TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Guacamole Rojo & Rollo de Langosta from Executive Chef Julian Medina of Zócalo in New York City
Enjoy the parades, mariachi music, piñatas, and folklorico dancing this Cinco de Mayo with a bowl of Guacamole Rojo, tortilla chips, and Rollo de Langosta, topped off with wine or beer. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Puebla battle of 1862 where the Mexicans defeated the French in battle. Although Mexico lost the war, this victorious battle is renowned because it created a sense of national unity in Mexico. For many, it is an excuse to celebrate and indulge in great Mexican food. And what better way to do so than with these recipes “stolen” from Chef Julian Medina of Zócalo Restaurant. Zócalo means a town center where social and business transactions take place, so this fifth of May make your home into a little zócalo. Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
right/msnbc/Components/Photos/060425/060425_julian_idaho_inline_12p.jpg1651100000right#000000http://msnbcmedia.msn.comJ. Davis Gaul1PfalsefalseAbout the chef: At 30, Executive Chef Julian Medina is extraordinarily accomplished. A native of Mexico City, Medina's culinary sensibility was shaped early on by his father. Medina's first apprenticeship was in Mexico’s Hacienda de los Morales. Here, Medina learned the basic steps and components in preparing classic Mexican cuisine. At 19, he became Sous Chef at Mexico City’s Nikko Hotel at the Les Celebrites Restaurant, where he became a student of classic French techniques.
In 1996, Chef Richard Sandoval (Maya, Pampano, Tamayo, Zengo, Isla) discovered Medina while dining in Mexico City and was so impressed with the energy and vision of the young man that he presented Medina with the opportunity to relocate to New York City and help open Sandoval’s signature restaurant, Maya. While in New York, Medina graduated in 1998 from The French Culinary Institute, receiving the “Best Final Project” Award of his graduating class, and fulfilled his boyhood dream of becoming a chef.
As he developed his own skills, Medina sought outlets for his creativity. He accepted a position as Executive Chef at Sushi Samba eventually opening SushiSamba7 in New York and then SushiSamba Dromo on South Beach. He then returned to New York in 2003 and became Executive Chef for all of Sandoval's Mexican restaurants and created menus for Pampano and The Pampano Taqueria.
In January 2004, Julian accepted the Executive Chef position at Zócalo and transformed the restaurant's menu to reflect his focus on inventive components and pairings, matching traditional Mexican food with French techniques and modern interpretations such as wine-paired taco samplings, guacamole tastings, lobster enchiladas, Mexican chioppini and Kobe hanger steak with mole verde, and avocado salad. As David Rosengarten of The Rosengarten Report writes, “[Medina is] a genius, a star chef waiting in the wings.”
Guacamole Rojo & Rollo de Langosta is served at Zócalo for $10. Both recipes are for a serving size of 4.
174 East 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.