Recipes

Strawberry Elderflower Shortcake

by editor on July 3, 2011

Strawberry Elderflower Shortcake for Fourth of July

On a sunny summer weekend filled with the Tour de France, Wimbledon, and a huge basket of long-awaited Washington State strawberries, I made some scones on a whim to mop up the juices from my umpteenth bowl of the scarlet fruit.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }



Tacos al Pastor for Cinco de Mayo

by editor on May 5, 2011

It’s Cinco de Mayo and as much as I’d love to be digging my toes into a warm sandy beach at Esencia, I’m feeling a little reminiscent about Mexico City – the smoggy, vibrant and surprisingly hip city where I never did get mugged, despite my best efforts (getting dropped off in a bad part of town, at the wrong address, late at night with my suitcase and shaky Spanish for company).

It’s not somewhere I might ever have gone of my own volition, but I got sent there for work a few years ago and I’ll forever be thankful for the experience. Sure it’s little sketchy and arrestingly smoggy at times, but Mexico’s Distrito Federal is an intoxicating mix of edgy hotels and nightlife, ancient and pop culture and some of the most fascinating museums in the world. It’s also surrounded by some daytrips of a lifetime – drive for less than an hour to Teotihuacán and you can see the immense Pyramid of the Sun and other barely A.D. ruins at the UNESCO World Heritage Site there. If you’re only in town for a layover, don’t miss Fonda el Refugio, which has a cult-like following and is considered by many to be the best Mexican restaurant in a city where the competition is understandably tough.

Cool, refreshing lemonade from a street vendor in Mexico City

In a city filled with diverse global cuisine and restaurants garnering international recognition (Izote, Pujol and Biko to name a few), Mexico City’s street food alone is worthy of a dedicated vacation. My favorite late night outdoor treat was Tacos al Pastor – filled with sweet and juicy marinated pork and tender roasted pineaple, carved from a shawarma/gyro/donner-like spit called a “trompo” in Mexico.

This recipe is an at-home version of Tacos al Pastor, with pineapple in the marinade (instead of atop a spit) to tenderize the pork. It’s wickedly good – full of big citrusy, spicy, savory flavors – and might set you up as competition for your favorite taco truck. It’s also surprisingly healthy and naturally low in fat if you skip the sour cream. Enjoy it with a cold Victoria, Negra Modelo or some Mandarin Key Lime flavor Oogave soda (which reminds me of Corona and lime without the alcohol).

Salud and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tacos al Pastor
Adapted from Steven Raichlen | Serves 8

1/4 white onion
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp guajillo or ancho chile powder
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried cumin
1 small chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
1 whole pineapple, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices
2 small pork tenderloins (1- 1 1/2 lbs.), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 red onion, finely minced
1-2 tbsps hot jalapeno slices, finely chopped

8″ corn tortillas
1 lime, cut into wedges
sour cream and salsa verde to serve (optional)

To make marinade:
Place first nine ingredients in food processor along with 2 slices of the pineapple, and blend until smooth. Pour into a large plastic bag or glass/non-reactive dish, add pork and marinate for at least 4 hours or up to a day.

To make tacos:
Mix together finely chopped red onion, cilantro and jalapenos. Set aside.

Heat grill or griddle over medium-high heat. Grill remaining pineapple slices until warm and grill marks are present. Set aside.

Grill pork slices (don’t shake off excess marinade) until charred and cooked through (about 2-4 minutes). Transfer pork to cutting board and allow to cool for a few minutes. Chop pork and pineapple together into small bite-sized pieces.

Spoon pork and pineapple mixture into warm tortillas and serve with red onion cilantro relish, lime wedges and sour cream or salsa verde.

Note: If you are going to marinate the pork overnight, I recommend pureeing the pineapple seperately and leaving it out of the main marinade. Mix the pineapple puree back into the pork mixture an hour or so before you are ready to cook the pork. Why? Too much time bathing in the pineapple’s tenderizing bromelain enzymes can make the pork a little soft in texture.

{ 1 comment }



Mini Radish Ricotta and Green Onion Tartines

April 4, 2011

The trouble with travel, with being an expat, is that you leave little pieces of your heart scattered across the globe. A sizeable chunk of mine resides in France, and spring is a season that leaves me longing for long picnic lunches in Paris or gentle hikes through the lavender fields and cherry orchards near […]

Read the full article →

Spring Herb Pesto and Antonio Carluccio

March 28, 2011

Who were your heroes growing up? Mine were a rather eclectic, and in retrospect partially embarrassing collection of chefs, musicians and writers. One of my enduring favorites is Antonio Carluccio, an Italian chef, lifelong champion of foraging and early Jamie Oliver mentor. Digging in the dirt with bare hands, scraping earth off mushrooms and truffles […]

Read the full article →

Vanilla Cardamom Skillet French Toast

March 20, 2011

I’m quite in love with the vignette of a perfect weekend morning – a fat NYT, international editions of the Guardian and Le Monde and something sweetly-scented and rustic to stab at with a fork while I consume the trials and triumphs of the week along with too much espresso. Such morning idleness, however, is […]

Read the full article →

Paris: Salty Sweet Cookies Noir at Eric Kayser

March 14, 2011

What on earth was I doing eating chocolate chip cookies in Paris? I live a 10 hr flight away and my must-eat lists are long and seldom satisfied. Luckily, a friend returned from a snowy morning pastry run with one and I’ve been craving their salty-chewy-sweetness ever since. Alas there are no Eric Kayser outposts […]

Read the full article →

Meyer Lemon Cream with a Raspberry Swirl

March 9, 2011

A familiar kitchen illuminated with golden sun puddles and a large bag of late-season Meyer Lemons; I can’t think of a more perfect welcome home after spending a few days in a snowstorm where the nights were sometimes 15 below. One breath of the unique citrus perfume from the afternoon sun-drenched fruit bowl, and I […]

Read the full article →

Hazelnut Praline Truffle Slice

March 5, 2011

You’d never guess that this chocolate truffle slice has only four ingredients plus a little water. Essentially just a ganache with a little toffee nut crunch, let it chill for a few hours and you have yourself a lovely smooth chocolatey bar that tastes like a grown-up version of Toblerone. It makes an interesting yet […]

Read the full article →

Croque Monsieur in a Jar

February 1, 2011

Do you remember a perfect day? A day full of simple pleasures, a day that you wanted to last forever and knew you would never forget? One of my “perfect” days occurred when I was living in the Cote D’Azur several years ago, when we took a weekend day to eat breakfast in Monaco, drive […]

Read the full article →

Global Desserts: Mohr im Hemd from Austria

January 5, 2011

As a child I was a huge food nerd and obsessed with the iconic and rather ubiquitous Viennese dessert, SacherTorte. Maybe it was the impossibly smooth ganache coating and the impossibly clean slices it produced, or the part where the thin layer of apricot jam meets the soft underside of the chocolate and clings to […]

Read the full article →
}