Blog Posts by Lili's Latin Kitchen

  • A Mexican Pizza "al Pastor" to Delight Your Kids

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Kid's Pizza al PastorKid's Pizza al PastorWhen my family gathers, they make sure to cook enough food to eat and take leftovers home. My nieces (four and two years old) enjoy our dinner parties to the fullest; they are always in the kitchen wanting to help out and get involved. They end up setting the table and adding final touches like putting cilantro on soups and decorating their own dishes. This is a great way for them to feel included, and learn about different types of food. They are more engaged when they help, and ask about every item on the table.

    Last week, my sister invited the entire family to have lunch at her house for some delicious roasted pork. She cooked it for six hours in garlic, Coca-Cola and brown sugar. Since we had a lot of leftovers we decided to make something fun for the kids. As we went through the fridge, we found tortillas, pineapple, cilantro and queso fresco (fresh Latin cheese). The flour tortilla made a perfect base for a kid-friendly pizza. We

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  • A Grown-up Milkshake for Cocktail Hour

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    My beautiful mamita raised us eating lots of fruits and vegetables; Creamy Cantaloupe HeavenCreamy Cantaloupe Heavendessert was often just fresh fruit served with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. My all-time favorite was cut-up honeydew melon with homemade ice cream. Sometimes my mom would blend the two together and make a creamy drink. The key was to always blend the fruit first to release its juice, and then add the ice cream to get that perfectly smooth texture.

    Today, I continue to make my mom's delicious recipe, but to make it my own, I add a touch of rum. This is what I call "Creamy Honeydew Heaven." It can be served as a cocktail or as a grown-up dessert, perfect for a night at home with friends. But, a word of caution- the sweetness and creaminess of this cocktail is so amazing that if you don't share it, you might end up drinking the whole thing all by yourself!

    Mango'rita mixes fruit with tequila for cocktail time

    Ingredients

    (4 servings)
    10 oz. ripe

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  • A Grown-up Version of Lemonade with Vodka and Ginger

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Strawberry Vodka LemonadeStrawberry Vodka LemonadeLast weekend I went to a friend's house to celebrate a Venezuelan-style birthday party with a "cowboy" theme. The guests wore western hats, boots and bandanas. The meal of the night was a parrillada or BBQ with grilled chorizo, churrasco and chicken.

    Everyone was enjoying the meal and happy chatter while the bartender passed around bourbon-based cocktails served in jars. I'm not particularly fond of bourbon, so I went to the kitchen and made my own drink with the help of the bartender. To the right of the table we had some really good whiskey and scotch, but also directly in front of me were some beautiful strawberries along with lime, ginger and vodka. I decided to make a vodka-strawberry-lemonade topped with an ounce of ginger ale, served in a jar.

    As I enjoyed my flavorful, hard lemonade, people started asking about my newly-made drink. Long story short, everyone started requesting jars with my new concoction which prompted me to

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  • Europe Meets Latin America with This French-inspired Ceviche

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Tuna avocado appetizer Tuna avocado appetizer

    While touring the Loire Valley in France last month, I stayed at a chateau-turned-hotel in the town of Tours. When I asked the concierge for restaurant recommendations, he immediately picked up the phone and made reservations at the Relais, a restaurant in the nearby town of Chenonceaux.

    After the 30-minute drive through the chateaus and wineries, I reached an orchard in full growth which surrounded the Relais. Without a doubt, this promised to be a delicious and traditionally French meal. To my surprise the first dish that arrived to the table, as a courtesy from the chef, was a raw tuna salad covered with avocado spread served in a delicate shot glass with a tiny spoon.

    The first bite was heavenly; I couldn't resist asking the waitress if she could give me a rough list of the ingredients used in the dish. She mentioned tuna, avocado, lime and scallions, which were evident in the recipe, but she couldn't tell me anything else. I

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  • An Avocado Breakfast Salad to Brighten Your Mornings

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine LatinaAvocado-breakfast saladAvocado-breakfast salad

    My sister Marcela just came back from spending a summer in Spain, and during her trip she discovered amazing recipes that she couldn't wait to try at home.

    At last Sunday's family brunch, Marcela and I put together a delicious and easy breakfast salad inspired by Spaniards love of including eggs in every meal (ever heard of a Spanish omelet?). This recipe is perfect for making overnight, and then take to work the next day. The ingredients are simple: avocado, boiled eggs, bacon, and asparagus.

    To maintain the freshness of the ingredients, we stored the final product in glass containers. I usually store all my leftovers in glass containers, which not only preserves the food better, but it's also more sanitary and easier to clean. I stored the breakfast salad in the fridge, and the next day I drizzled it with olive oil and sea salt crystals. The sea salt seals all the flavors, and adds a delicious and crunchy kick to this flavorful dish. Vamos a Read More »from An Avocado Breakfast Salad to Brighten Your Mornings
  • Authentic Latin Fare No Longer Served at Restaurants

    I've found that nowadays some of the best Latin food is getting served on wheels. The best tacos in town are served at a food truck.The best tacos in town are served at a food truck.

    Shine Latina went out to find out if the rumors are true- that if you are hungry for real Latin, you better stop by a food truck.

    There's no doubt that the food truck rage is here to stay; from cupcakes to carnitas, there seems to be a wheeled restaurant to satisfy every possible craving.

    Need a new way to make rice? Try my QuinoArroz!

    Looking to get some honest-to-goodness real tacos, I visited Jefe's Original Fish Taco and Burgers, one of Miami's favorite Mexican food trucks. Here's my adventure, caught on camera, at Jefe's

    The line to order was long, a great sign that the food is worth the wait! The menu was just as long, but the truck owner explained what went into the items we were interested in, making my decision a bit easier. Did you see those fish tacos? I'm digging in!

    Jefes - OrderingOrdering


    I finally got my order. Wow! The tacos were amazing! The fish was fresh, the slaw crispy

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  • A Mango'rita for an All-Mexican Night

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine LatinaMango'ritaMango'rita

    I'm usually the bartender of every party even when it's not at my house. Somehow I always end up taking over the making of the drinks at gatherings, reunions and even at a friend's bar. My amigos call me the "frustrated bartender", but I disagree because I enjoy doing it only at social events. Before I make a drink I always open the fridge to see what ingredients I can mix into a refreshing and delicious cocktail.

    Try this drink with my tequila guacamole for an all-Mexican night.

    Coming back from a weekend getaway in Mexico I stopped at the duty free and sampled an exquisite mango liquor. It was sweet, thick and tasted like real mango juice. The store attendant recommended drinking it on the rocks but in my mind I already had a recipe. I couldn't wait to get home and try out my new invention. The same night, when I finally arrived home, I opened the fridge and found some other ingredients that would blend well with my drink. Cointreau,

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  • Grilled Steak Con Cerveza

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    I always thought the best way to make carne asada (or grilled steak) was my dad's way: simple, flavorful Carne asada con cervezaCarne asada con cervezaand tender. He used to grill every Sunday and on special family gatherings. My uncles always wondered what secret ingredients he used on the meat that made it so delicious. He always insisted that sea salt was the only item he needed to make his churrasco taste good. Besides purchasing good quality meat, he grilled only on wood or real charcoal without using any lighter fluid to start the fire. He also insisted on waiting until the flames touched the metal grid before placing the steaks on the grill, and then he'd turn each piece only once.

    Delight your guests with my shrimp ceviche on avocado before enjoying this great carne asada.

    About a month ago, I traveled with my best friend to Los Angeles, and her family received us with a grill-full of Mexican-style carne asada. I wanted to help out in the kitchen, so I asked my friend's dad

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  • A Spicy Shrimp Ceviche Full of Summer Memories

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Avocado shrimp cevicheAvocado shrimp ceviche

    No matter what beach you visit in South America, you'll always find a random guy that comes to sell you fresh ceviche de camarones (or shrimp ceviche). This type of dish is pretty much an altered version of the classic shrimp cocktail, except that the shrimp gets bathed in loads of onions, tomatoes, ketchup, lime with a touch of cilantro. It is definitely the perfect snack to enjoy under the sun while drinking an iced cold beer.

    My mother, who is an amazing cook, makes her own version of the shrimp ceviche and adds avocado to it. Avocado perfectly balances the acidity of the lime when combined with the shrimp and tomato flavors. Trying to figure out a creative way to serve her ceviche, she decided to use half of an avocado as the serving dish. It makes for a beautiful presentation, and you get to enjoy a slice of avocado with every bite. My uncle loves my Mom's ceviche, and every time he comes around she knows she has to prepare her famous

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  • A scrumptious (and low-calorie) Empanada Light

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Empanadas Light Empanadas Light

    Empanadas, pastelitos, tamales and many other types of savory pastries have been around my family for generations. Mi abuela used to make delicious soft pasteles with semi-sweet dough filled with a meat and rice mix. The only person who could replicate this deliciousness was my Nana (or nanny) who still makes them when we ask her to delight us with her culinary skills.

    A few months ago my Nana came from Colombia to visit the family, and we began celebrating our infamous Empanada Nights--an event that usually turns into an Empanada Midnights! Typically, all of our close friends and family members are invited, and while Nana and the girls cook, everyone else is impatiently waiting for their delicious empanadas. Gradually, the night turns into a laughter session remembering our childhood stories and talking about life. After hours of talking and drinking wine, we finally get to eat the pastries, which is usually well after midnight.

    This

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