Friday, May 29, 2020

Making El Torito at Home!

It started one evening on the couch with Theresa thinking about what tasty foods we haven't had in a while.
Theresa - That sweet corn cake from El Torito is really good.
Joe - Well then you know what that means. We need to make El Torito at home!

Started in 1954, El Torito is a Southern California chain restaurant with 10 locations around the Los Angeles area. They serve your typical Mexican food, but one of the items on their buffet is a delicious sweet corn Mexican spoon bread. Theresa used this recipe from for Sweet Corn Cake. It's actually less sugar than I was expecting, just 1/3rd of a cup, but it is 1 whole stick of butter.

And for the corn, you start with whole kernel corn.

And then pulse it in a food processor to break it up.

Mix it all together and it looks and smells delicious.

It goes into an 8"x8" pan, which then goes into a 9"x13" pan filled partially with water. The smaller pan gets covered with foil and it goes into the oven for an hour.

Another staple of the Mexican restaurant experience is chips with fresh salsa. Theresa found this recipe for Restaurant-Style Salsa. The only change she made was doubling up the spices.

It's really a simple recipe. All the ingredients go into the food processor.

And then you pulse it until you're happy with the consistency. It goes into the fridge for an hour or so for the flavors to come together.

And while the salsa is chilling and the spoon bread is cooking, Theresa and I can make the rest of the meal. Chicken for fajitas, peppers and onions, and refried beans.

I had considered making the tortillas myself too, but there was a pack of tortillas in the cabinet that needed to be used. That's okay, I'll make my own tortillas for another one of these coming up. I did make sure to warm them up on the stove though.

That looks like a really good dinner.

The chicken fajitas turned out great. It's tradition to serve the tortillas wrapped in foil, right?

That sweet corn spoon bread looks delicious and smells wonderful too.

The salsa looks exactly like I think it should. And the flavor was so good that Chi asked for the recipe.

The kids are ready to dig in. They were both really wanting the sweet corn cake.

A look at my fajita.

And the sweet corn cake after it comes out of the pan. It's suggested to scoop it out with an ice cream scooper.

Now that looks like a delicious plate.

Alli - Take a picture of my burrito Daddy!
Looks yummy Alli.

And we could have ended the meal with that, but what about dessert?
El Torito serves a dessert sopapilla. I figure I can whip up a batch of those pretty quickly too.

Yum! Fresh sopapillas, vanilla ice cream, and topped with cinnamon and sugar. So good.

It was a delicious meal! Good idea for sweet corn cake Theresa!


  1. Quite an El Torito meal! A lot of fun making your own fajita...get to fill it any way you like. Had to smile when Theresa "doubled the spices" in the salsa...more spiciness is the natural direction in your household (except for Ian)! The sweet corn cake and sopapillas make for a nice sweet addition/ending to the meal. You two are having too much fun whipping up these yummy home meals :-) EOM

    1. Most of us do like the spice. And we're working on Ian. He's slowly coming around.
      That sweet corn cake is so good. I would have that all the time.