On the Menu: Celebrating Oaxaca

Tonight's Beard House dinner will introduce diners to the utterly unique cuisine of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a narrow stretch of land separating the Mexican gulf from the Pacific Ocean in the southeast of Oaxaca. Ivy Stark of Dos Caminos has designed the menu centering on this largely unknown part of the world, and will be joined in the kitchen by two members of her team, Scott Linquist and Pastry Chef Hugo Reyes. Here's what they will be preparing: Hors d’Oeuvre Molotes de Flor de Calabaza Quesillo > Masa Turnovers with Zucchini Blossoms and Oaxacan String Cheese Tortitas de Camaron > Tiny Omelet Soufflés with Dried Shrimp Pasilla Oaxaca Relleno de Requeson y Durasno > Cheese and Peach–Stuffed Smoked Pasilla Chilies Tostaditas de Erizo > Crispy Corn Totopos with Sea Urchin, Serrano Chile,

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Eat This Word: Carnitas

The James Beard Foundation on carnitas
WHAT? Mexican confit. Though the word carnitas can refer to any small bits of cooked meat—that are usually served in soft corn tacos at roadside stands throughout Mexico—the most common is pork. To make pork carnitas, large pieces of shoulder and other fatty parts of the pig are simmered in vats of lard until they are crisp on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. The meat is removed from the fat, drained, and broken up into small shreds that are then stuffed into tacos. (Where there are carnitas, there are usually chicherones, or crisp, fried pork skins.) The western part of central Mexico, namely Michoacán, is known for carnitas, but truth be told they are tasty just about everywhere—even Queens, New York.

WHERE? Ivy Stark, Scott Linquist, and Hugo Reyes's Beard House dinner

WHEN? May 21, 2010

HOW? Roast Duck Breast and Duck Carnitas Enchiladas with Dried Fruit,

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