Chef Rurik Salazar’s Tamales Nejos

tamales-capella-ixtapa

February 2nd marked a very popular holiday in Mexico, Candlemas day, or Día de la Candelaria.  At Capella Ixtapa we honored Mexican traditions by serving tamales.  But these weren’t just any tamales!  These were Executive Chef Rurik Salazar’s special Tamales Nejos!

They were absolutely delicious and, while I had never made tamales before, I simply had to learn how.  Chef Rurik agreed to teach me, ensuring me the process was simpler than I thought.  Indeed he was right and now I am sharing the recipe with you:

 tamales nejos

Tamales Nejos Recipe

Masa or Tamal dough

  • 8 Tbsp of Corn Flour
  • 1 Tbsp of Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • N/A Water
  • Ashes of a tortilla

Mix the corn flour with the vegetable shortening, add water slowly and whisk it up until gets spongy, seasoning with the salt and the tortilla ashes.

Duck Tamales Nejos

  • 1 square of a plantain leaf (15 cm x15 cm)
  • 1 Tbsp of shredded duck breast
  • 1 date

Heat up the plantain leaf until it gets soft in a pan on a low flame.  In the middle of the leaf put the tamal dough and stuff it with the shredded duck and the date.  Wrap it like a candy, and steam for 18 minutes.  Garnish with some green mole or any kind of salsa.

 

Buen provecho!

El Chef Rurik Salazar Nos Comparte Su Receta Para Tamales Nejos

tamales-capella-ixtapa

Febrero 2 marca una de las fiestas mexicanas más populares, el Día de la Candelaria. En Capella Ixtapa hicimos honor a esta tradicional fiesta mexicana sirviendo tamales. Pero estos no eran tamales ordinarios! Eran Tamales Nejos, especialidad de nuestro Chef Ejecutivo Rurik Salazar!

Estaban deliciosos, y mientras que nunca he cocinado tamales antes, tenía que aprender como. El Chef Rurik accedió a enseñarme, asegurándome primero, que el proceso era más simple de lo que creía. Y de hecho tuvo razón, por lo cual aquí les comparto la receta a ustedes:

tamales-capella-ixtapa

Receta para preparar Tamales Nejos

Masa para tamales o nixtamal

  • 8 cucharadas soperas de harina de maíz
  • 1 cucharada de manteca vegetal o
  • 1 pizca de sal
  • Agua
  • Cenizas de tortillas

Mezclar el harina con la manteca, añadir agua lentamente y batir hasta que quede una masa esponjosa, sazonar con la sal y las cenizas de tortilla.

Tamales Nejos rellenos de pato

  • 1 cuadrado de hoja de plátano (15 cm x15 cm)
  • 1 cucharada de pechuga de pato deshebrada
  • 1 dátil

Calentar en un sartén a flama baja la hoja de plátano hasta que suavize. Al centro de la hoja poner la masa de tamal y rellenarla con el pato deshebrado y el dátil. Envolverla como si fuera un dulce, y cocinarla al vapor durante 18 minutos. Se puede agregar mole verde o cualquier tipo de salsa como guarnición.

 

Buen provecho!

The Rye Bar’s Romantic Cocktail Tips

Valentines Day Cocktail

What are the secrets to creating a great cocktail?  This question came up during my chat with one of the Rye Bar’s signature & most well-known D.C. bartenders, Angel Cervantes.  “The liquor must stand out and the herbs and liqueurs must always come secondary.”   I wanted to get a deeper look into how our bartenders at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown create these unique, flavor punched cocktails, and what the basics are to create my own at home.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I asked Angel for his best romantic cocktail tips:

Valentines Day Cocktail

One of my favorite words of recommendation from Angel is, “It doesn’t matter what you’re making, it matters who you’re making it with.”  Creating cocktails involves letting loose and being creative.  To make it romantic, try tasting new flavors with your significant other to experience what you both like.  “Play with flavors of liqueurs, juices, sweetness, and acidity and decide what you are in the mood for.”  First, you must choose your liquor that will be the main focus of the drink.  Then think about what to add to your cocktail- herbs like lavender, rosemary, basil (infused in simple syrup), and citruses like lemons, limes, and oranges.  Once you both develop your favorite ingredients, fixings, and liquors, you will have an easier and more pleasurable time crafting cocktails.

Some of Angel’s suggested staple bar ingredients are:

  1. Lime or Lemon
  2. Sugar infused with an assortment of herbs or fruits
  3. Bitters, a liquid, often an alcoholic liquor, in which bitter herbs or roots have steeped, used as a flavoring

Will this Valentine’s Day be bitter or sweet for you? Regardless, here’s a great cocktail recipe that you can try out for yourself at home in case you’re not able to be here with us this year!

My Bitter Valentine

1.5 oz. Boyd & Blair Vodka
Dash of Hum Herbal Liqueur
.75 oz. St-Germaine
1 oz. Luxardo
Top with 3 dashes Boston Bitters
.25 oz. Lime juice

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a dried rose petal.

For a more hands on learning experience, The Rye Bar is hosting a Couple’s Cocktail Class on Valentine’s Day weekend, which is all about enjoying quality time with your significant other while developing romantic craft cocktails and learning essential bar techniques.  Guests will also delight in canapés and small bites, followed by a 3-course meal with cocktail pairings.  At the end, each couple will receive a signature take home gift from The Rye Bar!  For reservations, contact Elisabeth Thomas at (202) 617-2429 or email elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.

Breidenbacher Hof’s Hoppeditz Cocktail

Hoppeditz-cocktail

It is only February, but I am already looking forward to March 3rd and Düsseldorf’s beloved Rose Monday.  Do you remember what I told you about the Hoppeditz last year?  He is the carnival mascot, who starts the season by waking up and climbing out of a mustard jar.  You can read more about him HERE.

This year will be extra exciting, because Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel is the official home of the royal carnival couple!  It is the royal carnival couple’s duty to represent the carnival making various public appearances and conducting interviews to spread awareness and the spirit of the festive traditions.  I met Prince Michael I. and Venetia Pia last week and it was so much fun to welcome them to our hotel.  Believe it or not, but our General Manager Cyrus Heydarian and I even received special carnival medals as a reward for our support and service!

In celebration, our bartenders at Capella Bar created a new cocktail, The “Hoppeditz.”  It has quickly become a favorite at the hotel.  I highly recommend stopping by the hotel to try it.  Don’t worry if you can’t make it, I’ve included the recipe below for you to recreate at home.

Have fun, good luck and Helau!

Hoppeditz-cocktail

Hoppeditz Cocktail

Ingredients:
–  2cl pink grapefruit juice
–  1cl ginger liqueur
–  1cl vanilla syrup
–  Sparkling wine to top off
–  1 diced kumquat and mint leaves for garnish

Preparation:
The preparation is very easy.  First put all ingredients into a white wine glass (except for the sparkling wine).  Add a diced kumquat and some leaves of mint.  Then just fill it up with the sparkling wine and enjoy.  Perfect for an evening of clowning around!

 

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Hoppeditz Cocktail Im Breidenbacher Hof

Hoppeditz-cocktail

Es ist erst Februar, aber ich freue mich bereits jetzt auf den 3. März, denn dann findet Düsseldorfs beliebter Rosenmontagszug statt.  Erinnert ihr euch an meinen Beitrag über den Hoppeditz vom vergangenen Jahr?  Er ist das Karnevalsmaskottchen und läutet jedes Jahr die Karnevalssaison ein, indem er aus einem Senfglas steigt.  Hier findet ihr noch einmal DIE GANZE GESCHICHTE.

Dieses Jahr spielt der Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel eine ganz besondere Rolle während der fünften Jahreszeit, da wir die offizielle Hofburg des Düsseldorfer Prinzenpaares sind!  Die beiden repräsentieren diese Tradition während der gesamten Session.  Dies bedeutet unter anderem zahlreiche öffentliche Auftritte und Interviews mit den Medien.  Ich durfte Prinz Michael I. und Venetia Pia in der vergangenen Woche treffen und habe mich sehr gefreut, sie bei uns begrüßen zu dürfen.  Und ob ihr es glaubt oder nicht, unser Hoteldirektor Cyrus Heydarian und ich haben sogar Karnevalsorden für unsere Fürsorge und Unterstützung erhalten!

Sogar unser Bar Team ist in Karnevalsstimmung und hat für den feierlichen Anlass unseren “Hoppeditz” kreiert, der mittlerweile zu den beliebtesten Cocktails in unserer Capella Bar gehört.  Ihr solltet vorbeischauen, um ihn zu probieren.  Falls ihr es aus zeitlichen Engpässen nicht schafft, habe ich euch das Rezept für einen Selbstversuch in der heimischen Bar beigefügt.

Viel Spaß, Glück und Helau!

Hoppeditz-cocktail

Hoppeditz Cocktail

Zutaten:
– 2cl Pink Grapefruit Saft
–  1cl Ingwerlikör
–  1cl Vanillesirup
–  Sekt zum Auffüllen
–  1 gewürfelte Kumquat und Minzblätter zum Dekorieren

Zubereitung:
Die Zubereitung ist sehr einfach.  Zuerst alle flüssigen Zutaten, bis auf den Sekt, in ein Weißweinglas geben.  Die gewürfelte Kumquat und die Minzblätter  ebenfalls dazugeben.  Dann mit Sekt auffüllen und genießen.  Der perfekte Cocktail für einen närrischen Abend!

Ich hoffe, er schmeckt euch genauso gut wie mir!

Capella Singapore’s Foie Gras Terrine

Foie Gras Terrine

December is probably my favourite month in the year, simply because the air is just full of festivities and good cheer.

One of the things that I always look forward to is the scrumptious, mouthwatering Christmas meals.  Capella Singapore’s Executive Chef David Senia, was kind enough to share with me a recipe for a very festive appetizer which The Knolls will be serving this festive season – a Foie Gras Terrine with Apple Chutney and Brioche.

I love the simple preparation that impresses with its beautiful flavours.

Foie Gras Terrine

Terrine of Goose Liver, Vanilla Apple Chutney and Brioche Toast

Foie Gras Terrine

1kg  Foie Gras

10g  Salt

3g  Pepper

4g  Sugar

  • Marinate the Foie Gras with salt pepper and sugar and place it in a terrine
  • Put the terrine in a hot water bath and cook it at 55 degrees Celsius for an hour
  • Allow it to cool and set for one day
  • Remove the foie gras from the terrine and slice it evenly

Apple Chutney

500g  Sugar

1.5kg  Granny Smith apple (peeled and cored)

5pcs  Cardamom

5  Vanilla Pods

  • Dice the Granny Smith apple into fine pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients, including the diced apples into a large saucepan and cook
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce the heat and continue allowing the mixture to simmer while stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Assembling the dish:

  • Place the sliced foie gras terrine in between two slices of toasted brioche and smear a generous helping of apple chutney across the plate.
  • To garnish, chop some nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios) and gooseberries in a bowl toss it with vanilla olive oil

Additional festive garnishing tips from Chef David: you can add some micro herbs, such as coriander leaves, which not only add a decorative touch to the dish but also enhance the taste.

Bon Appétit!