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Making Mexican at home

Mexican

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#31 C. sapidus

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 09:30 PM

Recent meals, part one. Reading a new batch of Mexican cookbooks (and revisiting my old chile-stained friends Rick and Diana) triggered a binge of Mexican cooking at our house. Here are the results, which will be nothing new for anyone who follows the dinner thread. The first is probably my favorite so far.

Pipian rojo, roasted chayote:
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Pescado a la Veracruzana (Rick Bayless); mushroom soup with pasilla chiles:
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Garlicky stir-fried shrimp (camarones al ajillo):
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Pollo con naranja, mushrooms in herbed vinaigrette
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Chipotle-baked fish, turned into tacos with chipotle mayo and lime-cilantro vinaigrette.
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Zarela’s shrimp; fried plantains with Mexican crema.
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Pollo con oregano, from Diana Kennedy:
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Swordfish and avocado ceviche (this was really good):
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And one of my favorite meals from my bachelor days: chayote al vapor:
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#32 heidih

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 09:40 PM

Recent meals, part one.days: chayote al vapor:

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Thank you for the pics Bruce- definitely inspiring. I think what strikes me most is the color you get on your food (browning/carmelizing) that makes looking at it a certainty that it tastes good. Lots of inspiration for the new year.

#33 C. sapidus

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 06:04 PM

First of all, thanks to heidih and Stephanie for your kind comments. We cooked several Mexican dishes for a Christmas Eve dinner party. Details on Dinner! (click).

Tinga Poblana
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Mole coloradito Oaxaqueno
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Making the mole involved repeated stages of preparing ingredients, pureeing them in the blender, and cooking everything down to concentrate the flavors. I took a few pictures early in the process. Cooked-down chile puree:
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Adding the tomato mixture . . .
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. . . and cooking it all down. Repeat and repeat again. :rolleyes:
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Edited to fix link.

Edited by C. sapidus, 26 December 2007 - 06:21 PM.


#34 C. sapidus

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 07:34 PM

Recent meals, part two. On weeknights, we often turn to Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday, a cookbook that provides a lot of shortcut recipes that still taste good. Some examples:

Crock-pot pork with potatoes and chile guajillo sauce, corn tortillas:
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Ancho-rubbed flank steak with onions and plantains (this was really good), arroz rojo:
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Pescado a la Veracruzana; arroz blanco with chile Poblano rajas; guacamole:
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Pescado al mojo de ajo, ejotes con tocino:
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Jicama and romaine lettuce salad with lime-cilantro dressing. This makes regular appearances at the dinner table.
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Green pipian with fish fillets
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#35 snowangel

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:37 PM

Beautiful, Bruce, and you have inspired me to check this cookbook out of the library (remembering my file that if I renew it the max number of times, I will hie myself to the bookstore to buy it!).

Sort of Mexican in our house tonight -- leftover smoked turkey enchiladas, loosely bound together with a green sauce (tomatillos, cilantro, poblano peppers, a couple of roasted jalapenos, lime juice -- thinned with a big of chicken stock) and topped with sour cream and more of the green sauce with a bare sprinkling of cheese. This is probably one of my favorite uses for leftover smoked pork and turkey!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#36 menuinprogress

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:37 PM

Fantastic looking dishes, Bruce. We're also fans of Bayless’ cookbooks. We've got a tortilla soup in preparation as we speak, and your pictures are making me hungry!
Mike Oliphant
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#37 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 05:29 AM

Beautiful, Bruce, and you have inspired me to check this cookbook out of the library (remembering my file that if I renew it the max number of times, I will hie myself to the bookstore to buy it!).

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Thanks, Susan. I'm guessing that you would enjoy the Poblano beef tips (probably suitable for venison, too).

Fantastic looking dishes, Bruce. We're also fans of Bayless’ cookbooks. We've got a tortilla soup in preparation as we speak, and your pictures are making me hungry!

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Thank you very much! How do you make your tortilla soup?

#38 menuinprogress

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 10:15 AM

Fantastic looking dishes, Bruce. We're also fans of Bayless’ cookbooks. We've got a tortilla soup in preparation as we speak, and your pictures are making me hungry!

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Thank you very much! How do you make your tortilla soup?

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It is still very much a work in progress. We started with a Bayless recipe, but have been modifying it. Here's last night's attempt:

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Edited by menuinprogress, 15 January 2008 - 10:16 AM.

Mike Oliphant
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#39 faine

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:59 PM

That is some gorgeous, gorgeous looking food. I gotta get that Bayless book, it seems.

Out of curiosity...have you ever made/know how to make mole amarillo?

#40 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:54 PM

That is some gorgeous, gorgeous looking food.

faine, thank you very much.

I gotta get that Bayless book, it seems.

Out of curiosity...have you ever made/know how to make mole amarillo?

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Mexican Everyday includes a recipe for Oaxacan yellow mole. We made and enjoyed it - description on the dinner thread (click). Googling turned up a similar recipe for after-school mole amarillo (click). This is remarkably quick and easy for a mole. Diana Kennedy and Susana Trilling have more elaborate recipes, should you so desire.

Oaxacan yellow mole (mole amarillo)
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#41 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:55 PM

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menuinprogress, your tortilla soup looks beautiful. Those are limes and pasilla chiles floating in the soup, yes? Have you tried toasting or frying the pasilla chiles until they crumble into smaller pieces?

#42 menuinprogress

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 05:43 PM

menuinprogress, your tortilla soup looks beautiful. Those are limes and pasilla chiles floating in the soup, yes? Have you tried toasting or frying the pasilla chiles until they crumble into smaller pieces?

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Thanks, Bruce. Yes on the limes. The chiles were fried anchos (the Bayless recipe calls for either pasilla or ancho). The chiles were definitely crumbly, and could have been broken up into smaller pieces.

We also use some of the toasted ancho pureed up in the soup base.
Mike Oliphant
Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

#43 C. sapidus

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:39 PM

The chiles were fried anchos (the Bayless recipe calls for either pasilla or ancho). The chiles were definitely crumbly, and could have been broken up into smaller pieces.

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Interesting – I usually crumble the chiles pretty small, but I have not tried leaving larger pieces. We substitute pasilla and ancho chiles pretty freely, depending on availability and whether we want a sharper or sweeter flavor.

Recent meals, part three: Mexican (and sorta-Mexican) breakfasts.

Camarones con huevos (this one was actually from a recipe):
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My first successful corn tortillas, made from masa harina, with a concoction of eggs and chipotles in adobo:
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Huevos con chorizo:
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Papas chirionas – I love the deep flavor of chile pasilla, so this is one of my favorites:
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Bricklayer’s eggs (huevos al albanil) – more chile pasillas, and one of my absolute favorite things to eat in any category.
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Huevos rancheros, usually with chile Poblano rajas (the last picture was one of my first eGullet posts)
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#44 C. sapidus

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 09:09 PM

Pescado al mojo de ajo con calabacitas, with roasted Poblano chile strips. Another good 'un from Mexican Everyday.

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#45 snowangel

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 06:48 AM

The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos. It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful. Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#46 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 07:27 AM

The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos.  It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful.  Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!

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Susan, I am so sorry to have steered you wrong. :sad: The last time we made that dish we jazzed it up with Thai basil and some other stuff, and it was delectable - poblano beef tips (post 20186). We did use ribeye, so maybe the dish needs a good fat-laden steak?

#47 lucylou95816

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 07:38 AM

Bruce,
your food as always looks great. How can I get that cilantro lime dressing recipe. I am having a Mexican inspired theme dinner party tomorrow and could make that since I have a bunch of lettuce and jicama laying around.

I'll be making carnitas roasted first in an orange/lime juice, achiote paste marinade, tucked inside of banana leaves, then we'll shred it up and broil it to make it crispy. I am serving with pickled habanero onions, fresh made salsa and gauc. I'll put pics up, since we photo the meal each month.

#48 LoveToEatATL

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:46 PM

This is an awesome thread!

Since we have moved to Santa Monica, I have met so many people that want to learn to cook and we have taken them under our wing.

This is a great place to start for those lovers of Mexican cuisine (like me!!)

Jennifer - I really miss Atlanta, so I especially love reading your posts. Thanks.

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#49 snowangel

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:47 PM

The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos.  It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful.  Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!

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Susan, I am so sorry to have steered you wrong. :sad: The last time we made that dish we jazzed it up with Thai basil and some other stuff, and it was delectable - poblano beef tips (post 20186). We did use ribeye, so maybe the dish needs a good fat-laden steak?

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Bruce, I hadn't thought of adding Thai Basil (a staple in our house), and so for lunch, the leftovers were with Thai Basil, which made a big difference. And, I do think you are right about the fat-laden beef. Reminder to self...try this again, and not with venison, which is quite lean!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#50 C. sapidus

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:55 PM

Bruce,
your food as always looks great.  How can I get that cilantro lime dressing recipe.  I am having a Mexican inspired theme dinner party tomorrow and could make that since I have a bunch of lettuce and jicama laying around.

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Thank you very much, Stephanie! Here is the recipe - jicama salad with lime-cilantro dressing. I hope you like it more than Susan liked my other recommendation. :rolleyes:

#51 lucylou95816

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:36 PM

Bruce,
your food as always looks great.  How can I get that cilantro lime dressing recipe.  I am having a Mexican inspired theme dinner party tomorrow and could make that since I have a bunch of lettuce and jicama laying around.

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Thank you very much, Stephanie! Here is the recipe - jicama salad with lime-cilantro dressing. I hope you like it more than Susan liked my other recommendation. :rolleyes:

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Thanks Bruce, I made the dressing this morning and it tasted really good. I'll let you know what the crowd says.

#52 C. sapidus

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 08:37 PM

Stephanie, your dinner party sounds great. I hope you had a chance to take pictures.

Tonight we made pork carnita tacos, guacamole, and salsa roja picante from Cocina de la Familia, served with home-made corn tortillas. We simmered cubes of pork shoulder with onions, garlic, pickled Serrano chiles, and Mexican oregano, and finished the carnitas in a hot oven with orange juice, orange zest, black pepper, and Coca-Cola. Good stuff, even it I overfilled my taco.

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#53 Doodad

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:22 AM

Man, late to the pary as usual. What a great thread!

A few questions, mostly for the hostess, BG.

What is DF?

WHERE is Chicago on Buford Hwy?

Can someone hook me up with a good carnitas recipe? Bayless' is ok, but not like I have had and adored at some restaurants.

#54 C. sapidus

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 06:02 AM

A few questions, mostly for the hostess, BG.

What is DF?

Not BG, but I can answer this one. Mexico City = Ciudad de Mexico, D.F.. The abbreviation D.F. stands for distrito federal (federal district) according to Wikepedia (click). Like Washington, D.C., Mexico City is a city as well as a federal district.

Can someone hook me up with a good carnitas recipe?  Bayless' is ok, but not like I have had and adored at some restaurants.

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Perhaps you will find a carnitas recipe that you like in the eight-page thread titled "Carnitas" (click). :smile:

I am also hoping that Blissful Glutton gets time to visit.

#55 lucylou95816

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:06 AM

Bruce, I loved the salad, as did my guests! BF thought it had slightly too much lime. I'll post some pics later of the dinner and my carnitas were great too. This is the recipe that I used. They were very moist and flavorful and then if you want them crispy, stick them under the broiler for a bit.

#56 Bella S.F.

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 06:40 PM

In an attempt to make chorizo that would not have all of the unidentified chunks of who-knows-what in them, and perhaps a tad less grease than the wonderful chorizo that we get at a Mexican store in the Mission, we have been making our own chorizo. We start with pork shoulder/butt and grind it ourselves. As far as the flavor is concerned, we are just not getting it right. Basically we are using chilis, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. We do make the mixture, pinch a bit off and cook it to taste for flavor, but we are still not getting what we want. It does not turn out with that deep, muddy greasy red color like the Mexican chorizo that we buy. I think that we need to put in a bit more fat than we have been putting in, but what do we do about the flavor? What kinds of chilis do you use? Any ideas that you can share as far as other ingredients and ballpark proportions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really have a hankering for chorizo and eggs, the kind where you have that special red color dripping from the tortilla and the spice that spreads all over your mouth. Also want to make Rick Bayless' Chorizo-Potato Tacos with Avocado Salsa. (Like right now.) So... how can I try to duplicate that flavor?
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#57 Paul McMichael

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:26 PM

In an attempt to make chorizo that would not have all of the unidentified chunks of who-knows-what in them, and perhaps a tad less grease ...

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I have had good luck with a variation of Len Poli's chorizo http://lpoli.50webs....izo-Mexican.pdf I tend to use a hot paprika with cayenne and ancho. Smoking is also good.

Paul

#58 potsticker

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:36 PM

WHERE is Chicago on Buford Hwy?

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Ooh ooh, I know this one. It's on Buford Hwy, right inside the perimeter, between Shallowford Rd and 285. It's in a shopping center called Pinewood Plaza which is across the street from the somewhat prominent McDonalds, right north of Ranch 99.

There's a taco counter in the back (by where they do the fresh masa) that requires a lot of self-control. And don't forget the Mexican Coca-Cola!

#59 Doodad

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:07 AM


WHERE is Chicago on Buford Hwy?

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Ooh ooh, I know this one. It's on Buford Hwy, right inside the perimeter, between Shallowford Rd and 285. It's in a shopping center called Pinewood Plaza which is across the street from the somewhat prominent McDonalds, right north of Ranch 99.

There's a taco counter in the back (by where they do the fresh masa) that requires a lot of self-control. And don't forget the Mexican Coca-Cola!

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Thanks, I know exactly where that is. Boy, that plaza has changed so many times over the years.

#60 snowangel

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 03:26 PM

The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos.  It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful.  Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!

View Post

Susan, I am so sorry to have steered you wrong. :sad: The last time we made that dish we jazzed it up with Thai basil and some other stuff, and it was delectable - poblano beef tips (post 20186). We did use ribeye, so maybe the dish needs a good fat-laden steak?

View Post


I re-did this dish the other day for lunch for myself with leftover charcoal-grilled chuck eye steak (an especially fatty and flavorful hunk of it) and yes, it does need a more fat-laden cut of meat. I can imagine it would also work well with pork shoulder.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"





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