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fiesta

Apps, Comida Latina, Mains, Popular, Recipes

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

March 21, 2017
Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

How do you moms out there deal with getting stuff done? I’m serious, I need your advice because I’m dealing with a constant tug-of-war between working and being (and I mean mentally present) with my kids.

I’m not talking about the daily chore stuff of laundry, dinner, etc but the work from home stuff, the I need to do this for me and only me kind of stuff. I’ve been doing this work from home thing with various levels of success for a long time now and I’m still not sure how to do it right. To do it in a way that I feel honors my role of being a mother and a woman with an independent career. Any tips? I’d really like to hear them. I know from the outside it’s easy to think other women have their shit all kinds of together but that’s what’s so beautiful about having these conversations and being real with each other, so in all honesty I’d love your help.

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

This all relates to black mole fries, I promise and here’s how: Being real and honest women is also what I adore about one my favorite podcasts Super Mamás. The show is hosted by sisters Paulina Lopez Velazquez and Bricia Lopez-Maytorena. They get down to the real nitty-gritty of life and cover every topic under the sun from bilingual struggles to miscarriage to shitty mom moments. These two incredible women also help run their families other businesses; the James Beard award winning Oaxacan restaurant, Guelaguetza, their Mole business, and their Michelada mix business. Long story short, I can imagine they both know what I’m talking about you can imagine how honored and psyched I was when they asked if I would like to come up with a little something-something using their mole! See? Fries!

Please, please, please don’t be intimidated about these fries. I know just looking at the recipe it looks crazy. I mean who spends over 4 hours making fries?!! But most of it is time you are chilling, waiting for the beef to slowly braise in the oven (a step you can also do the day before if you want to). Let’s break them down piece by piece shall we?

How to Make the Black Mole Sauce

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipes from @holajalapeno

Using Guelaguetza’s Black Mole Paste makes preparing the mole sauce super easy, you just need to add a bit of tomato, some broth, a hunk of chocolate, and some salt. After the sauce is made pour it over some browned boneless short ribs, cover, and slowly braise in the oven until they are tender and falling apart.

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

How To Make the Fries

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

Making the fries are pretty simple, just toss some frozen French fries with a few spices and salt and bake in the oven. Once they are done you can move on to the fun part—the toppings!!

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

The Toppings

This recipe looks really long because I wanted to give you guys several ideas for toppings. I added big, fat lima beans, caramelized onions, aged white Cheddar cheese, and sour cream. I also made some quick marinated tomatoes with sliced serrano chiles, cilantro, and scallions. You can be as creative as you’d like or make them super simple too, make them your own!

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries Recipe from @holajalapeno

To find out more about all three Guelaguetza mole pastes, how to buy it and more recipes using it, check out their store.

Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Oven-baked French fries topped with Oaxacan black mole braised beef, giant white beans, Cheddar, sour cream and more.
Author:
Serves: 6-8 Servings
Ingredients
For the Beef:
  • 1 large tomato, cored and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons Oaxacan Black Mole Paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 quarter piece Ibarra chocolate
  • 1 pound boneless short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Beans:
  • ½ cup dried lima beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
For the Onions:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
For the Tomatoes:
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
For the Fries:
  • 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen French fries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground California chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
Additional Toppings:
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • micro greens
  • sour cream
  • lime wedges
Instructions
To Make the Beef:
  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Place the tomato in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Strain and blend until smooth in a blender (careful to cover the blender with a folded paper towel and not the lid which could explode with the hot liquid).
  3. Strain tomato liquid back into the saucepan. Add mole paste, broth, chocolate, and season with salt (about ½ teaspoon depending on your broth, paste, tastes, etc.) Bring to a simmer and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Season beef generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat oil in a frying pan until shimmering. Add beef and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a baking dish, pour mole sauce over the beef and cover the dish with foil.
  5. Braise the beef in the oven until very tender and falling apart, about 1½- 2 hours. Shred beef in the pan then set aside. This step can be done a day in advance, uncover, let cool, then cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
For the Beans:
  1. Rinse beans and place in a small saucepan. Cover with about 2 inches of water. Add bay leaf and black peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Season the cooking water with salt and let cool in the liquid until ready to use. Strain beans before adding to the fries.
For the Onions:
  1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and brown, about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary so they don't burn. Set aside.
For the Tomatoes:
  1. Toss the tomatoes with the scallion, chile, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.
For the Fries:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the upper third.
  2. Combine fries, oil, salt, chile powder, coriander, and white pepper in a large bowl. Toss until fries are well coated then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake until crisp and browned, about 30 minutes.
  4. Leave on the baking sheet or transfer to a large serving dish and cover with beef, some of the mole sauce, strained beans, caramelized onions, and Cheddar cheese.
  5. Return fries to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove and top with tomatoes, and any or all of the additional toppings.
Notes
You may or may not use all the toppings for the fries. Add the braised beef, beans, onions, and cheese to your liking. Leftovers of any of these make awesome tacos!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Knowing that this recipe worked for you is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}

March 17, 2017
Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe from @holajalapeno

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

We are mid-March and many of you might already be thinking about Easter.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada Recipe {Mexican Bread Pudding} from @holajalapeno

When I was living in Spain, I was amazed at the pomp and fanfare that surrounded Easter; bigger than Christmas, bigger than New Year’s, without a doubt the grandest celebration of the year. The entire week of Easter (Semana Santa) was an explosion of color and flowers and food and joy, the whole country comes alive.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

In Mexico, Easter and Holy Week are a very big deal as well and the Capirotada or Mexican bread pudding is very traditional at many Easter celebrations. I wanted to share with you a version I am just thrilled about. It is creamier and richer than most Capirotadas because it is made with Nestle’s Media Crema Table Cream. Media Crema is shelf-stable cream at the ready when you need it. It is great in everything from soups to coffee or baking like this recipe for Mexican Bread Pudding.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

How to Make Mexican Bread Pudding

I love this Capirotada recipe; it has everything we love about cinnamon rolls with about a quarter of the work. The day-old or toasted bread is mixed with cinnamon, raisins, a pinch of cardamom, the cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Traditional Mexican Bread Pudding always has cheese so I added Jocoque a Mexican-style Labenh, (strained yogurt cheese) that gives it a subtle tang and richness. If you can’t find Jocoque you can use Labenh or even whole milk Greek yogurt.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

The great thing about Mexican bread pudding is you can (and maybe even should) make it the night before and let the bread sit and soak up all the wonderful flavors, then bake it off the next day when you are ready to serve. The Capirotada can be served warm, room temperature, or cold with copious amounts of whipped cream of course.

Cinnamon Roll Capriotada {Mexican Bread Pudding} Recipe from @holajalapeno

The Giveaway

To celebrate the Easter holiday I am partnering with La Lechera to host an Easter basket giveaway! This Easter basket however will not be filled with jelly beans and chocolate but with all the things that any serious baker would love like baking pans, cake stands, whisks, aprons and the like. The fun part is, just like an Easter basket, it’s a surprise, so no one knows what exactly the Easter Bunny will bring, not even me!

To Enter: Hop on over to Instagram and follow me @holajalapeno. Then between now and Easter (Sunday, April 16) post a picture of your traditional Easter food. What does your family make every year that is special just for Easter? I want to see it! I would love to hear about your tradition too, so tell me the story in the description. Make sure you tag the image @holajalapeno and use the hashtag, #holaeaster. I will select a winner, at random on Monday, April 17! I can’t wait to see your creations!

Cinnamon Roll Capirotada {Mexican Bread Pudding}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding that is very popular around Christmas and Easter. This creamy version has cinnamon, raisins and a sweet vanilla glaze.
Author:
Serves: 10-12 Servings
Ingredients
For the Capirotada:
  • 8 cups cubed, day-old French bread, crusts removed (about 1 large loaf)
  • 4 (7.6 ounce) cans Nestle Media Crema Table Cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Nestle Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ¾ cup Jocoque (strained yogurt cheese)* See Note
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, optional
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
To Make the Bread Pudding:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. If your bread is fresh, spread the cubed bread out on a baking sheet and toast 10 minutes.
  2. Combine media crema, sweetened condensed milk, Jocoque, raisins, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl. Add bread and toss to coat.
  3. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour bread mixture into the dish. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature. At this point you can also cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. If baking right away, grease a piece of foil and cover (greased-side down) the baking dish. Bake 20 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until browned on top. If you made the Capirotada the night before, remove the plastic wrap and follow the same instructions above.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
To Make the Glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together until smooth.
  2. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time until the glaze is pourable, but not too thin.
  3. Drizzle glaze over the bread pudding and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Notes
Jocoque is a strained-yogurt cheese similar to Labneh and can be found in the cheese section of many Latin markets. Substitute Labneh or whole milk Greek yogurt if you can’t find it.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt

March 14, 2017
Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt

This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help to support this blog!

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

I feel like I’ve left a lot of myself out of this blog lately. I don’t know why exactly. Uninspired to talk about my life I guess but here’s a rundown of what’s going on with us:

  • We’ve entered the life of school choice and have been waiting to see what the lottery hands us. Also, I’ll have both kids in school next year—mixed emotions on that subject.
  • We’ve been capturing (and killing) a lot of snails lately. Any tips on keeping snails alive? Probably not capturing them in the first place, huh?
  • We are planning our trip to Italy this summer. Here’s what I need to know:
    • How to entertain kids on an overseas flight besides buying them their own devices and/or Benadryl?
    • What/how much to pack for an extended stay? We’re also going to London, is it cold there in July? Do I need to pack jackets, scarves, and sweaters?
    • Affordable, kid-friendly Air B&B recs for Rome and really anywhere in Italy, we’ll have lots of time to travel.

There’s lots of other stuff too, like all of us, my life is relentless in the details but right now I’d rather have some fun and talk about a luxurious little snack. Something like popcorn drenched in pecan wood-smoked maple syrup, butter, and habanero salt. What about something like that?

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

I was asked to partner with Uncommon Goods a few weeks back and was excited to find some really fun gift ideas to share with you. If you are unfamiliar with Uncommon Goods they are an online retailer selling unique handmade goods from makers big and small all over the world. They have a bit of everything and are a one-stop shop for gift giving. They even put together gift collections to make it super simple. They have ideas for everything from Weddings to Graduations.

But of course me, I stuck firmly in my comfort zone—the kitchen. When I saw this microwave popcorn popper in their graduation gift guide, I knew immediately I had to have it. We eat a lot of popcorn but I usually pop it in a pan. With this nifty popper however, the kids can do it themselves! The lid doubles as a measuring cup for the popcorn kernels then you just pour them in, cover it with the lid, and put it in the microwave.

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt Recipe

With my brain firmly stuck in popcorn mode I had to find something to put on it. At first I was leaning toward hot sauce (which they have plenty of in their Gifts for Dudes section) but then I spotted the Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup, Oo la la!

I also loved these glasses made in Colombia from recycled car windshields and windows. They are just what I needed to sip my icy beer, but the green-hued glass would also make beautiful little vases for low table centerpieces.

Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Smoked Maple Butter Popcorn with Habanero Salt is the ultimate luxurious snack for any party. Popcorn drenched in smoked maple syrup, butter, & spicy salt!
Author:
Serves: 4-6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon smoked maple syrup or regular maple syrup and a dash of liquid smoke
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons habanero salt (depending on how hot you like it) or 1 teaspoon habanero salt and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 9 cups popped popcorn
Instructions
  1. Stir together melted butter, maple syrup, and salt.
  2. Pour over popped popcorn and toss to coat.
Notes
To make the habanero salt; combine 2 tablespoons kosher salt with ¼ teaspoon ground habanero chile powder.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

February 23, 2017
Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The Oscars are on Sunday and I felt it only right to leave you with some black-tie cocktail inspiration to have with your Thai take-out, or delivery pizza, or if you are really doing it right, fancy appetizers (if its fancy appetizers, can I come over?).

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

This icy drink is a combination of two different cocktails that for some reason scream Hollywood to me; the Japanese Cocktail (which has nothing to do with Japan and everything to do with classy 1920’s glam) and a Ginger Sidecar I had at Zuni Cafe when we were in San Francisco last October.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The classic Japanese cocktail is a simple but sophisticated combination of cognac, almond-scented orgeat (pronounced or-zsa, like Zsa Zsa Gabor), and bitters. Zuni’s Ginger Sidecar has brandy, ginger liqueur, orange, lemon, and pineapple gum syrup. Put those two together and your classy Oscar cocktail is served.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Let’s Talk About Pineapple Gum Syrup

Pineapple gum syrup is a pineapple simple syrup that packs a punch of pineapple and adds viscosity to the drink at the same time. I found a bottle made by Small Hand Foods at Bev Mo but you can also find it online.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

How To Make Your Own Ginger Juice

Making ginger juice is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a juicer, stick a big piece of fresh ginger in there (you don’t even need to peel it) and juice comes out. This stuff is for real! Add some to your orange juice in the morning, that’ll get you going. If you don’t have a juicer you can still make ginger juice, but you’ll have to peel the ginger first, and chop it, put it in your food processor and blend until it is a puree. Press the puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Cheers Amigos! Have a great weekend!

Brandy Ginger Twist
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Brandy gets a kick in the (fancy) pants from fresh ginger juice, orgeat, lemon, pineapple gum syrup, and bitters.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) brandy
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) fresh ginger juice (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) orgeat
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) pineapple gum syrup
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • ice
  • lemon twist, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine brandy, lemon juice, ginger juice, orgeat, and pineapple gum syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat beads the outside of the cocktail shaker.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, shake a few drops of bitters over the top, add a lemon twist and enjoy!
Notes
To make the ginger juice; press fresh ginger through a juicer, no need to peel. If you don't have a juicer, peel a large piece of fresh ginger, chop and blend in a food processor until very finely chopped. Press through a fine mesh strainer. Ginger juice can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Mains, Recipes

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

February 9, 2017
Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Sometime between the holiday’s fading glow and spring’s first warm breezes lies a long, frigid stretch of nights when we huddled in our homes, hunker down from the cold and wind, and heat up leftovers for dinner. There is no better time than now to gather some friends together and throw a party full of cozy comfort food, delicious cocktails, and loads of laughter—An Italian Polenta Party!

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

When Aida of Salt & Wind suggested the idea to myself and Meg from This Mess Is Ours we answered with an enthusiastic, YES! I mean, I am never one to turn down an opportunity to cook and gather together with my friends, especially over creamy mountains of soft polenta and Aida’s sensational creamy pesto.

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Throwing an Italian Polenta Party is a really fun way to entertain. All you have to do is invite some fun-loving friends, make a few appetizers, a simple cocktail, and then pour out the polenta onto a board in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in!

Here’s All You Need To Know To Throw Your Own Polenta Party

Fiesta: How to Throw An Italian Polenta Party

We all gathered on a late Saturday afternoon and Meg mixed up some sparkling Apple Basil and Prosecco Spritzer cocktails while Meredith finished her sweet herb and floral wreaths to line every plate. Aida arranged Fontina and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Squares and Mushroom Ragout Agrodolce Bites on a marbled wood board along with balsamic roasted apples, several types of cheese, and charcuterie. It was all just the beginning to the main event about to come: The Polenta!!

Italian Polenta Party Menu

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Here is the rundown of the entire menu. We did one meat topping and one vegetarian topping to go with the polenta but you could always just pick one. It is all the little extras however that make it super fun, so try to have at least three or four different sauces or garnishes that your friends can add to their polenta. Included are the recipes to make these but you could easily make one or two and buy a couple more high-quality versions from the store. Or make the sauces and have toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan or Pecorino on hand for generous sprinkling.

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Drinks

Apple Basil and Prosecco Spritzer cocktails | This Mess Is Ours

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Appetizers

Fontina and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Squares | Salt & Wind

Mushroom Ragout Agrodolce Bites | Salt & Wind

Nuts, Cheese, Sliced Charcuterie, Balsamic Roasted Apples, Crackers, and Fruit

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

The Polenta Board + A Salad

Escarole, Charred Mandarins, Toasted Almond Salad with Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette | Salt & Wind

Basic Creamy Polenta | Salt & Wind

Beer Braised Beef Barbacoa| ¡Hola! Jalapeño

Braised Chickpeas with Porcini and Tuscan Kale | This Mess Is Ours

Creamy Basil Pesto | Salt & Wind

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes | Salt & Wind

Red Pepper Romesco Sauce | Salt & Wind

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Something Sweet

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone | ¡Hola! Jalapeño

Serving the Polenta

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

For our party of 8 people Aida quadrupled this recipe and we had plenty of leftovers to take home (gratefully). The polenta is really nice because you can start it and then let it basically cook on its own, giving it a stir every now and again until it is ready.

To serve the polenta you’ll need a very large food-safe board. Meg had a gorgeous reclaimed wood board that ran the length of the table from Pasadenaville which worked perfectly as everyone had some polenta right in front of them at the table. A large wood cutting board or tray would also work. Just find your biggest food-safe board and pour the polenta out onto the it. Top half of the polenta with the barbacoa and half with the braised chickpeas and place it in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves. Serve all the sauces and garnishes in small dishes scattered about the table so your friends can add what they please. Aida also made a dairy-free version of the polenta with chicken broth and olive oil instead of the butter, milk, and cheese.

The Place Settings

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Our very talented friend Meredith created delicate mini wreaths made from fresh (and totally edible) herbs, olive leaves, and straw flowers. They look rustic and pretty on the plates and Louisa turned them into a darling little tiara after the party was over. Get all the details on how to make them here.

Shop The Party

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

Here are a few party essentials we can’t live without:

W/R/F Lab ceramics

Pasadenaville Polenta Board

Pink Shibori Napkins

Linen Napkins

Vintage Roly Poly Cocktail Glasses

Cheese Knives

Denim Cloth Table Covering

All Produce: Melissa’s Produce

Fiesta: How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

A humongous thanks goes to Salt & Wind and This Mess Is Ours for all the photos.

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa

February 8, 2017
Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Cooked in a mixture of dark beer, and spices this barbacoa is crazy tender. Serve with tortillas or over polenta like we did for our Italian Polenta Party.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

What is Barbacoa?

The term barbacoa has always confused me. The first time I heard it was in my early twenties as a sous chef at Mustard’s Grill in the Napa Valley. A few of my fellow cooks were gathered around discussing weekend party plans and announced they were going to do a barbacoa in their yard. Truly a weekend project, they dug a deep hole, filled it with smoldering wood and a baby goat then covered over the hole with agave leaves.

Beer Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

The meat roasted very slowly and about 8-10 hours later was shredded and served with an accompanying chile broth with which you’d brush the meat through before piling it into warm corn tortillas. This was a meal reserved for a grand celebration and one that my Mustard’s compadres offered to replicate for our wedding. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the go ahead from the our reception venue to follow through—something about not wanting a huge, gapping, smoking hole on their property—ridiculous.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

I was then later told it was only made with cow head and then Chipotle came along serving barbacoa in every nook and cranny of America (did they all have baby goat-sized holes in their parking lots? Were they really serving goat? Or even more interesting, cow’s head?) But now I’ve come to discover that barbacoa means beef to most people, more specifically tender, slow roasted succulent beef.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

A Much Easier Version

This recipe was inspired by my friend and fellow chef Susana who cooks her barbacoa in a beer and spice bath. The addition of molasses adds a subtle sweetness that is undetectable but also very much there if that makes any sense. It is about as easy as a recipe can possibly be—not one single shovel necessary. All you need is a sturdy blender, a large enough roasting dish, and a few hours then leave the oven to do all the work.

Even better, the slow cooking means an inexpensive cut of meat is actually preferable here making it a very budget-friendly way to feed a crowd. I’ve made this recipe using boneless beef brisket, boneless chuck roast, and even a clod roast which I got just because it was the cheapest roast at the market and I wanted to see if it would be as good as the most expensive brisket and guess what? It was! Any tough cut of meat would melt under all that beer and heat.

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

I made this barbacoa recipe for an Italian Polenta Party I threw with Aida from Salt + Wind and Meg from This Mess is Ours. We piled the meat on top of the polenta straight from the tray with all those beautiful juices. Even though it is Mexican in origin it went beautifully with the sweet roasted tomatoes, grated hard Parmesan, and Aida’s silky romesco sauce. For more polenta party details head here!

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa Recipe

 

Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cooked in a mixture of dark beer, and spices this barbacoa is crazy tender. Serve with tortillas or over polenta like we did for our Italian Polenta Party.
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds boneless beef brisket or chuck roast
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed and sliced (remove seeds if you'd like it less spicy)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 9 epazote leaves, or ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 300°F and place roast in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender starting with the beer (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender). Blend on high until all is pureed.
  3. Pour beer mixture over roast and move it around in the mixture to coat all sides. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven.
  4. Slow-roast the beef 3 hours, remove foil and return to the oven and let cook 30-45 minutes more or until the edges are browned and the meat easily pulls apart with a fork.
  5. Shred meat and mix with the sauce in the pan. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkling of Italian parsley leaves or let cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. To reheat; place meat and sauce in a shallow pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Did you love this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

A huge thanks goes out to Salt + Wind and This Mess Is Ours for the photographs and WRF Lab for all the ceramics.

Recipes, Sweets

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone

February 7, 2017
Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

A gorgeous blood orange tart in a rich pie crust with fresh slices of blood orange and a creamy mascarpone and vanilla cream filling.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

I’m stepping away from my typical Mexican-inspired posts today and reaching back into my pastry chef past to bring you a blood orange tart that I think would be beautiful for Valentine’s Day.

I made this blood orange tart for an Italian Polenta Party we went to a couple weeks back at Aida’s house. It was so much fun and such a great way to get together with friends to break up the winter monotony. I’ll be bringing you lots more photos and recipes from the party later this week.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Anyhoo, I was asked to bring a dessert and wanted to stick with the Italian theme which is not hard for me since I love Italian food with all my heart and soul. Did I tell you guys we are going to Italy this summer? Specifically Rome, so please send all your recommendations. I’ll be eating everything. Like Hiro says, “Gelato for breakfast!!!”

This tart is really lovely and shows off winter’s beauty, the blood orange. A vixen of a citrus, the blood orange oozes seduction, making this a perfect dessert to make for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day—chocolate, shmocolate.

Blood Orange Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Recipe

Blood Orange Tart Tips

The crust is my standard pie dough, but I added an egg yolk to give it richness and an extra crisp snap which is a beautiful contrast to the silky mascarpone filling which, get this, requires no baking of any kind. Just whip the sweet, creamy cheese with a little zest from one of the blood oranges, some sugar, and vanilla and spread it into the tart shell.

The last step is to remove all the peel and white part (pith) from a few blood oranges so they can be sliced into perfect little slices, if you need a visual, watch this video here.

Blood Orange Mascarpone Tart
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A gorgeous blood orange tart in a rich pie crust with fresh slices of blood orange and a creamy mascarpone and vanilla cream filling.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
For the Crust:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
  • 2 cups (1 pound) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 blood orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 blood oranges
  • rosemary, for garnish (optional)
Equipment:
  • 1 (10-inch) tart pan
Instructions
For the crust:
  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter pieces and toss to coat in flour. Using a pastry cutter, blend the blend the butter into the flour until it is in tiny pebble-like pieces.
  2. Add egg and 5 tablespoons of ice water and work the liquid into the flour mixture with your hands, squeezing it into the flour until it is uniformly moist and the dough holds together when you squeeze some in your hand. Add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Press dough into a disk and refrigerate for at least and hour and up to 2 days.
  4. On a lightly-floured surface roll dough into a ¼-inch thick circle. Gently press dough into a 10-inch tart pan. Trim dough flush with the top edge of pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
  6. Halfway through baking, remove from oven and poke any air holes that have formed, pressing gently on the crust with the back of a fork until it is flat. Do it again when the crust comes out of the oven. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Crust can be made up to a day in advance. Cover cooled crust tightly with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.
For the Filling:
  1. Combine mascarpone, sugar, blood orange zest, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until stiff and fluffy.
  2. Remove all peel and white pith of the blood oranges with a pairing knife then cut into ¼-inch thick slices.
  3. Spread mascarpone evenly over cooled tart shell then arrange blood orange slices on top. Garnish with rosemary if you'd like. Serve immediately.

Did you love this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

A big thanks to Salt+Wind for all the photos and Melissa’s Produce for the beautiful blood oranges.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe

December 20, 2016
Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Merry Christmas!

Since this is the last recipe I’ll post before Christmas arrives I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays. It means the world to me that you are here, showing your love and cooking the recipes and being just downright lovely, lovely people. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. Can I toast you with a Cranberry Ginger Margarita?

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

I hope over the next week you will gather together with people you love to celebrate another year, the beauty that is life, and just having a moment of joy in this often crazed existence we all live. And for that, I wanted to leave you with a cocktail, and a beautiful one at that.

I was halfway through developing a straight-up ginger margarita when my eye caught the last of the cranberry agua fresca sitting in the fridge and well, history was made in the form of the most gorgeous-hued cranberry ginger margarita I ever did create.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Now, of course I’d be overjoyed if you made the cranberry agua fresca and then turned it into this margarita but you certainly don’t have to. I also tried it with store-bought cranberry juice and it tasted just as festive.

I love the little bits of fresh grated ginger

Make sure you use a microplane, you want it really fine but if the thought of ginger strands stuck between your teeth grosses you out you can strain the drink over fresh ice in each glass before serving.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

The final holiday pizzazz comes in the form of a lime and salt rim around each glass which is made by grating a little zest from a lime (use the microplane remember), mixing with some coarse salt and sticking it to the rim of each glass—fancy!

The recipe makes either 1 enormous drink or 2 regular-sized drinks so you can either share with a friend or have a very merry Christmas by yourself! Cheers!!

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Cranberry Ginger Margarita
 
Prep time
Total time
 
The most beautiful cranberry margarita to celebrate the holiday. The color alone is reason to make it but then add fresh grated ginger and a lime-salt rim and Happy Holidays indeed!
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 2 Drinks
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup cranberry juice or Cranberry Agua Fresca
  • ¼ cup silver tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • A few slices candied ginger for serving, optional
Instructions
  1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from one lime and place it on a small plate. Add salt and rub the two together with your fingers to incorporate. Cut a wedge out of the lime and rub it around the rim of two cocktail glasses. Dip the rims in the salt mixture and set aside.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the other lime into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add cranberry juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and grated ginger.
  3. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat starts to bead on the outside of the shaker. Divide the drink evenly between the two prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge and a few strips of candied ginger.

 

Apps, Comida Latina, Recipes, Snacks

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts

December 14, 2016
Goat Cheese Toasts with Spicy Honey and Almonds Recipe @holajalapeno

Tis the season for last minute party snacks and because I love you with all my might I wanted to share one of my favorites, Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts, which if I lived in a house with others who cared for me….I mean cheese, I would make this every night for dinner then serve glasses of wine and call it good.

But because I can only make cheese-involved dishes when they will be served outside the home this is my go-to “hey, can you bring an appetizer to share?” “Of course!” I say delighted to have an excuse to buy eleven whole ounces of soft, creamy goat cheese.

You can go about this hors d’oeuvres two ways.

The first and simplest plan of attack is to place the goat cheese in a shallow dish, cover the goat cheese with spicy honey and sprinkle almonds over the top. Serve with a nice selection of crackers or toasted bread and let party-goers scoop up cheese and honey and nuts for themselves. The upside to plan number one is ease of transport. If you are say, traveling by train to the party it is much easier if you go with this method. Downside: the honey tends to dribble off the cheese overtime and pool beneath it. Not a major bummer but for guests to get the full effect you might want to mention that they should be sure to “not forget the honey!”

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

The second suggestion

Make little toasts by spreading cheese, honey, maybe a pear slice or two, and some almonds on toasted slices of bread. This way you are guaranteed everyone will get a bite of all the glorious bits and it looks prettier. It is also more work and harder to carry around.

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

One note about the honey

Two teaspoons of ground arbol chile may seem like a crazy amount when you are measuring it into the honey but it takes quite a bit of spice to fight through all that sweetness. Start with one teaspoon and see what you think, then add the other if you’d like more spice. I found that 1 teaspoon was not spicy at first then kind of crept up on you and two teaspoons was spicy right away but not burn your mouth hot.

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts from @holajalapeno

Spicy Honey Goat Cheese Toasts Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Soft goat cheese on crisp toasted bread drizzled with spicy arbol chile honey, a few ripe pear slices, and a sprinkling of toasted almond slices.
Serves: 12 Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Warm honey in the microwave or on the stove top until just warm, but not boiling. Heating the honey helps the chile powder disperse easier and bloom.
  2. Whisk in chile powder and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Spread about a tablespoon or so of goat cheese on the toasted bread, add a few pear slices if using, drizzle with generous amounts of honey and sprinkle with a almonds.
  4. Alternatively, arrange goat cheese on a platter pour spiced honey over the top and sprinkle almonds over the goat cheese. Serve with toasted bread slices or crackers.

Apps, Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes

Fiesta: How To Throw A Christmas Tamalada Party

December 6, 2016
A Christmas Tamalada @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Shortly after Armando and I first got married we started hosting what has now become our infamous Tamalada Party. The idea was simple, we wanted tamales, but didn’t want to do all the work ourselves, so why not gather friends for an afternoon of chisme and good food, and when it’s over everyone gets a dozen or so tamales to take home!

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

This being our first Christmas back in California we wanted to keep the tradition going so invited our partners in merry-making crime, Meg and the whole Beard + Bonnet crew and Aida and her Salt + Wind gang over for a tamalada party that, unlike year’s past, could actually happen in our backyard!

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Here was the plan:

 Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

To pull off your own tamalada party here’s what you’ll need:

  • About 100 soaked corn husks. This will depend on how many tamales you want to make. Each of our recipes makes about 2 dozen tamales. The husks need to soak a few hours in hot water.
  • About 12 cups of masa. This will make about 4 dozen tamales. You can make it using Maseca (special ground cornflour used for making tamales and tortillas) using this recipe, or buy pre-made masa made from fresh ground corn at a Mexican grocery store.
  • At least one type of filling.
  • A large surface for assembling. We pushed our picnic table and a folding table together and covered them both with a long piece of Mexican oil cloth.
  • A tamale steamer or large lidded pot fitted with a strainer or rack (like a big pasta pot with a strainer liner). This is also a good tamale-making starter kit.
  • Lots of drinks and snacks; tamale-making is hard work! Along with Aida’s delicious cocktail I made my Cranberry Agua Fresca for the kiddos to drink too.

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

Tamalada Party Menu

Follow the links for all the instructions on how to make and assemble each tamale.

Pomegranate Ginger Apple Cider Punch

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Mint and Lime

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

Dunk and Slather Board

Avocado Bruschetta

Spicy Black Bean and Cheese Tamales

Chicken and Roasted Pumpkin Tamales with Manchamantel Mole 

Sweet Potato Tamales with Chocolate Sauce

Tamalada Party @holajalapeno

 A big thank you to Salt + Wind and Beard + Bonnet for taking all the beautiful photos!