Homemade Habanero Hot Sauce

July 23, 2011

Homemade Habanero Hot Sauce

This sauce is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!!  Get yourself a doctor’s note and proceed with caution!


20 Fresh Habaneros

5 Garlic Cloves

½ Cup Champagne Vinegar

½ Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

½ Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Raw Sugar

Slice and remove the insides of the habaneros.  If you want hotter sauce you can use the insides in the sauce as the seed are the hottest part of the habanero.  Peel the garlic and cut into quarters.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Oil a pan and roast the habaneros and garlic for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.  Make sure that you keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to burn.  Roasting the habaneros and the garlic really adds to the flavor. 

After removing the habaneros and garlic from the oven, put them into a food processor and add the champagne vinegar, water, sea salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, raw sugar and puree.  If you find that the sauce is too thick then add more vinegar and water in equal parts.  Pour into a storage container or bottle and refrigerate.  This sauce should keep for quite awhile.  Use it on eggs, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pasta, rice dishes or anything that you want to add a kick to.  Makes 1 ½ to 2 cups

Victoria’s Mojo Burritos

July 19, 2011

Victoria’s Mojo Burritos


1 Pound Ground Sirloin

1 Large Chopped Onion

1 Small Chopped Green Sweet Pepper

1 Clove Minced Garlic

¼ Cup Beer

1 Tablespoon Hot Chili Powder

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Cup Cooked Rice

4 Ounce Can Diced Green Chile Peppers Drain or

4 Ounces Fresh Diced Green Chile Peppers

1 Large Chopped Tomato

8 Ten Inch Flour Tortillas

2 Cups Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese

2 Cups Shredded Lettuce



For the filling: In a large skillet cook the ground sirloin, onion, sweet pepper and garlic until the meat is brown and the onion is tender.  Drain off the fat.  Stir in the beer, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Cook for 5 minutes until most of the beer has evaporated.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and chile peppers.  Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas tightly in foil.  Heat a preheated 350° F oven for 10 minutes to soften.  When you are ready to fill the tortillas, remove only half of them from the oven at a time.  Keep the remaining tortillas warm in the oven.  Spoon about ½ cup filling onto each tortilla just below the center.  Top the filling with cheese and tomato.  Fold the bottom edge of each tortilla up and over the filling.  Fold the opposite sides in and over filling.  Roll up the bottom and secure with wooden toothpicks if needed.  Makes 8 delicious Mojo Burritos!

Chunky Guacamole

July 18, 2011

Chunky Guacamole

Don’t buy that horrible premade guacamole that you find expiring in the grocer’s refrigerated section.  It’s easy to make your own and so much better.  The secret to what makes my Chunky Guacamole so good is the lime juice.  Lemons and limes are kitchen essentials. 


2 Medium Chopped Roma Tomatoes

1/4 Finely Chopped Red Onion

3 Tablespoons Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Seeded & Chopped Jalapeno Chile

1 Tablespoon Sour Cream

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Clove Minced Garlic

2 Ripe Mashed Avocados

Tortilla Chips

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, jalapeno and sour cream.  Gently stir in the mashed avocados.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Makes 2 cups

Chipotle Dressing

July 12, 2011

Chipotle Dressing


¼ Cup Olive Oil

¼ Cup Fresh Lime Juice

¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar

2 Large Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

7 Ounces Chipotles In Adobo (7 Ounce Can)

In a blender, pulse the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper until mixed.  Drain the canned chipotles, pouring all of the adobo sauce into the blender.  Add the chipotles to taste and puree the dressing.  One will give the dressing some heat and two or three will produce a medium hot dressing.  Four or more will make a hot, hot, hot dressing.  Chop any remaining chipotles and serve them on the side if you wish.  Serves 6

Pastel Tres Leches

June 28, 2011

Pastel Tres Leches


1 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

6 Eggs

1 Cup Sugar

4 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk

12 Ounces Evaporated Milk

3 Cups Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoons Sugar

Optional Fresh Fruit

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9×3 inch spring form pan.  In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  In a separate medium bowl mix (with a mixer) the eggs and sugar together.  Beat on high for 5 minutes.  Reduce the speed and add the water and one teaspoon of the vanilla.  Mix well.  Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Pour the batter into the spring form pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes by placing the cake in the center of the oven.  The cake should be firm in the center and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Place a plate over the cake and turn upside down to remove the cake from the pan.  Next gently place the cake right side up onto your serving dish. 

To serve make sure your platter has a lip to hold in the milk.  In a bowl, mix together the evaporated milk, the condensed milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.  Using a long tooth pick, ice pick or skewer, poke holes all over the cake.  The holes will allow the cake to absorb more of the milk.  Slowly pour or spoon the milk mixture all over the cake and allow it time to soak in before adding more milk.  Refrigerate.  When ready to serve the cake, place the 2 cups of whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl and begin mixing on medium.  Add one teaspoon of vanilla and sugar one tablespoon at a time.  Beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Spread the whipping cream generously on the top of the cake.  Garnish with sliced fruit if you like.  Serves 8

Favorite Taco Salad

June 21, 2011

Favorite Taco Salad

There are many variations of the taco salad.  Often served as a fried flour tortilla shell stuffed with shredded lettuce and topped with diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole and taco sauce.  The salad is topped with taco meat which is often times ground beef or seasoned shredded chicken.  The salad also may have a base of refried beans on the shell before the lettuce is added.  Here is my recipe for taco salad.



¼ Cup Fresh Lime Juice

½ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

½ Cup Olive Oil


1 Chopped Medium Onion

4 Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Fresh & Finely Chopped Serrano Chiles

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 ½ Pounds Ground Sirloin

8 Ounces Tomato Sauce

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper


1 Large Avocado

1 Thinly Sliced Head Iceberg Lettuce

1 Chopped Large Tomato

1 ½ Cups Grated Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese

6 Ounces Sliced & Pitted Black Olives

15 to 19 Ounces of Black Beans (Drained & Rinsed)

To make the dressing: whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Next add the oil in a stream while whisking.  Whisk until emulsified. 

To cook the beef: in a large heavy skillet cook the onion, garlic, chilies, chili powder and cumin the oil over medium heat.  Stir occasionally and cook for 6 minutes until the onion is softened. Next add the beef and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally and break up any lumps.  Cook until meat is no longer pink and then spoon off any excess fat from the skillet.  Add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper to the beef and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat. 

Assemble the salad: peel and pit the avocado and then cut into ½ inch pieces.  Spread the lettuce over bottom of a shallow 4 quart dish.  Spoon beef mixture evenly over the lettuce and continue making layers with tomatoes, cheese, beans, avocado and olives.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.  Serves 6


June 4, 2011


Often described as a liquid salad, gazpacho descends from ancient Roman concoction based on a combination of stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar.  As Romans labored to build roads and aqueducts across Spain in the scorching heat, this creamy soup replenished them with the necessary salt and vitamins lost through physical exertion.  Later, shepherds and farmers added vegetables to make it more hearty and satisfying.  Because tomatoes and bell peppers were not indigenous to Spain, these ingredients were not added to the soup until after Spain’s discovery of the New World.  Since that time, gazpacho has remained relatively unchanged.  We are grateful for such an unpretentious soup designed to quench the thirst evoked by the unrelenting Spanish sun. 


1 Large Cucumber

2 Red Bell Peppers

1 Yellow Bell Pepper

4 Medium Tomatoes

1 Red Onion

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

3 Cups Tomato Juice

¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Halve and seed the cucumber, but do not peel it.  Core and seed the three bell peppers.  Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and red onion into 1 inch cubes.  Reserve a small bit of each vegetable to put in at the end so that the soup has some crunch.  Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped.  Do not over process.  After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix well and chill before serving.  The longer the gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.  Serve anytime, but especially on a hot summer day.  Serves 4

Tilapia Ceviche

May 5, 2011

Tilapia Ceviche


2 Pounds Diced Tilapia Fillets

1 Cup Lime Juice

½ Cup Seeded Chopped Tomato

½ Peeled/Seeded & Finely Diced Cucumber

½ Cup Finely Chopped Onion

¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro Leaves

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

1 Serrano Chile

6 Grilled Tostadas

1 Halved/Pitted/Peeled & Thinly Sliced Avocado

1 Lime Cut Into Wedges

Put the tilapia in a medium sized bowl.  Pour the lime juice (about 8 limes) over the fish and mix gently to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until the fish is white throughout.  This should take about 20 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and drain off the lime juice.  Gently squeeze the fish with your hands and discard the lime juice.  Add the tomato, cucumber, onion and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the hot sauce and chile.

To grill the tortillas heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.  Put the tortillas on the grill or grill pan and let them dry out until they are crunchy.  If you would rather used readymade tostadas you can do that as well. 

Top the tostadas generously with the ceviche.  Arrange the avocado slices on top of the ceviche and serve immediately with the lime wedges alongside.  Serves 6

Chicken Mole

April 2, 2011

Chicken Mole


15 Ounces Diced Tomatoes

4 Ounces Chopped Mild Green Chiles

½ Cup Whole Blanched Almonds

½ Cup Coarsely Chopped Onion

1 Peeled Garlic Clove

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

¾ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

½ Ounce Chopped Unsweetened Chocolate

¼ Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

3 Pounds Bone-In Skinless Chicken Parts

To prepare mole sauce, in a blender or food processor with a knife blade attached, puree tomatoes, chilies, almonds, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt and sugar until smooth. 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add chicken and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side).  Use tongs to transfer chicken pieces to a large bowl. 

Pour mole sauce, chocolate and water to the skillet.  Cook while stirring until chocolate melts.  Return chicken to skillet and heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken juices run clear when pierced with tip of a knife.  Remove from skillet and serve with rice and/or tortillas.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves 6

Naughty Nachos

March 27, 2011

Naughty Nachos

If I had to pick my last meal on earth it would be Naughty Nachos!


1 Pound Ground Sirloin

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Cumin

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

8 Ounces Refried Beans

15 Ounces Black Beans

¾ Pound Grated Monterey Jack Cheese

1 Pound Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Large Chopped Red Onion

½ Cup Chopped Green Onions

2 Chopped Tomatoes

8 Ounces Chopped Black Olives

3 Diced Jalapeño Peppers

16 Ounces Tortilla Chips

Iceberg Lettuce

Sour Cream  (optional)

Guacamole   (optional)

Salsa  (optional)

Brown ground sirloin in a medium skillet. Drain and add chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and salt.  Set aside.  Spread the refried beans over the bottom of a platter or shallow heat proof dish.  This is to anchor the first layer of tortilla chips.  Next, spread a layer of chips over the refried beans, top with layers of cheeses, ground sirloin, black beans, red onion, green onions, diced jalapeño peppers, tomatoes and olives.  Repeat until all ingredients are used.  Bake in preheated oven at 375° F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.  Top with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Serves 6

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