Marvimon, Los Angeles (211)
Recipes from this episode
Chef Evans’s “secret” ingredient to enliven this ceviche is yuzu juice, from the Asia fruit that embodies flavors of mandarins, tangerines, grapefruit, and lemons. If you can’t find wild-salmon roe in your markets, there are several online sources, including Amazon.com.
Making your own chorizo is easier than you might imagine. Chef Saad likes the smoky, dried-cherry-like flavor that guajillo chiles add to the meat mixture, as well as the clean heat of chile árbol. For the queso fundido, he uses a blend of three cheeses: the creamy queso quesadilla, Monterey Jack, and grated Cotija, whose nutty flavor has led to its being dubbed Mexican parmesan.
Braising is the key to tenderizing the notoriously tough flesh of the octopus. Chef Williamson uses an aromatic vegetable broth as her braising liquid. Some chefs even add a wine cork to their braising liquid, claiming that it possesses an enzyme that enhances the tenderizing process.
For this classic slow-cooked pork dish, Chef Saad uses Mexican oregano, which has a robust flavor, more floral and citrusy than Mediterranean oregano. Don’t substitute Italian or Greek oregano; they have a different flavor profile.
Nick Roberts, Chef Williamson’s husband and co-chef at the couple’s L.A. restaurants, uses both tequila and mezcal in this colorful cocktail with a kick. While tequila is made from the blue agave plant, mezcal can be made from any number of agave varieties, and often has a smokier flavor.