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Recipes straight from Claudia's Cocina

Keto Albondiga Soup

Claudia Sandoval

When i started doing KETO about a month ago, I was worried I would have to give up some of my favorite foods. Then a friend of mine, asked if I came up with any Mexican Keto-Friendly recipes. I should share them. Well here is one of the first! Thanks Steven Graham for the encouragement!


1.3 lbs of Lean Grass-Fed Ground Beef6

8 oz. cauliflower florets

1 large egg

1 lb. heriloom tomatoes, blended

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

6 celery stalks, chopped

2 oz. kale, stems removed and rough chopped

2 Mexican squash, cut into 1/2” chunks

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tblsp dry whole oregano

Kosher Salt

Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Makes 6 servings


  • In a large stock pot, set to medium heat add coconut oil and add onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté until onions become translucent. Add minced garlic and sautee for another minute.

  • Add pureed tomato to stock pot and bring to a boil. Add 2 liters of water and season oregano crushing it between hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add Cover stock pot and bring to a mild simmer on medium-low heat.

  • In a food processor, pulse cauliflower florets until riced.

Riced Cauliflower

Riced Cauliflower

  • In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, egg, and cup of riced cauliflower and 1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt. Massage for 5 minutes until well incorporated and fluffy.


  • Uncover stock pot and take a heaping tablespoon of mixture and roll between hands, carefully drop each meatball into boiling liquid. When meatballs have all been added, add zucchini and kale.

  • Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, skimming off any residue from top as it foams.

  • Serve and Enjoy! Provecho!


Braised Pork Cheek Tostada Stacks with Chipotle Sour Cream and Pineapple-Mango Salsa​

Claudia Sandoval

Braised Pork Cheek Tostada Stacks with Chipotle Sour Cream and Pineapple-Mango Salsa

I will never forget the look on Olivia’s and Hetal’s faces when they first saw the animal heads revealed as part of one of our “Mystery Box Challenges.” I can understand how difficult that must have been for them, coming from backgrounds that were so different from mine. I grew up on a ranch, where we focused on rustic cooking using every part of the animal with nothing going to waste. In a funny way, I was happy to see a pig’s head under that box.

These tostadas can really be made with an equal weight of any non-lean cut of pork meat, but I assure you, if you have never had pork cheek, there is never a time like ahorita (now)!   


Makes 4 tostada stacks


For the braised pork cheeks:

6 pork cheeks (about 4 ounces/55 g each), trimmed 

8 garlic cloves, peeled

1 yellow onion, cut in half

2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano

2 tablespoons salt

12 (6-inch/15-cm) corn tortillas, homemade (page 000) or store-bought

Canola oil for frying

Cilantro sprigs


For the chipotle sour cream:

3/4 cup (180 ml) sour cream

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce



For the pineapple-mango salsa:

1 cup (165 g) diced pineapple

1 cup (165 g) diced mango 

1 jalapeño, minced 

¼ cup (30 g) diced white onion

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro

Freshly ground black pepper


For the red cabbage slaw:

2 cups (190 g) shredded red cabbage 

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste


To make the pork cheeks: Combine the pork cheeks, garlic, onion, oregano, and salt in a pressure cooker. Pour in enough water to make the pork cheeks float, place the pot over high heat, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, secure the lid according to the manufacturer’s instructions, bring it to high pressure, and cook for 45 minutes.   


To make the salsa: In a medium bowl, toss together the pineapple, mango, jalapeño, onion, lemon and lime juices, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a cool spot. 


To finish the pork cheeks: Remove the pot from the heat and release the pressure from the pressure cooker. Remove the meat from the braising liquid, reserving the liquid. Using the tines of two forks, finely shred the meat. Place the shredded meat in a medium saucepan and add just enough braising liquid to top off the meat. Keep it warm over low heat.


To fry the tortillas: In a deep fryer or skillet, heat at least 4 inches (10 cm) of oil to 375°F (190°C).  

Use a 3-inch (7.5-cm) ring cutter, cut out 12 corn tortilla discs. Drop the tortillas into the oil one at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the fryer, and fry until crisp. Remove from the oil using tongs and place them on a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Immediately season with salt.  


To make the slaw: You must wait until just before you are ready to serve your stack to prepare your slaw, as you don’t want it to go soft. In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage with the lemon and lime juices and season with salt and pepper. 


Now get ready to stack: Begin by placing a bed of slaw at the bottom of each of four plates to anchor the tostada. Add a fried tortilla and top it with some cheek meat. Squeeze on some chipotle sour cream and spoon a bit of slaw and top it off with some salsa. Add a second fried tortilla and repeat to make two layers. Top with a final tostada, finish with some salsa, and garnish with cilantro sprigs or even a few Crispy Pigs’ Ears strips like I did on the show! 

Mexican Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Claudia Sandoval


Mexican Sprinkle Sugar Cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks/ 8oz)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 medium egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

  • 4 oz. Rainbow sprinkles (nonpareils)

Makes 16 to 32 cookies (depending on size)


Preheat Oven to 350F 

Notice Color and Texture.

Notice Color and Texture.

·       Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and pale yellow in color (almost white), about 10-15 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and continue whipping until fully incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. 

·       In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients in two parts to wet ingredients and beat on medium using a paddle attachment or using a spatula, scraping down sides to ensure everything is incorporated. 


·       Portion out cookies into small 1-2 tablespoon balls. Dipping only one half into sprinkles. Place cookies on sheet with sprinkles facing up about 2” apart.

·       Using a flat spatula or coffee mug, press down on cookies to create rounded circles. Each cookie should be about 1/4 inch thick. DO NOT MAKE TOO THIN. Add more sprinkles as needed. 


·       Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

·       Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet before moving, about 15 minutes. 

·       Allow cookies to cool completely before serving! Enjoy! 






Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Claudia Sandoval

MasterChef Latino Season 2

Chef Claudia Sandoval MasterClass



Oven Roasted Beets & Carrots



3 red beets, peeled

¼ lb. Heirloom Carrots, peeled.

2 tblsp Grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 tblsp salt




Preheat Oven to 400F


To Roast beets, coat with 1 tblsp oil, and season with salt and individually wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a sheet pan and roast in oven until fork tender 35-60 minutes.


To Roast Carrots, coat with 1 tblsp oil, and season with salt and place on sheet pan covered with silpat. Roast until fork tender about 20-35 mins. 


Roasted Beet Puree




3 red beets, peeled

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tblsp cup Grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 small mint leaves

½ tsp Orange zest

1 tblsp salt


Preheat Oven to 400F


To Roast beets, coat with oil, and season with salt and individually wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a sheet pan and roast in oven until fork tender 35-60 minutes.


Remove from foil, and place in a robo coupe or food processor and blend with remaining ingredients until smooth. 




Carrot Top Vinaigrette



1 cup finely minced carrot top greens

½ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup champagne vinegar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup  Grapeseed or vegetable oil

1 tblsp dijon mustard 

1 tblsp chives, finely minced

1 tblsp whole mustard seeds

1 tblsp salt




In a large mixing bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, honey, mustard, mustard seeds, chives and grapeseed oil. Lastly fold in Carrot top greens. 




Watermelon Radish

Easter Egg Radishes (MultiColor)

Golden Beet




Set Mandolin at Paper Thin setting. Slice Watermelon Radish and Easter Egg Radishes and place in Ice Water to crisp. Allow to steep in water for 10 mins. min. 


Peel Golden Beets. Slice thinly using Mandolin. 




Birria Tradicional

Claudia Sandoval

Birria is a slow-cooked protein stew flavored with a variety of chiles and spices. It’s typically made from goat’s or sheep’s meat, though in the United States you will find that most birria recipes will call for beef, as goat and sheep are less commonly available. If you do have the opportunity to make yours with goat or sheep, prepare yourself for the best birria you have ever had! This is a recipe we often make for large parties, as it can easily be doubled or quadrupled.

serves 6

6 dried California chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 yellow onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, peeled

11⁄2 tablespoons dried oregano 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 pounds (1.4 kg) beef chuck roast or goat’s or sheep’s leg meat, cut into 6 to 8 equal pieces

10 black peppercorns

4 medium bay leaves 


Leaves from 1 small bunch cilantro, minced

6 dried chiles de árbol, fried or toasted


Place the dried California, pasilla, and guajillo chiles in a medium saucepan and add water to cover. Place the pan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and allow the chiles to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove the chiles from the saucepan and place them in a blender with about 2 cups (480 ml) of the boiling liquid, 1⁄2 chopped onion, the garlic, oregano, and cumin. Blend until smooth but not too thick, adding more of the reserved boiling liquid

if needed.

Place the meat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add water to just barely cover the meat. Add the peppercorns, bay leaves,

and 1 tablespoon salt. Add the chile paste and stir to mix it in. Cover the pan, place it over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low to maintain a bare simmer and cook for about 2 hours (don’t worry about overcooking it—the longer you cook it, the better the flavor develops), until the meat is fork-tender and falling apart, gently mixing it every 30 minutes and checking the sauce level. The meat should be completely covered with braising liquid (see Notes); if not, add hot water and make sure the heat is not too high.

Remove one of the pieces of meat. Using tongs and a fork, break up the meat in the center of a shallow bowl and fill it with broth

to cover the meat by three quarters. Sprinkle on some cilantro and remaining onion, garnish with a dried chile de árbol (crumble the chile to add more heat), and serve.


Keeping the meat covered with braising liquid is important so that the meat cooks evenly and breaks apart perfectly for the final presentation.


Cinnamon Raisin Crescent Rolls

Claudia Sandoval


1 package of Pre-Made Crescent Rolls

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup raisins

For icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon water

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Makes 8 Servings


Preheat oven to 350F

  • Line a Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper.

  • In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and and ground nutmeg.

  • Roll out Crescent Roll Dough, separating 8 triangles carefully. Add 1/8 of sugar mixture and sprinkle raisins evenly. Roll from the widest part toward the point.

  • Arrange 8 rolls with smallest roll facing upward. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 mins.

  • In a small bowl whisk powdered sugar, water, and cinnamon. Icing should be thick and viscous, but no lumps of sugar.

  • Spread icing over Crescents and serve.


Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema

Claudia Sandoval


1 large cauliflower head 

1/2 tablespoon California chile powder

2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil

12-18 corn tortillas


Avocado Crema

2 avocados

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large lime, juice only

salt, to taste


1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

edible flowers

limes, cut into wedges


Serves 4 to 6



Preheat oven to 400F

1) Begin by breaking apart cauliflower florets into equal pieces. If florets are too large cut into halves or quarters. 

2) Place florets in a large bowl and coat with oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and chile powder and toss to coat evenly. 

3) Place coated cauliflower florets in a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast cauliflower for 30-45 minutes.

4) Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend ingredients for avocado crema until smooth. Put into a bowl or squeeze bottle.

5) Preheat a skillet or comal to warm tortillas on medium-high heat. Heat each tortilla for 30-40 seconds on each side or until pliable and cooked through. Place in a kitchen towel or tortilla warmer to keep warm until ready to serve. 


Place 2-3 pieces of cauliflower on each tortilla and top with avocado crema, edible flowers, sliced red onion and sliced jalapeño.


Cinnamon Panna Cotta - Got Milk Partnership

Claudia Sandoval

I developed this recipe for a partnership and Dinner I did with Got Milk?

I hope you and your family love this easy and simple recipe that will remind you of horchata!




1 1/2 cups whole milk

3 teaspoons granulated gelatin

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups light or heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/16 teaspoon of salt (pinch)


Makes 8 (4 oz. servings)




1.    In a small bowl or cup, pour ½ cup of MILK and add granulated gelatin on top, let sit and soften for 5 minutes.

2.    Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan on low heat, heat remaining milk, sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, whisk in gelatin mixture thoroughly.

3.    Divide equally pouring ½ cup in ramekins or cups. Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes on counter, then transfer to refrigerator and chill for 2 hours minimum.

4.    Serve with fresh fruit coulis or chopped fresh fruit. Enjoy


Kitchen Sink Lentil Soup

Claudia Sandoval

I created this recipe after cleaning out my fridge. So i decided to call it the Kitchen Sink Lentil Soup, well because it has everything except for the kitchen sink! I hope you love it as much as I do! xo-CS


  • 6 oz. turkey bacon, chopped

  • ½ cup onion, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 cup celery, chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • 8 oz. tomato sauce

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 2 liters chicken/veg stock

  • 1 cup green lentils

  • 2 cups kale, chopped

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped

  • ¼ cup cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

Makes 8 Servings


1)    In a 4 qt. pot, begin by heating oil at medium high heat and turkey bacon and crisp up. Add onions and celery and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.

2)    Add tomatoes and continue sautéing until softened, about 3 minutes. Add oregano and tomato sauce and stir for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Add 2 liters of stock and bring to a boil covered.

3)    Reduce heat to low and add 1 cup of lentils. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4)    Add Cauliflower and Kale and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until lentils are soft but not falling apart. Remove from heat.

5)    Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and sprinkle in Cilantro. Serve.


Squash Blossom Crema

Claudia Sandoval

40 squash blossom flowers, pistils removed and then cut only 36 flowers (reserve 4)
8 oz. queso fresco, cubed
1 liter of chicken broth
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 chopped white onion
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Makes 8 servings


-Begin by placing a saucepan over medium heat and add oil to the pan. Add onion, garlic and cut pumpkin flowers. Let cook for 2 minutes. Then add chicken broth and bring to a boil.

-Use an immersion blender or an independent blender, blend until it is liquid and smooth. Season with salt and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to low and add heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

Serve placing a squash blossom petals in the bottom of the bowl and place pieces of cubed cheese. Pour the cream soup into the bowls until cheese is hidden at the bottom of the bowl. Enjoy!

Provecho ~ Chef Claudia

Zucchini and Poblano Colache

Claudia Sandoval



2 medium zucchini, cubed medium

1 medium chayote, cubed small  

6 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, without seeds and in slices

4 Roma tomatoes, cubed

½ onion, sliced in half moon

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

12 oz. corn frozen or canned

1 lb. Queso Fresco, medium cubes

½ lb. Oaxaca cheese, small cubes

1 ½  cup vegetable/chicken stock or water

1 tablespoon vegetable Oil

Salt & Pepper




1.    In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add sliced onion and sauté for 1 minute, or until transparent. Add garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Add Zucchini and Chayote squash and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add cubed tomato to pan and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

2.    To this pan, add 1 ½ cups of stock or water, add corn to pan, stir to mix, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.

3.    Remove cover from pan and add poblano slices to simmering mixture. Cover and simmer for 3 more minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes.

4.    Two minutes before serving, add cheese, stir gently to incorporate. Cover and allow to rest final 2 minutes.

5.    Serve with rice, boiled beans or on its own.






Mexican Spicy Fried Chicken

Claudia Sandoval

Makes 10 Drumsticks/Thighs


  • 2 Chipotle Peppers

  • 2 oranges, juice

  • 1 tablespoon achiote powder

  • 1 tablespoon chile california powder or chili

  • 2 tablespoons of salt


  • 4 medium eggs

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo


  • 1 lb (800 g) all purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoon granulated garlic


  • Preheat oil to 350°F (175°C).


  • In a blender place all ingredients. Blend until smooth.

  • In a large plastic bag place chicken drums or thighs and smother with marinade. Seal and place in refrigerator for 2-12 hours (overnight).


  • In a medium bowl or dish, whisk the ingredients together until homogenous. Make sure your bowl is large enough to hold your pieces of chicken as you will be using this same receptacle to dredge.



  • In a large shallow bowl or baking dish mix your dry ingredients together until completely mixed through.


  • Begin by removing the chicken from the marinade. Removing as much extra marinade as possible by shaking chicken. Do not towel dry.

  • Place chicken into dry dredge coating chicken completely. Remove from dry dredge and shake to remove excess flour. Place on a plate or sheet pan.

  • Place chicken into egg dredge, coating chicken completely. Place into dry dredge again shaking off any excess flour. Do one piece at a time for this step.

  • Ensure that your hot oil is to temp (350F degrees). When you add chicken, oil temp will go down. Make sure it stays between 300-325 degrees. Oil should be softly simmering.

  • Using a meat thermometer check chicken thighs and drums until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. Remove Chicken from oil, place on a paper towl lined receptacle and continue frying until a chicken has been fried.