Hecho En America // January 2013 Mantry

Wade through the beefy, cheesy gorditas and volcano sauce doused liquor sponges and you can find that America has not entirely mutated Mexican cuisine. We sussed out six craft makers who are fighting the good fight.

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Olo’s Chipotle // Seattle, WA

2012 saw Frank’s Red Hot and Sriracha have a dominant reign on the oh sh*t I need flavor category of condiments. We introduce Olo’s. Tessa’s Lowe is a one woman wrecking crew combing the smoky, complexity of Chipotle with the accessibility of toothpaste. Our call on Gameday? Mexican Street Corn: 1) Grill off some cobs 2) Slather on chipotle mayo 3) Roll in cojita cheese 4) Serve with a wedge of lime and a Tecate.

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La Esquina // New York, NY

Ask somebody in NYC about La Esquina and they’ll most likely tell you about how it’s historically hard to grab a table. Rightfully so, the cavernous room downstairs hosts a 1:1 Model to mind-blowing dish ratio with the bar boasting a tequila list that reads like an Applebee’s menu in length. Thankfully, you can at least jump the line for a taste, with this new line of small batch charred salsas.

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Rancho Gordo Beans // Napa, CA

You may be wondering why the hell we chose to include dried beans, well Mantry believes in treating guys like home cooks not cavemen. Although it would be easy to offer an endless assault of jerky and convenience store cuisine, we frankly think you’re better than that. Also, these beans are world-class stalk popping up at the 3 Michelin Star French Laundry Restaurant and on the esteemed Saveur Magazine 100 list. In cooking, they are Aurelia’s perfect one night stand. Visit Mantry.com for a dead simple Bean and Chorizo soup recipe that can double as laid-back dinner date or hearty hangover cure.

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Aurelia’s Chorizo // Boerne, Texas

This Mexican meat in tube form is as ubiquitous as 16 year old girls with braided hair in the Cancun airport. Found from dawn to dusk either fried up beside huevos in the AM or nestled between tortillas after the open bar ends, chorizo is a street food staple. Aurelia’s offers the Spanish influenced version, a close cousin that upholds all the smoky, spicy elements along with benefiting from the added depth of being dry-cured for 3 weeks.

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San Angel Mole // Los Angeles, CA

Typically you’re gonna wanna steer clear of products with 25 ingredients, however Tim McCarthy’s San Angel Mole is a rare exception. In Mexico, Mole is most common in the central and southern regions of Puebla and Oaxaca, where seven unique versions of the sauce originate utilizing ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, chili peppers and dark chocolate. In America, nobody in their right mind should trust a guy named Tim to replicate this authentic sauce, but don’t sweat it. This Gringo worked his way around some of LA’s most respected kitchens and uses his wife Florence Guerrero’s family Mole Negro recipe. Do the “wa-ha-ka” buy grabbing the recipe off the side of the jar or more at Mantry.com

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Hernán Hot Chocolate // Del Rio, Texas

Stone ground by local artisans in the Mayan Region of Chiapas (an area known historically for nailing cocoa but not calendar predictions) HERNÁN offers the opportunity to experience this regional specialty without having to do all that smuggling stuff. Take a pass on those powder packets and melt one square in a cup of hot milk. Authentically, a Molinillo (wooden whisk) is used, but the American variety or blender will get that frothy finish you want. Try with a nip of your favorite liquor, like completely un-authentic Frangelico.

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January 2013 Mantry |Hecho En America

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