Pico de Guacamole
1 cucumber (about 1 pound) peeled, seeded and diced
4 tomatillos (about 1/2 pound), husked, thoroughly rinsed, diced
1 tart green apple such as Granny Smith (about 1/2 pound), rinsed, diced
2 celery sticks, thoroughly rinsed, cleaned off strings, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, or to taste, seeding optional, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, leaves and upper part of stems
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
3 ripe Mexican avocados, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and diced
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the avocados and mix well. When it is all thoroughly combined, incorporate the avocados and gently mix. Serve immediately or you may cover and chill until ready to serve.
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A couple weeks ago, right as I was setting up for one of my classes, “A Culinary Compass of Mexico,” at the Mexican Cultural Institute, Alberto Roblest came over and asked me a great question.
“Pati, do you cook traditional Mexican recipes OR do you create your own?”
Alberto is doing a project with the support of The Office on Latino Affairs. It is called Hola Cultura and explores the contributions of Latinos to DC life and culture, from art to language to sports to cooking.
I think he meant for me to respond with an either or. He really did. Come on Pati, “traditional” OR “new,” he insisted. But I kept answering “BOTH!” As I kept trying to explain why, I realized so wholeheartedly that both traditional and new not only describe my cooking style but also one of the many wonders of Mexican cuisine.
Continue reading Apple, Radish, Watercress Salad with Pistachio and Chile de Arbol
During the years I’ve been teaching at the Mexican Cultural Institute I’ve been hesitant to demonstrate and serve Chiles en Nogada. There are many reasons…
First, one of my goals has been to open a window into the world of Mexican cooking in an accessible way. I’ve introduced basic ingredients and dishes along with bits of their history, fun facts, cooking methods and new spins, so people can become familiar with this cuisine and feel empowered to play with its basics in their own kitchens.
No sense in teaching how to make something incredibly complex with tons of new ingredients, which can be quite overwhelming, right?
Continue reading OK… Chiles in Nogada, at last!