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“Dish you crave from your abuela:
It depends which abuela! On my mom’s side, my grandmother made the most fabulous, simple and elegantly roasted chicken and duck, with just the right amount of seasoning, moist meat and the crispiest skin. On my dad’s side, what I crave the most from her, that she doesn’t make anymore, is her tasty, down to earth, humble and filling grated potato and onion cazuela.
Secret ingredient to make a dish pop:
Tajín!!! It’s been in our pantry since I was growing up in Mexico City. It sparks up everything it touches. It has a combination of five different dried chiles that are finely ground and mixed with dehydrated lime.”
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“‘I wanted it to look Mexican, but not in-your-face Mexican,’ Patricia Jinich says of her fabulous Chevy Chase kitchen, with its Jalisco-tile backsplash, hay-colored cabinets, deep-rust walls and judiciously placed pottery.
It’s a fitting backdrop for the Mexican-born Jinich, host of the PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table, which is scheduled to air its second 13-episode season starting Sept. 1…”
Growing up in Mexico City, my sisters and I used to prepare exotic meals, perfumes and potions for the inhabitants of our enchanted forest. That was our dog, the bluebird, snails, butterflies and ladybugs that happened to peek into our backyard and witness our extravagant mess. It also included any family friend who happened to stop by and become a willing victim. We sometimes offered cooking classes too.
My mother set us up in the backyard on a big blanket with random pots and pans, while she cooked laborious weekend meals. There was a fig tree, an apple tree, a peach tree, a couple of what we called Chinese orange trees and tons of azaleas and herbs that offered an immense array of witch-crafting material. But among our most prized ingredients were dried jamaica flowers, known here as hibiscus flowers, stored in a big jar in the kitchen.
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