Salsa de Pina y Mango | Fresh Pineapple and Mango Salsa

This salsa is one of my favorite. I like seafood, and it’s perfect with many seafood dishes as a side. It’s beautiful! Bright, sunny colors of fresh tropical fruit. It tastes like vacation in Hawaii, if, of course, you come across excellent ripe golden pineapples and Ataulfo mango. This salsa is easy to make — all its ingredients are raw, but you have to know smart ways to cut, slice, and dice pineapple and mango to enjoy the process of making it. When you do, you can make this salsa quickly and impress your guests with a presentation.

March 26, 2017
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Happy 4th of July! Smoked Wagyu Burgers

I think it was a special game for our instructor chef J to teach us how to turn what school provided into delicious and well presented meals. It became a tradition for many other our shift students and teachers to come and eat at the end of the class what was cooked in our lab. Our burgers were not an exception. Chef J explained every element of successful burger meal, from meat to bun and to everything sandwiched in between. From that point, I could make my own perfect burger, adjusted to my personal taste. That’s what I do every 4th of July.

This recipe is part of Easy Smoked Meals at Home coming cooking class.

July 5, 2016
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Salt Roasted Stuffed Onions

In the original recipe, whole onions are salt roasted first. Than, their cooked inner layers are scooped out, chopped, seasoned, and mixed with béchamel (flour, butter and milk) for stuffing. Finally, stuffed onions are baked in salt for the second time for serving.

I experimented with a few different thickening ingredients to replace béchamel — nuts (roasted and salted pistachios and marcona almonds), egg yolk, cheese, and corn starch. Proportions for other thickeners per 1 cup of puree were the following: 1 egg yolk (large egg), or 1 oz of grated cheese, or 1 tsp of corn starch. Each of them slightly affected the taste and texture of the stuffing, and all of them were really good. They turned cooked onion puree into a delicacy comparable with foie gras — sweet onion foie gras.

June 12, 2016
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Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake

Japanese soufflé cheesecake is also known as “cotton” cheesecake. It is extremely popular in Asian countries for its texture — fluffy and velvety creamy at the same time. I fell in love with it with the first bite. It’s a treat for a true cheesecake aficionados. Japanese cheesecake is not overly sweet, so having more than one slice at a time is difficult to resist. Enjoy it plain, or decorate it with whipped cream and fresh berries.

April 11, 2016
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In the Search for Perfect Fajita Marinade

every passionate cook insists on developing their own, perfect to their taste recipe. Where all these marinade variations come from? What was at the beginning? Now that we know about basic adobo, let’s compare ingredients, shall we?

April 2, 2016
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Basic Ancho Adobo

In Mexican cuisine, adobo is a dark red, flavorful paste made from ground chiles. Some herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients (e.g., citrus juice or vinegar) are added. It can be used as a marinade and as cooking or serving sauce. The word adobado is an adjective to describe dishes where adobe is used as cooking sauce. Adobo heat level depends on chiles used for making it. Ancho Adobo is very mild. A combination of Ancho and Chipotle Meco is my favorite.

April 1, 2016
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Romantic Food Goes Texan: Texas Quail, Peaches, Pecans, and Texmati

Cooking together is one of the most romantic activities! This recipe requires cooking rice, quails, and sauce at the same time. While the logistics are easy for pros, it might be challenging for home cooks. That’s where cooking with loving partner might be highly beneficial. Come to my kitchen and I’ll teach you every step. Make this dish your special for special occasions!

January 9, 2016
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Boozy, Adults-Only, All-Inclusive Pecan Pie

When making this pie, don’t be shy with the sugar and butter. And bourbon. And Mexican vanilla. Just don’t be shy at all. Let it go!

November 26, 2015
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“Howdy!” Salad

I always think about it as a transitional flavor combination for people who are not familiar with Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Southern cuisines, as an introduction to our local specialties. It tastes wonderful with or without hot chilies. It is beautiful! It is perfect as a light summer meal, or as a side dish. It works well with grilled meats and poultry, with seafood, different tacos and enchiladas, or just corn chips or tortillas.

February 14, 2015
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