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Author Topic: Food! Food! Food! The Good, Bad, Ugly, and Tasty steampunk treats and drinks  (Read 75426 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #525 on: February 26, 2016, 07:44:39 am »

Interesting article:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/02/22/467113401/lo-mein-loophole-how-u-s-immigration-law-fueled-a-chinese-restaurant-boom

The article explains the Chinese restaurant boom in the early 20th century. I recently read an article about Detroit's long defunct Chinatown, and the article mentions restaurants as being the prominent business type in the district.

Ethnic restaurants are often an American's first direct exposure to the cultures of other countries, so these restaurants would have been cultural embassies of a sort.


Certainly the Americans took a taste for international food. But in some places much better than others.

My grandmother was raised in New York City, in the 1920's and 30's and back in the 30's she already had seen a tremendous "melting pot" of cultures, plue all the cuisine that went along with it.  She remembers that they would cook a different "nationality of food" for every day of the week, because it was so easy to get the ingredients for any particular food you wanted to eat.

In contrast, in the country, the food of Americans was limited to whatever ethnicity you belonged to.  Once Texas became part of the US, and after the mass migration of Germans and Czech around the turn of the 19th C, the Mexican culture was displaced, and the local food became much closer to the food of the new migrants.  So European foods dominated Central Texas, in cities like Austin, whereas Mexican food was more protected in San Antonio. Migrants in rural areas were not so keen to adopt foreign food styles, and they kept to their own style.


~ ~ ~

In other news related to food and immigrants in the USA, we have this sobering and interesting article of the New York Delicatessens:

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160218-is-nycs-most-iconic-sandwich-dying
Quote
According to David Sax who wrote Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, 1930s New York was home to three or four thousand delis. Today, there are less than two dozen.
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« Reply #526 on: March 13, 2016, 10:08:07 am »

In a few minutes, I shall see whether my experiment has born fruit.  You see, one of the things I have shied away from is making tamales.  They seem somewhat complicated and legthy to make, being steamed for more than an hour and having to use copious amounts of lard or in one package recipe's oil.

So I thought: A cake is a cake is a cake. How would a Victorian go about this?  Naturally the "hominy cake" could be steamed, but I thought of a simpler way. Just treat it like cake batter.  Add that Victorian Era invention, baking powder and enough water to make the dough into a very sticky paste with no extra ingredients added, other than mixing pre-cooked meats into the cake batter - and pop it in the oven.

Experimental recipe for "New Spain Hominy Cake"

1 cup of dry maize/corn hominy flour aka Masa Harina
1 tablespoon of Baking Powder
4 ounces of spicy cured or cooked meat e.g. Chorizo, Ham, etc.

Dry-mix the baking powder into the hominy flour.  Then just mix enough water in so that the sough becomes a sticky paste. Pour into a glass oven safe baking dish.

Bake in 430F / 221C preheated oven (time to be determined - seems at least one hour so far)

So fat it's been nearly one hour, and certainly at the 15, and 30 minutes the dough was still soft.  The rise is very low but sampling the centre, I do see that there are CO2 bubbles in the paste

~ ~ ~ ~

Results of experiment.

Meh! Not exactly what I expected.  It does seem that there is no alternative to steaming (that I can think of at the moment).  It reminds me of Italian polenta with a thick crispy crust.  It tastes very good, but definitely the taste/texture is very different from polenta. The crust is fabulously crispy and yet light.  But apparently the heat transfer coefficient is VERY low, and the inside will remain gooey -like a brownie. The batter simply forms a thick dry crust, and the centre never achieves a cake consistency.  It seems it would require a source of heat capable of heating the inside of the cake to make steam.  At this point I'm going to say something that might appear heretical: microwave, and using a greater amount of grease into the mix.

It seems that the Tamale cakes can only be done steamed, and the grease in the tamale both increases the heat transfer coefficient and keeps it from turning into a crust.  The steam will superheat the water inside the cake.  It's all physics, man....  Must have taken some time before the Native people perfected the art of making hominy cakes.


I love Mexican food, and used to eat at Mexican restaurants quite often when I lived in New Jersey. I brought back a Tortilladora, a couple of warming baskets, several bags of different kinds of dried chiles and avocado leaves.

SWMBO takes a trip back to the US with a bunch of friends (a real mixed-up crowd of American Jews, Israelis, Brazilians, Austrians, Slovaks, Catalans, Argentinians, Irish, Russians, Iranians, Koreans… I'm sure there are a few who would qualify to join the Daughters of the American Revolution) on a Culinary Tour. One year it was Portland, another New Orleans, last year was Santa Fe and this year is Austin.

She brings back ingredients, recipe books, notes taken during classes in restaurant kitchens. She hopes to bring back a few pounds of masa harina, including some made from blue maize. I asked her for some La Cholula sauces, too.

My son loves to get a few friends round and make fajita served in industrial tortillas that he buys at the supermarket… but as a way to get a 15 year old started in cooking and taking care of himself, it's a good start, I think.
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« Reply #527 on: March 16, 2016, 07:31:35 am »

I*snip*


I love Mexican food, and used to eat at Mexican restaurants quite often when I lived in New Jersey. I brought back a Tortilladora, a couple of warming baskets, several bags of different kinds of dried chiles and avocado leaves.

SWMBO takes a trip back to the US with a bunch of friends (a real mixed-up crowd of American Jews, Israelis, Brazilians, Austrians, Slovaks, Catalans, Argentinians, Irish, Russians, Iranians, Koreans… I'm sure there are a few who would qualify to join the Daughters of the American Revolution) on a Culinary Tour. One year it was Portland, another New Orleans, last year was Santa Fe and this year is Austin.

She brings back ingredients, recipe books, notes taken during classes in restaurant kitchens. She hopes to bring back a few pounds of masa harina, including some made from blue maize. I asked her for some La Cholula sauces, too.

My son loves to get a few friends round and make fajita served in industrial tortillas that he buys at the supermarket… but as a way to get a 15 year old started in cooking and taking care of himself, it's a good start, I think.


I happen to live in Austin. By any chance is she coming to Austin for South by Southwest?
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,47579.msg963979.html#new

If so I'd be happy to show her the places for food. We have fairly good Mexican Food since the "Foodie Revolution" in America since the 2000's... certainly better than it was say back in 1990 and prior to that. But I'm a snob about Mexican food and I'll stop from claiming we have truly authentic places -even those run by Mexican families.

I have not seen blue Masa Harina... well ever  Undecided  I think it's more of a "novelty" Native- North American food than Mexican, really. Mexican people prefer white corn over yellow or any other colour, for that matter.

I'd recommend stopping my the local supermarkets, as even the mainstream ones carry Masa Harina, (e.g. HEB supermarket, which is good, depending on which one you go to, and ones I consider more expensive yet inferior, such as "Randall's" a/k/a Safeway subsidiary ) but there are chains of "ethnic" Mexican supermarkets (e.g. "Fiesta"), which I've seen, and smaller ethnic stores (e.g. Matt's "El Rancho"), which people have recommended to me, and presumably are much better.
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« Reply #528 on: April 17, 2017, 12:05:20 am »

Wow. No posts since last April. Apparently Steampunks have fasted for one whole year!

Well, no matter. Today I repeat my Easter tradition with Asparagus, Palm Hearts, and Boiled Eggs with Mayonnaise and Paprika. The asparagus spears symbolise Rome, the hearts of palm symbolise Judea, and the egg symbolises re-birth.

This is my family's tradition for Easter Sunday or a Spring festivity:

Cook (or buy) 1 lb whole Asparagus spears
Hard boil several eggs, one half per person
Buy one jar or can of long hearts of palm
Get powdered paprika or red chile powder
Have plenty of mayonnaise ready at hand

Cut the hearts of palm in one inch pieces and stand them up vertically on each plate. Arrange several spears of asparagus next to the heart of palm cylinders and place a generous dollop of mayonnaise in the center of the plate.  Don't be shy with the amount.  Cut the hard boiled eggs in halves lengthwise an place with flat side up over the mayonnaise.  Sprinkle with paprika or red chile powder.  The egg symbolizes re-birth or renewal.





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« Reply #529 on: April 17, 2017, 01:28:05 am »

I had ham, asparagus, and corn on the cob. The ham represents ham, the asparagus represents asparagus, and the corn represents corn.
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« Reply #530 on: April 17, 2017, 02:11:29 am »

I had ham, asparagus, and corn on the cob. The ham represents ham, the asparagus represents asparagus, and the corn represents corn.

Wow. How deep of you.... Roll Eyes  Grin

Now of you had said lamb instead of ham, then you could at least tied the lamb to the sacrificial lamb that is consumed at the end of Passover (tied to the story of how the Jews avoided the last plague when still in bandage in Egypt). The meal with lamb is a "Seder" ceremonial dinner (part of which involves the ritual of parting the bread and sharing it on the table) which happened to be the type of dinner ceremony that Jesus was holding with his disciples... the "Last Supper."

I may incorporate lamb into an Easter dinner next year. I don't have any guests today, no fun cooking
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« Reply #531 on: October 16, 2017, 07:10:16 am »

Time to cook dinner for the week. If you know anything about me, then you know about my love affair with Mexican and Spanish Chorizos. This time I exercise another variation on the culinary uses of Chorizo. Chorizo is generally regarded as a Spanish sausage, but it must be noted that the use of Chile pepper powder is an integral part of the flavour (sweet Chile powder mixed with chopped pork offal in the case of Spanish Chorizo and hot Chile powder mixed with minced offal or other cuts for Mexican Chorizo). Hence given the origin of Chile peppers, it stands to reason that Chorizo may have originated in the 16th or 17th. C Viceroyalty of the New Spain (Mexico). In fact you may find many varieties of Chorizo throughout Spanish America and Brasil as well.

There is absolutely nothing that can be more Mexican that the combination of Tomatoes and Chorizo, save except eating them together with maize Tortillas. Tomatoes or Tomatl as known in the Aztec tongue, Nahuatl, originated in Central and South America.

From Wiki
Quote
(Tomato) Etymology

The word "tomato" comes from the Spanish tomate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl [ˈtomat͡ɬ].[6]
The native Mexican tomatillo is tomate (in Nahuatl: tomātl About this sound pronunciation (help·info), meaning "fat water" or "fat thing").[7] When Aztecs started to cultivate the Andean fruit, bigger and red, they called the new species xitomatl (or jitomates) (pronounced [ʃiːˈtomatɬ]), ("plump thing with navel" or "fat water with navel"). After their conquest of Tenochtitlan, Spaniards exported tomatoes (jitomates) to the rest of the world with the name tomate, so numerous languages use forms of the word "tomato" (tomate) to refer to the red tomato instead of the green tomatillo.[citation needed] It first appeared in print in 1595.[6] The scientific species epithet lycopersicum means "wolf peach", and comes from German werewolf myths. These legends said that deadly nightshade was used by witches and sorcerers in potions to transform themselves into werewolves, so the tomato's similar, but much larger, fruit was called the "wolf peach" when it arrived in Europe.

~ ~ ~

Mexico City Style Chicken Pasta with Tomato Chorizo sauce.

1/2 lb of Chorizo (cured or fresh/raw) Mexican or Spanish style.
5 Chicken Quarters (Thighs plus drumstick with skin and bone)
24 Oz of Pasta Sauce
3 (24 Oz) cups of water
1 lb of Bowtie Pasta

Yields 8-9 servings.

Preparation

Take 1/2 lb of your favourite Chorizo, weather fresh and raw (Northern Mexican/Texas style), or cured (Spanish/ Central Mexican Chorizo), and fry in the same pot where you plan to boil the pasta, basically a large sauce pan with cover. Cook thoroughly but stop short of completely toasting it. Use the Mexican Chorizo for a hot, spicy taste or the Spanish Chorizo for a milder flavour.

Place 5 chicken quarters (thigh plus drumstick with the bones and skin left on) in the pot and use a little oil to add to the remnants of the Chorizo oil in the pot. Fry the skin of the bottom thighs a bit - no need to make a smoky mess and trigger the fire alarm - you just want a wee bit of the bottom pieces of skin to fry to lend a deglazing mass at the bottom of the pot. Deglaze with water (red wine optional) after just 1-2 minutes, cover the 5 chicken quarters with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue boiling for 45 minutes to one hour.

One hour of boiling will make the chicken meat slide off the bone quite easily with a fork, chopping knive, metal tongs or even a kitchen spoon - that is the level of softness in the meat you want. Do not remove the skin of the chicken. DO NOT THROW THE WATER AWAY, this is now chicken stock and you will use it to boil the pasta.

While the chicken is boiling. prepare a second smaller pot, and place the cooked Chorizo inside. Then cover the Chorizo in 24 Oz of your favourite tomato pasta sauce. Traditional Oregano and Garlic varieties will work just fine, or make your own. Add water as needed. You will want at least 40 Oz of liquid (sauce plus water) in the pot plus the Chorizo. Bring to a boil and boil away for 10 minutes at the most. Set aside.

Again, the meat should be should be "falling off the bone" soft. Remove the chicken quarters one by one from the pot with some metal tongs and you can start peeling off the meat and skin off the bone. Carefully remove all the bones, especially the smaller bones from the drumstick. Rough chop the large pieces of meat and (optionally use some of the skin as well - I like to throw everything in). Place the chopped meat and skin into the chorizo and tomato sauce, fold in with a large kitchen spoon, and bring the smaller pot to a boil again for 3 minutes - just to incorporate the flavours. Turn heat off and keep covered.

Using the chicken stock left in the large pot, add enough water to cook one pound of bow-tie pasta. I prefer the kind of pasta made with spinach and tomato for a colourful plate. Cook you pasta as usual, Al Dente.

At this point you have a choice to keep the starchy chicken stock for another dish or throw it away. Use a pasta strainer of you want to throw away the stock, or remove the pasta from the stock if you want to bottle the liquid for later. Either way, remove your pasta and the stock, and place the Chicken-Chorizo meat sauce plus pasta into the large pot and fold together.

You will get up to 9 servings (plus extra chicken stock), at a low cost you will not believe. You may consider dividing the portions and freezing them as well -same for the stock.


Cheers,

JW
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 07:55:25 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #532 on: October 16, 2017, 10:35:52 pm »

So, I have just experienced an unforeseen harvest of tomatillos! Not usual for the UK, so I am looking for recipe ideas please. Ideally, I would like to make some preserve of tomatillo that could be used as a sauce / salsa / relish - the latter being my excuse for posting this request here!

ffitz

ps, I also have a plant full of hot red chillies which could be incorporated.
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« Reply #533 on: October 17, 2017, 03:16:39 am »

So, I have just experienced an unforeseen harvest of tomatillos! Not usual for the UK, so I am looking for recipe ideas please. Ideally, I would like to make some preserve of tomatillo that could be used as a sauce / salsa / relish - the latter being my excuse for posting this request here!

ffitz

ps, I also have a plant full of hot red chillies which could be incorporated.

I shall dig some recipes. In the meantime you may want to consider a (very) spicy sauce, a staple on every Mexican table, Salsa Verde (lit. Green Sauce). Besides table condiment, there are so many dishes that use Salsa Verde. Think Enchiladas Verdes (we discussed this before, basically an open or rolled maize tortilla taco drenched in sauce).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsa_verde_(Mexico)


« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 09:42:19 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #534 on: October 17, 2017, 09:35:18 am »

For the stand alone Salsa Verde, I found this recipe

http://mexicanfoodjournal.com/salsa-verde/

However, you may want to consider other alternatives such as a dinner dish.

One of the tomatillo based dishes I see a lot in Mexico, is a relatively simple chicken stew with tomatillo and green Chile peppers. This is not the stand alone Salsa Verde, but rather part of the stew itself, so it lends itself to dialing the heat from the peppers as well as the types of aromatics you may want to add. There seem to be a lot of variations of what is basically the same concept. The tomatillo sauce is fairly acid and goes well with lime juice and whichever green peppers you want to experiment with (warning: Bell Peppers will not work. The flavour from the Chile peppers tend to get "lost" in the tomatillo sauce, since usually the tomatillo sauce will be "fried" in a sauce pan, so you lose some of the heat and flavour that way).

Here's a recipe for Chicken stew in Tomatillo Chile sauce I saw in English and seems easy enough to follow. It's based on tomatillos and Jalapeño Chile peppers

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/tomatillo_chicken_stew/

Cheers,

JW
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 09:49:22 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #535 on: October 17, 2017, 12:39:57 pm »

Ah splendid, thank you! I have made some tomatillo sauce which was very similar to the second recipe you posted. It was splendid on some enchiladas and a number of non Mexican dishes though I haven't tried it on eggs yet. The problem is, I will only get this one harvest, the season being what it is and was hoping to preserve some of the sauce, maybe using the same technique as for a relish, so as to extend shelf life. We don't get them in shops and they are not grown commercially in the UK (or Europe from what I can find). However, the salsa verde looks really interesting and the recipe says it freezes well, so seasonality problem solved. I was intrigued to read that the trick was to fry the salsa after blending. I haven't read that elsewhere, but it makes a lot of sense, thinking about how frying the tomatoes in a chilli or bolognaise for 20 minutes or so transforms the sauce. I am keen to get the best out of them so I can justify growing them next year on purpose!

regards,
ffitz
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« Reply #536 on: October 17, 2017, 06:29:29 pm »

Ah splendid, thank you! I have made some tomatillo sauce which was very similar to the second recipe you posted. It was splendid on some enchiladas and a number of non Mexican dishes though I haven't tried it on eggs yet. The problem is, I will only get this one harvest, the season being what it is and was hoping to preserve some of the sauce, maybe using the same technique as for a relish, so as to extend shelf life. We don't get them in shops and they are not grown commercially in the UK (or Europe from what I can find). However, the salsa verde looks really interesting and the recipe says it freezes well, so seasonality problem solved. I was intrigued to read that the trick was to fry the salsa after blending. I haven't read that elsewhere, but it makes a lot of sense, thinking about how frying the tomatoes in a chilli or bolognaise for 20 minutes or so transforms the sauce. I am keen to get the best out of them so I can justify growing them next year on purpose!

regards,
ffitz

Yeah, to be honest I have never made Salsa Verde or used Tomatillos, so never fried them either, but I think I'll give it a shot because I love the stuff. But here in Texas you have 1001 varieties of Tex Mex and imported Mexican sauces, so I never have the excuse to make my own! I just buy it off the shelf!

The "salsa wall" is actually 40% bigger than shown. I couldn't walk back far enough to take a picture of it
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 08:45:19 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #537 on: October 18, 2017, 01:25:34 pm »

Think I might have to cultivate the FB contact I have with my Texan cousin...
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« Reply #538 on: October 18, 2017, 05:20:57 pm »

Think I might have to cultivate the FB contact I have with my Texan cousin...

If you can figure how to safely send some foods that won't spoil or which are packaged to not spoil you might have a new source of culinary experience. Sadly most chorizo in Texas is sold raw (uncooked) as opposed to cooked or cured, so that is a problem. I think I found a couple of brands that sell Spanish style cured chorizo, but very expensive and I've never used it. But chile peppers like hot poblano peppers (for stuffed peppers "Chiles Rellenos" deep fried and with pork meat and raisins) would be a great experience for you. might do fine as well as imported Mexican moles and other sauces. Mole paste comes from México in small drinking glass like jars or plastic tumblers, similar to curry paste.


These Poblano peppers are flat, as long as your hand and maybe three fingers wide. They're as hot if not hotter than Jalapeno peppers with a hint of cherry sweetness, but they lack the strong herbal taste of Jalapenos. For "Chiles Rellenos, stuff with minced pork, Manchego cheese and raisins. Pan fry or deep fry with a tempura like batter, then place in a casserole and drench in tomato sauce, topped with more cheese and bake for a little.. I don't necessarily bake them like a Lasagna because that makes them soggy, but that is what all recipes call for.


Smaller Poblanos about the size of your palm. They're naturally fairly firm and dry without actually being dried. This makes it possible for sellers to pack in cellophane packets of two each. These could easily survive a transatlantic trip. 58 cents per packet, and very light weight.


Mole paste selection. All of it imported from Mexico, based on a variety of ground and toasted nuts and spices. Traditional (with chocolate), "Pipian" and Green Mole made from pumpkin seeds. To be reconstituted in water or chicken stock. The leading brand is Dona Maria, made by Nestle in Mexico. The ones on the top right are another brand I haven't tried, but their containers are plastic so easier to send. The square packs have ready to eat (diluted) sauce.


This caramel sauce, "Cajeta" is made from sugar and goat milk and nothing else. The leading brand is "Coronado," from Mexico. A million calories per tablespoon, and equally delicious. About the consistency of smooth molten milk chocolate when heated, it is much more viscous when cold (a spoon will stand in the jar). Has a very buttery flavor owing to the goat milk.  Warm and pour on pancakes or waffles. Or just eat it by the spoonful! The ones on the left are the supermarket's house brand, made in Mexico for HEB supermarkets, largely a Texas company. They have 350 stores in Texas, and I think they have something like three or four supermarkets in Northern Mexico, so they signed deals with local producers. Of course on the far right don't miss HEB's  "Texas style" peanut butter with honey or molasses (treacle) used as sweetener.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 11:04:55 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #539 on: October 26, 2017, 11:50:35 am »

...and I guess that is just scratching the surface! I'm thinking more of inviting myself over for a culinary road trip! I remember once when I was invited on to a college board to review and comment on business propositions from the final year students (like Dragon's Den I asked the principle??) One was from a young woman who just exuded passion for Mexican cooking and her proposition was for an authentic Mexican restaurant serving real, freshly prepared food. Most, if not all Mexican restaurants in the UK are chain concessions and last little more than a couple of years. I will never forget her passion and enthusiasm for the cuisine she discovered for herself in Mexico and that has focused my interest in researching and eating my way through this mysterious and tasty tradition!

Today may be cooking day - I have spent too long reading my way through the Mexican Food Journal blog, Douglas Cullen's writing reminds me very much of that day at the business college and that young woman's inspirational presentation. I wonder where she is today?
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« Reply #540 on: October 26, 2017, 01:01:49 pm »

...and I guess that is just scratching the surface! I'm thinking more of inviting myself over for a culinary road trip! I remember once when I was invited on to a college board to review and comment on business propositions from the final year students (like Dragon's Den I asked the principle??) One was from a young woman who just exuded passion for Mexican cooking and her proposition was for an authentic Mexican restaurant serving real, freshly prepared food. Most, if not all Mexican restaurants in the UK are chain concessions and last little more than a couple of years. I will never forget her passion and enthusiasm for the cuisine she discovered for herself in Mexico and that has focused my interest in researching and eating my way through this mysterious and tasty tradition!

Today may be cooking day - I have spent too long reading my way through the Mexican Food Journal blog, Douglas Cullen's writing reminds me very much of that day at the business college and that young woman's inspirational presentation. I wonder where she is today?

Note that Mexican cuisine, like any other cooking style can be, and usually is very regional. If crossing the pond, it might be worthwhile to go to Mexico. There is one subgenre of Mexican food that is impossible to find outside of Central Mexico which I call "French - Mex." That is the French culinary infusion that happened after the 1820s, when México left Spain and other Europeans migrated into Central Mexico. Then it was cemented after the French Intervention in the 1860s, with a bit of Austrian pastry technology brought by Maximilian's troops of chefs (eg the Austrian Kipfrl otherwise known as in France Croissant - no its not French. Also the savoury plates of Mexican Vol-au-Vents plus a myriad of cooking techniques you find in every public Kitchen downtown in Mexico City or Puebla. ). Not even the best American TV celebrity "expert" chefs today have used French Mex in their restaurants. Not one, in fact, not an iota. I'm afraid, save a few sweet biscuits and breads in pastry shops in Los Angeles and San Antonio, you won't find much of French Mex in the USA.

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« Reply #541 on: October 26, 2017, 04:51:53 pm »

 Then it was cemented after the French Intervention in the 1860s, with a bit of Austrian pastry technology brought by Maximilian's troops of chefs (eg the Austrian Kipfrl otherwise known as in France Croissant - no its not French.

The Croissant allegedly originated around the sixteenth century after the Austrians defeated a Turkish invasion outside Vienna.  The Austrians captured several things, most notably COFFEE and flags.  The flagpoles had the Islamic crescent at the top, & the Austrians began making rolls in this shape to commemorate their victory.
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« Reply #542 on: October 26, 2017, 06:22:48 pm »

Then it was cemented after the French Intervention in the 1860s, with a bit of Austrian pastry technology brought by Maximilian's troops of chefs (eg the Austrian Kipfrl otherwise known as in France Croissant - no its not French.

The Croissant allegedly originated around the sixteenth century after the Austrians defeated a Turkish invasion outside Vienna.  The Austrians captured several things, most notably COFFEE and flags.  The flagpoles had the Islamic crescent at the top, & the Austrians began making rolls in this shape to commemorate their victory.


It's one of those oddities that by serendipity, we'd get the Austrian Hapsburgs, by marriage to Spain, to steal inherit the Mexican crown in the 1500s. Then in the 1860s when France wanted to make nice with Austria for breaking the Holy Roman Empire ca 1800 (Napoleon Bonaparte), Napoleon III had the idea of offering the Mexican crown to a young prince who literally had nothing to do but had progressive ideas which seemed dangerous to his own brother Franz Joseph, emperor of Austria. In the end Franz Joseph disowned his younger brother one day before Maximilian sailed to Mexico, wanting to avoid a potential conflict with France and potentially the United States after the Civil War, not to mentioned he was being politically manipulated into war by Prussia.

You can't make this stuff up. Reality is often more interesting than fiction. Naturally I'll use that in my fiction to make it a bit more crazy  Grin
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 06:24:21 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #543 on: October 28, 2017, 08:26:25 pm »

Wow. No posts since last April. Apparently Steampunks have fasted for one whole year!

Well, no matter. Today I repeat my Easter tradition with Asparagus, Palm Hearts, and Boiled Eggs with Mayonnaise and Paprika. The asparagus spears symbolise Rome, the hearts of palm symbolise Judea, and the egg symbolises re-birth.
Cut the hearts of palm in one inch pieces and stand them up vertically on each plate. Arrange several spears of asparagus next to the heart of palm cylinders and place a generous dollop of mayonnaise in the center of the plate.  Don't be shy with the amount.  Cut the hard boiled eggs in halves lengthwise an place with flat side up over the mayonnaise.  Sprinkle with paprika or red chile powder.  The egg symbolizes re-birth or renewal.

I never knew but wonder if that was why mom always made          (on Christmas) a big platter of hard boiled eggs with paprika and another cut glass plate held olives, gherkins, but instead of asparagus she put celery bits with cheese spread in them and mini pearl onions. I need to do this years holiday meals according to how MY mom did it. Been a long time since we have.... off to search recipe books!
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« Reply #544 on: October 31, 2017, 05:32:03 pm »

So, to give an idea of a typical UK Mexican food products shelf - here is our local Waitrose...



Some items that are predictable but some that may be more authentic. They even had Tomatillo Salsa!
I made some according to the recipe posted by Mr.Wilhelm. The frying of the blended boiled tomatillos, onion and chillis (I chopped the coriander rather than losing it in the blender) resulted in a pleasingly refreshing salsa with an unexpected lime twist, presumably from the tomatillos!
Next pound will be with the ingredients grilled (broiled) and then blended. I will only blend, say 60% of the tomatillos and skin and chop the remainder to make a firmer and more interesting texture.

Can the tomatillos be frozen whole or will they go mushy upon defrosting?

Many thanks for your help,
ffitz
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« Reply #545 on: November 03, 2017, 08:10:24 pm »

So, to give an idea of a typical UK Mexican food products shelf - here is our local Waitrose...



Some items that are predictable but some that may be more authentic. They even had Tomatillo Salsa!
I made some according to the recipe posted by Mr.Wilhelm. The frying of the blended boiled tomatillos, onion and chillis (I chopped the coriander rather than losing it in the blender) resulted in a pleasingly refreshing salsa with an unexpected lime twist, presumably from the tomatillos!
Next pound will be with the ingredients grilled (broiled) and then blended. I will only blend, say 60% of the tomatillos and skin and chop the remainder to make a firmer and more interesting texture.

Can the tomatillos be frozen whole or will they go mushy upon defrosting?

Many thanks for your help,
ffitz

Aaaargh! Not "Old El Paso" brand "taco shells"  Shocked Grin I see that in our own supers all the time. Basically glorified Doritos. Kill it with fire!!

Yes tomatillos have a very lemony taste to them. You know? I ignore if tomatillos can go mushy upon freezing. That is a real risk, and I think it depends on the temperature of initial freezing. Here's an educated guess: Most veggies, including tomatoes are probably "flash frozen" to prevent the formation of ice crystals which disrupt cellular membranes in foods spoil, like meat becoming chewy and vegetables becoming mushy.
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« Reply #546 on: November 04, 2017, 03:02:06 am »

I've recently moved to a new town, and there are no authentic taco places here. A forty minute drive takes me to a Mexican American district and a place called Los Arcos Market that has fantastic tacos, but it isn't a trip that I can make regularly. I might have to make due with those crunchy Old El Paso taco shells.
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« Reply #547 on: November 04, 2017, 05:55:24 am »

I've recently moved to a new town, and there are no authentic taco places here. A forty minute drive takes me to a Mexican American district and a place called Los Arcos Market that has fantastic tacos, but it isn't a trip that I can make regularly. I might have to make due with those crunchy Old El Paso taco shells.

Sacrilege! Blasphemy! May your Lay tongue turn into Frito!

Seriously, you're much better off making them yourself. It's very easy. Buy or even mail order some Nixtamalized corn "Masa Harina" (Masa flour)  All you need is water, a flat surface and a heavy pan plus some wax paper or a ziploc bag to flatten masa balls. Deep fry if you want to with one of those cheap fryers. But in Central Mexico you don't eat them crispy anyway. Just cook them for 1-2 minutes on a hot flat griddle and roll yourself some soft tacos.
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« Reply #548 on: November 04, 2017, 06:04:59 am »

So, to give an idea of a typical UK Mexican food products shelf - here is our local Waitrose...




I am impressed though that you do carry some Mole sauce and Pibil at all though. Same for the Chipotle. The name of the "Pibil" sauce in Central Mexico is "Achiote" or Annatto Seed Sauce in American English - Pibil is the name given to Annato Seed paste in the Yucatan region, normally used for the famous dish "Cochinita Pibil" basically pulled pork with Annatto seasoning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochinita_pibil

I wouldn't even look at Uncle Ben's brand. They're better known for making Southern American style rice mixes. DL Jardine is impressive to see, though I don't consider that to be Mexican. That is Tex Mex, in the truest sense of the term. So I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. The impressive part is that they are from Buda Texas, which is basically South Austin! Buda is a satellite city just outside of the Austin city limits. I have never purchased that brand, since I almost never see it, and it must be a very small outfit marketed to young DELL-type hipsters here in Austin. So what in the name of Great Scott is Mr. DL Jardine doing in the UK is a mystery to me, but impressive nonetheless (you probably you have some Dell executives living nearby and they longed for their local salsa  Grin).

http://jardinefoods.com/
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 06:19:55 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #549 on: November 04, 2017, 06:34:50 am »

Wow. No posts since last April. Apparently Steampunks have fasted for one whole year!

Well, no matter. Today I repeat my Easter tradition with Asparagus, Palm Hearts, and Boiled Eggs with Mayonnaise and Paprika. The asparagus spears symbolise Rome, the hearts of palm symbolise Judea, and the egg symbolises re-birth.
Cut the hearts of palm in one inch pieces and stand them up vertically on each plate. Arrange several spears of asparagus next to the heart of palm cylinders and place a generous dollop of mayonnaise in the center of the plate.  Don't be shy with the amount.  Cut the hard boiled eggs in halves lengthwise an place with flat side up over the mayonnaise.  Sprinkle with paprika or red chile powder.  The egg symbolizes re-birth or renewal.

I never knew but wonder if that was why mom always made          (on Christmas) a big platter of hard boiled eggs with paprika and another cut glass plate held olives, gherkins, but instead of asparagus she put celery bits with cheese spread in them and mini pearl onions. I need to do this years holiday meals according to how MY mom did it. Been a long time since we have.... off to search recipe books!


Indeed. The egg is a universal symbol for birth. In the case of Christmas the birth of Jesus. In the case of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus.
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