17 March 2015


We went out to Ameca yesterday for a project we're working on.  We'd planned on staying in town a little longer, but there was an insane amount of rain yesterday, at least for March.  We usually get .7 days of measurable rain in March, and that's barely measurable rain (the average is 4 mm of rain for the month), but we've been having rain for a week and it rained for nearly 24 hours on Monday.   Sort of ruined a lot of people's long weekend.

Anyway, we slogged through town, talked to the people we went to see, didn't get stuck in any flooded streets, ate birria, and took a few photos.

13 March 2015

Mexican Pickled Vegetables

One of the things that's usually on the table when you go to a restaurant here is pickled vegetables.  Usually it's carrots and chilies, but it can include all kinds of vegetables from cauliflower to zucchini.  It lasts for several weeks in the fridge and is quick and easy to make.  It's nice to keep around for tacos, or you can put it on anything that needs some zing.

You can make a lot or a little at the time and use whatever vegetables you want.  I like carrots, onions, garlic, and various chilies.  Whatever you use, chop them up, then stir-fry them for about 10 minutes.  You can use a lot or a little oil- a lot is typical but a little is fine.  After they've fried, add some vinegar.  You don't have to cover the vegetables, but you want enough vinegar that the vegetables will simmer in it.  If that seems too vinegary for you, dilute it with a some water.  Also, add some salt, sugar, herbs (Italian seasoning is acceptable, and some bay leaves.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then cool, bottle, and store in the fridge.

12 March 2015

Helado de Chocolate Maya

This makes a rather intense, chocolatey ice cream.  The original recipe called for a custard base but that's not my thing so I did a cornstarch one.  This makes a little too much for our 1.5 quart ice cream maker, so divide it into two batches, or you can chill one quart to use the next day and use the rest the same day since it'll chill more quickly since it's a smaller amount.  Then freeze that when there are only a few people around to eat it. I didn't cut the sugar down much for this one because it needs it.

2 cups milk
1 T cornstarch
2 cups crema
3 tablespoons achoite paste
225 grams dark chocolate
1 cup sugar, or to taste
Pinch or more of cayenne
1/4 tsp allspice (or, if you have none, some cinnamon and cloves will do)
1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl.  In a medium pot combine the rest of the milk with the crema and achiote paste and combine it well (you don't have to be fanatic because you'll strain it at the then).  Heat it till it's steaming, then add the rest of the ingredients listed and stir till the chocolate is melted.  Add the cornstarch mix and simmer for a few minutes.  Cool, chill, and freeze.

11 March 2015

Helado de Frambuesa o Mango

I've been having fun experimenting with fruit sorbets rather than regular ice cream because fruit is cheap here and you don't have to cook it before so you don't have to plan ahead as much.  A lot of the recipes I've seen use too much water and sugar for me so I've just done my own thing.

For mango sorbet, puree four large mangoes.  You need to taste them all and only use mangoes with a good flavor.  One not-so-good mango can ruin the whole batch and sugar does not save them.  Then add a little water- maybe 1/2 cup- chill, and freeze in an ice cream maker.

For raspberry, I use a full liter of raspberries and puree then to a little over 2.5 cups.  Add about a cup of water and sugar to taste, chill, and freeze.  I tried removing the seeds one time but it was a hassle and a waste and I don't mind the seeds, so I leave them in.  You can also add a bit of lime juice if you like

10 March 2015

Fish with Mojo de Ajo

This is about the easiest fish recipe ever if you have mojo de ajo around.  I use a recipe from Yucatan, but there are plenty of recipes online.  Squeeze some lime juice on some fish fillets or steaks (1.5 pounds is good), sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and red pepper, then cook it till it's just cooked though.  Add 3/4 cup mojo de ajo, heat it, and serve.