Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Home Made Tortillas

I had the idea tonight to make fresh tortillas and top them with slowly cooked marinated chicken. I also made them thicker then normal and used fresh corn kernels for texture and a much more pronounced corn flavor. These tortillas were simply made with Masa flour which is a corn meal used in the of making tortillas and water. I also added a touch of kosher salt, fresh corn and chopped cilantro. After making a dough I used a small ice cream scoop to make small round balls which were placed between wax paper and flattened in a tortilla press (a saute pan can be used if you don't have a press) then on to a hot Plancha grill or cast iron pan to cook and brown on both sides.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Traditional Mexican Food, Sope

A popular Mexican antojito is Sope (pronounced "SOH-peh") originating from the North Western city of Culiacan, Mexico. It is a thick hand formed type of tortilla with the edges crimped into a shallow bowl, when fried it becomes a container for lots of delicious fillings. Most of the time its filled with beans, salsa and meats then maybe some shredded lettuce and cheese on top. The good thing about it is that the bowl shape holds wet ingredients like slow simmered chicken and is best eaten with a knife and fork. It has all the familiar Mexican flavors with just a different texture from the thick fried masa shell.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Local Organic Roast Chicken

A popular locally grown chicken from Petaluma, California is the Rosie Organic chicken brand. It's USDA certified organic which means a better bird to eat. I marinated a double breast in garlic, white wine and fresh herbs over night, then seared skin side down in a hot pan, flipped over and finished in a hot oven.
I caramelized yellow onions to go with the chicken and served the same white wine to go with it. I like the idea of eating foods that do not contain man made chemicals and support the local farmer a few miles down the highway from me. Buy local, eat better.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Its a month or two before local tomatoes become available but I had the urge to use tomatoes, so I used meaty Roma's which will stand up well to roasting without breaking down into a sauce. I simply cut them in half and sprinkled them with chopped garlic, fresh oregano, kosher salt, pepper and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Into a hot 400 degree (204 C) oven for about 20 minutes, then finished with feta cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Very good, but I am sure they will be better in a few months.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Two Bean Salad

I made a quick flavorful bean salad using young green beans and shelled soy beans with a simple vinaigrette, a pinch of chopped thyme from the garden completes the meal.  Very simple yet so good.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Today is the fifth of May which is the date of the Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican army's victory over the French in the battle of Puebla in 1862. In the United States it's a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry. Like most holidays, it's a reason for a celebration and Mexican parties are fun, bring out the good food and drink. Latin food is very common in my house and today will be like any other day with some kind of tortilla wrapped food and maybe a Mexican beer or two. OK two for sure.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


This brew made from dried Hibiscus flowers is very common through out the world and here in California. It is a common drink in Latin cuisine called Jamaica and is commonly served as a aguas frescas. The dark red dried flowers are steeped in boiling water then strained. The infused liquid is strong and somewhat tart so will need to be sweetened with sugar and diluted with more water to taste. Try serving it cold with ice.  It has a flavor very similar to cranberry juice and that gives me the idea of maybe a vodka-hibiscus drink? ...or maybe a Latin Cosmo using white tequila and hibiscus tea?