Archive for the Mexican Category

Foodbuzz 24X24: Primal Party

Posted in Appetizers, Dessert, Mexican with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2012 by Cooking For Mark

For the past three months i’ve been eating a primal diet.  Having eliminated all processed foods, grains, and legumes, I am left with whole and nutritious foods.  I am healthy, well nourished, and full of energy! I absolutely love this new way of eating.

A few friends of mine also eat primally.  I thought it would be fun to invite them over for tapas-style dinner and drinks, all of it being primal, of course.  It turns out this day fell on Foodbuzz’s 24X24 event, where 24 food bloggers are chosen to host a food-based event within the same 24 hour period. Foodbuzz chose my proposal, so here I am, happy to be a part of the lucky 24.  The primal menu consisted of the following:

 Carne Asada Bok Choy Wraps

Zucchini and Parmesan Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce

Deconstructed Tuna Roll with Wasabi Aoli

Mini Eggplant Moussakas 

Stuffed Chile Relleno in Spicy Sauce

Chorizo-Stuffed Chicken

Bacon-Wraped Dates stuffed with Honey Cinnamon Goat Cheese

Dark Chocolate Pots De Creme with Coconut Creme

Marscapone Avocado & Lime Partait with Raspberry Puree and Coconut Creme

~ And Lots of Wine! ~



  • Small Bok Choy leaves
  • Marinated Carne Asada
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Spicy Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado


  • 2 medium sized zucchinis, grated and squeezed of excess moisture (I used a cheese cloth)
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley
  • Lemon zest
  • Egg
  • Almond Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tzatziki Sauce


  • 1 English Cucumber
  • Wasabi Aoli (mayo, sour cream, wasabi paste, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper)
  • Roasted Seaweed (Trader Joe’s)
  • Pan-Seared Tuna Steak
  • Avocado
  • Picked Ginger
  • Soy Sauce (optional)


  • 2 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 Celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small eggplants, insides removed (save shells)
Directions: Saute all veggies until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
Directions: Brown ground beef with spices and herbs.  Add sautéed veggies. Mix Parmesan cheese.
  • Melting Cheese
Directions: Fill eggplant with ground beef mixture. Top with melting cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted.


  • Pasilla Chiles, grilled and chard on all sides. Skin & seeds removed.
  • Melting cheese (I used Edam)
Directions:  Take skinless and seedless chiles and stuff them with cheese. Secure with toothpick.
  • Enchilada Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Directions: In a baking pan, pour some enchilada sauce on the bottom. Place stuffed chile relleno and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 376 until cheese melts.


  • 1/2 lb chorizo, cooked
  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded flat and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Serve with spicy enchilada sauce, cooked spinach, and sour cream.

Directions: place about 1/3 c. cooked chorizo down the middle of a flat chicken breast.  Roll the chicken and secure with toothpicks. Sear the chicken on all sides until brown. (Inside will not be cooked).  Pour enchilada sauce in a backing pan and place chicken on top of the sauce. Drench chicken with more sauce. Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes.



  • 6 dates, half-sliced and pitted
  • Goat cheese with a bit of honey and cinnamon
  • 6 slices of bacon
Directions: Fill dates with goat cheese. Brown bacon until almost crisp.  Wrap bacon around dates and secure with toothpick.  Bake in oven at 375 until bacon is crisp to your liking and cheese is warm and gooey.


  • 7 oz good quality dark chocolate (I used 80%) – chopped into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp good vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar (adjust sweetness to your own liking)
  • Pinch of sea salt
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.
  • 1/2 c. freshly made HOT coffee
Directions: pour hot coffee while blending. Blend until all of chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • 1/2 c. cream or coconut cream
  • 2 -4 tbsp cream cheese (optional)
Directions: add cream to blender last. Pour in small shot glasses and chill until set, about 3-4 hours. Top with Coconut cream or whipped cream.



  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/3 c. marscapone cheese
  • about 1 tsp lime (taste and adjust)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Agave nectar, to taste
Directions: whip everything together. Place in small shot glass.
  • Pureed raspberries with 1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions: add a spoonful of raspberry puree to shot glass
  • Whipped coconut creme
Directions: add whipped coconut creme when ready to serve

Trust me, it taste as good as it looks!


Bourbon Cajeta

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Mexican with tags , , on March 26, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

Cajeta, better known as “Dulce de Leche” in South America and Spain, is a rich caramel sauce and a staple in every Latin American home.  It is the Nutella of Europe and the peanut butter of the United States. We eat it for breakfast with a piece of toast and coffee, we use it as fillings in cookies and cakes, or, it is simply eaten by the spoonful.

It’s incredible how food or smells can bring back certain memories you would otherwise not recall.  Like my mom’s arroz con leche or avena.  The smell of the simmering sweet milk and cinnamon takes me back to our small home in Mexico.  I can see my mom standing over the stove stirring while I attentively watched every step impatiently waiting for my warm bowl.  Or Pozole, which instantly takes me to my grandmother’s ranch where she would ritually kill and feather a chicken while I hid in horror and proceeded to pretend my delicious chicken soup was vegetarian. The cajeta, however, reminds me of my grandpa.  Every time he came to visit us in Guadalajara he brought my mom and I a jar of homemade cajeta.  And as long as we had that jar, our mornings always started just a little bit sweeter.

I know they now sell “dulce de leche” in grocery stores, but it doesn’t come close to the real thing.  Although making it is time consuming, it is sooo worth it.  So grab a good book, make yourself a cup of coffee, and be prepared to stir (off and on) the entire afternoon.

I you don’t have the time, however, here is a little trick – and no, it does not consist of boiling a can of condensed  for 4 hours risking an explosion with cajeta all over you ceiling and walls (yes, I have seen it happen).  What you do is place the contents of a can of condensed milk into a baking dish and place it into a nice water bath.  Bake in the oven at 425 for about an hour until it is a nice caramel color.  You’re welcome.


  • 4 c. Goats Milk
  • 4 c. Whole Milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 small cans media crema (table cream), or 1 c. heavy cream
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp  salt
  • 1/3 c. bourbon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Place milk, cream and sugar on med heat in BIG saucepan (to prevent it from spilling over). Stir occasionally.
  2. When it starts to boil, add baking soda and salt, stir.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and stir every 30 mins or so.
  4. Cook until you get a deep caramel color. (Mine took about 4 hours on super low.  If you cook on med heat it should take about 1.5-2 hours).
  5. When the color is where you want it, add the bourbon and vanilla.
  6. Let cook for an extra 15 minutes. Take off heat.
  7. The cajeta will thicken as it cools.  Transfer the Cajeta into a jar let cool completely. Place in refrigerator.

Baked Chilaquiles

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican with tags , , on October 6, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Chilaquiles is a traditional mexican breakfast where corn tortillas are fried, scrambled eggs are added and either a red or green sauce is mixed in, topped with sour cream and cheese. Although I like chilaquiles, I don’t like soggy tortilla chips or the egg mixed in with the tortillas. So I make mine a bit differently.

My version of chilaquiles: a pyramid of black beans, crispy tortilla chips, green enchilada sauce and mozzarella cheese, baked until the cheese is gooey and bubbly, topped with a fried egg, cotija cheese, sour cream, cilantro and scallions. Slightly different technique, huge difference.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 12 corn tortillas, cut in triangles and fried until golden
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • Mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
  • Cotija cheese or feta
  • 4 fried eggs
  • Green onion
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeno
  • Sour cream

Directions: preheat oven to 450. In oven-safe bowl, add about 1/3 c. black beans. Top with fried tortilla triangles, lots of green salsa, and mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven until cheese is melted. Place a fried egg on top, and garnish with cotija cheese, cilantro, green onion, red onion, jalapeno and sour cream.

Baked Blue Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

Posted in American, Mexican with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Huge jalapenos stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, blue cheese and green onions.  My only regret is that I didn’t have more jalapenos.

Whenever I buy chilies I remember going to the mexican grocery store with my Mom.  We were making a recipe that called for 1 chili pepper, and I got exactly one.  My mom hadn’t noticed, and when the lady at the register saw my one chile, they both started laughing uncontrollably. But in my defense, I didn’t want to be wasteful and have extra chilies spoil in our fridge! But I should have known that in our Mexican household, they would not have spoiled. I guess the correct thing to do is buy pounds of chiles. And with this recipe, I now will too. So go to your local Mexican grocery store and get a a bag full of jalapenos, cause everyone will be wanting more!


  • Jalapenos, sliced and seeded
  • Filling: cream cheese, blue cheese, parmesan cheese, green onions, salt, pepper
  • Coating: flour (with salt, pepper & paprika), egg (with Frank’s buffalo sauce), and panko bread crumbs.


  1. Slice and seed jalapenos
  2. Combine cream cheese, blue cheese, parmesan, green onions, and salt and pepper until smooth and creamy
  3. Fill each sliced jalapeno with filling and squeeze each half together.
  4. Place jalapenos in freezer while you make coating.
  5. Pre heat oven to 425 degrees
  6. Dip jalapenos in flour, then egg, then panko. Repeat process one more time.
  7. Bake jalapenos until coating is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Note: if you want a better crunch, you can also fry these up, if you don’t mind the extra calories.

Tortas Ahogadas & Margaritas!

Posted in Mexican with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Yesterday, September 16th was Mexican Independence Day–celebrating 200 years of independence! On September 15, 1810, el Grito de Dolores or “Cry of Dolores” was instigated by Hidalgo who ordered the church bells to be rung to address his people, who stated:

“My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen by three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once… Will you defend your religion and your rights as true patriots? Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the gachupines!”

And how can you celebrate this day without delicious Mexican food!  I decided to make a classic dish native to Jalisco. More specifically, Guadalajara, my home town. Tortas Ahogadas, or “drowned sandwiches” , are delicious spicy sandwiches thought to be a cure for hangovers. They are made from “bolillos” (hard french bread style) filled with beans and “carnitas” (pork), and then it’s drenched with a very mild tomato salsa AND a very spicy chile de arbol salsa. However, since Mark nor my brother Danny like carnitas they requested shredded chicken tortas, which is fine by me since it’s much easier to prepare.  And for me, I came up with a chile relleno torta which was delicious!

To make this meal you will have to visit your local mexican store.  There you will find the “bolillos” or “birote” (hard bread), and you can also buy already made “carnitas” if you don’t want to take the time to cook it yourself.

We also can’t have a Mexican party without the Tequila!  I made some delicious Margaritas implementing the “brazilian lemonade” method (made famous my Tucanos). Entire limes are blended together along with sweetened condensed milk, triple sec, tequila, and ice.  You can also get creative and add guava or frozen fruit to the drinks. Yum!

Tortas Ahogadas Ingredients:

  • Bolillos (french-bread style with a crunchy outside to prevent bread from getting soggy). Toast bread before serving if it’s hot hard enough.
  • Tomato sauce, recipe below
  • Spicy chile de arbol sauce, recipe below
  • Beans
  • Avocado
  • Red onions in vinegar, recipe below
  • Filling (either carnitas, your favorite shredded meat, or a veggie option. We used shredded chicken and chile relleno).

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes, boiled until soft + about 1/3 c. of water from the tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Directions: Blend everything together and strain the salsa

Spicy Torta Sauce Ingredients:

  • About 2 big handfuls chiles de arbol, boiled until soft + about 1/3 c. of cooking liquid
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • salt

Directions: Blend everything together and strain. Set aside

Pickled Onions Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • Vinegar (white or apple cider, or pineapple)
  • Lime juice
  • Salt + pepper

Marinate for 1 hour

Veggie option: Chile Relleno Torta without the egg batter

Chile Relleno Ingredients:

  • Chile Pasilla
  • Oaxaca cheese (or mozzarella)

Directions: Broil chile until the outside is burnt. Make sure to turn the chile, it should only take about 4 minutes. Remove from oven and peel off skin, rinse under cold water.  Slice it open and remove the seeds.  Fill with cheese and bake until cheese melts.


Dessert Margaritas!


  • Lime (wash and cut off ends. Then cut in 4th’s and blend) –about 2
  • Bit of Water
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Triple sec
  • Tequila
  • Lots of Ice
  • Fruit of choice (optional)
  • Sugar for glass rim

Directions: Blend washed limes (with ends cut off) with a little water. Strain and place juice back in blender.  Add rest of ingredients. Serve immediately. (Don’t save leftovers because lime peel with make it bitter if it sits too long).

Note: I didn’t measure ingredients…I just added until I liked the flavor.  But when I make this again (hopefully soon), I will pay attention to measurements 🙂

Spicy Red Hot Fish Street Tacos

Posted in Mexican, Seafood with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I was inspired to make little street tacos after accidentally coming across the best Taqueria in Seattle.  Their tacos are 99 cents and they have veggie tacos, which is extremely rare in mexican restaurants.  They also have all the other legit mex tacos like lengua/tounge (my dad’s fave), tripa/intestines (my sis fave), cabeza/head, and other gross and unnecessary “delicacies”.  Best of all, they have draft beer for $1!! I had a meal and a beer for $3! Craziness! Mark and I have already been there twice this week. We are in love…with TACOS!!

Anyways, I digress.  Although those veggie tacos were good, my favorite tacos are the ones with fish.  Sometimes it’s hard finding fish tacos that you absolutely love, so I find it’s best to make them myself.  And these fish tacos, my friends, is exactly what I wanted. And if it wasn’t for fear of mercury poisoning I would eat these every day…seriously! The cod fish was marinated in a spicy chile de arbol salsa and grilled with onions and garlic.  The little corn tortillas were hand made and rolled out by Mark, and the salsa was…well, it was near perfect.  (Second to Chipotle’s hot salsa, which I’m still trying to recreate, but this one comes pretty darn close!) If any of you know how to make that salsa or think they know how to make it, please please let me know!

Enjoy these awesome tacos, and serve them with a Corona or Pacifico for the perfect meal.

Chile De Arbol Red Hot Salsa

Chile De Arbol Red Hot Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes, seeds and juice removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 20-30 dry chiles de arbol, cooked and drained (semi-seded)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 lime


  1. Place chiles in boiling water and cook until they are plump and soft.
  2. Drain chiles and pat dry with towel
  3. Depending on your spicy level, either remove some of the seeds or keep them.  I removed the seeds in about 1/3 of the chiles by squeezing out the seeds after they were cooked
  4. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.


Spicy Grilled “Wild Caught Cod”

Grilled Cod Fish Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 lb cod fish, marinated in Chile de Arbol Salsa (at least 1 hour)

Directions: In lightly oiled pan, saute onions and garlic.  Add marinated fish and a bit more salt on med heat. Cook thoroughly, about 7 minutes.


Spicy Red Hot Fish Street Tacos

Street Taco Ingredients:

  • Fresh Corn Tortillas
  • Grilled fish
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Chile de Arbol Red Hot Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Cheese
  • Lime wedge

Indian Enchiladas

Posted in Indian, Mexican with tags , , , , on August 30, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I made this for my family visiting from Utah.  Although we had been busy almost every day sight seeing, my sister asked if I could make dinner, at least just once.  Of course I said yes! I asked what they wanted and they immediately replied with indian saag and masala.  But because i’ve already made this dish recently I wanted to make it a little differently. So I made it into a classic mexican dish: Enchiladas!

I made the traditional saag aloo but added some wonderful hungarian feta cheese which made it even better.  To the masala sauce I added coconut milk and dark chocolate for an extra kick.  Final result….fantastic!!

If you don’t like spinach you could make chicken tikka masala enchiladas! Or shredded beef could work as well. If you want to keep them vegetarian you could also make lentil enchiladas. The possibilities are endless, people!


  • Spinach & potato Filling (see below)
  • Indian Masala sauce (see below).
  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Top with greek yogurt (with grated garlic and a pinch of salt)
  • Serve with side salad (I used romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, red onion, feta. Dressing: mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of cream.

Step 1:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp curry
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • Red chilies (whole or chopped, seeded or not)

Directions: Saute onion until tender. Add garlic and ginger. Add spices. Divide in half and place other half in other pan.

Step 2: Spinach filling

  • About 3-4 potatoes, chopped in small pieces
  • 2 packages frozen spinach, defrosted and fully drained from any moisture
  • About 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1/3 c Feta cheese

Directions: (1) cut potatoes and place in pan with hot oil. Add salt and pepper. Brown potatoes and set aside. (2) to 1/2 of onion mixture add spinach.(3)  Slowly add coconut milk and reduce. (4) Add lime juice and potatoes. (5) Remove from heat and add feta cheese.

Step 3: Masala Sauce

  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 c. coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • Adjust taste with salt, and more curry
  • Adjust heat with more red chilies or red pepper flakes
  • Optional: 1 tbsp chocolate baking powder or dark block chocolate or mexican mole

Directions: (1) to 2nd half of onion mixture add tomato sauce and paste. (2) Slowly add coconut milk and simmer on low for about 7 minutes. (3) Add cream/yogurt and lime. (4) Taste and adjust with salt and cumin. (5) Add chocolate (optional).

Step 4: Assembling Enchiladas

  1. Add a bottom coat of masala sauce to baking dish.
  2. Place spinach filling on tortilla and roll.
  3. Fill baking sheet with a single layer of enchiladas
  4. Top with masala sauce and mozzarella cheese
  5. Heat in 350 degrees oven for about 10 minutes, until cheese melts
  6. Garnish with cilantro