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The Blissful Glutton

Making Mexican at home

445 posts in this topic

RG and EatNopales, I want to make those amaranth pancakes! could you give me some directions as to how much water for how much amaranth to make the porridge, and then how many eggs / how much masa? They look so good I can almost taste them, want to try them this weekend!

Hola Klary,

I used 1 cup of Amaranth, 2 1/2 cups water & a big pinch of salt... put them together in a cold sauce pan, brought to a boil, turned down to low.. started checking them after 20 minutes.. it took about 24 minutes... I then spread it out on a baking sheet to cool down... the result was like a Cream of Wheat

Once the porridge was cool, I mixed with two eggs & 2 tablespoons of Masa Harina.

That seems to be the right alchemy for pan frying the little discs. 2 out of 3 people I know who have very good taste prefer the fried approach (I agree with them that it tastes better), but I also found the "crepe" approach to be tasty (the Amaranth has some underlying green & slightly bitter notes which might be off putting to most people... I am an 80% cacoa, black coffee, black ale drinking kind of guy though so the bitter is just fine to me). Next time when I try the crepe style I think I am going with 4 eggs.

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I made the porridge with 1 cup amaranth and 2 parts water and didn't let it cool down very much as I was impatient to get eating. Fried was better but no grease was good as well.


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thanks guys. Will try them this weekend, and report back!

(the Amaranth has some underlying green & slightly bitter notes which might be off putting to most people... I am an 80% cacoa, black coffee, black ale drinking kind of guy though so the bitter is just fine to me).

I'm a fernet branca drinking, "walk into a beer bar and ask for the bitterest beer they have" kind of girl so I'm guessing the bitter will be just fine for me too :biggrin:

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made the amaranth pancakes and they were fabulous. They were a lot thicker than the ones in your pictures.. not sure why. I used 1/2 cup amaranth and started out with 1 cup water, but that wasn't enough as the grains started to cook dry after 10 minutes so I added more water. The resulting mush was still very think so I added 2 eggs.

They cooked up beautifully (the fact that I fried them in lard helped, I'm sure). They were very tasty and had a great soft fluffy interior.

Served them with dollops of pea/cashew/mint puree and feta.

IMG_2219.JPG


Edited by Chufi (log)

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made the amaranth pancakes and they were fabulous. They were a lot thicker than the ones in your pictures.. not sure why. I used 1/2 cup amaranth and started out with 1 cup water, but that wasn't enough as the grains started to cook dry after 10 minutes so I added more water. The resulting mush was still very think so I added 2 eggs.

They cooked up beautifully (the fact that I fried them in lard helped, I'm sure). They were very tasty and had a great soft fluffy interior.

Served them with dollops of pea/cashew/mint puree and feta.

Looks beautiful!

Regarding the Amaranth... I wonder if yours was pre-toasted, or par boiled in any way.. or a different varietal?

So how would you describe their flavor?

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Regarding the Amaranth... I wonder if yours was pre-toasted, or par boiled in any way.. or a different varietal?

So how would you describe their flavor?

not pre-toasted and not parboiled. Organic amaranth.. can't really tell where its grown.

the taste.. nutty, slightly bitter, more assertive than quinoa.

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When I had my big garden, I used to grow amaranth. It doesn't take many plants to provide enough seeds for one or two persons for a season. I don't think I ever had more than a dozen plants and they produced plenty for me to use and save seed for the next season.

The young leaves can be eaten raw, cooked like chard or spinach and the larger leaves briefly steamed and used as wraps like grape leaves.

The amaranth I grew was not the small ornamental plants usually seen in nurseries but rather tall plants like sunflowers. As soon as the seeds were set, I tied nylon bags over the tops of the plants so they didn't cast seed all over the garden. Here in the SoCal high desert, the stuff grows like a weed and doesn't need a lot of water.

There are several varieties. Some have black seeds but most that I grew had seeds that were tan or as pale as ivory, some reddish. My neighbor from Mexico told me that she had seen some that were purple but I've never seen them. She also says that mostly it is popped and mixed with piloncillo syrup to make dulce de alegria but sometimes it is just mixed with dulce de leche and formed into little balls.

I've never noted a bitter flavor in amaranth. Quinoa certainly has a bitter flavor from the saponins it contains but I don't think amaranth has this component.

Since I discovered Kaniwa, I've been combining it with amaranth and have made some fritters, not exactly pancakes. I'm going to try the pancakes.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Inspired by EatNopales' foodblog, this weekend we made a big batch of ancho seasoning paste (toasted ancho chiles, garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, black pepper, and chicken broth). Ancho paste appeared tonight, and should make regular visits this week.

Adobo de pollo de Lujo (Ancho-braised chicken with potatoes and greens): ancho chile paste, chicken thighs, onion, potatoes, Swiss chard, and a hit of cider vinegar. Very popular.

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Crema de chile Poblano y acelgas ( Roasted Poblano crema with greens): Six roasted Poblano chiles, leftover corn, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, Swiss chard, crema Mexicana, and chicken broth, thickened with masa harina and embellished with diced potatoes and leftover pulled pork. Quite delicious, despite its appearance. :hmmm:

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Tonight's dinner fell somewhere on the spectrum between Mexican food and "let's slap together this stuff that's in the fridge."

Red chileatole with mushrooms, salmon, and sweet potatoes, served with arroz blanco and sliced (eternal) cucumbers.

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Great looking dishes Sapidus!

For lunch today Huevos Hilados. Some background.. in the Jalisco Highlands there is a fairly common rhythm to bean consumption..... first meal after making a pot of Frijoles.... you have them whole in their broth, with some Nopalitos or something else a la Mexicana, Wedge of Queso Fresco, tortillas etc.,

Next meal are usually Refritos or Chinitos. Chinitos in this context does not mean little Chinese people, it means "Goosebumps" or "Chicken Skin" because you pan fry the whole, drained beans until they get crispy & their skin looks like they have goosebumps.

By the third meal / round you are left with a bunch of broth & not much beans. There are a couple of ways to go, one way is to add some leftover salsa to the broth as well as some greens from the Milpa... garnish with cilantro & onion.... orrrr.... you can make Huevos Hilados... bring the broth to a boil, add a beaten egg & stir.. serve with whatever leftovers you have.

Not the most beautiful Mexican dish ever but very tasty, nutritious & a good use of leftovers.

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Other common alternatives are to poach or hardboil the egg in the broth, or to make a little omelette or fritata that gets served in the broth.

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I really like the beans 3 ways concept. I also think the homemade tortillas (?) with melted cheese accompanying the last dish nicely round it out.

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I was watching La Ruta del Sabor on Once TV Mexico visit to Aguacatitla a Nahua (Aztec) town in San Luis Potosi and one of the dishes presented was Patlaxtle (not to be confused with the varietals of Cacao or Dried Bean with those names)... the lady took a whole chicken, butterflied it, put a deep gash between the thighs & dunked it in a Chile Chinito paste (similar to an Ancho). Then she spread 5 whole banana leaves with a thin layer of masa, circumference a bit bigger than the chicken, wrapped to the whole thing into a giant tamal & steamed it for 3 hours....

I had some leftover roasted Tomatillo-Ancho-Arbol salsa & saw fresh (unfrozen) banana leaves at Lola's market, and thought... I am going to have to try this. Well, not being particular skilled at wrapping tamales I decided to ease into by doing chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken.

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As you can see I had no real uniform plan for wrapping the packages, I think each one is different from the rest:

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I steamed them for about an hour, and although these are going to be the basis for lunch this week, I opened the smallest one to verify if the chicken was cooked through etc., my gawd the fabulous aroma...

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It was a bit too moist for my liking (probably because my paste was a bit thinner than hers), and the chicken was just past the perfect point (her chicken was truly free range, I was using "supermarket free range" which of course is still on the bland & mushy side... do this with heritage, 6 month old, bugeaters if you can).

Now I must admit that those who decry Mexican food as fattening are spot on.... not because of the nutritive properties.. because its hard to stop yourself from eating more & more... after having a nice dinner & being too satisfied for dessert I still found a way to polish off the damn tamal.

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That looks great EN.

I have found that supermarket chicken is not the best (even "free-range") for many Mexican dishes that really benefit from something a bit more robust.

Fortunately my local Mexican supermarkets (Vallarta) carry guinea fowl and I use them because to me they have more flavor and the meat does not get mushy - it's difficult to explain - the texture is better for the dishes I prepare.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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That looks great EN.

I have found that supermarket chicken is not the best (even "free-range") for many Mexican dishes that really benefit from something a bit more robust.

Fortunately my local Mexican supermarkets (Vallarta) carry guinea fowl and I use them because to me they have more flavor and the meat does not get mushy - it's difficult to explain - the texture is better for the dishes I prepare.

Oooh.. great suggestion to use guinea fowl... I am going to have to give that a try. And I think your point is spot on. A few years the local food writing hack in Wine Country wrote an article on why even the best tacos around town are easily overshadowed as soon as you step across the international foot bridge... early on he discounted the meat component saying something to the extent of... well we can assume American beef is at least as good as Mexican beef... well its not even about arguing which style is better... the fact is that most Mexican dishes were developed to be prepared with well pastured beef, pig, chicken etc., The flavors fine tuned to stand up to "really beefy tasting" beef, and the techniques designed to deliver tender results... apply U.S. beef to the equation & the beef is easily overwhelmed.... the rest of his article was pretty clueless as well.

BTW, I didn't take a pic, but the Mrs & I split a tamal today, topped with Cabbage Escabeche & a garnish of home grown tomatoes. The meal was very delicious however still too moist... I think I will try warming in the oven rather than steaming or maybe a combination of both. Some of these saucy tamales like the Tlapiques of Xochimilco are often finished right on the coals so maybe even rewarming on the griddle might be the way to go.

Will report back tomorrow.

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EN, my neighbors cook them on the barbecue - not directly over the coals but in a big roasting pan on the side away from the coals with the BBQ covered.

I gave them one of the remote probe thermometers which they stick in one of the tamals and when it reaches 160 they take the roasting pan out and let it sit covered for half an hour or so.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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EN, my neighbors cook them on the barbecue - not directly over the coals but in a big roasting pan on the side away from the coals with the BBQ covered.

I gave them one of the remote probe thermometers which they stick in one of the tamals and when it reaches 160 they take the roasting pan out and let it sit covered for half an hour or so.

Interesting... so is that for the initial cooking or just rewarming?

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EN, my neighbors cook them on the barbecue - not directly over the coals but in a big roasting pan on the side away from the coals with the BBQ covered.

I gave them one of the remote probe thermometers which they stick in one of the tamals and when it reaches 160 they take the roasting pan out and let it sit covered for half an hour or so.

Interesting... so is that for the initial cooking or just rewarming?

That's how they cook them in big batches - that is the ones wrapped in banana leaves. There is usually something else cooking at the same time - they have one of those monster Weber ranch kettles.

The regular ones are cooked in a big stockpot on a rack in three or four layers.

(They have huge parties and makes hundreds at a time.)


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Thanks Andie... smoked Tamales sounds interesting!

Baking the tamal (after nuking it a bit) made a big positive difference... I sliced up so you can see the thigh rolled up in a thin layer of masa... on the side is sauteed Brocoli Slaw tossed with Cabbage Escabeche.

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To me there is no smoky flavor to the banana leaf-wrapped tamal.

They used a combination of lump charcoal (big chunks) they get from a guy up in Bishop who makes the charcoal and it burns hot with practically no smoke.

They use seasoned wood with the charcoal when they want to smoke something (usually pigs and goats) and many times they bake bread rolls in there so smoke would not be desirable.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Quick summer dinner last night.... a little Cabreria Asada (Ribeye), Heirloom Tomatoes, Guacamole Verde & fresh Elote.

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This wasn't quite at home, but it was at a friend's house. A local Mexican restaurant owner came and gave a hands-on class in making a variety of the less complicated Mexican dishes. She is from Guadalajara originally but now cooks for small town Canadians. (just to give it all some perspective)

It was a wonderful day for me. Made my first corn tortillas. Managed to burn my finger also. A warrior's wound. :wub:

We made the following:

* Tilapia ceviche with tostadas

* Ensalada de nopal

* Cochinita pibil

* Hand-made Corn tortillas/tostadas

* Sopes/Chalupas

* Flan de caramelo

* Horchata

I made some palanquetas to bring for a little gift and they were well and enthusiastically received. Also brought home some 'doggy' containers for DH's supper.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I am quite new to Mexican food. I dont know what most things are (masa, differences between quesadilla and tortilla etc). I made a recipe about two weeks ago that appeared on our TV, called tamale-I used canned corn (sorry)and blended it with butter, egg and corn (gritty) flour and baked them in muffin shapes. Over this I had a "southwestern sauce and a tomato salsa and some sour cream as well. It was very popluar although the corn cakes were a bit heavy...

Anyhow, what should I start with for the next meal? If possible, no wheat flour and vegetarian. ANy suggestions and easy recipes?

Thank you!

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Welcome, Lior, to this great topic and forum. There are so many excellent mentors here and you'll find what you need from at least one of them.

Can you get chile peppers in Israel? Other Mexican type ingredients? I can't get much of anything where I live, but then Toronto has everything we need. All we have to do is grit our teeth and go to Toronto. :raz:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Hi Darienne-thanks for the quick reply! Chile peppers are just hot peppers,right? If so, we certainly have them!What are the other ingredients I would need,for example?

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