Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Help me cook...

Ok, I've run out of things to cook. Everyone talks about how great it is to have all this fresh produce, and I agree, but... How many things can I make with a couple of pots and pans, actually no pots just a couple of pans, and the same veggies every day. I love mexican food, really I do, but my friends here would have no trouble going on one of those 10 favorite food menu plans. I need some ideas.

Here is what we have to work with: fresh chicken, fresh beef (but not much that I know what it is since I have to ask for it in spanish, so think ground and "bee steak" which isn't steak at all but very thinly sliced who-knows-what-part), and sometimes, pork or fish. Chiles, tomatoes, tomatillos, calabazitas (little green squash), calabaza flowers, chiles, potatoes, chiles, onions, various herbs- epezote, cilantro, papalo, chiles, papaya, bananas, mangos, nopales, chiles. There are chiles, chiles and chiles- different colors, sizes, and types. Everything seems to be made with chiles, tomatoes and onion. Oh, and beans, beans, beans. There are also carrots, peas and beans but they are rather expensive as are the potatoes.

Sounds like a lot, but some how I am just not getting it. For one thing, my husband likes chile in everything. He is used to chile, tomato and onion. And beans and tortillas. And being from the south, he only wants black beans. (There is a "bean line" in Mexico, no kidding that is what they call it. South of Mexico City they eat black beans. North they eat the lighter beans.)

I am longing for a lasagna, a cake, some cookies, cinnamon toast, spaghetti, chicken and dumplings. I am not even sure what I want, or what I lack, but it seems so much harder here to make it. We don't have "normal" stoves. It is more gas burners on a metal stand. Maybe I just miss having an oven and a microwave. Maybe a nice budget gourmet frozen something, or a hotpocket.

I shouldn't complain too much, when we were in Tuxtepec I got really good at cooking over an open fire outside. Even had my own little "table" to cook on.

That is the "stove" in back. (My hubby is in front of it at another table.)
This is not mine, it is step-mother-in-law's, mine wasn't as nice, but my little grill-potholder thingy was better cause my hubby made it especially for me at a metal taller (shop).

I have been thinking about it a lot. Maybe it is the spices, and combinations of spices, that are not available here. I don't know. Maybe it is that I have to go to the store for everything, every day because we have no frig and no cabinettes. Maybe it is not being able to open a bunch of cans. Or a freezer. Or a box of mix.

Anyway, if you have any recipes that only use onions, tomatoes and chiles...


  1. Go here. Leslie is am American married to a Mexican and is a fabulous cook, mother and wife. You and she will be great pals.

  2. Thanks, Chrissy, going right now.

  3. karen, I don't have a kitchen either...ahh, some day. BUT, I do have a crock pot and an outdoor asadero and a hot plate and a 9x9 toaster oven. I love my crockpot because it is so simple and you can just throw ALL that stuff you have in it and toss in a WHOLE bunch of chilis for you esposa and wow! URGOOD2GO.
    I agree with Chrissy, leslie Limon's food is fun and you should get some good ideas. LL

  4. Hi Karen! Chrissy told me that you could use some advice. Feel free to check out both of my blogs. I have always loved to cook. I had to learn a few things when I first married my hubby, then I had to re-learn how to cook everything when I moved to Mexico. So, I totally know what you're going through! In the meantime, here is a very simple recipe that will impress your hubby. It's called bistec encebollado. (Onion steak) All you need is atleast 1/2 kilo of bistec, lots of chopped onion and tomato and one or 2 chopped serrano chilies. Saute it all in one of your pans with a little cooking oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with refried black beans and plenty of warm corn tortillas. Much luck to you!

  5. It sounds so exciting to me. Sorry I can't help with the recipes. We eat a ton of island type dishes that include black beans. I love when there's mangos and such over chicken...I think there's not peppers mixed in...see, I'm of no help. I'm just making myself hungry! :-)