Archive | January, 2015

Not Totally Orignial* El Sangre de Vida Picante Sauce (Kojack var.**)

31 Jan

What makes Mexican food Mexican?






Where that that it estar, cuz Mexican food is all we eat when we eat out. From Mickey D’s on up the foodie chain. As much as The Food Networks try and present otherwise (oh do I so pray for the premiere of Meso-America’s top chef: ‘Tonight’s ingredient: the human heart.”) the novicest CSI gets that what’s plated before them eating out hecho by Mexciano bro/bra. And if you pensar about it, most your produce and meat and packaged goods pass though brown manos. Ergo mi amigos….

The point estando? My guess is that top five answers to our query might prove to be considerably more short-sighted than the previous paragraph’s pontification proposition.

For the love of Richard Dawson, we aqui @ IFAG posed this question of ‘What makes Mexican food Mexican?’ to the #Joneses.


‘What makes Mexican food Mexican?’

Survey sez:

  1. Chips & Salsa
  2. Taco Bell
  3. Rick Bayless
  4. Tortillas (pronounced : Tor till uhz)
  5. Margaritas

In all fairness to the googles, survey monkeys and Family Feud who contributed to the findings presented aqui, I’ll agree to disagree. As always yo estoy aqui to inform, confirm and condemn, confuse. Mira, this ain’t no trick question, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around. At the corazon of all listed foods Mexican – except Rick Bayless –  runs a common stream – mi número uno answer-deep, red and vital: blood.


Call me a broken record, a scratched CDDDDDDDDDDD, a glitched MP3, a dementia patient a dementia patient, a dementia patient for repeating mi self but this bares (or is it bears? – chingada!) repeating: Sangre es El Santa del comida Mexicana perfecto. El proof esta en the blood pudding.

Y yo estoy here to blog you brothers and sisters I inexplicably avoided opening myself up to risk death by epic coconeria failure – and knife blade – for nigh nearly a half century until only last week when at first try yo long last divined a batch of this sacred, holy, and profane comida Mexicana lifeforce.

Of course I’m a chief rocking a mad metaphor here but you try and travel through Mexico without either A.) Bleeding  or B.) Noticing much of Mexico’s history esta escribir en Sangre (the bloody revolutions, the bloody conquistadors, Los Indios blood sacrifices, Narco blood sacrifices, the bloody bullfights, bloody Christo (of the cross, not Central Park).


You no snap a selfie with any of this? Try leaving Club Med next time.

On the literal tip, para me, que gives comida Mexico its vida, its cojones, its ability to resurrect the sorriest slab o carne, the stalest nacho, make Taco Bell not suck? Sangre aka el sauce picante. Not salsa, gracias very mucho. Yo hablando hot sauce. No fucking cumin, no tomatoes, no cute labels or names or commercials. El deal real.

Sure, you’ve got your Chollas y Valentinas y Buffalos y Pico Paca y others I forget even the closest spelling of, all  welcome additions to comidas tipica and especially hot dogs. (I blog not of the obnoxious “Hotter than _________” and/or “Hot Coal Colonic” variety favored by diners more concerned with the grade of their toilet paper than the quality of their meals aqui.)  But, and this is a big but – but not one en fuego por que picante – once you divine a batch of your own making, starting with this here recipe of course, you too shall uncover several picante milagros of your own making.  En mi cocina por ejemplo, a soggy, salty batch of black beans were transmutated by this blood  into the “Best thing you’ve ever cooked for me” – Mi Esposa. (Sangre + NM red enchilada sauce + dried/cooked frjoes negros con Goya adobo seasoning = Amor).

‘nuff of this blogging…onto the bloody manna

photo 3

Not Totally Orignial* El Sangre de Vida Picante Sauce (Kojack var.**)

The Batch Size

1 ¼ cup = avg hot sauce bottle (dump whatever’s been clotting in the fridge, on the counter, etc and wash out bottle and scrape off gluey label; FYI most old hot sauces serve as an excellent de-gluer; viva repurposing!)

The Contents

The dry/smoked whole chile peppers (usually on a rack in produce or ethnic foods in clear plastic bags. I grabbed one of each not knowing what to expect. Siri no hablo espanol so no checking with that fickle gringa puta.)


1 – Mulato

2 – Pulla

2 – Japones

1 – Arbol

photo 1

1 clove of minced/smushed garlic

tsp vinegar

pinch of Mexican oregano

No fucking cumin

1 ¼ cups water

salt to taste

The Directions

  1. Seed and stem peppers (I did this under running cold water. sorta works)
  2. Skillet roast at medio heat 5 minutes or so

(you’ll smell when they’re ready – more on this later)

  1. Transfer bowl, cover with water. Cover bowl
  2. Soak peppers for an episode of your favorite cop show (60 minutes)

(*Not totally original. Google served as sous chef. Searched her for: “Mexican” “Taco” “Sauce” “Hot” “Salsa” “No fucking cumin”.)

(**Kojack, Hunter, Rockford, just no fucking CSI)


One episode of Kojack later:

  1. Chop up but do not skin or scrape the Molado pepper (the skin serves as a mighty thickener)
  2. Filet open other peppers and scrape out the meat (takes some practice and getting the angle of the blade right. What’s nice about hot sauce is that because you really should not take all the heat these peppers bring en todo, by just “scraping by” what you can measures out perfecto – at least for me it did first time out – more on that lado.)
  3. Toss in food processor*** with garlic, oregano, and pepper water
  4. Process to fluidity (escuchando en mas importante)
  5. Gradually salt to taste; taste vehicles include but are not limited to fingers, spoons, tortilla chips, tortillas heated on pepper griddle or open gas stove flame.

(***Mas Importante Note: use either a spare mini food processer you don’t mind staining or once stained, don’t mind reminding your esposa (regularly) pepper heat does not transfer from the blade stem to your 6 month old’s applesauce, you hope, and even if it does, “the ancient Aztecs applied chili pepper paste to newborns whilst teething provinding both a soothing numbness and arousing a warrior-like spiritedness in the form of a blood-curdling wail [it all comes back to blood, verdad]. Seriously, see for yourself honey, it’s the Internet, right here on my blog = true!”)

photo 2

How flipping milagrolous did this turn out? I polished off a bottle in 5 days**** – with the help of my wife and some creative additions to our regularly scheduled menu.

(****Any keeper of picante sauce will recognize how rare this use in excess. The average shelf-life of hot sauces is 7 years.)

photo 4

..and shot for a miracle, nesting the bottle in our dying Xmas Cactus (llama Frida) to see if we might get her to bloom.

Results: La Milagra, baby….

photo (34)

What’s my secret? No fucking cumin, no fucking CSI, y mucho mucho mucho Kojack.



A Torta Worth Killing For

1 Jan

Have you ever found yourself hungrily watching another person eat in such a way it made you want to eat not only what they were eating but also the hand holding the eats, on up the arm, past the shoulder, neckchlipsnose, their whole flipping engorged, orgiastic, blissed out face? To not just jump in for some sloppy seconds at their taste bud orgy but to flat out deprive one of one’s life. Surely we’re blogging about something primal and instinctual here – moi métier. As the incident coming into focus via Google earth 2011 this time out stars a dirty blonde CNA at the glass-topped dinner table of my late mother’s Youngtown, Az memory care unit not-so-daintily dredging flaming hot cheetoes (crunchy) through a soft brick of generic cream cheese. Not comida tipica of murder one. A diet of donuts and farmer brothers truck stop coffee though will drive a man hot wire Sly’s ‘Death Race 2000’ ride straight down desperation blvd.


 Another  but actually my first ever autonomic nervous system overload facing down starvation – fight hormones MMAed flight ones – can be located by google mapping a Houston, TX Astrodome parking lot in an era when Astroturf was the Google of its day and turned out to be little more than Krispy Kreme.


Why would responsible parents think waiting for a bus after a Major league sporting event in a unfair city, in the dead swamp of summer, seem the sensible alternative to driving to and from the motor hotel? True, the station wagon was loaded to the dome light with all the personal effects needed to survive our cross-country summer from Phx, Az to Coco Beach, FLA and back. (Years ahead of the Griswolds, we.) ((But seriously folks, is it because we kids were all adopted you deemed us as replaceable as diapers?))

Far past midnight the other 5 of family sat, starving and delirious and nervous and yeah sure very very white watching waiting and pacing and panting while I stared rather ignominiously at the mouth of an extremely drunk black dude rather passionately devouring a double Whopper with cheese in about 5 bites. I’m still not quite clear whether he even bothered to remove the wrapper or use his hands.


Now if only my own starving college student days ended in my twenties. Instead, I cued up for the twenty year plan. Es verdadm The Fire Cheetoes era ran concurrent with both my fourth decade out of diapers and the finishing up of bachelor degree. Obviously I did not expire from malnutrition. But most days – whenever the 4 for $2 JITB tacos wore off – the brain fattened on knowledge as the rest of me ran famished.

 Too old for dorms, credit fucked, and un pello away from foreclosure on the underwater residence (La Madre’s Loco’s condo) forced to sell for a b-side, rather than live out of my LandCruiser I took a room in the home of a quadriplegic man.  “J” paid me ‘in kind’ to wash, dress, feed and ready him each morning and should I be home between classes, cover lunches – my landlord, my leash. Since I’d never held another man’s penis in my hands before, let alone wrestled a prophylactic onto one not connected to my person (NOTE: notably easier sober), and always being one for a new experience to add to largest collection of jokes ever assembled, that tome being my life, I figured it was either “Go Jimpy*” (*J’s vanity licence plate) or set up camp in the Wal-mart parking lot.


Back to school: Of all the psychology lessons college taught, that which resonated with me – due in no small part to my living arrangement – was studies in highlighter-penned ‘altruism’; mas research suggesting it’s something akin to Santa Claus. Conclusion: Moving in with Jimpy grew not out of some faux kindness but Darwinian survival. What was at work working on Jimpy was an extend dance remix of the other psyc 101 concept that stuck: ‘Change blindness’. (You can You Tube this one ’till yer actually blind – and still not quite believe it.)



For this second most viewed memory of undergrad multiple choice psych exams of yore when faced with the aforeblogged Jimpy duties – including occasional doody duty – got me through even the leakiest morning.

As fine and dandy as a handi-wipe, verdad?

Yeah, about that…

Neither change blindness nor cognitive dissonance nor altruism nor even singing a happy song* could derail the homicidal tendencies aroused whenever Jimpy inquired once I got one foot out the door: ‘Are you going to be around at lunch today?’

 (*Heard or read outside of psych class how when forced to complete a less than desirable task, singing removes some of the sting. Unless of course you’re Sting, Then you can only hope the children love the Russian’s too. On those mornings when Jimpy took longer than the  change blindness lasted – pun ragin’ full on – I broke into song. Since I only know the words to three

1. Happy Birthday by Preston Ware Owen

2. Take Me Out To The Ball Game by Harry Caray

3. The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5

I often skipped off to school smugly satisfied in a job well done leaving Jimpy in my wake in a puddle of befuddle.)

Personally and perhaps even spiritually I believe no person on earth, except maybe Jeff Bezos, should ever have to suffer hunger. I say spiritually because the same beige agnosticism aroused when churchgoing scrambles my ceso whenever traipsing down my local grocer’s aisles. Unless there’s some invisible race of gluttons and/or drunk frat bruhs who ravage every last shelf of every last grocery store everywhere every night, how is it possible any mouth goes to bed unfed?

That e-belched, the act of feeding Jimpy did not wake my inner-Lechter one iota. Nada. Twas what Jimpy ate had me reachin’ for the cleaver. As a Wisconsin farm boy from a large German family of farmers = incredibly well-stocked Frigidare.


A couple times each year Jimpy’s loving and wonderfully sarcastic sisters flew in to fill the house with aromas wholesome, mid-western and beefy. The menu they cooked up, then froze, ran from ground beef chili to chuck beef stew to roast beef sandwiches. And they always arrived bearing chocolate chip cookies with a hint of mint. I only ever got a taste of these. And if their lustful notes were suggestive of the beefier dishes I might have regretted not simply stealing into the freezer** for one of Jimpy’s juicy roast beef sandwiches w/ cheddar cheese had I not crafted a vastly superior mid-southwestern torta with recent batch of magnificent machaca – today’s featured comida.

(**Stealing another’s lunch is the only crime I consider punishable by death. So even though I could have cleanly blamed nicking Jimpy’s beef on our junkie/tweaker roommates – who actually stole from me [cheese] and Jimpy [Pace salsa] and met an untimely eviction and accidental demise – I’d have not been able to live with the guilt .)

 Today’s Featured Killer Comida: 

photo (29)Sloppy Machaca Torta con Queso

Kaiser roll

Mexi-mix Pre-Shredded Queso


Canned refried beans



If you know the rhymes you should rap along w/ yer bites…uh huh huh….