Cinco de Mayo

Mole Poblano

¼ cup vegetable oil

12 Ancho chiles

12 Pasilla chiles

¼ cup garlic

1 cup raisins

½ cup pistachios

½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

¼ cup sesame seeds

1 cup water

1 tortilla

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ cup masa

¼ cup brown sugar

1 cup Mexican chocolate, chopped

2 Tbsps. cocoa powder

2 Tbsps. black pepper

Salt, to taste

Heat vegetable oil in a stock pot until it just starts to smoke.  Toast chiles in hot oil no more than a few seconds, careful not to burn them or toast them too dark.  Remove chiles from oil, then add garlic and raisins. Sauté garlic and raisins (while stirring) for 1 to 2 minutes then remove pot from heat and set aside.  Place chiles in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Heat to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.  Lower a small lid or plate with a weight on it to keep chiles submerged during the cooking process. Simmer chiles for 20 more minutes, then remove from heat.  Drain, and remove stems and seeds. Place chiles in batches into blender with enough fresh water to cover, plus 2-inches more. Add raisins and garlic to blender and puree with chiles on low speed for 30 seconds, then blend on high until smooth. (This may take several minutes with incremental additions of water until the puree is smooth and creamy.)  Pour chile puree into a mesh strainer to half-filled. Using a flexible spatula, scrape inside of strainer to move sauce through. You may need to smack strainer to get out all the sauce, but careful not to dump seeds and skins into sauce. Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Lay pistachios, pepitas, and sesame on a baking sheet and toast in oven 8 to 10 minutes, until the aroma of seeds has been released. Take care to not burn seeds or sauce will be bitter. Allow them to cool. Finely grind seed mixture in a coffee/spice grinder in small batches. In a blender, combine ground-seed mix with 1 cup water, 1 cup chile puree, tortilla, cumin, clove, cinnamon, and masa. Blend on low, then high speed until smooth. Slowly add the rest of chile puree and continue to blend until smooth.  Reheat oil in stockpot then add chile mixture, brown sugar, Mexican chocolate, and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer, stirring well with a whisk to combine. Continue to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, then taste. (You can simmer longer for a thicker mole.) Add salt to taste. Use with chicken, duck, or quail and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from thespruceeats.com.

 

CHILES EN NOGADA (Chilies with Walnut Sauce)

FOR THE FILLING:

8oz pork loin

2 cloves garlic, peeled, plus 2 finely chopped

1 large white onion, halved

Salt, to taste

2 Tbsps. canola oil

2 Tbsps. finely chopped parsley

3 plum tomatoes, cored, peeled, and finely chopped

2 Tbsps. raisins

2 Tbsps. finely chopped blanched almonds

½ Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

½ pear, peeled, cored and finely chopped

½ peach, peeled, pitted and finely chopped

½ medium ripe plantain or banana, peeled and finely chopped

FOR THE WALNUT SAUCE:

4oz walnuts

½ cup milk

6oz queso fresco 

1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream

2 Tbsps. sherry

3 Tbsps. sugar

salt, to taste

FOR THE CHILES:

12 poblano chiles

2 cups canola oil, for frying

1 cup flour

5 eggs, separated

2 Tbsps. salt

1 Tbsps. distilled white vinegar

Seeds of 1 pomegranate

For the filling: Bring pork, 2 whole cloves garlic, half the onion, and 2 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.  Season with salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until pork is tender, about 1 hour. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and pour cooking liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl.  Reserve ½ cup cooking liquid, and discard any remaining along with solids. Once cool, finely chop pork, and set aside with cooking liquid. Return saucepan to medium-high heat, and add canola oil.  Finely chop remaining onion, and add to pan along with minced garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add parsley and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 5 minutes. Return pork and cooking liquid to pan along with raisins, almonds, apple, pear, peach and plantain, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is cooked through and mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and set aside.  For walnut sauce: Place walnuts in a 2-qt. saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and use a stiff-bristled brush to peel away most of the skin from walnuts and set aside. Bring milk to just under a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat and add walnuts.  Let sit, covered, to soften nuts, about 30 minutes. Transfer walnuts and milk to a blender along with queso fresco, crème fraiche, sherry and sugar and puree until very smooth and thick, at least 2 minutes. Season with salt, and transfer to a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  For the chilies: Heat broiler to high. Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning, until blackened all over, about 20 minutes. Transfer chiles to a bowl, and let cool. Peel and discard skins and stems. Cut a slit down the length of each chile. Remove and discard seeds and ribs, keeping chile intact. Place about 2-3 tbsp. filling inside each chile, and close chile around filling to form a tight roll. Refrigerate until ready to use.  Heat oil in a 12 skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place flour on a shallow plate, and set aside. Beat egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form.  Whisk in egg yolks, salt, and vinegar. Working in batches, dredge each chile in flour, shaking off excess, and then coat in egg batter. Place in oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown and filling is heated through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chiles to a wire rack to drain. Transfer to serving plates, and spoon walnut sauce over chiles to cover completely; sprinkle with pomegranate seeds before serving.

Recipe from saveur.com.

 

Chalupa

8 small corn tortillas

canola oil for frying

1 cup tomatillo salsa verde, plus extra for serving

1 cup queso fresco, crumbled

2 cups cooked chicken or pork, shredded

cilantro for garnish

In a heavy bottomed medium skillet (that a whole flat tortilla can fit into without being bent) add about 1/4" of canola oil.  Set over medium to medium high heat.  When oil is hot, but not smoking, rest a tortilla on oil (it will float) and let it cook for about a minute, until bubbling.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa into center of tortilla and gently spread it around, but not quite to the edge.  Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until tortilla edges and bottom are crisp.  It's ok, if a little hot oil touches the salsa.  Transfer chalupa to a tray lined with paper towels to drain.  Continue in this method with the rest of the tortillas.  Divide chicken or pork and queso fresco over chalupas.  Garnish with cilantro and extra salsa verde if desired.

Recipe from garlicandzest.com

 

Slow Cooker Barbacoa

4 lbs beef brisket

2 Tbsps. vegetable oil

3 - 4 chipotle chilis in adobo

1¼ cups beef broth

4 tsps. minced garlic

1½ Tbsps. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

¾ tsp salt, then more to taste

½ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Cut beef into large cubes. In a large skillet over medium high heat add vegetable oil and sear beef on each side. Place Crock Pot liner in slow cooker. Transfer meat to slow cooker.  In a food processor add adobo chilis, beef broth, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, and lime juice. Pulse until blended and pour on top of the meat.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 6 hours. Shred the meat with two forks and turn on warm.  

 

Recipe from therecipecritic.com.