Sopa de Frijoles Borrachos
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Drunken Beans Soup
We served Frijoles Borrachos smothered in melted Oaxaca cheese with a side of warm flour tortillas the other night. It is an uncomplicated, tasty first course/side dish that appeals to almost everyone. But if I am going to cook dried beans, I am going to make plenty, as they take hours to soak and cook. Might as well make enough for other delicious dishes.
This time I turned the remaining pinto beans into a Drunken Beans Soup. The idea is similar to frijoles borrachos with beer as a key ingredient, but the beans are simmered with vegetables and spices then puréed to a coarse soupy texture.
The soup itself is quite delicious, but it is the garnishes that take it to another intoxicating level – Mexican crema, radish, pickled red onion, serrano chile, fried tortilla strips, cotija cheese, lime juice, and cilantro.
Peaches are available year-round, yet we all know that the season for the most luscious fruit is in the summer. But did you know that the deep red blushing color of the skin occurs only on the side facing the sun?
Juicy, aromatic, sweet peaches make a delightful chilled soup. However this peach soup is even more intriguing with notes of exotic saffron, tart apple, and captivating vanilla. The addition of cayenne pepper adds another layer of complexity. And the texture is just what you would expect from peaches & cream – it’s velvety smooth and lush thanks to the efficiency of a high-performance blender (like Vitamix).
Calabrian Chili, Burrata, and Fresh Basil
Served with an Amalfi Spritz
Buon Natale! Merry Christmas – this is a brilliant vegetarian dish for the holiday with its beautiful striking red and green colors. But how could it possibly be any good? The pasta, maltagliati, literally translates to “badly cut” and the sauce arrabbiata translates to “angry”! Turns out this bad-cut-angry pasta dish is actually deliziosa…and perfect for the holidays.
Spaghetti with Pan-Fried Zucchini
Shishito Pepper Pesto
Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Amalfi Restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Bobby Flay’s stellar new restaurant at Caesars Palace is where he brings flavors of the Amalfi Coast to the Las Vegas Strip.
We had an absolutely delightful meal there recently…and would have tried even more fabulous dishes if we had room. Our server informed us that the Spaghetti Zucchine is one of the most popular pastas at the restaurant. The Chef wrote on Instagram that it has become the most requested pasta dish at his house.
Unable to fit in another pasta that night (we had the Caramelle and Pasta Rags, both excellent), I just had to try the Spaghetti Zucchine at home.
This is one sassy black bean soup. It is easy to make and gets a kick of heat and smoky authentic flavor from the addition of fire-roasted salsa verde added at the end of cooking. Let each diner go crazy with the garnishes according to their own taste: pickled red onion, garlic crema, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro all add to this fiesta in a bowl. The black bean canvas is artistically painted with a array of flavors, textures, and colors.
With only 4 ingredients (tomatillos, jalapeños, salt, and water) – our favorite Salsa de Molcajete Verde from the refrigerated section at the supermarket, adds robust Mexican taste without having to take the extra steps to roast chiles and tomatillos over an open flame.