...AKA getting the inlaws to eat "American" food.
My first couple of attempts to cook for the inlaws were greeted with disapproval, dislike, disgrace. (ok, that is being a little dramatic!!)
Everything I cooked was either too salty or bland. This is extremely amusing as I don't use salt, unless chemically necessary (for instance, baking). Like ever. The man has high cholesterol (not to mention it is bad for you in general). The in laws always rejected my ideas for dinner, both American style and Mexican. Even with help from websites such as Taza de Chocolate and La Cocina de Leslie, they didnt prefer my version of Mexican foods either.
My first mexican food attempt was Chiles Rellenos. I sweated the chiles. I browned the meat amd shredded cheese and prepared to stuff and fry them. My suegra and cunada return from working at the mercado and "help" by not putting any cheese inside the chilies and deciding we shouldn't fry them, we should bake them. So instead of lucious , crispy cheese filled chiles rellenos, we ate mushy on the outside and dry inside chile rellenos casserole .
Other examples exist , all the same idea. My mexican suggestions always had too much tortilla (this from the family who eats tortillas with EVERY meal. They buy a kilo of tortillas EVERY day) or not enough something.
Did I give up? What kind of domestic globe trotter would I be if I did? ;)
The first thing my inlaws liked that I made was pancakes. From a box. Kid.you.not. My mother in law asked me to show her how to make them!! Besides follow the instructions on the box I just add smashed banana and vanilla to the mix. Or sonetimes grated apples like my Dad used to do.
Next, a sushi night was wildly popular. Sushi always impresses, right? And it better with all the time involved.
Then, grilled chicken and salad with homemade dressing.
Pork chops with olive oil and mandarin juice. This one she had me show her how to make them and we ate them for three meals in a row!
Still though, my daily suggestions were being shot down and rejected...
Finally, after a long day at the mercado my suegra came home and asked me what was for dinner.
"But suegra, you don't like my food! Are you gonna eat my food if I make it?" i asked her with a smile and a wink.
"I just don't like American food, puro hambuerguesas" she replied .
The next time she went to the mercado I told her the night before I was making dinner the next day and she was gonna eat it and like it.
"Horale!" she replied ;)
So, what recipe finally won over the mother in law?
FAJITAS. Beef, green and red bell pepper, red onion all done on the frill. Fire grilled pico de gallo, just like my Daddy made it. Served with FLOUR tortillas, sour cream and FOUR kinds of cheese.
I knew she liked them, but wasn't sure how much until yesterday. The girls and I got home (alive!! After driving at rush hour alone in Mexico City traffic!) and the man said "My mom asked me to ask if you could make that pico de gallo again to go with dinner"
American for the win!! I happily made the pico, added cucumber for fun and everyone loved it. I also went ahead and made what she had started. When she got home and tried to take over, I told her
"get out of the kitchen and play with your granddaughters. I know how to cook."
And she did!! And loved every bite of dinner, exclaiming:
"ahora puedes casar, eh?!"
("now you can get married!") A favorite mexican saying complimenting someones cooking.
As a side note, Im also teaching her how to use and care for her one cast iron skillet. I reconditioned it and now it looks like my Dads cast iron. She was amazed it could look like that! She said she never used it because it always had "that red stuff in it!"
I also have converted her to using low sodium sea salt and olive oil!!!