Getting ready for our Latina Blogger lunch here at the kitchens, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I’d never hosted a lunch with Latina bloggers before, featuring some recipes I’d created to be easier and healthier. And to ask these strangers to help cook the meal…making light versions of some favorite traditional dishes?
But once they walked in, I instantly felt fine. They were so warm and caring I felt like I had my family members over for lunch. I loved that they liked to cook together and that we all prepared our lunch as a team. For me, It was a wonderful experience to have real cooks and real moms in the kitchen with me. That’s why it felt so good!
These ladies are writing and working to make lives better for their families and create connections and friendships with other women they only met since they went online. They also learned new ways to use our products (like using Juicy Juice in flank steak marinade), and were impressed by our easy Mole sauce (they were surprised that cutting corners and making it easier tasted so good).
Thanks to this outstanding group of ladies for our family lunch! See photos of lunch and attendees here.
Shrimp Ceviche, shown at top
Ceviche can be tricky since it uses raw fish and only the acid “cooks” it. I wanted to make this dish easier for everyone, so I pre-cooked shrimp for the dish until just cooked, then marinated it in lime overnight. To serve, I added my favorite ingredients, including pickled jalapeño (the Mexican in me), green olives (the Spaniard in me) and red onions to complement the sour of the lime. And of course you can’t serve it without cilantro — it adds a lovely freshness…I use it in almost everything (someday I will make a cilantro dessert)! Seasoning sauce adds a bit of flavor and salt.
Serving it in the radicchio cups above gives an additional color element, plus you can eat it as a wrap.
Skirt steak, which is the basic cut of meat used for carne asada, is very flavorful and a very affordable cut of meat. But, you don’t want to overcook it, you want to keep the meat tender. The secret to this is to marinate the steak overnight in lime, spices, garlic, Maggi seasoning, and the sweet component, apple Juicy Juicy. And of course cilantro! Broiling it at high heat for a short period is the key to keeping it moist and cooked to medium (or even medium rare). Then, cutting against the grain helps break down the protein fibers even more.
On this day, since we had extra time with all the help from our bloggers, I strained the marinade into a sauce pan, added a few tablespoons and reduced it down to almost a glaze, then drizzled it on top of the steak and added the cilantro, shown above.
For the accompanying salad, we made this Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette, shown above, chopped into a salsa format to go on the steak or in warm tortillas.
I’ve talked before about an easy mole sauce, but for this recipe, I made the mole ultra easy – this one has only 4 basic ingredients, and they’re already prepared for you! They are Sofrito seasoning paste, canned chiles in adobo sauce, chicken bouillon and Abuelita chocolate. Simple. Every cook needs several version of mole under their belt – depending on how much time they have to prepare it. This is your easy go-to recipe, done in only 20 minutes.
The tomato, onion and garlic base mixed with spicy chiles and chocolate gives the mole the rich base, then you can adjust it to make it as spicy as you like. You can use any filling you want in the enchiladas, we used Mexican cheese. We finished it with toasted sesame seeds to provide the nuttiness, and they look so nice on top. Even with so few ingredients for mole (traditional mole takes a long list and a whole day or more) the flavor is very intense! Our bloggers were pleasantly surprised. Get the recipe here.
In Spanish, this kind of dessert would be called espuma or “foam.” It’s very light and airy; a lighter version of simply whipping cream and eating with berries. I whipped very cold evaporated milk (I even chilled the bowl to get the most volume) first to double its volume, then added the condensed milk, lemon, zest and Grand Marnier (just a splash). Serve this with your favorite toppings, and layer them for an elegant look. I love toasted almonds and assorted berries. You can even use lower fat milk and it works fine – you just have to eat it faster…which is no problem for me. Just don’t tell your guests how easy it was!
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Abuelita Enmoladas
- Marinated Flank Steak
- Lemon & Berry Parfaits
- Get a Carnation coupon
- Get a Maggi discounts
Related Hispanic lunch recipes:
Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette
Strawberry & Arugula Salad with Cocoa-Spiced Pecans
Wonka Chocolate-Filled Strawberries
La Lechera Tangy Lime Pie