Dear friends & family, what better way to celebrate our Mexican spirit for our team’s enthusiastic performance in this soccer FIFA World Cup (yes I am talking about the Mexican team!). Señores y Señoritas… I present to you a TACO DE JAMAICA recipe! Who in their right mind would not love Mexican tacos??!! This is a special taco recipe because it is made with edible flowers– Hibiscus or Jamaica (in Spanish). Jamaica is a very popular chilled tea that is drank through out Mexico as an Agua Fresca, a natural chilled beverage. It is very easy to find hibiscus dried flowers in any Mexican grocery store, and in this recipe you get tacos and an agua fresca of Jamaica!
There is something very exotic about eating beautiful flowers, and somehow this lovely concept of edible flowers invokes a feeling of delicacy and romance to a plate. The hibiscus flower has a natural tartness property, so I combine it with the creaminess of avocados and sweetness of caramelized onions to create this ambrosial and tropical taco! I really hope you enjoy this taco. Yay for the TACOS!!! (P.S. keep rooting for the Mexican soccer team!)Continue reading →
Vegetarian enchiladas have a very special place in my heart, they remind me of coming back home from middle school, starving as usual, to my mother’s enchiladas Morelianas (filling with potato and carrots from the capitol state of Michoacán).
My two favorite spring vegetables and fruits are asparagus and strawberries because they are sweet, crunchy and refreshening. These guys are just about delicious whether they are prepared in a simple way or in a delicate dish. Today the weather in Santa Cruz, California, is at 89 degrees Fahrenheit! And let me tell you…it is soooo HOT!!! I haven’t felt this heat since I was in Puerto Rico. So I looked in my fridge to see what kind of ingredients I had to make a refreshing salad to cool myself, and I found some fresh asparagus that we picked up the day before yesterday at a farm, and some local strawberries from Watsonville. One of my favorite ways to enjoy a salad and switch it up from the regular leafy salad, is to peel the vegetables into long thin slices. So I peeled asparagus and carrots to give it a nice sweet crunchy flavor and mixed it with avocado and goat cheese. This salad has a magnificent layer of flavors from creamy to crunchy and sweet to sour. I hope you enjoy this salad on such a beautiful hot & sunny day!
This is my favorite Antipasto at an Italian restaurant. It is really easy to prepare and is layered with so many flavors and textures that will melt in your mouth. Because this dish is very simple keep in mind that it is important to make sure your tomatoes are top quality. This dish makes a great option for hors d’oeuvres; your guests will definitely enjoy them and there will not be a single one left!
Arepas are a common breakfast and brunch from South America in both Venezuela and Colombia. Which country originally created it? ….who knows…(although i bet my venezuelan friend, Vrinda would highly object that they are Colombian), either way Arepas are just simply delicious. This recipe is for a popular dish called Reina Pepiada. It is a filling usually made with chicken, avocado and mayo, stuffed in a precooked cornmeal bread that formed like a patty. Arepas can be grilled, pan fried, baked or deep fried. They are pretty similar to the mexican gorditas and can be stuffed with countless fillings. If you looove avocado like I do, this dish will simply overwhelm your taste buds with pure bliss.
4 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
3 cups of Venezuelan harina P.A.N.
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 package of chicken-less strips from Trader Joe’s or any other fake chicken meat (for gluten free; tofu strips, pre grilled, pan or deep fried)
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro (aka coriander), finely chopped
4 tbsp of Veganaise or Trader Joe’s eggless mayonnaise
2 tsp of yellow mustard
Finely shred and chop the chicken-less. Then in a medium heat, saute 1/2 of the minced onions in a pan for 1 minute, add the fake chicken or tofu and quickly stir for 5 minutes on a high flame, add salt, lemon juice and empty into a container, cover and cool in the fridge.
In a large bowl mix together the water and salt, and slowly add the harina P.A.N. as you mix it together with your fingers. Mix and knead until it forms a soft and fluffy dough. When you can pick up all of the dough in a mass without it sticking to your hands, it’s ready to form the arepas.
Make a ball with your hands, then gently flatten and form into a patty. You can wet your hands with a little water if the dough is a bit sticky. Heat 4 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Cook the arepas until they release from the pan and are able to be moved. Cook for about 4 minute 30 seconds (or until they are golden on the side) and then flip and cook the other side for another 4 minute 30 seconds.
Arepas are cooked when you tap them and they sound like a drum. Repeat with the remaining masa until you fill up the pan. When they are all ready, split the arepas in half, then scrape out and discard a bit of the middle.
Add the remaining chopped onion, avocado, cilantro, Veganaise, and mustard to the chilled fake chicken or tofu. Mix well and check if it needs more salt or lemon. Stuff the arepas with the mixture and enjoy immediately.