This easy Mexican shrimp cocktail with crisp cucumber, creamy avocado, red onion and hot sauce is ready in about 5 minutes. The recipe is an excerpt from the Taste of Tucson cookbook by Jackie Alpers
I’m fascinated by the idea of roasting an entire head of cauliflower, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights. You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.
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.
This crunchy, salty, and spicy no-mayo Thai/Mexican coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes. It’s inspired by Som Tum (green papaya salad).
Festive enough for New Year’s Eve, this pretty appetizer only takes about 5 minutes to make. Bacon infused caviar adds a unique smokiness that will intrigue your guests and is fairly inexpensive, but any decent quality caviar will do. The one-ingredient parmesan crisps are a savory, no-carb alternative to blini.
I ate this for breakfast every day for weeks while writing my Taste of Tucson cookbook. The fat from the chorizo makes the egg really crispy and adds a lot of flavor without too many extra calories.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
A creamy, warm, vegetarian layered dip that tastes like lasagna. This recipe is loaded with cheese. Serve with fresh veggies.
Spicy Ranch French Onion Dip. Two Dips That Live As One, Together At Last!
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.
This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.
This Cauliflower coconut “Fried Rice” recipe is vegetarian yet high in protein and keto friendly.
This dessert has it all, Omega 3 packed chia seeds, antioxidant rich frozen berries and dark chocolate, and a 5-minute prep time.
This is a healthy and extremely flavorful way to dress up boneless skinless chicken breasts. Adding just a small amount of butter on top, and using grated parmesan for a garnish, keeps the fat and calories down.
Thai Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe. All of the ingredients for authentic Thai cuisine are available at most grocery stores. Sambal Oelek and Thai fish sauce can be found in most Asian food sections.
There’s no flour in these breakfast muffin cups, yet they’re still light and fluffy! The secret is to beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
This spicy and crunchy Sonoran chipotle chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads.
Looks can be deceiving; my favorite monsters are scary looking, but innately good. Just like these monster-ized eggs, which have been turned green and frightening looking, but are completely delicious. These fried eggs with pesto and Parmesan are also monstrously easy to make.
These wings are hot! The spiciness will vary greatly though, depending on the heat of the chili flakes you are using, and the barbecue sauce you select. This recipe also works well for boneless skinless breasts or thighs.
A simple and satisfying crustless quiche that has all of the things I love; peppers (both hot & sweet), onions, Swiss, Gruyere, eggs, and cream.
Apparently, in the olden days, every casino in Las Vegas offered a $1.79 chicken dinner. If you won a $2.00 bet, you’d have enough money to buy one, so the dealer would shout, “Winner, winner chicken dinner “. Chicken is still pretty cheap, so you, dear reader, can be a winner every time you make one of these recipes.
A healthy, frozen, chocolate treat that’s high protein, and low in calories, fat and sugar. What more could you want? Oh yeah, it has sprinkles! Lots of them in pretty summer colors that are perfect for a hot pre-holiday weekend.
made this low-carb bread replacement (often called “Oopsie Bread”) out of eggs and cream cheese from a recipe I’ve seen all over the internet. It turned out great. It smells like cheesy-bread while it’s cooking, and it’s very light, and well, bread-like. Often hot dogs are too much about the bun, so this turned out to be a perfect alternative housing for the Sonoran hot dogs in my Taste of Tucson cookbook.
There was a basket of cute purple and green baby artichokes in the produce section of the market. My intent was to buy the larger globe artichokes for my recipe but these charmed me. I figured that I would grill these up and serve them with lemon-butter. Then I realized that was all wrong. They needed to be marinate, not dipped and scraped like their larger counterparts. So, I boiled them up and placed them in a big bell jar with a simple italian style marinade.
A classic Greek Salad of chunky vegetables and feta tossed in a light vinaigrette will prove that you can indeed win friends with salad.
Three Johnny Marzetti recipes, including the original recipe for the pasta dish, low carb, and Paleo versions.
The Wedge salad is one of these very classic, simple recipes that’s accessible to everyone. One that’s been loved for generations and modified along the way to accommodate changing tastes. This version is topped with a lighter vinaigrette.
Brussels sprouts and bacon compliment each other so perfectly that this may be my favorite food of all time. You cook the bacon in with the sprouts so that a little bit of bacon grease seeps into them and makes them crispy. I can’t explain why this dish is so good… it just is. I cooked up a batch for the photo and ended up eating the whole pan for dinner along with a glass of wine, and I was happy. VERY happy.
My choice for snack of the day is a crunchy Sonoran style Mexican and Jewish deli mashup. Try it, you’ll like it.
Shakshuka is very popular in the Middle East and Israel and it’s somewhat similar to Huevos Rancheros minus the beans and tortilla.
I want to eat warm hearty meals in Autumn colors. Casseroles baked in stoneware dishes with rich sauces. Meat, cream, smoked cheeses, tomato sauce, and, I want the recipe to be fast, and easy, so that I can eat right away. Something that I can make from memory because I’ve been doing Atkins and I find I instantly become insanely hungry.
A can of pumpkin’s been staring at me from the counter top for two weeks now.The internet recipe sites are all screaming at me that it’s pumpkin season, and I am indeed ready for fall. So today I finally got to work and invented something to celebrate the beginning of my favorite time of the year.
This recipe is the result of an early morning haze wherein I emptied random things from the refrigerator into a pan in a blurry attempt to make breakfast. It came out better than I expected, and now my husband and I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast this way almost every day. Sometimes just a little twist on a traditional dish really makes it shine.
These shrimp go great with a glass of wine and a conversation. It’s a dish to be shared, because if everyone is eating it, you won’t have to worry about reeking of garlic… or you could just eat it all by yourself when no one else is around to the same effect. It’s fun either way.
One of my favorite Mexican restaurants now offers their famous tacos nestled in a large lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed them served that way; I didn’t miss the tortilla at all. So I’ve started experimenting with the idea at home. I modified this recipe from one in a cookbook that I photographed for Chelsie Kenyon a couple of years ago.
This lox and cream cheese frittata with fresh tomato and red onion is a healthy low-carb breakfast. You won’t even miss the bagel.
Jackie Kashian’s Recipe for Paprika Marinated Chicken.
This chunky guacamole recipe from the Taste of Tucson cookbook is spicy, salty and creamy – yet crisp and bright with lots of citrus and a tiny bit of crunch.
Here in Tucson it can be hard to get fresh green papaya, so I use packaged coleslaw mix instead in this spicy Thai cabbage salad inspired by Som Tum.
I’ve been having an unyielding urge for deviled eggs. Since I like a salty-spicy combo I’ll use caviar for a garnish when I’m feeling fancy. Otherwise I’ll just use capers. I feel that it’s important to buy organic eggs and I always try to buy eggs that come from chickens that are fed flax seed, giving their eggs a healthy dose of Omega3. They’re a great idea for vegetarians.I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person… on her website). Here’s the link if you want to check out her instructions.This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.
Summertime tomato bliss – Jackie Alpers famous gazpacho recipe inspired by the film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
In Arizona we tend to forgo the green beer in favor of a lovely pale green margarita on St. Patrick’s Day. You can make them easily at home without the high-sugar mix. If you use high end tequila and Grand Manier instead of tripe sec it’s called a Cadillac margarita which are usually served in bigger proportions than a regular margarita.