Malasadas – Portuguese Doughnuts

Malasadas

LET’S GET DOUGHNUT WASTED!!!!!!!

And why the heck not? It’s National Doughnut Day!!!

Malasadas

What’s my favorite doughnut or donut?

Easy.

It comes down to either an Old Fashioned with a Chocolate Glaze or Malasadas. Mmmm…malasadas.

Never had one? Let me break it down for you.

Malasadas

Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts. They’re a yeast based dough with eggs, butter and milk (or half and half). Rolled in sugar, these babies should be light and fluffy…and freaking amazing.

Now of course, the go-to place for malasadas is Leonard’s Bakery in O’ahu and every time I’m on the island, I MUST pop in for a box of them. Traditionally they’re unfilled but when I’m at Leonard’s, I have to get a variety of the filled ones. I love the ones that are stuffed with haupia (a Hawaiian coconut “pudding”), custard or if I’m lucky, they have the lilikoi (passion fruit) filling as their flavor of the month.

Malasadas

Sadly, I’m not on the islands today and had to take matters into my own hands. I used the recipe below from  Leonard’s and it’s pretty easy to follow. After proofing, the dough is just lovely.

And no surprise here… they were ONOLICIOUS!

Malasadas

In full disclosure, they were not nearly as good as Leonard’s…..I may be in San Diego but the beautiful air in Hawai’i combined with the sounds of the trade winds and ocean definitely add to the flavor of island food and takes it over the top.

But hey, they sure did do the trick and I happily inhaled four of them and washed it all down with a chilled class of Pinot Grigio….keeping it classy.

Happy National Doughnut (or Donut) Day!!!

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Malasadas – Portuguese Doughnuts from Leonard’s Bakery
Makes about 1 dozen

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
112 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 cup milk
12 cup half & half
14 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups bread flour (1 lb. 2 oz.), sifted
canola oil, for frying
Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons water heated to 115° in a bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes; set aside. Beat eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Add yeast mixture, 12 cup sugar, butter, milk, half & half, and salt; mix until combined. With the motor running, slowly add flour; beat until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 112 hours.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12″ square about 12″ thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 3″ squares; gather and reuse scraps. Place on greased parchment paper-lined baking sheets, at least 3″ apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Place remaining sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Heat 2″ oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Using scissors, cut the donuts out of the parchment paper, leaving about 1″ of paper around the sides of each doughnut (the paper makes it easier to transfer them to frying oil). Working in batches, place donuts in oil, paper side up, using tongs to peel off and discard paper. Cook, flipping once until puffed and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet with a wire rack; let cool completely, then toss with sugar.

Repost from Saveur

Chirashizushi {Chirashi} – Fresh Sashimi Rice Bowls

Chirashizushi

Oh Chirashizushi….how do I love thee?

Fresh fish, veggies, pickled ginger, wasabi and perfectly cooked sushi rice—-all mixed up in a bowl. Chirashizushi (ちらし寿司) or chirashi, translates to “scattered” which is one of the beauties about this dish.

Perfection.

As much as I love sushi rolls and nigiris, this gal can get terribly lazy sometimes. So to be able to throw all the ingredients that I love in sushi into one bowl is just genius.

And delicious.

Chirashizushi

I had been up at my seester’s place one weekend when we decided to pop into a local fishmonger we had discovered some time ago– Dry Dock Fish Company. It’s a smaller little shop, tucked away in Fullerton. But if you’re in the area, you must check it out because it’s an absolute gem.

Chirashizushi

I contemplated writing out a recipe for chirashi but I felt kind of silly doing it.

Make-at-home chirashi is all about using whatever types of fish that tickles your fancy. The chirashi pictured above has slices of ahi, hamachi, salmon, spoonfuls of shoyu ahi poke that I whipped up, avocado slices, lemon slices, lightly pickled Persian cucumbers, wasabi paste, scallions, gari (pickled young ginger), yuzu kosho (yuzu paste), nori crackers, and of course–sushi rice.

But again, chirashi can be anything you’d like my Friends. Just be sure to use sashimi grade fish <3

Happy Saturday!!!

Perfect Broiche Buns

Perfect Brioche Buns

Hey y’all! Happy Memorial Day weekend!!!

What is everyone up to? Camping? Beach bonfires? BBQ grilling?

Perfect Brioche Buns

If grilling is on your to do list for tomorrow, I’ve got a little something that will be a GAME CHANGER for you—the most perfect Brioche Buns!

Remember when my fam bam made these seafood burgers the other month for our Sunday Family Dinner?

Seafood Burgers

The seafood patties and fixins’ were definitely the star of the show but the buns….OH THE BUNS! It’s what took things over the top!

Perfect Brioche Buns

The recipe comes from the former Comma Ca restaurant in LA and have been on my must-bake list for a long time now. And I’ve got to tell you, after having made them, I will look no further because they really are perfect.

Perfect Brioche Buns

Fluffy but firm enough to be able to hold your burgers or sammies together.

And take a look at the crumb! I die.

Perfect Brioche Buns

They’re buttery yet slightly sweet and can be topped with anything from sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or garlic and onions.

Perfect Brioche Buns

So even if you have already picked up a package of buns from the store—nix them! Because when you pull out these perfect Brioche Buns to serve your fam and loves ones, they will likely break out into song and dance to sing your praises.

I’m talking full on High School Musical style…

Errrrr...you know what I mean.

Perfect Brioche Buns

Make these now! Make them forever!

And absolutely make these for Memorial Day! Have a great weekend friends ! <3

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Brioche Buns
Makes 8 large buns

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.

In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.

Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

*Recipe from the New York Times via Comma Ca restaurant, Los Angeles

Sui Gao Noodle Soup – Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad's Birthday

Our family is filled with lots of May babies—-Mom, cousie, sis-in-law, yours truly….and today is DAD’S BIRTHDAY!!!

Dad's Birthday

Dad’s family is originally from the Đà Nẵng and Huế area of Việt Nam—which in my opinion, has DEE BEST food in the country!

The son of a mason, Dad entered the Vietnamese navy and became quite the head honcho. And after our family came to the states, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota (GO GOPHERS!) and became an engineer.

Dad's Birthday

Anyone know what a layout engineer oversees?

Yeah… neither do I. :) I’ve asked Dad to explain it to me a billion of times over the years but my non-science, non-mathematical mind can’t process stuff like that.

But he was awesome at it—and did I mention that he draws the best cartoons/pictures for his grand kids?

Dad's Birthday

There were definitely a lot of perks being the youngest of five kids–particularly since by the time I started junior high, my seester closest in age to me was already in college. Yes, Dad and Mom were still strict with my upbringing but quite honestly, by the time they got to me, they definitely loosened the reigns. Not to mention all of the extra treats I got since the older kids were, well…. older. :)

Weekend breakfasts at McDonald’s (to this day, one of my favorite guilty pleasures), excursions for sweet potato-shrimp fritters in Little Saigon……

Dad's Birthday

And one of my childhood favorites–excursions to Sam Woo Restaurant (三和), which now is a popular, thriving restaurant chain.

Sui Gao

Sam Woo is known for their Hong Kong and Cantonese style cuisine. But despite their endless menus (both from their Sam Woo BBQ Restaurant and Sam Woo Seafood Restaurant), I’ve always gravitated towards their roasted suckling pig and dumpling noodle bowls.

Sui Gao

The luscious roasted pork is lightly seasoned with five spice and topped with it’s beautifully crisped pork skin. Seester calls it “meat candy” and I’m 100% on board with that.

Sui Gao

As for their noodle bowls, I mostly see folks ordering their standard wonton noodle soup or duck noodle soups. Both are very good, but really….it’s all about their Sui Gao Noodle Soup. Often also seen as “shui kao”, “sui gow”, “sui kow” or “sui gaw”.

Sui Gao

So what’s the difference between “wontons” and  “sui gao”?

There are a ton of different explanations to this but when I asked one of the times I was at Sam Woo, they told me that sui gao, or water dumplings” should be much larger in size than standard wontons.

Sui Gao

Second, I was told that along with minced shrimp, there must be “fat” included in the filling. After a little more digging, I realized that he meant lard or chopped pork fat—both can be found in the butcher section of almost any Asian grocery store.

As for me, I opt to skip on the lard and use a fattier ground pork. I find that it still provides just enough moisture and flavor as the lard.

Sui Gao

Lastly, they told me that sui gao should have minced water chestnuts for crunch and mushrooms for richer flavor.

Are these the only differences? Well, based on my Sam Woo intel, those are the major differences. But whatever it is…they are freaking delicious.

Sui Gao

So to celebrate Dad’s Birthday, I wanted to share with you all my version of Sui Gao Noodle Soup. It’s hearty yet somehow light at the same time…and really, at the end of the day, it’s like having a comforting hug in a bowl.

Sure, it does take a few steps to make but you can definitely make large batches of the sui gao and freeze them for a rainy day. But best of all, while I was folding the dumplings, I couldn’t help but reminisce on all of the wonderful times Dad would take Mom and I for a large bowl of sui gao with roasted pork on the side.

Dad's Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!  Heo Yeahhh! <3

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Sui Gao Noodle Soup
Makes 6 bowls with additional dumplings

Ingredients:

Sui Gow Dumplings (makes approximately 40-45 dumplings):
½ pound shrimp, shelled and devined
½ pound ground pork
½ heaping cup finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
4-5 water chestnuts, rinsed and minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
1 teaspoon rice flour or cornstarch
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 package sui gao dumpling wrappers (round dumpling wrappers)
cornstarch

Other:
2 quarts shrimp stock
1 quart chicken stock
2 inch knob fresh ginger
½ small white onion
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles
1 small bunch bok chok, trimmed and washed
4 ounces beech mushrooms or oyster mushrooms
chili oil
sesame oil
1 scallion, chopped

Prepare the sui gao. On a cutting board, chop and mince the shrimp until it becomes a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add the remaining items (except the wrappers and cornstarch) for the sui gao filling. Mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Prepare the broth. In a large stock pot, add the shrimp and chicken stock. Add in the ginger, onion, peppercorns, soy sauce and fish sauce. Bring the liquids to a boil and lower to a simmer. Allow the broth to simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add more soy sauce as needed. Keep warm.

While the broth simmers, prepare the sui gao. Lay one sui gao wrapper on a flat surface. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edge of the wrapper. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center. Pick up the sui gao and fold it in half. Firmly seal the edges by pinching and pressing the edges together—try and remove as much excess air as possible. Place the filled sui gao on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch or lined with parchment paper to avoid them sticking to the pan. Repeat until all of the filling has been used.

Bring another large pot of water to a boil. Boil the egg noodles according to the package until al dente. Remove the noodles from the pot (saving the boiling water) and drain in a colander. Divide the noodles amongst six bowls.

Using the same pot of boiling water, add 7-8 sui gao dumplings. Once the water comes back to a boil, lower the heat to medium. Boil the sui gao for about 7-8 minutes until they float on the surface of the water, stirring every minute or so. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm. Repeat until all the sui gao have been cooked.

To serve, bring the broth to a rolling boil. Drop in the bok choy and mushrooms into the stock. Allow the vegetables to cook for 45-60 seconds and then divide them amongst the six bowls. Top each bowl with 3-4 sui gao dumplings and ladle the hot broth into each of the bowls. Top each bowl with a drizzle of chili oil, sesame oil and scallions. Serve immediately.

*If you would like to freeze the sui gao, place the baking sheet directly into freezer for 4-5 hours after you have assembled them. Be sure that the dumplings are in a single layer and are not touching each other. Once the dumplings have frozen, you may transfer them to a sealed container. They can be kept in the freezer for a few months and should be cooked frozen. Add 1-2 additional minutes to the cooking time when boiling the frozen dumplings.*

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak – Happy Birthday Mom!

May 10th

It’s May 10th which means it’s not only Mother’s Day but also, our Mom’s Birthday!

She would have been 74 this year (eek! She’s probably yelling at me for disclosing that!) but I’m quite certain she would have looked no older than maybe 55….ok, may 60 :)

May 10th

The woman had some crazy good skin! She would often tell me when I was growing up to always use upward strokes when applying facial lotion to go against gravity.

But come to think of it….how does one say “gravity” in Vietnamese again? Eh, I must have just known what she was talking about.

May 10th

Today started off very much like it has for the past few years on Mom’s birthday. As I’ve written in her birthday posts before, it kicked off with a delish breakfast that I picked up at Panera Bread. When Mom and Dad moved to Florida, they went crazy for Panera Bread and would go weekly for French onion soup and their fantastic egg soufflés.

Luckily, I was able to snag the last Spinach and Bacon Egg Soufflé which was decadently wonderful.

May 10th

After brekkie I started going through old pics of Mom for this post and couldn’t help but smile.

I mean, the woman was a serious F-A-S-H-I-O-N-I-S-T-A….and I’m talking all the way back to when she was a kid.

May 10th

Neither her family or my dad’s were wealthy but she someone how managed to rock it out in the countrysides of  Việt Nam with Sophia Loren style sunglasses, patent leather pumps, itty-bitty mini-dresses and beautifully tailored & formfitting áo dàis.

May 10th

And this sense of style never waned through the years.

To this day, I wonder if Dad ever knew how often Mom would hide her shopping loot in the car or in the back of the closets only to tell him days later when she was wearing the new item that it was actually years and years old.

Sneaky woman.

May 10th

And as you know, Mom was an incredible cook.

I think most people say that about their moms but for reals, ours was awesome.

May 10th

When I shared my Vegetarian Chap Chae recipe a couple of years ago, I talked a little bit about how Mom and Dad went through a major Korean phase. They would watch Korean soap operas/dramas, buy Korean cookbooks, make and jar their own types of kimchees, and of course–go to town on Korean BBQ.

May 10th

Since I make a steak every year on Mama’s birthday (she was a carnivorous steak-loving 4’9″ woman), I decided to take a Korean spin. When grilling up (or pan-cooking) steaks, I rarely will use a marinade. I think the straight up taste of beef with some salt and pepper can’t be beat.

But this is for Mom and a little variation from time to time is good for you.

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak

I opted for a ribeye cut (my fav) and doctored some of my go-to Korean BBQ beef marinade. It’s filled with all kinds of goodness like soy, ginger, garlic, fresh OJ, and of course–grated Asian pear. The latter is for some added sweetness and the acidity helps tenderize the meat.

If you want to add a kick of spice, add a few dollops of gojuchang — Korean fermented chili paste.

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak

I chose to use a cast iron skillet to cook the steak instead of using a grill because I prefer how the meat caramelizes on the skillet.

But hey– if you prefer, fire up the grill!

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak

I like my steak on the medium to medium-rare side and served it up with a bed of rice and bok choy. I threw the marinade used for the steak in a small sauce pan, cooked and reduced it down, and then drizzled it over the beef.

I’ve got to tell ya. It was dang good and quite the lunch to celebrate Mama. There’s no doubt that she would have loved it.

542895_10151658797575481_1938271687_n

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND MOTHER’S DAY MAMA!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 years since you’ve been with us but not a day goes by where we don’t think of you! We miss your feistiness, strength, stubbornness, laughter, and COOKING!!

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Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak
Serves 2

Ingredients:

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon mirin
juice of one small orange
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder)
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (more for garnish)
kosher salt
black pepper
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ small Asian pear, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
2 scallions, chopped (more for garnish)
1 16-18 ounce ribeye beef steak or two 8-9 ounce ribeye beef steaks
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
shilgochu (Korean red pepper chili threads)

Prepare the marinade. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, mirin, orange juice, sesame oil, gochugaru, sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, brown sugar, grated pear, garlic, ginger and scallions.

Rinse the steak with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Pour the marinade into a large resealable bag. Add the steak and rub the marinade all over. Squeeze out as much air as possible and then seal the bag. Place the bag in a shallow dish and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.

Remove the steak from the bag and pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Use paper towels to dry off the steak and allow the beef to sit out for about 10 minutes until it becomes room temperature.

Place a cast iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

After the cast iron skillet has heated in the oven for 15-20 minutes, carefully remove the skillet and place on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the butter, oil and allow it to melt together before carefully placing the ribeye steak in the skillet. Sear the steak on the first side for 1-2 minutes. Flip the steak and allow to sear for 30 seconds before placing the whole skillet into the oven. Allow the steak to roast in the oven for about another 2-3 minutes for medium rare (depending on the thickness of your steak). Remove the steak from the skillet and place on a plate or cutting board. Cover loosely with foil for about 5-7 minutes to allow the steak time to rest.

While the steak rests, simmer the marinade in the saucepan until it thickens and reduces by half.

To serve, slice the steak. Plate with steamed rice, sautéed bok choy and drizzle the reduced marinade over the top of the beef. Garnish with additional chopped scallions, sesame seeds and shilgochu. Enjoy!

Tacos de Papa {Crispy Potato Tacos}

Tacos de Papa

I have something spectacular for y’all to whip up for your Cinco de Mayo festivities tomorrow….

TACOS DE PAPA!!!!

Oh yes, you know you want it.

Crispy tacos filled with a spiced, cheesy-potato concoction and then topped with all kinds of perfect fixins’!

Tacos de Papa

Did you really expect anything less from this Potato-Monster?

I told you I love potatoes in all forms. And when you have a love for potatoes and an obsession with tacos, things like this are just bound to make its way into my kitchen.

Tacos de Papa

Though truthfully, the first time I tried Tacos de Papa, I wasn’t really a fan. It was a few years ago when I first moved to San Diego. I strolled into one of the nearby taquerias and saw a huge sign touting that they had the BEST Tacos de Papa around.

So of course, I had to order them.

Tacos de Papa

But when I took a bite….I was totally let down.

Essentially, it was just a taco filled with boiled potatoes with no spices. BLEH! How bland could you get? So naturally, I was hesitant to order them again.

Thankfully, I was at a small Mom and Pop spot a year or so later and saw a plateful of heaven being delivered to a table nearby. I was immediately struck by food envy and had to try it out.

Tacos de Papa

This time around, these Tacos de Papa were a whole different story. The filling were a cheesy, mashed potato with Latin spices. Now this was what I had hoped for the first time around.

And since then, I make them all of the time.

Tacos de Papa

They’re actually quite easy to make and can be topped with any of your favorite fixins’. You can even doctor up leftover mashed potatoes for a quick meal. Though, I don’t know about you, but I rarely ever have leftover mashed taters.

For extra credit, I like to fry up my own crispy taco shells. They tend to have a better texture with just a little bit of extra effort. Though, store-bought is just fine as well.

Tacos de Papa

Looking for other menu ideas to go along with Tacos de Papa for your Cinco de Mayo menu? How about:

Turkey and Peppers Tacos
Fish Tacos with Avocado-Slaw
Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Avocado Crema
Roasted Poblano Guacamole
Oven-Roasted Tomato Salsa
Fresh Corn Pico de Gallo
Tortillas de Harina
Blended Mango Margarita
Blood Orange Margarita

Have a Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Tacos de Papa {Crispy Potato Tacos}
Serves 2

Ingredients:

Avocado-Cabbage Slaw
1 cup ripe avocado, diced
¼ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ jalapeno pepper, finely diced and seeded
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ tablespoon agave or honey
kosher salt
pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage

Filling:
kosher salt
1 large Russett potato, washed, peeled, cubed
3-4 whole garlic cloves
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
¼ cup chopped scallions
2 heaping tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
black pepper

Other:
4 crispy taco shells (store bought or homemade)
½ cup diced tomatoes
¼ cup radishes, cut into matchsticks
2 heaping tablespoons Cotija cheese
¼ cup cilantro leaves
lime wedges
hot sauce or salsa of your choice
Prepare the Avocado-Cabbage Slaw. In a blender, puree the avocado, crema, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, lime juice and agave until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with a few spoonfuls of the avocado puree until lightly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Prepare the potato filling by bringing a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add ½ tablespoon kosher salt, potatoes and garlic cloves. Lower the heat to medium. Boil the potatoes until they are tender—about 20 minutes. Drain the pot and add the cheese, spices, and crema. Using a potato masher, mash the items until they are smooth. Stir in the chopped scallions and cilantro. Season with additional salt and black pepper as needed. Set aside.

If you’re frying your own taco shells, pour vegetable oil into a deep pan until it is about ½ an inch deep. Heat the oil to medium Taking one tortilla at a time, fry on each side. Once it becomes golden, take tongs to fold the tortilla in half and hold it in place until it becomes crispy and takes on the shape of a taco. Fry until golden brown and drain on a plate covered with paper towels. Continue until all the shells have been made.

Assemble the tacos. Take one crispy shell and fill it with a quarter of the potato mash. Top with spoonfuls of the Avocado-Cabbage Slaw. Top with the tomatoes, radishes, cilantro and a sprinkle of the Cotija cheese. Continue until all the tacos have been assembled and serve with lime wedges, pico de gallo, hot sauce, etc.

 

Tortillas de Harina {Flour Tortillas}

Tortillas de Harina {Flour Tortillas}

Because it’s Friday, the sun is shining, and Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away……

it’s Tortillas de Harina time!

Tortillas de Harina {Flour Tortillas}

I’ve always preferred flour tortillas to corn.  And c’mon now, there is just something about fresh tortillas that you just cannot beat. But truthfully, I’ve always been kind of shy to make them as I was never sure as to what type of “fat” yielded the best texture and flavor.

Vegetable oil? Lard? Shortening?

Tortillas de Harina {Flour Tortillas}

So one morning a few months ago, I woke up and channeled my inner abuelita. I played around with several different recipes that varied from AP flour to bread flour to a mixture of both masa and AP. I tried vegetable oil bases,  shortening and even lard.

And in the end….the winner in my book? A combo of AP flour and vegetable shortening—and a recipe courtesy of Chef Rick Bayless, the American chef who is renown for authentic Mexican cuisine.

Tortillas de Harina {Flour Tortillas}

Thankfully, the recipe is quite simple and the resting time is only about 30 minutes.  Once rolled out, the tortilla is cooked on a hot cast iron skillet for less than a minute. Tender, slightly flaky (I’d say due to the shortening)….perfect.

You can also add chopped cilantro, chiles, lime zest, etc. Anything that your heart may desire.

Hands down, my new go-to tortilla recipe. And something you DEFINITELY should make for your upcoming Cinco de Mayo festivities!

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Tortillas de Harina {Flour Tortillas}
Makes 12 large tortillas or 24 taco sized tortillas

Ingredients:

2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas
5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, or a mixture of the two (I used shortening)
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup very warm tap water

Make the dough. Combine the flour and fat in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated. Dissolve the salt in the water, pour about 2/3 cup of it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork; the dough will be in large clumps rather than a homogeneous mass. If all the dry ingredients haven’t been dampened, add the rest of the liquid (plus a little more, if necessary). Scoop the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth. It should be medium-stiff consistency — definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.

Rest the dough. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll each into a ball. Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes (to make the dough less springy, easier to roll).

Roll and griddle-bake the tortillas. Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat.On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle: Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a 7-inch circle, lightly flouring the tortilla and work surface from time to time.Lay the tortilla on the hot griddle (you should hear a faint sizzle and see an almost immediate bubbling across the surface). After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over. Bake 30 to 45 seconds more, until the other side is browned; don’t overbake the tortilla or it will become crisp. Remove and wrap in a cloth napkin placed in a tortilla warmer. Roll and griddle-bake the remaining tortillas in the same manner and stacking them one on top of the other.

Recipe from Rick Bayless