“Our Local Restaurant Worldtour continues with a look at Mexican cuisine. We learn about the exquisite alchemy of mole, find the best local restaurants (not to be confused with Sal-Mex) and taquerías, and examine the links between food and culture”
As promised, and right before the year ends, here is a recipe for pickled red onions or cebollas encurtidas or en escabeche, so you can try them with Pollo Pibil. Please do! You will see why it’s no wonder pickled red onion has been Pibil’s faithful and enlightened companion for centuries: they both taste great separately, but blissful when paired together.
Pickled red onions are also a permanent fixture at every single table in Yucatan. As they are mildly spicy, deliciously tangy and surprisingly crunchy they go well with so many things. These past couple weeks I learned first hand why they are such a fabulous pickle to have handy.
Since one of its main ingredients, the bitter orange, is hard to come by around here, I had 16 takes with different bitter orange substitutes. There are well-known versions for substitutes, but I am not crazy about any of them. 16 pickled red onion batches later: I found one I love! It is equal parts grapefruit, orange, lime juice and white distilled vinegar. Without the vinegar it’s not acid enough and the pickle loses its color and crunch, it faints quickly.
Continue reading Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca
Last December, Daniel and I went to Yucatán. I was swept off my feet by the grandiose nature and history of the old Haciendas, but mostly by the uniqueness of the cuisine. It stands out from the rest of the country; with its aromatic, pungent, citrus flavors, charred and toasted ingredients and elements not found anywhere else.
Since at the Institute we established topics for the 2009 program in January and I left Yucatán as a December closing session, by the time class came around I was desperate to share these flavors. What a tortuous self imposed wait!
Of course Pollo Pibil had to be included, as it is one of the most loved dishes of the area. The rest of the menu was built around: Dzotobi-chay tamales, avocado soup, strained beans and a yellow rice that someone seemed to like, and old fashioned flan for dessert.
Continue reading Pollo Pibil
10 DECEMBER 2009
6:30 to 9:00 PM
Cooking demonstration and tasting dinner at the Mexican Cultural Institute.
(registration deadline: December 3)
The cuisine from Yucatan differs from the rest of the country. The Mayas, who inhabit the region, have had a unique indigenous cuisine to start with. In Colonial times, the Maya cuisine mixed with that of the European settlers, creating the traditional Yucatecan food. It is absolutely scrumptious!
It was mainly in the kitchens of the Haciendas, which were once main production centers and grandiose households, where this culinary intermarriage blossomed. These days, some haciendas have been turned into luxurious hotels with restaurants that serve loved traditional dishes as well as some new spins.
Join us for a Rediscovery of the Yucatan Haciendas. Enjoy an entertaining demo and a full menu of Yucatan cuisine and music. After class, you will leave with a packet of recipes and some ingredients to recreate some of these dishes in your own kitchen.
Here is a clip from my appearance on Paula Deen’s Best Dishes. Click below to learn how to make fried plantains.
To read about my visit with Paula, click here.
“Petite, energetic and possibly the most exuberant female chef in town, Mexican-born Patricia Jinich runs the culinary programs for the Mexican Cultural Institute, and with her contagious enthusiasm for Mexican culture and food, has attracted countless visitors to the landmark building on upper 16th Street”
(Photo by Andrew Harnik for the Examiner)
The Examiner: Chef brings her native taste of Mexico to DC
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!
“All I want is a hamburger, a hot dog, a Pizza, a nice big steak, some Texas style bar-b-q and a big plate of pancakes… no tacos or anything Mexican ok?” My dad said, after devouring the welcoming meal I prepared for him, which happened to be Tacos de Guisado.
Guisados are Mexican style stews, which can be ladled into warm corn tortillas. There are plenty of Fondas or small restaurants that specialize in them throughout Mexico. Since my dad loves them, I received him with three of his favorites: Chicken Tinga heavy on the chipotle, beef cooked in a green salsa with cubed potatoes and nopalitos, or cactus paddles, sauteed with onion, Guajillo Chilies and corn. There were also refried beans and white rice, as they are such friendly sides to tacos.
After he made it clear that he didn’t want anything Mexican for the next three days, making me laugh so hard along the way, we set off to satisfy his cravings.
Continue reading Mexican style eggs: A la Papi
24 August 2009
12:00 PM ET on the Food Network, repeat. Show aired for the first time on August 15.
This I can say: Cooking with Paula couldn’t have been more fun! She is as scrumptious in person as she is on TV. I tried to make the tastiest menu and she topped it off with a fried ice cream! If you can, watch the show…