Tacos El Yaqui (also known as Tacos Perrones), has been on my husband’s list of places to go, as well as a suggestion from our readers. When you pull up to these tacos, your nose is immediately met with these enticing aromas. Even if you had eaten three tacos previously to your visit (like someone I may know), you will automatically make room for at least one of these tacos. Tacos El Yaqui only offers Arrachera tacos. If you are mostly used to “Tijuana” style tacos, this is definitely a pleasant and different taco experience. Another difference, is that the meat is cooked on a wood fired grill, where as most of the tacos we are used to eating are done on a coal-burning grill.
When you order your “Taco Perron”, you will be presented with a handmade flour tortilla filled with melted cheese, Arrachera, Pinto Beans, guacamole, and salsa. These Sonoran style tacos are absolutely delicious! They are a bigger taco, and for me I would be more than satisfied after enjoying two of them. If you haven’t experienced Tacos El Yaqui, the next time that you venture down to Rosarito, take some time to stop and enjoy these tacos. Continue reading →
The end of the year is nearly approaching, and what a year it has been. We started our blog half way through 2011, and I can’t believe how wonderful it has been discovering new places and cuisine. I want to thank all of my readers for following and supporting Life & Food. It is such an amazing feeling to know that my posts are actually being read. I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings, and the food adventures that it will take us on.
As you know we recently took a trip up to Julian to do some apple picking. Ever since I first stepped into the orchard, I have been thinking of recipes that I can use the little beauties in. Of course they are a delightful snack, as well as baked into some wonderful goodies. This is a very simple and tasty recipe that I decided to try out first. Apples and Gouda are a combination that I was introduced to as a child. I was very fortunate to be able to go on vacations with my parents to the island of St. Maarten. The island is half Dutch and half French, and filled with more fresh cheeses that I can probably even name. I very much remember them always buying fresh slices of Gouda, and pairing it with apple slices. The sharp notes of the Gouda and the crisp sweet apple are a delicious combination together.
The sandwich part of this dish came in, when I saw the fresh baguette staring me down from the counter top. It was a Roasted Garlic Baguette, and what better way to use it then as a different version of a melty grilled cheese. This sandwich would be great with any fresh baguette, so don’t feel like you have to go and hunt down a Roasted Garlic one.
Makes 3 Sandwiches
1 Baguette cut into thirds.
8-10 Slices of Gouda Cheese
2 Apples, Thinly Sliced ( I used a mandoline)
About 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
Slice each piece of bread in half, and spread evenly with the Dijon Mustard.
Place 2 to 3 slices of Gouda on a sandwich alternating sides, then top with the sliced apples.
Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet, and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
I received a wonderful cookbook from my husband as an early Birthday present, and I am so in love with it! It’s called Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates. It is full of Mexican recipes that I have been wanting to try, as well as my husband has asked me to make. It’s a win win situation with this Birthday present. I get to learn a variety of different and authentic recipes, and meanwhile he gets to be the tester. Lovely! Flipping through the book I wanted to make everything at once, but we all know that wasn’t possible, especially these days with an extremely active ten month old crawling around the house. I am so excited for the days when Giovanni can help me in the kitchen, as well as try everything that I make.
To start off my way through this book I picked the chilled avocado soup. I love soups, but it has been so hot that even thinking of eating a hot soup doesn’t appeal to me. The chilled aspect of this soup is the perfect light dinner for a hot summer day. I am so happy with how the soup came out. The texture is so velvety and creamy. You get a little kick, crunch, and tang all at the same time. I love when simple recipes are so full of flavor and textures. If you are looking for new ideas for an appetizer, or a light lunch or dinner, I highly recommend trying this recipe out. Here is the recipe out of the book. I used sunflower seeds instead of pepitas, as well as just normal chile powder opposed to the Chipotle chile powder. Enjoy!
3 Ripe Avocados, Halved, Pitted, Peeled, and Coarsely Chopped
3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1-2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
Coarse Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp. Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Green Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
Chipotle Chile Powder
In a blender, combine the avocados,broth and 1 cup cream.
Process until smooth, and the consistency of a thick cream soup. (You may have to work in batches)
Add more cream (up to 1 cup) as needed to achieve the correct consistency.
Transfer to a bowl and season with the lime juice, coarse salt, and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
In a nonstick or cast-iron skillet heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the pumpkin seeds, and toss for about 20 seconds, until they darken a shade and are fragrant.
Add the kosher salt and a little chile powder, and toss to coat the seeds evenly.
Pour onto a plate and let cool.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and a little bit more of Chile Powder, if you like.
It seems that every year around this time, especially when we are experiencing lovely heat waves, I absolutely can not wait for fall. I know what you are thinking, are there really seasons in California? Okay, so maybe the season changes aren’t that evident, but the food and flavors of fall are what I am intrigued by. This recipe screams fall to me. Figs and fall. Those two words just go together. I picked up a jar of “Fig Butter”, and I just knew that I had to incorporate it into a recipe. Fig Butter actually contains no butter whatsoever. It is a spread that contains more of the fruit than sugar. What other ingredients go well with fig? Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, and Arugula. Next time you have a craving for pizza, but want to try something a bit different, try out this recipe. You will love it!
1 Package Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
3/4 Cup, Fig Butter or Fig Perserves
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Arugula
4 Oz. Prosciutto, Roughly Chopped
2- 3 oz. Goat Cheese, Crumbled
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Extra- Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees F.
Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to be about the size of an 11″x17″ baking sheet.
Place the pizza dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
Spread the fig butter on the cooked pizza dough. Then top with the prosciutto and goat cheese.
Bake for another 5 minutes, until the cheese has just started to melt.
Top the baked pizza with the fresh arugula, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the olive oil.
This is a light, healthy, and delicious dish. The pesto is full of sweet, sharp, and clean flavors. I think I might be on a pesto kick, but it really is so rewarding figuring out new combinations. The sauce is versatile and would work well with both poultry and shellfish, such as scallops. I paired it with a chilled glass of Rose, for the perfect summertime dinner.
Makes 2 Servings
2 Mahi Mahi Fillets about 4-6 Ounces each
1 1/2 Cups Bell Pepper, Sliced ( I used Yellow)
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp. Lime zest
The juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Kosher Salt, Plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Plus more for seasoning
Preheat oven to 450 Degrees F
Line a Baking sheet with parchment paper.
Season the Mahi Mahi with salt and pepper.
Bake until cooked through, and firm to touch, about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Place the garlic, pine nuts, and lime zest into a food processor or blender. Blend until combined.
Add in the bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, Cilantro,lime juice, and salt and pepper. Blend together until smooth,
With the food processor or blender still running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined. Taste and then season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Place the baked Mahi Mahi on to plates, and drizzle the pesto over the top. Serve Immediately.
Pesto is one of my favorite pasta sauces. I love exploring with different ingredients, and discovering new variations. This pesto is bright, beautiful, and bold. Okay, so I might have gotten a little carried away with the “B’s” but, it is so true. Try this recipe next time you find yourself with a craving for pesto, or even with a pasta salad for your next BBQ.
1 lb. Whole Wheat Penne
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Peas, Defrosted
3 Cups Baby Arugula
1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Toasted
2 tsp, Fresh Lemon Zest
3/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
Arrange the walnuts on a baking sheet, and place them in the oven until toasted. About 5-7 minutes. Let them cool.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8-`10 minutes.
Reserve about 1/2 a cup of pasta water. Drain and place into a serving bowl.
Place the toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese, and lemon zest into the food processor, mix together until combined. Then add the peas, arugula,basil, salt, and pepper into a food processor.
Blend together until smooth. With the food processor still running add the olive oil slowly until well combined.
Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Pour the pesto over the Penne and toss together until well coated.
Add the pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce.