Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Making Mexican at home

Mexican

  • Please log in to reply
436 replies to this topic

#61 JimH

JimH
  • legacy participant
  • 366 posts
  • Location:Houston, TX

Posted 24 March 2008 - 04:00 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?

View Post



I make chorizo when I get the time. I use the ingredients you listed but also have apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic & chili powder. Store bought chorizo includes delectable morsels such as pork salivary glands so you will have a different texture with ground pork. It also seems to have more liquid than most sausage. I’d agree with your suggestion of adding more fat as my version cooks up drier than commercial chorizo. The flavor on the other hand is very good and is really good with scrambled eggs in a hot flour tortilla. :wub:

Edited: to change flout to flour

Edited by JimH, 25 March 2008 - 08:34 AM.


#62 menuinprogress

menuinprogress
  • participating member
  • 250 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:21 PM

I make chorizo when I get the time.  I use the ingredients you listed but also have apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic & chili powder.

View Post


I think the addition of vinegar is key - the chorizo I like definitely has a vinegar bite to it.

We really loved the chorizo we got when we were vacationing in Oaxaca. I haven't been able to find anything comparable back home, so we're gong to try making our own as well.
Mike Oliphant
Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

#63 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 29 March 2008 - 07:05 PM

Pasilla chile picadillo Oaxaqueno, based on a variation in Authentic Mexican. Warm flour tortillas, guacamole, and salsas at the table.

To make the picadillo, saute onions, garlic, and ground (or chopped) pork until lightly browned. Blend and strain the sauce – pasilla chiles (toasted and soaked), tomatoes, canela, cloves, and black peppercorns. Simmer the pork mixture and sauce with raisins and vinegar. Mix in toasted almond slivers and serve on warm flour tortillas.

The family asked for this again, but without the raisins.

Edited to eliminate redundancy and eliminate redundancy.

Posted Image

Edited by C. sapidus, 30 March 2008 - 09:26 AM.


#64 heidih

heidih
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 10,839 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 29 March 2008 - 11:05 PM

I make chorizo when I get the time.  I use the ingredients you listed but also have apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic & chili powder.

View Post


I think the addition of vinegar is key - the chorizo I like definitely has a vinegar bite to it.

We really loved the chorizo we got when we were vacationing in Oaxaca. I haven't been able to find anything comparable back home, so we're gong to try making our own as well.

View Post



My eye opening chorizo moment was in a diner in Ensenada (Baja-Mexico) where the grill cook was dipping tortilla chips into something. She had a little stash of well fried chorizo and was scooping it up with the chips they fried up. We got some and were in heaven. Have managed to get it recreated several times- lucky us! Found some fresh stuff at a local restaurant that has a deli case. Cooked it up at home and with a bag of their fresh fried tortilla chips - it is really good

#65 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 09 April 2008 - 06:28 PM

Tonight we made pescado en chile limon from Zarela’s Veracruz. For the sauce, we blended boiled tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, shallots, flat-leaf parsley, and a half-cup of lime juice. We fried butterflied rainbow trout in olive oil until partly cooked, poured off the oil, added the chile limon, cooked the trout through, and finished the sauce with a little butter.

Accompanied by calabacitas al mojo de ajo, originally from Authentic Mexican. I should be able to make this in my sleep, but I added the toasted garlic slices too early and they lost crispness.

Pescado en chile limon, calabacitas al mojo de ajo
Posted Image

#66 The Blissful Glutton

The Blissful Glutton
  • participating member
  • 233 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, GA

Posted 13 April 2008 - 07:58 AM

One of my most requested recipes is my green salsa recipe which is obscenely easy to knock out and way better (in my opinion) than buying the premade stuff. I serve this with a variety of dishes and it can be tweaked many ways. This is the basic version--a raw green salsa that goes well with fattier types of dishes like the beer-braised short-rib tacos I made this particular night.

Ingredients:
A handful of tomatillos
1/4 cup of packed fresh cilantro
Serrano peppers
One clove of garlic
The juice from 1/2 of a fresh lime
Salt
One avocado (optional)

Instructions:
Posted Image
Take the husk off the tomatillos, rinse well, and quarter.
Give them a liberal pinch of salt and let them sit on the cutting board for about 10 minutes. You can also roast these under a broiler at this point or blanch them in salted boiling water if you don't like the bitter(ish) flavor of raw green tomatoes.

Posted Image
Clean your cilantro very well. I normally soak it in very cold water and then dry in my trusty salad spinner. When the leaves are dry, pluck them from the stems. Make sure you taste the cilantro because it can be bitter sometimes and you want to adjust your amount accordingly so it does not overpower the salsa.

Posted Image
Using rubber gloves, de-seed and roughly chop 2-3 serrano chiles. You can use jalapenos, but I prefer the heat of the serrano. You can also roast these if you have more time and/or prefer a deeper flavor.

Put all the ingredients (except the avocado) in a blender and pulse until it is uniform in texture. Place in the fridge for an hour so the flavors can marry. Salsa has the tendency to change and certain flavors can really intensify. After an hour, take the salsa out and adjust the seasoning to your taste with more lime or salt.
Posted Image
At this point, you can blend in an avocado for a creamier texture. If you choose to do this, make sure you adjust the seasoning accordingly and preform this step at the absolute last moment before serving since it the avocado will eventually start to oxidize. Enjoy!

#67 The Blissful Glutton

The Blissful Glutton
  • participating member
  • 233 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, GA

Posted 13 April 2008 - 08:00 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.

View Post

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.

View Post


Ack. I have not been here in so long. Sorry guys! But, Bruce nailed it about DF. I will make it a point to check here more often. Everyone is making some amazing looking food!

And in case you were still curious re: Chicago, I actually just reviewed it for a local paper I write for. You can view the review (with details and photos) HERE and my blog post with more photos HERE.

~Jennifer

Edited by The Blissful Glutton, 13 April 2008 - 08:08 AM.


#68 menuinprogress

menuinprogress
  • participating member
  • 250 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 13 April 2008 - 06:29 PM

One of my most requested recipes is my green salsa recipe which is obscenely easy to knock out

Really nice pictures - they make me want to whip up a batch right now!
Mike Oliphant
Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

#69 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 16 October 2008 - 04:40 PM

Peppered shrimp (camarones a la pimienta), with slivered onions and Serrano chiles, garlic, lots of black pepper, and a finishing shot of mayonnaise. Medium-low heat and short cooking time kept the shrimp tender and juicy. Zarela's Veracruz falls open to this page.

White rice pilaf (arroz blanco), with chopped parsley and cilantro, onions, garlic, chicken broth, and peas.

Hard to believe that no one has been Making Mexican at Home since last April. :sad:

Posted Image

#70 snowangel

snowangel
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 8,140 posts
  • Location:Twin Cities, MN

Posted 16 October 2008 - 08:59 PM

Actually, Bruce, I have been making Mexican at Home, but have not reported on it at all (bad me).

Daunted by Diana Kennedy's books, I did get a copy of Rick Bayless's "Authentic Mexican" as I make my way through that book, I think that Diana will be less daunting.

But, one of our favs from Rick's book has been the Northern-Style Shredded Beet with Tomatoes. I've also done with recipe with pork. The key is, after you braise the beef (works well in the crock pot in the laundry room on a really hot day -- the kind of day that you don't want to heat up the kitchen) to crisp the shredded meat up really well. Just almost crisp the hell out of it. It should not be a ragout! This dish was not as successful with venison because of venison is not known for being well marbled.

Given that you have teen boys, Bruce, plan on tripling the recipe. Do what I did. Get to the farmer's market late in the day, when they will bargain, and you can get a half bushel of poblanos (essential) for a coupla bucks, toss them on the grill, freeze on a cookie sheet, package in a ziplock, and peel and de-seed when they are just about thawed. Works like a charm.

Me thinks da boyz would like this dish very much.

Oh, and I forgot, the Chicken Tostadas with Fresh Vegetables and Cream were another favorite (I used thighs instead of the suggested breast).
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#71 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:08 PM

Peppered shrimp (camarones a la pimienta), with slivered onions and Serrano chiles, garlic, lots of black pepper, and a finishing shot of mayonnaise. Medium-low heat and short cooking time kept the shrimp tender and juicy. Zarela's Veracruz falls open to this page.

White rice pilaf (arroz blanco), with chopped parsley and cilantro, onions, garlic, chicken broth, and peas.

Hard to believe that no one has been Making Mexican at Home since last April. :sad:

Posted Image

View Post


Your photo inspired me. Since I had the book I made this for dinner and it was delicious, though a bit oily. Do you normally use the entire amount of oil called for in the recipe (1/2 cup) or have you modified it to suit your tastes? I think it could be done successfully with a little less oil.

I've actually been cooking a lot of Mexican lately, but not photographing or posting about it. Made mole verde at work on Thursday and encacahuatado a couple weeks ago. Both were terrific.

#72 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:22 PM

Since I had the book I made this for dinner and it was delicious, though a bit oily.  Do you normally use the entire amount of oil called for in the recipe (1/2 cup) or have you modified it to suit your tastes? I think it could be done successfully with a little less oil.

View Post

Thanks, Kalypso. Yes, we also found the dish a bit oily, so after the first time I reduced the oil from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.

I would love to hear about what you are cooking, whether at home or at work. Any mole verde tips to share?

#73 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:15 PM

Thanks, Kalypso. Yes, we also found the dish a bit oily, so after the first time I reduced the oil from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.

I would love to hear about what you are cooking, whether at home or at work. Any mole verde tips to share?

View Post


Thank you for confirming what I was thinking. As I was cooking the onions and garlic I thought half the oil would have been sufficient. I juice half a key lime into the rice I was preparing and didn't want to discard the other half, so I squeezed it into the shrimp dish when I added the jalapenos. And speaking of jalapenos, we've been getting some ENORMOUS ones here lately. They've had a nice kick to them, not bland, not overly hot. Because the jalapenos I had were ridiculously large I used fewer in number than the recipe actually called for, but was probably pretty close in actual volume of sliced/chopped peppers. In any event, I think this dish will make it into our regular meal rotation.

As for the mole verde...make sure your vegetables are all as fresh as possible. In addition to poblanos, jalapenos and serranos, I used tomatillos, spinach, celery, parsley and cilantro, zucchini, green leaf lettuce and romaine. It was thickened with pepitas, sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds, all fried and pecans, not fried. It took longer to cook than I thought it would, was pretty darned tasty with chicken and would have been stellar with duck. My Mexican employees gave it 2 big thumbs up and said I had nailed it.

I preferred the encacahuatado, though. Very subtle, deeply flavorful, silky, nuanced sauce. Not overly spicy. I think I'm going to tweak it a bit next time I make it to see if I can deepen the complexity of the flavors a little bit.

The mole recipe and the encacahuatado recipe I got from Roberto Santibanez at the recent Latin Flavors/American Kitchen workshop at the new San Antonio CIA campus.

#74 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 08 November 2008 - 10:41 PM

Thanks, Kalypso. I need to try mole verde next time I get a free weekend.

For an informal chile cook-off, we made Rick Bayless’ traditional variation of manchamanteles de cerdo y pollo (simple red mole with meat, fowl, and fruit) from Authentic Mexican. Manchamanteles (“tablecloth stainer”) is usually listed as one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. I couldn't resist making a dish that promised to stain tablecloths. :smile:

Chorizo sausage, pork shoulder, and chicken thighs provided a variety of meaty flavors. The delicious sauce contained ancho and pasilla chiles (toasted and soaked), onions and garlic (browned), peanuts and almonds (toasted), cloves, canela, and black peppercorns (ground) and bread, all smoothly pureed in the Preethi before straining.

We fried the sauce to deepen the flavor and release the fond, thinned the sauce with water, and then added the pork. While the pork simmered we fried chorizo sausage, browned chunks of chicken thigh meat, and deglazed the frying pan with some of the simmering sauce. When the pork was tender we added the chicken and chorizo, and then finished with a sweet-sour combination of cider vinegar, fried plantains, and cubed pineapple.

Multiple cycles of browning and deglazing gave the sauce a lot of depth. Generous salting is often necessary to coax out the complex flavors of a mole, and that was the case today. We will definitely make this again.

None of the manchamanteles survived, so unfortunately no pictures.

#75 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:53 PM

For an informal chile cook-off, we made Rick Bayless’ traditional variation of manchamanteles de cerdo y pollo (simple red mole with meat, fowl, and fruit) from Authentic Mexican. Manchamanteles (“tablecloth stainer”) is usually listed as one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. I couldn't resist making a dish that promised to stain tablecloths. :smile:

None of the manchamanteles survived, so unfortunately no pictures.

View Post


I like Manchamantele a lot too, thought I haven't made it for a while. Right now I'm doing a stint with pre-holiday dieting so I can eat without guilt on Thanksgiving :laugh: Authentic Mexican isn't my favorite Rick Bayless book (though it is really good) but I've had very good luck using his recipes in general.

Have you by any chance made Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo La Parroquia from Zarela's Veracruz? I'm seriously considering making it for Thanksgiving instead of our regular bird. The recipe looks good and appears to be fairly simple to prepare, leaving more time for all the other dishes. She's got a duck recipe in there that looks to be really delicious, but duck wouldn't cut it for Thanksgiving with folks for whom I'll be cooking.

#76 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:49 PM

. . . Authentic Mexican isn't my favorite Rick Bayless book (though it is really good) but I've had very good luck using his recipes in general.

Good luck with the pre-holiday diet. Which Rick Bayless book(s) do you prefer?

Have you by any chance made Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo La Parroquia from Zarela's Veracruz? I'm seriously considering making it for Thanksgiving instead of our regular bird. The recipe looks good and appears to be fairly simple to prepare, leaving more time for all the other dishes. . . .

View Post

I have not cooked Zarela’s roast turkey, but I would be very interested to hear your evaluation if you try it. We made mostly Mexican food for our holiday dinner last year. It went over well, but this year we will probably try something different.

#77 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:56 AM

Good luck with the pre-holiday diet. Which Rick Bayless book(s) do you prefer?

I have not cooked Zarela’s roast turkey, but I would be very interested to hear your evaluation if you try it. We made mostly Mexican food for our holiday dinner last year. It went over well, but this year we will probably try something different.

View Post



I'll preface this response by saying I own every Rick Bayless cookbook save one and I've done extended cooking classes with him. I think Authentic Mexican is a pretty good book, but it just doesn't turn my crank. I purchased it when it was first published and just never warmed to the book so much. I think the physical layout of the book might have something to do with that.

I will be in the minority on this, but my favorite Rick Bayless cookbook is Salsa's That Cook. It's a tiny little book with 8 basic salsa recipes and 50 recipes for using those salsas. It's tight, concise, approachable for the novice to Mexican cooking but gives those more familiar and skilled a lot of ideas and different ways to make standard dishes. I also like Mexican Kitchen really well and have cooked pretty successfully from that.

I've tried quite a few dishes out of Everyday Mexican and liked the slower cooker and salad dressing recipes quite a bit.

But, back to the turkey...I will probably do Zarela's turkey recipe. If I can remember to take photos I will and post them. It's the remembering to do it that's going to be the problem.... :wacko:

#78 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 29 November 2008 - 08:01 PM

kalypso, any Thanksgiving cooking news to report? :smile:

Every year the arrival of cold weather makes me crave Mexican food. Tonight's dinner, served with warm flour tortillas, tasted better than it looked. :rolleyes:

Papas chirrionas (from The Art of Mexican Cooking): Basically, spicy hash browns with egg. We blended toasted chile pasilla, roasted tomatillos, and garlic to a chunky sauce, fried the sauce with the browned onions and potatoes, stirred in beaten eggs, and finished with Mexican oregano and (in our case) grated parmigiano reggiano.

Salsa de chile pasilla (from Seasons of My Heart): Tomatillos, garlic, and chile pasilla de Oaxaca, toasted on a comal and blended with a little water to a chunky salsa. Chile pasilla de Oaxaca is smoke-dried like chile chipotle, and we scored a bag from Sweet Freedom Farm (clicky). This salsa will probably show up again this week.

Calabacitas al mojo de ajo (from Authentic Mexican): Sauteed zucchini with toasted garlic slices, finished with lime juice, Mexican oregano, and flat-leaf parsley. I could make a meal of the butter-browned garlic chips.

For dessert, Mrs. C and the boys made a delicious apple and raspberry pie, served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Posted Image

#79 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:32 AM

kalypso, any Thanksgiving cooking news to report? :smile:

View Post


As a matter of fact...yes :smile:

I did follow through and make the Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo recipe form Zarela's Veracruz. While not the best turkey I've ever made, it certain was very good and I will probably prepare it again sometime. Our Thanksgiving menu looked like this...

Guava & Chile Spiked Margaritas
Panela con Oregano (from Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook)

Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo
Cornbread & Tortilla stuffing (Dean Fearing recipe from 11/2007 Food & Wine)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Creamed Onions (Dean Fearing recipe from 11/2007 Food & Wine mag)
Cranberries (Dorie Greenspan recipe from 11/9/08 Parade, which was a real DUD)
Pecan Pie

The absolute home run hit of the meal was the Panela con Oregano that I served as an appetizer. I substituted queso fresco for the panela. We were stunned at how good this very easy recipe turned out. The queso was marinated overnight in a combination of corn and olive oils, dried Mexican orgeano and severalcloves of minced garlic, then baked for about 15 mintues to heat it through. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it :rolleyes:

The chile paste for the turkey was easy to put together, though I can't say much for Zarela's tomato charring technique using a griddle on the range-top. I reverted to broiling them.

Mind you, I am not a very good photographer; here's the bird finally ready to go

Posted Image

It went onto a bed of aromatics that included the biggest white onion I could find, a whole head of peeled garlic, a bunch of bay leaves and some sprigs of oregano and thyme

Posted Image

2 1/2 hours later it looked like this

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

The recipe called for turning the turkey every half hour. I found that a little cumbersome, so as soon as the turkey rendered some fat I began basting with that instead.

The onions left in the roaster after the turkey was removed were pretty crispy and charred which caused a few moments pause for concern about whether or not the pan sauce would turn out burned and bitter. But... I went ahead and poured in the turkey broth that had been prepared with the neck, gizzards, tail, onions and other aromatics and proceeded to follow Zarela's instruction to "boil furiously" until reduced to sauce consistency. W-O-W. The "jugo" was fabulous.

Posted Image

We had gravy left over. The next day when I took it out of the fridge, it had, of course, separated into the fat layer on top and the juice on the bottom since there was no binder in it. That juice layer is phenomenal. Extremely rich, meaty, rather like a turkey demi-glace. I'd make the turkey again just for this juice.

The Cornbread & Tortilla stuffing was a departure from our usual tried and true dressing, but turned out really well. My 89 year old mother who is a real purist when it comes to Thanksgiving - and especially dressing - said "I'd vote for this again". It passed the old folks test :biggrin: The recipe uses tortilla broth as the liquid for the dressing and it was pretty fabulous. I think I'd be inclined to use it as a soup base rather than in the dressing. I liked it better than the finished dressing.

The creamed onion recipe I'd make again in a heartbeat. It was super simple and didn't take very long. It's essentially caramelized onions, a few herbs and seasonings and heavy cream reduced down to sauce consistency. Heart attack on a plate probably with the cream, but if it's only once a year it probably won't kill you :laugh: Not very pretty to look at, but quite tasty

Posted Image

And last, but not least, the pecan pie

Posted Image

So there you go, my Mexican-Southwest inspired Thanksgiving dinner

#80 chefsteban

chefsteban
  • participating member
  • 103 posts
  • Location:San Diego

Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:37 PM

kalypso, any Thanksgiving cooking news to report? :smile:

View Post


As a matter of fact...yes :smile:

I did follow through and make the Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo recipe form Zarela's Veracruz. While not the best turkey I've ever made, it certain was very good and I will probably prepare it again sometime. Our Thanksgiving menu looked like this...

Guava & Chile Spiked Margaritas
Panela con Oregano (from Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook)

Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo
Cornbread & Tortilla stuffing (Dean Fearing recipe from 11/2007 Food & Wine)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Creamed Onions (Dean Fearing recipe from 11/2007 Food & Wine mag)
Cranberries (Dorie Greenspan recipe from 11/9/08 Parade, which was a real DUD)
Pecan Pie

The absolute home run hit of the meal was the Panela con Oregano that I served as an appetizer. I substituted queso fresco for the panela. We were stunned at how good this very easy recipe turned out. The queso was marinated overnight in a combination of corn and olive oils, dried Mexican orgeano and severalcloves of minced garlic, then baked for about 15 mintues to heat it through. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it :rolleyes:

The chile paste for the turkey was easy to put together, though I can't say much for Zarela's tomato charring technique using a griddle on the range-top. I reverted to broiling them.

Mind you, I am not a very good photographer; here's the bird finally ready to go

Posted Image

It went onto a bed of aromatics that included the biggest white onion I could find, a whole head of peeled garlic, a bunch of bay leaves and some sprigs of oregano and thyme

Posted Image

2 1/2 hours later it looked like this

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

The recipe called for turning the turkey every half hour. I found that a little cumbersome, so as soon as the turkey rendered some fat I began basting with that instead.

The onions left in the roaster after the turkey was removed were pretty crispy and charred which caused a few moments pause for concern about whether or not the pan sauce would turn out burned and bitter. But... I went ahead and poured in the turkey broth that had been prepared with the neck, gizzards, tail, onions and other aromatics and proceeded to follow Zarela's instruction to "boil furiously" until reduced to sauce consistency. W-O-W. The "jugo" was fabulous.

Posted Image

We had gravy left over. The next day when I took it out of the fridge, it had, of course, separated into the fat layer on top and the juice on the bottom since there was no binder in it. That juice layer is phenomenal. Extremely rich, meaty, rather like a turkey demi-glace. I'd make the turkey again just for this juice.

The Cornbread & Tortilla stuffing was a departure from our usual tried and true dressing, but turned out really well. My 89 year old mother who is a real purist when it comes to Thanksgiving - and especially dressing - said "I'd vote for this again". It passed the old folks test :biggrin: The recipe uses tortilla broth as the liquid for the dressing and it was pretty fabulous. I think I'd be inclined to use it as a soup base rather than in the dressing. I liked it better than the finished dressing.

The creamed onion recipe I'd make again in a heartbeat. It was super simple and didn't take very long. It's essentially caramelized onions, a few herbs and seasonings and heavy cream reduced down to sauce consistency. Heart attack on a plate probably with the cream, but if it's only once a year it probably won't kill you :laugh: Not very pretty to look at, but quite tasty

Posted Image

And last, but not least, the pecan pie

Posted Image

So there you go, my Mexican-Southwest inspired Thanksgiving dinner

View Post



wow is all I can say kalypso. What a wonderful meal that must have been.
"We do not stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing"

#81 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 30 November 2008 - 08:34 PM

kalypso, wow, that feast looks amazing. Did the chile paste flavor penetrate into the turkey, or was that job left for the incredible-looking jugo?

For tonight’s comparatively modest dinner, the chileajo and arroz blanco were from Susanna Trilling’s Seasons of My Heart.

Chileajo de puerco (pork with chile garlic sauce): We made pork stock with cubed pork shoulder, the shoulder bone, and aromatics. The sauce included chiles costenos, tomatoes, tomatillos, sesame seeds, garlic, cumin, thyme, and Mexican oregano, all blended, strained, and thinned with pork stock. Mrs. C pointed out that chiles costenos have a flavor reminiscent of Tabasco sauce (but without the overpowering taste of vinegar, thankfully).

Posted Image

Arroz blanco con platanos fritos (White rice with fried plantains): Pork stock, onions, garlic, and flat-leaf parsley (subbed for mint). Plantains were on the starchy side, unfortunately, but otherwise the rice was a big hit.

Green beans with bacon and onion: Not particularly Mexican, but we used white onions and blanched the green beans in the pork stock. Elder son gave this an 8.5, an unusually high score for a vegetable.

Posted Image

#82 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:39 PM

kalypso, wow, that feast looks amazing. Did the chile paste flavor penetrate into the turkey, or was that job left for the incredible-looking jugo?


Green beans with bacon and onion: Not particularly Mexican, but we used white onions and blanched the green beans in the pork stock. Elder son gave this an 8.5, an unusually high score for a vegetable.

View Post


Wow, I'd give those green beans an 8.5 too, they look marvelous. The chileajo looked pretty good too, but those green beans looked perfect! My sister's motto is "everything's better with bacon"...I couldn't agree more :biggrin:

The chile paste on my turkey was rubbed inside and out and allowed to stand for 30 minutes prior to roasting. The majority of the flavor did end up in the jugo with just a little bit penetrating the skin, which BTW, was crisp with a lot of chile flavor but not a lot of kick.

The chile paste recipe made quite a bit, more than I could get on the turkey, so we saved the extra. This evening I thinned it out with some of turkey stock I had made with the carcass and all the bones that had been stripped of meat. Then I added the rest of the turkey that remained after leftovers and sandwiches and stashed it in the freezer. It will become the filling for tamales in a couple of weeks.

Next up for me is the Jamoncillo recipe from the current (Dec.) issue of Sauver. I've been making candy for nearly 40 years and not only do I have a sweet tooth, I am particularly fond of jamoncillo. The method for this recipe is rather unusual so I'm really anxious to try it out and see what happens. The photo in Sauver looks almost good enough to eat; if mine turns out looking half that good I'll be happy.

I'm also thinking about test driving a Pollo en Salsa de Uvas recipe that is a specialty of Guanajuato.

#83 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:56 PM

kalypso, thank you for the information and kind words. I look forward to seeing what you make next.

Pollo deshebrado a la Nortena (shredded chicken with tomatoes, from Authentic Mexican): We poached chicken thighs with onion, bay leaves, Mexican oregano, and thyme, let the chicken cool in the broth, and then deboned and shredded the meat. We tossed the chicken with a sauce of fried onion, garlic, chiles, tomatoes, scallions, and reduced chicken broth.

Very popular served on warm flour tortillas with leftover salsa de chile pasilla. As a bonus, we now have several cups of flavorful chicken broth in the freezer.

Ensalada de pina, jicama, y aguacate (pineapple, jicama, and avocado salad, from Seasons of My Heart): Tossed with red onions, crunchy pecan halves, cubed cream cheese, and a dressing of pineapple juice, cider vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro. Quite popular with the grown-ups.

Posted Image

#84 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:35 PM

Dinner from Mexican Everyday. Edited to add: We used frozen broth from last week's pollo deshebrado in both dishes.

Chileatole rojo de pollo, with potatoes and green beans. Yes, it looks like chileajo but tastes rather different.

Posted Image

Arroz Poblana with black beans and fried plantains

Posted Image

Edited by C. sapidus, 11 December 2008 - 05:39 AM.


#85 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:19 PM

I have a fondness for meatballs so when I followed a link in another thread to a Mexican food blog and found recipes for albondigas, I knew I'd also found dinner. Usually I'll revert to an old Diana Kennedy recipe for algondigas using rice and egg as the binder and mint and oregano as the seasoning. This recipe used marjoram and cumin as the seasonings and a paste made out of onions, soda crackers, the seasonings and water. The yield was more than I knew I needed for one meal, so, since meatballs are rather versatile, I ended up with two different meals from the same recipe

Albondigas en Salsa Chipotle

Posted Image

The salsa chipotle recipe also came from the Mexican food blog and was quite good. However, I think next time I'll strain the sauce to make it a little silkier and more refined. The rustic version was just fine :smile:

Sopa de Albondigas

Posted Image

Other than the meatballs the rest of the soup recipe was from DK's The Art of Mexican Cooking with one other minor change. I forgot to buy a zucchini, so I subbed in some green beans that I had on hand.

I wish the photos had turned out better, but I think everyone will get the drift...

#86 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:23 PM

Lovely albondigas, Kalypso.

Manchamanteles in progress. This is the same Rick Bayless recipe we made upthread, but simplified. The previous batch, with fried plantains and a mix of ancho and pasilla chiles, turned out much better. Still, not bad, and I like the mix of pork shoulder, chicken, chorizo, and pineapple with spicy-sweet mole.

We sprinkled thinly-sliced pickled jalapenos over the manachamanteles before serving.

Posted Image

#87 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:22 PM

This should probably fall into the better late than never category :rolleyes:

I was 10 years old when my aunt first started teaching me how to make candy. I'm quite a bit older than that now but the tradition of making candy during the holidays has stuck. So when the Dec. issue of Saveur arrived on my doorstep with an article about candymaking in Puebla, including several recipes, I knew a trip into the kitchen would not be far behind.

I settled on the recipe for Jamoncillo de Frutas y Nueces (pg. 30 of the Dec. 2008 issue of Saveur), which I really like. The recipe accompanying the article was based on old convent recipes and the method was somewhat unorthodox to me. With no assurances as to what I'd really end up with I hauled out my trusty candy thermometer (a real relic) and an 8 qt stock pot into which I pour milk, corn syrup and sugar, broke up a couple of sticks of canela and added a dab of baking soda. The recipe was quite explicit, bring it to a simmer over medium heat and do not stir.

So...here's where I started

Posted Image

After about 35 minutes of simmering, spooning off any foam and occasionally washing down the sides to prevent crystalization, but not stirring, the mixture reached 240* and I took it off the heat

Posted Image

The next step was to add some butter and vanilla and let it cool to 180*, all the while still NOT stirring. It cooled rather quickly but sure didn't look so appealing.

Posted Image

Once cooled I took a wooden spoon to the mixture and started beating the daylights out of it until it loss it's glossy appearance. It took about 5 or 6 mintues and I got a pretty good upper body workout. Waiting on deck were the add-ins

Posted Image

There were 3 kinds of nuts, all toasted, and mixed candied fruits. The bananas in the photo had nothing to do with the jamoncillo, they just happened to be on the counter when I took the photo (oops). I found some good quality candied fruits through the back pages of Saveur and they worked out well. A few stirs to get the fruit and nuts mixed up and into the prepared pan it went.

Posted Image

After chilling overnight I cut the pan 8x8 into 64 pieces. The candy is rich, sweet and very different for the American palate. I thought the candy was outstanding as did almost everyone who tasted it. There were a few dissenters who did not care for it and I noticed that older people liked it better than younger ones. I do think there is something somewhat old fashioned about this particular candy as it's flavor profile doesn't easily fit into today's mainstream candy tastes.

I will make this again next Christmas with only few modifications. I may trade out the pine nuts for additional walnuts and pecans. I may have to make a special trip down to Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana to get some real Mexican candied fruits to use. But most of all, I think I'll criss-cross a couple of strips of wax paper over the bottom of the empty pan with the ends extending out, so that I can lift the finished candy out of the pan to cut it more easily. While the candy cuts really easily, it's pretty dense and getting the first few pieces out was difficult. This was an experiment well worth trying and the results were divine.

#88 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:07 AM

I spent 4 1/2 hours on Sunday making Mole de Xico paste from scratch. Totally from scratch. Lots of roasting, toasting, frying, grinding, blending and pureeing. Not much in the way of chopping. I used a cookie sheet, a big skillet and a small one, a spice grinder, a food processor and a blender. The recipe wasn't hard, just a lot of ingredients and rather time consuming.

But, OH...MY...GOD! We had some for dinner last night and it was truly spectactular. I've eaten my share of mole in Mexico and brought assorted mole pastes home, but only a few of them have approached the same level as the mole paste I just made. I am sure a lot of my success had to do with the use of fresh ingredients and the fact it was hand made.

Xico is a small town in Veracruz not too far from Xalapa and Coatepec. Their signature mole tends to be a little sweeter than others. The recipe I used was from Zarela's Veracruz. And kudos to Zarela for the recipe method, it was clear, concise and extremely accurate, particularly with regard to cooking times for each of the ingredients.

I decided to tackle this recipe because I had the time, almost all the ingredients and I'm leaving for Veracruz in 3 weeks. I jsut thought it might be interesting to compare a mole recipe from an American cookbook to the real thing, which I wouldn't be able to do unless I actually made the recipe. I did and it turned out better than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.

#89 C. sapidus

C. sapidus
  • participating member
  • 2,584 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:42 PM

kalypso, enjoy your trip to Veracruz.

You make a compelling case for mole de Xico. My book already had an asterisk by the recipe, but I added another. What meat did you grace with your mole?

#90 kalypso

kalypso
  • participating member
  • 721 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 29 January 2009 - 12:27 PM

kalypso, enjoy your trip to Veracruz.

You make a compelling case for mole de Xico. My book already had an asterisk by the recipe, but I added another. What meat did you grace with your mole?

View Post


Bruce, make this mole, you won't be sorry. I kept looking at the recipe too and wavering back and forth between wanting to make it and not wanting to spend the time. Spend the time, it's worth every single minute. What finally pushed me over the edge into making it was not only my impending trip to Veracruz but the fact I had a bunch of chiles in my pantry I wanted to move out so I could bring a fresh supply home from Mexico. The recipe calls for a huge amount of chiles. Zarela gives weights and count, I measured them out by weight and ignored the per chile count. Her method of oven toasting them on cookie sheets worked like a charm. The direction then proceeds to say to grind them in a food processor. I couldn't get them fine enough in my food processor so I finished the grinding in my spice grinder. That was about the only thing I did differently with the recipe method and I would really recommend using the spice grinder to finish the chiles if a food processor doesn't grind them fine enough.

I used a small pork loin roast that we got from Costco for the meat. I simmered the meat, unseasoned, in some water (not to cover) until it was about half way done, then sliced what I needed for the meal and finished it in the sauce. I think this recipe would work equally well with any cut of pork, chicken, duck, turkey, quail, rabbit and believe it or not, shrimp. I'm also tempted to say it would work with salmon. This mole has a nice sweetness to it from all the fruit without being overly sweet, it's just enough. And there's just enough heat from the chiles to make the sauce interesting but not bitter or flaming hot in the mouth. So any protein that can hold up to some sweetness is probably going to pair pretty well with this mole. I also think it would work well with an assortment of steamed vegetables, particularly things like chayote, carrots, calabacitas, potatoes, corn, onions, all the typical vegetables you'd find in a Mexican market.

According to Zarela's directions for reconstituting the mole paste the ratio was 2 1/2 cups of water to 3 cups of paste. I used only 1 cup of mole paste and somewhere between 1 2/3 to 1 3/4 cups of pork broth. To start the dilution I added only about 3/4 of a cup of broth and it was apparent very quickly that was insufficient so I added about a 1/2 cup more and then just kind of kept adding more little by little until I had the consistency I wanted. Her dilution ratio was really the only direction in the recipe that I found was slightly off.

The recipe yielded a generous 8 cups of mole paste. I've got 3 - 2 cup packages vacuum sealed in the freezer along with a 1-cup package. It makes a lot :laugh:

Edited by kalypso, 29 January 2009 - 12:28 PM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mexican