Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Mexican Food in Your Kitchen

10 Nov

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I usually focus on restaurants, but cooking at home can be just as entertaining. Rather than go out last week, I decided to be adventurous and make something. I made vegetarian tacos. It was simple and  rewarding to enjoy the fruits of my labors.
I made “refried” beans by sauteing olive oil, fresh diced peppers from Stella Farms, onions and three cloves of finely chopped garlic. Once the garlic, peppers and onions were browned, I opened a can of kidney beans and cooked them until they were dry. Then, I added a little bit of water and smashed them, skins and all, with a wooden spatula. Finally, add adobo seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. It’s that easy.

Also pictured above are fresh tomatoes from Stella Farms, radishes from Savoie Organic Farm, guacamole (two avocados, lime juice, cilantro, kosher salt and black pepper) and sliced ajicito peppers from the Collingswood Farmer’s Market

It took 30 minutes to prepare the meal from start to finish. Cooking at home gives you greater control over what you put into your food and you can save money. The meal pictured above cost $10 and fed three people.

More than just Tacos at The Tortilla Press in Collingswood

6 Oct

Tacos are served in a traditional “make your own” platter with warm corn tortillas.

The Tortilla Press in Collingswood is serving up fresh Mexican inspired dishes.

I sat down with Evan Weissman, General Manager, to get some details about the restaurant. The Collingswood location, a BYO, celebrated its tenth anniversary in September. There is also the Cantina in Merchantville, complete with a full service bar which celebrated its fifth year of operation. Weissman described the food as casual gourmet. As an independently owned operation they’re able to go outside the box and provide a better experience for customers. “If people ask for something not on the menu, they can have it their way.”

There are quite a few vegetarian and vegan options including mock duck with peanut butter BBQ sauce and veggie tacos. The gluten-free menu features dishes such as coconut habanero shrimp. The Cantina has gluten-free fish and chips and flour-less chocolate cake. Weissman explained, “A lot of restaurants are not offering gluten-free items, we have a great response. We don’t want to turn those customers away.”

In addition to traditional Mexican fare, there are several distinctive items available. Server and hostess Angela DelRossi described her favorite dish, “The chicken sweet potato burrito is unique to us. I’ve never had that anywhere else.”

Sauteed Achiote Fish Taco from The Tortilla Press in Collingswood

I decided to try the fish tacos. It was served as a platter laden with pan-seared tilapia with achiote glaze, pinto beans, red rice, salsa verde, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Warm corn tortillas were served on the side. The tilapia was well seasoned, a little crispy on the edges, and very flavorful for typically mild fish.

The restaurant’s atmosphere was as colorful as the food. Bright decor and original art adorned the walls. The staff was also friendly and very helpful.

Collingswood is a tight-knit community. The restaurant’s owner, Mark Smith, works closely with local farmers to supply fresh produce. The Tortilla Press Cafe is at the Collingswood Farmer’s Market every Saturday. The restaurant is open for brunch on weekends (with a special early bird brunch menu) there’s a take-out menu too.

Oct. 14-19 is Fall Harvest Restaurant week. Both locations will offer four course meals for a set price of 29.95/person.

The Tortilla Press is a nice place to stop for lunch while perusing the shops on Haddon Avenue or to enjoy a four course meal. The gluten-free and vegetarian options make it a great choice for friends and family with dietary restrictions.

Mexican Food at Home

29 Sep

If you love Mexican cuisine, going out to dinner or lunch or breakfast can become awfully expensive. Preparing meals at home is fun and affordable. Here are some great resources:

Muy Bueno Cookbook features a variety of recipes compiled by two sisters and their mother. The blog was one of Saveur Magazine‘s finalists for best regional cuisine in its 2012 Best Food Blog Awards.

Mexico in My Kitchen has a an extensive listing of recipes and tutorials.

Mexconnect pairs recipes and commentary along with some history behind key ingredients.

Oh you’re a vegetarian? Or vegan? Fear not! Vegan Mexican Food has entrées, drinks, and desserts for you.

There are also plenty of gluten-free recipes for Mexican and Southwestern food.

Fire up the stove-top, or grill. Preparing your own meals is great outlet for creativity and easy on the wallet.