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  1. Why do servers usually bring enough food menus for everyone to have one, but only one drinks menu? This makes no sense, especially when the drink order usually is taken first. Its awkward hurriedly passing around the cocktail menu so everyone can see it, while the server impatiently waits to take the order.
  2. Aren't those little dimpled masa dumplings called chochoyotes?
  3. If you're looking for an enchildas suizas recipe that duplicates Sanborns you might want to obtain the book of Sanborns recipes, sold in their stores, entitled "Con sabor a Sanborns". It is in Spanish, but easy to translate even if your Spanish skills are sketchy. And their recipe does include tomates verdes (tomatillos). I agree with mukkii, Chef Muñoz makes an excellent enchilada suiza, I had some on the same trip to D.F.
  4. Yes, Chef Muñoz has been working on a English translation and it's a daunting task. I've heard he's working with the University of Texas Press and cookbook author Marilyn Tausend, who has a number of beautiful cookbooks on Mexican cuisine to her name.
  5. Why? It's nearly indestructible. It won't rust, corrode, splinter or crack. It functions perfectly. And I think it is beautiful in its own way. I own one of rancho_gordo's Rolls Royce tortilla presses. It is a thing of beauty but I doubt I'll actually use it. When I want functionality, I'll use the tank
  6. A few months back rancho_gordo allowed us to meet his Rolls Royce of tortilla presses. I would like to introduce the M1 Abrams tank of tortilla presses. It is constructed of 100% stainless steel and weighs in at 19 pounds.
  7. I just checked mine, it weighed in at a hefty 7 pounds 9 ounces! Whatever it weighs, it is a thing of beauty.
  8. I know of a couple books related to Mexican cuisine coming out this year that I anticipate will be very worthwhile. The first is "La Cocina Mexican: Many Cultures, One Cuisine", by Marilyn Tausend & Ricardo Muñoz. The second is 'Tacos, Tortas and Tamales: Flavors from the griddles, pots and street-side kitchens of México", Roberto Santibańez the author. I have several previous cookbooks by all these authors and I'm sure their latest offerings will outstanding.
  9. I was waiting in line at a very busy puesto preparing tacos at the Maxwell Street market in Chicago just this last weekend. While waiting I watched with interest as the tortillera did her work. Her tortillas, not surprisingly, puffed every time. I never saw her put oil on the comal but I did notice that, when a tortilla stuck in a certain area of the comal, she'd wipe it clean with a damp towel and then proceed with the next tortilla. She made the whole process look so easy. I suppose it becomes second nature when you've been doing it for years!
  10. One of the critical variables in creating a perfectly puffed corn tortilla is the temperature of your comal. I imagine that with time, practice and thousands of less-than-perfect tortillas one learns to judge when the comal is ready, but for those of us who didn't grow up in a household where tortillas are being cooked daily there is a shortcut: an infrared thermometer. I used one of these today and made my best tortillas ever. I had the chance recently to speak with Roberto Santibañez about my poor results using his tortilla recipe (in "Truly Mexican", a great cookbook BTW) and he told me that his ideal temperature for the comal is ~575ºF. Using his advice, and a $45 Mastercool thermometer, I'm cranking out perfect tortillas.
  11. No need to shout!! Especially when you may be wrong. According to Merriam-Webster it is pronounced pi-ˈläf Also according to Merriam-Webster pilaf is "a dish made of seasoned rice and often meat" The Oxford Companion to Food describes pilaf as "a Middle Eastern method of cooking rice so that every grain remains separate, and the name of the resulting dish".
  12. Coming soon to a theater near you... Diana Kennedy Book events and personal appearances in support of OAXACA AL GUSTO: AN INFINITE GASTRONOMY August – November 2010 8/13/2010 FortWorth, TX FortWorth Museum of Art 7:30PM 8/14/2010 FortWorth, TX FortWorth Museum of Art 12:00PM 9/13/10 Austin,TX LongCenter/Mexican Centennial Celebration Dinner& book signing 6:00PM mexico2010austin.com 9/16/10 Austin,TX BlantonMuseum of Art Booksigning 6:30PM booksigning blantonmuseum.org 9/18/10 SanAntonio, TX TiendaDe Cocina at the Pearl Brewery Booksigning 200East Grayson 6:00– 8:00 melissaguerra.com 9/19/10 SanAntonio, TX CasaMargarita Unique Art Booksigning SouthTown Art District 716 South Alamo San 3:00– 6:00 9/20/10 Houston,TX Hugo's Restaurant 1600 Westheimer @ Mandell TimeTBA Dinnerand book signing www.hugosrestaurant.net 9/22/10 CoralGables, FL Booksand Books Booksigning 265Aragon Avenue 8:00PM booksandbooks.com 9/26/10 ChapelHill, NC FlyleafBooks Booksigning 752Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd 2:00– 3:00 PM flyleafbooks.com 9/30/10 Cambridge,MA OleGrille Discussion,dinner & 11Springfield St Inman Square booksigning 7:00– 9:30 olegrill.com 10/4/10 Chicago, IL Les Dames de Escoffier and The Chopping Block present: Oaxaca al Gusto Book Signing and Short Cooking Demonstration w/ Diana Kennedy Mon, Oct 4 6-8:30p $65, includes signed copy of book The Chopping Block Merchandise Mart thechoppingblock.net 10/5/10 Chicago, IL Food Ways of Oaxaca Discussion & book signing Mexican Studies Seminar Series University of Chicago 12-1:30pm Katz Center for Mexican Studies http://mexicanstudies.uchicago.edu/about.shtml  10/7/10 Saint Paul, MNCooks of Crocus Hill Discussion& 877Grand Avenue booksigning 6:00– 9:00 cooksofcrocushill.com 10/15-10/17 Austin,TX TexasBook Festival Discussion& TimeTBA booksigning texasbookfestival.org 10/20/10 Westlake,CA Let'sGet Cookin Culinary School Cooking 4643Lakeview Canyon Road demonstration 6:30PM letsgetcookin.com 10/23/10 SanFrancisco, CA Boulette'sLarder Booksigning FerryBuilding Marketplace #48 11:00AM – 2:00 PM bouletteslarder.com 10/24/10 SanFrancisco, CA OmnivoreBooks Booksigning 3885A Cesar Chavez 3:00PM omnivorebooks.com 10/28/10 Davis,CA RobertMondavi Institute, UC Davis Campus Discussion& TimeTBA booksigning robertmondaviinstitute.ucdavis.edu 10/30/10 Napa,CA RanchoGordo Discussion& 1924Yajome Street booksigning TimeTBA ranchogordo.com 11/13/10 LongBeach, CA LatinAmerican Museum of Art Discussion& 628Alamitos Ave booksigning 7:00PM molaa.org 11/14/10 Pasadena,CA Vroman'sBookstore Booksigning 695E. Colorado Blv 8:00PM vromansbookstore.com 11/16/10 Albuquerque, NM Dinner, talk, and booksigning Bookworks in conjunction With Mexican Cultural Center Time and venue TBA 11/18/10 Phoenix, AZ University of Arizona Discussion and book signing Time TBA 11/18/10 Phoenix, AZ Native Seeds/SEARCH Discussion and book signing Time TBA
  13. I pre-ordered mine directly from The University of Texas Press. It arrived in the mail yesterday and it is amazing! If you haven't ordered it yet you need to do it.
  14. The most reliable sources for banana leaves are Asian markets, in the refrigerator or freezer section. A well-stocked Mexican grocer is a strong possibility, too.
  15. Another thing you'll notice if you read the ingredient labels of most cremas sold in Mexican markets in the US is the amazing array of stabilizers, emulsifiers, thickeners, preservatives, etc. I've think I have tried all the commonly available brands here in northern California and I'm always underwhelmed. I now much prefer using Bellwether Farms crème fraîche, I think it is actually closer to the crema I've had in México. It contains nothing but pasteurized cream, cultures & salt. And it tastes so good!
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