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Everything posted by gulfporter

  1. Rack of lamb on the grill. I marinate overnight in olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic, fresh rosemary and a squirt of dijon mustard, lots of fresh ground S&P. Frenched racks usually weigh between 1.2 and 1.4 pounds where we shop. My grill method (after I preheat gas grill to 400) is normally 9-9-9. Nine minutes side one; nine minutes side two, nine minutes rest. Larger racks I may go 10-10-10 and smaller, 8-8-8.
  2. Another al fresco person here . We eat out 7 days a week (5 dinners and 2 lunches). At our MEX home, we can walk to 25+ restaurants including Thai (3), Italian (4), French (2), Argentine (2), Spanish (3), Polish, German, vegan (2), Greek, Cajun, Chinese (but it's awful), Vietnamese, a myriad of what I'd describe as International or Continental and of course, Mexican. Only a few have solid roofs from wall to wall. Most have patios or gardens. Our weather here allows us to eat outdoors almost 365 days a year. It's one of the top reasons we chose it! From our FL home we can walk to a dozen non-chain eateries and all but 2 have outdoor seating available. We are rarely at our FL home these days (only 5 weeks so far this year), but when we visit next month we will seek indoor a/c, for sure). We aren't crazy. We make the same choices on vacation. For the past 5 years our vacations have been to Spain, Portugal, Guatemala and other parts of MEX and we are always able to find very good to excellent restaurants that offer outdoor dining.
  3. Flat cracker. one handed. Our eggs here in Mexico are always very fresh, ungraded, unwashed and sold by weight.
  4. Ahhhh 💡. Maybe it was the time spent thawing and sitting in fridge, post-freeze? When I made the initial mix, I grilled the burgers almost immediately. When I thawed the frozen ones, I put in fridge overnight and grilled for dinner; they were likely sitting thawed in the fridge for several hours. Thanks Smitty.
  5. I don't often use ground meats, but have been experimenting with making Banh Mi pork burgers. I made a batch with a pound of pork, seasoning it with sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, chopped green onions, minced cilantro, ground black pepper. I grilled 2 of the formed burgers and froze the other 2 burgers for about 10 days. Both of us felt the burgers that had been frozen tasted stronger (and better) than the fresh batch. Does that make sense, or are we kidding ourselves?
  6. We eat half our meals at home and half at restaurants. We also do carry-out once a week. And here's what we've noticed: At the BBQ place in FL and at the rotis chicken stand near our Mexican home, when he goes, he comes home with more food than when I go for the same food. The chicken and ribs are portioned out (we always get a whole bird and a whole rack), but at the MXN chicken place he literally gets twice the number of baby potatoes (swimming in chicken fat) than I get; and at the Florida BBQ place he gets twice the number of their homemade BBQ sauce containers (8 versus 4). For all the years we've been going to these places, the counter staff has always been young women. In case you're wondering; I'm not a shrew and he's not a schmoozer. We tip the same. Anyone else ever notice this?
  7. For over a decade we have enjoyed the free spiced jicama sticks that many bars in MX serve (though rarely in our neck of the MXN woods). I tried at home to replicate them, using lime juice and various spices and never got it right. A few weeks ago I got a tamarind margarita and the rim had the BEST spice mix...nice salty crunch, some heat and a good sour. I asked the waiter what he used and he came back with the Tajin jar. Duh....I have seen it in the spice aisle for years but never knew what it was. It is addictive. We put some on grilled corn on the cob last night and it was fabulous.
  8. I just got hooked on this a few weeks ago and while was never a fan of adding salt to fruit, these salt-lime-chili crystals are great sprinkled on mango, melons, pineapple and also cukes, jicama, radishes. Makes the best rim for a tamarind margarita (and probably others).
  9. How about sending back "house" wine? My husband says you can't send it back no matter how bad it is. Here in Mexico house wines were very often gawd-awful a dozen years ago when they cost 20-30 pesos a glass. Nowadays they are mostly quite drinkable at 50-70 pesos a glass. With the exchange rate difference, the US dollar equivalent is almost the same over those 12 years, $2.50 to $3.50 and that includes tax. Maybe twice a year these days we will be served swill and DH says to just cowgirl up and drink it or order something else, but that complaining about an inferior house wine is tantamount to going to McD's and complaining there are too many kids there. Then there's the issue of explaining to a Mexican waiter that the wine is "bad," since the server has likely never tasted wine of any sort. If there is an owner around, maybe you could make that point. My guess is that if a glass of house wine here cost $10 USD (as it often does in the states), that he'd change his tune and complain. He says no he wouldn't, but that has yet to be put to the test.
  10. Hardly ever, even to my own detriment. 10 years ago I ordered a medium burger. It came out blue-rare. We usually share or taste each other's meals and when my DH asked for a bite I told him, no, it's just too rare. But I ate it (hungry, in a rush, DH already had his meal, not the type to send meals back unless it is not what I ordered and not what I normally eat). Result: E Coli. Which I ignored a tad too long and ended up in the ER. It was a long recovery.
  11. gulfporter

    Lunch 2019

    For future meals.....pesto from the basil plant that is taking over the geranium in the same pot.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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 😋
  19. 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.
  20. 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).
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Instead of Asian noodle salad, maybe an Asian slaw? Or grilled asparagus served chilled or room temp tossed with lemon and garlic.
  24. 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.
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