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Chiles en Escabeche de la Tía Cristina


Chiles en EscabecheChiles en Escabeche are a Mexican staple, this recipe was assembled from some scribbles and notes while helping my aunt Cristina make a big pot of them to can for gifting.  It was a fun day in the kitchen… we made TONS and I had the “honor” of processing the onions, garlic cloves and chiles, hehehe, that’s what happens when you’re the “pinche”. These chiles are in many restaurants at the table and most people keep them at home.  You can add them to any savory dish, tortas, tacos, or just munch on the escabeche veggies as a snack.  This particular recipe has serrano chiles, and a lot of them, for a less “picante” version try seeding and deveining the chiles, or use Jalapeños.  You can also use less chiles and more veggies, a common practice because a lot of people LOVE the veggies, especially the carrots.  In some recipes they use more olive oil, or the spices and herbs are adjusted to taste depending on what you like.  Also, some recipes call for baby potatoes, quartered and blanched, that taste very very good but the starches tend to cloud the escabeche liquid.  Think of this recipe more as a set of guidelines and have fun… think green beans, bell peppers, zucchini, etc…  So yummy!


  • 15-20 Chiles Serranos sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 Onions sliced into thin half-rounds
  • 2 heads of garlic, separated and peeled (I use 3 heads some times)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced in rounds
  • 1 small cauliflower head, separated into florets
  • 2 tsp of mexican oregano (dry), or use a mix of fresh and dry
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of marjoram
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 pepper corns
  • 3 whole allspice corns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp of salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 of a cup of olive oil
  • 3 cups of vinegar
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Blanch the carrots and cauliflower in plenty of water. Drain and set aside.
  2. In an enameled or stainless steel pot heat the olive oil, sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, then add all the herbs and spices, sauté for another minute or so.
  3. Add the chiles, carrots and cauliflower florets into the onion/garlic mix, and salt and sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Pour the vinegar and water into the pot and let it boil for 2-3 minutes, until the vinegar releases some of its alcohol.
  5. Put the escabeche in clean jars, wait until it has completely cooled off and refrigerate (use within a month), or can into sterilized jars and keep in the pantry for up to 6 months.
  6. The escabeche is much better after a week or so.


Chiles en EscabecheFor a less acidic recipe, use a bit more water and less vinegar, but I like mine with a “bite”.
Make sure you do the whole thing in a non-reactive pan because otherwise the vinegar with corrode it.
In my hometown (Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico), they do whole jars of garlic cloves, or they use Manzano chiles, which are a bigger and slightly less picante version of habaneros (please note the ‘slightly’ part).  Lots of good memories of home…

    Salsa Verde | Green Salsa


    Serve this salsa with anything that is taco looking or just to dip some chips in. This is more like a general guide for making the salsa, you can vary the proportions of the ingredients to suit your own taste.


    • 1 1/2 pounds of tomatillos (those are the green thingies in the veggie section)
    • 1 – 3 serrano chiles (to taste, Jalapeños work but they don’t have that wonderful kick)
    • 1/4 onion
    • 1 garlic clove peeled
    • 1/2 a bunch of cilantro
    • Salt and Pepper


    Peel the skin off the tomatillos and rinse them in warm water to get the sticky stuff off, cut them in half or fourths if they are too big. Put them in a blender with all the other ingredients and just enough water to start the blender action. Blend until desired consistency. Make sure you don’t blend too much, a little chunkiness makes the salsa more interesting. Add salt and a bit of pepper to taste.


    Add one avocado to the blender (or even two) to make guacasalsa. It’s AMAZING as a dip with corn tortilla chips and also goes well in tacos.

    Roast the tomatillos and chiles in a wok with a tiny little bit of olive oil until the outside gets blistered and a bit blackened before you blend. This makes the salsa a sweeter and a little smoky. The black bits also make it look more interesting. Alternately, roast the tomatillos on the grill… that works too.

    I have made this salsa using normal tomatoes instead of tomatillos and it also turns out great, especially if you roast them first.

    Gravy Base


    This gravy recipe can be used to make a sauce to accompany any meat or vegetable dish, it is also the base for the white sauce used in Chicken Pot Pie.


    • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp of butter
    • 1 finely chopped shallot or 2 tbsp of finely chopped onion
    • 2 cups of warm Chicken broth
      or warm water with chicken bouillion
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent. Add the flour one tbsp at a time and cook for a couple minutes, for a darker gravy, cook the flour until it gets golden brown. Add the broth little by little while constantly whisking. Let the roux thicken to desired consistency, add salt and pepper and remove from heat.


    It is possible to saute mushrooms, chopped and cooked chicken livers, or any other ingredient you like with the shallots before adding the flour. This will give the gravy different flavors. Also, it’s possible to substitute the butter by drippings from a roast chicken, turkey or roast.

    Perfect Pastry I


    This is a very rich and versatile recipe that can be used for sweet and savory pies, quiches and empanadas. For best results and a flaky result, use frozen butter and a food processor, but being quick and using just cold butter works well with a pastry cutter.


    • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 sticks of butter (16 oz) frozen or very cold cut into small squares
    • 1/2 cup of ice cold water
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 tbsp of sugar
    • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon of milk for varnishing the crust


    In a food processor with the blade insert put the flour, butter, salt sugar and eggs, pulse until it looks like coarse meal (the butter will clump with the flour in little balls). Then add the water little by little as you pulse some more until the dough starts coming together.

    Here are the recipes finally. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and never got around to it. Some of you know that I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. There is a certain alchemy that has to happen in order to have the ingredients turn into delicious creations. There is no real secret behind it, just lots of fresh ingredients, time and patience to try things out and some creativity.

    Not everything I make turns out perfect on the first try. Most of the time, even when I follow recipes carefully, there are some adjustments that have to be made in order to make it exactly the way I like it. In some cases recipes have failed miserably and a last-minute plan B has been tackled, and in other cases I had to toss the first batch of something and repeat the steps until it works out.

    I hope these recipes bring a lot of magic to your meals, just as they have brought magic to mine. They have all been thoroughly tested and I will never post something I have not made myself. Some adjustments may have to be made for dietary preferences or limitations. Feel free to email me or drop me a note if you have any questions.