Succulent Latin Dishes by Celebrity Chef James Tahhan

Flavorful food inspired by our roots is the one thing that unequivocally brings Latinas and Latinos together. This week, we spoke with celebrity chef James Tahhan, who shared his take on traditional recipes. Lucky for us, he also gave us some tips on how to make them -- and leave everyone at the table speechless!

Avocado and Shrimp Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 whole avocados
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons scallions
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 4 jumbo shrimps
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions

Mix the avocados, vegetable stock, cilantro and scallions in a food processor. After reaching desired consistency, add the cream and let the mixture stand. In a pan, add olive oil and sauté the corn in high heat until caramelized, then add the smoked paprika and the shrimp. When cooked, serve over the cold avocado soup.

Mango Chipotle Pork Chops



Ingredients

  • 1 can (2 ounces) chipotle chili
  • 2 mangoes
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 serrano chilies
  • 4 pork chops
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients (except the pork chops!) in your blender until a creamy consistency is reached. Pour half the mixture in a plastic bag with the pork chops, and let them marinate for 30 minutes. Pour the remaining half into a saucepan, and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, to create a glaze. When it’s ready, heat up the grill and place the marinated pork chops on it to lock in the flavor and get those grill marks. As they cook, start pouring some of the glaze over them. Repeat two or three times until pork chops are fully cooked.

Baja Style Fish Tacos



Ingredients

For the batter:

  • 16 ounces dark brew Modelo beer
  • 1 cup flour

For the tacos:

  • 1 liter frying oil
  • 2 pounds grouper filet
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups mixed cabbage

For the sauce:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Mexican crema

Directions

Preheat the oil until it reaches 350 F. In a bowl, mix the flour and beer, then set aside. Cut the grouper filet into large strips and season with salt and pepper, then cover with the beer and flour batter. Add the fish strips to the frying pan for around 5 minutes, or until ready, then remove and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.

To make the sauce, chop and mix the sauce ingredients, add lemon juice and grate some of the lemon skin over the mix. Set aside.

When you’re ready to serve, heat the toritllas, and add the fish strips, crema, mixed cabbage and salsa on top. Enjoy!

Baked Skirt Steak


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds skirt steak
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 2 grated celery roots
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 16 ounces minced tomatoes
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • Parsley to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Kitchen string

Directions

Season the meat with salt and pepper, and cover it with a layer of carrots, celery, spinach and parsley. Roll the steak and tie it with the kitchen string. Place it in a heated sauté pan with olive oil and cook until it’s golden-brown, then add the wine. When it’s reduced, add the minced tomatoes. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with aluminum foil; move it to the oven for an hour and a half.

For these and more delicious recipes, visit James Tahhan online.

4 Latinas Who Know Style

Being Latina is not just about customs, family and food. Being on trend is also part of our DNA. We owe this partly to our divas, who, with their talent and fame, have managed to open doors to Latinas and Lations in various industries. In fashion, uber-glam belles like Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz have created a style of their own and have influenced women around the world.

We spoke with designer Yohanna Gursey, who has her fashion own line and has designed gowns for beauty queens in the U.S. and Dominican Republic alike. Here’s what she said about the Latinas that lead the pack in the fashion world today.

JLo: Fresh and Bold

“With her style, Jennifer Lopez is one of the Latinas that have transcended and reached women across all levels of communities,” says Gursey. “She is sexy and daring in her choices -- a lot of Latinas emulate her style.”

For Latinas to look sexy, it’s not necessary to wear tight-fitting outfits to show off curves, says Gursey. There are many pieces that enhance and showcase a curvy figure in an elegant yet way. For this season, Gursey recommends dresses and pants that cinch at the waist and have a loose fit toward the bottom. 

Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz Rule Sophistication



Gursey defines Hayek’s and Cruz’s style as sophisticated and designed to inspire women who want to look elegant and glamorous. “They embrace a very European look,” says Gursey. “They also dress in Oscar de la Renta, which features an elegant aesthetic.”

Sofia Vergara: Sexy Meets Classy

“Sofia Vergara is very sexy and very sophisticated,” says Gursey. “She is hot, not because she is super-sexy, but because she stands out when she needs to.”

To look like Sofia Vergara, Gursey recommends that you understand your body type well. “If we already have curves, we don’t need to go for pant and skirt styles that are skin-tight,” says Gursey. Because if we do, it’s easy to start looking vulgar, she cautions. And that’s something you definitely want to avoid, as the classy, sexy, beautiful Latina that you are!

3 Stylish Fall Outfits We Love!

Whether it’s a pair of riding boots or a classic tweed jacket, rediscovering a favorite piece when unpacking your fall wardrobe can be just the thing to help you accept what you’re losing as we enter the chilly season -- sunny days, little dresses, the list goes on.

To make the transition to lower temps even smoother, this year, try something new: Instead of packing up your summer lights and brights, keep them at the ready. Your wardrobe will be bigger (twice the size, to be exact), and you’ll find so many chic pairings you didn’t even know you had! Call it a little fashion therapy, in the name of a happy-as-ever summer-to-fall. Here are three summer-fall pairings we’re loving right now.

1. Cowboy Boots
The secret to wearing the new cowboy boots right? Pair them with summer dresses or fall skinnies to show them off in all their glory. But skip other Western trends to avoid looking a little too country.

2. The Classic Shirtdress                                 
This season’s shirtdress is the perfect piece to take you stylishly into fall. Pair it with new scarves, printed leggings and embellished leather booties.

3. The Chambray Shirt

Chambray is in -- and why not? It works day and night, season after season, every which way. Among our favorites: matched with chiffon for summer, doubled-up for fall. (Think layered shirts in high-contrast washes.)

Love these trends? Get them for less from our sponsor, Sears >

Exclusive Interview: Ana Layevska

Ana Layevska is one of those actresses you remember for her work, not scandals surrounding her personal life. Currently, she stars in the popular novela “Dama y Obrero,” personifying Ignacia Santamaría, a woman who falls in love with the wrong guy. Ana, who’s currently taping, took some time to speak with Nuestra Gente about her career, her goals and her dreams.

Nuestra Gente: What has been the most difficult part of playing Ignacia?
Ana Layevska
: A couple of things. First, I would say thinking like an engineer, which is very different from my own mental structure -- I am not a numbers person. Ignacia is also in a huge predicament because she falls in love with a construction worker, and it’s very hard on her. Also, as part of having a lead role, you have to look your best in every scene. So I have to be cautious of the hair, the makeup … every little detail matters!

NG: What qualities does this character share with Ana Layevska?
AL:
Not many. I tend to prefer characters that don’t have many things in common with me. But I can identify with this one in the way she has gone about her career. Both of us have accomplished things on our own, with nobody’s help -- we are both very responsible and very professional.

NG: Have you ever set your sights on a construction worker?

AL: No, but there are always exceptions. At the end of the day, what matters is not what you work at, but your qualities as a human being. There can be instances when you fall for someone who is different, especially in countries like the United States or Europe, where there are less prejudices against things like social class.

NG: What brings you the most pride about your career?
AL:
Having a faultless career. I haven’t been involved in scandals. I am usually asked about my career and not about any scandals or gossip, which I am thankful for; for some reason I have been able to stay away from tabloid gossip. Also, the fact that I continue being asked to be part of productions; I feel proud to be called because what I’ve achieved has been a result of my work.

NG: How have you managed to stay away from tabloid scandals?
AL:
Just by completely keeping away from them. I feel I live in a different dimension; I am always the last one to find out about scandals, and I don’t even follow the gossip. I kind of live in my own world, and I think it’s a good quality to have. I love to act and I really get into my characters, I don’t do it to be on TV.

NG: What do you do when things you don’t like are published about you?
AL:
It makes me laugh, really. I have encountered my share of paparazzi -- they can make up a romantic relationship about you and your best friend just because they saw you grabbing dinner or lunch. I have been in situations that aren’t necessarily compromising but certainly complicated.

NG: Do those things make you angry?

AL:
It doesn’t bother me, but it can affect my friendships, because I always have to say, “Sorry, don’t take this the wrong way, but this tabloid released this, and now they think we’re a couple,” but as of now I haven’t had any incident that is too compromising.

NG: What is the secret to being a good actress?
AL:
Loving the career and what you do. That desire of knowing the characters to their core. Every time I went on a casting what motivated me the most was not saying I’m doing this because I deserve it, but because I really wanted to do it and live it, because this career is not easy at all. There are many times when you are up, and there are others when you are down, and there is a lot of uncertainty. It’s important to ask for help -- you can’t think that you can do everything by yourself, and looking good helps. Taking care of your body, which is your main instrument, is very important.

NG: How do you take care of yourself?
AL:
I need sleep -- that is my main thing. For my sleeping hours, I would sacrifice everything: If I had an incredible party for my birthday, I would cancel it, because I am incapable of neglecting my rest. I also try to eat very healthy. During the week I am cautious of what I eat, and I relax a little on the weekends. The most important thing to be successful is to not let the success get to you, but to take advantage of it to help others.   

NG: How do you balance your personal life and your career?
AL:
It’s not easy. You need to have the right person by you -- someone who understands what an actor has to go through when they are working. In some cases, I’ve had to seclude myself to understand a character, but it is always important to have all the cards on the table about what this career entails. I’m always very open about it when it comes to what my career imposes.

Are you in a relationship right now?
AL:
Yes, I am with the right person right now, and I am very happy.

NG: Switching topics, do you like to cook?

AL:
I am horrible in the kitchen, and I really don’t like it. I really think it’s a waste of time. I have cooked only once, when I decided to host some of my cast mates from “Relaciones Peligrosas,” a novela I was in last year. That was the only time I cooked.

NG: What are your personal and professional dreams?
AL:
On the personal level, I would like to have a great family. I want to have two kids and be really happy. On the professional level, I would love to participate in movies with great characters. I don’t want to stay on television, I want to do different projects. I have been doing novelas for sixteen years and I love it, but I really want to try new things.

7 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

With school back in full swing, it’s important for kids to start the day off right. Breakfast is one way to do this: According to several studies, it’s the most important meal of the day because it gives kids the energy they need to perform their best in school and other activities. Here are several breakfast ideas that will get your kids primed for school while helping them form the habit of eating well. 

Breakfast No. 1: Orange and Banana Smoothie

Ingredients: 1/2 cup orange juice, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, 1 banana

Mix all ingredients in a blender for a delicious smoothie that offers and abundance of vitamins, minerals and energy.


Breakfast No. 2: Oatmeal With Honey and Strawberries

Ingredients: 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water or low-fat milk, 1 spoonful honey, handful of strawberries

This quick and simple breakfast is ideal for the morning rush. In a bowl, mix the oats, water and honey (you can also heat the water separately and add it to the oats), and toss chopped strawberries on top. Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious and complete breakfasts, which is why so many experts recommend it to start the day off right.


Breakfast No. 3: Eggs With Ham and Tomato

Ingredients: 2 eggs, turkey or chicken ham, 1 tomato, olive oil

Eggs have vitamin D, essential for healthy development and growth in your children. To make this breakfast, sauté the ham and sliced tomato with olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add two already-mixed eggs to the pan. Serve with a slice of multigrain toast. You can also prepare this as a sandwich and add a little cream cheese to the bread.


Breakfast No. 4
: Bagels

Kids love them, and they are a good source of energy. Opt for the whole-wheat kind, which is high in fiber and more nutritious than the refined white alternative. You can add honey, peanut butter or serve it as a side with eggs.


Breakfast No. 5: Fresh Fruit Bowl

Ingredients: banana, strawberries, pineapple, honey, Greek yogurt

Chop the fruit and place in a bowl. Add the yogurt and a spoonful of honey; toss all ingredients together. Aside from being a good source of vitamins, this breakfast is high in fiber and will give your kids energy for school.


Breakfast No. 6: Oat Muffin

An oat muffin has high levels of fiber and less fat than a regular muffin; you can serve it with a glass of milk, orange juice or apple juice. As an alternative, you could also offer kids a blueberry muffin, which has a lot of potassium and magnesium.


Breakfast No. 7
: Peanut Butter Toast and Strawberries

Ingredients: 2 slices whole-wheat bread, 1 spoonful peanut butter, sliced strawberries

Toast two slices of whole-wheat bread and spread peanut butter while it’s warm. Top with sliced strawberries, and serve with a glass of milk or orange juice.