With the rising popularity of food trucks, the next obvious transition is restaurants featuring street fare on their regular menus. At Dos Caminos, that meant an entire cookbook dedicated to Mexican street fare. Ivy Stark, corporate executive chef of the restaurant at the Palazzo, came out with “Dos Caminos’ Mexican Street Fare,” featuring 120 recipes she discovered while traveling through our neighbor to the south.
On Thursday, Stark cooked up some of her favorites while in Las Vegas. A refreshing ensalada de la calle is just that, a refreshing street salad with mangos, cucumbers, papaya and jicama that is usually served in plastic cups on the streets and topped with a citrus jalapeño vinaigrette. Chipotles chiles rellenos de platano features the spicy chiles stuffed with plantains that can be found in food stalls and just enough heat to pair with a margarita.
But the star of the show was the cachetes en vino rojo, Cazuela style, served with elote de la calle y frijoles borrachos. Mexicans tend to use every part of the cow from snout to tail, and one of the delicacies is beef cheeks. Stark braised them with ancho and a red wine reduction and then served them up with tasty Mexican street corn slathered in mayonnaise and drunken beans soaked in Mexican beer. The dish was perfect on homemade tortillas.
And as Stark said, Mexicans love to put just about anything from corn to chiles in ice cream. She chose a delicate rose petal version paired with similarly flavored cookies to accompany.
The cookbook features dishes that can be made quickly or meant to braise all day. Inside, find anecdotes about the foods and profiles of real Mexican cooks, like Abigail Mendoza from Oaxaca who cooks up unbeatable mole. Stark also put together time-saving techniques and make-ahead suggestions, as well as tips for working with Mexican seasonings and produce such as plantains and chilies.
Pick up the cookbook at Dos Caminos or just head over to try some of the dishes featured in the cookbook on the menu.
Dos Caminos, Palazzo, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-577-9600