champurrado (mexican hot chocolate)
1 c fresh, smooth-ground corn masa for tortillas or 2/3 cup powdered masa harina mixed with 1/2 cup warm water
3 c water
1 1/4 c (about 6 ounces) chopped mexican chocolate
3 1/2 c milk
2/3 c sugar
in a blender, combine the fresh or reconstituted masa with the chocolate and water. blend until smooth. strain into a medium saucepan, add the milk and sugar, and set over medium heat. stir (or whisk) constantly as the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer, about 10 minutes. this beverage should be served about the consistency of heavy cream - no thicker. if yours is thicker, whisk in a little milk or water. ladle into cups or mugs.
variation: cinnamon atole. omit the chocolate and, along with the milk, add a 3-inch cinnamon stick (mexican canela is definitive here). simmer slowly for 20 minutes to bring the best out of the cinnamon. -
markets to visit
"a good start for making a town's acquaintance is to visit its morning markets," wrote author bernard rudofsky in 1969 in streets for people: a primer for americans. his idea holds true even more today, with open-air and indoor markets making a resurgence across the country. here are a few of the best city markets you'll find, along with web sites with more information.
broadway market, buffalo, new york, www.broadwaymarket.com
city market, kansas city, missouri, www.kc-citymarket.com
dallas farmers market, dallas, texas, www.dallasfarmersmarket.org
eastern market, washington, d.c.,www.pps.org/gps_new/easternmkt_dc-overview.html