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Pati's Mexican Table - Altata, Hidden Gem by the Sea of Cortez (802)

Chipotle Oyster Soup

Makes 6 servings  


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrot, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons about 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and their sauce, chopped, or to taste
  • 1 chile de arbol, stemmed and chopped, seeds included
  • 1 1/2 pounds about 6 Roma tomatoes, roasted and charred, chopped
  • 1 pound about 12 to 15 shucked oysters and their juices
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 cups shrimp or seafood broth, or substitute vegetable or chicken broth
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Quartered limes, to serve


  • In a large casserole or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot add the onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until softened. Incorporate 1 cup each of the celery, carrot, and leeks (reserving half a cup of each for later use), cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables have wilted. Make room in the middle of the pot and add the garlic, chipotles in adobo, and chile de arbol, cook for a minute, then mix with the vegetables and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, the juices from the oysters, salt, and oregano and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, until it is all simmering and thickening a bit. Add the broth, once it comes back to a simmer, continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat.

  • Once it cools off a little, puree in batches in the blender until completely smooth. If you want a very silky soup, strain back into the soup pot.

  • Bring the pureed soup back to a simmer over medium heat, add the remaining half a cup each of the celery, carrot, and leeks and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Incorporate the shucked oysters, cook for 1 minute until barely cooked through and turn off the heat.

  • Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with cilantro and offer your guests a quartered lime to squeeze in fresh juice before they eat.

Shrimp Machaca and Potato Burritos

Makes 8 burritos



  • 2 dried morita or chipotle chiles
  • 1 pound medium-sized shrimp, shelled and rinsed
  • 3/4 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • Flour tortillas
  • Serrano Salsa Cruda


  • Place the morita or chipotle chiles in a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes. Remove from the water, stem, seed and finely chop.

  • In a medium pot, bring heavily salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute, just until cooked through. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon, set aside. When the shrimp have cooled down, working in batches, place in a plastic bag and mash with a meat pounder or a heavy flat-bottomed utensil (such as a small skillet or pan), until broken apart and mashed.

  • Add the potatoes to the same simmering water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until soft and cooked through. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add the serrano and morita or chipotle chiles, stir and cook for a minute. Add the garlic and sesame seeds, stir, and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant and the sesame seeds have toasted and browned. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook until the tomatoes become super soft and pasty, about 5 minutes.

  • Incorporate the mashed shrimp and cooked potatoes, stir well, and mash as it all comes together for another minute. Taste for salt.

  • Heat the tortillas on a preheated comal or skillet. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the shrimp machaca and potato filling to each tortilla and roll into burritos. Once assembled, you can heat them on the comal or skillet for another minute if you want them a bit toasted or eat them soft just as they are assembled. Serve with Serrano Salsa Cruda.

  • Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with cilantro and offer your guests a quartered lime to squeeze in fresh juice before they eat.

Serrano Salsa Cruda

Makes approximately 2 cups


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white onion
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and upper stems
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste


  • Place all the ingredients in the blender and pulse until chunky. You may add a chile at a time to taste for your desired heat level.