Frosted Flakes, Mezcal, and a Molcajete: What Taco Grasp Carlos Raba Can’t Stay With out

When he’s not working towards jujitsu or scarfing Frosted Flakes along with his children, Carlos Raba is making Baltimore a vacation spot for killer tacos and mezcal at Clavel, a taqueria in Baltimore, Maryland.

The place Prime Cooks Go for the Finest Late-Night time Bites and Booze

Listed here are among the cooking necessities the chef can’t stay with out. — As informed to Adam Erace

Hibiscus Illustration by Danilo Agutoli

Flower Energy


Jamaica, what we name hibiscus in Spanish, has many makes use of. I take the dried flowers and grind them with rock salt to make an exquisite pink salt. You’ll be able to boil them right into a tea, then use the rehydrated flowers in stir-fry. I fry them up with poblano peppers, tomatoes, and onions—it’s scrumptious, man.

MolcajeteIllustration by Danilo Agutoli

Important Kitchen Device


A molcajete is a Mexican mortar and pestle that’s product of volcanic stone. You can also make all the pieces in it: guacamole, pesto, salsa. You should utilize it to smash nuts, seeds, and spices. I wish to grill tomatoes and peppers, put them within the molcajete, and smash right into a salsa.

Frosted Flakes Frosted Flakes Courtesy Picture

Finest Breakfast

Frosted Flakes 

Zucaritas is what we referred to as Frosted Flakes in Mexico. Once I used to return to the US as a vacationer, we’d convey bins and bins of cereal again residence, particularly Trix and Fortunate Charms, as a result of these weren’t accessible in Mexico. I’ve two children and I like to eat cereal with them. It’s our personal Mexican-American custom.

CevicheLarisa Linova / Getty Photos

Recipe Each Man Ought to Grasp


Sinaloa, the state I’m from in Mexico, is on the water, so we eat a lot of ceviche. The standard ceviche Sinaloense begins with 1 pound of shrimp—use wild-caught, by no means farmed-raised—that you just peel, devein, and chop. Submerge the shrimp in three cups of lime juice for 15 minutes within the fridge. Then add a cup of tomato juice, 1⁄2 cup clam juice, three diced plum tomatoes, 1 diced serrano pepper, 1 diced white onion, 1 diced cucumber, 1 chopped bunch of cilantro, salt, and pepper. Stir it and chill for 30 extra minutes. To serve, lay a tostada with sliced avocado on a plate, smear it with a bit mayonnaise, and spoon the ceviche on prime.

White Corn TortillaWhite Corn Tortilla 4kodiak / Getty Photos

The Proper Wrap

Flour Tortillas 

Asking me to decide on between flour and corn tortillas is like asking a baker to decide on sourdough or rye. My grandmother made flour tortillas. My aunts make flour tortillas, my cousins make them…all of us make them. They make the perfect quesadillas. I additionally like them with beans—the lard within the tortilla makes them virtually fatty.

Vago Ensamble en BarroVago Ensamble en Barro Courtesy Picture

Go-to Drink


Mezcal is sizzling proper now, but it surely’s an historical, artisanal spirit. Now we have about 70 at Clavel, and my favourite for particular events is Vago Ensamble en Barro. It’s my Dom Perignon. My drink of alternative is a shot of El Buho mezcal and a beer, both Pacifico or Negro Modelo. I sip the mezcal and chug the beer.

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