Food for Friends

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Browsing Mexican Food

Tilapia en Salsa Verde


Ok, so this was a last minute invention but it turned out AMAZING! I got four tilapia filets, very fresh at Whole Paycheck and was going to make them my usual way, A la Veracruzana, with tomatoes and onion and olives and capers. Then I remembered I had a tub of fresh salsa verde we that needed some love. Here’s what I did:

Preheat the Broiler on High.


  • 4 tilapia filets (other white fish will work)
  • Butter
  • 1 cup of flour (I used gluten-free Pamela’s Pancake & Baking Mix because it browns nicely)
  • 2 cups of fresh Salsa Verde
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Pepper Jack cheese (or to taste… you can use any melty cheese really)


  1. Dredge the tilapia filets in flour seasoned with salt and pepper (I added a dash of garlic powder too). Shake off excess.
  2. Melt a pat of butter in a non-stick pan and cook the tilapia until the flour gets nice and golden brown. It should only take a couple minutes per side. Don’t worry if the fish is a little bit undercooked, it will finish cooking in the oven. Place the four browned filets in a single layer in a rectangular Pyrex.
  3. In the same non-stick pan, heat up the olive oil and saute the salsa until it changes from bright green to a little duller green color and it consumes down a bit (so it’s not too watery).
  4. Pour the hot salsa on top of the filets making sure they all get covered.
  5. Distribute the cheese evenly on top of the tilapia and salsa.
  6. Place in the oven with the broiler on high for a couple minutes until cheese melts and bubbles (be SUPER careful because it can go from beautiful melted cheese to charred cheese in a matter of a minute).
  7. Serve with a side of white rice and some salad or sliced tomatoes. Simple and delicious!



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…

    Pineapple Pico de Gallo


    Pineapple Pico de GalloThis recipe is inspired by a version of “Pico de Gallo” that I used to have at a restaurant called El Paraiso.  It was located at the bottom of a beautiful ravine.  I think they served quail there too.  Anyway, they made this salsa and the flavor is burned into my brain.  I loved it!


    • 1/2 fresh pineapple diced
    • a bunch of minced fresh epazote or cilantro if you don’t have epazote
    • chile serrano to taste
    • lime juice, enough to drench all the ingredients
    • minced onion
    • squirt or two of mezcal (or tequila if you don’t have mezcal)
    • squirt of olive oil
    • squirt of white vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste


    Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Let the flavors bind together in the fridge for a while, it tastes better.  Enjoy!


    This salsa goes especially well with grilled carne asada or pork with adobo..  But it’s also good with chips.

    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.



    This is a great recipe that will feed lots of people and it’s great for left-overs.


    • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
    • 3 diced carrots
    • 2 diced potatoes
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • Cumin (to taste)
    • 1 chipotle finely chopped (or to taste)
    • 1/2 cup of tomato puree
    • Salt and Pepper


    In a big pot or pan saute half of the onions until translucent, add the beef, salt pepper and chopped chipotle. Cook the meat until it’s not pink any more making sure you stir often so it doesn’t clump. In a different pan saute the other half of onions until translucent add the carrots and potatoes. Cook until soft but not mushy, mix the meat and veggie mix in the bigger pot, add the tomato puree, cumin and adjust seasoning. On medium low heat cook a bit longer to integrate the flavors. Serve with a big stack of hot CORN tortillas.

    You can also serve refried beans and freshly made green salsa (or from a jar… but not as good).


    The easiest way to get some quick and good refried beans is to buy a can of traditional refried beans or black beans, add them to a pan with a little bit of butter and add grated cheese and cumin to them. A little chipotle juice will add some punch too. It will make regular canned beans very good.

    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.