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Oaxacan Frittata

Oaxacan-Frittata_Yes,-more-please!

Frittatas are the best way to transform simple ingredients into a magnificent meal. It’s the goodness of pie without the crust. With their lightly crusty edges, creamy soft centers, easy comfort, and the fact that almost every ingredient can play and sing along embedded in custardy creamy eggs, frittatas are the perfect Summer companion, and this Oaxacan Frittata is the one you want this summer by your side.

This Frittata is all about the Oaxacan Jewel tomatoes I grew in my little garden. I love how the combination of custardy eggs and “Quesillo” a.k.a Oaxaca Cheese, compliment the flavor of the tomatoes with out masking them. Even when cooked, the tomatoes hold their fresh and juicy flavor. The melted strings of Oaxacan cheese along with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt make this Frittata the object of my Summer affection.

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Pan de Cazón Campeche México

Pan-de-Cazon-Campechano_Yes,-more-please!

The first time I had Pan de Cazón in Campeche México it was a revelation to me.
I was traveling in Mexico with two of my best friends and architecture colleagues back in our student days, circa 1998. We were in Campeche on a very honorable mission of developing a great project for the City: The “Biblioteca Universo Maya” -“Mayan Universe Library”. The architectural dream project of every student. A constructive binomial, a Church and Monastery, from the sixteenth century that was going to hold the biggest collection of Mayan information in Mexico. I remember the first day in the city we met people and acquired information, details, measurements, and blueprints. We needed every single piece of information in order to start the project.
Between meetings and planning, the morning went fast and soon enough it was lunch time- “comida”. In the blink of an eye, we were guided to a restaurant to cool down. I remember not coping well with the humid hot weather of this beautiful city. Hungry and thirsty, we sat at a restaurant and started receiving some recommendations from the waiter and the friend who brought us. They both made the same recommendation: “Pan de Cazón”.

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Zucchini Goat Cheese Entomatadas

 

Zucchini-Goat-Cheese-Entomatadas_Zucchini-recipe-for-Summer_Yes,-more-please!

Entomatadas;//Adjective, En=in / tomat= from the word tomato /adas adjective termination that denotes action,”adas”
I would say that the closest translation of the word “entomatadas” or “entomatado” would be “smothered in tomato”.

These Entomatadas are the mellow cousins of the Enchiladas. They have the same concept and construction, rolled tortillas filled with infinite possibilities and covered with a sauce made with dry chiles.  The sauce used in entomatadas is made with red tomatoes, as its name suggests. Roma, or Tomboys tomatoes, or jitomate “bola” in Spanish is usually the tomatoes of choice when making this sauce, but certainly any red round meaty and juicy tomatoes, along with mild herbs and spices will work.

The basic Entomatada sauce is very mellow and showcases the best in tomatoes. In this version of mine, I rock it out a little bit by adding a single serrano, that mimics the black pepper and adds deep of flavor to the sauce. The sauce consist of boiled tomatoes, that are skinned, blended, and then sautéed with onion, garlic and fresh epazote or mint. Then its pureed for a second time to produce the most velvety and creamy tomatoey sauce. The creamy sauce contains no dairy however, which makes the sauce light and fresh. Also on the virtue of looking for a healthier, lighter version of the classic way to make entomatadas which calls for frying the tortillas, I warmed up the corn tortillas and I drizzled them with a bit of a delicious green… a grassy extra virgin olive oil! This step not only adds another layer of flavor, but also prevents soggy tortillas when the salsa is added.

Zucchini-Goat-Cheese-Entomatadas_Entomatada-Sauce-Salsa-para-entomatadas_Yes,-more-please!

 

These Entomatadas of mine are filled with sautéed zucchinis, onions, sweet corn, and goat cheese. Once I roll them up, they are smothered with the piping hot tomato sauce which warms them through. These Entomatadas are best eaten warm almost tepid temperature.
Pouring the sauce separately when making any kind of enchilada is my favorite way to make them; It avoids enchilada uni-blocks. Best of all, by using this technique on these Entomatadas, is that it makes them BAKE-FREE!!! keeping you and your house odor free when you have closed the windows to run the A/C. If you don’t understand how that works, then come further South.

Zucchini-Goat-Cheese-Entomatadas_ready-to-serve!

Entomatadas are great for entertaining. I usually have them rolled up and when its time to serve them. I pour the piping hot tomato sauce all over, drizzle of Mexican crema or in this case I use a diluted Greek yogurt and sprinkle of queso fresco to keep them on the lighter side. Take them to the table and serve on a bed of shredded fresh lettuce and avocado wedges. I’m telling you, these Zucchini Goat Cheese Entomatadas scream Summer out loud! Whether its a midweek dinner or a potluck this recipe, its a must try! I know you will like them as much as we do!…

To make this Entomatadas you will need….

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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos-Rancheros-on-a-rainy-afternoon_Yes,-more-please!

This is the perfect breakfast on a rainy weekend morning. Or a even cold snowy morning, if you live north of Texas. The origin of this dish is unknown to me yet very familiar. It’s a classic everywhere in Mexico. There are dozens of variations with different toppings and seasonings from various regions, families, grandmas,  mercados, or restaurants. This is the dish in its purest form. All principles items include fried eggs, dried chiles, tomato sauce, tortillas, and that last onion section that you didn’t quite finish on Thursday. This Mexican one pan wonder is the weekend antidote when you wake up extra hungry and craving a breakfast worth making. Imagine the creamy runniness of a sunny side up egg, smothered with savory spicy warm salsa over soft fried corn tortillas, a side of black beans, crema, and queso fresco. I would wake up to that in a flash!

My Huevos Rancheros version gets a side of black beans which I prepare almost every month by cooking a large batch in a slow cooker. I make little portion bags that I freeze for quick use. It makes my life easier and tastier. Ian calls them “Beansicles”. They are very easy to defrost and use either whole or smashed when ever needed they are there for you. Now, what you need from the pantry is that forgotten can of tomatoes. Please check your refrigerator drawers for a couple of fresh ones if in season. I always have my staple dry chiles in the pantry. Dried chiles are miracle workers. I can make salsa in a flash, or spice up soups or even hot cocoa like this. Fresh chiles? Yes, please! Serranos, jalapeños, chipotles en adobo; for me all variations are delicious as long you follow the ranchero principle: simple sauce + fried egg + corn tortilla + beans = Best Huevos Rancheros. Please no melty cheese in my Rancheros, save it for a quesadilla.

Huevos-Rancheros_chiles-&-Black-Beans

One of my favorite version of Huevos Rancheros Its the one you are about to see, easy enough to prepare them before coffee, and the spicy kick to the sauce will add to your morning wake up.
Huevos Rancheros cures hangovers, rainy mornings, helps you forget weekly stress, and fuels the most ambitious of Caudillos. Its uncomplicated preparation will give you a boost of confidence and culinary accomplishment. The way I prepare them could work for bigger crowds if arranged on a large platter or  for a brunch with friends or neighbors. All you have to do is learn how to fry an egg and combine 4 ingredients for a killer salsa. Enjoy!

Huevos-Rancheros_all-ingredients_Yes,-more-please!

 

Huevos Rancheros

Serves 1 Güerito and 1 Mexican

4 Eggs (ranchero faces drawing optional)
4 corn tortillas best kind you kind find.
Corn oil or your frying oil of preference enough to fry the eggs. about 2-3 glugs.
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup Black beans whole or fried is up to your preference.

For the Sauce:

1-1/2 cups roasted tomatoes I used roasted canned, if using fresh when in season you will need about 4 Roma tomatoes.
6-8 Chiles de Arbol  (For amateurs please start with 3-4 chiles. When this dry chiles get toasted, the flavor profile is a bit smoky and much milder in spice, so do not fear them!)
1 garlic clove
1/8 onion
Salt and black pepper

Toppings:

1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
2 tablespoons Mexican crema
1-2 fresh cilantro sprigs

Quick pickled onions:

1/8 onion slivered and rinsed*, 1/2 lime juice, one good pinch of salt, one good pinch Mexican dry oregano, combine everything on a small dish, wait for 10 minutes, serve. * I always like to rinse my onions when they gonna be eaten raw, it smooths away that sharp taste, and you will not have to brush your teeth five times before the flavor on your palate is gone.

 

Preparation:

1. Start by preparing all your toppings, warm up your beans, make the quick pickled onions, set a side.

2. Remove the stems of all your dry chiles de arbol. On a medium size frying pan, (good enough o fry some sunny side up eggs) place about two glugs of Corn oil over medium high heat, add the chiles and toast them tossing often, until a deep dark red. Remove the chiles, and add 1/8 of an onion for a quick sauté. Remove the onion, turn of the pan. In a Blender or with the help of an immersion blender Combine the roasted tomatoes, the toasted chiles, one garlic clove, the sautéed onion, 1/2 cup water,salt and a bit of black pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Huevos-Rancheros_making-the-salsa

3. Warm up over medium high heat the same pan and oil you use to toast the chiles and onion. There should be plenty of oil to sauté the corn tortillas. If not enough add a bit more oil. Oil must be hot before soft frying the tortillas. Cook the tortillas in the oil one by one both sides. Tortillas should have a toasty color and they should be playable. Place the tortillas as you go into the plates; one tortilla per egg.

4. Using the same pan and oil fry your eggs. I like to fry 2 eggs at the time, so they have lots of room and the temperature of the pan does not drop. I like my eggs with a bit of crunchy edges but soft runny yolks. It’s really up to you, cook them up to your preference. Place the eggs on top of the tortillas one egg per tortilla as you go. Remember that it is important letting the pan and oil to come up to hot temperature in-between egg batches. Like I said, I like sunny side up eggs in this recipe so I do not over cook the yolks. In fact I leave them a little under done, so when I pour the warm sauce over the eggs, it will warm them up and finish the cooking  to a perfect creamy runniness. Take this in consideration when your cooking your eggs.

5. Once your eggs are ready, in the same pan with the remaining oil and while it warm add the sauce. (Be careful sauce might get a bit feisty, you might end up with a polka dot pajama!). Lower the heat. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Sauce should be rich and at the same time lose enough to cover the eggs. If the sauce is too tick add a bit of water or chicken stock, if to loose keep reducing it.

Huevos-Rancheros_How-to-cook-them

6. Taste your sauce for seasonings and adjust if needed. Sauce your eggs with plenty of warm sauce. Place leftover sauce in a small bowl and take it to the table for an extra spoon or two.
Serve a couple of tablespoons of  black beans on the side, top with queso fresco, crema, cilantro for garnish and the quick pickled onions on the side. Enjoy!

Huevos-Rancheros_Yes,-more-please!

Huevos-Rancheros_ready-to-eat

 

Huevos-Rancheros_ready-to-serve_Yes,-more-please!

 Huevos Rancheros, A great rainy weekend breakfast!

Music Pairing: Pedro Infante – El Ranchero

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

 

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_Yes,-more-please!

Hold your horses! Hide the children! What you are about to see is food rated “R” at its best! My Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is to die for. Fresh, delicious, and savory; it’s the perfect simple light meal for a hot summer afternoon. This juicy cold and light savory cocktail is a meal in itself. What makes it Mexican style? Well the whole combination of vegetables, accoutrement, and the cold broth. It’s a savory broth made with shrimp shells and seasoned with fresh orange and lime juice, ketchup, and some dashes of hot sauce. The result is this light fresh savory broth that goes incredibly well with the shrimp. In my opinion there’s no need to buy those bottled clam juices when you can get the most natural flavor out of your shrimp!
This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is an entrée rather than an appetizer with a dipping sauce as served in the States. In Mexico, this cocktail is typically served on the coastal cities as an iconic refreshing staple and a must have if you are spending your day on the beach. In the city, shrimp cocktail is widely known as the number one ‘hangover elixir.’
There are many variations in which more than one shellfish is added to this concoction. Common ingredients include octopus, clams, oysters, baby scallops. It is called “Vuelve a la vida” which translates to “come back to life” because its invigorating attributes. That, I can not guarantee, however I assure you that it will refresh and invigorate you on a summer afternoon. In my case, I just love the simplicity of flavors and the way the shrimp skins cooked as a base produce a magic broth with depth and character!

Prepare this dreamy cocktail for yourself ! You can make it in advance, since it is served cold on chilled glasses. For parties you can serve it with all the vegetable accoutrement on the side which allows your guests to customize their own. Keep it ice-cold at all times. It is truly a great summer crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

I can assure you this recipe will be part of your repertoire for many years to come.
Happy Summer, Enjoy!

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_ingredients

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Serrves 2 sailors 4 mermaids

This cocktail is light and refreshing, it can serve two as a meal or four to six as an appetizer. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled upon family size, or a friendly party crowd.

1 – ½ lbs. Jumbo or medium large shrimp, peeled save the skins and deveined.

For the shrimp stock:
The reserved skins from the shrimp.
2 celery stalks
¼ wedge of a white onion.
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Seasonings for the cold cocktail broth:
The juice of one small Valencia orange
3 large limes + 1 or 2 more to garnish.
¼-1/2 cup ketchup sauce
A few dashes of your favorite Mexican Bottled Hot Sauce, I prefer Cholula, Valentina or Huichol.

Prepare cocktail with:
2 roma tomatoes, small diced
1 small white or purple onion, small diced
1 medium cucumber seedless such as jade or English cucumber, small diced. 
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 chile Serrano or Jalapeno with seeds.
1 small Hass avocado

Serve with:
Saltine crackers or Tostadas
Plantain Chips
And a really cold light Mexican beer (I prefer Modelo Especial or Victoria oh yeah!)

Preparation Method:

1. Place two glass serving bowls in the freezer. (Mason jars, or glass mugs will work too.)
2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins and leave 4-6 unpeeled, tail-on shrimp for garnish.Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_peel-and-devein-the-shrimp
3. In a non-reactive pan place the shrimp skins, along with the celery stalks, onion wedge, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_save-the-skins-to-make-a-broth
4. Meantime, prepare all your vegetable accoutrement. Dice and chop the tomato, cucumber, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, limes, avocado and cilantro. Set aside.
5. Check on your broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up.~Shrimp cook very fast so be attentive! You do not want rubbery overcooked shrimp!~

Mexican-shrimp-cocktail_how-to-boil-shrimp-
6. With a slotted spoon, pull out the shrimp a little before you think they are ready. They will keep cooking with their residual heat. Place the shrimp on a plate with ice underneath. (see picture below).
7. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and place a metal or glass bowl on top of the ice. Place a fine sieve on top of the bowl and drain the broth. With a wooden spoon, start whisking to cool off the broth until the temperature of the broth feels fresh and cooler.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_cooling-the-broth
8. You should have around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of broth left, transfer the broth into a liquid measuring cup if you have more than 2 ½ cups discard the extra broth.
9. Start seasoning the broth. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes, the juice of 1 small Valencia Orange, add Ketchup (I used my favorite: Sir Kensington’s spicy ketchup!) add a couple of dashes of hot sauce, the sea salt, and whisk. Taste and adjust flavor for salt or pepper.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_Season-the-broth
10. Pull out the frozen glass serving bowls and start arranging your cocktail. Start by layering the ingredients and add the seasoned broth at the end. No rules here! You can add as much or as little veggies as you want. Avocado is a must, highly necessary!, A little extra squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle some cilantro and an extra dash of hot sauce…Prepare for the stampede!.. you are gonna love it. Enjoy!
Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_ready-to-serve!Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_authentic

You know you want it!

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

www.yes-moreplease.com

Refreshing, light this Mexican cocktail its perfect for a pool party or a weekend of leisure at home. remember to have a very very cold beer, Ceveza bien fria! Enjoy!

Course Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 4 sailors or 4 mermaids

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 ibs. Jumbo Shrimp, peeled, save the peels and deveined

For the shrimp stock:

  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 wedge of a white onion.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Seasonings for the cocktail broth:

  • 1 the juice of one small Valencia orange
  • 3 large limes, plus 1 or 2 more to garnish.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ketchup sauce
  • A few dashes of your favorite Mexican Bottled Hot Sauce, I prefer Cholula, Valentina or Huichol.

Garnish with:

  • 2 roma tomatoes small diced
  • 1 small white or red onion, small diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, such as jade or English cucumber. small diced
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Chiles Serranos or jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 small Hass avocado

Serve with:

  • Saltine crackers or Tostadas
  • Plantain Chips
  • And a really cold light Mexican beer (I prefer Modelo Especial or Victoria oh yeah!)

Instructions

  1. 1. Place two glass serving bowls in the freezer. (Mason jars, or glass mugs will work too.)

    2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins and leave 4-6 unpeeled, tail-on shrimp for garnish.

    3. In a non-reactive pan place the shrimp skins, along with the celery stalks, onion wedge, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.

    4. Meantime, prepare all your vegetable accoutrement. Dice and chop the tomato, cucumber, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, limes, avocado and cilantro. Set aside.

    5. Check on your broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up.~Shrimp cook very fast so be attentive! You do not want rubbery overcooked shrimp!~

    6. With a slotted spoon, pull out the shrimp a little before you think they are ready. They will keep cooking with their residual heat. Place the shrimp on a plate with ice underneath. (see picture below).

    7. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and place a metal or glass bowl on top of the ice. Place a fine sieve on top of the bowl and drain the broth. With a wooden spoon, start whisking to cool off the broth until the temperature of the broth feels fresh and cooler.

    8. You should have around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of broth left, transfer the broth into a liquid measuring cup if you have more than 2 ½ cups discard the extra broth.

    9. Start seasoning the broth. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes, the juice of 1 small Valencia Orange, add Ketchup (I used my favorite: Sir Kensington’s spicy ketchup!) add a couple of dashes of hot sauce, the sea salt, and whisk. Taste and adjust flavor for salt or pepper.

    Pull out the frozen glass serving bowls and start arranging your cocktail. Start by layering the ingredients and add the seasoned broth at the end. No rules here! You can add as much or as little veggies as you want. Avocado is a must, highly necessary!, A little extra squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle some cilantro and an extra dash of hot sauce…Prepare for the stampede!.. you are gonna love it. Enjoy!

    Happy Cooking!

Music Pairing: Vereda Tropical-Esquivel

 

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Summer Eggplant Parmigiana

 

Summer-Eggplant-Parnigiana_Yes,-more-please!Eggplant-Parmiggiana_Ingredients

The first days of summer are arriving in Texas, and with them an incredible vegetable abundance.
This weekend eggplants at the Farmer’s Market grabbed my attention in such a way that I bought too many!… That’s the the way my crave of cooking works, with my eyes. I’m a very visual person and I believe good, healthy, fresh vegetables have to look good and smell good. Being visually inspired at the farmers market helps me create and translate my cravings into recipes. When I saw these eggplants I immediately thought of eggplant parmigiana. I love eggplant parmigiana, although to be honest sometimes the delicate eggplant flavor gets lost in the breading, frying , melted cheese, and marinara sauce. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these components, but maybe in Autumn or winter…

With this memory of flavors in mind, I started to think of how could I transform a classic into a more simple and Summery version. I came up with this Summery eggplant parmigiana recipe. A lighter version in which instead of breading and frying the eggplant I cut them lengthwise and roast them in the oven. Eggplants when roasted this way, develop a buttery flavor almost like a vegetable custard contained in it’s own skin. That’s why Im skipping the melted cheese on these recipe. Believe me you have to try them, you will be enjoying the delicate eggplant flavor. To add texture and contrast to this custard I added a combination of panko bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. If you have a gluten allergy these can easily be replaced with ground pecans,or almonds instead of panko breadcrumbs which it will be equally or even more delicious.

Instead of the warm marinara sauce, I made a warm tomato salad with a garlic oil dressing combining the first sweetest cherry and sun gold tomatoes of the tomato season. These little tomato marbles are incredibly flavorful, I never feel like cook them I almost eat them like grapes, as a snack in the afternoon. That’s one of the reasons this simple warm salad enhance their great qualities.

This summer eggplant parmigiana version will warm your heart. It is easy to make, light, and comforting.

Welcome to the summer, and enjoy!

Eggplant-Parmiggiana_beauty-ingredients

Summer Eggplant Parmigiana

Serves 4

2 large eggplants
1-2 glugs of grape seed oil
sea salt and Black pepper

For the topping:

1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated.
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
A pinch of red flake peppers (optional)

For the warm tomato salad:

2 cups of a combination of cherry and sun gold tomatoes.
2-3 sprigs of fresh Basil
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Seasoned Rice Vinegar.
(Rice Vinegar goes so well with the sweetness of the tomatoes. Since this little tomatoes are so sweet, you need to balance the acidity , and the seasoned rice vinegar pairs fantastic , bringing all the notes together, sweet, salty and tangy.)
salt and fresh black pepper to taste.

Preparation method:

1. Preheat the oven 450F/ 230C
2. Cut the eggplants length wise and score them with a pairing knife.Rub the eggplants with some olive oil or grape seed oil, season them with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast them for about 15-18 minutes.

Eggplant-Parnigiana_-how-to-bake-it
4. Mean time, in a bowl combine the Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper until well combined and the mixture resembles moist sand. Set a side.
5. Start making the warm tomato salad, by cutting the cherry and sun gold tomatoes into halves or quarters depending on size. Chifonade the basil. Combine them in a bowl, toss them with the rice vinegar, salt and pepper.
6. In a small pot add the extra virgin olive oil along with the thinly sliced garlic and using the lowest possible heat on the stove, start warming up the oil. This will infuse the oil with the garlic and the thin slices of garlics will start turning golden brown.

Eggplant_Parmigiana_tomatoe_salad_ingredients

7. Check your Eggplant, take out of the oven top each half with a generous amount of the panko mixture. Place them into the oven for another 5 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

Eggplant-parmigiana-baked_panko-crust
8. Mean time check your garlic and olive oil. Once the eggplants come out of the oven, remove the warm oil from the stove and add this to the cherry and sun gold tomato salad toss well.
The warm oil will gently warm up the tomatoes,the garlic chips will add flavor and aroma to the tomato salad it is a fantastic!

Eggplant_Parmigiana_tomatoe_salad

Eggplant-Parnigiana_-out-of-the-oven
9. Once your eggplants are ready out of the oven transfer them onto a platter, and top with the warm tomato salad, grate a little extra Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Summer-Eggplant-Parnigiana_Yes,-more-please!ready-to-serve!

Summer-Eggplant-Parnigiana_Yes,-more-please!eat-me!

Welcome the Summer!

Music Pairing: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Summertime

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Vegan-mato a Vegetable Cocktail

Vegan-mato-veg-cocktail-Yes,-more-please!-drink-your-veggies-in-a-fun-way!

Need some veggies in your life? Let’s veg-out!, I mean Veg-in, Vegan-mato is a vegetable cocktail that delivers a fun way to drink and eat your vegetables. Let’s  throw a party in a glass!
Sometimes you just need something that boost your inner health and some vegetable motivation in liquid form is the way to go. Not sure what to do with left overs veggies of the week? juice it up!
This Vegan-mato is waiting for you, perfect summer power drink, made with fresh vegetables, all natural, extremely flavorful and fun to make.

It can’t be easier than to throw all the veggies on a food processor, season, squeeze some lime juice, sea salt, a little hot sauce kick, some ice, a straw and some extra veggies to munch and crunch.

This Vegetable-non alcoholic cocktail is one of the best ways to drink you veggies.

Have a great weekend…Enjoy!

Do you need an umbrella to go with this cocktail? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…
Check our music gallery for our music-recipe pairings…

VEGANMATO_VEGCOCKTAIL_ingredients_Yes_moreplease

Vegan-mato a Vegetable Cocktail

Serves 2 large mugs or 4 short glasses.

4 Roma tomatoes
3 large carrots
1 medium orange peeled
2-3 small cucumbers
1 spinach handful
2 large celery stalks including the leafy tops (celery leafy tops are a great source of magnesium do not waste them! Drink them, include them on your salads.)
1 sprig of parsley
1 green onion
2 inches of fresh ginger

Season with:

the juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch of celery salt
2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of spicy brown mustard
2, 3, 4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

Garnish with:

2 bamboo skewers
Celery stalks
Martini Olives, jumbo pepper stuffed olives or Jalapeno stuffed olives.
Pickles
Fresh cucumber wedges
Cherry tomatoes
Radishes and chopped capers

Some extra sea salt and a half of lime to cover the rim of the mug.

Note: It is very important to me to make emphasis on how important it is to buy organic produce when juicing. Flavor, nutritional value is superb when organic vegetables are used; believe me you don’t want to be drinking pesticides. Please take this in consideration…

Vegan-mato_extract-the-juices_Yes,-moreplease!

Directions:

1. Chill your Mugs, by placing them on the freezer.
2. Wash and cut the hard ends of vegetables.
3. With the help of an electric juicer, juice all your vegetables first and add the orange last. The juicy orange will help to clean up all bits of vegetable flavor on your juicer.
4. To this juice, add the soy sauce, sea salt, pepper, spicy brown mustard, a few dashes of hot sauce, and the juice of two limes. WHISK!!! until well combined. Taste to adjust the flavor.

Vegan-mato_a-Veg-cocktail_squeeze-the-limes!

Veganmato_vegcocktail-party-Yes,-more-please!

Veganmato_vegcocktail-party-Yes,-more-please!
5. Make your vegetable skewers, using what ever you prefer for garnish, cherry tomatoes, radishes,caper-berries, olives, pickles the limit is your imagination.
6. Take the mugs out of the freezer, rub some lemon on the rim and dip it in salt. Add lots of ice.
7. Add your celery stalk, a garnish skewer, a straw, umbrella, sandals, a sunny porch and some great music check our music pairings here!

Sip-crunch-munch-repeat_Vegan-mato_Yes,-more-please!

Cooking music Pairing: Guardians of the Galaxy- Awesome Mix Vol. 1

 

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Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Tomato-Spinach-Soup-'caprese-style'-ingredients ~Yes, more please!ingredientsIs it Spring time yet?!!!…Well the thermometer is still going up and down like mad in Austin. And since yesterday was on the chilly side, I was craving tomato soup. I know I have to wait at least one more season to get great tomatoes at the farmers market. In the meantime what do you do when it seems only greens are in season?

So I had to improvise. I had two routes:
1. Try buy the best tomatoes I could find at the supermarket, roast them and enhance them…the problem with this solution, (even if it sounds the most viable route) is when you are truly committed to getting fresh organic produce you go to the supermarket and often the tomatoes look good but since your can’t sample them you get a lot of variation in flavor and sweetness. In my experience and in my opinion they often look better than they taste when out of season.

2. The short easy route: to buy a can of roasted organic tomatoes…
Well, sometimes you just have to use a salvation can when tomatoes are not in season and your frozen tomatoes are gone! If I know something for sure it is that I will learn how to can tomatoes for this coming season… fortunately there are plenty of options in canned tomatoes: from organic, no salt added, and no preservatives, (and in the case of Muir Glen, among others, no BPA’s if that concerns you , check this product list)  I find these canned options to have a more consistent quality if I can’t get them in season.

So I bought a can of tomatoes to satisfy my tomato soup craving. And here’s where I put my twist on things. I enhanced it with some dried herbs,sun-dried tomatoes, and aromatics. The result was scrumptious. It was good ‘ol tomato soup to warm us up on these strange cold March days. I added dried basil, a pinch of thyme, garlic, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes, plus a little Balsamic vinegar to balance the soup’s sweetness. I also added some sautéed spinach and mozzarella Ciliegine (cherry size mozzarella balls) as toppings before broiling in the oven. It turned out amazingly good. It reminded me of a caprese salad in soup form!.. I hope you like it as much as we did! And stay warm!

caprese-tomatoe-spinach-soup-yes-more-please

Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Serves 4

1 can (28 0z.) Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes (I used Muir Glen organic) this is a must! the fire roasted tomatoes give all the flavor to the soup.
3-4 cups water or vegetable stock …start with 3, then add more to desired consistency.
2-3 glugs extra virgin olive oil
5-7 Sun dried tomatoes, chopped.
2 small shallots finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove thinly sliced
½ teaspoon dry basil
1 good pinch dry thyme
1 large bay leaf
½ teaspoon celery salt
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Toppings:

6-8 hand fulls of spinach
1 shallot
Extra virgin olive oil to saute
Salt and black pepper to taste.

Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine
(if you can not find the Ciliegine, you can cut the mozzarella into small cubes)

Preparation:

1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, bay leaf saute for 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the dry basil, thyme salt and black pepper, saute for another minute.
3. Add the can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.
4. Add the water, stir until well incorporated, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 6-8 minutes. With an immersion blender puree the soup. ( I love this gadget in the kitchen, it is so practical and easy to puree your soup on the same pot!)

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-sautee-base-for-soup
5. Once its pureed, add the Balsamic vinegar, taste, adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Bring to slow simmer, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and keep it warm.
6. Quick Saute the spinach in a skillet over medium -high heat, heat up some olive oil, add shallots, garlic and saute for 15 seconds then add the spinach and toss until they are partially wilted, and coated with the hot oil, add salt and pepper. Set a side.

Flash-sauteed-spinach~-Yes,-more-please!
7. Using oven friendly soup bowls, scoop 2-3 ladles of tomato soup, add some of the sauteed spinach and top with the mozzarella buccatinis.
8. Place bowls onto a baking sheet and broil the soups for about 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly crust. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn.

Tomato-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-assambling-the-soup-

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-broil-your-soup

9. Serve with some toasted ciabatta or crusty bread slices and rub some garlic on the bread for extra flavor… Enjoy!

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-rub-garlic-on-toastTomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-toasty,-melty,-Yes,-more-please!Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-Yes,-more-please! Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Music Pairing: Frank Sinatra,  “Fly me to the moon”

https://youtu.be/mhZ2X9znPxM

Tomatoe-Spinach-Soup-Caprese-style-Yes,more-please!

 

Caprese Tomato Spinach Soup

Course Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 28oz can Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes, I used Muir Glen organic) this is a must! the fire roasted tomatoes give all the flavor to the soup.
  • 3-4 cups water or vegetable stock, start with 3, then add more to desired consistency.
  • 2 glugs extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-7 Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil, if fresh use about 5-6 leaves
  • 1 good pinch dry thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic Vinegar

Toppings:

  • 6-8 handfulls fresh spinach
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil to sautee the spinach
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh Mozzarella Ciliegine, or frsh mozzarella cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. 1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, warm up the extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, bay leaf saute for 3-4 minutes.

    2. Add the dry basil, thyme salt and black pepper, saute for another minute.

    3. Add the can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium.

    4. Add the water, stir until well incorporated, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 6-8 minutes. With an immersion blender puree the soup. ( I love this gadget in the kitchen, it is so practical and easy to puree your soup on the same pot!)

    5. Once its pureed, add the Balsamic vinegar, taste, adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Bring to slow simmer, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and keep it warm.

    6. Quick Saute the spinach in a skillet over medium -high heat, heat up some olive oil, add shallots, garlic and saute for 15 seconds then add the spinach and toss until they are partially wilted, and coated with the hot oil, add salt and pepper. Set a side.

    7. Using oven friendly soup bowls, scoop 2-3 ladles of tomato soup, add some of the sauteed spinach and top with the mozzarella buccatinis.

    8. Place bowls onto a baking sheet and broil the soups for about 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly crust. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn. 

    Serve with some toasted ciabatta or crusty bread slices and rub some garlic on the bread for extra flavor… Enjoy!

 

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