Sunday, December 6, 2009

Utensils You Will Probably Want To Buy For Mexican Cooking

By Beverley Drake

There are certain tools and equipment that you will need for cooking authentic Mexican foods. Some of those tools may only be found in Mexico, where as others may be found in a good Mexican grocery store in your own neighborhood. They will help you to prepare authentic Mexican food. You will find that Mexican cooking is very rewarding.

Mole is best made in a Cazuelas. This is a small bowl like pottery dish with handles that is used to simmer sauces. Clay is very good at dispersing heat and prevents hot spots where sauce is burnt. The handles make them easier to handle in open fires. The outside may be painted brightly and beautifully, while the inside is glazed. These clay pots look great when just setting on a shelf as decorations.

The Olla or Barro are also Mexican clay pots. These pots are very large and may be used for simmering beans, soups or stews. These pots offer even heating and can be heated all day long over an open flame. Remember that these pots are fragile and that quick changes in temperature can cause them to break.

A Comal griddle is a large griddle that is made of cast iron, aluminum or clay. It is usually round and can be used for warming tortillas or roasting chiles or other vegetables. They come in a variety of sizes from that of a large plate up to two feet across.

The Metate y Mano is a hand grinder that has been carved from lava rock or stone. We would call it a mortar and pestle. In Mexico, it is used for grinding corn or spices and foods may be mixed using the cylinder of stone. There are usually three legs that have been carved to hold the bowl upright.

The Molcajete y Tejolote is a true Mexican mortar and pestle. It can be made of stone, clay or even wood. It is sold with a wood cylinder that is rounded on each end to use to crush spices or chilis to prepare them for cooking.

A Molinillo is a wood wisk which is used to froth hot chocolate in a cup. To use this tool, you spin it between your hands to form the foam on the chocolate.

A Tortillero or tortilla press can be made of wood, cast iron, plastic resin or aluminum. The aluminum presses break rather easily, so choose one of the other presses fro best result and to save money. Mesa is rolled into a ball and the ball is pressed flat into the shape of a tortilla. The tortilla is baked on a griddle before eating.

As you can imagine, cooking in the traditional Mexican way can take some time. Fortunately, there are many shortcuts that you can take, and many people make very tasting Mexican food using utensils that are already in their kitchen.

In addition, you may be able to find a high quality Mexican bakery in your neighborhood that can supply you with high quality tortillas so you will not have to grind your own corn or press your own tortillas in order to make your own authentic Mexican food.

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