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
Tacos On Fire! (Episode #701H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jul 31, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
"What is a taco, anyway?" muses Rick over an upscale lobster taco at his white tablecloth restaurant, Topolobampo. "Is it crispy or soft? Grilled or griddled? Street food or taqueria fare? Fast food or fine dining?" The answer is, "all of the above ... and a whole lot more." And to prove it, Rick heads to Mexico City, for a non-stop taco trek. It starts at Fishmart, a neighborhood seafood restaurant in trendy Condesa with the lobster tacos that inspired Rick's Topolobampo version - succulent chunks of grilled lobster and black beans, wrapped in a warm corn tortilla. Following his nose, and the smell of smoldering charcoal and sizzling meat, Rick moves on to explore some taquerias - one renowned for its char-grilled tacos al carbon and another for pork tacos al pastor, made on a revolving vertical grill, gyros-style. Here too, it's all about simplicity: a few perfect mouthfuls of mind-blowing meat and super fresh tortilla. But Rick's saved his favorite underground street-food discovery for last. Super Tacos Chupacabras is hidden away under a freeway overpass. But it's so over-the-top, and the griddled tacos and slow-cooked toppings are so tasty and cheap, everyone from VIPs to bike messengers line up all day and all night. Back at home, Rick gets ready to throw his own "Supertacos" party with a little help from his friends. It's a laugh-filled, spontaneous celebration of cooking and fun, as everyone pitches in to make Tangy Tamarind Cooler and Mexican Snakebite, Tacos of Seared Scallops with Chorizo and Potatoes and Rick's easy version of Grilled Pork Tacos al Pastor, made right on the backyard grill.
Baja Beach House Cooking (Episode #813H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Rick introduces viewers to some of Los Cabos top chefs and their restaurants then cooks dinner for them at a luxurious beach house. Margarita Carrillo, chef/owner of Don Emiliano Restaurant in San Jose del Cabo, joins Rick to purchase the local cabrillo fish and to visit Tamarindo's Farm for organically grown produce. Rick makes a tamarind chile sauce to go with his fish and eggplant course. Margarita makes her special tomatillo tart for dessert. Together they cook chocolate clams on the beach with their guests. At dinner, Rick, Margarita and the local chefs discuss the philosophy of cooking for people and the meaning of dining together.
Chorizo Made Easy (Episode #712H)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 -- 1:30 PM
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.
The Kernel of Deliciousness (Episode #907H)
KQED 9: Sat, Jul 27, 2013 -- 9:30 AM
The variety of corns available in Oaxaca boggles the mind and the taste buds. Rick introduces us to Amado Ramirez Leyva who believes that corn, domesticated some 9,000 years ago in Mexico, is the basis of Mexican culture. From championing the protection of ancient varieties, to cooking and grinding it into masa for tortillas, Amado just might be the corn guru of Oaxaca. All manner of enticing snacks served at Itanoni, his Oaxaca restaurant, including memelas, tetelas, tostadas, and tacos, use carefully selected types of maiz criollo (native corn). Abigail Mendoza, a superb village cook from Teotitlan del Valle, transforms her handmade fresh blue and white masa into simple, yet amazing village-style tamales cooked in a traditional olla over a wood fire. Rick riffs on her yellow mole to make his own fresh empanadas on his kitchen griddle. With the skyline of Oaxaca as the back drop, chef and restaurateur Pilar Cabrera shows Rick her beautiful squash blossom tamales. Together they make sweet pumpkin tamales laced with Oaxacan chocolate that prove transcendent.
Bringing Oaxaca Home (Episode #912H)
KQED Life: Fri, Jul 26, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
The once unknown state of Oaxaca, Mexico's fifth largest, is now on the knowing traveler's hit list. Its capital is one of Mexico's most enjoyable colonial cities. By day, people relax at plaza-front sidewalk cafes beneath shady arches and take in the slow-motion scene, reflecting the best of old Mexico. By night, the same plaza becomes alive with entertainment, crafts, folkloric dances and food stalls. The city boasts a burgeoning restaurant scene, traditional markets and art galleries. The coast is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Rick takes the spirit of Oaxaca home and with a group of friends he creates a dinner sure to transport. We'll start with a mescal pineapple cocktail with his version of the crunchy chile-and-garlic-infused peanuts sold throughout Oaxaca's markets. The first course highlights indulgent shrimp and crab. Rick's main-course stars one of the famous seven Oaxacan moles - Manchamanteles - a simple red mole with fresh pineapple, pork and chicken. For dessert, a super simple avocado ice pays homage to Rick's favorite market stop.
Todos Santos Magic (Episode #812H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jul 24, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Maybe it's the water, maybe it's the desert, but there's definitely magic in the charming Baja town called Todos Santos. It all starts at Art & Beer, a funky roadside bar on the outskirts of town that serves generous cocktails and outstanding appetizers. Then Rick checks into the Hotel California before meeting up with his local buddy, Sergio Jaurequi, for a history lesson about the town's disappearing and reappearing water supply. Together they taste the local sweets and get a lesson from local cook Dona Ramona, in transforming dried beef and cactus into delectable dishes. Chef Dany Lamote's vanilla-infused margarita proves magical, too.
Sustainable Aquaculture in the Rich Waters of Ensenada (Episode #811H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jul 22, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Two of Ensenada's best seafood chefs, Benito Molina and Alain Genchi, join Rick for a lesson in mollusk farming. Juan Carlos Lapuente of Acuacultura Integral de Baja California takes the trio to the rich coastal waters to see oyster and mussel farming. Along the way, we learn that the quality of these waters is what makes the seafood from this area so outstanding. They cook their catch at Muelle Tres on the Ensenada waterfront, then Rick accompanies Benito to his fine-dining restaurant, Manzanilla, for sauteed abalone and two oyster preparations. Solange Muris pairs her husband's dishes with the local wines. At home, Rick shows us how to make the green ceviche he enjoys at Erizo, a Tijuana ceviche restaurant featuring local seafood.
A Whole New Enchilada (Episode #711H)
KQED Plus: Sun, Jul 21, 2013 -- 1:30 PM
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.
Chocolate & Coffee from Bean to Cup (Episode #911H)
KQED Life: Fri, Jul 19, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
In Mexico, it is just as common to start your day with a cup of steaming hot chocolate as it is with coffee. Little wonder, when the chocolate is made from freshly roasted cacao beans and seasoned with cinnamon and a touch of sugar. Rick takes us to world-renowned Mayordomo near the main market in Oaxaca and to Seasons of My Heart Cooking School to see the process from two perspectives. For the best cup of coffee ever, Rick takes a day trip to Finca Las Nieves Coffee Plantation where the owners are passionate in their pursuit. Set in almost a thousand acres of the Oaxacan cloud forest, we see organic altura coffee from the bean to the cup. In Chicago, Rick creates an Oaxacan-style tres leches cake with coffee and chocolate. Now we're wide awake.
Mexican Microbrews and Pub Fare (Episode #810H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Many of us experienced our first Mexican beer on a beach with a squeeze of lime. Now we're happy to see a beer revolution rumbling in the Baja peninsula. Rick takes us from the Tecate brewery, which started in 1944, to the Tijuana brewery, makers of several microbrews. At Ultramarinos, an Ensenada bar with a penchant for pairing specialty beers and local seafood, Rick enjoys an oyster taco with owner Alain Genchi. Finally, Rick meets two expatriates brewing beer in Los Cabos - perfect for enjoying with their beer pizza. At home, Rick tucks a tomatillo and chorizo pizza into his wood-burning oven. Salud!
Extraordinarily Delicious Ensenada (Episode #809H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jul 15, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Fish tacos embody Ensenada's history in one bite: Fresh fish from pristine waters encased in crispy batter influenced by Asian immigrants, topped with Spanish-inspired creamy sauces, wrapped up in a very Mexican corn tortilla and spiked with chile. We seek out some of the best versions at Mariscos El Norteno, a stall opposite the Ensenada Fish market, and a 30-year old corner stand, Los Originales El Chopipo. No trip to Ensenada would be complete for a foodie without a stop at La Guerrerense where Sabina Bandera Gonzalez has been serving the best seafood ceviches and tostadas for more than 29 years. There Rick savors a mixed platter of shellfish and amazing sea urchin tostadas. A stop at Marco Antonio has Rick indulging in shrimp tacos with chipotle cream. Seriously good. In Chicago, Rick hosts a seafood taco party complete with the secrets to making outstanding fried fish tacos at home.
Delicious Eco-Tourism (Episode #906H)
KQED 9: Sat, Jul 13, 2013 -- 9:30 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.
Puerto Escondido: Living The Dream (Episode #910H)
KQED Life: Fri, Jul 12, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Ever dream of renting a space with a kitchen in Mexico just so you can cook all the fresh fish you can eat? Rick lives the dream at Hotel Villas Carrizalillo in Puerto Escondido. First, he peruses the town market for inspiration and ingredients from heirloom tomatoes to the local tuxtla chiles. Then he joins a resident expert to take him spear fishing off Roca Blanca Playa, one of the prettiest beaches in Mexico, for the freshest possible catch for his feast. And what a feast it is! Rick takes one robalo and turns it into an aguachile (a spicy ceviche appetizer), a brothy soup with chayote and beer, and pan-seared robalo with a tomatillo-pumpkinseed sauce. All from a small kitchen at the villas, a sharp knife, a couple of large pans and blender.
Tijuana Round Table (Episode #808H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jul 10, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
There's a long heritage of good food in Tijuana: It has an amazing taco culture and is the birthplace of the Caesar salad. Today, Tijuana boasts one of the top culinary schools in the country and some of the best chefs in Mexico. Rick and three fellow food lovers dine at the ultra-modern Mision 19 located in Mexico's newest Leed Gold Certified building. Chef Javier Plascencia wows them with his creative twists on classic Mexican dishes such as braised beef short ribs wrapped in fresh fig leaves and served with black mole and kabocha foam. For starters, Chef Javier layers local tuna with nopales, chicharron and avocado meringue. Between bites, Rick and his guests discuss their own relationships with food, the expanding culinary scene in Tijuana and the future of Mexican food.
Cooking In Wine Country (Episode #807H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jul 8, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Ever dream of owning a winery? Don and Tru Miller made their dreams come true 12 years ago when they built Adobe Guadalupe in the Valle de Guadalupe. Rick's dream of cooking in their stunning kitchen, with its handmade wood-fired oven, comes true this season when he cooks for the Millers and other local winemakers. Along the way, Rick shops for just-picked produce at the idyllic farm stand on the grounds of Mogor Baden Winery, artisanal cheeses at Rancho La Campana (a 100-year-old cheese cave) as well as for breads and olives at the charming Cremeria los Globos. What's for dinner? Local leg of lamb with a pasilla olive sauce, mixed greens with fresh mussels and fava beans, and perfect strawberries with chamomile sabayon. Dreamy indeed.
Oaxacan Cheese Primer (Episode #909H)
KQED Life: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
In Mexico, cheese is all about fresh cheese. So fresh, in fact, that Rick planned his cheese making with two local women in the village of Rojas around the milking of the alfalfa-fed cows. We see that uber-fresh milk turned into the sweet, tender curds known as queso fresco and the tangy, salty quesillo (string cheese) so ubiquitous to many Oaxacan specialties. In his Chicago home kitchen, Rick encourages viewers to try their own hand at fresh cheese. As a reward, he creates a simple dinner featuring the just-made cheeses as well as salsas from his grill with salad from the garden.
From Lobster to Chocolate Clams: A Delicious Feast in Magdalena Bay (Episode #806H)
KQED Life: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Rick and local guide Luis Garduno of REDTours venture out on a skiff to learn about sustainable fishing on Magdalena Bay. They catch up with local lobster fishermen and learn about sizing lobsters. Then they watch as clam divers haul up the local chocolate clams from the bottom of the bay. On the Isla de Magdalena shore, Rick and Chef Hubert turn the spiny lobsters into an impressive stuffed entree and mouthwatering salad. Rick gets to tag and release a protected sea turtle while the stuffed clams roast on the grill.
Eat Like A Local In Los Cabos (Episode #805H)
KQED Life: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Ever travel to a tourist mecca and wonder what the locals eat? Rick does. So he joins his pal Hugo to find the best Mexican food in Los Cabos. Their first stop is at the municipal market in San Jose del Cabo for a quick mid-morning meal of sopes and beef soup. Then they enjoy amazing carnitas at Los Michoacanos, stuffed guero chiles and bacon-wrapped shrimp at Mariscos El Toro Guero and guava tamales at Sabor Internacional. In Chicago, Rick teaches us how to stuff and grill shrimp and make those guava tamales.