Cookin again

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Made tamales for Christmas, as is Southern California law. Getting better at it, but still not in the league I want to be in. A lot of it seems to just be down to practice and technique, rather than any particular genius recipe.
 
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Can't find tamale's here. Mexican places tend to be rare and meh.
penguin hug GIF
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Can't find tamale's here. Mexican places tend to be rare and meh.
If you can get corn/maize and dried peppers of roughly the same time, it's all relatively easy -- in theory -- although doing things like making your own tortillas looks and feels pretty intimidating until you do it yourself.

One of the best things about Southern California is the wide variety of different cuisines (you want to get Afghan food at 11 p.m.? Caribbean? We can make it happen!), and it's something I'm definitely spoiled by.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Yeah but we won't have anything to compare it with.

We have Turkish instead and SEA stuff
Hard to argue with great South East Asian.

And yeah, that's my challenge with making tamales: I've had them, but everyone who makes them relies on a lot of muscle memory and look and feel things that are hard to quantify. If it's hard for me to figure out how to do it, when my body is 25% tamale, learning how to do it off a recipe could be disastrous.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
It’s really difficult to replicate recipes away from their native settings, especially if you’re not very familiar with what good results should taste like.

I remember going to be in my college roomie’s wedding in Kansas City, MO. Most of the wedding party had all gone to the same college in Texas, so when we went in some restaurant and someone noticed they had fajitas, most of them ordered them. Several had had any since graduation. And we were in beef country, so how bad could they be?

Although everything looked right, it smelled right, and the beef was juicy & tender. But the flavor was a massive disappointment. It wasn’t even in the same flavor orbit as real Tex-Mex fajitas. Blaaaaaaaand.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It’s really difficult to replicate recipes away from their native settings, especially if you’re not very familiar with what good results should taste like.

I remember going to be in my college roomie’s wedding in Kansas City, MO. Most of the wedding party had all gone to the same college in Texas, so when we went in some restaurant and someone noticed they had fajitas, most of them ordered them. Several had had any since graduation. And we were in beef country, so how bad could they be?

Although everything looked right, it smelled right, and the beef was juicy & tender. But the flavor was a massive disappointment. It wasn’t even in the same flavor orbit as real Tex-Mex fajitas. Blaaaaaaaand.

Americans here usually disappointed with our Mexican. It's not authentic or very good Tex Mex.

The one good one we've found and Americans seem to like isn't either one.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Americans here usually disappointed with our Mexican. It's not authentic or very good Tex Mex.

The one good one we've found and Americans seem to like isn't either one.
Tex Mex is also only one type of Mexican-derived food, based on what Mexican states Texas borders, combined with American tastes (MORE CHEESE!) and what's available there.

The Mexican food in New Mexico is significantly different as is the Mexican food in Arizona and California and, of course, in actual Mexico, where Mexican cuisine is an extremely broad category.

In Southern California, for instance, seemingly every other restaurant lists "mariscos" in their window -- "seafood" -- thanks to the cuisine of Baja California, which is lighter and much less sauce-heavy than Tex Mex.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Tex Mex is also only one type of Mexican-derived food, based on what Mexican states Texas borders, combined with American tastes (MORE CHEESE!) and what's available there.

The Mexican food in New Mexico is significantly different as is the Mexican food in Arizona and California and, of course, in actual Mexico, where Mexican cuisine is an extremely broad category.

In Southern California, for instance, seemingly every other restaurant lists "mariscos" in their window -- "seafood" -- thanks to the cuisine of Baja California, which is lighter and much less sauce-heavy than Tex Mex.

I know I'm not to worried as long as it tastes good.

Best Mexican I've had here was Tex Mex via a Texas/Louisiana ex pat couple who opened a joint here.

Recently surpassed by an NZ one that's really good but there tacos have an NZ spin and the do things like kumara skins.

We make some Mexican inspired food perhaps eg home made burrito but I doubt they count.

If I'm traveling to different cities I normally keep an eye open for Arabic/Persian type places.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The BJT on sourdough

Took my aunt to a party at a Tex-Mex joint. The honoree ordered some bacon-wrapped, cheese (not sure what kind- possibly Monterrey Jack?) stuffed jalapeños as an appetizer, but found them too spicy, even with ranch dressing. They weren’t the spiciest I’ve ever had, but they DID bring notable heat. I was fine with them, so I took them home.

I decided to try them in a variation on a classic BLT. I toasted some sourdough while heating the jalapeños in the microwave. The toast got mayo and 4 tomato slices. I cut the jalapeños lengthwise and added them.

All in all, this was a winner. As expected, the mayo tamed the heat, but the toast & tomato also tamped down the pepper’s punch. The heat that some found too intense was diffused into a warmth throughout the sandwich.

Would do this again…and I have 2 jalapeños left!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
In Southern California, for instance, seemingly every other restaurant lists "mariscos" in their window -- "seafood" -- thanks to the cuisine of Baja California, which is lighter and much less sauce-heavy than Tex Mex.
Despite Mexico CLEARLY having two huge coastlines and internationally famous seaside resorts, it wasn’t until the 1990s that you started seeing camarones (shrimp) and things like fish tacos in the Tex-Mex restaurants. And it’s only in the past decade +- that full-on Mexican seafood restaurants have become visible in the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Despite Mexico CLEARLY having two huge coastlines and internationally famous seaside resorts, it wasn’t until the 1990s that you started seeing camarones (shrimp) and things like fish tacos in the Tex-Mex restaurants. And it’s only in the past decade +- that full-on Mexican seafood restaurants have become visible in the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex.

Fish (and lamb?) traditionally not that big a thing in America?

I don't like fish much but still eat it occasionally die to all the fish and chip shops.

Heap of lamb in the table atm haven't touched any of it. Think the MIL is eating it with mint sauce (shudders).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Both are pretty big, but everything not beef, pork or chicken is clearly lower tier. Seafood is much bigger on our coasts, of course. But if you live in the central regions, you might only have reliable access to seafood as fast food, Asian, or as specials during Lent.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Both are pretty big, but everything not beef, pork or chicken is clearly lower tier. Seafood is much bigger on our coasts, of course. But if you live in the central regions, you might only have reliable access to seafood as fast food, Asian, or as specials during Lent.

In the family structure GenX and younger generally won't eat traditional lamb. I don't think any of us are it at Christmas.

We do eat it at Indian, Turkish, Arabic dishes.
 

Jahydin

Adventurer
Made tamales for Christmas, as is Southern California law. Getting better at it, but still not in the league I want to be in. A lot of it seems to just be down to practice and technique, rather than any particular genius recipe.
My first roommate was from Central Mexico and was the one that really got me into cooking. I was floored how simple ingredients could impart so much flavor. For all our meat, he just cooked on a cookie sheet he placed over two burners on medium heat. The only seasoning he owned was salt and pepper. All the flavor for our dishes came from fresh salsa I made every morning (my one chore, haha).

Making hundreds of tamales with him for holidays is some of my favorite memories. Practice is certainly the key to getting them right! As long as you have cooked meat covered in fresh salsa coved in masa dough, impossible not to be yummy, lol!
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
In the family structure GenX and younger generally won't eat traditional lamb. I don't think any of us are it at Christmas.

We do eat it at Indian, Turkish, Arabic dishes.
Personally, I love lamb, mutton, goat, etc., but I’ve never cooked any of those meats. So I only get it when I dining out.

It‘s hard to say what’s easiest to find. Goat/cabrito shows up in Mexican and Indian places- though paradoxically, never in any of the Mexican-Indian fusion places I’ve been in. I can find it in Carribean places…if I can find a Carribean place.

Lamb mostly shows up in the Mediterranean/Arabic restaurants, usually in kebabs or gyro meat. But not all of them serve it.🤷🏾

Mutton pops up mostly at high-end holiday buffets and certain BBQ smokehouses.
 
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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Personally, I love lamb, mutton, goat, etc., but I’ve never cooked any of those meats. So I only get it when I dining out.

It‘s hard to say what’s easiest to find. Goat/cabrito shows up in Mexican and Indian places- though paradoxically, never in any of the Mexican-Indian fusion places I’ve been in. I can find it in Carribean places…if I can find a Carribean place.

Lamb mostly shows up in the Mediterranean/Arabic restaurants, usually in kebabs or gyro meat. But not all of them serve it.🤷🏾

Mutton pops up mostly at high-end holiday buffets and certain BBQ smokehouses.
Not arguing, but you don't see lamb in Indian restaurants? That's ... mostly where I eat it.
 

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