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The Blissful Glutton

Making Mexican at home

437 posts in this topic

Stephanie, I am definitely not the one to ask about tortilla presses. I just learned to make corn tortillas, and my “tortilla press” is a cutting board with felt pads on the bottom :rolleyes: (it happens to make tortillas of just the right thickness). Kids, don’t try this at home!

heidih, you are quite welcome, and please do share what you make. Cabbage or lettuce would make lovely, if nontraditional, mole wrappers. Besides eternal cucumbers (always appropriate, of course :wink: ), one could add sliced radish, diced white onion, cilantro, crumbled queso . . .

Jennifer, thank you! (and thanks again for starting this thread). Hmm, we can’t help with busy, but what about all of those reasonably diet-friendly Mexican dishes – pescado al mojo de ajo, camarones enchipotlados, ceviche, chayotes or hongos al vapor, lots of soups . . .

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Stephanie, I am definitely not the one to ask about tortilla presses. I just learned to make corn tortillas, and my “tortilla press” is a cutting board with felt pads on the bottom :rolleyes: (it happens to make tortillas of just the right thickness). Kids, don’t try this at home!

Bruce, let's see this "contraption" in action, please! I have very limited kitchen space, and the idea of multi-tasking equipment is big.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Well, this is nice--talking and looking at my favorite cuisine! Great idea. I too adore quesadillas, which I make with cheese and epazote (which I can occasionally find fresh where I live) and serve with tomatillo sauce, or fill with huitlacoche when I can get it. I have a Mexican fiesta every summer and make 4 or 5 dishes in addition to antojitos and desserts. Here is a photo of a nontraditional taquito--caramelized corn, roasted beet and chorizo, and queso fresco. I also make tiny tamales about once a year--very labor intensive but so worth it--usually chicken and beef. I freeze them and then microwave them for breakfast. Divine.

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Edited by janeer (log)

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Janeer, fun taquitos, looking forward to more from you!

Susan, here is our “tortilla press” – a bread cutting board with four felt pads on the bottom corners. The felt pads serve as spacers, and by sheer good fortune happen to yield tortillas with about the right thickness.

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Place the dough on a Ziploc bag with three sides cut off, press lightly to flatten . . .

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. . . fold over the Ziploc bag, and use the cutting board (felt pads down) to flatten the dough.

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Peel off the dough and place on a medium skillet for 30 seconds. Flip onto a medium-high skillet for 30 seconds. Flip again, press lightly on the tortilla to get it to puff up, and cook for another 30 seconds. Works like a charm.

gallery_42956_2536_44540.jpg

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Recent meals, part one. Reading a new batch of Mexican cookbooks (and revisiting my old chile-stained friends Rick and Diana) triggered a binge of Mexican cooking at our house. Here are the results, which will be nothing new for anyone who follows the dinner thread. The first is probably my favorite so far.

Pipian rojo, roasted chayote:

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Pescado a la Veracruzana (Rick Bayless); mushroom soup with pasilla chiles:

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Garlicky stir-fried shrimp (camarones al ajillo):

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Pollo con naranja, mushrooms in herbed vinaigrette

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Chipotle-baked fish, turned into tacos with chipotle mayo and lime-cilantro vinaigrette.

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Zarela’s shrimp; fried plantains with Mexican crema.

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Pollo con oregano, from Diana Kennedy:

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Swordfish and avocado ceviche (this was really good):

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And one of my favorite meals from my bachelor days: chayote al vapor:

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Recent meals, part one.days: chayote al vapor:

Thank you for the pics Bruce- definitely inspiring. I think what strikes me most is the color you get on your food (browning/carmelizing) that makes looking at it a certainty that it tastes good. Lots of inspiration for the new year.

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First of all, thanks to heidih and Stephanie for your kind comments. We cooked several Mexican dishes for a Christmas Eve dinner party. Details on Dinner! (click).

Tinga Poblana

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Mole coloradito Oaxaqueno

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Making the mole involved repeated stages of preparing ingredients, pureeing them in the blender, and cooking everything down to concentrate the flavors. I took a few pictures early in the process. Cooked-down chile puree:

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Adding the tomato mixture . . .

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. . . and cooking it all down. Repeat and repeat again. :rolleyes:

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Edited to fix link.


Edited by C. sapidus (log)

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Recent meals, part two. On weeknights, we often turn to Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday, a cookbook that provides a lot of shortcut recipes that still taste good. Some examples:

Crock-pot pork with potatoes and chile guajillo sauce, corn tortillas:

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Ancho-rubbed flank steak with onions and plantains (this was really good), arroz rojo:

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Pescado a la Veracruzana; arroz blanco with chile Poblano rajas; guacamole:

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Pescado al mojo de ajo, ejotes con tocino:

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Jicama and romaine lettuce salad with lime-cilantro dressing. This makes regular appearances at the dinner table.

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Green pipian with fish fillets

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Beautiful, Bruce, and you have inspired me to check this cookbook out of the library (remembering my file that if I renew it the max number of times, I will hie myself to the bookstore to buy it!).

Sort of Mexican in our house tonight -- leftover smoked turkey enchiladas, loosely bound together with a green sauce (tomatillos, cilantro, poblano peppers, a couple of roasted jalapenos, lime juice -- thinned with a big of chicken stock) and topped with sour cream and more of the green sauce with a bare sprinkling of cheese. This is probably one of my favorite uses for leftover smoked pork and turkey!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Fantastic looking dishes, Bruce. We're also fans of Bayless’ cookbooks. We've got a tortilla soup in preparation as we speak, and your pictures are making me hungry!


Mike Oliphant

Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

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Beautiful, Bruce, and you have inspired me to check this cookbook out of the library (remembering my file that if I renew it the max number of times, I will hie myself to the bookstore to buy it!).

Thanks, Susan. I'm guessing that you would enjoy the Poblano beef tips (probably suitable for venison, too).

Fantastic looking dishes, Bruce. We're also fans of Bayless’ cookbooks. We've got a tortilla soup in preparation as we speak, and your pictures are making me hungry!

Thank you very much! How do you make your tortilla soup?

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Fantastic looking dishes, Bruce. We're also fans of Bayless’ cookbooks. We've got a tortilla soup in preparation as we speak, and your pictures are making me hungry!

Thank you very much! How do you make your tortilla soup?

It is still very much a work in progress. We started with a Bayless recipe, but have been modifying it. Here's last night's attempt:

gallery_58047_5582_30553.jpg


Edited by menuinprogress (log)

Mike Oliphant

Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

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That is some gorgeous, gorgeous looking food. I gotta get that Bayless book, it seems.

Out of curiosity...have you ever made/know how to make mole amarillo?

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That is some gorgeous, gorgeous looking food.

faine, thank you very much.

I gotta get that Bayless book, it seems.

Out of curiosity...have you ever made/know how to make mole amarillo?

Mexican Everyday includes a recipe for Oaxacan yellow mole. We made and enjoyed it - description on the dinner thread (click). Googling turned up a similar recipe for after-school mole amarillo (click). This is remarkably quick and easy for a mole. Diana Kennedy and Susana Trilling have more elaborate recipes, should you so desire.

Oaxacan yellow mole (mole amarillo)

gallery_42956_2536_44362.jpg

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menuinprogress, your tortilla soup looks beautiful. Those are limes and pasilla chiles floating in the soup, yes? Have you tried toasting or frying the pasilla chiles until they crumble into smaller pieces?

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menuinprogress, your tortilla soup looks beautiful. Those are limes and pasilla chiles floating in the soup, yes? Have you tried toasting or frying the pasilla chiles until they crumble into smaller pieces?

Thanks, Bruce. Yes on the limes. The chiles were fried anchos (the Bayless recipe calls for either pasilla or ancho). The chiles were definitely crumbly, and could have been broken up into smaller pieces.

We also use some of the toasted ancho pureed up in the soup base.


Mike Oliphant

Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

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The chiles were fried anchos (the Bayless recipe calls for either pasilla or ancho). The chiles were definitely crumbly, and could have been broken up into smaller pieces.

Interesting – I usually crumble the chiles pretty small, but I have not tried leaving larger pieces. We substitute pasilla and ancho chiles pretty freely, depending on availability and whether we want a sharper or sweeter flavor.

Recent meals, part three: Mexican (and sorta-Mexican) breakfasts.

Camarones con huevos (this one was actually from a recipe):

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My first successful corn tortillas, made from masa harina, with a concoction of eggs and chipotles in adobo:

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Huevos con chorizo:

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Papas chirionas – I love the deep flavor of chile pasilla, so this is one of my favorites:

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Bricklayer’s eggs (huevos al albanil) – more chile pasillas, and one of my absolute favorite things to eat in any category.

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Huevos rancheros, usually with chile Poblano rajas (the last picture was one of my first eGullet posts)

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The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos. It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful. Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos.  It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful.  Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!

Susan, I am so sorry to have steered you wrong. :sad: The last time we made that dish we jazzed it up with Thai basil and some other stuff, and it was delectable - poblano beef tips (post 20186). We did use ribeye, so maybe the dish needs a good fat-laden steak?

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Bruce,

your food as always looks great. How can I get that cilantro lime dressing recipe. I am having a Mexican inspired theme dinner party tomorrow and could make that since I have a bunch of lettuce and jicama laying around.

I'll be making carnitas roasted first in an orange/lime juice, achiote paste marinade, tucked inside of banana leaves, then we'll shred it up and broil it to make it crispy. I am serving with pickled habanero onions, fresh made salsa and gauc. I'll put pics up, since we photo the meal each month.

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This is an awesome thread!

Since we have moved to Santa Monica, I have met so many people that want to learn to cook and we have taken them under our wing.

This is a great place to start for those lovers of Mexican cuisine (like me!!)

Jennifer - I really miss Atlanta, so I especially love reading your posts. Thanks.

Patti


Patti Davis

www.anatomyofadinnerparty.com

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The other night, we made the quick seared beef tips (using venison) and poblanos.  It was not a pretty looking dish, and nor was it exceptionally flavorful.  Very ho hum, in our opinions, and I'll not likely repeat it!

Susan, I am so sorry to have steered you wrong. :sad: The last time we made that dish we jazzed it up with Thai basil and some other stuff, and it was delectable - poblano beef tips (post 20186). We did use ribeye, so maybe the dish needs a good fat-laden steak?

Bruce, I hadn't thought of adding Thai Basil (a staple in our house), and so for lunch, the leftovers were with Thai Basil, which made a big difference. And, I do think you are right about the fat-laden beef. Reminder to self...try this again, and not with venison, which is quite lean!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Bruce,

your food as always looks great.  How can I get that cilantro lime dressing recipe.  I am having a Mexican inspired theme dinner party tomorrow and could make that since I have a bunch of lettuce and jicama laying around.

Thank you very much, Stephanie! Here is the recipe - jicama salad with lime-cilantro dressing. I hope you like it more than Susan liked my other recommendation. :rolleyes:

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