Playa del Carmen or Bust!

Adrian and I went to Playa del Carmen for Christmas, so I figured it's about time to share the pictures from our trip. Here's part 1 of 3: Tacos, huaraches, and posole, oh my!

In Playa, we feasted on al pastor tacos at El Fogon. The style is so different from what I've eaten in the US. The marinated meat is literally cut off of a vertical spit like gyros in Greece and served simply over a tortilla with melted cheese, yum!

One of the cooks at El Fogon added to the taco excitement by doing a little dance after he sliced off a piece of meat and catching it mid-air. What a pro.

We also tried the chorizo tacos, which were equally simple, and again, very different from the Mexican food I’m used to in California.

Between swimming at the beach and lounging at our pool at HM Playa del Carmen….

We managed to save room in our bellies for huaraches and posole at El Jurado!

I've only ever tried huaraches once and I knew that if the Yucatan'a tacos were so different from San Francisco's, the huaraches would be too. In case you don't know, "huarache" means sandal in a two Mayan languages (Purépecha and Nahuatl) because the dish is shaped like a shoe.

But that's where the similarities end, because these huaraches' ingredients were served on heavenly pillows of masa with refried beans. So incredible.

Last but not least, Adrian and I made friends with a lot of iguanas. This guy, I'll call him Fred, lives outside the parking lot at HM Playa del Carmen and is fed daily by staff. What a lucky guy!

Stay tuned next time for Tulum! I have so many great pictures to share 😃

If you enjoyed this post, check out my IG posts on my trips! Portugal Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Panama Part 1, Part 2, Part 3!



Spicy Chicken Posole Soup with Garbanzo Beans

It’s been raining again, and in fact, flooding in my old stomping grounds of San Jose, CA. Yikes! It’s too bad that we’ve needed rain so much here in California and somehow it decided to all come down at once. I hope all of my friends on social media in San Jose are doing okay. 

With this weather, I wanted to make something spicy and soupy, but easier than said than done for a weeknight. When Adrian came home from the gym last night, I was just getting started on the soup, with a simple mise en place on the table. But after sitting down and catching up on the news for a few minutes, it was done! He was shocked and actually thought I was joking until I served up this big bowl of soup. 

So, to cut this short story shorter, this soup is satisfying, delicious, and perfect for when your weather is cold, rainy, or even snowy. PS: if you’re wondering why our posole looks extra spicy (those cute little Thai chilies), we infused our bottled tomatoes with them last summer, and dang are they good too!

Spicy Chicken Posole Soup with Garbanzo Beans

Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 6

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, seeded, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tbsp New Mexico or red chili flakes
6 cups chicken broth
1 28-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinse
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2.5 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded

To Serve
Sour Cream
Lime wedges

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in cumin, Mexican oregano, and New Mexico chili flakes and cook for another minute. 

Add broth, garbanzo beans, and tomatoes to skillet. Bring to a boil and stir in chicken. Cook until chicken is heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Ladle posole into bowls and dollop with sour cream. Squeeze over lime wedges and serve.