Locro de Papa (Potato Cheese Soup)

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It is soup season.  Time to whip up a hearty, satisfying soup to help keep the cold at bay. What a better way to heat up those tummies then with some potato soup.  Creamy goodness is just a few minutes away.

Ecuadorian Locro de Papa is a rich soup made of potato, cheese and corn.  Meant to keep you warm while in the Andes, this soup screams comfort food.  It is creamy, starchy, cheesy and full of flavor.  The soup is usually garnished with avocado which makes it even more decadent.  All I can say is be prepared to be blown away. Continue reading

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Croquetas de Papa with Chimichurri

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Croquetas are Latin Americas version of croquettes.  Although croquetas can be made from just about anything, standard croquetas usually include potatoes, ham, tuna and cheese. They are very versatile.  This version uses potatoes and cheese because, let’s face it potatoes and cheese make for a superstar pair.  Mashed potatoes are formed into little nuggets, stuffed with cheese, breaded and then fried.  The end result is a crunchy outside with a creeeeeeamy inside.  And what to dip them in?  Well how about some chimichurri.  The fresh herbs really cut through the heaviness of the fried croquettes.  Man oh man these are good. Continue reading

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

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For some time now I have seen several recipes for turning cauliflower into “rice”.  It seemed pretty simple and looked quite delicious so I decided to give it a try.  Good thing I did.  The method works best for turning any type of fried rice recipe rice-free (i.e. using cauliflower to make steam rice may not such a great idea).  As a bonus the cauliflower gives the rice dish more flavor and a better texture.  Plus it is ready to go a lot sooner than traditional rice.  I took a true and tried Mexican rice recipe, nixed the rice and brought in the cauliflower.  The end result is a bit spicy, a bit sweet from the bell pepper and a whole lot of yuminess. Continue reading

Mexico City Quesadillas

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For most people a quesadilla consists of an enormous flour tortilla stuffed with an insane amount of cheese, griddled, then topped with guac, sour cream and chunky salsa.  Well I am not sure what the folks in Mexico’s capital would have to say when they see that.  Out in Mexico City quesadillas look a lot different.  A lot.  For starters they are significantly smaller and use a corn tortilla as a base.  Second, fillings usually consist of something more than just cheese (although a cheese quesadilla is acceptable).  A variety of vegetables make for great additions to a quesadilla.  One of the biggest difference is these quesadillas usually get fried rather than just get thrown on a griddle.  The end result is half-quesadilla, half-turnover.  A crunchy outside that is filled with warm veggies and gooey cheese. Continue reading

Stuffed Chiles

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The classic Mexican chile relleno consists of a roasted pepper filled with cheese, battered and fried, then drenched in tomato sauce.  Stuffed green bell peppers are usually stuffed with a rice and ground beef filling, nestled in a pool of tomato sauce and baked until the peppers almost fall apart.  So I say let’s merge the two.  Take the spice of the poblano with the heartiness of the rice stuffing and let those bad boys swim in a pool of tomato goodness.  Yum yum. Continue reading

Huevos Divorciados

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Huevos Divorciados or divorced eggs is a Mexican breakfast dish that is just too funny to not eat.  It consists of two fried eggs, side by side, separating (i.e. divorcing) the two different sauces.  Simple to make and simple to eat.  Fun to say as well. Continue reading

Potato Soup

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Potatoes-Can they do no harm?  They are tasty, hearty, cheap, filling and did I mention tasty?  Although there are many dishes that include potatoes I think one of my favorite ways to prepare them is in a simple soup.  A warm bowl of soup.  A steamy pot of earthy goodness. It is just really simple but really delicious.  Just some potatoes and tomatoes.  A few spices and voila!  A masterpiece is created. Continue reading

Chorizo and Bean Mexican Torta

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Picture this: a fresh, warm, crusty roll slathered with spicy chorizo and warm beans.  Crisp lettuce, sweet tomatoes, coooool avocado and creamy melt-in your-mouth cheese.  Oh yum. Summer just got better and it is all thanks to the mighty torta-the Mexican answer to the sandwich.  Tortas are not only yummy but versatile as well.  They can be served hot or cold and filled with just about any type of protein and veggies you have on hand.

For this recipe I took an authentic torta filling and turned it vegetarian (or vegan).  Most meat-free chorizo tastes just like the traditional beef or pork chorizo (a spice-filled sausage). I smashed it up with some beans to create a fantastic, flavorful filling (try saying that 5 times fast!).  With a well-seasoned filling it is best to keep the veggies simple.  Just a little lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese to help cut through the spice and voila!  Lunch/dinner-heck even breakfast is served.  Don’t worry about any leftovers either.  The filling makes for killer tacos. Continue reading

Garlicky Mushroom Pupusas

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Yum. Pupusas. Crispy, crunchy pockets of flavor. No wonder Salvadorans (and pretty much everyone else) loves them. The fillings for pupusas are endless. They can be stuffed with veggies, cheese, beans, anything at all. I’ve made a lovely zucchini-stuffed pupusa before. The zucchini gave it a nice sweet touch but this time I am going a little earthier.

This mushroom filling is meant to be very garlicky.  The garlic adds a nice salty kick to the mellow warmth of the mushrooms.  Plus the heartiness of the mushrooms makes for a great meatless filling.

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Summer Veggie Quesadilla

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Summer is here. And with summer comes fresh yummy veggies.  There are lots of vibrant, crisp, colorful vegetables during this time of year.  So why not make a quesadilla?  Why not indeed.

This recipe uses summer staples like squash, mushrooms and chiles.  Sauté them babies and stuff them into a homemade flour tortilla (or corn).  A fresh simple recipe for all those summer vegetables. Continue reading