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Recipes

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Before lunch today we enjoyed a nice relaxing drink. It was a takeoff on a regular screwdriver, normally simply vodka and orange juice. The temperature was very hot in the house and I did not feel like having something too sweet like a huge glass of fresh fruit juice. I decided to first prepare “agua de frutas” a typical Mexican drink that literally translates to “fruit water”. It is normally made with many different types of fruits namely pineapple or guayaba or orange or lime or even hibiscus flowers (jamaica). The fruits are normally juices or “blenderized”, and a large jar is filled about one third full with the juice. A bit of sugar is added for flavor and to cut the acidity or tartness depending on the fruit and water is added to fill the jar. This makes a light refreshing water that is drunk with the meal.

The fruits before making the water

The fruits after making the water

I did press some of the citrus fruits I collected this morning from our trees and then added a bit of fructose and filled the jar with water. To make the drink I put ice cubes in a tall glass, a healthy shot of vodka, and filled the glass with the citrus fruit water. It make a nice tart refreshing drink that helped us cool down. I am glad that the fruit bowl is still mostly full and that the trees outside are loaded with a lot more fruits. I think that since the hot season is starting we will enjoy this nice refreshing drink regularly.

Lucito

I ended up finding a lot of things to put in the omelette and it turned out great. Since the mishap with the suadero earlier this week, thinks have improved dramatically and every meal was simple and just perfect. I hope that the trends continue…

I started by dicing the bacon and salami like yesterday and shredded a bit of Oaxaca cheese.

The diced salami and bacon and a bit of shredded Oaxaca cheese

I then diced a small zucchini, some mushrooms and a sweet red pepper.

The diced zucchini, mushrooms and sweet red pepper

Then it was time for 4 eggs some dried onions and oregano, a splash of sesame oil, a tablespoon of heavy cream, and some salt and pepper. I whipped them until light and fluffy.

The whipped eggs

The cooking then started buy sauteing bacon and salami until crisp.

The bacon and salami cooking

I then added the veggies and sauteed them until lightly cooked.

The veggies cooking with the bacon and salami

Then it was time for the eggs and then the Oaxaca cheese. I cooked the eggs until they were set and had a nice brown crust on the underside. As the pan was smaller and the omelette was thick, at that time the top was still not totally set. Like I normally do in those occasions, I used my trusty kitchen torch and set the top of the omelette with it and gave it a nice gratiné look.

The cooked omelette prior to plating

I split the omelette in half and plated it and we enjoyed a nice simple meal yet again…

The plated omelette ready to be eaten by us

Lucito

As mentioned earlier this afternoon I was planning to make some form of carbonara, but I was not sure exactly what and how I would make it. Finally it turned out more traditional than I thought, but with a twist. I did find a bit of Parmesan in the back of the refrigerator and with that and most leftover ingredients I also found I made a nice pasta that turned out stunning. We like it so much that we had some seconds, and the boyz will enjoy the leftovers tonight with their meals.

The process, like most of what I cook during the week, was simple and fast. While the pasta was cooking, some miniature tortiglionis, I simply sauteed some diced thick bacon and salami until golden. I added some finely diced garlic and onions with some fresh asparagus and mushrooms with a splash of olive oil.

Here is the bacon, salami, garlic, onions and asparagus cooking

The sauteed ingredients with the mushrooms added

I drained the pasta once it was cooked and then added it to the rest of the ingredients. I tossed it around still on high heat then took it of the burner.

The dish almost ready prior to the addition of the eggs and cheeses

I then mixed 2 eggs with the leftover Parmesan and mozzarella I found and poured the mixture in the pasta and rapidly blended it well so it did not turn into an omelet. I served it topped with a bit more Parmesan and a generous grating of fresh black pepper.

The plated Pasta alla Carbonara with a generous grating of black pepper

We were very happy with the results which turned out great and light enough to be enjoyed on a hot day like today. Now I have to plan something to do tomorrow with that other leftover piece of bacon and the little bit of salami left…

Lucito

I think that it is time for a bit of recipe reorganization here on the blog as when I was trying to see if I had posted the marinade recipe from yesterday I noticed that it is not that easy to navigate the blog and see all that is there. I am currently looking at alternatives from simply re-categorizing the entire content to a better solution that might involve some additional technology or WordPress plug-in.

If any of you have some suggestions or can recommend a plug-in that could help to better classify the content of the blog please leave a comment about it, or write to me directly at jlpaquin@igourmand.com.

Lucito

A bit after the holiday season this year Normita was in the mood for something different for breakfast one weekend. We used to occasionally buy some bran muffins at the local supermarket when we were grocery shopping to eat for breakfast when we returned home. As everything happening in Mexico in the past few year, things are going down dramatically in quality and prices are increasing just as dramatically. I’ve noticed in the past few months at our local Walmart that baked goods have gone up as much as 50% and the size of the items has been reduced by about one third. Quality is also a lot worse than before.

Due to all of the above we stopped buying most baked goods there, but the craving for something nice remained. Ages ago I used to bake a tropical banana bread with lots of rum inside that the girls at my dental clinic at the time used to enjoy a lot. The recipe is probably in storage up in Canada with most of our things, so that weekend I decided to improvise something. Since baking at very high altitude like where we live (close to 9000 feet) things can be a bit tricky at first, so by trial over the next few weeks I adjusted the recipe until it yields great results all the time. For those who live at saner altitudes adjust the recipe accordingly by adding a bit more baking powder and sugar, and reducing the liquids.

It is something very easy to make and I normally prepare a batch when I get up early in the morning and then bake it slowly. Since we normally have breakfast late around 10am or so, we have some nice warm bread just out of the oven at that time. I had been planning to bake one for the last 3-4 days, but each day we were doing something in the morning that prevented me to do so. Tomorrow morning is our normal house chores morning so I decided to bake one this afternoon while I was in the kitchen preparing other things so that tomorrow and most of the rest of the week we will have some nice banana bread for breakfast.

It is a very easy recipe to make. You start by mixing the dry ingredient together in a big bowl with a spoon.

The dry ingredients all mixed up

You then prepare the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix them well with a spoon.

The wet ingredients well mixed

You then pour the wet ingredients in the dry ingredient and mix well with a spatula and when everything is well incorporated you fold in the garnish.

The ingredients well mixed

The garnishes, in this case raisins and wallnuts, are folded in

That’s it! You then butter a bread mold, pour in the batter and bake in the oven. It is THAT easy!

A well buttered bread mold

The batter poured in the bread mold

The bread baking in the oven

The resulting bread is nice moist and heavy and the richness of the ingredient and the bite of the various alcohol makes it most importantly very tasty. It is a great way to start a day first with a nice fresh grapefruit which are in season and very cheap here these days, followed by a nice piece of moist banana bread with a great cup of very strong coffee. I am drooling just thinking about tomorrow morning’s breakfast.

A nice loaf of banana bread just out of the oven!

Recipe

Dry Ingredients

1 cup flour
1 cup lightly crushed Bran Flakes type cereals
1 cup oat bran
1/3 cup sugar substitute (low calorie fruit sugar)
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground dry ginger
3 tbs caramelized sesame seeds

Wet Ingredients

2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup milk
2 tbs margarine
3 beaten eggs
2 tbs honey
1 tbs vanilla
2 tbs orange liqueur
4 tbs rum
2 tbs coffee liqueur

Garnishes

2 handfuls raisins
2-3 handfuls had crushed walnuts

Preparation

1. Mix the dry ingredients together with a spoon in a large bowl
2. Combine wet ingredients and mix them well in another bowl
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix with a large spatula
4. Add nuts and raising and fold them in with the spatula
5. Pour in a buttered loaf pan
6. Bake at 350F for 1 hour 15 minute to 1 hour 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry

Lucito

Today’s day is only marginally going better than yesterday’s, but I prepared a decent meal anyways. I was not sure what the fish I thawed yesterday was, as I have the bad habit of putting stuff in zipper bags and then freezing them and trying to rely on my memory to know what it is. It does not work and I really need to make an effort to start systematically labeling things with content and freeze date as opposed to only occasionally do it.

It turned out to be one of the last pieces of local “dorado” (mahi-mahi) from the over 1 meter fish we bought some months ago. At the same time we also bought a few large “huachinango” (red snapper). We are now down to our last few packs, so we need to plan another trip to the central fish market. The two pieces in the pack were from the tail tip of the filet and not well cut to cook as a whole.

Yesterday I had though of baking them in a tomato sauce, but today I was pressed for time and I wanted something quicker to prepare and something that gives a satisfying crunch when eating, as everybody knows that crunchy food is fun food. I decided to cut the pieces in small chunks, then bread them quickly with some savory breading.

I prepared a quick bound breading with first some flour mixed with garlic salt, herbes de Provence, citric chile powder and white pepper to lightly flour the pieces. I them passed them through a wash with eggs mixed with a bit of sesame oil, salsa “Maggi”, and heavy cream. Then I completed the bound breading with some hand-crushed Corn Flakes.

Dorado breaded in Corn Flakes

I pan-fried the fish in a few tablespoons of soy oil and it yielded incredibly crunchy pieces of fish with a moist juicy interior. I served it with the leftover sweet potato purée from 2 days ago. It turned out to be an very quick and easy meal to prepare that was very satisfying and very tasty.

The plated Dorado ready to serve

Lucito

I am about to go to the kitchen to prepare the meal and I am starving. I have been working in the office preparing various proposals since early this morning and I have yet to take a 5 minute break, so I feel understandably lightheaded.

When I got up I thawed some of those thinly sliced pork chops we bought on sale last weekend. I plan to bake them with some fresh pineapple we bought at the same time. I am not sure exactly yet how I will do that, and I will let whatever inspiration that hits me when I actually start cooking take over.

If it turns out well I will post the results later this week. Wish me luck…

Lucito

As mentioned yesterday we found some great pork meat on sale and bought various cuts enough to make 7-8 meals. What we will have today is deboned pork rib halves that looked very tasty.

Deboned Pork Rib Halves

We only paid around MN$55 a Kg for them (~US$1.90 a pound) and they look and feel very juicy. I am not sure how I will cook them, as I would love cooking them on the barbecue, but around here it is very difficult to plan this ahead of time as it might be raining by the time we are ready to eat, or it might be too windy. We’ll see what happens and depending on the weather or my mood I will either do them outside as planned or in the oven.

The ribs in the marinade.

As it is somewhat hot these days I wanted to prepare them in a lighter way so I prepared a marinade inspired by the high temperature. It is based on tangerine juice, with some “piloncillo” (raw cane sugar cones reconstituted in boiling water to form a heavy syrup reminiscent of molasses), Sambal Olek (oriental chili paste), soy sauce, sesame oil, a roughly pealed piece of fresh ginger, powdered “chile ancho” and citric zests, salt and pepper with lime zest. The result as a somewhat sweetish marinade with a bit of bite to it. Perfect for the weather. The meat is currently marinating in the refrigerator and in a few hours I will just turnover the meat in it so it is well marinated and whenever it is time I will decide how to cook it and what garnishes I will make.

If the results are great I will post the full recipe in the coming weeks…

Lucito

As mentioned yesterday in the “Daily Express”, Normita prepared some of her great pozole rojo with a quick recipe that is a little bit less traditional in preparation, but that yields exceptional results. It is less heavy than the traditional recipe we make on special occasions as it is only made with chicken instead of chicken and pork. The traditional recipe is available here and has been the all-time favorite recipe on this site for many years.

Here is the illustrated version of Normita’s quick recipe…

Here are the basic ingredients used for this quick pozole recipe

You can seen the bag of pre-cooked corn, the chiles, the chicken before removing the skin and fat, and the dry ingredients. Even though the corn is said to be pre-cooked, what it really means is that the though skin has been removed with lie and it has been blanched. It still requires many hours of cooking to be tender.

Putting the corn in the pot

Washing the corn

The corn requires washing very well as it still has some lie that was used to remove the tough skin. It is washed in the pot with at least 3 changes of water until the water comes out clean. This also has the advantage of removing all the little particles and bits of stuff left from the processing. You then add the condiments.

Adding the dried oregano

Adding the dessicated onions

Adding the dessicated garlic

Once the condiments are added, you then add your water.

Adding the water

The corn is now ready to cook and you let it simmer gently on a low setting for at least 2 hours.

Cooking the corn

After about an hour that the corn is cooking, it is time to prepare the chicken. In another pot put the chicken, the condiments, and cover it with water. simmer on a low setting for about an hour. The corn and chicken should normally be ready about the same time.

Placing the chicken breast in another pot

Adding the powdered chicken broth to the chicken

Adding the dessicated onions to the chicken

Adding the dessicated garlic to the chicken

Covering the chicken with water

Cooking the corn and the chicken

When the chicken and corn is about done it is time to prepare the chiles. First you need to devein and seed them. You then wash them very well under running water. Then are then placed in a blender covered in water and reserve them until you are ready to use them.

Seeding and deveining the chiles

Washing the chiles

The chiles in the blender

By now the chicken and corn should be ready. Remove the chicken from the cooking stock and place in a large bowl to cool down.

Removing the chicken

You then pour the stock from the cooked chicken into the pot with the cooked corn.

Pouring the chicken cooking stock into the corn

It is now time to finish preparing the chiles. Put the chiles with water in the microwave and cook at high for about a minute and a half until the liquid is boiling. Blend the chiles until you have a smooth liquid and pour that liquid in the pot with the corn through a fine sieve. Mix well and your pozole is ready.

Cooking the chiles in the microwave

Blending the chiles

Pouring the blended chiles in the corn

The leftover skins

The pozole is now ready and you need to prepare the traditional garnishes. These include finely diced onions and radishes, chopped avocado, shredded lettuce, oregano, fresh limes cut in half, and hot sauce (in this case Normita’s favorite “Valentina”). The garnishes are put in bowls that are placed on the table and the people add to their bowl of pozole what they want. The chicken has now cooled down enough to shred with your fingers in small pieces, so it is time to do so.

The shredded chicken

Chopped onions

The Larch... Ergh... The radishes

Shredding the lettuce

Some lemon-lime hybrids from the small tree near my office's window

A small avocado

All the garnishes together before we put them on the table

Finally we are ready eat! To serve you place some of the shredded chicken at the bottom of a large soup bowl. You then ladle a generous amount of corn over it and then cover with some of the broth.

Putting some of the shredded chicken in the bowls

Ladling corn and broth

Now the fun begins at the table and you now place all the garnishes you wish in your pozole and then top with a generous helping of shredded lettuce. You then mix well and enjoy an heavenly bit of Mexican traditional food. If you wan to be even more traditionial you can prepare yourself a few tostadas topped with some heavy clotted cream and a sprinkling of salt to go with it.

The final presentation of the pozole loaded with all the garnishes

Now it is topped with lettuce and ready to eat!

Let's not forget a cream tostada with a sprinkling of salt

After preparing this post on pozole I am now starving. Luckily it is now near our lunchtime and we have some leftover pozole from yesterday that should be even better than freshly cooked. I am really looking forward to it.

Here is the recipe again step by step…

The pozole

Ingredients

1. Complete chicken breast with skin and fat removed
2. 1 Kg bag of pre-cooked pozole corn
3. 1 chile ancho
4. 1 chile pasilla
5. 1 chile guajillo
6. 1 1/2 tbs dessicated garlic
7. 1 tbs dried oregano
8. 3 tbs dessicated onions
9. 2 tbs powdered chicken broth
10. 8 or more cups of water
11. Water to cover the chicken

Instructions

1. Place the pre-cooked corn in a large cooking pot
2. Wash it well changing the water at least 3 times until the water is clean
3. Add the oregano, 1 tbs garlic, and 2 tbs of onions
4. Add the 8 cups of water and simmer for at least 2 hours on a low setting you might need to add some water as it evaporates and gets absorbed by the corn
5. After about an hour than the corn is simmering place the chicken breast in another pot
6. Put the remaining onions and garlic and the powdered chicken broth
7. Cover with water and simmer on a low setting for about an hour until the chicken is well cooked. Add water if the level goes down too much.
8. Around the time that the chicken and corn are ready, seed, devein, and wash the chiles well
9. Place the cleaned chiles in a blender and cover them in water and reserve them until ready
10. Remove the chicken from the cooking stock and place in a large bowl to cool
11. Pour the stock from the cooked chicken into the pot with the cooked corn
12. Microwave the chiles and water for about a minute and a half on high to bring the water to a boil
13. Blend the chiles until you have a smooth paste
14. Pour the chiles in the pot with the corn through a fine sieve
15. Mix well the finished pozole in the pot

Garnishes and How to Serve

Ingredients

1. Shredded cooked chicken breast
2. Finely diced onions
3. Finely dices radishes
4. Oregano
5. Shredded iceberg lettuce
6. Chopped avocado
7. Fresh limes
8. Hot sauce
9. Tostadas
10. Heavy clotted cream
11. Salt
12. Pozole

Preparation

1. Once cooled shred the cooked chicken breast with your fingers into small pieces
2. Prepare the various garnishes and place in individual bowls
3. Place some of the shredded chicken in the bottom of large bowls and cover with cooked corn and broth
4. At the table add the garnishes of your choice to the pozole, mix well and enjoy with some tostadas with a buttering of heavy cream and a dash of salt

Lucito

Today Normita prepared a “Quick” version of he great “Pozole Rojo de Jalisco”. We will have enough food with this for today and tomorrow and the boyz, our huge Bouvier de Flanders dogs Uriel (Normita’s boy, ~80Kg) and Bacchus (my boy, ~70 Kg), should have enough leftover broth to enjoy some with their dry food tomorrow night.

Since our regular pozole recipe is our all time favorite recipe based on the number of visits here on the site, we documented this quick version that we normally enjoy at least once or twice a month. It is simplified version made with only chicken and it easy to prepare and stunningly tasty. It is one of Normita’s best recipes. We will post the full pictorial and recipe of this version in the coming days, so lookout pozole fans.

Lucito

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