Latin Food Fest 2018

What a weekend!

This Saturday I enjoyed an afternoon of Latin food and music from all over southern California, including tons of delicious wines and sangrias, and more than one type of tequila (hiccup). I got a little sunburned, but it’s a small price to pay to enjoy all the bites and drinks I want for three hours, while partying at the Embarcadero Marina Park.

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It was a beautiful day, and the sangria was flowing like … wine.

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Most of the vendors were drink companies, so the few that were food had pretty long lines. Luckily they were all delicious, so who can complain? I really loved the bacon-wrapped hot dog con todo (with everything)…

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… and the Sheraton’s sample of marinated pork loin, savory sourdough bread pudding, house salsa roja and pineapple mostarda:

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There were many other fine offerings, like this fancy short rib appetizer:

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… potatoes with three “Mojo sauces” from Driana (Chef Adriana from the Food Network):

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… this gorgeous ceviche …

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…this amazing beef tartare from Born and Raised

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and even this simple classic from Northgate Market: the humble carnitas street taco.

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Definitely some honorable mentions go to the Gallo Pinto (beans and rice)…

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… the Brazilian torta …

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and the Peruvian steak:

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The annual event is about $27-40 per person (depending on when you buy tickets) without VIP. The general admission lasts from noon-3 p.m., which is plenty of time to sample everything at least once.

I’ll definitely be back next year!

 

 

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Farm-fresh Deviled Eggs (and a Giveaway!)

I love eggs for just about everything, and there’s nothing as tasty as a farm-fresh egg, so I am super excited to team up with NestFresh Eggs to share my favorite recipes for holiday entertaining, and give away some delicious eggs.

I’m really serious when I say there’s nothing as tasty as a farm-fresh egg. When I was a kid, my family moved to the middle of nowhere in rural Tennessee, and I was abruptly immersed in the life of  small farm. One of the first things we did was one of the simplest: buy some chickens, build them a small coop, and let them roam around our whole 20-acre farm. Here are some old shots of our lovely hens and roosters:

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As you can see, they basically ran all over the place, picking up bugs and whatnot from the grass all around their coop.

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I can’t begin to tell you how delicious those eggs were. As a kid, I was used to eating small, white, runny eggs, and these farm-fresh beauties changed my life. Once you’ve had an organic, cage-free, farm-fresh egg, you can never go back. And the Nestfresh eggs are the same: it’s kind of hard to explain how and why they taste so good: the yolks are more bright yellow, when you bake with them your baked goods are fluffier, and your scrambled eggs just taste … egg-ier.

Once you get it, you’ll see.

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Speaking of getting it, my friends at NestFresh are giving away two dozen eggs to one of my lucky readers. I’m organizing the giveaway through Rafflecopter, so click here and be sure to use all of your entry options to win!

(* Disclaimer: The NestFresh company gave me two dozen free eggs to assist with the production of this post, and they will supply the two dozen eggs that are the giveaway prize. I was not compensated for my opinions or in any other way.)

deviled eggs three ways

Since I am not a very great baker, my idea of “entertaining” with eggs is using them for what was always on the Thanksgiving and holiday party tables: deviled eggs. My grandma always made the standard recipe, using grated or diced onion, a bit of mayo and mustard, and sprinkled with sweet paprika on top. There was always a huge platter of them on the table, and, when dinner was finally ready and someone needed to eat that last deviled egg so the plate could be cleared, guess who stepped up to take one for the team? That’s right.

These days, I try to make my everyday, “boring” recipes with a little extra kick, both of flavor and of healthiness, so I have the traditional recipe as well as lighter/healthier one, and a kicked-up spicy one.

Before you get started on various deviled egg recipes, please remember to not take these appetizers too seriously. They don’t need to be perfectly shaped or perfectly styled … in fact, because they’re more natural, they probably won’t be perfect.

Just remember that there are no failures when it comes to hardboiled eggs: even the cracked ones you can’t use for deviling …

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… are perfect for ramen.

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(As a matter of fact, use some extra turkey and turkey stock after Thanksgiving to make your own homemade ramen soup to use up your leftovers. Trust me.)

Now for the deviled eggs. These three variations are totally simple, and you can make them using everyday ingredients. I made all three of them at once, to satisfy the tastes of several guests. Perfect.

Traditional:

traditional deviled eggs

  • 1 dozen eggs, hardboiled, chilled, peeled, AND halved
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp of your favorite mustard (or try this homemade mustard recipe)
  • 1 tbsp paprika, plus more for garnishing
  • salt and pepper

spicy deviled eggs

Spicy variation:

  • 1 dozen eggs, hardboiled, chilled, peeled, AND halved
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • handful of grated cheddar cheese
  • generous squirt of sriracha (of course, feel free to use less if you have spice-sensitive guests, or use your own homemade sriracha like me)
  • toasted pine nuts (for garnish)
  • salt and pepper

yogurt/lemon/dill deviled eggs

Lighter/tangier variation:

  • 1 dozen eggs, hardboiled, chilled, peeled, AND halved
  • 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp dried dill, plus more for garnish

Instructions:

After your eggs are boiled, cooled, peeled and cut in half, gently remove the egg yolks and place in a bowl. Do your best to not puncture or damage the egg white, and set the whites to the side. When all of your egg yolks have been removed, add the other ingredients and mix well. Make sure the egg yolks are completely smashed, and the mixture is smooth.

Using either a spoon or a pastry bag (I use a makeshift pastry bag by cutting a tiny hole in the bottom corner of a freezer bag, then filling it with the mixture), fill the holes in the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture. Garnish as necessary and serve immediately.

traditional eggs recipe card

spicy egg recipe card

tangy egg recipe card