Yucatan

Thanksgiving Turkey

Achiote Adobo Thanksgiving Turkey
Print Recipe
4.41 from 5 votes

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 11 “Turkey Day”
Prep Time12 hrs
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time17 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, allspice, banana leaves, bitter orange juice, cumin, oregano, pati's mexican table, Thanksgiving, turkey
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 6 tablespoons achiote paste from a bar
  • 6 cups bitter orange juice or its substitute
  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought
  • 12 cloves garlic charred, broiled or toasted with the skin on, and then peeled
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the turkey:

  • 1 16- to 18-pound turkey rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 whole red onions peeled and sliced
  • 8 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 banana leaves (optional)
  • 1 brining bag large enough for a turkey (or an extra-large plastic bag)
  • Chorizo, Apple and Corn Bread Stuffing

Instructions

To make the marinade:

  • In a blender or food processor, working in 2 batches, add the achiote paste, bitter orange juice or its substitute, chicken broth, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth.
  • Slide the turkey, with the breast side down, into the brining bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and massage it into the bird, working it into the cavity and all the crevasses. Place the bag in a mixing bowl or roasting pan and refrigerate for 12 to 48 hours, turning the turkey a couple of times to redistribute the marinade.

To make the turkey:

  • Set the oven rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread the onions and tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Sit the turkey on the vegetables breast side up. Stuff the main cavity with as much stuffing as it can hold and place the rest in a buttered baking dish. Close the cavity by crossing and tying the legs with butcher’s twine. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Pour as much of the remaining marinade over the turkey as will fit halfway up the pan.
  • Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Cover the turkey with layers of banana leaves, if you are using them, and then cover the entire pan with aluminum foil, sealing it as best as you can. The less steam that is able to escape the better.
  • Reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place turkey back in the oven and roast for 3 1/2 hours, or for at least 12 minutes per pound. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the leaves and/or the foil, being careful as the steam is hot. Return to the oven and roast for 20 more minutes. The turkey should be completely cooked through and nearly falling off the bone.
  • Remove turkey from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes, loosely covered with the aluminum foil.
  • Strain all the cooked vegetables and juice into a medium 3-quart saucepan, pressing with the back of the spoon to get as much liquid as possible. Set aside 1 cup for the stuffing. Simmer the remaining sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, until it has reduced by half.
  • While the turkey rests, pour the reserved marinade over the stuffing in the baking dish and place it in the oven for 20 minutes, or until it is hot and the top is crisped.
  • Carve the turkey and serve with the stuffing.

Notes

Pavo de Acción de Gracias

Chorizo, Apple and Corn Bread Stuffing

chorizo apple and corn bread stuffing
Print Recipe
3.72 from 7 votes

Chorizo, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing

Chorizo, Apple and Cornbread Stuffing recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 11 “Turkey Day”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: apple, Chorizo, corn bread, Pan de Elote, pati's mexican table, stuffing, Thanksgiving
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo casings removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 whole white onions peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery rinsed and sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples cored and chopped
  • 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds corn bread cubed (about 8 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought
  • 1 cup cooking juices from the Thanksgiving Turkey (or substitute 1 additional cup chicken broth)

Instructions

  • Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add chorizo, and cook, crumbling as it cooks with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it has browned and crisped, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until it softens. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, less than 1 minute. Add the celery, apples, pecans, thyme, marjoram, and salt and continue cooking for 5 to 6 more minutes, until the celery and apples have softened.
  • Scrape the mixture into a big bowl. Toss in the corn bread, pour in the chicken broth, and mix gently with a spatula or large wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish. Pour the reserved 1 cup cooking juices from the turkey over the stuffing and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until it is hot throughout and the top is crisped.

Notes

Relleno de Chorizo, Manzana y Pan de Elote

Sweet Potato and Pecan Puree

sweet potato puree
Print Recipe
4.15 from 7 votes

Sweet Potato and Pecan Puree

Sweet Potato and Pecan Puree recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 11 “Turkey Day”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: chipotles in adobo, mashed potatoes, mexican crema, nutmeg, pati's mexican table, pecans, sweet potato, Thanksgiving
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt plus more to salt water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema

Instructions

  • Place pecans, thyme and nutmeg in a small saucepan and cover with the milk. Set over low heat, once it comes to a gentle simmer, turn off heat and cover. Let it sit while the sweet potatoes cook.
  • Bring salted water to a rolling boil over high heat in a large pot. Carefully add the sweet potatoes, making sure the water covers them, and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking at a medium simmer until the sweet potatoes are completely cooked through, soft, and the tip of a paring knife can easily slide through any piece, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
  • Place half of the sweet potatoes and half of the pecan and milk mixture in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth, scrape onto a bowl. Repeat with the remaining half of the sweet potatoes and pecan and milk mixture, but this time add the adobo sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree until completely smooth and scrape into the same bowl.
  • Set the same large pot that the sweet potatoes were cooked in over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it melts and bubbles, add the pureed sweet potatoes. Stirring with a spatula, pour in the crema and cook for a couple minutes more, until completely heated through. Serve.

Notes

Puré de camote y nueces

Spicy Brussel Sprouts with Pork Belly and Habanero

spicy brussel sprouts with pork belly and habanero
Print Recipe
4.63 from 8 votes

Spicy Brussel Sprouts with Pork Belly and Habanero

Spicy Brussel Sprouts with Pork Belly and Habanero recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 11 “Turkey Day”
Prep Time12 hrs
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time15 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: brussel sprouts, habanero, pati's mexican table, pork belly, Thanksgiving
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the pork belly:

  • 3 cups water plus 1/2 cup for baking
  • 1/4 cup kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound pork belly skinless and boneless
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken broth or store bought

For the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 habanero chile

For the brussel sprouts:

  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts trimmed and halved
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Place the pork belly in a large sealable plastic bag. Mix 3 cups of the water with the salt and sugar, and pour it into the bag. Seal tightly and let marinate 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. 
  • When ready to cook the pork belly, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Remove the pork belly from the brine and place in a small baking dish. Add the chicken broth and remaining 1/2 cup of water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until pork belly is fork tender. Remove the aluminum foil, increase heat to 450 and roast for about 20 minutes until the top has crisped and browned and the inner fat has mostly melted. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice into 1-inch pieces.
  • To a saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the butter. Once it has melted and is bubbling, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, sherry vinegar, agave syrup and orange juice, and stir to mix well. Poke a few holes in the habanero with a pairing knife and add it to the sauce whole. It will release the flavor of the pepper without making the sauce super spicy. Bring to a simmer and let cook about 8 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • In a large cast iron pan set over medium-high heat, heat the peanut oil. Add the brussel sprouts, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 12-15 minutes until crispy and browned on the outside and tender inside.
  • Plate the brussels sprouts on a large platter and top with the pork belly, drizzle with the sauce, and garnish with freshly sliced scallions.

Notes

Coles de Bruselas con pork belly y habanero

Tikin Xic

Tikin Xic or Achiote Rubbed Fish recipe
Print Recipe
3.8 from 5 votes

Achiote Rubbed Fish

Achiote Rubbed Fish recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 9 “Isla Mujeres Inspired”
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, allspice, bitter orange juice, bronzino, corn tortillas, fish, guajillo chiles, pati's mexican table, red snapper, sea bass, snook
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 6 red snapper, snook, sea bass, or bronzino fillets deboned (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 4 ounces (or 6 tablespoons) achiote paste
  • 9 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white onion coarsely chopped
  • 5 whole cloves hard stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Warm corn tortillas optional

Instructions

  • Place the fish in a large baking dish.
  • Toast the guajillo chiles on a pre-heated comal or skillet, set over medium heat, for about 30 seconds per side. Place the toasted chiles in a saucepan, cover with water, and set over medium-high heat. Simmer until chiles rehydrate, soften and plump up, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • In the jar of a blender, add rehydrated guajillos, plus a couple tablespoons from their simmering liquid, as well as the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, achiote paste, garlic, onion, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt. Purée until completely smooth.
  • Pour the marinade over the fish, making sure the fish is completely covered in the marinade on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours.
  • When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes ahead of time to bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter a large baking dish and place the marinated fish, skin side down. Reserve the remaining marinade.
  • Bake the fish anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it flakes the fish with a fork. It should be moist and look opaque, but don't let it get dry and overdone.
  • While the fish cooks, place a saucepan over medium heat and heat the oil. Once it is hot, pour in the marinade; it will splatter so you may want to use a lid as a shield. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, partially covered, stirring often, until the marinade has thickened to a light puree or thick sauce consistency. Serve in a small bowl with a spoon, for your guests to add more sauce to the fish as they eat it, or to spoon over the tacos if making.

Notes

Tikin Xic

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower with Queso Cotija Dressing

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Queso Cotija dressing recipe
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower with Queso Cotija Dressing

Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower with Queso Cotija Dressing recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 9 “Isla Mujeres Inspired”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: broccoli, cauliflower, chiles de arbol, cotija cheese, mexican crema, pati's mexican table, roasted vegetables, Vegetarian
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the vegetables:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 chopped chiles de arbol or 1 generous teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds broccoli cut into 1/4" vertical slices, including thick part of stem
  • 2 pounds cauliflower cut into 1/4" vertical slices, including thick part of stem

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso cotija
  • 2/3 cup Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste

Instructions

For the vegetables:

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, chile de arbol, 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Brush 2 large baking sheets with olive oil. Place the broccoli and cauliflower on each baking sheet, making sure that it is well spread out and not crowded. Evenly pour the orange juice mixture all over the vegetables.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once in between, until well roasted and considerably charred. Remove from the oven.

For the dressing:

  • In the jar of the blender, combine the queso cotija, Mexican crema, vegetable oil, sherry vinegar, water, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth.
  • Serve the broccoli and cauliflower in an extended platter and ladle the queso cotija right on top, or let your guests spoon sauce onto their plates and dip their vegetables in the sauce to their liking.

Notes

Brocoli y Coloflor Rostizadas con Aderezo de Cotija

Marquesitas

Hard Waffer Rolls or Marquesitas recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Hard Waffer Rolls

Hard Waffer Rolls recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 9 “Isla Mujeres Inspired”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cheese, Chocolate, Crepes, marquesitas, pati's mexican table, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 6 to 8 rolls
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the batter:

  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 2 cups Edam cheese shredded, optional
  • 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread optional
  • Jam of your choice optional

Instructions

  • Add all of the batter ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside and let rest for 10 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Stir before using.
  • Heat a 10” crepe pan or flat bottomed non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter and spread out in a circular shape to cover the entire pan. You want to create a very thin layer. Once the bottom begins to become toasted and golden, loosen the edges with a spatula and flip to toast the other side. Continue to flip another 2 times until the batter starts to crisp.
  • Add desired filling - chocolate hazelnut spread and Edam cheese are traditional to the Yucatán Peninsula. Roll up into a big and wide roll. As soon as, you remove it from the heat it will begin to crisp up like a wafer cone. Enjoy!

Notes

Marquesitas

Lima Soup

lima soup or sopa de lima
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Lima Soup

Lima Soup recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 8  “Valladolid: A Day to Explore”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, cilantro, corn tortillas, habanero, lima, pati's mexican table, sofrito, soup
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the broth:

  • 5 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sofrito:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for frying tortilla strips
  • 1/2 red onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green or yellow bell pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

To serve:

  • 6 to 8 Corn tortillas cut into 2"x1/2" strips
  • 1 thinly sliced lima (lemon or lime) for garnish
  • 2 to 3 limas (lemon or lime) to add right before serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and upper stems chopped, for garnish
  • 1 habanero chile finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

For the broth:

  • Place the unpeeled garlic cloves under the broiler, or on a pre-heated comal set over medium heat, and roast or char for 10 minutes, flipping a couple times in between, until completely blackened. Set aside.
  • Place chicken breasts in a soup pot and cover with 12 cups water. Add the charred garlic cloves, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, whole cloves, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 40 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through yet still tender. Remove from the heat. Remove the chicken breasts and once cool enough to handle, shred into fine pieces. Strain the broth into a large bowl, incorporate the shredded chicken, and reserve.

For the sofrito:

  • Rinse and dry the soup pot. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, bell pepper, tomato and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are completely cooked through and practically mashed and mushy.
  • Pour the reserved chicken broth and shredded chicken into the pot with the sofrito, bring back to a simmer, and cook partially covered for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the flavors have come together.
  • Heat about 1/4" of oil in a deep skillet or casserole and set over medium heat. Once hot, working in batches, flash fry the corn tortilla strips for 10 to 15 seconds until lightly golden, and remove with a slotted spoon or spider. Place on a plate covered with paper towels, drain and lightly season with salt. Alternatively, you spread the tortilla strips on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once in between.

To serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and add a couple very thin slices of lima. Top with tortilla strips, and give everyone a half a lima to squeeze into their soup right before they eat it. Additionally, you may set out chopped cilantro and habanero for everyone to garnish as they please.

Notes

Sopa de Lima

Lomitos de Valladolid

lomitos de valladolid
Print Recipe
4.67 from 6 votes

Tomato and Onion Pork Loins

Tomato and Onion Pork Loins recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 8  “Valladolid: A Day to Explore”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, black beans, corn tortillas, onion, pati's mexican table, pork, Tomatoes
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin cut into 1/2" chunks, remaining fat left on
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds very ripe tomatoes cored and diced, don't discard juices or seeds

To Serve:

Instructions

  • Heat the lard or vegetable oil in a large casserole set over medium-high heat. Add the pork pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let the meat cook for a minute or two. Add the onion, stir and let cook for a minute or two. Incorporate the diced tomatoes, mix well, cover and reduce heat to medium low.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is completely cooked through and the tomatoes have cooked down into a mushy paste, about an hour to an hour and 10 minutes. Remove the lid, taste for salt and add more if need be, stir, and continue cooking until there is almost no moisture in the casserole.
  • To serve, place two toasted corn tortillas on a plate, spoon refried black beans on top and ladle the meat on top of the beans. Place a couple avocado slices on the side.

Notes

Lomitos de Valladolid

Tropical Mint Pineapple Lime Smoothie

Tropical Mint Pineapple Lime Smoothie
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Tropical Mint Pineapple Lime Smoothie

Tropical Mint Pineapple Lime Smoothie recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 8 "Valladolid: A Day to Explore"
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: lime, mint, pati's mexican table, pineapple
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 cups fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves packed, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup (optional)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with mint and/or pineapple cubes and serve.

Notes

Licuado de Menta, Piña y Limón

Charred Red Onion Salsa

charred red onion salsa recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Charred Red Onion Salsa

Charred Red Onion Salsa recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 7 “Izamal: Gold & God”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cilantro, pati's mexican table, red onion, Salsa
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions unpeeled
  • 3 limes juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat grill to high.
  • Char onions until skins are blackened and they soften. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a bowl and stir to combine with lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste.

Notes

Salsa de Cebollas Encurtidas

Pok Chuc

yucatecan grilled pork or pok chuk recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Yucatecan Grilled Pork

Yucatecan Grilled Pork recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 7 “Izamal: Gold & God”
Prep Time2 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time2 hrs 16 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bitter orange juice, black beans, chiltomate, corn tortillas, garlic, pati's mexican table, pork
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

To Serve:

Instructions

  • In a blender, combine bitter orange juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and puree until smooth. Place pork in a dish and pour marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • Heat a grill to high. Drain pork from marinade and grill until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with a side of Chiltomate, red onion salsa, a wedge of bitter orange or lime, tortillas and black bean puree.

Notes

Pok Chuc, courtesy Kinich Restaurant

Yucatecan Style Lasagna

yucatecan style lasagna recipe
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Yucatecan Style Lasagna

Yucatecan Style Lasagna recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 7 “Izamal: Gold & God”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, beer, Chorizo, edam cheese, ground beef, Lasagna, orange juice, pasta, pati's mexican table, ricotta, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo casings removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought, divided
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups Edam cheese grated

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a casserole over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and beef and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until it starts to brown. Make room in the middle, add onion, garlic and bell pepper, and cook for 9 to 10 minutes until vegetables have completely softened, juices have all been absorbed, and meat has browned further.
  • Meanwhile, in a blender, puree orange juice, lime juice, achiote paste, tomato paste, oregano, salt and a cup of the chicken broth, until completely smooth.
  • Pour beer into the casserole with the meat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts cooking off. Reduce heat to medium and pour in the achiote paste mixture. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until sauce is very thick. Add crushed tomatoes and the rest of the chicken broth, mix very well, reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, uncover, raise heat to medium heat and cook for 10 more minutes, then turn off heat.
  • Place rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook 1 pound of lasagna noodles in salted water with a splash of olive oil until al dente. Drain.
  • Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with about one cup of meat sauce. Drape pasta sheets, covering bottom of the pan entirely. Cover with about 1/3 of the remaining sauce, then add 1/3 of the ricotta cheese in dollops all spread out. Cover with more draped pasta, repeat with 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the ricotta cheese. Repeat one more time and add the Edam cheese on top.
  • Lightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and leave in the oven for another 20 minutes, until cheese is completely melted, crisp and browned and lasagna is completely set.

Notes

Lasaña Yucateca

Pepita Brittle

pepita brittle recipe
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Pepita Brittle

Pepita Brittle recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 7 “Izamal: Gold & God”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: pati's mexican table, pepitas, piloncillo, pumpkin seeds, Sweet, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw hulled pumpkin seeds or pepitas, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons piloncillo grated or more brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Vegetable oil to grease the spatula
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sprinkle of kosher or coarse sea salt optional

Instructions

  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and let them toast, slightly, until they start making popping sounds and have begun to darken, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape onto a bowl and let cool.
  • Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 6” x 10” nonstick rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the water, brown sugar, granulated sugar, piloncillo and corn syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the sugars dissolve. After 15 minutes or so, the mixture will have achieved a very thick syrup consistency and will be actively bubbling. Check with a candy thermometer to make sure it reaches 290 degrees Fahrenheit (but no more than 300 degrees), or the sugar is at “punto de bola” or “hard crack” stage, then, turn off the heat.
  • Now you have to move fast: Grease a spatula with vegetable oil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the baking soda, the remaining butter, and the pumpkin seeds, and quickly stir as fast as you can. The mixture will be bubbling for a few seconds. Stir well and immediately scrape the mixture onto the buttered baking sheet, as it hardens incredibly fast. Spread evenly with the greased spatula to about 1/4" thickness. Sprinkle salt on top if desired.
  • Let cool for 20 to 25 minutes and break into pieces. If you want to cut the brittle in even square or rectangle shapes, use a moist knife to do so a few minutes after you poured, before it really hardens. Leave it to further cool, dry and harden.
  • The brittle will keep for a month in an air-tight container.

Notes

Palanqueta de Pepita

Avocado Crema

Avocado Crema
Print Recipe
4.6 from 5 votes

Avocado Crema

Avocado Crema recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 6 "Ancient Yucatán with my Boys"
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time8 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, lime, mexican crema, pati's mexican table
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados halved, pitted and meat scooped out
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the avocado, crema, garlic, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Notes

Crema de Aguacate

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

Pickled Red Onions A La Yucateca
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 6 “Ancient Yucatán with my Boys”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: allspice, banana chiles, bitter orange juice, jalapeno, pati's mexican table, pickled, pickled red onions, red onion, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bitter orange juice or its substitute
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 banana pepper or jalapeño roasted, broiled, or charred

Instructions

  • Place the bitter orange juice in a mixing bowl along with the black pepper, allspice and salt; mix well. Stir in the red onions and bay leaves.
  • Char or broil the pepper under the broiler, on the grill, on a hot comal, or in a dry skillet set over medium heat, turning once or twice, until the skin is lightly charred, 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the pepper, without removing the charred skin, to the onion mixture and toss well to combine. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes to 2 hours, then store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Notes

Cebollas Encurtidas Yucatecas

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich
Print Recipe
4.5 from 6 votes

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich

Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 6 “Ancient Yucatán with my Boys”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, Avocado, chicken, pati's mexican table, pibil, pickled red onions, Sandwich, Tomatoes, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion outer layer removed
  • 3 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 cups homemade chicken broth or store bought, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste chopped (the paste that comes in a bar, not a jar!)
  • 6 cups cooked shredded chicken from homemade broth or rotisserie chicken (may substitute turkey)
  • Soft buns (hamburger or potato buns)
  • Avocado Crema
  • Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

Instructions

  • Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with foil. Place the whole tomatoes, onion and unpeeled garlic cloves on the foil and set under the broiler, 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until charred on one side. Flip over and broil for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is blistered and completely charred. The tomatoes should be very soft with the juices beginning to run out. Remove from heat.
  • Once cool enough to handle, quarter the tomatoes and place in a blender jar along with any juices from the baking sheet. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the blender along with the onion, salt and 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a casserole or soup pot until hot but not smoking. Pour in the puree and cover partially, as the sauce will sizzle and jump. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and darkens considerably.
  • Meanwhile, combine the grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, allspice, pepper, chopped achiote paste, and the remaining cup of chicken broth in the blender and puree until completely smooth.
  • Stir the puree into the tomato sauce and bring back to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, then add the shredded chicken. Mix together well and continue to cook, uncovered, until the chicken has absorbed most of the sauce, about 5 minutes. The finished dish should be very moist but not wet or soupy.
  • To serve, scoop about 1 cup of the chicken pibil onto the bottom half of a soft bun. Top with avocado crema and a few pickled red onions a la Yucateca. Cover with the top half of the bun to form a sandwich.

Notes

Sandwich de Pollo Pibil Rápido

Carrot and Sweet Potato Oven Fries

carrot and sweet potato oven fries
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Carrot and Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Carrot and Sweet Potato Oven Fries recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 6 “Ancient Yucatán with my Boys”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carrots, chiles de arbol, fries, pati's mexican table, roasted vegetables, sweet potato, Vegetarian, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick coins
  • 1 sweet potato peeled, quartered, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick triangles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, put the rack in the top third position.
  • Place carrots and sweet potatoes on baking sheet and toss with oil, salt and chiles.
  • Spread into a single layer and roast for 15-20 minutes until crisply and lightly browned, turning vegetables halfway through. Sprinkle with more salt to taste if needed. Serve right away.

Notes

Doraditos de Camote y Zanahoria

Radish Pico

radish pico
Print Recipe
4.58 from 7 votes

Radish Pico

Radish Pico  recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 4 "Sunday Family Food"
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: jalapeno, lime, pati's mexican table, Pico de Gallo, radish, serrano chiles
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 radishes cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Finely chopped jalapeño or serrano (optional)

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and serve.

Notes

Pico de Rábanos

Pork Tenderloin Enchiladas

pork tenderloin enchiladas
Print Recipe
4.5 from 6 votes

Pork Tenderloin Enchiladas with Mole Verde

Pork Tenderloin Enchiladas with Mole Verde recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 4 “Sunday Family Food”
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: corn tortillas, Enchilada, jalapeno, mole verde, pati's mexican table, pepitas, pork, pumpkin seeds, serrano chiles, tomatillos
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the Pork Tenderloin:

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin either 1 large or 2 smaller tenderloins
  • 5 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil divided

For the Mole Verde:

  • 1 pound tomatillos husked, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles or to taste
  • 3/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 3 romaine lettuce leaves rinsed, dried and torn into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves and upper part of stems
  • 1 cup parsley leaves and upper part of stems
  • 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1 1/2 cups meat juices from cooked tenderloin or substitute chicken broth or water

To Assemble and Serve:

Instructions

To prepare the tenderloin:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using a sharp knife, make an approximately 1/4-inch deep slit down the length of the tenderloin(s), from one end to the other.
  • In a small bowl, mix the garlic with the sage, salt, pepper and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. And spread this seasoning paste all over the meat, including inside of the slit.
  • Tie the meat with kitchen twine, or if you have two smaller pork tenderloin pieces, tie them together one on top of the other. To tie, cut a long string of kitchen twine and wrap it around the meat at one end, about 1-inch from the end. Tie a knot leaving two long ends, and with the remaining string, criss-cross over and around the meat down the length of the meat. Wrap around one more time at the other end and tie another knot. (Though no marinating time is necessary, you may cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours in advance.)
  • Heat a large, ovenproof casserole or a deep, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the tenderloin and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total.
  • If you used a skillet to brown the meat, transfer it to an ovenproof casserole or baking dish. Add 3 cups of water and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the internal temperature reads 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven.
  • When cool enough to handle, place the meat on a chopping board and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour the meat juices into a measuring cup and set aside.

To make the mole verde:

  • Place the tomatillos, garlic and chiles in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the ingredients are completely cooked through and soft, and the color of the tomatillos has changed from light or bright green to olive.
  • Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and toast, stirring often, until you hear popping sounds, like popcorn, and they begin to brown lightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Take care not to burn them. Immediately transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.
  • Drain the tomatillos, garlic and chiles and place in a blender (add only one chile at first). Add the salt and puree until smooth. Then add the toasted pumpkin seeds, onion, lettuce, cilantro and parsley to the blender and puree until completely smooth. Taste and blend in the second chile if desired.
  • Heat the canola or safflower oil in a casserole or heavy soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the puree and stir well, being careful as this sauce really likes to jump around; use your lid as a shield. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the meat juices (or broth or water) and bring to a simmer, cover partially and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir every 4 to 5 minutes, to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom.
  • If the sauce appears to be cooking too fast and sticking, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until very thick. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon heavily. Taste and adjust salt. Turn off heat and keep covered.

To assemble the enchiladas:

  • Slice and dice, or coarsely chop, the cooked pork tenderloin. If the meat is cold, you may place it back in the casserole after you dice it with any remaining meat juices and heat through over low heat.
  • Prepare the tortillas for the enchiladas, either heating them on an already heated comal or skillet set over medium heat, or “passing" them through hot oil.
  • If necessary, reheat the mole verde. One by one, dip a tortilla into the mole verde and place on a plate or chopping board. Place about 1/4 cup of diced meat in the middle and roll into a chubby enchilada. Then place it seam side down on a serving platter. Continue with the rest of the tortillas. Pour the remaining mole verde on top. Garnish with the radish pico and serve.

Notes

Enchiladas de Lomito de Cerdo con Mole Verde

White Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

white beans with roasted cherry tomatoes
Print Recipe
4.67 from 6 votes

White Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

White Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 4 “Sunday Family Food”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beans, bitter orange juice, canellini beans, Chorizo, cilantro, pati's mexican table, red onion, Tomatoes, xcatic chiles
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups cooked canellini beans
  • 1/2 red onion peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 fresh xcatic chiles (or blond or banana chiles) charred or roasted, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 pound Longaniza chorizo (or Mexican chorizo) casings removed
  • 1/2 cup bitter orange juice or its substitute
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to broil. In a small roasting dish, toss to combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Broil until tomatoes are charred and softened but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl and fold in beans, onions and chiles.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo until crisp and browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add to bowl with bean mixture and gently fold to combine. Finish with bitter orange juice, cilantro and salt to taste.

Notes

Alubias con Jitomatitos Asados, Courtesy Chef Roberto Solis

Chayote, Apple and Jícama Salad with Avocado and Pepita Dressing

chayote apple jicama salad
Print Recipe
4.58 from 7 votes

Chayote, Apple and Jícama Salad

Chayote, Apple and Jícama Salad recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 3 “Celestún: Coastal Cooking”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: apple, Avocado, chayote, cilantro, Jicama, lime, pati's mexican table, pepitas, pumpkin seeds
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pepitas or raw and hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1/4 cup (packed) coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and upper stems plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) coarsely chopped fresh dill plus more for garnish
  • 1 ripe avocado halved, pitted and meat scooped out
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 pound (about 2) chayote squash peeled and julienned
  • 1 pound (about 2) tart green apples peeled and julienned
  • 1 jicama peeled and julienned

Instructions

  • In a small pan set over low-medium heat, toast the pepitas, stirring occasionally, until they start making popping sounds and are very lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • For the avocado dressing, in the jar of a blender, add 1/2 cup of water and the oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, dill, avocado, pepper, salt, mustard, and the toasted pepitas, and puree until completely smooth.
  • In a bowl, toss the julienned chayote squash, apple, and jícama with the avocado dressing. Garnish with some cilantro and dill and serve.

Notes

Ensalada de Chayote, Manzana y Jicama con Aderezo de Aguacate y Pepitas

Banana Leaf Wrapped Whole Fish

banana leaf wrapped whole fish
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Banana Leaf Wrapped Whole Fish

Banana Leaf Wrapped Whole Fish recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 3 “Celestún: Coastal Cooking”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: banana leaves, bitter orange juice, cilantro, epazote, grill recipes, grilling, mint, red snapper, snook
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup bitter orange juice or its substitute
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt plus more to season the fish
  • 6 Banana leaves stems removed
  • 1 whole 3-pound fish, red snapper or snook, scaled and gutted
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried oregano leaves
  • 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh epazote leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium-high heat.
  • To make the "mojo," place the garlic, cilantro leaves, bitter orange juice, olive oil and salt in a molcajete and mash into a paste. Alternatively, you may add these ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until fully combined but still chunky.
  • To make a wrap for the fish, arrange the banana leaves overlapping on a work surface. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper, and place in the center of the leaves. Pour the "mojo" over both sides of the fish, then top with the oregano, mint and epazote. Fold the banana leaves over fish to cover and tie or tuck leaves around fish to enclose.
  • Place the fish on the grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn and continue to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through. To serve, unfold leaves and filet the fish.

Notes

Pescado Envuelto en Hoja de Plátano, recipe courtesy Pedro Evia

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Rice

everything but the kitchen sink seafood rice stew
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Rice

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Rice recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 3 “Celestún: Coastal Cooking”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: clams, epazote, garlic, grouper, jalapeno, mussels, pati's mexican table, red snapper, rice, rock fish, seafood, seafood broth, serrano chiles, Shrimp, squid, Tomatoes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 whole (about 3 pounds) white-fleshed, mild-flavored fish, such as red snapper, grouper, or rock fish, boned and filleted OR 1 pound fish fillets
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles or to taste
  • 8 garlic cloves, 5 finely chopped, 3 peeled and left whole
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt or to taste, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound cleaned squid rinsed and sliced into 1/4" rings
  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled, shells and tails reserved if making broth
  • 2 cups long or extra long white rice or jasmine rice
  • 5 cups seafood or fish broth homemade or store bought
  • 1 large fresh epazote sprig or 3 cilantro sprigs
  • 12 small to medium fresh clams scrubbed and rinsed
  • 12 small to medium fresh mussels scrubbed and rinsed

Instructions

  • NOTE: If you plan on making the seafood or fish broth, get the whole fish and ask your fish monger to clean it for you and to give you the head, bones and tail to use for the broth. Also, save the shrimp shells and tails to use in the broth, as well.
  • Cut the fish fillets so that you have 6 more or less equally sized pieces. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Place the tomatoes, jalapeños, and the 3 whole garlic cloves in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until the tomatoes are fully cooked and very soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and only 1 of the jalapeños (puree one chile at a time, taste for heat, and add the other if desired) to a blender, and add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Puree until completely smooth.
  • Rinse and dry the saucepan and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in it over medium heat. Once hot, add the tomato puree and cover the pan partially with a lid, as the puree will sputter and jump. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, dark and fragrant, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large, wide casserole, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat. Once hot, toss in the squid, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, add half of the finely chopped garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the squid and the garlic with a slotted spoon and place in a heatproof bowl.
  • Add the shrimp to the casserole, along with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and half of the remaining chopped garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and flipping the shrimp over halfway through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the squid.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add 1/4 cup of the remaining olive oil to the casserole. Once hot, add the rice and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the casserole, until the rice is crackling and coated with oil, feels heavier in the pan as you stir it, and the color of the grains has changed from a pale white to a deep milky white.
  • Pour the cooked-down tomato puree over the rice; it will sizzle and smoke a bit, which is what you want. Cover partially with a lid and cook, stirring a couple of times, until the rice absorbs most of the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the seafood broth and stir the rice, scraping the bottom of the casserole. Add the epazote or cilantro sprigs and reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently arrange the reserved shrimp and squid on top of the rice, adding any of their juices from the bowl, as well as the clams, mussels and seasoned fish fillets.
  • Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and can be easily pulled apart with a fork, and the clams and mussels have opened up. Turn off the heat and serve immediately in soup plates. The rice should be tender and the mixture very soupy.

Notes

Arroz con Mariscos

Seafood Broth

broth or caldo
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Seafood Broth

Seafood Broth recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 3 “Celestún: Coastal Cooking”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fish broth, pati's mexican table, seafood broth
Servings: 5 to 6 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 pounds fish heads, bones, and tails preferably from fresh white-fleshed fish
  • Shrimp shells and tails optional
  • 1 white onion peeled and halved
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 to 3 carrots peeled and halved
  • 3 celery stalks rinsed and halved
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 5 to 6 sprigs fresh parsley or cliantro
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a large, heavy soup pot. Fill with enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and skim away any foam. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander.

Notes

Caldo de Mariscos

Chaya Empanadas

chaya empanadas
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Chaya Empanadas

Chaya Empanadas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 2 “Mérida: Exploring with the Locals”
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chaya, edam cheese, Empanadas, masa, pati's mexican table, salsa roja, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 8 empanadas
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh corn masa
  • 1/2 cup chopped chaya leaves (may substitute spinach or watercress)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 4 cups grated Dutch edam cheese (may substitute Gouda or Muenster)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salsa roja of your choice, warmed, optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the masa, chaya, and salt by kneading with your hands.
  • Pinch off a large, golf-ball sized piece of masa and roll it into a ball, then gently flatten with your palms. Place the flattened masa on a piece of plastic wrap and use your fingers to press it into a flat round tortilla about 1/8" thick (alternatively, use a tortilla press). Repeat until all of the remaining masa has been used up.
  • Place 1/2 cup of the grated cheese on one side of the masa round, then fold over to make a half-moon shape. Press around the edges with your fingers to close, using the plastic to help you out. Repeat with all the masa rounds.
  • In a large casserole or heavy bottomed pan, heat ½” of oil to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a fry thermometer, test by dropping a small ball of masa in the oil; if the oil actively bubbles around it, it's ready.
  • Working in batches, fry the empanadas in the oil until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the fried empanadas on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil. You may serve them with a side of warm salsa roja or salsa of your choice.

Notes

Recipe courtesy Chef David Cetina

Pork and Beans

pork and beans
Print Recipe
4.15 from 7 votes

Pork and Beans

Pork and Beans recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 2 “Mérida: Exploring with the Locals”
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Avocado, black beans, chiltomate, corn tortillas, epazote, habanero, lime, pati's mexican table, pork, radish, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds black beans rinsed and drained
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, butt, or country-style ribs (or a combination) cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 white onion outer peel removed and cut in half crosswise without cutting ends off
  • 4 fresh epazote sprigs or 15 cilantro sprigs, tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 8 to 10 radishes julienned or cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and upper stems
  • 1 ripe avocado halved, pitted, meat scooped out and diced
  • 4 limes quartered
  • Yucatecan tomato sauce or Chiltomate to taste, optional
  • Habanero chiles to taste, either "dipped" or finely chopped optional
  • Warm corn tortillas

Instructions

  • Add 6 liters of water and the rinsed beans to a large casserole or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook at a steady rolling simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, for 45 minutes.
  • Incorporate the pork chunks, halved white onion, epazote or cilantro sprigs, and salt and stir. Continue simmering for another hour and a half, partially covered, until the pork is completely cooked and tender, making sure the broth does not dry out – I add another 4 cups of boiling water after I add the pork. Turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if need be.
  • Serve with garnishes of julienned radishes, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, lime quarters, Chiltomate, and habaneros (they can just be cut and dipped into individual bowls to add a bit of heat, called "chuk" or "remojar"). Each person can “puuch” or mash and mix the garnishes of their choice in their bowl. It is customary to serve along with warm corn tortillas.

Notes

Frijol con Puerco

Basic Yucatecan Tomato Sauce

basic yucatecan tomato sauce
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Basic Yucatecan Tomato Sauce

Basic Yucatecan Tomato Sauce recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 2 “Mérida: Exploring with the Locals”
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chiltomate, cilantro, habanero, onion, pati's mexican table, Tomatoes, Yucatán Peninsula
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1 whole habanero chile optional
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and upper stems
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Heat a comal over medium heat and place the tomatoes, quarter onion and whole habanero (if using) on it, and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once in between, until completely charred. Alternatively, place on a baking sheet under the broiler, and broil for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once, until completely roasted. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Chop the charred onion, as well as the habanero, removing its seeds.
  • Completely mash the tomatoes in a molcajete, and incorporate the onion, cilantro, and salt.
  • First, add half of the habanero and mash until well mixed. Taste for heat and add more habanero if desired.
  • Alternatively, put the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until fully combined but still chunky.

Notes

Chiltomate

Mango Pound Cake

mango pound cake
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4.43 from 7 votes

Mango Pound Cake

Mango Pound Cake recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 5, Episode 2 “Mérida: Exploring with the Locals”
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: buttermilk, cake, mango, pati's mexican table, pound cake
Servings: 9 to 10 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for buttering pan
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups diced mango fresh or thawed from frozen
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting optional
  • Berries of your choice for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9"x 13" baking pan with butter and dust with flour.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until well mixed and creamy, about another 5 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Put the diced mango, buttermilk, and almond and vanilla extracts in a blender, and puree until completely smooth.
  • In four additions, gradually beat the mango puree and the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, alternating wet and dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined. Scrape the batter into the greased and dusted baking pan and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top, springy to the touch, and a wooden toothpick comes out dry when inserted.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn the cake out upside down onto a board, and then flip right side up onto a platter. Dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar before serving, and garnish with berries of your choice.

Notes

Panqué de Mango

Yucatán Style French Toast: Ultra Decadent

It’s ironic. The farthest away from Mexico I’ve been, the closest I’ve felt to my home country and the more I’ve gotten to know it.

Namely, there are 2,419 miles between my home in the DC area and the home I was born and raised in, in Mexico City (I’ve seen it in Google maps a thousand times with my boys), it’s a 44-hour drive if you go non-stop and a 5-hour flight with no connections.

Distance matters. It weighs, in tons of pounds of nostalgia that can be soothed in the kitchen. Distance has made my time in Mexico intense and adventurous, and the foods I am able to replicate in my American kitchen that much more precious.

It has been 15 years since we packed our bags to move from Mexico City to Texas. Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity to go back to visit. There is always something new to learn and something to rediscover. And there is always a dish that sticks with me in such a way that it has me running back home to make it for my boys. If they request it, time and again, it becomes a home staple that I hope to pass on.

That’s the case with the ultra decadent Yucatán style French toast, also known as caballeros pobres. I even included it on an episode called Brunch at the Jinich Home, from Season 3 of my TV series. It is very similar to a dish called Capirotada, in fact, some consider it Yucatan’s version of it.

Pati's Mexican Table shoot
Here’s Dan, our amazing director, showing me how the food looked on camera on the set at home.

We love eating it on Sundays for a late and lazy brunch.  It marks the weekend for us, when we can linger at the table. When I don’t mind making things that may have a few more steps, or may be messier to prepare, all of which the boys love to take on.

Dany and I tasted it for the first time in Yucatán 5 years ago. As we sat down at Los Almendros, a classic restaurant in Mérida, I did what I always do – which drives Dany crazy – and asked the waiter 3 questions:

1. What’s your favorite thing to eat from the menu? I can hear Dany saying “what do you care what he likes to eat Pati, what if he has a completely different taste preference than you, or what if he is pushing things out of the kitchen that aren’t selling?”

2. What is the most traditional food on the menu? I can hear Dany saying “some dishes may be included to show the restaurant’s authenticity regardless of how good they may be…”

3. What is, by far, the best seller here? I can practically see Dany rolling his eyes…

For #1, waiter said “caballeros pobres!” The poetic and contrasting name of the dish hooked me: translates to “poor gentlemen”. For #2, he said “caballeros pobres, it has been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 1962, it’s a dessert that’s existed since anyone in Merida can remember.” By that point I was ready to run to the kitchen to get one. For #3, he said “everybody orders caballeros pobres.” Ok. Done deal.

I am a fan of the French toast food category. The Yucatán style, however, is in a  league of it’s own.

french bread slices

It uses what is known in Mexico as pan francés or French bread, which is like a baguette but a bit thicker. Some versions use bolillos or teleras (just smaller in size). You are safe to use any crusty bread of your choice.

Then the thick slices are entirely soaked, drenched, in a mix of milk, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk. You heard that right: sweetened condensed milk.

pouring sweetened condensed milk

You know you want it.

I made it for a class on Yucatecan food at the Mexican Cultural Institute.  The 120 attendees were all oohs and ahs when I demoed the dipping of the bread in the sweetened condensed milk mix. Practically every one, wanted seconds, which I didn’t plan for.

coating bread slices

There’s more. Instead of dunking the bread in beaten whole eggs, the eggs are separated. The egg whites are beaten until stiff peaks are formed, as in a meringue, then the yolks are gently added to form a thick coating: a capeado.

dipping bread into egg mix

Hence, there may lay the gentlemen status of an everyday bread that is first soaked in a sweetened condensed milk bath, to be then fully dressed in a fluffy cape.

coating bread in egg mixture

Once luxuriously dressed, it is crisped and browned to golden status.

frying the french toast

That is not all: though at home we can happily eat it like that with a bit of honey, maple syrup or confectioner’s sugar.

fried french toast without syrup

The caballeros pobres are then sauced with a simple syrup flavored with true cinnamon, a few whole cloves and raisins.

syrup

You can make the syrup ahead of time and reheat it. You can also make it while you are dressing and browning the bread.

Wait: I am still missing the last garnish: chopped, crunchy, nutty almonds.

finished french toast with syrup and garnishes

Ok, wait, again: Some people add sherry to the syrup. That takes it to adult territory, which would pair well for a grown up brunch.

Of all the versions of Yucatán style french toast this recipe below is my favorite. Crispy, chewy, moist. I prefer to eat it hot and with the warm syrup on top as a main dish for a weekend breakfast or brunch. However, in Yucatán it is traditionally served very cold and for dessert. Then again, I have to admit that I always make extra to have leftovers in the refrigerator, so I can sneak into the kitchen at just about anytime, to eat them cold.

yucatan style french toast
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Yucatán-Style French Toast

Of all the versions of Yucatán style french toast this recipe below is my favorite. Crispy, chewy, moist. I prefer to eat it hot and with the warm syrup on top as a main dish for a weekend breakfast or brunch. However, in Yucatán it is traditionally served very cold and for dessert. Then again, I have to admit that I always make extra to have leftovers in the refrigerator, so I can sneak into the kitchen at just about anytime, to eat them cold.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: almonds, bread, ceylon, cinnamon, raisins, Sherry, Sweetened Condensed Milk, vanilla
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

For the syrup:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins or to taste
  • 1 ceylon or true cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Dry Sherry optional

For the toast:

  • 6 eggs separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 large French baguette or thick baguette of your choice cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Instructions

  • Place a medium saucepan with the water, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and cloves over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let it cook until it achieves the consistency of a light syrup and the flavors from the spices have infused the liquid, about 35 minutes. Turn off the heat. If you like a hint of alcohol in your dessert, add the sherry. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves. Cover to keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer over medium-high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to low, add the yolks one by one and continue beating just until incorporated, so the volume will not decrease much.
  • In a large bowl, combine the milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, stir until incorporated.
  • Set the bowl with the milk mixture beside the bowl with the beaten egg whites and yolks.
  • Fill a large sauté pan with about 1/4-inch of oil and heat over medium heat until hot, but not smoking, and you see ripples in the oil when you tilt the pan.
  • One at a time, dunk each piece of bread in the milk mixture until soaked, immediately dip into the egg mixture to completely cover, and place the coated slice in the hot oil. Fry for about a minute on one side, until golden brown, flip to the other side and do the same. Add as many bread pieces as will fit into the pan without over-crowding. When finished frying, place the bread pieces on a baking dish covered with paper towels to drain.
  • Traditionally, the “poor gentleman” pieces are placed on a platter, covered with the syrup and refrigerated. But I think they are a thousand times tastier served hot! Cover the pieces with warm syrup, sprinkle chopped almonds on top and serve.
  • If you have leftovers, cover the battered and fried bread pieces with the remaining syrup and almonds, and store covered in the refrigerator. I admit they are also fabulous cold.

Notes

Caballeros Pobres

Do You Dare? Habanero Salsa!

This salsa does hurt.

But just a little.

Yet it goes oh-so-well with the Pollo Pibil, which together with red pickled onions makes for a delicious Yucatecan meal. A bowl of this Habanero salsa is standard on just about every table in Yucatán. Around there, people drizzle some spoonfuls, or drops, on just about everything.

I recently found this salsa is heavenly combined with Louisiana style Bar-b-que and some baked beans (!). While it can make people very unhappy if not given a warning of how spicy it is, for the Yucatan class we had in December, the 20 batches made were gone before the middle of the meal. We did give our guests a warning… While my cooking team kept saying I was making too much, we made some bets, and much to my surprise, I won. I have learned now, that the American and international palate is much more open, than say a decade ago, for spicy foods.

Market pics-thumb-510x342-403
So Habaneros have become wildly popular throughout the world. Aside from their cute, happy and beautiful appearance, they are one incredible source of heat and are used to make many hot sauces that heat aficionados, like my uncle, crave for.

The photo above shows some Habaneros my husband shot at the market in Mérida, Yucatán. The photo below, are Habaneros I found here in the DC area.

Habanero2.JPG
This wickeldy hot sauce is really easy to make at home. Just char the chiles and garlic cloves either in a broiler, a dry skillet or a hot comal (as I did below for the 20 batches of salsa for the Yucatán cooking class and dinner).

Habanero4.JPG
Then, please seed the chiles.

Believe me.

You must!

While I have gotten many requests for very spicy hot sauces from some of you, dear friends… please seed the Habaneros. If not, instead of wickedly-spicy salsa, you will have a somebody-please-help-me-or-I shall-die-from-this-heat salsa.

Once charred and soft, place the seeded chiles and peeled garlic cloves in the blender or your molcajete, and puree or mash away with some salt and either bitter orange or its substitute (1/4 orange juice, 1/4 grapefruit juice, 1/4 lime juice and 1/4 vinegar).

Habanero7.JPG
One of the nice things about using a molcajete, aside of exercising your arm a bit, is that the molcajete stores oils, flavors and aromas of the ingredients previously used. The molcajete adds a hint of those flavors, and its stored memories, into future concoctions.

If you dare try this salsa (hey! come on, why not?), please let me know, after you get over the shock.

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4.25 from 4 votes

Habanero Salsa

This salsa does hurt. But just a little. Yet it goes oh-so-well with the Pollo Pibil, which together with red pickled onions makes for a delicious Yucatecan meal. A bowl of this Habanero salsa is standard on just about every table in Yucatán. Around there, people drizzle some spoonfuls, or drops, on just about everything.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bitter orange juice, chile, garlic, habanero, Recipe, Salsa, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 4 habanero chilies charred (seeded if you want to try to reduce the heat)
  • 6 garlic cloves toasted or roasted and then peeled
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice or its substitute (1/4 cup grapefruit juice, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt more or less to taste

Instructions

  • Char the habanero chiles and garlic cloves with their skin on either a comal or dry skillet over medium heat, on the grill or under the boiler. In either case, it will take anywhere from 4 to 9 minutes, flipping once or twice in between. You know they are ready when their skins are charred and toasted and they have softened, without having burnt the flesh.
  • For the traditional take, peel the garlic cloves and place, along with the chiles, in a molcajete or mortar. Smash until fairly smooth. Add the salt and the bitter orange, or its substitutes, and mix until well combined.
  • Alternatively, place the ingredients in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Notes

Salsita de Chile Habanero Tumulada o Kut

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

As promised, and right before the year ends, here is a recipe for pickled red onions or cebollas encurtidas or en escabeche, so you can try them with Pollo Pibil. Please do! You will see why it’s no wonder pickled red onion has been Pibil’s faithful and enlightened companion for centuries: they both taste great separately, but blissful when paired together.

Pickled red onions are also a permanent fixture at every single table in Yucatan. As they are mildly spicy, deliciously tangy and surprisingly crunchy they go well with so many things. These past couple weeks I learned first hand why they are such a fabulous pickle to have handy.

Since one of its main ingredients, the bitter orange, is hard to come by around here, I had 16 takes with different bitter orange substitutes. There are well-known versions for substitutes, but I am not crazy about any of them. 16 pickled red onion batches later: I found one I love! It is equal parts grapefruit, orange, lime juice and white distilled vinegar. Without the vinegar it’s not acid enough and the pickle loses its color and crunch, it faints quickly.

Pickled Red Onions 1
But since I am not one to throw away tasty things, those 16 batches found their way into toasted sandwiches, on top of rice and cous cous, along tacos and quesadillas, as a capricious side to enchiladas and scrambled eggs in the morning, sprinkled on refried beans. The last batch, which was destined to complement broiled flank steak a couple nights ago was gone before I finished slicing the meat.

And you will like this: takes 10 minutes to make them and they last weeks in your refrigerator. Just mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl, slice the onions (which some cooks like to quickly blanche in hot water or desflemar before pickling, I don’t because the onion loses that strength that I like, but you can try…), then add one, or why not two, charred banana peppers, let it all sit and get comfortable together, and you are set.

Pickled Red Onions 2
There are banana peppers in many stores in the DC-MD-VA area, but if you can’t find them, just substitute for Jalapeños. They work great as well.

The pickled red onions will be sitting in your refrigerator ready to give a spin to almost anything you may put together, no matter how fast or slow, simple or complicated. I am always amazed at how accommodating salsas and pickles can be.

So for this 2010, aside for hoping you all have a wholesome and sweet year, I hope you can always have a tasty pickled side handy to give you a bit of a spunk, whenever you need one. It has worked for me at times when I have needed some. And when I really need a kick, I leave the pickled onions aside and give that pickled pepper a big bite.

Pickled Red Onions main
Print Recipe
3.67 from 3 votes

Pickled Red Onions a la Yucateca

Pickled red onions are also a permanent fixture at every single table in Yucatan. As they are mildly spicy, deliciously tangy and surprisingly crunchy they go well with so many things. These past couple weeks I learned first hand why they are such a fabulous pickle to have handy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: allspice, banana chiles, bitter orange juice, pickled red onions, Recipe, red onion, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bitter orange juice or substitute: 1/4 cup each grapefruit juice, orange juice, lime juice and white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or pimienta gorda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or more to taste (I add more... but I am keen on salt)
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced (cortada en pluma), about 2 cups
  • 1 banana pepper guero or x'catik, roasted, broiled or charred (may substitute for Jalapeño)
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Place the bitter orange (or its substitute or plain vinegar) in a mixing bowl along with the black pepper, allspice and salt. Mix well. Incorporate the red onions and bay leaves.
  • Char or broil the banana pepper in the broiler, on the grill, on a hot comal or dry skillet set over medium heat or directly on an open flame, for 3 to 6 minutes. Turn it once or twice, until its skin has lightly charred. Incorporate to the onion mix.
  • Toss well and let the mix pickle at room temperature anywhere from 1/2 hour to 2 hours, cover and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator in great shape for 2 weeks.

Notes

Cebollas Encurtidas Yucatecas

Bitter Orange

The bitter orange or naranja agria is a citrus fruit that has a peculiar bitter flavor and a very high acidity that works very well for marinades and to tenderize meats and seafood. It also has a distinct look. It is not very pretty; it’s small, with a pale, somewhat dull colored pebbly textured skin that appears to be speckled with sand or dust. However, slice it down the middle, and you will find a shinny, juicy, deep orange and wonderfully flavored pulp.

It found its way to Mexico through the Spaniards, who got them from the Arabs, who got them from the Persians. In any case, bitter oranges found a wonderful reception in Mexican soil,  especially in some regions such as the Yucatan Peninsula and Veracruz. It is used in many ways: to prepare ceviches, sauces, soups, marinades, salsas, pickles… to name some.

So much for ingredients traveling from one place to another around the globe, bitter oranges are very hard to find in many places -and one big reason why I am considering planting a tree in my backyard. That’s also why many cooks have come up with different substitutes such as part orange juice and part vinegar or different percentages of different citrus fruits.

The substitute that I like the most, is equal parts grapefruit, orange, lime juice and white distilled vinegar. I find that the substitutes that only use citrus juices tend to faint quickly and don’t reach the high acidic content of the bitter orange.

 

Pollo Pibil

Last December, Daniel and I went to Yucatán. I was swept off my feet by the grandiose nature and history of the old Haciendas, but mostly by the uniqueness of the cuisine. It stands out from the rest of the country; with its aromatic, pungent, citrus flavors, charred and toasted ingredients and elements not found anywhere else.

Since at the Institute we established topics for the 2009 program in January and I left Yucatán as a December closing session, by the time class came around I was desperate to share these flavors. What a tortuous self imposed wait!

Of course Pollo Pibil had to be included, as it is one of the most loved dishes of the area. The rest of the menu was built around: Dzotobi-chay tamales, Mexican avocado soup, strained beans, a yellow rice, and old fashioned flan for dessert.

Chicken Pibil 1(One of the views inside of Hacienda San José)

Pollo Pibil is made with one of the pillars of Yucatecan cuisine, recado rojo or achiote paste,  which can now be found in many stores or online. If you walk into any market in Yucatán, you will see countless stands boasting colorful mountains of the main recados or pastes: black or chilmole, brown or de bistek, green or pepita and red or achiote.

The word Recado translates to message. In a way, each of the recados has a unique combination of ingredients, which makes a distinct bouillon of sorts, that translates a particular message of flavors into the dishes it is being used in.

They will sell you as much as you want...

Chicken Pibil 2

Or have it ready in previously measured bags…

Chicken PIbil 3

A couple of things distinguish anything cooked Pibil style…

First is the marinade. With achiote paste as a base, it has a rusty brick-like color and a pungent and sort of permanent flavor. That’s because of the achiote seeds it is made with. Then the paste is mixed with oregano, cumin, allspice, black pepper, salt and charred garlic; and diluted with bitter orange, which has a peculiar a flavor, quite different from regular oranges.

Since bitter orange can be hard to come by, many cooks have found substitutes such as a mix of orange juice and vinegar or a mix of different citrus juices. After testing for a while in my kitchen, I found the substitute I like the most to be equal parts of grapefruit, orange and lime juices and white distilled vinegar. The marinade is flavorful and aromatic and, as it has a high acidic content, it tenderizes the meat beautifully.

Chicken Pibil 4(A freshly opened bar of achiote paste, posing for my camera so you can take a look)

The second thing that distinguishes a Pibil is the cooking technique, which is what gave it its name. Traditionally, Pibil meats were marinated, wrapped in banana leaves and placed in “Pibs”: roasting pits buried underground layered with stones and pieces of wood. The “Pib” gave the dish a rustic, earthy and ashy feel while the banana leaves infused the meats with a grassy fragrant flavor and kept them moist.

Since it’s not likely that we are going to dig roasting pits on any given workday in our backyards anytime soon, many cooks have tried to find a method that can accomplish similar results.  Some wrap the chicken or meat in leaves and cook it in a steam bath in a large covered pot, while others do the same in the oven.  However, the dish becomes way too juicy and you are missing that earthy, roasted, ashy flavor.  When you cook in an earthen pit, although the chicken is wrapped, the excess moisture escapes through the pit, so the final dish is not that wet.

Here again, restless me, kept testing in the kitchen. And later then, very happy me, found a great and quick method to obtain similar results. First roast the chicken in the oven (detailed recipe below)  for that charred earthen flavor with the plus of nice browned skin and a thickening and seasoning of the marinade. Then bundle with banana leaves (if you have them) and/or aluminum foil to give it that final cooking that will make the meat come off the bones. Chicken Pibil 5

Chicken Pibil is an absolute hit paired with pickled red onions and a fiery and feisty habanero chile sauce. Yes, its spicy, but it is a welcome shock.

Print Recipe
4.34 from 6 votes

Chicken Pibil Style

Pollo Pibil is made with one of the pillars of Yucatecan cuisine, recado rojo or achiote paste,  which can now be found in many stores or online. If you walk into any market in Yucatán, you will see countless stands boasting colorful mountains of the main recados or pastes: black or chilmole, brown or de bistek, green or pepita and red or achiote.
Prep Time4 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: achiote paste, allspice, banana leaves, bitter orange juice, chicken, chicken broth, cumin, onion, red onion, Tomatoes
Servings: 5 to 6 servings
Author: Pati Jinich

Ingredients

  • A 5 to 6 pound chicken cut in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned achiote paste or recado rojo
  • 2 cups of bitter orange juice or substitute (1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, 1/2 cup lime juice and 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 garlic cloves charred, broiled or toasted and then peeled
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • Banana leaves optional

Instructions

  • To make the marinade, place the achiote paste, bitter orange or its substitute, chicken broth, charred garlic cloves, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Place in a zip lock bag or container and pour the marinade on top. Make sure all the chicken pieces have been bathed in the marinade. Close or seal the bag or container and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. Flip and move around the chicken pieces once or twice along the way.
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Spread the roughly chopped red onion and tomatoes on a large baking dish/pan. Place the chicken pieces on top of that layer and pour the marinade on top, making sure the pieces are not on top of each other. Place in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until the skin has nicely browned and crisped.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven. Flip the chicken pieces to the other side and baste with the marinade. If using banana leaves, wrap them around the chicken making a bundle. Cover the whole baking dish with aluminum foil, securing it around the edges. The less steam that is able to escape, the better.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the baking dish back in the oven and let the chicken bake for about 1 1/2 hours. The chicken should be completely cooked through and almost coming apart from the bones. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Place the chicken on a platter. You may serve whole chicken pieces or remove the meat from the bones. Ladle the remaining sauce into a bowl and either drizzle the sauce over the chicken or serve it on the side. This dish is also delicious with a side of pickled onions and habanero salsa.

Notes

Pollo Pibil

Achiote or Annatto Seeds

Achiote or Annatto seeds is a spice that grows heavily in the Yucatán area and is unique and native to this area. The seeds come from the Annatto tree, which grows beautiful pink flowers that produce a prickly pod which has dozens and dozens of these seeds inside.

The seeds have a beautiful brown, brick, reddish warm and appealing color. The Mayas used the seeds since Pre-Hispanic times to color their skin, garments, art and they also mixed them with their chocolate drink as a symbol of blood, given the color, in their rites. The seeds provide a strong, pungent and sort of permanent flavor to the dishes they are used in.

Achiote Paste or Recado Rojo

The achiote paste or recado rojo, is one of the main seasonings of the Yucatecan cuisine. Although it is mainly known for its use as the base of a marinade in the Pibil style dishes, it is used in many other ways.

This paste is made of achiote seeds, charred garlic, toasted herbs and spices such as oregano, cloves, cumin, black peppercorns, allspice, coriander seeds, salt and bitter orange or its substitute, which is a mix of citrus juices and/or vinegar.

Achiote paste has, like achiote seeds, a beautiful and warm brick-like color and a strong and pungent flavor. It keeps for months stored in a fresh and shaded area of the kitchen.

Luckily, it can now be found in many international and Latin stores or online.

 

Banana Leaves

Incredibly long leaves from the banana tree, the banana leaves have a beautiful deep green color and a strong fragrant smell. They are often used in Mexican cooking to wrap and cook many kinds of foods including tamales, meats, fish and poultry. They are both malleable and strong. Cooking in them not only concentrates the flavors of the wrapped ingredients but it also infuses them with a grassy, intensely aromatic and fresh feel.

Banana leaves used to be hard to find in the US when I moved here more than a dozen years ago.

Yet these days, banana leaves can be found in many large grocery stores in the frozen vegetable sections as well as in Latin and ethnic shops.