World on a Plate

Exploring culture. One plate at a time.

Category: Celebrity Chefs

Lovely Leftovers – Chilaquiles


Since Thanksgiving I’ve made tukey chilaquiles, which begat sopa de tortilla with turkey, and also breakfast for the week with a pecan sweet potato cranberry quick bread.

I love chilaquiles. Primavera, at the Saturday market makes a remarkable version.  In California, the Southwest and all throughout Mexico and down into Guatemala chilaquiles, pronounced "chee-lah-KEE-lehs" is a practical and tasty way to extend the life of stale corn tortillas and now turkey.

Editor’s Note: This is my entry for Slashfood’s Lovely Leftovers event.

Tagged with Recipes, Lovely Leftovers

Simple Turkey Chilaquiles (adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)

Serves 4

Combine in a large skillet a full recipe of the sauce (below) with 2 cups of broth and about 1 1/2 cups shredded leftover turkey. Turkey should be warm before beginning next step.

Add 8 cups (8oz.) of tortilla chips (preferably thick ones), a handful of epazote leaves (can sub with 1 cup or 2 sliced chard or spinach). Cover and simmer over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, until the chips are softening.  Uncover, stir well–you don’t want mushy chips.  Spoon onto plates and sprinkle generously with crumbled Mexican either queso añejo, cotija or Parmesan.

Salsa de Chile Chipotle y Jitomate – Essential Quick – Cooked Tomato-Chipotle Sauce

Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen

Makes 2 cups

3-4 canned chiles chipotles en adobo

4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 1/2 pounds (3 medium-large round or 9 to 12 plum) ripe tomatoes

1 tblspn rich -tasting lard, olive or vegetable oil

Salt, about 1/2 tsp


Remove canned chiles from the adobo.

On a heavy, ungreased skillet over medium  heat roast the unpeeled garlic, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots and soft, about 12-15 minutes.  Cool, slip off the papery skins, and roughly chop.

Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet and place about 4" below a very hot broiler.  When they blister, blacken and soften on one side, about 6 minutes, turn them over and roast on the other side.  Cool, then peel, collecting all the juices with the tomatoes.

Scrape the tomatoes and their juices into a food processor or blender and add the chiles and garlic. Pulse the machine until the mixture is nearly a puree–it should have a little more texture than canned tomato sauce.

Heat the lard or oil in a heavy, medium-size (2-to 3-quart) saucepan over  medium-high. When hot enough to  make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, add it all at once and stir for about 5 minutes as it sears and concentrates to an earthy, red, thickish sauce–about the consistency of a medium-thick spaghetti sauce.  Taste and season with saltSauce will keep for several days, covered and refrigerated. 

Chefs for Humanity

Band_logo Chefs for Humanity is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives impacted by hunger and tragedy. Founded early 2005, as a response to the tsunami tragedy,  by Bay Area chef Cat Cora and Patrick McDonnell, Chefs for Humanity’s coalition of world-famous culinary professionals responds when disaster aid and hunger relief are needed around the world. The organization mobilizes resources to raise funds for worldwide humanitarian efforts and seeks to develop health and nutrition education programs to permanently improve the lives of those affected by hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

The first event is an eBay auction called "Jackets off our Backs."  Nearly two dozen world-famous chefs, including 10 celebrity chefs from the Food Network, have donated autographed jackets. Here’s your chance to get the kitchen wear  of Rick Bayless, Norman Van Aken, Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin or Elizabeth Faulkner. The chef duds will be auctioned for 10 days, beginning on September 12,  with the proceeds benefiting UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s relief organization.

Image: Chefs for Humanity

The Art of Palmer

Artaureo One of the most highly regarded chefs in America today, Charlie Palmer has received critical acclaim for his signature "Progressive American" cuisine, a style which reinterprets classic European cooking using American artisanal products and small farm producers.

Chef Palmer has also hired, trained and inspired a flank cooks who have gone on to be some of America’s leading chefs, including Gerry Hayden, Diane Forley of Verbena, and Michael Mina of Aqua in San Francisco.

Chef Palmer’s other business ventures include a full-service luxury hotel in Sonoma County, various food and beverage contracts with outlets such as the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, and a partnership with Seabourn Cruise Lines where Palmer designed more than 200 featured recipes for their dining rooms. In Las Vegas, Palmer is no stranger to the restaurant business, as he has presence in two of the city’s premier hotels with Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel and Aureole at Mandalay Bay (this is the place with the glassed in wine tower).

Now he’s venturing into a market shop in a Las Vegas condominium project.  It will feature fresh meats, seafood, fruits, cheeses and other gourmet grocery items including prepared meals that residents can conveniently pick up and enjoy in the on their way home from the work at the casino.

Cat Cora

Catcora The Food Network‘s newest Iron Chef (Go Girl!) Cat Cora is going t be at Book Passage’s San Francisco Ferry building tomorrow at 1:00 pm.  I recently met her at a Copia event that featured panel discussions with over a dozen local cookbook authors. She’s incredibly friendly and approachable–as is the food in her new cookbook.  In a recent article, she described herself as "spicy with a little splash of dolce."  I don’t get all excited about many celebrity chefs. (I’m incredibly cynical and jaded.)  But Cat Cora is one exception to my position. She’s going to be a star.

Cat Cora hails from Mississippi but these days lives just north of San Francisco. After earning a degree in exercise physiology and biology she enrolled and graduated from CIA. After apprenticing to several top NYC chefs next was training in France to learn from three-star Michelin chefs George Blanc at Vonnas and Roger Verge. In the Bay Area Cora became chef de cuisine at Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa and and later executive chef at Postine in the East Bay.

What I didn’t know at the time that I met her was that she’s been on Food Network’s Melting Pot (missed for it’s cultural food diversity and for lively and sexy Aaron Sanchez) and Date Plate (not missed). In my excitement of gushing to her about how much I loved her on Iron Chef and stating that if they knew what they had they’d give her a show and drop one of Bobby Flay’s slots, well she gently let me know of her resume. Oh, ah, er sorry.   

Her newest cookbook, Cat Cora’s Kitchen: Favorite Meals for Family and Friends  features recipes inspired by her Greek heritage and her roots in the American South, all polished by her experiences in restaurants in France and California.  Simplicity and flavor jump from the pages of this cookbook.  The collection is organized into four sections:  The Cora Kitchen in Jackson, Mississippi featuring recipes such as Olive Oil Cake, Slow Roasted Pork with Bourbon, and Classic Greek Roast Chicken.  Part two is The Karagiozos Kitchen in Skopelos, Greece where Aegean Meatballs, Rolled Baklava and Spicy Feta Spread are made to look easy.  Next stop is My Restaurant Kitchens in Northern California where diversity is further played out in Spicy Gypsy Mussels, which dances with Crab, Avocado "Sandwiches" and Mango Coulis" and ending with Banana Coconut Cream Pie. The final section is My Kitchen at Home where Tomato Croquettes with Cucumber Yogurt, Grilled Lamb Chops with Alma’s Fruit Mustard are served alongside, Grilled Stone Fruit with Prosciutto and Sheep’s Cheese. All the recipes are simple and accomplishable.

And it looks like we’ll be seeing more of Cat Cora in the future as she’s working on getting funding for a talk show (link starts a promo clip) with a wine and food flair with her name.  There are also rumors afloat about her opening a Bay Area restaurant.   So stop by tomorrow if your at the market to meet Cat.