Turns out everyone wants to be invited to the Foodinsta's Guac-Off this Saturday. My next-door neighbor, Nick, was over yesterday, grabbing food, which is what my neighbors do because I am always trying to get rid of food, and people--especially single men people--seem to like that. Nick is from Saint Louis, his folks own an old school Italian restaurant there, so we are used to talking pesto and piccata. Yesterday, however, he caught me polishing my molcajete (something I've been doing a lot of lately). He had never seen such a thing. "I guess it's like a mortar, right?" he said, looking at it like some strange sort of beast. "It is a mortar!" I told him. I explained that its name came from the verb "moler," meaning "to grind," which is the base of the word MOLE, and also guaca-mole. I don't speak Nuhuatl, so really I was talking smack, but I think there might be some truth to what I was saying. "Will you teach me how to make guacamole?" he said with uncharacteristic humility. I to ...

Read More

I wonder if the guy at Sur La Table can sell me one of these? I actually got out of bed to get my laptop after I got this email, on my bedside iPhone, from my whole-Mexican half-sister, Iridia, in response to the letter I sent her yesterday. (I mean, look at this picture!) So aunt Rosita said to use a "escobeta de maiz" since it is obvios that i don't know how to translate that, i decided to send you an image so you can know what i'm talking about. And you can also smash corn (instead/besides rice), should repeat 2 or 3 times after cleaning with the escobeta, and at the end you again use the escobeta. Let me know how this turns out! Suerte! There you go. From a real live, molcajete using Mexican guacamole maker. (As opposed to the guy on the phone at Sur la Table.) I assume that I am supposed to buy the broom, presumably made with some part of corn, and not the smiling corn cobber. Assuming they don't sell them at SLT, I  know where I'm going Memorial Day weekend... Getting my hand ...

Read More

This is a stolen photograph of a molcajete just like the one I purchased. If I get sued, I'm moving to Mexico, which might be the best thing anyway. The Foodinista and I, both being, essentially, big talkers and guacamole-making novices, have each found ourselves facing an impending Guac-Off, with molcajetes, and no real idea what to do with them. Both of our molcajetes were sold to us as "pre-seasoned," but I found out the relative nature of this term when I made my first batch of guacamole in this primitive mortar—extremely tasty (if I do say so myself), but unmistakably, errr... sandy.  As I posted in a comment on the Foodinista blog, I got in a fight with some poor guy on the other end of the phone at Sur La Table yesterday over the exact definition of "pre-seasoned." "You must have a lot going on," he said (and I wanted to strangle him), implying that no sane and healthy human being could get as worked up as I was over a bit of finely ground black lava in her guacamole. Ye ...

Read More

I have a running joke with myself about my Japanese friends, that you need an instruction booklet to be friends with them—and the same thinking applies to Japanese cuisine. I suppose one can enjoy Japanese food even without such a manual. For years I lived a life of sushi where I considered eel rolls and yellow tail adventurous choices. And I was happy. But after my friend, Hiroshi, took me to sushi for the first time, my eyes were opened to a new way of sushi being, and my sushi eating self would, could, never be the same. [For a guide to eating sushi the Japanese way, see this article that I wrote for The Los Angeles Times.] That night, Hiroshi and I went to a little dive on Sunset Boulevard, his regular joint, where we sat at the sushi bar for three or four hours while the sushi chef plied us with one gorgeous creation after another—from the unusual (eel made in-house, not cryovacced and sent, MSG and all, from Japan); to the exotic (tiny crabs drowning in a glass of sake one mom ...

Read More
1 2 3 4 5 6