Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa

Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa Several days ago, temperatures in San Diego shot up to the mid 80′s and 90′s, causing an almost instantaneous craving for summer flavors.  Fresh berries, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, grilled meats and gloriously green herbs.  I immediately got in my car to do some grocery shopping.  Windows down.  A warm breeze blowing.  Spotify on full blast.  Pulled Pork Tamales with Corn Salsa in mind.

This recipe captures the essence of summer.  Smoky, succulent pulled pork is encased in corn masa, then steamed until light and tender.  Accompanying the tamal is a corn salsa spiked with red onion, serrano chile and chopped cilantro.  This salsa is fresh, fresh, fresh.  A perfect counter to the richness of the tamal.  Summer, I am ready for you.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Pear Salsa

Pear Salsa

Fragrant chunks of crisp, Bartlett pear are tossed with sweet red onion, fiery bits of serrano chile, fresh mint and verdant cilantro.  This beautiful bowl of purple and green is then dressed in a simple mix of olive oil and lime juice.  Fresh, bright and SO yum, this recipe makes a lot of salsa, so make sure you have friends or family around to help you finish it.  I love to serve this up with some tortilla strips, but you could also spoon atop a seared piece of fish or mix in with steamed rice.

We’re all familiar with tropical fruit salsas like pineapple and mango, but really, you can use any type of fruit.  I’m getting a little giddy just thinking of the possibilities!  Apple and thyme salsa?  White peach and tarragon?  Berries and sage?  So many options!  What’s your favorite type of fruit salsa?  Continue reading for the recipe and share your thoughts below!

Read More »

Citrus Pickled Onions

Citrus Pickled Onions

Each winter, when all manner of citrus is in season, I make these Citrus Pickled Onions.  Crisp slices of red onion are marinated in a mixture of citrus juice, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and allspice until tart and tender.  Charred jalapeño and bay leaves are added to the mix to bump up the savory spice factor.  Two of the things that I love the most about this recipe are its ease and versatility.  This quick pickle requires just 10 minutes (if that) of prep time, and 3 to 6 hours of unattended marinating time.  Also, you can vary the types of citrus used in the pickling liquid.  For this batch, I used grapefruit, lime (from my backyard) and orange.  In previous batches, I’ve substituted in lemons, blood oranges and pomelos.  You can use these pickled onions as a accompaniment to burgers, braised or grilled meats, and tacos.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

El Comediante

El Comediante

El Comediante (Spanish for the comedian) is your cocktail for this weekend.  And the next few weekends.  Made with Red Bell Pepper Rum, Ginger Syrup, lime, ginger ale, red wine and mint, this colorful cocktail is packed with flavor and aroma.  The red wine floating on top pairs beautifully with the red bell pepper rum.  And with each sip, you’ll get a nosefull of spicy fresh mint.  Get a few of these in you, and you’ll be giggling all evening long.  Continue reading for the recipe plus a video from my recent segment on San Diego Channel 6!!

Read More »

Blackened Salsa

Blackened Salsa

Flecks of charred chile, shallot and tomato dot the surface of this vibrant, full-flavored sauce.  Sweet.  Spicy.  So aromatic.  The star attraction of my Blackened Salsa?  Hatch chiles.  Hailing from Hatch, New Mexico, these chiles are one of my favorite seasonal ingredients.  Available from mid August to late September, hatch chiles are a spicy-sweet capsicum that truly have a distinct flavor.  It’s similar to an Anaheim chile, but with the volume turned up.  Hatch chiles benefit from a good fire-roasting as the smoke rounds out the chile’s sweet heat.  Plus, your kitchen will be filled with the most intoxicating aroma while the chiles blister and blacken under the broiler.  It’s soooooo good.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Heirloom Tomato Jam

Heirloom Tomato Jam

Homemade condiments and sauces are two things I’m completely obsessed with.  If you were to open up my fridge today, you’d find an assortment of weck jars filled with jams, aioli, mustards, spreads, dippies and dairy products.  And perhaps a jar or two of pickles.  This Heirloom Tomato Jam is my newest addition.  Ripe heirloom tomatoes are simmered with ginger, red chile, cinnamon, cumin and ground clove, resulting in a ketchup-like sauce just packed with flavor.  Sugar used to bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes is balanced by a healthy squeeze of fresh lime juice.  Use this jam as a condiment for your next backyard burger or spread over freshly baked cheddar biscuits.  You could also use this jam with any beef, chicken or pork entree or mix into an afternoon bowl of polenta.  That’s the beauty of homemade condiments.  Having an arsenal of unique flavors at your fingertips allows you to easily switch up your everyday meals, creating unique dishes with minimal effort.  Prep this jam over the weekend, then enjoy throughout the week when time and energy are usually limited.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Ancho Chile Margarita

Ancho Chile Margarita

I’ve been quite the busy bee over this past week packing up all of my belongings in preparation for my next big move.  For three and a half years, I’ve lived in my current residence, and I’ll have say that I’m pretty sad to see it go.  This home was the one constant in my ever-changing life.  The command center for all of my various interests and hobbies.  The backdrop for so many firsts in my life.  My first food photo shoot.  My first blog post.  My first cooking video.  My first live demonstration.  My first in-home cooking class.  My first time hosting Thanksgiving.  My first time saying ‘I love you’ to the special man in my life.  My first time making jam.  My first time catering a major event.  Gosh, I could keep going on and on here.  So many amazing memories.

Between packing, organizing and cleaning, I’ve managed to find a moment each day to go out on my back balcony and take in the view I’ve enjoyed so many times over the years.  Earlier this week, I was gazing out over the San Diego Bay while sipping on one of these Ancho Chile Margaritas.  Although I have several other recipes sitting in my backlog, I’ve decided to make this my official last post before moving.  These next several days are going to be crazy and I just won’t have the time to update again.  I also thought it would be fitting to end with a drink.  So… cheers!  I will miss my house, but I am definitely excited for the next chapter of my life and the many new experiences to come.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Arugula Mojito

Arugula Mojito

Arugula might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when making cocktails; however, I assure you that it’s peppery green flavor works perfectly in this refreshing mojito.  A handful of leafy arugula is muddled with bright lime juice and honey simple syrup, then shaken with woodsy gin.  Finished with a fragrant sprig of mint, this Arugula Mojito is a delightfully complex beverage perfect for a warm spring afternoon.  With each sip, you’ll get a pleasant noseful of mint – a slight nod to the classic mojito.  What are your favor springtime beverages?  Share your thoughts below plus get the Arugula Mojito recipe.

Just for fun:  IS THAT A MOJITO?

Read More »

Red Pozole

Red Pozole

Red Pozole is a flavorful Mexican stew made of pork, ancho chiles and hominy (corn).  Pozole recipes can vary greatly throughout Mexico.  This version is similar to the ones found in central Mexico.  The base of this stew is a slow simmered broth made of pork shanks, trotters and shoulder.  The broth is then added to simmering nixtamal corn with a bold blend of pureed ancho chiles.  The finished stew is hearty, aromatic and so flavorful.  My favorite part?  The toppings.  Served with Red Pozole are these traditional accoutrements: sliced cabbage, chopped onions, crisp radishes, bright lime, fiery red chile flake, dried Mexican oregano and crunchy tostadas.  I just looove the smell of crumbled oregano as it hits the surface of the hot stew.  This recipe may not be quick and easy; however, it is a fun weekend project with amazingly satisfying results.  The recipe below will make a very large quantity of Red Pozole.  Feed an entire party of people or freeze the leftovers for later consumption.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »

Bacon and Tomato Guacamole

Bacon and Tomato Guacamole

Classic guacamole is really hard to beat.  But I’ll have to say, this Bacon and Tomato Guacamole wins out.  It’s really not that fair though.  Adding bacon to just about anything makes it better.  This recipe starts with curls of creamy, ripe avocado mashed into a coarse mess.  Crispy crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, white onion, vibrant cilantro, lime juice and smoked chipotle chiles are then mixed in to create a festive dip that is nothing short of scrumptious.  With each bite you’ll enjoy a moment of green, grassy richness cut with fresh tomato, cilantro and lime.  Pops of crunchy bacon offer a nice counter in texture and flavor, and a smokey heat, courtesy of the chipotles, is faintly present in the background.  Craveworthy to the max.  You really won’t be able to stop yourself from finishing the entire bowl.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Read More »