It’s na­cho cheese

But they are your Mex­i­can recipes

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - Dale Bern­ing Sawa Dale Bern­ing Sawa is a com­mis­sion­ing editor and writer at Cook; @dlaebe

My friend Brad and his girl­friend, Jenny, moved to Mex­ico City in Jan­uary. He’s a mu­si­cian, she’s a chef, and ev­ery email I get in­cludes some ver­sion of “Mex­ico City is in­sanely won­der­ful”: a feast for the eyes, the ears and the heart, as well as an ac­tual feast ev­ery time they sit down to eat.

I know shame­fully lit­tle of Mex­i­can cui­sine. But while I might not have been south of the Rio Grande, re­cent cook­books – from Mar­garita Carrillo Ar­ronte’s Mex­ico and Diana Kennedy’s The Es­sen­tial Cuisines of Mex­ico, to En­rique Olvera’s Mex­ico from the In­side Out and Hart­wood by Eric Werner and Mya Henry – have reeled me in. This week’s im­promptu primer to la cocina Mex­i­cana has ce­mented my aim to keep cook­ing with the chill­ies and the pulses and the corn va­ri­etals that this mes­meris­ing na­tion has so gra­ciously be­queathed to kitchens the world over.

For any­one in the UK wish­ing to take my cue, Sous Chef – the on­line cook’s re­tailer – does a spe­cial­ist Mex­i­can se­lec­tion. A note on cook­ing with de­hy­drated chill­ies: they need to be re­hy­drated be­fore you do any­thing with them. Wipe down, toast lightly, soak in hot wa­ter for 20 min­utes, then pat dry, and you’re good to go.

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