Here are some pictures of the Mexican food we have eaten this weekend. On the right we have a spread of pork rib tacos with hand pressed tortillas; hand cut salsa and guacamoles; and local arugula. On the left we have the seafood taco spread featuring: breaded cod and shrimp; hand cut mango salsa; more of the hand pressed corn tortillas; and arugula. Looks pretty good, huh? So where is this new place?
Chez Schulmann of course!
Okay, I am extremely, perhaps even excessively proud of myself, Bernard too - he was the man on proteins. The build up to the mexican fiesta began a couple of weeks ago when Bernard went into the Fairway Market in Sidney while I was getting my hair cut. He spotted a tortilla press and some dry masa mix and decided we needed to expand our culinary horizons to south of the border.
Bernard slapped some spice rub on pork ribs and put them on low, offset heat on the BBQ and mixed up some masa. When the ribs were partly cooked and the masa had sat for a bit I stepped into the tortilla ring. We had to do some experimenting and a bit of research but with a slightly wetter masa mix and some plastic wrap lining the tortilla press, we made some pretty good corn tortillas. The ribs could have cooked a wee bit longer but had great flavour. The salsa and the guacamole both turned out really well. I am not a fan of cilantro, and we didn't have any anyway, so I substituted arugula. I found it added that green-ness that cilantro imparts and a bit of spice, which made up for our lack of chilis.
On Sunday, after a long, tough afternoon at Food Fest 2011 at Fort Rodd Hill (Okay, nothing tough at ALL about that!) we decided we would do the whole tortilla thing again with fish this time.
I made a mango salsa that was pretty good - mango, garlic, arugula (see reason above) and lime zest and juice. The mangoes could have been riper, I could have had another lime, but over all I was happy. I took on the masa making this time and erred to the wet just a bit. The wetter masa meant we ended up with more, thinner tortillas, but getting the tortillas off the plastic and into the pan was trickier. Overall a better product, but not quite perfect. More tinkering will be needed. Bernard breaded the fish in panko and shallow fried it which turned out great. The fish was perfectly cooked and the crunch of the breading was very nice texturely.
As a side note the arugula and green onion used came from a local stand on Donald Street (Tuesday nights and Saturdays) that is run by a woman who uses her own, and several neighbours', yards to grow produce. We would probably qualify for half mile diet status on those! The tomatoes for the salsa came from our favorite seasonal greenhouse, Glanford Greenhouse, located on Glandford and McKenzie.