Je Mange

“I eat therefore I am”– Culinary Genius

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mexican Feast

So we're planning to do some Latino cookin' for a while. Lately we've eaten at a delicious Ecuadorian joint in my old hood of Astoria. Also at a place in our current neighborhood a country style Mexican place.

Today I cooked refried beans, a chipotle-tomato braised chicken and pork dish and yellow rice. There is no recipe per say for any of these, just flavours, intuition and some care. A note about chipotle peppers; I used a caned version. These peppers are smoked jalapeños and canned with some delicious sauce. I cant remember the brand I use but there's a picture of a black haired Hispanic woman on the front with an orange background.

I used black beans but they say you can use pinto as well. Soak them over night. Sauté onions and garlic; add cumin, hot pepper powder, oregano, thyme and S&P. Cook out for a little then add the beans with enough water to cover about an inch. Bring to a boil and turn down to medium. Let it cook until tender adding water as needed. Once cooked blend about 2/3 of the beans until smooth and pasty; add the rest of the beans and mix in. Sauté some more onion, season as desired with anything from above and cook the beans until rather tight and pasty. You can do this in portions or by adding some a cup at a time. Taste and season.

For the rice I followed a basic pilaf formula. I used turmeric, S&P, onions, garlic, cumin, chicken stock and chopped tomato. It was a little under seasoned when cooked but you can always adjust it afterwards. It

The chicken-pork dish was just a simple braise. In the braising pot I sautéed onions, canned chipotle peppers with the sauce, garlic, red bell peppers and carrots. I seasoned it with cumin, allspice, thyme, bay leaves and of course salt and pepper. For liquid I used some chicken stock, a bit of corona I was drinking, some Pinot Noir and tomato puré. I then seasoned the meat with salt and pepper, dusted with flour and browned it in batches. Put everything in the pot, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until done. You'll have to remove the chicken first since it will finish cooking before the pork, generally. Afterwards I removed the meat and discarded the bay leaves and blended the sauce to make to make it thick and rich (also so that my girlfriend who has trouble with veggies will get her vitamins). If need be reduce the sauce further to proper consistency.

I served it with sour cream and a small salad of shredded red leaf with cubed tomato.


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