• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

The Blissful Glutton

Making Mexican at home

437 posts in this topic

What are the other ingredients I would need,for example?

Lior - there is a topic here about a basic kitchen pantry for Mexican cuisine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Heidi. I read that post before and now again as I forgot about it. There are so many names there, and I don't really know what they are. I guess I will have to start doing some research!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Heidi. I read that post before and now again as I forgot about it. There are so many names there, and I don't really know what they are. I guess I will have to start doing some research!!

Not familiar with your town, but I have lived several places where Mexican ingredients are very hard to come by. Usually I can find a Mexican-themed restaurant there, though. The food is usually not particularly authentic or good, but I've chatted up the owners, and managed to add a few things for me to their orders from their suppliers.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of research I decided to start with making my own corn based tortillas. I went to the health food shop, the supermarkets etc to look for "masa harina"-fine ground corn flour processed with lime... No such luck. If I dont find any, can I replace with regular corn meal or the fine powdery white corn flour?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of research I decided to start with making my own corn based tortillas. I went to the health food shop, the supermarkets etc to look for "masa harina"-fine ground corn flour processed with lime... No such luck. If I dont find any, can I replace with regular corn meal or the fine powdery white corn flour?

Sorry, you can't make tortillas from regular corn meal.

It's not the same thing. Masa harina has been nixtamalized which changes the properties of the corn, making the protein and other nutrients easier to digest.

A friend in Alabama says she has had some luck with grinding canned hominy (similar process) and pressing it in a colander and drying it then grinding it again but it is a time-consuming project and I don't think she is truly pleased with the results.

Some friends who visited Israel a couple of years ago found a Mexican restaurant not too far from Tel Aviv and they sent me the URL to pass on to other folks who had planned a trip over there and who keep kosher and this restaurant is so. You might phone them and ask if they can recommend a source.

Amigos Mexican Grille

(They tried another Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem which was not even remotely authentic with "tortillas" which were sort of like pita.)


"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you could try flour tortillas. They are authentic in the areas of Mexico where they grow flour, mainly in the state of Sonora.

Then you could get on to the main dishes, etc.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both very much!! Yes, I read all about the nixtamalized thing-very amazing. I know that when the Maya made their cacao drink they often mixed it with this masa harina to make it thick and this process makes the corn healthier and all. AMazes me how ancient peoples find these things out...

ANyhow, I will also check with the specialty stores for cooks-none are near me which is a hassle, but do-able at least...An hour's drive, which is not the end of the world!

I wanted corn as then I can eat it as well...

Thanks!XX


Edited by Lior (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lior, you can do a lot more with masa than just tortillas. It is used in tamales, a significant portion of them.

I use it in tamale pie, which is an American dish but leans heavily on Mexican traditional flavors.

There are also the thicker, sopes, which can be filled with almost anything. Very versatile. Sopes recipe and method.

I think they were mentioned earlier in this thread.


"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Congrats on the warrior wound! How was the Cochinita versus your prior attempts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of research I decided to start with making my own corn based tortillas. I went to the health food shop, the supermarkets etc to look for "masa harina"-fine ground corn flour processed with lime... No such luck. If I dont find any, can I replace with regular corn meal or the fine powdery white corn flour?

Sorry, you can't make tortillas from regular corn meal.

It's not the same thing. Masa harina has been nixtamalized which changes the properties of the corn, making the protein and other nutrients easier to digest.

A friend in Alabama says she has had some luck with grinding canned hominy (similar process) and pressing it in a colander and drying it then grinding it again but it is a time-consuming project and I don't think she is truly pleased with the results.

Some friends who visited Israel a couple of years ago found a Mexican restaurant not too far from Tel Aviv and they sent me the URL to pass on to other folks who had planned a trip over there and who keep kosher and this restaurant is so. You might phone them and ask if they can recommend a source.

Amigos Mexican Grille

(They tried another Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem which was not even remotely authentic with "tortillas" which were sort of like pita.)

You can't make tortillas from Hominy... but I did recently make Hominy Cakes from some Pozole leftovers based on a recipe in the CONACULTA series.. and those were pretty delicious & simple.... grind the hominy, mix in an egg & a tablespoon of masa harina per cup.. add in some leftover proteins and/or cheese... panfry or roast on a cookie sheet. They are very nice with a Guajillo sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a bit of research I decided to start with making my own corn based tortillas. I went to the health food shop, the supermarkets etc to look for "masa harina"-fine ground corn flour processed with lime... No such luck. If I dont find any, can I replace with regular corn meal or the fine powdery white corn flour?

Sorry, you can't make tortillas from regular corn meal.

It's not the same thing. Masa harina has been nixtamalized which changes the properties of the corn, making the protein and other nutrients easier to digest.

A friend in Alabama says she has had some luck with grinding canned hominy (similar process) and pressing it in a colander and drying it then grinding it again but it is a time-consuming project and I don't think she is truly pleased with the results.

Some friends who visited Israel a couple of years ago found a Mexican restaurant not too far from Tel Aviv and they sent me the URL to pass on to other folks who had planned a trip over there and who keep kosher and this restaurant is so. You might phone them and ask if they can recommend a source.

Amigos Mexican Grille

(They tried another Mexican restaurant in Jerusalem which was not even remotely authentic with "tortillas" which were sort of like pita.)

You can't make tortillas from Hominy... but I did recently make Hominy Cakes from some Pozole leftovers based on a recipe in the CONACULTA series.. and those were pretty delicious & simple.... grind the hominy, mix in an egg & a tablespoon of masa harina per cup.. add in some leftover proteins and/or cheese... panfry or roast on a cookie sheet. They are very nice with a Guajillo sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you could try flour tortillas. They are authentic in the areas of Mexico where they grow flour, mainly in the state of Sonora.

Then you could get on to the main dishes, etc.

Coincidentally wheat flour tortillas were invented in the late 16th Century by Sephardic Jews in what is now Monterrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't make tortillas from Hominy... but I did recently make Hominy Cakes from some Pozole leftovers based on a recipe in the CONACULTA series.. and those were pretty delicious & simple.... grind the hominy, mix in an egg & a tablespoon of masa harina per cup.. add in some leftover proteins and/or cheese... panfry or roast on a cookie sheet. They are very nice with a Guajillo sauce.

Which CONACULTA book EN? That sounds pretty good.

BTW, did I tell you I found amaranth flour when I was in Veracruz? In Xico, to be exact. Bought some, but haven't worked with it yet. It's a very fine, light and airy grind, akin to cake flour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

We cannot get hominy here at all!!! I will look up what tamales are...

In the meantime I found a store called Tres Pesos that carries all sorts of Mexican products-including the masa harina and corn flour Minsa or Minessa or something like that (??)in extra white-whatever this flour is... SO I will look up a few recipes and then go there!! Yaay!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Congrats on the warrior wound! How was the Cochinita versus your prior attempts?

I have to admit I liked mine better. Mine was the Robert Rodriguez recipe. I don't know where hers came from. (Not suggesting that his is authentic or that he is a chef or anything.) Mine was nippier. And lime. She used vinegar. Mine had more ingredients and was slow cooked. Hers was not. But then I always tend to like my own food better. What the hey! I like what I like.

Thanks for the information about the flour tortillas.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't make tortillas from Hominy... but I did recently make Hominy Cakes from some Pozole leftovers based on a recipe in the CONACULTA series.. and those were pretty delicious & simple.... grind the hominy, mix in an egg & a tablespoon of masa harina per cup.. add in some leftover proteins and/or cheese... panfry or roast on a cookie sheet. They are very nice with a Guajillo sauce.

Which CONACULTA book EN? That sounds pretty good.

BTW, did I tell you I found amaranth flour when I was in Veracruz? In Xico, to be exact. Bought some, but haven't worked with it yet. It's a very fine, light and airy grind, akin to cake flour.

Sorry I don't remember exactly which volume (I borrow them from the local library) but it was one of the Guerrero issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't make tortillas from Hominy... but I did recently make Hominy Cakes from some Pozole leftovers based on a recipe in the CONACULTA series.. and those were pretty delicious & simple.... grind the hominy, mix in an egg & a tablespoon of masa harina per cup.. add in some leftover proteins and/or cheese... panfry or roast on a cookie sheet. They are very nice with a Guajillo sauce.

Which CONACULTA book EN? That sounds pretty good.

BTW, did I tell you I found amaranth flour when I was in Veracruz? In Xico, to be exact. Bought some, but haven't worked with it yet. It's a very fine, light and airy grind, akin to cake flour.

Hola... how does it compare to the stuff from Bob's Red Mill? I was just gifted a book written by Sebastian Verti where he has an entire section devoted to Amaranth... it seems that La Costena (which sponsored the book) sells Amaranth pasta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

We cannot get hominy here at all!!! I will look up what tamales are...

In the meantime I found a store called Tres Pesos that carries all sorts of Mexican products-including the masa harina and corn flour Minsa or Minessa or something like that (??)in extra white-whatever this flour is... SO I will look up a few recipes and then go there!! Yaay!!

Minsa... it is one of the major mills of Masa Harina (Maseca being the other giant)

I am not surprised Tres Pesos exists in Israel... I have heard several Jewish-Mexican celebrities talk about going abroad to Israel to reconnect with roots etc., whine about how much they missed the food after a few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hola... how does it compare to the stuff from Bob's Red Mill? I was just gifted a book written by Sebastian Verti where he has an entire section devoted to Amaranth... it seems that La Costena (which sponsored the book) sells Amaranth pasta.

I've also tried a faro pasta. Sometimes, wheat is popular for a reason.

Not that it matters, but that Verti book was published a few times and Costeña just slapped their logo on a special edition. I have another Spanish and English version, neither with the sponsorship.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a surprise supply of really fresh, organic Mexican pumpkin seeds so i've been playing around with pepita recipes. What a great sauce! I mostly used the Mole Verde from Alicia Gironella's Larousse de la Cocina mexicana and I think I'm smitten.

P1000333.JPG

The sauce is basically roasted pepitas, tomatillos, garlic, onion, radish greens, romaine leaves, epazote, parsley, chiles. She calls for sesame seeds but I didn't have any.

I served this for lunch yesterday, with plain rice and a salad of nopales, tomatoes and queso fresco.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it is a beginning. So I drove to Holon, where there is a store called Tres Pesos, behind an open vegetable store, and it was pouring blessed rain! :biggrin:

It is on the second floor of some storage house or something and consists of a few quaint rooms- one main one and a few small offices. There are some sombreros and baskets and mexican looking things and a with a few shelves and a lovely variety of products, most of which I have no idea what they are. The owner is very charming and chatted to me for at least 20 minutes and gave me tips and all. On Thursday there will a Maya fair at the docks in Yafo and a chef from Mexico will also be there. I would so love to go but can't!!!!!! SO here is what I did/learned today: (Oh, I have NO IDEA if I did things right-thickness, thinness etc...)

Masa mix.jpg

tortilla maker.jpg

masa flour.jpg

dough.jpg

tortilla balls.jpg

presssing ball.jpg

pressed ball.jpg

frying1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks great! Hooray for you!!!! :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Chris Hennes
      Over in the Cooking with "Eat Mexico" topic I've posted a about things I've made from Lesley Téllez's recently-published book about street food in Mexico City. I finally had time to go down to "CDMX" (as they are now trying to rebrand themselves) this weekend and went on two of the Eat Mexico food tours. On Friday we went on the street food tour, and on Saturday on the San Juan market tour. The pope was also in town this weekend which made the city crazier than usual and drove the tour selections as we tried to not be where he was, with limited success.
       
      Street Food Tour
      I have limited photos of this one because our hands were usually full! There are ten "normal" stops on the tour plus a couple of optional ones. One of the vendors was closed for the day, but we definitely had no shortage of food. I think the tour lasted something like four hours, and we were basically eating the whole time. Most of it was standing and walking, but we did stop into a local coffee shop and sit down for a short time. Our guide, Arturo, was excellent. He is from the city, has attended culinary school, and is very well versed in both the local street food culture as well as Mexican cuisine overall. 
       
      While the tour was mostly eating, we did walk through one small neighborhood market just to get the feel for the thing, and we stopped at one local tortilleria:


       
      The classic tortilla-delivery vehicle:

       
      We chatted up a local store owner who was making "antojitos" ("little cravings") for breakfast:

       
      Ate some tamales, walked a bit, then had some tlacoyos: here are the condiments...

       
      We also had some fresh juices. They really like their pseudo-medicinal juices.. we had the one that was "anti-flu" (and delicious):

       
      For the tlacoyos I had a huitlacoche and my wife has the chicken tinga. The huitlacoche was disappointingly non-descript. The remedy, of course, was to douse it in salsa, which fixes everything. A few blocks down we had carnitas tacos:
       
       
      And then some mango and watermelon with chile powder:

       
      Arturo tried to ply us with more food at the nearby burreria, but at this point we were on the verge of exploding:

       
      So we stopped for some locally-roasted coffee:

       
      Then on to a burrito place (of all things!) -- the guy running the burrito place was hilarious, and totally frank about stealing the burrito thing from Texas and then "fixing it." He's had the stand for something like 20 years. We split a squash blossom burrito (squash blossoms, onions, salsa, and cheese are the only ingredients, no rice or beans) which he makes on the griddle and then covers in a cheese blend and fries until the cheese browns and crisps. Definitely an improved burrito! Yeah, no photos there. Second to last was an absolutely terrific octopus tostada:

       
      And then a final stop for dessert (which we took back to the hotel rather than eating it there):

       
       
      ETA: A couple more photos. Also, there was a turkey and pork sandwich of some kind that I have no photos of and can't quite remember where it fit into the tour. Just in case you were worried about us starving.


    • By cyalexa
      Salsa Para Enchiladas  
      3 ancho chiles
      2 New Mexico chiles
      2 chipotle chiles
      1 clove garlic, sliced
      2 TB flour
      2 TB vegetable oil
      1 tsp vinegar
      ¾ tsp salt
      ¼ tsp dried oregano
      2 cups broth, stock, or (filtered) chili soaking liquid
      Rinse, stem and seed chiles. Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat and let soften and cool. While the chiles are cooling, gently sauté garlic slices in oil until they are soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oil, with a slotted spoon and reserve. Make a light roux by adding the flour to the oil and sautéing briefly. Drain the chilies and puree them with the garlic slices and half of the liquid. Strain the puree back into the saucepan. Pour the remainder of the liquid through the sieve to loosen any remaining chili pulp. Add the roux to the saucepan and whisk to blend. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, bring to a boil then and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and vinegar if necessary.
    • By IowaDee
      The February issue of Sunset Magazine has a great article about the beans of Mexico.  And guess who is featured.....our own Steve Sando.  Nice write up and lots and lots of recipes.  I have been a Sunset subscriber for more than 25 years and I finally :"know" someone in it.  Cool Beans as they say.
       
      I hope someone with more skills than I have can post a link. 
    • By gfron1
      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
       
       
    • By worm@work
      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
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.