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Mexican and Diana Kennedy


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I found them in the market in Oaxaca. I carried back 2 large bags of them in my luggage. I've never seen then in the USA.

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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I just made a batch of salsa, following Jaymes recipe, and it is really freakin' good! I know I'm new here, but would I be out of line asking for a similar master recipe for a green salsa?

Thanks Jaymes!

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I just made a batch of salsa, following Jaymes recipe, and it is really freakin' good!  I know I'm new here, but would I be out of line asking for a similar master recipe for a green salsa?

Thanks Jaymes!

Here is my usual method for Salsa Verde:

1 lb tomatillos (boiled or broiled)

1/4 cup or about, packed, cilantro

1-2 cloves garlic (raw or roasted)

2-5 serrano chiles (raw/de-stemmed or roasted/de-stemmed) - add to fit your heat tolerance...if necessary you can also remove the seeds and placenta if you find the chiles too hot, or even omit if desired.

1/4 white onion

1/2 tsp (to taste) salt

Prep the tomatillos...if you have never worked w/ these before you need to peel off the paper-y husk and lightly rinse off the sticky residue on the outside.

Either roast the tomatillos under the broiler until uniformally browned/somewhat blackened; or else cover w/ water and boil them about 7 min-10 mintes. They should be quite softened up by the time you are ready to use them.

The garlic and chiles can be roasted if desired, or used raw (I prefer all of the ingredients to be roasted personally).

Blend about 1/2 cup of water and the cilantro, garlic, chiles, onion and salt until smooth...add the tomatillos (drained if boiled) / (with all the juices if broiled) and pulse several times until you have a nice chunky mixture.

This is a great all-purpose salsa.

It easily becomes a cooked salsa by taking some hot fat and frying it, and is great with pork/carnitas or as a base for chilaquiles or enchiladas.

This can be really quick and easy if you opt to not roast any of the ingredients...and also if you use canned tomatillos (I've personally never used canned tomatillos for anything and from what I've seen would not recommend them except as an absolute last resort).

You can easily increase or decrease any of the ingredients to taste...it's a very versatile base.

I sometimes like to add several pasillas to the base before adding the tomatillos to make a nice tangy, smoky sauce for use with beef. Dried chipotles (not canned, in adobo) or moritas would work well with beef also.

...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

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I just made a batch of salsa, following Jaymes recipe, and it is really freakin' good!  I know I'm new here, but would I be out of line asking for a similar master recipe for a green salsa?

Thanks Jaymes!

Here is my usual method for Salsa Verde:

Almost exactly what I do. I've not found a quicky, short-cut method, and frankly, that's easy enough that I've never bothered to look.

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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Whoa, where did you find pasillas de Oaxaca? They are hard to come by even in Mexico, and I've never seen one in the US. (because they're smoked, you can't bring one back and plant it; or you can, but it won't germinate).

This was several years ago when I lived there but Central Market in Austin would occasionally get pasillas de Oaxaca.

Rodney

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Just served my family Jaymes Coctele Camerones. DELISH. I served them in a large bowl, long stemmed goblet, with three slices of avocado on top. They looked very pretty and very professional!!!

thanks so much, Jaymes.

Stop Family Violence

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Jaymes,

I made salsa again tonight from your recipe, and I just wanted to say thanks for sharing! My ability to cook decent Mexican food has really increased in the last six months, and your recipe for salsa was the kickoff for that whole process.

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  • 1 year later...
I don't make tamales myself.  I have a close Mexican friend, and every December she has a "Tamalada" and I go to that.  I can call her and ask her about the masa.

Here is my best, most basic, Mexican recipe.  It's for a cooked red salsa.  It was given to me years ago by a friend that owned a beauty salon.  She spoke no English.  I had tasted her salsa and knew that it was what I wanted to be my "mainstay."  She wouldn't tell me how she did it.  One day, I went into her shop for a perm and she fried my hair.  She was all upset and apologetic and (I think) maybe even afraid I'd sue.  She asked what she could do to make it up to me.

So here's the recipe.  Most people that taste it ask for the recipe, and I don't mind giving it out like that because those people have had it and know it's good and will prepare it like I tell them to.  But I don't normally give it out like this because I have to threaten people within an inch of their lives to do it the way I say.  Unless they've tasted it, and are willing to follow instructions to create the thing they've sampled, people (especially people that consider themselves to be good cooks) absolutely cannot RESIST trying to fiddle with it from the gitgo.

So I'm trusting you.

Salsa

This is a very basic recipe for a very basic salsa, most likely the number one type of salsa used in Mexican cooking.  This is actually an exceedingly simple method of preparing a cooked salsa (it's just long because I'm so wordy).

Canned whole tomatoes - look on label to be positive nothing has been added other than tomatoes and salt.  No vegetables, not even "Mexican style."  Don't use fresh tomatoes.  This is a shortcut recipe for producing a "cooked salsa."  If you've "put up" your own tomatoes, and used nothing but salt, then fine, use them.  But NOT fresh tomatoes.

Fresh jalapeños - find fat, bright green ones

Garlic salt - again, look on label to be certain nothing has been added but garlic and salt.  Be careful not to get "California Blend" which has other things in it.

BASIC RECIPE: 

Wash and dry whole jalapeños.  On hot, non-greased surface (I just use a skillet) blister whole jalapeños, turning often, and watching to be sure they don't burn.  You want nice dark brown spots, and the entire pepper to have lost its shiny green color, instead being a dull avocado color (like kitchen appliances from the 70's).  You can also do this in an oven or (best of all) on a barbecue grill or over other wood fire.  I rarely bother.  I make a lot of this, and don't always have time to fire up the grill.  If I want a smoky flavor for some reason, I add it later (see bottom notes).

Drain cans of tomatoes (you can reserve liquid for another use; for example, if you add a little salt and lemon juice, you can drink it just like regular tomato juice) and place tomatoes into blender or food processor.  Pulse until desired consistency (I like mine kind of chunky, so don't process until it's too smooth) and pour into large mixing bowl.  Continue doing this until you reach the amount of salsa you want.

Take some of your pulsed tomatoes and return it to the blender/processor.  Cut the stems from your cooked jalapeños and add.  You can, obviously, add as many as you want for desired picante.  I usually add about three whole jalapeños per blender-full of salsa, but this is entirely subjective depending on who's going to be doing the eating.  (Note - if you want more flavor but less heat, you can remove the seeds and, most important, the veins, which are the source of the capsicum oil in the peppers that causes the heat.  My friend didn't drain her tomatoes, and she added probably twenty jalapenos per blender, so her salsa was much runnier, and much hotter than mine.  It was like liquid fire.  But on the other hand, she was pleasing a houseful of Mexicans, whereas I had to please a houseful of gringos.)  Now, pulse to chop the jalapeños, stopping before you pulverize the seeds, which makes it bitter.

Pour your chopped jalapeños in with your tomatoes.  Add garlic salt "to taste" and I know this is subjective, but I "eyeball it" and all I can tell you is that if your salsa does not taste "right" it is undoubtedly because you haven't added enough, so add more and taste it again.  Remember that salsa is a garnish so you want it a little salty, plus the flavor of salt decreases when the dish is cold (like cold soups, and salsa), so don't stint.

This is your basic salsa.  Do it like this FIRST and get the flavors right before you branch out.

Okay.

Now, you're ready to branch out.

In addition to what I've already described, I always add:  1.) a little oil; can be any type of vegetable oil - I usually add olive oil; say a tablespoon per blender load, I guess.  2.) a little acid -- vinegar works just fine and is what I usually use, but also lemon or lime juice, or a mixture of all three -- again, sorry, "to taste," probably a tablespoon or so per blender load.  3.) cilantro - I like it and add it, usually right before the jalapeños and using the same method -- put a little of the tomatoes back into the blender/processor and add the cilantro and process, being very careful not to over-process.

This is all I usually do, and my salsa is wonderful.

Trust me on this and just make it like this a time or two.  Don't immediately think to yourself, "I can make it better.  I can add onions.  I wonder why Jaymes didn't add onions.  Maybe Jaymes has never heard of onions."

I have heard of onions.  But I do not usually add them.  Nor anything else other than the tomatoes, garlic salt, jalapenos, oil, vinegar, cilantro.

But sometimes, if I am going to use it for a dip, I will occasionally chop up and add:  a fresh tomato (especially in the summer when the tomatoes are so wonderful); chopped onions (any kind will do -- green onions, whatever) and cubed avocado -- that makes a nice dip.  But MOST of the time I don't! 

Other things you can eventually experiment with adding  (only AFTER you've fixed it enough times to have the hang of it):  liquid smoke, oregano, other kinds of peppers (habañeros, serranos, etc.), chile powder, cumin, sugar (yes, some people like a sweet salsa), Tapatío or other bottled Mexican hot sauce, or whatever else hits your imagination to try.  But the secret is to first master the basic sauce and resist the urge to start adding stuff in order to "improve" it.  Just wait a while before you try to get fancy, or you'll add so much stuff that you mess it up.  (Remember that if you add a lot of chopped fresh tomatoes or avocados, you'll need to add more garlic salt as well.)

Now that you've got your salsa all jarred up and waiting for you in the fridge, take a flour tortilla and lay some sliced mild cheddar onto half of it, fold the other half over to make a half-moon shape, zap it in the microwave a minute or two until the cheese melts, pour your cold salsa all over it and eat it.  With some sliced avocados alongside, of course.

This salsa is also wonderful with plain cheese omelets.  And everything else that is good with salsa.  Which in our house pretty much is everything else.

Time for bumpage.

And also because when I think of salsa, this is one of the definitive "go-to" posts on eGullet, in my opinion.

I just made a batch of this last night and I have to tell you, it's damn good.

You owe it to yourself to make it when you can.

Soba

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I learned to make salsa at neighbor Lupe's knee. She was from Guadalajara and never referred to it as "salsa" but "chile".

It was very simple, she put a couple of tomatoes, a couple of green chiles, and a clove or two of garlic onto the top of the wood range and roasted them until they were spotted with bits of black and brown.

She then began grinding them in her stone molcajete starting with the garlic, then chiles, followed by the tomatoes.

She ground it until it was fairly smoth and added a pinch of salt.

This, to me, is still the best salsa ever even though it was so hot it would raise your hair. She didn't use Jalapeños nor any chile that I now recognize. They were longer and paler but not as large as Anaheims.

I must add this was long ago and there were no crap, cardboard tomatoes to be had so it was made only when there were real tomatoes available.

In the off season, it was made with canned tomato sauce and Chiles de Arbol or Chile Pequín.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
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So, is Jaymes’ recipe more of a table salsa, or is it suitable for huevos rancheros?

My go-to recipe for salsa ranchera is from Diane Kennedy’s Art of Mexican Cooking. This thread and docsconz’s culinary trip to Mexico inspired this morning’s breakfast: huevos rancheros topped with flame-roasted chile Poblano rajas and crumbled feta cheese. Salsa ranchera is better with fresh tomatoes, but canned San Marzano tomatoes substitute nicely.

Gratuitous huevos picture:

gallery_42956_2536_128456.jpg

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It was very simple, she put a couple of tomatoes, a couple of green chiles, and a clove or two of garlic onto the top of the wood range and roasted them until they were spotted with bits of black and brown.

This is essentially my go-to salsa recipe, though I got it from a 2003 issue of Saveur. I get my cast-iron pan good and hot and roast everything, then I chop everything up (sometimes in the food processor). It's been a hit ever since I made it for poker night once, which is good, because I'm absolute crap at poker and needed something to save my reputation.

You can do a similar one using tomatillos, but I haven't seen tomatillos anywhere here.

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  • 4 months later...

Bump up ~

Have been devouring the post(s) on Mexican salsa....etc.

I wasn't into just making "salsa" - been there done that. I REALLY think that the recipe that Jaymes provided (us) was a very unigue, flavor filled slasa. I was skeptical, and thought "how can this recipe with three ingredients be THAT great".

I mean NO offense to Jaymes, but this salsa, at it primate level is terrific. I grew peppers in garden, and was amazed that a canned tomato could give you that level of taste.

Hale, hale to Jaymes, wherever you are. Thank you.

EDA: well is and it are TWO different words,

Edited by Andi Pena Longmeadow Farm (log)
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In keeping with the thread, I have Diana Kenndy's My Mexico, it is a lovely book with great recipes and I love how she writes about her adventures. This book is a great source of inspiration.

At first I found her book very intimidating, but I started with the sauces, then moved on. The recipes are very easy to use, though I admot I stay away from some of the ones that use funky ingredients or leaves or herbs I can't get easily.

I am currently working on her recipe for Barrilla, which is a beefy,soupy kind of dish that you use the meat for tacos then get to enjoy a blow of broth. It is great stuff! Up with there with Carnitas as food of the Gods.

Speaking of food for the Gods, Jaymes has blessed us with a carnitas recipe that is to die for so if you haven't found the Carnitas thread it is worth the search. I can't get the like to post.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Both of you are more than welcome. I love that carnitas recipe as well. There are many ways to make carnitas, of course, but to my taste, that's the one I like best. It's based on the method that Diana Kennedy explains in her books, so I can't take all the credit.

And frankly, I can't take all the credit for the salsa, either. I've been really lucky through my life to count several Mexicanas among my close friends. That salsa may not be the absolute best "gourmet" salsa you'll ever put in your mouth, but for ease of preparation and all-round appeal, in my view you can't beat it. As I've said elsewhere, I raised a big family, and we went through gallons of salsa each week. I needed something quick and easy to keep up with the hunger pangs of foraging teenagers and a Texan husband.

So I'm glad you enjoy it, too.

And thanks to each of you for letting me know.

:rolleyes:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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  • 2 years later...
. . .

Salsa

This is a very basic recipe for a very basic salsa, most likely the number one type of salsa used in Mexican cooking.  This is actually an exceedingly simple method of preparing a cooked salsa (it's just long because I'm so wordy).

Canned whole tomatoes - look on label to be positive nothing has been added other than tomatoes and salt.  No vegetables, not even "Mexican style."  Don't use fresh tomatoes.  This is a shortcut recipe for producing a "cooked salsa."  If you've "put up" your own tomatoes, and used nothing but salt, then fine, use them.  But NOT fresh tomatoes.

Fresh jalapeños - find fat, bright green ones

Garlic salt - again, look on label to be certain nothing has been added but garlic and salt.  Be careful not to get "California Blend" which has other things in it.

. . .

What if I don't have access to fresh jalapeños or garlic salt, but I have dried jalapeños and garlic powder. Would it really be such a horrible thing to use those, instead? I've been meaning to make Jaymes' salsa forever (really, for years), and now I have a serious craving for it. Fresh jalapeños are difficult to come by in my area of Japan, though, so I've got a jar of Penzey's crushed jalapeños peppers in my fridge. I could search for canned ones, too, if that would be better.

And for the tomatillo version, could I use canned tomatillos? I hauled one back from the US, and am dying to use it before I leave this country. I know it will lack that nice roasted flavour, but since I've never actually had the roasted version, what I don't know won't hurt me. I could also roast the canned ones in the oven for a bit, if that might help.

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  • 1 month later...
. . .

Salsa

This is a very basic recipe for a very basic salsa, most likely the number one type of salsa used in Mexican cooking.  This is actually an exceedingly simple method of preparing a cooked salsa (it's just long because I'm so wordy).

Canned whole tomatoes - look on label to be positive nothing has been added other than tomatoes and salt.  No vegetables, not even "Mexican style."  Don't use fresh tomatoes.  This is a shortcut recipe for producing a "cooked salsa."  If you've "put up" your own tomatoes, and used nothing but salt, then fine, use them.  But NOT fresh tomatoes.

Fresh jalapeños - find fat, bright green ones

Garlic salt - again, look on label to be certain nothing has been added but garlic and salt.  Be careful not to get "California Blend" which has other things in it.

. . .

What if I don't have access to fresh jalapeños or garlic salt, but I have dried jalapeños and garlic powder. Would it really be such a horrible thing to use those, instead? I've been meaning to make Jaymes' salsa forever (really, for years), and now I have a serious craving for it. Fresh jalapeños are difficult to come by in my area of Japan, though, so I've got a jar of Penzey's crushed jalapeños peppers in my fridge. I could search for canned ones, too, if that would be better.

And for the tomatillo version, could I use canned tomatillos? I hauled one back from the US, and am dying to use it before I leave this country. I know it will lack that nice roasted flavour, but since I've never actually had the roasted version, what I don't know won't hurt me. I could also roast the canned ones in the oven for a bit, if that might help.

You can just roast the garlic and use that, and salt to taste. I do that often, when I'm in the mood. Not sure about your canned jalapenos. Most canned/jarred jalapenos are pickled, "in escabeche." The vinegar adds a different dimension. But it would still be tasty. As I said in my recipe, I usually add a bit of acid to the final product - vinegar, or lemon or lime juice. I'd sure give it a try! I'm not familiar with dried jalapenos, but since you do cook them, so you don't need a fresh "crunch" in the final product, they might well work just fine. Honestly, the recipe is so easy, I'd give it a try with whatever you've got.

And although I think I've read somewhere that you're getting ready to move back from Japan sometime in the near future so it will cease to be an issue, want to add that jalapeno peppers grow well almost everywhere. I sent some seeds to a salsa-loving friend in Germany and she grew her own for the several years she lived there. Also, you can use any kind of hot chiles, although obviously the flavor will differ. See if there isn't a fresh chile available on the local market that is similar to jalapenos. It might even be better.

Regarding the canned tomatillos... Again, check to see if they're pickled. If not, I think they would work just fine for salsa verde.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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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  • 2 weeks later...
You can just roast the garlic and use that, and salt to taste.  I do that often, when I'm in the mood.  Not sure about your canned jalapenos.  Most canned/jarred jalapenos are pickled, "in escabeche."  The vinegar adds a different dimension.  But it would still be tasty.  As I said in my recipe, I usually add a bit of acid to the final product - vinegar, or lemon or lime juice.  I'd sure give it a try!  I'm not familiar with dried jalapenos, but since you do cook them, so you don't need a fresh "crunch" in the final product, they might well work just fine.  Honestly, the recipe is so easy, I'd give it a try with whatever you've got.

I finally got around to making the salsa last night. OMG it's addictive. I checked out the ingredients on some canned whole jalapenos, and the only acid in them was citric acid, so I used them.

I used two of the whole jalapenos, and one small can of whole tomatoes. The only problem with my salsa is that the tomatoes are quite acidic. I just had some again, and it seems to have mellowed nicely.

This is not a good thing--I envision myself buying more and more tortilla chips to keep up my salsa habit!

And although I think I've read somewhere that you're getting ready to move back from Japan sometime in the near future so it will cease to be an issue, want to add that jalapeno peppers grow well almost everywhere.  I sent some seeds to a salsa-loving friend in Germany and she grew her own for the several years she lived there.  Also, you can use any kind of hot chiles, although obviously the flavor will differ.  See if there isn't a fresh chile available on the local market that is similar to jalapenos.  It might even be better.

Regarding the canned tomatillos...  Again, check to see if they're pickled.  If not, I think they would work just fine for salsa verde.

I've got a year to go till I leave, so perhaps I'll give it a try this summer along with more cilantro. I did add some dried cilantro to the salsa, but dried cilantro is really very tasteless, so it was really just there for colour.

I'll check out my tomatillos, and hopefully make some salsa verde upon my return from spring holidays!

Thanks! (I'm off to eat more chips and salsa now!)

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