For The Cooks Out There

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November 4th 2010
Published: November 13th 2010
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- Sue -

For you cooks out there:

Finding food here is a chore that must be done every couple of days. It's been hard finding even the simplest of spices and herbs. I'm sure that when you live here for a while, you find the right shops and just keep going back for more. But finding the right shops isn't easy. On the up side, every day brings a new challenge.

In addition to salt and pepper, I now have a head of garlic as well as a small jar of dried chicken broth and a small bottle of mustard I can use for flavoring. I also bought a small quantity of dried oregano from a produce market. I found it to be mostly stems with a few leaves attached. Oh well, better than nothing.

Then, on Saturday, I happened upon a man from the States who lives nearby and grows organic produce. He gathers up things like lettuce, parsley, cilantro, and other herbs and sells them every Saturday in the entrance to the bed and breakfast place we stayed at on our last trip here. So, I now have fresh thyme, parsley, cilantro, and marjoram as well as some dried herbs de provence and epazote, an herb used in re-fried beans. I now have the means to cook flavorful dinners.

Dinner last night turned out to be the best meal we've had so far in Mexico. I had scored a refrigerated packet of white pork meat cut in a scallopini style, a bag of grated Parmesan cheese and some pasta in a supermarket we found. I also had a bit of European style Parmesan cheese bread left over from a purchase several days ago. I chopped up the bread and let it sit a day to dry. It then became very tasty bread crumbs.

Speaking of bread, we've found one place that sells European style breads. Everything else seems to be made from the same white bread dough baked in various shapes.

Anyway, I breaded the meat with the tasty crumbs and pan fried it in olive oil. It was fantastic!

For the pasta, I finely chopped 4 mushrooms and one large clove of garlic. That got cooked in olive oil along with just a pinch of dried chicken broth and a bit of fresh thyme. After cooked, I added fresh parsley and a chopped up large plum type red tomato. Cooked pasta was then tossed with the other ingredients followed by some of the Parmesan cheese. The result was even better than the pork. What a meal we had!

And the best part - we only ate half of the pasta. I think I'll add chopped ham to it and serve it for dinner tonight. I'm salivating already.


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