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Pati's Mexican Table


Tres Leches and Strawberry Mexican Gelatin

Tres Leches and Strawberry Mexican Gelatin
Gelatina de Tres Leches con Fresas

Serves: 8

Gelatina de Tres Leches con Fresas" alt="Tres Leches and Strawberry Mexican Gelatin
Gelatina de Tres Leches con Fresas" />

Ingredients

For the tres leches gelatin:

1 cup whole or 2-percent milk

1 14-ounce can La Lechera sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder (or about 2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water


For the strawberry gelatin:

2 cups cranberry or pomegranate juice

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder (or about 2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 pound strawberries, stemmed, rinsed and quartered

To Prepare

To prepare the tres leches gelatin: Bring 1 cup of milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the milk to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high to return to a simmer, then reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Pour 1/2 cup of lukewarm water into a medium bowl and add 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin. Stir until well combined, then let it rest until the mixture puffs up (it will increase slightly in volume and appear as if it’s solidifying) – approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a small saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the bowl with the puffed-up gelatin mixture on top of the saucepan with the simmering water. Let it rest there, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin has completely dissolved and the mixture has a barely amber color – approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour the dissolved gelatin into the bowl with the tres leches mixture and stir to combine.

To prepare the Strawberry Gelatin: Pour the juice into a large mixing bowl. Repeat the same process to mix and dissolve the gelatin as outlined in the second paragraph above. Pour the dissolved gelatin into the juice and stir to combine.

To layer your tres leches and strawberry gelatin: In plastic cups or single-portion gelatin molds, use a liquid measuring cup or small pitcher to fill about 1/3 of each cup with the tres leches mixture. Place the cups into the refrigerator until the gelatin sets (appears solid and does not slosh when moved), about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not put the bowls with your remaining tres leches mixture and juice mix in the refrigerator.

Remove the cups from the refrigerator and pour the juice mixture on top of the tres leches, filling about another 1/3 of the cup, and add some strawberry pieces. Cover the cups with plastic wrap, return them to the refrigerator, and let chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

(You are at free will to play with your combinations! You can decide how many layers - one or ten! - and how thick or thin you want to make them. You can choose which flavor you want to start with, or if you want to alternate. Continue until you are done using all of the flavored mixes.)

If you want to use a large 8- to 10-inch serving mold, fill it halfway with tres leches mix and refrigerate until set, about 20 to 30 minutes. Then pour the juice mixture on top and carefully add the strawberry pieces. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before unmolding. It should be firm and not feel sticky or sag, and it should slide easily out of the mold with a few gentle shakes.

Hint: If your gelatin mixtures start to solidify while you are waiting for layers to set in the refrigerator, not to worry! Adding a little at a time, stir water into the mixture until it becomes liquid, again.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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What better way to end the season than with a big party? Pati throws a neighborhood bash and cooks up the easiest and best Mexican-themed dishes that would be a huge hit at any party. And what better accessory to a Mexican fiesta than a giant piñata? Pati also gets the chance to visit a piñata maker in the central market of Morelia.


Mixed Melon, Lime & Coconut Aqua Fresca

Mixed Melon, Lime and Coconut Agua Fresca
Agua Fresca de Sandia, Melón, Limón y Coco

Serves: 16

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Agua Fresca de Sandia, Melón, Limón y Coco" />

Ingredients

12 cups cubed, seeded watermelon (about 1 8-pound watermelon)

4 cups cubed cantaloupe

2 cups coconut water

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes juiced)

1 liter seltzer water

Lime slices, to garnish

Mint leaves, to garnish

To Prepare

Working in batches, combine the watermelon, cantaloupe, coconut water, honey and lime juice in a blender. Pulse until well pureed. If desired, pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Refrigerate in a large punch bowl until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Serve with a splash of seltzer and garnish with lime slices and mint leaves.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Red Pozole with Traditional Garnishes

Red Pozole with Traditional Garnishes
Pozole Rojo

Serves: 12

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Pozole Rojo" />

Ingredients

For the pozole:

1 pound dried hominy or 3 29-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed

1 head garlic, papery outer layers removed, but not entirely peeled (if using dried hominy)

2 whole chickens (about 3 pounds each), rinsed and cut into serving pieces, or a combination of 3 pounds chicken and 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt

1 white onion, peeled

5 fresh cilantro sprigs

1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more to taste


For the chile puree:

2 ancho chiles (about 1 ounce) rinsed, stemmed and seeded

3 guajillo chiles (about 1 ounce) rinsed, stemmed and seeded

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion

3 garlic cloves

Pinch of ground cumin

2 whole cloves

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or more to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Garnishes:

5-6 limes, halved

10 radishes, rinsed, halved and thinly sliced

1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped white onion

Dried ground chile, such as piquín, ancho, chipotle or a Mexican mix

Dried oregano

Crispy tostadas or tortilla chips, store-bought or homemade

Refried beans, store-bought or homemade (optional)

To Prepare

To make the pozole: If using dried hominy, place it in a large soup pot. Add water to the pot to cover the hominy by at least 3-inches. Add the head of garlic. Don’t add salt now or the hominy will toughen. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 4 to 5 hours, until hominy is tender and has begun to “bloom” or open up. Occasionally skim the foam from the top as the hominy cooks and make sure it doesn’t dry as it cooks, adding more hot water if need be. If using canned or pre-cooked hominy, start with step below.

Meanwhile, place the chicken (and pork, if using), in a large soup pot. Add water to cover the top layer of chicken by at least 2 inches. Add the onion, cilantro and the tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 35 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

In the soup pot, combine the cooked hominy and its broth (discard the garlic head), or the canned hominy and 2 cups water, with the shredded chicken and its broth. Taste for salt, add more if need be, and simmer all together for 10 minutes more.

To make the chile puree: Place the chiles in a 3-quart saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened and rehydrated. Place the chiles, along with 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid, the onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If using a food processor, be sure to wrap a towel around the joint between the lid and the base to catch any escaping liquid. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing gently on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in the 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the chile puree, bring to a boil and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and allowing it to thicken.

Add the red chile sauce to simmering pozole, let it cook for an additional 25 minutes, adjust the seasoning, and serve in soup bowls. Arrange the garnishes in smaller bowls on the table and let your guests customize their pozole. Or, if making ahead, let the pozole cool then cover and refrigerate, and reheat when you are ready to serve.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Watermelon, Tomatillo & Mozarella Skewers

Watermelon, Tomatillo and Mozzarella Skewers with Lime-Honey Vinaigrette
Brochetitas de Sandía, Tomatillo y Mozzarella con Vinagreta de Miel y Limón

Serves: 6

Brochetitas de Sandía, Tomatillo y Mozzarella con Vinagreta de Miel y Limón" alt="Watermelon, Tomatillo and Mozzarella Skewers with Lime-Honey Vinaigrette
Brochetitas de Sandía, Tomatillo y Mozzarella con Vinagreta de Miel y Limón" />

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1/2 cup honey

Zest of 2 limes

5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon Maggi sauce


For the skewers:

6 cups seeded and cubed ripe watermelon

About 12 ounces tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1 large package (about 8 ounces) of small fresh mozzarella balls

To Prepare

To make the vinaigrette: Place the cilantro, ginger, honey, lime zest and juice, and Maggi sauce into a large mason jar and shake vigorously to emulsify. Alternatively, place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to emulsify.

To make the skewers: Slide the watermelon cubes, tomatillo slices and mozzarella balls onto wooden toothpicks or small plastic skewers, alternating between each ingredient. Serve with the lime-honey vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.

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Spinning Top Cocktail

SPINNING TOP COCKTAIL
Trompo Zacatecano

Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS
For rimming the glass:
1 lime wedge (about 1/4 of a fresh lime)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground chile powder, such as chile piquín, ancho, chipotle or a Mexican mix, or to taste
2 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt

For the drink:
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) mezcal or tequila
3/4 cup grapefruit soda
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 to 2 fresh mint leaves

TO PREPARE
Run the lime wedge around the rim of a glass. Place the sugar, chile powder and salt on a small plate and dip the rim of the glass in the salt to coat.

Add the ice cubes to the glass, then pour in the mezcal, grapefruit soda and pineapple juice, stir gently. Tear the mint leaves into several pieces and drop them into the glass, stirring gently so they release their flavor into the drink.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Pati invites a few of her girlfriends over for a much needed “girls’ night in.” But these girls are here to GRILL! Grilling isn’t just a guy thing — Pati’s got a great outdoor grill, and she’s gonna put it to work by cooking up a mouth-watering menu of Mexican food with a BBQ twist. One of Pati’s sisters shows up to help her mix some drinks, too!


Grilled Romaine and Red Bell Peppers with Ancho Chili Vinaigrette & Cheese

Grilled Romain and Red Bell Peppers with Ancho Chile Vinaigrette and Cheese
Ensalada de Lechuga y Pimientos Asados con Vinagreta de Chile Ancho y Queso

Serves: 6

Ensalada de Lechuga y Pimientos Asados con Vinagreta de Chile Ancho y Queso" alt="Grilled Romain and Red Bell Peppers with Ancho Chile Vinaigrette and Cheese
Ensalada de Lechuga y Pimientos Asados con Vinagreta de Chile Ancho y Queso" />

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

6 to 8 ancho chiles (about 3 ounces), rinsed, stemmed and seeded

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

2 teaspoons brown sugar or grated piloncillo, or to taste


For the salad:

3 red bell peppers

3 heads romaine lettuce

Olive oil, to drizzle

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, mild feta or farmers’ cheese

To Prepare

To make the vinaigrette: Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut the stemmed and seeded chiles lengthwise into thin strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, garlic, vinegars, oil, salt and sugar to the bowl and toss to mix well. Transfer everything to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

To make the salad: Place the red bell peppers either on a tray under the broiler, on a heated grill, or on a heated comal on the stovetop, and char on all sides, flipping as each side chars, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Once cool enough to handle, remove the stems and cut into slices (without removing the skin or discarding the juices).

Slice the romaine lettuces in half lengthwise. Drizzle each half with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle on a pinch of salt and pepper. Place them on a heated grill or comal and quickly char, about 1 minute per side.

Serve lettuces on a platter along with the red bell pepper strips, ladle the ancho chile vinaigrette on top and sprinkle with the cheese.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Mango Guacamole with Grilled Tortilla Wedges

Mango Guacamole with Grilled Tortilla Wedges
Guacamole de Mango

Serves: 6

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Guacamole de Mango" />

Ingredients

2 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and roughly mashed or diced

1 cup diced, fresh, ripe, peeled mango

3 tablespoons chopped white onion

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded optional, or to taste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

Corn or flour tortillas, cut into wedges and grilled

To Prepare

Gently mix the avocado, mango, onion, cilantro, chile, lime juice and salt in a bowl, or mash in a molcajete. Serve with grilled tortilla wedges.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Honey Chipotle Ribs

Honey Chipotle Ribs
Costillitas con Chipotle y Miel

Serves: 4

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Costillitas con Chipotle y Miel" />

Ingredients

1 cup ketchup

2/3 cup honey

4 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce

3 chipotle chiles from chipotles in adobo sauce, minced, seeded optional, or more to taste

10 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 tablespoons Maggi or soy sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried oregano

3 pounds baby back or spare ribs

To Prepare

In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, honey, sauce from the chipotles, chipotle chiles, garlic, olive oil, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, Maggi, black pepper and oregano. Mix well.

Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Pour some sauce on the bottom of the pan, put in the ribs and pour the remaining sauce on top. Cover with foil, sealing the entire top of the pan, and marinate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours. If marinating more than 30 minutes, keep the ribs refrigerated.

When ready to cook the meat, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slip the pan with the ribs into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Take the ribs from the oven and carefully remove the aluminum foil, taking care not to be burned by the steam. Spoon the thickened sauce from the bottom of the pan on top of the ribs and place them back in the oven to roast another 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are beautifully browned and sticky. Remove from the oven, let rest, then slice into 2- to 3-bone pieces and pile on a platter.

Alternatively, after you remove the foil, you can finish off the ribs on the grill at medium heat, for about 15 minutes.

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