Oh, HW -- that is a super resource! It's my absolute favorite type of writing on a regional or national cuisine, too, in that it really introduces you to the pervasive philosophy, for want of a better word, of food in the area.
She unabashedly lets her personality show through, which makes reading the blog all the more fun. Who couldn't like someone who describes an Iberia airlines short-haul meal thus: "It's cold, and sort of disgusting but also a little bit appealing."?
It would be great if there were more recipes in it, but she gives enough guidance for us to go look up our own.
Look at the pic of her first kitchen in Phnom Penh. That is the very image of most Mexican kitchens. God, I hope her present kitchen doesn't have the tank next to the stove like the first one! >>>shudder<<<
Great blog - I love her style of writing and especially this one paragraph:
As it turns out, winter is a real season in Australia, despite what their tourist board might prefer you to think. It reminded me of my youth in California, which also has a deceptively cold winter, which most people seem to be in denial about. The vendors in Chinatown always did a brisk trade in tacky San Francisco sweatshirts, sold to shivering tourists who had shown up in t-shirts, expecting Hawaii.
Hahaha.... I get that here in Phoenix too, people thinking that it doesn't get cold in the winter.
The intro to sambals was most interesting to me, as I know almost nothing about Indonesian cooking.
I have to say that the cooksinfo rundown on mole is awfully good overall. For one thing, it has a picture of a product that is commercially available. It follows that up by explaining that shortcuts to making mole are common and acceptable. I've read too many articles that give mole recipes calling for 73 ingredients, most of which can only be found at dawn of the Spring equinox on the western flank of the Sierra de Nuestra Señora de la Comida Lenta.
Har har ~~ judging by the brisk business in micro-factory produced pastes, I'm not the only woman who doesn't spend days on her knees in front of the metate. However, the pastes are not meant to be mixed with water, but with broth and usually with some cooked down tomato puree as well.
BIG points to cooksinfo for not calling mole "chocolate based" and for explaining the subtle complexity of a good mole. I wish they'd not called it a sauce, though, as it's more of a food in & of itself. One other little quibble is: The "poblano" in its name comes from the word for town, "puebla." Actually, the word for town is pueblo, and the "poblano" in mole poblano is to indicate that it comes from the city of Puebla, i.e., mole, Puebla style. (& chiles poblanos come from the state of Puebla)
Bixa, like moles, many factory and artisanal-workshop sambals are produced in Indonesia and Malaysia. Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and other large cities in the "sambal lands" are fast-paced indeed. And Singapour is extremely urbanised.
That site would be happy to read your constructive criticisms.
Lizzyfare, I enjoyed that, but rarely prepare fresh artichokes. I'm fond of them too, but we have little local production here, and the "fresh" ones from California or wherever are most disappointing.
One of the most successful dinner parties I ever had was after having visited Oaxaca and used 2 of the commercially prepared moles that I purchased there. I know one was a poblano but can't immediately recall what the second one was. While it wasn't quite what I tasted while there, it was pretty darn close and people loved loved it.
Visiting this thread has me really missing our HW....
Thanks, LaGatta. As far as I can tell, there is no way to communicate with CooksInfo.com. When I looked at the link again, I found something else: Two well-known dishes that use Mole sauce are turkey ones: "Pavo in Mole Poblano" and "Mole Poblano de Guajolote." That would be one well-known dish, since pavo is the standard Spanish word for turkey and guajolote the Mexican word. (which should be the standard word for this New World bird)
Lizzy, I've prepared & eaten many a fresh artichoke, in fact used to get big paper grocery sacks full of them free when I lived in California. However, I'll bet it's been at least 20 years since I've had a fresh artichoke. In the 16 years I've lived here, I've only seen them once. They were offered at the Bodega Aurrera -- owned by WalMart -- with no name, no one at the store who knew what they were, nor any instructions for using them. They were expensive too, further dooming them to a fate as pricey compost.
I found contact e-mails somewhere on that site, but of course didn't bother to note them, when I was being anal about some silly error. I like guajolote - not very hard to pronounce in any language, though the j will take a beating - much less silly than Turkey or d'Inde. And isn't a pavo originally a peacock?
I got very annoyed by a book I borrowed from the library on the cuisines of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, "Cradle of Flavor", because the author kept underlying how ghastly the prepared spice pastes for sambals and similar preparations were. Most of those come from those countries and are not designed above all for export - the ones I bought are mostly in Basa Indonesia with a bit of bad English or Dutch. Obviously doing everything from scratch with the proper spices is better, but most people don't have either the ingredients of the time.
Usually, if I see available ingredients in those packets, such as ginger or fresh coriander (cilantro), I'll add some more, fresh.
A discussion on the What's in Season thread prompted me to look up a particular tropical fruit. Cook's Thesaurus of course covers much more than fruit, but here is that section, with the caveat that they don't include botanical names: www.foodsubs.com/FGFruit.html
Here is the home page for Cook's Thesaurus: www.foodsubs.com/ Alphabetical order would have been a nice touch!
Even though I dont't drink coke I have used it in cooking. I am looking at a recipe for Coca-Cola chicken wings - then I read this "Even better than using regular Coke is Mexican Coke, which uses real sugar, if you can find it in your local grocery store or bodega."
Bixa - do you know anything about this Mexican Coke?
Tod, I've heard that about the real sugar, but also heard that it's a myth -- that Mexican Coca-Cola uses corn syrup. Just looked it up, and it appears that whereas the Mexican product in glass bottles sold in the US has real sugar, not all Mexican coke does: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Coke
Ham basted with Coca-Cola is delicious & I'll bet those Chinese wings are too!
Yes Bixa - I have done a Gammon in coca cola many time but to tell you the truth it is equally as good ( if not better) in Ginger Beer made by a manufacturer- not homemade. I just want to blow my grandsons away one weekend by making those wings!!
Praline bacon would be a good name if there were pecan halves stuck in there to roast along with the bacon and sugar. The original name and recipe came from "The Sweet Potato Queens Big-Ass Cookbook & Financial Planner": Pig Candy.
I do draw the line at candied bacon ice cream, though... Apparently, Dr Pepper has oil of clove or something in it - either that, or my mother-in-law was too cheap to buy whole cloves. I'm sure that cross-hatching the rind and attaching pineapple rings and halved maraschino cherries never even crossed her mind.