Julian Medina brings lechon prensado to The Dish

Chef Julian Medina brings Latin cuisine to Th... 05:14

Chef Julian Medina has been creating refined Latin cuisine for more than 15 years. With family and school roots in Mexico City, Medina eventually moved his award winning cooking to New York. After working in the kitchens of restaurants Maya and SushiSamba, Medina has become an authority on Latin cuisine in Manhattan and now has seven restaurants of his own.

Here's how to make some of his signature dishes: Lechon prensado, tacos de langosta, vegetales en vinagre, corn-jalapeño pudding, guacamole de frutas, churros, and his favorite margarita to drink!

Lechon Prensado

Suckling pig carnitas, chicharron prensado

Serves 8

For the Suckling Pig:

10-pound whole pig, or 1 pork shoulder

2 whole oranges

4 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

1 bottle beer

1 can evaporated milk

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

2 quarts canola oil, or until pork covered Kosher salt to taste

For the Suckling Pig:

1. Preheat oven to 350oF.

2. Break down the pig into pieces and place the pieces in a large roasting pot. Add the remaining ingredients then fill the pot half way with canola oil. Place in the oven to roast for 2-hours, or until pig is cooked thoroughly. Once cooked, remove from oven and let the meat rest for 10 minutes.

3. After resting period, first remove the skin from the meat and place pieces skin-side down covering the bottom of a hotel pan. Next pull apart the meat in large chunks and stack it over the skin layer. Press down on the meat with your hands to insure it is packed tight in the container, then pour over just enough cooking liquid to saturate the meat.

4. To "press" the meat, cover the pan with saran wrap then place an identical hotel pan on top the other and fill it with full 28 oz cans, or any similar heavy objects. Place meat in refrigerator for 18 hours.

To Assemble and Serve:

1. Cut the pressed pork into 4-inch x 4-inch squares. Ready a skillet over medium heat with oil, and heat the meat until thoroughly warmed with a crispy skin.

Tacos de Langosta

Spicy lobster, avocado and chile de arbol salsa

Serves 8 tacos

For Lobster:

2 11⁄4- pound Maine Lobsters, live

1 carrot, chopped

1 Spanish onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

Water to fill large pot

For Chile de Arbol Salsa:

Serves 1

quart 5 dry chiles de arbol

1 cup Spanish onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1⁄4 cup rice vinegar

1⁄2 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Kosher salt

For Chipotle Mayo:

Serves 1 quart

1 egg yolks

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chipotle puree

1⁄2 tablespoon soy sauce

1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

Chef Julian Medina

2 cups canola oil

1 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt

For the Corn Tortillas:

Yields about 30 tortillas

4 cups instant corn masa mix

3⁄4 tablespoon kosher salt

3 cups cold water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 2 tablespoons melted lard

Additional: 8 5-inch corn tortillas 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 1 Mexican hass avocado, cut in slices 2 limes, cut in wedges

For the Lobster:

1. Combine all vegetables and aromatics in a large pot with water, and bring water to a boil.

2. Place live lobsters in a roasting pan and pour the poaching liquid into the pan to cover the lobsters. Let the lobsters cook in the boiling water. When water is a safe temperature to place hands in the water the lobsters should be properly cooked.

3. Remove lobsters from pan and place on cutting board. Crack open the shell using scissors for the body, you may use bare hands for the tail, and extract the meat. Cut meat into chunks.

For the Chile de Arbol Salsa:

1. Lightly toast the chiles de arbol. Then with a tablespoon of oil sauté the toasted chiles until caramelized. Add the onion and garlic, and allow to cook for 2 minutes.

2. In a blender or food processor, pulse the chiles, onion and garlic with the remaining ingredients; add salt to taste, and set aside.

For Chipotle Mayo:

1. In a blender, or food processor, combine all ingredients except for the oil and pulse until ingredients are well incorporated.

2. Slowly add the oil and continue to pulse until the oil is emulsified.

For the Corn Tortillas:

1. In a bowl combine the instant corn masa mix and salt. Mix well with hands.

2. Add the vegetable oil (or melted lard) to the bowl. Incorporate well with a spoon, and then add the cold water. Using your hands mix the ingredients well until a soft dough forms, about 5 minutes. Let the masa rest covered with a towel for 20 minutes at room temperature.

3. After resting, the dough is ready to be pressed into tortillas. Prepare by cutting two 8-inch circles from a plastic bag, these will prevent the tortillas from sticking to the press. Grease one side of each piece of plastic with vegetable oil. (Re- grease pieces of plastic after making a few tortillas.)

4. Roll the masa into balls about 11⁄2-inch thick. Center a cut piece of plastic greased side up on the tortilla press, then place a ball of masa on top of the plastic. Place the other circle of plastic greased-side down on top of the ball.

5. Using you hand, flatten the ball just a little bit so it looks like a hockey puck, taking care not to crack it. Close the press and push down using the handle. Lift the handle, flip the tortilla, and carefully peel the top circle of plastic off of the tortilla. Flip the tortilla onto the back of a wide spider (or a smooth-bottomed bowl) and peel the other circle of plastic off.

6. In a non-stick griddle or heavy pan over medium heat, carefully, but quickly, flip the raw tortilla onto the pan. Cook for 30 seconds on each side. Remove the tortilla from the skillet using a spatula. Wrap the tortilla in a towel and serve warm.

For the Taco:

1. Over medium heat for about 30 seconds gently warm the lobster chunks in a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of Chile de Arbol Salsa, salt to taste; take care not to overcook the lobster.

2. Heat the griddle to a medium heat, warm the tortillas until soft.

3. Per each taco place a generous portion of the lobster chunks in the center, then drizzle over about 1 teaspoon of the Chipotle-Mayonnaise. Top the taco with the cilantro and 1 slice of avocado. Serve with lime wedge.

Vegetales en Vinagre

Baby vegetables in vinegar

Serves 8

For the Pickled Vegetables:

20 pieces baby corn

20 pieces baby carrots

2 cups cauliflower florets, about 1-inch in diameter

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

Half Spanish onion, quartered

3 garlic cloves

2 jalapeños, sliced lengthwise

1 cup white vinegar

4 cups water Kosher salt to taste

For the Pickled Vegetables:

1. In a pot over medium heat combine all the vegetables, add the jalapeños, oregano, vinegar and water; salt to taste. Letting the water stay at a hard simmer, cook until the vegetables are tender. Then remove from heat, and leaving the vegetables in the cooking liquid, place pot in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Serve vegetables warm, alongside the Lechon Prensado.

Corn-Jalapeño Pudding

Corn pudding with jalapeño and Mexican cheeses

Serves 4

For the Corn-Jalapeño Pudding:

8 eggs

1 quart heavy cream

4 cups sweet corn, roasted, cooled to room temperature

2 cups Chihuahua cheese, shredded

2 cups Manchego cheese, shredded

3 chile serranos, diced

2 ounces sugar

Kosher salt to taste

For the Corn-Jalapeño Pudding:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, then add the heavy cream while continuing to whisk. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well, salt to taste.

3. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and place in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly with golden crust.

4. Cut pudding into 2 1⁄2 -inch wide squares, and serve warm alongside Lechon Prensado.

Guacamole de Frutas

Chunky avocado with pomegranate seeds, mango, sweet onion, apple and habanero

Serves 4

2 Mexican hass avocados

2 tablespoons Vidalia onion, diced

2 tablespoons mango, diced

2 tablespoons apple, diced 1⁄2 teaspoon habanero salsa

1 teaspoon Thai basil, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

1⁄2 teaspoon lime juice

Kosher salt to taste

1. Scoop the pulp out of the ripe avocados into a bowl.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt. Mash the ingredients together, leaving it chunky and check the seasoning.

3. Serve with warm corn tortillas or chips.


Mexican cinnamon dusted, with chocolate & dulce de leche dipping sauce

Serves 10 churros

For the Chocolate Sauce:

Half pound Mexican chocolate, Abuelita or Moctezuma

1⁄4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

For the Dulce de Leche Sauce:

2 cans condensed milk, peel labels off Water

For Churro Dough:

2 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar

1⁄2 cup water

1⁄2 cup flour

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

For the Churros:

1⁄2 cup of granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

For the Chocolate Dipping Sauce:

1. For the Mexican chocolate sauce, in a double boiler, place the Mexican chocolate, heavy cream and butter until melt and keep it hot.

For the Dulce de Leche Sauce:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a hard boiled. Place the 2 unopened cans of condensed milk in the water and allow to boil for 3.5 hours. Let cans cool then scoop out the dulce leche. Serve warm with churros.

For Churro Dough:

1. In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar and water to a boil. Add the flour to the saucepan; incorporate it by stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Keep the mixture at the same heat until it forms a ball, then remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Add the egg and beat mixture until smooth.

2. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe dough in strips onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze for 10-20 minutes, or until paper can be peeled off. Do not freeze solid.

To Assemble and Serve: 1. Fry churros a few at a time in hot oil (375oF) until golden, turning occasionally. Lay freshly fried churros on paper towels to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

2. Serve warm with the chocolate and dulce de leche dipping sauces.


Chef Medina's Favorite

Serves 1

2 ounces Chef Medina's Double Barrel Reposado

3⁄4 ounce Agavero Tequila liquor

11⁄2 ounces lime juice

1 ounce simple syrup

Splash of orange juice

For Garnish:

Salt, to rim the glass (optional)

1 lime wedge

For Margarita:

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well.

2. Strain the liquid into a chilled salt-rimmed red wine glass over ice and garnish with a wedge of lime.