I was delighted to visit with Lynne Rossetto Kasper from Splendid Table for the WAMU 88.5 Salon Series. We chatted about Spanish influence in Mexico and the empanadas of immaculate conception.
The Splendid Table: Coversation with Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Continue reading Mushroom-Jalapeño Matzo Ball Soup
It seems that many people find chicken boring.
I happen to find it fascinating.
Not only because chicken is friendly enough to let you take it wherever your imagination can go and because it can be the juiciest and crispiest meal, but also, because of that story my mother told me when I was growing up.
When my mom was about 10 years old, my grandmother who came to Mexico from Austria in her early twenties having survived years of war, turbulence and the loss of most of her family, taught my mom a serious lesson: you can survive most hardships in life if you know how to cook, she had said, and mostly, if you know how to cook chicken from scratch.
Cooking from scratch really meant from scratch. No nonsense. So my mom learned how to kill, pluck and cook chicken a thousand ways.
Memories from growing up in Mexico City revolve around one celebration or another and mostly center on the foods that just had to be there. If there was no holiday, anniversary, birthday or special occasion for a formal celebration, then we celebrated the food itself. Just say the magic words and a get together would spring right up.
Nana made tamales? Fiesta!
Mami made mole? Well, what are you waiting for?
Papi brought real quesadillas potosinas? It is Sunday brunch everyone…
However, as much as I can remember, we didn’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo. As kids we reviewed it in passing at school, unless you lived in the state of Puebla. The place, where on a Cinco de Mayo in 1862, a small Mexican militia won an unexpected victory against the large French army. It was a short-lived victory, as the French won right back.
But fast-forward almost a couple centuries later: the French and Spaniards are gone, Mexicans proudly celebrate Independence Day every September 16th, and for a reason no Mexican can explain, Cinco de Mayo has become the most celebrated, joyous and colorful holiday for Mexicans living abroad. It even surpasses the noise we make for Independence Day.
Continue reading Chilorio for Cinco de Mayo!
“Patricia Jinich teaches regional Mexican cooking at the Mexican Cultural Institute here. But at the Lubavitch Center recently she showed about 70 Jewish women how to cook for Passover.
She made gefilte fish in a Veracruz sauce of tomatoes, pickled peppers, olives and capers, and spoke of how her Polish grandfather loved to wrap fresh, warm tortillas around gribenes (chicken cracklings with fried onions) with a side of guacamole.
Some of the women were in long dresses, with their heads covered. Ms. Jinich, 37, had on a Mexican huipil blouse with red and green trim under her chef’s jacket.
Still, she said, ‘The Yiddische mama and the Mexican mama have lots in common.’”