Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This salad was probably one of the most popular items on the summer`s menu at Agave y Aguacate. It is refreshing, healthy and satisfying and best of all, here is the recipe.
Good eats!!

Francisco Alejandri
The meat
11/2 pound flank steak with some fat
1 small white onion, quartered
9 cilantro sprigs, washed
1 head of garlic, sliced in half
1 habanero pepper cut in half or one whole serrano pepper
Salt to taste

The salad
1 small red onion, julienned
2 roma tomato, seeds removed and julienned
1/2 habanero, thinly sliced (Do not remove seeds)
6 coriander sprigs, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
lime juice to taste
salt to taste

Fresh avocado
Tortilla chips


Cut the steaks along the gran and never against it, into 3 inch pieces and set aside. Put the vegetables and seasonings in the water and bring it to a gentle simmer (270F). Add the meat and slowly simmer it until it is medium rare- about 15 minutes.

When the meat is cooked remove from the heat and let the meat rest on cooling racks. Once the meat is cool enough to handle start shredding to a medium shred. When all the meat has been shredded, toss it in olive oil and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
Preparing the salad
In a stainless steel bowl, add the shredded flank steak with the vegetables, season to taste with lime juice and salt. Add the coriander and toss everything together. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 13, 2011


(green tomatillo, fresh hot peppers, white onions, cilantro, queso fresco/ fresh cheese and avocado)
(Mayan pumpkin seed dip with tomatoes, hot peppers, chives, cilantro, avocado and tortilla chips) > awesome!!!!
(central mexico style guacamole, tomatoes, sheep's milk pecorino cheese, crema fresca and guajillo sauce)
(from Guanajuato, cucumber filled with white onions, aged manchego cheese, piquin hot pepper, lime juice and pineaple vinegar)
(shrimps with red escabeche on a slice of avocado with a drizzle of crema fresca and topped with crushed peanuts)
(fish macerated in lime juice, tossed in a green sauce with tomatillos, avocado and tortilla strips)
(shredded flank steak, red onions, cilantro, fresh hot peppers, tomatoes and lime juice with tortilla chips)
(a mild chicken and chorizo "stew" served on a friend tortilla with well fried black beans, avocado, crema fresca and pickled onions) > a MUST

(quince paste and queso fresco)

(agua de Jamaica- red hibiscus flowers. Tangy, floral...complex)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


This Year the celebration of The Day of the Dead has a whole different meaning for me.

As some of you know, my dear mother Ruth Vazquez Onate died in March-29- of 2010 and I wanted to create this "Virtual Altar" in her memory.

If I were asked to describe my Mother in one word it would be "An altruist" which she was, not only to her family but people in general, simply sai., She would always help who ever needed it, if it was within her possibilities. She was also a leader, a tough cookie, a stern parent and a very happy and lively person. That was my mother and I feel proud and blessed for having her as my nurturer, my parent and my friend. I love you and miss you dearly mami querida.

Remembering her.

Being around her was always a lot of fun, kind and loving. Mom was always against having pets at home and yet she allowed me to have chicks, bearded lizards, harry my falcon and finally Rocky my pit bull friend, I think that was one of her ways of showing her love to me. She was great specially when it came to cooking, She had all the sings of a great cook, she was passionate, direct and assertive, after making cake. I was not allowed to lick the spatula or the bowl if the mold was not well greased or the prep table wasn`t clean or something, she probably said to herself. I`ll make this kid do the dirty job and he will love it and she was right. before helping her in the kitchen my bed had to be made and my room organized I needed to do a chore before having fun and those are things that I treasure and keep very close to me.

I was always playing music in the living room and she would dance to it in the kitchen or sing.

Her favourite music was: musica romantica specially Agustin Lara, los panchos and libertad lamarque to mention a few
Favourite thing to do: Take care of her family
Toughest thing to do: Being a housewife and a mother (This were her answers when she joined the center for patients with Alzheimer disease)
Her favourite movie: Lo que el viento se llevo (gone with the wind)
Favourite food: Food was one of her pleasures specially hearty home cooking, simple but full of flavor. Food had to be really hot (Temperature) otherwise she would not enjoy it. Here is what I consider to be her favourite soup.
3/4 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped
A small chile serrano
vegetable oil
7 cups well-seasoned chicken stock
1/2 pound Swiss chard, washed, stems removed, roughly chopped
salt to taste
2 large eggs, separated
3 ounces fine vermicelli
3 tablespoons finely grated queso anejo
Put tomatoes, garlic, onion and serrano in a blender jar and blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the blended ingredients and fry, stirring from time to time and scraping the bottom of the pan, until reduced and thickened, add the broth and bring to a boil. add Swiss chard and simmer for 10 minutes.
meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. beat in the yolks one at a time with a pinch of salt. When the yolks are well incorporated, crumble the uncooked vermicelli into the beaten eggs and add the optional cheese. Stir until the vermicelli is well coated with the egg
Heat oil about 1/4 inch deep in a frying pan and when hot add large spoonfuls of the vermicelli mixture. When they are pale golden brown on the underside , turn them over and fry on the other side. Drain on paper towel. Add these tortas to the broth and simmer for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


OK amigos. Here is another recipe that is close to my heart and one of my favorites.
eating these succulent meatballs always bring back fond memories of home

For meatballs
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon dry marjoram
2 tablespoons coriander, roughly chopped
1 Mexican bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cumin, crushed
8 black peppercorns, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs
12 ounces ground beef
12 ounces ground pork

The sauce

6 chipotle chiles dried
4 tablespoons pork lard
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, broiled
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 1/2 cups meat broth

place the herbs, spices, salt, milk, raw egg, and garlic into the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Soak the bread crumbs in this mixture until it is soft, then add it all to the ground meats, and work well with your hands;form the meatballs and set them aside while you prepare the sauce.
Heat a cast iron pan and heat the chiles, turning them from time to time until they become soft and flexible. slit the chiles open and remove the seeds. Heat the lard in a heavy pan and fry the chiles, flattening them with a wooden spoon in the lard, until they are very dark brown, be careful not to burn the chiles or they will become very bitter. Remove from the pan, keep the lard, and put into the jar of a blender with the broiled tomatoes, unskinned. Blend until smooth.
Reheat the lard in the pan and fry the onions until soft but not colored. Crush the garlic, cumin, and salt together in a molcajete or mortar. Add two tablespoons of water to clean the mortar out and add the mixture to the onion in the pan, fry, stirring and scraping, over a high heat until almost dry, then add the blended ingredients and fry over high heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Add the broth and meatballs, the sauce should just cover them, cover the pan, and cook over gentle heat, turning the meatballs occasionally, until they are cooked thoroughly and spongy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Well-fried beans as opposed to re-fried beans

Okay amigos. here is my recipe for the best well-fried beans ever!!

I use the term well-fried beans instead of re-fried beans because as the name suggests you actually have to spend some time frying them in pork lard for them to acquire that amazing taste that is characteristic of this dish.

This is a two step recipe. First you need to boil the beans.

11/2 to 2 quarts, hot water
1/2 cup white onion, roughly chopped
salt to taste
2 sprigs of fresh epazote

Place beans on a flat tray and pick any stones or visible debri. Rinse the beans in cold water to make sure any dirt is removed. Place beans into a pot and cover with the hot water. Add the onion and lard and bring to a boil, lower the heat and let them simmer covered, until they are soft about 3 hours. add salt and let simmer for another half hour until the beans are very soft. add the epazote sprigs before the end of the cooking time, as the epazote as well as any other fresh herb, tends to lose flavor if cooked too long.


6 tbsp pork lard
2 tbsp finely chopped white onion
1/2 lb black beans cooked

In a heavy-bottomed hot skillet, heat the pork lard and fry the onions, until soft, without browning. Start adding one cup of the beans with their liquid and mash them well as you cook them, over high heat (becareful because they splatter). add the rest of the beans one small batch at the time and keep mashing until you have a rough paste. when the puree sizzles at the edges, the beans are ready to use. incorporate them to your favourite recipes or eat them on their own with fresh tortillas.

If the puree becomes to dry, add a little more of the cooking liquid and incorporate well

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Green tomato sauce for tostadas
3 serrano chiles, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon white onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup firmly packed, chopped cilantro
8 ounces tomate verde*, cooked
Salt to taste
Using a molcajete or a mortar and pestle. Add first four ingredients and grind them to a paste. Add green tomatoes, mash them lightly into the chili paste and incorporate well (this salsa should have a rough texture). Season with salt and serve it in the molcajete
*Green tomatoes are also known in Canada as green tomatillos and they are available in Kensington market

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I know this recipe is going to make several of my friends happy so here it is.

tostadas de jamon con frijoles refritos

Serves 4
4 tortillas, deep fried until golden brown and seasoned with salt
2 tablespoons of re-fried beans
8 ounces good quality ham shredded
1 romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut across into 1/2 inch thick strips
2 red beefsteak tomatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 recipe salsa verde with avocado
4 tablespoons crema fresca
4 tablespoons crumbled queso cotija (substitute with feta)
1 small red onion thinly sliced
The juice of three limes
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Coarse sea salt
For the garnish
Toss onions in lime juice, add oregano and season with coarse salt (the liquid should be slightly salted)
Finishing the tostadas
Take one tortilla shell in your hand and spread two tablespoons of re-fried beans on it. Place tostada on a plate and arrange 2 ounces of ham on top of the beans. Keep it flat. Add romaine lettuce, two slices of tomatoes,two tablespoons of salsa, crema fresca, radishes, and sprinkle this with queso cotija. Finish with a tablespoon of macerated onions and enjoy.