Cata's Mom

Self-taught cook, use the crockpot and pressure cooker a lot, miss meat as I'm more of a pescatarian now....would love to learn more on making videos and blogs and food photography

  • Location: VA
  • Favorite foods: Thai, Peruvian, a great Argentinian asado, real Mexican food (..not Tex-Mex) and great ways to prepare on Seafood and veggies. And sweets, yes lots of chocolate :-)

Real Tacos Al Pastor

I've now made this numerous times- always a hit! I love that I can make several pans of this and freeze it, or leave in fridge as it's tastier after a couple days of chilling. My question is, I want to try chicken shawarma made this way in the oven 2lb loaf pans, chilled, then sliced thin and fried. What is a great Chicken Shawarma recipe - I can't find it on the Serious Eats site.

First Look: Victor Albisu's Taco Bamba Pop-Up, Washington, D.C.

I'm a regular here, its good but nothing that any other Mexican run family taqueria can't best. Overall great food for the DC area when there aren't an abundance of taquerias...yet. Tinga tacos are ok, Chilaquiles were ok wish they mixed the egg and cheese into the chips but instead they friend the egg and laid it on top. Not how I was raised to eat chilaquiles. Simple things got me, thought the salsa would be tastier and I love tongue tacos but they should've at least taken off the outer layer of the tongue before chopping it up, those are just basics. Pricey also but again, there really isn't an alternative other than making it at home.

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish: Yea or Nay?

Growing up, my mom made us eat this every Friday during Lent because she'd always freak out that she had forgotten to buy seafood and we COULDN'T eat any meat. so we'd cross the street to our McDonalds and eat a Filet-o-Fish combo meal, memories, and for this reason this is the only "entree" from McD's I ever eat.

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Chops With Sichuan Green Beans

yes, on average how long will the porkchops take to cook after we baste and flip them?

Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas

Hi Kenji, love your posts! I actually bought 4 fajita plates (metal plates over a wood board) to serve fajitas on. I have yet to use them and plan to use this recipe. My question is - for special effect purposes, what is the liquid recipe that most restaurants use when they pour over the meat right before the waiter is bringing out the fajitas, that makes the kids "oohh & aahhh"? Is it just beef stock or can it be the same marinade but cooked a bit, any ideas on what I can put on top for flavoring, smoke effect?

Gift Guide: Our Favorite Cookbooks of 2013

love collecting cookbooks, thanks for these recommendations!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Coffee + Cardamon + Pecans + Rum = one happy lady :-)

Lemon Chicken and Rice With Kale

sounds delish, I agree on adding the rice to the shallots/spices to get a little toasted and fragrant before adding the broth. Definitely going to make this one!

Equipment: 9 Essential Pots and Pans

this article recommends only Pots and Pans, and not cookers. I too, though, have to agree that a Pressure Cooker is a must have for folks. Its a staple in Latin America, used to quickly through food on the table and I can't get enough of my Fagor which I got at Macy's on sale for $90. Most in the US I suppose just weren't raised using it, read horror stories of pressure cooker mishaps, and don't realize how safe they've become. I too, never bought one like Mom always used because I was afraid of opening it too soon until I saw the Fagor. For thanksgiving last week, I made a Passionfruit cheesecake in the pressure cooker in 10 minutes and it was the best, most moist dessert I ever made. If I were to include one thing to this list of 9 pots&pans, it would be a Fagor pressure cooker.

Equipment: 9 Essential Pots and Pans

agree, I have a Le Creuset Outlet in Leesburg, VA.....the 7 qt is usually around $225. I can never go to those outlets without daydreaming a while in the store.

Armoire of Knives (need recommendations..)

thanks for the input...I'm looking into all of these recommendations as I have a lot of space to fill in the Kapoosh.

@yellowbelliedbuttsmoker - you're correct I should've been more specific. I'm right handed, rather small hand, and need a knife for mainly chopping veggies and trimming or carving steaks/meats. The Shen knife that chipped probably did so because I eat a lot of Yucca Cassava (I'm Colombian...) and needed to break into it so I could snap the root in half. So I need a blade that can keep up with a hard root like Yucca, think the Shun was too thin or delicate a blade. I don't really send my knives in for sharpening or use a sharpening device at home, we have a steel hone only that we use. Cutting board - I use plastic, microbial ones primarily. If I shouldn't, then let me know as I didn't think it would be that much an impact on my knives. Thanks again!!

2 Ingredients

i use the angel food cake approach also. Angel Food Cake, frozen mangos/raspberries thawed and put in some sugar to release juices, a bucket of Whipped Cream and that's it.

5 Facts About Nondairy Milk and Coffee

I drink almond milks for my high cholesterol, in an effort to get it down. The first thing that was hard was that I like my coffee light and you have to put in a whole lot of almond milk to lighten any coffee. Other than that, I like the hint of amaretto with the almond milk.

Barbecue and Fried Fish: Foods of the Colombian Llanos

Best meat ever, la mamona....yummy!!

Hot Dog Of The Week: Perro Caliente

3am after nightclubbing with friends/cousins down in hit the Hot Dog stands outside on Avenida Boyaca. It's a sacred practice back there, I sure miss it!

Colombian Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Tomato, and Onion

great recipe, mom makes this all the time but for added aroma put a few long cleaned scallion, a couple strands of cilantro, a celery stalk preferably with the leaves, and a dash of cumin on top right when you're gonna put the pressure lid on just for flavoring and when the dish is done, remove the scallions - cilantro - celery....its more of an aroma addition than anything else that we use in colombia.

Easy Slow-Cooker Mole With Grilled Chicken

bummer....I am always looking for a great slow-cooker recipe, love Mole, and see no mention of Low for 8 hours anywhere.

Dinner Tonight: Beer-Battered Fish

I like the trick of dropping in the oil for 10 seconds and then back into the batter...interesting, will have to try.

Crispy Kale, Brussels Sprouts, and Potato Hash

Thank you to the outlets to get one at the William Sonoma store!!

Need Mushroom Pizza Sauce Recipe

Thank you Tess!!! Any particular mushroom or combinations of them you recommend? Didn't think of thyme, yummy.....!

Staff Picks: What's the Scariest Food You've Ever Eaten?

Iguana Tacos.....

Crispy Kale, Brussels Sprouts, and Potato Hash

Question - why use a cast iron for eggs or food in general? I hear of the benefits from the vitamins (iron?) that gets released into the food but just wanted more info on what is best cooked on cast iron, what shouldn't be prepped on cast iron, of course, I don't own a heavy cast iron skillet :-) This looks wonderful!!!

First Look: François Payard Pâtisserie

I had a Mont Saint Michel dessert for my birthday at Cafe Leopold in Georgetown, DC....little Viennese brunch place with great desserts. I am sucker for anything on the sour side: passion fruit, mango, rasberry and love there anyway you can post some kind of similar recipes with that mimics the individual pastries?? I would love to try to make something like this for the Holidays as its a showstopper, thank you...great article!!

Cook the Book: 'Maximum Flavor'

sous-vide, I'd never heard of it until I visited this site!!

Dinner Tonight: Kale and White Bean Pasta

jajajajajja....I just did this and it was delicious but when I was cooking it I said "hmmm, looks kinda dry" and then I looked at the list and saw the veggie stock and couldn't find the step so I just threw it in after the tomatoes. Fabulous recipe!!!

Armoire of Knives (need recommendations..)

Hi everyone,

Happy Thanksgiving!! I'm asking for recommendation from all food savvy and hopefully food pro's regarding kitchen knives. I do not own block of knives and hear that for those that do own them, they end up using at most 3 all the time. Instead I got one of those knife holders, Kapoosh and I like it. Problem is a Shen 6" chef knife I got 2 years ago has chipped and I'm disappointed as it was not a cheap purchase. So, need help in filling my Kapoosh with knives every chef/cook really needs to own so I don't have to end up with stuff I'll rarely use. What brand, size, and style of knives are basics and mandatory and will give me a good return for whatever amount I spend?? Many thanks to everyone's input!!

Need Mushroom Pizza Sauce Recipe

Hi everyone,

I want to make homemade pizzas and I LOVE mushroom pizza which replaces the traditional pizza sauce with a grey, mushroom (minced??) sauce that I eat at some restaurants.....I know most will know what I'm talking about. If someone can just shoot me a rough recipe if none exists out there of what mushrooms, ingredients to use...I'm sure I can make it quickly in my food proc. I'm thinking a combination of portabello, button mushroom sauteed in butter with some onion/garlic, then minced in the food pro with some kind of cream or milk, salt, ?? Or.....maybe not, jejeje.....appreciate some sort of guidance, thanks!

Going Pescatarian in effort to drop LDL....

So @ 36, LDL is dangerously high. Having two young kids, I'd prefer to stick around to see them grow up. Doc told me to cut out dairy, cheese, meat, pork, shellfish, eggs with yolk in an effort to trim cholesterol. Hasn't been bad, don't miss meat just yet. I've had tilapia ceviche, mahi mahi, salmon this week and was wondering if there were any fabulous recipes for a basic, economical tuna fish salad (with sandwich or lettuce) that didn't have mayo in it but still had some kind of flavor and dressing to resemble the creaminess? Any other Pescetarians out there or fish lovers that have recommendations on fish recipes they love that are on the lower-fat side, I'd appreciate as well. Thanks guys!! Love this site, everyone is truly awesome. - Cata's Mom

The 18 Best Vegetarian Recipes of 2013

Who would have thought that 2013 would be the year of the vegetarian recipe? Taking a look back at the recipes we've tested and tasted over the last year, I was amazed at not only the volume of vegetarian content we produce, but at its popularity with you, the Serious Eats community. Here are 18 of our favorite and most popular. More

Gift Guide: Our Favorite Cookbooks of 2013

Earlier this summer, after opening box after box of beautiful vegetarian cookbooks, I was ready to call effortless, vegetable-focused cuisine the cookbook trend of 2013. But as the weather began to chill, a coterie of excellent technical books emerged. Some were well-tested restaurant cookbooks, others were nerdy scientific tomes, while others tackled major DIY projects. This culinary juxtaposition between simple and complex cookbooks has led to an incredibly diverse year of cooking. Over the last 12 or so months, I've managed to cook from close to 50 new cookbooks—and I've not come close to repeating a dish. More

Swiss Chard and Spinach Ravioli Nudi in Simple Tomato Sauce from 'The Glorious Vegetables of Italy'

Ravioli nudi are not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Italian pasta-like dishes. But the small cheesy dumplings, essentially ravioli without the pasta, are a perfect vehicle for enjoying Italian vegetables. The nudi in Domenica Marchetti's new cookbook, The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, are just as much leafy green as they are ricotta and Parmesan. She combines big leafy spinach with even bigger leafy swiss chard and the cheese for a grassy, earthy dumpling mixed with a light, delicate touch. More

The Food Lab: Peruvian-Style Whole Grilled Chicken

When it comes to Peruvian roast chicken—I'm talking the kind served at places like the Pio Pio mini chain—it's all about that green sauce, right? I mean, sure, the tender chicken, kissed with the smoke of a live fire and a hint of spices and garlic is pretty damn good on its own, but it's that green sauce—spicy, tangy, and cooling—that keeps us coming back for more, right? Here's how to make'em both. More

The Nasty Bits: How to Make Chicharrones

When I asked Kenji if he knew of any good recipes for chicharrones, he instantly thought of a technique he learned in Colombia. The method seemed too good to be true: place segments of pork belly in a wok with a bit of water, set it over the stove, and let the fat render out over the course of a few hours. Towards the end, turn up the heat, thereby using the fat in the wok to deep-fry the belly. More