Author Archives: lavitaminat

You say “Pigskin”, I think “Chicharrón” – A Quick and Delicious Superbowl Snack

 

 

Very close to el Día de la Candelaria, when Mexicans celebrate the end of the Christmas season with tamales,  a party of a very different ‘religion’ takes place: the Superbowl.

The already amalgamated celebration of Día de la Candelaria, fuses the pre-Columbian tradition of making food and other offerings to several deities, along with the presentation of Christ at the temple. According to Jewish law, it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after forty days had passed from the day of the infant’s birth. Jesus would have been taken to the temple on February 2nd, which is when this festivity takes place.

Around the same time, and adding a layer of complexity to my world, I was quickly evangelized on the celebration of the Superbowl, which could very easily be considered a holiday.  Intriguing as the game is, though, I have always been more fascinated by the  soap-opera worthy plots, the off-the top commercials,  and of course, the food.

Food was my easy way in, and when I was first asked to bring a dish to the party I thought it would be clever to bring chicharrón… I thought, this is really “pig skin” after all.

For a quick and easy to make a snack, serve chicharrón in a molcajete with avocado, salsa and warm tortillas.

 

Food: How it Makes Words Delicious. From the Series #DíloconSabor (Say it with Flavor)

A Darle

“A darle que es mole de olla” (Let’s get to work because we are making mole de olla). This expression is used to instill motivation to begin working on a complex task.

Post 1 of the series #DíloconSabor (Say it with Flavor)

Having been raised in Mexico City, Mexico,  it was not until I moved to the US as a young professional, that I realized that sports jargon was prevalent in colloquial language.  I might have not fully understood which sport the expressions had been borrowed from, but I very quickly became adept at seasoning my language with phrases such as “touch base”, “call an audible”, “drop the ball”, etc.   Something that was very curious to me is that in contrast, Mexicans season their language with food. This series, “Dílo con Sabor” is a collection of food-centric sayings or allegories that are now part of popular wisdom or folklore.

Do you have a favorite food-related saying? Tweet it to @lavitaminat with the hashtag #díloconsabor (sayitwithflavor).

Nuestra Mesa – Tamales Veracruzanos

tameles veracruzanos

Fotos: Manuel Rivera – Veracruz, México

Por: Aldo Saavedra

Receta cortesía de la señora Guadalupe Reyes Navarrete de Villa Isla, Verácruz

De gusto popular en la región, este platillo suele ser servirse en fiestas  e incluso velorios. Familiares, amigos cercanos y vecinos se reúnen para su preparación.  Los varones cuecen la masa, mientras las mujeres elaboran la salsa y ejecutan el armado. La cocción final es responsabilidad de los varones. Generalmente se hacen grandes cantidades para comer durante la festividad y es costumbre regalar un ¨itacate¨ a los que ayudaron en la elaboración de esta delicia.


Para los tamales:

  • 1 kilo de masa de maíz
  • 1 rollo de hoja de plátano
  • 12 piezas de pollo (puedes sustituir el pollo por costilla de cerdo)
  • 3 litros de agua
  • 100 gramos de manteca de cerdo
  • 100 mililitros de aceite de canola
  • 7 piezas de hoja santa
  • Sal al gusto

Para la salsa: 

  • 12 piezas de chile morita
  • 2 jitomates
  • 1 diente de ajo
  • 1 pizca de comino
  • 2 pimientas gordas
  • 2 clavos de olor
  • 1/4 de pieza de cebolla
  • 1 litro de agua
  • Sal al gusto

Preparación:

Tamales

  1. Pon a cocer el pollo en el agua con sal y hierbas de olor a gusto
  2. Pon a batir  la masa con 500 ml de caldo de la cocción del pollo
  3. Añade  1.5 litros de caldo de pollo hirviendo, la manteca, aceite, consomé, sal y  una hoja santa
  4. Añade la masa y pónla a cocer durante 20 minutos sin dejar de batir, hasta que quede una masa homogénea y suave

Salsa

  1. Pon a hervir los chiles. Añade los jitomates una vez que los chiles estén suaves.
  2. Ya que los chiles y los jitomates estén cocidos,  muélelos con el agua en el que se cocieron y  añade el clavo, el comino y la pimienta
  3. Colócalos en fuego y agrega sal al gusto
  4. Hierve de 15 a 25 minutos
  5. Mezcla las piezas de pollo con la salsa. Deja entibiar.

Armado
Limpa y soasa la hoja de plátano (pásala rápidamente por fuego para que ablande)
Sobre la hoja pon 1 cucharada grande de masa, una pieza de pollo, salsa, media hoja santa y cierra el tamal
Pon los tamales a cocer en una vaporera acomodándolos acostados, durante 45 minutos o hasta que estén cocidos

Acompaña con atole o champurrado.

chefaldoEl Chef Aldo Saavedra ha cocinado para huéspedes de establecimientos como el conocido Hotel Condesa D.F. y ha contribuído con sus recetas en proyectos con marcas de la talla de Larousse y Danone. En Nuestra Mesa, y en su página México de mis Sabores, el Chef Aldo comparte con los lectores de  La Vitamina T, su pasión por la cocina y por México.

Rosca de Reyes – A Slice of Gospel and Tradition

 

Photo Courtesy of "El Deleite".

Photo Courtesy of “El Deleite”.

Often used as evangelizing tools, celebrations in Mexico feature elements that are charged with symbolism. Take the piñata, for example, used as an allegory of sin (colorful and appealing on the outside, yet hollow and empty on the inside). Still today, during parties, people are blindfolded (a nod to faith being blind) when facing the piñata, which will yield fruits once fought and defeated.

The Rosca de Reyes (cake of kings) is no exception. Even as I type, kids who have been taught to expect the arrival of the three kings or magi, during Epiphany have already gone to bed with the hopes of finding gifts by their shoes when they awake. This festivity marks the culmination of the “12 Days of Christmas”.

Rosca de Reyes is shaped and decorated as if it were a crown. Inside, little figurines representing baby Jesus while in hiding from Herod can be found. Whomever discovers  the figurine it their slice of rosca gets to share their good fortune- they will buy tamales for the group on February 2nd, to celebrate the presentation of Christ at the temple.

Without even knowing it, tradition is celebrated and perpetuated in a delicious slice that is typically enjoyed with a cup of hot cocoa.

Yanet Hernández Tabiel, owner of “El Deleite”, a bakery in Mexico City, shared her popular recipe with La Vitamina T readers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of crystallized fruit
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 5 plastic “muñequitos de rosca” (plastic rosca dolls). These can be substituted with large beans.

For the butter crumble:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Combine the yeast with one of the tablespoons of flour and the warm water. Let rest for 1o mins. or until it’s foamy
  2. Combine the remaining flour with the sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. Add the eggs and the yolks.
  3. Continue mixing until smooth. Add the yeast and mix until you have a smooth, and flexible ball.
  4. Add the butter and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the mix in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Keep at room temperature until it doubles in volume.
  6. Make a dimple with your finger and knead.
  7. Extend the dough into a rectangular shape, add the crystallized fruit and the plastic dolls. Twirl to form a crown shape.

Crumble and Decoration

  1. Mix the butter with the sugar, eggs and the vanilla extract
  2. Decorate the rosca with strips of this mix.
  3. Glaze your rosca with the eggwash and decorate it with crystallized fruits
  4. Bake for an hour at 375 degrees or until golden brown

Enjoy!

 

Rollo de Pechuga de Pollo – Receta Navideña del Chef José Bossuet

 

Photo: Café Contento

Photo: Café Contento

¿Te tocó hacer la cena este año? Sorprende a tus invitados con esta receta del Chef Bossuet para preparar un rollo de pechuga de pollo orgánico relleno de queso de cabra, mantequilla de flor de calabaza con cremoso de camote,  quelite Obregón y jitomate cherry orgánicos.

Rinde: 8 porciones

Ingredientes:

  • 8 pechugas de pollo orgánico rellenas de queso de cabra
  • 4 tazas cremoso de camote, quelite Obregón y jitomate cherry orgánicos
  • 2 tazas mantequilla de flor de calabaza
  • ½ taza zanahoria rallada en listones y colocada en recipiente con hielos.

Para el rollo de pechuga

  • 8 medias pechugas abiertas
  • 2 pzas queso de cabra a las finas hierbas
  • Sal y pimienta blanca al gusto
  • Papel aluminio suficiente

Forma de hacerse:

  1. Sazona las pechugas con sal y pimienta por ambos lados
  2. Rellénalas con ¼ de queso de cabra cada una.
  3. Colócalas en el papel aluminio y enróllalas
  4. Cocina a la plancha o en una sartén hasta que estén bien cocidas, voltéalas varias veces para asegurar una cocción pareja.
  5. Reserva

 Para la mantequilla de flor de calabaza

  • 1 taza mantequilla clarificada
  • 1 taza de vino blanco
  • 1 taza de flor de calabaza limpia
  • 1 cucharada de curry Madras
  • Sal al gusto

Forma de hacerse:

Coloca todos los ingredientes y cocina por 30 minutos a fuego bajo, muele finamente.

Reserva

 Para el cremoso de camote, quelite Obregón y jitomate cherry orgánicos:

  • 1 lto crema para batir
  • 2 tazas camote horneado molido
  • 1 taza jitomate cherry orgánico
  • 3 tazas quelite Obregón orgánico
  • Sal al gusto

Forma de hacerse:

  1. Hierve la crema. Agrega el quelite y los jitomates. Una vez cocidos, agrega el camote y sazona.
  2. Reserva.

Preparación y Montaje:

  1. Corta los rollos en dos y colócalos encima del cremoso, baña con la mantequilla de flor de calabaza y decora con la zanahoria.
  2. Sirve caliente
Chef José Bossuet

Chef José Bossuet

El chef  José Bossuet Martinez, es miembro de la prestigiosa asociación gastronómica “Club de Chefs de Chefs”, mismo que admite exclusivamente a los chefs de cocina que sirven a reyes, reinas, príncipes, jefes de estado y de gobierno.

Bossuet fungió como Chef Ejecutivo de la Presidencia de la República al mando de la cocina del ex-presidente Vicente Fox, en donde tuvo a su cargo la comitiva del avión presidencial, viajando con el presidente en la giras internacionales.

Hoy, ya no es necesario ser funcionario o aristocracia para comer como si lo fueramos. ¿Estás en San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato? Pues estás de suerte. Visita al Chef Bossuet en su Café Contento y también en Valle de Guadalupe, Baja Californa en Lozhka Bistrot .

 

Art and Heart: A Culinary Showcase by Ron Aleman at Sophie’s

Sophie's Ron Aleman.

Sophie’s Ron Aleman.

 

Art.

This is the first thought that came to mind when my dish was served – a beautiful combination of colors and textures that made me take notice. The impeccable service and a thoughtfully curated space overlooking Michigan Avenue added to the experience.  Comfort meets class here, and you can´t help but feel charmed when you visit.  I was hooked.

Chef Aleman's cioppino at Sophie's.

Chef Aleman’s cioppino at Sophie’s.

And beyond beauty, substance.  Heart.  You are after all at Saks Fifth Avenue… a model walking by each table with the latest designer jacket can be a reminder of your targeted budget or caloric intake. Chef Ron Aleman’s food is so good though, that somehow you feel welcome, not intimidated.

As I kept coming back I realized that something resonated within me. Just like shorthand, food is a secret language that transports you to a particular time and place. I knew the author of my meal was undoubtedly an artist. But, why did I think that this American fare spoke Spanish to my soul?

Chef Ron Aleman grew up dreaming of pursuing a career in the arts, perhaps painting or drawing (when I heard this, the artistic plating made perfect sense). Instead, he took a detour and graduated with a degree in business. As a successful salesman, at the age of 30, (when many professionals have consecrated themselves to their craft) Aleman was starting over.  In his new position, tending to the chores assigned to the most junior staff, he took over washing dishes and mopping with pride. “I knew this was the path I needed to follow, and there was nothing to be ashamed of”, he said.

If you have tried Chef Aleman’s food, you have looked at a snapshot of his heart: “Family is at the center of food. Food is love… cooking for others is an honor.” It is precisely his family where Chef draws a lot of his inspiration. Aleman found his Mexican mother-in-law’s asada salsa so irresistible, that he recreated her recipe in his kitchen. Growing up with tortillas as a staple of his family’s meals, his point of view is down-to-earth yet uniquely cosmopolitan. If you visit, try his coconut bread pudding, a dessert that in Mexico, we call capirotada.

You say bread pudding, I say capirotada. Either way, this dessert is amazing.

You say bread pudding, I say capirotada. Either way, this dessert is amazing.

Like CliffsNotes on Chicago, Chef Ron Aleman’s dishes are a synopsis of the character of the city- elevated yet approachable; informally sophisticated; worldy American with just the perfect touch of heat.

Follow Chef Aleman on Instagram: @Ronaleman27

Sophie’s Chicago

(312) 525-3400

700 North Michigan Ave. 7th Floor

Chicago, IL 60611 

El Ponche Navideño, Deliciosa Tradición

Foto: Luisa Flores - Chicago, IL

Foto: Luisa López – Chicago, IL

El ponche es mi bebida navideña favorita, y me da siempre gusto encontrarla en las fiestas de la temporada. Hace unos días, nuestra amiga Luisa López nos invitó a una fiesta en la que tuve la suerte de disfrutar el mejor ponche que he probado. Luisa nos habló de un ingrediente ¨secreto¨y generosamente nos compartió la receta de su mami.  ¿Cómo consiguió Luisa tejocotes en Chicago? Lo mismo pensé yo. Nuestra amiga nos cuenta que es relativamente fácil encontrarlo congelado (broma aparte) en estas latitudes gélidas. ¡Qué lo disfruten!

Luisa Flores con su mami, la autora de la receta.

Luisa con su mami, la autora de la receta.

Rinde para 8 personas
Ingredientes:
  • 6   litros de agua
  • 100  gramos de canela
  • 50   gramos de pasas
  • 100  gramos de ciruela pasas cortadas en 4 partes cada una
  • 1 vaina de chica a mediana de tamarindo
  • 1 cucharadita de jamaica
  • 1 kilo de piloncillo
  • La ralladura de la cascara de 2 naranjas
  • 1/4 de kilo de guayaba cortada en 4 partes cada una
  • 1/2 kilo de naranja peladas y cortada en trozos
  • 1/2 kilo de tejocotes lavados
  • 1 kilo de caña y cortada en trozos
  • 1/2 kilo de manzanas amarillas lavadas, partidas en 8 partes y sin el centro donde están las semillas
Foto: Luisa Flores - Chicago, IL

Foto: Luisa López – Chicago, IL

Preparación:
  • Pon todos los ingredientes a cocer en una olla a fuego lento,  excepto la manzana
  • Hierve durante 2 ó 3 minutos y agrega la manzana. Deja hervir durante otros 3 minutos.
  • Para que el sabor se concentre más, deja reposar durante unas horas antes de servir.
Foto: Luisa Flores - Chicago, IL

Foto: Luisa López – Chicago, IL

¡Sírvelo calientito!

Esquites con Sal de San Felipe: La Receta de la Chef Atzimba Pérez

 

Photo: Chef Atzimba Pérez

Foto: Chef Atzimba Pérez

 

INGREDIENTES

  • 6 elotes tiernos desgranados

  • 1/2 barra de mantequilla

  • 1 chile jalapeño picado finamente

  • 20 hojas de epazote picadas

  • 4 tazas de caldo de pollo

  • Sal de San Felipe con chiltepín para sazonar (cómprala aquí)

PARA SERVIR

  • Mayonesa

  • Jugo de limón

  • Queso cotija

  • Chile piquín

  • Epazote picado para decorar

PREPARACIÓN

  1. Pon a derritir la mantequilla.  En una cacerola, acitrona el chile jalapeño, el epazote y los granos de elote.

  2. Sazona y añade el caldo de pollo. Deja hervir durante 30 minutos.

  3. Sirve en un vasito con un poco de caldo. Decora con hojitas de epazote picado.  ¡Deliciosos para este frío! ¡Que los disfrutes!

Según la receta de la chef Atzimba Pérez. Para más información sobre Atzimba, visíta  su página de Facebook haciendo click aquí. 

 

 

The Perfect Complement to Great Food. Tips & Recipes by Rick Bayless. (Sponsored)

 

Photo: Negra Modelo

Photo: Negra Modelo

I was so excited when Negra Modelo asked me to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime walking food tour of San Francisco (led by none other than Rick Bayless), with stops including everything you can imagine from carnicerías to panaderías and tortillerías*.  The elation was immediately followed by the crushing realization that I had a previous commitment that would not allow me to physically make it.

I already knew I needed a clone, but this was just overwhelming evidence.

Luckily for me, our friends at Negra Modelo allowed me to report from the distance. Thanks to the magic of social media,  I  intently followed the mouthwatering play-by-play which included freshly made tortillas, the freshest carne asada meat in town, huaraches, pan dulce, and of course, Negra Modelo. ¡Ahhh!

In 1965 Salvador Vazquez brought Mexican carne asada cuts to San Francisco.

In 1965 Salvador Vazquez brought Mexican carne asada cuts to San Francisco.

Photos: Negra Modelo

Photos: Negra Modelo

As I “followed” the group into the panadería, which I learned was proudly operated by a third-generation baker, I understood the shop was out of my beloved conchas (for a moment I confess experiencing fleeting gratitude, as I could not bear much more pain). The group still lucked out, enjoying these instead:

Photo: Negra Modelo

Photo: Negra Modelo

Pan dulce is such a staple of Mexican meals. “Ir por el pan”  (to go get bread) is a daily, delicious activity so prevalent, that it has made it into colloquial expressions. For example, a famous pick up line is: “¿A qué hora vas por el pan?“. Literally meaning, “when do you usually go get bread?” the expression is usually used to say: “When will you be alone so that I can talk to you?”

When I was a little girl and even living in the city, men on bicycles with huge baskets on their heads, would home deliver pan dulce. I am not sure that this still takes place in big cities, but growing up, it was always a treat to hear panaderos ringing their bells, chanting ,”¡el pan!” (bread is here!) This is immediately what I though of when I saw the picture below. Priceless!

Photo: Negra Modelo

Photo: Negra Modelo

I vicariously enjoyed this very thoughtful event through the tweets and posts of my fellow foodies. Plus, although I  did not get to try the Twitter activated machine packed with samples,  I was able to bring this party favor to you-  Negra Modelo’s new website featuring tips and recipes by Chef Bayless, just in time for the holidays. Look no further!  www.NegraModeloUsa.com helps you bring to life anything from guacamole con chicharrón to mussels, all made or paired with Negra Modelo, the perfect complement to great food.

See? You can have your beer and drink it too!

¡Salud!

Photo: Negra Modelo

Photo: Negra Modelo

 

*butcher shops, bakeries and tortilla shops. 

Disclosure: La Vitamina T was invited by Negra Modelo to cover this event, and was compensated to post about it.

 

Pair your “Pavo” like a Pro – Cava Córdova’s Head Winemaker Shows you How

Winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova will launch Cava Córdova in 2015 Photo: Cava Córdova

Winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova will launch Cava Córdova in 2015 Photo: Cava Córdova GSM

From the Series “World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it”

Mexican entrepreneur and winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova  followed his love for winemaking all the way from his native Jalisco to Valle de Guadalupe. Impressively,  although barely thirty, this young wine and tea sommelier is now making a living out of his passion, and is preparing to release his own wine label.

Sleeping in a cellar awaiting for its 2015 debut, is Cava Córdova GSM. Originally from the southern Rhône Valley, here, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes is being nurtured to become a wine that is both elegant and approachable.

It is impossible to resist asking an expert how to pair your food. Just in time for the Thanksgiving meal, Farías Córdova gives us tips for every palate:


White 
Look for wines with low acidity and high floral or fruit notes to highlight the flavor of cranberry sauce, such as wines made with Viognier, or Riesling grapes. A Moscato is a great option as long as it is not too sweet; and the butter notes of an oak-aged California Chardonnay would complement rich dishes very well.

Rosée
Dry, medium-bodied and very fruity wines will offer a refreshing contrast to pair elaborate dishes. Look for wines made with Grenache, Syrah or Carignan grapes

Red 
Red wine and turkey? Absolutely. Long gone are the times where poultry was usually only accompanied with white wine. Serve young red wines with notes of red fruit, jam and spices that intensify the flavors of our dishes. Look for Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Malbec or Syrah.

Sparkling
For a night of celebration, chose to pair your pecan pie with a Proseco Brut. Sparkling wines are also a great complement to spicy foods (in case mole or tamales verdes find their way to your table) and, why not, go ahead and pop that bottle of champagne that you were saving for a special occasion. This is one of them.

How do you know what wine is best for you? It is the one you like… and hopefully, it is wine from Valle de Guadalupe.

¡Salud!

 

Stay tuned for an update on the 2015 release of Cava Córdova GSM.

 

 

Prior articles in the series:

< AlXimia: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Wine

<¡´Biba´México! The Zeal Behind Mexico´s Pasión Biba  

< World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it (Introduction to a Series)