Super Bowl Salsa Recipe

Are your social networks exploding with Super Bowl recipes? I never knew so many people were obsessed with the NFL. In the food blogger world, the Super Bowl is about much more than the events on the field. It is a chance to showcase some crowd-wowing creations. Every few months, cooks get a chance to flex their cooking and baking muscles. This is your chance to step up. Continue reading Super Bowl Salsa Recipe

The Impenetrable Fortress of San Juan

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San Juan appears to have called it a night. We expected non-stop salsa around every Christmas-lit corner, especially tonight. Instead we found a few bars blasting club music and one street that was swarming with minors.

Today included a fascinating tour with a park ranger at Castillo San Cristobal, one of three forts in San Juan. The tour included access to tunnels otherwise closed to the public. Our ranger explained the labor efforts to construct the daunting fort and how it was nearly impossible to approach as an opposing fleet. The fort was challenged once by the Brits. After two weeks they gave up and retreated. That was the only test of the fort. The tunnels were interesting to explore and a phobia check. I highly recommend taking the tour and seeing the forts.

The rest of the day was occupied by walking around and sampling food and coffee. For lunch we had Mallorca sandwiches, which are dusted in powdered sugar. Think of it as the love child between a beignet and a grilled cheese.

We grabbed iced coffee at cafe cuatro and walked by stands selling this and that.

We attempted to visit a book store that housed old manuscripts and texts, but they are in the process of moving locations and were unresponsive to knocks, calls and an email.

Travel tip: guide books are just that. Information can change and businesses can move. Even if you double check online before departing, things can change.

Anticipating a late night on the town, we stopped back at our hotel for tea, a foot dip in the rooftop soaking pool and a salsa nap. We got cleaned up before our hotel/home’s nightly wine reception. The terrace overlooks Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, one of the oldest buildings in San Juan. The current building dates to 1540. Someone was getting married so we watched with our wine as the couple exited the iglesia.

We went to mass where I understood about three words in the mass: Jesus, Maria and hermano. I’ve now seen mass in English, Italian, French and Spanish.

A college friend happened to also be in San Juan, so we met up for dinner to compare itineraries and discuss travel, jobs, literature and how no one ever describes me as “adventurous.” After that we wandered around looking for live music. We were only able to find one club and it didn’t sound like salsa. Instead we settled on a corner bar and got two cocktails. Soon after a man picked up his guitar and started taking requests. He played “Yesterday” for Leann.

You may note that we did not have mofongo today. So ends our streak of 2 days.

Tomorrow we tempt our luck with aquatic transportation to tour the Bacardi facilities. At least this time we know how to kayak if we miss the ferry.

Wish us luck.

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#TortillaChallenge | A Gringo's Mission

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What would you do if you only had one tortilla?

This was the question that consumed me Sunday night as I warmed my last tortilla on my Weber grill while the chicken breasts finished cooking. The obvious answer is “buy more,” but what if it were the very last tortilla IN THE WORLD?

What would you fill it with? Chicken, steak, fajita veggies? Would it be corn or flour? Cold? Warm? Crispy or soft? Folded in half for a quesadilla? Salsa verde or roja? Or would you make enchiladas?

Friends often send me articles about the best taco joints or every time Taco Bell or Chipotle is in the news. They also treat my photos like a variation of “Where’s Waldo?” Surely there’s a tortilla in that photo somewhere.

I am a tortilla-eating fiend. Think of the Cookie Monster, but with tortillas. I will use them in place of plates. I will eat them on their own. I prefer flour to corn, mainly because I’m a gringo. But yellow corn tortillas tend to fall part each time I use them.

Incapable of going a day without my beloved, I went to the store Monday night and restocked with a 36 pack of small, white corn tortillas.

Thus begins the #TortillaChallenge! Post your ideas in the comments or use the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.

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For the next 36 tortillas I will do my best to make different dishes and highlight the supreme versatility of the circular wünder food.

The first three tortillas were dinner on night one. After warming the blanco discs, I sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese, then topped the melting queso with slices of grilled chicken. Arugula and halved cherry tomatoes came next before a light drizzling of #BBANCH.

Each tortilla was delicious. But I can do better.

Thirty three tortillas remain.

Are you up for the challenge?

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Carlos Danger and Geraldo Don’t Do Salads

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Carlos Danger/Anthony Weiner sends dick pics.

Geraldo posted a topless pic. He later apologized saying, “I was drunk and lonely.”

Aren’t we all Geraldo? Aren’t we all.

As a slew of stories come out of public figures sending pics of themselves, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the true purpose of having a camera phone. Gratuitous food closeups.

Last night’s salad featured almost every ingredient from the produce department: romaine, spinach, avocado, red onion, red bell pepper, grilled green beans. Add marinated, grilled chicken, quinoa, and chunks of pepper jack cheese. If that weren’t enough, I topped it all with fresh salsa verde.

I also noticed “fat free” on my bag of spinach. Are people really on the fence? “I don’t know about this green shit. Is it healthy?”

Sadly this salad has yet to receive the same attention as a congressional dick.

Gringo’s Confessions

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The other night I was at a fancy shamancy dinner and was chatting about best meals to cook with a date. This conversation was with a man in his 50s who identified himself as a trophy husband, a career goal not too far from my own. He asserted that French cuisine was the best, since Italian and Mexican are common flavors. The last thing I want is my high-achieving future wife to think I’m common.

While some of my friends take Sunday Funday to be brunch and boozing, for me it means culinary project day. Eventually, I’ll start planning the week’s meals. Once that occurs I can truly become someone’s doting house husband.

Sunday night’s supper (a word I’m bringing back) involved homemade salsa verde and spice-rubbed chicken breasts. The result: best tacos I’ve had this year. Bonus for you, it’s hella simple. We will have to wait to see how successful it is as wife bait.

Continue reading Gringo’s Confessions

Salsa verde

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That picture is pretty appetizing right?

I roasted poblanos, tomatillos, half a yellow onion, and one bulb of garlic on the grill.

Let them cool after you char them. Then peel the skin off the poblanos. Pop the cloves out of the softened garlic.

Add everything to the food processor and let it rip. Be sure to add salt and pepper. Lime juice helps too.

Presto. Salsa verde!

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