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Hace unos días, la chef Priscilla Curiel, del restaurante Talavera Azul, en San Diego, nos habló sobre su pasión por la comida mexicana, y de sus platillos favoritos: las enchiladas suizas.
Una de las historias que más me gustan sobre el origen de este plato, se remonta a la época de la caída del imperio austro-húngaro, en la que un miembro del servicio de Maximiliano de Habsburgo huyó a Coahuila y posteriormente a la Ciudad de México con las recetas que se servían a los emperadores. Armado con conocimientos y técnicas europeas, decidió abrir un café al que llamó “Café Imperio”. Aquí, se dice que las enchiladas se hicieron de fama para después integrarse por clamor popular al menú de un afamado restaurante ¨de sociedad¨ y, posteriormente, a otros mucho más accesible, como el que ahora sabemos ligado a una famosa empresa de telefonía celular.
Pero para que no se queden con las ganas de probar esta verdadera delicia independientemente de sí están en México (o en San Diego), o no, aquí está la receta para que la preparen en casa.
Enchiladas Suizas (Rinde para 5 personas)
- 2 pechugas de pollo
- 10 tortillas de maíz
- 8 tomatillos
- 1 cebolla
- 2 dientes de ajo
- 2 ramas de cilantro
- 1 taza de crema mexicana o queso crema
- 1 taza de queso oaxaca o de manchego ( al gusto)
- sal (al gusto)
- pimienta (al gusto)
- 1 taza de aceite vegetal
- Pon los 8 tomatillos y los 2 chiles serranos (sin semillas) en una cacerloa con agua suficiente que cubra los ingredientes. Deja que el agua hierva con una flama alta.
- Deja que los ingredientes hiervan por unos 10 minutos sin que el tomatillo se pase, por que se vuelve amargo. Después pon los ingredientes de la cacerola en una licuadora. Agrega una media cebolla, los dientes de ajo y las ramas de cilantro con ¼ de crema mexicana o del queso crema.
- Licúa todos los ingredientes y vuelve a poner la salsa en una cacerola para que se termine de cocer. Un buen tip es agregar el cilantro en crudo hasta el final para que la clorofila le agregue más color verde a nuestra salsa.
- Deja unos 10 minutos más a fuego medio y agrega la sal y pimienta al gusto.
- En una sartén, pon una taza de aceite vegetal a calentar a fuego medio o alto.
- Toma una tortilla con pinzas y ponlas en el aceite por cada lado durante 7 segundos. No dejes que se frían de más por que quedan duras como tostada y no nos sirven para nuestras ricas enchiladas. Las tortillas deben quedar ligeramente fritas.
- Recuerda colocar las tortillas en unas servilletas para ese exceso de grasa.
- Calienta el horno a 250F. En una charola honda, pon las tortillas rellenas con el pollo deshebrado en rollitos y cúbrelas con la salsa.
- Pon rebanadas delgadas con queso rallado Oaxaca o Manchego sobre las enchiladas.
- Déjalas en el horno aproximadamente durante 10 minutos o hasta que el queso se derrita.
- Para finalizar esta receta puedes pon más crema encima de las enchiladas. D ecora con rodajas de cebolla.
La chef Priscilla Curiel lleva la pasión gastronómica en las venas. De linaje restaurantero, esta joven chef, banquetera y estilista gastronómica, deleita a sus comensales con platillos nostálgicos y auténticos como los chilaquiles y las enchiladas suizas. Visita a la chef Curiel en su restaurante “Talavera Azul” en Chula Vista, California.
This post was first published in LaVitaminaT.com on 9-27-2015
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Claudia Sandoval, the first Latina to be crowned winner of home-cooking competition series MASTERCHEF, has a message that resonates universally- “follow your dreams”. But as a single mother living paycheck to paycheck, Claudia means this both, literally and figuratively.
First, she had to push herself to audition along with other tens of thousands of cooking enthusiasts. She said, “I put my dream off for a while. I was worried about not making any money, and about who would take care of my child. I wondered what would happen if I went away for potentially three months.” Finally, Sandoval, an events manager, decided to take a leap of faith one Wednesday. By Friday, she was cooking the signature dish that would secure her a spot on the show’s sixth season.
As this aspiring gourmand advanced through the rounds, she found that sticking to her instincts always gave her good results. For the “Mystery Box Challenge”, in which participants receive only one ingredient to prepare an elevated dish, she had to work with a single tomato. Claudia won with a savory tomato Napoleon.
“I had a dream about it the night before,” she said.
Raised by a single mother herself, Claudia was taught how to cook by the Mexican matriarchs in her family. Fittingly, for the final challenge, she created a three-course meal featuring flavors and ingredients representative of her roots: an appetizer of huitlacoche tamal with pork chicharrón, cactus salsa and avocado crème; a main course of grilled swordfish with chayote, chickpeas and Mexican squash; and a poached pear with key lime custard, candied lime and pepita cinnamon brittle.
“Claudia was a strong competitor from the beginning,” said the show’s host, executive producer and judge Gordon Ramsay. “Her passion and unique dishes were what impressed us the most, and we look forward to seeing where her new culinary career will lead her.”
Meanwhile, we can’t wait to hear what Claudia will dream of next.
Click here to see a clip of the series finale (Video Courtesy of FOX Broadcasting)
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Underneath the supernatural halo that surrounds the concept “Shaman”, you will find the fascinating meaning of a cross-culturally relevant word that some say can be traced back to Sanskrit: survivor.
Fittingly, Soraya Rendón, the owner of Chicago’s “Shaman” and “Chilam Balam” is that and more. Just like the concept, she has crossed countries and cultures. Beyond surviving, she has thrived. She has conquered.
Leaving her native Mexico in her teens, Soraya remembers how she was passed up for a job as a receptionist because she did not speak English. Unfazed, she told the hiring manager she would learn the language and then come back. A few months later, and faithful to her promise, she returned to land the job. Actually, Soraya negotiated a higher-paying position with a better title because, as she explained, she “was now bilingual.”
Consistently fearless, Soraya soon opened Chilam Balam, a Mexican restaurant focused on sustainable cuisine. “It survived, so we decided to open Shaman,” Soraya said about her second “child” as she calls each one of her establishments. “The name made perfect sense to me.”
True to form, Soraya would continue to challenge convention and predictability. Her BYOB eatery treats patrons to a dynamic menu featuring Mexican-inspired small plates. The dishes are a creative take on traditional recipes, and are thoughtfully brought to life by none other than chef Natalie Oswald, an Ohio-born chef who brace yourself, happens to cook fluently “in Spanish”.
But what is absolutely certain is that when you visit Shaman, you will be charmed by a fascinating out-of-country atmosphere that you could very well find in a restaurant in Coyoacán. The food is a reflection of the story behind it: bold, creative, passionate… Delightful.
What we loved: If you visit, try the porkbelly tacos. I was impressed by the balance of textures and flavors packed in a small bite. The tortillas, by the way, were perfect.
Shaman by Chilam Balam
1438 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Hours: Tue-Thu: 5pm-10pm Fri-
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I accidentally stumbled upon La Diosa (Spanish for “goddess”), a little café in Lincoln Park that I did not remember having seen before. I was first curious about the name, and since we had already had lunch, we decided to go in for dessert.
I had no idea that I was really in for a treat.
We were greeted by La Diosa‘s owner Laura Martínez, a young Mexican chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. We exchanged pleasantries in Spanish (the restaurant had just opened in January). The pictures on the wall prompted more questions. I learned that Martínez honed her cooking skills while interning, and later working for Charlie Trotter.
As if these accomplishments were not already impressive, Laura Martínez happens to be the first blind chef to open a restaurant in the US.
The entire concept behind La Diosa, from the menu to the name, are both her idea and her dream. Losing her eyesight as a baby, Martínez is convinced that her condition pushed her to succeed. “Being a chef was not the easiest path for anyone in my situation, and I did not want anybody to tell me that I was not able to do something. I am the only one in my family with a degree,” she said.
Her kitchen is completely open and pristine, and watching her prepare empanadas with great precision, is nothing short of amazing. Her husband, Maurilio, doubles as both Martínez’s eyes and her sous chef. “Sometimes it can get frustrating, you wish you could see when it gets busy so that you can move faster,” she added.
Why La Diosa? Martínez said the name is a nod to her faith. As she spoke, I could not help but be reminded of her strength and resolve. Plus, if I could ever imagine of anyone embodying supernatural powers, it is her: Martínez masterfully wields a knife without sight.
If you visit La Diosa, please say hi to chef Martínez from us. We recommend that you try her tequila-cheese pie or the flan. The hot chocolate is heavenly indeed.
2308 N. Clark St.
8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday
9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
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