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Jaymes

Mexican Cooking Project #2

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Do achiote seeds do anything more than add colour?

if they give any flavour at all it's minimal. i think balic made this point months ago. they do give the pork a wonderful color though.

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I still have my poblanos in the fridge untouched :(

but on the positive note i will be marinating pork tonight for a cochinita tomorrow.

i have seville oranges, banana leaves, i just need to get some achiote seeds and i'm set.

 

Will be using the recipe from Mexico the Beautiful Cookbook. (it calls for pig's ears and cheeks in addition to pork meat)

 

Need to use those poblanos for some side dish but with crema it sounds like an overkill. The book suggests onion salsa - red onions marinated in orange and lime juices with hefty amount of habaneros. Will probably make those if i have time (require 4 hours before serving).

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Here's DK's version of the Yucatecan Pickled Onions...

1/4 C mild vinegar...

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

 

Since this recipe calls for matinating onions overnight in vinegar, i guess i should be fine with marinating them in lime/orange juice for the same time as well.

What might be the acidity of 1 lime part/4 orange part juice combination?

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Jaymes, I've only been on Mouthfuls about a week, and I think your cooking project was a brilliant idea. Kind of an interactive variation to normal food board posting. I guess you could call it a Mexican cooking support group.

 

I've got my pork marinating, my onions marinating and the banana leaves thawing and will probably start cooking in the next hour or so. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this recipe turns out, sharing my results with the group and then hearing how everyone elses turned out as well.

 

Thanks for getting this project started :(

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do any of these recipes call for toasting the banana leaves over a flame for 10 sec. or so? i remeber doing that for something at some time.

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The Diane Kennedy recipe, which I am otherwise following, calls for toasting the banana leaves. I've taken the lazy way out and have wrapped my spice-rubbed pork loin in aluminum foil.

 

I'm going to use the onion garnish that Jaymes posted calling for the intriguing bay leaf tea. It takes only two hours, so I can do it tomorrow -- serving day.

 

I've always been reluctant to tackle Mexican cooking, since I have no frame of reference. In this thread, all I have to do is cook, since all the experienced people have done the heavy lifting. The rajas were a revelation.

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It isn't so much toasting as it is a softening process and I think it works way better with fresh leaves than the frozen ones. Running the banana leaves over an open flame for a few seconds softens the leaf up and makes it more pliable, flexible and a little less likely to tear. (Tamales made with softened banana leaf and a little mole amarillo for filling are really tasty :( )

 

A softened banana leave is easier to use in wrapping things up as I discovered this morning. I had problems with my thawed leaves. They seemed to be awfully brittle, even after being thawed. Not having gas burners, I did the next best thing and lit a bunch of candles, let them get good and hot and used them instead. Not completely effective, but serviceable. Ultimately, it helped me get my packet of meat wrapped up. Not as tightly as I would have liked, but it should work well enough to keep enough of the moisture in.

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Where can one obtain Seville oranges in Manhattan?

It so happens I just saw them at Garden of Eden, 14th St. I never before realized how rippled their skin is.

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Good question Robert. As far as i see no consensus - some folks are planing to use Bayless recipe which calls for cooking the boston butt whole.

The recipe i'n using on the other hand calls for meat cut into 2 inch chunks. Same overnight marinating, one hours less cooking.

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I'm using a whole, boneless pork loin, to be shredded after cooking for the Diana Kennedy recipe (which calls for a loin with bones, but that isn't what I found today and I didn't feel like running around looking for it.

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My guess both DK and Bayless call for the whole cut as it's shredded before serving. In Beautifull Cookbook there is no shredding but also no hint how to serve pig ears. I halved them before marinating.

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On the cochinita, what is the consensus for the cut of pork? Butt, loin, what? And what is the consensus on cooking: whole and shred after, or cook in precut chunks?

Aida Gabilondo, in Mexican Family Cooking (the recipes I gave earlier) suggests a mixture of cuts. Some pork shoulder/butt, some short ribs. I think that's what I'll do.

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