© Marcus Nilsson
On Friday, F&W Best New Chef 2013 Alex Stupak of New York's modern Mexican restaurants Empellón Taqueria and Empellón Cocina hosts the third installment of The Push Project, his brilliant series of collaborative pop-up dinners with guest chefs. He'll welcome San Francisco’s offal king Chris Cosentino for two $150 seatings. “I wanted to cook with Chris because his cooking style is so different from mine,” says Stupak. “It's very bold and spontaneous. He changes his mind mid-dish and always has new items on the menu at Incanto.” During a live Q&A on Food & Wine's Facebook page today, Stupak shared a sneak peek of their menu: sweetbreads cooked in Rhode Island-style clam chowder. Here, more highlights from Stupak's chat with fans including his favorite boozy summer cocktail, the best chiles for at-home cooks, and the secret to really good flour tortillas.
What are five must-have pantry staples for making Mexican food?
Garlic, white onions (not yellow Spanish ones) tomatoes, tomatillos and chiles—masa and lard are crucial too but you only gave me five!
What's the easiest Mexican dish for an at-home cook to make?
Queso fundido. Find chihuahua cheese or another mild melting cheese and simply add delicious garnishes like spinach, mushrooms, chorizo etc. Serve with warm tortillas.