Marianas Mexican Recipes

Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano Soup

Warm and velvety and with a hint of roasted sweetness….It is inevitable to succumb to the cliche of pumpkin soup. I assure you there are 1,000 recipes out there with all different combinations spices, creamy, vegan, vegetarian…This version is my humble version of the Roasted pumpkin-poblano soup.

For the past few years, I’ve been making my vegetable soups under one principle: “do not add chicken stock”. Yes, it is that simple. I don’t want, under any circumstance, my broccoli soup to taste like chicken (or my potatoes, carrots, or any vegetable to taste like the bird). I want to savor the flavor of the vegetable. It is certainly a challenge to follow this principle because our inner chicken stock flavored souls desperately want to add more “depth of flavor”. For me, this is totally wrong. The way I make my vegetable soups are by enhancing the vegetables using different cooking methods like roasting, grilling, braising; all these cooking methods bring out the vegetable qualities, enhance the sweetness and flavor concentration to the soup. And yes, at times just a little help from other vegetable friends can harmonize the flavor.

Pumpkin has a delicate flavor so it is easy to mask, yet easier to harmonize. I love roasting or braizing. In this case, I chose to roast the pumpkin and add some caramelized sweet onions to bring out the sweet and earthy flavor of the pumpkin. Roasted poblanos, charred sweet corn, and some tortilla crisps play perfectly in this soup and add contrast in texture. With no doubt, it is one of my favorite soups to make, so easy and comforting. It freezes well if you want to store it for a quick-thaw meal and I just can tell you that after the photo shooting this soup was our good comforting dinner…

Roasted_Pumpkin_soup_ roasting&pureeRoasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_puree

Roasting pumpkin is easy and so rewarding, I love the way the house smells, it’s a welcoming to fall. When getting ready for the pumpkin season, I usually pick 2 small pumpkins the size of a volley-ball or smaller. They are easier to cut in half and they cook faster than the bigger ones. Once I cut them in half, I scrape all the inner seeds, save them for feature roasting if I feel like-, and I place the pumpkin halves flat side down on a full sheet tray covered with foil rubbed with some oil to avoid from sticking. I bake them on the lower rack in the oven at high-temperature 450F for 25-35 minutes or until a paring knife inserts easily through the skin. Remove them from oven and let them cool off. Using a spoon I scrape all the pumpkin ~this is my favorite part so I don’t have to peel the pumpkin, which is hard and lots of work~.  Once I scrape all pumpkin into a bowl, I use my handy-dandy immersion blender to puree the pumpkin. About each pumpkin half yields 1 to 1.5 cups or puree depending on the size of the pumpkin, then I make little reusable bags with 1 or 2 cups of the puree depending on the recipes I want to make, and freeze. 2 pumpkins is usually all the pumpkin I need and I’m ready for the season! Click on this link to check a How to roast a pumpkin tutorial with step by step photos and how to make a delicious pumpkin seed snack!

Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano soup

Serves 2 hungry persons as the main dish for dinner or 4 starter soups.

2 cups roasted pumpkin purée (I do prefer natural and roasting my own, you will need about 1 small pumpkin the size of a softball. You can use canned, about 2- 8oz cans, but it is definitely not my favorite option)
4 cups water
1 small sweet yellow onion caramelized
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Garnish with:

2 poblanos roasted, skin, devein and cut into strips
1 cup of charred corn kernels, about 1-2 ears of corn depending on size
¼ cup of Mexican cream or Greek yogurt, If using Greek yogurt dilute with a bit of water and add a pinch of salt.
2 corn tortillas, thinly cut into strips, baked or fried

Roasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_Garnish-Toppings

Directions:

Over medium-high heat using a heavy bottom soup pot, place the oil the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and keep on cooking until deep golden brown and caramelized.
Add pumpkin puree, water salt, pepper nutmeg. With the help of an immersion blender blend the soup until smooth.Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids and salt if needed, for desired consistency and taste. At last, right before serving, add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

Roasted_Pumpkin_Poblano_Soup_caramelized onions-fried tortilla strips

Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the warm poblanos, charred corn, and thinly fried tortilla strips.
You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a swirl of cream.

For vegan:

Use: vegan butter and replace cream swirl with any soy or coconut or almond based cream.

Roasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_serving presentation

Music Pairing: The smashing Pumpkins, Tonight, Tonight


Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano Soup

Warm up with this cozy Mexican spin on a fall pumpkin soup!

Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin purée I do prefer natural and roasting my own, you will need about 1 small pumpkin the size of a softball. You can use canned, about 2- 8oz cans, but it is definitely not my favorite option
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 small sweet onion, caramelized
  • 1 tablesspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Garnish with:

  • 2 large roasted poblanos, skin, deveined and cut into strips
  • 1 cup charred corn kernels, about 2 small ears of corn depending on size
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, diluted with some milk or water and pinch of salt
  • 2 pieces corn tortillas, thinly cut into strips, baked or fried.

Instructions

  1. Over medium-high heat in a soup pot, place the oil the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and let them become brown and caramelized. About 7-8 minutes.

    Add pumpkin puree, water/or/vegetable stock, salt, white pepper, nutmeg. Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids for desired consistency. 

    At last, add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

    Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the poblanos, charred corn, and thinly fried tortilla strips.

    You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a swirl of Mexican crema. Enjoy!

 

 

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Pumpkin doughnut bites (baked)

 

Pumpking_doughnut_bites_texture cinnamon-sugar

October, the month of the most beautiful moons, weather changes and…pumpkins.
Pumpkin shakes, pumpkin coffee, pies, cheesecake, soup, bread, cookies, everything pumpkin!
It’s all about the pumpkin season, spices, aromatics, baking!…what Am I baking? Pumpkin doughnut bites!

Pumpkin is so versatile,it can easily be used in sweet and savory dishes, and it makes the most comforting warm soup for the fall. For me it is always 100% worth the effort to roast them. Its so easy; the house warms up and it taste so much better than the canned stuff. My advice is to buy 3 to 4 small to medium pumpkins roast them puree them and keep them in small batches that you can freeze for feature dishes. Why small or medium pumpkins? They are easy to cut, they cook faster and you do not need 2 oompa loompas to carry them into the oven. But, if you prefer to buy a bigger one they are definitely more meaty and you can cut it into smaller pieces so it will bake faster. The more pumpkin the merrier.

This recipe is incredibly easy and rewarding, so few ingredients transform into the most delightful bites. The pumpkin flavor is enhanced by all the aromatic spices, they are like pieces of pumpkin clouds in your mouth, little pillows of comforting goodness. The pumpkin keeps the batter moist and when you bite into them, the contrast between the soft inside and crunchy sugar crystals make these doughnut like bites irresistible!..

They make the perfect little bite with your morning coffee, or afternoon cup of tea… I love them with a glass of cold milk.

Pumpkin_dougnut_bites_got-milk?

Pumpkin -baked- doughnut bites

Makes 25-30 bites

Dry:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Wet:

1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup whole milk

Roll them in:

1 stick of butter melted in a small bowl

In a separate bowl combine the next three ingredients:

2/3 cup fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350F/ 176C

1.-

In a medium bowl whisk all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients.

With a spatula, combine wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated. (do not over mix).

Pumpkin_doughnut_bites_mixing process

2.-

Proceed and grease 2 mini muffin pans with non-stick spray.

Using a small Ice cream scooper (1.5” inch diameter works best for a mini muffin pan)
scoop the batter immediately.

Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.

Pumpkin_dougnut_bites_scooping method

3.-

Cool them on a rack for about 15 minutes.

Proceed to quick coat them into the melted butter, making sure to drip the excess butter before dumping them into the sugar-cinnamon dust. Roll them until well cover and tap the bites to remove any excess sugar-cinnamon. Place them on a cooling rack and allow to dry for about 30 minutes. Keep them in an air tight container far away from reach… they are highly addictive. Enjoy!

Pumpkin_dounught bites-butter,cinnamon sugar dusting

Pumpkin_doughnut_bites_complete batch

Keep them in an air tight container far away from reach… they are highly addictive. Enjoy!

Pumpkin_doughnut_bites_beauty creaturesBite me!

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Escabeche Pickled Vegetables

Escabeche-Pickled-Vegetables_-Mason-Jar_Yes,-more-please!

 What makes a sandwich great? The bread, the mustard, meat, or cheese? There are all kind of protagonist components that contribute to such a production. But, how about the supporting cast? Potato chips, salads and “the pickle” that green creature on the side of the plate almost invisible and that after the 3 bite of your sandwich you start looking for it.. where is it? Under the waxy paper? Far away in the refrigerator, last shelf oops! We are out of pickles! Suddenly you are missing him badly… If the word sandwich had an accent or a semicolon it will definitely be the “pickle”.

That’s what this recipe is all about, the supporting cast. That accent of a meal, sandwich, sea food, any fried concoction, needs a balance of a crunchy salty acidic note to spice up your meal.
Escabeche is one of hundreds of pickled recipes the Spaniards introduced to Mexico after having borrowed them from the Arabs and Persians. It has many different variations. In Mexico it is more commonly served with seafood, fish, or pork. And yes, the well known street food “the torta”(which is the equivalent of the american sandwich) that is almost always accompanied by the well-known infamous pickled jalapeño that comes with carrots and onions.

Escabeche-Pickled-Vegetables_Yes,-more-please!

This Escabeche vegetable medley recipe is all the “supporting cast” I desire when I’m eating a sandwich: potatoes, pearl onions, mushrooms, carrots and jalapeños. Sweet, starchy, crunchy, spicy mix all marinated in a tangy spiced slightly sweet vinegar. And please don’t limit your self this cast; okra, cauliflower, green beans, can be included…what ever rocks your boat. You can serve this over a bed of spinach and Romaine lettuce combining the vinegar with some extra virgin olive oil for a vinaigrette as a first course salad. Or as a simple informal appetizer with a beer on the side. You can marinate some cooked shrimp, a side for fried fish… I can go on and on…
Now, this is a refrigerator pickling method and its best to let it marinate over night. It will last in the refrigerator for about 3-4 weeks (if you are a self controlled person); Because for me every time I open the refrigerator my saliva glands start to contract my mouth waters, my tong shrinks just by looking at them, and before I know I have a fork in my hand to snack on them… so let’s get started…

Escabeche-Pickled-Vegetables_pickling-spices_Yes,-more-please!

Escabeche Pickled Vegetables

Makes about 6 -8oz  jars or  1 large 48oz jar.

1 lb. little red new potatoes cut in halves and cook al-dente.
4-6 carrots cut in ¼” thick round slices, blanched and drain.
1 lb. button white mushrooms or cremini cut in halves
1 lb. white pearl onions, peeled and halve the larger ones.
6-8 Fresh jalapeños cut into 1/4” round slices

Cauliflower florets, green beans, can also be added to this vegetable escabeche. The proportions between chiles and vegetables is up to you, just consider that the more chiles the more spicy the vegetables will be. 

For the pickling brine:

1/3 cup  Sun flower, or Grape seed oil or any mild flavor oil

1 cup of Apple Cider vinegar or Rice vinegar.
1 cup of distill Vinegar
1 -1/2 cups of water
4 garlic cloves
4 Bay leafs
4 sprigs fresh Thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
2 sprigs fresh Oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dry Oregano
1 teaspoon black peppercorns.
3  Tablespoons of pickling spices
1/4 cup of turbinado sugar or white sugar, taste it, some people likes the brine tangier or sweeter.
1 tablesspoon sea salt, adjust salt to your taste.

Method:

In a large pot sauté with oil the pearl onions and garlic for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chiles Jalapeños and sauté until bright green. Add water, vinegar, salt, sugar and spices bring it to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Turn off add the fresh herbs, cover and let it steep for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes mushrooms and cauliflower florets. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes, once is cool down place it into a jar or glass container. (it is always best to use glass) Keep in the refrigerator, give them a little shake-arooh very now and then. These Escabeche Pickled Vegetables get better with time, wait for at least 1-2 days before ready to eat. Enjoy!

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Escabeche_Pickled_ Vegetables_on a jar

~ Escabeche Pickled Vegetables are a  great little nibbling with a beer ~

Escabeche-Pickled-Vegetables_ready-to-serve_Yes,-more-please!

Music Pairing: Cafe Tacuba- Maria

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Chiles en Nogada – Poblano Peppers with Farro and Walnut Sauce…Vegetarian Style

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed~ Yes, more please!_seasonal ingredients

The month of September is the time in Mexico when we celebrate Independence Day, Viva Mexico Goat creatures! That’s the way we shout and celebrate along with lots of tequila and food. There are many traditional dishes that are prepared for this celebration, but the one that represent the season and the first celebration of independence is the Chiles en Nogada.

Chiles en Nogada is a regional culinary dish from Puebla. It’s origin dates from 18th century and it is considered a recipe of Baroque style, because of the amount of ingredients and the elaborate and detailed preparation. Many tales and stories argue the origin of this dish. In my curiosity of knowing the most accurate story, I found an article written by Eduardo Merlo Juarez*, from the Investigation Center of INAH-Puebla (INAH-“National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico) which I found very credible and congruent. He explains that this dish was made in the Viceroyalty period in Mexican history as a dessert. It was created in the month of August with seasonal ingredients from the region; like Poblano peppers, Nueces de Castilla (walnuts), pomegranates, and stone fruits like peaches, apples, pears that the Friars cultivate in the orchards.

The nuns, Madres Agustinas Recoletas of the Convent of Santa Monica were the ones who originally prepared this dish for the dinner that was given in honor of the Military Commander Agustin de Iturbide, who entered the city of Puebla in triumph after signing the Treaty of Cordova in Veracruz. This event granted the Mexican Independence from Spain. For such an important celebration the nuns used as garnish for the first time, parsley for the green and pomegranate for the red to symbolize the colors of the Mexican Flag.

This dish was probably served as dessert, roasted poblano pepper filled with a concoction of delicious stone fruits, that tamed the spiciness of the chile and the creamy sauce to marry the flavors. As in today the chiles are stuffed with a combination of the stone fruits and a 50% ground pork and beef.

There has been no way to track who added the ground pork and beef to make the sweet picadillo which is now traditionally used as filling. Many arguments have been raised about whether they should or should not be covered in the egg batter as in Chile Relleno style; the truth is you can find them both ways based upon preference. The original sauce was made with walnuts, Goat cheese, a little bit of milk, and a dash of sherry vinegar. It is preferable to serve them at room temperature and the sauce is always best served cold.

In this recipe I wanted to keep the essence of the dish and simplify the preparation time without compromising the flavors, I prepared the filling using Farro to make it lighter (and because it has a meaty texture that resembles to ground pork). I maintain the use of stone fruits and spices. And versus the original long cooking method, I added the fruits later on in the cooking process to have contrast in textures. I believe that this recipe is simple enough to make and results in a light entrée for you to serve, rich in flavors, culture and tradition.

Viva Mexico!!!

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed~ Yes, more please!

Chiles en Nogada – Poblano Peppers stuffed with Farro and Walnut Sauce Vegetarian

Serves 4

Roasting the Chiles:

4 Poblano peppers roasted, deveined, and de-seeded* (reference in below photos)
In a baking sheet pan lined with aluminum foil place the poblano peppers and rub them with a little canola oil and sprinkle some sea salt. Roast them for about 3-4 minutes per side at a 450 F pre-heated oven. It is best to char them on the stove over direct flame because it gives them more flavor. In this case I do not own a gas stove or a torch (sad, sad…but the oven method works great to easily remove the skins) I did not grill them. I think the flavor of the smoke charcoal would be too overwhelming for the filling.

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed~ Yes, more please!_Chiles skined sequence
Making the Filling:

2 cups of cooked Farro (or brown rice will work too)
1 apple chopped in small cubes
1 Bosc Pear chopped in small cubes
1 Peach chopped in small cubes
1 apricot chopped in small cubes
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup roasted almonds
½ medium size red onion finely diced
1 garlic clove
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar.
Mexican cinnamon ground
a pinch of ground clove.
A pinch of white pepper.

Directions:

Start by adding your Farro to a small sauce pan with a little canola oil and sauté it until slightly golden brown. Add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer. Add a pinch of salt. Keep an eye on it since you want to leave it a little under done for the best texture and flavor. Once it is cooked, spread the Farro on a platter to stop the cooking process and to release some of the moisture. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Meantime, chop the rest of the ingredients. Now that you have everything ready, heat a sauté pan with about 2 tablespoons of canola oil, sauté onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Next, add apples, pears, almonds, raisins, sherry and spices cook for 2 minutes. Add the Farro and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then add the peaches and apricots. Adjust salt and pepper. Remove from stove and let it cool to room temperature before stuffing the roasted poblano pepper.

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed with Farro and walnut sauce_ stuffing ingredients
For the Walnut Sauce:

6-8 ounces of Goat cheese
1 ½ cup of Walnut halves soaked and twice rinsed.
1/4-1/2 cup of milk
a dash of sherry vinegar
a pinch of sugar.

Directions:

Blend everything until smooth and refrigerate for about 30 min. before serving
The traditional recipe calls for peeling each walnut by hand…I have not a lot of patience for this process, however I found that if you soak the walnuts in hot water for 20 minutes, and rinse them twice,it removes almost all the bitterness from the skins.(see picture below)

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed~ Yes, more please!_Walnut sequenceChiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed~ Yes, more please!_Walnut sauce
Garnish with:

Finely chopped Parsley
Pomegranate Kernels (see photos for easy peel and kernels extraction pomegranate)

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed~ Yes, more please!_Pomegranate sequence
To serve:

Start by stuffing the poblanos, arrange them on a platter or in individual plates, cover them with the walnut sauce, garnish with pomegranate kernels and finely chopped parsley.
Traditionally they are serve in Talavera plates from the state of Puebla.
I chose this beautiful stoneware plate with an iridescent brown-black glaze made by a Local Artist her name is Barbara Breyfogle she has her own studio and makes one of a kind handmade stoneware pottery. She has been making pottery since 1974. In some of her pieces she uses lace and nature to stamp some designs on her plates and serving platers.You can find her and her beautiful creations at Boggy Creek Farms on Saturdays from 8-1 pm. Or send her an e-mail: [email protected]……Thank you Barbara!!

Chiles en Nogada-Poblano Peppers stuffed with Farro and Walnut Sauce_serving
VIVA MEXICO!!!

* Source of the historical facts:  http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/secciones/estilo-de-vida/28659-debe-mantenerse-receta-original-del-chile-en-nogada-investigador.html

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Pulled Pork Tacos & Hatch-banero Mango Slaw

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-Green-Tomatillo-and-Avocado-Salsa-~Yes,-more-please!

I consider myself a part-time vegetarian but every now and then my carnivorous side knocks at my door. In this case I was craving for a good fresh pork taco. This is an lengthy description right?    Good – fresh – pork – taco? Let me explain myself. “Good”: high quality meat well prepared and well seasoned. “Fresh” : I make it from scratch no short cuts. I want something that is really gonna satisfy my craving. I could go to buy a taco but its better when you make them. Its easy to follow these few steps and….. Done! The formula is ready so you can have the best tacos in town, because you made them!
Being from Mexico, its been hard for me to find good tacos in town (how come something so simple can get so screwed up at the restaurants?). I think the best ones I had here in Austin were prepared in my kitchen. Why? Not because I’m a taco genius, its do to a simple easy equation: handmade tortilla + quality meat cook properly + fresh salsa = the best taco. Want to make fresh corn tortillas?… check our step by step tutorial click here.

In this case, this is more like an adaptation taco recipe, I used the pork shoulder, or pork butt, because its a good substantial cut of meat. It has a balanced percentage of fat and meat and is great for braising. Yes I wish I could have a copper pot with a huge wooden spoon and cook the pork in hot lard (like carnitas style) and also a huge powerful vent in my tiny kitchen for the smell to go away!. Yes, I love tacos but the smelly vapors in my house? Not so much. Therefore I’m using my handy dandy slow cooker. I place a little table outside in my patio and leave it there for about 3-6 hours, depending on how many lbs. of meat I’m cooking. The result is the neighbors want my fork tender juicy meat. (See pictures below). Its such a great method because it allows you to go to work come back with dinner ready! If you are planning a dinner party its also a really easy one pot wonder, everybody happily assembles their tacos.

In this case I wanted to make some sweet and sour cole slaw instead of the traditional cilantro and onions or pickled red onions. I added some mango for sweetness and spicy hatch chilies.For the salsa I used creamy avocado and green tomatillos to balance the acidity from the spicy mango slaw (as I’m writing my mouth is watering). These are good fresh pork tacos to me, for now let the pictures do the talking…
This is three recipes in one all fairly easy considering the pork cooks by itself, a Taco Feast that will satisfy any crowd… Enjoy!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-crowd-pleaser-how-to-make-tacos~Yes,-more-please!

Pulled Pork Tacos & Hatch-banero Mango Slaw

Serves 6-8 mexicans, 8-12 americans, 12-16 french.

Ingredients:

3-5 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt roast
1 orange ½ juiced the other half cut in thick slices
4-6 garlic cloves
½ medium size onion cut into thick rings
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of whole black pepper corns
6 whole cloves
2 tablespoons of dry chile powder
1 tablespoon dry mexican oregano
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 red habanero peppers
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup water

Preparation:

On the bottom of the slow cooker sprinkle some salt , half of the pepper corns, half cloves, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves add vinegar and water. Remove some of the excess fat then place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle all the rest of the aromatic ingredients on top, add onion rings, orange slices, chili powder, brown sugar, red habanero peppers, garlic cloves. Cover with a lid and follow the instructions for your slow cooker. I cooked this amount of meat in 4 hours (the 3 first hours in high, the last hour on low). Cook until the center of your meat reaches 145F / 62C measured with a meat thermometer. Once your meat is ready turn off the slow cooker and let it rest for about 30-45 min.
Remove all the topping spices and pieces of orange, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a bowl, and then proceed to fish out all the peppercorns and cloves once you remove all the aromatics, Remove some of the extra fat, but not too much (Leave some for flavor). Place the meat back into the juices and with the help of 2 forks start shredding the meat. It will be easy since the meat has been cooking for so long. Leave it in the pot to keep it warm.

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw_Pork-cooked_step-by-step~Yes,-more-please!

On the bottom of the slow cooker sprinkle some salt , half of the pepper corns, half cloves, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves add vinegar and water. Remove some of the excess fat then place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle all the rest of the aromatic ingredients on top, add onion rings, orange slices, chili powder, brown sugar, red habanero peppers, garlic cloves. Cover with a lid and follow the instructions for your slow cooker. I cooked this amount of meat in 4 hours (the 3 first hours in high, the last hour on low). Cook until the center of your meat reaches 145F / 62C measured with a meat thermometer. Once your meat is ready turn off the slow cooker and let it rest for about 30-45 min.
Remove all the topping spices and pieces of orange, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a bowl, and then proceed to fish out all the peppercorns and cloves once you remove all the aromatics, Remove some of the extra fat, but not too much (Leave some for flavor). Place the meat back into the juices and with the help of 2 forks start shredding the meat. It will be easy since the meat has been cooking for so long. Leave it in the pot to keep it warm.

Spicy Hatch & Habanero Mango Cole Slaw

Serves 6-8
Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-~-Yes,-more-please!

Ingredients:

2 cups or ½ small size red cabbage
4 cups or ½ medium size green cabbage
1.5-2 cups 1 big mango 2 medium size peeled and medium diced
3 green onions finely chopped
½ red onion finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
1 Hatch pepper seeded and finely chopped* ( you can replace the hatch for fresh jalapeños )
1 red habbanero pepper seeded and finely chopped*
*Rub a little canola oil in your hands specially your finger tips before start cutting the peppers, this will help avoid burning your hands.

Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup of canola Oil
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
½ teaspoon of celery salt
½ lime juice
½ lemon juice

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients. Add the 2 types of cabbage and the rest of the chopped ingredients. Mix well set a side let it get happy for about 20-30 minutes.

Mango_ColeSlaw_02

Green Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-_Green_avocado_Salsa-how-to-make-~Yes,-more-please!

Ingredients:

6-8 Small fresh green tomatillos
2 hatch peppers roasted skinned and seeded
1 ripe Hass avocado
3-4 cilantro sprigs
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup of water
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a stand blender or using a hand blender, puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy consistency. Adjust for salt and pepper.

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-_Green_avocado_Salsa-~Yes,-more-please!

How does all this work together?…

Place everything on the table like a buffet style, warm up your tortillas, keep the shredded pork warm on the slow cooker, cut some extra limes, some Cholula red sauce, or any of your preference. Layout the coleslaw, the green avocado salsa and let everybody assemble their own tacos. Open a cold bottle of amber beer like Victoria (this beer is from Mexico but now available in Austin!!!) squeeze a lime juice and Salud!…Share with friends!

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Enjoy!

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Martini Dos Flores

Martini-Dos-Flores~Yes,-more-please!

Playing with leftovers can be fun. Ian my husband, is a master of drinks and beverages. He can make awesome concoctions in the blink of an eye. Last weekend what we had in our liquor cabinet was not very promising. But sure enough, Ian saw lots of possibilities and he came up with this awesome drink. We named it “Dos Flores” for obvious reasons, the Hibiscus tea and the Elderberry flowers liquor. After drinking the first martini we started joking about the combination of Elderberry flowers and “Jamaica” (in Mexico pronounced -Ha-my-cuh) which is very widely used for Aguas Frescas, popsicles, sauces you name it. Then we started to make comparisons and talking about history. One thing lead to another, and suddenly we where just thinking that this Martini would have been just the thing to drink if Benito Juarez ran into the Emperatriz Carlota; something a little sweet and sour to smooth out the edges of the time of the monarchy back in the day.

Anyway, we were just being silly and it made us laugh to the point that I have to share my mental image. What I know for sure is that it will smooth out the edges of any Friday. Have a great weekend *cling!* cheers!Martini Dos Flores the favorite drink of Benito Juarez & Emperatriz Carlota

 

Martini-Dos-Flores,-Zip,-refresh,-repeat-Yes,-more-please!

 Martini Dos Flores

1 part Vodka

1 part Extra dry Vermouth

1 part Elderberry Liquor I used St. Germain Liqueur

A splash of concentrated Jamaica “hibiscus tea”,  instructions below…

Splash of bitters

Squeeze of Lime

Ice

Jamaica- Hibiscus concentrated tea:

1/4 cup of hibiscus dry flowers

1 cup of boiling water

Proceed to steep the tea for about 3-4 min.Using a french press makes it really easy, is you don’t own one just make a tea and pass it trough a sieve.

Cool for about 20-30 minutes.

Garnish :

Lime wedges

1 Rehydrated hibiscus flower left over from the concentrated tea making. (optional)

Proceed to:

In a shaker, pour the Vodka, Vermouth, Elderberry liquor, squeeze of lime and the bitters with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with Lime wedge and pour the concentrated hibiscus tea slowly into the center of the glass to create the marbling effect.

(Add a couple of extra ice cubes, especially if you are in Austin Texas Summer)

Serve in a chilled martini glass. Enjoy!

Martini-Dos-Flores_-unique-and-refreshing!

Cheers!

Music Pairing: Danzon No.2 Marquez Alondra dela Parra

 

 

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Cauliflower Ceviche

Cauliflower Ceviche_Tostada ready to eat!

The full summer weather is here! Austin, Texas is burning hot! 101-106 Fahrenheit. With this kind of summer temperatures, I can’t even conceive the idea of “grilling”. Can you imagine being outside with 101 on the thermometer in front of a grill trying to light up the charcoal?…Not my cup of tea I prefer the tundra if you ask me. But well these weather conditions fire up the indoors freshly made meals; light, crisp and lots of veggie action.

Cauliflower-Ceviche_cauliflower-florets

I tried to make this ceviche once in my years of college, not so good; it was really mushy and flavorless… but I loved the concept of using the beloved Cauliflower. Cauliflower is the vegetable everybody loves now because of its versatile flavor. It is evident that Cauliflower has a love affair with butter and cream. Mashed cauliflower can replace a good pile of mashed potatoes, cauliflower gratin, cauliflower chowder, griller, roasted, among my favorites. But what I crave in a Summery hot day is something light easy to digest, fresh and no oven or a long cooking time required.

So with this said, I revamped the cauliflower ceviche recipe from my College years by adding diced crunchy vegetables, steaming the cauliflower and lots of good fresh and dry herbs plus a punch of citrus goodness to add extra flavor. That acid, salty umami note that just makes your mouth water, as soon you start reading the recipe…

Cauliflower Ceviche is a great summery meal, for Vegetarian, Vegans and Carnivorus that won’t even care about the difference once they have the first bite!

Margaritas on the side?…Yes, please!…Enjoy!

Cauliflower-Ceviche_ingredients_Yes,-more-please!

Cauliflower Ceviche

Serves 4

1 Cauliflower head, medium size. Remove the core and small diced florets.

Small diced:

2 carrots
1 tomato
½ medium size red onion
2 green onions including the green part.
1 cucumber seedless
1 long celery stalk
1 habanero, or 1 jalapeno, or 1 serrano. (Remove the seeds for a less spicy version.)
2 Tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
2-3 pinches of dried oregano

The juice of:

2 Limes
1 Lemon
The juice and zest of ½ Orange
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon of  sea salt
Black crushed pepper to taste.

Garnish with:

Radishes, Avocado Slices, Pumpkin seeds, Ketchup,( weird but delicious, it adds some sweet and tangy note)
Cholula hot Sauce, Limes. Serve with Tostadas or crackers.

Directions:

In a medium size pot steam the small diced Cauliflower florets until al-dente, for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from steamer place them on a tray in one single layer and let them cool off. Mean time chop all the vegetables. Place them on a big salad bowl, add the herbs, extra virgin olive oil, the citrus juices and S&P, toss well.  Once the cauliflower florets have cool down, add them to the mix, toss well and let it marinate for 20-45 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with tostadas or crackers, avocado Slices, radish slices, and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and a dash of your favorite hot sauce…

Cauliflower-Ceviche-Summer-Vegetarian-Vegan-Bliss_-Yes,-more,-please!

Refreshing, Vegetarian Ceviche, Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Mini Skirt, ESQUIVEL- Metropole Orkest

Cauliflower Ceviche

Serves 4-6
Course Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine FUSION, Mexican, wholesome
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 1 Cauliflower head medium size. Remove the core and small diced florets.

Small diced:

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 to mato
  • ½ medium size red onion
  • 2 green onions including the green part.
  • 1 cucumber seedless
  • 1 long celery stalk
  • 1 habanero or 1 jalapeno, or 1 serrano. (Remove the seeds for a less spicy version.)
  • 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 pinches of dried oregano

The juice of:

  • 2 Limes
  • 1 Lemon
  • The juice and zest of ½ Orange
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Black crushed pepper to taste.

Garnish with:

  • Radishes Avocado Slices, Pumpkin seeds, Ketchup,( weird but delicious, it adds some sweet and tangy note)
  • Cholula hot Sauce Limes. Serve with Tostadas or crackers.

Instructions

Directions:

  1. In a medium size pot steam the small diced Cauliflower florets until al-dente, for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from steamer place them on a tray in one single layer and let them cool off. Mean time chop all the vegetables. Place them on a big salad bowl, add the herbs, extra virgin olive oil, the citrus juices and S&P, toss well. Once the cauliflower florets have cool down, add them to the mix, toss well and let it marinate for 20-45 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with tostadas or crackers, avocado Slices, radish slices, and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and a dash of your favorite hot sauce…
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