Tacotopia, Episode #5 — In Praise of Leftovers

Leftover steak is always a welcome thing in our home. It’s uses are many, beyond simply having tasty leftover steak in the fridge: Vietnamese beef salad or spring rolls, pasta Bolognese, steak sandwiches… And, perhaps most deliciously of all, tacos.

The taco

The taco

Even under normal circumstances, I’m always on the hunt for new taco inspiration. This particular day, in addition to the leftover steak, I had some roasted pasilla chiles in the fridge. An exceptional combination, thought I — especially with the addition of some slices mushrooms and monterrey jack cheese. More

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Tlayuda

It was a Saturday afternoon, I had a bit of a cold. So I settled into my bed to watch cooking shows on PBS. One of my favorites is “Mexico One Plate at a Time,” with Rick Bayless spotlighting a different region of Mexican cooking each season. This season, he’s in Oaxaca, which is a part of Mexico I’ve never had the privilege to visit.

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I often get inspired to cook by things I see Rick talking about on his show — last season he was in Baja, and I found myself trying out air-dried machaca beef, shrimp tacos folded in fried cheese and even an avante garde foamy sea urchin ceviche. And now, lying in bed, I watched as  Rick, visiting a sustainable farm in the Oaxacan mountains, dug into something called a tlayuda. More