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22 August 2013

My Daddy's Birthday Menu




  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Ganache, Merlot or Tempranillo) 
  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice 
  • Juice from 2 limes 
  • ¼ cup sugar

TOP PICK: This recipe was one of our top picks even though it didn’t have the twinkle of soda water. The grapefruit juice adds another dimension with its slightly bitter note that actually worked surprisingly well with the red wine we used (a Grenache blend from Languedoc Roussillon). When we first tested it we added 1/2 cup of sugar but quickly realized that less is more. You’ll notice that this recipe is devoid of brandy or any other liquor. If you want, you can bump the flavor up a notch and add a ¼ to a ½ cup of brandy or vodka, just be sure to serve over ice.

Watch a 1 minute how to Ruby Red Wine Sangria Video



·         4 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled

·         1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

·         2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

·         Coarse salt

·         Tortilla chips (for serving)


Step 1

1.       In a medium bowl, combine avocados, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. With a fork, gently mash until guacamole reaches desired consistency. Season with coarse salt. Serve with tortilla chips.



·         1-1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef

·         2 envelopes taco seasoning, divided

·         1 medium head iceberg lettuce

·         1 package (12-1/2 ounces) nacho tortilla chips, coarsely crushed

·         2 pints grape tomatoes, halved

·         2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

·         3 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained

·         1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

·         1 large sweet onion, chopped

·         2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies

·         1-1/2 cups Thousand Island salad dressing

·         1-1/3 cups salsa

·         1/3 cup sugar

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 10 min.

MAKES: 26 servings


  • In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef with 1 envelope plus 2 tablespoons taco seasoning until no longer pink; drain.

  • In a very large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, chips, tomatoes, beans, olives, cheese, onion, chilies and beef mixture.

  • In a small bowl, combine the salad dressing, salsa, sugar and remaining taco seasoning; pour over salad and toss to coat. Yield: 26 servings (1-1/3 cups each).



·         1/4 cup créme fraiche

·         1 lime

·         1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder

·         Pinch of cayenne pepper

·         Salt


·         5 ears of corn

·         2 tablespoons diced red onion

·         2 serrano peppers (optional), thinly sliced

·         Salt

·         Handful of cilantro

·         2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco

·         1/4 teaspoon ancho chile pepper


1.       In a small bowl, mix together the créme fraîche, juice from the lime, ancho chile pepper, cayenne pepper and a few pinches of salt. Give it a taste test and adjust flavors according to your liking. Set aside. Note: I personally am obsessed with heat, so I added a few more pinches of cayenne.

2.      Using your grill, char the corn on all sides, rotating every so often to ensure even charring. Alternatively, you could set the corn on the grates of your gas stove with the flame set to medium-high heat, rotating them every minute or so until charred on all sides.

3.      Cut the corn off the cobs and transfer them to a bowl. (Or if you used my method pictured, you can simply take out the small bowl and voila! done!) Add the red onion, serrano peppers and a pinch of salt. Add the dressing and toss lightly, being sure the corn is evenly coated. Give it a taste test and add a bit more salt, cayenne pepper or ancho chile pepper, if you like. Garnish with a small handful of cilantro, queso fresco and a few dash of ancho chile pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day.



·         1 package 10-inch flour tortilla (8-12 count)

·         1 large red onion

·         1 (8 ounce) package of chopped fresh mushrooms

·         1 cup shredded cheese (your choice-maxi blend)

·         6 tablespoons butter

·         1 1/2 lbs. white fish fillets (I like john dory fish)

·         1 (4 ounce) can of chopped green chilies

·         3 tablespoons half-and-half

·         1 tablespoon flour

·         chopped red pepper

·         garlic salt

·         salt and pepper

·         4 (10 -12 1/2 ounce) cans green enchilada sauce


·         Thinly slice onion.

·         Melt 3Tbs of butter in large saucepan and let melt.

·         Be careful not to burn.

·         Combine chopped onion, chopped mushrooms, and chopped green chilies in saucepan.

·         Let marinate on high for about 5 minutes.

·         Dash veggie mixture with red and black pepper and garlic salt& salt.

·         Dash the veggies with more seasoning after five minutes.

·         Make sure to stir well and make sure all veggies cook evenly and are coated with butter.

·         Adjust temp if needed.

·         Do not let burn.

·         After 5 min add 3Tbs half and half and 1Tbs of flour.

·         Stir for about 1 minute.

·         Remove from stove and put in bowl.

·         Melt the remaining 3Tbs of butter in the same saucepan and let melt.

·         Add fish and cook on high 3 minutes each side.

·         Dash both sides of fish with red and black pepper, garlic salt, and salt.

·         Remove from pan.

·         Chop up the fish into small to med size pieces.

·         Don't worry if it crumbles.

·         It doesn't really matter what it looks like.

·         Throw it back into the saucepan on high for another minute, and then add to veggie mixture.

·         Add 1cup of cheese and stir mixture until well combined.

·         Preheat oven to 350F.

·         Coat bottom of large, deep baking pan with 2 cans of enchilada sauce.

·         (you can buy disposable pans cheap at grocery stores-usually in bakery aisle) Warm tortilla shells for about 15 sec in microwave, dash with a little water and spoon in about 2Tbs-3Tbs of mixture into shell.

·         Fold up bottom edge of tortilla and then roll tortilla away from you.

·         Put in pan.

·         Repeat until done or tired.

·         Cover the tops of the enchiladas with the last 2 cans of sauce.

·         Cover with foil.

·         Cook 15 minutes.

·         Uncover and sprinkle with cheese.

·         Cook 15 more minutes.

·         YUM!



Original recipe makes 10 servings/serving sizes: 1/2 cup Change Servings

·         1 teaspoon olive oil

·         1 onion, chopped

·         2 cloves garlic, minced

·         3/4 cup uncooked white rice

·         1 1/2 cups low sodium, low fat vegetable broth

·         1 teaspoon ground cumin

·         1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

·         3 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained


1.       In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes.

2.      Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the spices and black beans.

Saffron rice with sliced chilies and pimentos with salt, pepper, Mexican chili pepper, and cilantro.



·         2 cups white sugar

·         2 cups whole milk

·         2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

·         6 eggs

·         6 egg yolks

·         1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

·         2 tablespoons grated orange peel

·         2 tablespoons vanilla extract

·         2 tablespoons cornstarch

·         2 cups heavy cream


1.       Place sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and turns a golden amber color, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully once syrup begins to change color, because it burns easily. Carefully pour the melted sugar syrup into a flan mold. Let cool.

2.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

3.      Pour whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, egg yolks, orange juice, orange peel, vanilla extract, and cornstarch into a blender, and blend for a minute or so, until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the cream, and pulse several times to incorporate the cream. Pour the mixture over the cooled caramel syrup in the flan mold.

4.      Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place the flan mold on the towel, inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

5.      Bake in the preheated oven until the center of the flan is set but still slightly jiggly when moved, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let the flan cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. To serve, run a sharp paring knife around the inside of the mold to release the flan. Invert a plate on the mold, flip the mold over, and gently remove the mold to unmold the flan and reveal the syrupy caramel topping.

PREP: 10 mins; COOK: 55 mins;  READY  IN: 6 hrs 5 mins



Beer Batter:

2 pounds skinned halibut cut into 5 by 1/2-inch strips
Freshly ground black pepper
Corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups tomatillo salsa (store-bought or homemade) for garnish, optional
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish, optional
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup dark Mexican beer*

Cream Sauce:

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup Mexican cream** or sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fish Tacos:

Oil, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning


For the Beer Batter:

Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add in the beer while whisking. Set aside and let the batter rest for 15 minutes before using.

For Cream Sauce:

Add the mayonnaise and cream to a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice and water. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper (can be made 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated).

For the Fish:

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of 1-inch. Heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F or when the end of a wooden spoon sizzles when inserted into the oil.

On a large plate, combine the flour and salt. Season the fish pieces all over with salt and pepper and coat with the flour. Working in batches, dip the fillets in the beer batter and coat on both sides. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Make tacos with the tortillas and fish and top each with cream, shredded cabbage, tomatillo salsa and pickled jalapenos, if desired.

*Cook's Note: Crack open a cold Mexican carves like a Negara Modulo or a 2 Equips (XX) Amber to make this tasty beer batter, which will change the way you think about fried fish! You can use it for vegetables, too.

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