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How-To

Small Plates, Mexican Style

A New York chef puts a fresh spin on classic south-of-the-border snacks

Fine Cooking Issue 94
Photo: Scott Phillips
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In Mexico, small plates are called antojitos and they include such familiar foods as tacos and quesadillas. But antojitos are so much more than small plates—they’re a way of life. They’re little bites of flavor that Mexicans nibble on throughout the day, on their way to work or after school. And they’re some of the best dishes Mexican cuisine has to offer. They’re also the most fun, since it’s easy to introduce new ingredients and flavors and turn something as ordinary as quesadillas into a special dish.

And that’s exactly what you’ll find here. These small plates are creative, stepped-up versions of traditional antojitos. Take the empanadas: pillows of puff pastry filled with sweet corn and crabmeat, served with a poblano cream sauce. Tacos are stuffed with fresh grilled summer squash and a zesty cilantro pesto, and quesadillas get an alluring smoky flavor from chipotle purée. Little bites packing big flavor.

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