2.38 Mexican Mint Marigold (MMM) / Mexican tarragon

Botanical name: 

Photo: Tagetes lucida 7. Latin name: Tagetes lucida (T. florida).
Common names: Mexican Marigold Mint, Mexican Mint Marigold, Mexican Mint Tarragon, Mint Marigold, Texas Tarragon, Sweet Marigold, Cloud Plant, Yerbanis, Hierba anis, Coronilla, Pericon

2.38.1 Growing MMM

From: Chris McElrath <Mcmariah.AOL.COM>
The following descriptive information is taken from "The Herb Garden Cookbook" by Lucinda Hutson.
Characteristics of MMM: "Glossy lance-shaped leaves, finely serrated:strong anise scent; brilliant golden marigold-like flowers in fall; perennial".
MMM likes "loose, well-draining soil; full sun"
Propagation: roots easily in water; readily reseeds Plant seeds in the fall, germination in a few days.
Mature plant will be appr. 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide.
Especially good in hot, dry conditions where French tarragon won't grow.

2.38.3 Using / preserving MMM

From: Chris McElrath <Mcmariah.AOL.COM>
MMM is the best available substitute for Tarragon (see 2.11). The french word for tarragon is "Estragon" which means "little dragon". MMM lacks the fiery flavor of tarragon, but its anise flavor is more pronounced. In Mexico MMM is used as a medicinal tea to calm stomachs and nerves, cure colds, alleviate hangovers. Allegedly, the Aztecs used MMM in a numbing powder which they blew into sacrificial victims' faces to calm their fears. Besides as a tarragon substitute, MMM can be used as a pleasant tea flavoring. It is tasty added to sangria, punches, mulled cider. Also good in vinaigrettes.


From: Chris McElrath <Mcmariah.AOL.COM>

Mexican Mint Tarragon Chicken

This recipe I have tried and it is quite good. It comes from Lucinda Hutson's "The Herb Garden Cookbook"

4 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
3 green onions, with tops
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp fresh marigold mint, chopped
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp white wine

Slightly flatten chicken breasts and trim excess fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Combine the remaining ingredients to make a thick paste. Place appr. 1 ½ Tbsp. of the paste on each breast. Roll up tightly. Place seam side down on a lightly oiled baking dish and dot breasts with any remaining herb mixture.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Slice into medallions to serve.

Marigold Mint Vinaigrette

1 egg yolk
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp honey
¼ cup MMM vinegar or tarragon vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped MMM
½ cup olive oil
pinch of salt and cayenne

Blend the egg yolk, garlic, mustard, pepper and honey with a fork. Add the vinegar and chopped herbs; mix well. Slowly whish in the oil in a steady stream until thickened. Adjust seasonings.

Tomatoes Rellenos

4 med. size tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp MMM vinegar or tarragon vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp dried mustard
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp crushed dried red chile
3 tbsp marigold mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1 ½ cups cooked corn kernels, chilled
2 small zucchinis, chopped
4-6 green onions, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Peel tomatoes (if desired) by plunging them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then immediately immersing them in cold water. Cut tops off tomatoes and remove some of the pulp. Lightly salt the shells and invert them on paper towels to drain.
Make the vinaigrette by combining garlic, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, dried mustard, tomato paste, brown sugar, and half of the fresh herbs.
Dribble a small amount of vinaigrette (reserve half) into each shell, and chill.
Combine corn, zucchini, green onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper and the remaining herbs. Mix with remaining vinaigrette and chill for several hours.
Generously stuff each tomato with the corn/squash mixture, and drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the top.

From: Fran <frich.TENET.EDU>
Following is a really good marinade using Mexican Mint Marigold. It's from our herb society's soon-to-be-published cookbook. I made it yesterday and marinated some chicken breasts in it before grilling. Delish!
But first a comment about Lucinda Hutson, from who's book Chris took the MMM info. She has come down from Austin (to San Antonio) several times to speak to our club. She is one of the most delightful people! The first time she had slides of her house and garden - to die for! The next time she talked about her newest book on tequila and had slides of her travels in Mexico researching it. She obviously had a *lot* of fun.
Now for the marinade.

Herb Marinade

(Marjie Christopher)

1 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Mexican Mint Marigold or French Tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Pour wine vinegar into blender jar. Add remaining ingredients; blend at low speed for 10 seconds. Pour into jar with tight cover and refrigerate.
Makes 1 ¾ cups. Good as marinade for poultry, beef, pork, or lamb.