So today (and, if I’m being honest, for the past several days) a friend and I were discussing our intense salsa and general Mexican food cravings. I sort of helplessly whined about how I wanted salsa for a few days, and then today I remembered that “learn to cook good Mexican food at home” has been on my list of things to do for, oh, five or six years now. Maybe more, actually. I’ve brought up Diana Kennedy’s books on Amazon and abebooks so many times it borders on the ridiculous. So maybe now is the time to learn.
While I do love me some Tex-Mex and other less authentic Mexican, what I really want to learn is how to make all the sauces. If you ask anyone who knows me well, they will probably tell you that I eat not so much for the food itself as for the sauces that go on or with it. Cocktail sauce, mole, salsa, mustard, all varieties of pan sauces, gravy, remoulade, etc. And Mexican cooking is sort of like the champion of yummy sauces. I know everyone else has them, too, but regional Mexican cooking just has so many delicious candidates. (I may be biased right now, because if I don’t get some salsa soon I’m going to probably gnaw my hand off.)
So I think this is the time to embark on this project, and stop putting it off and sitting around bemoaning the general lack of chile verde in my life. In general, our town sucks as a place to acquire ingredients, but thanks to a large Mexican population, I can get fairly specialized ingredients even at the regular grocery store. The library here has a few of Diana Kennedy’s books, and some Rick Bayless too (though I still haven’t forgiven him, quite, for that Burger King ad). They’re open tonight until 8pm, which means I have time enough to get there and come home with a ridiculous pile of books, which hopefully I remember to return on time.
Wonder what I should make first. Tortillas? Chiles rellenos? Something with pork? The last is the most likely, since we have about 16 pounds of pork shoulder in the deep freeze. I’ve already got the week’s menu planned, but I may have to rearrange to accomodate something especially tasty. I’ll be sure to update here with what I learn, and pictures, if I can keep myself from going facefirst into the plates long enough to get them. (I need lunch right now; can you tell?)