Tag Archives: Mexican

And Now for Something Completely Different

 

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A David Ewing Creation

Happy 2018 from The Raggedys!  In Andy’s Corner Andy has been busy ranking the great articles we posted during 2017 on Food for Thought – and I’ve been busy…..well, tidying up after entertaining family and friends for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

To start the new year Andy and I are delighted to have a guest blogger from “The Land of Enchantment.”  David Ewing is enchanting in-oh-so-many ways, only one of them being that he’s from New Mexico.  Frankie, David’s wife and my junior-year roommate at CC, introduced us to David probably 45+ years ago.  I might add that because David’s professional practice focused on geriatric psychiatry, it can be more-than-a-little intimidating dealing with him! 🙂

When Frankie and David’s holiday letter arrived the other day, we knew it would be filled with just enough of David’s droll sense of humor – and witticisms about life with the Ewing family – to entertain us thoroughly.  And it did.

David is the perfect counter-balance to what I write and think about in regards to food and cooking.  While I fill up notebooks before the Christmas holidays with grocery-shopping lists, details of every day’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans, daily chores in the kitchen, etc., etc., etc.,  David punts.

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Ann’s holiday cooking lists

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David’s holiday cooking list

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Frankie and David

Asked to respond to “Who Am I?” David answered:

David Ewing is the husband of Frankie Keller Ewing, Ann’s Colorado College sorority sister from one hundred years ago. He is much younger than those old people, but he has used himself hard through the years and is pretty well worn out, so does not seem too out of place when he tags along to their geriatric gatherings, at least not until he opens his mouth. Frankie allows as how he does this too early and too often, but she has become more tolerant through the years. He is as rude as ever, but his outrageous suggestions have mostly become idle threats and rarely result in actual misbehavior, at least not in an organized way. It is hard to get into too much trouble when bedtime is at 9:00 PM.

Two of his surviving passions are puttering and eating. When these find expression concurrently, he cooks. Some describe him as a “creative” cook. He suspects that “creative” in this context means approximately the same thing as “interesting” when it is used to describe a dish that one actually doesn’t care for at all. The sort of “creativity” David indulges actually grows out of a disability: his incapacity for sustained attention. Ann has asked him to write something about what effect this has on his cooking.

Here is David’s blog. Read it and smile.  Read it and get a whole different perspective on shopping and cooking.  And then enjoy his recipes (though David warns you should not adhere to them too closely): a menu featuring Costillas de Puerco (pork ribs) in a Guajillo Sauce,  Calabacitos (a New Mexico-style dish with summer squash) and a Watermelon and Tomatillo Salad (which appeared in an earlier post).  Our Brooklyn kiddos received an Instant Pot for Christmas, so the Costillas recipe should get instant family interest.

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Super Simple Quesadillas

If you’re living in our ‘hood  (which includes the lovely town of Sonoma, as well as Glen Ellen), you’ll recognize those fabulous, super thin flour tortillas as coming from Tortilleria Jalisco at 897 W Napa.  We couldn’t live without them – and hope if you’re elsewhere you can find an equally special tortilleria.  Andy is off to SF today with a bunch of them to use while staying with our grandsons for a few nights.  He’ll make egg burritos in the morning and maybe quesadillas for lunch.

After-SF-Stay Postscript: the grandsons, both teen and tween, refused the egg burrito breakfast.  Teen toasted himself a bagel.  Tween had a sweet potato muffin.  Grandpa Andy was despondent. 

Even our Tween and Teen grandsons can easily fix themselves these delicious, quick quesadillas without a recipe (maybe :), but if you want a little cheat sheet here it is.  

Super Simple Quesadillas

  • Servings: 1
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Directions

You need a skillet large enough to hold the flat flour tortilla and you need some grated cheese (queso fresco and cheddar, or whatever melting cheese you have), a little hot sauce, and some soft butter to spread lightly all over one side of the tortilla.  Heat the pan to medium, then place the tortilla, butter-side down, on the skillet.  Sprinkle cheese and a bit of hot sauce over half of the open tortilla, then fold once.  As soon as the skillet side of the tortilla has browned a little and the cheese has begun to melt, flip the tortilla over and lightly brown the other side.  Remove from the pan and cut into pie-shaped pieces.  That’s it!

Chile Verde

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Our daughter, Sara, and son-in-law, Joe Hargrave, own several Tacolicious restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. I adapted this from their Tacolicious cookbook, which Andy and I recommend highly…especially since we helped test recipes for it 🙂

Chile Verde

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

  • 5 tomatillos, hulls removed and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno (or more if you’re daring), stemmed, SEEDED, and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped or sliced, whichever is easier for you
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and cut into strips – about 1/2″ by 2″ (don’t worry about exact size!)
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 4 c water
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into about 1 1/2″ cubes.

Directions


Put the tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro into a blender or food processor and puree until almost smooth, adding a touch of water if necessary.

In a large, heavy pot (Staub? La Creuset? cast iron? Gotta have one of those!) heat the oil. Add the onions and Poblano chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened. Add the tomatillo mixture and saute, stirring, for 3-4 more minutes. Then add the water and cubes of pork. Return the mixture to a boil; then turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 2-3 hours. OR a still simpler way: if your pot and lid are oven-proof, put it on a low rack of the oven, covered, and roast at 275 degrees for about 3 hours. You want the pork to end up so tender that you can pull it apart with forks.

If you’re using the pork and broth later, let the mixture cool and then chill it, so the fat accumulates at the top and can be easily removed.  Or, if you’re using just the pork for tacos or burritos, remove it from the broth and shred it, moistening it with a bit of broth. Then refrigerate or freeze the broth.

Now you’ve got this d-lish pork dish that can go so many directions: you can put the meat in a corn tortilla, add a little cabbage, cilantro, onion, lime and have a simple taco – or put it in a flour tortilla with some beans and have a burrito; you can serve the broth and pork over rice (adding a touch of lime juice and some chopped onions and/or cilantro makes it even better!); or you can add some chicken broth and some canned hominy and shredded cabbage, and you’ve got a take on posole. Yum yum yum.

As with everything we send your way, it will be good warmed up and freezes well too.

Recipe provided by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann

Cazuela de Arroz con Hongos

Cazuela de Arroz con HongosOkay.  I cannot tell a lie.  I borrowed much of this recipe from Pati Jinich’s recipe in the Washington Post.  How can you not be fascinated by the food choices of someone who grew up in Mexico City and whose Jewish grandparents immigrated there from Eastern Europe?

The casserole (does making a casserole sound dated?), which is vegetarian, reheats well,  freezes well and is delicious.  Serve it with a green salad.  Big flavors. Little effort.

Cazuela de Arroz con Hongos or Mushroom and Rice Casserole

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

  • 3 T butter
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper with the membrane and seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 # mushrooms (your choice of type – but if you want to be quick, get ones that are already sliced)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c Mexican crema – or heavy cream
  • 1/2 c queso fresca or Jack or Fontina, grated or crumbled
  • 1/2 c queso anejo or Parmigiano or Romano, grated
  • 2 1/2 c cooked rice.

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8″x8″ baking dish. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook and stir until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft.  Add the sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir to combine all.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft and dark-ish brown and all their released liquid has evaporated – or almost evaporated.  Stir in the cilantro, the crema, and the queso fresca and cook and stir until the cheese has melted (you want the mixture kind of soupy at this point, so add a little crema, if it’s not).  Spoon the rice into the baking dish and then top the rice with the mushroom mixture.  Spread it to smooth the top.  Sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
This casserole can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated (covered) and baked later – or tightly covered and frozen.  When using the frozen dish, be sure to let it defrost for an hour or so before putting it into the oven.  I found that my partially-defrosted casserole took about 45 minutes to heat in the oven.  I added the parmesan the last 15 minutes.

Recipe provided by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann

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