The Spicebox Supperclub has been celebrating the wonderful flavors of Mexico in our latest series. See our menu overview to see what we enjoyed. We started with cocktails, then had a tour of chiles. This week, we enter the realm of main courses, still exploring the variety of chiles and other flavors used in Mexican cuisine.
Spicy Pasilla Mushroom Tacos
8 garlic cloves
6 large pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
¼ spoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup chicken broth
4 cups sliced woodland mushrooms (shitake)
¼ cup thinly sliced epazote
12 corn tortillas
½ cup finely diced onion
1/3 cup diced queso anejo
12 corn tortillas
- Roast unpeeled garlic. Toast chiles in skillet, then rehydrate for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of the soaking fluid.
- Combine chiles, soaking liquid, garlic, oregano, pepper and cumin. Blend to a smooth puree. Strain through a medium mesh strainer.
- Heat oil in a medium pot, once hot enough to sizzle seasonings, add all of pasilla paste. Stir for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, then add mushrooms and epazote. Partially cover, simmer over medium-low until mushrooms are soft and sauce reduced, about 15 minutes.
- Season with salt. Sprinkle with queso and garnish with epazote. Serve with tacos on bed of shredded cabbage.
Corona Bean Soup with Ancho Chile and Mint
1 pound corona beans
8 cups chicken broth
6 garlic cloves
1 large white onion
3 medium-large tomatoes (9-12 plum tomatoes)
6 medium ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup loosely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
½ cup queso anejo
- Soak beans for several hours. Drain and place in 8 cups of broth and simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Roast garlic unpeeled. Roast tomatoes, discard skins, keep juices. Chop.
- Add garlic, onion, tomatoes to beans, cook until ready.
Cut chiles into 1/8th inch slivers. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chiles and stir for a minutes. Remove from heat, and add vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, oregano and a ½ teaspoon of salt. Let stand for ½ hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove some whole beans from soup. Reserve. Blend remaining soup until smooth but with some consistency. Stir in mint and cilantro. In bowls add a few whole beans, chile, and then pour soup over ingredients. Sprinkle crumbled cheese over soup.
Sandia Ice with Tequila
Take cubes of frozen watermelon (no seeds), place in freezer for an hour, mix, and freeze again.
Blend and add small amount of good quality tequila.
Serve in cognac glass with salt sprinkled.
Chicken with Nutty Queretaro Green Mole (Mole Verde Queretaro)
½ pound (3 medium-large) poblano chiles
12 ounces (8-9 medium) tomatillos
½ cup sesame seeds, some extra for garnish
½ cup whole blanches almonds
1 small soft plantain, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
1 corn tortilla torn into pieces
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup roasted skinless peanuts
1 large leaf of romaine lettuce
8 good sized sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon cinnamon, preferably fresh ground Mexican
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon freshly ground aniseed
big pinch of freshly ground cloves
5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, about 2 teaspoons
8 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Roasting, Toasting, Browning
- Roast chiles directly over a gas flame, about 5 minutes. Cover with kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Peel, pull out stem, and seed. Rinse. Roughly chop.
- Roast tomatillos on a baking dish 6 inches below the broiler until softened, about 3 minutes. Then turn over and roast other side. Transfer tomatillos, along with juices, to bowl with chiles.
- Heat small skillet over medium and add sesame seeds. Stir continually until aromatic and golden, about 2-4 minutes. Scrape into the chiles, and then do the same with the almonds.
Finishing the Mole
- To the bowl, add the remaining ingredients (plantain, tortilla, garlic, raisins, peanuts, romaine, parlsey, cinnamon, pepper, aniseed, cloves). Stir in 2 cups of the broth, and in blender, in batches, puree to a smooth consistency. Pass through a medium mesh strainer.
- Medium sized pot over medium heat and add oil. Once oil is hot enough to sizzle a drop of the mole, add all at once. Stir for 3-4 minutes. Add another 3 cups of the broth, partially cover pot and gently simmer over medium low, stiring regularly, for 30 minutes. Sauce should have consistency of a thick cream soup. Season to taste with salt, about 2 teaspoons.
- Oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with mole, lay in chicken breasts in a single layer, then ladle remaining sauce over. Bake until chicken is done, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a warm platter. Slice the chicken. Add the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Seared Corn (Esquites Dorados)
5 large ears of corn
hot green chiles (3 serranos, or 2 small jalapenos) stemmed, sliced crosswise
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped epazote (or ¼ cup chopped cilantro)
- Cut kernels from corn. Cook chiles and kernels in nonstick skillet (5-10 minutes), until kernels were browned.
- In a cup, combine ¼ cup water, salt, and lime juice. Sprinke cilantro over corn and drizzle on liquid, let stand covered for several minutes. Add more salt as needed. Serve with lime wedges.
Pickled Red Onions
1 small red onion, peeled, sliced 1/8 inch thick
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 garlic cloves, peeled, and halved
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cider vinegar
- Parboil onion by blanching in boiling salted water for 45 seconds, drain and place in a bowl.
- Coarsely grind peppercorns and cumin in a mortar and add to onions. Add remaining ingredients plus enough water to barely cover. Stir well, and let stand for several hours until onions are bright pink (covered and refrigerated, onions last several weeks).
Topolo ‘Ceasar’ Salad (Ensalada Estilo Topolobampo)
Olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, serrano chile, egg
- Make dressing
- Combine with lettuce, cheese, and tortillas
Oh, did you remember to save room for dessert? Don’t worry, we’ll give you a week to recover. See you next time!