Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Come, Bebe, Vive

There is no shortage of Tex-Mex, Americanized Mexican restaurants in North Texas, places where oozing pools of queso con red sauce and fajitas rule the day.   Not that there's anything wrong with that. . . but at the end of the day . . . it is really Mexican-flavored-American-food.  Over the last year, I have been acquainting my family with auténtica mexicana cocina.  Once you have tasted the delicate flavor and subtle heat of a genuine red sauce made from guajillo chiles, never again will even consider opening a can for your enchiladas.  Heck!  You will make enchiladas!  Pots of humble pintos will grace your stove.  Bright, piquant napolitos will grace the table in place of limp green beans.  Agua Frescas will be the beverage highlight of your day.

Or at least, that is what has happened at our house.

I made Enchiladas Verdes and Enchiladas Rojos with frozen Apple Ginger Agua Frescas for our Sunday dinner.  I have reduced our meat intake to Sunday dinners and this was fabulous.  Sorry for lack of pictures, dinner didn't survive long enough.

Las recetas after the jump:

El Pollo
2- 3 lb. fryers
1 carrot
1 onion quartered
2 celery stalks

In a pressure cooker, either place one or both chickens, the veggies and fill to the waterline.  Cover.  Bring to pressure and cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes each or 25 minutes for both.  After the cooker depressurizes,  remove chicken(s) and strain broth.  If you are cooking the chickens separately, leave the veggies in the pot, it can't hurt.  Remove skin and shred the meat.  Put in a bowl and cover with half the broth.  Set aside.

Salsa Rojo

4 ripe Roma tomatoes
1/2 onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic
3 guajillo chiles
1 tbsp of Taco seasoning
1 tbsp piloncillo
2 tbsp of lime juice
1 cup of reserved chicken broth
salt/pepper to taste

In the hot chicken broth, place 3 guajillo chiles.  In a small pot, cover tomatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and remove skins.  Place guajillos and chicken broth in blender.  Puree.  Strain seeds and skins through a seive.  Place the garlic, tomatoes, Taco seasoning, piloncillo, and strained guajillo-broth mixture.  Puree.  Add lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Salsa Verde con Queso

3 medium sized tomatillos, husks removed
1 jalepeño
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1/2 cup monterrey Jack Cheese
1 cup of reserved chicken broth
salt/pepper to taste

In a small pot, place the tomatillos and the jalepeño and cover with water.  Cook until the chile and tomatillos turn from bright green to dull.  Remove stems. Place the tomatillos and chile in a blender.  Puree.  Add cheese and chicken broth.  Blend.  Add cilantro.  Pulse once or twice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Los Enchiladas con Pollo 

corn tortillas
shredded chicken
a cheese of your choosing (queso fresco is fabulous, but Colby is muy tasty)

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a shallow pan, place 1/2 cup of salsa.  Bring to a boil and place a corn tortilla.  Flip the corn tortilla over and cook through (about a minute).  Remove to a baking dish.  Place a small portion of chicken on the the upper third and roll, place seam side down.  Repeat until the pan is filled.  Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.  Place in the oven until the cheese is bubbling.

Frozen Apple Ginger Agua Fresca
4 apples
1 inch knob of ginger (if you have a juicer)
1/2 cup of sugar
a blender full of ice

If you have a juicer,  go ahead and process the ginger and apples and proceed with the crushing of ice, the adding of sugar, and the diluting with water.

If you do not:

  • peel and core the apples
  • peel the ginger and use a little thinly, sliced ginger, but not the whole thing, as it will be too fiberous
  • add apples, ginger, ice, sugar  to the blender.
  • pulse until smooth, adding water as needed
  • serve immediately

¡Qué refresco!

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