Friday, June 25, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
2 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped into bits
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons juice, and chopped
1 package frozen empanada pastry disks, thawed (or homemade, recipe follows)
About 4 cups vegetable oil and a deep-fat thermometer (if deep-frying)
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water (if baking)
Cook onion in olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef and cook, breaking up lumps with a fork, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Add raisins, olives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and tomatoes with reserved juice, then cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced but mixture is still moist, about 5 minutes. Stir in hard boiled egg and spread on a plate to cool.
Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on a dampened work surface (to help keep plastic in place), then roll out an empanada disk on plastic wrap to measure about 6 inches. Place 3 tablespoons meat mixture on disk. Moisten edges of disk with water and fold over to form a semicircle, then crimp with a fork. [You might see some different crimps in my pictures. The fork method really works best.] Make more empanadas in same manner.
If frying: Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in middle.
If baking: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
Deep-frying instructions: Heat 3/4 inch vegetable oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over medium heat until it registers 360°F on thermometer. Fry empanadas, 2 or 3 at a time, turning once, until crisp and golden, 4 to 6 minutes per batch.
Transfer to a shallow baking pan and keep warm in oven. Return oil to 360°F between batches.
Baking instructions: Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour + 3 cups all-purpose)
3 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup or 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.) Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into two flat rectangles and chill them, each wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours total.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Mole Negro or Dark Mole
Recipe courtesy Soledad Lopez
1 pound ancho chiles
1/2 pound guajillo or dried mirasol chile
1/2 pound dried cascabel chile, or rattle chile
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 pound Mexican green tomato or tomatillo, chopped
1 telera roll or 4 slices white bread
1 cinnamon stick
4 to 5 cloves
4 to 5 whole peppercorns
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pinch cumin
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup shelled peanuts
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup small raisins
1 1/2 plantains, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 small onion, roasted, then chopped
1 small garlic clove, roasted, then minced
1 corn tortilla
1 piece unsweetened chocolate square, Mexican chocolate is preferred
1/2 cup chicken stock, plus 2 1/2 cups
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Toast ancho, guajillo, and cascabel chiles in a heavy skillet until skins blister. Remove from skillet and stem, seed, and devein chiles. Set aside.
Place tomatoes and green tomatoes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain and blend in blender or food processor and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat corn oil over low flame. Cut the telera bread or 4 slices of white bread, into pieces and fry in the corn oil until golden brown. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, thyme, cumin, sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, raisins, plantains, and walnuts. Stir ingredients together. Add more corn oil, to coat ingredients lightly. Add chopped roasted onion and minced roasted garlic. Continue to fry over low flame for about 20 minutes. Add blended tomato mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place corn tortilla over open flame and cook until burnt and crispy. Cut up and set aside.
In a medium frying pan, fry roasted chiles in corn oil along with burnt tortilla pieces for a few minutes. Combine tomato/spice/nut mixture with chile mixture in large saucepan. Add chocolate piece and cook until melted over a low flame. Add about 1/2 cup chicken stock to mixture and stir. Place mixture into blender or food processor and puree until all ingredients have combined completely. More chicken stock may be added to smooth out sauce.
In a large saucepan, heat vegetable shortening. Cook the puree in the shortening, stirring constantly. Add more of the chicken stock until you achieve the right level of consistency that you'd like. Warm sauce for another 30 minutes over a low flame.