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March 2010 COTM--Kennedy: Appetizers, Soups, Soup Stews

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Please post reports in this thread on recipes from The Essential Cuisines of Mexico chapters APPETIZERS, SOUPS, and SOUP STEWS

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  1. I made the Pozole de Jalisco (pork and hominy soup), p. 148-150, the other night. I really love pozole. I like that you sprinkle all kinds of garnishes on top. I couldn't find the frozen partially cooked white corn kernels she talks about and I didn't have time to soak dried hominy for 2 days....so I cheated and used, GASP, canned hominy. Next week I plan to visit some Mexican markets where they might have what she describes.

    I had some leftover barbecued pork boneless spareribs (bbq in the sense of grilling, not covered with sauce) and used then because I didn't have a pig's head or pork neck bones (!!). I bet I could get one, but I don't know if I'm Hugh Frearly-ed enough to deal with a pig head. I let some of the pork rib meat simmer with the hominy in water with a bit of frozen homemade chicken broth. I let this cook for a couple of hours until the pork was falling apart.

    The broth/pork/hominy is served with lots of additives. I served shredded cabbage, chopped onion, sliced radishes, chopped avocado and lime. She doesn't mention avocado, but I had one and I like it in this soup.

    I made the sauce she calls for. It's quite simple - chiles de arbol soaked in water and then put in the blender with their water. You then strain the salsa to get rid of any "debris"as she calls it.

    I also served some tostadas with the pozole because I had it this way in a restaurant and loved it. Tostadas are not the Chevy's type, but small corn tortillas fried and packaged in a tubular plastic bag. They are crispy like tortilla chips and you just crumble them into the soup.

    She calls for chopped white onion and I actually bought one. It was good, but I wonder what the difference is between yellow and white onions except the color. Any info about this?

    I know that I cheated a lot in the recipe, and maybe I'll make the whole deal some time....minus the pig's head.

    With this cold, rainy weather we've been having for the past several weeks, although it's actually SUNNY right now, I want to make at least one of the Albondigas Soups (Meatballs made with beef, pork, and rice) recipes (pp.307 and 306 and 309). I am a real sucker for good albondigas the way they make it at Barragan's on Sunset in Echo Park (L.A.). I used to live in that neighborhood and could have it twice a week. The rest of the food there is nothing to write home about, but the albondigas soup is still great (as of November of last year anyway).

    She also has a recipe for Shrimp Albondigas (translated into English as the ugly-sounding "Shrimp Balls", but it sounds good.- p. 382

    4 Replies
    1. re: oakjoan

      Oakjoan, I share your love for albondigas :-)

      I've made the Albondigas de Jalisco on pg. 307/08 many times. In fact, that was the first albondigas recipe I ever attempted. It was in her Cuisines of Mexico book, which was the first Mexican cookbook I bought back in the mid-80s. I though the recipe was doable (i.e. not intimidating) and I could source all the ingredients. I was right, the recipe isn't as complicated as it sounds and it is delicious, if not a wee bit bland.

      Avocado is a frequent accompaniment to posole in Mexico.
      White onion is much sharper, and not as mild, as yellow onion. It has more bite. That's why you might also see recipe directions to rinse the onions in running water for a couple of minutes. The water will remove some of the bite and mellow them.

      I would encourage you to try the albondigas. I can't guarantee they'll be like the ones you remember, but I do think you'll like them. (I added some long strips of carrot and zucchini towards the end of cooking because that's how I was used to Albondigas being served)

      1. re: oakjoan

        Try the posole from Rancho Gordo. It is dElicious and only requires an overnight soak.
        I made this posole last weekend with a fresh pork shoulder from one of my friends pigs. It was beyond delicious.
        I threw the posole, the pork and a diced onion in a BIG creuset, covered with water and then added the last of my roasted Hatch green chilis from the freezer. Into a 250 oven for about 4 hours. Nothing easier, nothing more satisfying on a rainy day.
        Going to seek out DK's book today so I can follow her recipe next time.
        $5 for a bag of the RG stuff, and it fed multiple people for several meals.
        Sorry to hijack this COTM post, just wanted to tell you about the posole you can get locally and I couldn't control myself!

        1. re: rabaja

          rabaja: I have used the Rancho Gordo hominy before with god results. I am interested, however, in her description of frozen, partially prepped corn for pozole that she says is in the freezer sections of some Mexican markets. We have some very good ones around here in Oakland, CA, and I'm going to look for them.

          Dining Diva: I also have made the albondigas many times but the recipe was in her The Art of Mexican Cooking (the only book of hers I own). I haven't checked it against the recipe in the COTM which I got from the library. Will report back.

          So rabja, you didn't use the pig's head? My husband claims he could eat pozole every single day without complaining.

          1. re: oakjoan

            You may also be able to find the prepared posole corn in the frigerator section. We can get it here in San Diego that way. I've seen the frozen stuff too.

            When I cooked with DK she made us cook it from scratch and remove the pedicle. A thankless task if ever there was one.

      2. Sopa De Elota, Fresh Corn Soup, p 125

        This soup is really really easy to make. Blend corn with some water, then add to butter in pot, add in milk and broth and simmer. pour in bowls over fried charred poblano peppers and queso fresco, add fried strips of fried tortillas over the top in the bowls.

        I think the end result was much sweeter than it was supposed to be, due to the sweetness of the corn, but I liked it. It would be really good as a small first course bowl.

        1. Guacamole, Pg. 11-12

          Very nice, fresh tasting, and everything you'd expect. A bit of finely chopped white onion, 4 serrano chiles ( I used 3 serranos and 2 small habenaros), some cilantro leaves and a pinch of salt are mashed together either in a molcajete or mini-FP. I used the MFP. Then 3 avocadoes are mashed with a fork, and almost a cup of finely chopped tomatoes are added to them. Everything is mixed together and topped with a bit of chopped tomatoes and onions.

          I served this along side the Enchiladas Rojas on page 60. DH gave it a 1/2 thumbs up.
          I liked it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gio

            Guacamole, p. 11

            This is close to the way I make my guacamole, though I add lime juice. I ground white onion, serranos (two instead of four), salt, and cilantro in a molcajete (I think this is key for flavor), added avocado, and then diced tomatoes and onions, chopped cilantro, and the juice of one Mexican lime.

             
          2. Chilorio - Chile-Seasoned Pork (Sinaloa), p. 18

            I made this earlier this week and plan to serve it tonight as part of a Mexican meal with tortillas. Cubed pork is cooked and shredded. I started to use a molcajete but ended up shredding by hand. The meat is mixed with a sauce of reconstituted and blended ancho chiles, "mild vinegar" (I used diluted apple cider vinegar - a Bayless tip), cumin, Mexican oregano and salt. Once combined, it's cooked for another 20 minutes, adding a bit of lard if necessary (which I did). She says it keeps for months, and I made this batch thinking I'll use it over the next couple of weeks for toppings, filling, etc.

             
            5 Replies
            1. re: Rubee

              Rubee, I'll be interested to hear how you like it and if it improves with age. Some of the versions of Chilorio that I've had have been a little on the bland side, which is one of the reasons, I've always kind of passed on this recipe. Looking forward to hearing your tasting verdict

              1. re: DiningDiva

                DD..
                Did you see that Rick Bayless is at Macy's in SD on March 25th at 6:30pm?

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  No, I didn't. Home store in MV? It'll be mobbed if he is. I've actually cooked with Rick. Heck of a nice guy and a really great cook. His Top Chef Master's win was well earned and well deserved. Thanks for the heads up. I'll check it out and perhaps go.

                2. re: DiningDiva

                  We ended up filling up on appetizers and so didn't have the chilorio, but I will be sure to report when we do!

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Yes, I agree that the chilorio is somewhat plain by itself, though we've been eating it in burritos, flautas, and tostadas with spicy salsa, crema, cilantro, etc. I liked it, but it's not my favorite - I much prefer carnitas or machaca. However, a great combination has turned out to be the chilorio with the Jalapeno Relish (p. 238). I really like the tang, heat, and crunch of it with the pork. I'm going to have to make another batch just for chilorio tacos.

                     
                3. Salsa de Albanil, p. 22

                  This was a great and easy to put together appetizer, and one I'll make again. It makes a nice presentation too. Simply layer Salsa de Tomato Verde (p.236), slices of queso fresco, and avocado, and garnish with cilantro. I wasn't paying attention and cut the avocado in chunks rather than slices, and so mounded them in the middle. I served it with warm tortillas so people could make their own tacos as she suggests. Big hit last night.

                   
                  1. Sopa de Tortilla (p. 116)

                    I love all the variations of tortilla soup and thought this simple recipe was a delicious one, though I did add chicken and avocado. Make a sauce of tomatoes, onion and garlic, add chicken broth and fried tortilla strips, simmer, and garnish with crumbled pasilla chile and grated cheese. I left out the epazote, and instead of pasilla, I sprinkled with Penzey's ground ancho.