At Beyond Wonderful I’m always especially gratified to get emails from overseas readers with their culinary questions and kitchen adventures. So when Jeff from Jerusalem—a former Marin resident—asked for my help locating the huevos Mexicana recipe served at the local Shoreline Coffee Shop in Mill Valley, I had to smile at how small the world truly is.
Jeff was missing the old haunt and shared his memories and favorite dishes. He had no idea that I held the Holy Grail—the huevos Mexicana recipe was just a click away—and there was more, much more. I explained to Jeff that I was a long-time regular at the Shoreline, and had sought owner Santi Ojeda’s guidance when developing Beyond Wonderful’s Mexican food section. “This is amazing!” Jeff wrote. “I thought that the wonders of Shoreline Coffee Shop would be lost forever to me!”
As the emails flew, Jeff related his fondness for Santi’s salsa verde (green sauce). Made from tomatillos and serrano chiles, this cooked, deeply flavored sauce is a staple in Mexican kitchens; uncooked it’s a popular table salsa.
We talked a lot about chiles and how Jeff used them in his cooking. I learned that jalapeños are not available in Jerusalem, so Jeff planted them in his rooftop garden for an endless supply
This got me wondering how easy it was for Jeff to gather the required ingredients for authentic Mexican food so far away. He explained that black beans and pinto beans are readily available in the local markets, but tortilla flour must be brought in from the US. His family in Texas keeps him well stocked with dried pastille and chipotle chiles.
I discovered that Jeff’s love and knowledge of Mexican food grew out of years of happy eating in his grandmother’s southwestern kitchen. Today, he regularly prepares her signature flat enchiladas for his family and friends in Israel.
When last heard from, Jeff had mastered my huevos Mexicana and was preparing to tackle salsa roja (red sauce) and salsa poblanos (fire-roasted pasilla sauce). Jeff sent a number of photos of his family dishes, and one of himself with his young daughter. As I looked at this beautiful child of a stranger, I marveled once again at the power of food to bring human beings together.
Get a complete listing of all the Beyond Wonderful Mexican recipes and how-to cooking techniques. All are printable for your convenience.