Saturday, February 23, 2008

Valentines Day and the discovery of old mistakes

For valentine's day last week, my sweetie gave me a gift to help me with The Challenge. He gave me Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, which is a combination of her first three books. According to wikipedia (the source of all knowledge), Kennedy is ... actually, it turns out Kennedy's page provides almost no information. According to Elise at Simple Recipes, she is "The grande dame of Mexican cooking." Because I was visiting him last weekend, and could therefore not cook (he lives in a dorm), I had to content myself with reading the book. (Yes, I read cookbooks. This is not the first time. I'm still slightly embarrassed by it though.)

I have not yet finished it, but it did bring to light why my enchiladas were so terrible. Apparently, you are supposed to lightly fry the tortillas before rolling them, so that the dish is moist. It is not enough to pour the sauce over the dish. That will not make them moist enough. It is also not essential to bake them. And, good tortillas should be used (though I did not need the book to tell me this). My tortillas were not good. A rolling pin does not seem to be an acceptable method to form corn tortilla's by any standard that I can find. They should be formed either by "patting" by hand (33 pats is the perfect number, according to Kennedy) or by using a tortilla press. But the lesson learned is that I am not yet comfortable enough in Mexican cuisine to be able to fly by the seat of my pants, so I will have to follow recipes for a while.

I had hoped to cook at least once this week, but it was an exhausting week at work, I never made it home before 8:30pm, and I don't want to start cooking at that time. So no new food posts for now. But, a list of things to anticipate:

Beans (I have them, I just need to make them)
Bolillos (bean sandwiches, an obvious use of the previous ingredient)
Tortilla Ball soup (kind of like matzo ball soup, and a way to use the remaining tortilla's from recipe #1)

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