“Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también”, dice el dicho oaxaqueño. Del náhuatl “mezcalli” que significa “agave horneado”, esta bebida artesanal mucho menos famosa que el tequila, poco a poco ha ido conquistando a paladares tanto mexicanos, como extranjeros. Esta semana y para empezar este mes patrio con el pie derecho, el chef Moisés Salazar, nos trae una receta para hacer un delicioso flan con mezcal.
1. En una sartén, calienta el piloncillo y el mezcal con un poco de agua hasta que se derritan formando un caramelo.
2. Licua los ingredientes, deja reposar la mezcla en el refrigerador para que salgan todas las burbujas de aire.
3. En el molde para flan, vacía la mitad del caramelo y la mezcla de todos los ingredientes.
4. Colóca la mezcla en la olla
express sobre la base para baño maría y agrega agua sin que toque el molde.
5. Cuando la olla express empiece a soltar vapor, cuenta 15 minutos y sácala de la misma. Espera a que enfríe. Después, métela en el refrigerador.
6. Al servir agrega el resto de la salsa caramelo encima del flan.
El chef Moisés Salazar es un mexicano experto en Alta Cocina, dedicado al catering corporativo y privado. Su pasión lo ha llevado desde Belize, donde estuvo a cargo de delegaciones diplomáticas de la Embajada de México, Estados Unidos y vario países centroamericanos, hasta Atlanta, donde colaboró en el famoso St. Regis. Encuentra más información sobre el chef Moisés Salazar y su contribución al mundo de la gastronomía en su sitio web: www.chefmoises.com
To beat this summer heat with a unique Mexican version of ice cream, our friend and contributor chef Aldo Saavedra, shared with us a recipe to make a delicious mezcal and sesame seed treat.
Just like tequila, mezcal is made from agave. This smokey-flavored artisanal drink is slowly becoming popular as another Mexican contribution to gastronomy worldwide.
Ice Cream Base
This is the foundation for any ice cream, and it can be used to create any other flavor. The sky is the limit! It is all up to your imagination.
2/3 cup of sugar
10 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
Mezcal and Sesame Seed
7 tbsp of your favorite mezcal
2 cups of toasted sesame seeds
2 cups of semisweet chocolate (in chunks)
Boil the milk along with the cream and mezcal in a pot.
In a separate container, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy.
Once your milk mixture has reached the boiling point, add half of the volume to the whipped egg yolks, and continue to whip until the yolks and the mix are incorporated.
Add the whipped egg yolks to the pot on the stove and stir with a wooden spoon on low heat until the mix thickens.
5. You will know it is time to remove your mix from the stove, once you are able to draw a finger on the wooden spoon without it dripping. Remove and let the mix cool over ice.
6. Once cold, put the mix in a blender with the sesame seed and blend. Strain.
7. Transfer the strained mixture into a container and place in the freezer. Stir about every 10 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.
8. Add the chocolate and mix.
You can store your ice cream in plastic containers in the freezer. Enjoy!
Mexican Chef Aldo Saavedra regularly shares with La Vitamina T’s readers his passion for his country and for Mexican cuisine as a cultural expression. Chef Saavedra has been part of the team in charge of delighting guests at a variety of reputable establishments, including Hotel Condesa D.F. He has also partnered in projects with global brands such as Larousse and Danone
La deliciosa nata, típica de la gastronomía mexicana, es esencialmente la crema que se retira de la leche para después enfriarse. Hace años que no me como un pan con nata, y cuando vi este pastel, pensé que el compartirlo era algo imperativo. Esta receta es cortesía de la chef Victoria del Ángel.
PASTEL DE NATA CON MOUSSE DE CHOCOLATE Y RELLENO DE JALEA DE MANDARINA
215 gr de nata
400 gr de azúcar
200 gr huevo
240 ml leche
15 ml extracto de vainilla
280 gr harina
15 gr polvo para hornear (esta receta es para una altitud como la de México, ajusta este ingrediente como sea necesario)
1 pizca de sal
Acrema la nata con el azúcar e incorpora los huevos poco a poco.
Agrega la leche y el extracto de vainilla, añade la la harina y el polvo para hornear cernidos.
Vacía la mezcla en un molde y hornear a 180°C
Mousse de chocolate de leche:
200 gr cobertura de leche
250 ml crema para batir
9 gr grenetina
400 ml de crema semi batida
Calienta la crema y agrega la grenetina ya hidratada.
Vacía sobre el chocolate de leche para fundirlo.
Deja enfriar sin que se cuaje y mezcla con la crema semi batida.
Jalea de mandarina:
500 ml jugo de mandarina
15gr de grenetina
Calienta el jugo de mandarina y agrega la grenetina ya hidratada.
Vacía en un molde del tamaño del que se usó para el pan de nata.
Rebana el pan por la mitad y agrega un poco de mousse de chocolate de leche, coloca la jalea de mandarina y vuelve a agregar mousse, coloca la otra capa de pan y cubre el pastel con el resto del mousse.
Refrigera y sirve.
La chef Victoria del Ángel descubrió su pasión por la cocina desde los tres años. Fascinada por la repostería y gastronomía mexicanas, decidió perseguir la licenciatura en gastronomía en la Escuela Superior de Gastronomía, y más tarde un postgrado en repostería en la Universidad de Artes culinarias y Tendencias Europeas, otorgado por el Culinary Institute Switzerland de Suiza. Victoria es dueña de la chocolatería Xocolat del Ángel en Jilotepec, México.
“Es tan santo el chocolate, que de rodillas se muele, juntas las manos se bate y viendo al cielo se bebe.”
-Refrán popular mexicano
“Chocolate is so holy that you must kneel down to grind it; put your hands together to churn it, and look to the Heavens to drink it “.
-Mexican folk saying
Chocolate, or Xocoóatl, in Náhuatl, was an important ceremonial drink in pre-Columbian cultures. Its importance was such, that seeds of the cacao tree were not only offered to gods, they were also used as currency. Considered nutritious and even medicinal, chocolate made its way to Europe via Mexico.
Serves 4 cups
4 cups of water
1/2 sprig of cinnamon
5 tbsp of brown sugar or a small piece of piloncillo of around 2.5 oz
1.5 oz of handmade chocolate. I got the chocolate for my champurrado as a gift during my last trip to Mexico! You may replace it with a piece of chocolate for atole (in the U.S., you may find it in your ethnic food aisle under brands such as Abuelita or Ybarra). Using the latter might make the champurrado a bit sweeter, so reduce sugar.
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Dilute the masa in 2 cups of cold water until there are no clumps.
Boil the remaining water with the sugar and cinnamon.
Incorporate the corn masa while mixing constantly on low heat.
Add the vanilla and the chocolate.
Continue to mix constantly for about 15 minutes or until the mix reaches the desired thickness.
This time, I added a pod of cascabel pepper for flavor! You can add a piece of dry pepper without its seeds if you want. We chose a sweeter pepper.
Champurrado is a very thick drink. If you like it a bit lighter, you might reduce the amount of masa you add.
About chef Jason Rivas: Born and raised in California, but southwestern at heart, chef Rivas’ passion for food started at a very early age when he used to eat snails in his backyard. Trained in classical French cuisine, while attending the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, he was able to learn a new way to apply his creative, artistic side. After graduation, Rivas spent an additional four years in Phoenix learning the finer points of southwestern cuisine, and then traveled from coast to coast before settling in the Southern California wine country. Here, he discovered the true value and impact of food and wine (in his words,”wine and food, rather”). Find more about chef Rivas on his website: dinnerbyJR.wordpress.com
By: Chef Jason Rivas
Ahh… Tres Leches! Two words that invoke such feel-good emotions. For me, these words mean, I can’t wait to dive in! And literally, Tres Leches cake is Spanish for “cake of three milks”. Fundamentally, Tres Leches is exactly that- a cake that has been soaked in three different kinds of milk. The dessert itself is very popular within the Latin American community and many countries claim its creation.
Contrary to popular belief, Tres Leches is not just a cake with milk poured over the top. There is definitely a technique involved, and although you can use any kind of milk you desire, the three different milks are there for very different reasons.
Typically, whole milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are used. Whole milk is added for its fat and for its pour-ability; the evaporated milk for richness and body; and the condensed milk for its sweetness. Can alternate types of milk be used? Absolutely! Soy milk, almond milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk… all can be used for various reasons. The choice is up to you.
Now for the cake. Please don’t just use a standard box cake. In fact, I recommend to NEVER use a standard box cake for anything. Making cake is easy and fun. For best results you want to use a light, airy cake- a sponge cake (which got its name because it acts like a sponge). This is the ideal cake for a Tres Leches. That is not to say you cannot flavor the cake- wine, extracts, chocolate just to name a few ideas. You could use a heavier, richer cake; however, this will most likely turn to mush when cut into and would defeat the purpose of the Tres Leches.
You never feel like you just finished eating a house after eating a piece; it’s one of the greatest attributes of a Tres Leches — using a denser, heavier cake will nullify this fact. The key thing to remember when making a Tres Leches, is time. It takes time and thus you should give yourself time. Never try to hurry through the process just to shovel a piece in your mouth (well, I shovel at least). Take your time and let the cake do its thing. In my opinion, cakes (and food for that matter) are like women. The better you treat them and the more time we spend with them; the happier you both will be.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs and sugar
Place a stockpot half full of water on the stove. Make sure the pot is big enough to hold the mixing bowl. The mixing bowl does not have to fit all the way inside – just on top. Bring the water to a a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat and place the bowl on the pot. Whisk constantly for about 3-4 mins.
Place bowl back on the mixer with the whisk attachment and whip egg mix on high until it doubles in volume.
While whipping, sift your flour and preheat your oven to about 400°F
Gently fold in flour and salt into egg mix by thirds.
Fold in melted butter and vanilla.
Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper then spray with nonstick coating. Pour batter in pan and spread evenly into corners.
Bake for about 10-15 mins. When done, the cake should be golden brown and bounce back when pressed upon. The toothpick test can also be done.
When done, carefully flip out of pan and freeze for about 2 hours.
For the milk:
Put evaporated milk and coconut milk into a small pot. Add the half/half. Incorporate sugar and stir to dissolve.
Bring to a boil on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Pull cake from freezer and place back in the original baking pan, leaving the cake upside down.
Slowly ladle a small amount of the hot milk over small sections of the cake, until the whole cake is covered. Wait for the milk to be absorbed before adding more milk. Use all the milk evenly.
Chill the cake completely (for about 4hours).
Note: Often times, tres leches cake is topped with fruit or whipped cream.
Tres Leches is a great party dessert and is best when made at least a day in advance. Now, could it be made the morning of? Yes if you get up early. But again you don’t want to rush anything. Not to mention you want to make sure the cake has enough time to soak up all the milk.
Some also might be curious about the “sift-thirds-freeze” steps in the directions. These are all techniques to help make a better cake. Sifting helps aerate the flour to make the cake lighter and fluffier. Adding the flour in thirds helps to prevent clumping, thus allowing for a better texture and no “flour balls.” Freezing of the cake allows for a better absorption of the milk.
These techniques can make all the difference. Sometimes when making cake we need all the help we can get, even a little prayer! Plus, when making a good cake, its all about technique. Better technique=better cake. Happy baking!
It was not by coincidence or like we say in Mexico, “de puro churro” * that Churrería El Moro was on my agenda as a place I had to check out this time. I usually visit my family in Mexico City during the holiday season, which makes it almost impossible to make a stop at all the places I either want to go back to, or experience for the first time. This time around, I made sure to move this famous establishment to the top of my list.
I visited El Moro, like locals call it, on New Year’s Day, and I was particularly impressed to find quite a large group of people lined up outside. A look at the menu makes it clear- El Moro masters the alchemy of churros con chocolate, and its simple menu has delighted guests for nearly a century. Here you can find four types of chocolate differentiated primarily by thickness and degree of sweetness. These deliciously baroque concoctions have been simmering to perfection since this legendary café opened in 1935.
The line moved quickly, and after a short wait, we were warmly greeted and escorted to a table by someone so cheerful to see me on a holiday, I almost felt like family. I was delighted to have a front row seat to a performance, as churros were being charmed into delicate wheels of fried dough destined to vanish in a matter of seconds.
The city’s hustle and bustle are part of the décor and the overall experience of this urban, simple and non-pretentious locale: El Moro welcomes locals and tourists from all walks of life.
Growing up in a place like Mexico City, where you can find a cathedral built on top of an Aztec building ( originally built on a lake that is no longer there), I anticipate magic whenever I visit. I have never been disappointed, and this time around, I drank magic in a cup.
*Literally translated as “by virtue of a churro” which means, “accidentally.”
If you visit:
Don’t be deterred by long lines if you encounter them, they move quickly. The area is busy, but generally safe. Exercise precautions you would observe in any major city. Consider getting your churros to go, as this is also an option.
Found primarily around the Christmas season, nothing screams fiesta louder than buñuelos. One of my favorite street foods, it is not uncommon to stumble upon these heavenly fritters at Mexicans festivals or fairs. Buñuelos’ capricious shapes may vary depending on geography. Personally, I am most familiar with round-shaped buñuelos – their bumpy and wavy landscape as though thoughtfully designed to hold just the perfect amount of honey, cinnamon or sprinkled sugar.
Similar to beignets or funnel cake, these delicious bites of fun are difficult to replicate. I like this recipe because it is a fast and easy way to bring these festive Mexican treats home year-round, wherever home may be.
Cut out each tortilla with 4″-inch round cookie cutters. Fold each side of the cut out piece over on opposite sides so as to allow both folds to meet in the center, forming a pocket. Heat 1-inch of cooking oil in large skillet. Once hot, fry each tortilla pocket until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Let cool. Next, place ½ cup honey in a small bowl. Once tortillas are cool, carefully brush each one with honey.
In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the remaining ½ cup of honey until easily stirred. Add crème fraiche and cinnamon. Continue stirring until all ingredients have thoroughly combined. Serve buñuelos drizzled with the honey cream or on the side for dipping.
*For a fun, festive look, you can cut tortillas out using 2” to 4”-inch star cookie cutters.
Recipe by Ericka Sanchez, Food Expert and Author of the Blog “Nibbles and Feasts”, courtesy of the National Honey Board
In Mexico, and especially in Oaxaca, the art of making nieve (Spanish for ‘snow’) is a tradition passed on from generation to generation. For centuries, nieve artisans or neveros have crafted this dessert by hand, using only fruit and no artificial coloring or flavoring. If you are in Oaxaca, you will easily be able to indulge in this festive edible art, which will lure you from wooden containers on streets and markets. A wide array of both usual and unexpected flavors is typically available wherever nieve is sold- chocolate, strawberry, corn, cheese, mezcal, rose, avocado and soursop, to name a few. There are also deliciously surprising combinations such as the popular beso de ángel, or ¨angel´s kiss¨, which typically combines cherries with almonds and other fruits, delivering a complex yet delicate texture and flavor. Although still widely available, today, artisan nieves face the overwhelming competiton of mass-produced ice cream.
Find this chicharrón with hot sauce, and other Mexican treats including nieves, guanabana popsicles, and even the regional jicaletas (a snack made with jicama and chile) at La Dulce Vida Nevería in Melrose Park. Flour chicharrones (an alternative to the pork version) as well as fruit with lime, salt and different chiles, are a staple of any Mexican childhood. Typically sold from street carts, likely with no health clearance, I am convinced this is how kids in Mexico build their immune system.
For those who, like me, are far away from home, La Dulce Vida offers a perfect antidote to homesickness with its large and carefully curated collection of Mexican goodies (from chocolate Abuelita to nieves and even esquites and tamales). For those who, like my husband, have developed a taste for guanabana popsicles, this place is a perfect spot to get your Mexico fix with your evening snack.
I am so excited to have found this place. Who knew that Chicago was so close to Mexico?
La Dulce Vida is open Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm 2015 W. Rice St. Melrose Park, IL 60160
Julio Cortázar is one of my favorite writers. I particularly enjoy the way in which he is able to unravel the story he made you believe he had woven, and then, in one or two sentences, he turns it around to put an entirely new book in your hands.
This came to mind when I visited Moto this weekend. If you have never experienced molecular gastronomy, a style that got notoriety in the land of Dalí, no less, I highly recommend it.
In the heart of Chicago’smeat-packing district, Moto Restaurant, seems understated. It should, as the food at this cozy, chic-yet-unpretentious establishment, is an incredibly stimulating multisensory event for both mind and palate.
From an edible zen garden, to a dessert that looks like egg drop soup complete with an egg yolk that is actually mango, the 15-course meal is an adventure that comes with specially-designed utensils that hold aromatic herbs, and a leather glove smoked with vanilla beans to accompany a treat called “smell the glove”. The aromas, while not in the food, are designed to enhance the flavor of the dish on the plate.
If you plan on going, forget everything you know about food. Really. Moto is like a short story by Cortázar; a place where you know you will be surprised- you will get to drink your veggies and eat your coffee.
Although the onset of lactose intolerance is one of the constant reminders that we are not children anymore, we decided to celebrate el Día del Niño by baking one of my favorite childhood treats- pastel de tres leches! Here is a delicious, easy-to-make recipe that will make you smile no matter how old you are! ¡Feliz Día del Niño!
1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes. Poke top of hot cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking.
4. In large bowl, stir together 1 cup soymilk, almond milk and yogurt. Slowly pour over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until milk mixture is absorbed into cake. Top with almonds and raspberries. Store covered in refrigerator.
1 Serving: Calories 330 (Calories from Fat 120); Total Fat 13g; Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 330mg; Potassium 160mg; Total Carbohydrate 45g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 6g
% Daily Value: Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 20%; Iron 10%; Vitamin D 15%
Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Other Carbohydrate, 1/2 Very Lean Meat, 2 1/2 Fat