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raisins in enchiladas?

NLM's picture

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I recently moved to mid-Maine which, as I don't eat "lobstah", is quite a culinary wasteland (my apologies if anyone is from the region). Anyway, I recently went to a Mexican restaurant that was recommended to me by a few people. It's also the only one in a 50 mile radius. I thought I was in trouble when the Spanish rice had regular green peas in it. Then I bit into the cheese enchiladas and found a raisin. At first I thought one might have just gotten mixed in, but nope, it was full of raisins. Has anyone heard of this, or was this just a REALLY bad restaurant? As I'll be eating home much more, does anyone have a good recipe for enchilada sauce? And as even salsa is considered "ethnic food" up here, has anyone used a mail-order source for peppers, masa harina, etc., that they could recommend? Many thanks!!

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #1 of 54)

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EGADS!! Raisins in Enchiladas? That is even worse than RAISINS IN MEATBALLS.

Before you go ordering stuff from catalogues and the net, take a good long look in your supermarket for ingredients. You'd be surprised...even in small towns with larger supermarkets, you can find some very esoteric ingredients. My town in CO is extremely small, so we go to the next town over where there is a big City Market. Also, Wal Mart Supercenters (the ones with fresh food) carry a wide variety of ethnic ingredients (even where I live!!) If you have one near you, try that. Scour all the aisles and when in doubt, ask the Manager. Rule is: If they think they can sell it, they'll stock it.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

kai_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #2 of 54)

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Never heard of raisens in enchiladas (doesn't appeal to me, either), but they sometimes appear in tamales! Mind you, these are sweet tamales w/pineapple, etc. Frankly, I like my tamales to be meat or cheese, but the sweet ones are also very popular (in the primarily Mexican-American communities where I purchase them).

I've also seen peas in Spanish rice. Don't know who started this, but I actually like it. Perhaps it's a bit of a Basque influence? (A Tijuana Basque restaurant uses lots of fresh veggies in some of their rice dishes.)

carole_gurbach's picture

(post #60092, reply #3 of 54)

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NLM:Too bad you are in one of the most beautiful states in the Union. If you do not want to eat "lobstah", then maybe you are in the wrong place.

NLM's picture

(post #60092, reply #4 of 54)

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Aussie - sounds like those recipies are from Maine!

Chif - thanks for the suggestions. For all the help our best-stocked supermarket is, I've joked to my husband that instead of a meat counter, they should have a pool with those little yellow floating ducks. Whatever is written on the bottom of your duck is the piece of meat you have to buy! I couldn't even get a rib roast! We do have a Walmart, but it's small, and I haven't seen any fresh food there. The search goes on...

NLM's picture

(post #60092, reply #5 of 54)

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Didn't mean to bash the state, just the food. The state is incredibly beautiful. Also, I'm allergic to shellfish so I can't eat the lobster.

aussiechef's picture

(post #60092, reply #6 of 54)

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Whoops, the raisins chewed up the first posting.
Reminds me of the first recipe I ever saw in the food section of a Californian news/p: "Strawberries Marinated in Coca Cola". How about these - they are all published (warning - you might get nightmares).

"Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake" (from one of those yellow fundraising book with black spiral binding)

"Avocado Coconut Ice Cream" (ditto)

and this one...includes full directions since you will be dying to add it to your repertoire:

We call it the "Not-Pepsi Sandwiches".

* small bottle Heinz Ketchup
* small bottle Coca Cola (not Pepsi)
* relish
* 1 lb chipped ham.
* Use equal portions of Heinz ketchup and Coca Cola. Stir well together and cook, bring to boil. Add chipped ham till warm - add relish if desired.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #7 of 54)

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NLM, I totally empathize with you. Having moved out of New York City, the ingredient capital of the WORLD, and to a really small town in CO...I go through ingredient withdrawals too. One thing I miss is the huge heads of garlic we used to get in NY. When I go to the supermarket here, I hold up two heads of garlic to my ears and say, "Look, earrings!"

Try to make the most of it. Hopefully a Wal-Mart Super Center will open near you, then the sky's the limit. (Some of the smaller ones are being replaced with the Super Centers.) Also, ask people around you ...neighbors, etc., and if they are not into food, ask them if they have any friends who are. Hopefully you will come across people with a common interest...More ethnic food than the lobster and shellfish you can't eat. (GOD that is a SHAME!! In an area with such a profusion of fresh fish!!!)

kai_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #8 of 54)

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Sheesh Aussie, no wonder CA has such a bad name! (And, of course, Reagan named catsup/ketchup/whatever as a veggie for the purpose of school lunches.)

kai_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #9 of 54)

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NLM, I think you may be residing in one of the "whitest" states in the Union, and, therefore, might have trouble finding speciality/exotic and some ethnic foods. But, I bet there are farmers there (or nearby) that do value diversity and trends in food. Gosh, if you and I could just arrange to exchange lobstah for chilis, cacti, whatever!

Chiff is correct that NY is a wonderful (perhaps the best) place to find lots of different culinary delights. Some mail-order houses really do deliver next day--so freshness is guaranteed. Of course, you will pay through the nose for that.

I bet that a few (well, several) hours search on the net will yield others in your state that long for the things you do--and there is strength in numbers, in terms of ordering things you would like. Hey, maybe even start a communal garden, buying group, or something.

Wishing you well,
kai

mangia!'s picture

(post #60092, reply #10 of 54)

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Chiff, at my Farmers Market today, I bought something labeled fresh garlic. They came in a bunch and had long green "tails" attached to each little white bulb. I've never seen these before. They looked kind of like round instead of elongated green onions. Have you used these? I just figured I'd try them like I would the multi-cloved bulbs, but I also wondered if they were mislabeled. What makes them "fresh", and the typical ones not. They don't even resemble each other. Are these really garlic? (With these you could make hanging earrings!)

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #11 of 54)

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Sounds like you got some garlic with the plant still attached. The true test of what they are will happen when you cut into the heads.

"Texas Scallions" are huge scallions with very bulbous bottoms, it looks like (the green part of) a scallion attached to a full sized onion. Could this possibly be what you purchased?

Let us know how it turns out :)

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #60092, reply #12 of 54)

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You can check the archives for the exact site adresses, but these are good sources for the kind of stuff you are looking for:

*Bueno foods
*penzeys
*santa Fe Cooking School

Sandra_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #13 of 54)

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ooohhhh, yummy! Don't know what to try first, the avocado/coconut ice cream (which actually might be kind of good, if you're in the right mood, whatever that might be...) or the chipped ham in not-Pepsi. Wonder if root beer would work?

Reminds me that some years ago my sister gave me a copy of the White Trash Cookbook, replete with recipes for marshmallow salads and cola concoctions -- ever since, DH has wanted to try cooking with Coke. I've managed to dissuade him, but I can only hope he doesn't stumble across this recipe!

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #60092, reply #14 of 54)

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Are you sure they were raisins or maybe rat droppings.

Jean_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #15 of 54)

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They would have to be REALLY big rats! Now if she had said currants..............

NLM's picture

(post #60092, reply #16 of 54)

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Gosh, I never thought I'd be GLAD that they were raisins! Thanks for all the info. Just got back from another depressing shopping trip, but heard a rumor of a farmer's market held one morning at a local greenhouse. I'll check that out, along with the above mentioned sites. Thanks a lot, everyone!

Carole's picture

(post #60092, reply #17 of 54)

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NLM: Sorry, I didn't mean to misread your comments. I am a "NorEaster" from way back. I just meant that the state is a beautiful place to be. It is very difficult to grow anything in Maine. Hopefully, you will find some farmer's markets to choose from. Good luck.

aussiechef's picture

(post #60092, reply #18 of 54)

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Kai this wasn't Californian stuff - this is from all over America. Don't worry, every country has their own brand of ghastly food. California is pretty good, except for the fruit which I've ranted about elsewhere.

Sandra - marshmallows in food. The first time I saw that I thought the cook just had a bizarre sense of humour. And then they ate it!

leaf_lady's picture

(post #60092, reply #19 of 54)

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Boy, coke on ham brings back memories! My grandmother was hands down, one of the best cooks I ever knew. Her secret to good ham was - Coca cola! She kept it a big secret from everybody but my mom. What she did was baste the ham with it while it baked, and I can testify it was wonderful.

As to raisins in enchiladas, never heard of them in cheese enchiladas, but I've had picadillo in enchiladas and burritos, and that does contain raisins. sounds like somebody is trying to out-Santa Fe, Santa Fe.

Sandy's picture

(post #60092, reply #20 of 54)

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If you're from the Northern States or Canada, they could be Wild Garlic. Looks a lot like a small lily -- very mild (subtle but nice) garlic taste. Use the white bulbous part, not the leaves.

Regular garlic has long thin green leaves -- and the leaves are edible, if pungent. Mine are about 2 feet tall now, and wonderfully smelly.

Carolina's picture

(post #60092, reply #21 of 54)

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Dearest NLM: Now let's see. You're allergic to shellfish and I can't get enough. I've always wanted to live in "the boonies", and you crave the big city. I wish I could grow and can my own herbs and vegetable, and never have to eat in another restaurant as long as I lived, and you....well....
Have you ever thought about switching lives with anyone before? If you can pass for an AARP reject (Already Are Retirement Prone, but refuse to give in) and can speak with a Southern accent,..maybe we can work a deal.

aussiechef's picture

(post #60092, reply #22 of 54)

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Gracious me - I never thought people actually used the stuff. When you think about it, it's just sugar and water and caramel colour, so it probably glazed the ham just like any sugary mixture.

zally_'s picture

(post #60092, reply #23 of 54)

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Aussiechef:
The 'eggless, milkless, butterless' cake recipe comes from the war years (the Second World War, that is) when eggs, butter and milk were simply NOT available to the urban population. The cooks of those days were challenged in ways that we cannot even imagine and were far more innovative than any of us can ever hope (or WANT) to be.
'Old' recipe bashing seems to be a popular sport on the 'net these days -- but try to give a little thought to the difficulties these people faced!!

Carolina's picture

(post #60092, reply #24 of 54)

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Good point, Zally. VERY good point.

aussiechef's picture

(post #60092, reply #25 of 54)

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We have given it a lot of thought. This collection of dreadful recipes started with a project of my son's on rationing in England during and after the war. He was horrified to see that they seemed to have survived on bacon fat. (the ol' bread and dripping). We actually made some of the recipes and , funny, my kids never complain about anything anymore.

NLM's picture

(post #60092, reply #26 of 54)

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Wish I could oblige you, but I really don't want to live in the big city, just near enough to one to get a good selection of ingredients! As for the southern accent, born and raised near Buffalo; and as far as the AARP, my five month old might give me away! Maybe we could work out some kind of trade, though. What's the going exchange rate for lobster?

Carolina's picture

(post #60092, reply #27 of 54)

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Five month old, huh? Well, I could pass as your mother?...grandmother? As for the exchange rate for lobster,... well, that might depend on how much you like grits. (Just think "polenta". Ah! I can see a deal in the making here.)

James's picture

(post #60092, reply #28 of 54)

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Raisins are used in a style of picadillo which is ground meat, spices, raisins etc. I've never seen whole raisins in it thought.

James

Rebecca's picture

(post #60092, reply #29 of 54)

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One of our favorite beef brisket recipes uses Coke - it really is good.

The raisins w/cheese sounds gross to me.

Kevin_from_Colorado's picture

(post #60092, reply #30 of 54)

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James, I thought of Picadillo about the same time you must have. I have two cookbooks with Picadillo recipes, but neither one of them have the raisins cut up, they're whole, including one large picture with all their raisins in their unchopped glory.

Next thing you know, they'll be putting raisins in Hamburger Helper.

I think I'll save my raisins for Boston Brown Bread or maybe oatmeal raisin cookies.