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EatNopales

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Everything posted by EatNopales

  1. One of the traditional ways to prepare Turkey & Duck eggs in Mesoamerican cuisine is the crack the raw egg into a "cup" made out of some kind of leaf / husk such as Dried Corn Husk, Fresh Hoja Santa or Banana leaves etc., The cup is put on a comal, the whole thing covered with a clay bowl... and after a few minutes the white is set & yolk runny. A few weeks ago I bacon larded a ramekin, cracked an egg into it, salted & baked at 425F for about 5 minutes or so until the white set & yolk was runny... an instant household favorite... even the 2 1/2 year old that stopped eating poached eggs asks for one every day. Unlike a poached egg... the baked egg has a better texture & more concentrated flavor & is actually much easier to deliver a perfect result consistently. Not sure why this method isn't more widely discussed online... if it is old news to you... then disregard my ignorance... if it is new to you... try it.. the results are awesome!
  2. Inspired by a recipe in Nobu West I have been making a salad composed of paper thin tomatillos alternating with paper thin radishes (lightly dressed with 3/4 olive oil, 1/4 key lime juice, allspice & mex oregano) to form a wheel then you arrange ceviche blanco, smoked salmon & guacamole. Good summery main dish.
  3. EatNopales

    Making Mexican at home

    Lately, I have dished mestizo style enchiladas in favor of pre hispanic style... it solves the issue of keeping them warm for multiple diners, skips the messy wrapping step, and offers greater plating & flavoring possibilities. Basically, you make a gordita on the comal (a tortilla that is anywhere from 1/4 inch to 1/2 thick).... after the surface is fully seared & you have the nice char spots... you simmer a batch in the enchilada sauce (such as the one referenced above) for about 10 minutes... then top with a wide range of ingredients... hard boiled turkey eggs, quelites, frog legs, various meats and more were described by various Spaniards who witnessed the great market of Tlatelolco. I personally am a big fan of topping them with a mound of raw greens previously tossed with warm cecina or chicharron then plopping a fried egg over that & a sprinkling of fish roe.
  4. Not sure if I missed these on earlier pages.... Pancake / Waffle / Biscuit mixes (wtf would anyone want to pay more for lower quality ingredients that have been simply mixed together... about 5% of the time spent making Pancakes etc.,) Soda (arguably the primary cause of food related disease in the world, low quality / harmful ingredients, synthetic flavors... particularly now with the prevalance of inexpensive carbonation systems... how hard is it to make a freaking syrup?) Sriracha (gawd awful, green garlic forward & filler ingredient sauce for people with no tastebuds!) Flavored Jello, Canned Food... too sleepy to get to specifics now.. peace out.
  5. Hi Darienne... the Mexican onions have extra long green tops.. and then you blanch them briefly to get them pliable & resistant. Buen provecho!
  6. Bump.... had a very small family gathering this year and continued the tradition of cooking dishes specifically from the Zacapoaxtla region of Puebla. To nosh... Roasted Dry Chickpeas & Favabeans tossed with Arbol Chile powder, salt & Key Lime; as well as Maize Tostado (basically artisinal / traditional Corn Nuts) Libation... Maracuya (Passion Fruit) Agua Fresca & Maracuya-Rum Ponche (that part of the country doesn't do much Tequila, Mezcal or Beer... instead they go with Aguardiente, Anise & Herbal moonshines as well as a wide range of tropical fruit punches) Rounds of Camote (Roasted Sweet Potato) topped with Esquites in the Zacapoaxtla style (sweated Corn Kernels & Epazote with slightly wilted tender Verdolaga / Purslane then seasoned with Key Lime Juice & Crema) to make a little salad that is mounted on the Sweet Potato rounds... the whole thing then sprinkled with Cotija & Chile Powder Trajineras (Roasted Nopales trimmed into bite size, canoe shaped vessels... topped with Guacamole then tied with spring onion greens) Tamales Zacapoaxtla (Minced Chicken, Roasted Poblano, Onions, Dried Fig & Almond sauteed in Tomato-Almond-Dried Fig Sauce)... unlike typical tamales North of the Border... these have lots of texture & color. Lomo en Frio (Pork Loin marinated with Key Lime, Marjoram, Mex Oregano & Allspice... roasted then served thinly sliced at room temperature with a drizzle of Peanut-Arbol salsa) Zacapoaxtla style Fruit Salad (Mixture of Tropical & Stone Fruit are the distinguishing features of fruit mixes in that area) For dessert we ordered a custom made Tres Leches Cake from Lola's (local Mex market chain)... really, really good... Chocolate Cake, Strawberry filling, Whipped Cream frosting with lots of artificial colors in the design )
  7. Whoa, whoa, whoa... Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods? Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand. Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin' Profit motive and commerce are the reasons you live in a house and have a computer instead of residing in a mud hut. I would suggest not pretending like they are forces of evil. Also, the government that you seem to trust and think is both good and competent has killed, extorted, stolen and lied more than all the corporations in the world combined but don't let that get in the way of the string of logical fallacies in your post. Any chance you could back up some of your "claims" with actual facts/evidences beyond just repeating Foxnews propaganda. It's obvious that you have very little clue how research in industry and academia(government funded) is interwined and that with industry research alone we wouldn't be as advanced in many areas, e.g. IT, biotech etc. etc. And just to look into the food area and to see how many recalls (often enforced by government and against the interest/will of the commercial companies who would like to hide any problems with their products) we see every month/week from commercial companies shows that it is very naive to blindly trust commerce (which also means you shouldn't trust blindly government but the world is not only black and white) I guarantee you've watched Foxnews more than I have as I'm not sure it's ever even been on my TV. Though not exactly the situation I was referring to earlier, here is a meta-analysis on saturated fats relation to CDV where the determination was that the government agencies and advisory boards were found to be making claims and suggesting alteration of behavior that was not supported by the scientific literature. This was published in Nutrition. http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/14947167/286295948/name/NUTRITION%20sat%20fat.pdf There are other analyses that back up my statement about studies and the tendencies for outlier studies to get published though I don't have time to track them down now. Regardless, the study above makes the point that government agencies often make suggestions that don't reflect the real dangers (or lack thereof) involved. BTW, "follow the money" is a fallacy. If the studies showing no effect are faulty, they should be attacked on their methodology or blinding or some other part of the process. Saying "they benefit from no effect therefore their studies are invalid" is ad hom. Not to mention the fact that companies wouldn't be served long term by producing dangerous materials. Eventually the truth comes out and they lose more than they made in the first place. Logical fallacy... as explained by Game Theory... corporations often (maybe typically in our culture & regulatory environment) tend to manage for short term again against long term risk... hence Pink Slime in Big Macs, BP taking short cuts with the Macondo well etc., Regulation emerged, not out of some overreaching Socialist or Authoritarian agenda).. but because the first 300 years of Capitalism taught us that in many (perhaps most) large scale industries tend to fail absent of smart regulation (Banking, Insurance, Equity Brokerage are three industries that literally cannot sustain themselves without 3rd party regulation as the rational actors in each time & time again make decisions that maximize short term gains but prove to be stupid in the long run... too big to fail was a lesson learned many boom - bust cycles ago) Its funny how long companies have gotten away with Beef Slime, Tuna Slime, Chicken Slime etc., without public furor despite the proliferation of media & information. And to be on the same page.. there should be no illusion that the U.S. government regulates materials very much... companies have a very low burden of proof to establish the safety of their new invented materials... the way it works here.. is wait until alot of people get very sick, have them engage in a lengthy law suit and then government will ban materials. Hope you enjoy your asbestos cocktail... oh wait I how wonder how many decades went by with research establishing "no direct link" between asbestos & pathology?
  8. So anybody know the deal with Chilean cuisine... the pics on this travel log smack of generic Latin American business hotel food.. most of those dishes could be anywhere in Latin America ... does Chile not much distinctive cuisine... or is it just marginalized, hard to find etc.,
  9. Whoa, whoa, whoa... Who do you think funds most studies on things related to consumer goods? Not a lot of people are sitting out there conducting studies on foods & materials for the heck of it.... it is usually people with a profit motive and talk about "self selecting"... corporations have the most to gain from self selective research. I've was an executive at a consumer product company that sponsored lots of research... and have seen the self selection first hand. Seeing a bunch of "positive / no real risk" studies, funded by corporations with very little research done by organizations not tied said corporations doesn't give me the warm fuzzies... say for example you have dozens of Tobacco industry sponsored studies suggest there is no proof of the link between smoking & lung cancer.. but a single government sponsored study suggests otherwise... I am am going to er on not giving the corporations the benefit of the doubt... just sayin'
  10. Is there really a market? In Beverly Hills, where demographics suggest a nice kosher restaurant might be most viable, there is a surprising dearth of fine dining restaurants (large portion mid level places are the preference) and it seems Red Lobster might be the busiest place of all
  11. EatNopales

    Making Mexican at home

    Hello... Huaraches are THE regional antojito in many towns around Mexico City (and in the city proper as well)... basically they are the Sope of that area although the toppings are very regional... meaning your typical Huarache lady is more like to have Huitlacoche, Squash Blossoms, Nopales, Cecina, Carne Adobada etc., than Carnitas, Shredded Chicken etc., Fellow Egullet poster Menu In Progress has a nice post on Huaraches: http://menuinprogress.com/2008/03/mexico-city-el-huarache-azteca.html I personally wouldn't buy the packaged version myself... but the way to reheat them is to melt a little lard & brush all over the huarache then reheat it on a hot comal / skillet, flipping after the oil sizzles & the wafting aromas of toasted corn make you salivate... then proceed to top as desired. Perhaps the most memorable Huarache I've had was at the mercado in Xochimilco... it had black beans pureed with avocado leaf, then a layer of chopped lamb barbacoa, then a layer of fried, battered whole charales (a smelt like fresh water fish), crumbles of fresh goat cheese & a chunky green salsa
  12. EatNopales

    Puerto Vallarta Rec.s

    If you want a real Mexican foodies experience in Puerto Vallarta then follow a couple simple rules: 1) If the place has Chips & Salsa or Burritos... keep walking 2) Stay away from "International Cuisine" type places (which is what proliferates in the tourist areas... joints that have a few pasta dishes, CA style salads, surf & turf interspersed with Mexican dishes etc.,) For regional cuisine here are the dishes you are looking for: Ceviche de Mojarra (Diapterus peruvianus) or Pulpo (Octopus) Albondigas de Camaron or Pescado (A soup of Shrimp or Fish balls & seasonal veggies in a moderately spicy, red broth) Pozole de Camaron (Shrimp & Hominy soup, spicy red broth, shredded raw cabbage, radishes, oregano & squeeze of lime) Birria de Pescado (Very meaty white fish such as shark stewed in a thick broth of several dried chiles, herbs such as oregano, thyme, marjoram & sweet spices such as cloves, allspice etc.,) Crema de Ostion (Pureed Local smoked oysters, tequila & potato soup) Pescado a la Talla (Whole butterflied fish with choices of various species.. basted with a dried chile sauce and gently grilled in a basket about 3 feet above the mezquite fire) Camarones al Tequila (Shrimp sauteed in Tequila butter sauce) Camarones a la Diabla (Shrimp sauteed in a Arbol chile - garlic butter sauce) Coco Relleno (Baked Green Coconut stuffed with Shrimp, Langoustines various Fish etc.,) Enchiladas de Camaron en Chilacate (Shrimp stuffed, maroon sauce enchiladas made with the local Chilacate chile) A very good place to sample these & other Mexican riviera seafood dishes is at a little neighborhood restaurant called Los Pajaritos on Camichin near Avenida Serdan. For landlocked traditional dishes of Jalisco (Goat Birria, Pork Pozole, Carne en su Jugo, Pollo Guadalajara, Costillas con Calabacitas, hand made Gorditas stuffed with Cactus, Beans or Pork Rinds etc.,) head to Cenaduria Celia located at Lazaro Cardenas #506 in Colonia Emiliano Zapata A favorite among local, ordinary Middle Class families is Asadero Sonorita specializing in Sonora style Parilladas (heaps of grilled Skirt, Ribeye, Top Sirloin, Bone In Chuck steaks, Pork Intestines, grilled Chorizo, Mexican spring onions, Cactus paddles, blackened whole tomatoes, spicy bean soups & hand made tortillas etc.,) located at Francisco Villa # 1501 at the Fraccionamiento Fluvial Vallarta developement If you are interested in the phenomenon of Restaurant Chains.... Mexican chains generally serve very respectable food in comparison to the their North American counterparts... they typically cook everything from scratch at each franchise.. hands down the Chains serving ordinary working Mexicans typically have food that is much better than what you would get at the Resorts & Tourist traps... here are some local chains to try: 100% Natural... based in Mexico City this chain serves a smorgasbord of Local and/or Organic and/or Vegetarian foods... a lot of the standard menu overlaps heavily with lame North American chains like California Pizza Kitchen, Wolfgang Express etc., but their daily specials can be impressive... I've had things like Huitlacoche & regional Goat Cheese stuffed Quesadillas made from heirloom Blue Corn, Venison loin with Pumpkin Seed Mole and freshly made Cactus-Pineapple juice etc., Pollo Pepe... based in Guadalajara it is like a superior version of Pollo Loco Sanborns... Pan-Mexican chain with local specialties Ah before I forget... the regional desserts par excellence are the Jericalla which is kind of like a Creme Brulee, Flan de Coco and Dulce de Mango (kind of like a Mango Mousse)
  13. EatNopales

    Making Tortillas at Home

    I press my tortillas between two ceramic dishes... try that.. if they are still too thick then maybe your dough is too dry.
  14. EatNopales

    Making Tortillas at Home

    I also buy bags of "fresh" masa... one brand I am pretty sure is Maseca (white corn) the other nixtamal (yellow corn with lots of kernel in it)... honestly the techniques work identically for my setup.
  15. EatNopales

    Making Tortillas at Home

    Tortilla warmer (those little round things designed for the purpose -- not much other utility, but shouldn't cost more than $5 or so), or maybe wrapped in a slightly moist, clean kitchen towel? Or, cook / heat them as you need them, which is how it usually works at our house. Also most hand made tortillas will benefit from steaming in their heat for a few minutes as they become much more pliable after they have been in the warmer. In fact, even in Pre-Hispanic times the most common practice for tortillas was to wrap them in Cotton cloth inside of a Chiquihuite / Xikihuitl (woven natural fiber basket with lid).
  16. EatNopales

    Cooking In and On Leaves

    There were some earlier mentions of leaves in Yucatan cooking.... in addition to the Cochinita Pibil & various tamales... Banana leaves are also extensively used in grilling seafood... an iconic dish is Tikin Xic: http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/2832-yucatecan-baked-fish-tikin-xic Other leaves used in the Yucatan are Hoja Santa (Piper Auritam) as well as Tropical Almond (Terminalia Cappa) & Chaya (Cnidoscolus chayamansa) Cooking in leaves is an essential component in all the indigenous cuisines of Mexico... everybody knows tamales.. but that just scratches the surface... basically every community has some kind of dish where they stuff raw local / seasonal proteins & vegetables, douse with any number of salsas or seasoning pastes, wrap & then steam in its own juices, with vapor, smoke or dry heat. There are thousands of these dishes.... all delicious.. I generally prefer cooking items in their own juices on a comal.. you get some intensified flavors, great texture & smokiness from the toasting of leaves.
  17. EatNopales

    Making Tortillas at Home

    For those not wanting to invest in the thermometer... the way I determine when the comal is hot enough is that I season it with Peanut Oil... and once the little bits of oil start beading up a little bit.. the comal is hot enough for puffy tortillas.. at that point you start lowering the heat a little bit at a time... also if you hold your hand an inch over the comal you can "feel" the right level of heat radiating once you have the hang of it. BTW.. I do not grease the comal between tortillas... not needed.. and my comal is actually a crepe pan. Incidentally, I finally mastered making crepes over the weekend
  18. Bottom line in this thread we are to discuss whether paying a premium for organic is worth the price or a hoax. One argument advanced is that synthetic pesticides haven't really been "proven" to be bad for people. Two elements to be analyzed... are sythentic pesticides generally bad for humans... and at what concentration? Farm workers in high pesticide crops (such as Grapes, Bananas) are known to have tragically high rates of various cancers.. and causal relationships have been established.. here are some studies you can peruse: Mills, P, "Cancer Incidence in the United Farmworkers of America 1987-1997," American Journal of Industrial Medicine 40 (2001): 596-603; Vincent F. Garry et. al., "Pesticide Appliers, Biocides and Birth Defects in Rural Minnesota," Environmental Health Perspectives 104 (April 1996): 394-399. As of now there is now comprehensive body of evidence to establish that synthetic pesticides are either bad or neutral for you at the concentrations typically found in produce. You will see some studies supporting either position but the # of substances studied for carcinogenicity (synthetic or naturally occurring in food / generated in the cooking process) is miniscule compared to the total number (for example roasted coffee has about 1,000 substances of which only a few dozen have been studied some are determine to be carcinogenic, others are determined to be protective against cancers such as anti oxidants etc.,) further some compounds that are generally believed to be healthful for humans are carcinogens for rodents (studies on humans are a minute.. most are conducted on rats) In the case of grapes... it is well established that synthetic pesticides cause cancer among the farm workers... 1) We should have a way to allocate the hidden costs of the cancer treatments, human loss etc., back to the price of conventional grapes... we are currently paying for those costs in other means... taxpayer dollars, higher health insurance rates etc... then we can have a $ of $ comparison 2) There is no benefit to buying conventional grapes... these are a relative luxury not about feeding the world... they provide few calories etc., Organic grapes are not much more expensive than Conventional when grown on similar scale... 3) There is a hidden risk to eating conventional grapes... even if there isn't research studies clearly demonstrating that conventional grapes cause cancer in their current pesticide concentrations there is also NO research clearly demonstrating that they don't... who are you going to trust 2 Million years worth of human evolution or a chemical created 20 years ago?
  19. There is a myth that intense factory farming is more efficient or effective than traditional inter cropping particularly for lesser industrialized countries where labor is relatively cheap & imported synthetic fertilizers, pesticides & equipment are relatively expensive. You take massive subsidies away from factory farming (including the hidden costs born by taxpayers instead of consumers), factor in the nutritional superiority of small scale inter cropping and intense factory farming doesn't look all that great.
  20. Yes so it makes soooo much sense to support something that is inherently Big Business like GMO in a place like Africa over the traditional inter cropping that has been displaced Further, I have not made the argument that organic / traditional farming will save Africa... the argument I have made is that the idea that GMO will save Africa is a myth, an illusion, a naive dream, unsubstantiated by reality lazily made by those grabbing at straws to find something positive about GMO in light of the real world, shady present of GMO Agribusiness
  21. No actually GMO / Industrial foods are intimately tied to problems stemming from the Neo-colonialist relationship between the West & African societies. GMO crops have lots of hidden costs that are currently subsidized by taxpayers... poorer African communities generally cannot afford GMO without U.S. "Foreign Aid" packages... Foreign Aid is generally a racket to benefit Western companies who spend a lot of dough lobbying / buying off government... Monsanto's relationship to Africa is kind of like the early days of Coca-Cola went it still contained addictive Coca extracts... Africa gets artificially cheap GMO seed, fertilizers etc., subsidized / purchased by U.S. taxpayers... they change their whole way of food production.. and when they are hooked or when U.S. taxpayers can no longer afford it... those subsidies / gifts will be taken away & Africans will have to face a food security crisis.
  22. Currently GMO is a big time racket that transfers wealth from U.S. & Western European taxpayers to Monsanto & a few other big companies while making the most food insecure 3rd world societies dependent on patented foreign seeds, fertilzers & pesticides... and hooking them on higher physical yields of lower nutrient mono crops.. people in those countries may have fuller bellies but malnutrition isn't getting better.. its gotten worst.. particularly in Africa where farmers have dramatically reduced the amount of farmland devoted to native legumes (black eye peas)
  23. EatNopales

    Can anyone identify this beef cut?

    If you have a decent Mexican market go to the butcher and ask for Diezmillo para Azar
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