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    DC-Metro 32 yrs; then Bisbee,AZ 10 years; Currently: Ajijic, Mexico and Gulfport FL

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  1. Condolences, @Shelby We sashay between Mexico and Florida. Electricity in Mexico can be a crapshoot. We live in Centro where the restaurants, shops, businesses are, and this usually ensures rare and short power outages. We do however suffer from "brownouts" where half of our house electricity is "on" while the other is "off." Oh...and which half is on versus off, changes every time, and even changes during brownouts. We have a closet full of extension cords to handle this when we are home and we also always have a 10 kilo bag of ice in the freezer part of the fridge. I keep very little protein in our MXN freezer for these reasons. Maybe 4 or 5 meals worth of fish/shrimp that during an outage I can grill to feed ourselves and a few neighbors. Prior to any trip, we eat our way through our freezer. Not a scintilla of protein is allowed in there while we are away. I do the same at the FL house (where the grid is much more stable), however after Hurricane Irma hit us in September 2017, the home was without power for 5 days. We were away during Irma; and while we have an excellent FL property manager, he was unable to get to our home for 3 days due to road closures. We are in the better safe than sorry camp. Even those of you without 2nd homes may want to consider eating your way through your freezer before you go on vacation.
  2. When I made it, there was far more brine than onions. Now after 4 or 5 additions of onions (and serranos), it's packed tighter, though all onions remain below the pickling liquid. My plan is to top it off with more brine as time goes by. Just curious how long this could go on. It reminds me of the late 1970's when we lived in DC-Metro and had an influx of Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon. Many opened low-cost eateries, especially Pho places. I hired some Vietnamese at my office. I asked them, where should I go for the best Pho? It was like asking, where can I get the best burger; everyone had their favorite. I ended up trying many. After awhile I said I liked one the best. A staffer who also thought this was THE place for Pho, said it was the best because they never emptied their stock pot. They just added to it every day.
  3. When I initially made the pickling liquid, I brought it to a boil. I found this chart about pickles. https://www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/how-long-do-pickles-last/ Pickles Expiration Date Product Pantry (Unopened) Refrigerator (Opened) Past Printed Date Past Printed Date Pickles last for 1-2 Years 1-2 Years Pickled Peppers last for 1-2 Years 1-2 Years Pickled Corn lasts for 1-2 Years 1-2 Years Sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) lasts 1-2 Years 1-2 Years
  4. I finally managed to nail the flavor profiles for my pickled onions after several attempts over several years. I didn't write down the exact measurements. It's a simple brine of cider vinegar, fresh lime juice, water, salt, sugar, halved serrano peppers and of course the red onions. We put pickled onions on almost every dish we make at home, from quesadillas to shrimp to green salads and as a condiment with pate' or ham on a cold plate. When I ran out of the first batch of onions, I disposed of the serranos, then simply added more red onions and fresh serranos to the existing leftover pickling liquid. I've been doing this for well over a month. Nothing looks or smells funky from batch to batch; I'd guess I'm on my 5th batch?? Is it safe to do this ad infinitum as long as there are no tell-tale signs of spoilage?
  5. I use a knife to start the loosening, then after enough of the crust gives way, I switch to a thin metal spatula to loosen the entire crust.
  6. I bought the frozen green-lipped mussels at Pacifica (it's a decent chain pescaderia) and didn't care for them (very rubbery as well as a bit too fishy taste)...I followed the package directions. They were pricey so I never bought them to try again.
  7. We've been gone from our MX home for a month (FL and Portugal) and we're still tired, time-zone impaired and generally discombobulated. Went to the small produce market looking for some zucchini. I buy them now and then, but thought these a bit smaller than usual. Get them home and start to peel. Not zucchini. They are Persian cucumbers (googled ) and I think the best cucumber I have ever had! Glad I made that mistake 😋
  8. On the wild v. farmed debate, I buy both. Didn't used to buy farm-raised, but the horrendous practices of salmon farms are mostly a thing of the past. They have literally cleaned up their act. Many large retailers now buy solely from salmon farms certified by the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council). Seafood Watch of the Monterey Bay Aquarium recently upgraded ASC farmed salmon to the status of "Good Alternative" to wild caught.
  9. We don't like cold-smoked salmon (lox)....it's not the taste, it's the mouth-feel. Slimy to both of us. Now, HOT-smoked salmon we buy weekly from an expat couple here in Ajijic (they are from Belgium).
  10. I grill salmon fillets 2 or 3 times a week. Every week, year round. I buy fresh salmon, one side of a large fish that I have the seller fillet. I bring it home and my DH cuts it into roughly 12-16 oz pieces that we share for one meal (IMO, grilling unskinned or too small pieces results in drier outcome). Rinse and pat dry. Season only the non-skin side. I use my standard rub or you can sprinkle with equal amounts salt, sugar and paprika (maybe 1/2 to 3/4 tsp each on a 16 oz piece, I am guessing??? Then to taste, decent sprinkles (1/4 to 3/8 tsp each) of black pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme, onion and garlic powders. Preheat gas grill to 400 degrees. When at 400 and it has more than 1 burner, turn the burner(s) under the salmon to low and keep the other(s) at 75% If you have only 1 burner, turn to 1/2 to 3/4 power. Your temperature should hold between 375 and 415, mas o menos. Place salmon skin side down, shut the lid. Leave it alone for appx. 8 minutes per inch thickness. Then turn off all the burners, flip salmon to skin side up and leave it on grill for 3 minutes per inch thickness. Plate and very loosely cover with foil. Let sit a full 5 minutes per inch thickness. We normally serve with or over a simple arugula salad or a cold couscous salad (w/ dried cranberries and pecans and green onion) ether with a simple lemon/dijon vinaigrette. We serve a dipping sauce for the salmon. normally a cherry-chipotle sauce, once in a while a chipotle mayo, each whipped up in under minute.
  11. Grill al dente and cool them completely spread out single layer on a flat plate or sheet. Then cover and refrigerate. If you bring in from grill and cover the hot asparagus it will steam and cook it too soft.
  12. Instead of Asian noodle salad, maybe an Asian slaw? Or grilled asparagus served chilled or room temp tossed with lemon and garlic.
  13. I have a ton of "homemade" crystallized ginger I bought at an organic market (it's in my Mexico freezer). When I return I will experiment in turning it into a ginger syrup, then use in beverages. I am thinking it would be good in a white sangria.
  14. We "commute" between our Mexico and Florida homes every few months, but only stay a week or so at the FL house so I don't do a lot of grocery shopping. We keep butter in the freezer and it lasts us a long time. But we ran out so I bought some this morning at Publix. When the heck did Land O Lakes butter go to $5.50 a pound (even the store brand was just under 5 bucks)? My best guess is the last time I bought butter was last Thanksgiving (or maybe earlier than that). Granted Publix is not a discount store but it is where I normally shop and my recollection is that the last time I bought butter it was in the 3 dollar a pound range.
  15. I brought a bunch of ground piri piri packets back from Portugal for myself and friends. We are now looking to either make it into piri piri sauce or for a tested recipe for piri piri chicken, that starts with the ground pepper. Anyone have one? Obrigado in advance.
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