Whenever Jewish food is discussed, most people imagine typical roast chicken and brisket meals or Deli fare. Pati Jinich, a Jewish lady that grew up in Mexico, is fusing the two cultures to create Jewish-Mexican cuisine.
She hosts a popular show on PBS, Pati’s Mexican Table, which I had watched—and enjoyed!—for quite a while, having no idea she was Jewish. It was a Tablet article that filled me in on her background and unique cooking style.
There is a surprisingly large Jewish population in Mexico City. Most of the families are of European descent and they’ve blended Ashkenazi cooking with spicier ingredients that are common South of the Border.
Take gefilte fish for an example. Instead of the cold, tasteless, and often inedible mess most of us know, Pati’s version is a red snapper poached with tomatoes, capers, chilies, peppers, and olives. (Sounds way better and much more appetizing to me and it looks really nice, too.)
Also included was a Matzo Ball soup with Jalapeno peppers and mushrooms that sounds delicious. I love to see different takes on classic recipes, especially for holiday dishes! (Yes, the traditional fare can be wonderful, but it’s not sacrilege to offer something new for a change.)