All You Need To Know About Mexican Cooking Equipment And Utensils

Perhaps you have eaten Mexican food in a top quality Mexican restaurant or even in a Mexican home. If you have, maybe some authentic Mexican cookware or utensils were used to make the dishes. Mexicans use a range of different cooking methods, including baking, slow roasting and deep-frying and they have unique pots and pans for these methods. Mexicans like to use plenty of fresh produce in their cuisine, including spices and herbs, so you will find sharp knives and a mortar and pestle in any Mexican kitchen.

Traditional Mexican Cooking Pots

Ollas, also known as Barros, are deep clay cooking pots. They are perfect for simmering beans, stew or soup and clay is a great medium for cookware because it distributes the heat evenly to avoid burnt spots. Barro means clay or mud and olla means pot. These cooking pots are fine to put over a direct flame all day long.

You do need to warm clay before using it else; it might crack if you suddenly expose it to a high heat. If you are baking, you can let the pot warm up as the oven does. Your Mexican food will have a subtle earthy taste if you cook it in a clay pot.

Comals are used in Mexican cookery and these are big, round griddles made from cast iron, clay, or aluminum. Modern ones normally have a non-stick finish and they are used to roast chilies and warm tortillas.

Cazuelas are for simmering sauces such as mole. A cazuela is a big, round clay dish, which is about six inches deep. The inside is glazed and the outside is either plain or painted in bright colors. Cazuelas usually have handles so you can put them over an open fire safely.

A tortillero is a Mexican tortilla press with two wooden discs or round plates. You put a ball of masa between the plates and press down to make a tortilla. These machines used to be wooden but are normally cast iron now. You can get cheap aluminum ones too but these break easily.

Handy Mexican Cooking Utensils

A metate y mano is found in most Mexican kitchens and this is a platter sized, concave dish made from stone. It sits on three short legs on the table or three long legs so you can pull a chair up to it. There is a large, round stone, which you roll on the surface to grind or mix your ingredients.

A Mexican mortar and pestle is called a molcajete y tejolote and this is a small clay, wood or stone bowl with a long cylinder made of the same material. The cylinder is rounded on each end and you use it to pulverize the ingredients in the bowl by rolling the cylinder in a circular motion.

Hot chocolate is a popular Mexican drink and a wooden whisk called a molinillo is used to make froth on the top. You spin the molinillo between your hands to do this. Some are plain and others are highly decorated. The molinillo is a small but significant part of the exciting world of Mexican food customs. Even though it is possible to make delicious Mexican recipes without the proper equipment, it is more fun to use it. Mexican pots and tools look great displayed in the kitchen as well.

Curry Beef Stew Easy Cooking For Men Slow Cooker Cookbook Series

This Curry Beef stew recipe is from the Easy Cooking For Men “Slow Cooker Cookbook” series. The idea of using a slowcooker or crockpot with a stew is to infuse the flavours into the meat and to tenderise the meat so that it is not only cooked through but will melt in your mouth.

For best results use the best meat you can find. You will however be able to use cheaper cuts of meat as the tenderising process of the slow cooking tends to make a tougher cuts of beef more tender. Ideally, if you can cook the meat just right it will just about fall off your folk.

Curry Beef Crockpot – Slow Cooker Cookbook series

Ingredients:

500 grams diced beef
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 to 2 cups of beef stock
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 finely diced jalapeno chili pepper
1 onion
1 cup rice

Directions:

You should start this meal in the morning as it will take all day to cook. Turn the crockpot on to its lowest heat setting. Make sure the beef is thawed before adding to the crockpot. It will not cook properly in the low heat of the crockpot if it is frozen, evenly partly frozen.

Add the beef into the crockpot, crack salt and pepper of the top of the beef.

Heat the oil in a large pan and then add the onion and garlic first for about 30 seconds, continually stirring. Then add the ginger, jalapeno, and curry powder. Cook for another 30 seconds continually stirring. Add the tomato’s and beef stock and mix all ingredients well, continue stirring for about 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, and pour all ingredients into the crockpot. Stir in well with a wooden spoon. Make sure the tomatoe and stock mixture covers all the beef. If not add more stock, you can also add more tomato’s if required.

Cover the slowcooker with the lid and leave it to cook for between 6 to 8 hours. Ideally you should check the crockpot occasionally and stir with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking. Stir approximately every 30 minutes.

Boil rice a serve Curry Beef Stew on top of plates or bowls of rice. Serve with Naan bread or Papadums on the side.