Archive for the 'kosher Mexican cuisine' Category

15
May
12

Viva Mexico! – Ladino Tapas Bar and Grill


Ayyy, que Churro! * I don’t mean the guy, I mean the churro. I know it’s putting ‘last food forward’, but it was my first churro, and it was – out of this world – delectable, what with its delicately soft center and doubly crispy sugary brown dough dermis.  It makes donuts and Chanukah ponchkes a distant also-ran. CS, who waxes nostalgic when prompted by food, especially Latino food, said he grew up on churros at home in Uruguay, I ‘d have been a South American version of Violet turning Violet at Wonka’s factory,  -a blimpy rolly- poly rotundness with an insatiable appetite for doughy decadent sweet sticks conveniently available at the corner street vendor, que problema! – and  so it was for CS as he re-tells his post-holocaust youth where a fat kid was a healthy, happy thriving kid-but I digress…
We walked into Ladino’s at 4:30 – about a half hour before dinner service officially begins, and the place was already filling up with cosmopolitan looking clientele looking to chat and chill at a place that already felt local and homey, though it just opened recently. I warmed to the burnt siennas, brown adobe and soft pillar candle lighting; the Diego Rivera/Alex Morales artwork, the modern spatulate flatware and artifact looking serving dishes, like the volcanic rock four legged guacamole bowl, gave the place an organic, native, Aztec feel.

The only tables available by the time we left at 6:30…

We asked Chef Alex Petard to surprise us with his choices, and were served ceviche de atún and ceviche de red snapper, the former in a nice lemon sauce, the latter in a more mayonnaise base. the crunch of the slawed red green and yellow peppers, the quality of the fish and combined flavorful sauces be-sided with  awesome guacamole and chips made  a palate whetting beginning.  The accompanying cilantro and the tomato dips were spiced’ just right, dipping well with all that followed.  
Spicy chicken wings followed, while the outer crispness was perfect, the meat was a bit dry. A plate with three succulent taquitos (veal breast, chicken, and beef) was brought us; I especially liked the red tomatillo sauce on the chicken taquito.  All three were good, but to my taste, the chicken  taquito was most piquant. The veal and beef taquitos, though texturally different , tasted somewhat similarly and were perked up by the fresh lime provided that CS squeezed onto them; the home made taquitos were perfect.
Tamales with chicken and green tomatillo came next, the look authentic-laid out organically on a corn leaf; the taste  interesting but bland – too heavily starched- insufficient contrasting sauce and/or spicy flavoring though it had potential.

Dessert, made by Pastry Chef Jose Leon, was incredible! Between the churros  9mentioned above) the vanilla flan covered with coconut shavings, good latte and espresso, the meal ended with memorable parting flavors.

Vanilla flan with coconut shavings… Delicioso!

The wine (Lan Zur Merlot 2011)  young, with overpowering tannins and a bitter end  to my taste, became  more tolerable as it had time to aerate during the various courses. Service by Jeff was impeccable and most attentive; he described each dish in good detail and did small big things like wipe the table clean during service; it certainly was above and beyond the call of duty!

All in all, CS did not exaggerate in his praise of Ladino, yesterday’s early tasty dinner corroborated it. I liked the chilled munch and chat atmosphere and look forward to coming back on a motzey Shabbat, after Shavuot, when live Latino guitar music will be featured!

SYR

* Latin American expression for a very handsome guy

RELATED POSTS

Ladino Tapas Bar and Grill – Just Opened and Kosher for Passover
Chef’s Profile – Ladino’s Alexandre Petard
Tomorrow Evening’s Radio Show with Chef Alexandre Petard

03
May
12

Geila Hocherman’s Cinco de Mayo Recipes – Part 1


[Our dear friend Geila Hocherman, author of Kosher Revolution, has graciously agreed to share some of her recipes for a feast celebrating another revolution... Editor]

On May 5, 1862, France (considered the best army of the time) fought against a ragtag, poorly supplied, vastly outnumbered, hardly trained, Mexican army and lost the battle at Puebla de Los Angeles. In a pure military sense there are some parallels to our own victory against the mighty Greeks of the Seleucid period.

Since kosher transcends the boundaries of a distinctive national cuisine, why not try some of these great dishes this very Shabbat, Cinco de Mayo?

Ceviche with Avocado and Tortilla Chips

Serves 6

Photo by: Antonis Achilleous, Kosher Revolution on page 37

Here’s a confession: I never serve gefilte fish. That favorite has been replaced on my table by this more exciting dish, which will do wonders for your menu as a starter or light main. Tangy with fresh lime, the ceviche also pairs buttery avocado and crunchy chips, a terrific textural play. And the dish almost makes itself, a big plus when you’ve got other cooking to do.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs fluke, flounder or other non-oily, white-fleshed fish, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2.5cm square)
  • 1 medium tomato, skinned, deseeded and diced
  • ½ cup mango ¼ inch dice (optional)
  • 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped fine
  • ½ jalapeno finely chopped
  • 3 ounces good fruity olive oil
  • 3 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 2 avocados sliced
  • tortilla chips

Directions

  1. In a medium non-porous bowl, combine the fish, tomato, spring onions, coriander and mango, if using.
  2. In a separate small bowl or large measuring jug, combine the garlic, jalapeño, oil, lime juice and salt, and stir to blend. Pour the mixture over the fish and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  3. Strain the ceviche.To serve, arrange a few avocado slices on a plate, mound some strained ceviche in the middle and garnish with tortilla chips and serve.

Geila’s Tip

To dismantle an avocado for slicing, first cut it lengthways and gently twist the halves apart. Embed the stone on the blade-heel of a large knife, twist and lift to remove the stone. Peel the avocado, then slice the flesh as required. I’ve found that jalapeños with a brown line or veins on the outside are hotter than those without.

—OooO—

Tomatillo pepita mole with chicken

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peeled pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon savory-optional
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon oregano- Mexican if you can find it
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 small tomatillos halved
  • ½ large onion rough chop
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced- or more if you like heat
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless, thin cut chicken breasts
  • tofu sour cream optional

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan toast the cumin, savory, coriander seed, oregano, and the pepitas, (pumpkin seeds), until fragrant.  Remove to bowl of food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  2. In the same skillet heat the oil and add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and tomatillos. Sprinkle with salt and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add this mixture to the ground spices and pepitas along with the parsley, cilantro, and chicken broth and process until smooth.  Put back in sauté pan and simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the chicken into a large casserole or roasting pan.  Cover with ¾ of the sauce and bake at 325 for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with extra sauce on the side and tofu sour cream.

Enjoy!

Geila Hocherman

RELATED POSTS

Geila Hocherman & Costas Mouzouras – Passover Food and Wine Pairing – Recipes – Part 2

Geila Hocherman & Costas Mouzouras – Passover Food and Wine Pairing – Recipes – Part 1

Chef Geila Hocherman’s Hamentashen With Four Fillings

The Peppermill & this Evening’s Radio Show

Pecan Pie – Part 2 – Maple Pecan Pie

Kosher Revolution

A Conversation with Geila Hocherman




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