Friday, August 20, 2010

I couldn't resist...

I want to start by saying I want to take full advantage of the zuccini flower season, and just because it will probably be over soon I couldn't help but go back to Chinatown and look for them once again!.. And I did find them! I bought myself 12 bunches just so I could make more of the Zuccini Flower Tacos.. really please do that recipe you won't regret it!!..

Today I pair these Zuccini Flower Tacos with Tacos de Nopal (mexican cactus), Yes, if you properly clean them you can eat them.. and they are so good! There are some people like my Chaparrito that don't like the texture of Nopales as they are kind of slimy. But I don't care, I grew up eating them and in Mexico they are very popular. They are the perfect dish for a hot day, as you can eat them cold in salads, just add a couple of tomates, lemon and salt and you've got yourself a very healthy meal. The only place I've found them in Toronto is at Perola's Market. Seriously if you are looking for real mexican go to Perola at Kensington market.

Tacos de Nopal


4 Nopales
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lime


Before cooking the Nopales make sure they don't have any prickles, and if they do remove them with your knife. Once clean, cook them over a high heat pan with the oil. Cook the nopales on both sides until tender and the green colour becomes opaque. Let them cool down and slice. Mix with salt, cilantro and lemon juice.
Eat them with fresh Corn Tortillas or on it's own with tomatoes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zuccini Flower Tacos!

Yesterday I just had the most amazing meal I have had in a very long time! Zuccini Flower TACOS, it was as Mexican as it can get! While I was cooking, their aroma brought me back to a Mexican street market. Street food in Mexico is delicious, you can find all the flavour you need in most of the corners of the city. Tacos al Pastor is one of the best street foods, but sometimes when you are able to wake up early on a Sunday morning to go to the street market, you will never regret it. Even people who have partied all night just wake up early the next day to go for a special treat. The markets just have a lot more of variety and always manage to put a smile on your face as they start combining all the good old flavours!..
So, after an amazing day at Kensington market with my best friend, who also loves Mexican food, I came back home full of familiar flavours. Epazote, Flores de Calabaza, Chiles Serranos, Tortillas.. etc. etc. etc. Perola Market is the best place in Toronto to buy real authentic Mexican food, it doesn't matter if I live all the way in Etobicoke, I will visit this market more often. I also have to thank my mom who on her last visit brought me an amazing book full of authentic Mexican recipes. Now, I am able to cook at home all those Mexican delights our bellies have been craving for so long!

So, without further ado, here is the recipe!!

Zuccini Flower Tacos

12 zuccini flowers
a medium-sized white onion (sliced)
2 chiles serranos (sliced)
a handful of Epazote (chopped)
salt & pepper
4 tbsp of canola oil
6 corn tortillas
1/2 cup of refried beans
sour cream
salsa verde

Add all zuccini flowers, sliced white onion, sliced chiles serranos, chopped epazote, 2 tbsp of canola oil and salt & pepper in a bowl. Mix well to coat everything with the oil. On a high heat pan add a splash of oil, once is hot add the zuccini flowers mix and let it cook until the onions are translucent and a little brown.

On another high heat pan add a splash of oil and when hot, cook the tortillas for a few seconds on each side. Be careful not to brown them. Once everything is ready assemble by spreading some of the beans into the tortilla, then put some of the zuccini flowers mix into each of the tortillas and finish it with some salsa verde and sour cream.

And you've got yourself some authentic Mexican TACOS!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blueberry-Cherry Ice Cream

On these crazy hot summer days, there is nothing better than ice cream! Specially when you are able to make any type of flavour your heart and tummy desire!

Last week we went shopping, and even though I didn't plan for "snowman" to become part of the family, I couldn't resist any longer. Yes, snowman is my new ice cream maker! I am very glad to have it on my kitchen now! I don't know why I end up naming every gadget in my kitchen, maybe it is because that way I tend to care more for them as they become my little kitchen helpers! I have to admit they are an important part of my big love for cooking! Once I enter any cooking store, just forget about me, I could spend hours in there!

 I am sharing this lovely recipe with all of you who are obsessed with ice cream!
Enjoy each frosty bite!

Blueberry-Cherry Ice Cream


2 cups fresh Cherries (pitted)
2 cups fresh Blueberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream


Add all the fruit to a medium saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain using a fine mesh strainer, pressing fruit to extract as much juice/puree as possible. Set aside.

Heat half-and-half and 1 cup sugar in a separate saucepan over low heat. Turn off heat when mixture is totally heated.

Add heavy cream to a separate bowl.

Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick.

Temper the egg yolks by slowly drizzling in 1 1/2 cups of hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly. Then, pour the egg yolk/half-and-half mixture into the pan containing the rest of the half-and-half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat until quite thick. Stir constantly. Drain custard using a fine mesh strainer, then pour into the bowl with the cream. Mix it well.

Add fruit's juice/puree to the cream/custard mixture and stir. Chill mixture completely, before pouring it on your ice cream maker. Follow instructions on how to use it, and enjoy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Home Made Burritos - Nothing better than that!

I have to say I wasn't used to eat burritos before, they are only popular in some of the northern states of Mexico, but it is not well known in the rest of the country or even as popular as it is outside of Mexico. Burritos are a traditional food at Ciudad Juárez which is in the northern state of Chihuahua where they tell the story of a man who used to sell tacos in a street stand. He used a little donkey (burrito) as transportation for himself and the food during the Mexican Revolution. To keep the food warm, he came up with the idea of wrapping it in large home made flour tortillas and people started calling it "Burritos".

Maybe the reason that this has become such a well known dish outside of Mxico is the fact that it is so filling and versatile. You can add almost everything you like to it and it will still taste great.

Here in Canada I've only been to a couple of places that sell burritos, but I really wanted to cook Home made Burritos, as I believe food always taste better when it is home made. I found a great recipe at "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" blog that I used as a benchmark to cook my own burritos. I added and changed a couple of things but in the end the result was perfect! I really enjoyed my burritos, and they do taste better than what I've had out there.

Home Made Beef Burritos


4 tbsp Canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 whole Medium Onion
1 can of Tomatoes
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2 pounds Ground Beef
Refried Beans
¾ cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
12 Flour Tortillas
Extra Grated Cheese, For Sprinkling
Extra Sauce, For Drizzling
Cilantro Leaves
Sour Cream
Green Chiles
Green Onions

First prepare the salsa. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan, then add 1 chopped onion, and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook just for 1 min, then add cumin, Oregano, chili powder and cayenne pepper, mix everything together and add the can of tomatoes. Cook until the liquid of the tomatoes has been reduced by half and then let it cool down. Once it is cooled down use your food processor and puree it until it has the consistency of a nice salsa, when you puree it don't forget to add the cilantro, it will give the salsa a perfect flavour. If it is too thick you can add some water to make it a little bit more runny.

Once you have the salsa, using the remaining oil, brown the ground beef with onion and season to taste. Pour in some of the salsa and simmer over low heat. Add water if mixture gets too dry.

Heat refried beans in a saucepan. Add cheese and stir in till melted. Keep warm.

Heat tortillas in a pan just to get them flexible so it is easier for you to assemble. Spread a small amount of the beans on each tortilla. Add the meat. Fold over ends, then roll up. You can warm them again in the pan (don't do it on the microwave as it will make everything soggy, use the pan so you give the tortilla some texture). Heat the red sauce before serving so when you sprinkle with cheese it will melt nicely. Serve immediately.

You can also serve them with sour cream, cilantro and avocado on top.

Mmmmmmm Burrito!

Apricot Cookies!!

Hey everyone! I know I have been silent for the past couple of weeks but I just had too many things on my check list, but I am still here, don't think I have abandoned you! One of the things I love about these food blogs is that you can share all sorts of recipes and experiences with other foodies like you, and get more passionate about cooking or baking!..

Last weekend I made these fantastic cookies from this cute blog I follow Love & Olive Oil. I've never tried to put fresh fruit into my cookie dough until I made this recipe. It was fantastic! I was overwhelm by the delicious combination of flavours! I just made a few changes to the recipe, I didn't add the instant coffee as I didn't have any, but it was super delicious anyways. You could really taste the Apricot flavour in the cookies. And another tiny little change I made was to sandwiched it with Vanilla Ice cream. Mmmmmm Delicious.

For all of you who are craving them right now, here is the link to the recipe!
Love & Olive Oil