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Found 464 results

  1. Hey all -- I've long been a huge fan of Spanish Chorizo, but just recently bought 1/2 a pound of what is supposed to be some delicious Mexican Chorizo. I'm wondering what your recommendations are for how I should use it? I've been very tempted by the Tinga recipe on Homesick Texan's blog - Tinga Recipe Here Any other tried-and-true recipes to share? Emily
  2. I remember a few food firsts: my first shockingly emerald kiwi fruit at age 12, my first fresh mango at age 23 and my first refried beans at age 9, served at a brand-new Taco Time, a Mexican restaurant so authentic the tater-tots had a dusting of spice powder over them instead of plain salt. Ever since then I have loved refried beans (and all kinds of other beans), but while I generally cook most of my bean dishes from dry beans (with the occasional tin of chickpeas used for quick hummus purposes), when it comes to the refried kind they usually come out of a can. A few years ago I managed to get my hands on pinto beans and black beans (not easily found in dry form at the shops here) and have made a few attempts at home-made refried beans using a few recipes found on the net. But I'm not really happy with them. They're lacking in flavour, they're rather pasty in texture and they're just not that enjoyable. Please note that when I eat the pintos before trying to mash them, they have a great nice flavour, but it seems to disintegrate upon mashing. I have had some success with roughly squashing pintos or blackbeans to form part of a quesadilla along with some mild feta and cabbage and coriander (cilantro). The truth is, I'm over the canned stuff - it's pappy, high in salt and kind of pricey. BUT, I still want some good beans! So, can you help me? How do you make your refritos? I'm particularly interested in: How far you cook the beans at the whole bean stage The amount and type of fat you add Your mashing methods The seasonings you add How long and in what you fry them Finally, I'd love to know how you serve them and what you eat them with. I have easy access to most spices (however no epazote until I get a chance to grow my own), and can currently even get my hands on good lard (I don't expect that to last unfortunately). Amazingly Cholula hot sauce is pretty readily available at the supermarket and delis, and I have a mail order source for dried chiles. Cheese is more difficult - there is only one source I know of for Queso Fresco, and it requires more coordinating than I am currently willing to do. Personally, I can only use dry beans - although I can access tinned pintos and black beans their cost makes them unappealing. However, I'd still be interested in hearing how you season them.
  3. It's only recently that I can buy Poblanos in East Central Ontario and I can also buy dry Anchos and Ancho powder, but at pretty high prices. Now I'm in the Great Southwest, Moab, UT, and can't buy either dried Anchos or Ancho powder. A friend bought me some Anchos, but not Ancho powder, in Grand Junction, CO, at a Mexican mercado. I know I can grind the Anchos into powder. Can I dry Poblanos into Anchos? Can I dry Jalapenos into Chipotles?
  4. Guacamole and ceviche is for dinner tonight. I would prefer to avoid serving them tortilla chips as they dont have much nutitional value. Thinly sliced jicama, cucumber, and baby bell peppers come to mind. Does anyone else have suggestions? Dan
  5. Diana Kennedy's books and those of other famous authors are of course fabulous but also superficial by nature. The marketing need to cover recognizable place names and take a broad regional approach, as well as how they find recipes & dishes , ultimately leads to a very superficial coverage of any particular region. Even in her recent, award winning Oaxaca book, there is very little depth into the various micro regions of the state. In contrast, I really enjoy the ambitious government backed ethno-culinary projects of the CONACULTA ministry. They have several series that seek to document the culinary traditions of every municipality in Mexico (approximately 2,500)... one such series is the Cocina Popular e Indigena (focusing on ethnic minorities & remote regions), there is also La Cocina Familiar (focusing on mainstream/urban Mexican populations) etc., What makes these so valuable is that they are usually written by a local, sometimes it is a trained culinary anthropologist with great depth... sometimes it is a first year college student... the quality is uneven but they present a familar comprehensive (including all the seasonality & festivals) unfiltered (if they eat squirrels or armadillo no need to censor that) look at their regions dishes... and full of gems that that cookbook authors unsurprisingly miss. This my humble attempt at covering the culinary traditions of Union de San Antonio municipality located within the region of the Jalisco Highlands. My dad was born in the village of San Jose de los Reynoso (pop. a few hundred), my mom on a ranch just outside of Tlacuitpa town (pop. 1,500) both within Union de San Antonio about 6 miles apart, I have spent entire summers in the region and collected recipes, stories, myths & lores from a variety of relatives and their friends... this mini essay is a faithful summarization of my notes & memories. The municipio lies 6,000 ft above sea level and is characterized by perpetual blue skies with puffy white clouds, it really only rains during the summer, the soil is sandy, poor & thin, fairly arid but with lakes, streams and small dramatic craggy mountains. The vegetation is mostly mesquite, oak trees, cactus etc. Almost all families have dairy cows, raise pigs & chickens, grow corn, beans, squash, barley, oats, tomatoes, tomatillos, chiles, onions, garlic, mex oregano, thyme, cilantro, mint, watermelon, cantaloupe, white zapote, guava, cactus pears; they also do a little hunting & forage for cactus pears, herbs, mushrooms & a few other things. People typically start the day with Vanilla, Cinnamon or Chocolate flavored Atole at dawn. After working hard you sit down for a hearty breakfast around 9AM. Most days this means a small bowl of whole beans in their broth, a wedge of homemade fresco cheese (or other dairy products), a couple of raw jalapenos, a stack of handmade corn tortillas, and glass of steaming of Mex hot chocolate. Incidentally, the local heirloom bean varieties are called Cacahuate (a brownish Pinto style bean), Morado de Agua (a purpleish bean) and Blanquito (a small white bean) Other common breakfasts are: Papas Rancheras (partly boiled potatoes that are pan fried with onions, chiles, tomatoes).. serve them with a couple of fried eggs... if there are leftover beans from the prior day you might have them refried. Torta de Huevo (basically a fritata with onions, cactus strips or green beans)... with some fried potatoes. The local butcher makes fresh Chorizo & Longaniza on Saturdays so most people eat Chorizo scrambled with Eggs or Cactus or Potatoes on Sundays. Another popular weekend breakfast is Pork Chops served with Green Salsa, fried potatoes & Fresh Squeezed orange juice (a relative luxury in that part of Mexico). Yet another weekend tradition are the Gordas de Natas... basically Corn Bread made with scalded milk fat in an iron cast dutch oven served with tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple, mangos and/or bananas which are also a luxury) these might be topped with homemade sweetened Jocoque (very similar to Lebanese / Greek Yogurt) or Cultured Cream. Bananas are the most frequently eaten fruit with breakfast... sometimes you have them with a little honey, condensed milk or sweetened cultured cream. The main meal of the day is served around 2PM, and usually involves something cooked a la "Ranchera" Chicken is the most commonly consumed meat (most people raise & butcher their own) and Pollo Ranchero is probably the most common dish eaten. A whole chicken cut into pieces, browned alongside potatoes then braised in a tomato, onion, jalapeno sauce, served with lightly boiled vegetables (usually Mexican zucchini, chayote and or green beans) and a stack of tortillas. A single Chicken typically feeds 6 to 8 people - the meal is all about a small piece of chicken with a lot of sauce & potatoes; and after you are done you eat refried beans with tortillas until satiated. Carne Ranchera... is basically the same dish but made with flank steak instead of chicken.. and for some reason no vegetables (other than potatoes). Costillas a la Ranchera is another variation on the theme but with Pork Ribs, and for the vegtables it is sliced Mex zucchini & greens (Purslane or Wild Quelites). In the non-Ranchera vein you have Caldos & Cocidos. A Caldo is a clear soup with big chunks of beef (stew meat, oxtails etc.,) or a whole Chicken cut in pieces.. the soup has green beans, mex zucchini, corn on the cob... you garnish it with raw onions, cilantro, raw chiles or salsa & a squeeze of lime. The soups are always served with Arroz Mexicano (stir fried rice cooked with tomato sauce, broth, peas & carrots) on the side. Cocidos are akin to the Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage... after boiling beef for a long time, you remove it, cook vegetables in the broth... remove those... serve the broth in a bowl with onions, herbs, chiles & limes... the meat & vegetables are served on a separate plate with a fresh made salsa & stack of tortillas. Many meals are meatless... you might eat something as a simple as Refried Beans with a wedge of fresco cheese and tortillas etc., more elaborate dishes include Chile Rellenos & Capeados. Everybody knows basic Chile Rellenos; in Union de San Antonio they come in three primary styles: Stuffed with Melting Cheese, egg battered, fried & simmered in a tomato herbal sauce with a little side of refried beans. Stuffed with Refried Beans & fatty pork bits, not egg battered or fried just roasted, served with tortillas, sliced avocados & tomatoes. Stuffed with smashed potatoes & melting cheese, then sprinkled with Cotija (aged cheese similar to Parmesan), not egg battered or fried.. but baked until the cheese melts. Capeados are vegetables cooked like Chile Rellenos. For example, round Mex zucchinis are baked for a few minutes, the insides are scooped out & mixed with cheese, then battered & pan fried and finally simmered in a tomato sauce. Similar technique used with Cauliflower, Chard & Broccoli. A dish commonly eaten on Fridays (which is a year round religious "meatless" day) - Shrimp fritters (kind of like Crab Cakes) served with sautéed cactus strips in a dried Pasilla chile sauce. On the weekends, you are typically eating Birria, Asados, Caldo Michi or Carnitas / Fritanga. Birria is a slow cooked goat marinated in spicy blend of chiles, onions, garlic, vinegar, herbs & spices then either slowly cooked in a pit or stewed it is a lot like an Indian goat curry. Asados are any number of animals grilled over Mesquite primarily Beef Skirt Steaks, Ribeyes, split Chickens, Cornish Game hens, baby goats, suckling pigs, catfish steaks, whole bass, rabbits etc., You also grill special types of Chorizo, Nopal pads, spring onions, chiles and the complete spread includes Guacamole, Tortillas, Salsa, Cactus Salad, Pickled Vegetables (Cauliflower, Carrots, Green Beans). Caldo Michi is a spicy soup of carp head, catfish steaks, bass fillets, crawfish, corn on the cob, chayotes, green beans, mex zucchini. Carnitas of course need very little explanation... Fritanga is basically the same thing but with different animals. In Union de San Antonio this means little Quails that are marinaded in orange juice, garlic, herbs & spices then "naked" fried (not battered cooked kind of like "Fried" turkeys in the South) to a crispy exterior. Other Fritanga cuts of meat include beef organs (sweetbreads, kidneys etc.), whole fish (usually sun fish, bass & catfish), pork intestines, and rabbit. Desserts are usually fresh cut fruit (guava, zapote, cactus pears), fruits cooked in syrup, sweet meats (fruits cooked in sugar and shaped into rolls), or Jamoncillos (milk fudge bars) that you have with Café de Olla (a weakfish coffee boiled with cinnamon sticks & brown sugar). On special occasions you might have Jericalla (kind of like a Crème Brulee), Bunuelos (wheat tortillas fried in lard then finished with homemade cinnamon syrup), or Torrejas de Pan (basically a French toast that is simmered in homemade cinnamon syrup the end result is kind of like sticky bun). Dinners are usually very light. You make tacos with leftover stews & beans, you make simple tacos like sliced avocado or sliced tomatoes & salt. If you live close to town you might go to the bakery for freshly baked Pan Dulce with Hot Chocolate or Cinnamon Tea brewed from sticks of real cinnamon. Restaurant Food... restaurants generally only open 1 or 2 days a week, and make just one thing. There is a lady that makes the local style of Enchiladas on Fridays only (this is a tortilla that is quickly fried then sauced with a very spicy dark red salsa, folded into triangles & topped with a light dusting of aged cheese & raw onions served with a Chicken quarter, Carrot & potatoes that were all simmered until tender then browned in the enchilada oil). On Saturday afteroons, a single stand makes Gorditas stuffed with Beans and/or Chicharron Two stands sell Carne Asada and Carnitas tacos almost every night at Tlacuitapa's central plaza. One restaurant sells Pozole (Pork & Hominy Soup garnished with raw cabbage, oregano & chile powder) on Fridays & Saturdays. Another restaurant sells Turkey in the local reddish-brown mole on Sundays. The meat markets sell Pickled Pork Skin & Pig Feet on the weekends, people buy them for botanas (tapas). You make tostadas or salads with them to have with a beer watching a soccer game or boxing match. The only regular place to get a meal on any given day are the two cantinas in town they simply cook a lot of the same foods I already described but here is the interesting part... You pay for either drinks or food.. not both. If you drink beer or bottled spirits then you pay for the drinks... have 3 or more drinks and you get all the free food you could want. Or you can order food from the menu, pay for the food and it comes with a complimentary house made Tequila (the Arandas tequila NOM is about twenty miles away, so many people have the knowledge to grow Agave & distill their own small batch artisinal drink.) All the foods mentioned thus far are the typical foods eaten by most people on a regular basis, it should give you a good understanding of how dishes fit in with the lifestyle & nutritional balance developed over the centures. The following is a compendium of dishes that I have eaten personally, cooked either in Union de San Antonio or by members of its diaspora throughout Mexico and the United States (relatives, friends etc.,) Albondigas (Pork meatballs seasoned with mint & oregano), served over a tomato broth with seasonal vegetables mentioned elsewhere. Albondigas en Blanco (Pork meatballs served in a roux based, herbal white sauce this is pared with Penne pasta that is cooked with a simple non-Italian tomato sauce) Chicharron Verdo o Rojo... they sure love making Chicharrones in this region and the fine, thin, relatively sheets of lighter colored fried pork skins are typically simmered with either a Jalapeno-Tomatillo brothy sauce or an Ancho brothy sauce to a spaetzle like, spongey texture. Enchiladas Rojas (Stale tortillas are pan fried, then bathe in a Guajillo sauce, stuffed with smashed potatoes, rolled & topped with aged cheese, pulled chicken & sauced with cultured crema) Escabeches.... the classic pickle of Mexico the locals primarily pickle Pig Feet & Skin, Jalapenos, Cauliflower, Carrots & Cabbage Fideos en Caldillo (browned vermicelli simmered with Salsa Ranchera & broth) served with aged & fresco cheese, Jocqoque, Ricotta and/or Crema Fideos en Caldo de Frijol (browned vermicelli cooked with bean pot liquour & served with lots of dried cheese) Fideos con Platano (one of the stranger dishes in the region... its the vermicelli simmered in a simple tomato sauce & topped with sliced fresh or sauteed bananas) Guisado de Verduras (Squash Blossoms, Calabacitas, Wild Greens & boiled Corn are braised in a sauce of chopped tomatoes, onions, herbs & jalapeno) Huevos Ahogados (Poached eggs served in a tomato caldillo) Lechon Asado (tender suckling pig roasted over a mezquite fire is a treat people dream about all year long) Lengua or Cabeza en Tomate (tender braised beef tongue or cheeks in tomato broth) Lengua or Cabeza en Guajillo (tender braised beef tongue or cheeks in a guajillo based adobo) Lentejas con Chorizo (the locally grown lentils are similar to the French brown lentils.. they are simmered with browned chorizo, sauteed onion & garlic and cilantro leaves) Macarrones (Macarrones is the local catch all phrase for hollow pasta such as Penne which is typically served in a very Mexican tomato sauce and/or picadillo, cotija cheese & lots of cultured crema) Milanesa con Pure (Thin beef steak Milanese served with smashed potatoes.. I should mention there is a local, very creamy potato that is collected in the wild that is preferred over the more common papa cambray) Mole Amarillo (Roux, Guajillo puree, Broth from boiling Pork Spine.. the Pork spine and cooked yellow Habas aka Lima beans served with Sopes de Manteca... a sope that is scored and bathed with hot lard) - this dish is also referred to as Mole a lo Pobre (Poorman's Mole). My dad always joked that the women of this town didn't know how to make a proper mole and the best this was the best they could come up with. Mole Dulce / Mole Tlacuitapa (This is the local reddish brown Mole made with Peanuts, animal crackers, almonds, pine nut, pumpkin seed, ancho chile, Mex table chocolate, cinammon, tomato & brown sugar served over Chicken or Pork) Nopales Fritos (Diced boiled tomatoes, pan fried with plenty of good lard) Paleta de Novillo en Barbacoa (A big hunk of Veal shoulder is marinaded a sauce of Cascabel & Chipotle chiles with Coriander seed) it is then slowly steam roasted & served with simply steamed green garbanzo beans. Not in Mexico, "steaming vegetables" is the term for salting the slightly moist vegetable & cooking, covered in a clay pot over low heat until just tender enough to eat. Picadillo de Liebre (In many parts of Mexico today they call any saucy ground meat dish - think Sloppy Joe - a picadillo... however the word picadillo means mince.. and in my parent's region they still do it the old way... gamey or leftover meats are simmered until very tender.. once they are cool they are shredded and minced then finally they are pan fried with a strong flavored chile paste. In the Union, this treatment is normally used on Hare, the occassional deer, or an old Ox.... in this region the paste is usually made with Ancho, Guajillo & Arbol chiles with vinegar, garlic, herbs & spices (similar to what is prepared for Birria) Pollo en Caldillo Blanco (Chicken pieces are browned, the resulting fat is used to make a Roux to which you add thyme, mint, chopped tomato & broth simmer until the chicken is cooked & tender) Pollo en Caldillo Rojo (Chicken pieces are browned then the resulting fat is used to make a Roux to which you add pureed, blanched tomatoes and simmer until the chicken is cooked & tender) Sardinas en Coctel (Packaged sardines are chopped up & mixed with spring onions, marinaded in lime juice then served with a cocktail sauce of ketchup, water, a few tablespoons of Escabeche vinager & salt... they are much better than they sound) Sopa de Verduras (Tomato Puree & Knorr broth with Carrots, Peas, Green Beans & Lima Beans) Tortitas de Papa (Plain & simple Potato pancakes served with Nopales that are diced & braised in a guajillo chile sauce) Tortitas de Frijol (The local white bean is boiled then drained & pureed, mixed with breadcrumbs & pan fried) Tostadas are serious business here.. as the nearby, touristy city San Juan de los Lagos might be Mexico's capital of tostadas & fried tacos. The secret are the tortillas rapadas, stale tortillas are soaked in a lime (cal) & salt solution until the release a thin layer of "skin" which is peeled off by hand, they are then drained & sun dried until crisp & flat before frying in lard.. the result are impossibly thin, almost flaky tostadas that pack a big wallop of the excellent local pork lard flavor. These tostadas are often served on meatless fridays with a very thin lining of refried beans, chopped Orejona lettuce (a type of romaine) & the local table salsa par excellence (roasted tomatillos, roasted garlic, ancho, guajillo & arbol chiles with a little minced spring onion & cilantro). Chongos Zamoranes (This is the milk colostrum that is cultured until it becomes a soft, sweetish cheese that is served with a thin piloncillo syrup) Fideos con Leche (Similar to Arroz con Leche but made with Vermicelli that is browned in butter then simmered with rich cream, sugar & sweet spices) Pan de Acero (a Challah like bread made with plenty of Natas (scalded milk), Eggs & Cream in a Cast Iron contraption similar to a Dutch oven) Platanos con Cajeta (Sliced Bananas drizzled with Dulce de Leche) Tacos de Cajeta (Larded wheat tortillas make an occassional apperance in the region, leftover tortillas are likely to be stuffed with Cajeta & local salt for a very rustic dessert) Tamales Colados (This is the name for the local sweet tamales in my dad's town they are flavored with cinammon, piloncillo & cow milk while in my mom's town they are flavored with orange rind, nutmeg, ginger, natas, aged cheese & condensed milk)
  6. Has anyone else picked up a copy of Lesley Téllez's new cookbook, Eat Mexico? I've long wanted to take a culinary tour of Mexico City, but I still haven't made it down there; this book is doing nothing to calm that desire! There are quite a few ingredients in it that I am going to have a hard time getting my hands on, but I thought I'd give some of the recipes a try anyway. Is anyone else cooking from it yet?
  7. A friend gifted me a book written by someone I know of but only loosely. The acquaintance is a former missionary who has lived in Oaxaca for 15 years and co-authored this book with Susana Trilling (famous Oaxacan cooking instructor). The book is self published and really surprised me with its quality. The whole thesis is saving the indigenous foods of the area and combatting GMO infiltration of the area. Those of you who know the area might know of one of my hero restaurants - the like-minded Itanoni in Oaxaca City - surely they all travel in the same circles. Recipes are average fare - not fancy - clearly recipes from regular local folk, but very authentic, not fusion. They start with basic fresh masa, run you through all sorts of things including molé and salads and end up with stuff like yucca and egg tacos. The chapters include: Wild Greens (purslane, amaranth, etc), Beans & Squash, Salsa, Nopal and Maguey, Food and Fiesta, Medicinal uses. About 300 pages in all (so figure 150 in English and 150 in Spanish). This book is not available through Amazon. It is bilingual. I highly recommend it. Side note: Quite frankly these guys are goofs. They don't know how important and well produced this book is and aren't marketing it worth crap. Go buy it. Tell them I sent you. And enjoy this book. HERE
  8. Over in the "Mexican Dinner Menu" topic rancho_gordo and kalypso recommended Rick Bayless's new book, Fiesta at Rick's. Not one to ignore recommendations from those two, I bought it immediately, and it just arrived. It's a nice-looking book, and is chock full of awesome-sounding recipes; so much so that I hardly know where to begin. For those of you out there who already have this book: what are your favorite recipes from it?
  9. Toliver

    Del Taco

    There didn't seem to be an existing discussion about this fast food franchise so I thought I would start one. I think they have an overall image problem in that there is no one thing that stands out on the menu or makes it a destination like McDonald's. They're just...there...when I drive by. Is there something on the menu that draws you in that I'm missing, perhaps? That being said, right now they're offering battered and deep fried jalapeño rings as a side. I'm not sure if this is a specialty item or if they plan on adding them to their everyday menu. The rings weren't overly spicy hot but they did have some zip to them. Of course, I'm a chilehead so take that with a grain of salt. A small container of a ranch dressing-ish sauce comes with the rings. Interestingly, the jalapeño rings are both the green and red variety. Of course, now I'm hitting my forehead with a Homeresque "DOH!" since I could have tossed some of the rings into my burrito, thus kicking it up an Emeril-notch (to mix popular culture references). Has anyone else tried the jalapeño rings?
  10. Does anyone have experience having raw or citrus cured beef or other red meat in Mexico, or Latin America. There are references to it. I've found recipes for Carne Apache, that are really lacking in authenticity (they start with ground beef for one, not from a whole piece - which is likely how one would have done it originally). I'm not doubting that Carne Apache is authentic, just that the online recipes all seem pretty uninteresting. I would like recipes, or at least descriptions - and I can take it from there. I'm thinking of having at a Halloween Party as part of the 'Scary' food. I am also making Tripas de Res en Pipián or Panza de Res en Verde (Tripe in pumpkin seed and cilantro sauce), Chicken Feet (an Asian recipe - Schezwan), Guacamole with assorted goodies (an idea from Rick Bayless, but I'm expanding it), Chicken Wings in Jamaican Jerk Sauce (my own recipe with home grown Scotch Bonnet Peppers), and a Chocolate Sunday Cake (a wonderful recipe from childhood, that makes a cake, pudding, and sauce).
  11. The United Nations has, finally, designated la cocina mexicana as part of the Intangible Patrimony of Humanity. It is to be made official as of August 1st. In the first go-around, in 2005, it was France, fascinatingly enough, who prevented the designation being made at that time: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2010/07/23/declarara-unesco-cocina-mexicana-como-patrimonio-de-la-humanidad Pretty cool ... but we knew it to be true all along,no? Regards, Theabroma
  12. Mexican Burnt Milk Candy (Leche Quemada) There are many variations of this candy. Some add nuts just before pouring into the pan. Pecans are typical. I have also seen it with coconut stirred in. This particular recipe is really pretty easy if you have any candy experience whatsoever. The long cooking time is necessary to "toast" the milk solids. It really isn't a problem since it doesn't require much attention. You just stir it occasionally. Do not try to substitute margarine for the butter. You won't get the added milk solids. 3 c sugar 1 c brown sugar 1/2 c butter 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 can water Mix all together in a heavy pot. Cook over medium low heat for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Start watching it at about 3 1/2 hours. Bring the temperature up to 240F or to the soft ball stage. Remove from the heat and cool to 110F. Beat vigorously with a spoon until it begins to smooth out a bit. This is hard. I have been successful using a Bamix, a fairly powerful stick blender. Turn out into a buttered 8 x 8 inch pan. Allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. About the pot: My optimum pot is an 8 quart heavy Calphalon stock pot in that it is deep enough to hold the foaming stage and is heavy enough to prevent any scorching. Be sure to use a big enough pot as it will "boil up" at first. Don't do as snowangel did and use a 3 quart pot and got a spill over that took her a long time to clean up. There will be ample leftovers in the pot for the cook to snitch to "honor" the pot. Note: How dark the candy is will depend upon how long you "toast" the milk solids. Also, I have found that the "graininess" of the final product varies batch to batch. This is entirely consistent with what I have eaten over the years. You should have something of a sugar crunch on first bite that then dissolves in the mouth. This is a "rustic" candy, not meant to have the smooth creaminess of a well made fudge. Keywords: Candy, Intermediate, Mexican ( RG790 )
  13. jat

    Mexican Rice

    Mexican Rice Thank you Vera for teaching me how to cook Mexican food. The next time I cook chile rellanos, I will write down the exact amounts for you. It's my specialty. Mexican Rice: For about 1 1/2 cups of rice, use 2 cups of water Use long grain rice. Brown in Wesson Oil. Grind 1 clove of garlic. Add 1/2 can, 4 oz. of tomato sauce. She uses Delmonte or Springfield, "whatever is on special" *Use 1 cube of Knorr tomato Bouillon and mix into rice. All the ladies tell me this is an important ingredient. Salt to taste COVER pot, cook on low flame for 20 min. Keywords: Easy, Mexican ( RG821 )
  14. In the near future, a friend and I would like to do a Mexican themed dinner party. Any tips for internationally available Mexican cookbooks? I'd like something as "authentic" as possible (whatever that may mean ;-) – I should be able to get various dried chiles and other ingredients at the two Mexican supermarkets here in Vienna. Is Authentic Mexican (20th Anniversary Ed) by Rick Bayless any good? His name does crop here quite often, but judgements regarding authenticity seem to be mixed ...
  15. One of the weekly advertising flyers yesterday included dried seafoods on sale. The market caters to a Hispanic buying base and is bilingual. I was wondering what traditional dishes are made with these and if they were perhaps prepared primarily during Lent. The founders of the chain of markets (Northgate)are from Jalisco. The advert had fish listed as Charal Seca @ $8.99/lb (dry smelt) - whole fish, Robala Seca @ $11.99/lb(dry snook fish - whole fish), and Bacalao Seca @ $9.99/lb (dry cod fish - headless in maybe 12" lengths). They also had Camaron Molida (dry ground shrimp) and Camaron Seca (dry shrimp) @ $9.99 and $19.99 respectively.
  16. Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake We experimented with adding a little ancho chili powder to the cakes as well, so that's an option if a more spicy cake is wanted. ( RG2168 )
  17. Per Cristina Barros and Marco Buenrostro in today's Itacate column in La Jornada: www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/03/31/index.php?section=opinion&article=a08o1cul Diana Kennedy's latest and long-awaited book on the cuisines of Oaxaca is finally out. Since Amazon does not have the title listed as an advance copy, I can only wonder whether it is now out in Spanish, shortly to appear in English. No surprise here, but Barros & Buenrostro seem to feel that she has really hit another one out of the park. I can hardly wait to get my hands on my promised copy. Excited regards, Theabroma
  18. There are instructions and videos on how to char, blister,roast the chiles; how to peel the skin off...but nothing explains how to get all those blankety-blank seeds off that top knobby thing through a simple slit without ripping the entire chile open. The only demonstration which I could find on actually getting out the seeds ripped the chile to shreds almost and the lady chef ended up by saying...and now you can stuff the chile with anything you like. I looked at the remnants of what was a beautiful green Poblano and wondered how on earth you could 'stuff' it with anything. How do YOU get the seeds out of the slit open chile?
  19. My friend from NJ brought me, the novice Mexican cook, a care package last summer, full of things I had never heard of. I know some of them now...but others are a bit of a mystery. We do have a thread, "Making Mexican at home", but it might be useful to have a topic devoted to just the spices and herbs that are used. For instance, today I opened a jar of Corrado's Adobo con Pimienta. Found some information on Google, but need some first hand ideas. I used it on Rajas con Crema that I 'threw' together at the last second for lunch today. It was good. List of ingredients: salt, garlic, oregano, MSG, mustard. (Yeah, so much for my MSG problem. ) Thoughts?
  20. The scene: we live in the Canadian frozen north and never get fresh tomatillos or chile peppers except for Jalapenos. We cannot get canned tomatillos or chile peppers except for Jalapenos. Well, maybe somewhere in Toronto, but I don't live in Toronto. WE brought back canned tomatillos and Hatch chiles from the Southwest. Now, to my open-mouthed surprise in a local higher end grocery story, Sobey's, I find what? FRESH POBLANOS. Smaller than usual, but beautiful dark green, proper shaped, etc. I ask the manager about it. He says he's trying it and so far so good, and they'll have them as long as the season lasts. And he can't speak for any other local Sobey's. SO: how long does the 'season' last? He didn't know. (That's better than another store in which the manager had never heard of a tomatillo.) Should I buy a huge lot and what? I know I can cook and freeze them. Can I freeze them whole and use them for Chiles Rellenos? What else? Give me your best shots please.
  21. It's on the menu of pretty much every Tex-Mex joint. Even Mex joints and joints that aren't really either. I would much prefer to make this with real cheese and not Velveeta or whatever. I can even be white instead of yellow. In fact, white would be nice as I have a block of Chihuahua in the fridge and some tortilla chips in the cupboard. Is it like make a bachamel based cheese sauce? Flour and butter to make roux. Then some milk. Then add in grated cheese? What do I do to "spice it up"?
  22. I am in search of a great Denver Mexican market. I've got H-Mart for Asian, Bombay Bazaar for Indian, Internal Market (on Parker) for Middle Eastern, but I'm not sure what to do for Mexican. I see carnicerias all over the place, but how do I pick the right one? Does anyone have a good suggestion for me? I'd just like to be able to find authentic ingredients to augment the paltry selection at my local Albertsons. Thanks!
  23. How authentic is using a little wet masa as a thickener? I have seen it used in mostl recipes for Mole Amarillo but then it's absent in a few. I made a stew of leftover vegetables and pozole and it was too thin so I mixed as little Maseca with cold water and then dribbled it into the stew. It thickened a bit but what I really love is the taste. It's like adding fresh tortillas! Is this done often?
  24. Ok; so we’ll look at cheeses. As anyone who has traveled in the country knows, cheeses are found everywhere. More often than not they are soft, fresh, and used in various dishes of the “corn kitchen.” No doubt about it, after cattle and goats were introduced following the Conquest, not only the criollos but also the indigenous took up cheese with a passion. But because most of these cheeses are soft and fresh, they have been distributed locally until recently. If you have ever tried to get an idea of where and what the cheeses are, you’ll know it has been just about impossible. They just weren’t recorded. Now, hurrah, we have something informative: a terrific full page color map of Mexico with the thirty most important cheeses located, photographed, described, and with the commonest uses identified. This is thanks to Abraham Villegas de Gante, an expert in agricultural engineering at the National Agricultural University in Chapingo to the north of Mexico City and Carlos Pereza, a distinguished artisanal cheese maker in Querétaro who has been promising a book on Mexican cheeses for some time. And just to give credit where credit is due, the article was put together by Angel Rivas who talked to various other historians and agricultural researchers. It was published on September 10th in Buena Mesa, the food page of Reforma. I wish I could just scan the page. But here’s the list of cheeses. I haven’t put in the details because it would take hours. Chihuahua menonita, Chihuahua no menonita, asadero, de tetilla, adobera, jococque, panela, cotilla, chongos, sierra, de epazote, tipo manchego mexicano, de tenate, morral, guaje, trenzado, de rueda, ranchero de Veracruz, de hoja, Chapingo, de cincho, molido de aro, molido y cremosa, oaxaca, de aro, bola de ocozingo, crema tropical, de sal, de poro, sopero. Some random comments: This doesn’t quite map on to the standard grocery store categories (have to think about this). I think of jococque as yoghurt (whole mystery here about which came first, jococque or the Lebanese with yoghurt). Chongos are always served in syrup as they say. A sort of dessert cheese. The researchers are trying to get denominación de origin for some of them. Cotilla, a mature grating cheese from Jalisco and Morelia, is more or less ready to go. They make passing reference to the Mennonite origins of northern harder cheeses and to the Italian origins (aka mozzarella) of Oaxacan cheeses, something that can drive Oaxacans bats. They give dire warnings about imitations which (I suspect) are most of the cheeses in the grocery stores. These include cheeses with vegetable fats, milk powder, casein). They don’t include foreign cheeses made in Mexico commercially such as Gouda. Nor I note do they include two other very important and growing cheese-making enterprise. (1) goat cheeses (will the world sink under the weight of goat cheeses?); and (2) wonderful cheeses such as the range of what I used to call Italian cheeses but now have learnt to call Italian-style cheeses by the cheese-make Remo who sells to the Italian Embassy. But what great news that Mexican cheese is finally being studied. Now I have to track down and try all these cheeses! What a great chance to explore the country! Cheers, Rachel
  25. Many of us on this list are used to seeing Mexican food through the eyes of those who interpret it for the United Status: Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayliss, Zarela Martínez, and so on. Wonderful interpreters, all of them. But their focus is cooking, not the culinary scene. And since the culinary scene is fascinating, very different from the US, and essential to understanding Mexican food, I thought a series of observations might be of interest. And where better to start than with the Mexico City Culinary Establishment? I don’t think there’s any US equivalent. Mexico City is a world unto itself in highly centralized Mexico. For those who live there, it’s the only place in the country that matters (think Paris for a comparison). Within Mexico City, a core circle of thirty or forty people make up the Culinary Establishment. Among them, in no particular order, are Cristina Barros, José Iturriaga, Patricia Quintana, Jorge De’Angeli and his wife Alicia Gironelli, Lula Bertán, Sonia Corcuera, Luis Vargas, Maria Dolores Torres Yzabal, Lila Lomelí, Victor Nava, Janet Long, Silvia Kurczyn, Graciela Flores, Margarita Carrillo, etc. So who are these people? These are people whose first second language is as likely to be fluent French as English, who have a parent or grandparent from Catalonia, Poland, England, France or Italy, who grew up eating a Mexican version of French or Spanish food. ("What you must understand, Rachel, is that we never ate Mexican food at home," said one, a staement that actually needs some teasing out). They are part and parcel of the rest of the Mexican establishment. To get some sense of this, imagine if in the US, the director of the National Endowment for the Arts, a few Harvard faculty, a fifth-generation Rockefeller, the wife of Alan Greenspan, and assorted poets and novelists were all involved in researching, cooking, and promoting American food. I know the mind boggles, but that’s the way it is in Mexico City. Given their international connections, it is not surprising that this is the group that represents Mexican food internationally. They are the people who sit on Slow Food Committees, try to find chefs for “internal” Mexican restaurants in the US, shepherd around and/or cook for a lot of the visiting tours from the US, in many cases provide contacts for US cookbook writers, go to IACP conventions, sit on Premios de Gourmand committees, and are promoting Mexican food as a UNESCO Patrimonio de la Humanidad. Ironically, they have probably had much less impact on the Mexican provinces, except perhaps Puebla which is reachable in a day trip from MC. Given that essentially no newspaper food pages reach the provinces, that there are no nationally distributed Mexican culinary magazines with a half life of more than a year or so, no major chains of bookstores, much of their impact is at present restricted to Mexico City. But what an impact! This group has done an amazing job promoting Mexican cuisine. Among their accomplishments: • a series of stunning (and often stunningly expensive) Mexican cookbooks, many or most of them unavailable in English • opening of high end Mexican restaurants (traditionally high end Mexican food was found in clubs, corporate dining rooms, or homes) • the investigation and publication of scholarly studies of middle class and “popular” Mexican food across Mexico • scholarly culinary histories and anthropologies at a world class level • excellent glossy illustrated culinary histories, studies of individual foodstuffs, foreign influences on Mexican cooking written in understandable ways at affordable prices for a more general audience • incorporation of a serious culinary component in the Mexico City Festival and lots of other public events • reprints of classic Mexican cookbooks and manuscript cookbooks at affordable prices • cooperation between high end restaurant and university academics to offer hands on training in Mexico’s culinary heritage • support and training for mayoras (traditional female cooks in Mexican restaurants) There’s a whole lot more that could be said but this is already a ridiculously long posting, Rachel
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