All the Mexican food you could ever dream of eating will be yours for the taking at AltaMed's 5th annual East L.A. Meets Napa benefit July 9.
That evening, Union Station's huge courtyard will be jammed with tables where local Latino restaurants will hand out tastes of their best dishes.
It won't be all rice and beans but everything from moles and tacos to modern dishes such as a deconstructed pozole from Daniel Salcido, executive chef of Phlight restaurant in Whittier, a golden gazpacho with poached shrimp and Israeli couscous from Huge Molina of Seta in Whittier (for which recipe, turn the page), and a Mexico City watermelon gazpacho from John Rivera Sedlar of Rivera Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
A special guest this year will be Mexican cooking superstar Patricia Quintana, author of more than 10 books on the cuisines of Mexico and chef/owner of Izote in Mexico City.
Participating restaurants will include La Casita Mexicana, Guelaguetza, Esquela, Casa de Moles “La Tia,” El Tepeyac, La Parrilla, Cobras & Matadors, Cacao Mexicatessen, Home Girl Café and many more.
Some 30 wineries owned and/or operated by Latinos will pour their wines. among them Sequoia Grove Vineyards, Madrigal, Alex Sotelo Cellars, Gustavo Thrace wines, Encanto Vineyards, V. Sattui and El Centauro del Norte.
For the first time, wineries from Baja California's Guadalupe Valley have been invited to participate. They range from well known producers such as Adobe Guadalupe, Monte Xanic and L.A. Cetto to J.C. Bravo, upcoming boutique maker of Carignan.
The event celebrates the bicentennial of the fight for Mexican independence and the centennial of the Mexican revolution. AltaMed will use proceeds for its mission of providing health and human services for underserved communities in Southern California.
East L.A. Meets Napa: 6 to 9 p.m. July 9 at Union Station, 800 N. Alameda Street. Tickets are $150. Order online or call (323) 889-7342.
Golden gazpacho with poached shrimp and Israeli couscous
From: Hugo Molina of Seta restaurant
3 yellow tomatoes, cored and cut into medium dice
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and cut into medium dice
2 stalks celery, cut into medium dice
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into medium dice plus 12 slices for garnish
2 ounces Maui onion (about ½ cup), cut into small dice
½ jalapeno chile, seeded and cut into small dice
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (optional)
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 ½ cups orange juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1. Combine the tomatoes, mango, celery, diced cucumber, onion, chile, cilantro and garlic in a large bowl.
2. Add the orange juice, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, kosher and celery salts, cumin and hot pepper sauce. Stir and taste for seasoning.
3. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
2 ounces Israeli couscous
1 quart water
2 tablespoons diced white onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Place the couscous in a large saucepan. Add the water, onion and salt.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the couscous is tender.
3. Strain and discard the water. Set aside.
1 cup water
1 lemon wedge
3 sprigs cilantro
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
12 shrimp (16/20 to a pound), peeled and deveined
1. Combine the water, lemon wedge, cilantro, bay leaf and salt in a large saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, then add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
1. Divide the soup among 4 serving bowls. Place 3 cucumber slices in a triangle in each bowl. Place 3 shrimp in each bowl between the cucumber slices. Sprinkle the couscous over the top.