Ancho Chile and Sesame Seed Sauce: for meats (or, y'know, not)
Ancho Chiles and Sesame Seeds
6 Ancho chiles, seeded and deveined (reserve 1 tablespoon of the seeds)
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
3 whole cloves
3/4 cup sesame seeds
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons lard or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 medium white onion, chopped
salt, to taste
If you already have some chicken broth on hand, the red sesame seed sauce can be prepared in advance. Make double batches of the sauce and use it as a condiment for other meats — it will freeze well.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Toast the ancho chiles lightly by flattening and pressing the chiles for no more than 5 seconds, inside down, using a metal spatula. In a large bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and soak for about 10 minutes.
Toast the reserved ancho chile seeds until golden brown. Set the seeds aside to cool. Once cooled, add the seeds to the cinnamon stick, cloves, and peppercorns in a spice grinder, food processor, or mortar and pestle. Grind the spices to a fine powder.
Toast the sesame seeds until aromatic and lightly browned. Set the seeds aside to cool before grinding to a fine texture.
Transfer the soaked ancho chiles to a blender. Add the garlic clove and 1 cup of the reserved chicken broth. Blend to a smooth puree.
Heat a skillet or saucepan over low heat. Fry the ground seeds and spices over low heat for 3 minutes while constantly stirring.
Add the blended chiles to the fried spices and cook for about 5 minutes while constantly stirring.
Green Pumpkin Seed Sauce (For Meats)
1 2/3 cups shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
6 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
12 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 medium serrano chiles, chopped with seeds
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 Cup chicken broth
Heat heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add pepitas; stir frequently until seeds puff and begin to pop, about 15 minutes (do not brown). Transfer to dish; cool. Set aside 2 tablespoons pepitas for garnish. Working in batches, finely grind remaining pepitas with peppercorns in spice mill or coffee grinder.
Puree tomatillos, next 5 ingredients, and 1/2 cup reserved chicken broth in blender until almost smooth. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo mixture and simmer until sauce is thick and reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add ground pepita mixture. Stir constantly until mixture resembles very coarse paste and begins to color in spots, about 9 minutes. Add tomatillo mixture; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups reserved chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thick, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes longer. Season sauce to taste with salt. Spoon some sauce onto platter. Top with chicken. Spoon remaining sauce over. Garnish with reserved 2 tablespoons pepitas.
No-oil Corn Tortillas
2 cups Masa Harina
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Knead about 3 to 5 minutes. You can't over-work masa 'cause there's no gluten to toughen the dough.
Cover w/ plastic wrap, and let dough rest for about 20 min. before using.
Makes about 12 6-inch tortillas
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons Serrano or Poblano peppers
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons raw green pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
In a work bowl of your food processor, place the parsley, cilantro, mint, pumpkin seeds, Serrano peppers, vinegar, lime juice, coriander, and salt. Process until a paste is formed, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the food processor, and then process again, while slowly pouring the oil in through the feeder tube. Transfer to a bowl, and chill for 20 minutes. Serve atop fish and fresh greens.
1 jicama, peeled and shredded
1/2 ripe mango, cut into 1/8 dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8 dice
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
This is a light, cool salsa for hot days, or for sea-food.
Aztec Classic Mole' Sauce (Contains Chicken Broth)
* 4 dried Pasilla chiles, SR
* 4 dried red de Arbol, or Mirasols chiles, SR
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 cloves, garlic, chopped
* 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, SR, chopped
* 2 tb p sesame seeds
* 1/2 c almonds
* 1/2 c corn tortilla, torn into pieces
* 1/4 c raisins
* 1/4 tsp ground cloves
* 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp ground coriander
* 3 tb p olive oil
* 1 c chicken broth
* 1 ounce bitter chocolate
Combine first 12 ingredients. Puree in blender in small amounts until smooth. Add oil to skillet and heat and add mixture and saute for 10 minutes with stirring. Add the broth and chocolate and cook for 45 minutes. The sauce should be very thick.
Serve over turkey, chicken breast, shredded chicken, turkey enchiladas, other poultry, etc.. Other ingredients to add or substitute for variety: Chiles (Cayenne, Cascabels, Santakas, etc..), anise, bananas, cilantro, cloves, coconut, garlic, peanuts, peppercorns, pinons, pumpkin seeds, raisins, toasted bread, tomatillos, tortillas, walnuts and spices (thyme, oregano, cumin, epazote, etc..).
Capón de Ajo (Chopped Garlic Soup with Chiltepins)
This would be great for colds! Vegan/Vegetarian, too...
# 8 cloves garlic, chopped -- (8 to 10)
# 1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
# 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
# 4 Chiltepins (or more, to taste), crushed
# 2 cups boiling water
# 1 thin flour tortilla, heated on a griddle until crisp
Sauté the garlic and onion in the oil or butter until soft, then transfer to a soup bowl. Add the Chiltepins and pour in the boiling water. Break the tortilla into pieces and add it to the liquid.
Caper Sauce (Alcaparrado)
* 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
* 1 1/2 cups warm homemade chicken stock or canned -- (1 1/2 to 2)broth
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 3 ounces (about 3/4 cup) hulled pumpkin seeds
* 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
* 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
* 1 small crusty roll, cut into slices
* 4 peppercorns
* 3 whole cloves
* 1 (1-inch) stick canela or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
* 2 (3-ounce) jars capers with brine
* Freshly ground black pepper
Crumble saffron threads into 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and let steep several minutes. Heat vegetable oil in skillet until very hot but not quite smoking. Add pumpkin seeds (carefully, because they tend to pop violently as they hit hot oil). Cook, stirring constantly, until they are puffed and have nutty fragrance, about 30 seconds. Do not let them burn or they will turn dish bitter. Drain on paper towels.
In same skillet, heat olive oil until very hot. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until just until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sliced roll and cook, stirring, until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and oregano, then cook, stirring, until aroma of spices is released, about 2 minutes longer. Add capers with brine and stir well to combine. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes on low heat. Add 1 cup saffron-steeped chicken stock and simmer 5 minutes more. Let cool, then place in blender and process until well pureed, about 30 seconds. Add drained pumpkin seeds and puree until smooth.
Thin with remaining 1/2 cup stock, if needed for desired consistency.
Alcaparrado is made with only one major New World ingredient--pumpkin seeds, which replace the almonds that would have been used in Moorish and Spanish cooking. The sauce is delicious with grilled or broiled fish or pan-fried boneless chicken breast.
# 4 Tablespoons Ground Annato Seeds
# 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano, Mexican preferred
# 10 Whole Black Peppercorns
# 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
# 1 Stick Cinnamon (1 inch)
# 4 Whole Cloves
# 2 Whole Allspice Berries
# 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
# 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
Put the annatto, oregano, peppercorns, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and cumin in a spice or coffee grinder and process to a fine powder.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree to a thick paste, adding a little water if the mixture is too thick.
Allow to sit for an hour or overnight to blend the flavors.
Avocado Soup with Corn and Tomato Garnish
# 1 tablespoon canola oil
# 2 yellow onions, chopped, about 2 cups
# 4 cloves garlic, chopped
# 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
# 4 ripe Haas avocados, peeled and cut into -- (4 to 5) chunks
# 1 quart chicken stock
# 1/2 cup crema, creme fraiche or sour cream
# 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
# 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Corn and Tomato Garnish:
# 2 ears corn, roasted or boiled, kernels cut off and reserved
# 2 Italian Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
# 2 scallions, washed and sliced into thin rings
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 1/4 teaspoon pepper
# 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream
Heat oil in Dutch oven (covered pot) over low heat; add onions, garlic, jalapenos, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, 10 minutes or until translucent. Add avocados and stock and bring to the simmer. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until avocados are soft. Add cream, being back to a simmer, then puree with immersion blender until very smooth. Stir in cilantro (or 1/4 of a "motel-sized" bar of soap???) and lime and serve, topped with corn and tomato garnish.
Chile Glazed Sweet Potatoes W/ Cinnamon & Orange
* Sweet-and-Spicy Ancho Chile Seasoning Paste: 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
* 6 medium-to-small (a scant 3 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
* A generous 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* A generous 1/8 teaspoon cloves, preferably freshly ground
* 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
* 3 pounds (about 5 medium) sweet potatoes, unpeeled
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped orange zest (orange rind only), plus some thinly-slivered zest for garnish
* 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
* 2 tablespoons honey
* Salt, a generous teaspoon
* 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil (optional), plus a little extra for the pan
* A few tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
* 1 tablespoon Mexican Thick Cream, crème fraîche or -- (1 to 2)
* sour cream thinned with a little milk,for garnish
1. Making the Sweet-and-Spicy Ancho Chile Seasoning Paste. Roast the unpeeled garlic on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft (they’ll blacken in spots), about 15 minutes; cool and peel. While the garlic is roasting, toast the chiles on another side of the griddle or skillet: 1 or 2 at a time, open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula; in a few seconds, when they crackle, even send up a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down to toast the other side. In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring regularly to insure even soaking. Drain and discard the water. Combine the oregano, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves in a food processor or blender, along with the chiles, garlic and broth or water. Process to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. (If the mixture just won’t go through the blender blades, add a little more liquid.) Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a small bowl.
2. Assembling the dish. Slice each of the sweet potatoes into 4 lengthwise wedges. Lightly butter or oil a 13x9-inch baking dish, and lay in the sweet potatoes in a single layer. Combine the chile seasoning paste with the orange zest, orange juice and honey. Taste and season with salt (it should taste salty, since this is the seasoning for the potatoes). Spoon evenly over the sweet potatoes.
3. Baking the potatoes. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle the sweet potatoes with the (optional) butter or oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are almost fork-tender.
Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees, uncover the potatoes, baste with the juices and bake until the potatoes are nicely glazed and the sauce reduced to a medium-thickness, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with slivers of orange zest, chopped cilantro and a drizzle of cream if you wish, and it’s ready to serve.
Advance Preparation—The seasoning paste may be made a week or so ahead. The potatoes can be assembled through Step 2 several hours in advance, or they can even be baked and reheated. Garnish right before serving.
Chanco Adobado, Spicy Pork
* 1 whole head garlic
* 2 tablespoons ground annatto(achiote)
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin Salt, freshly ground pepper
* 1 cup white vinegar
* 3 pounds shoulder of pork, cut into 2 inch cubes
* 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
* Juice of 1 seville (bitter) orange, or
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
* 6 De Arbol Chiles or 2 tsp ground
Peel the garlic cloves and reduce them to a puree in an electric blender with the annatto, cumin,chiles, salt and pepper to taste, and vinegar. put the pork pieces into a large bowl and pour the garlic marinade over them, mixing well. marinate overnight in the refrigerator, covered . Strain, reserving the marinade. Pat the pork cubes dry with paper towels. Heat the lard or oil in a large skillet and saute the pork pieces until golden brown all over, transferring them to a casserole as they are done. pour the reserved marinade over the pork, add the orange juice, cover, and cook over very low heat until the meat is tender, 1 1/2 hours. If the meat seems to be drying out, add a little water; 3-4 tablespoons will probably be enough. There should be very little gravy when the dish is finished. peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices about 3/4 inches thick. Cook in boiling salted water until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain. To serve , heap the pork in the center of a large warmed platter and surround with the sweet potato slices moistened with a little of the meat gravy. White rice is another traditional accompaniment to this dish.
Garnachas are antojitos (appetizers) most typically thick masa cakes topped with a variety of meats, beans, chiles with a sauce and cheese. The most simple street vendor recipe uses fried wedges of tortillas and tops them with refried beans and cheese.
This recipe is from Diana Kennedy's My Mexico. The recipe is the regional version from Juchitan.
12 ounces boneless steak, trimmed of fat and cubed
1/2 medium white onion, roughly sliced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
salt to taste
heaped 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1 rounded cup masa fresh or prepared for tortillas
1/4 cup (or more) pork lard or oil for frying
1/2 cup (Or more) salsa para garnacha (see recipe)
1/2 cup finely grated queso añejo or Romano
1 heaped cup chilito (see recipe)
In a saucepan, barely cover the meat with water, add the sliced onion, garlic and salt to taste, and cook gently until the meat is tender, about 50 minutes. Set aside to cool off in the broth, then drain and chop. Mix with the 1/4 cup of onion.
Divide the masa into 12 small balls and cover them with a cloth while you make the garnachas. Press one of the balls into a thickish circle about 3 inches in diameter and cook as you would a tortilla on an ungreased comal or griddle. Cover each cooked garnacha with a cloth while you cook the rest.
Melt half of the lard in a large skillet, place the garnachas in one layer in the pan, top each with a tablespoon of the meat mixture and a good teaspoon of the sauce, and cook gently flipping the lard over the surface of the garnachas from time to time for about 5 minutes. They should be slightly crispy on the bottom.
Set aside, cover and keep warm while you cook the rest. Sprinkle very lightly with the cheese and serve with the chilito on the side.
Chilito can also be used as a relish for cold meats or in sandwiches.
Makes 4 cups
2 pasilla de Oaxaca or 6 chipotle mora chiles
3 fresh jalapeno chiles
1 large carrot
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1/3 cup pineapple vinegar or mild vinegar
salt to taste
Slit the pasilla chiles open and remove the seeds and veins. Douse quickly in hot water, wipe dry and clean. Tear them into several pieces. Slice the jalapenos crosswise without removing the seeds. Shave the carrot into think, broad ribbons with a potato peeler. Mix all of the ingredients together. The vinegar should just moisten, not drown, the ingredients. Set aside to season for about 1 hour.