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Found 463 results

  1. I have seen the terms "real" or "authentic" Mexican food thrown around like so much culinary confetti on this thread. Folks in the East, especially the former USSR, are absolutely enamored with American Food. They find it at McDonalds®. Would you agree that there is no such thing as "authentic" Mexican cuisine, short of committing a home invasion down South?
  2. I'm always fascinated with the history of Mexican food. It seems really difficult to find many sources, especially in English, for the history of a) Mexican-American food, and b) regional Mexican food post-conquest. Do you have any recs (besides your own, of course)?
  3. I grew up in Houston, and one of my favorite dishes of all time was Tacos al Carbon at Las Alamedas. Somewhere I read that this dish was actually "invented" by the person who founded Ninfa's. Is that true? It seems like such a straightforward dish, I can hardly believe it would have been invented in the 20th century by a Texan. What do you know about Tacos al Carbon?
  4. Just purchased some verdolagas (otherwise known as Purslane) at the Farmers Market this morning. D.K. in her book, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, has a simple stew recipe for pork and purslane, which I will make tomorrow. Have not found any other references for it in other cookbooks and I don't seem to recall eating it Mexico. Can anyone out there speak about verdolagas and its uses in Mexico? Esperanza? Theobroma?
  5. I have ground field corn that I'm trying to make into masa. Every recipe I have is for whole field corn. Is it possible to do this? In a perfect world I'd have whole field corn to work with. Unfortunately all I have is ground corn and I need to get tortillas out of this. The soaking time would be less since the surface exposure would be greater, correct? Also, would cheese cloth and a weight be good for rinsing/squeezing out the lime solution? Any ideas would be hugely appreciated.
  6. Last night, I had Enchilada con mole at a local neighborhood Mexican restaurant. This was the first time I've ever tasted mole sauce, so I had no idea what to expect. The color was a dark brown, and my first impressions were that it was bitter, smoky and sweet. The flavor was strong, perhaps overly so. Curiously enough, the sauce was not spicy at all, and only slightly salty. However, the bitterness pretty much dominated the dish as I was not able to taste the ground beef filling of the enchilada. My question is... how should a good mole sauce be? Is it unusual to have such a strong tasting sauce for enchilada? I'm curious because I am not sure if I just had a poor rendition of the sauce or, that was just the way it's supposed to be. Appreciate any insights you guys could give.
  7. Would lowfat work, or is the fat contributing to the browning?
  8. Hola! Just devoured another favourite summertime treat that we first encountered on the streets in Oaxaca. Corn tortillas on the comal with torn pieces of squash blossoms and fresh epazote. A bit of cheese (I used Monterey Jack as I can't get quesillo where I live) and sea salt. Presto, change-o, I am instantly transported to Oaxaca. After four years, we know have serious leaves of epazote growing in our garden. For squash blossoms, we phone a local farmer to major amounts and a local tortilla maker supplies us with tortillas. In Oaxaca, you are asked if you want a bit of asiento - that yummy pork fat and bits - don't have that going on. Yet. Truly an exquisite snack. Anyone else have some seasonal favourites they would like to share? Shelora
  9. Hello all, Going to Seattle in two weeks and will need to stock up on a few ingredients. Since we won't have a car and will be staying in Belltown/Pike Place area, can anyone recommend places to buy fresh tortillas and cheeses close by? Any good latino markets, even a little ways out of town that I need to visit? Muchas gracias! Shelora
  10. Front Page, The Dallas Morning News: Evolving Mexican tastes chip away at tortillas' niche Writer Laurence Iliff quotes corn chamber director Jose Enrique Tron as saying "The tortillas in the United States...are better than those in Mexico City". Is this true? I wouldn't know but how can it be true?
  11. I am planning a trip to the city soon to stock up on some ingredients I need to make Mexican food. I miss being able to easily find Mexican ingredients in most groceries, as is the case in CA, so I have to go on a hunt. I'm especially interested in finding masa (including masa harina for tortillas), chiles both dried and fresh, crema and cheese, and some herbs and produce. I'd also like to catch a bite to eat while I'm there. Could anyone suggest some good markets for such things? I'm open to places in both Jackson Heights and in Manhattan, although I suspect things would be less expensive and fresher in JH because of the demand there. Thanks in advance!
  12. Hi, I am a newbie both to this board and to the world of mexican cooking. I love tamales but the place where I live distinctly lacks good mexican restaurants. The best tamales I've tasted were made by my mexican friends mom at home and served fresh and they tasted like something that'd be served only in heaven. Am dying to try making them myself but I don't have the slightest idea how to get started. Can someone give me a tried and tested recipe using ingredients that I'm likely to be able to buy in the US? I'd be really really really grateful. Oh and I'm a vegetarian although I do eat eggs from time to time. So I need a vegetarian recipe too . Really looking forward to some help!!! Thanks a million, worm@work
  13. So Rick Bayless (wait, is his name taboo?) says that if you grill up some cactus leaves, the grilling will "play... down cactus's habit of exuding a gooey, okra-like liquid. When paddles are grillled whole, you never see that liquid. And, if they're cooked thoroughly, the cactus paddles will show scarcely any stickiness when they're cut into squares." So tonight, I grilled them, and I sure thought they were good and cooked through. But they were definitely slimey as all hell. Not that that was a problem, really--I'm intrigued by the texture, and don't much care. I'm just wondering if I missed something. Is there some prep thing I should have done to make them less slimey?
  14. I was shopping in my favorite Mexican grocery this weekend and thinking - "this has to be the best Mexican grocery within a hundred miles". Now, I haven't been every Mexican grocery within a hundred miles, but if you live in the East Bay, in or near Concord, try Las Montanas on Willow Pass Rd and tell me if I'm right. This is not your basic mom and pop - it's a large, well-capitalized business with high standards for quality and cleanliness. It occupies a former Smart and Final store and includes a tortilliaria, a taqueria, and a bakery. Best of all, they have a full service butcher and a beautiful meat/poultry/fish case. Here's the stuff that makes me smile while shopping: • Fresh rendered pork lard • Corn tortillas still warm from their original baking! • Masa • Chilaca chiles • Fresh Epazote • Mexican thick cream in the butcher case • Mexican Cokes • Equipment – lime squeezers, molcajetes, etc • Palettas - popsicles made from actual fruit as opposed to some chemical from a factory in New Jersey • Pork Tamales • Mineral lime for making masa (I'd never buy this in a million years but it's cool they have it) • The real undiscovered gem of beef cuts - flap meat - for $3.69 lb.! • Marinated meats ready for the grill • Mesquite lump charcoal • Great prices Best of all - no smell (which is more than I can say for the Asian grocery up the way). So am I wrong? What is the best Mexican Grocery in Northern CA? Spread the word . . .
  15. Yeah, yeah, I know I should make it from scratch but it isn't going to happen today! I have opened a jar of "Dona Maria" mole paste but I need only a couple of tablespoons. The jar has a lid that must be pried open with a bottle opener. Can I transfer to another jar and store the remainder? Does it need to be refrigerated? Frozen? How long will it keep? Thanks for any help you can offer.
  16. Going through my stash of chilies, I have noticed some discrepancies and I'm hoping someone can help. Okay, I've got two different bags of chile puya. One is dark red, smooth surfaced and the other is light red to orange with more of a bumpy texture to the skin. it almost looks like a chile costeno. The first one is prepackaged from El Guapo, the second from a market in Mexico. Are they both chile puya or if not, will the real chile puya please stand up. This brings me to the other problem. I have chile costeno and chile costeno rojo. Then there is chile amarillo. Now, I know for a fact that the chile amarillo is hotter than the costenos. All three are of the same size and texture, except of course, the amarillo is light orange. I know that I must keep better record keeping when I buy chiles but I find chile identification very confusing. For example, I thought chile ancho was available only in three grades; primera (big and fat), segunda (mama bear) and terceira (whatever is left over). But oh no, chile ancho is available in negro and oscuro. Then to confuse matters even more, chile ancho is also known as chile tenir in other parts of Mexico. Is it just me? Say it ain't so! S
  17. Does anyone have a good recipe for a Mexican Martini? I know they are similar to margaritas, but I'm not sure exactly what makes them different; does anyone have a recipe? They're so good; I'd love to know how to make them at home.
  18. Hello there, I have started an hoja santa plant and everything is looking good except most of the leaves have developed a brown-ish tint to the edges. Has anyone had any experience with growing this plant. It is a wonderful herb, very anise in flavour used in many regional recipes in Mexico. Shelora
  19. We're taking a short trip back up to the Pacific Northwest and will be visiting some friends in Tacoma. Can anyone reccomend a good place for lunch? They live near the University of Pugest Sound and I imagine we won't have a ton of time to drive someplace far away. Here's a map of the immediate area will be in if that's helpful. A Map Thanks for any suggestions.
  20. http://www.rumshop.net/newsletters/may2004.pdf (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) The May issue of GOT RUM? Magazine put out by Luis Ayala has a lot of cool information and recipes for mexican rum drinks, food and drink recipes with Piloncillo (a type of unrefined brick sugar that is common in Mexico), as well as some interesting history of the spirit in that country.
  21. I had always used the drive to and from Tahoe as an excuse to eat In-n-Out Burgers. Double-Double, fries and a soft drink (diet coke, of course). The problem is, I don't really likt InO Burger. I fail to see any difference between the sauce glopped on these and the sauce glopped on a Big Mac. While I appreciate the toasted bun (best buns in the bidness), there is no mistaking that this is a greasy burger. And the fries suck. I don't care if they're "fresh cut". They're undercooked and undersalted and underflavored. And have you every seen a black person working at InO? Not me. Never. Not once. So on a recent trip with a friend we took an exit near Dixon (on the SF side of Davis) and looked for the InO. Didn't see it. We got back on the highway and got off at the next exit because, well, because women have small bladders. There was a Carls Jr right in front of us. Decent burger, in my opinion. But across the road, set back in a dusty, heavily potholed lot, was a rickety building proclaiming "Mexican Food". The weathered wood betrayed some history of green and red paint; there was a "booth" outside that looked something like a tomato or a sombrero and seemed out of place without a pool. But there were about six beat up old pickup trucks in the lot. Looked good to me. And the lady had charisma. So we went in. I'm no expert on Mexican food, and I can't tell you the difference between Mex and Tex-Mex. Hell, I'm a Jewish kid from NY. But this is the best Mexican food I've ever had. I've been twice now, feeling justified in my judgement. Each time, I and my guest were the only White faces in the place. Not much English is spoken. Lots of heavy denim, white straw cowboy hats, and faces deeply etched by the sun and wind. The menu is written on the wall, and it includes just about every thing you'd expect, and a whole bunch more. The first visit, I had a Molcajete. (I've probably mixed up the progression of "l" "c" and "j".) Unbelievable. It was a large bowl chisled out of volcanic rock. Filled with a steaming stew of sliced beef, chicken, pork and, new for me, shreds of nopales. I've had these cactus's before as a side dish, and thought they were rather bland. Simmered in this stew, they added color, crunch and a great peppery, herby flavor. The dish was amazing. Hot, well-spiced and chock full of stuff. It was served with flour and corn tortillas and sides of guac and sour cream. More than enough for two. Yesterday I had the carnitas plate. Heads and shoulders above anything I've had in SF. I've been to El Toro, Farolito, etc., etc. Not even close. Mr. Taco served a large plate heaped with diced pork that had been slow simmered and then sauteed in fat. The result was tender, toothsome pieces, brimming with roasted flavor and accentuated by a slight crispness on the surfaces. Wonderful. And, I was happy to see, not a hunk of fat or gristle to be found. Just meat in all its glorious porkiness. This too was served with a pile of guac, a healthy side of rice and refried and tortillas. My friend had two chicken tacos. The chicken (i only had a bite), was moist and surprisingly flavorful. It appeared to have been simmered with peppers and other spices, not just grilled. Served in tortillas that had been freshly fried to a crisp and pile with lettuce, tomato and a healthy (unhealthy?) dollop of sour cream. Yum. Most entrees seemed to be $7.99, and well worth it. The Molcajete, which could feed two easily, perhaps three, was $14. Location: Difficult to say, because the great state of California doesn't number their exits. Why? I don't know. I assume that making it easy for one to find stuff would somehow further the fascist expansion of capitalism. However: Look for the "Dixon/West A Street" exit. I think it's the middle of 5 "Dixon" exits, about 60 miles outside SF. The restaurant is jut to the south of the highway.
  22. Why aren't we demanding better Mexican food? Why are we happy with a number 6 combination plate with a chile relleno made yesterday, an enchilada that tastes like a taco and a taco that tastes like an enchilada, all smothered in a bland chile sauce? Why is the best thing always the refried beans? There's a thread on the Texas forum about the virtues of Tex-Mex. I haven't eaten enough of it to really form an opinion but it leads me to wonder whether things are so great here. There was Cafe Marimba on Chestnut Street when Reed Hearon was at the helm. It was to me some of the most exciting food I'd eaten in a long time, despite the cantina-like atmosphere and yuppie location. It was exciting. Then it was nothing. I don't even know if it's still in business but I think when Hearon left they realized at that spot they could serve Taco bell and it would still pack them in. There's a restaurant in Sonoma called Maya that was kind of interesting when it first opened but now it's a silly tourist trap. I hear Picante in Berekely is good but haven't been. Primavera, who make such nice butter-laden tamels, is in the Farmers Market in SF on Saturdays and I hear good things there. So other than cooking at home, where do you go? I love my burritos but I think that's a different thread.
  23. Is there anyone packaging chiles in the toothpaste-type tubes that e.g. tomato paste is sold in? I haven't seen such a thing in person or on any of the online Mexican grocers. If it doesn't exist, what do you think of the idea? Seems to me that it would be pretty cool. Dried chiles could be toasted, re-hydrated, ground, packaged. I, for one, would probably keep on hand at least a few varieties. michael
  24. Salsa Mexicana This recipe is from the Mexican Table Salsas course, in the eCGI. One of the most basic styles of salsa, a salsa cruda (raw sauce), is simply composed of ingredients chopped and mixed together. Sometimes called a pico de gallo (rooster's beak) or salsa fresca, the most common version, the salsa mexicana, consists of tomatoes, onions, fresh chiles, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. An extremely versatile salsa, it especially goes well with fish and chicken 1/2 lb or 2 medium tomatoes, approximately 3/4 C when diced 1/2 c white onion, diced 1 jalapeño chiles 2 T cilantro, finely chopped 1 tsp lime Salt Remove the core and seeds from the tomatoes and dice the flesh. The tomatoes should be firm, yet ripe. Plum tomatoes make an excellent choice here because of their naturally firmer flesh. Toss in a bowl with the diced onion. Holding the jalapeño upright, slice down the sides of the chile removing the flesh until only the stem and attached seeds remain. Finely chop or mince the jalapeño strips and toss them in the bowl. Serranos are actually typical to this salsa, but I prefer the bright front-of-the-mouth bite of jalapeños instead. Traditionally, all ingredients are chopped quite finely and similarly-sized to allow the flavors to unify. I prefer about a 1/4" dice for the onions and tomatoes with the jalapeños minced so that the chiles do not overwhelm the salsa. Add the cilantro and mix, taking care not to crush the tomatoes. Add the lime juice, mix again, and salt to taste. Let rest for 15 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. This is the best template to use for most fruit salsas. Substitute mango, papaya, or even apple, for tomatoes and you still have a wonderful, but entirely different, Nuevo Latino salsa. Substitute corn, beans, or cucumber for the tomatoes and again the salsa takes on a whole new character. Keywords: Condiment, eGCI, Dip ( RG933 )
  25. Salsa Mexicana This recipe is from the Mexican Table Salsas course, in the eCGI. One of the most basic styles of salsa, a salsa cruda (raw sauce), is simply composed of ingredients chopped and mixed together. Sometimes called a pico de gallo (rooster's beak) or salsa fresca, the most common version, the salsa mexicana, consists of tomatoes, onions, fresh chiles, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. An extremely versatile salsa, it especially goes well with fish and chicken 1/2 lb or 2 medium tomatoes, approximately 3/4 C when diced 1/2 c white onion, diced 1 jalapeño chiles 2 T cilantro, finely chopped 1 tsp lime Salt Remove the core and seeds from the tomatoes and dice the flesh. The tomatoes should be firm, yet ripe. Plum tomatoes make an excellent choice here because of their naturally firmer flesh. Toss in a bowl with the diced onion. Holding the jalapeño upright, slice down the sides of the chile removing the flesh until only the stem and attached seeds remain. Finely chop or mince the jalapeño strips and toss them in the bowl. Serranos are actually typical to this salsa, but I prefer the bright front-of-the-mouth bite of jalapeños instead. Traditionally, all ingredients are chopped quite finely and similarly-sized to allow the flavors to unify. I prefer about a 1/4" dice for the onions and tomatoes with the jalapeños minced so that the chiles do not overwhelm the salsa. Add the cilantro and mix, taking care not to crush the tomatoes. Add the lime juice, mix again, and salt to taste. Let rest for 15 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. This is the best template to use for most fruit salsas. Substitute mango, papaya, or even apple, for tomatoes and you still have a wonderful, but entirely different, Nuevo Latino salsa. Substitute corn, beans, or cucumber for the tomatoes and again the salsa takes on a whole new character. Keywords: Condiment, eGCI, Dip ( RG933 )
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