Susie Jimenez: Recipes for Valentine’s Day |

Susie Jimenez: Recipes for Valentine’s Day

When I think of Valentine’s Day, it’s always with my husband in mind. He loves many experiments that 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

Serves 4

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

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 (see recipe below). Then fold the masa over and turn into a patty.

Place a skillet over low-medium heat and place the patties on there for 7 minutes. Then flip and cook the other side for another 7 minutes.

Panela & Chorizo Mix

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. chorizo

¼ cup yellow onion, chopped

¼ cup celery, chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cups panela cheese, crumbled

In a skillet, place 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat with all the ingredients except for the panela cheese. Cook for 10 minutes, then place in a bowl. While it’s still warm, mix in the panela cheese.

Truffle Cabbage Slaw

3 cups cabbage, shaved

1 lime, juiced

1 Tbsp. fennel seed, toasted

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp. truffle oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Mix in a bowl. Top off the pupusas with the slaw and then tomatillo sauce (see recipe below).

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 Tbsp.

5 mint leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender for one minute. Season with salt.

Drizzle over the entire dish.

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

Let’s not 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.

Tres Leches Cake

1 ½ cups cake flour

1 pinch salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

5 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

Cream syrup for soaking (see recipe below)

Whipped topping (see recipe below)

Combine flour and baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time until well combined. Stir in the 1/2 cup of milk, 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 at 325 degrees 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.

Cream Syrup

12 oz. evaporated milk

14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

1 cup goat milk

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

Whipped Topping

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. orange, zest

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

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