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Carron

Nov 27, 2004, 9:33 AM

Post #1 of 26 (5421 views)

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What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Personally, I can't live without my cheap molded aluminum lime squeezer. The hinge is just a long nail bent over at the point. We use limes in or on just about everything, especially during cold and flu season, and before we bought our squeezer we rarely used them at all. It stays on our counter right beside the stove and spice rack. It cost about 10 pesos at Soriana. A fancy one at a supermarket in Texas was $12.99!



Rolly


Nov 27, 2004, 9:38 AM

Post #2 of 26 (5421 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Smile When I saw your question before I opened the post, I thought "My lime squeezer."

Rolly Pirate


Uncle Jack


Nov 28, 2004, 10:04 AM

Post #3 of 26 (5388 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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The meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. I like to make my own ground meat and pork sausage.


ET

Nov 28, 2004, 12:04 PM

Post #4 of 26 (5378 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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I cannot tell you what a relief it is to see other people identifying the lime squeezer as their favorite. I giggle with delight over the ease and efficiency every time I use mine. Plus it offsets the "humor him and he won't wig out" look I got from the security/customs guy who x-rayed my bag and decided to check the strange metal masses in one of my bags, which turned out to be two of them. Good thing I didn't buy the manual citrus juicer that I had been contemplating. Who knows what he would have done when he encountered that one wrapped in my dirty underwear....


(This post was edited by ET on Nov 28, 2004, 5:02 PM)


viejogatomalo

Nov 28, 2004, 3:37 PM

Post #5 of 26 (5358 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Actually, a really good cook is the best kitchen gadget I can think of!


jennifer rose

Nov 28, 2004, 5:40 PM

Post #6 of 26 (5342 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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I've collected all of the Mexican cooking utensils, but, to be truthful, beyond the wooden spoons, which are pretty generic anyway, I almost always reach for something that came from Williams-Sonoma, Chef's Catalog or Sur la Table. If I'm only going to use one lime, I squeeze it with my hand; more than one lime requires getting out the electric juicer. My favorite knife is Japanese, the knife sharpener Chef's Choice, and most of the pots and pans French or German. The George Foreman grill is great for toasting chiles. My idea of cooking rice is to get out one of the Japanese rice steamers.

I'm enamored with my cast iron meat pounder, like Mexican butchers have, but the truth is that I bought it at a place outside of the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul and have never used it.

All right, I'll name my favorite Mexican kitchen implement: the pressure cooker. Second only to the telephone, for making reservations.


Carol Schmidt


Nov 29, 2004, 6:52 AM

Post #7 of 26 (5318 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Most-used kitchen item other than pots and knives/spoons: tie between the coffee maker (could have been made in Mexico) and the KitchenAid mixer (definitely not made in Mexico). Lime juicer, for sure made in Mexico, is probably third. Comal attachment to Mexican-made stove is right up there.

Oops, forgot the blender, which has had so many replacement parts it's Mexican made by now. It's easier than the food processor, less parts to clean.

Carol Schmidt

(This post was edited by Carol Schmidt on Nov 29, 2004, 5:19 PM)


Caarina12

Nov 29, 2004, 9:48 AM

Post #8 of 26 (5302 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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It definately would be the lime squeezer. A close second would be my molcajete. I love grinding spices and making salsa in it. Third would be my food mill for removing chile skins and tomato seeds for moles and pepianes.


kirkswig


Nov 29, 2004, 7:49 PM

Post #9 of 26 (5275 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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The big juicer gizmos!

No, I don't know what the proper name is for it, but you see them at all the restaurants: you put it on the counter and you put the orange in and you pull on the big lever and out comes orange juice. Absolutely brilliant!

I've never seen one of these things NOB. I had an electric juicer back then and it was decent but was loud and difficult to clean and I never felt like I got all the juice out. With these things here in Mexico, there is no doubt.

You want to get the big one though. I spent 350 pesos on what I thought would be the ideal size for my small apartment and it was a big mistake... the thing got bent out of shape after the second or third use. The one I have now is a Star-something; it's good, I like it a lot, but there is an even bigger model I probably would have been happier with (Coppel is the only store here I've found that has them.)

With this thing, I can get a freshly-squeezed glass of OJ in under a minute, clean-up included. And with oranges being so sweet and cheap here, it is easily one of my favorite things about Mexico so far.

(p.s., to squeeze limes I use my garlic press. It does a much better job at the limon than it does the garlic. Somebody should start a thread on garlic, man, this is one difficult veggie to get a handle on.)

To boldly go where no wig has gone before.


julietl


Nov 30, 2004, 9:59 AM

Post #10 of 26 (5251 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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My knives - hands down, no contest.
They are a necessity, though, so maybe they they don't quite fit in to gadget category.

Every Mexican gadget that I have: the molcajete broken in for over 20 years from my suegra, my comal, the beautiful wooden chocolate crusher for making Mexican hot chocolate... they are super fun to play with but I could improvise a replacement if I absolutely had to. I am a complete sucker for shopping for kitchen gadgets. They're what I buy in kitchen stores to appease my addiction, because I can't afford the big stuff that I really want.

But without a high quality, razor sharp knife - all cooking is drudgery.
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(This post was edited by julietm on Nov 30, 2004, 10:08 AM)


donwilliston


Dec 5, 2004, 1:21 PM

Post #11 of 26 (5198 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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This is a trick question. A kitchen is an orchestra, not a solo performance.

---
"It's good enough to be true" Gracie Maurahan 1970
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Esteban

Dec 5, 2004, 5:01 PM

Post #12 of 26 (5179 views)

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Re: [julietm] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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I was a guest at a small dinner party at which everyone was contributing to making the meal. It included a little wine and around the center kitchen island we all did our part while chatting away. I started by slicing some tomatoes for a salad. Immediately I knew the owners of the house didn't cook much. They both worked and probably ate out a lot. Why? Because the knives were dull. Not just dull but more like play knives made for children. I think drudgery is an understatement. Without good sharp knives there is no where to go. You may say cuisinart or something else but without knives, you're probably like the others who don't cook much and spend most of your time eating out. I might also add, that if you hear that guy whistling down the street in your part of Mexico, claiming to be a knife sharpener, take a close look. Most are using a coarse stone that couldn't sharpen an axe for tree cutting. They will RUIN your knives. It's an art to sharpen....first the stone then the steel; carefully and without much force. Ask a butcher to show you sometime.


Cynthia7

Dec 5, 2004, 8:54 PM

Post #13 of 26 (5161 views)

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Re: [Esteban] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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It has been my impression that Mexico didn't have many kitchen"gadgets". I find their equipment to be very basic. USA is the kitchen gadget capital of the world. Measurers,weighers,zesters,microplanes,presses,graters,drainers,etc.,etc.,etc.,...Almost all of them end up in a garage sale, Goodwill or the trash. What is your favorite kitchen gadget??? I love the stainless steel scrubby I keep in my tea kettle that prevents lime build up. It was not entended for that but works well. I am wild about zip lock bags -of all sizes.The silpat baking mat for baking cookies. Parchment paper and gold coffee filter...What do you like??


Rocky57


Dec 6, 2004, 7:36 AM

Post #14 of 26 (5147 views)

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Re: [Cynthia7] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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I just discovered the metal tray that goes in a pan of water to steam / heat up tamales and the like. Excellent!

Also found a plastic lid that sits over the top of food heated up in a microwave. No more messy splatters!!!

I say I discovered these things but really it is the friendly folks down here that keep teaching me. Boy do I have a lot to learn!!! :-)


.
The Elusive Grandpa Laugh


Carol Schmidt


Dec 6, 2004, 9:05 AM

Post #15 of 26 (5138 views)

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Re: [Esteban] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Thanks for the tip on the knife sharpener guys, Esteban. I was feeling bad that they never came around our place! Now I can think that they would have ruined our knives if they had. Do you sharpen your own knives then? Where did you get the "stone and the stee"l equipment?

Carol Schmidt


Esteban

Dec 6, 2004, 10:20 AM

Post #16 of 26 (5134 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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You get the sharpening stones at the local hardware stores ferreterios? sp. Or Campesinos stores. they are widely used for sharpening machetes. You can probably find out how to use the stones from the net or your favorite butcher.


Cynthia7

Dec 6, 2004, 10:27 AM

Post #17 of 26 (5132 views)

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Re: [Esteban] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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I have a rice cooker that has a steamer tray. I bet I could use that for tamales..good idea.


julietl


Dec 7, 2004, 1:35 PM

Post #18 of 26 (5108 views)

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Re: [Esteban] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Yep - you are so completely right about the knife sharpener guys. I was warned to stay away from them by my boyfriend, for good reason.

I actually enjoy sharpening my knives myself, it´s kind of meditative.
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jennifer rose

Dec 7, 2004, 1:45 PM

Post #19 of 26 (5104 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Chef's Choice manufactures a rather excellent electric knife sharpener. Sure, it may not have the authenticity of steel and stone, but you're also much less likely to hurt your knife (or yourself) in the process.


ET

Dec 7, 2004, 9:21 PM

Post #20 of 26 (5087 views)

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Re: [julietm] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Quote
julietm writes:
....I actually enjoy sharpening my knives myself, it´s kind of meditative.


I've tried to explain to people the incredibly therapeutic value of getting your sharpening stones and steel out, stripping down to your underwear, and sitting in the living room sharpening your knife collection while listening to Elvis's Suspicious Minds on repeat. Somehow the concept seems to elude most people....


Texwheel

Dec 9, 2004, 9:11 AM

Post #21 of 26 (5060 views)

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Re: [ET] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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But...sitting there in your underwear sharpening knives...don't let your hand slip!
Tom Williams
Georgetown, Texas
Texwheel@aol.com


Texwheel

Dec 9, 2004, 9:25 AM

Post #22 of 26 (5059 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Once a good knife is properly sharpened an occasional "touch up" with a good "steel" is all that is usually needed. But be careful. Like an idiot I once was resharpening a big butcher knife with a steel, but had the crossbar turned the wrong way...a slight miss, which the crossbar, properly positioned, will catch, and I sliced about a half-inch or so down just behind my left thumb nail. Ouch!

As an aside, while visiting my 90-year old Mom a couple of days ago...she still putters around like a motor scooter...she was peeling a potato and looked up at me and starting laughing. She had just gotten a new potato peeler and was thrilled at how much easier the new peeler did the job than her old one, which was who-knows-how-old. Isn't it cool how the little things are meaningful, also.
Tom Williams
Georgetown, Texas
Texwheel@aol.com


Carol Schmidt


Dec 9, 2004, 10:11 PM

Post #23 of 26 (5042 views)

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Re: [ET] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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The picture of sharpening your knives, dressed only in underwear, to the sound of "Suspicious Minds" brought up to me that great line from Raymond Chandler describing those hot, overpowering, nerve-racking Santa Ana winds bearing down on Los Angeles--it's the time of year when housewives run their fingers over the edges of their knives and stare at their husbands.

I think I'll check into that electric knife sharpening thingie, Jennifer. Or it may be cheaper and easier to just buy new knives.

Carol Schmidt


esperanza

Dec 9, 2004, 10:16 PM

Post #24 of 26 (5041 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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I keep a great edge on my 35-year-old Sabatiers with a little Accusharp manual knife sharpener from Texas. Best thing I've ever used, and my knives are better than new.

http://www.accusharp.com/chefs.htm




http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









JeffinIdaho


Dec 12, 2004, 10:45 AM

Post #25 of 26 (5011 views)

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Re: [Carron] What Is Your Favorite Mexican Kitchen Gadget?

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Same here, I am constantly using my exprimidores, I have two sizes, one for limes, another larger for oranges. My second favorite 'gadget' are my tamaleras, tamale steamers.

Jeff
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