Category Archives: Mexican

Beet Salsa with Habanero

3 beets
2 scallions (thinly sliced)
1/2 C orange juice
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1/4 C diced yellow pepper
1/4 C lime juice
2 T olive oil
1 habanero minced
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450. Tightly wrap beets in foil. Bake beets until tender (about 1 1/4 hours). Let stand wrapped for 15 minutes, then open foil and peel when cool enough. Finely dice.

Mix beets in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.


from Roberto Santibanez’ Truly Mexican


Doug’s Tunachos

a fusion of traditional Hawaiian Poke and Mexican nachos

Serves 6

For the Poke

2 C ahi (yellowfin tuna, sashimi grade) diced as small as you can
¼ C sweet red onion, minced
¼ C scallions, green parts only sliced thin
½ C soy sauce
1 T sesame oil – I used hot chili sesame oil I found at the Chinese market
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Season Ahi with Hawaiian or other good finishing salt. Add all ingredients, mix well then chill for 3 hours tossing occasionally.

For the Cheese Mixture

4 C finely crumbled good quality Queso Fresco cheese
1 cob of corn – husk on but “de-silked”
2 medium red peppers
1 or 2 Jalapeno peppers (Use 2 if you’re using those wimpy jalapenos you get at most grocery stores. Use one if you’re using the real deal you get at the local farmer’s market). Remember there is some heat in the Poke as well.

High quality nacho chips (I used some made fresh by Don Antonio’s at the downtown market)

Peel back but don’t remove the husk on the corn and remove the silk.  “Re-wrap” the cob in the husk and soak in cold water for up to an hour.

Prepare your BBQ with a healthy handful of soaked mesquite in a foil pouch.  Once it is smoking, roast the red peppers, the jalapeno and the corn.  Remove the red pepper and the jalapeno when they are charred and put in a paper bag to cool.  Continue cooking the corn in its husk until the husk is blackened and you can see some of the corn kernels starting to turn brown.  Remove the corn and let cool in the husk.

When cooled, take the peppers out of the bag and remove the blackened skin; slice open; de-vein and de-seed.  Finely chop the roasted red and jalapeno peppers and add to the Queso Fresco. Husk the corn and slice off the kernels.  Add the corn to the Queso Fresco and pepper mixture and stir well.

I served this dish as an appetizer so I arranged four large nacho chips on a smallish rectangular plate with the concave surface facing up and serving as a dish for the cheese mixture.  Scoop a couple of tablespoons of the chees mixture into each nacho chip.  Arrange the plates on a cookie sheet and place under a medium hot broiler. Be careful not to let the chips burn.  You may have to fiddle with temperature a bit to get this right.  The Queso Fresco will not melt but it will begin to turn brown.

When the nacho chips and mixture have a nice brown surface remove from the broiler.  Top each nacho chip with a scoop of Poke and serve immediately.

Goes great with chilled Perseco

Chicken in Sauce Piquante

Chicken pieces (I used boneless breasts and thighs)
2 T vegetable oil
1 T Cajun Spice Mix (see below)
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp salt
1 recipe Sauce Piquante (see below)

Rub the chicken pieces with oil.
Blend the spice mix, cayenne, marjoram, sage and salt and rub all over the meat.
Barbecue for about ½ an hour @350F.

Place in a baking tray and cover with Piquante Sauce.
Bake in oven or bar-b-que for ½ hour or more at 350F.

Cajun Spice Mix

½ C paprika
¼ C black pepper
I ½ T or more cayenne
2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder

Combine the spices thoroughly and store in a closed jar in a cool, dry place. Add more cayenne if you want a hotter mix. Use within a month.


¼ C olive oil
I medium onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ green pepper, finely chopped
½ red pepper, finely chopped
1-2 hot fresh chilies, seeded and finely chopped
3 C chopped tomatoes or canned Italian style tomatoes, with juice
1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh
1 tsp dried marjoram or 2 tsp fresh
2 bay leaves
2 T Cajun Spice Mix
1 T Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp cayenne
1 T red wine vinegar
¼ tsp or more Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
1 tsp or more of salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Heat the oil in saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and peppers, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juice along with the herbs and spices, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 -15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste for salt and pepper and add more Tabasco if you like it hotter.

From FOODS of the WORLD: Creole and Cajun Cooking

Sweet Corn Bisque

Heat 1T oil in large pan.

1 chopped yellow onion
3 diced celery stalks
Cook for 2 minutes.

2 cloves minced garlic
Cook for 1 minute.

3 roasted then seeded, cored and chopped Anaheim (or New Mexico) peppers
4 C thawed corn kernels
2 peeled and diced potatoes
5 C of chicken or vegetable stock
1 C cream
1.5 tsp salt
plenty of ground pepper
Cook for around 45 minutes on simmer.

Puree and serve.

Adapted from Southwest Flavours put out by the Santa Fe School of Cooking.. (note: if you go to the book they serve this together with the Black Bean Soup and call it Sunset. You pour the soups into the bowl at the same time so you have a two tone soup. Then you add a drizzle made of red pepper, hot sauce and oil. DO NOT MAKE THE DRIZZLE! It was an oily mess…looked nice but had little real taste. If I was going to do it again, I would still use roasted red peppers but would keep the oil down to a coupld or tablespoons at the very most instead of the full cup. The only other drawback of this generally not bad cookbook is the use of some proprietary mixtures which they sell…sin number one for any cookbook I would say.) Great soup though!!!

Black Bean Soup

In a large pan, heat 2T oil.

1 chopped red onion
2 peeled and diced carrots
3 diced celery stalks
And cook for around 5 minutes.

4 slices bacon chopped up
4 cloves garlic minced
And cook for another 5 minutes.

1T roasted and ground coriander seeds
1T roasted and ground cumin seed
2 Cans of black beans, drained
8C of chicken and/or vegetable stock (I did 4 each)
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper flakes

Simmer for about an hour. Add some salt and plenty of ground pepper.
Puree and serve.

Adapted from Southwest Flavours. (Note: they added 1T of dried epazote (I didn’t have any on hand), used something called chipotle seasoning (which I’ve never heard of), and soaked their beans overnight (I do have a life). Also, pet peeve of mine, they turn carrots and celery into cup measurements which is just plain insane when vegetables come with their own units of measurement).

Eating in Prague: May 2007:2

Before we manage to imbibe, we stop by the Museum of Communism. We almost miss it because it is behind the entrance to a casino and beside a McDonalds. And basically shares the same color scheme. Unfortunately, that’s the most interesting part of this (even following the soul draining experience of St Agnes). It’s rather unremarkable considering the material they must have had to draw from.

From there it is on to one of the Pivovarksy outlets. Pivovarsky is a brewer of fine beer and this particular place was a small one with about three tables, a fellow behind a bar with about 6 brews on tap and about 200 different brands of beer for sale. We sample a few beer (you can get them in small glasses). To get to this place, we had walked through our first taste of mundane Prague (not unlike some dowdier commercial areas of Edmonton). On the way back we hop on the metro.

That night we go to the Cantina, a great Mexican restaurant near where we are staying. Have banana and chicken fajitas, refried beans with bits of bacon, Urquell, and a Spanish coffee after. It is hot and busy and the portions are large enough that we leave with enough to make a good breakfast the next day. To supplement this we stop at a grocer and pick up some cherry tomatoes, melons, and strawberries.

Back in the apartment I have a shower with cold water (the only kind in that place) and then watch a Spanish soap dubbed in Czech. In the opening credits, the young studs all canter about on sweaty horses, the sultry women lean and heave against the posts of the corral, and all eyes flash dangerously. In the show itself, the horses have been replaced by pickup trucks; somehow it doesn’t seem the same. Though I’m not sure, it seems like some kind of High Chapperal type show, a Western soap, a matriarchal ranch with youngsters feeling and sowing their oats. The men and women look very good in their pants.

Doug’s Grilled Duck with Cherry BBQ\Mole Sauce on Field Greens

This is a long recipe, but it is worth it, and most of it can be made ahead of time.

For the Rub, combine the following:

1 ½ C dark brown sugar
¼ C coarse kosher salt
½ C paprika
3 T dried parsley
2 T each of dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried onion flakes
1 ½ T dried Worcestershire Sauce (I used regular – dried is hard to find)
1 ½ T lemon pepper
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp each of allspice and cinnamon

Seal in jar or Tupperware container. If using liquid Worcester, the rub may harden somewhat over time but just throw it in the food processor to break it up. It’s also great on pork.

(BBQ Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen)

Preparing the Duck

1. Trim excess skin and fat from the breasts leaving a strip of skin about 1 ½ to 2 inches wide down the middle of the breast.
2. Apply generous amount of rub to all sides of the breasts. You cannot put too much of this on. It is gorgeous!

For the BBQMole Sauce

1. Melt 3 T unsalted butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced and
2 C pitted Bing cherries (fresh, canned or frozen), drained.
Cook until onions are soft but not brown.

2. Add:
2 T high-quality, pure cocoa powder
1 tsp pure chili powder (not a blend)
1 ½ C port
½ C sherry vinegar
4 tsp ketchup
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 canned chipotle, minced or teaspoons chipotle chili powder
½ tsp caraway seeds
½ tsp course kosher salt, or more to taste
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ C honey
And bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to about 2 cups – stirring occasionally.

4. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, lemon juice or honey, or more to taste, the sauce should be a little sweet, a little sour and VERY flavorful. Use right away or put it in a jar and refrigerate. It will keep several weeks.

(BBQ Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen)

For the Balsamic Drizzle:

Combine in saucepan:

1 C good commercial balsamic vinegar
1/2 C honey
1/3 C sugar
3 T soy sauce

Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Simmer until reduced to 1 cup.
Skim and discard foam.
Strain into a jar and cool to room temperature.
Cap the bottle.
The drizzle will keep for several months at room temperature.

(BBQ Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen)

For the Tangerine Shallot Dressing for the Field Greens

Mash into a paste:

1 clove garlic
2 or 3 pinches of kosher salt
Remove to a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Add and whisk together,
¼ C fresh tangerine juice
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 small shallots, minced

Add 2/3 C of olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth:

Taste and adjust seasoning.
Keep in jar for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

(Joy of Cooking – All About Grilling by Rombauer, Rombauer Becker and Becker)

Bringing it all Together

BBQ rubbed duck breasts to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Remove and cover with tin foil for five minutes.

Toss field greens in dressing and put a handful in the centre of the plate.

Slice duck breast and fan pieces out on top of field greens.

Spoon a small amount of BBQMole sauce over duck. Place one or two of the Bing cherries beside the duck.
Drizzle the balsamic reduction around the perimeter of the plate.

Bon Appetite!