Mexican-Style Meatballs and Picadillo Recipe

Mexican-Style Meatballs and PicadilloIt’s 5 pm, and you’re on your way home from work. Despite all of the “10 Crockpot Dinners That Will Change Your Life” pins you’ve saved, you have nothing planned to feed your crew tonight.

Hey, no worries. We’ve got you covered with 6 flavors of Mexican-style meatballs and picadillos. These delicious dinner options are ready to cook and ready to solve your “what’s for dinner” conundrum. They’re made fresh in-store daily, and you’ll find recipes based on both in our Market (and below).

Meatballs (Albondigas)
In soup, with rice, or by themselves, Mexican-style meatballs are flavorful and tender.
· Albondigas de Jalisco (beef and pork with zucchini)
· Albondigas para Sopa (beef, pork, and rice)
· Albondigas de Puebla (beef and pork with onion, mint, and cumin)

Here is a meatball soup recipe for you to try with your Central Market albondigas. (That’s it in the photo.) Top it off with goodies like tortilla strips, sour cream/plain Greek yogurt, avocado, cheese, and fresh cilantro. I recommend using one of the robust, artisanal Mexican cheeses we have in store for Passport and cilantro from your Herb Fest plant.

Picadilio is a hash-like dish made with meat (typically beef), simmered with ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and chile powder. It’s used to fill everything from peppers to tortillas. Picadilo is made in Spain and Latin America with each country putting its own twist on it. We have three varieties for you during Passport:

· Picadilo Oaxaqueno (sweet spiced pork filling for rellenos, empanadas, or soft tacos)
· Picadilo Blanco (beef filling for flautas or garnachas)
· Picadilo Norteno (beef filling with olives and raisins for stuffing chiles or tacos).

See? I told you we had your dinner drama solved. You’ll have an impressive meal on the table and no time. Reward yourself with a mix ‘n match 6 pack of Mexican craft beers.(Did you know they have one of the best up-and-coming craft beer scenes in the world?)

Passport runs through May 3. Stop by and experience the fiesta! Recipe here.

Review of the best espresso makers 2015-16

In a world with ever increasing demand for coffee, espresso makers are nothing short of a life saving tool for all professionals, doctors, writers, poets, actor, singers and everyone who has developed a habit of drinking the black coffee – espresso. In this world of aggressive marketing and countless products to chose from,every espresso fan faces the dilemma of finding the best espresso makers for himself/herself. The espresso makers come in broadly 3 categories – manual, semi-automatic & automatic.
making espresso
You, me and everyone else decides on which of the three to chose depending upon its performance, features, maintenance and price. With the manual machines facing the end of their product life in the market, users mostly have to chose between a semi and a fully automatic machines. The race for the best espresso makers in the year 2015-16 was not an easy one with products like – De’Longhi EC155, Saeco HD8753 (more commonly known as Philips Intellia), La Pavoni EPC-8 & Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso machine competing for the top spot. Each of these top notch machines are the leading names in the espresso maker reviews with each having some advantage over the other.

The De’Longhi EC155 is labelled as a very user friendly machine for amateurs and can make up to two servings at a time. It is low-cost and packed with the unique feature of dual function filter that can handle pods and regular ground coffee both.It is a pocket-friendly and perfect for those who have have newly found love for the espressos.

As a completely different chart topper, the Saeco HD8753 is a fully automated espresso maker has negligible competitors in its high price category. Saeco HD8753 comes with everything from a one touch interface to auto clean de scaling cycle and offering various varieties of coffee like cappuccino, latte macchiato and cafe creme.It is a perfect choice for those that are willing to spend a significant sum out of their love for the espressos.

While it is true that manual coffee makers are seeing the end of their lives, the La Pavoni EPC-8 espresso maker is perhaps a true classic suited for those who find solace in the traditional art of making their espressos. If you are a true and experienced Barista willing to take the sweet pain of learning the operations of this classic steel-bodied and chrome plated classic then the La Pavoni brand, which has been making espresso makers for over a 100 years, bring the exact pick for you with this latest EPC-8 model.

There are many more options in the coffee makers for everyone but the De’Longhi EC155 & Saeco HD8753 are my top picks for the medium and deep pocketed lovers of coffee respectively whereas the La Pavoni is for the experienced & artistic aficionados that believe that manual machines produce the best tasting espressos.

The Best Juicer Ever

juicer (2)
During the last few years I have been fascinated with the nutrition you can get by juicing fruits and vegetables. I hopped on the bandwagon and came across a few juicers that where said to be the best. The first juicer I bought was the Ninja Plus and it was great it worked fine, it made juice. Over the next three weeks my juice began to taste weird. It tasted salty and almost like metallic. I got worried and did some research, apparently your supposed to change the blades after constant use. Instead of replacing the blades I decided to upgrade my juicer to the Ninja Nutriant Extracter. This thing blew my mind. The fact that it tasted better it was colder and it made less sound made me really interested in the other “better” juicers out there. I look for some more top juicer ratings and bought a whole bunch. My wife got really mad after seeing $1000 worth of purchases just from juicers. I began my test and out of all the juicers the Ninja Nutriant Extracter was the best by a long shot. If you where going to by a juicer in the next few minutes then do no research because I promise it is a waste of time. This juicer will never be replaced. So far it has been about 4 weeks using this juicer and there has been no problems at all you do not even have to change the blade on this thing. I am truly amazed at all of the knock offs and cheap ripoff that try to imitate this amazing piece of technology there are hundreds of them and none of them come close to this juicer. Trust me on this one if your looking for a juicer then look no further than the Ninja Nutriant Extracter. I promise you will be surprised what it can do for you.

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese

This is a delicious recipe! When you slice the chicken breast, you have a nice presentation. Brown and golden on the outside, with color from the prosciutto, and all the wonderful cheese oozing out on the inside.

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast half (8 to 9 oz.)
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
4 thin slices prosciutto (2 to 3 oz.)
1 cup lightly packed grated Fontina (3 oz.)
2 T. Dijon mustard
4 tsp.dried sage leaves

Make a pocket on the thicker side of each breast: Using a sharp boning or utility knife, cut into the breast about ½ inch from one end. Create a pocket, slicing all the way down sideways to within about ¼ inch of the other side.

Stuff each breast with 1 slice of prosciutto and grated Fontina cheese, distributing it evenly throughout the pocket and to the ends. Press on the top of each breast to close the pocket.

Using breading pans, fill the first with the flour. In the second, whisk the eggs and Dijon mustard. In the third, toss the breadcrumbs with the sage and a ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Dredge the breast well in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Dip it into the egg mixture, turning to coat evenly, and then dredge it in the breadcrumbs, pressing to make the crumbs adhere evenly. Gently shake off any excess. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

Before cooking, heat the oven to 350 F. Heat the olive oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-heat.

When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken breast and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the breast to a baking sheet. Bake until the chicken and filling reach 165 F., about 15 minutes.

Slice the chicken on the diagonal and serve immediately.

The Best Rice Cooker for the Fussiest of Eaters

eat riceI am the happy grandmother of a very fussy child I would do anything to please. She is eight and,unfortunately, she absolutely refuses to eat rice in any form on account of the fact that she does not like it. So, I started searching the Internet and reading all of the best rice cooker reviews I could find, in search of the one product which will change my granddaughter’s opinion about cooked rice. This is what I have discovered so far:

The Aroma 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice Cooker first caught my eye because it looks like an actual pot. I already have a kitchen full of appliances that look like everything else BUT what they are. I thought this product had a homey feel to it. The price is really good and it has a simple one-touch control. It does not have a high capacity, but it comes with a steam tray which extends and allows you to steam vegetables and meat while it cooks the rice. I read it spits water out while cooking, so you must not place it on wooden surfaces.

The Buffalo Smart Cooker 10-Cup is an item which has received 5 star reviews. It’s made of stainless steel, not aluminum, it is easy to operate and you can cook other meals in it as well, like chicken, pork, cake, porridge, up to three at the same time. Most people said the rice tastes amazing.

A model in consistency, the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 electric cooker evenly distributes heat due to its induction system. This means that it may take longer to cook, but the results are incredible: crunchy edges and soft middle rice. It has a removable locked lid, making it easy to clean. This device is multifunctional, letting you choose between various rice cooking settings, as well as other meal cooking settings. The price is higher but restaurant quality, precision cooking is worth it.

Good quality German kitchen knives

I bought a few German knives for daily use and highly recommend them. I have a set that contains different types of these knives which cater to all my cutting and chopping needs in the kitchen.

The grip of the knives is really comfortable. None of the knives have slipped out of my hand even once. The material of the handles itself is quite good as well. It is designed to be easy on the hands and allows me to cut and chop most of the food items at an extremely good speed. It saves me a lot of time and effort.
german knives
All the knives are sharp and long lasting. I am very happy with my entire set. All the blades have held there edge for a very long time. There is no need to frequently buy new sets of knives. These kitchen knives will last you for a good amount of time and the price is also absolutely worth for the quality you get.

The blades which are the most important of a knife are strong and razor sharp. The steel used to make the blades is of a superior quality. I haven’t faced a single issue with them. You won’t need to worry about rusting or staining.

These German knives are very easy to clean. Each time after using the knives, I just wash them under running water and dry them with my hands one at a time. This is really all I have to do to keep them in good condition. So take it from me that maintenance is no hassle at all.

I love these kitchen knives as they are well-balanced and durable. If you are looking to replace your knives or want to invest in great set of knives for all your kitchen needs, you should definitely consider getting these German kitchen knives.

Best Pots and Pans for Your Kitchen

Cookware sets are one of the most important tools a home cook needs in the kitchen, so making sure the pots and pans are of a high quality is a must. There are so many cookware sets on the market that it can be hard to find the best pots and pans for your kitchen. After years of buying cookware sets that lasted less than a few years, I have found a few sets of the best pots and pans that are high quality, durable and useful for everyday use in the kitchen.


The Invitations Everyday Cookware Set includes two sauce pans with lids, two open fry pans, a skillet with a lid, a Dutch oven with a lid and a few cooking utensils. These pots and pans cover a variety of uses in the kitchen and the glass lids have convenient steam vents to allow you to check on the food without interrupting the cooking. The best thing about this cookware set is the quality you get for the price. This set is very inexpensive compared to other pots and pans on the market, but you do not sacrifice quality in the process. The pots and pans are non-stick, meaning you do not have to spend hours getting them clean after cooking, and the lightweight aluminum material makes these pots and pans easy to move around the kitchen.

The Cuisinart Pro Stainless Steel Cookware Set is a bit pricier than the Invitations set, but the stainless steel material ensures more even cooking and the set comes with a few extra pieces for your cooking arsenal, including a steamer and saute pan. These pots and pans are also more versatile because you can put them in the oven or under the broiler, so dishes that require moving from the stove top to the oven are a no-brainer. Finally, the stainless steel materials allow these pots and pans to be cleaned in the dishwasher, making clean-up even easier.
The Invitations and Cuisinart cookware sets are some of the best pots and pans I have come across in my many years of cooking experience.

Helpful site: Cook With Tina

Mexican Olive Oil – A Part of Mexican Heritage and Culture

“Gird, oh country, your brow with olive…”

Olives are such a part of Mexican heritage and culture that they are mentioned in the national anthem. And, lucky for us, our southern neighbors don’t just honor olives in song, they also turn them into absolutely incredible
olive oils.

mexican oliva oil

Spanish explores introduced the plants in the 1500s, and when the plants produced such amazing olive oil when rooted in Mexican soil, Spain burned the trees as a threat to the Spanish economy. But the industry survived and today you’ll find sprawling olive farms producing buttery, top quality olive oils.

During Pasaporte Mexico we are happy to introduce you to. It’s the first time they’ve appeared in the United States! They feature olives from OlivioMx, a farm located near Mexico’s an internationally recognized El Cielo Biosphere Park. “Reserva del Cielo” protects all kinds of unique plants and animals, giving the olives an exquisite flavor and deep aroma.

The olives are collected under the moonlight, with the cool night air bringing out and preserving the fresh and slightly spicy fruity flavor. They are then cold pressed within hours of picking. We have three varieties for you to enjoy:

  • Arbequina Rich texture with slight pepper finish
  • Arbosana Buttery with broad appeal
  • Koroneiki Grassy with tropical fruit notes, mild pepper finish

All three are perfect for pairing for salads, fish, seafood, sauces, and dressings. Join us for Pasaporte Mexico and bring home Olivares de la Sierra extra virgin olive oils today!