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Mexico -- One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless

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Ask anyone about traditional cooking in the Yucatan and you're bound to hear the name Miriam Peraza, a grandmotherly dynamo who knows every nook and cranny. She brings Rick to the bustling Mercado de Lucas de Galvez in Merida for a quick tour that includes a rare look at the making of recado spice pastes. Flanked by villagers in the remote town of Yaxunah, Miriam and Rick drop in to watch the making of pit-cooked cochinita pibil, the Yucatan's iconic dish of achiote-smothered, pit-cooked suckling pig.

WGBY Create
Mon Sep 2nd, 6:30pm
Mon Sep 2nd, 9:30pm
Tue Sep 3rd, 3:30am
Sat Sep 7th, 3:00pm
Sun Sep 8th, 3:30am
Tue Sep 17th, 6:30pm
Tue Sep 17th, 9:30pm
Wed Sep 18th, 3:30am

Did you know the humble little meatball has a starring role in the Mexican kitchen? In this episode, Rick sees traditional versions of albondingas in the old-school Bar Mancera and modern versions in hipster haven Cicatriz. There's even a meatball torta thrown in for good measure. And because sometimes a "best-ever" recipe needs to be something that gets to the table quickly, Rick makes crowd-pleasing versions suitable for weeknight cooking.

WGBY Create
Sun Sep 1st, 6:30pm
Sun Sep 1st, 9:30pm
Mon Sep 2nd, 3:30am
Mon Sep 16th, 6:30pm
Mon Sep 16th, 9:30pm
Tue Sep 17th, 3:30am

Whether in high-end restaurants or humble homesteads, the corn tortilla is the canvas on which Mexico creates some of its most classic cuisine. Rick shows us three styles in Mexico City - mouthwatering steak tacos al carbon, colorfully garnished bistec tacos a la plancha and stewed tacos de guisado - before stepping through lessons in the perfect at-home masterpieces.

In the land of the tortilla, bread can often get overlooked. But if Chef Elena Reygadas has anything to say about it, bread will soon rise as an important player in Mexican cuisine. She certainly has the right tools to effect change: At her bakery, Rosetta Panaderia, she crafts transcendent versions of Mexico's classic pan de pulque (pulque bread) and sugary-topped conchas. Rick swoons over these treats and engages Reygadas in a conversation about their shared philosophies of cooking and building community.

Baja California Norte produces many world-class, gold medal-winning wines. That fact may surprise most people in the United States. Rick takes us on a tour of the region along with renowned winemaker and visionary Hugo d'Acosta, founder of La Escuelita, a nonprofit winemaking school that opened in 2004. Hugo introduces Rick to his Casa de Piedra wines before taking Rick on a tour of the school where locals and chefs come to make their own wines. At Tres Mujeres, a charming winery run by three women, Rick tastes each of their wines with their favorite dishes.

David Sterling, chef and author of "Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition," brings Rick on a whirlwind tour of the peninsula. The pair of Oklahoma-born, Mexico-obsessed chefs begin their journey with a conversation in Hunucma, where Dona Lupita serves home-cooked meals at the kitchen table of her family's cocina economica. Though the Yucatan is not known for its bakeries, David goes to the rustic wood-burning ovens at Panaderia Liz in Merida.

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