Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

Taste of the Tropics: Mango-Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette January 15, 2013

Mango-Black Bean Salad

Let’s pretend it’s summer, shall we?

Yes, let’s pretend that everyone is wearing short shorts and flowy hi-low hemmed skirts and drinking milk shakes and having backyard BBQs. That it hasn’t rained every day for what seems like weeks and that the sun is really just hiding out behind those ugly gray clouds, waiting to make it’s move.

You see, sometimes, in the deep, dark of winter, I like to make tropical foods to remind me of the warm, sunny days yet to come. Luckily, there are a plethora of tropical fruits to choose from at the supermarket, especially in winter. And since berries and other summer fruits aren’t at their best, I really encourage you to pick up some of those funny-looking fruits—persimmons, kumquats, mangoes, starfruit, dragon fruit, etc.—and give them a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the flavors you’ll find. (more…)


Sopa Seca (Mexican Noodle Casserole) October 4, 2012

As the first months of our marriage go by, Doug and I seem to be eating more and more classic Mexican food each week. And it’s not just because Doug has developed what seems to be an endless affinity for the stuff (when we first met 4 years ago, Doug hated Mexican food because he had never had the real deal; now he requests tacos at least once a week). It’s also because I never grow tired of cooking it and sharing it with folks who have never experienced the pleasures of simple, traditional dishes made in homes around Mexico. And recently I got to cook this homey Mexican dish for my longtime friend and neighbor, Matt. (Thanks for stopping by, boy!)

Sopa seca, aka dry soup aka Mexican Noodle Casserole, is something that I’ve mentioned on this blog before. I made it in culinary school once, but this was the first time I’ve had a chance to make it at home, and WOW! I love this version from Saveur. Sopa seca is like the (spicy) Mexican version of noodle soup—it’s filling, comforting, and good for the soul. There’s no meat in it, but you won’t miss it—at least I know we didn’t, and that’s saying something. (more…)


A Mexican Classic for a Crowd: Cochinita Pibil January 12, 2012

Pork shoulder. Pork butt. Boston butt. Whatever you call it, this lip-smackingly good cut of meat is one of my all-time favorites. When it’s ground it adds fatty richness to meat sauce and meatballs, and when it’s left whole and roasted low and slow it becomes melt-in-your mouth tender and shreddable—perfect for barbeque pulled pork sandwiches or on warm corn tortillas with a freshly made salsa.

While the American South may have a lockdown on barbequed pork, the good people of Mexico, specifically those folks in the Yucatan Peninsula, have their own unique method for bringing out the best in this humble cut of meat.



Mexican Addiction: Roasted Tomato and Chipotle Salsa July 26, 2011

I can’t help it. I’m addicted. I keep trying NOT to make Mexican dishes, but it hasn’t been working.


Maybe I should make Mexican my specialty?  I still can’t decide what style or region of cooking I want to focus on, but I do know Mexican cuisine is in the running. And this salsa is one of the reasons why.

What I love about Mexican food is that the same ingredients are made into hundreds of different dishes, each with its own unique flavor.

I did a spin on a fresh tomato salsa, and I cooked it twice. Yup, I said it—twice. Roasting and frying (aka sauté) are the two methods we’re employing, and both help to make this salsa the flavor powerhouse it is. First, I turned up the air conditioning roasted the main components of the salsa: tomatoes, onions and garlic. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetables and concentrates their flavors.



Mexican Master Class: Mole, Cricket Tacos, and A Whole Lot More July 12, 2011

I spent almost 60 hours of the past two weeks preparing traditional dishes from each of Mexico’s 31 states. It was a wild ride: the kitchen was hot, the pace was frantic, the ingredients were exotic, and the food? The food was extraordinary. I really wanted to give you, my dear readers, an overview of some of the fantastic stuff I got to make in the last week of my Mexican Master Class, which culminated in a banquet and reception at Kendall College for over 100 hungry folks.



Mexican Master Class: Fried Enchiladas and An Afternoon with Rick Bayless July 7, 2011

We went straight to the kitchen on Day 4 of my Mexican Master Class because star chef Rick Bayless was going to be lecturing to us later in the day. It was somewhat of a crazy day for me because I had accidentally drank a half a pot of espresso thinking it was coffee, and needless to say I was ALL over the place. It was lots of fun though because my partner Angela and I got to work with the adobo-spiced masa I had made the day before.

We pressed the delicate dough into tortillas, sprinkled one side with cheese and folded them in half to make little half moons. Although they look like empanadas, these are special enchiladas, enchiladas positana, that are deep-fried after they’re formed. YUM! (more…)


Mexican Master Class: Sopa Seca or “Dry Soup” July 2, 2011

Each morning after lecture in our Mexican Master Class, Chef Fernando has a meeting with each group of students to let them know how to proceed with their assigned recipes for the day. Chef came up to my partner Angela and I and said, “Favorite team, today you are making sopa seca—it’s a dry soup.”

“What?!” Angela and I exclaimed as we exchanged looks.

“Yes, dry soup,” he said matter of factly, so we nodded and did as we were told. Somehow Angela and I always mange to get assigned recipes without recipes, so we’re always flying by the seat of our pants trying to figure out exactly what chef wants us to do. I think that’s why he likes us so much—we do whatever he tells us with a grin.

I really liked this recipe; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. (more…)