January 3, 2012

Senora's Potatoes + Salsa Hummus

On Sunday evening I was in the mood for "breakfast for dinner."  However, this was no ordinary breakfast craving because I wasn't in the mood for pancakes, I wasn't in the mood for French toast, and I wasn't even in the mood for oatmeal or a breakfast casserole (which are both solid standbys in my recipe repertoire).

So, I asked, what was I in the mood for?!


But not just any hashbrowns...I was in the mood for Senora's potatoes.

Who is Senora?  Well, her full name is Senora Lourdes (Lulu) Rodriguez, and she was my family's host when we visited Guanajuato, Mexico numerous times from 2000-2002.  Each time that I, my Pee Paw, my Mee Maw, or my mother (or a combination thereof) made our way down to Guanajuato, we would stay in Senora's home for the duration of our visit.  She served as our "host family" by providing us food, lodging, and a willing individual with whom we could practice our Spanish. 

But Senora was so much more than that!  Our family and hers became close.  For several years our visits were quite regular (every 4-6 months or so).  In fact, during our last visit, Senora gave our family a beautiful piece of art (a sculpture of a native warrior) that would serve as a reminder of our time spent in the beautiful city of Guanajuato. 

On top of all that, Senora was a magnificent cook!  Every meal that we had seemed to top the one before it.  It's amazing that we all didn't gain 10-15 pounds while we were living in her home (then again, I'm sure that had to do with the fact that we walked up and down hill-y streets all. day. long.).

The houses are built into the mountain.

The pathways to homes are very steep and narrow.

My time in Guanajuato has had a profound impact on making me the woman I am today:

  • I, in large part, majored in Spanish during my undergraduate degree program because I fell in love with the Spanish language during my time in Mexico;
  • I chose to write my graduate degree thesis on Hispanic migrant children in the American public school system because they reminded me of the children's faces in Guanajuato; and
  • I worked as a translator throughout my graduate degree program in an effort to serve immigrants in this country while maintaining an advanced level of written and spoken Spanish.

Even now, I jump at any opportunity to use my knowledge of the Spanish language!  What can I say?!  I am a dork who loves to speak Spanish!  :)

Okay, okay...so enough about my past.  You want a recipe, right?!  The following recipe is based off of my memory of how Senora Lulu made breakfast potatoes (i.e. hashbrowns)

Note: My mom also cooks this recipe, and she does it a little different than I do (i.e. no tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, or cilantro).  I, however, find that these additions take the recipe to the next level!

Senora's Potatoes
Serves 2

1 medium, Russet potato
1/2 red onion
2 large jalapenos (We like it HOT in the Behne house!)
1 yellow bell pepper
2 tomatoes
1 T oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
shredded cheese, for garnish
cilantro, for garnish


  • Place the potato, onion, and jalapeno into the food processor.  Pulse 5-7 times until shredded.

  • Place the potato mixture into a heated (medium high), well-oiled skillet; pat into a flat circle.

  • Meanwhile, dice the bell pepper and tomato.
  • After approximately 4-5 minutes, check if the potato mixture is beginning to brown.  If so, using a spatula, flip section of the hashbrowns so that they can brown on the other side.

  • Add bell peppers and tomatoes to the potato mixture.  Cook 2-3 minutes.

  • Add seasonings and toss to incorporate.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top, cover, and allow to melt.

  • Serve with a garnish of cilantro, fried eggs (optional), and a side of salsa hummus (see recipe below).

Now, about that salsa hummus...when I started to make my "Roasted Garlic and Cayenne Hummus" Bo protested because he wanted something different.  So, I asked him what he wanted, and he suggested adding salsa to the mix.  Little did I know that this would turn out to be de-lic-ious!  Without a doubt, this recipe will be added to my regular hummus rotation.

Salsa Hummus
Serves 8-10

1 can great northern beans, drained
2 T tahini
4 T medium or hot salsa (we used medium)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne


  • Add all ingredients to your food processor. 
  • Whirl for 2 minutes, or until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Up Next - a "blue" book review!  Any guesses to which book I am referring to?!

Question of the Day:

Do you cook any recipes that remind you of a person or a place?!

Ally and Bo


  1. Loved the pictures. I had forgotten how beautiful it was!!!

  2. I know! I thought the same thing when I was searching for them :)