Un Antojito: Spicy Pickled Hard Cooked Egg

I am a dedicated snacker willing to forgo regular meals in place of endless snacks for days at a time. It’s rather fitting I write this as I stuff myself with popcorn doused with Cholula and lime. This is lunch. Don’t worry, it’s not all so unhealthy. There will be a large handful of berries…

When Tepache Goes Horribly Horribly Wrong…

Its not often I see one of my recipes go horribly wrong, not even something less easily controllable such as a ferment. It isn’t as if I’m some form of insanely perfect cook, but rather careful recipe testing and preparation. Yet once in a while, something does go horribly, disgustingly, putridly wrong. The beautiful result…

Sebo y Manteca de Res – Suet and Tallow

While lard has enjoyed a revival in the last few years in this country (Praise the Lard t-shirt, anyone?), rendered beef fat, or tallow, remains mostly in obscurity. Unless you’re really into grass fed lip and body balms. I blame poor marketing. Suet, or sebo in Spanish, the large fat deposits near the kidneys, is…

How To: Pinole from Scratch

Ready made pinole isn’t difficult to find, but making it from scratch is a rather enjoyable experience. Though blue corn is most popular for pinole, any dried corn suitable for popping can be used, no matter what the color. The steps for pinole are simple: toast and pop the corn, and grind to a fine powder. Sweeten…

How To: Empanadas

There’s nothing like a visual ‘how to’ to learn something new.

Watch this quick demon on folding an empanda, and finishing with a rope edge, or un repulge.

Mantecados de limón -Spanish Lemon Shortbread

I lived in Spain for three years as a kid, a period where tortillas were made with potatoes, not wheat, and the highlight of the year was the giant Christmas box of mantecados and polovorones, shortbread cookies typical of Andalucía, Spain’s southern province. These boxes were the kind of treats that make you forget all other types…

Pork and Quince Sausage

There was a time when sausage making at home would have been commonplace, along with the raising and butchering of livestock, home made wine, beer, and dying from a tetanus infection from a cut sustained while being self-sufficient. So much for romanticising the culinary past. Sausage-making in itself is not difficult, but does require the willingness…

Hachiaya Persimmons

How to best enjoy a hachiaya persimmon: Choose a persimmon. Ripen at room temperature until very soft. With a sharp paring knife, cut a hatch mark on the pointed end. Peel the skin back. Eat, slowly, with a spoon. Leave nothing but the skin and seeds behind.

How To: Stovetop Lard Popcorn

I’m not on the chef Sean Brock ‘Southern Food is my everything‘ bandwagon, but I do appreciate what the man has to say about lard on a recent episode of The Splendid Table. One thing that’s a lot of fun to do is to flavor that lard during that process with maybe some hard herbs…

How To: Rendering Lard

Living in upstate New York has meant I can no longer be as lazy about satisfying my Mexican food needs as I was when living in Phoenix. There’s no 24-hour drive thru with really great horchata. No one selling tamales in the parking lots of bars and stores in the evening. Good tamales too. No food…

Rustic Roasted Tomato Sauce

I recently went back to horseback riding, after an absence of several months. I remembered an important lesson of horseback riding: keep it simple and don’t work too hard. Horses are smart dumb animals. Smart enough to have an opinion on what they are asked to do, dumb enough to do it even if they…