FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, Hotel Matilda, Chef Bernard McDonough

Nov 1, 2010
2010 / November 2010

Chef Bernard McDonough“My current culinary style reflects a desire to get back to honest, ingredient-driven cuisine. All of the current innovations in technique and equipment are amazing, but in my opinion all of the science and technology have taken away from the soul and magic of a spectacular meal.”

That, in a nutshell, is how Executive Chef Bernard McDonough describes the philosophy behind the food he creates at Hotel Matilda, an iconoclastic boutique hotel in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized for its intact Spanish-era architecture.

“I feel that every chef has a definitive voice; and that voice is constantly evolving due to new ideas, experiences, ingredients and exposure,” McDonough says. “Also of great importance has been my appreciation for simple, rustic cuisine and street food. The flavors, textures and ingredients involved with the food of the masses have always served as inspiration to reinterpret these familiar dishes.”


Seared sea scallops with huitlacoche-leek fondue and jamón serrano Serves 6

For the scallops:

6 U-10 diver scallops

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

Sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Pat scallops dry; season them liberally with sea salt and cracked black pepper. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil until golden brown. Add scallops to pan and cook until well browned on one side (3–4 minutes). Flip scallops and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

For the jamón serrano:

2 ounces jamón serrano

Dry the jamón on an ungreased baking sheet in a 200-degree oven until brittle. Pulse in a food processor or chop by hand into a coarse powder.

For the sherry vinegar syrup:

6 ounces sherry vinegar

1 ounce wildflower honey

1 large pinch cracked black pepper

In a saucepan over medium heat, reduce the sherry vinegar to 1 ounce. Stir in the honey and cracked black pepper. Set aside.

For the huitlacoche-leek fondue:

4 ounces huitlacoche, thoroughly cleaned

2 large leeks, white part only, cleaned and julienned

5 ounces butter

1 cup water

½ cup dry white wine

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sauté huitlacoche in 1 ounce of butter for 4–5 minutes. Transfer huitlacoche to an ungreased baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Combine the water and white wine in a saucepot. Add a pinch of salt and the leeks. Simmer until the leeks are almost dry. Slowly stir in remaining butter, 1 ounce at a time, over very low heat. Finely chop the roasted huitlacoche and add to the leek butter mixture just before serving. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

PRESENTATION: Drizzle a circle of sherry vinegar syrup around the rim of the plate. Use a fork to twist a pile of fondue onto the center of each plate. Place a seared scallop on top of the fondue. Garnish with a sprinkle of crispy jamón serrano.


Pork chop al pastor with stone-ground grits, jalapeño and caramelized onion relish Serves 6

6 center-cut bone-rib pork chops
Al pastor marinade (recipe follows)

Toss the pork chops and the marinade in a zip-lock bag. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Grill the pork chops over mesquite coals to desired doneness, basting with remaining marinade once on each side while grilling.

For the al pastor marinade:

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

2 tablespoons achiote

3 cloves fresh garlic

Juice of 2 limes

¼ cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sriracha

½ cup grapeseed oil

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a blender. Process on high until fully incorporated. Slowly drizzle in oil while blending until fully emulsified.

For the grits:

1 cup coarse ground grits

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (sharp, white, bandage-wrapped if possible)

1 stick butter

Sea salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

Combine chicken stock and butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in grits, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until all liquid is absorbed and grits are tender. Stir in grated cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the jalapeño-onion relish:

4 large green jalapeños

1 large white onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup red onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems

1 cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup light brown sugar

3 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 tablespoon pickling spice

1 tablespoon salt

Combine last 6 ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and slowly reduce to a syrup consistency. Strain and reserve. In olive oil over low heat, slowly caramelize the white onion. Roast the jalapeños over an open flame (grill or burner) until skin is blistered. Remove from heat. Cover and chill. When they are cool, peel and seed the jalapeños, then dice them to a fine consistency. Combine the caramelized onion, jalapeños, raw red onion, cilantro stems and syrup.

PRESENTATION: Place a spoonful of grits onto each plate. Place a pork chop on top of the grits. Serve with jalapeño-onion relish.


Mexican chocolate pâté with vanilla bean cream Serves 6

For the chocolate pâté:

4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

6 ounces unrefined sugar

8 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 quart cream

Zest of 1 orange

1 pasilla chile, seeds discarded, roughly torn

4 whole cloves

2 pieces star anise

Combine last 5 ingredients and simmer over very low heat until fragrant. Place chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Strain hot liquid over the chocolate. Whisk together the yolks, eggs and sugar rapidly in a separate bowl until the mixture is light and frothy. Slowly temper half of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Combine all remaining ingredients in a heat-proof bowl and cook over a double-boiler for 15 minutes, whisking continuously. Strain the mixture; pour into small cups and set aside to chill.

For the vanilla bean cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ vanilla bean

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and whip until the mixture forms soft peaks.

For the garnish:

Muscovado sugar

Mint sprigs

PRESENTATION: Remove the pâté from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Top each pâté with a big dollop of vanilla cream. Garnish with muscovado sugar and a mint sprig.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Nov 30, 2022

Grand Hyatt Vail Announces New Offerings for Milestone Winter 2022/2023

Grand Hyatt Vail offers travelers an exciting lineup of experiences for winter 2022/2023. The property celebrates its 40th anniversary in conjunction with Vail Mountain’s 60th anniversary this December.

TAP Air Portugal’s Porto

When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.

eFlyer Reviews
Nov 30, 2022

Facial Lounge at Back Bay Center

From Costa Mesa and Newport Beach to Corona Del Mar, Dana Point and Laguna Beach, there are no shortages of lavish hotels and full-service day spas spanning Orange County. Spa enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with so many different flavors of high-end interiors, signature treatments, elaborate services, retail areas and, often, swanky snacks served in cafés and solariums.

December 2022
Nov 30, 2022

A Night to Remember

United MileagePlus, The Peninsula Chicago and FXExpress Publications, Inc. welcomed an exclusive group of United Airlines’ most elite customers, Premier 1Ks, to the luxury hotel’s stunning rooftop Z Bar to celebrate United MileagePlus’s multiple 2022 awards from our family of brands, including Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED

eFlyer News
Nov 30, 2022

Mélia Hotels International to Grow Luxury Brands in Mexico with 2 New Hotels

Melia Hotels International grows its luxury brands and expands in Central America with the addition of a Gran Mélia Hotels & Resorts property and a ME by Mélia hotel. The expansion allows Mélia Hotels International to commit to the region and offer its high-quality experiences to travelers and locals.

Daily
Nov 30, 2022

The Ritz-Carlton Announces Partnership with Diptyque

The Ritz-Carlton recently announced a partnership with Diptyque, the luxury French parfumerie, bringing the brand's luxurious bath products to The Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts worldwide.

Alaskan Wild Wonders by Celebrity Cruises

Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.

Daily
Nov 30, 2022

Mondrian to Open First Singapore Hotel in 2023

Accor Hotels Group announced Singapore's first Mondrian hotel will be built in the heart of the city's prominent Duxton Hill neighborhood, set to open in early 2023. The news comes on the heels of Accor's recent announcement regarding its planned venture with Ennismore, which brings together Ennismore’s know-how in building brands with creative storytelling, design and authentic experiences, with Accor’s wealth of knowledge in delivering scale, network growth and distribution.