Cornbread with green chiles

Happy first of May and Happy Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “5th of May”) is a celebration of Mexico’s cultural heritage and pride. The festivities include parades, mariachi band performances, street festivals and of course — margaritas!

Mr Sweetie is Mexican-American which is why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated at our house. (Ok, I admit, it is a great excuse reason to make and drink margaritas at home! This is the one and only time each year that we ever drink hard liquor at home. He is not a drinker while I like wine and champagne, and the occasional drinks with girlfriends.)

The idea of drinking fruity margarita on a weekday seems fun and naughty whenever Cinco de Mayo falls on a weekday. However, this post is not about margaritas. It is really about corn bread with green chiles. The recipe has been adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin. It is called Spanish Corn Bread in the book. Jubilee is such a wonderful cookbook that I found at the San Francisco Public Library. The photos are mouthwatering. The book is a celebration of African-American cuisine and its history. It gained many accolades including being a winner of the coveted James Beard Award.

I made the Spanish cornbread in June 2020, just less than 3 months after California went into the first lockdown. I thought that May will be the best month to post it in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. This cornbread is so moist, so good, so delicious — the best one ever that it is a keeper. I will definitely make it over and over again! And in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I chose to post this delicious corn bread recipe.

I thought that I would also include my pretty little doll in the photos that I got during our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 2016, as well as the red bowl that I bought from a market in Mexico. They remind me of beautiful memories of our travels.

CORNBREAD WITH GREEN CHILES

Adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin

  • 1 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c cream-style corn
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 – 4oz can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 c minced green onions
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbps butter, cubed into pieces

TO MAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the corn, buttermilk, chiles, cheese and egg. Gently fold in the green onions.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron pan in the oven until foamy. Do not burn. Tilt the pan to coat it with the melted butter. Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

MY NOTES

  1. Of course the original recipe is perfect but I would like to honor and respect not just copyright laws but the efforts and love that went into creating it by re-writing the recipe in my own words as much as possible. (I also do not want to plagiarize!)
  2. The changes that I made were: 1) Instead of using onions, I used green onions. 2) I also used a different title for my post from the original title in the book “Spanish Cornbread.”
  3. When I made the cornbread, I made half with chiles and half without. I only included the chiles in one half of the batter. The other half was just cornbread without the chiles. I made it this way because I knew that Mr Sweetie would not want chiles in his. I poured half of the batter without the chiles first then I mixed in the chiles with the other half then I poured that half into the skillet. It worked!
  4. I also used self-rising flour and omitted the baking soda, salt and baking powder.
  5. This cornbread is so good drizzled with honey!

Did you make CORNBREAD WITH CHILES? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!

Happy 1st of May and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Shrimp salad sandwich with sriracha mayo

Eating this shrimp salad sandwich was like summer in my mouth. It had freshly squeezed lemon juice, chopped crispy cucumbers and celery which were contrasted with the taste of sweet onions.

The tangy homemade sriracha mayo perfectly complements the flavors of juicy and plump shrimp. I used toasted sourdough bread to cradle all of these deliciousness. It was truly a medley of flavors and textures. Sriracha is a type of spicy Asian hot sauce. It is made from pepper paste, vinegar, sugar and salt. Vietnamese pho (noodle soup) is often served with sriracha on the side. I have always eaten sriracha with Asian food at mom and pop eateries in the Bay Area. with my friends for as long as I can remember. In the last decade or so, sriracha became a trendy food among foodies and has become mainstream. Check the aisle of your local grocery store. You might find it right next to soy sauce and other Asian spices and condiments.

When I made this sandwich it was on a lovely spring day (in stark contrast to the gloomy winter-like weather we are having at the end of April in the San Francisco Bay Area). I love both types of weather so I am not complaining. However, if you ever make this sandwich, I hope that it is on a lovely, bright and sunny day wherever you are. Take it outside in your patio, backyard or balcony. Enjoy it with a glass of crisp white wine (Pinot Grigio, maybe?) or a glass of iced tea. Cheers and enjoy!

Shrimp Salad Sandwich with Sriracha Mayo

  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces small or medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1/3 cup  sriracha mayo (store bought or homemade — recipe below)
  • 1 to 2 ribs celery, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup cucumber, cubed into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions
  • 1-2 tablespoons green onions, minced
  • 1/2 lemon or about 2 tablespoons
  • bread of your choice such as sourdough bread, brioche buns, etc. (toasted)
  • 3/4 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • cayenne pepper, for topping (optional)
  • A quart of water
  1. Add salt to quart of water in a pot and bring water to a gentle boil.
  2. Add the shrimp to the water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until pink and barely translucent.
  3. Drain, rinse under cool water, and pat dry.
  4. Place in the fridge to cool completey, about 15 minutes.
  5. Prepare sriracha mayo if using homemade. (Please see recipe for homemade sriracha mayo below.) Once the sriracha mayo is mixed, put back in the fridge until the shrimp are cooled completely.
  6. Mix sriracha mayo, cucumber, green onions, red onions and celery in a medium size bowl. Add lemon, salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Add cooled shrimp to sriracha mayo mixture and toss gently until coated.
  8. Serve on toasted bread lined with shredded lettuce, if desired. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and squeeze more lemon (both optional).

SRIRACHA MAYO

  • 1/3 cup mayo (preferably Kewpie Mayo which is a Japanese brand mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • A dash of Worchestershire sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

MY NOTES

  • You may use store bought sriracha mayo, instead of making it at home.
  • You may also skip the sriracha if it is not available or you do not like spicy food. Just use regular mayo, instead. Season it with salt and pepper.
  • If you can find Kewpie mayo which is Japanese mayo, use it. This Food and Wine article explains chefs’ obsessions with Kewpie mayo. It is very rich and creamy compared to American mayo.

Did you make Shrimp
Salad Sandwich with Sriracha Mayo
? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!

Mango black bean salsa and pan fried garlic salmon

Happy Spring! I hope everyone is enjoying the gorgeous days of this season. While we sadly did not get to enjoy much March showers in California which officially put us in the drought category, spring has come. California poppies, daffodils and flowers of myriad colors are decorating the Bay Area landscapes.

I always associate mangoes with summertime. Philippine mangoes are known for their sweetness and juiciness, and much enjoyed during the hot summer days in the Philippines as snack, dessert or side dish. I have always been “Team Sweet Ripe Mango” but many Filipinos are “Team Green and Crunchy Mango.”

I was given mangoes by my brother in law when I visited my family few Sundays ago. Today, I thought of making salsa to complement my pan fried salmon with garlic and rice while I was working from home.

The star of the show on this post is the Mango Black Bean Salsa while the pan fried garlic salmon is taking a supporting role. The salsa is very easy to make. No cooking needed, and you can personalize it according to your taste. You will be rewarded with a variety of flavors — sweet, tangy, salty and spicy. This is summer in your mouth, y’all! And I should add — healthy!

Before I list the recipe below, I just want to say that life has been very busy lately, with lots of challenges but accompanying blessings that are bigger than the challenges. I am still cooking and baking. I also have been visiting your blogs and enjoy them tremendously. I will send those hearts your way very soon.

PAN FRIED GARLIC SALMON WITH MANGO BLACK BEAN SALSA

MANGO BLACK BEAN SALSA

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and washed
  • Cilantro, minced (about 1/3 c)
  • Jalapeno or chili peppers (sliced)
  • Red onions, chopped (about 1/4 c)
  • Avocado, cubed (optional)
  • Cucumber, cubed (optional)
  • A squeeze of half of a lime, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fish sauce, (optional — omit salt if using fish sauce)
  1. HOW TO SLICE A RIPE MANGO: Stand the washed mango on the thick bottom end using one hand. Using a sharp knife with your other hand, slice from top of the mango down on one side.
  2. Repeat with the other side. You will end up with two halves, and a middle section which is the seed.
  3. Take one of the mango pieces. Make cuts resembling a chessboard but do not cut through the peel.
  4. Bend the sliced mango. The mango flesh will pop out in to squares. At this point, you can use your fingers to feel the squared segments of mango flesh off the skin, or use a small knife.
  5. Repeat with the other side of the mango, and slice the mango flesh from the seed. (This is the part where I love to take a break and eat the mango from the seed or pit, whatever it is called.)
  6. Transfer the sliced mango into a bowl.
  7. Steps 1-5 were the “hardest” part in making this salsa but it will really just take you 2 minutes to slice a rice mango.
  8. Take the rest of the ingredients you are using — black beans, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, avocado, red onions, cucumber and mix them all together with the mango.
  9. Season with salt or better yet, add about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Enjoy!

GARLIC PAN FRIED SALMON

  • 1-2 slices salmon for frying
  • 1/2 head – 1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Season the salmon slices with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat EVOO on medium high heat then fry the salmon skin side down on one side for about one minute.
  3. Turn the salmon on the other side to fry. Turn down the heat to medium.
  4. Watch the middle of the salmon as it turns from transculent pink to opaque salmon color. This indicates if the salmon is already cooked. Before the fish turns completely opaque, add the garlic pieces to the pan and fry until golden brown, being careful to not burn the garlic.

TO SERVE

  1. Serve the pan fried garlic salmon with a generous side of mango salsa and steamed rice.

MY NOTES

  1. It is recommended to use ripe mangoes for the salsa. Overripe mangoes will be too mushy.
  2. The Mango Salsa Black Beans Salsa recipe is very forgiving. You can choose to make it without heat, or make it mild or super-spicy. You can choose to not include avocados and/or cucumber but the combination I provided in my recipe will provide a robust flavor profile of combined ingredients.
  3. I also like my salsa chunky but you can make the mangoes and other ingredients smaller if that is your preference.
  4. How long you cook the salmon is a matter of personal preference. We like the salmon slightly pink (raw) in the middle while others like their salmon fully-cooked. Just do not over cook the fish otherwise it will become dry.

Did you make BLACK BEAN MANGO SALSA AND GARLIC PAN FRIED SALMON? Please let me know by leaving a comment on the blog