Happy New Year! Here's hoping each of you have a very happy and healthy New Year. Actually, chile health is a great way to go. Statistically, eating only 1/2 teaspoon or more of the hottest chile you can endure at least two-thirds of the time, does wonders for your body. Even Harvard Medical research now supports what the University of the Phillipines discoverd decades ago--that eating chiles reduces the likelihood of ever having disabling cancer or heart disease.
So enjoy...what a way to go! In my class next Thursday evening, January 11 at 5 PM we will be making "New Mexico Favorites", which feature both red and green chiles. Eating either of them is healthy. In the class we will be making my very favorite style of Green Chile Chicken and Red Chile Beef Enchiladas. I like to make them open faced which is a totally New Mexican way of making enchiladas. The word enchilada implies "rolled in chile", however the flat ones allow you to enjoy a greater proportion and high flavor level of the chiles.
We will also be making Red and Green Salsas, my special creation--Blue Corn Crusted Chile Rellenos, and my $50,000.00 recipe for Flan Caramelisado, which I learned from my Mexican Aunt who was educated at the Sorbonne and the Cordon Bleu--both in Paris, France. Why $50,000.00? The funds came from the President of Double D, a gorgeous line of Western Wear out of Yokum,Texas.
Coincidentally, I loved their beautiful clothes. When I was buying a new outfit to wear when I was going to be on a nationwide tour promoitng one of my new cookbooks--I just happened to mention the reason for my purchase to the owner of the store in Old Town Albuquerque--To A Wild Rose. She said she would tell Audrey Franz, the President of the company whom she knew loved my "Tex-Mex" cookbook, that I loved her clothes. And, bless Pat, she agreed to outfit me on all future tours. Of course, I took her up on it. The Flan recipe is what hooked Audrey. She said if all her recipes work that well, I would love to be associated with her. I did learn the special tricks and the recipe from my Aunt and I am glad to share them.
Also, just for fun, I am going to kick in my special Perfect Margaritas for all who take the class. I will share that story of why I call them Perfect, when you come to class.
In the meantime, to give everyone a special break, I am going to put the class on a special price of only $99.00 instead of $115.00--so buy before Friday, the 5th of January.
The next weekend class is February 23-25, the next weeklong class is April 15-19 and the next Oaxacan tour is June 11-17, 2024.
By the way, all of my classes are full participation and feature a maximum of 12 persons. I am still pround to say that both "Bon Appetit" magazine and Gayot.,com have listed me as the "Best in the US".
Here's a couple of recipes to enjoy.
This was my Dad’s favorite soup, which we frequently had on Friday nights. It is very quick to make and almost instant with a pressure cooker.
Yield: 4 servings
2 thick slices of bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons onion, chopped
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
Few grinds black pepper
1 quart milk
1 ½ Tablespoons butter
1. Place bacon pieces in the bottom of a heavy, large pot. Cook until the bacon is almost crisp. Drain fat and reserve for another use or discard. Add potatoes and onion and water to just cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
2. Add the salt, pepper and milk and continue to heat until just hot, do not boil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in shallow soup bowls, topped with a pat of butter.
Note: If using a pressure cooker, consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
MEXICAN TORTILLA CHILI
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Similar to tortilla soup, this spicy veggie chili is delicious. It is made in the Mexican style, whereby the vegetables are grilled prior to being added to the soup-the grilled veggies have deeper, mellower flavors than their raw counterparts. The soup is made in two parts: the flavorful broth is prepared first and then poured over the vegetables.
If you wish to make this a vegetarian dish, simply substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
For the chili broth:
8 large tomatoes, stemmed
2 large Spanish onions, peeled and halved
6 large Mexican garlic cloves, peeled (see note)
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (canned is fine)
1 teaspoon chipotle powder, or 2 dried chipotles, reconstituted (see note)
1 piece (2 inches) cinnamon, preferably canela (see sources)
For the chili vegetables:
2 pounds butternut squash (1 medium squash), peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 teaspoon ground dried Mexican oregano
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), with liquid
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, sliced into 1-inch-wide ribbons (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Corn tortillas, warmed (optional)
1. Prepare the broth: Score an X into the bottom of each tomato, cutting just through the skin. Place the tomatoes, onions, and garlic on a comal or other heavy griddle over medium-high heat and cook, turning, until the vegetables char on all sides, about 10 minutes. (Remove the garlic as soon as it browns a bit.) Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set them aside.
2. Place the chicken broth in a large Dutch oven or small stockpot over high heat. Add the chipotle powder and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, peel and chop the tomatoes. Chop the onions, removing any blackened spots and mince the garlic.
4. Add the tomatoes, onions, and garlic to the broth, along with the canela. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes. Remove the canela, taste the broth, and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding salt if desired. Keep warm.
5. Prepare the chili vegetables: Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the squash and oregano, cover the pan, and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the black beans, garbanzo beans, chard, and cumin and cook, uncovered, until the chard is limp and tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking water.
6. Cut the lime into quarters or sixths, depending on the number of servings. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the bottom of each individual bowl. Divide the vegetables among the bowls, and ladle the broth over them, coving the vegetables. (If the broth has become too stewlike, use the reserved vegetable cooking liquid to thin it to a soupier consistency.) Serve with warm corn tortillas, if desired.
Notes: Before using dried chipotles, you must reconstitute them. To do so on the stovetop, place them in a small pot and add a dash of vinegar and water to just cover. Simmer them over low heat until soft, 30 minutes. Alternatively, place the chipotles, vinegar, and water in a quart size microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, cover with cellophane wrap and process 5 minutes. When the chiles are fork-tender, discard the water (or reserve it for later use in marinades and salad dressings) and mince the chiles. I’ve called for Mexican garlic here because it has a complex flavor and its large cloves are easy to peel.
See the entire archive of Southwest Recipes and collect more ideas for cooking with chiles.