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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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Posts posted by Nancy in Pátzcuaro


  1. I made the cream scones last weekend but my results turned out differently from the photo. Instead of sitting up in nice wedges my scones turned into puddles. It seemed to me at the time that the batter needed more flour or less cream to get to the correct consistency. I thought the flavor was excellent, and I appreciate how much easier these are to make than traditional scones with butter and egg. So I'll try them again with more flour to make the batter stiffer. Any other ideas about where I went wrong?

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro


  2. There's nothing quite as good as going out in the early evening to dig up a couple of russet potatoes from their (sandy) bed in the garden. Fresh, fluffy, completely unlike any baked potato I'd ever eaten. As I recall I grew the Kennebeck (?) variety--it was a very long time ago and I don't really remember the name. Now, of course, I don't garden at all, and only one or two puestos (stalls) in the mercado have baking potatoes. Not the same, sad to say.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 2

  3. Thanks, everyone. I am reassured. Whipping cream is hard to come by in Pátzcuaro, so my only sources are the big grocery stores in Morelia. The carton is 980ml, roughly quart-sized, so using up that amount of cream would be difficult. We drink our coffee black, though I might occasionally need a couple of tablespoons or a 1/2 cup for a recipe. But that still leaves a whole lot of cream in the carton.

     

    However, I am going to use 1-1/4 cups of it for that cream scone recipe, and freeze the rest.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

     

     

    • Like 4

  4. Is it possible to freeze whipping cream? Even though a carton lasts a reasonable length of time I still end up with too much, and I'd rather preserve it rather than toss it. Thanks, y'all.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

     


  5. Many, many years ago I bought a very heavy rolled steel 14" wok at a Whole Earth Store (remember those?). It has a ring and a substantial cover and it has gotten a lot of use over the years. However, the ring doesn't often fit on the stoves I've owned and the round bottom makes it hard to put it on some of the burners. I also have a 12" flat bottom wok that I admit I use more than the larger, round-bottomed one. I once had a non-stick lightweight wok with a handle (that's very useful) that we used in our little RV, but the coating was scratched and I tossed it. I've never had any problems with sticking with either of the steel ones, probably because both of them are pretty well seasoned. I think the higher heat of wok cooking helps the food release without leaving behind a residue that has to be washed off.

     

    I have a side burner on the barbecue grill that I might try one of these days. Maybe it gets hot enough to properly stir fry. Certainly my feeble little non-commercial stove hasn't been up to the task. I don't think I'll do what a neighbor did, which is to design a specialized free-standing outdoor burner specifically to prepare his favorite Thai dish. That's going a little too far IMO.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 1

  6. The juice in the can of garbanzos is called "aquafaba," and has been highly praised as a substitute for egg whites. It doesn't whip up as stiffly as egg whites but it is perfectly useful in a pisco sour or chocolate mousse. It has no strong flavor that comes from the beans (and all beans can be used this way, it turns out, though garbanzos are favored). It's the starch and protein in the liquid, I think, that makes it froth when beaten. Use a stick blender--works fine.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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  7. On 12/17/2018 at 10:42 AM, gulfporter said:

    Fresh huitlacoche....will use in filling of chicken quesadillas and as a sauce on chipotle/cream cheese raviolis.   It was 20 pesos which is 1 USD right now.  I don't often see it here in our area, it is far more popular in other parts of Mexico.  

    huit.thumb.jpg.e5c022f6ee21022a8066a721c1c90907.jpg

    In our mercado the old ladies who sit on the ground to sell the produce they've grown in their own gardens call this "el viejo" (old man) due to the color resembling grey hair. I love the taste but it does not love me, unfortunately. Interesting that something that US farmers try to avoid is a delicacy south of the border.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

     

    • Like 1

  8. On 11/27/2018 at 7:16 PM, suzilightning said:

    With John gone......fruit and veg!!!!!

     

    I've been indulging in fruit salads made with grapes, tangerines and apples with a sweetish dressing of Greek yoghurt, honey and basil.

    Also poaching pears in hibiscus and pomegranate then the next day cutting them in half and hollowing them out.  Filled with a mix of lactose free cream cheese whipped with some gorgonzola dolce. 

    I am definitely trying this. I have a jug of jamaica (the hibiscus drink) in the fridge and a bottle of pomegranate molasses, plus cream cheese and gorgonzola--now all I need is the pears. That sounds like the perfect winter dessert. On  second thought, why not breakfast? Midnight snack?


  9. I have to preface this by saying that I'm not an experienced cookie baker. Does the spreading happen from the beginning or only after a couple of sheets-worth of cookies? Could it be that the baking sheets are retaining heat and causing the dough to melt faster than it should? This is purely an equipment issue rather than an ingredients issue, and it may be completely wrong.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 1

  10. I think you can make corn flour by buzzing corn meal in a blender or food processor. At least that's what Google tells me. She should give it a try. Masa is probably the wrong product, as Smithy notes, but she should taste it and make her own decision. In either case, it should be made finer by further grinding.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro


  11. This is not a new phenomenon. Many years ago--25? 30?--I ate at China Moon in San Francisco. Had a wonderful meal but could not hear a word my dinner companions were saying. I was younger then and there was nothing wrong with my hearing, but when we got outside my ears were ringing and I felt decidedly ill. I still use the cookbook, which is one of my favorites, but that experience made me shy away from loud restaurants. I personally believe, and had this confirmed by a restaurant owner in Colorado, that it's intentional to promote rapid table turnover. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but I think dinner should be an opportunity to not just eat but also to enjoy one's dinner companions. That means you have to be able to converse in a relatively normal tone--i.e., not screaming into each other's ears.

     

    Now here in México the main source of noise in restaurants is loud music.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 4

  12. I like the idea of making a limoncello-style drink with the product of our "voracious" (thanks, limniscate) lime tree and tequila instead of vodka. My recipe calls for infusing the peels in the vodka/tequila for only 4 days at room temperature, which to my taste makes a nice after-dinner evening libation. I'm just about ready to harvest some of the limes for another batch, but this time I'll use tequila. I already have a variety of infusions in the back of the fridge--fig, quince, limoncello. Quince, by the way, is quite wonderful when it's young but doesn't mature as well as the others (gets a little too puckery).

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 1

  13. The next time I go to Costco in Morelia I'll check on where their 6-pack of romaine hearts comes from. Too bad--it's a staple in our house because it holds up well in the crisper drawer. Maybe at some point we'll find out where the problem lettuce is grown. I can buy locally-grown (I think) romaine in our mercado but it tends to be of lesser quality--you have to strip off half the leaves before you get to something we're willing to eat.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 1

  14. Some years ago a friend told me her favorite--and possibly easiest--tomato sauce recipe. Thickly slice ripe tomatoes (any type) and layer in a casserole with anchovies, many or few depending on your preference. (I use a 2-oz. can (in oil) for a 9-10" round deep casserole.) Cover with foil and bake slowly in a 300 or 325 oven until the tomatoes are thick and jammy. Taste for salt. The beauty part is that you don't even have to stir. Of course the anchovies disappear.

     

    But I also love Macella Hazan's recipe, which is almost as easy but faster.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 1

  15. We just spent some time in northeast Arizona on the Navajo Nation. No booze allowed anywhere on the reservation, though in campgrounds it's pretty hard to enforce. If you're not a jerk about it and are discreet, and you don't try to sell it to a Navajo, you shouldn't have a problem. By the way, Canyon de Chelly (pronounced "shay") should be on everyone's bucket list. Stunningly beautiful red rock country, and the ancient dwellings are fascinating. There are many similar ancient sites throughout the southwest but this one is special. It's near Chinle.

     

    Now we're waiting for the snow in Boulder to clear before we head home. About 8" on the ground but the sun is coming out and melting is happening rapidly. I gave up snow when we left Colorado, so this has been disappointing.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 4

  16. At first glance I thought it was a papaya, the kind we get here in México--much larger than the Hawaiian type. But as someone else (Lisa) mentioned that the stem gave it away. Too bad you didn't get more guidance from the gardener who gave it to your son. I guess I'd just pretend it's a cucumber and make a big salad. It looks crunchy--

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro


  17. Yes, Mexicans put ketchup on their pizzas, along with sliced pickled jalapenos, and mustard. Plain ol' yellow mustard. Normal toppings--hawaiian (though that's not normal in my book), Italian, pepperoni, plain cheese--but ketchup and mustard liberally applied. Yikes!

     

    Nancy in Patzcuaro

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  18. Here's a deliciously addictive recipe I found on the California fig producers website. I suppose it could be frozen but I doubt it would last that long, given how good it is.

     

    California Fig Bars

    16 oz. figs, stemmed and chopped medium-fine

    1/2 c. chopped walnuts

    1/3 c. sugar

    1/4 c. rum or orange juice (I used rum, of course)

    2 Tbs. hot water

    1/2 c. butter, softened

    1 c. packed brown sugar

    1 large egg

    1-1/2 c. all purpose flour

    1/2 tsp,. baking soda

    pinch of salt

    1-1/4 c. old fashioned oats

     

    Heat oven to 350F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Combine figs, walnuts, sugar, rum and hot water; set aside. Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and mix until smooth. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda; blend in oats to make a soft dough. Reserve 1 c. of flour mixture. With floured fingertips, press thin even layer of remaining dough on the bottom of prepared pan. Firmly pat fig mixture over dough. Drop reserved dough by teaspoonfuls over top, allowing fig mixture to show between drops. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely in pan. Drizzle with rum glaze. Makes 36 bars.

     

    Rum Glaze: Stir together 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 3-4 tsp. rum or orange juice until smooth.

     

    In retrospect, I think I could have used less sugar, because these are pretty sweet, partially because the glaze is very sweet. Doesn't mean we didn't want to eat the entire pan, of course. I also think it would have been improved by the addition of an herbal element--thyme perhaps.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 2

  19. I've just been reading this thread and I have to say, the scent of roasting chiles, Hatch or otherwise, is one of my favorites. Who was it that said earlier that if Glade made a roasted chile air freshener it would be a sell-out success? What about perfume? I'd buy that! I recall shopping a couple of miles from where they were roasting chiles and I could smell that fragrance as if it were right next door. It draws you in like no other aroma.

     

    But now that we live in México I've become a fan of poblanos, which are large and thick-fleshed and roast beautifully. One tip I learned from our Spanish teacher is to rub the raw chiles with a little bit of oil before you roast them--it makes the skin bubble and separate from the flesh quickly. I roast mine directly on the burners of my gas stove. I agree it's tedious to roast a large quantity that way, but I think the outcome is better. I imagine it would also work with Hatch chiles, especially if you're worried that they are thin-fleshed. And if you are able to select your chiles individually, try to get flat ones with a long stem--they roast better with no curvy parts, and the stem gives you a good handle (until you burn it off, which I do frequently).

     

    Now I'm hungry for a New Mexican chile-cheeseburger!

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

     

     

    • Like 5

  20. Do you remember that the old Gourmet magazine had a feature where people would request a recipe from a restaurant? There was usually a preamble saying that the person had requested (sometimes begged) the restaurant for the recipe but was refused--correctly, I thought at the time. Somehow Gourmet managed to get the recipe and published it. It was one thing if the request came from someone who didn't live in the area of the restaurant and was just passing through--I could be more sympathetic in that case--but sometimes it was from someone who frequented the restaurant on a regular basis. I recall thinking at the time that the restaurant succumbed to the allure of having their recipe, and their restaurant, published in such a prestigious magazine. I also suspect that most restaurants refused.

     

    Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    • Like 2
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