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 Life: Mon, Sep 30, 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.
Oaxaca's Top Chefs (Episode #913H)
KQED 9: Sat, Sep 28, 2013 -- 9:30 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.
Tijuana Round Table (Episode #808H)
KQED Life: Fri, Sep 27, 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.
Oaxaca's Live-Fire Cooking (Episode #902H)
KQED Life: Wed, Sep 25, 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.
Mercado Madness (Episode #908H)
KQED Life: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 -- 10:30 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.
Bringing Oaxaca Home (Episode #912H)
KQED 9: Sat, Sep 21, 2013 -- 9:30 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.
Cooking In Wine Country (Episode #807H)
KQED Life: Fri, Sep 20, 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.
Oaxaca's Most Magical Holiday (Episode #901H)
KQED Life: Wed, Sep 18, 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.
The Kernel of Deliciousness (Episode #907H)
KQED Life: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 -- 10:30 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.
Chocolate & Coffee from Bean to Cup (Episode #911H)
KQED 9: Sat, Sep 14, 2013 -- 9:30 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.
From Lobster to Chocolate Clams: A Delicious Feast in Magdalena Bay (Episode #806H)
KQED Life: Fri, Sep 13, 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.
The Soul of Mole (Episode #707H)
KQED Life: Wed, Sep 11, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Mole is an idea that's half pre-Columbian, half European, and 100% Mexican - a sauce, a preparation and a national dish that rivals the culinary masterpieces of the world's greatest cuisines. Rick and his daughter, Lanie, set off on a culinary journey to explore the mysteries of mole that takes them from the mile-high piles of dried chiles in Mexico City's vast La Merced market to stalls selling towering mounds of concentrated mole paste. Back in Chicago, they're on a mission to make mole from scratch. It's an all-day labor of love to be sure, but Rick breaks the complex process down into easy steps, giving tips on all the ingredients - from sesame seeds and tomatillos to chiles and chocolate - that give mole its richly layered flavor. As the sauce simmers over a wood fire in the backyard, Rick and Lanie use some of it to make a succulent Lacquered Chicken in Classic Red Mole and whip up some Classic Mexican White Rice with Sweet Plantains and a Mexican crudite platter. As the sun sets, family and friends gather in the garden for a taste of true Mexican soul food: homemade mole in all its slow-simmered glory.
Delicious Eco-Tourism (Episode #906H)
KQED Life: Mon, Sep 9, 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.
Mediterranean Baja (Episode #801H)
KQED Plus: Sun, Sep 8, 2013 -- 1:30 PM
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.
Puerto Escondido: Living The Dream (Episode #910H)
KQED 9: Sat, Sep 7, 2013 -- 9:30 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.
Eat Like A Local In Los Cabos (Episode #805H)
KQED Life: Fri, Sep 6, 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.
A Ceviche State of Mind (Episode #706H)
KQED Life: Wed, Sep 4, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
Nothing captures the spirit of a day at the beach in Mexico like the fresh seafood cocktail or ceviche. But you don't have to be on the coast to enjoy it. Rick finds a classic version at a favorite spot with the feel of a beachside fish shack - right in the heart of landlocked Mexico City. Then, in search of more "inland ceviche" surprises, he hits the streets and takes us to a major-league marisqueria with a menu to rival any great seafood restaurant in town - all created in a stand no larger than a fishing boat. Rick enjoys the bracing blend of octopus, fish, shrimp and hot sauce known as Vuelve a la Vida ("Come Back to Life," so named because it's a popular a hangover cure). At a nearby fish market, he checks out the catch of the day from both the Pacific and Gulf coasts, and shares tips on the best choices for homemade ceviche. In Chicago, he makes a quick Frontera Ceviche, a preparation that's been a mainstay at his Frontera Grill for years. Then we're off to Fishmart, a casual Mexico City seafood place, for a taste of what just might be the next hot trend in cold seafood: aguachile. It's a classic way to serve fresh shrimp and scallops with modern minimalist appeal - simply laying them on a plate and sprinkling them with lime juice, salt and fresh jalapenos. In his home kitchen, Rick recreates his version of Shrimp en Aguachile in a matter of minutes. Then it's on to the one of Mexico City's splashiest seafood hotspots, Contramar, to see how they dress up their traditional Ceviche Especial in a strikingly modern presentation. And that inspires Rick to take us behind the scenes at his fine-dining restaurant, Topolobampo, for one last inland ceviche recipe: his inventive, surprisingly easy Herb Green Ceviche. It's a mouthwatering fishing expedition that brings home the pleasures of ceviche - even when you're nowhere near the shore.
Oaxaca, The Land of Seven Moles (Episode #905H)
KQED Life: Mon, Sep 2, 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.
Liquid Gold (Episode #713H)
KQED Plus: Sun, Sep 1, 2013 -- 1:30 PM
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.