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.
Off The Beaten Path In Huatulco (#903H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, May 24, 2013 -- 10:30am
- KQED 9: Sat, May 25, 2013 -- 9:30am
Tacos Hola! (#710H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
The Case for Quesadillas (#708H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
What could be better than a freshly made, gooey, warm quesadilla? Rick answers the question by showing us how to make the flour tortillas from scratch. What could be better than that? Well, actually, in Mexico, Rick explains, quesadillas and flour tortillas have nothing to do with each other. He takes us to the Bazar Sabado, a charming colonial-style labyrinth of handicrafts shops in the heart of Mexico City's bohemian Coyoacan district, to experience the true art of the quesadilla. In the Bazar's shady courtyard, the delicate treats are made the traditional way from freshly ground corn masa, patted onto a massive cast-iron griddle, topped with cheese and fillings and baked to a golden finish. For a more rough-and-tumble look at the same idea, we visit Lagunilla, the city's fantastical flea-market, where vendors turn out all kinds of mouthwatering quesadillas and other toasted-masa snacks on a griddle over a charcoal fire. Then it's on to Paxia, a stunning fine-dining restaurant, where Rick shows us one more style of quesadilla, a cheese-filled pocket of masa that's deep-fried to make a golden turnover. At Paxia, they serve a miniature version of these as an amuse bouche. Across town at La Merced market, Rick checks out the classic cheeses for quesadilla-making, and picks up some requeson, the Mexican version of ricotta. It's a fresh cheese and fresh cheeses are easy to prepare as Rick shows us by making Mexican Fresh Cheese in his Chicago kitchen. Then, he turns it into Luxurious Rustic Griddle-Baked Quesadillas for a romantic date-night dinner with his wife, Deann.
- KQED Life: Mon, May 27, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Confessions of a Carnita-Vore (#709H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Carnitas - chunks of pork cooked slowly in lard until they're golden and crisp on the outside and meltingly tender inside - are a weekend family tradition in Mexico. At the Medellin Market in Mexico City, Rick gives us an insider's look at how they're made every Saturday and Sunday in a huge copper cauldron, and served up with fresh corn tortillas and crispy chicharron (pork cracklings). But what if a carnitas craving strikes and you're not in Mexico on a weekend? No worries. Back in Chicago, Rick demonstrates his signature method for making fabulous carnitas right in a standard home oven. Then, thinking beyond pork, Rick shares a creative take on carnitas at the splashy seafood restaurant, Contramar, where the dish gets a deep-sea do-over with chunks of fresh-caught tuna. At his fine-dining restaurant, Topolobambo, Rick shares his own state-of-the-carnitas concept: sous vide pork (cooked very slowly in a vacuum-sealed packet) , shredded, formed into a loaf, chilled, sliced and pan-seared in a stunning modern presentation. Then, in his home kitchen, he riffs on that idea, making Duck Carnitas with Crunchy Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa, a dish inspired by the classic French duck confit technique. Instead of the traditional pork cracklings, he makes ultra-easy Crispy Cheese Chicharron, lacy cheese crisps toasted on the griddle, and takes us on a side trip to a Mexico City taqueria for a look at the dramatic, giant version of these "cheese cracklings." The elegant, yet casual, meal is served family-style with plenty of warm tortillas, so everyone can make their own succulent duck tacos.
- KQED Life: Wed, May 29, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Artisan Mescal (#904H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
A Whole New Enchilada (#711H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jun 5, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Oaxaca, The Land of Seven Moles (#905H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
Chorizo Made Easy (#712H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Liquid Gold (#713H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jun 12, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Delicious Eco-Tourism (#906H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 14, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Mediterranean Baja (#801H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Tijuana Taco Crawl (#802H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jun 19, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
The Kernel of Deliciousness (#907H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Cooking on the Sea of Cortez (#803H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Jun 24, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Presenting: World-Class Wines of Baja (#804H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Jun 26, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Mercado Madness (#908H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
"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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 28, 2013 -- 10:30am email reminder
Also on KQED.org this week ...
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Enter the New "ImageMakers" Screening Room
Enjoy films from present and past seasons of KQED's short independent film series, divided into Animation, Comedy, Drama, and Suspense.