Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Guera's Kitchen this weekend: 12/29/11

I say weekend because the hubs is starting this holiday weekend early! He rarely ever takes time off so this is a big treat for us. To celebrate, I am making several yummy things to eat off of for the next four days or so.

Tonight, I am soaking pinto beans to make "frijoles borrachos" tomorrow. This translates to "drunken beans". Put simply, they are pinto beans, soaked, cooked until tender, and then stewed with jalapeno, onion, and tomatoes that have been sauteed in lard. Lots of fresh cilantro makes this pot of beans extra yummy. A few cups of beer makes them drunken.

They are really good WITH beer, by the way...or after too much of it.

Go here to see a really easy, basic recipe.

Also on the cooking agenda this weekend is tamales. More tamales. I have already made about 12 dozen this season, and will probably only do another six-ten tomorrow. It all depends on how much meat I get out of my chicken. :) I am out of pork, which is my favorite meat for tamales but I had a chicken in the freezer that will make some pretty tasty tamales del pollo. I am trying to compile my tamale recipe, but its easier said than done. There is a certain element of instinct and practice that goes into preparing tamales, and I cant simply include those aspects in a written recipe.

With New Years Eve coming, I will also be making some bunuelos. If you havent eaten bunuelos before, let me be the first to tell you how sorry I am. Then let me tell you that they are too good to have never eaten before. They are the yummiest fried cinnamon and sugar coated treat next to churros. (Churros are awfully hard to beat!)Bunuelos are a traditional New Years treat, so we will not be missing out on making this recipe like we do every year. :)If you look here, you will find just one of many versions of bunuelos. This, like many "latin" recipes varies by region, so each one may be a bit different from the next. One cook might serve them simply dusted with cinnamon sugar while another might make a caramel type syrup to drizzle over them. Put simply, a dough is made, fried, and tossed in cinnamon sugar. Essentially, what you end up with is a Mexican fritter. I have only seen them rolled out flat and circular (like a flour tortilla), but the recipe above is formed into little balls before cooking. I like this idea for serving purposes. I think the kids will enjoy the bite-size appeal.

I hope your holiday weekend is a safe and happy one...and tasty too. ;)

Prospero Ano Nuevo! (Goodness I need to figure out how to type the tilde on this computer!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce = Sweet bread

Best eaten with coffee, and best if fresh. Nothing worse than cold, stale pan dulce.

I will get a recipe up later, but for now, here is a pic of some that was made for our "Las Posadas" celebration on Friday night. More on that later too.

In Guera's Kitchen today: 12/27/11

We are just about tamale'd out. I could eat them for days, but the hubs has had just about enough of them. We had a tamalada (a gathering of friends and/or family with the sole objective being cranking out tamales)this week that consisted of me, and one other person. She happens to be the 17 year old daughter of a dear friend, and just for the sake of painting a picture, she is Japanese-American. There we were, a white girl and an asian girl, making tamales. We did a pretty amazing job I might add. She also proved herself to be quite the pan dulce making prodigy. I will post pics soon.

I do have a few tamales left in the fridge, but out of fear that the husband would boycott and eat captain crunch, I need to come up with something different for tonight. I have a pound of ground beef, some beans from the other night, and plenty of other ingredients to make something tasty.

Tonight it will be a hearty soup/stew made from the ground beef, a spicy red sauce and cubed potatoes. Simply translated, "carne molida con papas".

I will make a small batch of fideo to go with the beans, and will serve it with flour tortillas because I am out of corn torts. (abbreviation for tortillas that we use in our house). I prefer to serve soups with corn tortillas, but really, the hubs wont care what we scoop it with...I just know he wont be using his spoon much. ;)

Here is the recipe for the carne molida con papas:

Cook meat over medium heat until cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, and a little chili powder. Add one can of tomato sauce, one sliced jalapeno, and about a quart of water to the pan/pot. (I will use a cast iron dutch oven). Add about four medium peeled and cubed potatoes to the mix. Season again with a bit more salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. Add one or two bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. If a thicker broth is preferred, remove the lid and continue to cook on low until it thickens to your desired consistency. Remove the bay leaves before eating.

Now onto the fideo:

What is fideo? Its an alternative starch to rice. It cooks faster, its easier to make, and its very very cheap. It is just vermicelli noodles (which are much cheaper in the mexican food aisle!), chicken stock (or water and bullion), tomato sauce, and a dash of seasoning.

Brown the bag of noodles in a bit of oil until toasty brown. Add half a can of tomato sauce, a can of chicken stock (or two cups of water and some bullion), salt, pepper, garlic, and perhpas cumin if you desire, and stir. Go easy on the cumin...its strong stuff. Too much and your food smells like B.O.! Stir, turn heat to low and cook about 8 minutes until tender and kind of creamy. Use more liquid if you want it to be more "soupy". Sometimes we eat this on the side of our main dish, and sometimes we mix it right into our soup or whole boiled pinto beans.

I will serve this meal with a simple lettuce salad tossed with diced tomato, a bit of chopped cilantro,salt and pepper, and lemon juice.

I will make a batch of iced tea with this meal, and we will be set. I will post a picture of the finished product once I actually accomplish it. :)


I'm going to do, really.

I have had a few partially successful blog ideas, but have never followed through on them. I really enjoy cooking Mexican food more than any other, so I am not sure why I started this and then pretended it didnt exist. Perhaps I will make it my New Year's Resolution this year...Share the Mexican food cooking wisdom with the world. (Or at least the world that doesnt already have it.)

So here goes: White Country Girl marries Hispanic Boy, moves to the mountains, lives a somewhat backwoods lifestyle, but manages to incorporate Mexican tradition and cuisine into daily life. White country girl then starts a blog in an effort to share her really oddball life with anyone that cares to pay attention.

It is bound to work. Surely someone will be intrigued by a homesteading, homeschooling, Catholic, traditional housewife who makes tamales and tortillas from scratch, sips abuelita chocolate while eating empanadas, and watches Extreme Couponers. The fact that she is blonde makes it even funnier. She does, however, speak spanish which comes in handy when she is the only white girl in her church parish. She raises rabbits for meat, grows a salsa garden every year, cans food, freezes leftovers, buys flour 50 pounds at a time, and celebrates most Mexican Holidays and honors popular feast days too. She teaches her kids food preservation, how to use medicinal herbs, and spanish too. She doesnt see any reason why she cant listen to Miranda Lambert while drinking a Corona. She doesnt think it is weird when she finds herself to be the only "guera" in the Mexican Market because darn it, she knows her way around, can order from the butcher in spanish, and rather enjoys that she can buy her prayer candles there too. She doesnt fit a mold, but she thinks that is boring anyway.

Thats one thing Mexican food should never be...boring.