Category: Mexican

Mexican Alambre

The Mexican market by our house upped it’s game tenfold. The new management is transforming this small corner store into a legit market. The meat counter alone is enough reason to go. Cactus being the second. The only thing that would make this place even sweeter would be a bakery, but I really don’t need all of that. More marinated meats please. The price and quality meet at an intersection that makes your mind explode. Every time we get something from there, we’re doing a double-take at the price. It just doesn’t feel right, but I’m not going to complain.

Having access to Mexican chorizo is worth its weight in gold. There aren’t substitutes for it. When you remove it from the casing, the stuff at the corner market cooks down into an almost liquid form of spicy goodness. This dish was inspired by La Cocina. It’s like fajitas but made better. It takes everything I love about them [meat and veggies and adds even more meat, more veggies [cactus], and generous amounts of Oaxaca cheese. Be still my heart. You can make tacos out of them, obviously, but I’m much more into shoveling it in by the forkful. Tortillas just take up stomach space.

Mexican Alambre



  • 1lb thinly sliced steak
  • 1lb chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup strips of nopales [cactus], rinsed and drained if using the jarred variety
  • 1-2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 4oz+ Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • tortillas for serving


Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the steak and brown on all sides before removing from heat to a paper towel lined plate. Add the chorizo. Break it up. When it’s halfway cooked, add the vegetables. Cook until tender. Add the remaining steak. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Stir in or place under a broiler to melt. Serve with the tortillas. Or with a fork. Fingers work well too.

Enchiladas Suizas

There is something supremely satisfying about making your own enchilada sauce. I have no shame in using the canned variety, especially since you can find such a good ones these days from small-batch vendors, but that sense of accomplishment is addictive. I’m much more of a green over red sauce kind of person, so that’s what I made. Roasted tomatillos make the best kinds of sauces. I have a few recipes saved [here and here] to try at some point. Famous last words. For every recipe I try, another three join the list at least.

If you take the time to do this, please don’t do what I did. Move the rack of the oven closer to the broiler. My impatience kicked in. It was harsh, but ultimately worth it. Once you get the blackened vegetables ready to go, the rest of it comes together very, very easily. Enchiladas are great vehicles for whatever filling you choose — meat or veggie. I went with  simple chicken and cheese so I could focus on the flavor of that sauce. Do yourself a favor and heat up your tortillas before you feed them. I found that they would crumble a bit when I dipped them in the sauce and tried to roll in the filling. It didn’t affect flavor, of course. Despite putting an entire jalapeño in the sauce, it lost all heat. I could have used a little more. I think I’d consider having another jalapeño or even a habanero available in case the jalapeño wasn’t hot enough like it was. All of the remaining sauce and filling ingredients go on top of the enchiladas and baked in the oven so the cheese melts and the sauce gets nice and bubbly. They are really good. Really, really good.

Enchiladas Suizas

Inspiration: Food52


  • 1 medium white onion
  • 4 large tomatillos
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 jalapeño pepper [see above for notes on spice]
  • 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, save the rest for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt
  • 2 cups shredded or ground chicken, cooked
  • 2 cups shredded cheese [oaxaca or other melts white cheese]
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Sour cream, avocado, radishes, etc for serving


Turn your broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Chop the onion into quarters, or even smaller if your onion looks like argue. The more surface area touched by the heat, the better flavor you’re going to get. Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Arrange all of the vegetables and the garlic on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler until the vegetables start to blacken. Rotate them occasionally to get all sides.

Remove and allow to cool. Peel the garlic and remove the blackened skin and stems from the poblanos. Add them and the other vegetables to your blender. Pour the chicken stock and lime juice over the top. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt and more spice. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the mixture reduces.

Preheat the oven to 350° and ready a baking pan. Making each enchilada individually, dip the tortilla into the sauce. Add some chicken and cheese to the tortilla and roll it up. Place it seam side down in the baking pan. Continue this for the remaining seven tortillas. Sprinkle the top with any remaining chicken and cheese. Pour any remaining sauce all over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Chorizo and Garlic Shrimp Burgers

We spent the weekend in San Francisco — partly for Andrew’s birthday and partly because Inter Milan was playing Real Madrid in Berkley. It was perfect timing really. I hadn’t been to SF in at least four years, I’m guessing. It’s been a long time. We rented a sweet little apartment in The Mission near where our friends live. It was close to BART and a million things to eat, and it had a great view of the city from the rooftop deck.

The weather was practically perfect, if not a little hot. After spending nearly all of Saturday outside, I was sporting a lovely sunburn on my forehead and my nose. It’s already peeling, so yay. It was a super short trip thanks to a cancelled flight on Friday. We arrived at nearly 11pm on Friday and were flying out 7pm on Sunday. Short. Friday night we had super quesadilla suizas from El Farolito Taqueria. On Saturday I had the Franciscan scramble at Kitchen Story,  a pastrami sandwich and the best pickleback of all time from Giordano Bros., and the most thoughtful Campari and soda at Double Dutch. The bartender took the time to rub the lemon peel over the rim of the glass. It makes such a difference! The original plan was to have dinner at Beretta, but a two hour wait was not something anyone wanted to deal with. Inter Milan won by the way for anyone who is interested. It made the day that much sweeter. Sunday was spent getting an Americano and ginger scone from Ritual Coffee , a watermelon salad with rocolla, white balsamic vinaigrette, pumpkin seeds & ricotta salata cheese and a homemade biscuit from The Vestry, and brown sugar and fennel ice cream from Humphrey Slocombe. It was like Salt and Straw without the wait. I had forgotten what that was like. We finished up the trip with a sandwich to go from Ike’s Place eaten on the roof deck. I love that city. Next time needs to be at least another night. There is so much to see, do, and eat in that city.

Remember how last year seemed to be the summer of burgers? It also seemed to coincide with Portland’s inaugural Burger Week, which starts soon by the way. SO EXCITED.  Anyway, I made this burger recently, and it was the first burger of the summer. It’s surprising it took this long, but when the mood strikes, you can’t ignore it. I can’t even remember the last time I bought shrimp. Buying a two-pound bag for eight shrimp makes sense, right? You’re going to see a little bit more shrimp around here. Anyway, these burgers? AWESOME. Mexican chorizo is so good. The recipe gave you instructions to make your own, but we have a little market by the house that sells it by the pound size link. It’s hard to say no to that. If you actually make the real deal, let me know! I’d love to hear about how it tastes.

Paprika mayo and manchego cheese make this whole thing. I’ve been on a manchego  kick since we got back from Spain. It’s such a versatile and creamy cheese. Have you had Sir Kensington’s Mayo? It’s my latest find at New Seasons. I don’t eat enough mayo to justify buying a huge jar, so this little jar is perfect. Make the burgers if you have even the slightest bit of love of chorizo. You don’t even have to make the shrimp if you don’t want to, but it makes them that much better. I promise.

Inspiration: Lady and Pups


  • 1lb of chorizo, remove from casings so you can make patties
  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • juice of one lime
  • 4 buns
  • 1/2 cup of shredded manchego
  • 1-2 thin slices of tomato per burger
  • flour for dusting the burgers
  • olive oil and butter for the pan


Divide the chorizo into four equal portions to make patties. I brought out my trusty scale to make sure they were approximately the same size. I can’t eyeball things that good. Place them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

In a small bowl, mix the shrimp with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place in the fridge until ready to use as well.

Whisk together the mayo, tomato paste, paprika, mustard, and lime. Set aside. Try not to eat it by the spoonful.

Preheat a skillet on medium high heat. Dust the patties with a bit of flour so they can get a nice crust. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once it’s shimmering, it’s hot enough. Add a little bit of butter before placing the burger in the pan. If yours is large enough, you could do two at the time, but I didn’t want to risk it. One at a time for me. Don’t touch them for a good 3-5 minutes until you notice a crust forming on the bottom of the patty. Flip and add 1/4th of the shredded cheese to the top before covering for a minute or two. Once the cheese melts, remove the patty from the pan and set aside. Continue this with the rest of the patties.

In the pan with all the drippings, add the shrimp for about 1 minute on each side until they’re cooked through. Remove and slice in half when they’re cool enough to touch.

Toast the buns if you’re into that sort of thing. Add some mayo to the bun, top with a burger, four slices of shrimp, and a slice or two of tomato. Enjoy.

Grilled Chicken Fajita Nachos

Are you noticing a theme with these titles? I am. The grill is just too easy. It’s my oven substitute, perfect for those summer days.

But first, let’s talk about Ox. If you’re following my stomach on Instagram, you saw the deliciousness already. We went to this hugely popular restaurant for a friend’s birthday, which I’ve decided is the best birthday party ever. An excuse for a super good meal? Count me in. I’ve been itching to go since it opened, but there is always a ridiculous wait. You can only get a reservation for groups of six or more.

The fare is Argentinian inspired, which means an emphasis on grilled meats, but I can assure you that they do amazing, amazing things with vegetables, too. I had the hardest time narrowing down what I wanted. Highlights included — the cauliflower bisque amuse bouche [served in an espresso mug!]; bruschetta of dungeness crab, avocado, radish, cucumber, shiso; maple-brined pork loin chop; heirloom hominy, braised pork belly, fava beans, chiles, cilantro, olive oil-fried duck egg; cocoa-braised lamb shoulder, sautéed spinach, chickpeas, shiitake mushrooms, peaches, cilantro. It was way more delicious than a piñata, and arguably just as fun.

So nachos.

We eat nachos a lot. There is a taco shop down the street that has them for practically no dollars, and they’re the best thing on the menu. I wanted to use up the two avocados on my counter make my own, though. I could sneak on a few more vegetables, use less oil, and throw them on the grill. Win-win. In a fit of laziness, I threw chicken fajita fixins into a big pan on the grill so they could roast and marinate together. Hot Hatch chilies are so good [and they make me think of my grandpa]. They lose a lot of their heat in the cooking process, though. I had to add more chili flakes of my own, and a bottle of Tapatio was polished off in the devouring of these nachos.

They’re easy enough on your stomach that you can, in fact, make it to a restorative yoga class an hour afterward without any severe consequences to you or your fellow mat mates.


  • 1lb chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 4oz can fire roasted roasted chilies, drained
  • 15oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • salt/pepper
  • tortilla chips
  • 4oz shredded jack cheese
  • avocado, hot sauce, cilantro


Preheat your grill to medium [approx. 400°]. If it has three burners, turn off the middle one. In a 13″x9″ baking pan, layer the onions, green peppers, chopped chicken, tomatoes, and chilies. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chili flakes. Place the pan, uncovered, on the grill. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes to prevent burning.

In a large rimmed baking sheet, create a layer of tortilla chips. Sprinkle on half of the cheese. Spoon the chicken fajita topping over the chips. Cover with remaining cheese. Return to the grill for approximately 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Top with your favorite garnishes. Enjoy straight from the pan or use a spatula to break them apart.


Huevos Rancheros

Another amazing, ‘not a date‘ with Jenny for the books. Has it seriously been since June, Jenny? Wow. We went to The Woodsman Tavern. I’m in love with the space. Dark. Brick. Kinda old school country, but not in a western kind of way. All I can say is cedar-steeped Campari, domestic ham plate, brussels and sunchokes with anchovy vinaigrette, the best grilled pork chop, and meyer lemon cream pie. Holy freakin’ delicious. Go there. Take me. Thanks.

Sometimes I need something other than an egg sandwich on the weekend. That’s usually the go-to in the house. If I’m eating breakfast out, I’m getting the craziest thing on the menu, so those middle of the road breakfasts are the things that miss my affection. That’s unfortunate. There is so much good breakfast food, it’s hard for a girl to choose.

Huevos rancheros are definitely not something I’d order when I’m out, and I really don’t have a reason. Maybe it’s because I don’t usually think Mexican food when I think breakfast [unless it’s a breakfast burrito from Gonzales Taqueria]? Maybe it’s because I don’t see them a lot on menus? They’re good, though. I mean, is it really possible to have a bad one? It’s a simple combination of flavors coming together on a crunchy tortilla. The star of these huevos is the black bean mash. I’m a sucker for refried black beans, and these are just like it, only not fried. Bacon grease doesn’t hurt either. 

PS – I paid $2 for this avocado by the way. I wept.

Inspiration: The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook – Pg. 28


  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 green onions, green and white parts sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • Olive oil for brushing or spraying
  • 1 tablespoon butter [unless you kept your bacon grease]
  • 6 eggs
  • White cheddar cheese, shredded for topping
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • cilantro and lime for serving


Warm the beans over low heat in a small sauce pan. Add about 1/4 cup of water and the greek yogurt/sour cream. Mash the mixture with a fork or potato masher. Puree if you’re feeling saucy. Add the bacon and taste for additional salt and pepper.

Turn the broiler on high. Spray or brush the tortillas with olive oil on both sides. Place the tortillas in the oven, watching them and flipping them as they brown. When they are lightly browned on each side, remove them from the oven and set aside.

In a large frying pan, melt your butter if you didn’t use the bacon grease. Gently break the eggs in the pan and cook to your desired level of doneness. Build your tostada with the tortilla + a nice layer of beans + egg + cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Use hot sauce and lime to your hearts content.