Mango en Miel for the Semana Santa Table in El Salvador

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Copyright. Content from my cookbook.



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Poached Mango in Sugar and Cinnamon Syrup/Mango en miel


The celebration of special occasions and holidays in El Salvador is steeped in many different traditions, and food is among one of the most important. When Salvadoran families prepare this recipe it means only one thing, Holy Week has arrived. Mango en Miel is a classic holiday dish that continues to be a favorite for generations, and one of the most delicious ways to prepare mango.

I have seen other recipes from around the world that use mango in desserts, mainly diced fresh as a dessert topping or fruit salad, or incorporated as a sorbet, mousse, or in tarts. But seldom, if ever, is mango prepared as a stand-alone cooked dessert. This dish is a hidden gem and truly unique to El Salvador. Once you try it this way, you will be hooked for life.


Serves 4-6


6 large, ripe mangoes (6 pounds), peeled and cut into

   thick wedges, pits reserved

6 cups water

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 small cinnamon stick or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Place the mango flesh, pits, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium to high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes to reduce the liquid. Stir every so often, being very careful not to damage the delicate mango flesh. Remove from heat.

While the mangoes are poaching, prepare the syrup. In a separate saucepan over a high flame, combine the sugar, the remaining 4 cups of water, and the cinnamon. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 1 hour or until the liquid has been reduced by half.

Place the pot with the poached mangoes back on the stove.  Add in the syrup and combine everything gently over a medium to high heat. Now, bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and finish cooking for about 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold





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Dear Readers! I am Super excited my cookbook, and Gourmand Award Winner,  Delicious El Salvador: 75 Authentic Recipes for Traditional Salvadoran Cooking will be at Los Angeles Times Festival of  books! #bookfest

Sunday April 13th, 10:00 am to 5:00pm. Booth 201, SPAWN Group. Come and say hi!

Fish Pupusas/Pupusas de Pescado


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I got up this morning at 6:00 am to write, cook and photograph this delicious and simple Fish Pupusa, after all it is Fish Friday!!! Enjoy!


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Pupusas de Pescado/Fish Pupusas


Serves 6 (2 per person)

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato

2 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper

1 pound Tilapia fillet

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Salt and black pepper to taste

4 cups instant corn masa flour

3½ to 4 cups water

½ cup water to wet hands

2 cups Pickled Cabbage, Onions, and Carrots


Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the onion, tomato and green pepper. Stir and sauté these ingredient s  for 2 minutes. Add the fish fillet and cilantro, stir everything well.  Cover and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Uncover, and with a fork, combine everything together, add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Remove from stove and let it cool.  Use for the  Pupusa filling.


Preparing the Corn Masa Dough:

Place the corn masa flour in a shallow bowl. Mix in the water, 1 cup at a time, kneading by hand for about 10 minutes until the dough is moist and fluffy. If needed, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough can be prepared the day before, if covered and refrigerated.

Making the Pupusas – Method 1:

Divide the dough into 12 equal small balls. Divide the fillings equally for the 12 pupusas.

Take the dough ball in the palm of your hand, pushing the center of the ball with your fingers to make a well. Fill each pupusa with the fish filling. When done, close the top by pushing and pinching the open space together, so that the end result will be a completely filled and sealed dough ball.

Wet your hands, press and pat each ball between your palms and flatten into a thin dough round that is about 4 inches in diameter and ¼-inch thick. Make sure the edges are nice and thin, but be careful not to press too hard so that the filling does not spill out of the sides.

Making the Pupusas – Method 2:

Divide the dough into 24 equal small balls. Divide the fillings equally for the 12 pupusas.

With wet hands, press and pat each ball between your palms and flatten into thin dough rounds that are about 4 inches in diameter and ⅛-inch thick. Place the flattened rounds on top of plastic wrap, waxed paper, or a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from sticking to any solid surface.

With your fingers or the back of a tablespoon spread the fish filling evenly on the 12 flattened rounds. Cover these with the other 12 flattened rounds and seal the edges with your fingertips taking care that the edges are nice and thin.

Cooking the Pupusas:

Heat a non-stick griddle or large heavy skillet over a medium to high flame.

Typically, once the pupusas are formed by hand, using either method, they are placed straight onto the skillet or griddle. If you set them aside before cooking, make sure to wet your hands and gently pick up each pupusa, and pat lightly between the palms of your hands.

Gently place the pupusas on the hot surface and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, frequently turning them over to ensure even cooking. The pupusas are ready when they puff up and turn slightly golden. Serve with Curtido, Pickled Cabbage, Onions, and Carrots.



Pickled Cabbage, Onions, and Carrots



This recipe is a must when serving Pupusas, Crispy Fried Yuca and Pork, or Empanadas. The sour-pickled flavor of the cabbage, onions, and carrots is a perfect complement to savory foods.


Serves 6


2 cups shredded green cabbage

½ cup shredded carrots

½ cup thinly sliced onion

4 cups white vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns (optional)

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes or 1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped (optional)


Using a large ceramic bowl or glass jar with a lid, combine and stir all the ingredients. Cover tightly with lid or plastic cling wrap; marinate overnight before serving. The Pickled Cabbage, Onions, and Carrots can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.



Beef Patties in Light Tomato Gravy Tortitas de Carne en Salsa de Tomate

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Dear Readers,

Last month, my first Salvadoran cooking class at Whole Foods, on 3rd & Fairfax,  was a packed house. Thank you to all who came.  I was invited back the same night. Please  join me for my second cooking class at Whole Foods Market on 3rd & Fairfax, in Los Angeles. Thursday, April 3rd, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Beef patties in light tomato gravy/Tortitas de carne en salsa de tomate is an authentic, easy and deliciousSalvadoran recipe, and  will be one of the dishes I will be teaching that night. Come, learn and have fun. My cookbook is available at this store and on the night of the class.

Registration is required. Please to register or call (323) 964-6800.

Hope to see you there!!!


Beef Patties in Light Tomato Gravy Tortitas de Carne en Salsa de Tomate

Recipe and introduction from my cookbook

These beef patties are full of flavor and juices. They are also kind on your wallet because ground beef can come from some of the least expensive cuts of meat. But these humble ingredients are transformed by this recipe into a delectable and delicious dish. It is also a perfect way to include vegetables into a young child’s diet because the bell pepper and tomato are combined in the beef patty.


Serves 4-6


For the Beef Patties:

2 pounds lean ground beef                           

½ cup minced onion                                      

½ cup minced tomato, seeds removed         

½ cup minced green bell pepper,                 

    ribs and seeds removed                           

3 tablespoon all-purpose flour 

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons vegetable oil


For the Tomato Gravy:

½ cup minced onion                                      

½ cup minced tomato, seeds removed        

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour                     

 2 teaspoons beef bouillon 

½ cup minced cilantro

1½ cups water


Preparing the Beef Patties:

In a deep bowl combine the ground beef, onion, tomato, green bell pepper, flour, eggs, salt, and black pepper. Mix well and shape this mixture into 18 equal patties.


In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over a medium to high flame until hot but not smoking. Brown the meat patties on each side for about 1 minute turning only twice. Remove the patties from the pan and set aside. Keep the drippings in the pan.


Preparing the Tomato Gravy:

Using the same saucepan, reduce the flame to medium, and add in the onion, tomato, flour, beef bouillon, and cilantro. Combine well, cook and stir for about 1 minute, and then slowly whisk in the water. Increase flame to medium high, continue whisking, and bring the light gravy to a boil.


Final Cooking:

Return the meat patties to the boiling gravy and immediately reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook the patties in the gravy for 20 minutes.






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I am proud to be one of the alumni featured in the UCLA Magazine Spring edition. It has been a laborious journey to write, produce, publish and promote my cookbook. With no previous experience in the field of book making, I thought the road ahead was an easy one. Ignorance is a bliss!!! I still have no idea how I did it. Fortunately, I was not alone. I invested tens of thousands of dollars to hire a professional team that included one of the top photographers in El Salvador, Federico Trujillo. He captured most of the recipes in the cookbook. I liked working with him because he understood the aesthetic and vision of my food and prop styling, and his work is lyrical.  Santino Zafarana, a Los Angeles photographer and friend,  was there to help with extra book photos. He took that beautiful shot of the Shrimp and Fish Ceviche, and my portrait in the yellow dress. He is the man! Then, there is the best recipe editor Daniel Azarkman. He helped me give the recipes structure, fluidity and function. He is a master, I learned so much from him. I admire his integrity, passion and work ethics. My project assistant in El Salvador, Journalist and foodie Violeta Rivas. She was integral in helping me with the logistics of the photography production and access to most of the props I used in the food stylist. Eliana Lopez, took those amazing publicity photos of myself. Melissa DAngelo is an amazing make up artist, always punctual and professional. 

My education at UCLA helped me prepare and inspired me to take on this challenge and responsibility. I am proud to be a Bruin and thankful for having had the privilege of attending one of the top colleges in the country. Thank you Laura Perry for writing the article and Mary Daily, UCLA Senior editor. Is nice when our hard work is recognized. It takes a village!



DELICIOUS SALVADORAN DISHES SELFIES:) If my dishes could take selfies, this is what they would look like!

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Pan con Pavo/Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich           Torrejas

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Pasteles de Platano con frijoles/Plantain Empanadas

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Chilaquilas/Salvadoran Chilaquilas                             Frijoles rojos con crema/Red Beans with cream

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Leche hervida con canela/Hot Cinnamon- milk

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Rellenos de Ejote/Green Beans and cheese             Fresco de semillas de Chan/Chan red lemonade


Leche Poleada/Salvadoran Vanilla Custard

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Fresco de Pina/ Fresh Icy Pina                                     Pupusas de ayote y queso/Squash & Cheese Pupusas


Mango en almibar con canela y marquesote



Delicious El Salvador Cooking Class and Book Signing at Whole Foods Market!

Originally posted on Delicious El Salvador the blog by Alicia Maher:

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Dear Readers,

Please join me for a book signing, cooking class and free samples at Whole Foods Markets on 3rd & Fairfax. Thursday, February 20, 6:00-7:30 pm. Event is free, but you must register. I am going to teach you how to make Cheese and Squash Pupusas, Chicken with a Pumpkin Seed Sauce (Alguashte) and Torrejas, a sweet and delectable dessert, a favorite during Easter Season in El Salvador.

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Below  is the information about registering. I look forward to meeting you in person.

Cooking at 3rd & Fairfax

“Bringing cooking and community together”

This perfectly describes the demo kitchen at Whole Foods Market 3rd & Fairfax. Aplty called Cooking at 3rd & Fairfax, the space serves as a recreational cooking, demonstration and lecture area within Whole Foods Market. Since its launch in April 2012, Cooking at 3rd & Fairfax has created a buzz as the go to place…

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Discovering the Wonderful World of Melissa’s World Variety Produce!

Originally posted on Delicious El Salvador the blog by Alicia Maher:

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I discovered Melissa’s World Produce,  thanks to my friend and blogger Ericka Sanchez from  Last July, she invited me to the launch party for  Ericka is oneof the noblest people I know, she has gone out of her way to share her knowledge and make her resources available to help me promote my book and other projects. As they say, it takes a village!  That day, she introduced me, among others, to the cookbook authors, Co-owner Sharon Hernandez and Chef Ida Rodriguez, other food bloggers, and Robert Schueller, produce guru, and Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Melissa’s.        

“The Melissa’s/World Variety Produce Story “Delivering The Global Market” Los Angeles, California (2013) – Think tasty, creamy, tangy, aromatic, tart, sweet, crunchy and delectable. Within the 280,000 square feet of the Melissa’s/World…

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