Mexican cooking techniques consists generally of methods which familiar with; namely grilling, frying, boiling and baking. Are you familiar with steaming, which is used for most Mexican dishes. Frying perhaps the most pre dominate cooking method which evolves from the early days because ovens were not available. Meats used in Burritos, Tacos, Enchiladas and many other dishes are generally fried. Tortillas, which are commonly used in Mexican recipes, are fried or cooked on a lightly greased skillet.
Today, most of the work of Mexican cuisine has been simplified by the availability of non-stick pans and cast iron, blenders and food processors, ovens, specialized equipment, grills, and prepared spices.
Ingredients used in Mexican recipes:
* Chile peppers - The Ancho chile is the most used - see About Chile Peppers.
* Mesa (special processed corn meal)
* Cilantro - A distinctive, flavorful herb. An essential ingredient in salsa.
* Cumin - Another distinctively flavored seasoning, essential spice in chili.
* Lime - Used extensively
* Cheese, garlic and onion - Seasoning and garnish on many Mexican dishes
* Frijoles/Refried Beans - Served as a side or an ingredient in many dishes.
* Sour Cream - Often used as garnish
* Tomatoes and Tomatillos - Used in many dishes. Tomatillos are used in salsa and sauces.
Possibly the most used cookware is cast iron. The capability to transfer and retain heat makes cast iron well suited for Mexican dishes. Mexican cooking traditionalist will also have a mortar and pestle which used to pulverize or grind herbs, spices and chile peppers. However, most people prefer the convenience and simplicity of a food processor.
A steamer of some sort is also wanted for those interested in preparing Mexican cuisine. Everyone should try home made tamales at least once and although they can be made in boiling water, the time-honored method is in a steamer. Steamers come in several forms and prices, but an old fashioned Chinese bamboo steamer is cheap and works very well.
Frying techniques, grilling, boiling and baking are slightly different from cooking any other food. When frying, use a touch of oil to stop sticking and always pre-heat the oil and skillet. When boiling take care that the liquid does not boil complete away to avoid burning food. When baking or grilling, always pre-heat the oven and watch closely dishes with cheese to avoid burning. When steaming take care that the water in the bottom vessel does not boil away and use a fork to test the tenderness of vegetables sometimes.