Thursday, April 29, 2010

Latin Grocery and a Recipe

Due to the boom in latino/hispanic population in this country, there's bound to be a Latin grocery in your town.  Maybe you have never been there. If this is the case, I say: Go Now! It's like taking a vacation without leaving town (that is, if you are crazy like me, who loves to check out grocery stores when on vacation!) Here in my neck of the woods, we have plenty to choose from, from small markets to huge grocery stores that cater to latinos...some that come to mind are: King Ranch, SuperA, Superior, and La Super.

The produce is usually amazingly fresh, and has all the "regular" stuff, like lettuce, tomatoes, corn, et al...but ahhh...there are some great ingredients you must try. Here are some:
 Red bananas or mini bananas: sweet, small, very fun for kids! and the mini ones are so adorable, they come in a "bunch" just like Curious George books!

Mexican Onion (cebollita): like a scallion, but bigger and more flavorful..use these anywhere you'd use a scallion or onion, they are also great rubbed with olive oil, slat and pepper and thrown on the grill!

Yuca: This beastly looking thing is a waxy tuber that is cooked similar to a potato. My mother in law, who is from El Salvador, uses them in soups and they are delicious. Also great deep fried!!

Tomatillo: This odd looking thing looks like there's a paper lantern on it! It is actually related to a tomato, and has a bright fresh flavor. They can be fried, grilled, and are mostly used in recipe for Tomatillo Salsa follows....

Their spice sections are usually can buy most by weight. I saw fresh nutmeg, every kind of dried chili, you name it.

Panaderia, Tortilleria... basically these grocery stores have an in-house butcher, bakery and usually make their own fresh tortillas IN HOUSE.... when I go there I get my fresh tortillas and they are still warm The chips are also to die for, and are made fresh daily. Buy the store brand...they will be a bit darker in color...that will tell you they are freshly made. There will also be fresh cheeses (Try queso fresco, a mild, delicious cheese with a crumbly texture) by the pound, fresh crema (like sour cream) and fresh salsas.

They also have very European/Gourmet items. Yesterday I saw Quince Paste, fresh in the deli area, all kinds of pastries, and freshly made bolillos (which is a little like a tiny baguette)

Last night we had friends over and had 2 homemade salsas(one is below), fresh corn tortillas from the market, carne asada tacos (freshly bbq'd marinated flank steak, sliced thinly) and for dessert, caramel flan I purchased at King Ranch which was to die for!

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
This is so darn easy and everyone will keep repeating: "You MADE this?" 
It really is good: and different. Try it.

about 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos, outer papery skin peeled and cut into quarters
2-3 cebollitas, or 4-5 scallions, roots removed (use green and white part)
1 small clove garlic, peeled
2-3 key limes, or 1 juicy regular lime--juiced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeno (optional)
1 tsp granulated sugar
salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until uniformly blended and forms a saucy consistency but thick. Serve immediately with chips, tacos, anything you use salsa for. Delicioso! This will keep for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.

Linking to a special SNS#28 "recipe" feature!!

1 comment:

  1. I have never made anything with tomatillos but I have several recipes that call for them so one of these days i will do it! This sounds really good!


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