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Old 12-23-2003, 01:18 AM   #1
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"The Aztec Blender" The Molcajete

A molcajete is an ancient device for grinding seeds, vegetable matter, and just about any food ingredient much as an electri food processor does.

The traditional molcajete is cut from mostly volcanic rock. The molcajete has three legs and a piece of rock that serves as the grinding instrument.
Food ingredients are literally torn apart in the molcajete, oppose to being cut apart in a food processor. Foods manipulated in a molcajete have a wonderful texture and some Mexican cooks say that the texture and flavor cannot be produced in any other way. I wanted to post a salsa recipe that has only four ingredients, but is very flavorful very Mexican
(Muy Mexicano) and is one of my favorite salsas:

3 to 4 Roma Tomatoes
1 Large clove of garlic
1 Large chile jalapeno
1 teaspoon salt

Cut the stem attachment point from the tomatoes and cut them in half.
Place tomatoes halves face down on a cookie sheet. Place under a broiler
and roast until the skins turn a brownish black. Remove from broiler and allow to cool enough to handle. Remoce the skins and place tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.
Over a gas burner, roast the chile jalapeno to black. Place roasted chile
in a pastic bag and seal. Allow to sweat for 10 to 15 minutes. Using your hands or the back of a knife, gently scrape off the skin from the chile. Cut off the stem and chop into quarters or eights and set aside.

Peel the garlic and cut into quarters. Place the teaspoon of salt in the molcajete first. Then add the garlic pieces. Begin to grind to a paste.
Add the chile jalapeno and grind further. Finally add the roasted tomatoes and grind slowly to a beautiful textured salsa.

You can use a food processor for this salsa (it will be good), but it will not be as good as that made in a molcajete.

If you prefer it less hot, add another tomato.

This salsa goes well with just about anything, but really works well with
tacos made with well seasoned shredded beef or carnitas.

Very simply four ingredients with wonderful flavors.

"Un poquito pedazo de cielo"
A little piece of heaven!

Bill Gibson
Crestline, CA
"aficionado de la cocina mexicana"

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Old 12-23-2003, 01:38 AM   #2
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hi cocinero,
thanks for the recipe--looks good.
now....trying...to stop....my...hand..from...typing...this....
but i'm probably going to use a blender for this one. i'm having a hard time making a molcajete since apparently my local hardware store is all out of volcanic rock :D
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Old 12-23-2003, 08:07 AM   #3
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Carnivore
They are available online and for a really good price!
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Old 12-23-2003, 10:41 AM   #4
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well i'll be darned--yes they are. i had never even heard of one before.
Are they hard to clean?
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Old 12-23-2003, 04:43 PM   #5
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I have the "mother molcajete" I'll have you know

My husband got it for my birthday - the sucker weighs 50 pounds and the pestle weighs 3 lbs (which is how much I weighed when I was born :roll: )

The thing took FOREVER to season - I had to buy a "baby" to make cleaning up easier - that "mother molcajete" is hard to carry to the sink!!!
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:14 AM   #6
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TheMother Molcajete!

My question to you is, do you use it?

Bill Gibson
Crestline ,CA
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Old 12-24-2003, 08:56 AM   #7
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Yes, I do use it - and when I'm not using it it is the most beautiful piece of artwork and people comment on it all the time. It was a bit trying to get it seasoned! LOL We had a "seasoning party" - and then anotherone - and to be sure we had one more!! The drink of choice is a mojito! 8)
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Old 12-24-2003, 03:44 PM   #8
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Mojito

Mojito,

I frequent a little resturant nearby and the Bartender makes
really great "Mojitos". I can see why this was Ernest Hemimgway's
favorite drink. A couple of these and inspirational writing might happen?

What do you prepare in your "Molcajete Grande"?

Regards!

Bill Gibson
Crestline, CA
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:27 PM   #9
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So far I've only done salsa - Can you suggest something else? What all CAN I do with it? It sure would be nice to use it more - and I'm open to suggestions. (A VERY non-cooking friend suggested I could make guacamole in it - I told her OK, but you get to clean it afterwards!!!) She didn't understand why I couldn't squish the avocado too. :roll:
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Old 12-28-2003, 01:24 AM   #10
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Great write up on molcajetes. No salsa maker should go without one. The piece of rock used as a pestle is actually called a "tejolote."

Sorry for the noob 2 cents!
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