My good friend Marc Leder is not only the reason why I adore Mexican cuisine, he is also the reason why I am able to cook a mean Mexican dish from scratch. Javier grew up just outside Guadalajara and he would always tell me about these incredible which they had when he grew up, and how he wanted to recreate them and bring them to the US market, which he has since done very successfully. When Javier used to help me out with certain dishes and teach me how to cook in a Mexican style, there were some key principles which he taught me, and which I want to pass on to any of you who wishes to cook some Mexican food.
Nail The Rice
It is always nice to have a signature dish or a signature plate which you can cook, and rice is one of them. In Mexican cuisine there is so often a call for rice, either as the main dish or as a complimentary dish, and if you can get it right then you will always have it as a fail safe .Get the rice right and you’ll be on your way.
Learn Your Corns
Mexican cuisine relies heavily on the use of corn in order to make the dough for the tortillas or the totopos, or any other delicacy which you are making. They don’t call Mexicans ‘Children of the Corn’ for nothing, and that is because there are over 150 types of corn which are used throughout the country for a variety of dishes. This ingredient is something which you are going to have to learn to love very quickly and the more knowledge that you have, the more authentic your cooking will be.
There is no getting away from the fact that Mexican food is heavily influenced by chilies and this is something else which you are going to have to learn about. The first thing to mention is that not all chillies are spicy, and many are packed with delicious flavor which can be used in a variety of meals. You have to learn as much as you can about spice, when and where to use it and how to use it in a way that is pleasantly spicy, and not that will blow your face off.
Something which many don’t always bear in mind when cooking Mexican dishes is how much they love their vegetables. It is easy to think that meat is the way forward because of the amount that they eat, but this is very much a nation which can do some incredible things with veg. The country grows so many wild and wonderful vegetables from large chillies to nopales, chayote to flavor-filled berries, there is so much here that making an entire meal with just veg is very simple and very easy.
Follow these tips and you will be able to supercharge your Mexican cooking.