Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Korean Braised Short Rib Tacos with Caramelized Leek and Shallot Slaw

December 3, 2012


Who said you have to drive all the way to California to get great fusion tacos? We’ve broken the “code” and you’ll never want to leave the house again.

I’ve been experimenting with cooking short ribs lately, although I haven’t made the jump to inserting them into tortillas yet. Last night…I did and I can say that they might have been the most interesting (best?) taco combos I’ve ever had. The whole evening was fantastic, from the whole house being bathed in a perfume of sweet yet savory pear soy wonderfulness to the puro margarita I had while preparing it and the meandering path of rare tequilas I enjoyed afterwards. This is a highly recommended recipe and could be easily done with seitan for a much healthier take with all the flavor. Check it out!


2 lbs Short Ribs
1 c Soy Sauce
1/2 c Sesame Oil
1/2 c Mirin, Rice Wine
1 Asian Pear, sliced
6-7 cloves of Garlic, minced
3/4 c Sugar in the Raw
1 c Water

1 Shallot, thinly sliced
1 Leek, julienned
1 Cucumber, julienned



Soak the short ribs for roughly 30 minutes in your cooking sauce pan, drain, refill with water and simmer for another 30 minutes. Drain again and remove the short ribs. In the sauce pan combine Soy, Sesame Oil. Rice Wine, Garlic, Pear, Sugar and Water in the pot and bring to a simmer, add short ribs and let simmer covered for 45 minutes. Remove the short ribs, trim the fat and remove the bones. Chop according to your liking and set aside while the sauce reduces, about 20 minutes.

While sauce is reducing combine the shallot and leek in a saute pan with a small amount of olive oil and cook until slightly browned, set aside.

In the same saute pan add the chopped short ribs and drizzle a small amount of the reduced sauce over the meat and saute for a few minutes. This step basically warms the meat back up.

Place the meat inside the tacos, top with slaw and enjoy! I had some Mexican Street Corn as my side but black beans would do just as nice. These are god enough you also might want to just forego the sides and have an extra taco. They’re that good!


Cocktails: Puro Margarita
Tequilas: Siete Leguas Blanco, Chinaco Reposado (red label, treasure), Fortaleza Reposado, El Tesoro Anejo (White Label, treasure). The pic shows a Centinela 3 Year Extra Anejo but I never poured it after the ETWLA. It’s a very delicate spirit and I thought it would have been overpowered by the ET.


Want to make your tacos go from great to orgasmic?

November 1, 2012


Did I mention it’s easy? Not all of us have the time to make fresh tortillas every time we want to indulge in some authentic Mexican food. That works on the weekends, but during a work night, it’s just too much work and we settle for store bought tortillas. While some are better than others, this quick step will seriously turn a great meal into one where your spouse(or whoever you have over) tear your clothes off. Whether they are ravaging you or trying to kill you ala Once upon a time in Mexico is to be determined.

Take an extra pan while you’re preparing your meal (tacos I hope) set to medium heat and add a touch of oil or butter to the pan. Brown the tortillas(corn please, it doesn’t work so well with flour) for a minute or so on each side. They will become slightly firm but the flavor increases to 11(insert spinal tap joke here_____). You’ll never go back to regular tortillas again.

Toasted Guajillo Salsa

October 12, 2012

Ok, so it’s not really a salsa in the way that us gringo’s think of salsa in the traditional way. Salsa means sauce and this is more of a sauce than a salsa, at least to americans. I pulled this right off the June issue of Bon Appetit as it looked to good not to replicate. Douse (sparingly) on tacos, burritos, pizza…whatever and enjoy.

4 ounces dried guajillo chiles (about 18), stemmed
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder


-Heat a large dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, toast chiles until slightly puffed and fragrant, 15–20 seconds per side. Let cool.

-Using kitchen scissors and working over a medium bowl, cut chiles into thin rings, reserving seeds. Cover with 2 cups very hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.

-Meanwhile, heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, turning often, until tender and skin is lightly charred, about 8 minutes. Let cool. Peel; trim ends.
Transfer chiles with seeds and liquid to a blender; add roasted garlic, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining ingredients. Pulse until a thick, coarse purée forms. Season with salt.

Homemade seitan thrown into some tacos

October 5, 2012


The directions below were lifted off the Bob’s Red Mill website being that it was the product I used to make this. It should be available at Whole Foods or online.

2 cups Water
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Marjoram
1/2 tsp Sage

2 Tb Soy Sauce
2 Tb Molasses
6 cups Water

Bring to a boil the water for the broth, molasses and soy sauce.

Mix together the gluten flour and spices. Add water to mixture and stir into a sponge-like dough. This should not be excessively wet. Knead dough a minute to make dough tougher and more elastic. Cut into 2 x 2 inch pieces and place into boiling broth. Cook in broth for about 1 hour, lowering heat as needed. Drain and use seitan for a stir-fry, sandwiches, stews and more.

Makes 12 servings.


Yesterday was National Taco Day (I know, horrible that I didn’t even make a post about it…and I’m the taco hunter!) so for dinner I made some tacos up with this seitan. By itself, the seitan is lacking. It’s a little rubbery and doesn’t have a ton of flavor. I think some tweaking to the recipe is definitely in order. Especially adding some authentic Mexican spices.

My tacos consisted of some chopped grilled onion, cilantro, a touch of cotija cheese and a light drizzle of Whole Foods Chipotle Ranch salad dressing to add a little fat to the otherwise extremely healthy and reasonably light meal. I tossed the corn tortillas in a skillet for about 20 seconds on each side to warm and char just a bit. For a quick vegetarian meal, it was pretty tasty. A side of my guacamole rounded the evening out.

Check it out and let me know what changes you made to the recipe…if any.

Braised pork belly tacos

October 2, 2012


A few weeks ago I received an email that the local New York Butcher Shoppe had gotten in some pork belly. This rang like dinner bell in my head for some pork belly tacos. I’ve had them a few times around town but never had I cooked them so in the car I went. I picked up a piece that was about 3/4 oz. and coated it with some salt and sugar to marinate for a few hours. It only took about an hour to cook and during that time I whipped up some BBQ sauce made from a ketchup base and some locally brewed Porter. I wanted some Asian flair so I made some cabbage slaw with a little rice wine vinegar and toasted the tortillas before serving. As you can see below the results were nothing short of extraodinary visual and for taste. If you can find the pork belly this dish is a must-do.


Pork Belly


1 lb. Pork
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kosher salt

Blend salt and sugar together and rub onto dry pork belly. Cover and let marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight if possible

Asian Slaw


1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 radish, julienned
1 Serrano pepper, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, barely chopped
Splash of rice wine vinegar

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.

BBQ Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup water
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ cup canned chipotle peppers
1 cups Old Chub or similar beer

In a 2-quart pot, heat butter and sauté onions until they’re soft. Add the remaining ingredients except for the beer and simmer 20 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until it thickens to your likeness. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Enjoy this, it’s a fantastic indulgent recipe.

BBQ Tofu Tacos

September 12, 2012




I made this recipe for my wife as a substitute for the Pork Belly Tacos I’ll be posting shortly. Although I was sucking down braised pork belly, these were pretty damn delicious too. It’s straight up food truck style too. I started with a BBQ sauce I adapted from my fathers recipe and added some Oskar Blues Old Chub beer. It’s a fantastic mix of sweet, spicy and savory and works well on…just about everything.

Outside of preparing the BBQ sauce this meal takes no time to prepare, if of course you dont count the 45 minutes it was in the oven. Oven you say? this means you can easily fit in a couple of drinks and have time to whip up some fresh salsa. The drinks will do double duty to make the meal taste better should you burn it.

In this version I also used an off-the-shelf coleslaw mix that’s readily available at most grocers. Mine came without any sauce to it, just cabbage and carrots so it makes a perfect base to season with a little rice wine vinegar and some spicy peppers should your taste buds be looking for a little bit more heat.

The Souse (spelled incorrectly on purpose)


2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ cup canned chipotle peppers
1 cup Old Chub or similar beer
-In a 2-quart pot, heat butter and sauté onions until they’re soft. Add the remaining ingredients except for the beer and simmer 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and return to pot. Add the beer and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. Adjust seasoning as needed and use however you want.
Pressing tofu. This is absolutely necessary if you want the tofu to retain any seasoning. It only takes about an hour so it needs to be done ahead of time and even a day ahead should you want to marinate it. Since tofu is a block of soy soaked in water it will repel marinades and sauces. Fold a paper towel and place it in the center of a deep dish, place tofu on top of the towel and set something weighted on top of the tofu, sauce pans work great. Let it sit for about an hour and pour off the water. You will see immediately the tofu block is drier and lighter. NOW you’re ready to cook up some amazing tofu. It’ll spatter a lot less if you fry it too.
To cook the tofu (in the oven) preheat your oven to 375* and line a cookie sheet or similar in aluminum foil. Spoon out a base layer of sauce and lay the slices of tofu on top. Then spoon more bbq sauce over top of the tofu. Put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how much you’re doing. These times are for one standard block of tofu sliced into pieces about 1/4″ thick.
In a very lightly oiled pan, cook the tortilla’s just to brown them slightly on each side. Add tofu and some slaw. Roll up and enjoy!

New cocktail in search of a name…EDIT: Indian Summer

September 11, 2012



I was playing around with a bottle of Aperol in the kitchen tonight while cooking up some bbq tofu tacos (recipe to follow). I wanted to make something with some tequila similar to the Crimson Ghost recipe from last winter. I think I came about it with this take on a Negroni meets Crimson Ghost meets…whatever. It also needs a name. Everything I’ve come up with is a smash of lame cocktails and lacks inspiration (maybe I haven’t drank enough?). Anyway, it’s delightful. The flavors really work together and I could see making a few small substitutions to really brighten it up.

1 oz. Aperol (you could sub Campari but I’d lessen the amount as to not overpower the remaining ingredients)
3/4 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Blanco Tequila (choose a fuerte’ tequila so it doesn’t get lost, I used Espolon. A repo like Espolon of Chinaco could do nice things as well.)
3/4 oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth ( the sweet kind, NOT dry vermouth)
Twist of Lime
Dash of Angostura Bitters

It’s too bad summer is over as this is a great summer drink…Indian Summer is the name!

Another Mango Margarita…

March 31, 2012



This is quickly becoming a cocktail webpage, guess I’ve been drinking lately and not eating. Don’t worry, we’re still covering foodstuffs. This is a variation of the mango margarita recipe we posted back in October. I had a nearly full bottle of Siete Leguas Blanco ( a great sipper btw!), it was a reasonably nice day spent cleaning the house and finishing a book on the porch when I decided to put that bottle to good use. Dave Yan of Casa Noble posted this recipe years ago online, he had given me the original recipe posted here so I though why not mix things up. This one uses orange liqueur and grapefruit soda but still adheres to all the freshness and natural sweetness of the original. Dig it!

1 Tablespoon of Tajin Chili powder
1 Lime wedge
3oz. of freshly pureed Mango juice
1.5oz. Agave Nectar
2oz. Orange Liqueur
3oz. Blanco Tequila, Siete Leguas
1.5oz. Freshly squeezed lime juice
3oz. Grapefruit soda, Mexican Market Fresca

Grab a small mango, peel and remove pit. Cut into cubes and puree in a blender. Yield should be about 3 oz. Blend ingredients together and shake with ice. Using the lime wedge, rim the glass and dust with the Tajin Powder. Salud!


Juan los Bota’s Margarita

March 10, 2012

After picking up this Oogave Ginger Ale I decided to use it as a topper in a margarita. I have to say, this could be my go to ‘grit. The spike of sweetness and bite of the ginger really works well with this puro style margarita. Check it out

1.5oz Blanco Tequila
1oz Lime juice, freshly squeezed or GTFO
0.75oz Agave Nectar
Splash of Water
Heavy splash of Oogave Ginger Ale

How to make your own tortilla chips…the easy way

February 22, 2012


This is my standard “making fresh chips” recipe. It doesn’t take to long and the taste blows the store bought crap out of the water. Usually I buy my tortilla’s, sometimes making them from scratch is just too much work even for me. When I buy them, I usually pick up a larger bag than I need specifically to make chips later. These always get rave reviews from friends and I typically get asked who’s brand are these…WIN!!!

So I pour some vegetable or canola oil in a frying pan and bring it to temperature. The I take 10 or so tortilla’s and cut them into quarters. When the oil is ready I throw a handful into the oil making sure they aren’t touching (or mostly not touching) and not covering each other so they cook evenly. When they start to take on a light golden hue I flip them. Be careful, they go from white to brown pretty quickly. Although the darker ones taste pretty damn good too. I’ll line a large bowl with paper towels and have some kosher salt and a few slices of lime handy. When they’re done cooking I take some tongs and try to shake most of the oil off them and drop them into the bowl. I throw a liberal amount of salt on them and squeeze some lime over top then shake them into the paper towel. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s that easy.


Make sure you use corn and not flour tortilla’s, otherwise you’ll end up with ritz crackers and dont worry about using too much salt most of it falls off the chips. They’re usually good for a few days so make a large batch. If your preparing them for company do them the day before or earlier and bag them in a paper bag so you have more time to prepare the other goodies. It’s that easy, now you have no excuse for not making fresh chips. Your salsa isn’t store bought, neither should your chips.