Eileen Sotomora invites us into her kitchen and shares some of her favorite recipes of the season.

“l always love a recipe I can get two meals out of and have two different presentations. My cooking approach mirrors my life approach, and that is to simplify or figure out how to do things in a streamlined fashion. I choose recipes with fewer ingredients, but that pack a lot of flavor.”

“I love this stew because it's super easy to make, leaves the house smelling wonderful and is delicious on a cold winter’s evening. The stew has a blend of latin flavors from my husband’s family, and when you serve it over corn soufflé, it is true comfort food.”

Carnitas Stew

• 1 onion, quartered and sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 ½ lbs. pork tenderloin
• ½ cup orange juice
• juice of 2 limes
• 1 packet carnitas seasoning (or 1 tsp. each of garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, hot paprika and red pepper)
• 1 can Rotel (do not drain)
• optional: cilantro, green onion and jalapeños for garnish

1. Add in order first five ingredients to a slow cooker and turn on low.
Pro tip: Use a liner for easy cleanup.
2. After 6-7 hours, remove pork and shred with two forks. Return half to slow cooker and save other half for another dish.
3. Add Rotel and warm for 15-30 minutes. Serve over 2-3 inch square of corn soufflé. Garnish.

Corn Soufflé

• 8 tbsp. (one stick) salted butter
• 1 can (15 oz.) corn kernels, drained
• 1 cup sour cream
• 2 eggs
• 1 can (15 oz.) creamed corn
• 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
• optional: 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles

1. Coat an 8x8 (or 2 qt.) baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt butter, then cool until just warm to the touch. Add sour cream and eggs and whisk together.
3. Add drained corn and creamed corn, then add chiles and stir to combine.
4. Add Jiffy mix, stir, then pour mixture in baking dish.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until casserole is puffed and slightly brown with a firm center.

Street Carnitas Tacos

• reserved carnitas mixture
• corn tortillas
• optional: cilantro, pickled red onion salsa, jalapeños and crumbled queso fresco for garnish

1. Warm corn tortillas on grill, in pan or microwave for 15 seconds.
2. Using tongs, transfer meat to grill or pan to warm and crisp for 2-4 minutes.
3. Assemble tacos and garnish as desired.


“The pandemic has given me time to reacquaint myself with cooking. I've had time to meal plan in a way that I haven’t before, especially now that I am trying to limit my time and frequency in the grocery store.”

“In order to capture past memories of travel, I've tried to cook cuisine from places we've visited, as well as set the table with things we've acquired along the way. I believe the table you set is just as important as the food you serve. So go ahead, use the good dishes, but focus on the conversation. The connection with others is what really matters.”

Chocolate Pot de Crème

• 9 oz. semi-sweet dark chocolate, finely chopped (or use chocolate chips)
• 1 ½ cups whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 6 large egg yolks
• 5 tbsp. white, granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 3 tbsp. confectioners' sugar for garnish

1. Place chopped chocolate into blender.
2. Whisk milk, cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat a heat-proof spatula. (You should be able to draw a line on spatula with your finger.) Pro tip: You must keep mixture under the boiling point at 180 degrees. If you have a thermometer, 165 degrees is perfect.
3. Remove from heat, slowly pour through sieve into the blender with the chocolate pieces.
4. Pour into 6-8 pot de crème or demitasse cups, or small ramekins. Chill 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
5. Take out one hour before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve.