Quest of Fire

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Rick Bayless can’t resist the kind of well-seasoned, simple food grilled over a live fire—the stuff he’s enjoyed at thousands of markets, kitchens and restaurants all over Mexico, where cooking comes down to the simple combination of fresh ingredients and flickering flames.

Deep in the Mexican countryside, he pulls over for a sizzling roadside snack—chicken grilled on an improvised oil-drum barbecue; then he shows us how to bring the idea home with a recipe for Roadside Whole Chicken with Knob Onions grilled on his backyard barbecue.

At bustling El Farolito in Mexico City, Rick gives us the lowdown on another Mexican fire-cooked favorite:  Tacos al Pastor—succulent pork, grilled “gyros-style” on a vertical spit with pineapple.  And that gets his appetite working for easy Chorizo, Potato and Mushroom Tacos made in his outdoor kitchen in Chicago. 

Then it’s a visit to the mother church of meat and fire, El Canelo, an over-the top outdoor restaurant in Guadalajara built around a giant fire-pit, where pork, lamb, and other succulent meats are slow-roasted on spears around a crackling fire and every meal is a fiesta with dancers and live mariachi music.

Inspired by all this heat and meat, Rick shares his technique for making Carne Asada (Grilled Steak with Sweet Plantains and Chipotle Salsa), marinated beef, on his backyard grill.



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It's a Shore Thing:  Seafood dishes that capture everything that's perfect and irresistible about a day at the beach.

Fusion Revolution: Mexican cooking might even be called the original "fusion cuisine."

The Capital of Hip:  Rick takes us on a dawn-to dusk culinary tour of Mexico City that separates the hip from the hype.

Eat, Drink & Be Mérida:
Fusion of Mayan traditions with Spanish influences resulted in Mérida—the "Paris of Mexico."

Fresh Chiles, Hot & Cool:
Everything about the Yucatán’s beloved habañero with its one-two punch of flavor and heat.

Yesterday, Today & Tamales:  Mexico's past is present everywhere you travel in the form of tamales.

Yucatan Snack-a-Thon:
Who wouldn't like to snack from dawn to dusk on all kinds of Yucatecan specialties?

Modern Mayan:  Mayan culture is experiencing a rebirth in the Yucatán today—in revitalized food, art and architecture.

Paste Sensations: Mérida's colorful, aromatic essential seasoning pastes are the key flavoring for many of the region's dishes.

Hacienda Renaissance: The hacienda is being reborn—as museums, as production facilities for fine rums and liqueurs, and as luxury hotels.


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