Category: Gluten Free

Carnitas

Carnitas

INGREDIENTS
8 lbs pork shoulder, cut into large chucks
8 lbs lard
4 tbsp salt dissolved in 1½ cups hot water
1 can evaporated milk
1 bottle Coca-Cola
3 oranges (minimum ½ cup juice)
2-3 bay leaves
15-20 cloves garlic
½ onion


DIRECTIONS
Heat lard to 350° on medium heat; add pork.  Stir every 15 minutes until evenly brown and crispy (30-60 minutes).  Reduce heat to approx. 225°; add remaining ingredients and simmer until browned, crispy and fork tender.

For tacos, serve in warmed corn tortillas, topped with diced onion, chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresco, and homemade salsa (salsa verde & chile de árbol salsa).

Southern Sweet Potatoes

Southern Sweet Potatoes

SweetPotatoesThis side dish is based on a recipe from Great Grandma Lena. Grandma was a proper southern lady.  Born 11 August 1901 in Missouri, at three years old her family moved by covered wagon to Dover, Arkansas.  The slow journey took over a week.  At 17, she married Wilmer (Sr).  Grandpa (Jr) was the youngest of their four children.  In 1936, the family moved to Southern California.  They made the trek in a car with a rumble seat. 

Grandma Lena’s recipe for Southern Sweet Potatoes is a Thanksgiving tradition.  The celebration just wouldn’t be the same without them!


INGREDIENTS
4 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
½ cup white sugar
4 eggs beaten
1¼ cube butter melted
2 cups half-and-half
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice (optional)
2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Topping
4 cups chopped pecans
2 cups light brown sugar packed
1½ cups melted butter


DIRECTIONS
Combine sweet potato ingredients; pour into 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 375° to 400°. Remove from oven. Combine topping ingredients and spread over sweet potatoes. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot.

(Revised Dec 2022)

 

Chile de Árbol Salsa

Chile de Árbol Salsa

Salsa de ÁrbolINGREDIENTS
6-8 árbol chilies
7-8 tomatillos
⅓ medium onion
2-3 roma tomato
2 serrano chilies or jalapeños
cilantro to taste (1 bunch)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp chicken & tomato boullion


DIRECTIONS
Roast árbol chilies, being careful not to burn; place in blender.  Roast tomatillos, onion, serrano chilies.  Once the tomatillos begin to brown, add roma tomatoes and heat until contents are browned; add to blender.  Add remaining ingredients to blender; blend to desired consistency.

Espiau’s Vinaigrette

Espiau’s Vinaigrette

In the 1970s and 1980s, our family would frequently make the drive to Pomona to eat at Espiau’s Mexican Restaurant.  At that time it was located on the west end of Holt.  The restaurant dates back to the early 20th century and was founded by an early Pomona Valley pioneer.  The business moved to the Claremont in the 1990s and can still be found in the Claremont Village.  Our family’s favorite dish there is the Tostada Salad.  Their tostada is unique.  Instead of salsa, their’s is topped with a vinaigrette.  This recipe is my attempt to replicate their dressing.


INGREDIENTS
1¼ cups red wine vinegar
¾ cup vegetable oil (or substitute extra virgin olive oil)
⅓ cup sugar
2 tbsp Lowry’s seasoned salt
1 tbsp onion powder
¼ tsp black pepper, finely ground
⅛ tsp oregano


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients in a jar; shake to combine.

Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce

Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce

imageINGREDIENTS
1 bottle (20-oz) Dr Pepper
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup vinegar
2 tsp liquid aminos
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp galangal powder (or substitute an additional ¼ tsp ginger)


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and boil until thickened.

Note: For Dr Pepper, root beer or cola may be substituted.  In place of liquid aminos and fish sauce, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce may be substituted.

Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup (8-oz) onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground chuck beef
1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15-oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
¼ – ½ cup dry white, or dry red wine (optional)
2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried ground fennel
¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
2 whole cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
½ tsp fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil until shimmering; add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent and tender.  Add meat and cook until no longer pink.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth, wine (optional), and fish sauce (optional); add remaining herbs, spices & seasonings. Simmer covered on low heat for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes.

Remove bay leaves prior to serving.  Sauce is best when made a day more in advance and reheated. 

To serve, boil desired pasta as directed; drain retaining a some of the pasta water in a separate bowl.  Place enough warmed meat sauce to coat pasta in a serving bowl and stir in a small amount of pasta water; add pasta and stir to coat.  Serve topped with extra meat sauce and freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (or both).

Quick Refried Beans

Quick Refried Beans

INGREDIENTS
2 cups pinto beans
1 onion, diced (or 1 tbsp onion powder)
1 sachet ham bouillon
1 sachet sazón
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
4½ cups water
2 tbsp butter


DIRECTIONS
Rinse beans. Combine all ingredients except butter in Instant Pot. Cook at high pressure for 60 minutes. Release pressure to open; stir in butter.  Blend with hand mixer or emersion blender.

(Revised 8/20/2022)

 

Honey Mustard Sauce

Honey Mustard Sauce

INGREDIENTS
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup prepared mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
⅛ tsp MSG (optional)


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients.

Apple Barbecue Sauce

Apple Barbecue Sauce

INGREDIENTS
36 oz Sidral Mundet (Apple Soda)
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp burbon
2 tsp molasses
2 tsp hickory liquid smoke
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp galanga powder
¼ tsp fish sauce


DIRECTIONS
Combine ingredients in saucepan; boil until desired thickness.

Pork Chile Verde

Pork Chile Verde

INGREDIENTS
1 picnic pork shoulder
1 recipe salsa verde
cumin
salt
pepper


DIRECTIONS
Cut pork into 2-inch chunks.  Spread out and sprinkle liberally with cumin, salt, and pepper; massage into meat.  In large porcelain or stainless steel Dutch oven, brown pork in small batches so as not to overcrowd pan.  Return all pork to pan and cover with salsa verde.  Simmer until tender.

Serve with tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, pickled jalapeños, refried beans, and cilantro lime rice.

Rick’s Salsa Verde – the Real Deal

Rick’s Salsa Verde – the Real Deal

Taquitos are high on the list of Huggins Family most loved foods. And, our favorites come from the little stand on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, Cielito Lindo, where taquitos were invented in the mid 1930s. Every trip home to Southern California includes a trek downtown for Combination #1: 3 Taquitos, Beans and Cheese. The taquitos are smothered in “guacamole”. Cielito Lindo’s version of guacamole is a delicious green salsa that you can’t help but dream about. This recipe is the closest I’ve come to replicating its flavor.


INGREDIENTS
1 can (28 oz) tomatillos
1 bottle (40 oz) roasted green chiles, mild
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1-2 avocados (optional)
½ onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro
2 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and blend with emersion blender.  Serve with tacos, taquitos, or chips; or to make chile verde.


CIELITO LINDO’S HOME VERSION
After working for some time to recreate Cielito Lindo’s, I learned from Pam that Cielito Lindo published a home version of their guacamole.  The recipe is below, with some minor alterations.


INGREDIENTS
8 fresh chiles gueritos (yellow chiles), seeded and deveined
5 cloves garlic, chopped
15 medium tomatillos, peeled and halved
2 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped
6 cups water
2 medium avocados
4 tsp salt


DIRECTIONS
In a large pan, combine chiles, garlic, tomatillos, cilantro, and water; bring to boil.  Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from water and place in blender; reserve water.  Add avocado and salt to blender.  Blend, adding water in small installments and blend until smooth.  Place in refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to meld.  Adjust salt, if necessary.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

INGREDIENTS
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
2 tsp olive oil
1¾ cups chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt to taste


DIRECTIONS
Place rinsed rice to a hot sauté pan and sauté in olive oil until it begins to brown.  Place rice in rice cooker and combine with chicken broth.  Cook rice; unplug cooker when complete.  Leave rice undisturbed for 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

Aunt Laurie’s Salsa

Aunt Laurie’s Salsa

Aunt Laurie’s mom, Janet, and her step-dad, Monty, have always been two of our favorite people!  Family holidays and get togethers are even more fun because of the time we spend talking with Laurie’s parents.  I’ve always had a special spot in my heart for Laurie’s mom! 

This recipe came to us from Monty’s good friend, George.  Laurie begged for the recipe after enjoying it for years . George came up with the recipe and entered it in many Salsa contests . The salsa won just about every time it was entered. In 1981, Laurie and family were at a chili cook off in Arizona where George entered the salsa plus his chili. He won in both categories yet again. George gave Aunt Laurie his secret recipe at that chili cook off.  She grabbed a piece of paper and jotted it down, and still has the original paper to this day!


INGREDIENTS
1 lg can peeled petite diced tomatoes with juice
½ to 1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ brown onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp cumin
½ tbsp oregano
¼ bunch cilantro (to taste)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper pepper


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients.

Grandma’s Popcorn Balls

Grandma’s Popcorn Balls

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, and our neighborhood on Tudor Street knew how to do Halloween right.  Each year the parents got together to organize a haunted celebration for the kids.  The annual party included a spook alley, games, and traditional neighbor treats–we all have great memories.  Grandma’s homemade popcorn balls were a big hit every year! 


INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup white corn syrup
⅓ cup water
¼ lb butter
¾ tsp vanilla
¾ tsp salt
3 to 4 quarts popcorn, popped


DIRECTIONS
Boil until soft ball stage (in cold water); add vanilla and pour over pepped corn and make into balls. Wrap balls in wax paper and put in brown paper bag to store.

Fresh Cranberry Relish

Fresh Cranberry Relish

INGREDIENTS
1 pkg (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
1 orange, peeled
1 cup sugar


DIRECTIONS
Wash cranberries and place in food processor. Pulse until cranberries are in small, approximately equal pieces. Place in cranberries in a mixing bowl; cover with sugar. Place orange in food processor and process until liquefied. Pour orange juice and pulp into cranberries and mix well. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Chicken Gyro

Chicken Gyro

On vacation in Corfu, Greece, we visited a small waterside restaurant where we ate the most amazing gyro.   Moist and tender, this true Greek gyro was nothing like the meatloaf-like gyro we find in the US.  This chicken version is a delicious reminder of our experiences on this family vacation.


INGREDIENTS
4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Marinade
2 tbsp garlic, minced
⅓ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
pepper

Sauce
2 English cucumbers, diced with water squeezed out
2½ cups plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
pepper

Salad
1 English cucumber, diced
4-5 tomatoes, seeded and diced
½ large red onion
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Flat bread or pita (Omit for GF)


DIRECTIONS
Combine marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag; add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator (3 to 24 hours[overnight is best]).  In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sauce ingredients a minimum of 30 minutes prior to serving.  Next, combine all salad ingredients in a separate bowl.   Refrigerate sauce and salad until ready to serve.

Grill marinated chicken.

To serve, place some of the salad mixture in the center of flat bread; top with chicken and sauce.

Belgian Frites

Belgian Frites


Patat MetOk, my friends, don’t get me started!  Just believe me when I say, Fries are NOT French!  Whether it be because of the style of the cut (frenched) or the native language of many of their early purveyors, french and fries have been erroneously linked as the name of a true Belgian creation, Frites!  Calling these spears of deliciousness French is, well, just wrong. 

Real frites are double fried, delivering a soft and fluffy interior and crisp exterior.   They are traditionally salted and served with mayonnaise.  But, if you are feeling a bit more  adventurous, try some of the typical toppings for Frites from the Netherlands and Belgium found under Serving Suggestions at the end of the recipe.  My personal favorite…  Patat Speciaal!


INGREDIENTS
Large potatoes
Water
Oil
Salt
Pepper (optional)


DIRECTIONS
Wash and slice potatoes (either peeled or unpeeled) into thick strips; place in a large bowl of fresh cold water and soak for 20 minutes or more.  Heat oil to 275° to 300°.  Line a large paper bag with paper towels.  Fry sliced potato fries in batches for +/-5 minutes per batch being careful to keep oil temperature in range.  Place fried potatoes in prepared paper bag and allow to cool.  Increase oil temperature to 375° to 400°; fry in batches a second time for +/-5 minutes per batch.  Place fries on a baking dish lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if desired) immediately.  Devour.

Real Belgian frites (french fries) are always pre-soaked in water and then fried twice.  This results in a crisp outside and fluffy interior.


SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Patat Met – Fries with mayonnaise
Patat Speciaal – Fries with mayonnaise, curry ketchup, and topped with onions
Patatje Oorlog – Fries with mayonnaise, peanut sauce, sambal oelek, and topped with onions
Patatje Joppie – Fries with mayonnaise mixed with  yellow curry spices, and topped with onions
Frieten met Stoofvlees – Fries with Belgian stew

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos

INGREDIENTS
Sauce:
½ cup lime juice
2 cans (220g each) El Pato jalapeño sauce
1 tbsp chicken Better than Bouillon
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp cumin

Meat:
5 lbs carne picada (diced beef)
1 cube butter

Finishings:
1 white onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
100% corn tortillas
limes, cut into wedges


In a saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients; bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Heat a large sauté pan over high heat until hot; melt butter, add carne picada and brown. Once beef is sufficiently browned, turn off burner and stir sauce ingredients into meat. Allow the heat from the pan to evaporate most of the moisture from the sauce.  In a separate bowl, stir together onion and cilantro.

Serve carne asada on corn tortillas topped with onion mixture and a wedge of lime.