hey everyone, this is ivan! i’ve been contributing to the food column with bri and joanie for about four years now! these last few weeks i’ve been working on a passion project of mine that i want to share with you. it revolves around my mom’s recipes. i came to the realization that if i didn’t sit down and learn to cook them, no one would be able to make all my childhood favorite recipes in the future and food is such an important part of keeping your family heritage alive. both of my parents were born and raised in mexico (my mom is from jalisco and my dad is from michoacan) and the majority of the food we ate growing up was Mexican food, it’s what i most identify with home and the food i make when i want comfort and familiarity. i realized there are so many techniques and traditions wrapped up in my Mom’s cooking and that’s something i want to be able to learn and pass down to my family. for this first post, i made my mom’s rice, carne asada, guacamole and chimichurri (traditionally argentinian). traditionally this was a meal we had on special occasions but it can definitely be made any time of year. my mom’s chimichurri is my favorite, it’s full of fresh herbs and citrus and it’s so good on meat. let me know if you enjoy seeing these recipes! i’d love to keep on posting as i continue to create a cookbook that honors my mom and all the amazing food she’s made for me and my family.
this rice dish recipe is not your average side dish. this packs so much more flavor then what you get at a restaurant.
makes 4 servings
• 1 cup of long grain rice (rinsed and dried)
• 2 ripe roma tomatoes diced
• 1 quarter yellow onion diced
• 1 8oz can tomato sauce
• salt and pepper
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 bunch cilantro
heat the canola oil in a pan on medium heat. add the long grain rice and toss until they are becoming slightly toasted. add the onion and tomatoes and sauté until onions begin to become translucent; constantly stirring as to not let the rice burn. add the 8oz can of tomato sauce and two cups of water to the pan and top with a bunch of rinsed cilantro. salt and pepper to taste. i usually do two healthy pinches of salt and adjust as the rice continues to cook. keep on medium heat until liquid is evaporated, you can also add more water in case the rice needs more cooking time.
this is hands down this is the best guacamole recipe you will ever have. i highly recommend making this for the big game in a couple weeks. the trick to this recipe is not only the perfect balance of heat, salt, fat and acid; but its also the texture. some guacamoles have the consistency of baby food but as you’ll see this is how you’ll make the perfect guacamole.
makes 5-6 servings
• 4 avocados
• 2-3 roma tomatoes diced
• 1 jalapeño diced
• 1/2 onion diced
• 2-3 lemons juiced
• 1 small bunch cilantro chopped
• salt and pepper to taste
slice the avocados into halves and remove the pits. carefully using the knife make criss-cross cuts into the avocado to resemble cubes. scoop out with a spoon and place into a large bowl. add the remainder of the ingredients and toss with a fork. as you are mixing mash some of the avocados while leaving others intact, this will ensure you have the perfect texture and integration of flavors. salt and pepper to taste.
carne asadas can be perfect for large gatherings or just a weeknight dinner. here’s a simple recipe we’ve been doing for many years that incorporates chimichurri and using grilled Mexican green onions. serve with rice, guacamole and warmed tortillas.
makes 4-5 servings
• 2 pounds flank steak
• salt and pepper
• 2 small bunches Mexican green onions
• corn or flour tortillas
• 2 bunches of parsley stems removed
• 1 small bunch cilantro stems removed
• 4 large garlic cloves
• 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• 1 lemon juiced
• 1/2 teaspoon red chili flaked
• 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• olive oil
to make the chimichurri, add all the ingredients minus the olive oil into a food processor (if you do not have one you can finely chop all the ingredients). slowly pour in olive oil and pulse every other second. you’ll want the chimichurri to be swimming in a little bit of olive oil.
generously salt and pepper each side of the flank steaks. if using an indoor grill slightly oil the grill on medium to high heat and add the steaks, cook on each side for 5 minutes if you like yours medium rare. add 2 more minutes to your time if you like well done. once cooked remove from the grill and have them rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes before cutting into them. in the same pan grill the green onions until tender. a trick for more flavorful tortillas is to heat them up in the same grill as they will absorb some of the grease which will add more flavor.
photography and food styling by ivan solis