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April 7, 2009
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Poblano Peppers, or Chiles, are rarely used in their raw form. While some ingredients are ready to jump in your mouth or in the pot, like an apple or a carrot, others have to go through a couple steps to bring out their finest qualities in flavor, color and texture. But those extra steps are so worth it! It can seem hard at first but once you prepare them a couple of times the process becomes very simple.  Plus you can make more than you need and freeze them for up to 4 or 5 months. Here are the steps.

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January 30, 2014
tamalera

I grow really fond of my cooking tools. Most of the Mexican ones have come straight from Mexico. Some have been passed down from my family, like the comal my mom gave me in hopes I would become a good cook. Some I have shamelessly taken, like the lime squeezer, which comes from her kitchen, too. The many wooden spoons I have come from different regions in Mexico and have come tucked in my suitcase. As for the molcajete, I asked my father-in-law to get me one from the Mexico City market, and he lugged it for me in his carry-on bag (he reminds me to this day…). Yet, I found my tamalera, a special pot for steaming tamales, here in DC!

When my dad visits from Mexico, ever since we moved to the U.S., he has brought some for me. And I didn’t start making tamales at home, until I had kids. First, I used a vegetable steamer. Once I moved to DC, I found this one at Panam, the mostly Mexican (Latin) grocery store on the corner of 14th Street and Parkwood.

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Tamalera

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September 2, 2010
tamarind concentrate

Tamarind concentrate can be purchased from the grocery already made, or you can easily make it yourself. The concentrate is great because of its flavor and uses, and also, because it will keep in the refrigerator for a months.

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February 17, 2010
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If you are into the habit, like me, of making your own home made corn tortillas, a tortilla press comes in really handy.

It’s true that tortillas can be made in many different ways such as simply flattening round corn masa or dough balls with your hands or rolling out the masa with a rolling pin. However, the tortilla press makes the process be a speedy, consistent, fun and even therapeutic one (it is!).

Moreover, look at what a pretty tool it is.

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Tortilla Press

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January 12, 2012
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A tortillero is a tortilla holder, and many times a cover too, that is meant to hold and insulate tortillas. It helps them stay warm, soft and cozy after they have been heated and while you finish them off along with your meal. In a Mexican home, they are as popular as tortillas themselves, eaten almost everyday and accompany almost every meal. The same applies for restaurants, no matter how humble or fancy.

Tortilleros tend to be stunning in their craftsmanship, design and color. They are usually handmade and can have from the most simple to the most intricate designs. Mexican cooks take great pride in arranging their table to make it colorful and beautiful, and the tortillero is no exception.

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Tortillero

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April 3, 2013
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Are you tired of the clumps and lumps when you make your own flavored Jello? Yes? No? What?! You don’t make your own flavored Jello? You should! It is healthier than the already flavored ones sold at the store and you can decide what ingredients go in it! It is tastier, exactly for the same reason, since you can choose your flavors, you can choose your own favorite ones.

Many cooks complain about the clumping when mixing unflavored gelatin with any liquid in order to be able to use it. Yet there is a fast and simple technique that provides a smooth and seamlessly effective gelatin base that will add volume and will help solidify any liquid that you may want to turn into Jello.

Note: You can find unflavored gelatin as easily as finding flour or sugar. It will be located in the baking section of your grocery store and is usually sold as a dry powder in packets or in a dry leaf form. I use the dry powder, which is most common. Make sure to buy “unflavored” gelatin.

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March 7, 2012
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Wooden spoons are much more than essential tools in my kitchen. There is not one but many reasons why wooden spoons have been used for centuries and continue to this day.

Not only are they beautiful, but they are also good natured: they do not scrape or damage pots and pans. What’s more, they don’t absorb flavoring, so you can use them for something salty and then after a wash, use them for something sweet.

The spoons I have fill my kitchen with meaning, as they tell me stories from where I found them and where they come from. They connect me to those places and age with me, as they last so long.

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Wooden Spoons

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