This just in:
Well, I’m not actually asking about pesto, I’m asking about the molcajete. I found that many people were disappointed with trying to season theirs; maybe an inferior product that just gave up grit forever, maybe just for decoration? I’d have to buy one online (not too many molcajete stores around here)–so what do I look for and how do I season it?
Thanks for the great posts.
Always a pleasure, Chris!
Well, first and foremost, unless you’re in a big cosmopolitan city, you DO need to buy online. I did, mostly because that’s a ton easier and more efficient than traipsing all over Fo’t Wuth!
Secondly, know that molcajetes are made from dang near every kind of stone you can name, and they are not all created equally: If it’s real cheap and/or too good to be true, then it probably is: Safe to say that the cheaper rocks are more prone to never ending grit sloughing off, which we most certainly do not want. The best stuff, (So say my Mexican friends), is granite or basalt with a relatively low sand content. I bought a Granite model, made by Vasconia and sold through Amazon; I couldn’t be happier with this guy; it has a great texture, is very sturdy, and cost about $30, which is right in the wheelhouse for decent stuff.
Now, as for the seasoning issue; a good molcajete will shed a bit of grit, because it is what it is, stone being ground with stone. A lousy one will shed lots and never stop, regardless of what you do; bottom line, avoid cheap, no-name stuff, ‘cause that is, as you noted, just for looks at best… That said, just like a good cast iron pan, seasoning a molcajete takes a loooooong time; this is why both tools are passed down through generations.
In any case, ya gotta start somewhere, so here’s what you do.
1. Immerse your new cool tool in water for 3 or 4 hours.
2. Pull ‘er out and let ‘er dry thoroughly.
3. Put ¼ cup of rice in the beast and grind until the rice is a molcajete-colored powder; stop when you get there and clear the rice dust out.
4. Combine a tablespoon each of garlic, rock salt, cumin and cilantro; grind all that into the molcajete and coat it thoroughly with the paste. Let that stuff sit in the molcajete for 6 to 8 hours in the fridge, then clean it out under cool running water.
5. Now go to town on your favorite recipe; if you got a good tool, you will not be eating grit and things are good to go. The rest of the seasoning happens over the weeks, months and years…
So, get out there and get you one, y’all!