Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless
When Rick sets out to explore the distinct flavors that animate and define Mexican cuisine, the journey takes him anywhere from the famous chorizo stalls in Toluca to the cliffs of Acapulco to the bustling markets in Mexico City.
Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless Previous Broadcasts
Tijuana Taco Crawl (Episode #802H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 19, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
People are passionate about their tacos in Tijuana. Ask any local and they'll tell you their favorite - complete with mouthwatering details. Three local Tijuana foodies take Rick on a taco "crawl" starting with arrachera (skirt steak) tacos at El Yaqui. Piled high with beans, creamy avocado salsa and Mexican "candy" (roasted jalapenos). The feast moves on to include suadero tacos at Los Ahumadores, sauteed and fried shrimp tacos at Mariscos El Mazateno, steamed tacos on Tijuana's tourist strip and ends with smoked salmon tacos at Salceados. At home, Rick creates a taco feast for a casual backyard cookout.
Mediterranean Baja (Episode #801H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
The Baja California peninsula boasts a climate reminiscent of those on the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of olive trees and vineyards in Northern Baja capture the distinctiveness of this region of Mexico. We explore the amazing grilled octopus at Tres Virgenes in La Paz and enjoy mesquite-grilled lamb with 9-chile mole sauce. Rick makes tacos of kale and spinach with a green garlic mojo from the gardens of the renowned spa Rancho La Puerta. In Tijuana, Chef Miguel Angel Guerrero Yagues shows off his terrific wood-fired grill to Rick before he cooks lamb three ways. Chef Jair Tellez makes a geoduck ceviche at his dreamy Laja restaurant in the Valle de Guadalupe. At home, Rick grills lamb with fennel and a red chile salsa. Astonishing Baja, indeed.
Artisan Mescal (Episode #904H)
KQED 9: Sat, Jun 15, 2013 -- 9:30 AM
Mescal is having a real renaissance, both in Mexico and in fine cocktail emporiums all over the United States. Rick takes us on a journey to see how a small Oaxacan distiller hand-crafts this fine spirit renowned for its rich, smoky complexity and brightness. As with any great artisan product, there's always a great story. With Rick around, there's always great food, from hand-pressed memelas topped with a bright avocado salsa to vinegar-infused snacks. We learn to sip mescal with fresh oranges and sal de gusano - chile-spiked salt. At home, Rick guides us through a mescal tasting and a host of snacks for a do-it-yourself mescal cocktail party.
Delicious Eco-Tourism (Episode #906H)
KQED Life: Fri, Jun 14, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Ever on a quest to learn more about the food he grows and cooks, Rick even vacations with an agenda. This time he's taking us to the mountains to Finca Las Nieves, with its artisanal coffee production and organic gardens. Together we learn about sustainable gardening along with how-to's for amazing vegetarian tamales and sopa de chepil in the kitchens at the Finca. Then it is off on a hike seeking orchids and bromeliads before a lunch of trout at the restaurant of a trout farm. Rick makes his version of the trout with chorizo at home. Rancho Pitaya also proves fertile ground for Rick's eco-tour vacation with horseback riding to a cactus grove overlooking the valley of Oaxaca before a picnic lunch of grilled tasajo beef, a salad of fresh cactus paddles and red chile potatoes.
Liquid Gold (Episode #713H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 12, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Rick and his daughter, Lanie, check out a fabulous fish fillet at a neighborhood restaurant in Mexico City, and then, at a seafood street stall, they get rapturous over a plate of succulent garlicky prawns that rivals the best scampi in the world. The common denominator of these two dishes? It's one of the cornerstones of Mexican cooking, Mojo de Ajo (literally, "bath of garlic") - a sauce made by slowly simmering garlic in olive oil and seasoning it with lime and chiles. Back home in Chicago, Rick shows us how he plants, grows and cures this flavorful garlic variety, then uses some to make a big batch of Mojo de Ajo - a jar of "liquid gold" to keep on hand for enhancing just about anything. First, he uses some of it to make Mixiotes of Woodland Mushrooms with Slow-Cook Garlic and Mexican Herbs, bathed in mojo and baked in parchment. Then Lanie uses a little more to make her favorite snack, fresh-popped Garlicky Popcorn with Mexican Queso Anejo "buttered" with mojo and sprinkled with chile powder. Now it's Rick's turn to whip up a quick Seared Fish Fillets in Fruity, Nutty, Garlicky Mojo. And finally, Lanie helps him make a favorite family specialty: Garlicky Linguine with Seared Shrimp, Chipotle and Mexican Aged Cheese. It all adds up to this: a splash of mojo de ajo can be the Midas touch that turns just about any ingredient into culinary gold.
Chorizo Made Easy (Episode #712H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Chorizo, the succulent pork sausage seasoned with chiles, spices and a touch of vinegar, is the "bacon of Mexico" - the perfect accompaniment for eggs and, like bacon, a versatile ingredient for cooking that can give any dish a serious head start on flavor. At his neighborhood Mexican grocery in Chicago, Rick shows us fresh-made chorizo sold at the butcher counter and talks about how it is made. Buying a batch of the sausage to take home, he quickly turns it into a Caramelized Onion and Chorizo to use for a taco filling. Then he transforms that full-flavored mixture into a dressing for a Chorizo Spinach Salad with jicama, a Mexican-style take on the classic wilted spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. At the Medellin Market in Mexico City, he introduces us to green chorizo, a popular 20th-century innovation from the town of Toluca, made with fresh herbs and cilantro, now enjoyed all over Mexico. In the U.S., it's not easy to find. So, in his home kitchen, Rick shows how to make it from scratch, and then puts it to use in a classic way: Green Queso Fundido, a warm fondue-like melted cheese dip. Then it's back to Mexico City and the high-style Paxia restaurant where we get a look at the chef's whimsical, thoroughly modern reinterpretation of chorizo and eggs: tiny quail eggs served on dollops of light, frothy chorizo mousse. That prompts Rick to share with us his own "chorizo revisited" signature at his fine-dining restaurant, Topolobampo - Seafood Chorizo, a delicate poached seafood sausage, seared and served over a tangle of salad greens.
Oaxaca, The Land of Seven Moles (Episode #905H)
KQED Life: Fri, Jun 7, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
So many moles, so little time. That's how most visitors to Oaxaca feel when perusing the choices from mole pastes in the markets to fine examples served up at restaurants and street vendors all over the state. Let's start with two moles, advises Rick, who takes us to Seasons of My Heart Cooking School on the outskirts of Oaxaca City to explore Black Mole and Green Mole with school owner Susana Trilling and her students. We perfectly char the chilies, set the seeds aflame and roast the tomatoes for Susana's black mole sweetened with roasted plantain and a little Oaxacan chocolate. On the simpler side, there's green mole - redolent with fresh herbs, roasted tomatillos and jalape o. At home, Rick makes his Coloradito Mole before we indulge in yellow mole and grilled fish at Topolobampo.
A Whole New Enchilada (Episode #711H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jun 5, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Rick's out to dispel the notion that an enchilada is all about smothering tortillas in sauce and gooey cheese. At Cafe Azul y Oro in Mexico City, he shows us the iconic Mexican version of the dish: a corn tortilla in a red mole sauce and rolled around a light, simple chicken filling. From that classic formula things can, of course, get more inventive and Rick shares with us one of the more unusual, though still classically grounded enchiladas on Chef Ricardo Munoz-Zurita's menu: an enchilada of jamaica, or dried hibiscus flowers that tastes like a cross between pickled beets and cabbage. From there he takes us to Cafe Tacuba, a Mexico City Institution since 1912, where the signature Enchilada Especial is a comforting concoction with a chicken, spinach and poblano chile filling, bathed in veloute sauce and browned under the broiler. It's so good, he can't resist showing us how to make his one Cafe Tacuba-Style Creamy Chicken Enchiladas in his home kitchen in Chicago. Back in Mexico City, he brings us to another hallowed enchilada eatery, the Casa de las Enchiladas, for a lesson in the four "pillars" of enchilada construction: the tortilla, the filling, the sauce, and the garnish. Here, diners get to build their own enchilada by choosing from several options in each category. That gives Rick an idea: in the kitchen of his fine-dining restaurant, Topolobampo, he challenges his chefs to design a new enchilada special for the restaurant - each choosing a "pillar" to work on. In a fast-paced, reality-style race to the finish, the chefs create a surprising dish, proving in the process that a "whole enchilada" is greater than the sum of its parts.
Tacos Hola! (Episode #710H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jun 3, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
We find Rick and his daughter, Lanie, at the Mexico City's colorful Sonora Market, an emporium of medicinal herbs and the best place in town to buy cazuelas, the beautifully rustic earthenware cooking and serving casseroles that define a whole class of stews and taco fillings. We tend to think of taquerias for their familiar grilled and griddled fillings, like carne asada. But, Rick explains, there's a whole world of stands and shops that have no grill at all and specialize in satisfyingly homey, slow-cooked fillings made in cazuelas with everything from stewed meat to richly flavorful vegetables. Rick and Lanie check out El Guero, a Mexico City institution, popularly known as "Tacos Hola!," that specializes in slow-cooked taco fillings. Back home in Chicago, Rick and Lanie plan a cazuela-taco dinner. Lanie throws together a quick Pork with Smoky Tomato Sauce and Potatoes in the crockpot before heading off to school. By dinnertime, it'll be meltingly tender and richly flavored. Meanwhile, Rick gathers some chard in the garden, offering a quick intro to the care and tending of this hearty, easy-to-grow vegetable. Then, he turns his harvest into a filling of Creamy Braised Chard, Potatoes and Poblanos and also prepares a Veracruz-Flavored Chilled Seafood. The three fillings, mounded in those charming cazuelas from the Sonora Market, form the centerpiece for a cozy dinner with friends and family.
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