THE MEXICAN MOLCAJETE
The word molcajete (mortar) derives from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs: “molli” (seasoning or sauce) and “caxitl” (bowl). The word tejolote (pestle) also derives from Nahuatl: “tetl” (stone) and “xolotl” (doll)."Foods traditionally prepared in the molcajete include salsas and mole's (mohl-LAY), as well as guacamole. It is also used for grinding chilies, garlic or other herbs and spices for food preparation.
Molcajete cure recipe.
This recipe will serve you as a guide to prepare (cure) your first Molcajete (stone & pestle) on which you will prepare those delicious salsas and enticing guacamoles.
1 Molcajete (Stone & Pestle)
1 Whole garlic bag
1.-Thoroughly clean the Molcajete with soap and water
2.-With your pestle, grind some garlic up to a paste and spread all over the inside of the mortar.
3.-Leave it to rest, through a whole night.
4.-The next day rinse away the garlic from the mortar and presto! your on your way to prepare your delicious salsas and guacamoles.
Let us begin by assuring you that molcajetes are wonderfully durable items that are often passed down for generations. Many immigrants yearn for the days when their salsa was ground up in these stone mortars instead of a regular blender. The taste that is produced by the mixing of the ingredients with the molcajete is something that must be tasted to be understood.
Now, regarding those shedding bits. It is perfectly normal for a molcajete to shed a few bits here and there as it is being prepared for regular use, but do not use it to prepare salsa until it has finished this shedding process.
However, the larger bits that you refer to are a sign that the molcajete needs to be cured a little further before use. The MexGrocer garlic-curing recipe is one solution but here are two more options to finish the process.
2 MORE RECIPES TO CURE MOLCAJETES
1) Baking the Molcajete:
Inside the molcajete itself, create a paste using onion, garlic, and cooking oil as the base. Spread the paste and be sure to cover all the pores on the inner part of the molcajete. Then place it inside the oven and bake it for 30 minutes at 300 degrees so that the paste thoroughly permeates the stone. Once the molcajete has cooled off, wash it thoroughly with soap and water.
2) Boiling the Molcajete:
Place the molcajete on the stove grill and fill it with water and a lot of grain salt and vinegar. Allow the water to boil and let it be thoroughly consumed. Now let it cool off and cover any left over pores with uncooked rice, using the tejolote (pestle) to grind.
Finally, as a test:
Before using a Molcajete for your first salsa: grind up some sea salt (thick) then some crushed corn until they come out clean and free of debris. Finally, clean the molcajete with a scrub and water and the molcajete is ready for use.
Try one of the two curing methods and do a test. This should take care of the shedding problem and you will be ready to make your salsas.
Let us know if this information to cure Molcajetes has been helpful. If you continue to have problems with your MexGrocer Molcajete, we can send you a replacement.