"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"

Show 743

The Mexican Cultural Institute
of Washington, D.C.

Patricia Jinich - Mexican Cooking Instructor

 Corn Torte
(Serves 12-15)

This corn torte is a truly versatile dish. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It is delicious served warm and moist out of the oven accompanying chicken or
meat.  In Mexico it is popularly eaten topped with creamed poblano pepper
rajas or strips, which is what we are doing today. For a completely different
twist, and if you have any leftovers, sprinkle it with confectioners sugar to
accompany coffee or tea the next morning.  That is such a wonderful treat!

1)   1 tbs. Unsalted Butter
2)   2 tbs. Bread Crumbs
3)   ½ lb. Unsalted Butter at room temperature
4)   ¾ cup of Sugar
5)   8 Eggs at room temperature - separated
6)   4 cups Corn Kernels - fresh or thawed from frozen
7)   1 cup Milk
8)   ½ cup Heavy Cream
9)   8 tbs. Rice Flour
10) 4 tbs. All Purpose Flour
11) 1 tbs. Baking Powder
12) 1 tsp. Kosher or Sea Salt

1)   Place rack in the middle of oven and heat to 360°.
2)   Butter a 10 x 4 inch tube pan or a 13 x 9 rectangular pan with a tablespoon
       of butter and coat it lightly with 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs.
3)   Beat the ½ pound butter with sugar until creamy. Slowly add 8 egg yolks,
       one by one, until well incorporated. Add cream, all purpose flour, rice flour
       and baking powder and keep o beating until it is all incorporated and fluffy.
4)   In a blender process the milk with the corn kernels until desired consistency
       (I like it chunky and with texture) and incorporate into butter mix. Place mix
       in a big mixing bowl.
5)   Separately, beat the egg whites with salt until stiff peaks are formed but arenít
       dry. Add 1/5 of the egg whites to the butter/corn mix and blend carefully.
       Slowly blend the rest until just mixed. Pour onto the buttered pan and place
       in the oven.
6)   Bake until itís springy to the touch and has a nice brown tan, about 50 to 55
       minutes. Once the torte cools a little, you can run the tip of a knife along the
       edges and turn it onto a plate.  It can be served, warm, at room temperature
       or cold. It can be kept outside and covered for that day, or up to a week in
       the refrigerator.

Creamed Poblano Pepper Strips
(Serves 10-12)

Rajas con crema are delicious served with the corn torte. They are also a common and very well liked accompaniment for white rice or mixed with diced and cooked potatoes. They are
also a regular filling for tacos and spectacular with quesadillas.

1)   3 tbs. Butter
2)   1 ½ cups slivered White Onion
3)   10 Poblano Peppers - prepared for rajas or strips (see below for cooking technique)
4)   1 ½ cups of Mexican or Latin style Crema Fresca (can substitute with Heavy Cream)
5)   1 tsp. Kosher Salt or to taste
6)   ¼ tsp. Black Pepper or to taste
7)   ½ cup Queso Fresco (can substitute with Farmers Basket, or Ricotta Cheese)

1)   Heat butter in a pan. Sweat slivered onion over low heat for about 10 minutes,
       until translucent and soft. Increase heat to medium high, add chile poblano
       prepared rajas or strips (see below), salt and black pepper and cook for about
       2 minutes.
2)   Stir in the fresh cream and the cheese and continue cooking, stirring from time
       to time, until the sauce thickens and seasons, for about 6 to 8 more minutes.
3)   Serve hot.

Preparing the Chile Poblano for Rajas or Strips
People tend to be intimidated by the process of preparing chile poblanos for stuffing or rajas. But once familiarized with the process, after making it once or twice, it becomes a rather simple task. Moreover, you can make more than you need and freeze them in a tight container or sealed plastic bag for up to 6 months.  They will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days as well.

The Preparation
Charing them...the 3 options
       1)   Place chiles on a tray and under the broiler. Turn every 2 to 3 minutes for a
              total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem wrinkled, charred and blistered but
              not burnt.
       2)   Place them directly on the grill. Turn every 2 to 3 minutes, and do same as
              method 1.
       3)   Place directly on an open flame of gas stove and turn every 1 to 2 minutes,
              do same as method 1.
Peeling and Cleaning them...the 3 steps
       1)   Once charred, and still very hot, place them in a plastic bag. Close bag tightly
              and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. This will allow their skin to come off
       2)   Once they sweated, take them out one by one and peel of the skin in the sink.
              As you do so, lightly rinse each chile with water. With a knife make a slit down
              one side to take out and discard the seeds. Up to this point, they can be used
              for chile rellenos. To make rajas, cut top stem off and slice them into strips of
              about ½ inches wide.
       3)   If you donít want the rajas to be spicy, soak them in hot salted water (about a
              tablespoon of salt will do) for 10 to 20 minutes and drain.

Hibiscus Flower (Jamaica) Water
(Makes about 5 cups Concentrate)

In Mexico it is customary to drink freshly flavored waters. Jamaica is one of the preferred ingredients. A bit sour, a bit sweet and immensely refreshing, it is a great complement to the typically rich Mexican meals. Furthermore, Jamaica is filled with Vitamin C and is a well-known diuretic. And once you make the concentrate, you can also use it to prepare hot tea and for an exotic and delicious vinaigrette.

1)   8 cups Water
2)   2 cups or 6 oz. dried Jamaica Flowers
3)   1 cup Sugar, or to taste
4)   2 tbs. fresh Limejuice
5)   Water, Ice cubes

1)   In a saucepan bring 8 cups water to a boil. Incorporate flowers and simmer over
       medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture cool down a
       bit. Strain into a large container and add the sugar and limejuice. Stir until
2)   Dilute each cup of concentrate with about 4 cups water and add ice cubes to
       your liking. You may keep the concentrate covered and refrigerated for months.

In the Studio Kitchen with Lindsey
Gustin and Patricia Jinich

Good Eating!!!