At Lakeside options abound for imported goodies at El Torito, Puritan Poultry and SuperLake, but apart from a few turkeys, at Wal-Mart and Soriana stores in Guadalajara nary a can of cranberry sauce could be found to help make a Thanksgiving feast possible during this week’s Consumer Survey.
In Guadalajara, Aladino’s — a gringo cooks’ south-of-the-border saviour in Colonia Providencia long before the advent of NAFTA and Wal-Mart in Mexico — has just opened its new store in Plaza Palmas at the corner of Lopez Matoes and Avenida Las Fuentes. This emporium of purely imported goods can make even a poor cook’s Thanksgiving shine and a clever chef’s excel.
Brand name Thanksgiving items include Ocean Spray cranberry sauce (39.50 pesos), Bruce’s canned yams (55 pesos), Mrs. Cubbinson’s stuffing mixes (classic, cornbread and cubed) and McCormak and Knorr turkey gravy mixes (39.50) and Campbells turkey broth.
For nibbling before and after the feast count on a wide variety of Planter’s and Blue Diamond nuts, Lipton dip packages and a dozen or more brands of cookies and crackers. And don’t forget the After Eight mints.
Bakers who like to use a mix will enjoy shopping here. Besides the dozens of special pans and molds, there are known-brand name mixes: Hodgson Mills bread mixes, Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines cake and cookie mixes, Gold Medal flours, Hungry Jack pancake mixes, Pioner buttermilk biscuit mix, Betty Crocker pie crust, Keebler graham cracker crust and Jello no-bake cheesecake desert mixes.
For those on special diets, Aladino’s sugar-free section is a blessing. Pillsbury cake mixes, Smucker’s syrups and jams, Oreo cookies, Log Cabin and Vermont maple syrups, Halls, Brachs, Lifesavers and Hershey’s candies among many other no-sugar options.
Gluten-free cereals, cookies, crackers, canned soups and cake and pizza mixes are also available.
Prices are not low due to the import fees and niche market, but for those with a yen for something special for the holidays, Aladino’s is a good place to find it.
Sweet Potato Souffle
(from Osa Guest Ranch in Sasabe, Arizona)
Preheat oven to 350 when ready to bake.
4 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
1 stick unsalted butter softened, cut into pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons self rising flour
1 can evaporated skim milk or 1 cup of whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
Cook sweet potatoes until tender (can be oven roasted or steamed) drain if necessary and peel. With an electric mixer, beat potatoes until smooth, beat in butter, granulated sugar, eggs(one at a time), flour, milk, salt, extracts, beating until the mixture is well combined. Spray individual ramekins and fill halfway. Bake one hour or until knife comes out clean.
Allow to cool 10 minutes before flipping over on plate. Decorate with a pecan half.
Other Osa Guest Ranch recipes include: Turkey with Green Chilies, Garlic & Red Chile Gravy; Salsa Cranberry Jalapeno; Rosemary & Goat Cheese Savory Bread Pudding and La Osa Corn Muffins. See these recipes at www.guadalajarareporter.com