Tag Archives: Matt Martinez

Cilantro Vinaigrette

My friend Cassi bought the same small food processor that I did and asked what she should do with it. I love it for salad dressings. This is a simple and very tasty dressing that I found in a book by Matt Martinez Jr, “Mex Tex”. Here’s the recipe as it is written in the book. I cut it in half because there are only two of us at my house.

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cilantro (loosely packed)
1 tablespoon crushed and chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whirl it in the food processor or a blender for 30 seconds. Pour into a jar and chill.

My half measure of the ingredients above makes about this much. The full measure makes 1 1/2 cups, according to the recipe. 1 1/2 cups is more than I need.

Of course, if you don’t like cilantro this won’t be for you. But, if you do, you’ll be amazed at how delicious it is! Today’s salad is fresh greens from my neighbor’s garden, radish, heirloom tomato and green onion. A few slices of cantaloupe and we’re good to go with some grilled chicken.

Do You Love Really Simple Things?

Sometimes that’s really the best way to go.  I always think if I go to a lot of trouble it will be a lot better.  But, that’s not necessarily true.  Like tonight… Hubbard made steak sandwiches last night.  So, we have leftover hogie rolls.  The steak sandwiches were terrific, by the way.  Grilled onions and cheese.  Anyway, tonight we wanted to come up with something else  you can put on a bun.  How about Sloppy Joes?  Matt Martinez has a great recipe in his first book for just the thing.  This is an adaptation of that recipe.  What could be more simple?

I started with a half-frozen pound of ground beef.  When I buy ground beef, I freeze it in one pound portions in quart sized freezer bags and smash them as flat as possible before freezing.  That way, when it’s time to thaw, it happens super quickly.  I’ve been known to break it into chunks with my hands to promote the thawing.  I threw the beef into a skillet and added…

1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup (or so) chopped onion and celery
1 – 4 oz can of diced, hot Hatch chili peppers
1 tablespoon chili powder (or more)

The meat wasn’t really thawed.  But, it sure was once I turned the heat on and it all sauted together.  Once it looks good, you add…

3 tablespoons of flour 

Cook for two or three minutes, until the flour is incorporated and starts to thicken things up.  You want the raw flour taste to go away, but you don’t want it to stick too much.   Then add…

1 – 8 oz can of tomato sauce

Cook until just right to pile on a bun.  Tonight, I’m thinking of topping one side of the buns with grated cheese and sticking them under the broiler.  Once the cheese is melted, I’m going to add the Sloppy Joe stuff and serve.

Easy and super good!  Some Lay’s Original potato chips and some Ranch Style beans should make a perfect pig-fest!

Matt Martinez Mex Tex – Traditional Tex-Mex Taste




I love this book.  When I first started cooking I kept wondering where the Mexican food books were.  I found Diane Kennedy.  But, what I was really looking for was Tex-Mex.  Just like the Tex-Mex we had at our local eatery, Matt’s Rancho Martinez.  We started frequenting Matt’s from the time he opened his place in Lakewood.  It’s not quite the same without old Matt around coming by to see how everyone is doing.  But, it’s still good and often what I think of when I want Mexican food.  

He had a couple of books before this one.  This one is undoubtedly the best.  The photos are great and the recipes cover all my favorites and more.  His chili rellenos are by far the best I’ve ever eaten and the recipe is right here.  All his salsas, margaritas, enchilada sauces and more.  I really recommend this book.  I roll out this one when I want to impress visitors from out of state who never sit down to Mexican food at their table at home.  I’ve seen the book at Borders and on Amazon.

If you don’t already have a good Tex-Mex cookbook, this is the only one you’ll need.