One of my fondest pleasures in traveling is meeting and chatting with chefs and of course, tasting and trying their recipes.
My first post pandemic adventure took me straight to Cabo – it more than fulfilled my escape plan: short flight, luxury surroundings, enough activity to entertain me over a week and scrumptious dining! Sitting in a restaurant, cocktail in hand and drooling over a menu was probably one of my most missed activities – to be out and about and have someone prepare a delicious meal was heavenly!
I’ve stayed at the Four Seasons Las Palmas in Cabo just after opening, Limón the alfresco restaurant was on the drawing board, it’s now serving dinner every night in the mini lemon grove. I was happy to dine several times during my week-long visit. Overlooking the cove beach and harbor, Limón is a very cozy farm-to-table al fresco experience featuring produce harvested from Costa Palmas’ on-site orchards and farm.
During the week, Tonatiuh Cuevas Manzano, or Chef Tona offers a couple of authentic participation cooking experiences. Mexican food is rich and based on recipes that change just a bit from state-to- state. Drawing from his heritage, a massive pot is elevated over a wood burning fire pit. A flavorful broth begins the process for carnitas. While stirring chicken legs, spices, and fresh peppers he explained that he learned the recipes from his grandmother and hasn’t modified much of her recipes. The flavorful mix simmers all day over the fire pit, arrive late afternoon for the savory tasting!
A unique rustic experience, follow the fragrance and the wood smoke to the tiered garden setting lit by strings of lights, glowing paper lanterns dangling from the lemon trees. A massive grill is front and center in the outdoor kitchen, book ended by a colorful bar. The restaurant focuses on fresh seafood and grilled steaks, with a broad selection of wines, including several from Mexican vineyards.
Favorite menu items include Organic Pork Ribs, Plantain and Chile Guajillo Puree. Roasted organic chicken thighs flavored with jicama, basil, mint, pineapple, chile and ancho adobe. Spoil the entire table and feast on the ribeye that is aged 45 days. The catch of the day was scrumptious served in verde with fire roasted vegetables, prepared simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s natural and delicious! All accompanied by a choice of Chimichurri, Guajillo Bearnaise or Birra reduction. One evening, I noshed on a roasted mushroom ragout, green salad, and the kid’s size steak- by all appearances, the meat servings were massive, kid menu was perfect for me!
Highly recommend Limón, an authentic organic ode to provincial Mexican cuisine, featuring fresh and plentiful Baja seafood and grilled meats. – from spotted cabrilla, clams, fresh tuna, and dorado. The extensive bar menu includes wines from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe and Baja sourced craft beers, and of course, frosty Margarita’s, one of the best of the week!
We can organize a cooking class with Chef Tomo, a special dinner, anything your culinary heart desires!
Carnitas for a Crowd
Pork shoulder 2 pieces (3 pounds approx.)
Pork Legs 2 pieces (3 pounds approx.)
Por ribs 2 pieces (3 pounds approx.)
Pork Skin (2 pounds approx.)
Pork lard 10 pounds
Water 2 liters
Method: Boiled the lard in a pot large enough for the liquid and the meat, add the legs and the shoulder, cook until it turns golden, dissolve salt in the water and add it carefully, reduce heat for two hours and add the ribs, add more salt to the water, boil for 1 hour or more until the shoulder is tender, add the skin and boiled for 40 min more, strain all the meat and reserve broth. Serve the meat chopped with Tortillas, salsas, chopped cilantro, chopped onion for tacos.
9 pc ancho chiles, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
6 pc pasilla chiles, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white onion, chopped
½ head garlic, chopped
1 cup pecans
2 cup pitted dates
1 1/4 cup ripe plantain, peeled and sliced
3 Corn tortillas, cut into squares
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup grated or chopped piloncillo or brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 cloves, whole
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Preheat a comal, cast iron pan or nonstick skillet over low-medium heat. Toast chiles gently for about 10 seconds per side, being careful not to let them burn.
In a large, extended sauté pan, add lard and set over medium-high heat until hot, 1 or 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add all chiles, and the dates and cook for 3 to 4 minutes; until lightly crunchy.