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Hungry for New Tastes? Rick Bayless Offers Chefs Some Advice


Rick Bayless

After a day of sampling and hearing discussions about Latin foods such as matalí, chaya leaves, siriguela and umbu, celebrity chef Rick Bayless had only one question: “Why are we not using some of that stuff?”

The answer, of course, is that most of these foods are not readily available in the United States, no matter how good they taste. Some are too perishable to travel in large quantities, others lack a built-in market or demand for them.

So, it’s up to chefs and food purveyors, like those who have come to the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus for the annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium, to help create a demand for them, the owner of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo said. Feature Brazilian cashew fruit on a menu, and people will love it enough to ask for it.

Don’t believe that? “Five years ago, nobody talked about coconut water,” he said. “But now we can get it all day long.”

The same could happen with yerba mate, which could be the new green tea, if it’s introduced to the public properly. Bayless admits he hated the taste the first time he tried it, but he felt the same about green tea, too. And he has grown to enjoy both.

Rick Bayless

“I’m  always, always, always challenged by the lesser-used cuts of meat,” Bayless said, adding that he loves the growth he’s seen in the use of anything far from the center. He included tripe in that list, though we in San Antonio have always known its appeal.

The secret to success with these new-to-American ingredients goes beyond using them, the Chicago chef said. Anyone can do that. The dishes have to be delicious. You have to leave them wanting more.

Iliana de la Vega, who teaches at the CIA, is working on a similar mission, which is to make the pasilla pepper from Oaxaca more popular in the States.

“There’s a pendulum quality to diners,” Bayless said. “What we need to do is figure out where the pendulum is already going.”

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SA Spices Up Latin Flavors, American Kitchens


Elena Hernandez discusses the foods of Panama.

In Panama, culantro is the herb that gives the canal country’s dishes their distinctive flavor.

That’s culantro, not cilantro, as chef Elena Hernández explained to a gathering of chefs, food purveyors and educators as the fifth annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium got under way Wednesday at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus.

She didn’t know if she’d be able to find the pungent herb in San Antonio either, so she brought it with her in her luggage. She did the same with her favorite types of chiles, too. And when she was stopped at customs, she informed the agent that it has all been blanched.

Laughs of recognition greeted that statement, as the crowd featured a number of chefs from Central and South America, who have traveled to other countries only to discover that they could not prepare their cuisine in an authentic manner because a dried chile or an exotic fruit was not available.

Yet Hernández, who organizes the Panamá Gastronómica International Fair, did find fresh culantro in San Antonio, a sign that the city’s ethnic markets and specialty groceries are growing to meet the expanding tastes of people within the city.

Honey Gingerbread

That same story is happening across the country, which is why the CIA presents the symposium. You’ll find Latin flavors throughout the celebrated cooking of Rick Bayless of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo or Maricel Presilla of New Jersey’s Zafra and Cucharamama as well as small kitchens in cities from San Francisco to New York.

Demand for Latin food and drink continues to grow, which is why the symposium is able to draw top chefs and food writers, including Roberto Santibañez, Mark Miller and Anne E. McBride in addition to Bayless and Presilla. This year, a handful of San Antonio names appear on the speaker list, including Puerto Rico-born Nelson Millán of the San Antonio Country Club, Jeret Peña of the Esquire Tavern, and Elizabeth Johnson, Geronimo Lopez-Monascal and Iliana de la Vega, all of whom work in various capacities at the CIA.

Scallops in Recado Negro

The list of visiting chefs from abroad include Francisco Casto of the Panamá International Hotel School, Dante Franco of Espacio Dolli in Buenos Aires, Christian Bravo of Punta del Mar in Merida, Mexico, Hubert O’Farrell of O’Farrell  in Buenos Aires, and Rodrigo Oliveira of Mocotó in São Paolo, Brazil

Topics this year include The Latin Wow Factor Strategy, More Than Lettuce: The Versatile Salads of Latin America, Cuisines of the Southern Caribbean, and How Do You Do Latin Cuisines Outside of Latin America?

The following is a sample salad from Francisco Castro, which is part of the More Than Lettuce discussion.

Panama-Style Beet Salad (Ensalada de Feria)

2 pounds potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 pound beets, cooked and peeled
1 cup mayonnaise
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

Panama-Style Beet Salad

Cut the potatoes and beets in 1/4-inch dice.

In a glass bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the eggs, onion, celery, parsley, and lime juice.

Add the reserved potatoes and beets; mix with wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 8-10 servings.

From Francisco Castro/Latin Flavors, American Kitchens

 

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Two Top Chefs Returning to San Antonio and More Dining News


A Bliss-ful return

Mark Bliss is headed back to San Antonio.

The chef who started Silo on Austin Highway confirmed a rumor that he is looking for a place, but in his usual terse style, he offered little other information except to say it should happen in about nine months.

Imagine the appetite we’ll have worked up by then.

Jesse Perez

Perez is back, too

Jesse Perez is back in town, working as a consultant for Alamo Cafe. We can only hope that he’ll also find his own place at sometime in the future.

Perez was once at Francesca’s at Sunset before leaving for Atlanta and Los Angeles. He was also named Best Latino Chef in the U.S. at the Flavors of Passion Awards. He recently served up his own barbecue at Culinaria’s Burgers, BBQ and Beer.

Celebrate Alamo anniversary in savory style

Chef Iliana de la Vega from the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus is offering a unique way to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.

She suggests making Asado de Bodas, a dish typically served at weddings and other special occasions in this region during the early 1800s.

“In English the dish is known as ‘Wedding Stew,'” says de la Vega. “Traditionally it is served with Mexican rice. Today it is also popular served with pasta.”

To watch a video of her preparing the dish, click here.

There's more to Texas de Brazil than meat, as this colorful array of peppers attests.

Rising meat prices and a great deal for customers

“Lamb prices? We’ve seen over a 100 percent price increase since the beginning of the year,” says Evandro Caraegnato, culinary director for Texas de Brazil, which has a San Antonio restaurant at 313 E. Houston St. Beef prices have also skyrocketed.

Yet, the all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse is offering customers a deal. Through the end of June, diners will get the meats, salads, side dishes and desserts for $39.99. For reservations, call 210-299-1600.

A second Magnolia

A second Magnolia Pancake Haus will open later this year, if all goes according to schedule, owner Robert Fleming says.

It will be located on Huebner Road, west of Interstate 10.

Magnolia will also be featured on an upcoming episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” though the air date has not been set yet.

When host Guy Fieri was in town, he filmed the restaurant’s signature Apfelpfannekuchen, or apple pancake, as well as its house-made corned beef hash and bacon waffles.

The original is located at 606 Embassy Oak. Click here for more information.

Freetail Brewing Co. is opening a second location in Houston.

Freetail is growing

Freetail Brewing Co. has announced it’s opening a second location. This one will be in downtown Houston.

According to a release, “On Nov. 2, 2010, Freetail founder and CEO Scott Metzger announced the company’s search for a second location. After extensive research and analysis, bolstered by a robust social media campaign by thirty Houstonians, Metzger ultimately decided on approximately 20,000 square feet in a historic building in downtown Houston. Out of respect to the developer, the exact location cannot be named at this time.”

In the meantime, you can enjoy Freetail’s fine brews at its San Antonio location, 4035 N. Loop 1604 W.

This week marks the first San Antonio Beer Week, and Freetail is one of the participants. For a full schedule of events, click here.

Myron’s showcases Navarro Correas

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 136 N. Castell Ave., New Braunfels, will feature the wines of Navarro Correas’s Privada collection at a dinner at 7 p.m. Friday.

The menu will include a salad with shrimp, rhubarb, persimmon, beef and dikon in a chimichurri vinaigrette with  Privda Chardonnay; a roasted pepper duo of crêpes with Privada Malbec & Alegoria Malbec Gran Reserva; a duo of quail with blackberry and serrano gravy with Privada Cabernet Sauvignon;  and chili-spiced steak with the Ultra Red.

The cost is  $69 a person, plus tax and tip. For reservations, call  830-624-1024.

Taste some Slovinian wine

From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, you can sample selections from Pullus, the oldest winery in Slovenia, at Deco Pizzeria, 1815 Fredericksburg Road.

How old is the winery? It was founded in  1239, more than 200 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Wines in the collection include a Riesling, a Pinot Grigio, a Sauvignon Blanc and a pinot noir among others.

The tasting is free. Visit www.otracopa.co for more details regarding the wines of Slovenia.

If you have restaurant news, e-mail walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

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Ask a Foodie: What Is Epazote?


Epazote flavors this Caldo de Hongos (Clear Mushroom Soup)

Q. What is epazote?

—Lori

A, Epazote (eh-pah-ZOH-tay) is a Mexican herb that has people almost as divided in their opinions as cilantro. Some people love its aromatic qualities, others think its taste reminds them of gasoline, slightly off geranium leaves or camphor.

It’s used in a host of Mexican dishes. In fact, Rick Bayless thinks it’s an indispensable part of Mexican black beans. It is also used in soups, salads and moles.

It goes by a list of other names you may know better: wormseed, Jesuit’s tea, Mexican tea, and herba sancti Maria. Some have also said skunkweed and pigweed are names for epazote, but both are used to describe many plants, including those weeds that are likely making you sneeze this time of year.

According to About.com, “Although epazote is poisonous in large quantities, it has been used in moderation to help relieve abdominal discomfort (gassiness) that can come from eating beans.

Fresh epazote is always best, and it can be found at most Mexican markets. Central Market, 4821 Broadway, has it on occasion, as does Whole Foods in the Quarry, 255 E. Basse Road. Or you can plant your own. Seeds can be ordered from Amazon.com.

There really is no substitute for epazote in cooking, because it’s flavor is so unique, chef and instructor Iliana de la Vega said at the recent Culinary Institute of America’s Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium.

But if you don’t have any on hand, try another herb like cilantro or culantro. That rule certainly applies to the Caldo de Hongos (Clear Mushroom Soup) recipe, which epazote. When I made it, I didn’t have any on hand, so I used cilantro instead. The flavor was different, but the soup was still delicious.

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Griffin to Go: Take a Tip or Two from the Professionals


Get together a hastiness of cooks (yup, that’s the collective noun for those apron-clad folks) and you’ll likely learn more than a few tips to make your kitchen life easier.

Such was the case at the recent Latin Flavors, American Kitchens conference at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus.

Here are few of the tips as well as some of the opinions and a few little-known facts that filled the demonstrations and seminars.

Vinegar isn’t vinegar

Not all vinegars are the same.

When you try a recipe from Mexico that calls for vinegar, don’t just grab your white vinegar and start to pour.

According to Iliana de la Vega, Mexican/Latin cuisines specialist for the CIA, white vinegar in the United States is made from potatoes. White vinegar in Mexico is made from cane sugar. The flavor of the former is more acrid, while the latter is sweet.

So, if you don’t have Mexican white vinegar on hand, use mirin or rice vinegar instead. Either is closer to the flavor that the recipe calls for.

Grill sense

“When grilling, tongs are better than your fingers.”

Sometimes, a little common sense goes a long way. Chef Robert Del Grande from Houston offered up some sage advice for grilling before making Beer-mopped Rib-eye Steaks with Bacon, Onions and Garlic.

Don’t build your fire until the entire grill, he said. If you do, you won’t have any place to move the meat. So, he likes to build the fire at the back of the grill for searing at  the beginning. As the cooking process goes along, he will move the meat to the front to finish it off.

This way you can manage the fire without letting the fire manage you.

The fire in the outdoor pit tried to get the best of Del Grande as he was demonstrating his recipe for Redfish Grilled on Banana Leaves with Avocado and Queso Fresco Relish. As he was speaking, the banana leaf caught on fire. The chef simply moved the fish to a cooler spot on the grill and tamped out the flame.

Using banana leaves on the grill does more than impart an flavor to the fish. It also prevents the fish from falling apart. Add a second leaf over the top toward the end of grilling and you’ll create a little oven where you let the fish “steam a little before finishing,” he said.

Herb mops

Herb mops

When Almir Da Fonseca of the CIA’s Greystone, Calif., campus demonstrated the way to make Rio-style Grilled Chicken, he used an herb brush to baste the meat with beer. The bundle of cilantro adds a light herb touch to the chicken.

This was a new technique to me, but not in the culinary world. Del Grande said his grandmother, who was Italian, would often use rosemary branches to baste with.

They have other uses, too. I saw one of the student chefs using an herb brush to brush salt water on the hot rocks used for the pachamanca.

And, yes, you can use an herb mop on Del Grande’s rib-eye recipe.

A little seedy

Roberto Santibañez, chef and owner of Fonda restaurant in Brooklyn, is on a mission to change people’s minds about all those seeds in small chiles.

You may have taken a cooking class or two in which the seeds and the veins of a habanero or serrano pepper were removed to make its heat less intense. That isn’t accurate, the chef said. If the heat of a small pepper is too hot, just use less of it. (Not large peppers like guajillos or anchos, he added.)

To seed or not to seed? That is the question.

“When you choose small chiles for any purpose, you choose it for its heat,” he said.

Removing the seeds removes flavor and half of its nutritional value, he said.

The seeds in chiles de arbol, for example, will cook and produce a different flavor, he said. If you find the seeds indigestible, simply pulverize them in a blender and you’ll be able to absorb the nutrients better.

Santibañez couldn’t get this message across to all of the students, some of whom seeded the chiles for his demonstration. “And again and again and again and again — do not seed the peppers,” he said.

It’s wasn’t entirely the students’ fault, as not every other chef at the conference agreed with this approach. The recipes from the women chefs of Guadeloupe all called for the chiles to be seeded before using.

Don’t want a lot of heat in your dishes but want some of the chiles’ flavor? Don’t cut them, de la Vega said. Use them whole and remove them before serving.

Salt, pepper and …

Think that the end-all of seasoning is salt and pepper? Not so, said noted Florida chef Norman Van Aken, who has long promoted Floribbean cuisine.

Salt, pepper and lime juice are the real foundations of seasoning, he said.

This is one we knew from eating at plenty of taquerias and taco trucks that include a bowl of lime slices next to the salt and pepper shakers. But it’s nice to hear it verbalized by a professional.

Chicago celebrity chef Rick Bayless was one of many more to sing the praises of fresh squeezed lime juice, as opposed to the stuff in the plastic green bottle or even the stuff in the market that was bottled earlier in the day.

Lime juice begins to change quickly, so its freshness is elusive. “Always take the time to squeeze your lime juice,” he said.

Another seasoning Van Aken used was yellow curry. It’s a spice blend that has its detractors. The chef tries to get around that by toasting it to let it cook out its raw flavor. You don’t want it to burn, so if you feel your saucepan is getting too hot, just pick it up off the stove and give it a good shake, he said.

Handling okra

Okra

Okra is one of those divisive vegetables that people either love or hate. And it’s easy to see why: it’s the mucilage that is sometimes produced when you cook it.

But there are ways around the mucilage, culinary historian Jessica Harris said.

One is to not cut the pods but cook them whole. Another is to soak them in an acid, such as lemon juice, before cooking. A third is to cook the okra thoroughly until it turns an olive green.

If the latter is unappealing, then divide the okra in half. Cook half “to the point of disappearing,” said Cuban-born culinary historian Maricel Presilla. Then add some blanched okra that had been soaked in lemon juice at the end.

Why is the mucilage “that thing that everyone in the United States seems to hate,” while the rest of the world loves it, Harris asked.

It’s cultural, of course. Yet that aspect of okra is what acts as the thickener that binds everything in the pot together and gives it extra body, Presilla said.

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Caldo de Hongos (Clear Mushroom Soup)


Mushrooms of many varieties are part of the cuisine in many areas of Mexico. This soup, presented at the Latin Flavors, American Kitchens Symposium at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio is a classic, said presenter Iliana de la Vega. De la Vega is a Mexican/Latin Cuisines Specialist at the CIA.

A clear broth seasoned with fragrant pasilla chiles is a flavorful base for this classic Mexican mushroom soup.

“It’s a simple, clear soup, almost Japanese or Asian in style,” said de la Vega. One may use any fresh mushroom, or a variety of types of mushrooms. Here are some tips from De la Vega about this delicate but nourishing soup:

  • Don’t cook the soup too long or the ingredients get mushy. De la Vega likes to start the soup slowly and let it “sweat” awhile, to let the mushrooms release some of their moisture.
  • Use yellow onion in the recipe if you like, but in Mexico cooks use white onions.
  • In Mexican cooking, salt is added at the end, which means that one tends to use less. Many of the presenters at this 2010 symposium also used Mexican salt.

Caldo de Hongos

4 dried pasilla chiles
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds assorted mushrooms
1 white onion, cut into small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
4 sprigs epazote
Salt, to taste

Slice chiles crosswise in 1/8-inch lengths; discard the seeds and reserve.

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil, saute the onion for 2 minutes, add the chiles (whole) and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute.

Add mushrooms and mix well, reducing the heat to very low. Cover the pot with a lid and sweat the mushrooms for about 5 minutes until they change color. Add chicken broth and epazote sprigs. Bring to a boil, season with salt to taste, simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through; discard the epazote. Do not overcook the mushrooms. If soup is being served later, remove from heat when it begins to boil. Serve hot.

Makes 6 portions.

Presented by Iliana de la Vega/Culinary Institute of America

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Latin Flavors, American Kitchens Symposium Opens at CIA


In the new facility at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, students are already using the kitchens for their class work.

As the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, opened its third annual symposium, Latin Flavors, American Kitchens Wednesday the big news was the nearly completed facility.

Celebrity chefs and authors, food historians, purveyors, producers and restaurateurs toured the three-story building while tantalizing scents of dishes being prepared for the afternoon’s demonstrations wafted through the air, both inside and outside.

The CIA’s grand opening will be a public event this Saturday.

Several chefs prepare desserts to be served at the Culinary Institute's San Antonio campus.

Shortly after the first announcers took the podium in the afternoon, more news emerged as the plans to open a fourth CIA campus — in Singapore — were announced.

Closer to home, CIA officials said that by the spring of next year CIA San Antonio will begin offering a two-year associate’s degree.  That could be in April or May, said David Kellaway, managing director of the CIA, San Antonio.

The pilot program at the institute here has been a 30-week certificate course, or half of the associate’s degree.

Iliana de la Vega, Mexican/Latin cuisines specialist at the San Antonio campus, moderated the afternoon’s presentations.

Jeffrey M. Pilcher, professor of history at the University of Minnesota, author and lecturer is an authority on the globalization of Mexican food. He discussed the influence of French cuisine, Creole and the indigenous foods of the country, as well as historical factors, as well as aspects of class and ethnicity on its evolution.

Rick Bayless presented the first culinary demonstration, talking about mole in general and putting together a relatively simple green version of the sauce.

An award-winning American chef, author and restaurateur, Bayless has explored Mexican food, its history and culinary intricacies for decades.  He owns the acclaimed restaurants Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and XOCO in Chicago.

Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, one of Mexico City’s top chefs and owner of Cafe Azul y Oro, is also an author and authority on Mexican food. One of his books, which will soon be published in English, is “The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy.” He discussed the famous dish that is traditionally served on Mexican Independence Day, Chiles en Nogada. The dish is so special, he says, that one doesn’t make it for just a few people. It takes a long time to make — in fact, just peeling two pounds of walnuts for the sauce, to make a large recipe of this  beautiful dish, takes more than eight hours.

Francisco Javier Cárdenas prepares Enchiladas del Portal.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico chef/restaurateur Francisco Javier Cárdenas. His Guanajuato-style Enchiladas and Red Pozole were two popular dishes at the tasting that followed the demonstrations.

Benedicta Alejo from Michoacan, Mexico, Lucero Soto and Federico López prepared their dishes in the downstairs demonstration kitchen, televised upstairs to the conference room.

Alejo ground roasted guajillo chile seeds in a molcajete to a smooth paste along with onion, tomatillo, cilantro and sea salt. She also employed the molcajete to make Mole de Queso, fried slices of queso fresco topped with a simple sauce of dry-roasted chiles, garlic and onion.

Soto demonstrated making sopes, little corn tortilla cakes with a center depression. The sopes are filled with beans, but then the fillings can vary. For the red, white and green colors of Mexican Independence Day (Diez y Seis de Septiembre), she used fried jamaica flowers, lightly sugared, fried queso cotija, avocado sauce and red Chile Capon.

Federico Lopez demonstrated Tatemado Short Ribs, Queretaro Style. These succulent ribs were braised with chiles and the Mexican drink pulque, wrapped in maguey leaves and covered with nopalitos (cactus paddles). The hours required to make the dish are well worth it, in the tenderness of the caramelized beef and the dark, chile-laden sauce.

This was just the beginning: More in-depth exploration of authentic Latin flavors are ahead as the symposium continues through Friday.

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So Much to Learn About Mexican Cuisine, Rick Bayless Says


Rick Bayless makes a green mole.

Chef Rick Bayless’ name is known to many for his Mexican cookbooks and restaurants, including Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. His face is recognizable to many more, thanks to his PBS series, “Mexico — One Plate at a Time.”

But his contribution to the culinary scene is far greater, according to Iliana de la Vega, Mexican/Latin cuisines specialist at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus.

“He opened the door of Mexican cuisine in the United States,” she said Wednesday as she introduced the celebrity chef during a series of cooking presentations that celebrated the culinary heritage of Central Mexico. The forum was part of the opening day of the annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium that the CIA sponsors at the Pearl Brewery.

Rick Bayless

Yet Bayless, standing in the new lecture hall and demonstration kitchen at the CIA, said he’s the first to admit that he has “a whole lot more of the cuisine” left to learn. So he continues to study, because the more he knows, “the better I can do the work that I do every day.”

During his years of study, he has loved “watching Mexican food evolve,” he said. And the more he understands, the more he’s able to nudge some of that evolution.

One dish that interests Bayless is mole. “Mole in Mexico is a pretty big deal,” he said.

That’s because it can take so many forms, beyond the peanut butter variety that is commonly served. No matter the form, the end result is a dish filled with “depth, complexity, intrigue,” he said.

The goal is to create a sauce in which all of the ingredients blend together. You shouldn’t be able to pick apart a good mole and dissect the cumin from the clove.

To demonstrate this, Bayless tossed together a green mole, which uses fresh ingredients as opposed to dried chiles. The end result didn’t have a recipe so much as a collection of items blended to taste.

He started by filling his Vitamix with roasted tomatillos (about one-third of the container), then added a healthy amount of pumpkin seeds, which works as a thickening agent. He tore off a generous handful of cilantro and added a surprise ingredient to some: leaves of romaine lettuce. The lettuce is a part of many people’s recipes, but you could use radish leaves instead for a little extra bite, he said.

He poured chicken broth over all of it and said some would end the recipe there. But he decided to give the mole extra flavor by adding some spice. In a molcajete, he ground together canela, or Mexican cinnamon, as well as a couple of cloves, a few peppercorns and a pinch of cumin. Only a pinch, he said. Though too many Americans think cumin is what makes food taste Mexican, the truth is that “cumin is used very sparingly in Mexico,” he said.

Once the spices were ground, Bayless added them to the tomatillo mixture and pulverized everything in the Vitamix. The point was to get the mixture as smooth as possible, before finishing it off in melted lard.

That’s right. Lard. “Lard is iconic in Mexican cuisine,” he said. And in mole, it is the ingredient “that brought it all together.”

But not just any lard. It has to be freshly rendered pork fat, not the white blocks that sometimes sit for months on grocers’ shelves.

“It has to be good lard,” Bayless said. “It has to fill the kitchen with the incredibly beautiful aroma of roast pork.”

Bayless poured the tomatillo mixture into the warm lard and stirred it together, heating it until it was ready to serve. It would work on tacos, on chicken, on pork …  In other words, make the mole to suit your tastes and use it however you like.

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