I have been wanting one for years, but I have resisted as the only thing I would probably end up making in it is guacamole. True, it would be more authentic guacamole, but I find that a bowl and a fork work just as well. (for the most part) Sadly, my resolve cracked, and I now find myself sitting here looking at a big bowl that has been chiseled out of the very same type of rock that surrounds my Columbia River Gorge home.... Basalt.
OK, that is enough of the buyers remorse.... at least until later. (you'll see)
One of the reasons I have resisted the purchase of said Molcajete (mole-ka-HET-tey) is that I kind of knew what I was going to be in for, before I could even use the thing. But, being iced in and unable to get out of your driveway gives you plenty of time for something like seasoning a Molcajete. Cause that is exactly what it takes.... Time. (I will get to the blood, sweat and tears in a little bit)
Being made of a gas bubble filled lava rock, the Molcajete has the extraordinary ability to fill your food with sand and/or small bits of gravel. On some level this will happen even if it's properly seasoned, after all you are grinding rock against rock... It stands to reason that you will end up with some sort of sand in your food, right? Think of it as a natural mineral enrichment to your dish. BUT, if the Molcajete is properly seasoned, this sand will be minimized greatly. (Unless you have mistakenly purchased one of those fake ones made in China out of concrete laced with quartz bits - They are worthless, making better doorstops than actual grinding implements for they will never "season" properly/ The concrete is just too soft)
So, how do you season a Molcajete? Well, it does take awhile, so we better get started.....
First, you need to soak it in a big pot of water for about 12 hours. (The water surface will bubble as the tiny holes fill with water and displace the air)
You will need --
1 cup Dried Beans (I used Pinto)
1 cup Dry White Rice
1/2 cup Soaked White Rice
1 Serrano Pepper
3 cloves of Garlic
1 Green Onion
1 TB Cumin seeds
1 TB Rock Salt
First you are going to grind 1/4 cup of the beans in the Molcajete and avoid smashing with the Tejolote (pestel), simply turn the Tejolote around and around, until you have reduced the beans to a fine powder.
Now for the Sweat....
Move to the Dry rice. Grind the dried rice, 1/4 cup at a time until it becomes "rice flour", and dump each batch....
Add the Serrano Chile, Garlic, Green Onion, Cumin and Rock salt to the bowl.
From now on, just like a cast iron skillet, you will only wash out your Molcajete with warm water and a brush.... NEVER use soap of any kind to clean your Molcajete, or everything you mix, grind or crush will taste like dish soap. Not tasty.
Me? I am fixin' to make me some Guacamole tomorrow. Woo Hoo!