Monthly Archives: October 2006


Candied Pumpkin Ice Cream Sundaes

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large Mexican cinnamon stick or 3 regular cinnamon sticks
1/2 pound pumpkin or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pints to 2 pints vanilla ice cream

Combine the water, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has reduced by about one-quarter and a light syrup forms, about 15 minutes. Add the pumpkin or squash, reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently until the pumpkin is translucent, about 45 minutes.

If preparing in advance, remove the pumpkin from the syrup with a slotted spoon and store the pumpkin and syrup separately. When ready to serve, combine the pumpkin and syrup in a small skillet and reheat over low heat.

Just before serving, stir the heavy cream into the pumpkin syrup. Spoon over the ice cream and serve.


Tomatillo Salsa

Makes 3 1/2 cups

1 pound tomatillos, husked, washed, and cut into quarters
2 to 4 large jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 medium onion, cut in half
2 bunches cilantro, stems and leaves
2 teaspoons salt

Place the tomatillos, jalapenos, and water in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade. Puree just until chunky. Then add the remaining ingredients and puree about 2 minutes more, or until no large chunks remain. This salsa keeps in the refrigerator, in a covered container, about 3 days.


Green Rice

Serves 6 to 8

1 recipe Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe)
6 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded*
5 romaine lettuce leaves
2 bunches cilantro, stems and leaves
4 scallions, white and green parts
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups long grain rice, rinsed**

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour the Tomatillo Salsa into a food processor or a blender. Add the poblano chiles, lettuce leaves, cilantro, scallions, garlic, water, and salt and process until liquefied. (If using a blender, work in batches.) Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Saute the rice, stirring constantly, until golden and crackling, about 5 minutes. Pour in the reserved green puree and stir to combine. Transfer to a 4-quart baking dish or casserole. Cover with foil and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir with a fork and serve hot.

* Fresh chiles can be roasted over a gas flame or on a tray under the broiler. Keep turning so the skin is evenly charred, without burning and drying out the flesh. Transfer charred chiles to a plastic bag, tie the top closed, and let steam until cool to the touch, about 10 to 15 minutes. The best way to peel is just to pull off the charred skin by hand and then dip the chiles briefly in water to remove any blackened bits. Do not peel the chiles under running water since that will wash away flavorful juices. Once peeled, cut away stems, seeds, and veins.

** To rinse rice, place the rice in a large bowl (not a colander) and rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes. (If you use a colander, the starch remains on the rice, leaving it sticky.)


Drunken Chicken

Serves 6

3 pasilla chiles, wiped clean, stemmed, and seeded
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound bulk chorizo sausage
1/2 cup gold tequila
6 boneless chicken breast halves, with skin
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, for garnish
1/2 cup chopped red onion, for garnish

Lightly toast the chiles over an open flame. Place in a blender with the orange juice and chicken stock. Puree until smooth and reserve.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onions with plenty of salt and pepper until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chorizo, stirring often to break up the sausage, and cook about 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown and the meat is cooked through. Strain, discarding the fat, and return to the pan.

Pour in the tequila, turn up the heat and cook until reduced by half. (Be careful, as the tequila might flame.) Pour in the pureed chile mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then sauté, skin side down, about 4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to prevent sticking. Then turn and sauté the other side 4 minutes. Pour on the reserved chorizo sauce, transfer to the oven and bake 12 minutes. Serve hot over rice. Garnish generously with the cilantro leaves and chopped onion.

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