E: My sweet parents visited a few weeks ago. My mom made this side salad which also has jicama and cucumber in it. You’ll see from the picture of my mother that we had the jicama,cucumber next to the salad bowl. We didn’t mix it in because my husband doesn’t like jicama or cucumber. Weirdo. But let me tell you, the jicama was crunchy and sweet. The tomatoes, cilantro and avocado were perfect for the tacos we were eating too. Enjoy.
Ceviche de Mahi Mahi
E: I love having ceviche on hot summer days. All you need are some healthy crackers, and some hot sauce like tapatio and you are good to go. Yum! Aside from the wonderful taste of ceviche, I like making it because it is a meal I can make ahead of time and can be made without dirtying up the stove or pans. It’s a one-pot meal so to speak. The only caveat is that the fish cooks by way of acidity from the lemon so it needs time for the cells to be denatured. The smaller you cut the fish, the quicker it will cook. However, I’m a big fan of ahi-tuna and sushi so I don’t mind the big chunks of fish, and don’t mind if they are slightly undercooked.
E: This is my mom’s recipe for birria. It’s super easy. Birria is slowly cooked meat with chile sauce. I made it here with beef, some people use chivo (goat) or borrego (lamb). Birria is usually served at weddings, quinceaneras, birthday parties, etc.. I rarely make it but I don’t know why. Weirdly enough, it wasn’t until my mother-in-law started asking for my mom’s recipe that I started making it myself. They encouraged me to “get the recipes, write it all down.” “I’m trying,” I said. So here it is.
E: Make yourself a batch of this enchilada sauce. You can use half of it and freeze the other half for another time. It’s not that hard, and it will be ready in about 10 minutes. Once the sauce is ready, it’s downhill from there. I tend to vary my sauce depending on what kind of chile I have on hand. This time my mom left me with a bag of California and Japanese Chili pods, so I used that. However, you can also use chile pasilla and guajillo. You can serve the Enchiladas with rice and/or beans. We ate them a la carte to save calories.
E: We love fajitas in our house. It was actually the first meal we shared together. Sam took me to Margaritaville in Capitola and we shared fajitas for lunch on our first date. He likes to order beef, chicken and shrimp fajitas. At home I will sometimes make the trio for a special occasion. This time around I incorporated more vegetables. It was fun selecting what veggies to put in my taco and sometimes substituting out the chicken. I made the salsa ahead of time.
Instead of using the fajitas pre-packaged seasoning envelopes with preservatives, just make your own. I sometimes add lime juice at the end too. Okay, enjoy.
E: Happy winter! It was 37 degrees overnight in Gilroy. That is one of the coldest nights of the year. If you are in the mood for something warm, this soup is ideal.
First I have to say I’m sorry for not having blogged in awhile. I’ve been cooking, I just haven’t had time to blog about it. I’m a bit behind. Last weekend I ran a half-marathon and I injured my knee. I’ve been home for three days. Today is Veteran’s Day, so I’m off. Happy Veteran’s Day by the way. The weekend before that my parents came over. They had not visited for over seven months. It was nice to have them here. The weekend before that we went to a wedding, and before that we went on vacation. Long story short, life happens.
Protein Packed Mexican Style Eggs
E: I knew I was going to have a long-day today and possibly skip lunch. I started off with this baby. I used small organic eggs. We bought a 5 dozen pack from Costco, but the eggs are smaller than usual. I had salsa on hand as I usually do. If you don’t already have that then you are going to want to make that first which may take time. I ate these eggs with half a piece of toast and some papaya. It’s much like huevos rancheros without the tortilla and more egg whites for extra protein. Hope you like.
Huevos Rancheros – Lite
E: Everyone loves huevos rancheros. I eat a healthier and simpler version though. I substitute sour cream for greek yogurt, leave out the re-fried beans and mexican-rice, use organic eggs, organic corn tortillas, avocado oil, leave out the cheese and top with whatever leftover homemade salsa I have on hand, without preservatives. However, I’ve included the optional add-ons I’ve excluded for the authentic mexican recipe.
Just thinking about it makes me want to go and eat this right now. I just love a perfectly cooked egg with the salsa and guac. So good.
A note on the optional beans: I rarely have time to make beans the correct way: soaking them overnight then boiling them at low temperature with onion, garlic and salt. When I do make beans, I use beans from my parent’s farm in mexico called “flor de mayo.” It’s a light pale and smaller bean. They are also organic and taste great. When I do have freshly boiled beans, they are without a doubt, added to my dish. Except I either don’t fry them, or if I use either avocado oil or coconut-oil, a trick I learned from my sister Sandra. On days when I don’t have freshly boiled beans I use canned organic beans. I usually have canned black or cannellini beans, in stock. Depending on what I’m feeling that day, I’ll just rinse them blend them with water, and heat them up in the microwave with some salt, pepper and cumin.
Esme’s Chunky Guacamole
E: We loooove avocados! Sam’s parents gave us an avocado tree as a housewarming present. We are considering planting a second-type of avocado tree, and one that is not a dwarf like the one we currently have. I cannot wait until we have them in stock. The obvious thing to make with avocados is guacamole. However, once we have them in stock I’ll be exploring with avocado soup, avocado ice cream, and other weird recipes I’ve come across.
For now, this particular recipe for guacamole is my default. I make this recipe for special occasions, or for get-togethers. I should warn you that I make my guacamole in a molcajete using the tejolote (mortar and pestle). You should too, you will not regret it. If you don’t have one I’ll provide substitute instructions.
This last friday night, I prepared this guacamole recipe along with a pico-de-gallo, and grilled zucchini from the garden. I served it with whole-grain crackers and a raspberry margarita. Glorious.
Fire Roasted Salsa al Molcajete
E: Every time I make salsa al molcajete, I think of my irreplaceable dad, Fulgencio. Growing up, he always had to have a little heat to go with his meals. His favorite has always been salsas made in molcajete. Till this day, my dad enjoys taking over in making salsas, because he likes it spicy.
The word “molcajete” and “tejolote” is the mexican equivalent to a “mortar” and “pestle.” The words come from the nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs. My dad believes that salsa made in a molcajete tastes better, and I agree.
There is a saying that if your salsa is spicy, then you made it while you were upset. So when you hear, “estabas enojada” typically means that salsa is too spicy to that person’s liking. But if your salsa is not spicy enough, then it is said that you don’t really know how to make a salsa. Ouch.
Either way, having any type of salsa stocked in your fridge is a must. You will find that I put this on so many recipes. You can put a little bit of it in a guacamole, or on top of huevos rancheros, or avocado-toast. The variations are endless.