Batter Licker

November 16, 2010

pico de gallo

Filed under: appetizer,mexican,salad,vegan,veggies — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:17 pm

As a teenager, I was fortunate to attend one of the few high schools that still had an open-campus lunch. When the bell sounded to announce the beginning of the break, we would pile into someone’s hand-me-down vehicle and dash off to Golden Spoon for a pile of gummy bear-studded, fro yo heaven, or roll on down to the beach for amazing, cheap Mexican fare at Cessy’s. And I’ll be honest: sometimes we didn’t return to campus after that. Needless to say, it wasn’t much of a surprise when, during senior year, there was talk of closing the campus during lunch, perhaps because even the honors students weren’t inclined to head back to class after lunchtime burrito-beach trips.

It was during those trips to Cessy’s that I really fell for pico de gallo. So fresh and flavorful, it was the perfect condiment to brighten up my then-favorite bean, cheese, and rice burrito. While Cessy’s version wasn’t the freshest ever, as it used canned tomatoes, they were on to something by skipping bad tomatoes and going straight for the canned, flavor-packed ones; and at least they were being realistic. (more…)

September 3, 2010

healthy mexican-style egg salad

Filed under: eggs,veggies — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 12:28 pm

Back when I was a teeny bopper, I lived in a town so small that I actually looked forward to going to Fresno for a few weeks each summer to visit my aunt and uncle. You see, besides acting as the home of my fabulously fun aunt, Fresno had Ross, Marshalls, and Safeway, while Atascadero had only K-Mart and Food-For-Less.

While visiting, my aunt would take me on bargain-shopping sprees at Marshalls and put me to work at my uncle’s doctor’s office. And every day around 11:30 a.m., it was time to order lunch from the deli around the corner. I could have any sandwich I wanted. It was incredible. It was decadent … to a twelve year-old whose limited world experience told her that eating a sandwich not prepared at home but rather prepared professionally at a deli was just plain fancy.

But I always chose an egg salad sandwich. Something about that deli’s egg salad was truly transcendent compared to a ho-hum turkey sandwich, and I wasn’t yet adventurous enough to appreciate an Italian sandwich. So, being a loyal gal (and a big fan of mushy foods), I stuck with the reliable egg salad.

While I still enjoy a good egg salad, it hasn’t been the same for me since discovering how much mayonnaise goes into it. And frankly, after about two bites, the standard egg-mayo mash-up is rather bland for my ever-so-slightly more refined adult taste. (more…)

May 5, 2010

fish tacos w/mango-radish salsa & pink chipotle sauce

Filed under: fish,fruit,mexican,sauces, marinades, dressings,seafood — Tags: , , , , — Kristen @ 4:33 pm

“Best fish tacos ever.” And that’s not a groundless claim. You can trust me because I grew up in San Diego with exposure to more than my fair share of freshly-made-by-immigrants-who-successfully-crossed-the-border-and-got-us-hooked-on-their-amazing-cuisine Mexican food. But even so, that statement has been uttered (and, therefore, certified) by a real Mexican who would know even better than a native San Diegan would: SeƱor Brian Griego.

Just a couple weeks after the Griegos’ cutie pie daughter was born, I made fish tacos at their lovely home (mostly as an excuse to see the little princess, but also to catch up with her fun parents). Everyone enjoyed them so much (except baby Kameron, who was still on a milk-drinking binge at the time) that we actually ran out of fish a little early – a huge compliment to the chef (ahem!) but also horrifying because this chef thinks running out of food when she’s serving others is just so embarrassing!

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Anyway, I first got the idea on board a late JetBlue flight from Boston to San Francisco, where I watched Food Network for (no kidding) six hours straight. Tyler Florence was presenting his “ultimate” fish tacos, and I was drawn in by the mango salsa (I love spicy-sweet) and the pink mayonnaise. Yes, pink chipotle mayonnaise is that “special sauce” that makes fish tacos so addictively delicious when you’re eating at a restaurant. (more…)

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