“Patricia Jinich teaches regional Mexican cooking at the Mexican Cultural Institute here. But at the Lubavitch Center recently she showed about 70 Jewish women how to cook for Passover.
She made gefilte fish in a Veracruz sauce of tomatoes, pickled peppers, olives and capers, and spoke of how her Polish grandfather loved to wrap fresh, warm tortillas around gribenes (chicken cracklings with fried onions) with a side of guacamole.
Some of the women were in long dresses, with their heads covered. Ms. Jinich, 37, had on a Mexican huipil blouse with red and green trim under her chef’s jacket.
Still, she said, ‘The Yiddische mama and the Mexican mama have lots in common.'”
Talking about American foods enriched by Mexican ingredients, I can’t leave out those tasty, juicy and smoky Ancho Chile hamburgers. My mother used to make them for our birthday parties as me and my sisters grew into teenagers. We felt more hip having funky burgers instead of kid sized tacos. Plus, they were a hit with our friends.
Continue reading Tex Mex or Mex Tex: Take Two
The Ancho chile is a stellar ingredient in Mexican cuisine. It is probably the most used dried Chile throughout Mexico and no wonder why: Its flavor is unmatchable.
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“The evening highlighted the chic nightlife food of Mexico City. Chef Jinich, a vivacious and charming culinary guide, explained how modern Mexican cuisine has evolved over time, bringing together traditional Spanish and French influences. Each dish presented showcased this fusion.”
“Can you think of an American dish that has been Mexicanized?” My friend Andrea asked. “It has gone the other way around, no?” I responded, thinking about Tex Mex and the complaints from Mexican food aficionados about Mexican food being Americanized in the US.
But the other way around? As I swam through my childhood memories in Mexico City I was startled by how wrong my natural response had been. Of course there are Mexicanized American foods, and plenty!
Continue reading Tex Mex or Mex Tex
The smooth, soothing, creamy qualities of Mexican avocados are the perfect combination to the richly flavored and sometimes spicy Mexican food. My favorite avocados are the Hass variety and for some reason… I like the Mexican ones the most (!) They tend to be larger, meatier, creamier and just more luxurious than others.
Though many people think of avocados as vegetables, they are fruits…
Since they are harvested green (mature but not yet ripened), in some stores you may find them when they are not ready to eat. If the skin still looks green and the avocado feels firm to the touch, they probably need 3 to 6 days of ripening. You can bring them home and place them in a paper bag or newspaper in a warm area of your kitchen to speed up the ripening process. You can also just leave them outside of the refrigerator. They are ripe and ready to eat when the skin is almost completely black and the avocado gives in a bit if you gently squeeze it. Once ripe, you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week if not opened and about one or two days if opened and covered with plastic wrap.
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