San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende
Roof rainbow...San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Enchiladas, 13 Thank-yous

When I went to Oaxaca's marvelous Guelaguetza a couple of years ago, I ate with JOY the many moles...a sweet, spicy sauce that tantalizes the tongue, usually the red mole, to the deep black mole that takes the top of your head off. I was in the Oaxaca main market and came upon a bucket of black stuff that looked like tar and I asked the woman selling it what it was. She laughed, took a spoon and handed it to took the top of my head off. RICH, que rico, in chilies, chocolate, and so many spices I couldn't separate them on my tongue. After following the dancers in the street all day, dancers from villages/towns all over Oaxaca filling the streets with music, burning copal, laughter, their stunning costumes, beautiful women, handsome men...I went to have some dark mole at Como Agua 'Pa Chocolate...Like Water For Chocolate. Named after the novel and with recipes from the novel...I was in HEAVEN. The chicken mole was home made, the flesh melting in my mouth with the dark chocolate, chilie mix making love to my mouth, and my stomach too. I felt like the woman in the novel who had to take a cold shower as the place caught fire, via her tongue, her heart, okay her body. DAMN...and I had a mezcal margarita, okay, I had two, as I looked out over the Zocalo. Immense bunches of balloons below, vendors gathering themselves to walk and sell...stalls with fresh food being cooked, juices being squeezed from just peeled pineapple, oranges, mangoes. I understood the need for a cold shower and it was definitely a hot day as well, those brave dancers hardly sweating in the Fifth Sun. Their presence, dancing, "We are here, we survived, we survived the burning of our sacred books, our ancestors enslaved, our ancient cultures razed, our women raped, we have survived, we kept the best of you in our blood, discarded the violence, kept the songs to our Sun, we are HERE, we have survived, and we have come to dance..."

I was in Califas in July to teach, then to visit mi familia, old friends, (wonderful) daughter and I went to see, hear Pete Escovedo's band, and one of the very talented musicians invited us to dance in the dance floor, que pinche...this guy played a flute that made me want to weep and laugh at the same time, a sax that was purely sexy, and marimbas that made me, yes, want to dance...the entire band magicians of moving the feet, Escovedo and two of his sons on drums. I sat through two songs, then they started in on a drum winging salsa, so I jumped to my feet, started dancing in the pinche aisle, and the guy who played the flute, sax, marimbas, put out his hand for me to join him on the stage. So I did, a tiny spot teetering at the edge of the stage in front of his marimbas, but he held onto me and I didn't fall off, and we danced...We are here, we survived, and we have come to dance into the Sixth Sun.

The Kokopelli comes from my walks in Venice Beach...when I cross the MEXICO/USA border, I always hear him playing his flute (his sax, his marimbas), and even when I'm x-rayed at the border they will never (ever) see my true heart, mi alma, which reveals herself only in my dance...we are here, we are here, dancing into the Sixth Sun.
**For Pete Escovedo's music, go to Youtube...
For Chicken Mole enchiladas, see be eaten with mezcal margaritas, then take a cold shower or you'll start your house on fire...

Chocolate Mole... I live in San Miguel de Allende, so I find this beautiful, dark mole at the market, but this is delicious.

10 dried ancho or poblano chilies (or 5 each, or canned if you can't find fresh)
3/4 cup dark raisins
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped, or more to taste
3 tbsps sesame seed (save some to sprinkle over dish)
3/4 cup slice almonds, toasted
3 tomatoes chopped, or 1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes and their juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cumin, ground coriander seeds, ground anise seeds
1 tsp coarse salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chile powder, to taste

1. Remove the stems from chiles, slice them in half lengthwise, scrape out most of the seeds. Place in pot, cover with water, place a plate on top of chiles to keep sumberged, simmer for 10 mins or till tender. Allow to stand until cool.
2. Place raisins, chocolate in a blender, heat the chicken stock, pour into blender mixture, let stand for a few minutes to melt the chocolate.
3. Heat the oil, saute the onion until limp, then add garlic cooking for a few mins, stir frequently.
4. Drain the chilies, add them to the blender along with the onion, garlic, sesame seeds, almonds, tomatoes, all the spices, salt, pepper. Blend until smooth, taste, and add more chile powder if you need more spice, yum...
**Mole can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, and frozen up to 3 months in a freezer bag.

Pollo/chicken- (The rooster on the roof next door...)
1. Boil one chicken until tender, then piece it all up into a bowl, let cool.
2. A dozen, or more, large CORN TORTILLAS.
3. Add cooked sauteed, garlic, sprinkle of chile powder, sliced BLACK OLIVES (I like them, up to you), and some of those black raisins, to the bowl of chicken, mix well.
4. Warm the chocolate mole, almost hot....line a baking dish with two inches of the mole, some extra chicken broth to thin it out.
5. Quickly dip a corn torilla, one at a time, into the chocolate mole- and fill it with el pollito mix.
6. Continue to dip the tortillas, filling them until the chicken is gone, placing the tortillas side by side in the baking dish.
7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
8. Spoon the chocolate mole over all the filled corn tortillas, add more chicken broth to thin out if necessary. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, checking the mole to see if it needs more chicken broth to make it all moist, just keep adding, and spooning a bit more mole over the enchiladas...QUE RICO Y SABROSITO, HOW RICH AND DELICIOUS...don't forget the mezcal margaritas, the cold shower, or a hot bath sprinkled with red roses, candles, someone you like/love, the 2nd mezcal margarita...

I just read a wonderful, very wise book... "Long Life, Honey In The Heart,' by Martin Prechtel, who grew up on a Pueblo in New Mexico, then journeyed down to a Mayan village in the 1980s, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, before the missionaries and government troops moved in and disrupted, tried to destroy, a beautiful, sacred way of life. We are here, we have survived, all human beings with Honey in the Heart who continue to sing and dance into the Sixth World. One of their prayers/poems ends...

"Long Life, Honey in the Heart,
White roads paved in the eyebrows of the Moon,
Which is sea foam,
Yellow roads paved with yellow, fat, and abundance,
From the tail of the Morning Star,
No Evil, Thirteen Thank-yous,
Earth Fruit Face, Thanks."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Return Home and Recipes...

After 14 hours of travel from California to San Miguel de Allende, my pinche front door lock would NOT open, damn. My sweetie shuttle driver drove me around San Miguel trying to find a locksmith who was home as it was Sunday and no one was answering the phone...I ended up seeing parts of San Miguel I'd never seen. Sheep penned in lots next to casitas and roosters running down the streets, that was fun...not like the more formalized Centro. When I left to travel my neighbor had a CHICKEN FARM WITH ROOSTERS on his roof; I dreamed of tossing a bob cat over there. But upon return, after almost two months, only ONE ROOSTER remains which is okay, that I can endure, not the Chicken Farm where the hens make a racket after laying every egg and the roosters do not crow only at dawn, but ALL DAY LONG into the night. Yayyy they're gone, except for the one rooster...I was about to move if they were still here. And so, finally found a locksmith and he couldn't budge the lock, so he had to crowbar the door open...he was persistent and got me in, kisses to the locksmith.

Then I went to the car lot down the street to check on my car the next day and I could barely see it as it was pretty much smothered in (beautiful) wild flowers...but it started right up and had to crush many of them to drive out of the lot in order to buy food or starve to death in the very dusty casita. That mountain dust at 7,000 ft in San Miguel covers everything eventually, so a good weekly cleaning at the very least, and I was gone for two months. Bird feathers all over from the huge sky light in the entry way...I felt like returning to California, my family, friends coming to see me, our many fiestas. So went out for comida/food, bottles of wine, tequila, and an immense bunch of mixed flowers...daisies, purple mums, birds of paradise, lilies for their sheer intoxicating scent, which made me want to clean la casita. And so, while sipping a cup of green tea, some recipes, simple ones-

FLAN, 6 to 8 servings...
3/4 cup sugar (for caramel), 1 quart milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, 4 egg yolks, 6 eggs lightly beaten.
Cook the 3/4 cup sugar to carmelize it, then pour it into a baking dish carefully, covering all of the bottom of the dish with caramel. Heat the milk with the cup of sugar and the vanilla for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then add the egg yolks and the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly, Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Pour the egg mixture into the caramel line baking dish. Bake in a pre-heated 350F/175C oven for about 1 and a half hours OR until set...plunge a knife into the center to see if it comes out wet or dry. Cool completely, even refrigerate to serve...YUMMY You can also place fresh berries on top of the flan, a bit of Kahlua (Mexican drink with strong coffee taste), or a lot if you like, so delicious.

Here's my own SANGRIA recipe, which I made quite a few times for our California fiestas...
In a large pitcher...a bottle of good cabernet, not expensive but good. A third of the pitcher with orange juice, or a mix of juices like orange juice/pomegranate is great. A cup of white TEQUILA...stir this all up with a wooden spoon. Add fresh berries, like blackberries, raspberries, to the pitcher, and when you serve the Sangria make sure everyone also gets some berries. So you can drunk while knowing it's all a bit healthy haha/jaja... I made many pitchers of this wonderful stuff, so when the pitcher's getting low just add more of the above in this order, and keep adding the berries to share with everyone, remember your health. This recipe, Sangria, goes deliciously with enchiladas, tacitos, and every Mexican dish...I'll post an enchilada recipe later on. My Mamacita's (grandmother from Sonora, Mexico) enchiladas were always pretty hot and spicy, which I love, so I won't give you that one as most folks run for the water.

And so, I'm back in San Miguel with ONE rooster next door...I used to live and work on a farm in Sonoma, California....we had lots of chickens, some roosters, but they were in the barn over the creek, far from the house. So to say that I LOVE chickens, their marvelous eggs, just not right next to my bedroom patio, yes that's where they were. Can we say BOB CAT...and now my door opens with its key, the wildflowers continue to grow over my car, the car lot owner must come with a machete. But for now I let it all go and imagine you all making FLAN, SANGRIA...enjoy la vida, JOY in spite of the obvious challenges facing our planet, all of us humans, as we ALL journey into the Sixth World. One Planet, One People...

*My granddaughter, la Ashley, gave me a Bob Cat Charm and I think it did the trick...