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June 2011

Bocconcini di Caprese (Caprese Bites)

This recipe for Bocconcini di Caprese was created by George Bozzini and Dal Punsalan and borrowed by Andrea Meloni. This appetizer is as delicious as it is beautiful.
A warm June evening is the perfect time to enjoy these Caprese Bites! They can be enjoyed, of course, all year round.
The recipe follows, first in Italian and then in English translation.

Ingredienti:
pomodorini
ciliegine di mozzarella
foglie di basilico fresche
olio di oliva
aceto
sale
pepe
stuzzicadenti

capresini
  1. Lavate e asciugate bene i pomodorini.
  2. Tagliateli a metà.
  3. Metteteli in un piatto con la parte tagliata verso l’alto.
  4. Tagliate a metà le ciliegine di mozzarella e mettetele in un altro piatto.
  5. Tagliate le foglie di basilico in quadratini di circa 2 centimetri di lato.
  6. Infilate con uno stuzzicadenti una metà di pomodorino con la parte tagliata verso il basso.
  7. Poi aggiungete un quadratino di basilico, un pezzo di ciliegina di mozzarella, un altro quadratino di basilico, e, per finire un'altra metà di pomodorino con la parte tagliata verso l’alto.
  8. Mescolate un po’ di olio, aceto, sale, e pepe in una scodellina per formare una piccola salsa in cui intingerete gli spiedini.
  9. Disponete gli spiedini su un piatto e spargete sopra delle foglie di basilico.

Vedrete che questo piatto si presenta con i colori verde, bianco, e rosso, i colori della bandiera italiana. E’ un piatto patriottico!

 

Caprese Bites

Ingredients:
cherry tomatoes
mozzarella ciliegine (small balls of mozzarella)
fresh basil
olive oil
vinegar
salt
pepper
olio di oliva
toothpicks

  1. Wash the tomatoes and dry them well.
  2. Cut them in half.
  3. Put them on a plate with the cut side up.
  4. Cut the mozzarella balls in half and put them on another plate.
  5. Cut the leaves of basil into 1-inch squares and put them aside.
  6. Stick a toothpick in each tomato with the cut side down.
  7. Then add a basil leaf, a piece of mozzarella, another basil leaf, and finally another tomato half with the cut side up.
  8. Mix in a small bowl some olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to make a sauce in which to dip the skewers.
  9. Place the skewers on a plate and scatter some basil leaves on top.

You will see that this appetizer displays the colors of the Italian flag – green, white, and red. It is a very patriotic dish!

 


February 2011

Spanish Tapas

Sheila W. Cockey shares with us several wonderful tapas recipes. Whether you are a teacher of Spanish language and culture or not, you are certain to enjoy this special edition of the Banquet Hall. An English translation follows the Spanish version

If you have any recipes to share with your fellow teachers, please send them to the Culture Club Editor,Christine Foster Meloni. We would welcome contributions ranging from a single recipe for a dessert (e.g. Black Forest Cherry Cake) to a complete three-course meal (e.g. Nicoletta’s Menu: A Complete Roman Meal ).

TAPAS…EN CASA: Comidas fáciles de preparar, tiempos para disfrutar con amigos
- Sheila W. Cockey

tapas1

España tiene fama por muchas maravillas; entre ellas es la comida. Cada región tiene su cocina y tradiciones con la preparación, presentación, y consumo de ingredientes frescos. Una de las más maravillosas de estas tradiciones es la de tapas, que ahora es popularísimo en USA. Hay bares de tapas en cualquier ciudad, y están apareciendo en los pueblos. Sin embargo, no es necesario vivir cerca de un bar de tapas para gozar estos bocadillos sabrosos. Son fáciles de preparar de ingredientes muy disponibles en cualquier supermercado en cualquier parte de USA. Recientemente preparé una variedad de tapas para la familia, cada uno con su propias preferencias y nedecidades alimenticias, y las gozamos con una variedad de bebidas, entre ellos vino y cerveza. Abajo, comparto recetas para las fáciles y sabrosas tapas que preparamos.

Dátiles con tocino
Dos ingredientes: dátiles deshuesados, lonjas de tocino cortadas en dos.
Cuente los dátiles, corte las rajas para tener pedazos suficientes.
Enrolle cada dátil con la media raja de tocino. Use palillos si son necesarios.
Póngalos en una bandeja de horno y áselos a la parrilla.
Gíralos para asarlos en todos lados.
Sáquelos de la parrilla y póngalos en papel de cocina para qutar la grasa.
Sírvalos mientras están calientes.
A veces, se rellenan los dátiles con rodajas de almendras.

pantomatePan con tomate y ajo
Cuatro ingredientes: rebanadas de una barra de pan, aceite de olivo, ajo, y tomates Roma
Corte el pan en rajas de unos ½ a ¾ de pulgada. Dóralas a la parrilla.
Frote un lado de cada raja con un diente de ajo cortado en dos.
Frote el mismo lado con el lado cortado de un tomate. Deja que el el pan remoja el jugo del tomate.
Cepille con aceite, agrege un poco de sal, y sirve.


Tortilla española
Seis ingredientes: huevos, patatas, cebolla, ajo, aceite de olivo, sal
Corte las papas en rajas y espolvóreelas con sal.
Caliente el aceite en una sárten y añada las papas.
Cocine las papas por unos 5 minutos, separando las rajas para que no se peguen.
Añada el ajo y la cebolla picados y saltee hasta que estén tiernos.
Sáquelos de la sárten y escúrralos.
Bata los huevos en una cuenca grande, sasoneándolos con un poco de sal.
Añade las patatas y mezcle las papas hasta que estén cubiertos con el huevo.
Añade unos 2-3 cucharadas de aceite de olive a la sarten y caliéntela.
Ponga las patatas en la sárten y aplástelas.
Cocínalas, moviendo la sárten con frecuencia, hasta que los huevos estén medio-cocidos.
Ponga un plato sobre la sárten, e invierte la tortilla en el plato.
Devuelve la sárten al horno y deslice la tortilla en la sárten, con el lado cocido arriba.
Cocine hasta que esté cuajada.
Corte en triángulos o cuadros para servir.
Sírvala caliente o a temperatura abmiente.

jamonesAceitunas Marinados
Tres ingredientes: aceitunas negras o verdes, ajo, vinagre de vino tinto
Ingredientes opcionales: cáscara de lima o limón fresco, hojuelas deshidratadas de pimienta roja
Machaque ligeramente las aceitunas (pero no las rompe) y póngalas en un tarro con el ajo. Cúbrelas con el vinagre.
Cubre el tarro y guárdelo a temperatura ambiente por 2 o 3 días o más.
Escurralas y sírvalas a temperatura ambiente.

Variaciones con jamón y queso
Ingredientes básicos: variedad de carnes embutidas en lonjas , rebanadas de quesos, rajas de pan
Junte las carnes embutidas tales como el jamón, el salamí (jamón serrano si esté disponible), y los quesos, como el manchego.
Prepare un surtido de quesos y carnes. Sírvelo con el pan.
Jamón serrano y/o queso manchego con membrillo es riquísimo, también.

En unos bares de tapas se sirven platillos de espárragos y otros vegetales verdes.

Otras tapas fáciles de preparar son sardinas, ensalada de atún o huevos, gambas, croquetas, albóndigas, empanadas, mariscos, cetas, ceviche, y tomates rellenos. Solo escribir “recetas de tapas” en un buscador y encontrará montones de buenas ideas. Espero que disfrute la preparación y el comer de las tapas, pero más que nada, que disfrute con los amigos con quienes comparte sus tapas. ¡Buen provecho!

English

TAPAS: A Fun and EASY Way to Enjoy Time with Friends…At Home
~Sheila W. Cockey

Spain is known for many wonderful things; among them is the food. Each region has its own cuisine and traditions surrounding the preparation, presentation, and consumption of fresh ingredients. One of the most wonderful food traditions that has become quite popular now in the US is that of tapas. Tapas bars are prevalent in any city, and are becoming common in smaller towns. However, you don’t have to live near a tapas bar to enjoy these tasty treats. Many are easy to make from ingredients that are readily available in any part of the US. At a recent gathering of family members with their own dietary preferences and requirements, we enjoyed tapas with a choice of beverages, including wine and beer. Here, I share with you some of the easier, and yummier, tapas we prepared.

Dates and bacon:
baconTwo ingredients: pitted dates and slices of bacon cut in half.
Count the number of dates, cut enough bacon slices in half to equal the dates.
Wrap each date with the ½ slice of bacon. Secure with toothpick if necessary.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet and place under broiler.
Turn each piece so it is browned on all sides.
Remove from broiler, place on paper towel to drain.
Serve while warm.
These are sometimes stuffed with a slivered almond before wrapping the bacon.

Bread and tomato with garlic:
Four ingredients: slices of baguette, olive oil, mashed garlic, crushed Roma tomatoes
Slice a baguette in ½ to ¾ inch slices. Toast lightly on a grill or under broiler.
Rub one side of each slice of bread with cut garlic.
Rub same side with cut side of a tomato half. Let pulp soak lightly into bread.
Brush with oil, lightly salt, and serve.

Tortilla española
tortillaSix ingredients: eggs, potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt
Slice potatoes and lightly sprinkle with salt.
Heat olive oil in a skillet and add potato slices.
Cook potatoes about 5 minutes, separating so slices don’t stick together.
Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until potatoes are tender.
Remove and drain.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl, seasoning with a bit of salt.
Add potatoes and gently stir to coat them with the egg.
Add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and heat.
Add egg-potato mixture to pan and spread to even out.
Cook, shaking the pan frequently, until eggs are half-set.
Place a dinner plate over the pan, and invert the omelette onto the plate.
Return the pan to the stove and slide the omelete back into the pan on the uncooked side.
Cook until set.
Cool and cut into serving pieces (wedges or squares)
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Marinated Olives:
olivesThree ingredients: black and/or green olives, garlic, red wine vinegar
Optional ingredients: red pepper flakes, fresh lemon or orange zest
Slightly crush olives (but don’t break them) and place in a glass jar with garlic.
Cover with red wine vinegar.
Cover and store at room temperature for at least 2 to 3 days.
Drain and serve at room temperature.

Ham and cheese combinations
membrilloSimple ingredients: various cured meats, cheeses, bread slices
Collect cured meats, such as salamis, thinly sliced hams (jamón Serrano if you can find it), and cheeses (manchego)
Arrange meats and cheese slices on a plate. Serve with baguette slices.
Jamón Serrano or queso manchego are good with slices of membrillo (quince paste), too.

Some tapas bars are now serving marinated asparagus spears, to provide a bit of green to the diet.

Other simple things are sardines, tuna or egg salad, shrimp, various croquettes, meatballs, empanadas, shell fish, mushrooms, ceviche, and stuffed tomatoes. Just enter “tapas recipes” into a search engine and you will find loads of good ideas. Enjoy the making and the eating of tapas, but most importantly, enjoy the friends with whom you share your tapas. ¡Buen provecho!

IMAGE SOURCES
Bacon wrapped dates
http://www.wizardrecipes.com/recipes/bacon+wrapped+dates.html
Marinated olives
http://penniesonaplatter.com/2010/02/25/marinated-olives/
jamon y manchego 2
http://www.miami.com/ole-wine-and-tapas-bar
tapas bar
http://www.nsftools.com/blog/blog-12-2007.htm
tortilla española
http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1451320430078266899nrvfOu
tapas
http://www.nsftools.com/misc/tapas.jpg
Bread and tomato with garlic
http://spanishfood.about.com/od/tapas/ss/pancontomate_3.htm
jamon y manchego 1
http://s428.photobucket.com/albums/qq3/Ritamaria_2008/?action=view¤t=ManchegoyjamonIberico.jpg
membrillo
http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=1173

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November 2010

Black Forest Cherry Cake from German-Speaking Europe
By David Witkosy, Pd.D.
From the Culture Club Collection

cakeFor many travelers to German-speaking Europe , memories of happy hours spent in cafes linger long after they return home. Austria , Germany , and Switzerland are famous for their variety of desserts and coffee drinks.

David Witkosky invites us to join him at a small outdoor café in Bavaria (see below). He is studying a pastry menu and he is getting ready to order a piece of Black Forest Cherry Cake.
As we chat, he will give us a glimpse into the confectioners' world of regional tradition, culinary culture, and calories with a description of the Black Forest Cherry Cake, a successful marriage of two German specialties-high quality chocolate and sour cherries. David Witkosky, Ph.D., is the Coordinator of the Master of Liberal Arts Program and Associate Professor, German and International Studies, at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama.

david

The exact origin of this cake is unknown, but historians believe it originated in the Black Forest region, the Schwarzwald, located in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The Black Forest consists of hills covered with birch and pine and runs along 100 miles of southwest Germany's border with France . The forest is famous for its quaint villages, spas, hiking trails, and ski slopes. Famous towns and cities in the Schwarzwald include Freudenstadt, Baden-Baden , and Freiburg . Since the time of the German Romantics in the nineteenth century, this area has been associated with magic and folklore, and its craftsmen exhibit great skill in woodcarving, glassblowing, and the making of jewelry and clocks. Many people believe that Josef Keller, a confectioner from Radolfszell, created the Black Forest Cherry Cake. According to some accounts, he began serving it to café guests in Bad Godesberg, near Bonn , in 1915.

See recipe in ENGLISH or GERMAN.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Kuchen
125 g Butter
250 g feiner Zucker
2 Eier, leicht geschlagen
2 Tropfen Vanillearoma
165 g Mehl + 1/2 TL Backpulver, gesiebt
1 TL Natron
60 g Kakao
185 ml Buttermilch

Füllung
60 ml Kirschwasser
750 ml Sahne, geschlagen
425 g Schattenmorellen aus dem Glas oder schwarze Kirschen, abgetropft

Überzug
100 g gute Bitterschokolade
100 g Milchschokolade
Kirschen mit Stiel, zum Dekorieren

1. Backofen auf 180 Grad Celsius vorheizen. Eine Springform (20 cm) mit Öl oder zerlassener Butter einfetten. Boden und Seiten mit Backpapier auslegen.

2. Mit dem elektrischen Handrührgerät Butter und Zucker leicht und cremig schlagen. Nach und nach einzeln die Eier zugeben und jeweils gut unterrühren. Vanillearoma zufügen und gut vermischen. In eine große Schüssel füllen. Mit einem Metallöffel Mehl, Backpulver, Natron und Kakao abwechselnd mit der Buttermilch unterheben. Gut zu einem glatten Teig vermischen.

3. In der Backform verteilen, Oberfläche glattstreichen. 30-40 Minuten backen, bis ein Stäbchen, das man in die Mitte steckt, beim Herausziehen sauber bleibt. 30 Minuten in der Form ruhen lassen, dann den Kuchen herausnehmen und auf einem Kuchengitter abkühlen lassen. Wenn er kalt ist, mit einem langen Brotmesser horizontal in 3 Böden schneiden.

4. Für die Schokoraspel Schokolade 10-15 Minuten an einen warmen Ort stellen, bis sie weich, aber immer noch fest ist. Mit einem Gemüseschäler von den schmalen Seiten âLöckchenä abschaben.

5. Zum Zusammensetzen einen Boden auf einen Kuchenteller stellen und großzügig mit Kirschwasser einpinseln. Gleichmäßig mit 1/5 der geschlagenen Sahne bestreichen. Die Hälfte der Kirschen darauf verteilen. Den zweiten Boden auflegen, wiederum mit Sahne und Kirschen belegen. Den dritten Boden aufsetzen und mit Sahne bestreichen. Auch den Kuchenrand gleichmäßig mit 1/5 Sahne abdecken und mit Schokoladenlocken verzieren. Auf der Oberfläche des Kuchens rundum Sahnehäubchen aufspritzen und mit frischen oder Maraschinokirschen mit Stiel und weiteren Schokoladenlocken dekorieren.

Black Forest Cherry Cake

Ingredients
8 oz. plain chocolate, at room temperature
15 oz. morello cherries (sour cherries) or pitted cherries
3-4 tablespoons Kirsch (Kirschwasser)
3/4 pint double cream and 2 tablespoons top of the milk
(or 2 cups heavy whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla)
3 chocolate sponge cakes, 9 inches in diameter
fresh cherries or maraschino cherries with stems, to decorate

Preparation

  1. Using a potato peeler shave the block of chocolate into thin curls. Chill.
  2. Drain the syrup from the cherries and mix with the Kirsch.
  3. Whisk the double cream with the top of the milk until stiff. (Or whip the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks, adding 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.)
  4. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and prick several times with a skewer. Sprinkle with half of the cherry juice, then spread with a quarter of the cream and arrange half the sour cherries on top, leaving a 1-inch margin around the sides.
  5. Place the second cake on top, sprinkle with the remaining cherry juice, spread with a quarter of the cream, and arrange the remaining sour cherries on top.
  6. Position the third cake on top and press down lightly.
  7. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining cream. Press chocolate curls onto the sides of the cake and spoon some into a mound in the center. Arrange fresh cherries around the center mound of chocolate and chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

cake

Throughout German-speaking Europe, cafes like the one shown in pic. 1 in Zurich , Switzerland , provide access to local charm, hospitality, and gastronomy.They are often centrally located and attract tourists and residents alike. The attractive café shown on pic.2 can be found in Austria .
Glance into the inviting window of a confectioner's shop and cafe in Freiburg , Germany (pic.3 ). Not only can guests order a slice of Black Forest Cherry Cake and a cup of coffee, but they can sample other German desserts, e.g., Poppyseed and Potato Cake, Rum Gugelhupf, and Hazelnut Torte.

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March 2010

Chocolate Caliente Mexicano 
Submitted by Sheila Cockey 

ChocolateEl chocolate caliente mexicano es una bebida riquísimo para tomar durante aquellos días frías del invierno. Con un pequeño sabor de vanilla y canela, y la espesez y la espuma, es una delicadeza inolvidable.  Véase la lección sobre el chocolate y el molinillo y la sección del Teachers' Lounge de Culture Club. 

Chocolate Caliente Mexicano 

1 tableta de chocolate Mexicana* (Abuelita o Ibarra)*
3 tazas de leche
2 cucharadas de azúcar**
Pizca de sal
6 palitos de canela 

Corte el chocolate en pedacitos

Mezcla el chocolate, la lecha, el azúcar, y la sal en una cacerola sobre un fuego mediano-bajo

¡No lo hierva! 

Quite la cacerola del fuego y mezcla el chocolate con un molinillo o un batidor hasta que la mezcla tiene espuma.

Vierte en 6 tazas grandes, y sirve con un palito de canela en cada taza. 

*estas dos marcas de chocolate tienen canela y vanilla.  Se puede añadir hasta ½ cuchara más de canela y 1 cuchara más de vanilla. 

**se puede usar piloncillo, azúcar moreno mexicano, que usualmente se vende en bloques firmes. 

English Instructions

Mexican Hot Chocolate is a delicious drink, perfect for drinking on a cold winter’s day. With a slight taste of vanilla and cinnamon, its thickness and foam, it is an unforgettable delicacy.  See the lesson about chocolate and the molinillo in the Teachers' Lounge section of Culture Club. 

Mexican Hot Chocolate 

Tablet or cone of Mexican chocolate (Abuelita or Ibarra)*
3 cups milk
2 tbs sugar**
Pinch of salt
6 cinnamon sticks 

Break up chocolate into small pieces

Combine chocolate, milk, sugar, salt over med-low heat

Heat & stir until chocolate is melted and milk is hot.  Do not boil! (about 10 minutes) 

Remove from heat and use a molinillo (or a wire whisk) to whip and froth the mixture until foam appears on top.  Pour into mugs, serve with cinnamon sticks. 

*already has cinnamon and vanilla added.  May want to add up to ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon more of Mexican vanilla. 

**may want to use piloncillo, Mexican brown sugar, usually packaged in blocks.

 

January 2010

Mole* de olla (Cocido de carne y verduras en olla) 
By María Dolores Bolívar
Maria
Many heartfelt thanks to Professor Bolívar for sending us her Mole recipe. We encourage other readers of the Culture Club to send us their recipes as well.

Professor Bolívar grew up in Mexico City and studied at a French-language school, Liceo Franco Mexicano. She has lived in the US since 1974 where she has completed all of her studies in San Diego California, from community college to getting her PhD in Spanish Literature from the University of California, San Diego.

She is currently a professor of Spanish at San Diego Mesa College, a journalist and a photographer soon to obtain a certificate in Museum Studies. Her book of poetry La palabra (H)era received the very prestigious Chicano Latino Literary Award from the University of California, Irvine.

Cooking is therapeutic. She loves sharing her recipes and thus unveiling the very sophisticated culinary traditions overshadowed in the US by tacos, burritos and chimichangas. Her favorite dishes include Mole de Olla, Asado de Boda, Dedos de Novia and Torrejas con miel de maguey.

Mole de olla is an elaborate dish. You will not eat it daily, mostly because of the time involved in preparation, and lately, because it is a little expensive. It is a dish you will find more in the rural areas than in the cities. I like making it and freezing it, though it is better fresh. It is an excellent food to heat up as you come home from a hard day’s work.

“Es mole de oreja, el que quiera lo come y el que no lo deja.”

Original Spanish Version
12-16 porciones generosas

De olor y colores irresistibles, este platillo cautivará aún a los más melindrosos. Mi bisabuela Dolores (mi tocaya) utilizaba este dicho para expresar, además, que al ser servido como única entrada el mole de olla haría morir de hambre a quienes se atrevieran a rechazarlo.

¾ de kilo de puerco (con hueso), ¾ de carne de res para cocer (falda y retazo con hueso)
Medio pollo (con hueso).

2 litros de agua
2 cucharadas de sal (o sal al gusto)
4 piezas de chile ancho
4 piezas de chile pasilla

1 taza de tomatillo verde cocido y drenado
1 cebolla (mediana)
2 dientes de ajo, pelados
1 pizca de comino en semilla o seco
3 cucharadas soperas de aceite

Calabacitas (4 medianas)

Ejotes (1/4 de kilo)
Cuatro mazorcas de maiz
4 zanahorias (medianas)

1 chayote** pequeño (de 1/4 de kilo)
4-5 papas pequeñas (1/4 de kilo)
3 ramitas de epazote

Un comal o una plancha

Una licuadora

Una sartén para freír

Una olla

MoleEl secreto consiste en usar la carne con hueso. El hueso da sabor y es la marca característica de este platillo. Es preferible que incluyas una pieza de hueso al servir.

Coloca la carne en la olla y pon a cocer con tan solo sal. Después déjala a fuego lento, sin cubrir hasta que esté tiernita. (Una hora más o menos con una diferencia de 10 a 15 minutos más para la carne de res con respecto del pollo y del cerdo.)

Asa los chiles a fuego lento. Necesitas voltearlos para que no se quemen. Déjalos enfriar y quítales las semillas y las venas. Licúa los chiles con el tomatillo (cocido y drenado), la cebolla, el ajo y el comino. Calienta el aceite y fríe la salsa por 5 minutos y, después, agrégala a la olla.

Lava y prepara la calabaza y los ejotes y córtalos en pedazos grandes (dos o cuatro cada uno)

Corta los elotes en piezas (4 a 6) .Abre y elimina el corazón. Córtalo en trozos grandes.

Pela las papas y córtalas en cubos grandes.

Cuando la carne esté tiernita, agrega las legumbres y cocina a fuego lento, sin cubrir, por aproximadamente 30 minutos o hasta que las verduras estén cocidas. Agrega el epazote unos cinco minutos antes de que esté listo el mole y sal al gusto.

Sirve en platos hondos, grandes, con tostadas (tortillas fritas y crujientes).

Prepara para acompañar, limón cortado en dos, cebolla, rábanos, perejil, cilantro y chiles serranos bien picados.

English Translation

Mole* de Olla (Mole cooked in a pot or soup-like-stew)
By María Dolores Bolívar

“Es mole de oreja, el que quiera lo come y el que no lo deja.”

12-16 generous servings

The smell and the colors characterizing this dish make it irresistible. My great grandmother Dolores used this saying to discourage us from being finicky (melindroso). This saying has no translation as it is meant just to rhyme and to express “Some will want to taste it, others will starve.”

1.5 pounds of pork (neck bones), 1.5 pounds of beef (brisket or shoulder cut with bone), half a chicken (with bones).

1/2 gallon of water
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
4 chiles anchos
4 chiles pasilla

1 cup of tomatillo (green), drained
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pinch of cumin seeds or dried cumin
3 tablespoons of oil

zucchini squash (4 medium)

green beans (half a pound)
3 large ear of corn
carrots (4 medium)

1 small chayote** (1/2 pound)
4-5 small potatoes (1/2 pound)
3 sprigs of epazote
 
A comal or a griddle

A blender

A small frying pan

A pot

MoleThe secret is to have meat and bone. Bones add flavor and are the mark of this dish. It is preferable that you include them in the servings.

Set the meat in a pot, with just salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender – (Roughly an hour. It takes 10-15 minutes longer for the beef to tender.)

Roast the chilies over a low flame. You will need to turn them so they do not burn.

Let them cool off to remove the seeds and veins.

Blend the chilies with the tomatillo (green) already drained, the onion, the garlic, and the cumin.

Heat the oil and fry the sauce for about 5 minutes. Add it to the meat in the pot.

Clean and trim the squash and the beans, and cut them into two to four pieces.

Cut the corn into 6 pieces

Cut the chayote open and remove the core, then cut it into wedges.

Skin the potatoes and cut them into cubes.

When the meat is tender, add the vegetables and cook the mole slowly, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Add the epazote about 5 minutes before the mole is ready, and add salt as necessary.

Serve in large, deep bowls, with tostadas (hard deep fried tortillas),

Garnish with wedges of lime and finely chopped onion, raddish, parsley, cilantro, and green Serrano peppers on the side.

*The word mole is Nahuatl, and it means sauce or mix. “Mole” is a known blend of different chillies and nuts. This mole is a mix of meat and vegetables that gives us a soup-like-stew. You serve it as a one course meal. (Mole quiere decir en Náhuatl mezcla o salsa)

**Chayote is a Nahuatl world “chayutli”. Also known as chayote squash it is a native Mexican plant, a member of the squash family. In France the chayote is called christophene. (El chayote es un tipo de calabaza).

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December 2009

PUERTO RICAN MENU: PERNIL AL HORNO (Roasted pork shoulder) and ARROZ CON GANDULES (Rice with green pigeon peas)
~Sheila W. Cockey

This is a typical Christmas season and special occasion’s meal in Puerto Rico.
 
Cerdo Crudo   Pernil de cerdo crudo                                       Cerdo Cocido      Pernil cocido      
 
PERNIL AL HORNO (Roasted Pork Shoulder)
 
Ingredientes para adobo (seasoning)
Cda.=cucharada (Tablespoon)
Cdta. = cucharadita (Teaspoon)
T. = Taza (cup)

Ajodientes de ajo

1 pernil de cerdo de 10 libras                           
20 granos de pimienta negra                           
25 dientes de ajo
1 cdta. de orégano
3 cdas. de aceite de oliva
3 cdas. de vinagre
1 cdta. de sal por cada libra de pernil
 
Procedimiento:
Morteromortero o pilón (mortar and pestle)
 
Lave y seque el pernil. En un mortero, añada la pimienta en grano, el orégano, aceite de oliva y el vinagre. Machaque todo junto. (grind) Haga cortes profundos (cuts) en todo el pernil e incruste este adobo (seasoning) en las incisiones del pernil. Untar (apply) el resto del adobo en el resto del pernil. Coloque el pernil en un recipiente de asar (Dutch oven or aluminum pan). Cúbralo con papel de aluminio y refrigere por 24 horas. Al otro día, pre-caliente el horno a 350 grados Fahrenheit. Añada 35 minutos de cocción por cada libra del pernil. Recuerde que éste debe quedar bien cocido. Utilice un termómetro para cocinar para saber si está cocido.

ARROZ CON GANDULES (Rice with green pigeon peas)
 
 
Definition: Gandules have been cultivated for thousands of years. The peas are grain legumes that have high levels of protein and amino acids. In Puerto Rico, rice and gandules are considered the national dish.
Also Known As: Pigeon peas, Congo peas, Gungo peas, Gunga peas
 
(Sold in most supermarkets in the Latino Food section)
 
 
Peas                             sazonsazón
 
Ingredientes:
 
3 t. de arroz grano largo o corto
4 ½ t. de agua
1 ½ t. de chorizo o salchichón cortado en pedacitos ( puede sustituir por el tocino, que lavará bien para remover el exeso de sal).
2 cdas. de Sofrito*
1 lata de gandules (1 can of Goya Pigeon Peas)
2 cdas. de alcaparras (capers)
1 sobrecito de Sazón Goya con achiote (en la sección de comida latina)
½ t. de salsa de tomate
2 cdas. de aceite ( preferiblemente de oliva)
Sal a gusto
 
Procedimiento:
 
Caldero caldero

En un caldero caliente el aceite, eche el chorizo hasta que suelte la grasa. Cocine a fuego mediano por 4 minutos. Eche el sofrito. Añada los gandules, el agua y revuelva. Cocine hasta que hierva el agua con los gandules. Añada el arroz. Cuando se seque el arroz, cocine a fuego lento y cubra la olla con la tapa. (lid). Cocine por 30 minutos. Mueva el arroz despegándolo de los lados y amontonádolo en el centro del caldero. Cobra la olla otra vez y cocine por 10 minutos más.

Sofrito
  ( puede comprarlo hecho - no se lo recomiendo) en la sección de comida hispana en la mayoría de los supermercados. (Es preferible prepararlo en casa)
 
SofritoSofrito   Sofrito casero (hecho en casa)
 
Ingredientes para sofrito:
 
½  pimiento verde ( no picante)
½ cebolla
1 ajíi dulce ( puede usar dos o tres, porque son pequeños) ( El ají se le llama chile habanero en algunos lugares)
4 dientes de ajo
5-10 hojitas de culantro (puede sustituir por cilantro, pero eche ½ ramito)
Culantroculantro (coriander)

Procedimiento para el sofrito:
 
Morteromortar and pestle ( mortero o pilón)
 
Enjuague los ingredientes y macháquelos en un mortero (mortar and pestle) o en un procesador de alimentos. Guarde el resto en un frasco de cristal o congélelo en porciones pequeñas para usar más tarde en caso de tener demasiado para que no se dañe.
Puede doblar la cantidad de ingredientes si quiere preparar sofrito para guardar.

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