If Eva Longoria likes you, she will cook for you. The Jane the Virgin producer has been whipping up dishes in the kitchen since she was little — cooking mouth-watering meals for her nearest and dearest, expressing love with plates of enchiladas and bowls of tortilla soup — and it remains her favorite way to show appreciation to those close to her. “Cooking is such a personal thing to share with somebody, and that’s why I love to do it,” Eva told ¡HOLA! when she published a cookbook, Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking With Love for Family & Friends. “I wanted the book to be a peek into my life, because cooking is such a big part of my life,” the actress shared. “The book is a memoir of my life, told through food.”
Filled with family photos, colorful anecdotes about growing up and recipes passed down over generations – or picked up during Eva’s world travels – Eva’s Kitchen tells the story of the star’s lifelong love affair with food.
Eva’s Aunt Elsa was a caterer, and the spreads she put out were legendary. “I have a million memories of her,” Eva says, reminiscing on her bustling kitchen, her endless tips and her beautifully presented dishes. “She passed away several years ago and I miss her still.” So it's no surprise Eva dedicated her cookbook to her late aunt. Check out three of Eva's delicious recipes below and get cooking!
CHILI-RUBBED SKIRT STEAK TACOS
"At Beso these tacos are served as an appetizer, but some people love them so much that they make a meal of them, ordering VeraCruz Corn on the side. Guests often look at the dish’s name and exclaim, 'I don’t like spicy!' but I always assure them that the chili powder adds only beautiful color and nice flavor. I promise it does not pica, as my Aunt Elsa would say, meaning that it’s not spicy."
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 pounds skirt steak
- Kosher salt to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup Chunky Guacamole with Serrano Peppers
- 12 wooden toothpicks
1. Lightly oil the grill grate and prepare a medium-hot grill.
2. Rub the chili powder onto both sides of the steak and sprinkle generously with salt. Grill the steak, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer to taste. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Stack the tortillas on a cutting board and use a sharp, thin-bladed knife to trim them into 4-inch squares. Heat a comal or flat castiron griddle over medium heat. Place 1 to 2 tortilla squares on the comal, or as many as will fi t without crowding, and heat until warm and soft. Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm while you heat the remaining tortilla squares.
4. Place a warm tortilla on a work surface with its points going up and down, like a diamond. Holding the knife at a roughly 45-degree angle to the cutting surface, cut the steak diagonally across the grain into thin strips. Place 2 to 3 strips across the center of the diamond.
Top with a generous spoonful of guacamole. Pull the tortilla together corner to corner (so it looks like a triangle) and secure it with a toothpick. Place the taco on a serving platter and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve.
ENCHILADAS ROJAS (RED ENCHILADAS)
"When I was growing up, enchiladas were a family affair. On enchilada night, my sisters and I knew we would be called upon to take our positions alongside our mom in the kitchen: one sister fried the tortillas, another dipped them in the sauce, another (usually me) stuffed them, and the last rolled and transferred them to the pan. I can never think about enchiladas without remembering all those happy times in the kitchen."
"Not everyone in the house loved onions as much as my dad did, so [my] mom had us add the onions to only half of the enchiladas. She’d stick a toothpick in the pan with the onions to mark it, and everyone could sit down to enjoy the same meal."
MAKES 8 SERVINGS
- 10 medium tomatoes,quartered
- 10 dried ancho chiles
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 cup broth from cooked chicken, or store-bought
- 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil or as needed
- Kosher salt to taste
- About 48 corn tortillas
- 1 4-pound whole chicken, poached and shredded
- 1 yellow onion, fi nely chopped (optional)
- 3 cups grated or crumbled queso fresco (about 12 ounces) or shredded Mexican Cheese
- Mexican Rice, for serving
- Refried Beans, for serving
1. For the sauce: Place the tomatoes and chiles in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook gently until the chiles are tender, about ten minutes. Drain and remove the stems from the chiles. Working in batches if necessary, place the tomatoes, chiles, garlic, and chicken broth in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until well pureed.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1⁄4 cup of the oil over medium heat until shimmery and hot but not smoking. Add the sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat. Set aside until cool.
3. For the enchiladas: Line a baking sheet or platter with paper towels. In a small skillet, heat 1 cup of oil until shimmery and hot but not smoking. Lightly fry the tortillas one at a time just until softened, 5 to 10 seconds per side. Transfer to the paper towel–lined pan to drain.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat one or two baking dishes with cooking spray.
AUNT ELSA’S DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE
"This is everything you want a chocolate cake to be. A simply prepared batter bakes up into a delicious cake with layers that have a tender crumb and good chocolate flavor. The frosting is beaten into billowy clouds of shiny chocolate goodness that spreads like silk."
MAKES 8 TO 10 SERVINGS; FROSTING MAKES 41⁄2 TO 5 CUPS FOR THE CAKE
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 1⁄2 cups cake f our, plus more for the pans
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1⁄2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup boiling water
FOR THE FROSTING
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 4 cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1⁄2 cup hot water
- 1 large egg
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. In the top of a double boiler or in a stainless-steel mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and fl our three 8-inch cake pans.
3. In a large bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda and salt; set aside.
4. In the work bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, place the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat on high speed until lightened in color, about three minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally.
5. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the chocolate. Add the flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk in two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Beat in the water until smooth.
6. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
7. Let the cake layers cool in the pans on wire racks for five minutes.
Run a thin knife around the outside and turn out onto racks. Peel off the paper. Flip them over to completely cool right-side up on the racks. If not assembling right away, cover the layers in a plastic wrap and store at room temperature for one day.