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Mexico - One Plate At A Time With Rick Bayless: Chiles Rellenos: The Stuff Of Passion

Airs Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Chef Rick Bayless

MEXICO — ONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS brings to life the foods, flavors, stories, diversity, depth and fun of Mexico. In each episode, beloved chef, restaurateur, author, teacher and culinary adventurer Rick Bayless effortlessly tosses together cooking demonstrations, cultural musings, visits to exotic locations, ideas for home entertaining and a generous helping of off-the-wall surprises.

In season seven, Rick embarks on his greatest food adventure to date: an insider's tour of Mexico City, a food metropolis bursting with traditional foods and flavors and cutting-edge eateries. All season long, Rick takes a fresh look at 13 iconic Mexican dishes — from tacos and enchiladas to chiles rellenos and carnitas— by diving into Mexico City's mouthwatering market stalls, hidden-treasure taco stands and restaurant dining rooms ranging from rustic-elegant to urban hip.

"Chiles Rellenos: The Stuff Of Passion" - At the romantic San Angel Inn, a lush hacienda-turned-restaurant in Mexico City's Coyoacan District, chef Rick Bayless enjoys what might just be the most passion-infused food in the Mexican canon: a quintessential plate of perfect chiles rellenos.

Interior shot of Frontera Grill, located at 445 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654.
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Above: Interior shot of Frontera Grill, located at 445 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654.

Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, a renowned chef and food anthropologist.
Enlarge this image

Above: Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, a renowned chef and food anthropologist.

Recipes

Get all of Rick's recipes from season seven of MEXICO — ONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS.

From there, we visit La Merced - the sprawling, spectacular central market that's the culinary soul of a city with 20 million mouths to feed - where chiles are bought and sold by the thousands. Americans are passionate about chiles rellenos, too.

Just ask Rick's customers at Frontera Grill, where only a lucky few who line up on the street get to enjoy them each night before the supply runs out. In the Frontera kitchen, Rick offers a detailed lesson on how they're made - a labor of love that involves many carefully choreographed steps of roasting, filling and sauce prep, stuffing, battering and frying.

Then it's time for a crash course in chiles at the National University of Mexico in a visit with Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, a renowned chef and food anthropologist who literally wrote the book on chiles relleno - a popular cookbook devoted to the subject - and runs a cutting-edge restaurant right on campus. The two friends share Ricardo's latest twist on chiles rellenos: an ancho stuffed with plantains.

Back at home, Rick explains that chiles rellenos don't have to mean hours of prep time. And to prove it, he shares his recipe for Shrimp Chile Rellenos Grilled in Corn Husks.

Next, we're off to Oh Mayahuel, an uber-cool Mexico City restaurant specializing in Mezcal flights and modern Mexican cuisine, to sample their signature stuffed chile: a dried ancho, rehydrated in a tangy escabeche sauce, stuffed with a sizzling steak taco filling and guacamole. If you're passionate about chiles rellenos, this relleno roller coaster ride will leave you feeling thrilled, surprised - and stuffed. This episode originally aired in 2010.

Chef Bayless is on Facebook, and you can follow @Rick_Bayless on Twitter.

UP NEXT: KPBS will broadcast season nine of MEXICO - ONE PLATE AT A TIME beginning Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Video

Chef Rick Bayless On Cooking With Local Fresh Food

Above: Rick Bayless from PBS's "Mexico: One Plate At A Time" talks about the importance of freshness and local produce in his EarthBox garden on the roof of Frontera Grill in Chicago.

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