Posts from October 2015

Get your Chile Going, Suckling Lamb Barbacoa Taco from 'Mexico from the Inside Out' by Enrique Olvera

Get your chile going,  moving beyond divorce, after Divorced Chilaquiles from  Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera (Phaidon, $59.95, October 2015) , the first English language cookbook by chef from restaurant Pujol in Mexico City.

Suckling Lamb Barbacoa Taco, Taco de barbacoa de cordero lechal


Serves: 4


Chile Poblano Tortilla

2 cups (480 ml) corn oil

1 chile poblano

1 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste

½ cup (20 g) cilantro (coriander)

½ cup (140 g) Corn Dough (pg. 39)

Chile Guajillo Adobo

1 pound (500 g) lamb bones

2 cups (100 g) chiles guajillo

1 large garlic clove

¼ white onion

1 heirloom avocado leaf

1 tbsp. corn oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

Lamb Barbacoa

½ agave leaf

1 white onion

1 large garlic clove

1 heirloom avocado leaf

1 pound (500 g) boneless milk-fed lamb egg

1 tsp. fleur de sel

4 cups (960 ml) water

1 cup (240 ml) Chile Guajillo Adobo


1 Hass avocado, peeled, halved, and pitted

½ cup (105 g) frozen peas

Thawed leaves from 2 sprigs cilantro

½ chile serrano, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt


4 pea shoots

20 cilantro criollo sprouts

8 cilantro criollo flowers

4 squash blossoms

Suckling lamb


Chile Poblano Tortilla

Place the oil in a small pot and heat to 375 °F (190°C). Fry the chile for 3 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Drain and remove the skin and seeds. Bring 2 cups (about 500 ml) water to a boil in a small pan and add ½ teaspoon salt. Blanch the cilantro, drain, and transfer to an ice bath. Blend the chile, cilantro, and the remaining salt and strain. Mix with the dough and adjust the salt. Divide into 4 (1-ounce/25 g) portions and shape into balls. Using a tortilla press, form into tortillas. Cook on a comal over low heat, turning 3 times, for 35 seconds on each side for a total of 1 minute and 45 seconds.

Chile Guajillo Adobo

Roast the bones on a baking sheet in a 355°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour. Core and seed the chiles and soak in 2 cups (about 500 ml) hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and blend. In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, avocado leaf, and roasted bones in the oil over medium heat. Mix in the guajillo paste and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add for cups (960 ml) water and cook over medium heat. Adjust the salt, strain (sieve) and cool.

Lamb Barbacoa

Toast one side of the leaf directly over a gas burner set to medium heat. Place it in a baking dish and add the onion, garlic, avocado leaf, and lamb. Dissolve the salt in the water and combine with the adobo. Pour the adobo over the lamb and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Roast in a 475°F (250°C/Gas Mark 9) combi oven for 40 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 195°F (90°C/Gas Mark 0), with 65 percent humidity, and roast for 10 hours longer. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Remove any connective tissue from the lamb and return the beat to the Chile Guajillo Adobo. 


Using a blender, combine the avocado with the peas, cilantro, and chile until homogeneous. Adjust the salt. Place in a pastry bag or squeeze bottle and refrigerate.


Arrange 4 tortillas on plates and place the lamb on top. Place 3 large dollops of guacamole in a triangle on each tortilla. Place the shoots, sprouts, and flowers over the lamb. Finish with the squash blossoms.

(* Reprinted with permission from Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera -Phaidon, October 2015-Photo by Araceli Paz)

Dried Daikon Threads, Kiriboshi Daikon, from 'Preserving the Japanese Way' by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

After Sauteed Shishito Peppers with Miso and Ginger, here's a second recipe from  Preserving the Japanese WayTraditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen (Andrews McMeel, August 2015) by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Dried  Daikon Threads, Kiriboshi Daikon

Makes: 3 ounces (85 grams)

1 large daikon (about 1¾ pounds/800 g)


Scrub the daikon with a rough hemp-bristled vegetable brush (tawashi, page XVII). Dry. Lop off the top light green or spongy portion of the daikon. (After the frost, the top exposed portion of the daikon freezes in the night, so it cannot be used.) Using the julienne blade of a mandoline or a Japanese tooth grater (like a Benriner), grate the daikon into thin strips: Grasping the bottom end portion of the daikon in your dominant hand, stroke the daikon across the blade at a slight diagonal until you can no longer take a pass without drawing blood.

Line two (or more) wide-open baskets with butcher paper and dry the threads in the hot sun for as long as it takes (about 1 week, depending on the weather). Store inside the house or garage at night. Junko dries hers initially in a dehydrator until almost dried (for the most part dried, but thicker sections are not quite). She then spreads them under the winter sun for 2 or 3 days (bringing in at night) to infuse the daikon with natural energy from the sun. Bear in mind that unless you use a dehydrator like Junko does, your dried daikon threads will not be quite as stiff as the ones pictured on the opposite page.

Soak dried daikon threads in cold water for about an hour, or warm water for 15 minutes, to reconstitute before using. (Beware: After soaking, the dried daikon will have grown fourfold!) Use in stir-fries such as kimpira: Sauté with julienned carrots in a little oil and dried red chile pepper. Throw in some julienned thin-fried tofu (usuage, page XXIX) if you can find it, and season with soy sauce before serving. Or skip the dried chile pepper but follow the rest of the previous method, and drizzle in some of the soaking liquid or dashi along with a few tablespoons soy sauce. Sprinkle with shaved katsuobushi before serving.

Variation: For wariboshi daikon cut the daikon into 3-inch (8 cm) lengths and shave off ¹⁄5-inch (5-mm) thick slices of daikon with a mandoline or flat cutting blade. Stack about 4 slices at a time and cut those into ¹⁄5-inch (5-mm) wide strips. Dry in the same way as for kiriboshi daikon. The strips should be desiccated, but they will still have a little bend to them. Soak in dashi or with konbu in water for 1 hour before squeezing and pickling in Soy Vinegar (page 150) with a little sugar and torn dried red chile. 

(* Recipe reproduced from Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen by Nancy Singleton Hachisu/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, August 2015)

Eruption of Imagination in 400 Vignettes, Jutaku: Japanese Houses by Naomi Pollock

Compared to many bland and copycat examples of new construction in my area, Jutaku: Japanese Houses (October 12, 2015-Phaidon Press) by Naomi Pollock  is an eruption of imagination in 400 vignettes.

Architects turn space constraints into opportunities to build winnowy homes and narrow buildings as I chose to illustrate today.

Photo of each house is accompanied by Name, Architect, Year, Location (on top) and Number of People it can accommodate plus floor area and site area (below).

First, Lucky Drops (page 215) by Atelier Tekuto (2005) in Setagaya-ku (Tokyo Prefecture)....Atelier Tekuto's offices are located in Shibuya-ku...

Lucky Drops

Accommodates 2...Floor Area: 60.94, Site Area: 58.68 

Second, House in Nada (page 350) by Fujiwaramuro (2012) in Kobe (Hyogo Prefecture)


Accommodates 4, Floor Area: 63.33, Site Area: 36.95 

Book is organized by region, from Hokkaido (top of the map) to Kyushu (bottom of map).

Homes and-in nature are another thread in Jutaku which I will showcase at later date.

Building vignettes for Tokyo Thursdays # 305

(* Excerpted with permission from 'Jutaku: Japanese Houses' by Naomi Pollock- Phaidon Press, October 12, 2015- Images are property of each architect)

Mexican Divorce, Divorced Chilaquiles from 'Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera

A first and playful excerpt from  Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera (Phaidon, $59.95, October 2015) , this first English language cookbook by chef from restaurant Pujol in Mexico City is worth buying just for its appetizing visuals.


Chilaquiles divorciados 

Serves 4 



  • 4 cups (about 1 l) corn oil
  • 12 corn tortillas (page 214), eat cut into 8 triangles

Green Salsa

  • 3 cups (600 g) tomatillos
  • ¼ white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 chiles Serrano
  • 2 sprigs cilantro (coriander)
  • 2 sprigs epazote
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water

Red Salsa

  • 12 plum tomatoes
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 chiles Serrano
  • 2 sprigs epazote
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water 

Pulled Chicken

  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 

Fried Eggs

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • 1 cup (5 ounces/140 g) grated panela cheese
  • ½ cup (120 ml) crema de rancho
  • ¼ white onion, julienn
  • ¼ red onion, julienned




In a pot, heat the oil to 355°F (180°C). Add the totopos and cook until browned. Drain on paper towels. 

Green Salsa 

Place all the ingredients in a pan and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Blend and adjust the salt.

Red Salsa 

Place all the ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Blend and adjust the salt. 

Pulled Chicken 

Place all the ingredients in a pot; add 2 cups (about 500 ml) water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth, cool slightly, and shred it with your hands. 

Fried Eggs

Heat the oil in a large pan over low heat. Crack the eggs, one by one, into the oil. When the egg whites begin to turn opaque, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with the salt. 


Divide the chips among 4 bowls. Cover half of them with the green salsa and the other half with the red salsa. Top with the chicken and the fried eggs and finish with the cheese, crema de rancho, and onions. 

(* Recipe excerpted with permission from 'Mexico from the Inside Out -Phaidon Press, October 2015- by Chef Enrique Olvera...Photo by Araceli Paz))