Tag Archives: recipe

Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant–It’s In The Blood

2014-08-22 19.57.43Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant’s humble beginning exemplifies the meaning of the Latino American Dream. 

Voted a Reader’s Choice award for Best Mexican Restaurant in 2014 by the Wichita Eagle, the family owned chain has been in business for nearly 50 years pioneering its style of Mexican cuisine and feeding generations of families in Wichita, Kansas. 

On a bustling and muggy Friday night in late August 2014, Tequila Aficionado Media was invited to meet with the proprietors of Felipe’s, the Lujano family, at the northeast Wichita location of their four venues.  

Family Is Everything

Felipe's logo.

 2014-08-22 20.59.43It is the family patriarch, Don Roberto Lujano, who captures all the attention.

Strolling through the clean and brightly decorated restaurant, Don Roberto, brother of the deceased Felipe for whom the restaurants are named, visits every table to shake hands with his regulars.  He responds with a wide grin and a kind word as people of every race, creed and color call him Papa.2014-08-22 20.58.13

In the next two clips, Don Roberto’s son, Miguel Lujano, manager of the northeast restaurant on Woodlawn Blvd., recounts Felipe’s vast history as the first establishment to introduce Mexican cuisine to Wichita in 1967.

Think You’ve Tasted It All?

I’ve ingested just about every single style of Mexican food.  From glitzy chain restaurants with signature tropical fruit-based tequila drinks, to hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop diners that serve handmade tortillas and guacamole, I truthfully thought I had tasted it all.

2014-08-22 20.20.01

Not the usual “gringofied” spicy Mexican food that is served in the corporate-owned eateries, Felipe’s relies heavily on a medley of traditional herbs, spices, and heirloom family recipes.  Still, they are not without its own unique cuisine challenges as Miguel Lujano explains…

Mild vs. Hot 

2014-08-22 21.12.04With the influx of more Mexican and Mexican Americans into Wichita establishing diners of their own, Felipe’s continues to find ways to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack.

Noting that their customer base is trending toward more spicy hot ingredients, the Lujano family has taken advantage of this turnabout by adding some picante to their signature dishes.  Don Roberto Lujano and his wife, Maria Teresa, still cook in the kitchen with most dishes made from scratch.

And in a state whose liquor is controlled (state run), the task of obtaining more authentic tequilas for Felipe’s emblematic cocktails can be even more challenging, especially when competing restaurants plagiarize them for their own menus.  The secret, Miguel Lujano insists, is educating their customers.

Maestro Dobel Special Edition

Maestro Dobel Special Edition

Felipe's Special Edition selection.

Felipe’s Special Edition selection.

Miguel admitted that it also helps to be friendly with representatives from Glazer’s and Standard Beverage Corporation, liquor distributors who share his passion for tequila.  Through his relationships, Felipe’s has been able to acquire such sought after tequilas as Suerte, Siete Leguas, Demetrio, George Clooney’s Casamigos, and participate in Maestro Dobel’s Special Edition program.

2014-08-22 22.53.24

 

Craving Felipe’s

Here, Miguel Lujano explains how Felipe’s is so artful at getting their customers to crave their cooking and cocktails.

Three Keys To Success

Miguel Lujano shares his father’s three keys to a successful Mexican restaurant.

In The Blood

In a city that has seen its Hispanic population boom from a scattering few in 1967 to close to 60,000 strong in 2014, Felipe’s has actively enticed the unpredictable tastes of its community over the decades.  But, what keeps the Lujano family passionately pushing the limits of their traditional fare?

Simply put–

It’s in their blood.

***

Enjoy this Felipe’s signature recipe for homemade sangrita…

Felipe's signature recipe for homemade sangrita.

Felipe’s signature recipe for homemade sangrita.

 

2014-08-22 22.26.35

and Miguel’s signature Margarita.

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Maple Nut Coffee Cake Recipe with De La Tierre Maple Tequila

Maple Tequila…and a cake?  What?

2014-08-18 09.44.49De La Tierre Canadian Maple Tequila.  You might not think that maple and tequila go together.  After all, it’s a strange mix of Canada and Mexico, right?  Well, as it happens, they do go together delightfully.  Read my review of this unlikely pairing here.  This product goes by different names depending upon which country you’re in (labeling laws) but De La Tierre is technically a liqueur.  It is a 100% agave reposado base made with real maple, not that imitation stuff, so don’t expect an overwhelming blast of maple.  The maple is gentle and very subtle.  Because I enjoyed this liqueur, I decided to use it in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.

2014-08-18 08.53.16Legal note: I should mention here that the brand owner was kind enough to supply the tequila, but I’ve supplied all of the other ingredients. 

My first go-round with this maple tequila was in Pumpkin Pie.  That was a raging success and we haven’t made pumpkin pie without it since.

Today, being quite nuts…er…having walnuts on hand, I decided it was time for a coffee cake.  I’ve made desserts, main courses and several side dishes with tequila, but this was my first shot at a breakfast item.  The tricky part was making it sugar free (I have reactive hypoglycemia).

Following is the recipe as I prepared it, without sugar.  I’ll include the options for a sugared version in parenthesis.

Maple Tequila Coffee Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietschCrumb Topping

1 Cup Butter, melted

2 Cups Splenda (Sugar or Brown Sugar)

2 Cups Oats

1 Cup Flour

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 teaspoon Maple Extract

Combine all of these ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

 

De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietschCake

1 Box Pillsbury Sugar-Free Yellow Cake Mix (or your choice of sugared cake mix)

1/3 Cup Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup De La Tierre Maple Tequila

1/2 Cup Water

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

Mix vigorously by hand or with an electric mixer.

 

Assembly

Spray an 8″x11″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

Spread 1/2 of the cake batter evenly in the cake pan.De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietsch

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the crumb topping.

De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietsch

Cover with remaining cake batter.

 

Add 1 Cup Walnuts to the remaining topping.

Sprinkle topping/nut mixture over second layer of batter.De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietsch

Poke with a spoon to push some of the topping into the cake.

De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietsch

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes or until it tests done.

Remove from oven and cover lightly with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in as it cools.

Serve it up!

De la tierre, maple, tequila, coffee cake, recipe, maple tequila, tequila aficionado, lisa pietsch

 

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Cranberry & Orange Diva Tequila Scones Recipe

Cranberry & Orange Diva Tequila Scones

I’ve found Diva Tequila to be particularly versatile in drinking, pairing, and cooking.  I’ve wanted to create a tequila scone recipe for some time now and am happy to announce that I’ve finally got a keeper!  These scones may be a little darker than yours might turn out as I use a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat flour.  Happily, I discovered that the whole wheat didn’t bring this recipe down a bit!  The Diva Tequila scones were light, fluffy and delicious!

Give the recipe a try and see for yourself!

 

scones, diva tequila, cranberry, orange, recipeIngredients:

3 Cups Flour

2 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Cup Splenda

½ Cup Butter

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (we used Coconut)

1 Cup Craisins

¼ Cup Diva Tequila

1.5 Cups Milk (Half & Half or light cream for a really rich scone)

Zest of 1 Orange

1 Cup Flour for kneading

1 Beaten Egg to glaze

Soak Craisins in ¼ Cup Diva Tequila Overnight, mixing often to be sure they’re all covered.

 

To Prepare:

scones, diva tequila, cranberry, orange, recipeMix Flour, Baking Powder, Salt & Splenda thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.

Add Craisins and Orange Zest, then mix until all are covered with flour mixture.

Add Vegetable Oil and Milk.  Stir until mixed but don’t over mix.

Sprinkle countertop with flour and roll dough (it should be very sticky) onto the floured surface.

Fold over/knead for about a minute and pat down (no need to roll it) to about one ince of thickness.

Cut with a biscuit/cookie cutter and place on greased baking sheet.

Brush tops with egg wash before baking.

Bake at 400 for 25 Minutes

If you haven’t seen the Diva Margarita Cupcakes yet, check them out here! 

 

Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen recipes are made with tequilas provided by the brand for review in Sipping Off The Cuff and/or use in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  The cost of all other ingredients, presentation pieces, kitchen facilities, and utilities  are provided solely by Tequila Aficionado.  To have your tequila, mezcal or sotol brand or other products considered for use in the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen, email Lisa@TequilaAficionado.com.

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La Palapa Cocina Mexicana Celebrates National Tequila Day!

la palapaLa Palapa Recipes You Can Create at Home

What is more appropriate to enjoy on National Tequila Day than an authentic Mexican culinary experience you can accomplish at home with the direction of Barbara Sibley, chef-owner of New York City’s La Palapa Cocina Mexicana.  She graciously provided us with three exceptional and easy to replicate recipes that either call for tequila, or another flavor equally indigenous to Mexico, hibiscus.  Viva La Palapa!

  • Flor Chelada and “the sweet spot” (art of sipping Chelada)
  • Pepito – tequila/lime marinated skirt steak sandwich
  • La Dona – tequila-hibiscus-citrus cocktail, perfect for summer sipping

 

Flor Chelada

la palapa, flor cheladaYou will need Wild Hibiscus Flower and Syrup, hibiscus flower salt, lime juice and your favorite beer (preferably Mexican!).  

Dip the rim of your glass into wild hibiscus syrup and then into hibiscus flower salt.

la palapa, flor cheladaFill 3/4 glass with ice.

Add 3/4 oz of Wild Hibiscus syrup and the juice of ½ lime (1 tablespoon) to bottom of glass.

Carefully top with your favorite beer.

La Palapa recommends Pacifico or any Mexican lager.

Garnish with edible Wild Hibiscus Flower.

 

Watch Barbara Sibley of La Palapa create the Flor Chelada:


 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibleyBarbara Sibley explains The Chelada “Sweet Spot”

Layered Mexican beer cocktails such as Cheladas and Micheladas, are served in a tall glass rimmed with flavored salt and filled with ice. Delicious flavorings are then added.   For the Flor Chelada we use hibiscus syrup and fresh lime juice. To complete your chelada, slowly top with beer.  The sweet spot is where the syrup, juice and beer meet. To get the best mixture of ingredients, sip the beer through a straw, dipping lower or higher for a stronger or lighter flavor. Typically there’s enough flavoring to accommodate an entire 12-oz beer, so top off your chelada as needed and enjoy with that hibiscus-lime ‘sweet spot’ lingering at the bottom. Delicioso!

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito The Pepito

is a traditional Mexican torta sandwich of grilled skirt steak that’s been marinated in a tequila and lime mixture and layered with fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, plus pickled jalapeño and smoky chipotle crème. Here is a marinade for 3 pounds of steak.

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipeMarinade:

Combine 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup tequila, the juice of 2 limes, and 1 tablespoon each of sugar and salt.

Marinate for no more than half an hour, or the tequila will make the steak too soft.

(If you prefer chicken, check out this marinade recipe using Hornito’s Lime Shot.)

Serve with Flor Chelada or La Dona cocktail.

 

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon,La Doña

2 oz of tequila (La Palapa uses Espolon Blanco)

3/4 oz triple sec (Combier or Cointreau)

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Splash of agave nectar

Splash of orange juice

1 oz Wild Hibiscus Syrup

 

Put all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake vigorously and pour strained into a glass that’s rimmed with hibiscus chile piquin salt.

Garnish with a twist of lime and wild hibiscus flower.

 

Editor’s note:

Wild Hibiscus Flower Company just launched an exclusive line of all-natural, concentrated floral extracts and syrups:

  • b’Lure (ba-lure), made from the sensual blue butterfly pea flower, offering delicate sweetness and magical color-changing properties
  • Rose + Hibiscus, a fragrant blend of highly prized Bulgarian rose oil and fresh hibiscus juice
  • Hibiscus Flower, fresh hibiscus juice infused with premium dried hibiscus flowers for intensely brilliant red color and deep berry flavor

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon, wild hibiscus, tales of the cocktail sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon, wild hibiscus

 

 

 

National Tequila Day Giveaway!

– Win a complete set of Wild Hibiscus products – Original, Rose, Heart-Tee, Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes and NEW Floral Extracts, along with a signed copy of Chef Barbara Sibley’s beautifully photographed cookbook, Antojitos, Festive & Flavorful Mexican Small Plates, a collection of her restaurant La Palapa’s best-loved recipes. (Continental USA – excluding Alaska – Only).  $65 value.

Visit the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Facebook page on National Tequila Day (July 24) for details!

Visit the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company’s Website today for more great recipes!

sweet spot, la palapa, flor chelada, barbara sibley, pepito, recipe, la dona, espolon, wild hibiscus, tales of the cocktail

 

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Quinceaneras are for Divas: Diva Tequila Cupcakes

diva tequila, silver, blanco, citrus, penasco

We’re expecting the gentlemen from Del Bravo for a visit on Monday so I’m doing a little preparation in the kitchen today.

Whenever we’re contacted by brand owners who will be coming through San Antonio, we like to invite them to the Tequila Aficionado Headquarters for drinks and a chat.  We like to film a great deal of the chatting part which you’ll soon see in several articles coming up from Mike Morales.  Since I love to pair and prepare foods with tequilas and mezcals, I usually make a little something so we don’t send our guests off into the night hungry.  I’m particularly excited about meeting the gentlemen from Del Bravo Tequila, the makers of Penasco and Diva Tequilas. diva

I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of infused tequilas for the sole reason that nine times out of ten, they are overdone, poorly done, or are just a company’s way of putting sub-par products on a shelf to sell to those women who still think tequila is for shooting.  (Yes, I’ve become a bit of a tequila snob.)  Diva Tequila is one of the very few infusions to pass the sip test here at Tequila Aficionado.

My first reaction upon seeing Diva’s presentation was a very girly “Ooh, what a pretty bottle!”

Let’s face it, the tall, faceted bottle topped with the brilliant-cut diamond style stopper is just plain gorgeous.

The question that followed was a practical one “But how’s the juice?”

Truth be told, I was afraid of being disappointed yet again with the promise of a pretty bottle with no substance to back it up.  So I gave Diva a day and tried the Penasco blanco instead.  After enjoying Penasco, I was prepared to give the Diva my undivided attention the next evening.

diva cupcakesI wasn’t disappointed.

Instead of the usual overdone, sugary sweet concoctions marketed to the female drinker, I found the same crisp, clear blanco that Penasco delivered only this time it had a delightful twist of pink grapefruit.  Not too tart, not too sweet, and still a wonderful sipper!  (Like Goldilocks only with tequila instead of porridge!)
The Del Bravo folks know what they’re doing.  From the Diva Tequila bottle design (which would look lovely placed in a box of long-stemmed roses for Valentine’s Day *hint*) to the juice inside, they’ve done this right.

2014-05-14 13.20.43After a few sips, I knew I had to take this lovely lady into the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  I could see pairing her with brunch items, desserts, salads and so much more.  Yes, this is the guest you must invite to your girls’ night in or ladies’ brunch.

My first project was to tweak a Strawberry Margarita Cupcake recipe I’d found on Pinterest.  It was a hit!

Here’s the original recipe:

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes
  • 1 box dry white cake mix
  • 2 .30 oz dry sugar free strawberry jello mix
  • ¾ cup bottled strawberry margarita mix
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 3 eggs

2014-05-14 13.33.432014-05-14 13.34.45Here’s my version:

Diva Margarita Cupcakes

  • 1 box Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow cake mix
  • 2 .30 oz dry sugar free orango jello mix
  • ¾ cup JLP (Ready to Drink) Golden Lime Margarita
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup Diva Tequila
  • 3 eggs

I prefer to cook sugar free since I have sugar issues and, nobody trusts a cook who doesn’t eat her own creations!

The orange jello was the perfect complement to the pink grapefruit in Diva.

The JLP Golden Lime Margarita was a no-brainer.  I absolutely love these margaritas and knew it would be excellent in this citrus dream.

I thought coconut oil might give the cupcakes just a pinch of tropical flavor to set off all the citrus and I was right.

2014-05-14 14.54.17This recipe yielded 18 cupcakes. 

When it came time to top off little darlings, I wished I had created tiny white chocolate crowns.  As it turns out, they didn’t need anything so glamorous as all that.  Instead of the Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting, I used the Pillsbury Sugar Free frosting and added a tablespoon of Diva.  It worked out great!  Then I topped each cupcake with a single chocolate pearl.

We enjoyed them for a very long time!

2014-05-14 21.25.38Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Tequila
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • zest from 1 lime
  • optional-white sparkling sugar

2014-05-14 14.24.20
Of course, if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of baking, Diva Tequila pairs just as well with dark chocolate covered strawberries!

No matter how you enjoy Diva Tequila, you WILL enjoy it.

Salud!

 

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