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Mexican independence Day


shelora
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What are you making to celebrate Mexican Independence Day?

I'm off to buy poblano chilies and make a picadillo de puerco. What will you be making?

Do you plan on doing the "grito" later in the evening?

I will be attending a fiesta late tonight, where the grito will be performed! Can hardly wait.

s

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Are there traditional dishes that one usually makes? And if you don't mind me asking, what is a "grito"?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Make anything that reflects the three colours of the Mexican flag. This is how our evening is unfolding.

Let's start with a wild Mezcal purchased from the Gutierrez family in Matatlan, Oaxaca. Let's sip it from those Reidel glasses specially designed for tequila. Mmmmm, so earthy.

PICTA1.JPG

A perfect accompaniment is a hand ground guacamole made in the volcanic stone molcajete. The "mano" you see - works as the grinder - and is in the image of a liitle dog with a corn cob in his mouth. Good dog! Notice the lovely colours of the Mexican flag - green guacamole, red tomatoes and white onion.

PICTA2.JPG

I guess it's time for a little something more substantial. The smoked pasilla chiles of Oaxaca biting in their heat, but balanced out by the hot melting cheese inside and the tomato caldo with hints of epazote, looking an awful lot like marijuana.

Ambrosia.

PICTA3.JPG

Then let's cap it off by having a chile ancho stuffed with a classic picadillo - shredded pork, plump raisins, tomatoes and almonds perfumed with cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. This rich dish rests on a warmed crema with cilantro.

PICTA4.JPG

And el grito (scream) begins with the words, Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico!. I recommend screaming it from your lungs at around 11 p.m. Apparently there is an entire speech that follows but I won't find out what it is until later this evening.

So until then, Viva Mexico!

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Thanks for the info Shelora, your meal looks fabulous -- were you the chef responsible for the dishes?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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That would be a molcajete (the mortar) and tejolote (the pestle). I thought those were the dog's teeth--are you sure it's a corn cob?

September 15 is called La Gran Noche Mexicana. Here in Mexico, it's celebrated in a way that reminds me of a combination of Fourth of July and Labor Day. The big festivities for Independence Day are on the 15th because it was during the late night of September 15, 1810 that Padre Hidalgo rallied the supporters of Mexican independence from Spain, in a little town called Dolores in the State of Guanajuato. He cried out (GRITO=cry) to the assembled for independence, and the crowd went on to form the first revolutionary army. Spain was ultimately defeated and the new nation called Mexico was born.

The most typical food for a Gran Noche Mexicana dinner would be the famous Chiles en Nogada, or chiles poblano stuffed with picadillo, sauced with a walnut cream sauce (the nogada part of the name), and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. The green, white, and red of the flag are right there on your plate.

This year, I was invited to a major event here in Guadalajara. The evening started at 9.30 PM with botanas and drinks for 1500 people, then a sit-down dinner (not Chiles en Nogada, unfortunately, but good nonetheless). Dinner was followed by the Grito: Viva Hidalgo! Viva Morelos! Viva La Corregidora! Viva México! Viva Guadalajara! Viva! Viva! Qué viva! and short speeches about independence, given by several government officials. Then there were fireworks--and all of this was indoors, mind you.

After the fireworks, the show started. A full Aztec dance troupe started things off, a marvelous fourteen piece traditional mariachi continued the performance, followed by a male singer and several fantastic female singers taking turns at the microphone. All this was followed by ballet folklórico, then more of the same singers in duets, then more dancing, then more...ay ay ay, more and more. And more. And then came intermission, with a mime comic who had us all rolling in the aisles.

I left not too long before the event was over--on the 15th, there's always the danger of drunk drivers out on the streets, and although my house was only five minutes from the party, I wanted to get home before the throng left.

And what time did I get home? 3:30 AM. I'd been up 21 hours, quite a lot for this woman.

Edited by esperanza (log)

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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That would be a molcajete (the mortar) and tejolote (the pestle). I thought those were the dog's teeth--are you sure it's a corn cob?

Yes, the tejolote dog has a corn cob in it's mouth. Sorry I cannot provide a side profile.

What a great post Esperanza! What a great party! And thanks for the explanation on the grito.

It never did happen up here.

Maybe next year!

s

Edited by shelora (log)
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That's a stunning meal, Shelora!

Here in Philadelphia, the only grito we get to see/hear is on Univisión <sigh>. It is a very cool ceremony and we always watch it at midnight. As I watched Vicente Fox lead the grito from the balcony I thought that this must be the best of all possible moments to be president of México.

One day, I want to go to the Zócalo in the DF for the grito. My DH tells a funny story about how his mom, a tiny little campesina from Michoacán, put her money in her shoe when she went to the Zócalo because she was afraid that the rateros would steal it. Well, in the press of the crowd, she lost her shoe. The next morning, when the Zócalo was cleaned, there was a whole pile of shoes and personal belongings that had been lost the night before. As they looked for my MIL's shoe, she insisted that she would know hers because it had money in it. Not.

Barb

Edited by bjcohan (log)

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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Shelora, I've been sitting here smiling at your smiling little dog with his corn cob--in all my years in Mexico I've never seen one like that. He is truly adorable.

Then I looked again at your food pictures. Not only are you an excellent photographer, but the presentation of the dishes is lovely. Everything made me salivate. Wonderful!

Thanks for posting the photos.

Esperanza

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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I too was in Guadalajara for the night of the 15th. Of course, my festivities can't match those of Esperanza!

I made dinner for 10. We started with a very simple salad of greens with a garlic and anchovy vinaigrette.

Then we had paella that was wonderful (if I say so myself). I used saffron from Oaxaca (which was not very potent so I had to use a lot more than I customarily would have). I bought all of the seafood from the wonderful mercado del mar in Zapopan. If you are in the Guadalajara area, this is by far the best place to get good, fresh seafood that is affordable.

A wonderful (store-bought) tart with strawberries and slices of kiwi on top followed. With the white glaze, it looked just like the flag!

Yes, yes. I know. Not very Mexican. But it was wonderful. We did drink Mexican wines. Mostly Monte Xanic reds.

After dinner, Don Julio made an appearance and we toasted at midnight, and again, and again, and again.

VIVA MEXICO!

"Champagne was served. Emma shivered from head to toe as she felt the iced wine in her mouth. She had never seen pomegranates nor tasted pineapples..." - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

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Here in London, the dinner on the 15th capped of a whole Gastronomic Week in a new Mexican restaurant where I have been cooking, you may have seen the posts here: Mestizo in London

The menu was very complete, unfortunately, I don't have the photos, but everything was great, we even managed to get fresh poblanos for the chiles en nogada, which is a great feat in the UK! Here is what we made and ate:

Tostadas de Salpicon de Carne

-or-

Tlacoyo de Frijol Negro

Sopa Seca de Fideos

Ensalada de Berros

-or-

Ensalada de nopales

Mixiote de Cordero en Mole Colorado

-or-

Pollo en Pipian

-or-

Pescado al Chipotle

-or-

Medallones de Filete en Salsa de Cuitlacoche Metzli

-or-

Chiles en Nogada

Buñuelos

-or-

Capirotada

We had mariachis, a lot of dancing, and at midnight, one of the owners called out the GRITO, very nicely!

Of course the next day we had a menu for the cruda, birria, menudo, torats ahogadas, huevos rancheros and pozole... it was sorley needed!

I love the story of the shoe in the Zocalo!!

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Sandra, I am thrilled beyond words that London, one of my favorite cities, FINALLY has good Mexican food.

Many years ago, when I was in London on business, I phoned the Mexican embassy to seek their recommendation of a good Mexican restaurant. They replied "lo siento, pero aqui no hay." They were quite right. They referred me to a place that they said was the best there was, and it was dreadful. Not a corn tortilla in sight. The place was packed (surely for the beer) and my friends wanted to stay, so we did. Not only was the food nearly inedible and certainly not Mexican, but I got food poisoning! (I had much more success with the Thai embassy...)

One thing London did have in those days that the U.S. did not was Mexican avocados. I smuggled quite a few back from London to my Mexican husband in Philadelphia. Quite well-travelled were those avocados, and well worth the trouble. Fortunately, we can now get them here.

If I get back to London, I shall definitely visit your restaurant. I'm sure that the folks in the embassy are happier these days!

Barb

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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Well Barb, you will have to come and visit soon then! Mestizo is the only restuarnt offering upscale Mexican food here, and it was really needed!

I only wish it was "my" restuarant! I help them out every once in a while with the menus and special parties...

I love your avocado story!

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Here in London, the dinner on the 15th capped of a whole Gastronomic Week in a new Mexican restaurant where I have been cooking, you may have seen the posts here:  Mestizo in London

The menu was very complete, unfortunately, I don't have the photos, but everything was great, we even managed to get fresh poblanos for the chiles en nogada, which is a great feat in the UK! Here is what we made and ate:

Tostadas de Salpicon de Carne

-or-

Tlacoyo de Frijol Negro

Sopa Seca de Fideos

Ensalada de Berros

-or-

Ensalada de nopales

Mixiote de Cordero en Mole Colorado

-or-

Pollo en Pipian

-or-

Pescado al Chipotle

-or-

Medallones de Filete en Salsa de Cuitlacoche Metzli

-or-

Chiles en Nogada

Buñuelos

-or-

Capirotada

    We had mariachis, a lot of dancing, and at midnight, one of the owners called out the GRITO, very nicely!

    Of course the next day we had a menu for the cruda, birria, menudo, torats ahogadas, huevos rancheros and pozole... it was sorley needed!

Sandra,

I applaud your pioneering efforts to create these dishes in the UK. I wish you great future success.

Where are you finding most of your ingredients?

shelora

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Shelora,

most of the ingredients are sourced by the restaurant from various outlets, what they can't find, has to be made - when I do my private catering/cheffing, I in turn source a lot of stuff from te resto!

there are some good chile farms around the south coast now, and once you start exploring, you find that some ingredients are global - take for example the jicama - the Chinese call it yam bean and it is readily available at oriental supermarkets, go figure!

if your'e ever in London....

www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Shelora,

most of the ingredients are sourced by the restaurant from various outlets,  what they can't find, has to be made - when I do my private catering/cheffing, I in turn source a lot of stuff from te resto!

there are some good chile farms around the south coast now, and once you start exploring, you find that some ingredients are global - take for example the jicama - the Chinese call it yam bean and it is readily available at oriental supermarkets, go figure!

if your'e ever in London....

Wow! Chile farms on the south coast, that's amazing. How great! What kinds of chilies? I'd love any names or links, girl.

And isn't it so true about Chinatown. That's where I usually find my jicama and chayote.

Oh, yeah, if I'm ever in London, I'll bring some surprises for you!

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Well, there is The Cool Chile Company

And one of the farms is South Devon Chilli Farm

So it's getting better in terms of sourcing stuff... but yes please! If you're ever coming this way I would love a little surprise!!

Great! Thanks Sandra. Superb selection of fresh chilies from South Devon. Lucky you.

s

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