Monday, February 23, 2009

Redefining Mexican Cuisine

I was leafing through my tattered edition of The Joy of Cooking, when I found a strange entry for Mexican Tomato Sauce.

The writers preface it by stating:
"Just what you might expect. You will feel hot inside, down to your toes."
Back then, "Mexican" food must have been defined as "HOT!", without regard to race, creed, color or national origin.

For your culinary interest, I have written the ingredients below;
  • Canned tomatoes or fresh
  • Chili Sauce
  • Prepared Mustard
  • Grated or prepared Horseradish
  • sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne
  • Curry Powder (!)
  • Vinegar
  • Onion Juice (WTF is Onion Juice, and how do you squeeze it out?)
  • Garlic
I think this sauce would be perfect for a quesadilla made in a Santa Fe Quesadilla Maker. (My choice for poster child for the Unnecessary Kitchen Gadgets of the World.)

In the words of the immortal Don Anónimo:
"Cada Loco Con Su Tema."


Steve Cotton said...

Quesadilla maker? Right up there with dog dryer.

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Onion juice... WTF!?!?!? I love reading your blog. - And now I feel I need the quesadilla maker. How could I have lived without it for this long? hehehe

Tancho said...

Come on Michael, don't you remember they use to sell both garlic and onion juice in the little bottles that looked like a round garlic clove? Those have disappeared off the shelves about 10 or 15 years ago, I assume the edition of the book is a lot older than that? It's funny but my first experience with Mexican food was years ago and the first taste , was awfull. It was a fork full of "Red's Tamale" If I remember correctly, Tuesday was Red's Tamale Day, was their slogan....

Don Cuevas said...

Not exactly my first experience with "Mexican" food, but a memorable one, was at the Mexican Villa (if I recall correctly) in Springfield, MO.

I got the Grande Combo Platter, or something like that, and if I closed my eyes, each item tasted like a slight variant of the other. True, some tortillas were crunchy and others were soggy. That was the principal distinction. The rest depended on whether the beans were on the inside or the outside.

Everything was either brown or red, covered with melted orange colored cheese and was greasy. It wasn't very good, but they gave you a lot for your money. :-)

I don't recall any sour cream on stuff. Maybe that came later.

Somewhat later, an enterprising güero man and wife opened "La Casita", whose food benefited greatly from the couple's "business trips" to Oaxaca each winter.

There were frijoles negros and quesos fundidos con rajas. The waitresses were cool, too.

I miss that place.

Ken, I've seen those onion and garlic juice bottles on the shelf, but I never used any. CONFESSION: I have, however, used garlic granules and onion flakes. But, no more, I swear!

Don Cuevas said...

I forgot to mention, that was in the 70s.

Married to a Mexican said...

Great post! I will have to try it and see what the Mexican thinks!