Tuesday, May 10, 2011

GF Strawberry Liquado

The next addition to my month of Mexican recipes goes to the Mexican version of what we know as the smoothie. This delicious treat is perfect for warm days and will satisfy your thirst and hunger at the same time. Enjoy it as a snack, meal, or even dessert!

I have come up with many varieties of delicious smoothies (which I have yet to share) but when my husband whipped up this version for me I was hooked on the first slurp. This is something his mother, Aurora Camacho, used to make for him when he was a child. I am so grateful for all our wonderful mothers who have taught us so much. Just one of the many important things I learned from my mother-in-law and husband is:
the most important ingredient in any recipe is Love- and love can be found in just about any Latin recipe. I hope everyone, especially all the great moms, had a wonderful mothers day this year!

  • 1 bag of frozen strawberries (2 cups)
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond or coconut milk (add extra water in need)
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 TBS. local raw honey
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until liquado. Add more almond milk as needed. The key is to have it more liquidy than smoothie.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo Celebracion: GF Mango Margaritas

Cinco de Mayo ("fifth of May") is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The holiday has little significance in Mexico and is observed primarily in the U.S. and the state of Puebla to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride. Mexicans and Latinos living in California during the American Civil War are credited with being the first to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

Ever since I was a child growing up in California, Cinco de Mayo has always been a holiday that was celebrated and recognized. It is a great way to partake and enjoy the wonderful food, dance, and culture of the Mexican people. Now that I am an adult, I also love to enjoy a delicious homemade Margarita!

If you are unable to enjoy one today, make sure you get a chance soon. I will be making one for my husband and I while listening to Ana Gabriel and watching Teresa on Univision, as soon as I finish this blog.

Today I am sharing my favorite margarita recipes, don't be afraid to make up your own version. The key is using pure ingredients and a quality tequila. Tequila brands I recommend are: Hornitos and 1800 for the budget conscious, and Patron and Don Julio when you are able to bust out the big bucks.

Makes 4 servings

Mango Margarita
  • 4 shots puro de agave (100% from agave) tequila reposado
  • 1 bag (14 ounces) of frozen mangos
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sucanet
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Before pouring, salt the rim of all margarita or cocktail glass's.

Strawberry Margarita
  • 4 shots of puro de agave (100% from agave) tequila blanco
  • 1 to 2 bags of frozen strawberries
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sucanet
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Before pouring, salt the rim of all margarita or cocktail glass's.

Viva Mexico!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mexican May(hem): GF Plantain Empanadas

It is now the month of May and I cannot tell you how excited I am for the recipes I am about to share. This month I will be focusing on all things Mexican! I have been waiting to share my favorite Mexican dishes for a while now and if you have tried mi Salsa Verde or Chilaquiles recipe than you know this white girl ain't no joke. =) I absolutely loved growing up in Los Angeles, not just for the great weather and ocean, but also because it exposed me to authentic Mexican culture and cuisine. Mexican food is not only my favorite food but I believe it to be the most delicious food in the world! Yeah I said it.

My first Mexican recipe for the month of May comes from a restaurant in Mexico City and was shared by Pati's Mexican Table; a cooking show on PBS featuring authentic Mexican recipes. They called it Plantain Quesadilla's, but because of the way it is cooked, how it looks, and a few minor changes I made to the recipe, I am calling them Empanadas. Whatever you call it is not the point, what matters is the end product and how much you are going to love it! It was labor intensive and time consuming, but what authentic Mexican food isn't? And more importantly, what authentic Mexican food isn't worth the time and effort?

Plantain Empanada stuffed with Refried beans

Makes from 6 to 8 large Empanadas


  • 4 large or 6 medium yellow plantains
  • 1 bag dried pinto beans
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 anaheim chilies
  • 2 hot banana peppers
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • safflower or olive oil
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic powder

Rebecca's Refried Beans

There are many ways to make refried beans but I like to add a little kick to mine. To prepare: soak dried pinto beans over night in a large pot of water. Drain and refill water at least once, I like to drain twice through soaking process to remove excess acid from the beans so they are easier to digest. In the large pot filled with water, bring the beans to boil then turn heat down to low and cover and simmer for 2 hours. Do not add any salt to the beans until the end of the cooking process (your beans will turn out very hard if you add salt too early). When beans are tender, drain the water leaving a little left in the beans to keep the beans moist. Mash the beans until smooth. Dice all peppers/chilies and chop onion and cilantro. In a large pan saute chilies, onion, and cilantro in olive or safflower oil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add mashed beans, kosher or sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and garlic powder and mix together. Turn refried beans on low and cook for 10 more minutes.

Plantain Masa

The key to making the masa is selecting the right plantain. There are 3 stages you can cook a plantain: green, yellow, and black. Make sure you use only yellow plantains (they may have some black spots.) Place the whole plantains, with skin on, in a large pot filled with boiling water. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, until they are thoroughly cooked. Remove from the water and let cool. Peel the plantains, slice, and mash together with your hands until very smooth.

Make round balls of about 3 inches. Press in between plastic rounds in a tortilla press or roll with a roller until you get a flat disk. Place a tablespoon of refried beans right in the center and fold like a turnover and press edges together with fingers.

In a large deep skillet, add enough oil to have an inch high. One medium heat, about 5 minutes later, when it is hot but not smoking, insert the empanadas a few at a time. Let them fry, about 4-5 minutes on each side until nice and browned. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Optional: Serve with Mexican crema and mi salsa verde (recipe found in blog archive January 2011)