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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Salvadoran Chilaquiles

We have our own version of chilaquiles in El Salvador, though I still find Mexican chilaquiles (especially the ones my sister Virginia makes)to be very delicious. I made the Salvadoran version the other day. They are heavier because our tortillas are thicker, but are still very tasty and really easy and quick to make.

Freshly made Salvadoran tortillas
Stringy cheese (whatever kind you are able to find) I used pepper jack the first time because it was all I had, but Salvadoran "quesillo" would be better though it's hard to get here.
Two or three eggs.
Some tomatoes and onion, a garlic clove and a bay leaf to make a sauce.

First make the sauce. Put everything in the blender with a little water, blend, then cook, simmering slowly and stirring occasionally until it is done, about 20 minutes. If you'd like, add a little sauce.
Next, cut each tortilla in half and then slice through each half to make a pocket (see photo). Stuff each pocket with the cheese. Heat a good amount of canola, safflower, or sunflower oil in a large, deep frying pan. While you heat the oil, use a hand mixer to beat the eggs in a bowl until very thick and put to the side. Now that the oil should be hot, coat each tortilla half one at a time with some beaten egg, then place in the frying pan and fry on each side, then remove and place in the pan which contains the sauce. Try and fit as many as you can in the sauce pot and then turn it on to a low temperature and simmer slowly. The purpose of this is to further cook each tortilla half and let it soak up a little bit of sauce. If you have too many chilaquiles and not enough sauce, you can save them, already fried, and later on make more sauce and cook or use the sauce left over from your first batch of chilaquiles.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creamy Shrimp Soup

My friend Lily asked me to post this recipe, and it has taken me a little while to do it. This is the simplest and easiest recipe for Creamy Shrimp Soup or Sopa de Camaron, as we call it, and it is definitely El Salvador style soup. Here it is, for Lily, as well as for everybody else! I hope you will try it ;-)
-1 lb shrimp. It really depends on you, but if you have the shell, the tail, and even the head on the shrimp, it will be more flavorful.
-1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
-1 white onion, chopped
-1 large or two medium tomatoes, chopped
-a little fresh mint (not peppermint), you know, YerbaBuena, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 celery stalk and some leaves if possible, chopped.
-i cup or more of heavy cream or Salvadoran cream

Saute everything (except the shrimp)in some butter, in a soup pot, then add the shrimp, and saute a little more, making sure all the flavors are mixing together. Then add some water to cover it all, bring this to a boil. When it comes to a boil add a cup (or more if you want) of heavy cream (crema salvadorena is what I use) and simmer for a few more minutes while stirring. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy with an ice cold beer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cooked Greens and Queso Fresco Tacos

Unwilling to throw out the beet and radish greens I got today at the farmers market, I decided to make tacos with them. I used some queso fresco and taco sauce to add on top, and of course I used thin mexican tortillas that I warmed wrapped in a towel in the microwave.
For the greens I used the following:
-Beet and radish greens (wash them really well because there usually is a lot of dirt in them) chopped roughly
-Olive Oil
-1/2 a white or yellow onion (chopped)
-Garlic clove (minced)
-Red pepper flakes
-a little broth, or a bouillon and some water

Start by getting all your ingredients chopped and ready, once you start cooking it's only going to take about 10 minutes to complete the whole thing, so be ready. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan(you will need one with a lid). Add the chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute for a little while, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. When the onion is soft and looks translucent, add the chopped greens and mix with the onion, watch as it all begins to wilt. Keep stirring for about 3 or 4 minutes and then add a little broth (maybe 1/4 cup) or 1 bouillon and a little water, stir again and the cover, let it cook on medium low heat for another 3 or 4 minutes. At this point, warm your tortillas, and get your cheese out. Place the tortillas on a plate, pile the greens mixture in the middle, then crumble cheese over this, and finish by adding some taco sauce on top. Eat right away because they taste better eaten warm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Yummy Way to Grill Salmon

We grilled salmon with slices of lemon and orange and the result was fantastic! It gave the salmon just a hint of the citrus flavor and made it very moist. We also grilled asparagus, and some onion wedges. Serve with rice or couscous. You will need some grilling baskets as you will see in the photos. Be sure to put citrus slices on both sides of the fish. You can find the baskets at target, or any place that sells grilling supplies.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Make your own Potato Wedges

Hi everybody! Sorry I haven't posted much in a while...But here is something that takes very little effort to make and the result is delicious. I make these potato wedges all the time as they are a great compliment to many meals, and well, I just really like potatoes. Make sure to set your oven to 425 or 450 so that they don't go soggy.

You will need...
-Potatoes (Large Yukon Gold ones or Russet)
-Paprika powder
-Garlic powder
-Olive Oil
-Salt and Pepper

Scrub your potatoes well because you will be leaving the skins on. Then slice them lengthwise into large wedges. Place the wedges on a baking tray and sprikle with plenty of garlic powder and paprika, then pour some olive oil on them and mix everything well. To make sure you get each potato coated well with this mixture, do it with your hands. Now make sure and spread them out into a single layer on the baking tray, and put them in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes. If you can, take them out after the first 15 minutes and flip them onto the other side, then return them to the oven, that way they will cook evenly and get crispy on both sides.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Simple Bruschetta

This is super simple to make, but so delicious! I make bruschetta all the time, because I love tomatoes and bread. If you are for any reason trying to avoid bread, you can still enjoy the bruschetta on some whole wheat crackers, or another similar product.
For the bruschetta, you will only need:
fresh basil
olive oil
salt and pepper
To make the bread, I only use garlic and some more olive oil. The type of bread is french or ciabatta, cut crosswise or lengthwise, or any way you prefer.
Firs start boiling some water. Also, preheat your oven to 350. In the meantime, slice your bread and then rub a peeled clove of garlic on each slice. Then put a few drops of olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet. Place in oven and toast for about 15 minutes, just until they are brown and toasty. During these 15 minutes, place the tomatoes on a bowl and pour the boiling water on them, let them stand for only about 1 1/2 minutes. Take the tomatoes out of the water, peel them and chop them up. Add torn pieces of fresh basil, add olive oil, and then salt and pepper to taste. If your tomatoes are sweet you dont want to ruin that wonderful flavor with a lot of salt, so only put a little bit. A bruschetta should not be salty. Take the bread out of the oven and serve next to the bruschetta, as you see here in my photo.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A few notes about the previous recipe...

I forgot to mention that I used Pink Grouper, but you can use any kind of grouper you can find. Also for the vegetables I made a dip as you can see in the photo. It was 3 tbsp. mayonnaise, 1 tsp. paprika, and the juice of one large lemon.
I am also including the rest of the photos here because I could not upload them all at once. Please leave comments, or email me with any questions.

Skewers of Grouper and Mixed Bell Peppers, plus Grilled Veggies, Yum!!

Even if you don't have an outside grill, or you don't even have an outside(like me) you can still make grilled meats and veggies indoors. A lot of us live in apartments, and the good news is, that as long as you have a grill pan, you can prepare the following recipe. Just make sure and open all your windows and maybe even the door (as I have to do) when you start grilling.
You will need:
1 lb grouper
3 bell peppers (one red, one green, and one yellow)
1 bunch scallions
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 mexican or italian squash
1 bunch asparagus
Olive Oil, of course!
Garlic powder or garlic salt
Salt and Pepper
Oh yeah, and also a few skewers, about 8

Start by soaking the skewers in water for 20 minutes, or for however long it takes you to chop the vegetables. Cut up the squash and peppers into long slices. Remove the ends from the asparagus by snipping them off, and then cut each one in half crosswise. For the scallions, remove the wilted ends and also remove the roots. The cherry tomatoes should stay whole. Save some of each color pepper aside for the grouper skewers, and add the rest and all the other vegetables to a bowl. Then toss them all together with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little oregano. Set them aside. Then, cut up the grouper into big chunks or large cubes. (see photo). Cut small squares of the saved bell peppers and arrange them in the skewers as you see in the photo. Sprinkle them with garlic powder or garlic salt and some pepper. Then brush them with olive oil. Heat the grill pan and then start grilling! The fish should not take very long to cook, maybe just 5 minutes on each side.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Deviled Eggs

Eggs are a good source of protein,and though the yolk contains cholesterol, it is still something that can be enjoyed, once in a while, in moderation. This is a very simple way to make deviled eggs. It is the way I do it anyway, but you can add anything you want (that will compliment the egg flavor, of course) to the yolk mixture. Herbs like marjoram also go nicely with eggs, but this herb should be used sparingly, as its flavor is pretty strong. Another idea is to add a little bit of minced pickled cucumber (relish), or just try your own idea, it's just eggs, what could go wrong, right? Here's the recipe I use:
5 organic eggs
mayo and yellow mustard
salt and pepper

Boil the eggs for about 10 min. until they are hard. Then cover them in cool water and let them sit there while you chop the chives. Chop the chives very small, about half a bunch should be enough, put them in a bowl. Then start peeling the eggs. Cut each egg in half and remove the yolk and place in the bowl with the chives. Place the egg halves and arrange them in a plate or platter that you will serve them in. With a fork, start smashing the yolks and stirring them together with the chives.
Now add two tablespoons mayonaisse, and 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, some pepper, a little bit of paprika, and a little bit of salt (please watch the salt here, it really needs very little!)Then mix everything together and you should get a sort of paste that you will now spoon into each egg as shown in the photo. Finally, sprinkle each egg with a little more paprika and you are done!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Favorite Potatoes

I just love potatoes! And who doesn't? One of my favorite ways to make them is to cook them along with some tomato, onion, and a little bell pepper (have you noticed how much I use these three ingredients?). Chop a little bit of each of these, heat olive oil in a pan and then add it all and cook for about three minutes. Add the chopped potatoes, add some garlic salt, pepper, and a little water. Stir it all together and then cover them. The water will produce steam that will cook them. They should be done in just 15 minutes.


In El Salvador, tomatada is eaten often. It can be served at any time of the day, and it goes well with beans, eggs, potatoes, anything really. I eat it very often too. We add veggie dogs chopped up because we are always looking for ways (delicious ways!) to increase our protein intake. You can add regular hot dog wieners if you are not vegetarian, or you can just make it without.

You will need three main ingredients only: Tomatoes, onion, and green bell pepper. Depending on the size of the tomatoes, you could use anywhere from three to six or seven, half an onion, and half a green bell pepper. Chop everything up and then heat some olive oil in a shallow pan, add the onion and pepper first, then add the tomatoes and the chopped hot dog if you are using it. Add some salt and a little bit of dried oregano. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, until everything is soft and the tomatoes have disintegrated completely. Enjoy with rice, and tortillas or bread, and anything else you'd like!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simple Green Beans and Cilantro Rice

This combination is a real favorite of ours. I just recently started making the rice this way, after my grandma taught me to add the cilantro. The result is fantastic! The beans are very simple. I just cook some chopped tomato and white or yellow onion first, and then add the beans, stir them a little bit and then add a little water, cover them, and let the steam cook them until they are tender. This should take about 12 minutes or so. The rice is cooked the regular way you cook rice, then when it starts to boil, add the chopped fresh cilantro and stir a bit, and continue to cook your rice the way you always do. Don't forget to add a little (just a little though!) salt.

Monday, January 4, 2010


We had beans, salad, and guacamol for dinner. Also, we had tortillas of course. Here in El Salvador, guacamole is made with different ingredents than in U. S., with the exception of the avocados. We added:

hard boiled eggs, sliced.

onion, finely chopped

hard cheese (queso duro) shredded. In the US, you can use fresh cheese that crumbles.


lime juice

All this gets added to the coarsely cut up avocados and then mixed together.

I'm Back!

Happy New Year Everyone! - and my apologies. As you know I have been outside the U.S. since Dec. 17th '09, and I had thought that I would be able to establish a good internet connection using my laptop (which i brought with me) and a service they call "mobile internet" here in El Salvador, and then do new posts from here. Well i got the service, but it's not very good, and i keep losing the connection. This is why it has not been easy when i try and do new posts. But it seems to be working a little better this year (2010) and so I am going to try and post a couple of things from here. Tonight, we made Salvadoran "guacamol" and in the following post I will include the ingredients and a couple of photos.