Monday, September 13, 2010

A day off in Mexico

After misery in the form of the Jags vs. Tebow in 80,000 degree heat and some redneck 4 year old spraying me in the face with his mist fan for half the game, I decided to take today off. No yard work, no cleaning, just food. Mexican at that.

A trip to Publix had me wandering the produce isles. After some internal deliberation, I opted for a chile tasting.

1st course Arugula, pickled cucumber and red onion, roasted jalapeno salsa, pomegranate, queso fresco

2nd course Braised short rib, blue corn tamale, habanero mole, Mexican crema, sauteed chayote

3rd course Duroc pork tacos, queso fresco, braised baby back tips, serrano and roasted tomato ragu

Not all of which were successful. Blue corn tamale would have worked better off as a crepe. I found out my tortilla press is not suited for flour tortillas. Way to thick no matter how I tried. Better off sticking to what I read and using a rolling pin.
It was awesome to taste the differences of the three chilies while cooking but some of those differences got muddled in the plated dishes. Too much heat or simmering for too long and the simple act of time on fresh, bold flavors crushes their impact on the senses. Cilantro does not get better with time. Rick Bayless actually recommends rinsing raw onion before incorporating into some fresh salsas to minimize their corruption or overpowering nature.
What was successful? Pomegranate and salt and heat. Mexican crema on anything, even an old ass Birkenstock would taste fantastic. Chayote..well, the thin skinned, cucumberlike texture of the ones I got is good raw, slightly off tasting but fantastic sauteed in olive oil and salt. 3 successes I guess cause I got to try somethings new, get closer to that which so few in the broad culinary populous deem important or intriguing, and treat the one who matters above all and always most to me, to some experimentation. She's honest and ruthless and my best judge. Anyways...a successful day.
Till next time......

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