Honduran Sugarcane Cocktail by Chef Jesus Bonilla

This cocktail was created by Chef Jesus Bonilla.       His imagination never ceases to amaze me.  

Cana de azucar marinadas en caipirinha Hondurena (aguardiente, limon y soda) y hielo frappe.

En Ingles:  Marinated sugarcane Honduran caipirinha (aguardiente, lime and soda) and crushed ice.  Aguardiente is a clear alcoholic drink that looks like vodka, but tastes so much better. It is made in Colombia, and means “sizzling or fire water”

Chef Bonilla says “I made it for Honduras Vanguardia event… was a total success. I took my costumer back to their childhood with this.”

written by MCCN Editor, Crystal Johnson

Chef Jay Bonilla: The Easter Tradition of Dried Fish Soup

Don’t lose the tradition of dried fish soup! The culinary tradition of the Atlantic coast of Honduras is still intact. The public markets are crowded with vendors shouting and offering the traditional dried salted fish, which when prepared is the favorite dish at this time of rest and Christian reflection. As I walk along Market Street San Isidro, I stop and talk with sellers showing dried fish, which bring between 65 and 70 Lempiras (3 us dollars) per pound. On the street, many people stop to buy. They seem not to mind the massive presence of flies attracted by the strong smell of fish. The average person asks for two, three and four pounds of fish. Most of the fish sold in public markets of La Ceiba, comes from the Mosquitia. The most desirable is the bass, because they consider it the most delicious. In every sales position, not only the dry fish is found, but also abounding in all sizes are squash and sweet panels (melasa) with which the people cook delicious traditional desserts.  READ MORE  –Written by Chef Jay Bonilla

En La Cocina Para Mi Amor (In the Kitchen for My Love)

MCCN’s long awaited Show En La Cocina Para Mi Amor puts you in the kitchen with Honduran Chef Jay Bonilla cooking for your loved one.  In webisode one, Jay helps a Lupe, a wife with a fear of cooking for her semi-chef husband who loves to plate dishes.  Her husband Daniel admits, “I’d be happy with a grilled cheese sandwich if she made it because I love her.”  Aw, we could not resist such a story plus it is a multi-cultural marriage of Mexican-American and Lebanese American.  Watch Chef Jay help Lupe. (Video en Español )

Chef Jay Bonilla’s Sangria Recipe

The world traveled Honduran Chef Jay Bonilla knows a thing or two about Sangria.  This is one ofhis classic Spanish sangria recipes. Jay says the bottle of wine does not need to be expensive.  In this recipe he uses the famous inexpensive wine from Trader Joe’s affectionately called “Two Buck Chuck.”  (SEE RECIPE)

Taste of Mexico Event in Los Angeles

Desserts from La Monarca Bakery

MCCN’s road to Oaxaca Mexico began with stopping at Guelaguetza restaurant for Oaxacan food then we join Guelaguetza and three other restaurants for the Taste of Mexico event in Los Angeles.  Our hope is to excite your palate, desire to cook and explore a truly unique culinary experience by joining MCCN for the Taste of Oaxaca (Click to See Brochure).

On December 4, 2010 four power house Mexican Restaurants came together to create the The Taste of Mexico Association.  The Taste of Mexico is a gastronomic and cultural fare by Frida Mexican Cuisine, Guelaguetza, La Casita Mexicana and La Monarca Bakery.

Mire Video en Español

Watch Video in English

How to Make Meatoaf by Carla Crudup

Carla Crudup grew up in a home infused with the passion for the culinary arts. Under the tutelage of two master chefs — namely, her mother and father — Carla was only 13 years old when she graduated from baking cookies and fruitcakes to preparing lobster and prime rib repasts for family and friends. As a Recipe Developer, Carla has an expertise in creating recipes and has done so for her award winning food column, major food manufacturers (Lender’s Bagels) and national grocery retail chains (Wild Oats which was purchased by Whole Foods market).  Read More About Carla Crudup.

MCCN Staff Talk Easter Food Traditions

Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor– To the best of my recollection hot cross buns stand out for me.  They were sort of different and it never really dawned on me about the religious signifigance.  They were neat looking.  As for the taste, it was somewhere between a pastry and sweet bread.

Chef Jay Bonilla, En La Cocina Para Mi Amor- Host– In Honduras we don’t celebrate Easter as you do here, it is a time for reflection because it is when Jesus died, and Friday we eat dried fish soup because we are not supposed to eat meat.

Monica Johnson, MCCN Associate Editor– I don’t really have a favorite meal, but I do remember making Easter Eggs…boiling them, dying them and then decorating them was a lot of fun. Afterwards, I would put it in my big straw Easter basket. The thing I anticipated most was eating the big chocolate bunny that I got faithfully every year. I’m really thankful for those memories.

Micheal Fusco, MCCN Film Critic “Film and Foodie”-

My aunt makes an amazing potato, onion, and cheese casserole. We have it every year.

 
 
Sunni Boswell, Asian Express Host -Easter time was a time for traditional midwest feast of delicious glazed ham directly from a butcher.  Festooned with pineapple slices and cherries carefully arranged on the cross-hatched surface. All golden brown and soooo delicious. Decadant scalloped potatoes with three cheeses and onions, a crunchy delicious cucumber and onion salad and roasted tomatoes. Hardly Asian, but always delicious
and mouth watering. And, of course, a bowlful of colorful decorated Easter Eggs and chocolates!! As well as fresh cut flowers in crystal on table along with crisp linens.

 
 
 
Catrina K. Sally, MCCN Food History Managing Editor-Banana Pudding does that count as a dish? Whenever I made it I always ate more cookies than I put in the dish!
http://mywoodenspoon.com/grandmas-homemade-banana-pudding
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carla Crudup, Make Yourself Comfortable American Style- Host: I can remember smelling the buttery homemade yeast dinner rolls rising and baking, fresh green beans cooking and helping to make the potato salad. The glazed ham baking in the oven also brings backs great holiday memories that was garnished with cloves, brown sugar and pineapple.  We always had a second entree that was either prime rib, salmon or a rack of lamb. My mom was very diligent and passionate about decorating for the holidays and made easter baskets for everyone. I can recall the bunny napkin rings that graced the table that had been decorated with china and crystal. Pots of fresh lillies, daffodils and tulips were placed outside of the home… My parents always emphasized the reason for the celebration of Easter.
 
 
 
HAPPY EASTER!
 
 
 

Behind the Scenes of a Garden Party with Chef Jay

THE CHALLENGE: All Chefs have egos but MCCN Editor Crystal Johnson asked Chef Jay Bonilla of MCCN’s En La Cocina Para Mi Amor to put aside his ego to go where no chef really wants to go…work with food prepared by other people for… a Garden Party event.   He beautified donated items such as finger sandwiches(cucumber sandwiches), cupcakes, teacakes, fruit and Quiche for a Garden Party.  The former executive chef of D’Cache Restaurant in Toluca Lake, CA is a marvel.  Make no mistake he found a way to leave his mark with vinaigrette for the apple walnut based salad which left a buzz among the 70 women served and taste for more of what Chef Jay has to offer.

PART TWO: Teach inexperienced young adult males and teen volunteers the art of presentation and serving.

*Chef Jay talks with MCCN Editor while serving.

Look for up coming interview with Chef Jay about the challenge.