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The Blissful Glutton

Making Mexican at home

437 posts in this topic

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:

Thanks Bruce, I made the dressing this morning and it tasted really good. I'll let you know what the crowd says.

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Stephanie, your dinner party sounds great. I hope you had a chance to take pictures.

Tonight we made pork carnita tacos, guacamole, and salsa roja picante from Cocina de la Familia, served with home-made corn tortillas. We simmered cubes of pork shoulder with onions, garlic, pickled Serrano chiles, and Mexican oregano, and finished the carnitas in a hot oven with orange juice, orange zest, black pepper, and Coca-Cola. Good stuff, even it I overfilled my taco.

gallery_42956_2536_9998.jpg

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Man, late to the pary as usual. What a great thread!

A few questions, mostly for the hostess, BG.

What is DF?

WHERE is Chicago on Buford Hwy?

Can someone hook me up with a good carnitas recipe? Bayless' is ok, but not like I have had and adored at some restaurants.

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A few questions, mostly for the hostess, BG.

What is DF?

Not BG, but I can answer this one. Mexico City = Ciudad de Mexico, D.F.. The abbreviation D.F. stands for distrito federal (federal district) according to Wikepedia (click). Like Washington, D.C., Mexico City is a city as well as a federal district.

Can someone hook me up with a good carnitas recipe?  Bayless' is ok, but not like I have had and adored at some restaurants.

Perhaps you will find a carnitas recipe that you like in the eight-page thread titled "Carnitas" (click). :smile:

I am also hoping that Blissful Glutton gets time to visit.

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Bruce, I loved the salad, as did my guests! BF thought it had slightly too much lime. I'll post some pics later of the dinner and my carnitas were great too. This is the recipe that I used. They were very moist and flavorful and then if you want them crispy, stick them under the broiler for a bit.

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In an attempt to make chorizo that would not have all of the unidentified chunks of who-knows-what in them, and perhaps a tad less grease than the wonderful chorizo that we get at a Mexican store in the Mission, we have been making our own chorizo. We start with pork shoulder/butt and grind it ourselves. As far as the flavor is concerned, we are just not getting it right. Basically we are using chilis, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. We do make the mixture, pinch a bit off and cook it to taste for flavor, but we are still not getting what we want. It does not turn out with that deep, muddy greasy red color like the Mexican chorizo that we buy. I think that we need to put in a bit more fat than we have been putting in, but what do we do about the flavor? What kinds of chilis do you use? Any ideas that you can share as far as other ingredients and ballpark proportions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really have a hankering for chorizo and eggs, the kind where you have that special red color dripping from the tortilla and the spice that spreads all over your mouth. Also want to make Rick Bayless' Chorizo-Potato Tacos with Avocado Salsa. (Like right now.) So... how can I try to duplicate that flavor?


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."

John Maynard Keynes

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WHERE is Chicago on Buford Hwy?

Ooh ooh, I know this one. It's on Buford Hwy, right inside the perimeter, between Shallowford Rd and 285. It's in a shopping center called Pinewood Plaza which is across the street from the somewhat prominent McDonalds, right north of Ranch 99.

There's a taco counter in the back (by where they do the fresh masa) that requires a lot of self-control. And don't forget the Mexican Coca-Cola!

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WHERE is Chicago on Buford Hwy?

Ooh ooh, I know this one. It's on Buford Hwy, right inside the perimeter, between Shallowford Rd and 285. It's in a shopping center called Pinewood Plaza which is across the street from the somewhat prominent McDonalds, right north of Ranch 99.

There's a taco counter in the back (by where they do the fresh masa) that requires a lot of self-control. And don't forget the Mexican Coca-Cola!

Thanks, I know exactly where that is. Boy, that plaza has changed so many times over the years.

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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?

I re-did this dish the other day for lunch for myself with leftover charcoal-grilled chuck eye steak (an especially fatty and flavorful hunk of it) and yes, it does need a more fat-laden cut of meat. I can imagine it would also work well with pork shoulder.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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In an attempt to make chorizo that would not have all of the unidentified chunks of who-knows-what in them, and perhaps a tad less grease than the wonderful chorizo that we get at a Mexican store in the Mission, we have been making our own chorizo. We start with pork shoulder/butt and grind it ourselves.  As far as the flavor is concerned, we are just not getting it right. Basically we are using chilis, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. We do make the mixture, pinch a bit off and cook it to taste for flavor, but we are still not getting what we want. It does not turn out with that deep, muddy greasy red color like the Mexican chorizo that we buy. I think that we need to put in a bit more fat than we have been putting in, but what do we do about the flavor? What kinds of chilis do you use? Any ideas that you can share as far as other ingredients and ballpark proportions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really have a hankering for chorizo and eggs, the kind where you have that special red color dripping from the tortilla and the spice that spreads all over your mouth. Also want to make Rick Bayless' Chorizo-Potato Tacos with Avocado Salsa. (Like right now.)  So... how can I try to duplicate that flavor?

I make chorizo when I get the time. I use the ingredients you listed but also have apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic & chili powder. Store bought chorizo includes delectable morsels such as pork salivary glands so you will have a different texture with ground pork. It also seems to have more liquid than most sausage. I’d agree with your suggestion of adding more fat as my version cooks up drier than commercial chorizo. The flavor on the other hand is very good and is really good with scrambled eggs in a hot flour tortilla. :wub:

Edited: to change flout to flour


Edited by JimH (log)

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I make chorizo when I get the time.  I use the ingredients you listed but also have apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic & chili powder.

I think the addition of vinegar is key - the chorizo I like definitely has a vinegar bite to it.

We really loved the chorizo we got when we were vacationing in Oaxaca. I haven't been able to find anything comparable back home, so we're gong to try making our own as well.


Mike Oliphant

Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

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Pasilla chile picadillo Oaxaqueno, based on a variation in Authentic Mexican. Warm flour tortillas, guacamole, and salsas at the table.

To make the picadillo, saute onions, garlic, and ground (or chopped) pork until lightly browned. Blend and strain the sauce – pasilla chiles (toasted and soaked), tomatoes, canela, cloves, and black peppercorns. Simmer the pork mixture and sauce with raisins and vinegar. Mix in toasted almond slivers and serve on warm flour tortillas.

The family asked for this again, but without the raisins.

Edited to eliminate redundancy and eliminate redundancy.

gallery_42956_2536_10637.jpg


Edited by C. sapidus (log)

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I make chorizo when I get the time.  I use the ingredients you listed but also have apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic & chili powder.

I think the addition of vinegar is key - the chorizo I like definitely has a vinegar bite to it.

We really loved the chorizo we got when we were vacationing in Oaxaca. I haven't been able to find anything comparable back home, so we're gong to try making our own as well.

My eye opening chorizo moment was in a diner in Ensenada (Baja-Mexico) where the grill cook was dipping tortilla chips into something. She had a little stash of well fried chorizo and was scooping it up with the chips they fried up. We got some and were in heaven. Have managed to get it recreated several times- lucky us! Found some fresh stuff at a local restaurant that has a deli case. Cooked it up at home and with a bag of their fresh fried tortilla chips - it is really good

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Tonight we made pescado en chile limon from Zarela’s Veracruz. For the sauce, we blended boiled tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, shallots, flat-leaf parsley, and a half-cup of lime juice. We fried butterflied rainbow trout in olive oil until partly cooked, poured off the oil, added the chile limon, cooked the trout through, and finished the sauce with a little butter.

Accompanied by calabacitas al mojo de ajo, originally from Authentic Mexican. I should be able to make this in my sleep, but I added the toasted garlic slices too early and they lost crispness.

Pescado en chile limon, calabacitas al mojo de ajo

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One of my most requested recipes is my green salsa recipe which is obscenely easy to knock out and way better (in my opinion) than buying the premade stuff. I serve this with a variety of dishes and it can be tweaked many ways. This is the basic version--a raw green salsa that goes well with fattier types of dishes like the beer-braised short-rib tacos I made this particular night.

Ingredients:

A handful of tomatillos

1/4 cup of packed fresh cilantro

Serrano peppers

One clove of garlic

The juice from 1/2 of a fresh lime

Salt

One avocado (optional)

Instructions:

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Take the husk off the tomatillos, rinse well, and quarter.

Give them a liberal pinch of salt and let them sit on the cutting board for about 10 minutes. You can also roast these under a broiler at this point or blanch them in salted boiling water if you don't like the bitter(ish) flavor of raw green tomatoes.

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Clean your cilantro very well. I normally soak it in very cold water and then dry in my trusty salad spinner. When the leaves are dry, pluck them from the stems. Make sure you taste the cilantro because it can be bitter sometimes and you want to adjust your amount accordingly so it does not overpower the salsa.

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Using rubber gloves, de-seed and roughly chop 2-3 serrano chiles. You can use jalapenos, but I prefer the heat of the serrano. You can also roast these if you have more time and/or prefer a deeper flavor.

Put all the ingredients (except the avocado) in a blender and pulse until it is uniform in texture. Place in the fridge for an hour so the flavors can marry. Salsa has the tendency to change and certain flavors can really intensify. After an hour, take the salsa out and adjust the seasoning to your taste with more lime or salt.

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At this point, you can blend in an avocado for a creamier texture. If you choose to do this, make sure you adjust the seasoning accordingly and preform this step at the absolute last moment before serving since it the avocado will eventually start to oxidize. Enjoy!

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A few questions, mostly for the hostess, BG.

What is DF?

Not BG, but I can answer this one. Mexico City = Ciudad de Mexico, D.F.. The abbreviation D.F. stands for distrito federal (federal district) according to Wikepedia (click). Like Washington, D.C., Mexico City is a city as well as a federal district.

Can someone hook me up with a good carnitas recipe?  Bayless' is ok, but not like I have had and adored at some restaurants.

Perhaps you will find a carnitas recipe that you like in the eight-page thread titled "Carnitas" (click). :smile:

I am also hoping that Blissful Glutton gets time to visit.

Ack. I have not been here in so long. Sorry guys! But, Bruce nailed it about DF. I will make it a point to check here more often. Everyone is making some amazing looking food!

And in case you were still curious re: Chicago, I actually just reviewed it for a local paper I write for. You can view the review (with details and photos) HERE and my blog post with more photos HERE.

~Jennifer


Edited by The Blissful Glutton (log)

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One of my most requested recipes is my green salsa recipe which is obscenely easy to knock out

Really nice pictures - they make me want to whip up a batch right now!


Mike Oliphant

Food Blog: Menu In Progress | Twitter: @menuinprogress

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Peppered shrimp (camarones a la pimienta), with slivered onions and Serrano chiles, garlic, lots of black pepper, and a finishing shot of mayonnaise. Medium-low heat and short cooking time kept the shrimp tender and juicy. Zarela's Veracruz falls open to this page.

White rice pilaf (arroz blanco), with chopped parsley and cilantro, onions, garlic, chicken broth, and peas.

Hard to believe that no one has been Making Mexican at Home since last April. :sad:

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Actually, Bruce, I have been making Mexican at Home, but have not reported on it at all (bad me).

Daunted by Diana Kennedy's books, I did get a copy of Rick Bayless's "Authentic Mexican" as I make my way through that book, I think that Diana will be less daunting.

But, one of our favs from Rick's book has been the Northern-Style Shredded Beet with Tomatoes. I've also done with recipe with pork. The key is, after you braise the beef (works well in the crock pot in the laundry room on a really hot day -- the kind of day that you don't want to heat up the kitchen) to crisp the shredded meat up really well. Just almost crisp the hell out of it. It should not be a ragout! This dish was not as successful with venison because of venison is not known for being well marbled.

Given that you have teen boys, Bruce, plan on tripling the recipe. Do what I did. Get to the farmer's market late in the day, when they will bargain, and you can get a half bushel of poblanos (essential) for a coupla bucks, toss them on the grill, freeze on a cookie sheet, package in a ziplock, and peel and de-seed when they are just about thawed. Works like a charm.

Me thinks da boyz would like this dish very much.

Oh, and I forgot, the Chicken Tostadas with Fresh Vegetables and Cream were another favorite (I used thighs instead of the suggested breast).


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Peppered shrimp (camarones a la pimienta), with slivered onions and Serrano chiles, garlic, lots of black pepper, and a finishing shot of mayonnaise. Medium-low heat and short cooking time kept the shrimp tender and juicy. Zarela's Veracruz falls open to this page.

White rice pilaf (arroz blanco), with chopped parsley and cilantro, onions, garlic, chicken broth, and peas.

Hard to believe that no one has been Making Mexican at Home since last April. :sad:

gallery_42956_2536_23703.jpg

Your photo inspired me. Since I had the book I made this for dinner and it was delicious, though a bit oily. Do you normally use the entire amount of oil called for in the recipe (1/2 cup) or have you modified it to suit your tastes? I think it could be done successfully with a little less oil.

I've actually been cooking a lot of Mexican lately, but not photographing or posting about it. Made mole verde at work on Thursday and encacahuatado a couple weeks ago. Both were terrific.

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Since I had the book I made this for dinner and it was delicious, though a bit oily.  Do you normally use the entire amount of oil called for in the recipe (1/2 cup) or have you modified it to suit your tastes? I think it could be done successfully with a little less oil.

Thanks, Kalypso. Yes, we also found the dish a bit oily, so after the first time I reduced the oil from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.

I would love to hear about what you are cooking, whether at home or at work. Any mole verde tips to share?

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Thanks, Kalypso. Yes, we also found the dish a bit oily, so after the first time I reduced the oil from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.

I would love to hear about what you are cooking, whether at home or at work. Any mole verde tips to share?

Thank you for confirming what I was thinking. As I was cooking the onions and garlic I thought half the oil would have been sufficient. I juice half a key lime into the rice I was preparing and didn't want to discard the other half, so I squeezed it into the shrimp dish when I added the jalapenos. And speaking of jalapenos, we've been getting some ENORMOUS ones here lately. They've had a nice kick to them, not bland, not overly hot. Because the jalapenos I had were ridiculously large I used fewer in number than the recipe actually called for, but was probably pretty close in actual volume of sliced/chopped peppers. In any event, I think this dish will make it into our regular meal rotation.

As for the mole verde...make sure your vegetables are all as fresh as possible. In addition to poblanos, jalapenos and serranos, I used tomatillos, spinach, celery, parsley and cilantro, zucchini, green leaf lettuce and romaine. It was thickened with pepitas, sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds, all fried and pecans, not fried. It took longer to cook than I thought it would, was pretty darned tasty with chicken and would have been stellar with duck. My Mexican employees gave it 2 big thumbs up and said I had nailed it.

I preferred the encacahuatado, though. Very subtle, deeply flavorful, silky, nuanced sauce. Not overly spicy. I think I'm going to tweak it a bit next time I make it to see if I can deepen the complexity of the flavors a little bit.

The mole recipe and the encacahuatado recipe I got from Roberto Santibanez at the recent Latin Flavors/American Kitchen workshop at the new San Antonio CIA campus.

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Thanks, Kalypso. I need to try mole verde next time I get a free weekend.

For an informal chile cook-off, we made Rick Bayless’ traditional variation of manchamanteles de cerdo y pollo (simple red mole with meat, fowl, and fruit) from Authentic Mexican. Manchamanteles (“tablecloth stainer”) is usually listed as one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. I couldn't resist making a dish that promised to stain tablecloths. :smile:

Chorizo sausage, pork shoulder, and chicken thighs provided a variety of meaty flavors. The delicious sauce contained ancho and pasilla chiles (toasted and soaked), onions and garlic (browned), peanuts and almonds (toasted), cloves, canela, and black peppercorns (ground) and bread, all smoothly pureed in the Preethi before straining.

We fried the sauce to deepen the flavor and release the fond, thinned the sauce with water, and then added the pork. While the pork simmered we fried chorizo sausage, browned chunks of chicken thigh meat, and deglazed the frying pan with some of the simmering sauce. When the pork was tender we added the chicken and chorizo, and then finished with a sweet-sour combination of cider vinegar, fried plantains, and cubed pineapple.

Multiple cycles of browning and deglazing gave the sauce a lot of depth. Generous salting is often necessary to coax out the complex flavors of a mole, and that was the case today. We will definitely make this again.

None of the manchamanteles survived, so unfortunately no pictures.

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For an informal chile cook-off, we made Rick Bayless’ traditional variation of manchamanteles de cerdo y pollo (simple red mole with meat, fowl, and fruit) from Authentic Mexican. Manchamanteles (“tablecloth stainer”) is usually listed as one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. I couldn't resist making a dish that promised to stain tablecloths. :smile:

None of the manchamanteles survived, so unfortunately no pictures.

I like Manchamantele a lot too, thought I haven't made it for a while. Right now I'm doing a stint with pre-holiday dieting so I can eat without guilt on Thanksgiving :laugh: Authentic Mexican isn't my favorite Rick Bayless book (though it is really good) but I've had very good luck using his recipes in general.

Have you by any chance made Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo La Parroquia from Zarela's Veracruz? I'm seriously considering making it for Thanksgiving instead of our regular bird. The recipe looks good and appears to be fairly simple to prepare, leaving more time for all the other dishes. She's got a duck recipe in there that looks to be really delicious, but duck wouldn't cut it for Thanksgiving with folks for whom I'll be cooking.

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