Soft flour tortillas on the outside, crispy corn tortilla chips inside! Grilled meat! Cheese! Everything you always wanted in a quesadilla, and more.
Sweet and sparkly tortilla snowflakes – an edible version of the popular Mexican folk art, papel picado which will brighten any winter holiday table.
Because I’ve been known to eat a Thanksgiving meal that consists almost entirely of mashed potatoes and gravy, I replace the cream and some of the butter in the recipe with an aromatic garlic and chile infused broth that I cook the potatoes in, resulting in lighter mashed potatoes that are BIG on flavor.
My version of Elote en Vaso. Roasted corn kernels in a creamy, cheesy sauce seasoned with chile, lime and chives.
How to dehydrate and grind chile peppers for chili powder and custom spice blends using fresh homegrown and/or exotic store bought chiles. Preserve expensive and/or hard to find chiles.
Old West style spicy vegan chili recipe made with plant-based meat, black beans and mushrooms. Served with vegan shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
When I asked locals which Tucson centric recipes they would most like to see included in my cookbook quite a few people mentioned arroz con pollo and I’ve always found chicken and rice to be a comforting combo This is a great make ahead recipe for work day lunches. At first glance salsa de chile fresco may look like pureed tomato sauce
but it’s got a medium spicy kick of heat that will convince you otherwise.
This easy Mexican shrimp cocktail is made with Bloody Mary mix, along with crisp cucumber, avocado, red onion and hot sauce and it’s ready in about 5 minutes.
Tomatoes are at their best, and something about the heat and humidity of the Arizona monsoon season makes me almost totally inert and immobile. This is about all I can muster dinner-wise, so I’m lucky that it’s fairly healthy… It turns out that mayo and bacon are better for us than expected, and my versions is also low-carb.
If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!
Bring a little sunshine into your life with these bright and happy two-ingredient pizza flavored cheese crisps.
So quick and easy; you can make this satisfying Sonoran Style Mexican chicken tortilla soup from my Taste of Tucson cookbook in 30 minutes or less!
This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai-Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes is inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).
I replaced the beef with crispy tofu, which adds just the right amount of heft and bite, and served it on crunchy baked tostada shells topped with Queso Fresco, scallions, radish and sliced pimento-stuffed olives. Recipe link in profile.
Sonoran cooking resource and shopping guide for the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers, with lists of ingredients, pantry staples and photography equipment recommendations.
These open-faced breakfast sandwiches are made by slathering refried beans onto toasted bolillo rolls and then heaping avocado slices, a fried egg, hot sauce, and lots of cheese on top.
Sweet bell peppers stuffed with creamy nacho cheese, avocado, pickled jalapeños, black beans and crunchy tortilla chips.
This infused tequila makes a mean margarita or straight-up sipper.
Chiltepin salsa is an all-purpose salsa that can be used for dipping, for seasoning, and as a taco sauce. A little goes a long way, so if you prefer a milder salsa, cut the amount of chiles down by a half or a third. This recipe is from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers.
This crispy matzo based breakfast is a cross between molletes and huevos rancheros. I used beans from a can and my homemade chiltepin salsa.
Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children’s cries for burgers when buns weren’t handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe.
Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.
Nuttier and less sweet than its chocolate based cousin, this version of Molé Amarillo is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson’s Cafe Poca Cosa. She specializes in these complex sauces, and her recipes are longtime local favorites which is one reason why I wanted to feature the recipe in my upcoming cookbook Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would.
There are Southwestern regional influences that vary from New Mexico to Arizona, Texas, and Southern California. Here in Tucson, our regional cuisine is defined by fresh veggies, grilled meats and all of the delicacies that a mid-sized, sunshine filled desert city/college town, 60 miles from Mexico, has to offer. It’s summertime eating all year round.
This super-refreshing citrus beer cocktail is served in a chile and salt rimmed glass over ice. It’s kinda like a beer margarita. I love it because it’s a big drink that lasts a long time and it has considerably less sugar and calories than a margarita.
This recipe is an outtake from my new cookbook Taste of Tucson that was cut for space. It comes from Erika and Jake of Seis Kitchen, who said to be sure and not throw out the hibiscus flowers after you boil them, eat them instead! They said, “They are still super tasty and similar in texture to fruit leather.” This agua fresca isn’t too sweet, so you can drink it all day long and even into the night (perhaps with vodka!) Plus, hibiscus flowers have a myriad of health benefits.
A Tucson Sonoran craft cocktail made with Earl Grey tea and whisky muddled with pomegranate seeds, finished with bitters and fresh ground pepper.
Making authentic cowboy steaks is really easy. When I asked Bryan Keith, the Grill Master from Pinnacle Peak Steak House if he had any additional tips he said, “Put some love in it!”
The Moist Maker is inspired by “The One Where Ross Loses it Over a Sandwich.” My version uses leftover dinner rolls instead of bread.
Recipe for Shakshuka made with leftover Thanksgiving stuffing. Be sure to make extra-extra stuffing for Thanksgiving so that you can make my Skillet Stuffing Shakshuka the next morning with the “leftovers”
This recipe was originally developed for TasteCooking.com. This pasta is quite spooky looking, yet elegant enough to serve at a Halloween themed adult dinner party.
Walnuts are less expensive and easier to find than the traditional pine nuts and I think they taste even better in pesto, plus they’re loaded with healthy fats. Spinach linguine keeps everything a lovely shade of green.
How to make a healthier tuna noodle casserole.
Whatever happened to Rumaki, that vaguely Polynesian appetizer that they used to serve at tiki themed parties in the 70s? Maybe making buffalo-style rumaki will help modernize them a bit and bring them back into the public lexicon? Let’s all try serving this recipe at our next soiree and see what happens.
Beer, cheddar cheese, and pretzels — what more could you want? How about that it’s only got two ingredients and you can make it in ten minutes or less?
I marinated myself a flank steak using my mom’s recipe from the 80s, adding in some Mexican oregano and extra citrus to #sonoranize it a bit so now it’s an Ohio meets Tucson recipe.
This no-recipe recipe is my tribute dog to Sweathog, Vinnie Barbarino. This recipe has become very popular since I first created it for my monthly column on the FoodNetwork.com. The people of the Internet have spoken, and they have said that it’s a cross between a pizza and a hot dog, and that is not untrue.
We all know that rainbow sprinkles make the world-go-round and this super-easy recipe is fun, festive and good for you too. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave which makes it the perfect treat for a hot summer’s day.
A healthy recipe for creamy, cheesy, supreme pizza flavored spaghetti squash, for the pizza flavors that you crave in cute single servings. They are fairly low in calories, very filling and taste like pizza. So it’s win-win-win.
These individual brownie pan pizzas are baked and served in Lodge 3.5-inch cast iron skillets. The options for different toppings are endless. Have fun experimenting with different combinations or set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their own.
Learn how to make frozen Watermelon Wedges: the all natural ice pops.
A beautiful looking stacked dessert that’s easy to make using boxed brownie mix, berries and whipped cream.
All of the bark and none of the bite.
Rainbow sprinkles for breakfast? Yes! A crunchy and slightly sweet sprinkles cream cheese recipe for everyone who needs more rainbow sprinkles in their lives.
Some people believe that grilled cheese sandwich must be made on the stovetop or over an open flame, but my secret to a perfectly melty grilled cheese sandwich is toasting it in the oven instead of over a burner.
Inspired by Mexican Street Corn, this whole beef jumbo hot dog is topped with roasted corn, mayo, lime and spices and served in a top-cut, whole grain bolillo roll. Food photo and recipe by Jackie Alpers.
The cheese crisp is the perfect comfort food. A cross between a Mexican pizza an an open-faced quesadilla, Southern Arizona restaurants started selling the dish more than 50 years ago and it’s become a staple of our local Sonoran style cuisine.
A decadent single-serving brownie in a mug with marshmallows and a soft, melted chocolate center. Make this recipe just for yourself, day or night.
Biscotti means “twice baked” in Italian. First you form the crumbly dough into one stiff mass and bake it whole. Then you let it cool, slice it, and bake it again at a lower temperature. That’s what gives biscotti an almost cracker-like quality, which goes especially well with coffee. This triple-chocolate double-baked treat is dipped in a dark chocolate coating with sprinkles on top.
Why isn’t corn used in more desserts? It’s naturally sweet, and the kernels add a nice pop! There is a popular sweet drink called Atole sold by street vendors that’s made with corn masa and flavored with cinnamon, which served as inspiration for this flavor combination.
Corn, beans and squash are three of the earliest domesticated crops grown by Native Americans in the Sonoran region. For this recipe, prepared corn masa, which is usually used to make tortillas or gorditas, is pressed into a cast iron skillet for the crust. If you’ve never tried tepary beans, this recipe is an excellent way to experiment with them, but you can substitute black beans instead if you want.