St. Patrick’s Day alla Mexicana

comments 6
Beef / Mexican

Corned Beef Flautas with Shamrock Shaped Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa

When I was a kid, my Mother would make these canned corned beef hash tacos.  We used to eat them with ketchup spiked with Tabasco sauce.  My Mom worked full time while raising four children.  She managed to cook for us, take us to sporting events, and be team Mom.  She had tasty recipes that seemed to whip up in no time.    Her well stocked pantry was her way of feeding us fast.  Eating out was not really an option.  The corned beef hash tacos were delicious.  However, that was pretty much my exposure to corned beef.  I’ve never made a corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day until now.  The brisket cooked in the slow cooker reminded me of the shredded beef found in a taco or flauta.  That’s how this recipe was developed.  It is my take on merging my childhood memories with some holiday whimsy.


Time-Active 1 hour Inactive 3 hours


  • 2-3 lbs of Corned Beef, 3 cups of water
  • 3 Large Avocados, 5 Tomatillos, 1/2 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt.
  • 12 soft flour tortillas fajita size, 3 cups of oil
  • Crema and cilantro for garnish


Place Corned Beef in slow cooker on high for 3 hours with 3 cups of water.  Cook until pull apart tender.


Once cooked it should look like this.  Once cooled pull apart and give meat a perpendicular chop and set aside.


Scoop avocado from skin and remove husks from tomatillos.  Then place all ingredients for Avocado salsa in blender.IMG_2167

Blend until smooth.  This avocado salsa will yield four cups and can be stored air tight for 3 days.


Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 12 inch skillet add 3 cups of vegetable oil on medium high heat. Have oil get to at least 350 degrees.  Then gently place flour tortilla in oil for a few seconds per side and set aside on a cooling rack so tortilla does not sit in its own oil.  Repeat until 12 flour tortillas are slightly fried.  This method allows for your flautas to remain crunchy and not oily.

Once all your tortillas are fried start filling them with corned beef.  Place all of them in a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.


The flautas will be slightly browned and tortilla will be crunchy and meat won’t be to oily.  Place cooked flautas on a shamrock shaped bed of avocado salsa.  Garnish with cream and cilantro.


Cheers to a Happy St. Patrick’s Day



Lazy Lady Soup

comments 4

Black Bean Soup

It’s cold and raining outside and I don’t want to go to the market.  Black bean soup is a recipe that can easily be made if you properly stock your pantry.  When I don’t feel like making a big to-do about food but I want something home cooked, it’s time for pantry soup.   I call this my “lazy lady soup” because I get a lot of help from the grocery store.  Keep these canned food items in the pantry so you have a meal that is ready, set and go.


Time-45 minutes


(4) 15.5 oz cans of black beans, 32 oz chicken stock, 14.5 oz stewed chopped tomatoes, 1/2 green pepper chopped or approx 1 cup, 1/2 red pepper chopped, 1 cup of pre-chopped onions, 5 cloves of garlic minced, 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and 4 strips of bacon chopped.  Creama, cilantro, lime wedges, jalapeños  and tortilla strips optional.


On medium-high heat add chopped bacon into pot.  Render bacon fat and when bacon starts to brown add the onions, red and green peppers.  Sauté for 5-10 minutes to soften vegetables.


Once vegetables are softened add garlic and incorporate for 2 minutes then add canned tomatoes including juices.  Cook for another 5 minutes to break down tomatoes.  Open black beans and drain juice and rinse.


Then add black beans to pot.


Add chicken stock and puree with an hand immersion blender.  Blend until smooth and bring to a boil.  Add salt and reduce for 5 minutes.  During this time you can make tortilla strips,  chop cilantro and lime wedges.


Make fancy design with creama using a squirt bottle.  Add tortilla strips and cilantro.  Enjoy with a squeeze of lime or chopped jalapeño for some heat.


Cook’s Note

  1.  To learn how to design with squirt bottles see blog Nana’s Hot Chocolate.
  2. To learn how to make tortilla strips see blog Chicken Soup for the Soul
  3. This is great with grilled chipotle shrimp as well to make a substantial meal.
  4. If you can find pre chopped green and red peppers as well this soup is even easier.
  5. A well stocked pantry will save you, add these items to your grocery list.  IMG_2035

Heart and Soul cooking for Valentines

comments 2
Beef / Steak

Ribeye with wilted super greens and sautéed mushrooms

After teaching several cooking classes, I have learned most people want to feel more confident preparing steak and seafood.  If you have a significant other who loves to handle the cooking of meats and grilling,  it can feel overwhelming when you want to handle the steak on your own.  This recipe is straightforward, step by step approach to cooking a phenomenal steak.  If you want to try your hand at a delicious steak dinner, try this recipe.  Make your Valentine’s heart swell with joy, and reserve your spot in their heart as soulmate over this spectacular dinner.


Time-45 minutes-1 hour


3 Boneless Ribeye Steaks at least 1 inch thick, 8 oz Pre-sliced Baby Bella mushrooms, 5 oz Super Greens (baby chard, baby kale, and baby Spinach), 1/3 cup of red wine, 3 TBS shallots diced, 4 tsp chopped garlic, 2 TBS olive oil, 2 TBS butter, Herbs de provence, 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme and salt.


Season both sides of steaks with 1 TBS of Herbs de Provence and 2 tsp of Kosher salt.  It’s important to allow steaks to come to room temperature.  Allow steaks to sit in dry marinade for 30 minutes outside of refrigerator.  IMG_1769

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet add 1 TBS of olive oil and 1 TBS of butter under medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and allow to brown.  When mushrooms are browned add 1 TBS of shallots and  2 tsp of garlic and fresh thyme removed from sprig.  Add red wine and completely reduce.  Season with a 1/2 tsp of kosher salt.  Toss together and set aside.


Place a cast iron skillet onto stove on med-high heat.  Allow pan to get hot before adding steak.  You are going to dry sear the steak.  That means you don’t need to oil the cast iron skillet to brown the steaks.  The reason I don’t add oil is because I will use the same skillet to wilt the greens and I find that it muddies the greens a little less if I dry sear.  Initially the sear does not look promising but I promise once you remove the steaks from the oven.  The steaks will look and be perfect.  It’s a home-cook trick to finish in the oven.


Sear steak 5 minutes per side or until you develop a perfect brown crust.  Place seared steaks into oven safe pyrex.  Do not wash cast iron skillet as you will reuse this skillet as is to wilt super greens.

Medium-rare steaks keep in oven 15 minutes

Medium  keep in oven 20 minutes

Medium-well keep in oven 25 minutes

Well-done keep in oven 30 minutes

Allow steaks to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.


While steaks are resting wilt greens in iron cast skillet that you seared steaks in.  Add 1 TBS of olive oil and 1 TBS of butter to cast iron skillet under medium-high heat.  Add 2 TBS of shallots and 2 tsp of chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute then add all the power greens.


The greens will wilt down to practically nothing in a few minutes as you mix with shallots, garlic and oil.  Taste for salt, there will be residual salt in skillet from steaks so check to see if the greens need a pinch of salt.  Once wilted down turn off heat and prepare to plate.



Make a bed of wilted super greens and lay ribeye on greens.  Scattered sautéed mushrooms onto steak.  Serve with the starch you love.  I adore homemade french fries with this dish.  However, when I’m being a lazy lady I don’t make a starch which makes me feel very healthy.  Enjoy this recipe!


Happy Valentine’s Day to all the cooks!

Summertime Grillin’ and Chillin’

Leave a comment
Mexican / Steak


Carne Asada (Citrus Marinaded Skirt Steak)

Carne Asada is the quintessential grilled dish in my backyard.  It’s the perfect summer meal to enjoy with friends and family.   When I want to barbecue, I think of Carne Asada or Burgers.  We are fortunate in California to have a plethora of Mexican Carnecerias (Meat market).  At the Carnecerias you can buy marinaded skirt steak ready to grill.  When I lived in New York 12 years ago I couldn’t find marinaded Carne Asada.  I had to figure out how to make it myself.  It is a sweet and sour, citrus marinade that tenderizes the meat.  It grills up in just minutes.  When the skirt steak is done sit down with friends and grab a beer because it’s time to chill.


Time -1 hour and 10 minutes


2 lbs of skirt steak, 1 cup fresh orange juice (3 oranges), 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice (3 limes),  1 cup of vegetable or canola oil, 1/2 red onion sliced, 1 clove of garlic smashed, 1 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1/2 tsp of Mexican oregano


Place skirt steak in a pyrex platter and add all the ingredients listed above and let marinate for an hour in refrigerator.



After 1 hour take meat out of refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while grill gets hot.  Get grill to take least 400 degrees.  Place skirt steak on grill about 3 minutes per side.  The steak is very thin and cooks quickly.  The basic rule of thumb is to look for great grill marks and flip once.  The marinade has a cup of oil in it so be careful to properly drain excess off before placing on grill to avoid oil fire and flame.  Grill jalapeños and Mexican green onions for added flavor.

FullSizeRender 4

Place cooked meat on platter and enjoy alone with a side of rice and beans.  You could also chop this up for Carne Asada tacos or burritos.  Grab a sit at my table while I pour you a drink.  Enjoy!FullSizeRender 3

Please see blogs: Back to Basics a Mexican Kitchen, Don’t tell anyone I told you this secret and Take a Break.  It’s Labor Day for recipes on rice, beans, salsa and guacamole.

Recipe note:

Please don’t leave out oil in marinade.  It balances the citrus flavor.

Unabashed Eggslut

comments 7
Breakfast / Sandwich

Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a Buttered Brioche Bun with Sriracha Ketchup

Have I told you that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day? Well this sandwich is one of the reasons why.  When I lived in New York, having a bacon, egg and cheese on a roll was as commonplace as a breakfast burrito in California.  The restaurant Eggslut has brought the breakfast sandwich to life on the west coast.  They really upped the ante with the introduction of the brioche bun.  They use a chipotle ketchup that adds a tangy sweetness that is appreciated with all the salty and savory deliciousness from the eggs, bacon, and cheese.  If you do not have an Eggslut near you, this recipe will satisfy the craving.

Time-20 minutes



2 Brioche buns, 2 eggs, 6 slices of bacon, 2 slices of American Cheese, 1/4 cup of Ketchup, 1 tsp of Sriracha, butter, salt and pepper.


Butter both sides of Brioche bun and toast on a medium high skillet until golden.  FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender 2








Fry up bacon until desired crispiness.  Set aside on paper towels.

FullSizeRender 3








Mix Sriracha and ketchup together in a small bowl and set aside.

FullSizeRender 4

Before frying egg start to build sandwich by slathering Sriracha Ketchup on the bottom of the bun.  Pile two or three slices of bacon on top of ketchup.

FullSizeRender 5








Start to fry over easy egg by adding 1 tsp of butter on medium high heat.  As egg cooks season with salt and pepper then flip egg once you have golden brown edges.

FullSizeRender 6FullSizeRender 7








Once egg is flipped immediately add cheese and turn off heat.  Finish sandwich by adding egg and cheese.

FullSizeRender 8








Enjoy with your choice of protein such as sausage patty or ham.  The sky is the limit enjoy!DSC_3757