By the time I finish cooking I am usually too hungry/tired to write about it. Then a couple days pass and I have so much to say! I cooked on Saturday night for Katie, Mark and Andrew, Sunday night after rehearsal for a quick bite and a more involved meal for last night.
Katie and Mark came over around 6:45pm to eat since Andrew had to go into work that night by 8:30. I had made an Adobo sauce for a pork tenderloin (recipe from Puebla) and had been letting it marinade in the fridge since Friday night. The adobo sauce was made with ancho chiles, 10 to be exact. It was dark in color and had an incredibly earthy smell to it. The Tasajo de Cerdo was supposed to be grilled, but since we live in LA and have little outdoor space and a no BBQ rule in our apartment, I opted to using the broiler, but I have never broiled in place of BBQing before. The meat cooked faster than the cookbook said it would on the BBQ but the overnight marinading made the meat super tender we didn’t need knives. I figured the pork alone wouldn’t feed four so I also made the Pollo en Pipiá Verde (Chicken in a Pumpkin Seed Sauce) also from Puebla. I had a heck of a time looking for hoja santa leaves and in the end wasn’t able to find any. I threw in a mix of bitter and sweet greens I had in the fridge and hoped for the best. Because this dish had a saucy texture I thought a rice dish would be nice to lay underneath. Arroz Blanco Tabasqueño (from Tabasco) with green bell peppers sounded good. And of course this night turned into a game playing (3’s and Yahtzee), Andrew luckily able to take the night off, bar visiting, 7-Eleven stop for beer kind of night. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Katie and Mark. Thanks for helping me again with dishes you two, you’re amazing.
Sunday night I only had one dish left to cook from the shopping trips I had done that week. Cazón Asado Frito (Grilled and Seasoned Dogfish). Now, I wasn’t able to find dog fish and seeing that it is a shark (I think) I wasn’t too bummed about not finding it. I said screw it and just got some fresh Tilapia. This dish is from Campeche, near the gulf coast and I guess the fish is sold already grilled from being on a charcoal fire. Since I don’t have any fishermen around selling freshly grilled dogfish I again whipped out the broiler skills and somewhat grilled the fish till the ends were a little crunchy. The dish also called for bitter orange juice which I had to make a substitute for since I couldn’t find Seville oranges anywhere (thankfully this cookbook gives me instructions on how to make it). You can substitue bitter oranges with grapefruit juice and zest, orange and lime juice. The final dish was pretty spicy from the chile de árbol and habanero it called for. I put it on rice one day and the next I topped my kale/spinach salad with it. It would be great on tostadas or in tacos too.
Last night I felt very accomplished with that Caldo de Oso (“Bear Broth” Fish Soup) from Chihuahua. This soup called for catfish which I also couldn’t find, so I went with red Thai snapper (I’m getting really good at the improvisational thing). You make this soup with the head, backbones and all. Unlike the other soups I’ve cooked, this one called for a Roux. This part of the dish had a ton of herbs, onions, garlic and flour used to thicken up the soup a bit. While this soup required a little more effort to eat (bone picking) it was probably one of the favorite things I’ve cooked. I also was able to use my molcajete for the first time and made an extremly hot Salsa de Chile from Tabasco. Seriously an awesome soup!