In the kitchen with Héctor

There are 13 cooking shows with Chef Héctor
– just scroll down to find what you are making for dinner…
Héctor Peniche is the owner and chef of Héctor’s Bistro in the Culinary Market. Born in Monterrey Mexico, Héctor’s family moved to Mazatlan when he was five years old. Héctor has had a long career as a baker and chef. Mexico City’s Four Seasons Hotel sent him to London as a pastry chef in their UK hotel. Returning to Mazatlan in 2009 with his British bride, Victoria, chef opened a bakery and restaurant. The Culinary Market and the bakery are located on Belisario Dominguez # 1503; Héctor’s Bistro is on Mariano Escobedo #409 at Heriberto Frais. Please call 981 – 1577 to make a reservation; essential for dinner! [closed Sundays.]

Sous Vide is French for “under vacuum”. Chef Héctor highly recommends Chef’s Steps for all things sous vide and it also answers possible concerns about cooking with Ziplock-like plastic bags.

Héctor’s Hollandaise sauce: white wine vinegar, 40 g/1.5 oz; minced shallots, 25 g/3/4 oz; butter with salt, 150 g/5.5 oz; yolks, 85 g/2 ¾ oz; water, 60 g/2 oz; lemon juice 20 g/1/3 oz; salt, 3 g, pinch. Sous vide at 63C/145.4F for 1 -2 hours. Your own spices, a dash of Tabasco, English muffin, bagels, ham, and other culinary accessories.

As of July 2016, the Anova Precision Cooker, from Amazon US, cost $179 US, shipping, $12.85, import fee, $29.55 for a total of US $221.40. You can set it to either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Additional testing in MazatlanLife’s kitchen revealed food cooked at 140 F [fish] when plated is not very hot [ideally food is served at 165F], the recommendation is to serve on very hot plates, or as Chef Héctor says, “just serve it cold, I wouldn’t sous vide fish unless it was served cold. Salmon is ideal, with a good quick sear after.” We suggest cooking the highest temperature food first and keep it warm in the oven while cooking the lower temperature food.

Chef Héctor cracks open the secrets to scrambling, poaching, and boiling eggs
– plus how to make the perfect omelette.
P.S. It is June 19, 2014 – 32C/90F with a 70% humidity! Molika’s kitchen is hot as….



Chef Héctor and Chef Diego- changing the culinary culture of Mazatlan

Las Brochetas is open every day from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. On Rafael Buelna #1000, opposite Mega. Most people choose the sirloin brochette ($105-$120), however Chef Héctor recommends the cabreria steak ($145), tender, full of flavour. Other items on the menu include: bbq ribs ($135); bbq chicken ($115); arrachera molcajete ($140), T-bone and New York ($175); rib eye ($195); plus fajitas, hamburgers, tacos, and quesadillas. A dozen people we know have had the cabreria in past month and they all agree with Chef – quality is consistent.


Pepe has owned Cotorro (parrot) but everyone refers to his restaurant as Tacotorro for 14 years. All the vegetables are washed in an anti-bacteria solution, and the entire kitchen is disinfected. There are two sparkling clean baños, and a playground for children. It’s located on Rafael Buelna #208 (beside the Dodge dealership) and Tacotorro is open every day from 6 p.m. until 1 p.m. except on Fridays and Saturdays – Pepe stays open until 4 a.m.! This family owned restaurant keeps customers returning because it simply serves the best sirloin tacos, everyone says so, including Chef Héctor Peniche – who can be a bit of a snob – but not when it comes to Tacotorro.



Sous vide, it’s in the bag

Ziplock bag, or your air tight eco choice, water at 65 C/149 F, Italian style: shrimp, olive oil, olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, basil, anchovies or anchovy oil, garlic oil, salt. Asian style: shrimp, chili, pineapple, cilantro, coconut milk/cream, salt, fresh mango, salt.

Mushroom risotto

Arborio rice, (1 cup) mushrooms (mixed if you can), vegetable stock, onion, butter, vinegar, white wine, ice, olive oil, rosemary, parsley (and other herbs of your choice). Héctor recommends you can freeze the “acid butter reduction.” Rice should boil 14-20 minutes.


Summertime swordfish

swordfish, cherry tomatoes, basil, lemon, capers, olives and olive oil


Summer soups

Basic vegetable stock: take the trimmings of all your fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and put on a slow boil for about 20 minutes. Make an infusion of flavours. Shortcut – or look for a frozen bag of vegetables at your local supermarket.

Minestrone: add the longest cooking chopped vegetables first to the boiling stock. Cook to your preference. Olive oil and salt. Your choice to add fresh spinach and basil.

Pea and mint soup. When your pre-prepared vegetable stock is boiling add the bag of frozen peas. Cook for about two minutes. Sieve, and put in blender, with a little stock. Remember “you can always add stock, you can’t take it away.” Push the pulse button and watch that the lid doesn’t explode. During the pulse, stop and add a generous portion of butter. Add a little fresh mint. Blend until smooth. When cold, add cream or sour cream.

Corn soup: As per pea soup with frozen corn and your preferred garnishes.


Veggie bruschetta

Tomatoes, zucchini, green/yellow/red peppers, onions, portobello mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, fresh goat cheese, olive oil, salt, and sourdough bread.


Shrimp bruschetta

Shrimp, avocado, garlic, grana padano cheese, sourdough bread, and olive oil. Aioli sauce: 1 egg yolk ( eggs should be kept in the fridge and for no longer than 10 days, as Hector says “they are alive with bacteria”), olive oil, canola oil, and fresh lime/lemon juice, whisk or put in food processor. (remember, symmetry is the devil!)


A potluck candidate? Eggplant parmigiana

Sauce ingredients: tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic, olive oil
Eggplant, parmesan cheese, flour (corn, potato, wheat)


Puttanesca pasta sauce

tomatoes, olive oil, basil (torn, not chopped),
anchovies, olives, capers, garlic,dried chile


Fish en Papillote, “your tv dinner”

Take any fresh fish and:
1/2 red onion, juliennes, 1 zucchini, juliennes, 1 large carrot, juliennes
1 clove of garlic, smashed, any other veggies that are in season
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary, or both, 1/4 cup white wine
¼ cup of fish stock, if you don’t have fish stock then substitute with water

sheet of baking paper, with silicone (can heat up to 451F degrees). You can buy baking paper in any bakery. If you are in Mazatlan, try Castillo Chantilly on Teniente Azueta in Centro, they also have a location in the Golden Zone. Don’t use aluminum foil it will create an acidy flavour when steamed with the wine.

fresh loaf of Molika bread to dip in the yummy sauce