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Jay Francis

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    Houston, Texas

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  1. Good news. There are now two places to buy Mole Negro. The Spec's downtown on Smith Street carries the La Soledad brand. The Target on Taylor at I-10 carries the Cocina Mestiza brand. I have tasted both and can confirm that, while slightly different, they both are good representations of Oaxacan Mole Negro. http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2008/...ul_for_mole.php
  2. My first question, respect to the Bradley is, how cost effective is it. Do those little briquets raise the cost to do barbecue significantly? Here is my method. I have a Brinkman electric smoker. Sorry to see that it got only one star at the Amazon site, I'm very happy with my brisket. I use pecan wood, soaked at least 24 hours that I lay on top of the electric grid. I smoke my brisket for the three hours or so that the wood lasts and then typically transfer it inside, to wrap in aluminum foil and continue a slow cook in the oven at 300 F for several hours to break down the protein and ma
  3. Also, I saw some very interesting vinegars, made with unusual fruits. And I came across a chlorella ramen noodle pack and some cinnamon sodas. Interesting place for sure.
  4. Balut's Phillipine, not Korean, right?
  5. O.M.G I have died and gone to heaven. What a fantastic place. Props to Neverfull for getting those great photos. They're a little skittish about photos so surreptition is the buzz word. When you check out, you'll get a giant pack of sponges and other cleaning type things. I had never seen before and bought some Korean melons, mini yellow melons that are kind of a cross between the texture of a cucumber and the flavor of a melon. You peel the skin but can eat the seeds. There's a lady making fresh kimchee, samples given freely.
  6. I second Bruce's recommendation for Mi Tienda. It isn't that far from Hobby Airport. Alternatively, check out the H.E.B. at Gulfgate. You will be able to find everything you'd want here, I suspect. And don't forget the Farmer's Market on Airline for Flores Spices, El Bolillo and everything else.
  7. Nest time you go, see if you can find malted barley syrup. It is a sugar syrup made from rice and it has this smokey taste that I find delicious. I'd rather have a spoonful of this elixir than a Snickers bar.
  8. Doesn't stink? Sign me up! That's one of the issues that I have with Chinese grocery stores.
  9. I was reading a History of Food book a yesterday and the French author had a section on breadmaking in Egypt. They poured a fairly wet dough into a heated inverted pyramidal container and stacked several of these. What I found interesting is that he says that the Greeks gave the name pyramid to the burial structures because of the similarities to the baking containers. I am having a hard time getting a visual idea of what these baking containers looked like. Buit it's interesting that the no-knead bread recipe has its precursors in ancient Egypt.
  10. I bring back cacao from Oaxaca. I roast the beans, peel them, and then use my high power Vita-Mix to create a chocolate liquor. It is hard going as the Vita-Mix will shut off to protect against overheating. But the alternative of grinding with a heated metate just isn't an option for me. In Oaxaca, the shops have motorized grinding stones that do the job in minutes. If you do a search for Oaxaca Chocolate on youtube, you'll probably find some good videos to watch. I found a Champion juicer at a second hand store for $15 and bought it specifically to make chocolate liquor. It worked okay
  11. I've come to the conclusion that the sub-categorizations of "Gringo-Mex" or "Tejano-Mex" are unnecessary. I just don't think that there is a need for this. There are more interesting questions to explore. One could do better just going through old menus to verify what was traditionally served in a Tex-Mex restaurant, beginning with the early "Original" Mexican restaurants that proliferated after the success of Otis Farnsworth's in San Antonio. Some dishes have disappeared over the years (example: 'fritoque'). With the closing of Felix's in Houston, doubtful you'll find spaghetti as a side
  12. There are very few places in Texas that continue to make the crispy puffy taco shell that I remember from my youth. In Houston, only Fiesta Loma Linda on Telephone Road is still doing this. I discovered the secret of making these this week. When I was helping Robb Walsh with recipe testing for The Tex-Mex cookbook, we tried to duplicate the taco shell using Maseca without any success. Recently I was enjoying my tacos at Loma Linda and I asked who they bought their masa from. They told me and a week later I went by that facility and asked "I'd like to buy the masa like Loma Linda uses to mak
  13. Nope. They aren't closed. They just haven't opened up the new store across the street. The old store is going fine.
  14. Love that Maeker's sausage. By the way you can get pretty darn good sausage at this meat market in Katy. Can't remember the name of it but its on the highway that runs along the railroad track.
  15. If you see a restaurant with 'regiomontana' in its name, it is going to offer tostadas in the style of Monterrey, Mexico. Hence, this would be authentic Mexican food, neither 'Tejano-Mex' nor 'Gringo-Mex'.
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