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Old 11-11-2019, 04:47 PM   #1
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Mexcan food at home?

We went out for DH's 59th birthday and he requested Mexican.

It was WAY too spicy for me but I think I could create some of the dishes at home, with a lot less heat.

I had a rice bowl and he had a wrap type thingie.

Anyone make Mexican style food at home? it's doable, right?

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Old 11-11-2019, 05:16 PM   #2
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Very doable at home and there are many threads with good recipes and suggestions here on DC..

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Old 11-11-2019, 05:54 PM   #3
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Mexican ( at least in my opinion) is one of the easier ethnic cuisines to make at home and have it taste like you get it in the restaurant.

Also, as you mentioned, you have complete control of the 'heat'.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:03 PM   #4
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Yup... rice, beans, chicken tikka, carnitas (although I have yet to make these as good as the local taqueria), salsa, guac, even no fry crispy tortilla bowls for tostadas.

Got questions? Just ask.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:11 PM   #5
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Most recipes are amenable to adjusting the amount of heat present. Mexican is rich and flavorful food. Heat is just one aspect of it. You can adjust the amount and type of hot peppers to make it to your liking.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:37 PM   #6
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Like all good ethnic foods, Mexican foods are rich with variety, everything from the well known tacos, burritos, tamales and such to chili con carne, tostada, chili relenos, carne asada, carnitas, cevice, and a whole host of other scrumptious foods, that include bean dishes, lots of corn dishes, many kinds of peppers, and sauces. And don't forget soups like tortilla soup, posole, corn chowder, etc.

You have to let us know what you are interested in. We have many here who make Mexican foods, and other foods from Latin America. We can help, but you have to give us a clue as to what kind of foods you want to pursue

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Old 11-11-2019, 06:47 PM   #7
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There are good tricks for making Mexican food less spicy as I've had to do since my husband is sensitive to overly spiced dishes. If you remove all the seeds and veins from peppers the heat will be very significantly reduced and yet the good flavor of the pepper will remain. Be sure to wear surgical gloves when doing that, and after splitting the pepper in half, a serrated grapefruit spoon is a very helpful tool.

Mexican is just about my favorite food to cook at home.

Go for it!!
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Yup... rice, beans, chicken tikka, carnitas (although I have yet to make these as good as the local taqueria), salsa, guac, even no fry crispy tortilla bowls for tostadas.

Got questions? Just ask.
I have cooked carnitas several ways but to really get the right they need to be fried. While working in Mexico I talked to a few owners of Taquerias that did them right. Got a lot of good general advice. This way is really good.

https://youtu.be/adwFQoOiKcY
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MostlyWater View Post
We went out for DH's 59th birthday and he requested Mexican.

It was WAY too spicy for me but I think I could create some of the dishes at home, with a lot less heat.

I had a rice bowl and he had a wrap type thingie.

Anyone make Mexican style food at home? it's doable, right?
Mexican make it at home all of the time.

Sorry I couldn't help myself. It is very doable. Most Mexican recipes are not complicated so take time but you will not need a lot of fancy ingredients etc. One really good and easy dish is Gallina Pinta. It takes some time but is really good and not at all spicy.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:12 AM   #10
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Of all of my favorite spicy cuisines (Mexican, Thai, Szechwan, and Indian), Mexican is the one that is what I call the most "labor intensive". Of course, there are many simple dishes, but most of those dishes based on the dried chile peppers are not fast to make, though a blended makes them much faster, for sure! Imagine grinding all of that stuff on stone! However, it is still doable, for any of us who love to cook.

Unfortunately, unlike recipes with cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper, that just add heat, you can't just reduce the number of peppers to make it milder to taste, as the flavor is based on the chiles. Some of the commonly used chiles are fairly mild. Anchos (the most commonly used dried chile in Mexico - a ripened, dried poblano) and mulatos are very mild - 500-1,500 Skoville Units (SUs). Guajillos are another common chile, which are a little hotter - 1,500-2,500 SUs. Pasillas are the long, almost black chiles, which are up to 4,000 SUs, but usually milder. Cascabels are a round chile, that is usually around 5,000 SUs, but sometimes up to 10,000. And, as Kayelle noted, removing the seeds and veins will reduce the heat considerably. However, with fresh chiles don't scrape out the seeds and veins - this breaks up the cells of the veins, leaving a lot of the oils on the inside of the pepper. Instead, take the tip of a paring knife and cut the vein out, breaking it up as little as possible.

Here are some peppers to avoid, if you want mild. Not only are they hot, but not really things you can remore the seeds and veins from! Chile de árbol is the one that looks sort of like a Thai or Chinese type pepper, and really doesn't have a lot of flavor - just heat! It's around 30-40,000 SUs. In recipes with multiple varieties, when you see these, they are just for heat, and you won't miss them. And where these are the only chile for the flavor, there are going to be a larger number, and definitely a hot salsa! Serranos secos are a ripened, dried serrano, shorter and fatter, and a little milder - 15-20,000 SUs - so you could substitute those, but again, they are usually more for heat than flavor. Chipotles are a favorite of many, and the dried ones are the best flavored, but not mild! The chipotles mecos are the tan colored ones, and are around 10-18,000 SUs, but I've had hotter ones! And the moritas - the smaller, almost black ones - are even hotter, though the best flavored. But if you are looking for a dried, smoked pepper, that is milder than these, Pasilla de Oaxaca is one with great flavor, but the mildest smoked pepper I've tried, though it's also fairly expensive. The size is large - about the same as mulatos. And for canned chipotles, they can also be quite hot, depending on the brand. When I was first testing out all the brands, the one that was the mildest, but had good chipotle flavor, was San Marcos - the one with the blue label. Herdez was the best flavored, but the hottest, as well, always with a morita in each can. Goya didn't have much flavor, while La Costeña, and La Morena were good, but definitely hot.

For the fresh peppers, poblanos are the mildest, and easy to remove the seeds and veins from. Jalapeños are the most common, but, unfortunately, are unpredictable! They can vary from 0 (only if you grow it, for the most part) to 6,000 SUs, some hybrids even more. I have actually seen (only a couple of times) TAM jalapeños (a variety of mild jalapeños) in the supermarket, but usually they just say "jalapeños". Serranos are hotter, but usually, not many are used, and the seeds and veins can be removed. There are milder varieties, but not in the stores. And, of course, you'll want to avoid habaneros! However, if you grow things at home, try some Aji Dulce - this is a type of habanero that is around 500 SUs, or less, and gave me a way to share many of those delicious habanero based dishes with friends, who could not even sample them before.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:49 AM   #11
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If you have FB, this is a very good page for homemade Mexican food..

Mexican Recipes to Share

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Old 11-12-2019, 07:47 AM   #12
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Oaxacan Mole Negro



26 ingredients, took 4 hours start to finish, with enough leftover sauce for several meals. Probably the most time consuming of the moles. Was worth it, IMO.

Chicken in the mole negro over homemade blue corn tortillas, Mexican style green rice on the side.



Mexican most certainly can be done at home.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:05 AM   #13
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All homemade. Will post recipes if you're interested.

Beef Fajitas and rice

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Beef, Bean and cheese Burrito and rice

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Rice

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Refried Beans

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Old 11-12-2019, 09:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Yup... rice, beans, chicken tikka, carnitas (although I have yet to make these as good as the local taqueria), salsa, guac, even no fry crispy tortilla bowls for tostadas.

Got questions? Just ask.

Don't think that's Mexican!


Mexican is very doable. In fact, we have a Mexican meal on our menu for the week. Fried chorizo with melted cheese on top, with tortillas. Guacamole. A corn salad/salsa based on Mexican street corn.



You need to use Manteca/lard to get the right flavor for carnitas. They aren't my favorite, but DH loves them.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:06 AM   #15
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Wow! So many replies! Thanks all!
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:41 AM   #16
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I remember the first time I tried Tabasco sauce, and the same with Jamaican Hellfire Sauce. Both of these just lit me up. Now, they offer almost no heat to me at al and I love the flavor of Tabasco. The point is, when you start eating peppers, you grow accustomed to the heat, and it become less intense to you. I have been eating hot peppers for so long that I now use the hottest peppers on the planet. Habeneros were mentioned as an intensely hot pepper. If you aren't used to eating peppers, they are. But the peppers I eat are so much hotter. I use Ghost peppers, 7-pod Duglas, Trinidad Scorpion Maruga, and Carolina reaper, along with japones, jalapenos, and Anehiem peppers in my salsas. This salsa has great flavor from the peppers, but you work up to that kind of heat. You don't just jump in or you will get burned. I'm not trying to say, Look at me, I can eat ridiculously hot peppers. I am saying that as you eat peppers, you develop a tolerance to the heat. Start slowly and use flavorful peppers. Over time, you will come to want your peppers a little hotter. This is a great site to purchase all kinds of peppers, both mild and hot.https://penderys.com/spices-and-seasonings/spices.html. And like others have stated, it's not about the heat, but it's about the flavor. Carne Asada for instance, has no heat, but tones of flavor. The same is true of carnitas, and tamales can be filled with hot, or savoy, or even desert fillings. When you jump inot Mexican cuisine, you are entering a rich, and varied journey of culinary excellence. Thsi site gives an assortment of great cookbooks - https://theculturetrip.com/north-ame...can-cookbooks/

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Old 11-12-2019, 11:57 AM   #17
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When you jump inot Mexican cuisine, you are entering a rich, and varied journey of culinary excellence. Thsi site gives an assortment of great cookbooks - https://theculturetrip.com/north-ame...can-cookbooks/
I can vouch for the first book on this list. I won it in an online contest about 15 years ago and I love it. It has lots of basic recipes like for tortillas, cooked and raw sauces, pickled red onions, then tacos and other wrapped dishes, stews, etc. It's very well written with detailed instructions on how to make the items. He also has a website with recipes from his TV show, "Mexico: One Plate at a Time."
https://www.rickbayless.com/recipes-...-rick-bayless/

I would suggest getting Mexican oregano - the flavor is noticeably different from European oregano. Using authentic ingredients will make a difference in your cooking.

As you can see, lots of us enjoy making Mexican food. Ask any questions you have!
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #18
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I'm very surprised that Anaheim chili's haven't been mentioned in this thread. They are quite mild, and I use them the most in my cooking. In Mexican recipes, a can of "Ortega Chili's" is often on the ingredient list and it contains California Anaheim chili's.

The Ortega story began right here in my home town. I grew up with the grand daughter of Mama Ortega.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:57 PM   #19
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Rick Bayless is my favorite Mexican CB author, and probably the book I have made the most recipes from is Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen
https://www.amazon.com/Rick-Baylesss...3578158&sr=8-9

One recipe from this book that I always have in my fridge is Salsa Negra, which is a thick, almost black paste, made from moritas, garlic, and piloncillo, and is good for quickly adding the chipotle flavor to a dish, though it is not something for those who don't like heat! There is a simplified version in More Mexican Everyday, using canned chipotles, but it's totally different - good, but tastes like ketchup, blended with chipotles.

His books Mexican Everyday and More Mexican Everyday offer a lot of easier recipes, but still Mexican, and the latter book he offers his uses for slow cookers and a few for rice cookers and pressure cookers.

I just saw a dish on a Rick Bayless showing a delicious looking dish - something that looks delicious to me, but one of those hot dishes, with 8 chile de árbols in the salsa! But he also had a delicious sounding salsa for shrimp tacos, much milder, with avocado, lime juice, some serrano, and peanuts - sort of like the Thai satay sauce. Something I'll have to make, for sure.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:03 PM   #20
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Of all of my favorite spicy cuisines (Mexican, Thai, Szechwan, and Indian), Mexican is the one that is what I call the most "labor intensive". Of course, there are many simple dishes, but most of those dishes based on the dried chile peppers are not fast to make, though a blended makes them much faster, for sure! Imagine grinding all of that stuff on stone! However, it is still doable, for any of us who love to cook.

Unfortunately, unlike recipes with cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper, that just add heat, you can't just reduce the number of peppers to make it milder to taste, as the flavor is based on the chiles. Some of the commonly used chiles are fairly mild. Anchos (the most commonly used dried chile in Mexico - a ripened, dried poblano) and mulatos are very mild - 500-1,500 Skoville Units (SUs). Guajillos are another common chile, which are a little hotter - 1,500-2,500 SUs. Pasillas are the long, almost black chiles, which are up to 4,000 SUs, but usually milder. Cascabels are a round chile, that is usually around 5,000 SUs, but sometimes up to 10,000. And, as Kayelle noted, removing the seeds and veins will reduce the heat considerably. However, with fresh chiles don't scrape out the seeds and veins - this breaks up the cells of the veins, leaving a lot of the oils on the inside of the pepper. Instead, take the tip of a paring knife and cut the vein out, breaking it up as little as possible.

Here are some peppers to avoid, if you want mild. Not only are they hot, but not really things you can remore the seeds and veins from! Chile de árbol is the one that looks sort of like a Thai or Chinese type pepper, and really doesn't have a lot of flavor - just heat! It's around 30-40,000 SUs. In recipes with multiple varieties, when you see these, they are just for heat, and you won't miss them. And where these are the only chile for the flavor, there are going to be a larger number, and definitely a hot salsa! Serranos secos are a ripened, dried serrano, shorter and fatter, and a little milder - 15-20,000 SUs - so you could substitute those, but again, they are usually more for heat than flavor. Chipotles are a favorite of many, and the dried ones are the best flavored, but not mild! The chipotles mecos are the tan colored ones, and are around 10-18,000 SUs, but I've had hotter ones! And the moritas - the smaller, almost black ones - are even hotter, though the best flavored. But if you are looking for a dried, smoked pepper, that is milder than these, Pasilla de Oaxaca is one with great flavor, but the mildest smoked pepper I've tried, though it's also fairly expensive. The size is large - about the same as mulatos. And for canned chipotles, they can also be quite hot, depending on the brand. When I was first testing out all the brands, the one that was the mildest, but had good chipotle flavor, was San Marcos - the one with the blue label. Herdez was the best flavored, but the hottest, as well, always with a morita in each can. Goya didn't have much flavor, while La Costeña, and La Morena were good, but definitely hot.

For the fresh peppers, poblanos are the mildest, and easy to remove the seeds and veins from. Jalapeños are the most common, but, unfortunately, are unpredictable! They can vary from 0 (only if you grow it, for the most part) to 6,000 SUs, some hybrids even more. I have actually seen (only a couple of times) TAM jalapeños (a variety of mild jalapeños) in the supermarket, but usually they just say "jalapeños". Serranos are hotter, but usually, not many are used, and the seeds and veins can be removed. There are milder varieties, but not in the stores. And, of course, you'll want to avoid habaneros! However, if you grow things at home, try some Aji Dulce - this is a type of habanero that is around 500 SUs, or less, and gave me a way to share many of those delicious habanero based dishes with friends, who could not even sample them before.
I find Indian food to be the most labour intensive. All the different spices...that's why in India people cook the day before and eat the food at room temperature the next day (according to a friend who is married to a guy from India). That is also why many have "cooks" to prepare the food.
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