Romesco’s Cucumber Martini

It’s about to get all sorts of tasty up in here.

Cucumber Martini Several weeks ago, I had an outstanding meal at Romesco in San Diego with my boyfriend Jorge.  David Nelson, a friend and food writer extraordinaire, also joined us for the afternoon.  Romesco, known for its upscale Mexican-Mediterrean cuisine, is a must-visit restaurant by Chef Javier Plascencia.  Jorge and I had a fantastic experience at Misión 19, another Chef Plascencia hotspot, just months earlier in Tijuana, so I had a feeling that Romesco would be a treat.  And let me tell you.  It was.  Continue reading for highlights from our meal at Romesco, plus a recipe for their super tasty Cucumber Martini.

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Yogurt Panna Cotta with Easy Plum Compote

I’m not ready to give up summer just yet.

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Plum Compote Apples, pears, quince and pumpkins will all have their turn.  But for now, I’m holding on to summer with this Yogurt Panna Cotta with Plum Compote.  Panna cotta is a favorite dessert of mine, because the process is easy, and the results are spectacular.  Typically made with heavy cream, panna cotta is custard-like dessert that is thickened with gelatin instead of eggs.  The texture is smooth, rich and silky.  In this recipe, tangy whole-milk yogurt is flavored with sugar, citrus zest and an entire vanilla bean, then firmed up with powdered gelatin.  After an overnight chill, the panna cotta is topped with a sweet-tart Plum Compote (made with 3-ingredients!), and fresh, fragrant mint leaves.  So simple.  So delicious.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Green Goddess Guacmole

You guys, this guac is so darn tasty.

Green Goddess Guacamole A mashup of green goddess dressing and guacamole, this rich, herb-flecked dip is completely and utterly addicting.  Rumor has it that green goddess salad dressing originated in the 1920′s in San Francisco.  The dressing is typically made with mayo, sour cream, anchovy, lemon and a flurry of finely chopped fresh herbs.  Here, I’ve taken some of these flavors, and applied them to one of my favorite Mexican dips, guacamole.  This recipe starts with cool jade cubes of ripe avocado.  Finely chopped shallot, garlic, parsley, cilantro, chive and tarragon are then added with sour cream and anchovy paste.  Lime juice and kosher salt bring everything to life.  The entire mixture is mashed with a fork to keep the texture somewhat chunky.  Each bite of this adventurous guacamole is packed with incredible herbaceous flavor.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Watermelon Ginger Spritzer

I’m keeping things short and sweet today.

Watermelon Ginger Spritzer And when I say short, I’m referring to the serious lack of time it takes to blend up this delicious, non-alcoholic beverage.  The sweetness comes in two forms.  First, chunks of watermelon ripe with fragrant, sweet juices are blended and strained, forming the most vibrant-colored liquid.  The pure essence of watermelon really.  Second, sweet and spicy Ginger Syrup is added to the mix for depth of flavor.  The drink is finished with freshly squeezed lime juice for balance, and sparkling water to lighten the texture.  This Watermelon Ginger Spritzer is crisp, seasonal, and incredibly refreshing.  A perfect summer beverage.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Rainbow Fruit Purees

San Diego LGBT Pride is this weekend, and I’m celebrating with a kaleidoscope of organic fruit purees.  Each puree destined for a glass of champs of course ;)

Rainbow Fruit Making your own fruit purees at home is an easy task.  Simply blend ripe, organic fruit with sugar and citrus juice, strain, and serve!  That’s it.  For reals.  Sugar and citrus (lemon, lime or orange) help to amp up the flavors of any fresh fruit.  Once you’ve mastered one puree, try making a vibrant rainbow of purees with strawberries, papaya, mango, honeydew, watermelon, blueberries and blackberries.  All the organic produce featured in this article was purchased at the new Jimbo’s… Naturally! at Westfield Horton Plaza.  They have a seriously gorgeous selection of fresh herbs and fruit.

You can serve this edible spectrum with champagne, sparkling wine, Prosecco or sparkling water.  Place a few tablespoons of puree at the bottom of a glass, then top of with bubbly.  A perfect addition to any Pride Weekend brunch table!  Continue reading for the recipes.

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Better With Bacon

Everything’s better with bacon, right?  Even this cocktail.

Better With Bacon Cocktail Better With Bacon, a cocktail from Greg Henry’s Savory Cocktails, starts by steeping sliced bacon in a mixture of peppery rye, lime juice, simple syrup, and liquid smoke.  After a 10-minute infusion, the bacon-rye mixture is strained over ice, and shaken until well-chilled.  Finished with a simple slice of cooked bacon, this savory cocktail is crisp, bright and full of intrigue.  The liquid smoke amps up the smokiness of the rye and bacon, while the lime juice cuts through the rich, heavy flavors.  Simple syrup is added for balance.  In addition to my Bacon Bloody, this Better With Bacon cocktail is one of my favorite ways to consume bacon in liquid form.  If you are a bacon-lover (like me), I’d highly recommend that you give this cocktail a try.  The ingredient list is fairly simple, and you could even use bourbon here if you didn’t have rye on hand.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Deviled Eggs Three Ways

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for…

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways Not one.  Not two.  But three deviled egg recipes.  With Easter just around the corner, I’ve come up with a game plan in advance to use up all of those leftover hard-boiled, dyed eggs.  Step 1:  Make deviled eggs.  Step 2:  Throw a Deviled Egg Party.

Let’s dive right into Step 1.  Below, I’ve provided recipes for a variety of deviled eggs: Chile Garlic, Avocado Bacon and Pickled Beet.  My Chile Garlic Deviled Eggs are made with fiery Sambal Oelek, chopped cilantro, and plenty of fresh lime juice.  These flavors are big and bold.  Next, my Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs are prepared with crispy bacon bits, rich avocado, chopped green onion, hot sauce and lime juice.  Guacamole in deviled egg form, this variation is highly addictive.  Finally, Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs are made by pickling whole hard-boiled eggs with sliced red beet in a liquid flavored with red wine vinegar, black pepper and bay leaf.  The egg whites soak up both the flavor and the color of the pickling liquid.  The yolks are then mashed with mayo, chopped pickled beet, pickling liquid, prepared horseradish, and chopped fresh chive.  All three eggs are so. yum.

Use these three recipes as a guide to make your own variations.  You’ll need three tablespoons of mayo for every six eggs.  Then, add spicy (kimchi, pickled jalapeños, Sriracha) and fresh (cilantro, parsley, chive, mint) elements to cut through the richness of the yolk and mayo.  Salt is a must.  If you find that the yolk mixture needs a little lift, add acid (lemon, lime, vinegar).  Continue reading for Step 2, plus my three recipes for deviled eggs.

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Chile Lime Pepitas

Chile Lime Pepitas I’m going to keep this brief, because Jorge and I are on vacation in MEXICO!!!  These Chile Lime Pepitas are made with just 4 ingredients, and they can be prepared in a matter of moments.  Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are toasted in a dry pan, then hit with fresh lime juice, kosher salt, and chile powder.  The resulting snack is spicy, salty and incredibly tangy.  The type of tang the tickles the sides of your tongue as you chew.  I love to eat these spiced seeds by the handful with an ice cold beer in the other hand.  So tasty.  Just be sure to have some napkins around, because your hands can get a little messy ;)

If you are interested in following Jorge and me as we adventure around Chiapas, Mexico, you can check us out on Instagram.  This is me.  And here’s Jorge.  Continue reading for the recipe!

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Roasted Fennel and Apple Guacamole

Roasted Fennel and Apple Guacamole Jorge and I hosted game night recently, and one of the many tasty dishes served that evening was this Roasted Fennel and Apple Guacamole.  But first let me tell you a little about the game we played: Cards Against Humanity.  This game is awesome.  Basically one person reads a question or a fill in the blank statement (the black card), then everyone else tries to answer that question or complete the statement using the cards they have in their hand (the white cards).  The person holding the black card then decides which pairing is the funniest.  What makes this game awesome, is that the white cards can be pretty darn outrageous.  I mean, we played for almost 4 hours, and I couldn’t stop laughing for most of the evening.  My face hurt afterwards.

I think Cards Against Humanity has been out for a little bit, and I’m probably late to the party here.  But if you’ve never played, and you don’t mind a little over-the-top humor, you need to give this game a try.  So much fun.

And if you want to host a game night of your own, I’d definitely recommend making this guacamole.  Rick Bayless released this recipe last year, and I’ve had it bookmarked ever since.  Sweet, herbaceous fennel is roasted until tender and fragrant, then added to cubes of rich avocado along with crisp, tart apple, lime juice, jalapeno, and cilantro.  This seasonal variation of a Mexican classic is sharp, creamy and wonderfully complex.  The licoricey fennel compliments the avocado while tiny pops of green apple offer contrast in flavor and texture.  The fennel isn’t really overpowering here.  With each bite, you’ll notice just a hint of fennel at the end.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Bacon Tostilocos

Bacon Tostilocos

Oh man do I have a fun recipe for you today!  Tostilocos, a Mexican street food specialty, are typically made by cutting open a bag of flavored corn chips and piling on toppings such as pickled pig skin, tamarind candies, Japanese peanuts, jicama, cucumber, lime juice, chamoy and hot sauce.  I first had Tostilocos last year at our San Diego LGBT Pride festival.  Jorge and I had been walking around all day, and I was getting huuuungry.  We stopped to sit for a moment in the shade, when Jorge hopped up and said, “I’ll be right back.”  Several minutes later, he returned with a bag of Tostilocos.  After just one bite my taste buds were all like, “Whaaaaaaat???”  Such a crazy combination of flavors that just completely work well together.  Sweet.  Salt.  Sour.  Crunch.  I’ll have to say the one element I’m still not completely sold on is the pickled pig skin.  It’s like savory gummy worms.  But wet and slippery.  Not my fav.  So when I was coming up with a homemade version of Tostilocos, I decided to substituted thin strips of smoky bacon for the pickled pig skin.  I also included some quick pickled cucumber and red onion to add another note of sweet, sour and salt.  You can easily make these pickles at home in just one hour (mainly inactive wait time).  Jorge and I will still get Tostilocos each year at the festival, but now I can easily satisfy cravings in between with my bacon version!

If you don’t live in San Diego (or any other City bordering Mexico), some of these ingredients may look very foreign to you.  Try to find a Mexican market in town.  They should have everything you need.  Or you can easily purchase these items online.  I purchased everything at Pancho Villa’s Farmer’s Market here in SD.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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