Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #95 -- cactus paddle salad nopales salad And Cooking Club #9

My friend Louise hosted Cookbook Wednesday for years, but  she is not feeling so well, so it is suspended for now.

I am not taking up the weekly commitment, (with a Mr. Linky, etc)  I just have one of my cookbooks to 'count down' and I am going to do it on Wednesday and think of how great Louise's blog is and hope she is up to par soon!

This is cookbook number 95!
You can see them all so far if you click here.

This indispensable cookbook, an instant classic when first published in 1989, is now back in print with a brand-new introduction from the most celebrated authority on Mexican cooking, Diana Kennedy. The culmination of more than fifty years of living, traveling, and cooking in Mexico, The Art of Mexican Cooking is the ultimate guide to creating authentic Mexican food in your own kitchen, with more than 200 beloved recipes as well as evocative illustrations.

The dishes included, favorites from all the regions of Mexico, range from sophisticated to pure and simple, but they all share an intrinsic depth of taste. Aficionados will go to great lengths to duplicate the authentic dishes (and Kennedy tells them exactly how), but here too is a wealth of less complicated recipes for the casual cook in search of the unmistakable flavors of a bold cuisine.

Kennedy shares the secrets of true Mexican flavor: balancing the piquant taste of chiles with a little salt and acid, for instance, or charring them to round out their flavor; broiling tomatoes to bring out their character, or adding cumin for a light accent. By using Kennedy’s kitchen wisdom and advice, and carefully selecting produce that is now readily available in most American markets, cooks with an appetite for Mexican cuisine–and Kennedy devotees old and new–can at last serve and enjoy real Mexican food.

My thoughts?
It's a great cookbook ---  a serious cookbook.  There is no flash in this cookbook--it's mostly text and very few photos.  It's for serious cooks who want to make good authentic Mexican food.
I'm glad I own this, but I don't really use it.
Truth be told, I am just going to ask and watch my daughter-in-law and her mother when I want authentic Mexican Home cooking.
But this one is a good reference to have on your shelf.

Now, what did I make from this cookbook? 

It was my COOKING CLUB get together again and our theme was Mexican Street Food.

The Cooks/ The Characters:

Before you go any further--- my cooking club posts just keep getting longer and longer each time. I can't seem to leave any photo out.
So, just take this as a warning.

  I was assigned salad.
Mexican street food salad?  I wasn't sure there was one.  When my daughter in law and her family make a salad, they use lettuce and tomatoes and dress it with fresh lime juice.
I was stumped.
Then Sally, who was the host this month ( on the far right) and also teaches English as a Second Language to adults at the community college, told me that her students had suggested 'nopales"  or "cactus salad".  It's pretty authentic.
Or she said they mentioned  "jimaca salad".
So, what did I do?

Made 3 salads of course!
Black bean salad

And my 3 cookbooks were:

And the rest of the street food......

Nopales (cactus) salad
Jicama/Mango and Black Bean salad-- from me

Homemade tomatillo salsa -- from Sally

HA!  That doesn't look homemade, but I swear it was! ??

Shrimp ceviche tostado -- from Gina

Corn (street corn---the best!)  from Debbie E.

Tres-leches cupcakes -- from April

Carne Asada and frijoles and Mexican slaw --from Sally and Shelly

Cucumber Jalapeno and Blueberry Basil

A great time was had by all!
As usual.

The Handyman is seen in a Sombrero?
He never, EVER plays along like that.
Maybe it was the margaritas?

In every Cooking Club post I talk about how much I love these people and how much fun we have--so I won't do that again. Just know that it's so.

When all is said and done--this was a really healthy meal. Not a bunch of cheese and sauces and sour cream which is more Americanized Mexican cooking...this was authentic.

So... are you ready for the Nopalitos?

Diana Kennedy says:
Salads as such do not play an important part in the Mexican kitchen, where there are so many fresh garnishes, pickles and sauces to accompany the food.  However, a salad of nopalitos, a popular food in the marketplace, does rank high. Cooked green beans or chayote can be substituted.

3 cups cooked napales, cut into squares (I just bought a can of them)
3 T finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 t Mexican oregano
2 T fresh lime juice
sea salt to taste

3 small tomatoes, unskinned, sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup crumbled fresco cheese
1/3 cup purple onion rings
3 canned jalapenos cut into quarters lengthwise
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Inner leaves of romaine letter for serving.

Mix the nopalitos with the next four ingredients and set aside to season for 30 minutes.  Stir well and adjust seasoning. Spread the nopoalitos  over the platter. Decorate with the tomato slices and top with cilantro, cheese, onion rings, jalapeno strips and slices of avocado.

Mango, Jicama and Cucumber Salad
From the Muy Bueno cookbook

2 small yellow mangos, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 red or green mangos, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 to 3 T lime juice
1/2 t Tajin (chili spice)
Dash of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine the mangos, jicama, and cucumbers. Add lime juice. Sprinkle with chili powder/tajin, cayenne pepper and salt.
Toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

This was really good!

And Sally might kill me, but really...
what are the odds?

Sally and Paul... the perfect hosts!!
Paul never fell asleep at the wheel---unlike Sally.
(except for when she was making homemade corn tortillas, homemade salsa, homemade margaritas, homemade beans, homemade Mexican chocolate, and on and on..... just kidding of course about her falling asleep, but seriously, what are the odds that almost every picture I took of her, her eyes are closed?)

Cooking Club #9 was the best one yet!

And these cooking club meals were all good too... Just click on the link to see.
Cooking Club #1   Meals your mom used to make
Cooking Club #2  Cajun Cooking
Cooking Club #3 -Let's all go to Hawaii
Cooking Club #5  Famous Chefs
Cooking Club #7  Breakfast for dinner
Cooking Club  #8  Slow cooking  
Cooking Club #9  Mexican Street Food 

Happy Eating!
See you next time.

Next up for the Cooking Club?
December -- Christmas cookies of your heritage or tradition and a reading of "A Christmas Carol"
Homemade Hot Buttered Rums and Tom and Jerrys.

January --  A Thai cooking demonstration (where someone teaches us and we watch and eat)


bermudaonion said...

I wonder if Carl and the Handyman are related - he wouldn't play along like that either. Your club looks like so much fun!

Karen said...

I love napolito salad... also like them in scrambled eggs. This cooking club looks like SO much fun!

Stefanie Ng said...

I've never heard of napolito salad. How interesting cactus leaves can be eaten like that.

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