitutes. For instance, tamarind pods are a primary flavor in this ponche. If you can’t find tamarind pods, substitute apple cider. It won’t be the same, but it'll still be good!

2 gallons water
4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
4-inch cinnamon stick
2 lbs. piloncillo (or brown sugar)
3 green apples, cut into eighths
1/2 cup raisins
10 prunes
10 tamarind pods, peeled (or apple cider)
6 preserved guavas
10 preserved manzanitas/tejocotes (wild apples or crab apples)
Rum or Brandy to taste (optional)
1 3-gallon pot
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1/4 cup sugar

Place the above in crock pot and heat well. Serve with 1 jigger of rum added when serving. Can leave on all day. Can refrigerate leftovers for another day. This recipe for Hot Rum Punch serves/makes 3 quart

Friday, November 24, 2006

Vaga Enchilada

So I was going to give you a big, long complicated recipe for making enchiladas from scratch but who really wants to cook the day after Thanksgiving?
Sautee in large frying pan:
1 med onion chopped
½ med red/green pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon salt

Add and mix:
3 cups cooked turkey, shredded

Slice and dip:
Slice 12 (10 inch) corn tortillas into strips and lightly dip tortillas in 1/3 cup hot oil until soft and drain.

Mix together:
2 cups Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
2 cups shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese

Layer in a casserole pan in alternating layers like lasagna:
2 Cans store-bought green Enchilada sauce
Cheese mixture
Turkey mixture

Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let set 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with Mexican crema or sour cream, sprinkle with Cotija cheese and slices of avocado.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ice Mexican Coffee

Truthfully, I am not a big fan of coffee (unless of course it has Kahlua or chocolate in it) so I absolutely love this Iced Mexican Coffee.
3/4 cup Coffee Beans, ground
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
6 cup Water
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup Chocolate Syrup
2 tbls. light Brown Sugar
1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
Garnish: Whipped Cream and Ground Cinnamon

Place coffee and cinnamon in filter basket of coffee maker. Add water to coffee maker and brew as directed. In a saucepan, blend milk, chocolate syrup and sugar. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Combine milk mixture and brewed coffee. Stir in vanilla. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon. May be served hot or cold. For iced coffee pour mixture over glass filled with ice. Makes 6 cups.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sangria de Naranja

Sangria is a red or white wine punch originating from Spain. There are many different versions but this is my absolute favorite! As with every recipe feel free to switch out juices or liquors to suit your taste but, watch out for this easy to drink recipe it'll sneak up on you!
Sangria Recipe:
1 medium size Orange
1/2 cup Sugar
2 cups Orange Juice
1 bottle Red Wine
1/2 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec

Mix all ingredients into a large pitcher and chill. Slice oranges and place in pitcher and/or use as garnish on glasses. Makes 6 cups.



You will need:
  • 12 ounces Linguisa (Portuguese), firm Chorizo, or other cooked sausages
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and diced (¼ in.)
  • 2 tablespoons minced Garlic
  • 2 cups Arborio or other short-grain White Rice
  • 1 cup dry White Wine
  • 1 quart fat-skimmed Chicken Broth
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground dried Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Saffron threads, crumbled
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 8 ounces boned, skinned firm white-fleshed fish, such as Halibut
  • 1 pound shelled, deveined Shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), tails left on
  • 8 ounces Mussels in shells
  • ¼ cup slivered Green Onions (including green tops)
  • Lemon wedges

In a 15 inch paella pan or 12-inch frying pan (with at least 2¼-inch tall sides) over high heat, turn sausages occasionally until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes total. With tongs, transfer to a board.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add olive oil to pan; when hot, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and stir often until onion is limp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until it begins to turn opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine, chicken broth, paprika, turmeric, and saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring once or twice, until rice is almost tender to bite, 15 to 18 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain fish and shrimp; cut fish into 1 inch pieces. Pull beards off mussels and scrub mussels; discard any gaping ones that don't close when you tap their shells. Cut sausages diagonally into ½ inch thick slices.

Gently stir fish, shrimp, and sausages into rice mixture; arrange mussels on top. Cover pan with foil or lid and cook until rice is tender to bite, fish and shrimp are opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), and mussel shells have popped open, 7 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle evenly with green onions. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve from pan, adding juice from lemon wedges and more salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Sunset Magazine.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Piña Colada

The Piña Colada is known as the Official Beverage of Puerto Rico. If you refrain from adding the rum it results in a Virgin Piña Colada, but what's the point in that? Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of Rum...

1½ oz Light Rum
2 oz Coconut Cream
2 oz Pineapple Juice

2 cups of crushed ice

Put all ingredients into an electric blender with 2 cups of crushed ice. Blend at a high speed for a short length of time. Strain into a collins glass, top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry or umbrella and serve with a straw.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

The Perfect Margarita (for a crowd)

In this margarita, the better the tequila, the better the drink. Try Herradura, El Tesoro, El Viejito, Patron, or any of the 100% agave tequilas that are available in the market.

1 750ml bottle Silver Tequila
1 to 2 cups Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 cup freshly squeezed Lime Juice, plus several tablespoons extra for rimming the glasses
Coarse (kosher-type) Salt, for rimming the glasses
About a gallon of Ice Cubes

Just before serving, in a half-gallon pitcher combine the tequila, the minimum amount of triple sec or Cointreau, and the lime juice. Taste and add more of the orange liqueur if you think your margaritas need more sweet oranginess to balance the other flavors. Remember, you're tasting it warm and undiluted: when chilled and diluted, the flavors will be mellower and the lime's tartness will be more compelling (tangy, warm champagne is not nearly as inviting as ice-cold).

I personally don't like salt on my margarita but if you must...Pour several tablespoons of lime juice onto one small plate, several tablespoons coarse salt onto another. Have margarita glasses at hand (for an extra special touch, you can chill them). As you serve your guests, invert a glass into the plate with the lime juice to moisten the rim, then lightly dip into the plate with the salt.

For each drink measure 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of the margarita mixture into a cocktail shaker I can do 3 drinks at a time comfortably in mine. If you have a 2-ounce ladle that you can Add ice cubes (I put in 5 cubes for 1, 8 for 2, and 10 for 3). Secure the lid and top and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into the salt-crusted glasses and hand off to the lucky recipients.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Capirotada (Bread Pudding)

Traditionally, this old-fashioned bread pudding, served during Holy Week, is filled with cheese, apples, peanuts and raisins. Although the traditionalists scold me for doing so, I like to substitute dates and pecans.


2 cups Brown Sugar or Large Piloncillo
1 cup of Water
1 3" Cinnamon Stick
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Loaf of French Bread or 4–5 Bolillos
1 ½ cups Nuts (pick and choose; pine nuts, slivered almonds and chopped walnuts, peanuts, pecans)
1 cup raisins (or whatever dry fruit you like)
½ lb. Jack Cheese cubed or Queso Fresco crumbled
1 Tart Apple
Ice Cream or Whipped Cream


Boil brown sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla until slightly thickened in sauce pan. Discard cinnamon stick. Cut bread into ½ inch slices toast slighted in oven with butter in 9" X 13" pan. Alternate layers of bread, cheese, nuts and apple with brown sugar mixture. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until thorughly heated. Serve warm into individual bowls with ice cream or whipped cream.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Tortas de Camaron

Rather than settling for a Filet-o-Fish, whip up something a little more interesting such as these Tortas de Camaron.

3/4 cup Dehydrated Shrimp (found in Asian or Mexican markets)
2 cups Bread or Tortilla Crumbs*
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. Salt
Vegetable Oil for frying

Mix dried shrimps and bread crumbs in a blender or food processor. Mix until the shrimps are ground up and well blended with crumbs. Beat egg whites until fluffy fold in yolks, salt, shrimp & bread mixture mix until you have a batter the consistency of a cooked oatmeal.

Heat enough oil in a skillet to about a depth of 1/4". Put a tablespoonful of batter in the oil for each fritter, and fry until golden, turning once.

Serve on top of Nopales Guisados.

*To make tortilla crumbs, dry tortillas (about 12) in an oven on low heat until crisp. Grind up in a food processor or blender.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Mole Manchamanteles

El Naranjo is a world famous restaurant in Mexico that features the 7 moles of Oaxaca. The name Mole Manchamanteles (pronounced Moe-Ley) is derived from the fact that this sweet light sauce spills easy and stains tablecloths. I must pre- warn you that mole is a very time-consuming, complicated recipe. If you want to try traditional chocolate mole without the hassle, buy a jar of Doña Maria or Corona Real sauce from the grocery store and pour it over your favorite meat. ¡Buen Provecho!
5 ancho chiles
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 medium tomatoes
Vegetable oil
5 almonds, blanched
4 black peppercorns
4 cloves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 medium cinnamon stick
3 sprigs parsley
Stock or water, as needed
8 pieces chicken or pork
1 quart water
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 medium garlic cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 slice fresh pineapple, chunked
2 ripe plantains, sliced

Cut chiles open, remove stems and seeds, and spread flat on a baking sheet. Roast at 250° for 15 minutes or until chiles shrivel and turn slightly darker. Soak toasted chiles in hot water for about 20 minutes. In a heavy skillet, sauté onion, unpeeled garlic and tomatoes until charred around the edges. Remove garlic cloves and peel. To another pan add 1 tablespoon oil and fry the almonds, peppercorns, cloves, oregano, thyme and cinnamon until heated through and the spices release their aroma. Remove cinnamon stick and puree in a blender. Press mixture through a sieve. Transfer soaked chiles to a blender, process with just enough of the soaking water to form a thick paste. Press through a sieve. In a heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil, add the chile mixture and sauté. Add pureed onion, garlic, tomatoes,almonds, herbs and spices. Simmer the mole, adding water to achieve the correct consistency: It should coat the back of a spoon. Add salt and parsley. Cook the chicken. To a stockpot add chicken, 1 quart water, onion, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and poach the chicken until tender, about 30 minutes. To finish the dish, heat the oil and butter in a skillet and sauté the pineapple chunks. Remove and set aside. Sauté the plantain slices until golden, add plantains and pineapple to the prepared mole, along with the chicken and parsley sprigs, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Monday, January 16, 2006

CasaQ Tortilla Soup

On cold, rainy days I love cuddling up to a good bowl of soup. What makes this recipe so good is the secret ingredient of chipotle peppers. Don't even think about leaving it out, it just won't taste the same!

  • 24 oz can tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breast shredded
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • Manchego or Monterey Jack shredded
  • Avocados sliced or cubed
  • Thin Strips of Fried Corn Tortillas or Tortilla Chips crumbled
  • Sour Cream

In a blender combine undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a large pot with chicken broth, chicken and chipotle peppers. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Place cheese in bowls, pour soup on top, then garnish with tortilla strips, avocados and sour cream.

¡Buen Provecho!