This blog is all about using recipes that have been sitting on our shelves, sometimes for years, in books we use for only a recipe or two each. The recipe we chose for 5-5-11 was a special case, coming from a book we are pretty sure we have not used at all. Ironically, Helene Siegel's Mexican Cooking for Beginners had eluded us in part because its most interesting recipes looked too complicated.
I chose -- from page 64 -- chiles stuffed with chicken, raisins, and nuts. This was another dish-intensive dish: in addition to chopping surfaces and bowls, it required a skillet, Dutch oven, and baking pan. And I had actually skipped a step by using canned tomatoes, since local tomatoes are not yet in season. The intimidating part for me, though, was roasting the chiles. This is what has kept me from making my own mole poblano, even though I fell in love with it during our summer in Puebla (where the dish was prepared for me in an Aztec home).
I should have taken a photo of the unusual site of bright green peppers being charred directly on our stove-top, but this was so successful that I am sure I will do it again soon. It was a bit tricky to be sure, but Siegel's words do not just direct the reader: she is more like a coach than an author, and I was made confident enough to pull the dish together and knowledgeable enough to do it a bit better next time. (Pam helped with the spices, but mostly with getting the rest of the house in order while I was absorbed in this preparation.)
|San Andres Cholula|