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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  Daniel9999 on 5/4/2012, 11:47 am

Seeing as tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo I thought I be nice to celebrate the holiday here by discussing various varieties of plants indigenous to Mexician Cuisine.

Vegetables

In my quest to make the Ultimate Salsa I am gonna try to grow Zapotec and Oaxacan Pink Tomato's this year....I figure if you want the best salsa you should probably grow Mexican/Latin American varieties (I am doing the same thing with San Marzano tomato's and Italian food...I plan on turning those babies into the best spaghetti sauce ever!).

Of course got I Jalapeno's, Cilantro and Walla Walla Onions planned to go along with the tomatoes.

Besides the Jalapeno's I also wanna try to grow Serrano , Habenero, and Ancho peppers this year.....Oregon weather permitting.

For Herbs I already got Epazote and Cilantro growing and looking around for Mexican Tarragon and Oregano seeds.

I wish I had the acreage to grow my own corn though No ....Would love to grow Blue or Oaxacan Green Dent corn for homemade masa.

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  cheyannarach on 5/4/2012, 12:59 pm

I am growing jalapeno, cayenne, sweet bell peppers. I also have some oregano seeds, I have extras if you are interested (PM)? I love making garden salsa, this year I am going to start canning it! I am doing walla walla onions too!

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  JK on 5/4/2012, 2:17 pm

Daniel9999, I'm curious about the corn masa you mentioned. How much corn does it take to grind down and make something like that?

From past topics about corn I think one 4x4 box of corn can get anywhere from 64 to 128 ears? Might not be enough to last a whole year but if your growing the blue or green corn purely to grind down I imagine 64+ would be a good start? Its something im looking into trying myself so im pretty curious as to whether or not my thinking is correct.

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  Daniel9999 on 5/4/2012, 2:20 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:I am growing jalapeno, cayenne, sweet bell peppers. I also have some oregano seeds, I have extras if you are interested (PM)? I love making garden salsa, this year I am going to start canning it! I am doing walla walla onions too!

Is it Mexican Oregano or a regular variety of Oregano?.....the reason I ask is because although its called Mexican "Oregano", the plant commonly refereed to as Mexican Oregano is not actually an Oregano ....True Oregano's (Origanum vulgare) are in the Mint family while Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens) is a in the Verbena family.

They are actually two separate kinds of herbs.

Its called "oregano" because the flavor is similar but is not exactly the same.

Its the same with the Mexican "Tarragon" by the way....its not actually a kind of tarragon at all....... its actually a marigold!

Never tried to canned my own salsa...let me know how yours turns out...be interested in trying that.

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Great idea!

Post  givvmistamps on 5/4/2012, 3:39 pm

I'm growing cayenne peppers and cilantro/coriander for my salsa and chili this year, plus I have some green sweet peppers. I couldn't get my hands on anything else, like jalapeno...at least nothing that looked healthy enough to plant in my garden. So, I'm sticking with the tomatoes I could get my hands on this year and will get seeds for Mexican varieties next year.

Now I'm really interested in that Mexican oregano, too...I'll be putting that on my list to add to the garden for certain!

We've been invited to a Fiesta potluck at a friend's house tomorrow...it's her birthday...I REALLY wish that my one little yellow cayenne pepper was ready to use! It's still tiny and green, though, so I'll have to get store-bought ingredients for whatever we decide to take.

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  Daniel9999 on 5/4/2012, 6:35 pm

@JK wrote:Daniel9999, I'm curious about the corn masa you mentioned. How much corn does it take to grind down and make something like that?

From past topics about corn I think one 4x4 box of corn can get anywhere from 64 to 128 ears? Might not be enough to last a whole year but if your growing the blue or green corn purely to grind down I imagine 64+ would be a good start? Its something im looking into trying myself so im pretty curious as to whether or not my thinking is correct.

Not a whole lot actually......From what I gather from my cook books one ear of fresh corn will yield around 3/4 cups of fresh kernels......subtract about 1/4 a cup for the difference in weight between fresh and dried corn due to water loss and a one ear should produce somewhere around 1/2 cups of dried corn.

It takes about 1 quart of dried corn kernels to make the recipe for masa I have below (which is about enough masa to make the amount of tortillas a family of four would need for a single meal)....so you would need only to produce around somewhere 8 ears of field corn per meal....a single 4' by 4' box could produce about 16 meals worth of masa assuming you get the full 128 ears of corn....8 meals if you get somewhere around 64.

Of course there is a ton a factors involved here....for example the number of people your planning to feed, the yield of the specific variety of corn, ect... and the above is a rough estimate at best.

My space is just so small and I got almost all the squares/space I have planned out for other things.....sadly I seem to want to grow more stuff than I actually have the space for.

If your interested in making masa for scratch this recipe is good start.....

Nixtamalized Corn
2 pounds clean, dried flour-corn kernels (about 1
quart)
1/4 cup pickling lime (food-grade calcium hydroxide)
3 quarts water

Rinse the corn in a colander and set aside. In a large,
stainless steel (nonreactive) pot, dissolve the lime in the
water. Immediately wash off any lime that gets on your
hands. Add the corn and discard any floating kernels. Bring
to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook
uncovered for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cool the pot
and let it sit, uncovered, for 4 hours at room temperature
or overnight in the refrigerator. Pour the corn into a
colander in the sink. With the cold water running, rub the
kernels between your hands to rub away the softened hulls
(they will have a gelatinous texture). Rinse thoroughly
(some old recipes say to wash between 4 and 11 times).
Drain well. Use the whole, moist kernels in soups or stews.
Or, grind them through a food mill able to handle moist
kernels to make masa, to which you can add enough water to
make a slightly sticky dough for making tamales or, using a
tortilla press, tortillas. Promptly refrigerate any unused
masa, and use it within 3 days.



Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2004-04-01/Make-Masa-Nixtamalize-Your-Corn.aspx#ixzz1twJMq299

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  roper2008 on 5/4/2012, 7:00 pm

I am growing zapotec jalapeno, serrano del sol, several
varieties of chilitepins. My cilantro is already in flower. I
don't have mexican oregano, but I did find a cuban oregano
plant. I have lots of peppers , but that's about it for
mexican varieties.

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  TejasTerry on 5/4/2012, 8:04 pm

Cilantro, hot peppers, and lots of tomatillos...

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

Post  cheyannarach on 5/4/2012, 10:52 pm

Daniel it's oregano, not mexican oragano! I make lots of salsa but have never canned it, I will let you know how it works out!!!

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Re: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Mexican Plants for the Garden.

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