Monday, June 29, 2009

Pipian Verde

Pipian is a simple mole that emphasizes the nuts or seeds that are blended in to thicken the sauce. Green pipian offers fresh green chiles and herbs to counterbalance the richness of the pork. This sauce also makes a good vegetarian dish, chayotes, pototoes, eggplant would all be a suitable replacement for pork.

Pipian Verde consists of:

•Pumpkin seeds


•white Onion

•Garlic cloves

•Serrano chiles

•Poblano chiles

•Romaine Lettuce leaves

•Cilantro sprigs

•Epazote sprigs

•reserved stock

The poblano chiles are roasted, seeded, and peeled while the hulled pumpkin seeds are also toasted until they pop. The tomatillos, onion, garlic, and serranos are boiled in the saucepan with reserved broth until tender. All ingredients are combined in a food processor and blended together. Return to saucepan and slow simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Pipian Verde goes well with all types of presentation. It is served here with rice and atop a crispy homemade tostada.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dried Chile Red Sauce - Pierna Roja

This fabulous dish showcases the deep, rich flavors of dried chiles. Ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers and is a staple in Mexican cooking. They are a deep red color, sometimes blackish-brown and wrinkled.

Pasilla chiles are dried chilaca chiles which are commonly used in the making of moles. They are long and dark colored.

Both chiles add a spicy, rustic touch while not being overly hot. Dried chiles are often rehydrated in boiling water for 10 minutes and then pureed in a blender.

Here, once again, pork shoulder is cut into 1 inch cubes and simmered in water for about an hour until tender.

Wash the chiles and remove seeds and stems. Place in a saucepan, bring water to boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. When the chiles have rehydrated, place in blender with cinnamon, Mexican oregano, cumin, garlic, onion, and cilantro.

Toss the sauce into the pork pot. Bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer for 30 minutes or until pork is tender.

The smells from the simmering red chile sauce really fill up the kitchen. It is quite mouth-watering. I prepared homemade corn tortillas and added chile powder to the masa to give the tortilla a little color and bite. Serve with raw chopped white onion for crunch and fresh ripped cilantro.

So good, so tasty, Pierna Roja!