Valentine’s Day recipes: Chorizo panela pupusas, tres leches cake |

Valentine’s Day recipes: Chorizo panela pupusas, tres leches cake

When I think of Valentine’s Day, it’s always with my husband in mind. He loves many of the experiments I try in the kitchen. When he reminds me of some of those bites, I realize I need to share them, because your significant others will love them, too. Valentine’s Day is a love day, so add food to your celebration with those you love. Put in the effort for something that is not so materialistic but an experience.

Chorizo Panela Pupusas with Cabbage Slaw and Tomatillo Sauce

(Makes 4 servings.)

1 pound mixed masa (follow the recipe in the back of your favorite masa mix)

Truffle-cabbage slaw

3 cups cabbage, shaved

1 lime, juiced

1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon truffle oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Panela and chorizo mix

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound chorizo

¼ cup yellow onion, chopped

¼ cup celery, chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups panela cheese, crumbled

Tomatillo sauce

2 cups canned tomatillos

¼ cup cilantro

3 garlic cloves, peeled

3 chile de arbol peppers

1 lime, juiced

4 leaves, basil

1 small shallot, 2 tablespoons

5 mint leaves

Make the truffle-cabbage slaw: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place in refrigerator so flavors can combine.

Make the panela and chorizo mix: In a skillet, place 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat with all the ingredients except for the panela cheese. Cook for 10 minutes, and then place in a bowl. While the mix is still warm, stir in the panela cheese.

Divide the masa into four 4-ounce balls. Roll them out to 1/8 inch. In the middle of each one, sprinkle panela cheese and chorizo mix, and then fold the masa over and turn into a patty.

Place the patties on a low-medium heat skillet for 7 minutes, and then flip and cook the other side for another 7 minutes.

Make the tomatillo sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender for 1 minute. Season with salt.

Top off the pupusas with the truffle-cabbageslaw, and then drizzle the entire dish with tomatillo sauce.

Once you have mastered this pupusa, you will find a variety of ways to stuff it, infuse and love it.

Tres Leches Cake

Don’t forget my favorite dessert: tres leches cake with a touch of goat milk. You need make it early in the day to make sure all the milks have marinated and penetrated into the cake. If you have time, do it the night before, or even two days ahead.

1 ½ cups cake flour

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup oil

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

Cream syrup

12 oz. evaporated milk

14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1 cup goat milk

Whipped topping

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of milk, and then gently fold in the flour mixture a little at a time.

Pour batter into a lightly greased cake pan or baking dish and bake for 35 minutes, or until it feels firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool to room temperature. Turn it over onto a platter with raised edges. Let it cool in the refrigerator for an additional 15 minutes.

Make the cream syrup: Whisk together the three milks, and then slowly pour the liquid over the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Occasionally spoon the milk runoff back onto the cake.

Make the whipped topping: In a chilled mixing bowl, add heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. Beat on high speed until peaks form. Spread a thin layer over the cake. Garnish with fresh berries.

Susie Jimenez was the runner-up from Season 7 of “Food Network Star” and owns a local catering company. She can be reached at