I joined Indian-American cookbook author Anupy Singla to talk about the fusion of Latin and Asian food on NPR‘s Tell Me More, with host Celeste Headlee. I also gave them a taste of the Asian influence on Mexican cuisine with my Green Beans with Peanuts and Chile de Arbol. If you missed us on the radio, listen in right here…
For the recipe, click here.
NPR Tell Me More: When Asian and Latin Food Collide
Before she died, my maternal grandmother, whom we called Lali (remember I’ve told you about her before?) gave me Gloria Miller’s Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook. She was fascinated with Chinese cookery. She was also very good at it. What she loved the most were the stir-fry dishes: fast, tasty and healthy.
So, she bought herself a wok.
I couldn’t begin to count how many wok-made dishes I ate at her house during those long summers I visited her and my grandfather, after they moved to the Californian desert.
After she passed away, that wok found its way into my kitchen. I’ve cherished it. I’ve prized it. I haven’t used it! I’ve dragged it through so many house moves that I’ve also managed to lose its cord. It’s an electric wok. It’s real pretty, too. It’s hers. And in my mind, it is inseparable from her Miller’s cookbook, so I didn’t try to cook “her” Chinese dishes for years. And here and there, I’ve looked for that cord…
Continue reading A Taste of Barrio Chino: Green Beans with Peanuts and Chile de Arbol
When you don’t care much about something in Mexico, it is very popular to say “me importa un cacahuate” or “me vale un cacahuate.” This translates to something like “I don’t care enough” or “I couldn’t care less,” the word cacahuate being used for that “less or not enough.” That may be in regards to the tiny size of an individual peeled peanut, but ironically, cacahuates or peanuts mean a lot to Mexico and Mexicans.
Peanuts have been in Mexico’s culinary repertoire since Pre-Hispanic times. Though its origins can be traced to Southern Latin America, specifically Peru, and it is said to have been domesticated in Bolivia or Paraguay, when the Spanish arrived in Mexico they found it for sale in the street markets where it was a staple.
Used to snack on, be it raw, roasted, toasted, steamed, salted or spiced up and combined with other ingredients like in Pico de Gallos; as a thickener for Mole sauces or salsas, soups and stews; it’s oil extracted and used in and out of the kitchen; in “palanqueta” or bark form, entirely covered and hardened in some kind of a sweet and thick syrup and other sweets and even drinks! As times have moved on, the peanut not only remains central to our eating but also to our celebrating.
Continue reading Peanuts or Cacahuates
CBS’ The Talk is having a food festival! I made Scrambled Egg Packets with Black Bean Sauce for Mexican Brunch, with help from hosts Sheryl Underwood and Julie Chen. We also had Avocado and Hearts of Palm Chop-Chop Salad and some Triple Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies for dessert. In case you missed all the fun, click here.
“When a woman describes herself as an authentic, salt-of-the-earth person, she’s usually lying. Take any celebrity who’s ever claimed that they’re ‘just like us’—’us’ being the folks who pour our own cereal and style our own hair or, more often, forgo breakfast and hairstyling because there’s a dog that needs walking, a husband who needs our internal GPS to find something, and a child who needs some sort of small vegetable extracted from his or her ear/nose/bellybutton.
However, this doesn’t apply to Pati Jinich (pronounced HEE-nich). The 41-year-old Mexican-born chef is just like us—or at least more like us than most folks who have a successful cooking show, a wildly popular culinary blog and recently released cookbook. I know this because the first time I call her, she’s in a panic. She sings songs in a heavy Mexican accent something about burning nuts, offers a hasty apology and asks that I please call her in ‘one minute—no!—30 seconds!’…”
To read the entire article, click here.
WUSA 9: We’ve Got Tips For Spicing Up Your Fourth of July
“Pati Jinich loves Mexican cooking (and food, and culture) so much that it sort of explodes out of her, and your only option is to absorb what she has to teach you and share in the joy. As this week’s guest editor, Pati has been sharing recipes from her new book that translate authentic Mexican flavors into dishes that are accessible — and useful — to any home cook. And she delivers everything with zeal and humor — just look at the way she avoids choosing between salsa and guacamole…”
To read the entire article, click here.