A huge bonus is that along with delicious dishes like street foods, tacos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales, salads and soups, Jason also shares basic recipes that ensure that preparing these dishes is possible: homemade masa, homemade tortillas, breads and Quick Queso Fresco.
Jason's heritage is Mexican from his mother's side, so you know that he has actually lived what he shares. The recipes show the passion Jason has for this cuisine and it comes across as genuine and authentic.
Of course, Jason breaks everything down so you get to know the ingredients you will be needing (otherwise it is not an authentic cookbook; if you don't use the proper ingredients - then it is just an interpretive and creative endeavor.) He also covers Mexican history and the specific regions that give rise to specific flavors.
I started with making bread. I have always wanted to make a torta (sandwich), but I could never find the authentic bread that is used. I was very happy to see that Jason has an easy bread recipe for us, so that was my starting point.
These football-shaped rolls are either Bolillos or Birote Salados, depending on a few minor differences. As you can see, they turned out golden with a crisp crust and tender and pillowy inside.
When I made this recipe, I had to almost double the flour. I realize that the dough itself is supposed to be really soft and loose and still very sticky, but without the added flour I would not have been able to shape the dough in any way. The amount of water to flour is so close that I don't know if it was a typo of some kind, but if you encounter the same problem, add enough flour to create a very soft and still tacky dough. After the knead and the rise it will firm up enough, but if you have a puddle of dough instead of something that comes together, just add more flour.
In the end, the bread was perfect, both inside and out. In addition, this was a really easy bread recipe to prepare. Don't be put off by the simple sponge, either! This has to be the easiest sponge I've ever made.
Taking this wonderful bread, I made Jason's Bean and Avocado Sandwich Drowned in Salsa (Torta Abogada).
This sandwich is filled with refried beans, avocados and pickled onions. Then it is drowned in a spicy (or mild) red salsa that is very easy to make. Of course, you can use store-bought rolls for a fast sandwich, but if you have the time, make the bread for it.
I topped it with cabbage and cilantro, as well, since that is a common addition, but it is certainly not necessary. Although it is very authentic to actually pour the salsa over the sandwich, I found that pouring it over the bottom half was sufficient - this way some of the crust of the top of the bread added a needed crunch and textural variation. Delicious sandwich!
Finally, I tried the Pasta Baked in Chipotle Tomato Sauce (Sopa Seca).
This dish is pasta that is drowned in tomato sauce and baked. The pasta actually cooks in the tomato sauce, which is known as fideo. Fideo is Spanish, meaning pasta.
The tomato sauce in this case is laced with chipotle peppers and the baked pasta is topped with Queso Fresco. Jason has a Quick Queso Fresco recipe in the book, but this version is my own. I'll be sharing the recipe later in the month. Enjoy this dish with some of the bread you baked and it adds a wonderful touch.
Overall the book is fantastic and it is a wonderful and useful addition to any library - vegan or not. Jason makes things clear and easy to follow and the recipes are delicious.
Jason and Vegan Heritage Press are sharing a recipe from the book and are also giving away a copy of this book to one lucky US resident.
The contest runs through the 21st and a winner will be announced November 23. Please leave a comment about Jason or Mexican food and make sure I have a way to contact you. Of course, you can check back on this blog on its Wednesday's post, but people do tend to forget to do that if they haven't subscribed. If I can't contact you by the 26th, I will choose another winner. Good luck!
First, though, check out Jason's recipe for Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard.
|Photo by Jason Wyrick|
Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard
Caldo de Camotes y Alcegas
Makes 6 servings
This simple soup features a mildly spicy broth married with the earthy sweetness of white sweet potatoes and the lushness of wilted chard. It’s not only delicious, it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Chard, sweet potatoes, and beans conspire to fight cancer and regulate blood sugar and are naturally low in fat. (from Vegan Mexico, copyright © 2016 by Jason Wyrick. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press.)
5 cups water
Corn oil, for frying
4 ancho chiles
10 cloves pan-roasted garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 medium white sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch chard, greens and stems sliced paper thin
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Heat 1/8 inch of corn oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the anchos and fry them for 20 seconds on each side. Place the anchos in the boiling water, reduce it to a simmer, and simmer the anchos for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the water and when they are cool enough to handle, remove the stems.
In a blender or food processor, purée the anchos, garlic, salt, oregano, and the water used to simmer the anchos until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and bring it to a simmer. Add the sweet potato, chard, and beans and cook until the sweet potatoes are al dente, about 6 minutes.