Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Puerco Pibil

I have achiote paste.
And, I'm not afraid to use it!

I just couldn't listen to Rick Bayless rave about it any more without trying it. Rick is the Chef on Mexico - One Plate at a Time on your local PBS station.

And, of course, since I was in a Mexican market, I also bought some fresh Queso Fresco (not to be redundant) and some corn tortillas. (Sorry Meg, just look away...) Then I realized it was only lunchtime so I had to bring my groceries into work with me b/c it's cooler in my non air conditioned office than in my car.


BTW, is it a law or something that all the men in the market have to flirt with the gringa? Not that I mind...they're just ensuring my return trip.
So, that's what it looked like after 22 hours of marinating.

Isn't it cute? A new home in banana leaves.
Who knew they were only a buck a frozen bag at the market?

Three hours later - 25 hours total - my patience was rewarded.

So, how did it taste?
Here's the scoop. I like its subtle citrus and vinegar taste. I absolutely ate all of my lunch. But, I can't say I loved it - yet. I was missing a few key hardware pieces - specifically a coffee grinder and a bar blender - so, my pibil is a bit lacking.

My fault.

I give myself only a grade of B for following the recipe. I used fresh squeezed OJ and lemons as called for. However, I used ground spices.

I know, I know!
It would make AB cry.

Next time I will definitely blend everything and I will grind my own spices. I swear on my collection of Good Eats DVDs.

(Waiting for the next 20% off BBB coupons. I believe in researching hardware, knowing exactly what you want and buying that once. No substitutions.)

I believe that Rick Bayliss wraps his pibil in banana leaves and then adds some water, covers, and cooks low and slow. And, that's what I did.

I plan on buying Rick Bayliss' DVDs and I think I will try his recipe exactly. (His oven version, that is. I won't be digging a roasting pit in my backyard the way he and his daughter did.) I know I used the brand of achiote paste, "El Yucateco", that he uses in his show - but I don't know if I used the right amount. I am almost positive Rick uses limes and not lemons. I don't think the Yucatan even has lemons.

So, I am glad I made it. I will absolutely make it again.
But, I will wait until I have the hardware to make it right.

OK, next up - Tamales.
Meg...just look away.
I know it's painful...but I actually LIKE corn tortillas.
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