Itanoni Antojeria y Tortilleria is a little restaurant that we love in the Colonia Reforma neighborhood of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico. At Itanoni they believe that corn, is the basis of Mexican culture. They are committed to the preservation of the various traditional varieties of corn as well as to the cooking methods used in making dishes that range from tacos, tostadas, tlayuda (see *) tamales, and many more traditional foods. At Itanoni traditional food preparation includes the corn being ground by hand, then being made into (see*), and in turn, cooked on traditional clay comals.
My all-time favorite Mexican breakfast is Huevos Rancheros. At Itanoni they make it in what I have been told is the Veracruzana style with a slightly fried tortilla instead of the warmed corn tortilla. Fried eggs are then set on top of the tortillas/tostadas then topped with salsa. The salsa can be either green, red or in some cases is more of a fresh salsa often referred to as Pico de Gallo.
At Itanoni they use four different types of organic corn flour that the cooks stone-grind.
The Mexican drink Champurrado is a delicious hot chocolate thickened with masa and flavored with piloncillo and aniseed. It is then frothed with a tool called a molinillo which is a beautiful wooden whisk type kitchen tool.
Tlayuda. sometimes spelled Clayuda isa dinner-plate-sized tortilla that is baked either on a comal a barbecue grill, or directly over hot coals.
Masa. Masa is made from corn, which has been dried, treated with a lime water solution, then ground. The masa can then be used for corn tortillas or for tamales.
Another great little restaurant in Oaxaca is Zandunga. The recipes here come from the istmo, the southeastern part of the state of Oaxaca around the town of Tehuantepec.
We tried to come here with our friends John and Donita who live on the coast of Oaxaca but they were closed for a private party that night. So our last day in Oaxaca before heading home to San Pancho Linc and I went there for a late lunch.
Quite a charming little corner restaurant where the tables are covered in bright oilcloth. We were brought a compimentery dish of Minilla a kind of dry fish hash served with chips. This rendition was very different from the one I love to make. The ecipe posted below is from the Mexican cookbook author Zarela Martinez. We then also had the garnachos as an appetizer and a tamale both of which were very good and on our ‘gotta have again” list. The chicken and potato enchiladas with mole on the other hand didn’t do much for us, though the mole itself was yummy!
- 2 quarts water
- 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 small unpeeled white onion, left whole, plus 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 pounds firm-fleshed white fish fillets, such as tilefish, red snapper or grouper, cut into 4-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green olives
- 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapeño chiles
- 2 teaspoons garlic seasoning (recipe to follow)
- In a large saucepan, combine the water with the garlic cloves, whole small white onion, 2 of the bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fish in a single layer and simmer over moderate heat until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter to cool. Break the fish into large pieces, discarding any bones and skin.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the chopped white onion and cook over high heat, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, mint, thyme and the remaining 4 bay leaves and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until a thick sauce forms, about 8 minutes. Stir in the olives, pickled jalapeños and garlic seasoning. Add the fish and cook until warmed through and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and season the hash with salt. Transfer to a bowl and serve.