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Epazote - thank you.

 

The stuff I have is dried and doesn't smell that strongly, but it did smell like it should be cooked with rice or beans (it sort of smells like pandanas). I tasted an entire leaf and it tastes nothing like the smell, the flavour is rather strong and had a similar effect as chewing a sichuan peppercorn. I'm scared of it.

 

Thank you for the salsa recipe, it looks great and I am dying to try the tomatilla I have.

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Some observations.

 

Made tomatilla salsa, fried tomato and mulato salsa, fresh tomato salsa a'la Ron. Will make the avacado salsa tonight. All good, the tomatilla taste unlike anything else I have had, I found that that mulato were a little bitter, but could correct for this. Is this normal?

 

Carnitas - While pomegrante and chipotole is a very good combination, the end product was very similar to a Persian recipe and I wanted something more "Mexican". It occured to me that the stewing until frying method is very similar to the Indonesian method for Beef Rendang, this is a very good method for introducing rich and complex tertiary  flavours.

 

Cochinita Pibil - after four hours of cooking meat was perfectly tender without being mushy. However, using tumeric is a bad idea, after this length of time it becomes bitter. The meat is fine, but unfortunately the juices had to be chucked.

 

Epazote - decided that I hate it, but find it strangely addictive when cooked with beans. No black beans, so I used a combination of black eyed beans and these really cool bright red Italian kidney beans.

 

Chiles - not real experience with these. Bought a whole bunch of various types for a taste test. Much to my surprise there is a wide range of flavours. Especially so for the Scotch bonnets (not sure of exact ID, got them from a Middle Eastern store), hot but not insanely so after removal of seeds and placenta, very fruity can see why people mention apricots although I don't think they taste like apricots really.

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No, I boiled the tomatilla with 3 different types of green chilli until 'done'. I have never tasted these and I though that this was the best way of preserving the 'natural' flavour.

 

I cut the pork (butt) into 2 inch chunks, marinated over night with cinnamon, all spice, pomegrante molasses, six chipotle. Next day they were all put into some chicken stock with additional molasses and cooked as per instructions.

 

I think that the pomegrante molasses and chipole could be used as a basis for a great salsa, but haven't got the expertise to do this yet.

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Just to see which style you prefer, try just charing the tomatillo, chiles, green onion on the outside only over a grill or cast iron pan, and then blending with some lime juice, crushed garlic and cilantro. Take this mixture and pour into a pan with a thin layer of hot oil. "Fry" it just until it starts to thicken up.

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I shall try this next time. I was sort of keen on preserving the cool green colour of the tomatilla the first time around. I did the char-fryinging thing with a tomato salsa to compare it to a fresh salsa and obviously you get a completely different product.

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dried epazote is right up there with dried parsley in my book.

 

there is a mexican dish that they serve at christamas which consists of epazote (lots of it), eggs, and dried shrimp served in a mole sauce. wish i could remember what it is called. it was . . . interesting. when i asked the women who made it she told my wife (who was translating) that epazote is 'the weed that grows in the ditch next to the road." :D

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I shall try this next time. I was sort of keen on preserving the cool green colour of the tomatilla the first time around. I did the char-fryinging thing with a tomato salsa to compare it to a fresh salsa and obviously you get a completely different product.

It will remain a vibrant green color.

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Adam, my habitual salsa verde is a totally raw trip I learned from a Mexican cook, one of the finest cooks ever ever ever. Extremely refined cooking. I thought of her, Victoria, when you were saying you thought you didn't like Mexican food ... while still in Mexico she used to get paid for cooking in the kitchens of rich ladies for their parties.

 

Victoria's salsa verde goes like this: six or seven or eight husked tomatillos, nice bunch of cilantro, leaves and small tender stems, small clove of garlic, small amount of onion (white for preference; and she was adamant about only a small amount -- a sliver, really, because of onion's dilutional effect), several jalapenos, the more the better.

 

All this cut up as necessary -- I seed the jalapenos because I don't like the texture of the seeds -- to bung it in the blender (Mexican cooks really use their blenders) with perhaps a teaspoon or two of water if things need help getting going, and maybe a little salt and lime juice, blend utterly and completely.

 

Victoria didn't always add salt -- she would taste and see. And tomatillos are so citrusily acidic one doesn't always even need lime, neither. So taste and see.

 

I recently discovered, when they started setting fruit, that some volunteers in my veg garden, which I left because they were pretty, are tomatillo plants. I've never grown them (they're so cheap and easy to buy), but obviously my compost thinks I oughta.

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Well we ate the food and it was well recieved. The carnitas were prefered over the Cochinita Pibil. And one guest ate the leftover tomatilla raw.

 

Unfortunately, the prefered dish on the evening was the tart Tatin (pastry flavoured with tonka beans to make it Mexican :D ). Comments along the lines of "I known that you don't like making desserts, but they are always the part I enjoy the most." and "We get all sorts of unusually meals here, but I always enjoy the desserts". Bastards.

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Just had to relate a great meal I had recently at La Cabanita, in Glendale.

Two dishes were oustanding -Chuletas en Chile Pasilla are large, thick sliced pork chops simmered in a pasilla chile sauce that was wonderfully aromatic - dark green, rich, with a nice hit of heat off the back end. But the wonder was Chiles en Nogada, poblano chiles stuffed with a mixture of meat, fruit and nuts, and served in a sweet sauce made from ground pecans, a heavy lacing of cinnamon and cream. Unbelievably good, with the sauce so addictive that I kept dipping my finger in to taste it, even though I as stuffed as a chile myself halfway through the meal.

So I came home to look up a recipe for this dish and found Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate on the shelf. Her recipe uses ground steak, pomegranates, cashews, walnuts and almonds, along with candied citrons for the flavor profile. It sounds amazing, and I'm going to give it a try, but I was wondering, has anyone else ever cooked from this book? I know the Quail in Rose Petal Sauce was the big fav when this book was published.I'm curious if anyone's given these recipes a go. As to the Chiles Nogada, are there any other recipes to recommend? The chiles I had at Cabanita I think were made with ground pork, with apple, raisin, pine nuts - much different from Esquivel's. I may just make my own variation along with hers, but I'm throwing it out to suggestions.

C'mon Jaymes, I know you've got a good recipe out there somewhere. :D

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