Saturday, January 21, 2012

Food: Kitchen Gadgets from the past

Off the corner of my eye, during my normal day to day activities at work, I noticed a shape I recognized, I could not believe it, an old friend perhaps one of the simplest tools in the kitchen.

The Tupperware citrus peeler!

This little plastic knife thingamajig help me peel countless oranges when I was a Kid but perhaps the best thing about this little tool is the fact that as countless fans point out is much much more.  You hear everything from a butter knife to a pretzel dipper and a potato eye remover .

Kitchen gadgets are great, personally I think there is nothing like  a good knife, but I could not help feeling nostalgic about this little guy.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Food: Carnitas Michoacanas


Maybe it's a case of stick to what you know or perhaps it's simply longing for familiar flavors, but I had been thinking about Carnitas for months and I finally gave in.

This is a Creole dish but from Mexico a mix of European ingredients, pre-hispanic techniques and lots and lots of trial en error.

Its not a complicated dish, but it does take time and a watchful eye, I am what you call a fanatic about them and my interpretation of what carnitas should be is as follows

The Meat:

Almost any part of the pig works, carnitas establishments will cook the whole pig this way, In the states I get boneless country ribs, they have a good fat to meat ratio and are super tender once done. The key is you really don't want anything under 2 inches thick and you want all your parts to be the same size.

The Marinate:

This is a basic flavoring and tenderizing step and it must be done to ensure a golden crisp exterior.

The juice if one orange per pound of meat, if your oranges are on the dry side you need enough juice to cover the meat but not submerge, half a bay leaf per pound, an eight of a teaspoon of herbes de provence, a dash of cayenne pepper, Salt and pepper to taste.

Marinate the pork for 2 to 4 hrs in the refrigerator, stir about halfway in to marinate to ensure even coverage
drain the marinate and transfer to a clean bowl

Here comes the leap of faith, add 1/4 cup half and half or evaporated milk per pound of meat and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Drain and return to container and your ready to cook.

The Pot:

The traditional pot is a copper cazo ( kettle ) I bought mine many years ago it's a very important tool In my kitchen.

The cooking technique:

Traditional carnitas are cooked only in the fat that was rendered by the pig being cooked, however you would stop shopping at your local butcher if he sold you the meat with all the fat on it, so melt down enough lard so when the meat goes in the pot, the meat is submerged.

Once the fat is melted and temperature is around 250F start adding the meat ensuring the temperature does not drop, once all the meat is in get it up to 300F and let it cook until golden brown.

The half and half or condensed milk will caramelize  and that's when  you will know your carnitas are done, warm up some tortillas, some green tomatillo jalapeno and cilantro salsa and you are in for a treat.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FOOD: BMT, yes M for Mushroom

A classic BLT is awesome, comfort food at its best and something that always satisfies, Ive always had one complaint. "L" Lettuce

Don't get me wrong, I like lettuce but what is the right type for this sandwich, iceberg is to watery, romaine to dry, Im sure there are other cultivars out there, perhaps the perfect BLT cultivar is just around the corner, but for now, I have a suggestion.


Crimini, or white button, lightly sautéed in butter, line the bottom slice with them  add some thinly sliced pepper jack cheese.

The earthy mushroom, compliments the smoky bits of heaven we call bacon, the tomato lubricates each bite and pepper jack adds just enough spice, maybe  some alfalfa sprouts for crunch, perfect.


This is the stuff sandwich dreams are made of, make one, you may too ditch lettuce.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Food: Alchemy, and cooking.

Turning lead in to gold.

Its easy to think about cooking as building, putting ingredients together, working with taste, smell and texture to make a dish that is both delicious an nourishing.

Cooking like this can yield amazing results, and most of us do it like this, we simply whip up a recipe and feel contempt with the results.

However, there is a different way of cooking, Alchemy if you will, a cooking style that allows your personality and creativity to flow and ultimately delivers results that leave people asking, how come you don't have a restaurant, and boy is that a compliment.

What does it mean to use Alchemy in the kitchen, simple, focus on one ingredient and use others to transform it to something very different, use your imagination, use common sense but the key is experimentation.

For Example, consider Shrimp.

Shrimp is a great ingredient, in my book any ingredient that can be enjoyed by it self is a great ingredient, boiling water, sun , lime juice, straight raw, shrimp by itself never disappoints.

Alchemy we take that same Shrimp add Salt, Butter, Garlic and peeper. and we have a new taste, golden aromatic and comforting food, where the main character is Shrimp, but as been transformed to more than just a small crustacean. its been transformed.


STILL HERE: Back on the Wagon

Hee, haaa !

After some months of being away from my dear blog, I decided it was enough. Its time to come back and share my love with all things edible.

Its so difficult to write about a passion when your daily activities are not related, my work life and passion for food are in no way tied, however, lucky for my my family life is..... and I will continue to write about it.

The whole holiday season went by and I had some great experiences, I absolutely have to write about, dishes that take my back to my childhood and, had a chance to be around really good people.

I have good ideas on being a positive person that I will share with you that are sure to help to live life facing forward, never looking back.

Keep coming back.
Jorge Delgadillo

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FOOD: Nothing hard, about this ingredient.

 There may be some debate after this post, but in my personal opinion the humble chicken egg, an essential building block of modern nutrition an ingredient that deserves its own post. When prepared in its simplest form is transformed to a whole new ingredient.

What could be simpler than boiling and egg, yet the end result can be used in a multitude of dishes some where the hard boiled egg takes center stage and some where the egg adorns or  compliments food, this is why I consider it an important ingredient.

Salted water, room temperature egg, 10 minutes in a rolling boil.  VOILA something fun tasty and nutritious.

Perhaps the most common preparation it a classic egg and potato salad, but the variety of dishes this egg is present in may well be enough for a small book, I have seen Asian, European, American, Mexican and many other cuisines. There is something about the simplistic nature of this egg  that invites us to be creative with them

Meatballs, with a hard boiled egg piece is a classic dish in my house and to have meatballs with out an egg surprise is a big disappointment for my kids, ill post the recipe of this Mexican dish.

Be creative and Enjoy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

FOOD: From bold to mellow, from pungent to almost floral

I am enamored with spices.

We go way back and like most things the best way of learning about anything is by experimentation further more an adventurous gourmand is always rewarded and in this case I absolutely know I have.

I have found many great spices, however some I don’t ever buy again, too strong to difficult to control, others simply don’t appeal to me, however there are those that take a special place in my spice rack and like pepper this heavenly concoction, that is Indian but obviously from an Arabic background is a must “Garam Masala”.

Garam Masala is a key spice in many traditional Indian dishes, but its remarkably nimble, its traditionally a mix of black & white peppercorns, cloves, malabar leaves,cumin seeds, cinnamon, black, brown, & green cardamom, nutmeg, star anise and coriander seeds. but i have encountered many variations that more ingredients , how ever most agree on the these. its amazing stuff.

I’ve tried it on traditional Indian food as well as dry rubs, fried food, rice and many other dishes, it can be powerful if used in excess so care should be taken when using it but it also if used ever so lightly can be floral and delicious, even on sweets like biscuits and oatmeal cookies.

Even if you have never had Indian cuisine or if you are not particularly fond of it, take my word, its worth your time.

Enjoy JD

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FOOD: The mighty bean.

Few ingredients are as important to Mexican cooking as beans, and after all the wise cracks and stereotypes that accompany beans its clear that we don't eat enough of these low fat, high protein , fiber rich, iron packing beans as we should. this food is perfection.

Frijoles, in spanish are more than just a side dish and the love the Mexican people have for beans is not that much different form the love Irish have for potatoes, both nations resourceful at cooking these ingredients and helping them find their way to almost every dish we have.

I'm from the state of Chihuahua and Pinto beans rule in my state, you can have them in every meal and can go from very basic straight out if the pot (Olla) to fillings, rice dishes and the quintessential refried variety. In fact to most Mexicans the smell of fresh refried beans in bacon grease on a Sunday morning is just as appealing as Pancakes for the average American, my home town is the land of burritos and beans and asadero, a fresh cheese somewhat similar to mozzarella is the classic starter, all my children had this for their first burrito.

Many people buy canned beans and I must admit they have gotten better, but there is no substitute to fresh or frozen beans, here is how I make mine.

Prep time  12hr.. WOW but there is a reason I take so long.

Clean beans, inspect for rocks, twigs and any other thing that might be in the bag.
Rinse with cold water
for this recipe use a large Crockpot, place enough  beans so you have 2 to 3 inches before you get to the rim and cover with one inch of water
leave in Crockpot DO NOT TURN ON and go to work.
When you come back the beans will be soaked and ready for cooking
replenish water to one inch above beans
Add about one tsp of kosher salt per lb or beans. (mix in salt)
Cover and set on high.

All Crockpot are different but within 2 to 3 hours you will have fresh beans ready to enjoy.
try them straight form the pot, with some Chihuahua cheese, or Monterrey Jack cubes. the hot beens gently melt the cheese and the taste of milk and butter work great with the them.

cool the rest in the pot and freeze in small portions on zipper bags.

on my next bean post a homage to my Sinaloa friends. Frijoles Puercos.