Since I have visited and befriended many Mexican restaurants around Southern California, I’ve been lucky to try many regional and trial dishes. Which in turn, led me to create the recipe that won the opportunity to do a cooking video with Del Real foods, named Morisqueta Crostini. From those experiences, I was able to “mashup” and create this recipe for the Del Real Food’s Blogger Recipe Challenge called Mulitas Ahogadas. It was a combining of both a Mulita (mini quesadillas that are made with Street Taco Tortillas), and a Torta Ahogada (a sinfully delicious pork carnitas sandwich that is literally dunked into a “bath” of spicy red sauce made with Arbol Chiles) that led to the rising of this decadent creation. Aside from those two main ingredients, I also added Salsa Criolla (Peruvian-style pickled red onions), Habanero Escabeche (Habaneros in a mildly sweet pickling liquid), avocado, shaved Cotija cheese, and garnished with cilantro.

Over the weekend of May 27th, I teamed up to do a pop-up with a local favorite food truck, Carnitas El Momo, to get people’s reaction to my creation. I was humbled to have quite a few people show up and love the dish including the owners of Primera Taza, and the creative genius behind Tacocidal Tendencies.

So if your mouth is watering as much as mine has been writing about this recipe, please go to your local markets like Vons, Ralphs, Albertson’s, or Costco to buy the ingredients and try this recipe in your home and send me any feedback you might have for me. While you’re at it, please take the time to vote for the recipe in the link below. The cool thing about it is, that they let you vote once per day! And to inspire you my friends to vote, if my recipe wins, I will randomly pick a group of up to 10 voters that I will cook the recipe for! So, please, share with all your friends through Facebook (use the hash tag #DRFRecipeChallenge), and vote as many times as you can! Any and ALL votes/help is sincerely appreciated!

Mulitas Ahogadas


Al Pastor Taco Kit; Salsa De Molcajete Roja


Mini Al Pastor quesadillas “drowned” with a mild red sauce


Serves 3


30 Minutes/15 Minutes


  • 1ea package Del Real Foods’ Al Pastor Taco Kit (reserve salsa roja for Ahogada Sauce)
  • 10oz Queso Oaxaca (Mexican melting cheese), grated


SALSA CRIOLLA (Pickled Red Onion)

  • 1ea Red Onion, thinly sliced (julienne)
  • 1cup Rice wine Vinegar
  • 1/2cup Lime Juice



  • 5-7ea Habanero Chiles, thinly sliced rounds
  • 1/2cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3Tablespoons Honey



  • 1ea package Del Real Foods’ Salsa De Molcajete Roja
  • 14oz Diced Tomatoes, canned


  • 1ea Avocado, sliced
  • 1/2cup Cilantro, leaves whole/picked
  • 8oz Cotija Cheese
  • 4fl.oz. Vegetable Oil
  • A/N (As Needed) Salt, Kosher




Place Del Real Foods’ Salsa De Molcajete, canned tomatoes, and the salsa roja from the taco kit in a pot at medium low heat to reduce. Once it has reduced by 1/4th, blend until smooth consistency, and set aside. * Place the Al Pastor meat to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside.



Thinly slice the red onion, and place in a non-reactive bowl. Combine 1 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt with the onions, cover, and set aside for at least 10 minutes.


Habanero Escabeche

Thinly slice the habaneros in rounds and place in a non-reactive bowl. In a small pot, place the 3 Tbsp of honey, 1/2 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar, and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, remove from heat and pour on top of the chiles. Set aside uncovered for at least 10 minutes.


Mulita De Al Pastor

On a griddle or cast-iron pan, add 2 Tbsp of oil and place a tortilla on the oil. On top of the tortilla spread about 2 Tbsp of Queso Oaxaca, crumble 1Tbsp of Cotija on top, add 2 heaping Tbsp of Al Pastor meat. Top the meat with 1 Tbsp of Queso Oaxaca, and place another tortilla on top. When the bottom tortilla gets crispy, flip over with a spatula and crisp the second tortilla.


Mulitas Ahogadas

  1. Cut the mulitas in half and place them in a criss cross pattern on the plate.
  2. Ladle the sauce on top of the mulitas.
  3. Grate about 1 Tbsp of Cotija cheese on top.
  4. Place two slices of avocado on top of each mulita.
  5. Place a spoonful of the onions on top of the avocados.
  6. Top with a few slices of habaneros, and garnish with a couple cilantro leaves on top. Enjoy!

Celtic Cuisine Is Surging To The Forefront In Southern California


Everyone is familiar in one form or another with whiskeys, whether it be blended, single-malt, or single barrel. But how many of us have really been familiarized with the cuisine from the 8 Celtic nations? Those nations are Scotland, Ireland, Brittany France, Manx, Wales, Cornwall, Galacia & Asturies France. Even though they have a similar potato-based diets, each region has it’s own unique twist to their local cuisines. Thanks to Chef Eric McBride and many other Historical Chefs like him, there has been a rise in Scottish/Celtic food popularity with Americans in the past years. Not only is he helping bring back to light the traditional fare of the Great Clans, but he is pioneering a renaissance with the cuisine by modernizing ancestral roots-grounded recipes in his own unique interpretations. As it is unfortunate that there really are no Scottish restaurants to try in California, I hope the Chef McBride and the rest of the Chefs inspire an influx for communities to delve into the rich cultures of the Celtic 8.

For all those that get to attend this weekend, we will be lucky enough to sample Chef McBride’s (whom originally started his career off as a Historian and found his calling as a Celtic Chef) dishes at the 23rd Annual ScotsFestival which will also be showcasing the International Highland Games, all at The Queen Mary. And of course, yes, there WILL be a special area for adults to do whiskey and beer tastings. I, for one, will make sure to get there as early as possible to take in as much of the culture as I can. From the live bands/pipers, to the games throughout the day, to the various forms of haggis/neeps & tatties/and blood pudding.


*Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary

The festival will run this weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 9am-6pm; with a special Robert Burns Supper on Saturday night that starts at 6:30pm. I hope to run into many of you there. And if I can find me a proper kilt, I shall be rocking it at the festival! Feel free to follow me as I eat and drink my way through the festival on Instagram and Twitter.

Hemp Seed Toffee: #Choctoberfest Sponsored by Just Hemp Foods


Like I had previously stated, I am lucky enough to have participated in the first ever #Choctoberfest this year. We have some amazing sponsors this year, and as a result, here is my second recipes for the event. This specific recipe was made for Just Hemp Foods. So all bloggers could participate in this event, they sent out shipments for all of us to use and incorporate. The sponsors even included prizes to be given away to our readers, how awesome is that!

Here’s my really easy to make, but very delicious Hemp Seed Toffee:


  • 2 cups/1 pound   Butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups                     Sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 cup                   Water
  • 1 Tablespoon       Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon             Salt, kosher


  • 1 cup                       Chocolate, semi-sweet
  • 1 cup                       Just Hemp Foods‘ Hulled Hemp Seeds



First, start by putting the butter, sugar, salt, extract, and water into an 8 quart sauce pot to cook on medium high heat for about 20-30 minutes while constantly stirring. You want it to be in an over-sized pot because when the mixture is cooking, it tends to bubble over a lot and will easily spill over in a smaller pot. Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches 300°f (also known as the hard crack stage), or until the mixtures turns to a dark caramel color and turn the heat off.


Next, line a baking tray with aluminum  and grease it with cooking spray. Pour the mixture on top and let it sit until it cools down and hardens which will take about an hour.

while the mixture is cooling, toast the hemp seeds in a saute pan until they get golden brown in color and remove from heat.


For the chocolate layer, you can melt it in a bowl on top of a pot with hot water (but not boiling). Once the chocolate has melted, spread it on top of the toffee with a spatula. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the hemp seeds on top and press them into the chocolate. once it has fully cooled down, break into pieces and enjoy!


Layered Panna Cotta Recipe: #Choctoberfest Sponsored by Imperial Sugar


I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the first ever #Choctoberfest that was primarily sponsored by Imperial sugar. To participate, they generously shipped out cases of sugar to dozens of bloggers so we can create ever amazing chocolate recipes using their products and even adding prizes to give away to our readers. For this, as a thank you, I am doing my layered Panna Cotta recipe for ALL to try at home. I hope everyone loves it as much as this Chonchudo does.

YIELDS: 6 SERVINGS | Prep Time: 15 minutes | 3 hours total

  • 9 fl.oz.                     Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons      Unflavored Gelatin, Powdered
  • 5 cups                    Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup                      Imperial Brand Sugar, Granulated
  • 1/2 teaspoon         Salt, Kosher
  • 3/4 cups                 Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate


  • 1 package each    Raspberries, and Blackberries (rinsed, and dried)
  • 6 each                    Sprigs of fresh Mint



First, start by adding the gelatin to the milk so it can soften for about 8 minutes and set aside. Next, pour the sugar, salt, and cream into a sauce pan and heat on medium low until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolve in the cream, add the milk/gelatin mixture and heat until the gelatin melts but the mixture doesn’t boil, which will take about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and separate the mixture into two bowls. In one of the separated mixtures, add the chocolate and mix until the chocolate has melted. In the second mixture, add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Pour 1/2 cup of the Chocolate mixture into glass containers and let it cool to set.

*PRO TIP- To rapidly set the chocolate layer, place the containers in the freezer on a leveled surface for about 15-20 minutes.

Once the mixture has set in the glass, ladle in the vanilla mixture on top of the chocholate panna cotta and let it set, which will take about 2 hours.

*PRO TIP- To make sure there are no messes, lightly press the ladle to the inside of the glass and pour the vanilla mixture in slowly to make sure nothing runs or mixes.

To serve, spoon in fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries) and add a fresh mint leaf as garnish and enjoy!


The PinterTest Kitchen: #Choctoberfest 2015 Sponsored By Imperial Sugar Plus Giveaway!


I am beyond excited today, because it is October 5…. and that means it is the first day of #Choctoberfest! 😀


#Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love?


Here’s what this event is all about!


#Choctoberfest would not be possible without our sponsors, starting with our 2015 Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens since 1843. Their sugar products and sweeteners are made from non-GMO cane sugar and ensure consistently delicious results. We’ll be using Imperial Sugar whenever we use sugar in our recipes this week, and can’t wait to share the sweetness with you!


You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter amongst other sites. Make sure you visit the recipes section of their website for some sweet inspiration, and you can also find coupons on their website if you want to try out Imperial Sugar yourself.


Imperial Sugar and our other sponsors have banded together to contribute some awesome prizes for our #Choctoberfest giveaway! Entering is simple – just click below to follow us on Pinterest. Here’s what you could win:

  • Chocolate Mint Essential Woman Omega Swirl and Chocolate Silk Greens from Barlean’s.
  • Hemp seed prize pack (hulled hemp seed, toasted hemp seed, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powder) from Just Hemp Foods.
  • Divine Chocolate gift set (15 flavors of chocolate bars!) from Divine Chocolate.
  • Pure Chocolate Lovers Supreme gift box from Pearson Farm.


We also have a nonprofit sponsor this year – Rescue Chocolate! They make vegan chocolate treats and donate 100% of their proceeds to animal shelters.


Enter now to win the #Choctoberfest prize. Hurry, because we’re picking the winner on October 12 at 8:00 AM, so if you don’t sign up before then, you’ll miss your chance!


To enter, click the link right here=> a Rafflecopter giveaway



Pork: The New King Of Meats In LA?


I recently had a chance to interview one of the famed returning Chefs from last year’s Big Bite Bacon Fest to get a little insight into his pork-centric realm that is Dia De Los Puercos food truck. Here is a portion of what we discussed…

Q: Since the majority of your inspiration came from your abuelita’s home cooking, what are 3
of your favorite dishes of hers that always bring you back to your childhood?

A: 99% of my inspiration is from my Gramma ‘B’, she is the reason I love to live in the
kitchen. So to narrow it down to 3 dishes is going to be tough! But I will do my best; the first
would be her Menudo, second is her carne en su jugo and last, but definitely not least, is her
mole tamales.
Q:  While you were at LCB, who were some of the Chef Instructors that inspired you and helped you hone your skills in the kitchen?

A: Although there were some interesting Chef personalities at LCB, There were two that
stood above the others. Chef Fred Jean Marie and Chef Farid Zadi, were the most influential
and motivating Chefs’ I have ever worked with to this day! I will forever be grateful for
sharing their passion for food with me.
Q: Which restaurants did you work at prior to opening up your truck?

A: I worked for quite a few restaurants, which is quite the norm for a line cook. One
restaurant that I gained the most from is ‘The Cellar’ in Fullerton, this is where I was able to
hone and broaden my classic French culinary techniques. I, also worked as Executive sous Chef
and Executive Chef for seven years with Hilton Hotels.
Q: Since bacon is the focus for the Big Bite Bacon Fest, what delicious recipe will you surprise everyone with at the event?

A: Dia De Los Puercos will be serving our Trademarked dessert, The ‘Hog Pocket’. I can describe it
for you, but it would just make you more anxious for the Bacon Fest.
Q: I have been a big fan/supporter of Dia De Los Puercos ever since I tried your Mochomos at the monthly Truck-It Fest, what made you decide on having those three types of pork dishes on the menu? (Well, four, if you include the vegetarian soy-rizo.)

A: We wanted to provide an experience for everyone who came out to try our food, and
what better way to do that then to make food that NO other truck does. But we will not stop
there; there are many other ideas in the works for our upcoming projects.

Q: I hear you will be doing a special event with Carnitas El Momo and Primera Taza, what type of dish collaboration will you be doing there?

A: Not to sound like a dick or anything, but your gonna have to wait for that one..
Q: Where do you see your biz going in the next 5 years? Do you see yourself making that jump to brick and mortar somewhere in LA?

A: Definitely! We want to expand DDLP to other Cities and eventually other States.
Q: Would love to do a friendly Del Real/non specific competition with you in the near future, would you be interested? We can set up a group of Bloggers/Writers/Chefs to judge the dishes… (I think it would be a cool idea to do friendly underground competitions with Chefs in random restaurant locations…)

A: I’m always down for a friendly match! We can do Pop up ‘Cuchillo Battles’!

From what I gathered, I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to have met Chef Rick’s grandmother to see the inspiration comes from, and maybe try a dish, or two of hers which sound amazing- especially the mole tamales. Also, I don’t know about you, but Can’t wait to see what other events/dishes El Chefe and DDLP comes out with in the near future. If many of you haven’t noticed, not only bacon, but pork itself is becoming one of the main proteins being sold in restaurants and food trucks alike. From pulled pork sandwiches to carnitas, to EVERYTHING bacon. For me, the favorite style to have pork in is Al Pastor. Tender, slowly roasted spicy pork on a spit with a pineapple on the top to shower the ‘trompo’ with sweet/tangy juices to add another depth of flavor to beautifully charred chunks of meat- which surprisingly enough, has it’s origins coming from Middle Eastern immigrants moving to Mexico. Make sure to keep an eye (and an ear) open for when we start doing the Kitchen Battles throughout LA!

Photo by: Big Bite Events

Photo by: Big Bite Events

The Big Bite Bacon Fest will be returning to the Queen Mary this weekend, Sat and Sun (Aug 1-2) for three 3-hr sessions (4 hrs with VIP entrance) of pork-gasmic tastings to satisfy your heart’s desire. I will be there from 11a-3p doing my thing, hope to see many of you there!





Hi everyone, I’m excited to let you know that I have entered the Del Real Foods Recipe Competition! I have entered two recipes into the competition:



I hope you could take a quick second to follow the link below to vote for either one of these recipes. The cool thing about it is, that they let you vote once per day! And to inspire you my friends to vote, if my recipe wins, I will randomly pick a group of up to 10 voters that I will cook the recipe for! So, please, share with all your friends through Facebook (use the hash tag #DRFRecipeChallenge), and vote as many times as you can! Any and ALL votes/help is sincerely appreciated!

Here is the link:

Win A Pair Of Tickets To: BIG BITE BACON FEST

Big Bite Bacon Festival

EVENT WILL BE SATURDAY, AUG 1st; AND SUNDAY, AUG. 2nd. Photo courtesy of Big Bite Events.

I am happy to announce that I am partnering up with Big Bite Events this year to raffle away a pair of tickets (for one G.A. session on either day) to their 2nd Annual Big Bites Bacon Fest that will be held alongside the Queen Mary (includes free self-guided tour of the Queen Mary while at the festival). If you would like to purchase your own tickets, the prices range from $40-80 (a price well worth it, considering all the food that you will eat; beer is sold separately). The events which started last year as a one day event, has grown to become three massive 3-hr sessions over two days, which includes VIP entrances, and wristbands for beer tastings.

Some of the AMAZING restaurants/food trucks that will be there, include:

* Dia De Los Puercos

* Ragin Cajun Cafe

* Slater’s 50/50; and

* The Old World German Restaurant


Also, some of the breweries that will be on deck are:

* Lagunitas Breweing Co.

* Allagash Brewing Co.

* Angel City Brewery; and

* Bootleggers Brewery


SO . . . If you would like to win a PAIR of tickets for one session on either day, all you have to do is:

1) Like the Big Bite Event FB page

2) Like/follow The Chonchudo Files; and

3) Share this post on Facebook, tag 2 friends & commment with #BigBiteBaconFest, and #ChonchudoLove


*The contest will run from now until July 26th, the WINNER will be announced on July 27th!



USC students rocking the house.

Aside from going to a BBQ in Simi Valley, I was lucky enough to be invited to a private blogger event with a close group of fellow writers that was sponsored by Discotech App and Project Club LA in Hollywood. Little did we know what an incredible time we were in for the night. Once at the entrance, you had to give the “magic word” at the door before being escorted down a long passageway to the owner’s table right next to the DJ booth. As we began catching up with where our adventures have been taking us, we were greeted with bottle service, swag bags that came with TONS of Jell-O shots.

View from the DJ booth.

As the night of debauchery continued with EDM music rocking the foundation with its heavy pounding bass making all of us rotate from the dance floor, stage, photo booth, and outside patio, we were mesmerized with intermittent breaks of artistry from Go 2 Talent that included aerialists, and pyro dancers/breathers- which my favorite of them all was Kelsie Koziol (AMAZING). The whole night felt like it was a crazy amalgamation of hypnotizing dancers/performers mixed in with a steampunk circus fueled by euphoric, pulse laden, beat driven music that heightens your state of mind to a whole other level.

I have to say, it is really handy to use the Discotech app if you want to get on the guest list for all the hot clubs in LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Miami. I have tried using it to see how good it works and I was able to get in to Avalon, 1 OAK, Create, DBA, and Lure Nightclub. It also makes it easy to reserve tables and grab your friends to party like a star for the night… or the weekend… or as long as you want to smash the night/s away. Now, with all the insane fun I had this night, I hope they will sponsor MY birthday bash this summer, can a Chonchudo get some love?


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On our tenth, and final stop on the hunt for the best ceviche in town, we came to the second incarnation of Chef Ricardo Zarate’s pride and joy in Downtown Los Angeles, Mo-chica. Originally, his concept started out as a stall at the Mercado La Paloma on Grand Ave and Exposition Blvd, about a block away from the DMV office that everyone oh-so-dearly “loves.” With its rapid expansion, Chef Zarate knew he had to open a larger location. Luckily, he was able to find his brick and mortar location right in the heart of DTLA off 7th St, between Grand Ave and Olive St. The restaurant has a great modern hipster vibe to it with some communal seating in the front, decorative ceramic Inca dolls throughout, and graffiti, aka modern art on the walls catered to Zarate’s liking.

Mo-chica Mural

Our group casually entered within minutes of each other and struck up conversations as if we had known each other since childhood and had been reunited after years of absence. We planned our meeting perfectly to coincide with the happy hour schedule that mo-chica has set up. As we ordered everything on the HH menu, this is what I tried:

Mo-chica Causa

  • Causa de Cangrejo- An incredibly fascinating dish that I have never tried before. It’s a cold yellow potato (dumpling) mixed with lime juice, onions, and aji Amarillo pepper. Topped with mashed avocado, fresh lump crab mix, micro greens, diced tomato, and aji Amarillo sauce. This dish has a strong acidity that exudes the flavors of crab, avocado, and the aji. I really need to start trying more cold potato dishes if they are as good as this golden egg is.

Mo-chica Chicharron

  • Chicharron de Pollo- Marinated and crispy fried chicken “nuggets,” served with a Rocoto aioli. It had a nice, crunchy exterior, with just enough “crust” on the meat that it was still tender and moist on the inside. Simply put, It was SICK with the combination of the Rocoto aioli.

Mo-chica Colita

  • Colita de Res- Braised oxtail served with Trigo de Mote Pelado (hulled wheat “risotto”), Huancaina sauce (spicy cheese sauce made with aji Amarillo peppers, queso fresco, milk, saltines, onions, and garlic), and Salsa Criolla. One of my three favorites of the bunch. The slow braised and flavorful oxtail went great with the mixture of the Huancaina sauce into the trigo de mote. Tangy, spicy notes within the rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the colita  was paired perfectly with the pearlized grains giving flavor and a texture profile to the dish.

Mo-chica Ceviche

  • Ceviche Mixto- Halibut, prawn, squid, and scallop ceviche topped with sliced red onions, cancha, choclo, sweet potato, micro greens, and the ever oh-so-damn-delicious Leche de tiger (the ceviche marinade). Although, I love Peruvian ceviche, it was my third favorite dish, since it was slightly on the salty side. And if you know me, you know I can handle salty foods. Aside from that tiny misstep, the dish is exactly what you would expect from all Peruvian style ceviches, for the ingredients to be truly cooked in the Leche de Tigre, not just tossed in the marinade after being pre-cooked.

Mo-chica Tuna

  • Pan con Tuna- Chef Zarate’s version of Tuna Tartare, spread on top of a grilled crostini with mashed avocado underneath the tuna, cucumber jalapeño relish, and yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit similar to mandarin and grapefruit) aioli. My all time favorite of the bunch! Ever heard a parent insist they don’t have a favorite child when they actually do? Well, this one here, was my favorite child. The sushi grade tuna, tossed in a quick citrus marinade/vinaigrette, placed on top of an extremely crunchy grilled toast with avocado was one of the best tuna dishes I have tried in a very long time.


  • Alfajores- Peruvian macarons filled with Dulce de Leche, and Rocoto chocolate ganache. Very sweet, and dry, like a typical macarons. Just make sure you have some coffee or anything else on hand to wash this delicious little dessert down as it has a tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth.

Mo-chica Tres Leches

  • Tres Leches Cake- Not as moist as other tres leches cakes I’ve tried, but definitely more flavor. As I have to admit, I’m a bit of a tres leches addict. I got hooked the first time I tried it, since I can’t stand any kind of dry cake. Even though this one wasn’t “soaked” as the others I have tried, it was still very palate tempting and was able to retain its moisture. Well done.

Although, I unfortunately never got a chance to try Chef Zarate’s fare at his first location, I am certainly content in knowing the fact that I finally got a chance to feast on his awe-inspiring food that would make any gourmand clearly explode in food porn orgasms from the sheer fact of seeing what the next level of cuisine is for Peruvian food. Next trends shall be tamales, and Chilean or Colombian food. Just a thought or premonition.