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Exploring a Cookbook: "Authentic Mexican", Bayless

Exploring a Cookbook: "Authentic Mexican", Bayless
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  • Exploring a Cookbook: "Authentic Mexican", Bayless

    Post #1 - January 21st, 2006, 5:49 pm
    Post #1 - January 21st, 2006, 5:49 pm Post #1 - January 21st, 2006, 5:49 pm
    I have never been particularly good at following a recipe. I'm more of a kitchen improviser, reading up on a general idea of what I want to cook, and then just going with the flow. This trait has always been at odds with my small (but growing) cookbook collection. There are cookbooks that I have that have sat unopened for years because they just didn't lend themselves to a "kitchen improv" style.

    This year I have resolved to make better use of my cookbooks, explore some more recipes, and generally work on being a better cook. So, I'm devoting this thread to exploring recipes in Rick and Deanne Bayless' "Authentic Mexican". I'm going to cook recipes from this book from time to time, and post my thoughts about them here. I hope those of you who have experiences with this book or similar recipes from elsewhere to join this discussion. If this works, I hope to start other threads about other cookbooks, and I hope some of you will also.

    Best,
    Michael
    Last edited by eatchicago on January 21st, 2006, 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - January 21st, 2006, 5:49 pm
    Post #2 - January 21st, 2006, 5:49 pm Post #2 - January 21st, 2006, 5:49 pm
    Tinga Poblana
    Page 248 in my edition

    I decided to start easy with this cookbook, choosing a recipe that didn't require any hard-to-find ingredients, special day-ahead preparations, or extended cooking times. Tinga poblana is a hearty quick-cooking pork and potato stew. It gets most of its flavor from chipotles en adobo, dried herbs, and chorizo sausage. The recipe published is based on the version served at Puebla's Fonda Santa Clara restaurant.

    Overall, I was pleased with the balance of spices in this recipe (at first). It was warm and flavorful and merged well with fresh garnishes of white onion, queso fresco, and avocado. It was slightly drier than I would have liked, but I think that's more of a personal preference which is easily corrected.

    The notes for this recipe said that the final product "improves with age". Unless I did something wrong, I disagree. I found that when I re-warmed it for lunch the next day, the chorizo flavor had completely dominated everything else. It was tasty, but lacked the spicy edge and flavor balance from the night before. Perhaps this has something to do with the house-made chorizo at Tony's market on Elston, or perhaps I should have just used less. The next time I make this, I will likely dial back the chorizo and the potatoes and slightly increase the chipotles, adobo, broth, and tomatoes.

    The tinga went very well with an inexpensive bottle of rioja, a green salad, and some warm corn tortillas. (I know that tinga is more commonly served on a torta or a tostada).

    Image

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #3 - January 21st, 2006, 5:55 pm
    Post #3 - January 21st, 2006, 5:55 pm Post #3 - January 21st, 2006, 5:55 pm
    looks good, Michael !
  • Post #4 - January 23rd, 2006, 1:00 am
    Post #4 - January 23rd, 2006, 1:00 am Post #4 - January 23rd, 2006, 1:00 am
    eatchicago wrote:I hope those of you who have experiences with this book or similar recipes from elsewhere to join this discussion. If this works, I hope to start other threads about other cookbooks, and I hope some of you will also.

    Michael,

    Excellent idea, I have a couple of cookbooks I've been thinking of working through, Zuni Cafe, Judy Rodgers and Charcuterie, Michael Ruhlman/Brian Polcyn, to name but two.

    Tinga Poblana looks delicious.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - January 23rd, 2006, 10:28 am
    Post #5 - January 23rd, 2006, 10:28 am Post #5 - January 23rd, 2006, 10:28 am
    One of his cookbooks has a recipe for birria where you seal a pot with masa dough (you can use lamb or goat--I used lamb and it was AMAZING). I can't remember which cookbook and I'm at work right now so I can't check.
  • Post #6 - February 12th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Post #6 - February 12th, 2006, 10:02 am Post #6 - February 12th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Carne con Chile Colorado
    page 250

    The introduction to this recipe highlights its ubiquity in Northern Mexican
    cuisine. This is a simpler pre-cursor to Texas-style chili: A basic pork stew in a mild chile sauce, rounded out by garlic and dried herbs.

    The key ingredient here is, of course, the chiles. Bayless called for dried chiles de la tierra or "New Mexico/California" chiles. I have only seen them sold in the Chicago market as chiles california. Specifically, these are dried anaheim chiles. They have only a slight heat to them, bringing up the rear of the Scoville scale.* Beyond the mildness, they are pungent and aromatic when toasted; sweet and earthy.

    The completed dish is rich and comforting, very enjoyable on a cold winter night. The tender cubes of pork mainly serve to give some texture and weight to the chile sauce, which could almost stand alone as a soup. Soaking warm flour tortillas in the sauce was the highlight of the meal.

    In the final analysis, I think I'll be making carne con chile colorado about as often as I make Texas-style chili, which is rarely. While it is rich and comforting, it is a one-note dish. While this note rings clear and loud (CHILE SAUCE!), I have a hard time getting myself too excited about its mild simplicity. After the dishes were cleaned, I considered this a training recipe, to help me learn about making Mexican sauces so I am better prepared the construction of some of the more complex sauces in this book.**

    Carne con Chile Colorado
    Image

    I served this dish with arroz a la poblana (p. 264), a simple rice pilaf with onion, roasted poblanos, and sweet corn***. This is a nice pilaf with contrasting textures and sweet/smoky flavors. I will definitely be making this again. I think any home cook should have a few pilafs in his/her repertoire, and I'm glad I added this one to mine.

    Best,
    Michael

    *A little research told me that anaheims can range anywhere from 100 to 10,000 Scoville units (a very wide range). California-grown anaheims are usually on the milder end.

    **I have learned that my kitchen lacks a medium-meshed sieve.

    ***I have found that Trader Joe's carries a pretty good frozen sweet corn for your off-season sweet corn needs.


    Another thread about cooking this dish, from Antonius:
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=64106
    Last edited by eatchicago on February 14th, 2006, 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #7 - February 12th, 2006, 12:13 pm
    Post #7 - February 12th, 2006, 12:13 pm Post #7 - February 12th, 2006, 12:13 pm
    eatchicago wrote:The completed dish is rich and comforting, very enjoyable on a cold winter night. The tender cubes of pork mainly serve to give some texture and weight to the chile sauce, which could almost stand alone as a soup. Soaking warm flour tortillas in the sauce was the highlight of the meal.


    EC,

    In my travels through the world of mole, it's clear that the sauce is really the main interest -- the meat, usually chicken, is just a substrate. I had mole coloradito at Topolobampo last weekend, and found (as usual) that the lamb was lost in it, and that the flavor of the sauce was so much more clean and satisfying on a simple tortilla.

    I notice the stem of a wine wine glass in your excellent photo -- what did you drink with your chili?

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - February 12th, 2006, 12:46 pm
    Post #8 - February 12th, 2006, 12:46 pm Post #8 - February 12th, 2006, 12:46 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I notice the stem of a wine wine glass in your excellent photo -- what did you drink with your chili?


    In this case, we drank the only bottle of wine in the house that I thought would work. (There is very little wine in the house at the moment). It was a Dr. Beckermann Liebfraumilch (Trader Joe's, about 4 bucks). It's simple, bright, and sweet. It managed well enough, holding up to the chili.

    Beer would have been better, but I didn't plan ahead well enough.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #9 - February 15th, 2006, 4:50 pm
    Post #9 - February 15th, 2006, 4:50 pm Post #9 - February 15th, 2006, 4:50 pm
    Escabeche de Cebolla
    page 50

    Traditional pickled red onions, prepared as a garnish for a planned three-course, "Authentic Mexican" dinner this weekend.

    Red onions, water, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin. Easy. Delicious.

    Image

    Tune in late this weekend for the dish that these onions will accompany.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #10 - February 15th, 2006, 6:46 pm
    Post #10 - February 15th, 2006, 6:46 pm Post #10 - February 15th, 2006, 6:46 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Escabeche de Cebolla

    Michael,

    You've encouraged me to get out my Bayless and page through the recipe. Just looked up Escabeche de Cebolla on page 50 and, since your picture looks so delicious, think I'll make a batch just to have around. In the book Bayless says his wife likes to have them on hand for sandwiches and snacks.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - February 15th, 2006, 7:49 pm
    Post #11 - February 15th, 2006, 7:49 pm Post #11 - February 15th, 2006, 7:49 pm
    G Wiv wrote:You've encouraged me to get out my Bayless and page through the recipe. Just looked up Escabeche de Cebolla on page 50 and, since your picture looks so delicious, think I'll make a batch just to have around. In the book Bayless says his wife likes to have them on hand for sandwiches and snacks.


    That's exactly why I made nearly a half-gallon when I only really needed about a cup or two. ;) I think I'll put some on my turkey sandwich that I take to work tomorrow.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #12 - February 15th, 2006, 9:36 pm
    Post #12 - February 15th, 2006, 9:36 pm Post #12 - February 15th, 2006, 9:36 pm
    Michael,
    I don't need yet another cookbook - but this fabulous thread you started and continue is breaking me down.
    When I do pick up the book, if the dishes turn out half as tasty as your pictures are arresting, it'll be worth it.

    I look forward to your upcoming posts.
  • Post #13 - February 15th, 2006, 9:47 pm
    Post #13 - February 15th, 2006, 9:47 pm Post #13 - February 15th, 2006, 9:47 pm
    sazerac wrote:I don't need yet another cookbook - but this fabulous thread you started and continue is breaking me down.
    When I do pick up the book, if the dishes turn out half as tasty as your pictures are arresting, it'll be worth it.

    I look forward to your upcoming posts.


    Thank you for your kind words. To be honest, I didn't know how well this thread would be recieved since so many people here are excellent and accomplished cooks. My initial motivation with this thread was to create a factor that would help motivate me to actually use some of the cookbooks I own.

    Now that it has started, I'm quite enjoying the experiment and I hope others will start new "Exploring a Cookbook" threads, or contribute to this thread if they have the same book. I think I've got about 6 to 10 more recipies in this book before I'm ready to move on to something else.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #14 - February 16th, 2006, 7:19 am
    Post #14 - February 16th, 2006, 7:19 am Post #14 - February 16th, 2006, 7:19 am
    I think this is a great idea, because it forces you out of your comfort zone with your usual dishes. That said, I own a Bayless cookbook and a Diana Kennedy one and yet somehow I never quite get to making anything Mexican out of them. I think it's knowing I could have that kind of food locally (even if that's only half true; I'm sure there's a lot of Mexican cuisine in them not represented in local restaurants) that sort of kills the impulse. Maybe for me it will be the Spanish cookbook I just cooked from, because you can't get that here, at least not more than a fairly small handful of tapas dishes (which I enjoy, but recognize represent the tip of the Spanish iceberg). Until that really great Spanish restaurant opens in Chicago, it's up to me....
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #15 - February 16th, 2006, 8:13 am
    Post #15 - February 16th, 2006, 8:13 am Post #15 - February 16th, 2006, 8:13 am
    Mike G wrote:I think it's knowing I could have that kind of food locally (even if that's only half true; I'm sure there's a lot of Mexican cuisine in them not represented in local restaurants) that sort of kills the impulse...


    Good point. For me, part of the reason I wanted to explore a bit of authentic mexican cooking is because there's so much of it found locally. I'm hoping the process of developing things like sauces, marinades, etc. will give me a better appreciation for the cooking of other people. Also, it provides me an impetus to undertake a deeper exploration of the Mexican markets around me. Before making carne con chile colorado, I could not have explained the difference between a chile guajillo and a chile california.

    I'd love to see a thread "Exploring a Cookbook: The New Spanish Table". I'd also love to see a thread where multiple people are exploring the same cookbook, almost like a virtual cooking club.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #16 - February 16th, 2006, 8:56 am
    Post #16 - February 16th, 2006, 8:56 am Post #16 - February 16th, 2006, 8:56 am
    I'm very fond of this book myself, there are several recipes I make regularly, including seared Oaxacan cheese (an outstanding light dinner).

    Recently I made the plaintain turnovers and the "essential" tomatillo salsa to go with them for a party. Nice.

    In general the book's strength is in how to build a dish from a sauce and/or salsa, and the variations he gives helps a lot to understand the cuisine and the way the food works.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #17 - February 16th, 2006, 9:01 am
    Post #17 - February 16th, 2006, 9:01 am Post #17 - February 16th, 2006, 9:01 am
    Michael
    I am not an onion lover but my husband is. I saw the jar of pickled onions and happen to have a very very large onion received in a lox box Sunday and think he would enjoy pickled onions since he likes other pickled foods. Could you post the ingredients or recipe. Thanks
    Paulette
  • Post #18 - February 16th, 2006, 10:52 am
    Post #18 - February 16th, 2006, 10:52 am Post #18 - February 16th, 2006, 10:52 am
    eatchicago wrote:I'd love to see a thread "Exploring a Cookbook: The New Spanish Table". I'd also love to see a thread where multiple people are exploring the same cookbook, almost like a virtual cooking club.l


    I think this is a great idea. I don't own the Bayless book or the New Spanish Table (posts here have definitely piqued my interest, though).

    Or -- as I think has already started -- I'd also like to see different takes on the same dish.

    Great thread. Thanks for starting it.

    Zee
  • Post #19 - February 16th, 2006, 10:57 am
    Post #19 - February 16th, 2006, 10:57 am Post #19 - February 16th, 2006, 10:57 am
    I've cooked a slew of recipes from this book and have found them all to be successful with one caveat-most work better when sauteeing in homemade lard rather than vegetable oil. An example is the tortilla soup. The first time I made that I used vegetable oil and found the taste bland. Didn't taste like the soup I had at Frontera. Next time I used homemade lard rendered from pork fat I bought at Paulina market. Oh my, what a difference! And of course I used homemade stock. Tasted just like the restaurant version.

    As an aside, I've been experimenting with store bought broths. My test is to boil them down to see if they turn into a glaze, which means it's made with real chickens. I tried Swansons and a few others and nothing. The only one that worked was Emeril's, however the glaze was pretty salty. I thought the stock tasted pretty good and used it to make the tortilla soup. The soup tasted great and I believe I would recommend the Emeril's as a good substitute. Taste before adding extra salt. I'll certainly experiment with some other recipes.

    Getting back to Frontera, I also just made the crepas con cajeta, which is a killer dessert. Try it.
  • Post #20 - February 17th, 2006, 8:23 am
    Post #20 - February 17th, 2006, 8:23 am Post #20 - February 17th, 2006, 8:23 am
    Last night as I was preparing some recado rojo (achiote paste) for one of this weekend's recipes, I realized one of the things that I really enjoy about this cookbook: the sidebars.

    Each recipe has sidebar notations about:

    --Timing and advance preparation
    --Ingredient notes, including possible substitutions
    --Alternatives to techniques or possible additions to the recipe

    These sidebars make each recipe very comprehensive and usable. Too many times, I've seen ethnic cookbooks where they refer to ingredients that are unfamiliar (often due to the same item having multiple names), or situations where you have no idea how far in advance you can (or should) prepare certain portions of the recipe.

    "Authentic Mexican" is nothing if not "usable".

    paulette wrote:Could you post the ingredients or recipe. Thanks
    Paulette


    Paulette,
    Since it would be a copyright infringement to post the exact recipe here, I'll tell you that besides red onion and water (to cover), the brine contains cider vinegar, mexican oregano, cumin, garlic, black pepper, salt, and garlic. Email or PM me for more info.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #21 - February 17th, 2006, 8:46 am
    Post #21 - February 17th, 2006, 8:46 am Post #21 - February 17th, 2006, 8:46 am
    eatchicago wrote:I realized one of the things that I really enjoy about this cookbook: the sidebars.

    Michael,

    Interesting observation, and I agree, the sidebars are one of the more enjoyable aspects of Bayless's Authentic Mexican. For example, one of my favorite recipes from the book, Charcoal-Grilled Chicken, Sinaloa-Style, has a "Contemporary Idea" sidebar which suggests Cornish Game Hen. I may, or may not, have, thought of this substitution myself, but it works extremely well.

    Yesterday at the Jamaica Gates Evanston lunch, Ronnie-Suburban and I were talking about Ruhlman's Charcuterie and he observed that the book was a virtually sidebar free zone. He and I both like, and have cooked quite a bit from, Hot Links and Country Flavors by Bruce Aidells, another excellent sausage book, which does have sidebars, though not to the same degree as Authentic Mexican.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - February 17th, 2006, 9:01 am
    Post #22 - February 17th, 2006, 9:01 am Post #22 - February 17th, 2006, 9:01 am
    My bad -- the Bayless book I most frequently cook from is "Mexican Kitchen" and I don't own "Authentic."

    My mother does have a copy, and I remember making a wonderful potato salad with smoked whitefish -- don't knock it till you try it.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #23 - February 19th, 2006, 11:04 am
    Post #23 - February 19th, 2006, 11:04 am Post #23 - February 19th, 2006, 11:04 am
    After getting through a few recipes in this book, I decided that it was time to make an attempt on a larger scale. The challenge would be a three-course meal for six people (plus hors d' oeuvre).

    To begin, chips and guacamole. There is a recipe in the book for standard guacamole on page 44. I've made guacamole so many times that I could do it blindfolded, so I just looked over Bayless' recipe, didn't see any surprises, and moved forward with my usual. Supremely easy, and quite delicious.

    Image

    First Course
    Seviche de Sierra
    page 83

    The recipe calls for sierra or Spanish mackerel, alternately substituting grouper or halibut. We wound up buying some astoundingly fresh tilapia, recommended by Dirk's. The tilapia worked out fine, but I want to return to this recipe with a stronger-flavored fish. Next time, I will call in advance and reserve myself some Spanish mackerel.

    The preparation for Seviche is astoundingly easy, aside from juicing scores of tiny Mexican limes. The fish gets diced and marinated the night before, and the rest of the ingredients come together in about a half-hour. I've never prepared a seviche before, but I will again. It's a simple way to get big flavors from easy-to-find materials. Also, it's a recipe that you can spin in a hundred different directions, as we've all seen chefs around the city do.

    I wish I had a sharper picture of the seviche:

    Image

    Second Course
    Crema de Elote
    page 99

    A delicious cream of corn soup with roasted poblanos, garnished with queso fresco and chopped parsley. This recipe seems like a no brainer at first glance: get together your ingredients, blend, add milk and cream, simmer. After sitting down at eating it, you realize what separates the chefs from the hacks: texture and thickness. My guests seemed to really enjoy the flavor of the soup, but I was put off by a gritty textured and overly-thick soup. What seemed like the right consistency over the stove quickly thickened up in the bowl. The grittiness would have been solved with a proper sieve and a looser consistency.
    Next time I serve a cream soup, I'll make it slightly thinner than I think it needs and I'll serve it in warm bowls.

    In spite of my criticism, it is a nice, hearty soup with sweet and smoky flavors. Roasted poblanos really make it shine.

    Image

    Third Course
    Pollo Pibil
    page 233

    Chicken marinated in recado rojo (achiote paste) and bitter orange juice, steamed in banana leaves with onions and chiles, served with pickled onions.

    This recipe required the most advance preparation of any recipe I've tried in this book. I made the onions on Wednesday, the achiote paste and mock-bitter OJ (p 340) on Thursday, and everything went into the marinade on Friday. Saturday afternoon I prepared all the packages for steaming, which I could take care of closer to dinner time.

    Image

    Bayless makes the package construction sound simple, but there's one major issue that I had. After thawing the banana leaves, I found that nearly every piece was split at the point it was folded. This didn't provide for a very water-tight package. So, I had to double-wrap some of them, which did not affect cooking time at all. My steamer was only large enough to manage two packages at a time, so the finished ones stayed warm in a low oven.

    When I put the packages together, I did not have high hopes for the result. The marinade seemed agressively flavored and I wasn't confident about the presentation. Also, I don't like making things that I can't taste or check on throughout the process. This was a leap of faith.

    The leap landed well, at least for those who were straight out of the steamer. The chicken that was held over in the oven was overly dry. In spite of that, they presented themselves very well, and the banana leaves added a new dimension to the flavor that I didn't account for when I originally tasted the marinade.

    The recipe called for chiles xcatiques, which I could not find. So, I used the recommended substitute of a Hungarian wax pepper (which seem to be ubiquitous in Mexican markets. These peppers added a nice heat dimension to the dish, but I don't like the consistency of steamed pepper strips.

    The dish worked out nicely. Everyone was impressed with the banana leaf presentation, and I enjoyed the earthy-flavored chunks of chicken with a corn tortilla and some pickled onions.

    Image

    Dessert

    petit pois whipped up two outstanding desserts which outshone any of my three courses. First, Ghiardelli chocolate truffles, both plain and flavored with chile de arbol. The arbol truffles were deceptively chocolately at first, followed by a hit of red, hot chile. Excellent. There are quite a few remaining. First come, first served!

    Image
    (The toothpick indicated that this was the plate of the hot ones).

    Her second dessert was a pineapple-mango upside-down cake from "The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook" (an excellent cookbook, if only for it's aggressive use of photography). This cake was sweet, fruity, buttery and soft. It went well with a cup of coffee and some ice cream (although some whipped cream might be better). Amazingly, it looked exactly like the food-styled photo in the book.

    Image

    Overall, I was more impressed with the fact that I could pull off a three-course dinner for six than with the food that I made. I think in the frenzy to orchestrate the evening, I let some things slip that would have made the dishes even better. It is nice to have made a few things that I've never attempted before like seviche and achiote paste. But I'm not cooking another recipe in this book until I buy a couple new sieves of various size.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #24 - February 19th, 2006, 8:03 pm
    Post #24 - February 19th, 2006, 8:03 pm Post #24 - February 19th, 2006, 8:03 pm
    Don Miguel y Doña Jill,

    What a beautiful meal, from start to finish. I'll likely write in with a question or two later on but in the meanwhile, I just wanted to applaud.

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #25 - February 19th, 2006, 9:12 pm
    Post #25 - February 19th, 2006, 9:12 pm Post #25 - February 19th, 2006, 9:12 pm
    EC and PP,

    Really appreciate your sharing your dinner with us -- looks magnificent.

    Seems like I've hardly cooked anything since the holidays, so it's excellent to cook vicariously through you, Antonius and others.

    Interesting point about the banana leaves -- I wonder if you soaked them a little before unfolding them if they'd split as readily.

    Pickled onions came from where?

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #26 - February 19th, 2006, 9:18 pm
    Post #26 - February 19th, 2006, 9:18 pm Post #26 - February 19th, 2006, 9:18 pm
    David and Antonius,

    Thank you for the kind words. It was a big effort :)

    David Hammond wrote:Interesting point about the banana leaves -- I wonder if you soaked them a little before unfolding them if they'd split as readily.


    They were pretty much split without me touching them. The act of preparing them after defrosting involves heating gently over the stove rather than soaking. Gentle heat or steam makes them soft and pliable. This prevented further splits in the leaves.

    David Hammond wrote:Pickled onions came from where?


    Scroll up. ;)

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #27 - February 19th, 2006, 9:26 pm
    Post #27 - February 19th, 2006, 9:26 pm Post #27 - February 19th, 2006, 9:26 pm
    EC,

    Ahhh, I missed your comment about making the pickled onions; so dazzled was I by the visuals.

    I can tell this was a major effort, as you say; it's surprising how much time you can spend making what seem like relatively simple dishes.

    Whenever I've made seviche, I've tended toward the milder fishes -- not sure why, but probably because "that's what the receipe said." The Wife and I really like mackerel, but some might find it kind of challenging in a seviche (i.e., "too fishy).

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #28 - February 19th, 2006, 10:37 pm
    Post #28 - February 19th, 2006, 10:37 pm Post #28 - February 19th, 2006, 10:37 pm
    EC,

    Great posts. Something you might want to consider for a future meal. Instead of steaming the pollo pibil, try smoking them gently if you have a smoker. Enough smoke penetrates the banana leaves to give a great, authentic flavor.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #29 - February 19th, 2006, 10:46 pm
    Post #29 - February 19th, 2006, 10:46 pm Post #29 - February 19th, 2006, 10:46 pm
    Bill,

    I can realiably state EC has a smoker. Under those conditions, how long do you suggest smoking?

    Michael -

    Thank you for taking us on your journey of planning and executing your meal. Many people have anxieties over planning dinner parties, these narratives show you can do it one step at a time.

    The settings and photography almost suggested you were in a restaurant rather than home, which I hope you take as a compliment.

    Next time I have something wrapped in banana leaves, I'm going to check their condition better. I think everyone here has to content with frozen banana leaves, so there might be some ideas to copy.

    Thanks again for taking us on your journey.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #30 - February 19th, 2006, 11:46 pm
    Post #30 - February 19th, 2006, 11:46 pm Post #30 - February 19th, 2006, 11:46 pm
    Thanks for sharing this meal (albeit virtually :D )

    I think the use of a stronger (and oiler) fish will stand up to the longer 'cooking' in the acid. Did you find the tilapia a bit tough after the overnight soak. Of course you must choosen the citrus and have adjusted the acidity to get the right doneness.

    Was the soup gritty because of the corn (mainly)?
    Unrelated, but as far as enjoying the flavour of roasted poblanos go, my favourite is rajas con crema. Strips of roasted poblanos, sauteed onions, hint of garlic, in cream or half&half with stringy melty cheese. I don't know if the Bayless book has the recipe.

    Truly an inspirational thread! Thanks!

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