out all night?

30 Mar

When your lover stays out all night and comes home at 11 the next morning. There are generally two things that s/he is up to. Neither is very pleasing to the minds eye. If you live in Mexico City, s/he may really be at the Dos Naciones until the wee hours, which really is so much better than those other two things, right?

Adefesio.com ¡DF! | All here is Mexico City – Dos Naciones.

The article is in Spanish but basically describes this historic cantina located at Bolivar 58. Ficheras- waitresses that you pay 20 pesos per dances-upstairs, drinks, food and eclectic cantina culture downstairs.

guilty pleasures

20 Mar

I have a confession to make. There’s a show that I tune into every Sunday night. I actually look forward to it all week. No, it’s not about polygamists, or teen vampires, or any class of reality TV. It is Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s long running public radio food show The Splendid Table.

I find Lynne Rossetto Kaspers’s voice soothing. I love the food related music that provides segue ways to the assorted segments interviewing chefs, food producers or wine writers. I adore Jane and Michael Stern’s weekly call- this couples mission in life is to shed fame on old fashioned mom’n’pop eateries. My absolute favorite is the call-ins on the second part of the show…especially when Lynn and frequent guest Christopher Kimball play the game of stump the chef. Folks call up and list 5 things that they have in their fridge and the hosts have to make a recipe utilizing these weird ingredients.

This week one of Lynne’s featured guests was Chef Patricia Jinich, of PBS’s Pati’s Mexican Table, promoting her new show and speaking on the evolution of Mexican-Jewish traditions. I am interested in any aspect of the Mexican gastronomic canon… and this is one area that isn’t really talked about. Of course anyone who was spent time in Mexico City knows that there is a sizable Jewish population, but you probably also know that they keep their cooking quite separate from the rest of the population- because of wealth as much as religion, I think. I remember reading an article in one of the Mexican magazines about a quesadilla stand that basically became Kosher over the years as a way of adapting to their clientele.

Chef Pati mentioned Gefilte Fish a la Verzcruzana Not sure if I’ll be trying that recipe anytime soon, but I am always grateful to have another trick up my sleeve!

Pati’s Mexican Table is the latest addition to my blogroll. She offers well written recipes for Mexican classics and cooking techniques. Check out her Basics section. It could be extremely helpful to anyone beginning to learn Mexican cooking techniques.

You can download the March 19 episode here or find it on iTunes. The Splendid Table is on WNYC 93.9 on Sunday Nights at 9pm.

added bonus: New York Time’s columnist Melissa Clark’s super easy recipe for Shrimp Bisque and a book added to my reading list: Steve Almond’s Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

stuff i wanted to buy at La Merced

28 Feb

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my favorite weekly market

27 Feb

The Saturday market located by metro Revolucion in Colonia Tabacalera is what is know as mercados sobre ruedas (market on wheels) or simply the tianguis. I’m partial to this one, perhaps because I visited it weekly with my puppy, but also because it had many stalls run my small independent food producers.

Most vendors purchase bulk meats, cheeses and produce at a central wholesale market- La Merced or Centro de Abastos in Mexico City. The riches of central Mexico are evident in the wares of the small vendors- ladies often found on the outskirts of the market offering de-spined nopal cactus paddles, chiles, seasonal fruits, chamomile and other herbs, a couple kilos of blue corn or whole wheat tortillas, jars of honey, a basket of fresh eggs, wild mushrooms, and other products grown in their or a neighbor’s garden.

amazing small batch cheeses

This mysterious couple sold the most delicious queso de cabra- a queso fresco made with goat’s milk. I never figured out if they made all their wares- quesillo, manchego, queso fresco with jalapeño or chipoltle, crema, natas, cecina, chorizo, blue corn tortillas, sopes and tlacoyos. I can’t remember their names and they were also vague about the location of their rancho. I am pretty sure Revolucion was the only tiangui that they sold at.

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Not pictured in the slide show is the fish market, the various outdoor kitchens offering barbacoa, carnitas, quesadillas, tlacoyos, fresh juices, the meat and chicken vendors, the cookie lady, the candy sellers, the clothing stands, and kitchenware vendors…the young man who sells beautiful hand carved cutting boards, wooden spoons, and bowls.

You can visit this bustling neighborhood market on Saturday before 3 pm on. It’s located steps from Metro Revolucion on the 2 blocks south of Puente de Alvarado on Ezequiel Montes.

visit to a fondita: antojitos oaxaqueños

25 Feb

The day before my friend’s wedding, we went to the Mercado Jamaica to buy the flowers. Jamaica is an incredible complex stretching over several blocks and staggeringly open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Flowers and plants arrive all day from around the republic- from Toluca, Xochomilco, Jalapa…

I had been there once before and discovered a wonderful Oaxacan eatery or fonda. I knew just where we should start our trip! Hot chocolate and cafe de olla would fuel our flower buying. Sharing an enormous tasajo topped tlayuda and an empanada de mole amarillo would cure our hangovers from last night’s festivities.

Enjoy the slideshow of our brunch and this wonderful puesto 678-679!

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Mercado Abelardo

19 Feb

One of Mexico City’s hidden treasures is this lovely public market Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez built in 1934.

mural in a working market

Mercado Abelardo abuts a 19th century Jesuit school that is now a theater- Teatro del Pueblo located at Republica de Venezuela 72. Both buildings were painted by ten students of Diego Rivera between 1933-35 including 4 artists from the US and Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi. There is said to be over 1450 square meters of artwork at this site, which was only the second modern municipal market in Mexico City built by the city in the 20th century.

Mercado Abelardo’s design by Antonio Muñoz is a bit more elegant than what later became typical for the indoor municipal markets built around Mexico City. The high metal ceilings and arched windows allow in as much natural light as possible. The iron work visible around the windows and light fixtures is more ornate than in later constructed markets.

The multi-paneled mural in Teatro del Pueblo is by Pablo O’Higgins, entitled La Lucha de los Obreros Contra los Monopolios, which I’ll translate as The Fight of the Working Class against the Monopolies, is full of juicy socialist images including a ceiling piece detailing the life cycle of maize– the food stuff of the poor, a worker shouting “We want bread not warships” and images of brooding imperialism.

Other artists participating in the market include Angel Bracho- I believe that is his work is shown over the stairs; Influencia de las vitaminas by Antonio Pujol, Los alimentos y los problemas del obrero by Pedro Rendon, Escenas populares by Ramon Alva Guadarrama, Las labores del campo by Grace Greenwood Ames, La minería by Marion Greenwood, La industrialización del campo and Los mercados by Raul Gamboa, and a copper-plated relief called Historia de México, by Isamu Noguchi- which is not pictured in my photos. I think it is located on the upper level of the market.

These murals have been seriously damaged both by the earthquake of 1985 and the workaday wear and tear of their location. In 2009, the city government began to restore them. My photos were taken in 2008.

Inside is a normal neighborhood market offering fruits, vegetables, meats, some clothing and hardware- with a definite emphasis on prepared foods to feed the massive amounts of street vendors that populate this neighborhood.

See my entire flickr gallery here.

fast food

9 Feb

lunch break at the lorimer st subway platform

tortilleria chinantla

7 Feb

look for the Chinantla logo where ever quality corn tortillas are sold.

I have written about Tortilleria Chinantla here. It’s my favorite Brooklyn tortilleria. I love smelling the tortillas as I bike down Grand Street. I love that the loading dock door is open to the public 24-7. I bought a glorious case of freshly fried tostadas from them in December.
I was looking forward to interviewing the owners and workers about the history of this Tortilleria opened in my neighborhood in 1992. A recent Daily News article said that he became a millionaire.
I was horrified to see the news on January 24th that Chinantla had been the scene of a gruesome industrial accident that a young Guatemalan worker lost his life. It troubled me more to see that not only was he working the graveyard shift for $7.25 an hour, but that he had worked at the tortilleria for more than six years. He was 22 when he died.

For more information please see the linked articles:
State Shuts Tortilla Factory Where Worker Died
Death in a New York Food Sweatshop

Two new signs at my beloved Food Bazaar

2 Feb


no hustling at Food Bazaar

organics have arrived at Food Bazaar

Of course it’s all the BIG organics- flown in from Israel, Washington, Ecuador, California…
We’ll see if the community goes for it.

kitchen window

23 Jan

View from nychilanga kitchen