All posts filed under: Mexican

Under Pressure ~ Pressure Cooker Mexican Chicken

  Microwave Pressure Cooker – Round 3 (ignore that.. I think we’re way past that number now.) Huh… (head scratch) I coulda sworn I did this already. But, in going through and readjusting things for the new layout, I realized I didn’t actually do any of the original cooker tests. I’m feeling a little like Brian Williams. (meh) So we’re playing catch up and  getting to those CooksEssentials Microwave Pressure Cooker Tests that  should have been up in September… Mexican Chicken Okey dokey – This round I’ve decided to adapt one of the recipes provided with the cooker. I’ll give my changes beside the listed ingredients, underlined 1 – 3 Pound Chicken – In stews, roasts… well, just about anything in chicken pieces, I like to use one cut… be it all thighs, breasts, whatever. One cut of meat will generally cook at the same time, so you never worry about over or under cooking the proteins. This time, there was a sale on fresh-cut (not frozen) chicken legs at the butcher. I’ve substituted 8 …

Six, the Easy Way ~ Vegetable Tamales

Mexican Restaurants – Whether it’s the strength of the margaritas, the freshness of their chips, the scoville scale of their salsa, or just how “authentic” it all is; everyone has their own way of judging a good one. Me? I look at two things. 1). Chili Rellenos : Is it a charred poblano pepper? Does it have a light egg batter? And just exactly what have they stuffed it with? and 2). Tamales : This is a harder judging for me. Because I like them a lot of different ways. I’ve had them in banana leaves where the “dough” is a kind of yucca / masa mash. I’ve had them in Mexico where there was a little bean or olive surprise buried in the middle. There has been the random bad one where the dough was fluffy … like a biscuit – or dry as a powder keg and dense like hard tack. Suffice it to say, tamales are like that proverbial box of chocolates.. you never know what you’re going to get until you bite into it. …

10 (tamales) the hard way

I guess first and foremost I should say these aren’t what you’d call authentic tamales. I didn’t learn to mix the batter on my Hispanic Nana’s lap. There were no Mexican housekeepers bringing sacks laden with those beautiful little jewels when they came to the house. Nor, have I ever lived with anyone that made them.. I am the walking / talking embodiment of an Anglo/Saxon gene pool, and my childhood idea of a tamale came in those little glass jars stuffed with six paper-wrapped, cigar shaped cumin flavored cylinders. So, no instinctive knee jerk aptitude there. But… I worked for a time with a South American construction company. We ate a lot of tacos… and tortas… and tamales. So I know a thing or two about them. Well, I know what I like and don’t like about them. And, as it happens… I’ve eaten a lot of crappy ones, especially in Mexican restaurants. For me- the masa should be dense, cohesive, flavorful – with just the slightest pudding consistency; the filling – plentiful, meaty with a couple …

Vacations Past & Seafood Veracruz

Sometime well before The Gulf Cost of Mexico became a slightly more garish version of Panama City, you could grab a $150 flight with an ID and a promise that you were a US Citizen, bribe a taxi, and be on the beach somewhere in the vicinity of Campeche just before the sun started to set. I used pack a case of books, an industrial sized bottle of Hawaiian Tropic (back when we all got as brown as cocoa beans) and make my way there whenever I could. It’s not that there weren’t tons of things to do. I’m sure that if I were in the adventurous mood, I could have kept myself busy doing all types of exciting activities. But for me – There was the beach, there was the cold water flat, there were the waves that lapped dangerously close to my lodgings at night.. and down the beach, across 200 yards of scorching sand, was a hut that served my dinner every night –  grilled fresh fish veracruz and cervezas. Those trips were some …

Baleful Bounty – Dairy-Free Cheesy Enchiladas Verdes

You know, it’s funny how something so seemingly insignificant can set things in motion… The other day I was just window shopping the canned food aisle at the market….  really..  okay,  I was after a can of Pork and Beans,  but it was for research, you know… o–kay,  I wanted beans on toast… but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, there was a girl rifling around in the ethnic section, shoving cans around and digging to the back of the stack, when she knocked a can on the floor. I casually picked it up and looked at the label as I replaced it on the shelf. It was a can of Green Enchilada Sauce… “huh”, I thought. “Enchilada Sauce.” Then, in a split of a split second. as I passed the end cap, I remembered I had bought a package of this : the other day, thinking I could use it as a substitute for Pepper Jack on a sandwich.  (FYI) You can’t. It’s too sticky, and too much like garlicky , peppery paste – and …

OLÉ! – kinda…

Ideally, there should be a bit of a travel story depicting my drunken body staggering into some dirty backwater, iguana-crawling, cha-cha playing, peeling concrete floored cantina somewhere down in the backwoods of the Yucatan Peninsula where I first had Chilaquiles. But that would be a fib. The drunkenness, staggering and crawling are probably correct – but I have no recollection of that event, .. sir… No, I first had them a great deal closer. In fact, right across the street from my old house in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta. Not exactly South of the Border… but it was South-ish of Buckhead…a bit. Chilaquiles are, for lack of a better word, a kind of Mexican casserole. They are traditionally made with left over (and preferably stale) tortilla chips, simmered in salsa, and cooked with either eggs or left-over chicken. It’s comfort food plus – like Mexico City Chicken and Dumplings… or Jalisco Mac n Cheese… or Tijuana Tetrazzini… or. .. . you get the picture. My take on that Deep South classic is a little lighter than the traditional. Since …

Mr. Tamale?

Never really satisfied with drip coffee makers, whenever a new model, or different design came out – I bought it. Over the years I’ve bought a lot of coffee makers. I mean… currently, there are 9 sitting on the work table out in the garage, and – that’s only counting the ones that are still working. With each pot came a lifetime supply of coffee filters which I dutifully wedged into the gadget drawer with the cacophony of measuring spoons, extra lids and filters… stacks of filters. I have since switched to the coffee pot of my youth – a vacuum pot – and will probably never return to the antiquated Mr. Coffee brew pot thingy on the counter-top. So now … I have all these filters. and as I’ve never been one to throw something away that might – sometime in the distant future – be useful, I’ve kept them… in the gadget drawer… … blocking out the light. I had a hankering to make some tamales the other day and went to dig …

Love and the Lard Bucket

There used to be an old home remedy where you would massage an infants head with sweet oil (olive oil) in order to encourage the hair to grow. It doesn’t work. There is nothing in olive oil to stimulate hair growth. In fact, all you are liable to accomplish is upsetting your infant – and greasing up their head like a huge Idaho potato. Be that as it may…. My aunt came into the world kicking and screaming (like all infants)…. and bald. The kicking and screaming eventually abated – but the baldness remained. And by the age of 2, the hair still had not arrived. Clara and the other family members knitted and crocheted little sock hats for her little shiny head, but the follicles just weren’t cooperating. This distressed my mother greatly – the thought of her sister growing up – going through life bald as an egg – with a wardrobe full of knitted and crocheted caps to cover her shiny, pink dome. And when she was about six, she overheard a …