Mexican Cooking Styles and Equipment
Mexican cooking is one of the most varied culinary styles in the world, although there are a few things that Mexican recipes have in common, no matter which part of the country they originate from. For example, all Mexicans like to use top quality, fresh produce in their recipes and they know how to blend herbs and spices for a balanced and well-rounded flavor.
In some parts of the country, you will find different recipes than in other parts. For example, Mexicans living in coastal regions are likely to enjoy cooking with fish or seafood, but those living further inland will probably use beef, pork, or chicken more than fish, because they will find these meats more available and more economical.
The cooking styles and methods are likely to be similar though. Tortillas are an example of a Mexican staple and these are enjoyed all over the country and at nearly every meal. In some parts of Mexico, corn tortillas are prevalent and in other parts of the country flour tortillas are used instead.
Cooking Techniques for Authentic Mexican Dishes
Mexican food can be grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, or baked, and these are cooking methods, which are used in many different cuisines around the world. In the old days, Mexicans would have used an open fire since they did not have ovens. Ceramic ware and cast iron cooking pots were popular. You can recreate this effect today by using a grill.
Grilling really brings out the flavor of Mexican food actually. You can grill pretty much any kind of meat after marinating it in Mexican herbs and spices. Carne asada is especially good when you grill it and you can use it to make fajitas or tacos. Frying has always been popular and this method is used for Mexican foods like chimichangas, taquitos, and flautas.
You can slow cook meat with water, vegetables, and Mexican spices to make really flavorful dishes. Carnitas and shredded beef tacos are best made with this cooking method and leaving the meat to slow cook all day ensures it will be juicy, tender and literally falling apart.
Steaming was another popular cooking style for Mexican food recipes. A barbacoa was a way of slow cooking meat, in which the meat was hung over a deep pit full of hot water. The meat was wrapped in banana leaves or cactus leaves and the steam kept it moist and tender while cooking it slowly.
You can use a Dutch oven for a similar effect. You can get big steaming buckets and pots for making tamales. Steamed tamales taste great because the steam keeps them moist and juicy.
Cooking Equipment for Mexican Recipes
There is no cooking equipment that you absolutely have to invest in, if you want to make Mexican recipes at home, but you might like to try using a mortar and pestle, or a “molcajete,” to grind up your herbs and spices. A larger version of this is called a “metate y mano” and this is a concave lava rock or stone.
Today, of course, you can get masa, which is ground corn. In the old days, you would have had to grind your own, if you wanted to make Mexican food recipes like tamales. Combining today’s handy ingredients and cooking methods with traditional Mexican recipes means you can make authentic Mexican dishes with ease.
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