Mexican Cooking Tips Worth Knowing
If you want to learn how to make authentic Mexican recipes, one of the best cooking tips is to know your ingredients. That means that you should have a knowledge of the most common ingredients in Mexican cuisine, as well as understanding a little about how to combine herbs and spices and a few basic food preparation tips.
If you are new to Mexican cooking you can just find a recipe and follow it carefully, but understanding how Mexican recipes are made means, you can substitute ingredients and alter the recipe but still keep it traditional and authentic.
A Few Mexican Staples
Two of the most popular flavors in Mexican recipes are garlic and onion. Garlic can be powdered or fresh and it features in lots of traditional Mexican recipes including salsa, Spanish rice, and taco seasoning.
Onion is also available powdered or fresh and it features in most recipes, which use garlic. Epazote, which is a pungent herb known as “Mexican tea” is used to flavor bean-based dishes. Cloves, anise, and cinnamon are also used in some Mexican recipes, as well as cocoa.
Spices are used to give flavor to Mexican dishes and these include chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Oregano is nice with tomato-based recipes and it gives the dish an earthy taste. Chili powder is a combination of powdered, dried chili peppers, oregano, and cumin and maybe some other spices too. For an authentic Mexican flavor, you might like to use ancho chili powder, which is rich, sweet, and hot. Chipotle chili powder is also tasty and this is simply dried, smoked jalapeno.
How to Fold a Burrito
Tortillas are so common in Mexican cooking that learning how to fold a burrito is a good idea. It is easy to roll tortillas up or shred them but how do you fold burritos? First of all, you need to lay the tortilla on a flat surface.
Next spoon the filling down the center, leaving the last couple of inches free. Fold the short end up so the filling cannot run out. Then fold one of the long sides over the filling. With your filling on the fold, fold the other long side over and push it down so the filling is well enclosed.
Put the burrito fold-side down for five minutes to let the tortilla and filling mold together and to make sure it will not pop open. Do not over-fill a burrito else, you might not get it to close properly. To make tortillas more pliable, you can microwave them for fifteen seconds before using them. This makes them soft and easier to fold or roll.
How to Prepare a Fresh Chili Pepper
If a recipe tells you to de-seed and dice a chili pepper, you might be wondering how to do that. Actually preparing fresh chilies is simple once you know how. First of all, cut the tip off to make the chili pepper stable, then put the knife in to the top of the chili and, with a downward curve, slice off the flesh. Repeat this until you are left with the stem and seeds.
Slice the chili flesh into long strips, and then cut these into smaller strips. Finally chop the strips across to make small pieces. Your chili is now diced and ready to be used in your favorite Mexican recipes.
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