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My house smells like oranges!

We have a sour orange tree. Every year I make Orange Marmalade. This year I am making candied citrus peel. Gosh our house sure smells good! I used 10 pounds of sour oranges, froze the juice in ice cube trays for later in the year when I don’t have any oranges. It’s really good in iced tea and essential to making the pickled onions Yucatecos put on cochinita and salbutes. I also marinate meat in it. You can substitute it for vinegar in salad dressing too. Best of all for me, it’s free!

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Day 10 of 28 days of Vegetarian Food

This has been an interesting experience. I have learned several things; I cannot rely on just my memory for things like past menus Typing recipes is not my thing I need to plan our meals in advance and not wait until I am ravished by hunger to cook On my last report I ended with Wednesday.Thursday,we ate out, we ran around doing errands of some sort and by 1:30 I was hungry. Since I realized this while we were passing Platos Rotos new sign that said Comida Chilango, we ate there. In case you don’t know, Yucatecos call people from Mexico City, chilangos. The old sign used to say comida Mexicana, which I understood to mean food from Mexico not Yucatan, but maybe this new one is clearer( or more tongue in cheek)? I had nopales rellenos and Husband had calabasitas rellenos. Mine was a cactus paddle split and filled with a slice of panela cheese, breaded and fried. Husbands ...

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Garam Masala

Garam masala is a seasoning blend used in Indian cooking. I have seen many different recipes for it. I have always been able to buy it already premixed until I moved here. so here are three very similar recipes. The first one yields 3 tablespoons the second one, a huge quantity like 24 ounces and the last is somewhere between the other two Garam Masala #1 1 tablespoon cardamon seeds1 inch stick of cinnamon1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds1 teaspoon whole cloves1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns1/3 of a whole nutmeg Combine the spices in a blender or coffee/spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Garam Masala #2 8 oz coriander seeds2 oz cinnamon4 oz peppercorns1 teaspoon ground nutmeg4 oz cumin seeds2 oz cloves4 oz large cardamon Roast the coriander and cumin seeds separately. Peel the cardamons. Grind all the spices and store in an airtight container. Garam Masala #3 2 tablespoons cumin seeds8 cloves2 tablespoons cardamon seeds1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds5 ...

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Enchilada sauce

Enchilada Sauce 4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled 4 medium dried chiles guajillo, stemmed, seeds and deveined 6 medium dried chiles anchos , stemmed, seeds and deveined 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 cups any poultry broth (plus extra if needed) 1 teaspoon salt Sugar, a big pinch if needed Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat, lay the garlic on one side to roast. Tear the chiles into flat pieces and a few at a time, press them against the hot surface with metal spatula, flip them over and press again., you’ll hear them crackle and see them blister and change colour. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, weight down with a plate to keep them submerged, and soak for at least an hour, preferably 2 or 3. Turn the garlic frequently for 15 minutes or so, until blackened a little and soft within. Remove, cool,peel and place in a blender jar. ...

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Fresh Rice Noodles

I found this video and recipe on line. Enjoy! Making Fresh Rice NoodlesMakes 1 Lb. 1 1/4 cups uncooked long-grain rice1 1/4 cups waterVegetable oil 1. Soak the rice overnight in the water. After soaking, grind the rice and water for 5 or 10 minutes in a blender to form a very smooth thin batter, (A food processor won’t work for this.) When done grinding, you should be able to feel no more than the slightest hint of solid particles if you rub the batter between your fingers. Better too smooth than not smooth enough! 2. Lightly coat an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ baking pan with oil and heat it for about 3 minutes in a steamer. Pour in 1/2 cup batter in an even layer and replace the steamer lid. Steam for 5 minutes. From this point on, check to make sure there’s water in the steamer. Add boiling water as necessary if it’s low. 3. After 5 ...

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Nopales and me

Since Jonna mentioned nopales, I did a little internet research, if you google nopales cactus+ cholesterol, you will find a whole range of articles. I’ll let you have the fun of doing that search for yourself.By an interesting coincidence, when I was a the supermarket stocking on vegetables for our TLC (total living change) I bought some cactus paddles. A nice thing about living in Mexico is that you can buy already scraped (to remove the spines) nopale paddles, already cleaned and chopped nopalitos, canned nopales, or even fresh frozen nopalitos. The nopalitos are nopale paddles that have been diced.I had heard from several people that they are really tasty grilled. I already had planned to grill eggplant and zucchini,so why not?I’ve had them boiled (to remove the “slime”) and they were okay,I had heard that they were nutritious so I was interesting in finding a way to prepare them that we would enjoy.Somehow,after I put them away in the ...

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Please pass the ear.

The other day, Husband and I met some friends at Las Ruinas which is a bar familar within walking distance of our house. When we arrived the table was stacked with all sorts of little dishes of food. Botanas or snacks. As long as you are drinking, the food keeps coming. The variety is amazing, there was pig’s ear in adobo, chunks of liver, bulgar wheat, calabasa (a small green pumpkin similar to the a patty pan) in tomato sauce, elbow macaroni in tomato sauce, guacamole, ceviche, thick corn chips, ceviche and I don’t remember what else. The elbow macaroni which was cooked in the sauce,sopa seca style was tasteless, the rest of the food was good. The pig’s ear was spicy, and chewy, I tasted it, decided it was too picante, and then found myself eating more. Spicy food is like that, I think chiles are addicting. The guacamole was excellant and the liver was pretty good too. I ...

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Plantanos Machos baked with rum and sugar

6 large plátanos machos (plantains) as ripe as possible1/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces1/2 cup rum1/3 cup sherry (jerez)1/3 cup piloncillo*1/4 teaspoon saltground nutmeg (nuece mascada) and ground cinnamon (canela) to taste, Slice the machos into chunks, I like to roll cut them. Put machos in a single row into an ovenproof baking dish. Pour the sherry and rum over the machos. Evenly distribute the butter and piloncillo over the machos Sprinkle the salt,nutmeg and cinnamon over the machos. bake covered in a preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes Uncover,stir the machos and bake an additional 30 minutes until brown and soft. Serve warm Notes:I buy the granulated piloncillo in bags at Walmart and Comercial Mexicana, if you can’t find it, you will need to grate the piloncillo. You can also substitute a 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar.Here is a video I found on how to roll cut.

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Tomato paste update

I just got an email telling me that tomato paste is available at WalMart and Superama. It’s even in a tube, which I think is the perfect way to keep it. So next time I go to either of those stores, guess what I am buying?It’s amazing what tiny things can make your day when you are an ex-pat.My readers are so great! I am doing the snoopy dance of joy.

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