Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Let’s suppose someone opened a Mason Jar and poured you a glass of Mint Lemon Agua Fresca. It’s refreshing, full of zest and sweet intensity from the coconut water, and if acidity can be thrilling, this recipe has it. Would you be surprised to learn this is a staple from my cookbook Latin Superfoods? I usually drink it right after exercise, or as soon as I wake up, on an empty stomach. It feels pretty awesome. And you can watch a video of this recipe on You Tube. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!

 

Mint Lemon Agua Fresca

Makes 2 Ball Mason Jars

 

6 sprigs fresh mint

10 thin slices of cucumber

1 lime, sliced thinly

4 cups coconut water

Ice cubes

 

  • Divide the mint, cucumber, and lime between the 2 Ball Mason Jars. Fill each with coconut water.
  • Close the jar and let it steep in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add ice before serving.

 

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Pork Ramen Noddle

Pork Ramen Noddle

This is how I layer my Pork Ramen Noddle: I make the pork, mushrooms and broth separately. And then, it’s the layers of ingredients that make all the difference.

You can also watch a video of me and my daughter, Bianca, making this dish on You Tube.

 

Pork Ramen Noddle

Serves 4

 

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 shallot, finely minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound pre-cooked pulled pork

1 onion, sliced

1 pound ramen noodles, cooked

2 scallions, white and green parts, cut ion the bias

2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half

6 cups reduced sodium beef broth

2 radishes, cut into thin stripes

2 baby cucumbers, sliced

1 cup cilantro leaves (not chopped)

 

  • Prepare the mushrooms: heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan on high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, without stirring until it starts to release its oil, about 3 minutes. Add the shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything and cook until mushrooms are soft and tender, about 5 minutes all together. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Prepare the Pork: using the same pan as the mushrooms, heat the remaining olive oil and add the sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until it soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pulled pork and break it up in pieces, making sure pork is completely broken up into thin threads. Cook, stirring frequently until pork is completely flavored. Add about ¼ cup water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat the beef broth and make sure it’s well seasoned.
  • To assemble the Ramen Soup, place some cooked noodles, about ¼ cup pulled pork and some mushrooms in a bowl. Ladle the broth on top, and garnish with the scallions, cucumbers, radish, eggs and cilantro. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Maybe it will happen tonight, or tomorrow. How many sandwiches are you eating during this quarantine?

I saw a recipe at the NY Times Cooking Section (by Ali Slagle) that inspired me. And oh boy, this Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich is just as good as I thought it would be! I brought it up to quarantine cooking club and have been making this sandwich over and over again. It already became a regular in the weekly repertoire in my house.

Caramelizing onions does take a bit of time to prepare.  I usually prepare it when I’m cooking something else so that have it ready in the fridge, and then, when I crave for this sandwich, boom, it’s ready.

I usually like a small sandwich, so I always go for the end parts of the bread as they are smaller than the center cut of a loaf. But if you like a regular sized sandwich, be sure to center slices. I used Italian bread because that’s what I had at home at the time, but any country style or sourdough bread will make a damn good sandwich.

As for the cheese, traditionally, the classic French Onion Soup calls for Grueye cheese. I had cheddar in the fridge, that’s what I used. Feel free to use muenster, gruyere, cheddar or any other yellow cheese of your preference.

You can use a panini press machine, an iron camp cooker or just a simple plain skillet.

You can watch of video of this recipe on my YouTube Channel! And don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Onion Gratin Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Serves 2

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted to mayonnaise point

1 center slices Italian bread

4 slices white cheddar cheese

1 raw garlic clove

 

Cook the onions: in a large skillet heat the olive oil over low heat and add the onions. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until they caramelize into a deep amber caramel color, about 25 to 30 minutes. If you see some onions burning on the sides, add a tablespoon of water. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat; they need to caramelize over low heat or else they might burn too fast. Transfer to a plate or a container and keep refrigerated. You can make the onions up to 5 days ahead of time.

Pre-heat the panini press.

Spread melted butter on the outer parts of the bread.

Mound some onions, about 2-3 tablespoons on one side of the bread, top with the cheese, close the sandwich and take it to press until nice and golden-brown and the cheese is melted, about 4-5 minutes.

 

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Bean Broth

Bean Broth with Croutons

I used black eyes peas simply because that’s what was in my pantry. Feel free to use any kind of dried beans to make this delicious bean broth recipe and serve with croutons, parsley and Parmesan, or other garnishes that you might prefer. I used the ends of a loaf bread to make garlic croutons. It goes to show, in times of pandemic, nothing goes to waste! Inspired by the magazine Bon Appetit, this is another great one! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids here. 

 

Bean Broth With Croutons

Serves 4 to 6 people

 

For the Black Beans:

1 pound dried black eyed beans, picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)

8 to 10 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 fresh bay leaves

 

For the Croutons:

2 end slices of any type of country bread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly chopped parsley

 

For the Beans:

Place the black beans in a pressure cooker and cover with tap water by 2 inches. (about 8 to 10 cups of water). Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Lock the lid and bring to a boil. When you hear the sound of the pressure cooker in full gear, reduce the heat to medium- low (it is very important to maintain a constant gentle pressure because the pressure keeps increasing as the boiling point of the water increases). Check the beans after 20 to 25 minutes – they should be tender, showing no traces of starch, but not mushy. The water will be cloudy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

 

For the Croutons:

Tear the bread into small pieces or cut them with a serrated knife. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the oil and butter. add the bread in a single layer. the oil and butter should be bubbling lightly. Adjust the heat as necessary and keep stirring the croutons as often as you can, to make sure they turn golden evenly all around. Cook until the croutons are crisp and a beautiful golden rich golden brown on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let them cool completely. Once cooled they can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed back in a hot oven for 3 minutes to crisp up again.

To assemble, pour some of the beans into bowls and garnish with croutons, parmesan and parsley.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it!

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See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

Yogurt Parfait with Granola

Yogurt Parfait With Granola and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Some recipes are the perfect experimentation of taste, aroma, texture and colors. This Yogurt Parfait with Granola and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote is the way I like to give my imagination free rein. See those seeds on the top of the bowl? The add crunchy and taste. Even better, they mix perfectly with the sweet & sour taste of yogurt and strawberry rhubarb compote. It inspires health. Eat and breathe. Mediate. Inhale peace. Exhale peace of mind. You can watch a video of this recipe on You Tube!

 

Yogurt Parfait with Granola and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

 

Makes 2 Parfaits

 

Components:

2 cups Plain Greek Low Fat Yogurt

Tropical Granola (recipe here)

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (recipe follows)

 

Recipe for Rhubarb- Strawberry Compote

 

3 medium stalks of rhubarb (about 9 ounces), trimmed, and chopped into ¾ -inch pieces

1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks

1/3 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup quartered fresh strawberries (rinsed)

zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint leaves

 

  1. In a medium sauce pan, place the rhubarb, ginger and sugar, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often.
  2. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb becomes soft and tender and releases a lot of juice, about 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to let the rhubarb create any foam, or the compote will turn bitter and taste like soda).
  3. Transfer the rhubarb and all its liquid to a bowl, and while still hot add the strawberries and lemon zest. Let the compote cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator in a plastic container covered with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Just before serving remove the ginger piece and add the mint leaves.

You can prepare this compote up to 3 days ahead of time and keep it a plastic container covered with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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Leticia

 

 

Burritos Recipe

Rice & Beans Burritos

Rice & Beans Burritos

I’m always fascinated by the assembly line at Chipoltle. My son Thomas, who is crazy for the restaurant always asks for Rice & Beans Burritos and I always tell him we should make it at home. We never did—until quarantine forced us to! You can see in this video how easy it is to put together this burrito recipe— and any burrito! You can stuff your burrito with just about anything: meat sauce and corn, add lettuce and sour cream, add rice and beans and meat, or chicken, or pulled pork, or guacamole, or salsa, or cheese or queso blanco, or just about anything and any combination that you might think of. The concept is more important that the items. You can simply look at the leftovers you have in the fridge and decide to put a burrito recipe together!

 

Makes 2

 

2 Flour tortillas

1 cup cooked brown rice, hot

1 cup cooked black eyed peas, hot

1 cup cooked, chopped meat, hot

½ cup freshly cut tomatoes

½ cup freshly sliced scallions

½ cup freshly chopped parsley

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed

 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add one tortilla at a time, changing the sides and making sure the tortilla is just heated through and just begins to blister. Place on top on a foil sheet. Add rice, beans, meat and all other garnished to each tortilla and roll up tightly, burrito style. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings. Once assembled, you can heat again in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, or simply eat them soft, just as they are assembled. Serve with a salad and you have a beautiful meal without having to out to a Mexican restaurant!

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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Leticia

 

 

 

 

Pasta Cacio E Pepe

Pasta Cacio E Pepe

Pasta Cacio E Pepe

Pepper in the beginning and in the end! That’s the spirit of this amazing, classic and delicious dish from Italy called Pasta Cacio E Pepe. As mentioned in the video (watch it on You Tube), saving some of the pasta water is the real secret to this recipe. Yes! That cloudy water, that everyone throws away! Now you know! Keep it. Save it. that water is full of flavor! You might not seed to save the whole thing, but save at least 2 cups. As you add the water to the pan, and it mixes with the peppery butter, it creates a starchy, creamy sauce that transform this dish from ordinary to extraordinary!

Pasta Cacio e Pepe

Serves 2

 

Kosher salt

6 oz long noodle pasta (such as bucatini, spaghetti, tagliolini or Fusilli lunghi—as used in this recipe)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

 

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook stirring occasionally, until just al dente (take one minute off from package instructions). Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling the pan, until the black pepper starts to release it aromas, about 1 minute.

Add about ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and remaining butter. Reduce. Heat to low and add the cheese, stirring and tossing with tongs, until all melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add more cheese, stirring and tossing, until the cheese melts, and the noodles are covered by a creamy, beautiful sauce. Feel free to add more pasta water if the sauce seems a little dry. Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve immediately. I like to sprinkle even more cheese and more pepper at the end. Never enough!

 

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Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

My daughter loves this recipe for Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad! What I love about it, is that it’s great for batch cooking; we can make a batch and the family will eat throughout the week. Although, it’s so good that in just 2-3 days it’s over! Then we make it again, as it already became a staple in our home! Be sure to bring it to room temperature (but keep it covered until ready to serve) about one hour before serving. I made this salad with radish, celery and cherry tomatoes, because that’s what we had in the fridge; feel free to use scallions, ginger, capers, or any other condiments and vegetables (shallots!) you think might go well here. As long as they don’t overwhelm the flavors of the tuna and Israeli couscous, it’s all good. Also, I started with cooked couscous, and to do so, treat it as pasta; bring about 8 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Season with a large pinch of salt. Add the couscous and cook according to package instructions. Drain a colander and toss it with olive oil. You can watch a video of me cooking with my daughter Bianca here on You Tube. and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel!

Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

Tuna & Israeli Couscous Salad

Serves 4 to 6

 

1 ½ cup cooked Israeli couscous (I used the tri-color, but feel free to use the regular)

2 red radish, finely diced

2 stalks celery, peeled and finely diced

½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

One (5-ounce) can or jar Italian tuna, drained and flaked

¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro

 

In a large bowl, combine the couscous, radish, celery, cherry tomatoes and tuna, and fold well with a rubber spatula. Add the tuna, lemon zest and olive oil. Try to preserve some of the large chunks of tuna. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the herbs to finish. Serve at room temperature.

 

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Duck Stir Fry

Duck Stir Fry

Duck Stir Fry

Duck Stir Fry

Serves 4

During these quarantine cooking days, whatever is available in the market and is on sale, is what we buy. As I mentioned in the Quarantine Cooking Club video on You Tube, my husband went to Costco and found a package of pre-cooked duck for sale. Knowing of our daughter’s love for game meats, he bought and said, “I’m sure you’ll find something interesting to do with it”. Duck Stir Fry! Hello! The package from Maple Leaf contains one half duck, roasted weighting net 28oz (1 lb + 12oz). It also comes with an orange sauce, which I didn’t use at all. By the time I pulled the meat, it yields about 2 cups pulled duck meat. We love “stretching” the duck by making this rice stir fry. It serve 4 generous portions, something we need these days!

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely minced

2 stalks celery, peeled and finely minced

1 carrot, finely minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups pulled duck meat

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

 

Procedure:

Warm the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onion, celery and carrot all together. Season with salt and pepper, cumin and oregano. Cook until soft, about 4 minutes.

Add the rice, duck, soy sauce and herbs and mix everything together, stirring occasionally until it all belongs together. You can add about ¼ cup water to moisten the dish. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

 

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Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

Pasta With Peas And Pancetta

Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

 

Pasta with Peas & Pancetta

Serves 4

We first tried this recipe for Pasta with Peas & Pancetta at our neighbor’s house for dinner one night, and after that, we never stopped making it at home. Our neighbors are from Rome, Italy, so we get spoiled sometimes with a Parmesan cheese from Italy and other imported ingredients that we love to indulge. Don’t worry too much about the kind of pasta you use for this dish. We used orecchiette, because that’s what was in the pantry, but any other shape along the lines of penne, farfalle, or fusilli will go well here. This is what we call Quarantine Cooking Club! You can watch a video of me cooking this recipe with my kids, Thomas and Bianca on You Tube 

 

Ingredients:

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 ounces pancetta, diced

½ onion, minced

One 10-ounce package (about 2 cups) frozen peas, thawed

1-pound orecchiette (or other pasta shape mentioned above)

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Coarsely ground pepper

 

Procedure:

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook stirring occasionally, until just al dente (take one minute off from package instructions). Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil and the pancetta in a large skillet and cook over medium high heat stirring occasionally, until the pancetta has rendered some of its fats and it’s crispy, golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.

Using the fat that’s in the pot, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the peas, the pasta, the pancetta and a couple of tablespoons by eye to the pan, mixing everything together and making sure every ingredient is enrobed by the natural juices in the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Finish with Parmesan cheese and serve in individual bowls.

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

If you prepare any of the recipes on the site, snap a photo and send it to me!

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Email Me

Order a copy of my newest cookbook Latin Superfoods

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

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