Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time to revisit Mexico... two weeks before its Bicentennial

There is no denying that after 14 years of living in Mexico, it has had a profound impact on my palate. The richness in the flavors, the variety in the ingredients, the endless combinations of recipes. There has been a fantastic movement in Mexico of modern Mexican cuisine, from the kitchens of Monica PatiƱo, Patricia Quintana, and Richard Sandoval (and so many more). This has opened the doors to new experiments in Mexican cuisine. And please, do not confuse Mexican cuisine with burritos, chimichangas, or chili con carne.

The theme of the night was the one ingredient that was born in Mesoamerica, maize (corn).

I present to you my take on a classic:
For the appetizer I created a flounder ceviche with a sweet yellow chili. The lemon and orange juice was quickly mixed with a small amount of cream to give it the richer texture. The sweet corn was steamed with lemon grass to give it additional flavor and served on top as a garnish

Mexican red rice with corn and green peas; a sweet and sour
(and spicy) classic cochinita pibil; and a delicious shrimp with a chipotle cream sauce.
Fresh (homemade) tortillas were included but not photographed.
The recipe for this delicious dish is very simple:
20 medium sized shrimp
1 chipotle chili with adobe sauce chopped
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of wine
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Prepare the sauce by adding the wine and the chipotle in a saucepan and reduce about half of wine. Then add the cream and the parmesan cheese. Cheese should contain enough salt, but taste before serving.
Prepare the shrimp in a pan with a little butter. Once shrimp are cooked (aprox. 4 minutes per side) mix with sauce.
Serve with a garnish of cilantro.
Dessert pastel de elote, or Sweet Corn cake (more of the consistency of a souffle)
Enjoying the many stories that Tamy shared with us in the "sobremesa" (there is no exact word in English, but it refers to the moments after the dinner in which long conversations take place)

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