FRONTERA NOW/

“Smiles, Delicious Food” and Mole: It’s November at Frontera

It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it? Let’s all take a brief pause and think about what brings us joy. Here at Frontera, that means looking out toward our local farms, toward Mexico,  and doing our very best to bring the two together. We think we’ve done just that on our latest menu. Everything on […]

FRONTERA NOW/

13 Guacamoles That Don’t Involve Peas

Frontera has been bombarded with inquiries in the wake of peagate. What’s #peagate? Referencing a recipe adapted from New York City’s ABC Cocina restaurant, the New York Times tweeted out a link imploring cooks to add peas to guacamole, appending a supremely confident “trust us” to its message. Add green peas to your guacamole. Trust us. […]

RESTAURANTS/

A Fiesta of Fall Favorites: Frontera’s Seasonal Menu

As we turn our collective attention to falling leaves and shorter days, the Frontera chefs are, once again, taking the very best of the season and making Mexican magic. Consider the abundance of autumn on our latest seasonal menu. Cortland apples in our guacamole. Pumpkin puree mixed right into masa for the ricotta tamal. The […]

Lookbook/

A Frontera Holiday Feast

Christmastime in Chicago is downright magical, what with the snow falling gently onto the glowing city streets. Step inside Frontera this month and there’s a different sort of magic, one that evokes the spirit of the Mexican Christmas. It’s warm in here. Festive. And the food? Well, the new menu is all sorts of amazing. “We […]

Mexican Weekend/

A weekend mole that doesn’t take all weekend

  Moles are not everyday sauces. Truthfully, they’re not even every week sauces. In Mexico, moles are usually reserved for big parties and other special occasions, because, well, people have to work, you know? Capitalism doesn’t run on people sitting around and toasting chiles all day. And yet for every rule, there is an exception, and that’s […]

RESTAURANTS/

Announcing: Catering by Fonda Frontera!

Fonda Frontera, our outpost in Wicker Park, has launched its BRAND NEW catering service, which is basically the best of its menu, delivered to your home, office or wherever else you want soul-satisfying Mexican food. A few of the highlights: • TACO BAR! With oven-braised or wood-grilled meats and fresh handmade corn tortillas. Think classics […]

Apple-Fennel Guacamole

This is the kind of guacamole to put on a dressed-up table with lots of fresh vegetables for dipping, maybe some garlic toasts or grilled pita, even some rustic tortilla chips. That said, my favorite way to serve it is as a condiment with grilled chicken or fish on an Indian summer afternoon sitting in my backyard. Which happens far too infrequently. This recipe is from my book Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks.
Mexican Weekend/

Are You Ready For Some Football!?

It’s almost time for the big game and that means parties.  And is any party complete without some great snack?  Without a great guacamole?  For our party we’re cooking some pretty amazing, spicy red chile chicken wings and an epic guacamole with roasted tomatillo, grilled green onions, and smoky bacon.  What else do you need? Well, besides […]

Salsas & Sauces/

Brothy Oaxacan Yellow Mole

Yellow mole is often served with chicken, chayote, potatoes and green beans.  It is also delicious with grilled fish and mussels.

From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time

Makes one quart of mole

 

FRONTERA NOW/

Chef Richard James Walks You Through Frontera’s Latest Menu

Getting a glimpse into the mind of a chef is always a treat. Earlier this week we caught up with Richard James, Chef de Cuisine at Frontera Grill, immediately after a staff tasting of his newest additions to Frontera’s May menu, which he said celebrates the arrival of springtime, highlights new seasonal dishes and resurrects an […]

Classes

Introducing a brand new way to learn about the amazing flavors of Mexico: My brand new cooking class on Craftsy. These video lessons will step you through the essentials of the Mexican kitchen. But these are more than one-way lessons — enroll below and you'll have a direct pipeline to Frontera, where I'll answer your [...]
Entrees/

Classic Red Mole

Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
SHOPPING/

Cookbooks by Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless has been acclaimed widely as America’s foremost proponent of Mexico’s thrillingly diverse cuisine. In his eight cookbooks, he focuses on classic Mexican dishes, delving into their traditional foundations, cooking methods and cultural backgrounds. (New!) More Mexican Everyday Simple, Seasonal, Celebratory  By Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless and David Tamarkin (W.W. Norton & [...]

Cruz Blanca Brewery & Taquería

CRUZ BLANCA BREWERY & TAQUERÍA | 904 WEST RANDOLPH ST | CHICAGO | 312-733-1975 LOCATION AND HOURS ADDRESS: 904 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60607-2208 HOURS: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. HAPPY HOUR: Sunday Funday: Half-priced draft beers all day Taco Tuesday: Chorizo-Potato Tacos, $2/each 4:00-6:00 p.m. Wednesday-Friday:  $3 [...]
Lookbook/

Duck with salsa macha and PB&J Tres Leches: It’s Frontera in November

Frontera’s menus always beckon with Mexico’s most alluring flavors. But this month, we went over the top. Check out that duck bathed in a nutty, spicy, sweet salsa macha. Check out that striped bass, which has been marinated in jalapeño and paired with mole almendrado. And have you noted the seasonal guacamole? Toasted pecans. Morita chiles. Grilled […]

SHOPPING/

DVD Collections

Mexico–One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless, brings to life the foods, the flavors, the stories and the fun of Mexico to create a whole new kind of cooking show that mirrors the thrilling diversity and depth of Mexico. Each DVD includes a selection of the best episodes from that season. NEW! Mexico-One Plate [...]
Mexican Weekend/

Ease into Summer with an Approachable, Adaptable Yellow Mole

We all know that making mole can be an all-day (or even all-weekend) affair. This isn’t that mole.  No, this Oaxacan yellow mole is the everyday sort, one that can be served with a lot of stuff—I’m thinking vegetables or chicken—you may already have in your pantry and fridge. What’s more, it’s infinitely adaptable. For example, I’ve swapped out the traditional hoja […]

FRONTERA NOW/

Experience “Frontera Perfection”

Literally hundreds of dishes have been introduced in our kitchen since 1987. We can’t keep them all of course, but what we can do is pick the best of the bunch. That’s exactly what Frontera’s latest menu is, a roundup of sorts showcasing the very best versions of iconic dishes we’ve served over the years. […]

Fonda Frontera

FONDA FRONTERA | 1471 NORTH MILWAUKEE AVE | CHICAGO | (872) 829-3821 ABOUT FONDA FRONTERA Mexico City-style neighborhood restaurant Like the fondas in Mexico City — those homey places serving classic, local food — ours is warm and comfortable, and embodies the essence of Frontera: Mexican spirit, local heart. Our goal is to make Fonda Frontera [...]

Frontera Fresco

MACY’S SEVEN ON STATE | MACY’S OLD ORCHARD | NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, NORRIS UNIVERSITY CENTER LOCATION AND HOURS Macy’s Seven on State 111 North State Street Chicago, IL 60602 Hours: Monday-Saturday 11AM-3PM Macy’s Old Orchard 4909 Old Orchard Shopping Center Skokie, IL 60077 Hours: Monday-Friday 11AM-8PM Sundays 11AM-6PM Northwestern University Norris University Center 1999 Campus Drive [...]
RESTAURANTS/

Frontera’s Late Summer Menu is Full of Seasonal Surprises

Like so many of Frontera’s guests over the years, let’s start with the guacamole. Specifically, let’s talk about our “summer guacamole,” topped with a spectacular array of additions from local farms: cubes of compressed (that’s super-flavorful) watermelon, crisp cucumber, cooling mint and floral habanero chile. It’s a dish that’s indicative of the late summer harvest […]

Lookbook/

Frontera’s late-March menu is all about spring…almost.

Tlacoyos

What can we say? We’re realists here at Frontera. So when it came time to name our new beet-carrot-pea shoots salad, we didn’t call it our “Spring Salad”—we called it our “Almost Spring Salad.” Because, trust us, we’ve lived in this city for a long time—the snow could come back at any second. Elsewhere on […]

Lookbook/

Frontera’s New Dishes: A Trip to Oaxaca

The latest additions to Frontera’s latest menu are all about Oaxacan flavors. And yes, that means the complex, mouthwatering moles that characterize the Mexico’s South Central region. More on those in a bit. But Oaxaca flavor also means greens—tomatillo, serrano chile, nopales, knob onions—and the tantalizing smoky goodness derived from open-air grilling. Consider our green […]

FRONTERA NOW/

Frontera’s New Menu: Mexico City Inspiration

“After suffering the doldrums of the Chicago winter, we finally have something green coming out of the ground,” said Chef de Cuisine Richard James, admiring the garlicky goodness of the new grilled chicken in local ramp mojo dish before him. “We usually get really excited around here when ramps are available.” And how. It’s not […]

FRONTERA NOW/

Frontera’s New Seasonal Menu is a Tribute to Josefina Velázquez de León

Josefina Velázquez de León is an incredibly important name in the history of Mexican food. Sadly, most people don’t know who she is. This month, Frontera Grill is proud to bring you a seasonal menu inspired by this influential author’s many contributions to Mexico’s rich culinary heritage. Our chefs have pored over our collection of […]

RESTAURANTS/

Frontera’s New Seasonal Menu is Mexican Magic

Seasonal summer touches are all over the new seasonal menu at Frontera Grill, and so is the Mexican inspiration. There they are in our new guacamole, packed with juicy strawberries and tropical, floral  habanero chiles; and again in the charred green tomatillo “milpero” salsa that tops our Garbanzo Bean Tlacoyos, a common snack in the […]

RESTAURANTS/

Frontera’s Summer Menu is a Family Affair

The dishes on Frontera’s latest seasonal summer menu have migrated from The Library (our private dining room) into the main dining room, but you might say they really originated in Veracruz. “A lot of these dishes are inspired by my family in Veracruz…this menu is a chance to showcase these dishes to a wider audience,” […]

News!/

Frontera-on-the-Fly: A new lunch option at the bar

  If you’ve been to lunch at Frontera lately you’ve probably seen a number of four- and six-tops, groups of people (probably co-workers) drinking margaritas like they’re going out of style (note: they’re not) and in general having a really, really good time—so good that you might wonder how productive they’ll be at work the […]

Appetizers & Snacks/

Grilled Garlic and Orange Guacamole

Recipe from Season 6, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Entrees/

Grilled Shrimp with Mole Amarillo

I was finally able to locate a source for hoja santa plants which lead me to share this recipe for Mole Amarillo.  This is a classic mole that pairs well with shellfish. Plus, as soon as I no longer have to worry about frostbite, I'm ready to start using the grill.  If you use flat skewers instead of round ones for grilling the shrimp, they won't spin around when you flip them.

Two sources for purchasing hoja santa plants are: Almost Eden and Companion Plants.


Appetizers & Snacks/

Guacamole with Bacon, Grilled Ramps (or Green Onions) and Roasted Tomatillo

Ramps are only available in the spring and only in certain parts of the United States; if yours is the area, you’ll probably only find them at farmer’s markets or specialty shops. Garlic chives (they look like chives but are flat, with a definite garlic aroma) are typically in abundance in Asian markets; they’re perennial and easy to grow, which is what I do. I love them sautéed or grilled for their sweet, green garlicky flavor. Green onions are easy to find everywhere, every day. Ideas for serving: When I’ve got my grill going, I like to make my almost-Oaxacan-tlayudas: I spread out commercially made tortillas (I buy them from a local tortillería and let them cool off completely) into a single layer, brush both sides of each tortilla lightly but thoroughly with oil, then grill them until they’re crisp. When they cool, I break them into big rustic pieces for dipping. Wedges of grilled pita make a delicious and unexpected vehicle for dipping this guacamole. For a pass-around appetizer, slices of crispy grilled baguette topped with a dollop of bacony guacamole are always a hit.
FRONTERA NOW/

Huge News! You Can Take Rick’s Cooking Classes on Craftsy

Rick has teamed up with our friends at Craftsy to bring you unprecedented access to the Frontera kitchen. Launched today, the “Essentials of Mexican Cooking” series contains five streaming video lessons presented in glorious high definition. Access them anytime and anywhere. Rick will step you through 15 recipes, including handmade tortillas, rustic salsas, taco fillings, […]

Taco Tuesday/

Indulgent Weeknight Perfection: Pork Belly Tacos with Apple Guacamole

Score one for efficiencies in the modern food system. Luxurious pork belly is no longer relegated to butcher shops and restaurant kitchens. Well-stocked grocery stores are now carrying cooked pork belly (I buy it regularly at Trader Joe’s), allowing home cooks to skip a whole mess of steps and get right to the cooking. That […]

News!/

It’s #GivingTuesday, and we want to give you a book.

It’s #GivingTuesday, a day of charitable contributions, and here at Frontera, that means one thing: It’s a great day to give to the Frontera Farmer Foundation, our non-profit that awards grants to small, Midwestern farmers. But since this is a day about giving, we thought we’d do some giving, too. So: Donate $100 or more […]

FRONTERA NOW/

James Beard Awards: A Weekend Full of Fiestas

Next week, The James Beard Foundation Awards are coming to Chicago for the first time ever. We’re looking forward to a few whirlwind days of top-flight food, good company and high hopes as the Foundation bestows its annual awards to the world’s best chefs and restaurants, including our very own Topolobampo, which is up for an Outstanding […]

Mexican Weekend/

Later, Caesar. Try this Grilled Chicken Salad Instead

Spring’s glorious arrival means it is finally time to step outside and start grilling. There’s no better way to kick off the season than with this hearty grilled chicken salad, made complete with a rustic guacamole mixed with grilled onions and the same garlic dressing you’ll toss with the salad. It’s a dish that’s sure […]

Lookbook/

Let Topolo Take You to Another Oaxaca

Oaxaca is legendary among Mexico’s regional cuisine. It is, of course, the land of the SEVEN MOLES! But it’s a whole lot more. And that’s where Topolo’s latest menu will take you. First we head to to the beach for oysters and a little mezcal. Then we’re off to the infamous, smoke-filled “taco corridor” in downtown Oaxaca […]

Mexican Weekend/

Let’s Beat Winter Together With This Red Chile Short Rib Soup

First, know that this “soup pot mole,” as the name translates directly from Spanish, isn’t an all-day affair like other moles. Instead, it’s a brothy soup—not a sauce—that can be finished in your slow cooker (or oven) in a matter of hours. Still, like Mexico’s most famous moles, this soup celebrates the deep flavors of […]

Mexican Weekend/

Let’s Talk About Avocado Mayo, Bacon and Heirloom Tomatoes on Grilled Tostadas

Sadly, finding a good Oaxacan tlayuda — that smoky, rustic treat of crispy tortilla topped with salsa, brothy bean mash and chorizo (or pork cecina or beef tasajo) — isn’t an easy an option for most of us here in the U.S. We simply don’t have the crop of Mexican corn to create the unique size and texture for the […]

ModMex/

Liveblogging ModMex 2014

9:35am Good morning from Kendall College, where the second annual ModMex conference has just kicked off with coffee, granola—and a passion fruit-tequila-chamomile cocktail. We’ve got some amazing chefs who have flown in from New York and Mexico City for this event (and a few that have walked over from Chicago’s Randolph Street), and together with Rick […]

Appetizers & Snacks/

Luxury Guacamole Bar

Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Appetizers & Snacks/

Mango Guacamole

Recipe from Season 6, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Lookbook/

Mango guacamole and oyster mushroom tamals—it’s Frontera’s new spring menu!

Mangos show up a couple times in Frontera’s spring menu: There’s mango in the guacamole (don’t dismiss the power of fruit in guacamole, people) and mango sorbet in the sopa de frutas. But mangos aren’t the only signs of spring: We’ve got fiddlehead ferns in our chicken fideos, shrimp in a herb-packed adobo and carrots in […]

Topolo/

Mexico City, 1671: Our new “collision course” menu

It seems like just last week that we were still immersed in Mexico City, 1491. Actually,  it was just last week. But as of Tuesday night, we’ve jumped ahead 200 years to our new menu: Mexico City, 1671. Turns out a lot can change in 200 years. By the 1670s, the indigenous culture that we […]

TV Season 11: Yucatán: A Different Mexico/

Mexico-One Plate at a Time, Season 11

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TV Season 1: The Whole Enchilada/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 1

SEASON 1: THE WHOLE ENCHILADA! Highlights from our inaugural season include: Ceviche in the Limelight - Ceviche, traditional Mexican lime-marinated seafood with green chiles and tomato:  it's so ancient, so simple. Holy Mole - Rich, complex and shrouded in mystery,  red mole is widely regarded as the crowning  achievement of Mexican cooking.           [...]
TV Season 10: Chef to Chef/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 10

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TV Season 2: Keeping the Flame/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 2

SEASON 2: KEEPING THE FLAME Highlights from this season include: Fish a la Veracruzana - Rick takes us to the Gulf Coast port of Veracruz, "The Mexican Mediterranean," for a look at the city's most famous contribution. Mojo and Escabeche - Mexican mainstays since the arrival of the Spanish: Slow-cooked garlic with smoky chipotles to spoon [...]
TV Season 3: Tropical Cool/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 3

SEASON 3: TROPICAL COOL Highlights from this season include: Antojito Jones - Searching from jungle to big city markets for classic Mexican snacks like Carne Asada Tacos, Crispy Sopes, and Blue Corn Quesadillas. Chorizo Hunter - "The Bacon of Mexico," this famous Mexican sausage is not as complicated as you might think.  Rick makes Chorizo-stuffed Ancho-Chiles. [...]
TV Season 4: Fusion Revolution/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 4

SEASON 4: FUSION REVOLUTION Highlights from this season include: Super-Hero Sandwich - Join Rick on a hunt for the perfect snacks as he visits Mexico City street stalls selling everything from tacos and snacks to colorful wrestling masks and capes.  Along the way, we discover the history of this uniquely Mexican blend of acrobatics, myth and [...]
TV Season 6: Fiesta at Rick's/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 6

SEASON 6: FIESTA AT RICKS! Yucatan is the home of habanero—arguably the hottest chile in the world—and the subject of chiles is the focus of one episode.  But Rick catches everyone off guard when he points out that the food of the Yucatan is not hot (the dishes are cooked with mild chiles or a [...]
TV Season 7: Mexico City Live/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 7

SEASON 7: MEXICO CITY LIVE! For six seasons, the critically acclaimed series Mexico – One Plate at a Time has brought to life the foods, the flavors, the stories and the fun of Mexico for public television viewers. In each episode, beloved chef, restaurateur, author, teacher and culinary adventurer, Rick Bayless, effortlessly tosses together cooking demonstrations, cultural musings, [...]
TV Season 8: Astonishing Baja/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 8

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TV Season 9: Only in Oaxaca/

Mexico–One Plate at a Time, Season 9

The once unknown state of Oaxaca, Mexico’s fifth largest, is now on the knowing traveler’s hit list. Its capital is one of Mexico’s most enjoyable colonial cities. By day, people relax at plaza-front sidewalk cafes beneath shady arches and take in the slow-motion scene, reflecting the best of old Mexico. By night, the same plaza [...]
Appetizers & Snacks/

Mojo Guacamole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I'm forever trying to come up with recipes that use the garlic mojo I always have in my refrigerator and hit upon the idea of using it to flavor guacamole.  I added sun-dried tomatoes, which are a staple in my pantry, jicama for a crunchy element, and chipotles for heat.  The result is a guacamole that you'll have to pry yourself away from and that's what happened when I tested it here!

Appetizers & Snacks/

Mole Coloradito Enchiladas

From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time
FRONTERA NOW/

Mother’s Day at Fonda Frontera: We’re Cooking Moms’ Recipes

We’ve always been inspired by the mothers of the traditional Mexican kitchen. In fact, Fonda Frontera owes its names to the fondas of Mexico City, those rustic and family-friendly neighborhood restaurants often helmed by a family’s matriarch. As the Mother’s Day holiday draws closer, Fonda Frontera, 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, will celebrate by featuring […]

Chef's Travels/

My Very Idiosyncratic Guide to Some Near-Downtown Mexico City Food-Lovers’ Favorites

Tepito (Sunday Morning only) One of my favorite places, but one I recommend to folks who are adventurers and who are looking for a glimpse into Mexico City’s past. Lots of antiques, relics and paraphernalia.  Adjacent to a large, working class Sunday market with clothing, cds, household goods, etc. Have the taxi driver take you […]

FRONTERA NOW/

Prepare Your Next Fiesta with Rick Bayless Cookware

A lot of you have asked me for years about where you can get a great comal (flat griddle) or a really useable molcajetes (mortar) or the right pot to cook mole in or steam tamales. Today, I have your answer … and getting it into your kitchen is just a click away. Today, I get to tell you about […]

RESTAURANTS/

Private Dining & Catering

There are three options for private dining at Frontera and Topolobampo: The intimate Library Room (for a candlelit Topolo experience), the festive Morales Room (for a lively Frontera experience) and, finally, your  room—or whatever room it is you'd like us to set up our catering operation. For more information and reservations, contact Dana Armon at darmon@fronteragrill.net or 312.334.3662.  [...]
Mexico–One Plate at a Time/

Quail in Red Peanut Mole

Season 10, Mexico: One Plate at a Time
FRONTERA NOW/

Rare Mezcal Tasting in The Library at Topolobampo

Update: The event is sold out. Thanks for your interest. We hope to do it again soon. Any trip to Oaxaca isn’t complete without visiting Mezcaloteca, the revered historians and purveyors of fine mezcal. Intimate and private, Mezcaloteca is the perfect backdrop to learn about the robust history of this dignified spirit. On March 21, […]

TV & BOOKS/

Rick on the Road

Let’s get this show on the road. Chef Rick Bayless will soon be traveling across the country signing copies of his newest cookbook, “More Mexican Everyday: Simple, Seasonal, Celebratory.” Filled with dozens of full-color recipes and expert guidance from Rick, the book helps home cooks step up their game. Inside, you’ll find time-saving tips, slow […]

FRONTERA NOW/

Rick’s Holiday Cookbook Gift Guide

Searching for recipes online is great — we have thousands for you to browse — but there's just nothing like the feeling of propping open a real ink-and-paper cookbook, getting down to business and staining the pages as you work through your favorite recipes. And there's nothing like giving or receiving a present. To that end, [...]
ABOUT RICK BAYLESS/

Rick’s Travel Guides

If you follow Rick on Twitter, you know that he's always moving. He's in Mexico several times a year, of course, but he's also everywhere else: Tokyo, Paris, Istanbul, New York. He returns from these trips full of stories (and Instagram pics); find them below, and use them for inspiration for your next trip. Lima, [...]
Appetizers & Snacks/

Roasted Corn, Garlic and Poblano Guacamole

 During this time of year, I'm always looking for new guacamoles that don't rely on summer produce. Last month Topolo was serving a similiar guacamole that used freeze-dried corn. I used that guacamole as a jumping off point for my version and substituted frozen corn for the freeze-dried. Roasting the corn in the oven enhanced both the flavor and the texture.

During the holiday season, it's always nice to have an easy appetizer in your back pocket, one that you can whip up using pantry items. So whether you're entertaining at home or looking for a dish to bring to a holiday party, consider this easy, tasty guac recipe.

Mexico–One Plate at a Time/

Season 10 Recipes: Chef to Chef

Contramar Tostadas Whole Grilled Fish with Green and Red Adobos Rice Costrada Pork with Roasted Tomatillos, Poblanos, and Potatoes Chayote Salad with Tomato and Roasted Garlic Dressing Greens and Beans Tacos with Red Chile and Fresh Cheese Summer Squash Tacos with Garlic Mojo and Güero Chile Tacos of Creamy Roasted Poblano, Corn and Zucchini Shrimp [...]
Appetizers & Snacks/

Simple Guacamole

Recipe from Season 3, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Entrees/

Simple Red Mole with Meat and Fowl

From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time
Taco Tuesday/

Slow-Cooker Carnitas for Cinco De Mayo

Seems everyone’s always asking what dishes to make for holidays and special occasions. Though it’s close to impossible to narrow it to a manageable list, I can say with certainty that this week’s Taco Tuesday recipe for slow cooker pork carnitas is perfect for any big celebration, including that big Cinco de Mayo fiesta you’re […]

Appetizers & Snacks/

Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole

Recipe from Season 6, Mexico–One Plate at a Time
Entrees/

Susana’s Black Mole

This recipe is adapted from My Search for the Seventh Mole by Susana Trilling.

From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time

Appetizers & Snacks/

Tangy Green Guacamole

The avocados for this lusciously thick, tangy and satisfying variation on the old standard should be soft enough to give under firm pressure, but not be so soft (over-ripe) that they are easily dented or have a loose pit shaking around in them. The roasty flavors of the tomatillos, garlic and onions are the perfect way to underscore the naturally nutty flavors of avocados—especially Hass avocados, the pebbly dark-skin ones. Though this guacamole improves if made an hour or so ahead, it stays looking fresh and green for slightly longer than traditional guacamole (the acidity of the tomatillos helps here), but don't make it more than 3 or 4 hours in advance.

Recipe from "Salsas That Cook"
Mexican Weekend/

The Pork Carnitas Recipe You’ll Treasure Forever

When it comes to carnitas, let’s assume you don’t have the time or energy to heat a huge cauldron of pork lard and cook a cut-up pig. Instead, you might head to a restaurant that’s known for carnitas and buy some to bring home. But this near-effortless version of the classic Mexican preparation allows you to […]

Kind Words/

The Reader’s Readers Pick Rick

We’re on the Chicago Reader’s radar. The venerable alt-weekly just published its annual “Best of Chicago” issue and our very own Rick Bayless topped the readers’ poll for Best Chef. Check it out here. Thanks, readers! The whole “Best of Food and Drink” is worth a read, as it highlights some of the coolest, undiscovered, offbeat and/or important […]

Fiestas/

The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Party Planner

Real talk about Cinco de Mayo: This year, it’s on a Monday. Which means that, really, you’ll probably celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Cuatro de Mayo, or Tres de Mayo. No problem. The day you celebrate Cinco de Mayo is not important; it’s what you cook that matters. On that front, we have some ideas: Our […]

Mexican Weekend/

This apple guacamole is full of fall

If you’ve ever gone apple picking, you know how it feels to come home with bushels upon bushels of apples, only to wonder: What am I going to do with all of these? After all, a person can only make so many apple pies. That’s where this Apple-Fennel Guacamole comes in. It’s a modern guac packed with […]

Mexican Weekend/

This is Not an All-Day Mole (Seriously)

OK, so you probably know that moles are the famous, time-consuming, special-occasion dishes that Mexicans make from a huge grocery list of ingredients. But this mole—one of the classic seven moles of Oaxaca—is the everyday mole, put together in a matter of minutes. It offers a satisfying, spice-and-herb—tinged yellow-orange sauce to buoy pieces of tender chicken and fresh vegetables. So what’s the […]

Appetizers & Snacks/

Toasted Pumpkinseed Guacamole

Recipe from Season 6, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Appetizers & Snacks/

Tomatillo Guacamole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Red Onion

Everyone loves a new guacamole recipe, especially one that doesn’t rely on tomatoes when they’re out of season.  Roasting all the vegetables is the secret to adding incredible depth of flavor to this guac.  In addition, if you can find them, it’s well worth the effort to use smoked sun-dried tomatoes.  
News!/

Topolo in 60: A three-course lunch in under an hour

Enfrijoladas

Life isn’t always as luxurious as you want it to be. Take your daily commute, for example. Chances are you got to work this morning via a car or train. A yacht would have been a more pleasant way to start your day, but there’s that whole time/money/body of water issue. Lunch at Topolobampo used […]

Lookbook/

Topolo unveils Mexico City, 1941

The newest Perfect 7 menu at Topolobampo is the latest to reach into the past for inspiration. But this time, it’s a shorter trip. Instead of reaching to, say, Mexico City circa 1671, we head to Mexico City, 1941. Here you’ll find a lot of dishes that are now classics— fideos, mole de olla, pan de […]

FRONTERA NOW/

Topolo’s “Oaxaca” Menu: A Trip to Our Spiritual Home

An introduction to Topolobampo’s latest seven-course “story menu,” a culinary homage to Oaxaca. Download the menu here.  Oaxaca always sighs deeply, exhaling a unique scent of sweetness and earth, of sweat and deep-rooted contentment, of smoke and elegant, daring spice. Oaxaca’s aroma is singular. And seductive. At least I’ve found it so, ever since my […]

Kind Words/

Topolobampo receives four stars from the Chicago Tribune!

Back in February, the Chicago Tribune’s restaurant critic, Phil Vettel, stopped by Topolobampo to try our Mexico City, 1491 menu. He called it “astonishing,” and we were stoked. Nobody expected he would keep on coming back to Topolo in the weeks following that piece, but apparently he did, and today he’s out with a new […]

Tortas Frontera

O’HARE: T1/B11, T3/K4, T5/M12  | THE ARCH CAFE @ PENN UNIVERSITY LOCATION AND HOURS Tortas Frontera at O'Hare Airport Terminal 1, B11 Monday–Sunday, 5:30am–9pm Terminal 3, K4 Monday–Sunday, 5:30am–9pm Terminal 5, M12 Monday–Sunday, 10am–9pm Tortas Frontera at The Arch The University of Pennsylvania 3601 Locust Walk, Philadelphia PA 19104 Hours Sunday, 11am-10pm Monday-Thursday, 11am-10pm Friday, 11am-8pm Saturday, [...]
Lookbook/

Wild mushroom turnovers and smoked pork enchiladas—it’s Frontera’s October offerings!

October sneaked up on us and now there’s no denying it: Fall is here, with all the amazing foods that come with it. Check out the roasted butternut mash on that plate with the pork in tomamole. And look at the threads of Swiss chard running through those tamales. The wild mushrooms stuffed inside those crispy […]

Xoco

XOCO (RIVER NORTH)  |  449 NORTH CLARK STREET   |  CHICAGO LOCATION AND HOURS XOCO ADDRESS: 449 North Clark Street (enter on Illinois) Chicago, IL 60654 HOURS:  Tuesday–Thursday 8:00am-9:00pm Friday & Saturday 8:00am-10:00pm Closed Sunday & Monday Xoco does not accept reservations. MENUS [+] CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW CURRENT MENU GALLERY Download menu in PDF [...]
Uncategorized/

XOCO is Celebrating the Height of the Summer Season!

This time of year, deliveries into XOCO from local farmers simply drive our chefs wild. Seriously, the look on their faces is amazing. Even better is what they do with all of those beautiful, fresh-from-the-farm fruit and vegetables. And therein lies the inspiration for our latest seasonal menu celebrating the height of the growing season. […]

FRONTERA NOW/

XOCO is Changing the Catering Game

While we are huge proponents of home cooking — I mean, we have a vast collection of at-home Mexican recipes right here — we know that it’s sometimes too much to take on for a party, what with all that planning and preparing. (That’s to say nothing of the actual cooking and serving.) We also […]

RESTAURANTS/

XOCO is Full of Homey Holiday Happenings

It’s downright magical in Chicago. A chill has moved into the air as the city’s holiday lights begin to twinkle. And while our minds are focused squarely on the holiday season, we still gotta eat. Here at XOCO we are (literally) ready to deliver you our latest seasonal menu, one that features a wonderful array of […]

FRONTERA NOW/

XOCO’s Seasonal Menu “Memories of Mexico”

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. — Elizabeth Lawrence This month’s Xoco menu was inspired by Chef Julio’s childhood memories of his mother’s kitchen in Mexico. The Red Chile Pork Loin torta is inspired by the meal […]

Lookbook/

XOCO: Hot Days, Cool Nights

Tomato plants have reached their full height on the Xoco rooftop garden which means September has arrived!  For Xoco’s new seasonal menu, the Xoco chefs have crafted some dishes to celebrate the sun’s lingering warmth and others well suited to brisker breezes which soon may blow.  We are calling it, “Hot Days, Cool Nights!” Chef Alonso […]

Appetizers & Snacks/

Yellow Mole Empanadas

From Season 9, Mexico—One Plate At A Time
TV & BOOKS/

You & Me & Rick This Morning

A very big thanks to Aly Bockler and the crew at WCIU’s “You and Me This Morning,” who dropped by early Friday to watch Chef Rick Bayless whip up his Guacamole with Almond and Grapefruit while showing off his new cookware line. Rick will be demonstrating the new cookware line at this weekend’s International Home […]