Mexican Modern

Book Excerpt: Mexican Modern

Sara Bergthold Mexico and Central America Leave a Comment

An Excerpt From: Mexican Modern New Food From Mexico by Fiona DunlopPhotographs by Jean-Blaise HallInterlink Books, Northampton MACopyright 2009192 Pages$29.95ISBN 978-1-56656-744-2Available on here.     Mexico thrives on radicalism. The very word revolution conjures up the incredible vitality of a country where conflicts and political upheavals have peppered the calendar since pre-Hispanic days. The latest mutation is quite different, …


Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Chorizo

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

This recipe is based on a sweet potato/chorizo soup recipe from chef Jamie Oliver, which I modified to feature pumpkin. And boy, did it ever work! Read the entire article on the Burn! Blog here.


2 quarts chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large carrots, roasted and diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3-4 cups of roasted pumpkin flesh (whatever you end up with after roasting and peeling your 4-pound pie pumpkin)
1/2 pound freshly ground chorizo sausage* cut into chunks
1 small bunch parsley, finely chipped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a saucepan, heat the chicken stock to near boiling and let simmer.

In a large, thick-bottomed soup pot, heat the olive oil, then add all the chopped & sliced  ingredients (including the chorizo). Add the curry powder and stir while the ingredients cook. Keep stirring the mixture occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions turn golden.

Pour in the hot chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

If you have an immersion blender (and I recommend them highly), use it to blend the soup right in the kettle. If you don’t have one (Christmas is coming, so put Santa on it), pour the soup into a large blender or food processor. Mix it up until it’s smooth, but this isn’t a bisque, so don’t expect it to be completely creamy.

Garnish with a little diced parsley and serve hot with some good crusty bread, butter, and a small salad. I made a salad with spinach leaves, sliced pear, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and candied almond slices topped with balsamic vinaigrette. The sweetness of the pear was fantastic with the savory, spicy soup.

*Many grocery stores make this in their butcher department. If you can’t find it freshly made, buy the pre-made kind…the spiciness of the chorizo will affect the heat level of the finished soup, so adjust the amount accordingly if you’re using some really hot sausage and don’t want too much heat in your soup.

Dal Curry

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

Dal is the Hindi word for several of the legumes or beans that resemble lentils or split peas. In India they can be found both fresh and dried, but here we almost always find them dried. The bean used in this curry is called “toovar dal” and resembles a yellow split pea. Pulses or dried lentils are sometimes hard to digest. So cooks in India where they are staples, say to prepare them with ginger or turmeric to make them more digestible. This recipe contains both.


  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne chile

  • 1 cup yellow split peas, cleaned and rinsed

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 4 serrano chiles, stems removed, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • ½ cup chopped onions

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 medium tomato peeled and chopped

  • 2 cups cooked white rice (optional)

  • Garnish: Flaked coconut

  • Chopped fresh cilantro


Combine the cayenne, split peas, turmeric, and water in a large sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes or until the peas are tender and the mixture is the consistency of a thick soup.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and saute the serrano chiles, ginger, onions, and garlic until soft. Add the coriander, cumin and tomato and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Add the tomato mixture to the bean mix and simmer until heated through.

To serve, place some rice in the bottom of a bowl, ladle the dal over the top. Garnish with the coconut and cilantro and serve.


Fire God Frozen Margarita

Dave DeWitt Leave a Comment

Variation: For a milder margarita with the flavor of jalapeños but not the heat, substitute New Mexico Jalapeño Wine for the fiery tequila.


  • 1.5 cups Fire God Tequila or the chiltepin tequila, above

  • 8 fresh limes, or enough to make ½ cup juice

  • Margarita salt

  • 1/3 cup Triple Sec

  • Crushed ice


Prepare 4 long-stemmed goblets by rubbing the rims with a piece of lime section. Dip the goblet rims in the margarita salt and then place the goblets in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Juice the limes and then place the lime juice, tequila, and triple sec in a blender. Add the crushed ice until the blender is half-full and then process. Taste the result and adjust the flavors by adding more triple sec to make it sweeter, more lime juice to make it more tart, more tequila to increase the heat level, or more ice to decrease the heat level. Pour into the frosted goblets and garnish with a slice of lime.

First-time Smoker Grill for Under $300

Jackson Ortega-Scheiner Equipment and Gadgets Leave a Comment

Q:  Hi Dr. BBQ,   I’m looking for a first-time smoker grill under $300.  Any suggestions?  I’m presently using a Webber with propane tank but can’t cook juicy ribs like on Food Network shows.   –Karl   A:  Hi Karl,   There are a couple options in your price range but to me one clearly stands out:  the Weber Smokey …