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Triangle Pre-Thanksgiving Get Together?


Varmint
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Okay... but I'm no expert. Here are a few options:

Tamales:

a lot of work, very simple, and an assload of lard.

Tacos:

endless variety of fillings from slow roasted pig to fish steamed in banana leaves, chorizo, moles, to frijoles refritas, again an assload of lard. I have a source for local handmade tortillas; i've found it's better to leave this up to those who are very practiced, and they are VERY good, all corn no flour.

Pozole:

this doesn't have to be the focus, but would work well with anything. Hominy, chiles, and sometimes pig ear or chicken feet(!), or you can go gringo with pulled pork or chicken.

Empanadas:

again, not necessarily the whole meal; pan friend savory pies that come in all flavors.

Desserts:

tres leches, pumpkin fritters with cajeta, the ubiquitous flan, coconut ice cream.

If anyone else has some suggestions...

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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an assload of lard

Hah!! Al_Dente's into lard.

I have a source for local handmade tortillas

The most important statement in this entire thread.

Pozole:

this doesn't have to be the focus, but would work well with anything. Hominy, chiles, and sometimes pig ear or chicken feet(!), or you can go gringo with pulled pork or chicken.

Yes, we may need to go gringo to some extent. Although chicken feet would be ultra-cool.

Empanadas:

again, not necessarily the whole meal; pan friend savory pies that come in all flavors.

Hey, I'm already studying the nuances of Southern fried pies -- why not empanadas???

Desserts:

tres leches

I don't know if I've ever had a really good tres leches cake.

* * * * * * * * *

Anyhow, we might not want to have a shitload of different dishes, simply because of the time constraints and the fact that we may not have that big of a crowd. I'll invite a couple of other friends who'd be into this, and please feel free to do the same, phlawless. I'll do some research tonight and over the weekend -- but we may have to start buying stuff.

Oh, other than cerveza, what do you drink with this stuff? We could severely keep our alcohol costs down with beer, but then, we could also get into the tequila. We need Katie Loeb to join us!!!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Pozole:

this doesn't have to be the focus, but would work well with anything. Hominy, chiles, and sometimes pig ear or chicken feet(!), or you can go gringo with pulled pork or chicken.

Yes, we may need to go gringo to some extent. Although chicken feet would be ultra-cool.

I'm fine with going non-gringo. I've been meaning to expand my horizons some more.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Pozole:

this doesn't have to be the focus, but would work well with anything. Hominy, chiles, and sometimes pig ear or chicken feet(!), or you can go gringo with pulled pork or chicken.

Yes, we may need to go gringo to some extent. Although chicken feet would be ultra-cool.

I'm fine with going non-gringo. I've been meaning to expand my horizons some more.

I'm thinking only of Mrs. Varmint. She's not the most adventurous person in the world, but as long as we have some tortillas, chicken and mole, we'll be fine.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The chicken feet can be omitted, I've never made them, only eaten and it's more of a novelty than tasty: imagine really tough octopus.

how about cocktails (marguaritas, bloody marias, sangria) and a couple of snackies (empanadas, jalapeno rellenos, tostadas seviche, etc...) then do tacos with 3-4 fillings (pork, fish, chicken, greens) with condiments then one dessert? I don't know how many people we're talking about, but that seems manageable for 5-6 relatively skilled cooks.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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I think that's a plan. I know it's not northern Mexican, but is there any way to incorporate mole into this meal?

Al indicated that he's smoking some pork butts this weekend. I told him to freeze the leftovers, as smoked pork freezes very, very well.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I think that's a plan. I know it's not northern Mexican, but is there any way to incorporate mole into this meal?

Al indicated that he's smoking some pork butts this weekend. I told him to freeze the leftovers, as smoked pork freezes very, very well.

I don't know how big the grill is I'll have to work with tomorrow, butt I'll try and get as much butt on there as possible. I was going to let them sit in saran wrap with a spice rub on them overnight tonight before putting them on the grill. It'll be pretty much the standard salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, sugar type thing. Is that okay?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I think that's a plan.  I know it's not northern Mexican, but is there any way to incorporate mole into this meal?

Al indicated that he's smoking some pork butts this weekend.  I told him to freeze the leftovers, as smoked pork freezes very, very well.

I don't know how big the grill is I'll have to work with tomorrow, butt I'll try and get as much butt on there as possible. I was going to let them sit in saran wrap with a spice rub on them overnight tonight before putting them on the grill. It'll be pretty much the standard salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, sugar type thing. Is that okay?

See if you can't get some chipotle and rub it on, too.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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So I asked the chicas at work about smoking meat, and I hope I'm not too late on making mention of this now, but the type of wood they use is either pecan, fruit trees, or hickory. Mesquite is more of a tex-mex deal, and can be used, but is not as traditional.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Although we'll be happy with porked smoked with smoldering toothpicks, if that's what you got!

Phlawless and I are starting to conspire on the menu. I'll post something later today regarding the menu's direction. Let us know who will be here to help with the preparations.

Phlawless is becoming one of my idols, because not only has she found a source for fresh, homemade corn tortillas, but also a source for fresh, unpasteurized goat's milk (cajeta, anyone????).

Again, if you're within a 4-5 hour drive of Raleigh, NC, you need to join in this event!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Al Dente informed me that his pork smoking was successful -- too successful, as there was nothing left! Thus, it looks as if we won't be doing any smoked pork dishes.

I've been combing through Rick Bayless books, conversing with others, and searching the internet. Ultimately, I think that for this first venture into Mexican cuisine, we shouldn't limit ourselves to just northern Mexico. I mean, I really want to do a ceviche, so why should the fact that it's actually Spanish (and then adopted by coastal Mexican regions) stop me from making it? Similarly, a mojo de ajo would be outstanding, and simple. Does it work well on non-seafoods??? I think it's a fairly ubiquitous style.

A mole would be great. Jaymes' top secret charro beans are authentic northern Mexican.

We'd love to do cabrito, but I don't have a readily available source for kid.

Pozole is something we should certainly do.

I can slow roast (perhaps with a bit of smoke) a chile rubbed pork shoulder.

Guacamole is essential.

At least 3 salsas are essential.

Cajeta will be featured for the dessert.

We need more people to eat with us!!!

Phlawless, help me narrow this down. I think we're being a bit overly ambitious when perhaps only 12 people will be eating, but all of this makes great leftovers, I'd guess!!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I'm assuming we will have tacos, which would use the pork, maybe we should have a fish filling as well. Pozole is pretty filling, so I don't know if you want to have another heavy dish in addition to the tacos. Seviche would be fine as well, screw geo-authenticity right now, it would work well as a munchie.

A mole would be essential as well. I do know it's a bit difficult to get good quality mexican chocolate, so I would suggest El Rey, even though it's South American it does have a bit less fruityness then it's Euro counterparts.

I was reading through some Rick Bayless as well, and saw something pretty cool: a tamal de cazuela. (I can't imagine a fiesta without some sort of tamale) It's baked in an earthenware pot, then cooled and sliced. This would be a yummie munchie as well.

In addition to what we listed, I think at least one salad should be considered (jicama, cabbage).

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Tacos -- in (pork, chicken, fish?)

Ceviche -- in

Tamal -- in (let's do a mushroom filling, too)

Mole -- in (I'm thinking this is used as a sauce as much as a featured dish -- goes well with the tamal, too)

Charro beans -- in

Mojo de ajo -- in (perhaps for the tacos, etc. -- can do on request -- I'll make the mojo in advance)

Salad -- in (let's do jicama and cucumber -- there's a recipe in Bayless 2)

Cajeta-based dessert -- in

Guacomole -- in

Rice -- is it needed???

Salsas -- in

Libations -- in

We can cut this back even more, but the purpose is to eat over the course of several hours. It'll be one long grazing session.

phlawless, do you have a source for fresh masa as well as the tortillas?

Finally, I have this block of tamarind. On another thread, blondie suggested I use it to make Aqua fresce de Tamarindo. Is this considered a Mexican drink, or more Central American? It might be a good non-alcoholic option.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The ceviche I'm planning to make will consist of sea scallops and tuna. It'll actually be two different kinds of ceviche. For the scallops, I'll slice them horizontally to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch slices. I'll do a very simple marinade for that. I'll have a bit more tomato in the diced tuna. I'll then line a smallish martini glass (or something akin to that) with the scallops and fill with the tuna. It should be a nice presentation.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The ceviche I'm planning to make will consist of sea scallops and tuna. It'll actually be two different kinds of ceviche. For the scallops, I'll slice them horizontally to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch slices. I'll do a very simple marinade for that. I'll have a bit more tomato in the diced tuna. I'll then line a smallish martini glass (or something akin to that) with the scallops and fill with the tuna. It should be a nice presentation.

ceviche recipe

make the pickled onions too.

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The ceviche I'm planning to make will consist of sea scallops and tuna.  It'll actually be two different kinds of ceviche.  For the scallops, I'll slice them horizontally to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch slices.  I'll do a very simple marinade for that. I'll have a bit more tomato in the diced tuna.  I'll then line a smallish martini glass (or something akin to that) with the scallops and fill with the tuna.  It should be a nice presentation.

ceviche recipe

make the pickled onions too.

I might just use pickled okra instead, as that's such a traditional Mexican relish! :wacko: Although I do have 2 jars of it left!!!!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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This looks like a good menu:

Cerveza

Tamarind Margaritas

Jarritos sodas

Guacamole

Roasted tomato-jalapeno salsa

Tomato-chipotle sauce

Tomatillo salsa

Two-toned Ceviche of sea scallops and tuna

Jicama, cucumber and citrus salad

Tamal de Cazuela – Crusty Baked Tamal, served with mole (red brick mole? Bayless 2 @ 247)

Mushroom

Pork

Chicken

Jaymes’ Charro Beans

Tacos with fresh corn tortillas

Braised pork with chipotle and roasted garlic

Shrimp with Mojo de Ajo

Skirt steak? Chicken?

Squash/pumpkin fritters with cajeta

Comments?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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This looks like a good menu:

Cerveza

Tamarind Margaritas

Jarritos sodas

Guacamole

Roasted tomato-jalapeno salsa

Tomato-chipotle sauce

Tomatillo salsa

Two-toned Ceviche of sea scallops and tuna

Jicama, cucumber and citrus salad

Tamal de Cazuela – Crusty Baked Tamal, served with mole (red brick mole? Bayless 2 @ 247)

Mushroom

Pork

Chicken

Jaymes’ Charro Beans

Tacos with fresh corn tortillas

Braised pork with chipotle and roasted garlic

Shrimp with Mojo de Ajo

Skirt steak? Chicken?

Squash/pumpkin fritters with cajeta

Comments?

Muy bueno... si...

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Oh, other than cerveza, what do you drink with this stuff? We could severely keep our alcohol costs down with beer, but then, we could also get into the tequila. We need Katie Loeb to join us!!!

:blush: Aw shucks, Dean! You're so sweet and I surely wish that I could! The menu looks sumptuous - I do love good Mexican food! Let me give a little thought and I'll post a couple of wine suggestions for you.

On the Margaritas - I make flavored 'Ritas all summer with half a can of frozen Minute Maid limeade, a good healthy splash of tequila, a splash of Gran Gala or Triple sec, juice of one fresh lime and half a can of any of those flavored Goya or Jumex juices like Mango, Passion Fruit, Guava, etc. A few ice cubes and a whirl in the blender and your margaritas are happenin'! You can make whatever flavor suits your mood. I even made Asian Pear Margaritas once with Asian Pear cider. They were quite tasty!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Phlawless and I just took a field trip to the big Latino grocery store. It is outstanding!!! We'll be having a good ol' time on Saturday. It's not too late if anyone wants to join us. Just because it's the weekend before Thanksgiving is no excuse.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Did you decide on a particular "cajeta dessert"? I routinely send cajeta in my little "gift baskets," and have four or five favorite recipes using it.

There's a chocolate and caramel flan cake, a tres leches cake, caramel crepes, Mexican Bananas Foster, among others.

Would you like any of those recipes, or are you all set?

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.

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