MEXICOONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS
Episode 8: A La Mexicana: The Soul of Mexican Cooking
Call it coincidence or call it fate, but Mexico’s national colorsred, white and greenwind up at the center of a whole family of emblematic, home-style “comfort food” dishes, known simply as “a la Mexicana.” Ripe red tomatoes, sparkling white onions and green chiles are the “holy trinity” on which these dishes are baseddishes like hearty Braised Beef Short Ribs a la Mexicana
with tomatoes, poblano chiles and herbs, or a quick-to-prepare Grilled Flank Steak
served with a salsa of roasted tomatoes, poblanos, onions and garlic. Between stints in the kitchen, Rick introduces us to some of the great icons of Mexican nationalism, from Padre Hidalgo and Emiliano Zapata, to Josefina Velasquez de Leon, the pioneering 20th-century food historian who found herself at the forefront of a movement to create a Mexican national culinary identity, much of which was based around home-style “a la Mexicana” dishes. It’s a half-hour of cooking and culture that all adds up to a stirring conclusion: “Three cheers for the red white and green!"