|Tamara Lukens

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Turkey Chorizo Chilaquiles… Of Sorts.

By |August 30th, 2011|

Do you ever cook for one?  It sucks.  Well, the concept of being by yourself  doesn’t necessarily suck; I actually enjoy the me time. What sucks is going through all the trouble of dicing and mincing vegetables and fruits, prepping meats, dirtying pots and pans and spoons and dishes…  And JUST FOR ME?  Ugh, no thank you.  So, during those times when I don’t feel like takeout, and don’t have the energy to prepare an elaborate meal for one, I make this: my version of turkey chorizo chilaquiles.

The turkey chorizo recipe is adapted from a Pepsico recipe book I have (I’ve used it before here).  This recipe is perfect for turkey; the slew of spices and flavors that go into it combines perfectly with turkey, a pretty bland meat.  The chilaquiles part of it comes from not knowing what else to call it.  Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of lightly fried corn tortillas which are the base of the dish, which is then topped with some type of salsa, followed by chicken or some other meat, and an egg either fried or scrambled.  Pretty close, don’t you think?  Chilaquiles are usually eaten for breakfast or brunch, and who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?


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Humitas – Ecuadorian Tamales

By |August 25th, 2011|

Ahhh. Humitas.  Such a wonderful Ecuadorian comfort food.  I am using the term tamales loosely because it is something a lot of people know and have eaten before.  The concept is similar: a corn batter wrapped in a corn husk.  However, Ecuadorians will tell you flat out:  Humitas ARE NOT tamales!  While a Mexican tamal consists of masa, a corn-based flour, Ecuadorian humitas are made with fresh, ground corn.  Humitas can be sweet or savory.  Here I present you the savory version that has cheese.  The sweet version has sugar and vanilla extract incorporated in the filling.  Another savory version has chicken, and its filling is similar to the ayacas de pollo I posted a while back.

Humitas can be eaten for breakfast, dinner or as an afternoon snack.  My favorite way of eating humitas was for breakfast.  I had the cheese-filled humitas, accompanied by a cafecito caliente.  I have been drinking coffee since I was 8 – don’t judge.  Mind you that said coffee was VERY diluted and with a taste of sugar and cinnamon, which was DELICIOUS.


Ají con Chochos y Queso – Ecuadorian Spicy Sauce with Lupini beans and cheese

By |August 15th, 2011|

For the love of all things spicy, here is another variation on ají, the Ecuadorian spicy condiment that is good on just about everything.  In addition to ají preparado and ají criollo, ají con chochos y queso is another favorite on mine.  Although my love for all things spicy developed at a latter stage of my life, my love for chochos runs deep.  You’re probably asking, what in the world are chochos (choh-chohs)?  We’ll get there; just be patient.

On occasions, my abuelita used to do the grocery shopping for us – mostly because she felt that sometimes her granddaughter wasn’t eating properly.  See, the thing is I am a small person.  When I was a kid, I was tiny, short and skinny – and not much has changed since.  However, it had nothing to do with how I ate.  That’s just how I was.  My grandma vehemently disagreed.  So she introduced me to chochos at the tender age of 6, as a way to get the proper nutrition I “so desperately needed”.  Abuelita, I think I turned out just fine.


Thirsty Thursday: Watermelon Mojito

By |August 11th, 2011|

Watermelon is probably my favorite food of the Summer.  I can honestly say I am capable of eating a small watermelon by myself in one sitting.  Several trips to the restroom ensue, but who cares.  Although there is nothing more refreshing (at least for me) than eating a cold slice of watermelon, adding a bit of booze to watermelon is not too shabby either.


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Jersey City Ecuadorian Food Festival

By |August 9th, 2011|

This past weekend, Jersey City hosted its annual Ecuadorian Festival, which usually consists of performances – singing, dancing, and of course traditional Ecuadorian food.  While the actual festival started at Hora Ecuatoriana (roughly 2 hours late!), we went for the food.  The good thing is that we got the freshest portions of the […]