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The Asada Treatment

29 Jul

So it must be pretty obvious by now that The Husband and I like a few things, namely spicy food, grilling and drinking. We like entertaining and having friends over, and the grill (and the Southern California weather) are pretty perfect foils for that.

Recently I found a carne asada recipe that I decided to tweak and use for marinating a whole chicken. “Carne” means meat, right, not necessarily beef, so I thought it would work. And boy, did it. I butterflied that chicken and let it sit for a day before throwing it on the grill, and everyone was happy! Continue reading

The Father, The Husband and the Holy Carnitas

24 Jun

The finished product. Mmmm….pork.

It’s no secret: The Husband is a huge fan of pork. He seriously can’t get enough, and will eat it any chance he gets.

We used to drive three cities away to San Clemente to get carnitas at La Siesta. Their carnitas are seriously good, and the restaurant itself is quite cool. No outside seating, but inside it’s like a Baja beach shack with margaritas. We fell a little out of love with it when Carmen, our favorite waitress—seriously, she was the best waitress in the world—was fired because the other girls were jealous that every customer wanted to sit in her section if she was working. Continue reading

Viva Cinco de Mayo!!

5 May

A nice breakfast of chile verde and scrambled eggs before our trip up to Los Angeles later–where there will be more celebrating! Happy birthday, E!

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In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion: Lamb Shank in Adobo Sauce

7 Apr

I know that they say spring comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb, but this recipe will make it the opposite. It is so super flavorful that you could literally put this sauce on anything and make it delicious.

VEGANS/VEGETARIANS: Please have a look at this sauce! It’s totally vegan and SO delicious! I can’t wait to use it on tofu, tempeh or jackfruit for tacos! Just ignore the stuff about the lamb. Please.

And this one goes out to Girl in a Food Frenzy, because I know she’s “down under” and likes lamb as much as I do. I also think my friends in the UK will love this too (well, Tracey won’t love the lamb part). I’m not sure if they’ll be able to get all the special dried chiles over there unless they order them from the Internet… Continue reading

Soyrizo and Spinach Baked Pasilla Chiles

24 Mar

The finished product—don't worry, you won't miss the sauce!

I have to say, I’m getting hungry again just thinking about this recipe! I was trying to cook vegetarian dishes all last week, and I had some Soyrizo lingering in the fridge. I’m always so amazed at how delicious Soyrizo is, and once I taste it I can’t wait to have more.

Last Sunday, to celebrate my nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award (thanks again!), I made myself a Soyrizo, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Since that day I was planning what I’d do with the rest of it. And, true to form, I decided to make something that was totally labor-intensive for a weeknight. Oops. But it was totally worth it. Continue reading

A Warming Winter Soup: Posole

10 Mar

This is not a soup you usually see on a menu in a Mexican restaurant in Orange County—not unless you are in a real Mexican cantina in Santa Ana where they’re not catering to us gringos. Those are the best to go to, for sure, but it’s not always convenient for us to go to Santa Ana. Actually, it’s hardly ever a destination for us, although maybe we should try harder, because those restaurants are definitely worth the drive! At the restaurants nearer us, there’s usually just tortilla soup and albondigas soup. Speaking of tortilla soup, I’m going to have to share that recipe pretty soon too. Hmmmm….

But posole is full of flavor as well as being a very filling soup. This one is touted as being a “quick” weeknight soup, Continue reading

A Recipe for More Than Just Taco Tuesday

28 Feb

A great taco, and not just for Tuesdays.

Here in Southern California, Mexican food is everywhere, and frankly, we love it. There are a few transplants from the east coast who do not like cilantro (or coriander, for my UK readers), which in my book is sacrilege. My favorite cuisines are the ones that use cilantro, like Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican.And we must love alliteration with our Mexican food, as Taco Tuesday is a weekly fixture, certainly in the Orange County culinary sphere. Like we need an excuse to eat tacos—I mean, c’mon. I’ve featured about three taco recipes in this blog already!

Well, get ready for another one. Continue reading

More Tacos—Stuffed with Chorizo, or Soyrizo

4 Feb

Waiting for the final touches of cilantro and avocado.

The Husband found our favorite sausage brand back at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, and there was much rejoicing. It was a brand that we found while on our wedding trip/honeymoon in Kauai called Mulay’s. They’re in Colorado. Go figure. But we did find it, cook it and discovered that it was a very, very good tasting chorizo. We’ve since tried some of their other flavors, like the breakfast sausage and hot Italian, and all have been delicious.

Then one day, in their infinite wisdom, Whole Foods stopped carrying it, both up in West Hollywood where our friends (also sausage lovers) live, and down here at our local. Now, we’re not sure exactly why—maybe Mulay’s stopped distributing, or maybe it wasn’t selling (which would be a shame!).

We were upset. It’s not like we eat sausage every day (although we’d like to, in some fantasy world where sausages were low fat and healthy), but when we do eat sausage, we want it to be quality. We considered ordering direct from the company, but there’s a minimum shipment, and we just didn’t have room for that amount of food in our freezer. Really, where would the vodka go?

So The Husband was elated when he saw the packages back in the local Whole Foods, and bought a selection, including chorizo. I responded to his excited email with “I guess it’s chorizo for dinner tonight?” The Husband replied that he always thought of chorizo as a breakfast item, not a dinner item. Seeing a challenge, I quickly found an online recipe that sounded both delicious and dinnerish. And here it is, with a few improvements. Continue reading

I Missed National Popcorn Day…Only By a Few Days.

29 Jan

Doesn't it just make you want some?

But it was worth the wait. I decided to make a recipe in honor of Elote Café, the wonderful star of restaurants in Sedona, Arizona that my bestie Heather and I visited in early December. They don’t take reservations, so they pass out unlimited amounts of this seasoned popcorn for guests while they wait. We didn’t have a long wait, so I only got to try a little bit before we were seated with the best jalapeño margarita I’ve ever tasted— Continue reading

It’s Snacktime, and South of the Border

15 Jan

The crumpet pan is perfect for cooking these taquito-type snacks, but a frying pan will work just as well.

Every once in a while, we get down to La Siesta in San Clemente, where they have the best carnitas we’ve found in Orange County. There might be better somewhere in Santa Ana, but the drive there is not so scenic, so we rarely go. We used to love their huevos rancheros, but it seems to have gone downhill—it seemed to do so right after our favorite waitress, Carmen, left the restaurant.

We miss Carmen. She was the best waitress ever! Remembered your name, made you feel welcome, would ask questions about your life. A light went out of the restaurant after Carmen left. I hope she’s happy and making some other restaurant very special somewhere!

La Siesta also has this amazing red salsa. It’s not a pico de gallo, but a real salsa, with some smoky chili in there that’s not a chipotle. We ALWAYS get some of this to go. It’s just too good on Continue reading