It's like Chopped. I just don't want it all in the same dish.
November 6, 2011 3:27 PM   Subscribe

We visited the local Mexican market today, and bought a ton of stuff...and I need some help figuring out what to do with it. I need recipes/ideas for what to do with: fresh guava, dried pasilla chiles, a massive pork cheek, frozen shredded coconut, cajeta, and a ton of limes (12 for one dollar!!!).

Obviously theses things probably should not all be combined, but I'd like suggestions on what to do with each of these delicious ingredients.

Snowflake details:

--we're leaning towards a braise/low & slow preparation on the pork cheek

--I prefer guava in desserts, rather than in savoury applications

--my husband doesn't love Mexican food (crazy, I know!), so I'd like some suggestions that move beyond Latin America. All other cuisines are mutually enjoyed.

--in case it's relevant, we don't eat peanuts (or most other nuts) or cilantro and I don't eat beef. We eat seasonally/locally as much as possible, so bonus points if it's in season.

--we're both really good cooks, so long, complicated, involved recipes are awesome, although simple is okay too. We've got a crock-pot, cast-iron, huge dutch oven pans, an ice cream maker, and most other standard kitchen features/fixtures/appliances. I make all our own bread, ice cream, pasta sauce, etc. and we don't really do processed food.

I think that's it. Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by guster4lovers to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would try putting each ingredient into the search function on Tastespotting and see what it turns out. For example, I did a search for "pork cheek" and it returned a pageful of options (all of which, incidentally, looked delicious and made me feel very hungry all of a sudden!).

Personally, I like the Tastespotting approach because I prefer being able to look at photos of the food first, and then using the visual to decide which recipes I want to look at.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:48 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

You've got loads of limes right now and I feel I should let you know that the juice freezes really well. Juice limes into an ice cube tray and you've got instant lime juice for any recipe, plus - hurrah! - instant limeade all next summer. My mom measures out tablespoons which makes things even simpler.

I'd eat the guava plain.
posted by troublesome at 5:59 PM on November 6, 2011

When you say your husband doesn't love Mexican food, what kind of Mexican food do you mean? Tex-Mex? Southwest Mexican-American? Baja? Yucatan? If you dig, you might be able to find something he'll like among the different regional cuisines.

It's kind of Southwest US/Northern Mexico and it's more typically "Mexican food," but I love to cook posole with odd hunks of pork. I just did so last week with some pork neck. It'll use your pasilla chiles too. Simmer the pork neck with garlic, onion, and salt until it's very tender. Remove the meat and bones and cool, separate the meat from the bones from the gristle and fat, and add the meat back to the soup. I like putting the cleaned bones back in too for a little extra flavor and "rustic" appeal. Add a couple large cans of hominy to the broth with the meat. Rehydrate a few pasilla chiles in hot water, puree them smooth in a blender, and add (through a strainer if you like) to the soup.

You know what? I'll just link you to the recipe I use.

As far as other cuisines, I'm sure the pork cheek would make a great ragu. I just finished up some pork jowl bacon, though it's suddenly not outdoor smoking weather in this part of California. I can't give much help for the guava, coconut, or cajeta - I don't eat them; and all I can come up with for the limes is ceviche. I'm sorry, you colored my imagination early on with "Mexican"!

I will second Tastespotting. I spend hours just browsing, looking for inspiration.
posted by WasabiFlux at 6:37 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Make enchilada sauce from your chilies. Remove the seeds, saute for about thirty seconds until dark, blend with a jar of diced tomatoes (preferably roasted), strain, and then use as you would normally.

I would eat the Guava plain with lime juice.
posted by xammerboy at 6:48 PM on November 6, 2011

Guava agua fresca.
Spread cajeta over Marie biscuits or plain bread, or better yet, make some cajeta flan.
posted by clearlydemon at 9:02 PM on November 6, 2011

I've made some really great guava lemonade - maybe guava limeade? You simmer the guavas instead of juicing them; just Google around.
posted by asphericalcow at 9:53 PM on November 6, 2011

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