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Oaxaca's Live-fire Cooking

series: Mexico -- One Plate At A Time With Rick Bayless

air date: 1/23/14 6:30 AM

Everything tastes better cooked over a wood or charcoal fire - at least that's the Oaxacan credo. From soup to barbacoa, burning embers influence the flavor of Oaxaca's food in just the right ways. For starters, Rick guides us through the "taco corridor" at the 20 de Noviembre market just off the main square in Oaxaca. We can almost taste the richly-burnished chiles and onions as they grill alongside super-thinly sliced beef and pork and robust chorizo sausages. Then we see hot rocks plucked from the glowing embers and dropped into hot soup for making caldo de piedra (stone soup), a specialty from the village of San Felipe Usila. La Capilla, a campestre (open air) restaurant, in the town of Zaachilla, has served lamb and goat barbacoa for more than 47 years. Rick's so enamored with the process of burying the chile-seasoned meat in glowing embers that he creates his own version on the backyard grill. Served with Oaxacan pasilla tomatillo salsa, there's meat, fire and smoke in every bite.

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