How To Cure A Molcajete

Many countries, primarily in Mexico use the mortar and pestle (also known as molcajete) to grind up spices for salsas, sauces or marinades. The molcajete is the perfect tool to have in your kitchen when you want to make your own guacamole! Once you purchase your molcajete, we know you’ll probably be excited to get your hands dirty and begin using it, but there are a few steps to take to get the best results.

1. Before using your molcajete, make sure you read any information that may have accompanied it. Many molcajete’s are made from volcanic or basalt rock, but there are a few made from other materials which do not need to be cured or seasoned. Some molcajetes may have already been cured before purchasing so you can skip the seasoning process and begin to use it.
After concluding that your molcajete is brand new, there are a few tasks you need to complete before making your salsa or guacamole so you don’t end up with rocks in your food or mouth.

2. The first step in curing is to rinse your molcajete with water. Do not use soap or soapy water, since the molcajete is made out of porous volcanic rock, the taste and scent of the soup will get trapped in the tiny holes and leak a soapy taste in your food. Rinse your molcajete several times until you see a reduction in debris.

3. Grind it Up! Grab a small handful of white rice and place it in your molcajete with a tablespoon of water. White rice is the best option so you can spot how much debris needs to be removed. Grasp the pestle in one hand and begin to grind the rice in a circular motion around the entire molcajete. The grinding pulls the dirt and small debris that has been trapped in the pours of the rock so continue grinding until you end with a grey colored paste.

4. The first grind is over, now it’s time to rinse and repeat! This is definitely not the best part of owning a molcajete but all of this hard work is worth it once you’re done. Clean out the grey paste and repeat the whole process until the rice is no longer grey and remains white. The number of rinse and repeats you’d have to do depends on your molcajete, for some people it can take a few repetitions and for others it took 6-7 so be patient and take a few breaks when needed.

5. Your molcajete and seasoned and ready to go! Treat yourself by making some fresh guacamole. Just make sure you know how to pick the right avocados!

Grab some chips and celebrate your hard work, you deserve it! 

How To Pick The Perfect Avocado

Calling all guac aficionados! Have you ever wanted to make your own guacamole at home but didn't know how to pick the right avocados? We've broken down some of the important things to look for when to searching for the perfect avocados!

1. Color matters

a. When walking into the supermarket, you might see green, dark green or black avocados. Most green avocados are not ripe and ready to use. The dark green to black shades are colors you should be approaching and a good sign that they are ripe. Most green avocados aren’t ripe, depending on the brand of avocado but some brands have avocados with a light green tone that are actually ripe. Color is important, but not always reliable.

b. Decide when you would be using the avocados. If you’re making guacamole the same day you’re shopping, a dark green avocado is what you need. However if you’re using the avocados days after you purchase them, it’s best to buy them green so they can ripen perfectly at home and will be ready by the day you need them.

2. Feel the avocado

a. Feeling the firmness of the avocado is an easier tip than staring at the color of its skin. Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it. Try not to press with your fingertips because this can cause bruising. If the avocado feels soft but not too squishy, it is ripe and ready to eat. If it feels hard it is not ripe and if it is too squishy is overly ripe.

3. Stem test

a. If the stem is still attached, pull it off. If there is any resistance or the area where the stem was is light green, the avocado is not ready. If it easily comes off and the area around the stem is bright green, it’s perfect. If the area is a brown to dark green color, the avocado is overripe.

b. The stem test is the quickest and most reliable trick for determining the ripeness because you can easily view a part of the inside of the avocado and eliminates the risk of damaging the fruit by poking it with your fingertips.

These steps may be a bit overwhelming to remember all at once when shopping, but that’s okay, practice makes perfect!

OR

You can leave the guacamole making to the professionals and stop by Mad Dog & Beans for our fresh made-to-order guacamole! 

Hate Cilantro? Your Genes are to Blame

Cilantro is an herb used in many meals, including many of our dishes here at Mad Dog & Beans. Some people pack it onto their food and others avoid it as much as possible. So why are there so many cilantrophobes but many cilantro lovers? If you’re one the many people that absolutely cannot stand cilantro, it might be genetic.

People often say that they dislike cilantro because it gives off a soapy aftertaste. According to SciShow, scientists conducted studies to determine what causes the polar opposite opinions to cilantro. Turns out, the cilantro haters all had a gene in common, OrgA2. This is an olfactory-receptor gene that affects our sense of smell and picks up the smell of aldehyde chemicals. A chemical found in both cilantro and guess what else? Soap.

For all those unfortunate enough to have this soapy taste, it really isn’t your fault, it's genetics. If you happen to be one of those people, we understand! You can always opt for no cilantro when ordering a dish at Mad Dog & Beans.

5 Reasons Why Tequila is Good For You

 

You’re probably thinking about a time where you had a bit too much tequila, ended up on the toilet seat and are now wondering how can tequila be good for me? Here are 5 reasons why that bad memory of tequila should not be last one!

 

1. Lower’s blood sugar

       According to the American Chemical Society, a sugar named agavina comes from the agave plant used to produce tequila, is non-digestible. So the sugar acts solely as a dietary fiber and would not raise blood glucose.  

2. Good for your bones

       A study from Mexico found that mice that were ingested with blue agave, had healthier bones. The agave helps maintain bone health and also aids the body in calcium absorption. Basically, one more margarita won’t hurt!

3. Fights Cholesterol

      Tequila brakes down fat and makes it easier for fat to be absorbed. Also, fiber in your diet reduces cholesterol levels which is found in the agave plant. Basically, a shot or two can go a long way!

4. Cures colds

      In the 1930s, Mexican doctors actually recommended this tequila concoction to fight off a cold:

.5 ounce of tequila blanco

.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe throat)

.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)

5. Pain Reliever

      In Mexico, drinking tequila has been used as a remedy for aches, pains, even headaches, but studies prove that it can be an effective pain reliever. Tequila dilates blood vessels which result in better blood flow and this results in minimizing pain levels. Besides physical pain, tequila is also known as a good remedy for emotional pain.

 

All of these reasons are efficient when tequila is taken in moderation, but next time you you’re offered a tequila shot, don’t second guess yourself!

 

 

Guac and Margs: Your Dream Diet?

Already thinking about that summer body or looking to improve your healthy habits all around? It might not be as difficult as you would think. Where challenging diet plans can be a pain, we might just have the combo for you!

Avocados + Tequila = Perfect Pair

Often called the “Alligator Pear,” the avocado is very nutritious and contains a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Some of the more prominent nutrients include vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium!

Along with the various vitamins and minerals, avocados are loaded with fiber. The fiber in avocados makes them contribute to weight loss, lower the risk of many diseases, and reduce high blood sugar.

Not only are avocados extremely high in nutrients, but they help your body to better absorb nutrients from other foods too. Its no secret that avocados are high in fat, but have no fear! Avocados contain the GOOD kind of fat known as oleic acid. This monounsaturated fatty acid is linked to reduce inflammation and has shown to have positive effects on genes linked to cancer.

The most obvious perk? Avocados are delicious and satisfying! You can enjoy them with every meal, especially when you come to Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina. Our made-to-order guacamole is as fresh as it gets and makes a great addition to any of our traditional dishes!

And what better to pair with our delicious guacamole than a signature margarita! Okay, so maybe mixed margaritas won’t help you fit you into that little black dress, but tequila alone is sure to benefit!

It is believed that drinking a shot of tequila before a meal boots your metabolism, and drinking a shot after a meal aids in digestion. Choosing tequila over beer and wine automatically reduces the amount of calories and carbs, just be sure to leave out the sugary mixers!

Who says you can't be health conscious and still the life of the party?!

¡Salud!

Top 10 Tequila Facts

  1. All Tequila is Mezcal, but not all Mezcal is Tequila
  2. Mezcal is a distilled beverage made in Mexico from Agave. Tequila is made from Blue Agave in the Appellation of Origin: Tequila Territory, primarily the state of Jalisco
  3. Worms are prohibited in Tequila bottles but may be present in Mezcal
  4. Tequila must be produced in Mexico: Just like bubbly must come from the Champagne wine region of France in order to officially be called champagne, tequila must be produced in specific areas of Mexico. Any type of “tequila” made outside these regions is merely called an agave spirit.
  5. People will pay a lot for good tequila: According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive bottle of tequila ever sold went to a private collector for $225,000. The bottle was made out of white gold and platinum, and contained six year-aged tequila worth $2,500.
  6. You can make synthetic diamonds with tequila: Physicists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico figured out a way to make faux diamonds using tequila. The crystals are too small to be made into jewelry, but they can be used in other industrial ways such as an alternative to silicon in computer chips.
  7. Over 50 million liters of tequila are consumed every year in America.
  8. Studies have shown that if consumed in moderation, tequila can cut the risk of dementia by 37%.
  9. Unlike other forms of alcohol, tequila is not a depressant.
  10. The 1918 flu epidemic led to a tequila boom in Mexico as doctors advised ailing patients to drink tequila, lime, and salt as a remedy.