Latino Foodie The Dish on Food & Culture 2018-03-15T07:32:05Z http://www.latinofoodie.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[CARNITAS PIZZA RECIPE WITH A SPICY CHIPOTLE MARINARA SAUCE]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=8428 2018-03-15T07:32:05Z 2018-03-15T07:31:32Z Do you ever get bored in the kitchen? You know, cooking the same dish the same way every time? Sometimes all we need to do is switch things up. I felt like this recently when I purchased a pre-made pizza dough. We had some shredded carnitas leftover from a Farmer John Pork Butt we slow cooked the night before. I thought, Continue Reading

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Do you ever get bored in the kitchen? You know, cooking the same dish the same way every time? Sometimes all we need to do is switch things up. I felt like this recently when I purchased a pre-made pizza dough. We had some shredded carnitas leftover from a Farmer John Pork Butt we slow cooked the night before. I thought, “Why not a Carnitas Pizza with a marinara sauce that’s spiced up with the heat of chipotle in adobo sauce?” And, just like that, a new recipe idea was born. I felt rejuvenated. Inspired.

The succulent pork roast shredded so easily out of the crockpot. I had inserted whole cloves of garlic (about 5) and added salt and pepper. That was it. So simple. I set the slow cooker on low. Went to bed and woke up with the entire house smelling heavenly.

As for the marinara sauce with chipotle. We went with a straightforward recipe of roma tomatoes, oregano, garlic, olive oil, white onion and threw in a chipotle pepper in the sauce, well, because we’re not Italian, we’re Mexican. LOL!

In most Mexican restaurants, when you order a plate of carnitas, it will come with a side of pico de gallo. We took those ingredients and topped our pizza with cilantro, jalapeños, diced white onion, and tomatoes.

How did it taste? Maravilloso! Sabroso!

Seriously, sometimes life needs a quick kick in the butt and that comes by not doing the same thing over and over again. I am even thinking of other ways to switch out other dishes with pork. Think enchiladas with pork rather than the usual beef or chicken. Chicken tinga? Why not Pork Tinga? So many possibilities.

Don’t skimp on the shredded pork roast. It’s too good!

Add a pico de gallo on top with the carnitas for added flavor and kick.

Carnitas Pizza

  • 4 Roma tomatoes (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano (to taste)
  • 2-3 chipotles in adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 premade pizza crust
  • 1 cup carnitas (Farmer John Shoulder Butt Roast)
  • Garnishes like chopped white onions (diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro and sliced jalapenos)
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute onions until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add oregano, chipotle and salt. Mix and continue to break down the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and then bring it down to a simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400F.
  6. Carefully transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Spread half the chipotle tomato sauce onto premade pizza crust, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  8. Top with shredded cheese and carnitas. Garnish with chopped white onions, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro and sliced jalapenos.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, cheese is melted and the shredded pork has crispy edges. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Valentine’s Day Cookies: Orejas or Palmiers]]> http://latinofoodie.com/?p=3708 2018-02-09T05:31:57Z 2018-02-14T07:00:33Z Happy Valentine’s Day! What’s that? You waited until the last minute and now your running a little limp this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered with this easy cookie recipe. You may know them as: orejas, French hearts, pig’s ears, butterflies, palm leaves, elephant ears, glasses, or simply as Palmiers, this little treat will have your Valentines’ heart aflutter.  Whether you are Continue Reading

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Happy Valentine’s Day! What’s that? You waited until the last minute and now your running a little limp this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered with this easy cookie recipe. You may know them as: orejas, French hearts, pig’s ears, butterflies, palm leaves, elephant ears, glasses, or simply as Palmiers, this little treat will have your Valentines’ heart aflutter.  Whether you are busy planning the perfect 12 course meal to seduce your Valentine or pondering peddling your soul for the most exclusive Valentine’s Day dinner reservation for two, why not skip the hoops and roll right into a classic.

Valentine's Day Cookies: Orejas or Palmiers - LatinoFoodie.com

Palmiers are crisp little cookies with endless possibilities, you will not believe now easy these are to make.  You can purchase puff pastry at most markets or make your own if you are feeling fancy and up for a challenge.  I think store bought is just fine.  Besides, who has the time?  Using colored sugar is an easy way to add romance to your Palmiers, but there are many fillings: nuts, jams, honey, candied fruit, fresh fruit, fruit purees, or go savory and add thinly sliced deli meats, cheese, and pesto…for starters.  Just remember to apply the filling very thinly or you may have problems rolling your logs.  Keep it simple, you are not making a chocolate croissant or calzone. That’s another post.

Valentine's Day Cookies: Orejas or Palmiers - LatinoFoodie.com

 

Valentine's Day Orejas (Palmiers)

  • 6 tablespoons red or pink sanding sugar
  • 1 package store bought puff pastry sheets (thawed)
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of red sugar on a clean work surface and carefully unfold one sheet of puff pastry and lay flat on top of the sugar.
  2. Carefully roll out the pastry with a rolling pin.
  3. Gently beat the egg and water in a small bowl using a fork.  Brush the top side of the the puff pastry with the egg wash.
  4. Evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of puff pastry.
  5. Roll two opposing sides inwards toward each other, usually the two “shorter” sides.
  6. Leave a small gap between the rolled sides as you will want to gently pinch a crease down the length of the log.  This will make it look more like a hear and less like an ear.
  7. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry.
  8. Cover with plastic and place in the freezer for 10 minuter.
  9. Preheat oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Using a sharp knife cut the logs into 1/4 inch thick slices and place on the baking sheets leaving a little space between them as they puff up slightly.

  11. 10. Bake for 12 -15 minutes or until golden brown.  Check the bottoms for browning.
  12. 11. Allow to cool before serving.

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Sweeten Your Valentine’s Day with Alfajores]]> http://latinofoodie.com/?p=3718 2018-02-09T05:23:54Z 2018-02-13T07:00:51Z There’s no better way to woo the love of your heart than with sweet delights. The popular Peruvian Alfajor, a crumbly sweetened sandwich cookie, has a number of sweet fillings, dulce de leche being the most popular. Some are dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed nuts. Others are triple stacked or served in “log” form.  Whichever version you prefer, we have Continue Reading

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There’s no better way to woo the love of your heart than with sweet delights. The popular Peruvian Alfajor, a crumbly sweetened sandwich cookie, has a number of sweet fillings, dulce de leche being the most popular. Some are dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed nuts. Others are triple stacked or served in “log” form.  Whichever version you prefer, we have a fairly easy recipe that will be the hit of your next swinging party.

Peruvian Alfajores

For this recipe we used a Milk Caramel with Coconut spread from Don Joaquin Gourmet. Norma Vega, a contributing writer for LatinoFoodie, brought back a jar from the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco for us to try.  You can substitute strawberry jelly, lemon curd, dulce de leche or simply use your favorite hazelnut chocolate spread, like Nutella.

Stacked Peruvian Alfajores

 

Alfajores with Milk Caramel Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 4 extra large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup Milk Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Optional: finely grated coconut

 

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Heat Things Up This Valentine’s Day with Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=5011 2018-02-09T05:08:42Z 2018-02-12T07:00:33Z Love is in the air, so why not in our bellies? Six years ago we hosted a Valentine’s Day party for some family and some close friends.  The five course tasting menu was designed around our love for each other.  The fifth course, the dessert course, was our take on the classic red velvet cake.  I added a combo of chile Continue Reading

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Love is in the air, so why not in our bellies?

Six years ago we hosted a Valentine’s Day party for some family and some close friends.  The five course tasting menu was designed around our love for each other.  The fifth course, the dessert course, was our take on the classic red velvet cake.  I added a combo of chile powders to spice up the cake, and yes, it was a hit.  This year, we are spending our fifth Valentine’s Day together as a married couple.  I made this recipe again with a few changes, but still with all the love.  This recipe makes three dozen cupcakes, so share the love. Happy Valentine’s Day from your favorite LatinoFoodies!

Valentine's Day Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes - LatinoFoodie.com

 

Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 teaspoon Hatch chile powder
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 ¼ cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 ½ teaspoons white vinegar

For frosting:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 12 oz. mascarpone (room temp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 cups heavy cream (cold)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, and Hatch chile powder in large mixing bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine the oil and sugar.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Reduce to low, and mix in the food coloring and vanilla.  Food coloring stains so take it slow.
  4. Alternately add the sifted flour mixture and the buttermilk.  Continue mixing in the remaining flour & buttermilk in batches just until they are both well incorporated.  Don’t forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Place the baking soda into a small bowl/cup and stir in the vinegar.  With the machine running add to the batter and just beat for 20 seconds.
  6. Carefully pour the batter in the prepared cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  8. You can sacrifice a cupcake: crumble it and use the crumbs to sprinkle the tops of your cupcakes or simply sprinkle the tops with some more Hatch chile powder.

Instructions:

  1. Blend together the cream cheese, mascarpone, and vanilla until smooth and well blended.  Add powdered sugar (in small batches) and mix well.  In a clean mixing bowl and with clean beaters, beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until you have medium peaks.  Fold into the cream cheese mixture.  You can wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Valentine's Day Red Hot Velvet Cupcakes - LatinoFoodie.com

 

 

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Easy Valentine’s Day Treat: Crushing on Crepes]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=5000 2018-02-09T04:51:45Z 2018-02-11T07:00:51Z Want an EASY Valentine’s Day? From breakfast to brunch, and beyond, Melissa’s Produce is always there to provide us with the freshest seasonable produce: Cactus pear for a sweet coulis over tequila poached pears.  Ripe organic peaches for a spicy hot wing glaze.  Tropical passion fruits for a tart vinaigrette.  Spiced Forelle pears for a fall pie.  And who can Continue Reading

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Want an EASY Valentine’s Day? From breakfast to brunch, and beyond, Melissa’s Produce is always there to provide us with the freshest seasonable produce: Cactus pear for a sweet coulis over tequila poached pears.  Ripe organic peaches for a spicy hot wing glaze.  Tropical passion fruits for a tart vinaigrette.  Spiced Forelle pears for a fall pie.  And who can forget the fresh edible flowers that topped our wedding cake?

We are head-over-heels in love with Melissa’s Produce.  We recently got our hands on some Melissa’s Produce ready-to-use crepes and their raspberry dessert sauce.  With a busy smooch-filled Valentine’s Day just around the corner,  warm crepes filled with cream and fresh fruit are a great way to stir romance.

No recipe needed!  Room temp, warm or cold, crepes can be served any way you prefer.  I enjoy them warm, filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit.  A quick dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of Melissa’s raspberry dessert sauce is all you need to seal the deal.

Valentine's Day - Melissa's Produce Crepes - LatinoFoodie.com

Valentine's Day - Melissa's Produce Crepes - LatinoFoodie.com

 

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Flor de Jamaica Poached Pears]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=7301 2018-02-09T04:33:50Z 2018-02-10T07:30:28Z Poached pears are of two worlds: Simple, yet complex. Humble, yet elegant. Modest, yet decadent. Something as unassuming as a pear can be transformed into something as graceful as any soufflé or as sophisticated as any croquembouche. A ripe pear on its own is always a satisfying and delicious snack, but why settle for “satisfying” when you can have a Continue Reading

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Poached pears are of two worlds: Simple, yet complex. Humble, yet elegant. Modest, yet decadent. Something as unassuming as a pear can be transformed into something as graceful as any soufflé or as sophisticated as any croquembouche. A ripe pear on its own is always a satisfying and delicious snack, but why settle for “satisfying” when you can have a shining centerpiece on your dining table this Valentine’s Day? Thus, I present to you the poached pear. Poaching pears is commonplace in our kitchen, but being LatinoFoodie, I decided to put away the wine and use an ingredient so common and traditional to Latinos – flor de Jamaica, or dried hibiscus flowers.

Jamaica Poached Pears 1

The flowers are tart and tannic, but sweetened with piloncillo, the aroma will take you on a tropical journey. As the dried hibiscus flowers rehydrate, they plump up to petals and tentacled flower buds, the color changing to something between blood red and deep purple, and their floral scent will hang thick in the air. Using dried mulling spices is fairly typical when poaching or making mulled wine, but I use a special blend from Melissa’s Produce. Each package is 2 ounces, perfect for this type of recipe. Each package has Sri Lankan cinnamon chips, Guatemalan allspice, cloves from Zanzabar and dried orange peel. Just close your eyes and imagine a warm, spiced blanket wrapped around you, cradling you. The scent is of pure warmth.

Jamaica Poached Pears 5

The sweet Jamaica poached pears are easy enough to simply eat with a fork, or fun served with a scoop or ice cream. If you want something a little more upscale, serve the poached pears with some really good blue cheese.

Jamaica Poached Pears 6

So go ahead, poach some pears and blow their socks off.

 

Jamaica Poached Pears

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups flor de Jamaica (dried hibiscus)
  • 2 ounce package Melissa’s Produce Mulling spices
  • 1 6.5 ounce piloncillo cone
  • Zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 8 medium Bosc pears with steams intact

Procedure:

  1. In a medium pot (3.5-4 quarts), combine the water, Jamaica, mulling spices, piloncillo and orange juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. Using a melon baller, scoop out the bottom, known as the calyx.
  3. Gently place the pears in the simmering poaching liquid. Allow to cook until tender, but not mushy. With firm pears this could take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, remembering to turn the pears occasionally. (Chefs Tip: cut out a piece of kitchen parchment paper roughly the same size as the pot. Place over the pears to help keep them all submerged.)
  4. Remove the pears and allow them to cool on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Strain the poaching liquid and discard the solids.
  6. Return the poaching liquid to the stove and reduce over medium-high heat until it thickens into a syrup, about 20 minutes.
  7. Serve the pears (warm or at room temperature) with a drizzle of the syrup and sprinkle with zest.

For another poached pear creation, click on the image below to view the recipe for Tequila Poached Pears.

Tequila Poached Pear

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[The Perfect Pear: Tequila Poached Pear with a Cactus Pear Coulis]]> http://latinofoodie.com/?p=3612 2018-02-09T05:34:05Z 2018-02-10T07:00:47Z With the Super Bowl in the rear-view mirror, it is time to turn off football and turn on a sexy dessert.  Valentine’s Day is upon us, but this recipe for Tequila Poached Pears with a Cactus Pear Coulis cannot be restrained to the short month of February.  Poaching pears is a surprisingly easy affair and a delicious seductive treat. This Continue Reading

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With the Super Bowl in the rear-view mirror, it is time to turn off football and turn on a sexy dessert.  Valentine’s Day is upon us, but this recipe for Tequila Poached Pears with a Cactus Pear Coulis cannot be restrained to the short month of February.  Poaching pears is a surprisingly easy affair and a delicious seductive treat. This sinful dessert can be made the day before your rendezvous and can quickly be assembled while your lover pops the cork.  To make your Pear Affair even more decadent, serve your dessert with ice cream or pair it with a good quality blue cheese.  As it turns out, pears and cactus pears make the perfect pair.

Tequila Poached Pears with Cactus Pear Coulis

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups good quality Tequila
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange (zested and juiced)
  • 2/3 cup agave syrup
  • 4 Bosc pears
  • 5 cactus pears (carefully peeled)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar-free jam

Poaching Pears:

  1. In a medium pot, add the water, tequila, cinnamon stick, orange zest, juice, and agave syrup to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  3. Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact.  You can use a melon baller to core our the bottom of the pears.  Gently place the pears in the simmering tequila mixture.
  4. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife slides easily out of a pear.
  5. Remove pears and allow to cool.  At this point you can reduce the poaching liquid to use as a sauce or reserve it for another use.

Cactus Pear Coulis:

  1. Add the cactus pears and the jam to a blender and puree.
  2. Place the cactus pear sauce in a small pot and reduce by about half over a medium-low flame.
  3. Use a large silicon spatula to press the mixture through a sieve.  Allow to cool to room temperature before placing in your refrigerator.
  4. Funnel your coulis into a squirt bottle for easy application or simply spoon sauce over the pears.

We’d like to thank Melissa’s Produce for delivering fresh cactus pears and organic Bosc pears to our doorstep to help us create this swoon-worthy recipe. For more information about Melissa’s or how to select, store and handle cactus pears, visit http://melissasproduce.com

 

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Make your Valentine Swoon with This Flourless Chocolate Cake]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=6443 2018-02-09T03:36:51Z 2018-02-10T06:00:04Z Chocolate has a place in my kitchen and my heart because that is where my chocolate desserts are born: for my friends, family and my beau. Stephen has his favorite desserts that aren’t always chocolate, such as cheesecake, tres leches cake, crème brûlée, etc. And while he has had his far share, it’s important not to spoil him…too much. It Continue Reading

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Chocolate has a place in my kitchen and my heart because that is where my chocolate desserts are born: for my friends, family and my beau. Stephen has his favorite desserts that aren’t always chocolate, such as cheesecake, tres leches cake, crème brûlée, etc. And while he has had his far share, it’s important not to spoil him…too much. It is with this thought that I decided to spoil myself.

Leafing through my old baking notebooks from culinary school, with creaking grains of sugar and small puffs of flour, I always come back to a handful of my personal favorites: fragrant frangipane tart with wine poached pears, rich Sachertortes, airy profiteroles filled with light Chantilly cream and, of course, flourless chocolate cake.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 4

This cake is basically chocolate custard folded with whipped egg whites, producing a dense, sometimes fudge-like cake. If you make nothing else from this blog, bake this. It requires a few ingredients and comes together pretty quick for a dessert of its caliber. When the cake comes out of the oven it will be puffed, and light brown. As it deflates, the crust, which in my mind is like a thin meringue shell, will begin to crack, giving you a glimpse of the rich chocolaty goodness that lies beneath. In culinary school we were encouraged to press down on the cake to make a flat, even surface for make multi-layered cakes covered in a blanket of ganache. But I think the cracked crust looks sexy.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 1

This recipe yields two 9-inch round cakes. You can decorate and eat the cakes anyway you like. I made a two layered cake and the other I simply served in the baking dish. My photos reflect cakes topped with strawberry whipped cream, fresh strawberries and a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar. But this recipe is for the flourless chocolate cake; how you dress, or undress, the cake is up to you. If you stack it, spread a thin layer of chocolate mousse or ganache between the cakes for an extra decadent dessert. Try different berries too, like sweet-tart blackberries and even edible flowers.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 5

If you decide to make this elegant dessert for your Valentine, please share a photo with me and make me swoon.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 10

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 10 ounces unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 10 each large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces white granulated sugar
  • 8 each large egg whites
  1. Set up a double boiler/bain-marie: Fill a medium-large pot with about 2-3 inches of water. Place a metal/glass mixing bowl over the boiling water, making sure the boiling water does not touch the mixing bowl.
  2. Add the chocolate and butter. Mix with a clean, dry silicone spatula until melted. Carefully remove from heat. Allow the melted chocolate to cool. Reserve.
  3. In another large bowl mix together the egg yolks and half the sugar (3 ounces) with a whisk. Reserve.
  4. In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites and remaining sugar (3 ounces) to medium peaks with the whisk attachment. Reserve.
  5. Mix in the cooled chocolate into the egg yolks until fully incorporated.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare your baking dishes by spraying them with a non-stick baking spray. (You can use springform pans for easy unmolding or cut a round of parchment/wax paper to line to bottom of your dish and spray as well. If you prefer to simply serve the cake in the dish (without unmolding) you do not need to put down parchment paper.)
  7. Fold in the whipped egg whites into the chocolate/egg yolk mixture. Do this in three parts, making sure to fold in the whites gently. Fold until just combined, being careful not to over-fold.
  8. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is set in the middle.
  9. Allow to cool completely before unmolding and/or topping with whipped cream, ice cream or powdered sugar.

Flourless Chocolate Cake 8

Flourless Chocolate Cake 9

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[Valentine’s Dinner: Ancho-Pomegranate Roasted Pork Loin]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=8123 2018-02-09T03:22:13Z 2018-02-09T07:00:00Z This is part of a sponsored collaboration with National Pork Board and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own. “Love is a many splendored thing. It’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring. Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living. The golden crown that makes a man a king.” Every day Continue Reading

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This is part of a sponsored collaboration with National Pork Board and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

“Love is a many splendored thing. It’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring. Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living. The golden crown that makes a man a king.”

Every day I am grateful for finding someone to share life’s special moments with, like waking up in the morning to their smile, a gentle kiss goodbye when leaving for work or a warm embrace when you come home from a long, stressful day, simply makes life more meaningful. These are the moments I cherish and Valentine’s Day gives me another opportunity to express my love by preparing a delicious meal that is quite honestly easy to make.

When I look for inspiration, I often turn to pork as my choice of protein as it is flavorful, versatile, and accessible. From a traditional cochinita pibil to carnitas, my family loves when I cook with pork.

For Valentine’s Day, and other special holidays like Easter and Christmas, I love the idea of cooking with a pork loin roast. For larger groups, a full pork loin does the trick, but for dinner with my honey, a smaller 1-2 pound pork loin roast will ensure we have leftovers.

In this recipe, I have butterflied the pork loin to stuff with a salty-sweet pomegranate and walnut mixture. (You can sweetly ask your butcher to butterfly the roast for you.) The sauce is a combination of pomegranate juice and pureed ancho chiles that have been toasted in a dry skillet just long enough to release oils, imparting a scintillating smokiness to the dish. The sauce is sweetened with pomegranate, brown sugar and scented with fresh orange zest.

Pork loin cooks pretty quick. I suggest making the sauce and the rub the day before. Then stuff, truss and chill the pork loin until you’re ready to cook. It takes roughly 20 minutes per pound, but use an instant read thermometer and once it hits 145-160, take it out and let it rest on your counter for a few minutes while you pour your special Valentine another glass of wine. To serve, remove the twine and slice the pork loin roasts. The Ancho-Pomegranate Pork Loin alone will dazzle any table. Serve alongside steamed green beans and mashed potatoes.

If you’re still scrambling for a special Valentine’s treat, there has never been a better day to try pork than today! Go ahead and make ‘em swoon with this Ancho-Pomegranate Roasted Pork Loin.

For more recipes and cooking tips visit www.PorkTeInspira.com.

Ancho-Pomegranate Pork Loin

For Walnut Filling:

  • ½ cup walnuts (dry toasted)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For Rub:

  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine ground coffee
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

For Sauce:

  • 4 dried ancho chiles (stemmed and seeded)
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large shallot
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 orange

For Pork Loin

  • 2 pound pork loin roast (butterflied)
  • 2 large purple onions (sliced in half-moons)
  • Pomegranate arils to garnish

For Walnut Filling:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until completely chopped and paste-like. Reserve until needed.

For Rub:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Reserve until needed.

For Sauce:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place ancho chiles into hot skillet and dry toast just until they become fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Place toasted chiles into a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow the chiles to soften, about 10 minutes
  3. Place the softened ancho chiles and the rest of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until fully combined. Strain sauce. Discard solids and reserve sauce. (Note: if sauce is too thick, adjust consistency with the water that was used to reconstitute the chiles.) Reserve until needed.

Putting it all together

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread walnut filling inside pork loin. Roll up the loin and truss using kitchen twine. Spread the rub all over the outside of rolled pork loin.
  3. Place sliced onion in small roasting pan and place pork loin on top. Roast 25 minutes and then baste with ancho-pomegranate sauce at least twice before the internal temperature hits 140-16 (Total roasting time is approximately 40-45 minutes. Allow pork loin rest before slicing. Serve with more sauce and fresh pomegranate arils.

The post Valentine’s Dinner: Ancho-Pomegranate Roasted Pork Loin appeared first on Latino Foodie.

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Art Rodriguez http://latinofoodie.com <![CDATA[ROSCA DE REYES: Perfect Sweet Bread to Celebrate Dia de los Reyes]]> http://www.latinofoodie.com/?p=6320 2018-01-04T23:51:12Z 2018-01-04T19:30:08Z If you’re like me, the holidays can be a big sparkly, glittery blur. We made (and ate) our fair share of tamales and gained a pound or two, but before you take down that last string of Christmas lights remember that in many  parts of the world the holidays are not over just yet. In Mexico, the big day for Continue Reading

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If you’re like me, the holidays can be a big sparkly, glittery blur. We made (and ate) our fair share of tamales and gained a pound or two, but before you take down that last string of Christmas lights remember that in many  parts of the world the holidays are not over just yet. In Mexico, the big day for children is actually on January 6th — the Epiphany.

Rosca de Reyes

A traditional Rosca de Reyes, or Three Kings Bread, is baked in order to share with family and friends on this special day. This lightly sweetened yeast bread is perfect for dipping and dunking into hot champurrado or Mexican chocolate. You may be able to still find your Rosca de Reyes at your local panaderia or Latino grocery store, but be mindful because they run out fast. Do not fret, with this recipe below now you can make your own!

Rosca de Reyes

Don’t be daunted by the amount of ingredients or the steps, because this recipe is worth it. The recipe yields a Rosca de Reyes about the size of a cookie sheet, two medium sized roscas or 3 small breads. I recommend making a big one and inviting all your friends and family over for a slice. Also, don’t forget to put in the baby Jesus!

Here is a video we developed for Herdez Brands to celebrate Three King’s Day. That big gorgeous Rosca de Reyes was made with the recipe that follows. For more authentic holiday traditions and recipes, visit HerdezTraditions.com

Rosca de Reyes

Ingredients:
½ cup warm water
1 envelope dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon orange extract
Zest of 2 medium oranges
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
Sugar for sprinkling
Candied/dried fruit

Ingredients for paste:
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons margarine
½ cup powdered sugar

Procedure:
1. In a medium bowl, combine the water and yeast. Allow it to bloom, about 5-10 minutes.

2. After the yeast blooms, whisk in ½ cup of flour. Cover and allow to sit for about 25 minutes. (Optional: you can also add in a pinch of sugar to help feed and grow the yeast.)

3. In a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter with the paddle attachment.

4. Beat in the eggs/yolks one at a time with the speed on low until fully incorporated, about 1 minute each yolk.

5. Add the milk, salt, cinnamon, extracts and zest. Beat in for about 1 minute.

6. Use the dough hook attachment, slowly mix in the remaining 3 1/2 cups sifted flour just until the dough starts to come together.(You may not use all the flour or you might need to add a little more. Remember: moisture in the air is not your friend here.)

7. Add in the yeast and mix on medium for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom as needed. Place on a clean lightly-floured surface to knead until smooth.

8. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place. The dough should about double, about 60-90 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, make the paste: using a hand mixer, combine large egg yolk, flour, margarine and sugar until creamy. Place in a piping bag with a wide tip like a large basket weave tip/cake icing tip. The sugar paste will be piped in bands around the cake, so the size and shape is ultimately up to you. (You can also just form shapes (thin/thick bands) with your hands or roll out shapes with a rolling pin or even use cookie cutters. If the paste gets too soft from the heat of your hands, simply refrigerate for a few minutes.)

10. Punch down the dough in the bowl. Place on a lightly floured surface and gently form into a ball. (You can cut the dough in half or thirds if you want smaller breads. While I prefer them, sometime making one large bread is easier for larger groups.)

11. Using your fingers, poke a hole in the center of the dough ball. Slowly make the hole bigger, gently stretching and pulling so that the ring is uniform in size.

12. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet tray(s) and spray with a neutral non-stick cooking spray. Place the dough ring on the paper, cover with a clean dish towel and allow it to rest in a warm spot for another 40-45 minutes.

13. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

14. Prepare the egg wash by whisking together the large egg and milk. Right before you are ready to decorate the Rosca de Reyes, brush it with the egg wash.

15. Use the reserved sugar paste you made by piping bands across the bread. Decorate the bread with the candied fruit any way you would like. (Remember that the decorations are a matter of taste, so use as much or as little as you like.)

16. Bake for 10 minutes are 375°F, rotate the bread(s) then reduce the temperature to 350°F and allow to bake for another 10-15 minutes, until it has browned to your liking.

17. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooing rack. Allow to cool completely before placing the plastic baby inside.

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