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Cinco de Mayo 2012 - Want to cook from your Mexican books with me?

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I'm excited that CdM falls on a Saturday this year as that means I can plan a special meal cooking from my Mexican cookbooks. I'm going to plan my menu this weekend and wondered if anyone else is doing the same? I'm hoping so!! If so, would you consider posting here too?

I'll post the dishes I'm considering here along w my final dishes.

I'd also love to hear what Mexican books you have on your shelf. According to EYB, I have 23 Mexican books on my shelf and I'll paste the list here in case anyone has suggestions for dishes from these books.

• Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez and J. J. Goode

• Rosa's New Mexican Table by Roberto Santibañez

• Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food, Luscious Libations, Great Times with Friends by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless

• Salsas That Cook: Using Classic Salsas to Enliven Our Favorite Dishes by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless and Jean Marie Brownson

• Authentic Mexican, 20th Anniversary Edition: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Rick Bayless

• The Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and updated by Diana Kennedy

• Mexican Everyday: Easy, Full-Flavored, Tradition-Packed by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless

• Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant flavors of a World-Class Cuisine by Rick Bayless

• Mesa Mexicana: Bold Flavors from the Border, Coastal Mexico, and Beyond by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken

• Mexico One Plate At A Time by Rick Bayless

• The ¡Salpicon! Cookbook: Contemporary Mexican Cuisine by Priscila Satkoff and Vincent Satkoff

• Mexican: Williams-Sonoma Collection by Marilyn Tausend

• The Chevys and Rio Bravo Fresh Mex Cookbook by Ten Speed Press

• Mexican Cooking Class by Patricia Lake and Sharon Lee Barkhurst

• Nuevo Tex-Mex by Robb Walsh and David Garrido

• La Tradicional Cocina Mexicana Y Sus Mejores Recetas (The Traditional Mexican Cuisine) by Adela Fernandez

• Mexican Light: Exciting, Healthy Dishes From The Border And Beyond by Martha Rose Shulman

• Contemporary Mexican Cooking: Famous chef's recipes for the world's greatest Mexican specialties by Anne Lindsay Greer and Anne McCann

• The Best of Gourmet 1995: Featuring the Flavors of Mexico by Gourmet Magazine Editors

• Easy Mexican Style Cookery

• Mexican Cook Book by Sunset Books

• Mexican Cookery by Barbara Hansen

•Treasury of Mexican Cuisine:Original Recipes from the Chefs of the Camino Real Hotels, Mexico: Original Recipes from the Chefs of the Camino Real Hotels, Mexico by Sara Sloan and Hoteles Camino Real

Also, for further inspiration, I'll paste links to past COTM's from Mexican cookbooks from:

Rick Bayless:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/339027

and Diana Kennedy:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691346

Will you cook with me?

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  1. I've been cooking from Truly Mexican and have been very pleased with everything I've made so far. I made on of the adobo marinades recently. It yielded quite a bit so I used it with shrimp, pork and chicken and all 3 were equally good. If you get ambitious, try the Pistacho Pipian, it's wonderful :-)

    I recently purchased Salpicon and have only made a couple of things from it so far, but they were pretty fabulous. I think if I were to choose a book to cook from with you, that would be it.

    I also like the William-Sonoma book by Marilyn Tausend. It is surprisingly very good and a real sleeper in the Mexican cookbook category.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Thanks for all this great info DD! I'm really looking forward to planning my menu and will add your notes to the recipes in my books. Much appreciated.

    2. Do the books give any special recipes for this holiday?

      4 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        I'm hoing they do paul, but I haven't gone through them yet. Unfortunately EYB does't include CdM as a holiday so I'll have to search the "old-fashioned" way....page by page!!

        If not I'll google traditional dishes and see what recipes I have for them. I'm quite looking forward to it and am secretly hoping for a rainy Sunday!

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          I'll be surprised if you find much in the way of recipes dedicated to Cinco de Mayo, it's not really a holiday that is celebrated too much or very widely in Mexico. The common mythology around Cinco de Mayo is that it was a marketing ploy developed by American liquor distributors back in the 50s or 60s to stimulate tequila sales.

          That said, look in your more recent books for recipes as those might be more likely to have something for Cinco de Mayo. Anything Red, White and Green would probably fit the bill.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            LOVE that suggestion DD! Makes choosing dishes so much easier! You're right, so far I haven't come across anything for CdM. Funny you should mention the WS book up-thread because I took that in my briefcase yesterday since it's not a huge book so I thought I'd have a look through on the train. I was taken with how many appealing recipes it contained. I've only made one dish from it thus far it seems...the Watercress Salad w Orange, Jicama and Avocado and my notes tell me we loved it.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              DD also meant to ask if you knew anything about that Aleda Fernandez book. I was looking through it last night and it's beautifully written and seems to be chock full of great info. It was published in 1985 and is what I loved was it includes Spanish and English text (as someone who has taken (basic) Spanish lessons recently, it was great to see this and a nice touch in the book I thought). The book was written and published in Mexico. I loved the charming illustrations throughout too. I haven't cooked from it yet as it was a fairly recent used book sale find.

        2. Breadcrumbs, here's the link to the Non-COTM link thread so you can add this one ...
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/842251

          We'll be joining you with Rick Bayless and Diane Kennedy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gio

            Thanks Gio, great to have the link here and, your company inthe kitchen!!

          2. I just picked up Kennedy's My Mexico from the book giveaway bin in my community center. I'd like to make something from that. I'm not really aware of certain foods that are traditionally associated with Cinco de Mayo, though.

            Growing up in so cal, we'd usually go to our neighborhood mexican dive for carnitas burritos or asada tacos and drink Negra Modelo.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tcamp

              Mmm, I wish I could go there for breakfast right now tcamp!! ; - )

            2. Wow, Breadcrumbs! You have a lot of books. Which one is your favorite / s? I'm married to a Texas Mexican and when I hear 'mexican' food I always think tex mex. Even though I know there are many different styles throughout mexico. The only mexican cook book I have is truly tex mex and is called the Los Barrios Family Cookbook. It's from a very popular restaurant in San Antonio. The restaurant is called Los Barrios. Although, I think I prefer Mi Tierra better. Anyway, if you want some tex mex participants I'll sign on. Hubby would love a nice elaborate mex meal.

              So, again, which one or two books could you not live without? (that aren't tex mex - I think I've got that down pat, :-)

              1 Reply
              1. re: thymetobake

                I'll have to take a look at the cookbook you mention theymtobake, I only have a couple of TexMex books on my shelf and love to hear of gems that others recommend. Thank-you.

                Now, as for recommendations for Mexican books, I don't think you could go wrong with Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless and you'll see they both have their fans on these boards. Personally I do have a bias towards Rick as he always surprises me with the big bold flavours that come from seemingly few ingredients. Two books I'd heartily recommend would be his Mexican Everyday and Salsas that Cook. The latter contains more than just salsa recipes btw.

                I hope you'll cook along w us next Saturday. I'd love to hear what you pick from your TexMex book!

              2. I would pick dishes from the Puebla area, since the holiday celebrates the battle of Puebla (and it's one of Mexico's great food cities). Chiles en nogada would be appropriate for example..

                1 Reply
                1. re: AAQjr

                  Chiles en nogada is the traditional dish served on Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16... Diez y Seis de Septiembre. It's made with all the ingredients that are usually ripe during late August and September so it's really more appropriate for that time of year. I think for Cinco de Mayo any other dish or combination of dishes would be good, as Dining Diva said upthread.

                2. Lately, I have been cooking a lot from Bayless Authentic Mexican Kitchen. We had a birthday celebration this week where the birthday folks wanted Chicken Enchilladas with salsa verde, but in the Suisse style. Making these, since I made all the needed stocks, took two days. The results were indeed fantastic! [NOTE to self. Must do some notes on EYB.]

                  We are traveling to see friend next weekend and have already decided that something from Bayless' book will be on the menu. Just haven't decided on what.

                  My other Mexican cookbook is a funny old Better Homes and Garden soft cover from the early 80's that I bought when we lived in Texas. I pulled this book out recently and was astonished at how good it is. Clearly written before cookbooks went for the short-cuts and Americanization of "ethnic" foods.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: smtucker

                    I'll have to check out that Enchilada recipe smtucker. I've made 3 dishes from this book and all have been a success. The Chicken Breasts w Poblanos, Mushrooms and Cream (recommended by a CH), Herby Ricotta-Poblano Tacos (honestly, how can you go wrong w those ingredients!) and the Rustic Jicama Appetizer.

                    You know I have a few old BH&G books and I agree w you, they are surprisingly good and very thorough.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Bayless calls this recipe "Chicken Enchiladas with tangy tomatillo sauce: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...

                      Having seen him make a lot of different tomatillo sauces on PBS, I used his recipe but instead of boiling the tomatillos, I roasted them with garlic and onion in a dry pan. The stock I used was an odd one I had made earlier in the week with roasted chicken bones and raw lamb bones simmered with star anise [no vegetables.] Whatever I did, it was really good in this sauce!

                      The chicken was poached per Jacques Pepin's method in "Julia and Jacques at Home."

                      And because I was in overdoing mode, I made the tortillas at home.

                  2. Of course the only Mexican cook book I have is one you don't! 1000 Mexican Recipes. Still, what a good idea, maybe I'll have to plan something with friends!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sarahcooks

                      That's funny Sarah! I actually have 3 or 4 of those 1000 recipe books and I think they're fabulous. In my experience they are written by experts in whatever cuisine it may be. I hope you cook along next Saturday. I'd love to hear what you make from that book. There's always room for another one on my shelf it seems!! ; - )

                    2. Just a quick note here to let folks know that I'm finding a number of the dishes in Fiesta At Rick's by Rick Bayless have been reviewed in EYB. I was flipping through it and found a number of dishes that appealed but somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered there was some discussion on CH about this book being a disappointment relative to his other books. I've only made one dish from the book thus far and it was good so I thought I'd see how others had made out in EYB.

                      Here's a link if you are interested:

                      http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Here's a thread on Fiesta at Rick's from another forum - http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/...

                        The original poster decided to cook his way through the book and probably ended up doing about 65-75% of the book. I have this book and was very excited by it when if first came out. However, after cooking a few recipes, I was less than thrilled. Of all the RB cookbooks, for me this is BY FAR the weakest. But I always encourage people to check it out for themselves since cooking and food preferences are so very highly personal that someone else might be very pleased with the cookbook.

                      2. Another note. For those of you with Rosa's New Mexican Table cookbook on your shelf, you may want to make note of the following errata that are listed on the Rosa Mexicano website:

                        Book Corrections

                        Unfortunately, a few mistakes were found after printing our cookbook, Rosa’s New Mexican Table. Our publisher apologizes to all our readers.

                        Page 30, Ceviche Verde
                        In the ingredients for the sauce, it should be ½ cup (not 1 cup) water.
                        Page 96, Grilled Adobo-Marinated Chicken Tacos
                        At the beginning of the instructions, pound the chicken to an even ¼ - inch (not ¾ - inch) thickness.
                        Page 102, Slow-Cooked Achiote Marinated Pork
                        The opening sentence should read: The translation of the Maya word pib is “pit,” as in a large pit dug in the ground in which a whole pig, rubbed with achiote paste and wrapped tightly in banana leaves, is cooked. (The pig is not rubbed with adobo.)
                        Page 133, Adobo-Marinated Chicken
                        In the ingredients for the adobo, the missing cross-reference for chiles de árbol should be p. 6.
                        Page 250, Chile-Spiked Chocolate Cakes
                        The very first ingredient should be ¼ pound plus 4 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter – not ¾ pound (3 sticks).

                        FYI, I've added a "Book Note" on EYB w this info as well.

                        1. If anyone is in need of inspiration for next Saturday, you can check out Chucheman making chile rellenos - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwJlEH...

                          Aside from the fact the guy has a cheesy infectious charm, he makes making all these recipes look so easy to do. What I like about the chile relleno video is that he shows you exactly the stage to beat the egg whites to and how to add the egg yolks without deflating the whites. Most of his videos are in Spanish, but you don't necessarily need to understand Spanish to get the drift of what he's talking about. Chucheman lives in Tijuana and has worked in the restaurant industry on both sides of the border.

                          1. http://patismexicantable.com/cgi-bin/...
                            The Cinco entries from PatisMexicanTable

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: paulj

                              Chilorio, good idea. It's been too long since I've made or eaten that.

                              And I may have to make those crab cakes

                              1. re: paulj

                                More from Pati on Cinco on this coming weekend's episode of The Splendid Table

                              2. Wow I need some more mexican cookbooks! I only have one it seems, called The Mexican Mama's KItchen by Sofia Larrinua-Craxton

                                Oh, Two.. I have one of those massive coffee table books just called Mexico - The Beautiful Cookbook.. It has some really nice recipes in it actually.

                                My wife is from Mexico City, you might look into making "Mole de Olla" (not a mole like you think at all, it's a thin soup with beef, green beans, potatoes and half cobs of corn) also Birria (lamb soup, but you sort of serve the consomme separately sometimes, and then fish out some of the meat and make tacos with it (straight out of the pot, or "a la plancha" where you fry the meat on a griddle with the tortilla on top)

                                Those are two of the standout dishes I always look forward to when visiting Mexico.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: SocksManly

                                  Socks, Mexico - The Beautiful is actually a beautiful book. It's unfortuante that it was published as a coffee table book because the recipes are interesting and pretty solid. It's not a dumbed-down or Americanized version of Mexican food.

                                  I know the Mole de Olla you mention as Caldo de Res, or sometimes Cocido. You're right it's a standout dish for sure.

                                  1. re: SocksManly

                                    Socks thanks for the recommendations for dishes, they sound wonderful.

                                    I totally agree w DD regarding Mexico The Beautiful cookbook. The only reason it's not on my shelf is that it's extremely expensive now. It's a book I'm always keeping my eye out for when I go to used book sales etc.

                                  2. Thinking of recipes from Puebla, I once made the Tinga Poblana from Authentic Mexican (specifically the "Shredded Pork Tinga for Filling" variation, for tacos) and my friends were still raving about it literally over a year later. I have the original edition but I'd assume it's still there in the new one.

                                    It *was* really good. :-)

                                    1. It's been fun planning my menu and the challenge I've had is deciding what "not" to make because I picked out so many dishes!! I'm trying to be reasonable in terms of the amount of time I have to shop and prep on Saturday. That said, if all goes well, I'll be making:

                                      Shrimp Empanaditas (Williams Sonoma Mexican)
                                      Quick Cowboy Beans (Mexican Everyday - Bayless)
                                      Red Tomato Rice (Mexico One Plate @ a Time - Bayless)
                                      Red Chile Enchiladas, (Street Style - One Plate @ a Time)
                                      Chorizo, Potato & Mushroom Tacos - (Mexican Everyday - Bayless)
                                      Grilled Adobo Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos - (Truly Mexican -Santibañez and Goode)

                                      A guest is bringing dessert.

                                      Also worth noting in case folks are interested, Rick Bayless includes a party Playlist in his Fiesta book. I downloaded some of those songs along w a compilation album called A Night In Mexico and now I can't wait to get our party started!! C'mon Saturday!!

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Wow you are going to be working hard! I forgot that I just recently bought two Santa Fe cookbooks so my menu is a cross of tex mex and new mexico. I'll be making:

                                        Carne Adovada (from the Santa Fe Cooking School Cookbook)
                                        regular Spanish Rice (like I've always made, no recipe)
                                        Spicy Black Beans with cilantro
                                        Mexican Wedding Cookies (from The feast of Santa Fe)
                                        Fresh Salsa
                                        Guacamole

                                        I've been so looking forward to making fried burritos with the left overs that I may just do that straight out of the gait and serve with green chile sauce and chile con queso over them.

                                        Thanks for the inspiration BC. I've been drooling all week.

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Our menu doesn't seem quite as exciting as yours!

                                          I am going to try to create something my friend calls "pork bites." She has them at a restaurant. The restaurant's menu calls them Carnitas: pork with a chipolte sauce. So, I will be trying to recreate a flavor that i have never had. I have located four recipes that seem to mirror the flavors. I will combine them all together and hope for the best.

                                          So, the pork bites will be an appetizer along with some avocado with pico de gallo. The main course will be chicken enchiladas with a salsa verde and Mexican crema, black beans with cumin, Mexican rice, and a cabbage salad.

                                          Hornitas tequila will be poured liberally. No one has to drive home!

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            For Cinco de Mayo we'll be having

                                            * Killer Margaritas

                                            * Salmón al Hinojo Glaseado con Chile Ancho y Miel
                                            (Grilled Salmon w/Ancho-Honey Glaze w/Swiss Chard & Fennel)
                                            * Papas con Crema y Queso Añejo
                                            (Scalloped Potatoes, Mexican style)

                                            * Chocolate Chile Panna Cotta w/Spiced Pepita Brittle
                                            (No translation needed ;-), and no, panna cotta is not Mexican but I'm not overly fond of flan)

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone, I hope you're enjoying your fiestas!!

                                              Happy to report that I managed to make all the items I'd hoped in addition to some guacamole.

                                              We kicked off this afternoon with the Shrimp Empanaditas, Red Chile Enchiladas and Chorizo, Potato & Mushroom Tacos and margaritas of course. All the dishes turned out well and I'll definitely make them again. The only change I'd make would be to up-size the Empanaditas. At 3" in diameter it was really tough to get a good sense of the flavours in the filling. Though they were the perfect "bite" size as is, I'd prefer them larger so the flavours of the pastry (scrumptious btw) and filling are balanced.

                                              I'll be back tomorrow to share pics of the remaining items. Currently enjoying my sangria and our Mexican playlist...

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                BC, those enchiladas look wonderful. Love that deep, dark brick color to them.

                                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                                  Thanks DD, I'd never made my own Enchiladas before and if I'd realized how much last minute work the prep was, I likely would never have put them on the menu! That said, they were a huge hit and I got to try something new so as they say, ignorance is bliss!

                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  As promised, here are photos of the Rice and Bean dishes. The beans were outstanding and I'd highly recommend Rick's recipe but the rice seemed a bit bland relative to the flavours in all our other dishes. A few folks commented that they really liked the texture the carrots brought to the mix and I should note that Rick calls for the addition of peas which I didn't bother adding due to logistics. I still have photos to post of the steak tacos and guacamole but my camera batter is charging so I'll be back later w those.

                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    In many cuisines, Mexican included, rice is the bland accompaniment to the spicier meat and vegetable dishes. But that works better when they are all served or plated together. In a buffet context each dish has to stand on its own.

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      What a *fino* spread, Breadcrumbs -- especially those enchiladas. My (lone, I think) Mexican cookbook is the Bayless One Plate at a Time. Your guests must have gone home full and happy!

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        Gosh I'd forgotten all about this!! Here's photos of the steak tacos and the guacamole. I'm glad I have more of that Adobo marinade in the freezer, I can't wait to try it on chicken!!

                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                  2. Here's my recap on my Cinco de Mayo recipes and dinner.

                                                    Margaritas...I had the tail end of a bottle of tequila I had infused with some arbol chiles and about half a bottle of regular silver tequila, so I combined the two and used it in the drinks. Add fresh lime juice, some Citronage, and agave nectar. The recipe is one I found in Gourmet about 30 years ago that I've tweaked over the years. It's basically a 2:1:1 ratio + sweetened to taste, tequila, juice, orange liquor component. I used to use Cointreau for the orange liquor but always thought the drinks came out a little on the sweet side. I switched to Citronage about 18 months ago and have been a happy Margarita camper ever since. Citronage is produced by Patrón and is really Controy, which is what is used in Mexico.

                                                    Ancho-Honey Glazed Salmon con Hinojo y Alcegas...Salmon glazed with ancho/honey and served with sauteed fennel and red swiss chard. This recipe is from Salpicon and it is a winner. There are a lot of steps to it, but it's not hard. The ancho honey glaze was really simple and OMG good. There's quite a bit left and it will be going on chicken this evening. I can see it pairing well with shrimp, pork and duck. Toast and soak the anchos, blend until smooth with a little onion, garlic and liquid, season to taste with salt. Mince up some white onion, saute, add the chile puree and onion, boil to reduce a bit, reseason if needed and you're done.

                                                    The dish also contained a salsa verde as an accent that was equally as good and equally as easy. Broil some tomatillos and serranos, blend with a bit of water, some cilantro and salt. That's it until service when you heat the sauce, add some heavy cream, bring to a boil and then reduce. So what you end up with in this dish is a nice piece of salmon that has some spicy and sweet notes from the ancho honey glaze, accented with little pops of heat and smooth herby, grassiness from the tomatillo cream sauce. I had no idea fennel and red swiss chard played nice together, but they do and it was a stong enough combination to stand up to the big flavors coming from the salmon and not be overwhelmed by it. The dish took a bit longer to prepare than I had anticipated, but it was truly worth it. I am not a big fan of salmon, but I would eat it like this in a heartbeat.

                                                    To accompany the salmon I made Papas y Crema, which is essentially, a Mexican version of scalloped potatoes. Once again, super easy. Slice potatoes thinly, toss with heavy cream (not a lot), cilantro and queso añejo, turn into a greased 8"x8" baking dish, cover and bake an hour then let stand for 20 minutes. Surprisingly, my local Mexican market didn't have any queso añejo, so I substituted cotija for it which worked out just fine and provided all the salt the dish needed, tho' it didn't melt the way the añejo would have. In any event the potatoes were pretty darn good and the tomatillo sauce from the salmon really, really went well with them.

                                                    I am not a fan of flan so I made a chocolate panna cotta instead adding a bit of vanilla and ground cinnamon to it. To give it some crunch I made a brittle using roasted and salted pepitas that I tossed in more cinnamon and some ground nutmeg. I broke up the brittle into smaller pieces and scatter it over and around the panna cotta along with some blackberries. It was a light, yet chocolatey, dessert (and the photos didn't turn out). It still needs some tweaking to be just right, but it was still pretty good the way it was.

                                                    I would urge anyone that actually owns Salpicon to give the recipes in it a whirl. So far everything I've made from it has been fantastic. The recipes are straightforward and well written. The written instructions are very clear and the timing in them more accurate than many. The 2 sauces from the salmon recipe will go into regular usage with me. They're both very easy, but better yet, remarkably versatile.

                                                     
                                                     
                                                     
                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                      Thank you, DD, inspiring post. I love salmon with a sweet glaze-- can you tell me where/how much honey comes in --
                                                      "The ancho honey glaze was really simple and OMG good. There's quite a bit left and it will be going on chicken this evening. I can see it pairing well with shrimp, pork and duck. Toast and soak the anchos, blend until smooth with a little onion, garlic and liquid, season to taste with salt. Mince up some white onion, saute, add the chile puree and onion, boil to reduce a bit, reseason if needed and you're done."

                                                      p.s. I can't imagine anything better than that Margarita!

                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Here's the recipe

                                                        3 each ancho chiles

                                                        1 clove of garlic

                                                        1/4 white onion, coarsely chopped

                                                        1/2 cup of the soaking water.

                                                        Remove the stem from the chiles, slice down one side and then remove the seeds and veins. Lightly toast on a hot griddle or in a skillet until the chiles are pliable, being careful not to over toast them. Put in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for 20 minutes. Weight the chiles down so they stay submerged if need be.

                                                        Drain the chiles and put in a blender along with the garlic, chopped onion and 1/2 cup of the water in which the chiles were soaked. Blend until very smooth, adding more soaking liquid if needed so that the blender blades move freely. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, season with salt, I used about 1 1/2 tsp. (Dried chiles love salt and it takes more than you think in order to really get the flavor to develop. The puree should taste a little over salted to the American palate)

                                                        1 1/2 Tbls vegetable oil

                                                        1/2 white onion finely minced

                                                        1/2 cup honey (can be any kind of honey, it does not have to be fancy or expensive)

                                                        Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute about 5 mintues until they are translucent and beginning to take on some color. Add the puree, followed by the honey. Whisk to combine well. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and continue cooking 5-10 minutes longer to let the sauce reduce and thicken just a bit.

                                                        That's it. Between the soaking and the simmering it takes about an hour (more or less) to make this sauce, but the steps are really simple. I've attached a photo of the salmon before I cut it into portions

                                                        And, yes, those Margaritas were awfully good :-)

                                                         
                                                    2. Just thought I'd bump this thread as I reflect on last year's menu and put the final touches on tomorrow's choices.

                                                      This year I'm cooking from my Rick Bayless books since they line up w our CH COTM.

                                                      That said, I'd love to hear what other folks are planning....

                                                      1. thanx for the wonderfullist of cookbooks

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                          My pleasure jpr. I really should make more of an effort to cook from more of my Mexican books, I tend to go to my Rick Bayless books first because I've come to rely on him for delicious recipes that work but each May I pull the others off the shelf and I'm always struck by how many appealing recipes there are that I'd love to try.