Summer Grilling: Elote

5 Jul







During my years spent in the Southwest, I became a huge fan of Mexican street corn. Even in the desert’s hot summer months, street carts were abundant selling everything from tacos to raspados (shaved ice), street corn and even fresh mango covered in chili powder.  Although I didn’t grow up on Mexican street corn living in the New York City area, I still feel a sense of nostalgia about it.  Recently I have found that elote is becoming more common across the U.S. and is no longer just a specialty in the West Coast and Southwestern regions.  If you can’t find Mexican street corn where you live, it couldn’t be simpler to make at home.




Corn on the cob
Chili powder
Fresh lime juice and zest
Cotija cheese, parmesan works fine as well
Butter, optional
Mayonnaise, optional



1.  Heat your grill.
2.  Husk and clean the corn.
3.  Cook the corn thoroughly on the grill.
4.  Spread either the butter or mayonnaise onto the corn.  I use butter because I absolutely loathe mayonnaise.  Either of these two things will help the remaining ingredients stick to the corn.
5.  Squeeze fresh lime juice onto the corn then dust with a healthy portion of chili powder.
6.  Top with lime zest and crumbles of cotija cheese or freshly grated parmesan.



There aren’t a ton of flavor combinations better than chili powder and fresh lime.  I could eat it on just about anything.  Pair this elote with some fish tacos and jalapeño margaritas and you have the perfect menu for a relaxing summer BBQ with family and friends.  Make sure to have some Coronas or Tecate on ice poured into a chili powder rimmed glass with a squeeze of fresh lime inside.



Stay cool!

xoxo, The Refined Palate




Xristina Miros ©2015





Snack Time

26 Feb

Banana Snack



There is nothing better than a really quick and easy snack you can just throw together; especially when that easy snack is healthy too.  This is something I love to make because I can do it in no time at all and I always have these three ingredients in my kitchen: banana, peanut butter and chocolate chips.  That’s it.  I told you there was nothing to it.  While this isn’t exactly a recipe and seems like a no-brainer, I thought it was a good idea to share because it’s usually the simplest of things that can be overlooked when trying to think of something to snack on.



1 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, any variety
Dark chocolate chips, one per banana slice


1.  Slice your banana into 1/4 inch thick slices.
2.  Place a small dollop of peanut butter on top of each banana slice.
3.  Top the peanut butter with a chocolate chip.
4.  And dassss it.




Banana Snack





The Refined Palate


Christina Miros ©2015

Making Crepes

25 Feb



I think crepes intimidate a lot of people because they seem like another pretentious, fancy French, technically difficult dish to make. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Crepes are super simple, just like making pancakes but with a little more jazzy wrist action. On the weekends I like to make special breakfasts for my family and on this particular day, they voted for crepes. Usually my kitchen isn’t largely into democracy, but I let them slide this time.




1 cup all-purpose flour
1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, milk and water.
2. Slowly add the flour and salt. Whisk until well combined.
3. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
4. Using a ladle, scoop the batter into the pan; this is where the jazzy wrist action comes in.
5. Tilt the pan in a circular motion until the crepe batter evenly coats the bottom in a thin layer.
6. When the crepe starts to loosen from the pan, flip the crepe with a spatula or you can use some more jazzy wrist action and do the flashy air flip.
7. Serve the crepes hot.




You can either roll the crepes or fold them. You can either stuff crepes or top them. You can eat them plain or not; who am I to tell you how to run your life?  Crepes are awesome because they can be savory or sweet. This is the most basic recipe. You can use your imagination to incorporate any flavors into the mix.





Enjoy your day & don’t take crepe from no one!


♥ The Refined Palate


Christina Miros ©2014

…unless you got buns hun

23 Feb

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes



Sir Mix-A-Lot of pancake batter. Ok, no more awesomely bad jokes, at least for now. Here is yet another recipe made for a visit from my sister. My sister stayed the night so she could have a slumber party with my 16-month-old daughter. Let’s just say there was a lot more slumber than party.  This little rendezvous meant that breakfast the next morning called for something extra special and out of the ordinary; cinnamon bun pancakes with a sweet cream cheese glaze.  These pancakes were pretty fantastic…and I can not lie.


For the Cinnamon Filling:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon


1.  Melt the butter.
2.  Whisk together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
3.  Scoop the filling into a zip-top sandwich bag or into a pastry bag.  If using a sandwich bag, snip a tiny portion off from the bottom corner to create a small tip that the cinnamon filling can be squeezed out of.
4.  Set aside until you start to cook the pancakes.



For the Glaze:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Melt the butter over low heat.
2.  Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth.
3.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract.
4.  Set aside until the pancakes are cooked.

For the Pancake Batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
Cooking spray or butter

1.  Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2.  Whisk in the egg and milk, just until the batter is moistened.
3.  Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Either spray with non-stick cooking spray or grease the pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.
4.  Using a ladle or an ice cream scoop, add batter to the hot pan.  Reduce the heat of the pan to medium-low.
5.  Using the pastry or zip-top bag, start piping the cinnamon filling onto each pancake; starting from the middle and spiraling outward.



Cinnamon Bun Pancakes
6.  When bubbles start to appear on the pancake, gently flip to cook an additional 2 minutes on the other side.
7.  Wipe the pan clean between batches because the sugar from the cinnamon filling will start to burn in the pan if it isn’t cleaned off.
8.  Cook the additional pancakes and serve the pancakes topped with a drizzle of the sweet cream cheese glaze.



Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes





Happy Eating ♥
The Refined Palate


Christina Miros ©2015

Valentine’s Day Dinner

12 Feb

So, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and because propaganda and media hype is alive and well, many of you will be celebrating.  To the less cynical, like myself on most days, it is just another great reason to show your loved ones you care by doing something extra special for them.  Whether it be sending flowers, gift-giving with a personal touch, making dinner reservations (if you’re a crazy person and actually go to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day) or cooking a meal for them at home, there are many ways to show your love.  I have always been one to spread love through my cooking and Valentine’s Day is no different.  This recipe is uncomplicated, cost conscience and something a little outside the box.  Who says a good pork chop can’t be romantic?



Pork Milanese
Eggplant Caponata

Pork Milanese


For the Pork:

2 bone-in pork chops, pounded thin; they don’t have to be center-cut, buy what is on sale
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
Black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


1.  Preheat oven to 350º F.
2.  Place the pork chop between two pieces of plastic wrap.  With a meat mallet pound the pork chop out to increase the surface area.  It doesn’t have to be too thin.  If you don’t have a meat mallet, you could use the bottom of a heavy drinking glass or a heavy frying pan.
3.  Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.
4.  Add the grated parmesan to the breadcrumbs.
5.  Coat the pork chop in the flour first and the egg second.  Transfer the pork chop to the breadcrumb mixture and coat evenly.
6.  In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
7.  Cook the pork chop for about 4 minutes on each side, or until it is golden and crispy.
8.  Transfer the pork chops to a baking dish and place them in the preheated oven for an additional 10-12 minutes of cooking.  Transferring them to the oven will ensure the pork chop is completely cooked through without burning the breadcrumbs.


For the Eggplant Caponata:

1 large eggplant, diced
1 pint of grape tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Black pepper
Olive oil


1.  Preheat the oven to 400°.
2.  Place the grape tomatoes in a baking dish and coat with olive oil.  Season the tomatoes with salt and place in the oven.  Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to burst.
3.  Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat to sauté the onions.  Cook the onions for about 15-20 minutes or until soft and caramelized.
4.  Add the garlic to the cooked onions and sauté for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the onions and garlic to a bowl.
5.  Add the eggplant to the sauté pan and cook for about 15 minutes until the eggplant becomes browned and very tender.
6.  At this point, add the tomatoes to the eggplant.  Add the onions and garlic back to the pan and add the remaining ingredients.
7.  Cook everything together over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the raisins begin to swell.
8.  Be sure to taste the mixture.  Caponata should have a sweet and sour flavor profile but should always be balanced.  Adjust seasoning or the vinegar and sugar levels as necessary.  The caponata should be very soft almost like a spread or relish in constancy.
9.  Top each pork chop with a generous portion of the eggplant caponata and garnish with more fresh basil.


It seems like a lot of steps but it is literally just a fried pork chop topped with some roasted and sautéed vegetables; to put it more simply.  Making extra caponata is always a brilliant idea because it tastes even better the next day, if that’s possible, on top of toasted pita bread or crostinis.  Pair this dish with your favorite bottle of vino and finish the night with my chocolate-covered strawberry milkshake and you have the most perfect, unassuming Valentine’s Day dinner menu.   This meal will look as though you spent hours and tons of money to put it together but you’re nobody’s fool!  Take the easy way out, right into your loved one’s arms.


Pork Milanese


Wishing you lots of love & chocolate this Valentine’s Day!



The Refined Palate


Christina Miros ©2015

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Milkshake

11 Feb

This is a little idea I had that would make the perfect treat for any Valentine’s Day date night.  It is a great alternative to the traditional chocolate-covered
strawberry and it is so fun and easy to put together.  No need to clean
strawberries or melt chocolate for this recipe.  Everything is
already done; just throw it in a blender and you have a
satisfying and simple dessert.





Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shake




What you’ll need:

2 cups chocolate ice cream
5 frozen strawberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
1 teaspoon confectioner’s sugar (optional)


1.  Throw all the ingredients, except for the heavy cream, into a blender.  Blend on the puree setting until the milkshake is smooth.
2.  If the milkshake is too thin, add more ice cream.  Too thick?  Add more milk.
3.  In a medium bowl whip the heavy cream with either an electric hand mixer or by hand with a whisk.
4.  Just before the cream starts to come together, add the confectioner’s sugar.
5.  Continue mixing until the heavy cream resembles whipped cream.  Do not over-whip or you will end up with butter; not particularly tasty in a milkshake.
6.  Pour the milkshake into a glass, top with the fresh whipped cream and enjoy!




Substitutions of any kind can be made if there are any food intolerances or dietary needs.  Just replace the whole milk with skim milk or any nut or soy milk. You can also use any type of ice cream whether it’s made with almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk.  The chocolate syrup can be replaced with  1 tablespoon of cocoa powder or a 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate extract.  The chocolate syrup can even be replaced with chocolate protein powder.




I hope everyone enjoys their Valentine’s Day with loved ones.  
You can show them just how much you love them
with this little indulgence.

Love Always♥,
The Refined Palate

Christina Miros ©2015

Coconut Macaroons

31 Jan

My sister asked me to make coconut macaroons for an upcoming family event. Don’t let their beauty deceive you, they are actually one of the simplest things you can make. Next time you need to throw something together quickly, this is definitely the recipe for you.  It can be a little messy and that makes it the perfect recipe to get the kids involved.


Coconut Macaroons



What you’ll need:

1 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped


1.  Preheat oven to 325ºF.
2.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
3.  In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.  It is easiest to use your hands.  This is where the kiddies can get involved.

Coconut Macaroons
4.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.

Coconut Macaroons
5.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Coconut Macaroons
6.  Using two spoons, form the coconut mixture into mounds on the baking sheet.  Space about 1 inch apart.

Coconut Macaroons
7.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops and edges are golden brown.
8.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals.  Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate and return to the lined baking sheets.
9.  Place the macaroons in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set.



Coconut Macaroons




Love always, 

The Refined Palate

Christina Miros ©2015

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

26 Jan

We are officially in a declared state of emergency here in the tri-state area due to what is said to be the most epic blizzard in New York history.  We all made our runs to the store to stock up on necessities in preparation of the oncoming storm. Obviously for me, besides a bottle of wine or two, some of those necessities included a few ingredients to make these triple chocolate chip cookies.  Here is a simple recipe to make your house and your soul feel warmer on this cold day. Hurry and bake them soon; you don’t want to be left without electricity and without cookies.




Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies





Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)

2 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 box instant chocolate pudding

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups flour

Semi-sweet chocolate chips



1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, and vanilla; beat until creamy.
3.  Add eggs and beat.
4.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.
5.  Mix in chocolate chips; I use roughly 3/4 of an 11 1/2 oz bag (326 grams).
6.  Form cookies in your palm; just a bit smaller than a golf ball. Spread cookies onto ungreased baking sheet at least one inch apart.
7.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.




Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies





Stay safe & warm fellow East coasters 


Christina Miros ©2015

Pizza Night

22 Jan

My sister was coming over for dinner the other night and I wanted to make something special.  I could have made anything really, but I decided to make pizza.  My sister loves pizza, I love pizza, basically everybody with a soul loves pizza; you can’t go wrong.  I have made pizza many times before but I wanted to make these extra special and delicious.  My sister loves white pizza so I made one with a garlic béchamel sauce topped with cremini mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves and fresh thyme.  The other pizza was more my style with a traditional red pizza sauce, slices of Spanish chorizo, Manchego cheese and caramelized onions.  I still taste these pizzas in my daydreams because they were so good.  The only thing I am missing to make these pizzas even better is a 700º brick oven.  Oh well. Anybody know a mason?  Send them to my backyard to build me a pizza oven. I’m sure I could DIY it…maybe?



Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Pizza

Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Pizza

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour until well mixed.
2.  Gradually whisk in the milk until there are no lumps.
3.  Add the salt, pepper and garlic.
4.  Mix in the parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is well combined.
5.  Remove the sauce from the heat.  It will thicken as it sits.

For the Crust:

Store-bought, duh!  I used a whole wheat crust for this pizza.  When I say store-bought, I don’t mean a big brand pizza crust that is sold in the cardboard rolls.  Find the pizza crusts in the bakery that are sold in a plastic bag.  You could always make your own, but I find that these bagged pizza crusts work just fine and save me a bunch of time.

1.  Flour your surface.
2.  Roll out the crust using any method or tool.  Whatever works.  I use my hands instead of a rolling pin.  In high school I worked at a pizza place so I like to think I know what I’m doing.  If your dough doesn’t want to stay stretched into a round shape, place it on a preheated pizza stone and it will help the dough stick in place.

For the Toppings:

1 16 ounce package cremini mushrooms, sliced
8-10 garlic cloves, roasted
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat your oven to 500° F.
2.  Place your rolled out crust in the oven for 10 minutes.  This will allow it to cook just a little before you place all the ingredients on, keeping it from getting soggy.
3.  After 10 minutes, spread the garlic white sauce on top.
4.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese around evenly.
5.  Scatter the sliced mushrooms across the pie.
6.  Place the roasted garlic cloves around the pie.
7.  Sprinkle fresh thyme over all the toppings.
8.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
9.  Slice and serve while hot!

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Pizza

Chorizo & Manchego Cheese Pizza
Caramelized Onions 

Chorizo Pizza

For the Sauce:

1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon olive oil

1.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2.  Saute the garlic until it slightly softens, about 3 minutes.
3.  Add the tomato sauce, oregano and basil.
4.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.
5.  After 30 minutes, season the sauce with salt to taste and sugar to lessen the acidity.

For the Toppings:

1 package of sliced Spanish chorizo; it will be near the deli section by the prepackaged salami and prosciutto.
1 wedge of Manchego cheese, grated
3 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
Caramelized onions

1.  Preheat the oven to 500º F.
2.  Place the pizza crust on a preheated pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes.
3.  After 10 minutes, top the crust with the tomato sauce.
4.  Sprinkle the grated Manchego cheese evenly around the pie.
5.  Top the cheese with the slices of chorizo.
6.  Spread the caramelized onions evenly around the pie.
7.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
8.  Garnish with sliced scallions.
9.  Slice and serve while hot!

Chorizo Pizza

These pizzas are a quick and fun meal to throw together for the family.  They are also a great way to get your children involved in the kitchen.  These pies,
without question, blow any delivery pizza out of the water and you
won’t be spending nearly as much to make them yourself.
Crack open a nice bottle of wine and enjoy the
best pizza night you have ever had.

Pizza Night

Love Always ,

The Refined Palate

Christina Miros ©2015

SUPER BOWL SNACK IDEA: Chicken Parmesan Crostinis

15 Jan

This recipe is a play on the popular dish, chicken parmesan.  I thought it would be fun to make a mini version that could be served at a cocktail party; especially your upcoming Super Bowl party.  The same snacks are often served at all football-themed parties which can become boring and predictable; two adjectives that do not describe me.  The best part about this recipe, besides the way it tastes, is that it can all be done in advance; saving you time to enjoy the party.  If you are planning on bringing this to someone’s house to help out the host, or if you are making it for a potluck party, make sure you don’t eat them all before you get there; you may be asked to leave.  Just saying!


Chicken Parmesan Crostini




Tomato Sauce

1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper

1.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the onions and cook over medium heat until they are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, or until the garlic begins to soften.
2.  Add the tomato sauce to the pan.  Season with the oregano and basil.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
3.  Wait until the end to season with the sugar, salt and black pepper.  I always season any type of tomato sauce with sugar because it helps to cut the natural acidity from tomatoes.  The sugar will balance out the flavors without actually making the sauce taste sweet.



Chicken Meatballs

1 package ground chicken
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Black pepper
Shredded mozzarella, to top the crostinis

1.   Preheat oven to 400°.
2.  Mix everything except the chicken together in a large bowl.
3.  Add the chicken and mix until everything is evenly distributed throughout the meat.
4.  Form one small patty and cook it.  Taste the sample you cooked to make sure your meatball mix is seasoned appropriately.  Add salt if needed.
5.  Form the mix into 1 inch meatballs.
6.  Place the meatballs onto a large pan and cook for about 10 minutes.
7.  After 10 minutes, change the oven setting to broil.  Broil the meatballs on high for about 5 minutes, or until the tops start to brown.
8.  Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce on the stove and continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.




1 baguette, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil


1.  Set the oven to broil.
2.  Brush each slice of bread with olive oil only on the top side.
3.  Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the bread turns golden.
4.  Remove the bread from the oven and rub each slice with the fresh garlic clove and lightly season with salt.


When all the components are ready, place one meatball on top of the crostini.  There is no need to spoon much additional sauce on top of the meatball since the meatballs were already simmering in the tomato sauce.  Place some shredded mozzarella on top of the meatball and broil for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.  Top the crostinis with chopped fresh basil.  If you are making this ahead of time, I would suggest saving the baking of the crostinis until right before the party.  This will keep the crostinis fresh and ensure that they will not crumble upon your first bite.  If you have a party full of carb-watchers, the crostini can be completely left out.  Just serve the meatballs with a toothpick for easy eating.  Another fun idea is to stuff the cheese inside of each meatball rather than melting it on top.  This would require a block of mozzarella cheese instead of using shredded cheese.  Cut the large block into small bite-sized cubes, sticking one cube into the center of each meatball as you are rolling them out.  Continue to cook the meatballs as directed.



Enjoy eating your meaty balls!

Chicken Parmesan Crostini

Love you much, 

The Refined Palate

Christina Miros ©2015


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