Elote Preparado

Elote Preparado

One of the things I miss the most about living with my parents, believe it or not, are the copious amounts of street food venders that used to roam the streets of SanTana. Not only were we fortunate enough to have paleteros walking by, but we also had hardworking brown men and women walking the streets selling fruta picada, elotes, empanadas, and tamales. The eloteros where my favorite of the bunch. They’d usually walk by ringing their bells when ever I’d be out in the yard miserably helping my dad mow the lawn, and it was always a quick break from having to deal with my dad’s last attempts at trying to butch/toughen me up through manual labor. But, I’ll stop right there and save the rest of the details for when I share my coming out story.

Protip: If you want to earn a little street cred with your Mexican friends, don’t refer to this as “Mexican Street Corn”, “Elote”, or “Mexican Corn”–call them what they are, elotes preparados. 😉

With summer coming up, and with tons of sweet corn starting to flood local supermarkets, elotes preparados are the perfect effortless side dish for your next carne asada gathering/novela binging. If you weren’t aware already..Maria la del Barrio, RBD, Rubi, La Usurpadora and tons of other good classics are up on Netflix now…you’re welcome! 😉

Elote Preparado

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Vegan Churros with a Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts; the Tamarindo Podcast! I had been a long time listener, so when Luis asked me to be on I gladly accepted! I was so excited and slightly nervous and I couldn’t believe I was in the studio recording with them. If you love a good podcast, check them out! Whenever I listen to them or to Latinos Who Lunch I feel like I’m sitting en la sala hanging out con mis primos. They instantly become like family, and I love how relatable they are.

You can listen to the episode here.

When I posted the Vegan tacos Al Pastor on Tuesday, I had no idea I was going to get the reaction that I did. They went over so well! I had so many people tag me in their Insta stories who were making the marinade and I was living for it–Thank you for showing me so much love!

Keeping with the Vegan theme, we’re going to be making vegan churros with a vegan salted caramel dipping sauce today. The churro recipe comes from Eddie Garzas’s ¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook, which is one of the cookbooks I picked up a few weeks ago. This is a great book for anyone who’s Vegan and is looking for an authentic Mexican experience, or for those who like having alternatives for days when they don’t feel like eating meat.

I wish I were actually Vegan so I could truly appreciate the authenticity in these dishes. Eddie not only showcases modern Mexican cuisine, but he also focuses on spotlighting pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican dishes, taking it back to its plant based roots.

Today we’re pairing these Churros with a Vegan Salted Caramel dipping sauce because when I was visualizing what I wanted to do with the churros, I could not stop smelling cajeta. I kept picturing myself walking around El Jardín de la Villa being enveloped by the aroma of tacos de adobada, hot cakes with cajeta sizzling over a hot skillet, and the smell of dough being deep fried and being tossed around in sweet sugar and cinnamon.

Are there any vegan recipes you’d like to see in the future? Let me know! Non-vegans, we’ll be back to our regular recipes next week! See you then.

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Vegan Tacos Al Pastor

Vegan Tacos Al Pastor

One of my collabs with Mitú went up on Friday! You can watch me make a refreshing watermelon cocktail inspired by the spicy watermelon paletas I grew up with here.

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The last time my parents came over to visit, my dad mentioned he wanted to take a family trip to Cancún, and to be completely honest I don’t know if I’d want to go. The last time we were there, we had an okay time..there was nothing about Cancún that left us wanting to come back. It’s been two years since we’ve visited, as it was my reward for losing the 40 lbs. I had put on during my last year in college.

I decided that February that I was going to finally make a change to my lifestyle, so I booked our flights and I told myself that I was going to take my shirt off at the beach regardless of what my body looked like. I was always the kid who never took his shirt off at the pool because I was super shy about my body, but I worked hard and trained my butt off and I actually managed to reach my goal weight a week before our trip.

Vegan Tacos Al PastorCancun has beautiful blue beaches and good food, but it is a very tourist heavy location and it lacked the feeling of being in Mexico. We decided to stay en el centro to get a more authentic experience while we were there but we never found quite what we were looking for. We did however, find amazing tacos al pastor. They were completely different than the ones I was used to. The pork was sweeter, and the taqueros really played up the pineapple, cinnamon, and the achiote notes which was different than the heavier guajillo flavor bomb I was used to.

We’re going to be recreating a vegan version of those tacos al estilo Cancún today because I finally started dipping my toes in the vegan pond. I have many friends who are vegan who’ve been asking me to write recipes for some of their favorite dishes and I was excited to finally incorporate TVP (meat substitute) into a recipe. As a non-vegan I didn’t really notice that the pork was missing, TVP has the texture of meat and stays moist and flavorful, unlike pork which can become tough and dry when it is slightly overcooked. If you’re vegan, I hope these tacos deliver an authentic experience, and if you’re not vegan, don’t be afraid to try something new. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

(Billy also has a recipe up today for tacos de pollo verde , you can check it out here)

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Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

Lately, I had been having trouble trying to stay afloat. I had so many projects land on my lap that I had to take a quick (baby) mental break because I was starting to feel overworked, drained and really uninspired. I’m not the type of person who does their “best work” under pressure, I like to take my time and do things at my own pace. I’m a perfectionist, which can be extra crippling at times especially when my OCD compulsions decide say “¡Hola!”. So I turned to retail therapy to help alleviate my stress, and to find some inspiration.

Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

I didn’t own any Mexican cookbooks, so I bought a few of the ones a few friends recommended. One of the books I got was “Claudia’s Cocina, A Taste of Mexico” authored by Claudia Sandoval, winner of Master Chef Season 6! I was really excited to get my hands on this book because she takes great pride in her Mexican heritage and I was instantly sucked in when I read her introduction.

She says,

“I hope this book does a couple of things. I hope it reminds you that you should never be ashamed of  where you come from, but rather celebrate every bit of who you are. I hope it encourages you to stop making excuses and push the boundaries of your fears and day-to-day life. And I hope that it inspires you to cook food that doesn’t always look pretty but that warms your soul.”

And I couldn’t stop relating to it.

Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

For much of my childhood, I was made to feel ashamed of who I was and where I came from. For wearing the huaraches on my feet, for speaking a foreign language, and for being a little darker than everyone else. Now, I’m taking my culture back, and I’m owning it. I’m wearing my huaraches proudly, and I’m embracing mi piel de color cajeta–without making any apologies for it.

One of the first recipes I landed on when I first opened the book was a recipe that Claudia has for a Key Lime Flan and I don’t know that I could have landed on a better recipe because it is exactly what my soul needed! The flan itself is easy to make, and it was one of the dishes she made for her finale dinner. It’s sweet, a little tart from the key limes, and we’re topping it off with a tequila/triple sec whipped topping. I  truly enjoyed reading the bits and pieces Claudia shared about her life and how she’s been able to connect with her culture through food. She’s the true definition of a Chingona, a total badass.

In the book she includes recipes for Mariscos estilo Mazatlán, basics like tortillas and frijoles de la olla, and staples like enchiladas, chile verde pork and huevos divorciados. If you’re interested in learning a little more about her, you can find her cookbook here.

Don’t forget to take a minute to treat yourself. Make some flan, and unwind away!

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Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

When Billy and I first started dating, I used to try to cook everything I could just so I could introduce him to all of the dishes I grew up cherishing. I really wanted him to get a sense of who I was through food, and I wanted him to learn about all of the bits and pieces of my culture and traditions he didn’t know. Last year, he finally had the opportunity to experience the place where my roots stem from–Colima. He got to taste all of the dishes I talked so much about, he got to meet the aunts that have always kept me laughing (and very well fed), and the loving grandparents who have taught me so much about life.

Traveling to Mexico at a young age was always a bittersweet because my parents were undocumented when I was growing up. Not only did I have to travel by myself from time to time, but I always felt guilty that I had the opportunity to enjoy what they couldn’t– spending time with their family.

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

Mi grandma.

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

It’s super backlit, but it’s one of my favorite shots with my aunts/grandparents. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have a deep appreciation for my maternal grandparents because they’ve always treated me like their own child. They have provided me with an immense amount of love and support and they’ve always been really great examples of what I should aspire to be, a hardworking, humble, and appreciative individual.

To this day, my grandma has continually worked hard to help her household make ends meet. For as long as I can remember, she’s walked the pebble stoned streets of Colima selling the fresh cheeses she’s made every morning. She’d get on the ruta in Comala bright and early and walk around for miles and miles carrying various cheeses on her back and during the weekend, she’d transform her living room into a small restaurant and sell pozole, tacos de papa and sopes to everyone en la colonia

I really wanted to spend my Birthday in their company this year because I enjoy being surrounded by so much love, mis tí as las pericas, and all of the good food I could ever want. 

We were fortunate to swing by while my grandma was still selling food during our last day there. She offered us sopes, pozole and tacos, but I settled on tacos de papa because she makes them like no one else!

Tacos de papa are pretty basic. They consist of a deep fried tortilla shell stuffed with a mashed potato filling and they’re topped with shredded cabbage, sliced tomato, diced onion, heaps of cotija and a garlicky tomato sauce.

These tacos are a good reminder of my grandma, and they instantly transport me back to Comala whenever I have them. If you have the opportunity to make them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I hope they bring you warm memories, just as they do to me.

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