I wrote a while ago about my oldest brother’s visit in search of a Mexican market in Homestead (July 23). You can find the link to Mexico Mart on that post if you’re interested. Since then, my friend Kaitlin (she helped me get this blog off the ground, endless thanks) told me of another market in south Dade, Redland Market Village (https://redlandmarketvillage.com/). When it cools down and after hurricane season (Dorian might be on the way here on the weekend) we’ll plan a road trip there.
While at Mexico Mart I bought tomatillos. The price was right. I had no plan for them, I figured that would come. And it did, thanks to an old cookbook.
But first, tomatillos. If you are not familiar with this fruit, it’s not a baby tomato. It’s not even related to tomatoes. They look like small, green, unripe tomatoes with a dry leafy husk around the outside. Technically, they are in the nightshade family. Tomatillos probably originated in Mexico and were widely cultivated in the pre-Columbian era. Because of their slight acidic flavor they are frequently used by cooks in the US in salsas to accompany chips. There are so many other ways to use their yummy goodness.
So, I pulled my old, spiral-bound cookbook from the Editors of Consumer Guide off the shelf and sought out an alternative tomatillo recipe. Wow, you can still buy this really good book on Amazon. Mine has been used many times, the red snapper Veracruz style is a favorite (here’s a link to a recipe from another blogger that looks good – https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/veracruz-style-red-snapper-huachinango/). The marinated zucchini salad is a nice summer salad (can’t find an equivalent recipe for this one). I’ll scan and attach it an the end of this blog.
By the way, the Editors of Consumer Guide also have the Chinese Cooking Class, Wok Cooking Class, and Japanese Cooking Class cook books, and a few others I don’t have. I’ve used mine numerous times. And, I just found them all on line if you’re curious and want to expand your cookbook library.
With the tomatillos, I chose the Duckling in Pumpkin Seed Sauce recipe. There are lots of versions on-line, nevertheless, I’ll attach the recipe from my cookbook. I used chicken I place of duck. I might still have a lone duck resting to a leg of lamb on the bottom of my freezer, but I preferred to cook chicken this time.
What else is needed? The tomatillos, chopped onion, garlic, and pumpkin seeds. Even though we have air conditioning, I keep my seeds in the freezer (in an easier place to access than that lost duck!). In true Mexican fashion, seasoning includes cilandro, cumin, oregano, and jalapeño. My husband is sensitive to the latter, so I did not use it. The yummy meat is served with a side dish; I chose to make the green rice from the cookbook – rice with red pimentos and green peas . It really looked pretty.
Mexican food in so much of the US is a conundrum. What are the specialties found at Mexican restaurants? Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas (that’s Tex Mex). Maybe a carne asada for good measure or some fish dish. The fillings for the tacos are expanding with specialty meats being used like tongue and others, not just the ground beef tacos of my youth. Real Mexican food is so much more than these dishes. Try something new and out of this very limited box.