Mexican Finds - Jalapeños and Masa Harina

Masa Harina
This has been the month of serendipitous mexican finds.  First I found 2kilos Masa Harina at Bahadourian for 7€.  You can usually get it at Don Taco, but for 11€.  I made a round of tamales with a chicken and rajas filling, using a corne de boeuf pepper in place of poblanos.  (I already had the corn husks).  Then I made sopes with the left over filling.  Next I made some tortillas, and turned them into chorizo quesadillas.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with masa harina, it's dried corn that is cooked in "limewater" (not actual limes), ground into a paste, then dried into flour.  It's the cooking in limewater that alters the corn in such a way that allows tortillas to be supple.  If you've ever tried to make tortillas, or other mexican corn products with regular corn flour, then you know that it'll just break up.  This is also why the "corn" tortillas you might buy here are strange and tasteless.  They are mostly made of wheat flour with a touch of regular corn flour.  


I was doing some shopping at Bail Distribution.  They distribute high quality fruits and vegetables to restaurants, but also have a retail store.  I found these chiles next to normal Moroccan ones and I asked about them.  Of course, the sales lady has no idea these are not the same kind of chili.  When I insisted these two were not the same thing, and there was no price on those, she asked the manager.  He didn't know either.  I ended up talking to him, I finally I told him, look, I know my chiles, and that is nothing like those moroccan chilies, and if it was what I thought it was, I knew quite a few people who were going to be really happy.  He knew he had jalapeños in jars (didn't realize they're pickled so they don't have the same culinary uses).  Then he says to me, I'm not even sure those are hot… He picked one up and broke it open.  I put my pinkie finger in there and put it in my mouth.  I told him it was hot, but he decided to do it anyway, and did the finger taste test.  I don't think he's going to forget that for a while.  Poor guy!  He came to the conclusion that these peppers were probably a mistake, and they may not get anymore.  I bought a dozen, so if you're quick you might still get some.  I've since made guacamole and salsa with them, and I'm thinking about doing some poppers with the rest of them.  I do think they're jalapeños, but they don't have as strong of a jalapeño taste as the ones I'm use to.  I think that's likely due to the growing conditions.  I was still really happy to get them :)

Post by Dori June 25, 2015


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