February 14, 2010

Valentine's Lunch... Mexican style!

For those of you (American expats who LOVE a good Mexican meal) and know how really "non-existent Mexican cuisine is here in France (and NO, I don't count "Tex-Mex" as realy Mexican food).. then you will appreciate these pics of our Valentine's Day lunch...

Thanks to Alex's sisters for sending back some beans from Mexican with Alex's nephew... and the corn tortillas that are from this summer's stay in San Diego - Alex and I had a perfect meal. Not only was it TOTALLLLLY DELISH- but it was VERY healthy, as well... I made the guac and cooked my some of my brown/red rice mix... along with some sauteed leeks... YUM!!!


8 comments:

Notes from Noël said...

Looks so delicious!! Christopher and I had popcorn at the movies for our dinner...

David said...

Ok, Leesa, my turn to have a food question for you (are you excited?)

I always hear about this debate Mexican Vs Tex-Mex, but seriously, what's the difference.
I've been to Mexican restaurants in the US, I've been to so-called Mexican restaurants in France (but every American call them Tex-Mex, you know, like the ones on rue Ste Jacques et rue Dante)...
Except that.... I didn't see any difference, and I don't see any difference with the pictures you're posting here.
They're all the same 5-6 ingredients all mixed up.

Leesa said...

Hey D...

Thanks so much for your question... Just sent you a bunch of links to explain better than I could myself.. I can see why you think that... because they are basically the same ingredients but Tex Mex also incorporates different spices... that aren't necessarily used in real Mexican cooking... Beans and rice are basically a staple in the Mexican cuisine.. well, among poor, too.. it could be a class thing.. but it's sooo hard to find real "Mexican" beans here in France.. Just like when I was in NZ and Australia, I couldn't find beans there, either... or Mexican food.. that was back in '85 and I'm sure that's changed...
Anyhow.. hope the links help...
Leese

David said...

Thanks, I'll try to read all of those links (you went crazy on those, I'm not sure I'll have time to read everything).
As for Mexican beans, I don't know how special they are, but if they're just red beans, they're everywhere.
And that restaurant on rue Dante, it's also a "Mexican convenience store" and they have tons of stuff imported from Mexico, including beans (in cans though), except that a lot of people told me it's not genuine Mexican (except that everything they sell if imported from Mexico, which kinda confuses me)

Leesa said...

Hi D....

Yes, I did go kinda crazy but it's stuff that I was reading, too.. You can just skim through it to get the basic idea... which says that Tex Mex is more of an American creation, inspired by Mexican cuisine...
Kind of reminds me of how I thought that those fried ramen noodles I use for baking were really "Chinese" - I just assumed they were-- and went looking all over in Chinatown and NO ONE knew what the heck I was talking about! I thought, well maybe it's just an American thing... and sure enough, I got back home, looked at the package and it was clearly written-- "Inspired by Chinese cuisine." So, all these years-- all my life, I thought they were something Chinese, but no... they weren't!

As for the Mexican beans-- Pinto beans are the ones most commonly used for refried.. there's another kind but I forget--- it's not the red beans that they have here--- I used them last time I made refried beans because we don't have the same selection here.. it's a matter of what they use in the country they grow in...
"Refried beans are traditionally prepared with pinto beans, but many other varieties of bean can be used, such as black or red beans." That means if you don't have pinto beans-- go ahead and use the other kinds.. but it changes the taste... A LOT!!! Believe me, I know this from first hand experience!!
And they are not kidney beans-- which are the large red beans you find a lot here-- in cans..
I use dry beans and soak them overnight then cook them until they are soft and prepare them as I would for the recipe...
I've seen stuff online (Mexican products) and stuff in the store Mex i co.. in Paris (a Mexican resto) that is actually closer to what the cuisine I know really is) but one can of beans at 6 euros is just ABSOLUTELY ridiculous to me.. SO, I would just make my own rather than pay that ridiculous price... It's about $1.29 for a can of refried beans in California!!
Or, when family from Mexico comes, they bring us beans... (in sachets) not cans... or I bring some back when I visit California.
Take care,
Leese

Leesa said...

Thanks Dawn!!

You're was probably less caloric, too!!

One of these days, we're going to have to do a "Mexican" party at our place... Maybe this summer!
Leese

PRETTY IN PARIS said...

This looks so good!

Leesa said...

Thanks B!!

Have a great week!!