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
Oaxacan Cheese Primer (Episode #909H)
KQED 9: Sat, Aug 31, 2013 -- 9:30 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.
Presenting: World-Class Wines of Baja (Episode #804H)
KQED Life: Fri, Aug 30, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Baja California Norte produces many world-class, gold medal-winning wines. That fact may surprise most people in the United States. Rick takes us on a tour of the region along with renowned winemaker and visionary Hugo d'Acosta, founder of La Escuelita, a nonprofit winemaking school that opened in 2004. Hugo introduces Rick to his Casa de Piedra wines before taking Rick on a tour of the school where locals and chefs come to make their own wines. At Tres Mujeres, a charming winery run by three women, Rick tastes each of their wines with their favorite dishes. Their cooking inspires Rick to make stuffed chiles with red wine at home. At L.A. Cetto, winemaker Camillo Magoni tells Rick about his 47-year career with one of the oldest wineries in Mexico. Rick cooks with Ludwig Hussong of San Rafael Winery in the Valle de Ojos Negros and they toast the wines of Mexico.
Triple Torta-Thon (Episode #705H)
KQED Life: Wed, Aug 28, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Over a breakfast of tortas - Mexican sandwiches filled, in this case, with Rick's quick Mexican scrambled eggs, beans, and avocados - Rick and his daughter, Lanie, plan an all-day torta marathon in Mexico City. Their quest beings at the city's charming Sunday flea market, Lagunilla, where they check out some simple, yet mouthwatering tortas, with a succulent filling of salt cod bacalao. Next stop: Don Polo, a gleaming 1950s-style chrome and neon diner, famous for its menu of griddled tortas. Rick and Lanie watch how they're made and try a Cubana with chorizo, pork and ham. Then it's on to El Pialadero - The Cattle Roper - for the famed Guadalajara specialty, Tortas Ahogadas, or "drowned" sandwiches, stuffed with juicy braised beef and smothered in a brothy tomato-oregano sauce. It's a treat so irresistibly messy that it's served with plastic gloves. Back in Chicago, father and daughter cook up another plan: a backyard torta party for Lanie and her friends - all prepared outdoors at the barbecue. There are Grilled Skirt Steak Tortas and Grilled Zucchini Tortas, along with an Avocado Cilantro Mayo and a Chipotle Salsa to spread on them. In his backyard vegetable patch, Rick shares tips on growing salad greens and pairing them with various kinds of dressings. Then he and Lanie prepare two salads, Mesclun with Lime-Cilantro Dressing and Boston Lettuce with Creamy Queso Anejo Dressing to round out this casual Mexican "sandwich spread."
Artisan Mescal (Episode #904H)
KQED Life: Mon, Aug 26, 2013 -- 10:30 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.
Cooking on the Sea of Cortez (Episode #803H)
KQED Life: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Rick is always up for a cooking challenge. After a day spent boating and kayaking on the Sea of Cortez with a local ecotourism group, Rick grills dinner for the group on the beach at Espiritu Santo Island - one of the most biologically diverse marine areas in the world. The waters surrounding the island support coral reefs, colonies of sea lions and more than 500 species of fish. To stock up on supplies, Rick shops in the La Paz market for local cheese, fresh produce and chiles and on the island purchases seafood from a fisherman. Along the way, Rick learns from his guides about flying manta rays, dolphins and the local flora. Then he grills fish and makes a stunning papaya salsa on the beach.
Salsas That Cook (Episode #704H)
KQED Life: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
In their Chicago backyard, Rick and his daughter, Lanie, gather the last of the season's tomatoes to make a big batch of Salsa Mexicana, the fresh tomato salsa sometimes known as Pico de Gallo. And that's the starting point for a fast-paced salsa dance that goes way beyond tomatoes. In Mexico, salsas can be bright and fresh, dark and earthy, red or green, raw or roasted - and they're more of a condiment for food than a dip for chips. At Los Parados, a favorite Mexico City taqueria, Rick and Lanie show us the three pillars of Mexican salsa: that familiar fresh-tomato salsa Mexicana, salsa de molcajete made from roasted tomato, chile and garlic pounded in a lava-stone mortar, and red chile salsa, made by toasting, soaking and grinding dried chile de ?rbol. But that's just the beginning. At Manolo, another popular taqueria, they discover a rich, spicy, peanut salsa and a classic, creamy avocado-tomatillo salsa. And while they've got avocados in mind, they head over to the Medellin Market, where chunky guacamole is served with slow-cooked pork carnitas. Inspired by all this, they decide to make a "salsa all-stars" dinner. It starts with a batch of Roasted Tomato Salsa, which they split in half. Rick turns his half into a Salsa with Olives and Dried Fruit to be served over grilled fish, while Lanie uses her half to flavor a Bayless family favorite, a Mexican-accented Mac and Cheese. Then they make an earthy Smoky Chipotle Salsa, which they again divide into two batches. One becomes the appetizer course, to be served with chips. The other half, Rick turns into a Manolo-style Chipotle Peanut Salsa to drizzle over grilled vegetables. It all comes together at an alfresco family dinner that proves a very Mexican point: beyond chipping and dipping . .. salsas can really cook!
Off The Beaten Path In Huatulco (Episode #903H)
KQED Life: Mon, Aug 19, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
The majority of the people who travel to Mexico go for the beaches. Little wonder when the beaches are as pristine as Huatulco's Playa Chahue - complete with the Playa Limpia certification for cleanliness. Still, a man's gotta eat. Not content with a diet of all-inclusive resort dining, Chef Rick Bayless takes us off the beaten path to find great food and even better beaches. You'll be well-advised to follow his lead and start the day at one the local's favorite restaurants, Sabor de Oaxaca, in La Crucecita. There, Rick enjoys Salsa de Huevo (omelets in salsa) before a quick trip to Puerto Escondido for an amazing lunch of wood-fired grilled fish on the Playa Principal. Rick paddle-boards on Playa Carrizalillo, another stunning beach in Puerto Escondido, to work up his appetite for Encamaronadas (crispy, cheesy shrimp tacos). Back in Huatulco Rick enjoys an uber-fresh seafood cocktail at Grillo Marinero before stopping for a nightcap at the Quinta Real Hotel to take in the beauty of it all.
Mercado Madness (Episode #908H)
KQED 9: Sat, Aug 17, 2013 -- 9:30 AM
"You are what you eat." Brillat Savarin's statement fuels Rick's tour of the 21 de Noviembre market in downtown Oaxaca. We uncover the incredibly rich culture of the market and its role in the daily lives and meals of the locals. Mounds of tomatoes, chiles and cilantro inspire salsa. Fresh chickens inspire Rick to spit-roast chickens in his backyard grill. Baskets of black beans motivate a platter of enfrijoladas topped with chorizo. The amazing market day ends with a stop at Chaguita, a 200 year-old frozen ice and ice cream stand and a favorite of Rick's for more than three decades. At home, Rick inspires us with his simple coconut ice and a deep-pink jamaica syrup.
Tijuana Taco Crawl (Episode #802H)
KQED Life: Fri, Aug 16, 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.
Guac on the Wild Side (Episode #703H)
KQED Life: Wed, Aug 14, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Everyone loves guacamole. And for every person you ask, there's a secret recipe and a preferred style. In the kitchen of his Frontera Grill, Rick prepares the restaurant's classic Mexican version, an institution since the day the place opened. But is it a classic? To answer that question, Rick goes to Mexico City, where he explains that guacamole just means "avocado sauce," and shows us a series of equally time-honored interpretations of the term. There's a smooth and creamy taco condiment at a busy taqueria and, at the other end of the sauce spectrum, a chunky guacamole made in, of all things, a meat grinder, at a market stall that sells its perfect complement: succulent, crispy pork carnitas. And speaking of texture, Rick takes us to a cool, rustic-chic restaurant near Coyoacan square for a traditional Oaxacan guacamole that gets a bit of extra protein and crunch from a surprising garnish: chile-lime toasted grasshoppers. Back in Chicago, he gives us a quick introduction to avocado types and tips at his local Mexican grocery, and then heads home with a bagful and a very cool party: a Luxury Guacamole Bar with all kinds of toppings and nibbles to make a light meal. The centerpiece is his Roasted Garlic Guacamole, and he rounds out the spread with a refreshing Crab Salpicon, a Salpicon of Roasted Poblanos and Smoked Salmon, a tangy Orange-Tomatillo Salsa that balances the richness of the guacamole, and an array of crunchy toppings from crispy bacon bits to toasted pumpkin seeds. It all comes together at an outdoor party that raises the "bar" on guacamole in a whole new way.
Oaxaca's Live-Fire Cooking (Episode #902H)
KQED Life: Mon, Aug 12, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Everything tastes better cooked over a wood or charcoal fire - at least that's the Oaxacan credo. From soup to barbacoa, burning embers influence the flavor of Oaxaca's food in just the right ways. For starters, Rick guides us through the "taco corridor" at the 20 de Noviembre market just off the main square in Oaxaca. We can almost taste the richly-burnished chiles and onions as they grill alongside super-thinly sliced beef and pork and robust chorizo sausages. Then we see hot rocks plucked from the glowing embers and dropped into hot soup for making caldo de piedra (stone soup), a specialty from the village of San Felipe Usila.
La Capilla, a campestre (open air) restaurant, in the town of Zaachilla, has served lamb and goat barbacoa for more than 47 years. Rick's so enamored with the process of burying the chile-seasoned meat in glowing embers that he creates his own version on the backyard grill. Served with Oaxacan pasilla tomatillo salsa, there's meat, fire and smoke in every bite.
Mediterranean Baja (Episode #801H)
KQED Life: Fri, Aug 9, 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.
Chiles Rellenos: The Stuff of Passion (Episode #702H)
KQED Life: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
At the romantic San Angel Inn, a lush hacienda-turned-restaurant in Mexico City's Coyoacan District, Rick enjoys what might just be the most passion-infused food in the Mexican canon: a quintessential plate of perfect chiles rellenos. From there, we visit La Merced - the sprawling, spectacular central market that's the culinary soul of a city with 20 million mouths to feed - where chiles are bought and sold by the thousands. Americans are passionate about chiles rellenos, too. Just ask Rick's customers at Frontera Grill, where only a lucky few who line up on the street get to enjoy them each night before the supply runs out. In the Frontera kitchen, Rick offers a detailed lesson on how they're made - a labor of love that involves many carefully choreographed steps of roasting, filling and sauce prep, stuffing, battering and frying. Then it's time for a crash course in chiles at the National University of Mexico in a visit with Ricardo Munoz-Zurita, a renowned chef and food anthropologist who literally wrote the book on chiles relleno - a popular cookbook devoted to the subject - and runs a cutting-edge restaurant right on campus. The two friends share Ricardo's latest twist on chiles rellenos: an ancho stuffed with plantains. Back at home, Rick explains that chiles rellenos don't have to mean hours of prep time. And to prove it, he shares his recipe for Shrimp Chile Rellenos Grilled in Corn Husks. Next, we're off to Oh Mayahuel, an uber-cool Mexico City restaurant specializing in Mezcal flights and modern Mexican cuisine, to sample their signature stuffed chile: a dried ancho, rehydrated in a tangy escabeche sauce, stuffed with a sizzling steak taco filling and guacamole. If you're passionate about chiles rellenos, this relleno roller coaster ride will leave you feeling thrilled, surprised - and stuffed.
Oaxaca's Most Magical Holiday (Episode #901H)
KQED Life: Mon, Aug 5, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Rick takes us on a remarkable journey through Oaxaca City during the revered D?a de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. We discover that in Mexico, death is embraced as part of the circle of life. During the holiday, people welcome home the spirits of their ancestors who come to commune with their families and friends. Like all visitors, the ancestors are welcomed with food, drink, music and memories. The spirit's presence is a blessing and brings joy to loved ones.
In preparation for the celebration, the last days of October are spent preparing aromatic loaves of pan de muerto (sweet bread), making mole, harvesting special flowers, including marigolds (cempas?chil) and creating commemorative altars in homes. Grave sites are decorated with elaborate sand paintings. The bustling Central de Abastos market in Oaxaca is overflowing with flowers and bread. At the home of Rick's friends, we learn to make Andres' family's black mole, tostadas topped with avocado leaf-infused black beans, a classic, smoky Oaxacan salsa and a simple guacamole. From the Panteon General to Xoxocotlan's Municipal Cemetery, Rick gives us an insider's look at the annual fiesta that richly blends Catholic and indigenous traditions with celebratory food.
Oaxaca's Top Chefs (Episode #913H)
KQED Life: Fri, Aug 2, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Oaxaca has long been known for its seven moles, unparalleled home-cooking and remarkable market fare. Lately, its restaurant reputation has skyrocketed, too. Deservedly so. Rick visits four of the top chef contenders in Oaxaca City, tours their restaurants, cooks in their kitchens and discusses the lively burgeoning scene. For starters, Chef Miguel Jimenez cooks up a batch of red chile beef and fruit stew from the Isthmus to serve inside his crispy plantain mogo mogos. Next, Chef Jose Manuel Banos creates a taco from jelled carrot filled with a chintestle and shrimp ceviche. Chef Alejandro Ruiz and his brother Jesus show Rick their dream come true: An organic farm supplying their restaurants and their employees. Their beautiful produce inspires many of their house specialties. Rick and Alejandro make a fresh salsa with the garden cilantro to go with a red chile-burnished octopus barbacoa. Last but not least, Chef Rudolfo Castellanan makes a simple mole de caderas to accompany suckling goat. All this world class cooking inspires Rick to make a signature dessert at his award-winning Chicago restaurant Topolobampo.