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    Mexico City, MEXICO
  1. And Shelora -- thanks for the nice wishes. I will definitely be back. Living here has been a great experience -- though the city can drive me a little crazy. Of all the boards I read on eGullet, the Mexican region is the most laid back and nice and pretensionless. Not to mention the intensity of passion everyone here has for the food.
  2. I will going to all those, Nickarte -- time permitting. Thanks for the tips. I have been to Coox Hanal, if that is the one that used to be very small and on Mesones. My "suegra" took me there a couple years ago -- it was one of the places she would go with her father. I had forgotten about it -- I will definitely make a trip back before I leave. I think I just had panuchos, but I will try Pan de Cazon and Sopa de Lima next time... I haven't eaten at Izote, and just read about it on your other post. Okay, this is my dilemma -- there are a number of fancy restaurants that I've heard of, and I'm planning on one good, expensive meal before I leave. Should this place be it? I keep hearing about Aguila y Sol, and Contramar. Should I break my budget to try these as well -- or are they up to their hype? Also, should I buy Patricia Quintana's cookbook -- and which? As for the Mercado de Antojitos, I do love the place. In previous visits I think it was here that I first ever ate huitlacoche in quesadillas, and cesos. There's even a guy there who makes "pornographic hotcakes." Also I have a question about a previous "recommendation" of El Caguero/Caguamo -- is that a place to try -- or is the name a warning?
  3. I am hoping for a some good opinionated ideas on what I can't miss before I depart, from people who've had mind-opening food experiences in this city -- from good tacos to fine dining to the One True Vegetable Stand. Now that my plane ticket is bought, and clock is ticking down for me, I'm panicked over all the things I've put off for the past seven months, when I felt the indefinite future stretching before me. Now, as my days are numbered, I still know I've only seen the half of it.
  4. I'm bait - what are garambullos and what do you do with them? (I can't imagine how much money peeled walnuts would be... given it took me 2 days to get 4 cups.) Will.
  5. Thanks for the notes -- Amecameca was amazing for me -- both the mushrooms and the other things that I found there. I'm taking on Chiles En Nogada this week, and have already spent about 6 hours taking skin off walnuts. Also, I think I found my favorite candy -- which is a fruit -- something called yalajuilli -- spelling is phonetic (mas o menos) -- which come in green seed pods, and are like sucking on a fur ball, sweet, around a seed -- cotton candy that doesn't disintegrate, a very weird fruit. Anyway, thanks Theabroma for the info on mushrooms. Below are some pics -- mostly of the blue dudes, because they are so different. When I rounded the corner in the market to the mushroom aisle, my jaw dropped. [ABOVE PHOTO] The marchanta was great -- entertaining all dumb questions. I got a little scared at the big orange one that didn't look like the rest, and started getting worried about wild-mushrrom-poisoning. My boyfriend Carlos elbowed me and told me not to be such a gringo, and indeed the big orange one turned out to be the tastiest of them all. [upper Left: Setas; Lower L: Clavitos; Middle L: Juan Diegitos - that go very soft and slimy on cooking, like shitakis; Middle R: xocoyotlis; and Far L: more setas. I figure that living in Mexico City costs about as much as in the states, but I have to say, that the mushrooms are a bargain, 5 pesos for each little pile -- the whole spread would have only cost 15 bucks. Below are the blues.
  6. Anyone have a good Mexican recipe for wild mushrooms? Yesterday in the market at Amecameca, I bought a bunch gathered from the woods up the volcanoe -- blue mushrooms (hongos azules) which are seriously strong tasting, almost bitter. Bright orange ones called "enchiladas," Juan Diegitos, which look like portobellos on the top, but are white underneath. And xocoyotlis, that look like clavitos, but are redish-coffee color. Any ideas would be appreiciated -- I just want to cook them before they start to slime up. Thanks, Will.
  7. Neat discussion. As to their being like cars -- the largest ones I've ever seen are in FonArt, near the Almeda in Mexico City. They're not for sale, nor did they have any idea where they come from, but they were too big to even wrap your arms around -- they looked like they would have made great planters.
  8. Just got back from an amazing daytrip out to Amecameca, in Estado de Mexico. It's a great food town -- with the market full of produce (I love that there is no end to the surprises that show up at the fruitstands here), and walnuts well in season. Anyway, I asked in the market where their molcajetes were made. Most didn't know, but the one who did said that they were all brought over from from Huejotzingo in the state of Puebla, on the other side of the Volcanoe. They make molcajetes, metates, metlapiles and tejolotes. The stone that I saw were hard, less porous and greyer than some of the others I've seen in markets here in the city.
  9. I'm just responding to a PS, but could you tell me what is "El Caguero?" Good? Also -- my favorite tianguis here (DF) is Sunday at Napoles. Great Barbacoa -- (the corner at the intersection where the market is cut by traffic) I have eaten it most every weekend since I got here.
  10. Theabroma -- thanks. If you do have the Quintana recipe -- I'd love to try it. On the native ingredients -- I never have a good understanding of exactly what grew here before the arrival of the Spanish. Were walnuts an import? Also when you say that they are unlike English walnuts -- are they at all like black walnuts? We used to have those in Arkansas, and they are wonderful, weird nuts. You're right too that Chiles en Nogada is almost French. I've only ever had them a couple times, and both recreated in Boston, so I'm excited to finally try them here. But I was really struck at how subtle and complex and elegant it was. I'm also interested -- I read about this pueblo near Puebla called San Nicolas de los Ranchos, whose cooks insist that they have the orriginal recipe, and that it is actually made without meat, just fruit. I'm sort of curious to try this version as well. I'm also planning to go to Amecameca, in the state of Mexico, where they have a Walnut festiva in August, with walnut liquor, and all sorts of walnut dishes, including, of corse, en nogada. Tell the truth, walnuts are not my favorite -- but I'm hoping to be swayed.
  11. Shelora -- Those sound great -- the anchos and pasilla are dried chiles, right? Do you reconstitute them in water for a while, rip out all their hot innards? or how? There's a restaurant in Tepoztlan, called El Ciruelo that has a gorgeous view, and mediocre entrees, but their appetizers are great -- they have this one that is a stuffed chipotle -- dried, but softened, filled with crab meat. It's really sweet, and nice, not at all hot. Sounds a little like what you're talking about with the dried chiles. Will.
  12. Would you post or link to the one you're finally thinking of using, Seema? Good topic -- especially now that we're getting close to August when the season for walnuts, fruits and pomegranates conspire for Chiles en Nogada. I've been looking around for good places -- has anyone got good suggestions of where to go for the dish in Mexico, or variations on the recipe that might be interesting to try?
  13. The only other tool, besides the molcajete that I've really fallen in love with is this double-sided cast iron comal we have. It's sort of like a sandwich griller -- and it does amazing things for heating up a quick quesadilla, or warming tortillas for the meal. I used to always use a little metal comal, but once arriving here, we had this -- it's fabulous because you just flip the whole thing by the handle, to turn it around -- and it is thick enough that they won't burn. This is a reply to an ancient post by Caroline -- You're totally right about the blender and pressure cooker! That's so funny. I thought that was just a quirk of my family. We have two or three of each. Often there are two pressure cookers like a freight train in the kitchen, one cooking up beans, the other working the meat. The blender chewing through some sauce or other. Before I came here, I was really afraid of the pressure cooker...
  14. A lot of northerners have a huge bias against grits, and use it as an example of the worst of Southern cooking. I think they think it's Southern oatmeal. I was working in a soup kitchen in Boston, breakfast shift where they would make mass pots of the stuff. The guys would eat it with sugar, raisins. It was watery and basically without any taste. However, grits casserole is one of my favorite dishes -- we have it every Christmas morning. It's best made the night before, and cooked again in the morning. You have to make stiff grits (which are better than the runny version anyway). Add in cheese (cheddar with some garlic powder works fine, but the best stuff is Kraft Garlic cheese -- not available in the north... a sausage looking cheese extrusion cased in plastic), and an egg, and Jimmy Dean Hot and Spicy sausage, and bake. It bakes with a semi-hard crust of a top. Great stuff. Here's a good version from The Food Paper. I'd leave out all but one of the eggs.
  15. Yes, they are sort of Americanized, which is good news for American shoppers. While you will find chips here in Mexico, in my grocery-shopping experience they are not as good as what you can get commercially in the U.S. (Fried tortillas are not really the same thing as chips -- they've got a different consistency, heavier, oily). I love the blue chips made by Garden of Eatin'. They also make other organic versions in red corns, and soy etc... FritoLay has actually come out with an organic blue chip through their Tostitos brand. I'm not one to plug big corporations, but this is very good -- not too oily, not to salty. If you can't find the Garden of Eatin' ones, these are great too. A note -- these aren't good because they are organic, they are the best chips, in my opinion, and organic as an added bonus. (Another thing -- don't try to make chilaquiles with these, they'd fall apart. You need those armor-plate deals so they stand up to stewing in sauce. These are just for chip-n-dip situations)
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