From the Soul
Shreveport Chef Eleazar Mondragon adds a heavy dose of love to dishes at Ki’ Mexico
Chef Eleazar Mondragon’s take on modern Mexican at Ki’ Mexico is comfort food at its finest and is deeply inspired by friends, family and love.
“This might sound corny, but [it’s all about] the love for food,” he says. “How it brings family or friends together, how versatile it is, and how beautiful and colorful fruit and vegetables can be and what can I prepare with them. I also think it’s in my blood, since I come from a family of great cooks and also because I’m from Mexico, a country where almost everything revolves around food.”
Known for its own brand of “Mexican soul food,” with lush plates of handmade tacos, tortugas and a decadent brunch menu on Sundays, Eleazar genuinely cooks from the heart, an experience he hopes his customers feel.
“We just want them to have a great experience,” he says. “One costumer told me one day ‘When I eat at your restaurant, I feel like I’m eating at your house, I feel like if I was eating what your mom made your family for dinner.’ And he was right, many of our dishes are recipes from my mom, some of them are mine and all of them are made with love.”
Chef Eleazar is constantly at work, making tweaks and improvements, both in the menu and the restaurant, but also on his own skills as a chef.
“My plans are to keep improving myself so I can keep providing new and different food. I like to travel a lot and that helps me to get new ideas to bring to our customers.”
|TACO CON VEGETALES|
|In a medium-size pan, drizzle enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom and heat until just shimmering. Add ½ small onion (chopped) and cook until tender; add 1½ tablespoons of garlic and cook until fragrant, then add 7 ounces of whole shiitake mushrooms and stir.
With the help of some kitchen scissors, thinly cut 1 pasilla chile pepper widthwise and add to the mushroom mixture, making sure to stir constantly. Once the mushrooms have cooked, add 2 zucchini squash (small dice) and cook until tender. Season with salt and add 2 tablespoons of chopped epazote (optional) or 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme. Stir one more time and turn off the heat. Keep warm.
In a different skillet, pan-roast 1 cup of corn (fresh, cut off cob) over medium heat. No oil is necessary; just make sure to stir constantly until the corn is done.
To Serve Heat up the tortillas. Add the mushroom and zucchini squash mixture, drizzle some Mexican cream (as needed), add queso fresco (as needed), and finish with some roasted corn.
|Eat and enjoy.|