Come September in Mexico, the time is right for a food pilgrimage to the city of Puebla for Chiles en Nogada. Trying to find the best food in Mexico is like trying to find the best beer in Germany or the best tea in China. Impossible, you say? Well, Chiles en Nogada is a poblano pepper stuffed with a mix of ground beef and pork, nuts, and fruit, including apple, pear, peach, and plantain (a banana for cooking). Then it is drenched in a walnut sauce and sprinkled with parsley and pomegranate. Distinct flavors are represented – spicy, sweet, savory. The colors of Chiles en Nogada – the white walnut sauce, the red pomegranate, and the green parsley – correspond to the Mexican flag.
Sweets are everywhere in Lima. They are sold in food markets, fancy restaurants, out of carts on street corners and cardboard boxes at bus stops. Some are fried, some frozen and some freshly chopped before your eyes. Their names are evocative and poetic like the “Suspira a la Limeña” which is a mixture of meringue and manjar blanco caramel custard and translates as “the sigh of a woman from Lima,” or simply hilarious, which is the case of “champus,” a dessert I just had to try for the name alone.
Camaroes a Baiana isa deliciously spicy but creamy dish from the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. It’s signature ingredient is palm oil, called dendê in Brazil (pronounced: den-DAY). While you can substitute an oil like annatto to attain the same vivid red-orange color, the flavor of dendê is indispensable… Read More →
Mexico has the taco. Honduras has the baleada. El Salvador has the pupusa. Pipil tribes, first ate the thick and usually filled, hand formed nixtamal tortilla, more than a thousand years ago. Evidence of pupusas has even been uncovered at the Mayan site of Joya de Cerén. They are the most common street snack in El Salvador and can also be found in neighboring countries like Honduras and Guatemala. Most often, pupusas are filled with quesillo (or queso, a soft white cheese), frijoles (refried beans), chicharrón (ground pork), or loroco (a native Central American flower). They are typically served with curtido, a lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar.
At Paraty, Brazil’s Academy of Cooking and Other Pleasures, chef Yara Castro Roberts and her photographer husband Richard (authors of the Brazilian recipe book The Brazilian Table) teach travelers to prepare four course dinners based each night on a different region of Brazil. One of Yara’s signature dishes is Trouxinha… Read More →
“Men would weep, priests would renounce their gods, children run crying to their mothers, but in Uruguay it is beloved, revered…” So Anthony Bordain, over sweeping classical music, introduces Uruguay’s national dish, the chivito. For any true lover of sandwiches, there may well be weeping involved, but they will be… Read More →
So you have tons of turkey from the day before. Now what to do with it? Wrap it in a tortilla of course and slather it with heart disease. This is a really simple, extremely quick way to make a new meal out of that turkey. There are quite a few ways to go about this. An enchilada is basically a thin burrito that is slathered in some sort of sauce. You can buy already made enchilada sauce at any grocery store, or you can just use leftover gravy, as I did.
At the 2nd floor restaurant in the Hotel Basico in Playa del Carmen, called Marisqueria, which is basically a mock food cart serving up Mexican street foods with a contemporary touch alongside tequila cocktails overlooking a much less authentic Quinta Avenida, I first came across the aguachile. The aquachile (agua=water, chile=chile pepper) is, for the most part, a type of spicy cebiche using either shrimp or scallops. Best served cold or room temperature, the dish pairs sliced green Serrano chilies and limejuice, and, much like a ceviche, the shrimp or scallops are soaked in the mixture.
Milanesas can be made with steak, veal, chicken, or even vegetarian with soy. The protein is dipped into eggs and then patted with the bread crumb crust and shallow-fried. Milanesas are often served with mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, or salad as accompaniments and make for quick, healthy lunches.
Freddy’s bar at Orient Express’ Maroma Resort and Spa on the Riviera Maya seems a little bit out of ordinary compared with the bars of the neighboring resorts. While Corona and fried chicken wings are being served elsewhere, Freddy’s has a Tequila and Ceviche Bar with more than 100 tequilas paired with a daily variety of six exotic Ceviches created by Executive Chef Chef Juan Pablo Loza.