I took inspiration from the years of working in kitchens alongside many Mexicans with backgrounds from all the country.  Mexican food is inherently healthy with high protein and lots of vegetables so its been easy to take something like”taco meat” and make it a bit healthier


Taco Spiced Beef Bowls        

Total counts for entire recipe

Calorie – 1885 Fat – 95 grams Protein – 130 grams  Carbs – 16.4 grams Serving – 4 – 6


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs 90/10 ground beef

1 large yellow onion dice

4 cloves garlic minced

1 cup low sodium beef broth

1 jalapeno de-seeded and diced

3 tablespoons dark chile powder

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 ½ tablespoons cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoons cayenne chile

1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika

4 cups shredded napa cabbage


Green onions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat, Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground meat, salt, and garlic.
  2. Cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, to break up the meat. Add spices and beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  4. Serve over cabbage and garnish with as much or as little green onions and cilantro as you like.


Posted: May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

Once a review was written about Authenticity of a dish.   When I read that a dish “wasn’t Portuguese enough and could have been from anywhere”   I started to question my own abilities to translate what i knew of my own culture, what i knew about food,  what I was representing as me.   I began to question what is authentic in food and culture.   Am I not “Authentic” because I was born in San Leandro and not Sao Miguel?

I think we have come to a point where our access to the world has become so readily available that some think they know an entire culture just because they spent a month traveling on Daddies credit card.  I’m a born and raised Azorean, I grew up with the culture, I grew up with the food, I’ve spent countless hours researching my history and my family and I can honestly say there will always be something new for me to learn.

So when you go into a restaurant a pop up even a tea shop and claim you know what you’re talking about when it comes to someone elses “authenticity” its better just to keep it to your self because in the end we don’t need you to justify how authentic we are to our own culture that we were raised in.

Piri Piri is the swahilli word for “pepper pepper”  although this is the Portuguese pronunciation of the word in the Portuguese speaking Mozambique ommunity.  Piri Piri chicken translates directly to pepper pepper chicken.  Plants are usually very bushy and grow in height to 45–120 centimeters, with leaves 4–7 cm long and 1.3–1.5 cm wide. The fruits are generally tapered to a blunt point and measure up to 8 or 10 centimeters long. Immature pod color is green, mature color is bright red or purple. Some varieties of birdseye measure up to 175,000 Scoville units.

This dish has roots both in Africa and Portugal.  The dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when the Portuguese settlers brought chilies back from the Americas.  This is one of those dishes you will be able to find across both countries with slightly different variations.



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons piri piri hot sauce(or sriracha)

Chicken marinade

  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped fine
  • 1 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 white onion peeled and chopped small
  • 4 cloves of garlic smashed and rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup piri piri hot sauce(or sriracha)
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (roughly 3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • 1 yellow bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 yellow onion sliced thin
  • 1 chicken broken down into its pieces


  • 1 large glass bowl large enough to hold the chicken with room for marinade
  • 2 quart pot
  • 1 pyrex 8×11 bakeware(metal works as well, I just prefer the pyrex for even cooking)

For Glaze

  • in small pot warm the olive on medium low heat(you do not want the olive oil to get to warm as it will become bitter)
  • add cilantro, parsley, and garlic and cook gently until garlic begins to brown then removed from heat and allow to cool.
  • once the oil is room temp, about 10-15 min mix in hot sauce and lemon juice

For Chicken

  • in large bowl mix all ingredients listed in the marinade until incorporated well.
  • add chicken, cover with plastic and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour best if marinated over night.
  • once the chicken has marinated, removed chicken from marinade and pat dry.
  • in a large pan saute onions and bell peppers until the onions are caramelized, deglaze with a bit of water to removed all the nice brown bits on the both of the pan then cool
  • in baking pan or pyrex place your chicken and cover with sauteed onions and garlic. pour enough water in pan so that it comes about half way up the side of the chicken.  Cover with foil and place in oven at 325 degrees for 15 mins, then removed the foil and cook for 10 more min.
  • pull the chicken, onions and pepper from the juice then spoon the glaze over the chicken while it is still hot.

This dish goes perfect with rice, potatoes or just some bread.  For you vegetarians out there you can perform the same meal with extra firm tofu also works well with beans.


I created this recipe for a pop up a couple years ago.  A close friend has been asking me to make it for her just about every week since then.  So I figured after 3 years I should post the recipe so she knows how to make it for herself.  This is a take on a Jook or congee or canja.

It has a very old history, essentially is is gruel.  Most people know it to be an Asian dish, I use the term Asian because almost all Asian cultures have one form or another of this dish.  It is a poor mans dish along with being the dish of royalty.  Typically served with sides like meat, fish, tofu and herbs.  The version I do is Portuguese where the rice is very soft but not completely disintegrated like in china.

“In Portugal, a traditional soup made of rice and chicken meat is named canja. The rice is not cooked for as long as in Asian congee, so it is very soft, but not disintegrated. Traditionally, a boiling fowl containing small, immature eggs is used; the eggs are carefully boiled and served in the canja. This soup is sometimes served with a fresh mint leaf on top. Strongly valued as comfort food, it is traditionally given to people recovering from disease, as in Asia, and in some regions of Portugal, there is even an ancient custom of feeding the mother a strict diet of canja in the first weeks after childbirth. It is also eaten traditionally in Brazil and Cape Verde, former Portuguese colonies”


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3.5 cups rice
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flake
  • salt to taste


  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • fried garlic
  • caramelized onions
  • cubed extra firm tofu
  • black vinegar
  1. Place all ingredients into a large heavy bottom pot
  2. on a medium low heat simmer stiring occasionally
  3. this process will take about 1 hour
  4. the mixture will begin to thicken and get creamy, at this point season with salt to taste
  5. you want to serve right away while its still steaming hot.
  6. The fun comes with all the garnish, you can add as much or as little as you want tosecondjook

I am a huge can of curries. The depth of flavor and styles are truly limitless in this world. This is one of my favorite coconut curry soups in a thai style.

Soup Base

2 cups of vegetable stock
1 pack of extra firm tofu cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 small white onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon soy
1/4 cup torn cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • in a small sauce pot on medium heat add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add all your vegetable into the pan and saute until the onions begin to caramelize.
  • deglaze pan with soy, vegetable stock and coconut milk and simmer for 5 mins
  • add all your spices and continue to simmer on low heat for 15 mins.
  • while the soup simmers mix 2 tablespoons of water with the corn starch to make a slurry
  • add slurry into soup mix and stir until soup thickens.
  • turn off heat, add tofu and cilantro leaves and season with salt to taste
  • serve hot over steamed rice or on its own.

This recipe is super simple and taste even better the next day.

I have seen many recipes floating around about butter beer in regards to the Harry Potter franchise, these are wrong.  Most of these recipes call for butter scotch or cream soda both of which were not created until the late 1800’s.

Butter beer is a classic “cocktail” that dates back as far as 1584 and became very popular in the late 1700’s with Queen Victoria who was known to drink 2 pints upon rising in the morning, my kind of leader.

So here it is folks, here is my rendition of the classic.  its perfect for the holidays.  It has an eggy sweet and bitter custard quality to it.  Its very heavy and can be served as a dessert

Please enjoy and tell me your experience.

Butter Beer

  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 1/2 piece of whole cinnamon(i prefer Mexican cinnamon sticks)
  • 1/2 t whole clove
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 bottles of Old Speckled Hen ale (1 quart)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 120 grams of sugar
  • 30 grams of butter(I prefer salted) softened to room temp
  1. Start with a nice heavy bottom sauce pot 2 qt or larger.  Add Ale and all the spices, on medium low heat simmer, DO NOT BOIL! boiling will release all the impurities you don’t want and give the beer and bitter flavor.
  2. in a stand mixer, hand mixer or by hand whip eggs, sugar and butter until light and airy.  Do not stop until it is doubled in size.
  3. pour the warm beer though a fine mess strainer or coffee filter. the return to pot to keep warm
  4. While mixing your egg mixture pour a small amount of warm beer, about 2-3 oz.  This will begin the tempering process so you do not end up with scrambled eggs.
  5. keep adding the hot beer slowly as you mix on medium speed.  once all the beer is added return liquid to your pot.
  6. O the lowest heat possible whisk the mixture until it begins to thicken, something like a gravy thickness.
  7. Removed from heat and serve immediately

This cake came about because a close friend said “I love Nutella”  and she was very serious about it.  I too love Nutella but then again who doesn’t.  This cake is based around a flourless chocolate cake.  Please enjoy and don’t forget to drink a white russian with it

for the cake

6 large eggs (separated)
1 pinch of salt
125 grams soft unsalted butter
400 grams Nutella
1 tablespoon Frangelico
125 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams 60% cacao chocolate (melted)

for the icing

100 grams roasted rough chopped hazelnuts
125 ml heavy cream
60 ml Frangelico
1 tablespoon  Dark rum
125 grams 60% cacao chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks begin to form, you don’t want to over beat your eggs because they will loose structure during the baking process and your cake will fall. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the Frangelico , egg yolks and ground hazelnuts.  Continue to beat egg yolk mixture until it becomes airy, about 3 min.         -note- if you are using a kitchen aide, beat your egg whites first then transfer them out and beat the rest of the ingredients.  The reason behind this is egg whites will not develop a proper stiffness if fat is in the bowl.  So make sure all your bowls are thoroughly cleaned.Over a double boiler melt your chocolate and allow it to cool a bit.
  2. Fold cooled, melted chocolate into your egg yolk mixture a paddle attachment works best, then add 1/3 of your egg whites, mix gently and thoroughly so you don’t get pockets of egg whites, then gently fold in the rest of them 1/3 at a time.
  3. Pour into a 9 inch round greased and lined spring form cake pan and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake’s beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on a rack.  While the cake is still warm poke a few holes in the cake with a fork, and pour Frangelico over it to soak in.
  4. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan just until the aroma of hazelnuts fills the air.  keep shaking the pan so that they don’t burn.. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cream, 1 tablespoon dark rum chopped chocolate, and heat gently whisking the entire time. Once the chocolate’s melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until for 1 min to cool the ganache.   Unmould the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base.
  6. Ice the top with the chocolate icing, and sprinkle chopped toasted hazelnuts.