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Old 02-11-2012, 11:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
We have plenty of Latinos here. That's probably why I cook so much Mexican food. It's impossible to grow up in L.A. without learning to enjoy Mexican cuisine, or at least unlikely.



I'm curious if you've cooked your enchiladas "Mexican style"? You dip them in enchilada sauce and then fry them. Then fill with stuffing, cover with sauce and bake. It's very messy but very good. Too messy for me to do that very often.
We also grew up in LA area. Norwalk, to be exact.
I have dipped and then fried them, and it's way messy. In trying to cut down on fats so I don't fry them after dipping any more.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:39 PM   #12
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Way messy! I'd do it except for the mess.

I'm trying to cut down on worrying about fats, unless they appear on the kitchen wall!
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:46 AM   #13
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Soft, corn or wheat, heated in the oven.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:23 AM   #14
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Both flour tortilla and crispy taco shells. Flour for wraps and burritos, shells for tacos.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:28 AM   #15
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Both corn and flour here. DH likes the corn best and I love the flour.

Soften the corn in just a touch of canola oil .. drain the fill like a burrito.

The flour tortilla is done a bit different. Spread raw ground beef on the tortilla like you would peanut butter .. spread to the edges. Lay it in a pan of hot canola oil folding it in half. Cook until crispy on one side, turn and crisp on the other side. Place on paper towel lined plate and let it drain. The meat is completely cooked, the tortilla is crispy, filled with your favorite toppings it is very yummy!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #16
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Wow PF, I'm amazed that you have so many Latino options in a place (MT) where I would presume would have none of these options.
You'd be amazed, Greg, at places that have Latino populations enough to support real Mexican restaurants and Latino markets. I live in a town of about 3000 in the mostly rural farmlands of the Midwest. It is, though, a tourist town with a sizable Hispanic population to support the restaurant industry. So, to support them we have an ESL program, and many of the larger businesses sponsor basic Spanish classes for their employees. We have a Latino market where you can get all things Mexican and a lot of other Central/South American products. The local Catholic churches get in a Spanish-speaking priest monthly for masses & confessions. The Asian market in Dubuque (about a half-hour away) has, along with Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, etc, foods; a Mexican department.

In many rural farm towns across the country you'll find pockets of immigrants where you'd (or at least I'd) least suspect it. It wasn't like this when I was young (because of my dad's, then my, then my husband's work I've cris-crossed this country by car more times than I can count), when you were lucky to find anything edible in small rural towns at all, much less the rich variety of ethnic enclaves you can find now. In Garden City, KS we found great Vietnamese food/markets. In Waycross, GA some of the best Mexican food ever. Be it the restaurant industry, farming, or in the case of Garden City, the beef industry, or churches that sponsor groups of immigrants, you'd be surprised. I was.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #17
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I may have misremembered the lard in my homemade tortillas. It's been years since I've made them. Maybe the lard was for my homemade tamales. Those are good too, and I'm sure you use lard. I still think it's a great idea to fry taco shells in lard and I hope to try it some day. I bet they'll be great!
No, you probably remember right. It's very, very common to see it in recipes. In fact, you see fat in nearly all of them posted on the Internet. But it's just not necessary and, at least around here, not done by those who make them as they learned from their grandmothers and beyond. Like a lot of traditional flat breads, they happened because they suited conditions and needs. Life in rural northern Mexico (and Texas for that matter) was always very basic. Corn was available, cheap, and reasonably useful as a staple alone, IF you treated it with lime. You could keep or carry a quantity of meal or flour, and presumably water was at hand, or you wouldn't be worrying about food. A fire and a flat rock or a piece of sheet iron sufficed for a comal. Fat was a less practical thing to keep or carry in a very hot climate for people who had little opportunity for much meat. (Although Texians of the mid-1800's largely lived on corn - as pretty wretched corn "bread" - and salt pork, much to the dismay of Frederick Law Olmsted who boarded nights with them on his 1855 trip across Texas and didn't get anything else to eat until he got to Austin.)

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I think I erred in my OP regarding the depth of oil. Probably more like 1/4". Maybe less if you are cooking them already stuffed. Am I the only one who has done that?
That's more a flauta, a filed, rolled, and fried corn tortilla, or a chimichanga, fillings wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep fried. Neither is very old or a traditional food of the people. Old rural Mexican kitchens weren't often equipped or provisioned for true deep frying.

I found a video of the real deal. She's in a restaurante, but in a home, someone would be making tortillas for the family for the whole day, and it would be her job every day of her life. No doubt, if I made a few dozen every day, I'd get that hand technique down.

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Old 02-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by MrsLMB View Post
he flour tortilla is done a bit different. Spread raw ground beef on the tortilla like you would peanut butter .. spread to the edges. Lay it in a pan of hot canola oil folding it in half. Cook until crispy on one side, turn and crisp on the other side. Place on paper towel lined plate and let it drain. The meat is completely cooked, the tortilla is crispy, filled with your favorite toppings it is very yummy!
That's interesting! I never thought of cooking the filling at the same time.

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A fire and a flat rock or a piece of sheet iron sufficed for a comal.
I've seen tortillas made over a "stove" made from a 55 gallon drum, south of Tijuana on the way to Rosarito Beach. Cut off one end, cut holes in the side to feed coals, place it over the coals and start a fire, cook on what used to be the bottom of the drum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC View Post
That's more a flauta, a filed, rolled, and fried corn tortilla, or a chimichanga, fillings wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep fried. Neither is very old or a traditional food of the people. Old rural Mexican kitchens weren't often equipped or provisioned for true deep frying.
My version could have been a flauta if I had rolled it it up. But it was just taco shaped with the meat thrown in at the bottom of the "U".
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
You'd be amazed, Greg, at places that have Latino populations enough to support real Mexican restaurants and Latino markets. I live in a town of about 3000 in the mostly rural farmlands of the Midwest. It is, though, a tourist town with a sizable Hispanic population to support the restaurant industry. So, to support them we have an ESL program, and many of the larger businesses sponsor basic Spanish classes for their employees. We have a Latino market where you can get all things Mexican and a lot of other Central/South American products. The local Catholic churches get in a Spanish-speaking priest monthly for masses & confessions. The Asian market in Dubuque (about a half-hour away) has, along with Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, etc, foods; a Mexican department.

In many rural farm towns across the country you'll find pockets of immigrants where you'd (or at least I'd) least suspect it. It wasn't like this when I was young (because of my dad's, then my, then my husband's work I've cris-crossed this country by car more times than I can count), when you were lucky to find anything edible in small rural towns at all, much less the rich variety of ethnic enclaves you can find now. In Garden City, KS we found great Vietnamese food/markets. In Waycross, GA some of the best Mexican food ever. Be it the restaurant industry, farming, or in the case of Garden City, the beef industry, or churches that sponsor groups of immigrants, you'd be surprised. I was.
My Campfire group in grade school (Laramie, WY) was created by combining the students from a public school on the East side of town and a school on the west side. Half of our members were Mexican, their families worked on the railroad. We had a fantastic mingling of cultures. They were able to learn better English and attend events that their families could not afford and we were able to eat the most fantastic food. (we also learned Mexican) Their mothers would happily teach us how to cook anything. My SIL is Mexican and I learned from her, too.

Here in Missoula we have Hmong immigrants, Italian Immigrants, Mexican immigrants, Russian immigrants and at work we have immigrants from the Philippines. I know how to say Good Morning and Merry Christmas in many languages and I have a huge International variety of friends and neighbors. Big cities are NOT the only places to encounter other cultures. Even out here in the sticks we have the Internet and good food...along with Dueling Banjos.

Also of note...I spent several years as a dependent traveling with the Air Force...Dad was stationed in Okinawa and Korea.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #20
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Always Corn....heated on an oiled griddle ~~ Better yet.. thrown on bed of hot coals and flipped a time or two.....
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