Tag Archives: Culture

Un Festín de Otro Mundo #DiadeMuertos

 

Foto: Bertha Herrera para La Vitamina T

El Día de Muertos, un evento tan difícil de entender para otras culturas, tiene para los mexicanos un significado especial, especialmente en la gastronomía, aquí los detalles.

POR MARICHUY GARDUÑO/FOTOS: BERTHA HERRERA

Próximamente los mexicanos estaremos de fiesta, pues los Santos Difuntos estarán de regreso. Serán dos días, 1 y 2 de noviembre, que trataremos de honrarlos con las mejores viandas que adornarán sus altares. Donde la luz de las velas juega un papel importante para mostrarles el camino y la flor de cempasúchil lo llenará de aroma y color.

Mole de guajolote, champurrado, tamales, pulque, pozole de carne de puerco en chile guajillo, mezcal, dulce de calabaza, buñuelos de viento, cigarros, café, frijoles, tortillas, chocolate, frutas y pan de muerto, que se elabora de diversas formas humanas y animales, son tan sólo algunos manjares que conformarán el banquete de las ánimas que estarán de visita.

Edmundo Escamilla, historiador gastronómico explica que, los antojos que en vida gustaban al ser querido revestirán el altar, el cual es adornado de acuerdo a la región que pertenezca en nuestro país.

TRADICIONES DE NORTE A SUR

México es un mosaico de ricas tradiciones y cada región vive la fiesta de los Fieles Difuntos con sus diferentes tradiciones. En Michoacán, por ejemplo, se les lleva comida a los panteones y las tumbas se adornan con flores de cempasúchil.

“En algunas comunidades se hace un altar adornado con filigranas de papel de china de variados colores y figuras que van desde catrinas, animales, calaveras y huesos, por mencionar algunas”, agrega Escamilla.

También, se incluyen sahumerios o copas con incienso, velas y veladoras. Los vasos de agua con primordiales para calmar la sed de nuestros seres queridos que llegan de visita.

Además, reina la música que se suma a la explosión de cohetes para alegrar la visita de los difuntos.

Sin lugar a dudas El Día de Muertos es una fiesta que gozan vivos y difuntos. Una algarabía de sabor, pues los mejores manjares son elaborados con el amor que sentimos por nuestros seres queridos que han dejado de existir.

 

 

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Death is a Party: El Día de Muertos

  

“The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, and celebrates it. It is one of his favorite playthings and his most steadfast love.”   

-Octavio Paz

Photos: Lissette Storch – Puebla, Mexico

 

Death is a verb and a noun.

In Mexico, death is an ultimate experience of life, and in what seems to be a constant attempt to make it look approachable, we have made her look human and we have dressed her up; we have given her nicknames, le hablamos de tú*.

Death is a ‘she’.

Originally, sugar skulls were created as a reminder of the fact that death  awaits us at any turn, and it is one of  the many expressions of our inevitable relationship with “the lady with many names”: La Catrina (“the rich or elegant one”), La Tía de las Muchachas (“the girls’ aunt”), La Fría (“the cold one”), La Novia Blanca (“the white bride”). Death is a character that wanders amongst us.

Death is life.

Like any other Mexican celebration, food is at the center of el Día de Muertos. Along with pan de muerto (literally, “bread of dead”) and cempasúchil flowers, sugar skulls are staples of this festivity. It is virtually impossible to stumble upon any particular element of  el Día de Muertos that does not have a deliberate purpose or meaning. From the bread that symbolizes the circle of life and communion with the body of the dead, to the flowers that make a nod to the ephemeral nature of life, this ritual, especially in rural Mexico, is rich in both form and content.

I grew up in the city, and for the most part, I participated in these festivities as a spectator. It was not until my grandmother died a few years ago, when my uncle and my mother took over perpetuating this three-thousand-year-old tradition, that I became involved and more intrigued by it.

Year after year, the family travels to a small village in the outskirts of Puebla to  set up an ofrenda for my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and other deceased  relatives. They are remembered with their favorite food and dishes. My grandmother  for example, loved to cook, so aside from prepared meals, her favorite kitchen tools are also set around her picture.

Candles are used either as symbol of hope and faith, or as a way to light the path of the dead as they descend. Water is included to quench the thirst of the souls, and as a symbol of purity. With these ofrendas, the dead  are remembered and invoked.

The celebration continues in the cemetery, where the living and the souls eat together, listen to music, and even enjoy fireworks.

For a few days in November, in Mexico, death is a party.

The cementery of San Francisco Acatepec, where my grandmother is buried.

Hablar de tú‘ means to address someone casually, vs. the respectfully ‘usted’ that is reserved to address those who you don’t know or those who haven’t granted you permission to do otherwise.

 

Para esta #Cuaresma: Escabeche de Camarón Estilo San Felipe

Foto: Manuel Rivera para La Vitamina T

Si estás pensando en platillos creativos para esta cuaresma, te compartimos esta receta para preparar un inolvidable escabeche de camarón estilo San Felipe.

Este plato estuvo entre los manjares que los chefs (de izquierda a derecha) José Bossuet, Paola Ramírez y Aldo Saavedra prepararon para representar a México en el World Congress of Culinary Traditions en Rumania, en marzo del 2012.

La receta es una recreación del platillo de la señora Salvadora Soberanes, una de las fundadoras del pueblo de San Felipe, Baja California.

INGREDIENTES

  • ½ taza aceite olivo
  • 2 cebollas cortadas en rodajas
  • 1 cabeza de ajo entera partida por mitad
  • ½ kg de chiles jalapeños cortados en rajas sin semillas
  • 4 zanahorias cortadas en rodajas
  • 10 pimientas gordas
  • 10 pimientas negras
  • 5 clavos de olor
  • hierbas de olor
  • 1 cda orégano seco
  • 1 tz vinagre de manzana
  • 2 tz agua
  • Sal de mar de san Felipe al gusto
  • ½ kilo de camarones de buen tamaño

 PROCESO

Escabeche

1.  Calienta en una cacerola el aceite de olivo.  Agrega la cebolla y los ajos. Sofríes durante 2 minutos aproximadamente.

2. Agrega los chiles, las zanahorias, las especias y las hierbas. Pon a sofreír por 5 minutos.

3. Incorpora el agua y el vinagre. Retira del fuego una vez que hierva.

Camarones

4. Ya fríos, escurre y pasa los camarones  al recipiente con el escabeche que aún esta caliente y dejar reposar por 12 horas. El proceso se puede hacer en el refrigerador.

¡Sirve y disfruta!

Marida con:

Aqua – Alximia

Viko – Torres Alegre

 

Agradecemos a los chefs Aldo Saavedra y José Bossuet por compartir la receta y fotos de este manjar con La Vitamina T.

Gefiltefish Goes Technicolor with Spanish Subtitles

Photo: Brenda Storch

The timing of this post is partly accidental, and partly intentional. I thought at first it might make sense to talk about the Lenten dishes that in an overwhelmingly Catholic Mexico, frame a series of events that culminate in Semana Santa or “Holy Week”: from the visits to the seven churches and the burning of big cardboard structures representing evil, called “Judas” (tradition which has permeated the culture to the point that the name Judas is synonymous with “traitor” when used as colloquial expression), to the reenactments of the crucifixion in the town of Iztapalapa.  What I remember the most about this season, aside from its coinciding with a nice break from school, is that somehow, every aspect of the celebration ended at the table of the family matriarch…

Matriarch!

My great-grandma, Rachel “Rae” Storch would have turned 102 this month. She died 13 years ago, a few days after my birthday, as if she were holding on just long enough to avoid it. I think of her often and I miss her dearly.

Grandma Rae was Jewish, and whether we visited during Easter or Christmas, she would always make us feel at home. I remember that one Easter Sunday she cooked picadillo-stuffed peppers for us because, she assessed, the dish showcased a bit of Latin American flair. She also had a Christmas tree if we were around during the Christmas holidays, despite the fact that this triggered a few neighbors in her all-Jewish building to knock on her door to make sure she had taken her pills.

It is not until now, that I am much older, that I realize how lucky I am to have such a diverse family; and I am incredibly grateful that grandma Rae was so embracing and open-minded. She did not speak Spanish, and I did not speak much English at the time, but we managed, and we definitely bonded over food. She loved to take us to her favorite place, “La Paloma”.

Grandma Rae in her home in Miami in 1996

The more I talk about food, the more I find it a particularly powerful element of national and religious identity. During the holidays, among many cultures, dishes often have ritualistic qualities and are charged with plenty of symbolisms. At the same time, dishes provide us with a common ground: we eat, therefore we exist.

This season, I wanted to remember one of my favorite family matriarchs with a dish from her table. But, where to start? I do not have any of my grandma’s recipes. Luckily for me, Celia, mom of one of my closest friends, makes a delicious Veracruzan gefiltefish.  Thank you, Celia for generously sharing it with us!

The concept “Veracruzan style” when referring to food,  evokes images of a fusion cuisine that blends tropical and Mediterranean flavors and ingredients.  Usually, tomatoes, olives and chili peppers are part of the meal.

This dish never looked sexier!

The recipe called for carp, and I had no idea that getting it in a Chicago suburb would be so difficult, which explains the accidental part of timing of this recipe, as I was hoping to post before Passover. We also took a few creative liberties. Enjoy!

Gefiltefish a la Veracruzana (Veracruzan-Style Gefiltefish)

Inspired in a recipe generously shared by Celia Presburger –  Querétaro, México

Serves 6

Broth:

  • 12 cups of chicken stock (this helps soften the fish flavor)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 carrot
  • Head and fish bones (to provide consistency and flavor)

Patties:

  • 1/3 lb of filleted carp
  • 1/3 lb of filleted sea bass
  • 1/3 lb of filleted red snapper
  • 2 bolillos (or 4 slices of bread) soaked in milk
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup of matzo meal

Note: If you don’t find the three types of fish, use two, but make sure the carp is part of it.

Sauce:

  • 1/4 onion
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of capers
  • 1/4 cup of olives
  • 1 dried chile güero pod (available in your ethnic food aisle)

Directions:

Broth:

  1. Put the fish bones, carrot, onion and chicken stock in a pot. Bring to boil and simmer.

Patties:

  1. Cut the fish into cubes. Put in the food processor until finely ground. Put in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. Grind the onion and the carrot in the food processor. Fold into the fish along with the matzo meal, salt, sugar, pepper, bread and eggs until you achieve a pasty consistency that will allow you to make patties.
  3. Drop the patties delicately into the boiling broth, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook in boiling water alone.

Sauce:

  1. Sautée the onion, add the tomatoes and spice to taste. Incorporate the olives, the capers and the chile.

Once the patties are cooked, transfer them into the sauce along with some broth. Simmer.  Let cool and served chilled. I did not wait to eat it cold, I hope my grandma forgives me!

*We did not use ingredients considered  kosher for Passover to make this recipe.

Originally published March 29, 2013.

Pastes, Soccer and other Welsh Gifts to Mexico

Phyllis Marquitz is a food-industry professional. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, her job relocated her and her family to Mexico City, where she had the opportunity to enjoy, understand and appreciate the local culture and flavors first hand. These gracious guests were in turn, a gift to Mexico- they are vocal Mexico enthusiasts, even to the point that Phyllis’ husband is the editor of soccer blog, soccer mexicanaPhyllis is also a long-time reader of La Vitamina T.  The pasties she is referring to in her article, are known as ‘pastes’ in Pachuca, Mexico.

By: Phyllis Marquitz

Welsh leek soup served in my Mexican pottery bowl to celebrate St. David's Day

Welsh leek soup served in my Mexican pottery bowl to celebrate St. David’s Day

Today is St. David’s Day, a Welsh holiday, which you can read about thanks to Wikipedia here. My husband (Jason) and I have Welsh heritage. We are both from a coal-mining region in Pennsylvania that had an influx of Welsh and Cornish immigrants in the later part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. I’m always looking for an excuse to pair food with learning for my kids. We honor the day via the kitchen at our house.

So what does that have to do with a food blog that is primarily about Mexico? Well…St. David’s happens to remind us of Mexico too, now.

In February 2011, our family made an unplanned move to Mexico City for my job and stayed for a few years. Neither of us had spoken Spanish previously and it was a big change. Unlike mine, Jason’s work left him with little opportunity to practice Spanish or interact with locals. He turned to a natural outlet: sports. A long-time Liverpool fan (he used to wake early EST to watch), he went about researching, Google translating, and trying to find his Mexican team. He found it and bought season tickets to Cruz Azul. He would scour the internet for English information about opponents and the league and eventually settled on filling the void himself. His blog, Soccer Mexicana, was born and I watched Jason fall in love with Mexico one game and one city at a time.

But this blog is about St. David’s Day and Mexico… and food. That is because after returning from an away game in Pachuca when I interrogated him about the street food, I learned something amazing. Instead of tacos or tortas, the food stalls on the road to Pachuca’ Estadio Hidalgo were full of pasties.  Unlike the low-spice Methodist-church fundraiser versions we were accustomed to, these had chilis blended into the filling,  I’m told. He didn’t bring me one.

Now, before I go further and tell you that the Cornish have been credited for bringing soccer to Mexico when they came to work the silver mines, (and specifically to Pachuca), I should mention that the pastie is actually Cornish. They have a Protected Geographical Indication for the thing in the EU! Apparently the Welsh version is called an “Oggie” lamb (and I add veggies) pies in a crust with a rim so that it could be carried into the mine and held without dirty hands putting coal dust all over the rest. To this I say, “potato, potahhhto” Welsh and Cornish share a Celtic language and much much more in common. And for us…well…the pasties were Welsh. (although when the Prince of Wales visited Pachuca last year, the media declared it Little Cornwall)

It is all a testament to how food shapes our experience. So today is about us: Welsh Pennsylvanian… Mexican!

 

Prepping for St. David’s at my house: Leek Soup and Pasties (Oggie?)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Rosca de Reyes – A Slice of Gospel and Tradition #Recipe

 

Photo Courtesy of "El Deleite".

Photo Credit:  “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 chocolate.

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!

 

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)

 Originally published on 11-25-14

 

Milhojas de Crema y Miel con Azafrán de la Chef Manchega Rocío Arroyo

Fuente de Foto: Chef Rocìo Arroyo

Fuente de Foto: Chef Rocío Arroyo

 

¿Sabes que “manchego” es un gentilicio?

Hace unas semanas tuvimos la fortuna de de transportarnos vía telefónica hasta La Mancha, España (seguro pensaron en Don Quijote) para hablar con la chef repostera Rocío Arroyo.

Bastaron unos minutos para darnos cuenta de nuestra buena fortuna. Esta gastrónoma educadora, ponente y conductora de televisión, desborda tanta pasión como conocimiento. Pudimos habernos extendido horas hablando con ella sobre los tesoros gastronómicos de esta región española, y aunque breve, durante nuestra conversación nos quedó muy claro el por qué,  como Rocío dice, “La Mancha engancha.”

Uno de los productos icónicos manchegos, junto con el queso producido por la raza ovina del mismo nombre, es el azafrán.

El azafrán, conocido como “Oro Rojo” por su alto precio, ha sido utilizado y  apreciado por diferentes culturas a lo largo de la historia. Además usarse como colorante o perfume, se le han atribuído propiedades medicinales.  Seguro lo has probado, pero quizás únicamente en paella. Ojo: sí lo compras, asegúrate de que te lo den en hebras, jamás molido.

Fuente de Foto: Azafranes Manchegos

El azafrán manchego tiene denominación de origen y se considera el mejor del mundo.  Aquí, el protocolo para su cultivo y cosecha es intenso y verdaderamente una artesanía.

Escucha todos los detalles en nuestra entrevista con la chef Arroyo aquí y encuentra una deliciosa receta para preparar un milhojas de miel con azafrán al pie. ¡Dínos qué tal te quedó en nuestra página de Facebook!


receta-de-rocio-arroyo

 

 

Smoke and Fire – Falling in Love with Mezcal in Mexico City

“Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también. (For every pain, mezcal, and  for every joy as well.)  

– Mexican Folk Saying  

 

By Brenda Storch

Photo: Mezcalería Los Amantes

Undoubtedly well positioned within the minds and hearts of locals (and even not so locals), mezcal seemed to play, for a long time, second fiddle to tequila. Little by little, though, this artisanal drink (which literally means “smoked agave” in Náhuatl), has slowly made a name for itself. This is especially why we loved seeing it as protagonist at two memorable Mexican eateries. Many thanks to Chef José Bossuet, who has spent a few months consulting with the Los Amantes Group, for introducing us to these gems.

Mezcalería Los Amantes
Avenida Campos Eliseos 290, Mexico City, Mexico 52 55 5281 0292                                                                      

The namesake of the thoughtful, Oaxaca-born mezcal line, and the largest mezcalería in the world, Los Amantes (The Lovers) is located in one of Mexico City’s finest neighborhoods. Luckily, the zip code does not make this locale stuffy at all. What it does, however, is provide patrons with an elevated cantina experience, where food has been curated to make mezcal tasting a transformative journey.

Black chichilo ceviche paired with three times distilled Los Amantes –  Joven

We did not have a chance to try any of the other 200+ mezcal labels within this restaurant’s collection, as we focused on sampling the in-house pairings (Los Amantes has joven, añejo and reposado variations), which were especially designed to boost the delicacies in front of our eyes, along with a must try- pulque. It was a real treat to sample this millenary fermented beverage in such a setting, by the way. We highly recommend that you try the curados, which are concoctions made with pulque and fruit. Whether or not you enjoy them as much as I do, this should definitely be on any Mexico City visitor’s list.

The concept behind the menu is to highlight dishes from states that produce mezcal. The culinary team, led by chef José Alberto Gómez, proudly displays true mastery of harmonization, using elements such as ashes and remarkable smoky salsas to make mezcal stand out. Food here is simple, yet seductive. I fell in love with the twice-distilled reposado so hard, I brought home one of its handsome Huichol-inspired bottles.

Check out some of the dishes presented by the chefs during our tasting here.

Mezcal tasting at Los Amantes is available by reservation only. Please call ahead. This is a very personalized experience. When you visit please say hi to Chef Beto for us!

While writing this post I was notified that Los Amantes group will soon open a new mezcalería in another high-end neighborhood in the city – Santa Fe.  Stay tuned for more details.

Chefs José Bossuet, Gerzayn Bellamy and José Alberto Gómez at the Mezcalería Los Amantes kitchen.

Casona La Yucateca 
Av Moliere 56, Mexico City, Mexico  52 55 5280 7473                                                                                                   

You don’t need to leave Mexico City to sample the bright, complex and sophisticated cuisine of southeastern Mexico. The Yucatán peninsula is home to an extraordinary culinary tradition that is strongly committed to food preservation through a variety of techniques – pickling, brining, pit smoking, drying.  During this trip, I was delighted to notice that Yucatán and even Chiapas, seem to be gaining traction as foodie destinations, proving that they can hold their own as an alternative to long-standing gastronomy havens such as Oaxaca or Puebla.

Throughout Mexico, over 500 years of fusion with different cultures have permeated local gastronomical expressions with a rich diversity of ingredients, colors, flavors, and textures. This happens in a surprisingly granular way, as ingredientes, cooking utensils and materials can vary greatly depending on geography, even within the same state.

Chef José Bossuet’s latest project – Casona La Yucateca in Mexico City

The architecture and décor at Casona La Yucateca are a modern take on a henequen hacienda. To add a dimension to our out-of-state experience, the drinks- creative, well-balanced and inspired in Mayan mythology, you will certainly agree that La Casona Yucateca’s mixologist, Marco Antonio Fausto, is a remarkable culinary artist. Pace yourself with those cocktails, though- they are light to the palate, but they pack a punch!

Chef Bossuet and La Casona Yucateca’s Sales Manager, Ivonne Chávez were excellent tour guides and hosts during our culinary journey.

 

The Kukulkán by Marco Antonio Fausto. I could drink this instead of water.

The restaurant has several areas, including a private room for meetings, and a terrace that seems more like an indoor garden.

We got settled in the private room, where we had the opportunity to sample an outstanding array of menu offerings ranging from the traditional sopa de lima (keffir lime soup) to salbutes, panuchos, kebbeh, and of course, the famous queso relleno (stuffed cheese) made with Edam cheese! Interestingly, this Danish product has become Yucatán’s favorite, and is quite ubiquitous in its gastronomy. While there are a few hypotheses attempting to explain how centuries ago, this cheese might have arrived at the more isolated Yucatán peninsula, most of them agree on one point- the aged dairy was certainly at an advantage, as it was able to survive the humid heat of the jungle.

 

Yucatán has adopted Danish Edam as its favorite, featured here in a spectacular queso relleno.

Kebbeh, taboule and other dishes show the Lebanese influence in the culinary expressions of the Mexican southeast.

Traditional turkey salbute with pickled vegetables. Turkey is a very popular meat in Yucatán’s modern gastronomy.

Tikin Xic fish leverages local ingredients and underlines the importance of pickling and marinades as preserving agents.

Find several videos of our tasting tour including dessert,  here!

Chef Juan Reyes is in charge of a kitchen where know how and passion are mixed with ingredients sourced from Yucatán to ensure the authenticity of flavors. Food is made from scratch, including but not least importantly, the bread. Chef Efraín Gamboa’s craft discreetly enhances the meal and patiently awaits to take center stage at dessert.

We returned from our “visit” to Yucatán really longing to go back.

Chiles en Nogada: Un Plato que Grita Independencia

Photo Credit: Lissette Storch - Mexico City, Mexico

Foto: Lissette Storch – Ciudad de Mèxico

Literalmente chiles en salsa de nuez o “nogada”, este plato se atribuye a la creatividad culinaria propia del estado de Puebla, y se dice que los chiles en nogada fueron servidos por primera vez en el siglo XIX para celebrar la independencia de México.

Mitad plegaria, mitad receta, cuenta la historia que las monjas agustinas de Atlixco, Puebla, improvisaron este platillo en honor del caudillo Agustín de Yturbide, quien durante su viaje a la Ciudad de México desde Veracruz, se detuvo en Puebla tras firmar el Tratado de Córdoba. Este documento establecía la independencia de México, es por eso que los colores del Ejército Trigarante, y ahora también los de la bandera mexicana, están representados en este plato.

Mitad guerrero, mitad ángel, esta delicia exige que al chile poblano se le de vida con un corazón hecho a base de carne, frutas y semillas disponibles en México durante el mes de septiembre, incluyendo pera, durazno, manzana y piñón. Para rematar, la salsa de nuez que le da nombre al plato es muy delicada, y está acentuada con semillas de granada.

Mitad indígena, mitad español, esta creación es completamente mexicana y no puedes dejar de probarla.

En caso de que quieras recrear esta joya culinaria en casa, nuestro amigo, el chef Moisés Salazar, nos deleita con esta receta. El chef nos dice que como este platillo siempre es un éxito, generalmente él no cocina otro plato salado.

Rinde para 8-12 personas.

  1. Limpia 20 chiles para rellenar.
  2. Seca el interior de los chiles y rellénelos con el picadillo. Si
    sientes que el picadillo es muy pesado o los chiles están muy
    abiertos, ciérralos con un palillo

PICADILLO

Ingredientes:

• 3/4 de taza de aceite de maiz
• 6 dientes de ajo cortados por la mitad
• 1 taza de cebolla finamente picada
• 2 lbs de carne de cerdo molida (pasada por el molino una sola vez)
• 2 cucharaditas de sal
• 1 taza de agua
• 3 cucharadas de aceite de maíz
• 2 lb de jitomate licuado y colado
• 1/2 taza de almendras peladas y partidas por mitad
• 3/4 taza de pasitas negras picadas
• 20 aceitunas verdes enjuagadas y cortadas en cuatro
• 2 cucharadas de perejil fresco finamente picado
• 4 clavos de olor
• 1 vara de canela de 3 cm de largo
• 1 oz granos de pimienta negra
• 1/4 taza de aceite de maíz para freír las frutas
• 4 tazas de manzana  en cubitos
• 4 tazas de peras en cubitos
• 4 tazas de duraznos amarillos en cubitos
• 1 cucharada de azúcar
• 2 tazas de aceite para freír los plátanos
• 4 tazas de plátano macho en cubitos
• 1 taza de acitrón en cubitos (1 cuadro de acitrón)
• 3oz de piñones rosas, pelados
• 2 cucharadas de vinagre blanco

Procedimiento:

  1.  En 1/4 de taza de aceite fríe 2 dientes de ajo hasta que queden
    totalmente dorados (deséchelos); acitrona la cebolla, añade la carne,
    la sal y el agua, tapa y cuece todo hasta que la carne esté tierna,
    aproximadamente 5 minutos. Destapa para que toda el agua se evapore y
    de ser posible la carne se dore un poco.
  2.  En otro sartén, calienta las otras 3 cucharadas de aceite, dora 2
    dientes de ajo y deséchalos. Acitrona la cebolla restante, añade el
    jitomate y deja sazonar, agrega las almendras, las pasas, las
    aceitunas y el perejil, y deja sazonar la mezcla por 2 minutos.
  3. Muele el clavo, la canela y las pimientas, añádaselos al jitomate y
    retira el sartén del fuego.
  4. Añade la mezcla de jitomate a la carne y deja que se sazone por 5
    minutos, retira del fuego.
  5. En otro sartén, calienta el otro 1/4 de taza de aceite, dora en él 2
    ajos, deséchalos y fríe la manzana, la pera y el durazno, tapa y deja
    que se frían y cuezan. No dejes que se deshagan, la fruta debe quedar
    entera. Añade el azúcar y en el caso de que las frutas estén ácidas,
    añádalas más azúcar, pues la mezcla debe ser dulce.
  6. Por separado, fríe el plátano hasta que se dore ligeramente, reserva
    el aceite sobrante para freír los chiles.
  7.  Mezcla con la carne las frutas, el plátano, el acitrón, los piñones
    y el vinagre. El picado no debe quedar deshecho.

CAPEADO

Ingredientes:
• 12 huevos, separados claras de las yemas
• 1/4 de taza de harina
• 2 cucharaditas de sal
• 1 taza de harina para revolcar los chiles
• 2 tazas de aceite de maíz (más el que reservó para freír los plátanos)

Procedimiento:

El chef sugiere que el capeado se haga en dos etapas, sobre todo si quien cocina tiene
poca experiencia.

  1. Bate las claras hasta que hagan picos suaves, añade las yemas, la sal
    y el 1/4 de taza de harina. Bate hasta que todos los ingredientes
    estén incorporados.
  2. Revuelqua los chiles en la harina y quítales el exceso golpeándolos
    con la mano suavemente, pues sólo sirve para que se adhiera bien el
    huevo.
  3. Calienta el aceite con el que freíste el plátano en un sartén amplio
    (conforme vayas necesitando más aceite, añádelo). Deja que humée
    ligeramente; sumerge los chiles en el huevo y fríelos uno por uno.
  4. Mientras se dora ligeramente la parte de abajo del chile, con la ayuda
    de una pala o espátula, baña la parte de arriba para que éste se dore y
    no sea necesario voltearlo. Si no tienes experiencia, voltéalo.

Escúrrelos sobre servilletas de papel para quitarles el exceso de
grasa del capeado. Manténlos tibios o a temperatura ambiente y
reserve.

NOGADA

Ingredientes:
• 1 taza de almendras peladas y remojadas en agua
• 5 tazas de agua fría
• 1 lb grs de queso de cabra o de queso fresco
• 8 tazas de nueces de Castilla limpias (2.5 lbs aprox)

Procedimiento:

  1. De preferencia remoja las almendras una o dos noches con antelación
    con agua fría y manténlas en el refrigerador. Nota como al hidratarse,
    aumentan de tamaño y adquieren un tono color marfil. Esto hace que su sabor se
    haga muy parecido al de la nuez fresca.
  2. Mezcla todos los ingredientes en un tazón, excepto el agua, licúa la
    mitad de la mezcla y luego la otra para evitar que se derrame el vaso
    de la licuadora, utiliza el agua necesaria, utilizarás casi toda,
    aunque la salsa no es aguada y debe tener consistencia (esta receta es
    exacta, por lo que se recomienda no alterar las cantidades).

PRESENTACIÓN

Ingredientes:
• 2 granadas rojas desgranadas (2 tazas de granos)
• Ramas de perejil para adornar

Procedimiento:

  1. Coloca los chiles en un platón.
  2. Baña parcialmente los chiles con la
    nogada, pues se debe ver algo de capeado.
  3. Adorna con las hojas de
    perejil y la granada.

Chef Moisés Salazar

El chef Moisés Salazar es un mexicano experto en Alta Cocina, dedicado al catering corporativo y privado. Su pasión lo ha llevado desde Belize, donde estuvo a cargo de delegaciones diplomáticas  de la Embajada de México, Estados Unidos y varios países centroamericanos, hasta Atlanta, donde colaboró en el famoso St. Regis.  Encuentra más información sobre el chef Moisés Salazar y su contribución al  mundo de la gastronomía en su sitio web: www.chefmoises.com

Haz click aquí para encontrar otra magnífica receta para hacer chiles en nogada, inspirada por las monjas de la órden de las Clarisas, quienes se dedican a elaborar este platillo desde 1924.

Originalmente publicado el 18 de julio del 2016.