In her beautiful new tome, “Mexico: The Cookbook,” famed chef, TV host and restaurateur Margarita Carrillo Arronte shows us that there’s so much more to the country’s cuisine than our usual Chipotle order.
The book, a comprehensive collection of 700 recipes from across the country, is the product of Carrillo Arronte’s love and dedication for authentic Mexican cuisine.
“Mexican food is very dear to me because it is the food I grew up with,” explains the expert. “My mother cooked with joy. It was her way of expressing her love for us. It’s a food with tradition, with meaning.”
To keep the recipes' heritage alive, the author spent 30 years traveling to different parts of the country and learning the various dishes from each region.
So with all her knowledge of Mexican dishes, what does Carrillo Arronte think busy city-dwellers with limited kitchen space should include in their cooking repertoire?
“A Pipian recipe,” she says. “It’s simple, delicious and nourishing. You can add any kind of protein or eat it as a vegetarian meal with zucchini or potatoes or any kind of vegetables.”
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Chilacayotes in Red Pipian
Adapted from MEXICO: THE COOKBOOK by Margarita Carrillo Arronte
(Phaidon, October 2014)
Preparation time: 50 minutes, Plus 15 minutes soaking
Cooking time: 20 minutes
· 4 round zucchini (courgettes) For the red pipian sauce:
· 3 pasilla chiles, seeded, dry-roasted
· 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) pumpkin seeds, hulled and lightly toasted
· ½ cup (3 ½ oz/50 g) sesame seeds, lightly toasted
· 1 Tortilla toasted
· 2 tomatoes, dry-roasted
· ½ onion, dry-roasted
· 2 cloves garlic, dry-roasted
· salt and pepper
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 1 tablespoon lard or oil
· 2 cups (16 fl oz/475 ml) Chicken or Vegetable Stock
· 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted, to garnish
In a small bowl, combine the chiles and enough hot water to cover them and soak for 15 minutes.
Cook the zucchini (courgettes) in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked but not mushy, then drain and set aside.
For the red pipian sauce, put the chiles, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, tortillas, tomatoes, onion, garlic, pepper to taste, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup (9 fl oz/ 250 ml) into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Put the lard in a pan and heat over medium heat for until brown. Add the paste and cook for another 5 minute, then gradually pour in the chicken stock if needed, and season with salt. Add the zucchini to the sauce, then serve with toasted sesame seeds.