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04 January 2009 @ 11:17 am
Adventures in Cooking  
I cooked something Mexican for dinner last night - Jo & Chris gave me a Mexican cookery book ("Mexican Kitchen" by Rick Bayless) for my birthday a year or two ago & I've still only made 2 recipes from it, partly because they all seem complicated and partly just coz it's hard to actually get the ingredients they call for. This was Smoky Shredded Pork Tacos (or rather, something Mexican that translates to something like that) - I succeeded this time in getting the amount of chilli about right for our tastes ... the recipe calls for 2-3 chipotle chillis (seeds & all) and I put in 1 thoroughly deseeded one & it was pleasantly warm. Last time I tried one chilli but with the seeds & it was almost (but not quite) inedibly hot. I suspect we're wusses compared to how it "should" be eaten, but so be it ;) That's about the 5th or 6th time I've made that recipe, time to branch out soon I think as I'm getting more comfortable with it (and the other one I've done which is similarish to cook tho pretty different tasting) - there was nearly no cursing at it yesterday, just a bit of muttering under my breath ;)

Anyone any idea what shops (if any) might sell me tomatillos? I tried most places I could think of in town a few months ago, but no joy.

And while I'm asking questions ... the book goes on about US onions & Mexican onions not being the same & how you want to use the white Mexican ones not the yellow US ones. Does anyone who's bought groceries both sides of the pond know if our normal UK onions are the white ones or not? I mean, they don't taste sweet (!?) to me and they're pretty white ... but they're just onions, y'know, I've not seen the "other" sort to compare them.

Incidentally, the end result of the cooking is worth the cursing and/or underbreath muttering! ;)
 
 
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magidmagid on January 4th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
I don't know where you can get tomatillos, but I do know that around here, they're much more likely to be seasonal items (mid to late summer), even in supermarkets (and definitely so at farmer's markets).

I've seen both white and yellow onions in markets here. The white ones have very white skins as well as pale actual onion, while the yellow ones have a light tan skin. Not sure how these line up with Mexican onions, though.
Margaretpling on January 4th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Hmm, if tomatillos are only sold seasonally in the US then I somehow think I won't find them here (maybe in London but that's a tad far for grocery shopping) - if only because I assume there's a larger market for Mexican ingredients in the US than over here.

I think from your description that our onions are "yellow" onions, so not what he was suggesting for true authenticity (not that I care per se, but it's nice to know).
kierangiant on January 4th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)
bottom of the page, here. they also do a fine line in excruciatingly hot chillies. ;)
kierangiant on January 4th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
oh, and a 'white' onion is what we call a salad onion. though you might have figured that out by yourself.
Margaretpling on January 4th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, I see. Tho the book implies that it's not quite ("... can be replaced by a large salad onion" for the ones to use raw), now that I re-read it. Not sure I'd be bothered to gather up enough salad onions to replace a single "large" white onion (of 225g, how precise).
Margaretpling on January 4th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thanks :) Bookmarked that, shall have to have a proper look & see if there's anything else I want from there too, to offset delivery costs...
susancsusanc on January 5th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I've watched Rick Bayless' "MEXICO—One Plate at a Time" cookery show from time to time. It all sounds so yummy but seems too complicated for me.

I did a google for tomatillos and found this:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/313493

"The Spice Shop off Portobello road will have tomatillos in stock throughout the year give or take a few days out of the week for re-stocking."

Hope that helps.
Margaretpling on January 5th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for looking for that - tho London is a bit far away for grocery shopping :)

Rick Bayless does seem to be all about the authenticity, which seems to make it all complicated. It does taste nice though:)
susanc: mango cakesusanc on January 5th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
Ack.. sorry, I forgot you're not in London. My bad. Hope you can find them, canned or fresh.