If you were to ask me what cooking tool I could not live without, I would tell you it’s my Mexican-style lime squeezer.
Limes are one of the most iconic ingredients of Mexican cooking. Not lemons. Limes! To me, limes have a much more concentrated citrus punch, and I like the fresh juice. I have a deep disregard for pre-squeezed lime juice bottles sold at the stores; they taste like airplane food.
What’s complicated about squeezing a fresh lime? Nothing much really. But when you use as many as I do, this squeezer is a delight: gets as much juice as the lime has in a snap, feels heavy and powerful in your hand, and it is easy to maintain and keep clean.
My lime squeezer is as common as common gets. You can find one easily in just about any Mexican kitchen. It is made of cast aluminum, which resists corrosion from the acidic juices. It is super simple to use: open it up, place a halved lime cut side down and just squeeze the juice wherever you want it to go, directly over food or into a bowl or measuring cup. Close and squeeze the long handles that give you leverage to extract all the juice and that’s that. Since it is so big, it works with lemons too… (continue for more information and photos)
Continue reading Lime Squeezer or Exprimidor de Limón
“Pati Jinich, author of Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking…wants you to know that Mexican cuisine is not ‘taco salads, nachos slathered with cheese, or overstuffed burritos.’ It’s not heavy or fried. Often, it’s not even that spicy.
As she writes in the introduction to her passionate new cookbook: ‘Show up in my kitchen any day of the year, and you’ll find soft corn tortillas, refried beans, at least two different salsas, the fresh Mexican cheese called queso fresco, ripe avocados and fresh fruit.’
Free Press reporter Bartley Kives recently wrote about new local restaurants that have allowed Winnipeggers to buy authentic Mexican tacos — the kind made without ‘orange ground beef,’ as he says. Jinich’s cookbook allows you to make authentic tacos at home, along with dishes like enchiladas verdes, pozole rojo, and Oaxaca-style mushroom and cheese quesadillas…”
To read the entire article, click here.
I had a fun conversation with Cathy Erway on her show “Eat Your Words” for the Brooklyn-based Heritage Radio Network. We covered so much! Listen in to hear us chatting about the differences in how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the US versus Mexico, my recipes, Mexican ingredients, yummy tacos and more.
To listen, click here.
“The popularity of Mexican food is an all-time high and there’s a book (or two) for nearly every type of variation on the cuisine imaginable, whether it’s regional fare, haute cuisine or chef-driven interpretations of classic meals. But more often than not, home cooks want a volume that will help them make everyday meals taste a little better – or in the case of ‘Pati’s Mexican Table,’ a lot like the Mexican meals that immediately remind one of home and family.
‘Pati’s Mexican Table’ – the newest release by noted PBS television show host Pati Jinich – is a compilation of simple, home-style Mexican recipes. You won’t find greasy nachos or overstuffed quesadillas here; instead, Jinich focuses on the use of simple staples like soft corn tortillas, eggs, basic cuts of meat and lush produce, transforming them with fragrant spices, magical salsas and traditional Mexican cooking techniques to yield deeply flavorful, south-of-the-border-inspired meals that are right at home in any American kitchen. In short, this is home cooking for the people who really do cook at home…”
To read the entire review, click here.
NBC Latino: Cookbooks we love: “Pati’s Mexican Table”
“Pati Jinich nunca pensó que su carrera de analista política le iba a servir para el oficio que desempeña en la actualidad: ser la chef instructora del programa Pati’s Mexican Table del Instituto Cultural de México en Washington, D.C.
‘Era muy romántica, idealista, quería ayudar a México y a sus inmigrantes con ideas, artículos, ensayos’, dice Jinich, hija de padre arquitecto y joyero —que ahora es ‘restauranteur’— y de madre corredora de arte y dueña de su propia galleria…”
Para leer el artículo completo, haga clic aquí.
AARP: Pati Jinich, la intelectual de la cocina mexicana
Red, green, orange, blue… and all the colors you can dream up! Vanilla, cajeta, jamaica, chocolate, coffee, fruits, nuts… and just about any flavor you may crave. Smooth or chunky, creamy or foamy, heavy or light… choose any texture you like. Wait! We haven’t even gotten into shapes. Did you say your son likes Spiderman, your mom likes flowers or you want to go for a simple 2 layer design?
If you haven’t fallen for Jello, then you haven’t tried those in the Mexican repertoire. Forget about the 1950s-style-jello salads. Forget about the Jello you’ve seen people eat, or you may have eaten, in hospitals, too.
Mexican Jello is something to celebrate, to showcase, to boast about.
Gelatinas, in Spanish, many times come in individual servings with different flavors stacked in bright and colorful layers. Sold by street vendors who carry them in see through 2 to 3 tier covered stands, they are a common site in gas stations where cars wait for their turn and passersby can’t help but be tempted. Now you know why I always tagged along with my dad to fill up the tank!
It’s hard to show up at a kids party in Mexico and not see them. You will run into more sophisticated versions of them, standing tall, firm and proud at grown up parties, maybe with generous splashes of rum, tequila or rompope in their mix. There are simpler Jello creations brightening shelves at bakeries and grocery stores, too. In fact, Jello is such a big thing, that some cooks have elevated it to a complex art form with floral and abstract designs.
Continue reading Dream Big: Tres Leches and Strawberry Jello
Are you tired of the clumps and lumps when you make your own flavored Jello? Yes? No? What?! You don’t make your own flavored Jello? You should! It is healthier than the already flavored ones sold at the store and you can decide what ingredients go in it! It is tastier, exactly for the same reason, since you can choose your flavors, you can choose your own favorite ones.
Many cooks complain about the clumping when mixing unflavored gelatin with any liquid in order to be able to use it. Yet there is a fast and simple technique that provides a smooth and seamlessly effective gelatin base that will add volume and will help solidify any liquid that you may want to turn into Jello.
Note: You can find unflavored gelatin as easily as finding flour or sugar. It will be located in the baking section of your grocery store and is usually sold as a dry powder in packets or in a dry leaf form. I use the dry powder, which is most common. Make sure to buy “unflavored” gelatin.
Continue reading Unflavored Gelatin: How to Use
Jello molds or moldes para gelatina are as versatile as Jello desserts themselves. Plastic, metal, ceramic, stoneware, porcelain, glass and silicone are all suitable materials for molding Jello. They can vary from multiserving ring molds to individual portions in plastic cups or ramekins (even water glasses or anything you can pour a drink onto!), or in silicon shaped, like anything from pyramids to cartoon characters. It’s important to make sure your molds are heat-tolerant to avoid warping when using hot liquids.
I tend to make my Jellos in clear and simple plastic cups like the ones you’d see on street stands in Mexico. It is simple, fast and you can see through all the colors and layers of your creations without having to unmold the Jello. It is also great for kids because they can just eat the Jello right out the cup. Also, in a way, servings are pre-measured.
But if you want to be artistic with the shapes, aside from the flavors of your Jello creations, the newest molds are made of high-quality silicone and come in elaborate shapes.
See below all the choices I could gather for individual servings of Jello…
Continue reading Jello Molds or Moldes Para Gelatina
“Popular PBS cooking host Pati Jinich has just released a book to help Mexican food lovers do just that. Pati’s Mexican Table is a thoughtful book detailing fairly simple Mexican dishes that are easy to incorporate into everyday American cooking. Some of the dishes, like huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and chicken enchiladas, will be instantly recognizable and familiar. Others, like the yellow mole with masa dumplings we will make this week, will offer new tastes and textures for those who don’t regularly step outside of the taco zone…”
To read the entire review, click here.