New this week

Fennel and grapefruit salad
January 31, 2017

Fennel and grapefruit salad with grapefruit juice and honey dressing

Fennel is a perfect for winter salads and it pairs beautifully with citrus fruits that are also in season during the winter. Orange and fennel is a classic combination but I like the extra tang of a grapefruit with it as well, lightly sweetened with a drizzle of honey and the crunch of candied nuts. Slice the fennel thinly with a mandolin and chop up the fennel fronds to use in the salad as well.... View Article

Potato salad with olive oil and vinegar
January 30, 2017

Potato salad with olive oil and sherry vinegar

Potato salads are one of my favourite foods. I mostly make them in the summer but sometimes if I find nice potatoes I make them regardless of the season. For this recipe I found smallish red skin potatoes that worked perfectly in this salad. I steamed them over boiling water, then sliced them into rounds and drizzled the oil over while they were still warm. I then drizzled a couple of tablespoons of the vinegar... View Article

Hacienda Kaan Ac
January 28, 2017

Yucatan road trip – Hacienda Kaan Ac, Valladolid

After spending a couple of months on the Mayan Caribbean coast I was ready for adventure so we packed up a few things for a road trip and headed west into the Yucatan to explore the Mayan towns, haciendas and local foods. It’s not my first trip into the Yucatan countryside so I know my way around and love the experience every time. The new highway from Cancun and Playa del Carmen going west is... View Article

Shredded salad with grapefruit and citrus vinaigrette
January 18, 2017

Shredded salad with grapefruit and citrus dressing

Salads are always welcome as part of lunch or dinner, and sometimes they make lunch or dinner. This is a refreshing winter salad incorporating the segments and juice of a pink grapefruit into both the salad and the dressing. The salad itself is a blend of winter vegetables and greens, meaning it does not call for tender summer salad leaves but rather for sturdier vegetables like green and red cabbage, romaine, red peppers, celery, carrots... View Article

Mexican bean soup with salsa and crema
January 16, 2017

Mexican bean soup

The weather down here on the Mayan Riviera has been unusually cooler, still in the 20s but a lot of warm tropical rain and clouds. Fittingly, soup was on the menu this week to go with a shredded green salad with citrus vinaigrette. Both were quite delicious so I thought I’d share them on the blog. Salad in the next post. I find that dried beans that I buy here cook much faster than the... View Article

Red lentil hummus with dukkah
January 16, 2017

Red lentil hummus with dukkah

It’s nice to have a few dips and spreads in your cooking repertoire and you can always expand by varying what you use with new ingredients and seasonings. Everyone knows how to make basic hummus and it is delicious every time but it’s fun to vary it as well. This recipe calls for mashed cooked red lentils instead of the garbanzo bean base, and then you add the tahini just like you would with regular... View Article

Chilaquiles with salsa verde
January 14, 2017

Chilaquiles with salsa verde

As much as I enjoy going out for breakfast at one of the beautiful beach restaurants in this area, once in a while I have to put my cooking skills to use and make something at home other than the routine oatmeal that I usually “have to have”. Chilaquiles, a classic Mexican breakfast dish, is one of my favourite Mexican style breakfasts. Although it is seemingly a quick dish to make, it is composed of... View Article

French onion soup
January 11, 2017

French onion soup

Sometimes I  just crave this soup but to get the one that satisfies my craving I have to make it at home. It’s really quite a simple soup to make, you just need the patience to brown the onions slowly so the soup has the characteristic rich caramelized flavour. You finish the soup in the oven with grilled bread and plenty of cheese that melts and gives the soup the unique topping that one cannot... View Article

Peasant pasta
January 10, 2017

Peasant Pasta – Cucina Povera

Since I am on cucina povera and street foods “kick” at the moment here is another simple recipe, this one for pasta without a sauce, made more hearty with crispy bread crumbs and enriched with pine nuts (not so povera after all). I love what you’d call “dry” pasta simply tossed with olive oil, perhaps infused with garlic and hot pepper and served without a sauce. This is similar to spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino... View Article

Tuscan beans on grilled bread
January 9, 2017

Tuscan beans on grilled bread

Beans are part of a simple way of cooking that is often referred to as “peasant cooking”, “Cucina povera”, “Cocina para pobres” or “l’alimentation paysanne”, in the few languages that I can understand. Even the fancy Scandinavian smørrebrød has its origin as simple bread topped with whatever was readily available for populations that did not have many options. Local and inexpensive ingredients such as grains, legumes, noodles and breads together with a few available vegetables... View Article

DAC market, Playa del Carmen
January 7, 2017

Mayan Street Food and Taco Tour with Cozumel Chef in Playa del Carmen

I have been travelling to the Mayan Riviera for years but must admit that I have never stopped to eat at street food carts and although we do eat at local restaurants, only a few serve mostly local people. Now before you dismiss me as a food elitist, please consider that, first, you can get authentic local dishes even at high end restaurants and hotels, you just pay more for them, and second, street food... View Article

Enfrijoladas
December 21, 2016

Mayan Riviera: Enfrijoladas, tortillas with black beans

I first came across this dish at a cooking class at Latitude 20° restaurant in Puerto Aventuras, taught by Mexican chef Danny. The simplicity of the dish combined with the intense flavour appealed to me instantly and it quickly became a regular dish I prepare both here on the Mayan Riviera and at home, at latitude 50°. I am generally attracted to simple foods that make the indigenous cuisine of real people in villages around... View Article