The Unique Style of Top Chef Katsuji Tanabe of MexiKosher and Barrio

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Before, Chef Katsuji Tanabe made it big, MCCN met him at the Taste of Mexico Event in Los Angeles back in 2012.  Not only did he dazzle us but he dazzled everyone causing long lines with word of mouth.

Chef Tanabe, was born in Mexico to a Japanese father and Mexican mother.   If not being unique was not enough, he brought creativity to his cuisine mastering Kosher Mexican.   The charming and talented chef would eventually go on to win the bragging rights of Top Chef on the Bravo competition.

He’s closed the doors to his Los Angeles establishment and set up shop at 100 W. 83rd in Manhattan, NY.   He also helms a restaurant in Chicago called Barrio at the corner of Clark and Kenzie.

Let’s Flashback to our 2012 interview and check the chef’s Kosher tequila sorbet creation by way of liquid nitrogen technique.

 

Please Click to Donate toward arts funding scholarships for youth taught by the META program.

Mexican Street Style Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog

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Photo by Crystal Johnson 

If you’ve ever walked through the streets of Los Angeles late at night, you may have been lucky enough to happen upon a street vendor selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs piled high with caramelized onions, sautéed peppers, pico de gallo, avocado, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. This version of Mexican hot dogs, also known as street dogs or Los Angeles hot dogs, is believed to be a riff on a similar recipe that originated in Sonora, Mexico.   READ MORE.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE HOT DOGS:

  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 bacon strips
  • 4 jalapeños, stemmed, halved lengthwise and seeds removed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling (if needed)
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  •  Kosher salt
  • 8 hot dog buns
  •  Ketchup, yellow mustard and mayonnaise, for serving

 

 

La Feria de Los Moles – 8th

The most important folkloric event in Los Angeles, The 8th Edition of ‘La Feria de Los Moles’ (Mole Fair), brings more flavor and delicious mole this year from Puebla & Oaxaca.

This delicious event includes a special presentation on the origin of the famous mole, which is one of Puebla & Oaxaca’s main dishes, a delicious and fun gastronomic debate amongst judges from the Mexican states known for their mole, and tastings of the different mole styles for all in attendance. Which mole do you like the most?mole

On October 4, La Placita Olvera will once again witness this celebratory feast filled with flavor and featuring an array of delicious moles that go from sweet to salty and hot. This year, for the first time an array of delicious pastries and other dishes will be prepared right along with mole, the unique star of the event.. Mole is a dish that originated from the collision of indigenous and Spanish cultures in Mexico.

You are invited to join the flavor of an event that brings together a record assistance of over 30,000 people of all ages, generations and cultures, offering more than 13 different Mexican moles to enjoy.

The delicious event starts at 10:00 a.m. and lasts until 7:00 pm. taking place at Olvera St., Los Angeles. Entrance is free and dishes are available for purchase.

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold speaks about Feria de Los Moles (2012):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MkJfW0AWUMc

Mexican: Michelada Recipe

A Michelada is a popular Mexican cocktail or cerveza preparada (prepared beer) that became popular in Mexico in the 40s micheladawhen people started mixing beer with hot sauce or salsa. Michelada is prepared differently in various parts of Mexico.  This is just one variation.

Ingredients

* Salt (any coarse salt will do)
* Cubed ice
* 1 lime, juiced
* 1 12 oz. can or bottle Mexican beer
* 1/2 tsp. hot sauce of choice, e.g. Tabasco (optional)
* 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire, Maggi or soy sauce
* 3 oz of Clamato

Directions
Cut one lime in half. Use one half of the lime to juice the rim. Make sure the glass is cold beforehand, so the salt sticks to it. Place the rim of the glass in your salt tray. Gently, but firmly, press the rim into the salt, turning the glass so the salt builds up on the rim.Fill the empty salted glass with ice. Put each half of the lime into the hand-juicer and squeeze so that the juice is over ice. Add Clamato and sauces to taste — a couple of drops will usually do the trick. Pour the beer (any of the better Mexican varieties are the best) into the glass, over the ice, lime juice, and sauces. Stir well with a long spoon.

The Evolution of Taste of Mexico in Los Angeles

Photo by Joe Ramirez DAVEMILLERSMEXICO.WORDPRESS.COM

Now in it’s 4th year, the Taste of Mexico festival has expanded not only in size but become a day and night event.  This year was the launch of the Farmer’s Market Picnic.  People brought their blankets and relaxed under umbrellas.  If you have never been attended then look for unlimited food and drink sampling.  The night time event uses twice as much room as day but with the successful launch of the day maybe it will be bigger next year.

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

I love this event but having gone since the first year it does seem that a bit of the vision has been comprised “to show that Mexico cuisine is more than tacos.”  Now with multiple restaurants involved rather than the founding four (La Casita Mexicana, Frida, La Monarca and Guelaguetza), the shift has gone tacos.   High volumes of people require quick and easy food to sample.  The size of this event has easily quadrupled in four years.  And even though, there is a plethora of tacos being offered,  in many cases chefs are raising the bar on what is a taco.   There are unique offerings like quail, octupus and more.  Historically, La Monarca normally takes center stage as the providers of desserts; however, his year they made room for Compañía de Café.    Media sources like the LA Times and more are raving about this new establishment.  Now contributor Dave Miller(Dave Miller’s Mexico blog) and I disagreed on our thoughts in relation to this cafe and its offerings.  Dave is more traditional and authentic whereas I appreciated and enjoyed the fusion like Mole poundcake.  Hibicusus coffee and tamarind coffee drinks.   See MCCN Interview Below.

And of course there was Tequila.  See our interviews with Tequila Centenario and with Amor y Tacos.

Ask the Expert: Wine Choice Pairings for Mexican Food

Ever been stumped on how to pair your Mexican food with wine beyond the basics of white goes with chicken and red goes with meat?  Well, with Mexican food there are various spices to take into account that makes the pairing need a little more thought.

MCCN Contributor/Dave’s Mexico Blogger Dave Miller catches up with Wine Expert Ed Draves.

 

Capirotada, Mexican Bread Pudding for Lent

Recipe & Article From HomeSickTexan.blogspot.com-  I did not grow up eating capirotada. Truth be told, I had never even heard of it until a Capriotadafew years ago when I was at a Mexican restaurant on a Lenten Friday. “Hay capirotada,” was written on a chalkboard and curious what it was, I ordered some. The waitress brought me a small plate with a dessert made of toasted bread slices drenched in a sweet and spicy syrup. It was soft and sticky, but there were crunchy almonds, chewy raisins and a creamy tang to keep it from becoming cloying. Capirotada? I was in love!

 Capirotada Ingredients

  • 1 24-inch loaf of French bread, cubed and toasted (about six cups)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar or 16 oz. of piloncillo
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup of pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • ½ cup of dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted

READ MORE FOR ARTICLE AND RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

MCCN Review of 2013 Taste of Mexico (Los Angeles)

Loteria Grill is one of the most exciting new restaurants in Los Angeles.

The Taste of Mexico Association set out in it’s ignaugural year to prove to the world the culinary scene of Mexico is about more than taco yet a great deal of the vendors this year served…tacos.  Now, these were for the most part not ordinary tacos.  Mexikosher’s Chef and Food Network’s Chopped champion served deep fried smelt (full length little fish)  on tacos.

Deep Fried Smelt from Mexico and yes, the editor took a bite out of the tortilla.

In an interesting twist, quite a bit of ceviches was served on chips including a magnificent octopus ceviche and halibut ceviche.  The flavors and fusion were certainly a culinary explosion for the tongue pero(but) mostly on chips or tortillas.

The reason may be that in the first year of the event, there were only four restaurants involved.  Those four restaurants are the core/founders which are Frida, La Casita Mexicana, La Monarca and Guelaguetza.  Although, the first year had a good attendance it was definitely catering to a smaller crowd.  Maybe bigger crowds translates to faster food.

A unique component of this year’s event was the Mezcal tasting area.  The restaurant association did successfully introduce a multitude of people Mezcal.  What pork is to chicken as the other white meat then Mezcal is to tequila as an authentic drink offering from Mexico.  Click Here to learn more about Mezcal.

Nevertheless, a good time was to be had.  There was more space.  Being an outdoor event for the first time gave it a great feel.   For an early October event the weather for the evening was perfect until the cooler temps at about 8 PM.  It seemed like more parents brought children.  There were not a lot of children but a few sightings.   Live Mariachi performed through the night.  Baked goods from La Monarca, chile relleno and taquitos from Casa Oaxaca.  Guelaguetza promtoed their signature Micheladas in bottled form.  It is best to come early when the crowds pile in after 6:30 pm the lines to get your taste of food become longer.

Watch Highlights from the 2013 Taste of Mexico

Oaxaca, Mexico: Inside Casa Oaxaca

Last night, after a long week of ministry, I had the pleasure of taking my wife to one of the best and most acclaimed restaurants in Oaxaca

Photo by Joe Ramirez for Multiculturalcookingnetwork.com

City… Casa Oaxaca. Chef Alejandro Ruiz has definitely created a magical place to sit, relax, and enjoy the full impact of the rich flavors that make up Oaxacan gastronomy. Situated in view of the historic Cathedral of Santo Domingo, we were seated on the rooftop terraza, perfect to watch the sunset and the sky change colors before us.

As the captain seated us, he took our initial drink orders and soon returned to make our salsa for the evening right at the table. Carefully hand grinding guajillo chiles, garlic and onions in a molcajete, our salsa was made complete when roasted green tomatoes were added. He then invited us to try our fresh made salsa on a blue corn roasted tortilla sprinkled with asiento [seen above with both chile and herb salt].
It was wonderful, made even more so when paired with a margarita or some Real Minerva Madre Cuishe mezcalREAD MORE

Website: http://www.casaoaxacaelrestaurante.com/

Written by Dave Miler

Mexican Christmas Traditions, Food & Atole!

This write up was actually sent to the Multi Cultural Cooking Network by Dave , a MCCN fan at Facebook.  He lives and works in Mexico during parts of the year.  Here is his submission:

In Oaxaca, a festival is celebrated each December 23rd in the zocalo. Called Noche de Rabanos or Radish Night, local craftspeople carve elaborate scenes from radishes! As you can see above, their creations are fabulous!

Another Mexican tradition, called las posadas are reenactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. In fact, posada means “inn” in Spanish. Posadas are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th. They are usually candlelit processions to a different home each evening and participants sing a special song as Joseph asking for shelter. Children are often chosen to dress as Mary and Joseph or images are carried. Inside the home, the host family sings the part of the innkeeper saying there is no room. The verses trade back and forth until the host/innkeeper relents and lets the guests come inside where the party may be a large fiesta or just a small gathering of family and friends. Often there is a Bible reading of the Christmas story, tamales are served with a hot drink like atole and then the children break the piñata filled with candy and treats.

Click Here to See Atole Recipe