I’ve noticed that I love cooking for friends. In a past life I may have been the one who ran the kitchen in some 1700’s castle or fed the kings and queens by a pyramid. Besides knowing I was a cat and possibly a gladiator, I was definitely cooking a lot at some point.
Hila’s in town from Tel Aviv. She’s currently in medical school there but is home for “vacation” but really working at hospitals and studying a ton. It was a good excuse as any to start cooking. Katie and Mark were assigned to bring some beer and desserts and head over when they were done with work. I had Andrew pick up more beer and tortillas just in case. I got off work at 10:20 am and headed to Trader Joes and Jons for some last minute ingredients. As soon as I got home I did my Pilates mat work and then got to cooking. All about those abs, baby. I started at about 12:30 p.m. and was done around 7:30 p.m. By the time I was done I realized I hadn’t eaten since my Lara Bar at 8:40 a.m. besides taste testing. I did have two Dos Equis though.
Get ready for the photo bomb to be dropped.
I started with the Salsa Macha which was supposed to go on top of the Pollo en Pulque. Salsa Macha, Virile Sauce comes from one of the old cookbooks Diana Kennedy references towards the end of the book. I had to quickly dip the dried chiles in hot water, de-vein, de-seed and then toast them on the comal until they hardened up again. Then came the crumbling and the adding in of extra ingredients. Since I can’t find fresh Pulque anywhere close by I had to opt for light beer. Once the beer was added it sat for 6 hours to marinate. And I forgot to pull it out during dinner; didn’t remember until after. Bravo.
Then came the prep for the mole. Asado de Bodas Jerezano, Wedding Mole from Jerez. This beautiful mole came from Zacatecas and called for 36 Guajillo Chiles. Peeling the chiles open, de-sedding and de-veining took quite a while. The chiles were then toasted on the comal and placed in hot water for 20 minutes.
I actually splurged and got a big ol tub of fresh pork lard for most of the recipes I did that day.
I had all the added ingredients ready in little bowls, just waiting to be thrown in. The recipe called for some rounds of french bread to be fried in the lard till crispy on the edges, then blended with the pork broth. I had never seen this technique done before and thought it added some creaminess to the mole. This mole turned out amazing. The pork was tender and the sauce had so much flavor.
Pollo en Pulque, Chicken in Pulque turned into Chicken in Beer. There’s a spot that serves pulque in Commerce, but only on the weekends and it doesn’t keep very well. I only bought pork lard so that is what I used in this dish instead of chicken lard. This dish was really simple and ate more like a soup. Beer was the main ingredient making up the broth besides the herbs. And just as I am writing this I am noticing the green olives that were supposed to top the chicken (along with the macha salsa) are still in the damn fridge. Nine things are too many for my little brain obviously. The broth/ sauce was finished with scallions and garlic. Light, tasty and delicious.
Refresco de Tía Mariquita time. Watermelon and Red Wine Drink from Zacatecas. I cut into the watermelon and blended most of it while cutting some cubes for decorative floaters. In went the vanilla and lime juice and it all marinated in the fridge until just before consuming. Then I added the red wine and decided to omit the brown sugar. The watermelon was so sweet and the citrus was so tangy that it seemed pretty well balanced to me. It was a good looking drink with the crushed pecans on top.
Next came the ceviche prep. Tino’s Ceviche from Jalisco. This was the first time I had ever made ceviche so I definitely added extra lime for the cooking. I didn’t want to be the reason everyone was sick the next day. So far so good. Instead of cubed ceviche it was a shredded ceviche. The recipe called for minimal ingredients and I thought it turned out great for my first time.
It went perfectly with the Guacamole Jerezano from Zacatecas. This guacamole consisted of serrano and anaheim chiles and tomatillos. It was creamy, tangy and a little spicy. This recipe was unique because it also called for sour cream, but I omitted it because I’m selfish. It did say in the recipe that you didn’t have to include if you didn’t want to.
Last but not least, Calabacitas Michoacanas, Zucchini Michoacán Style. I didn’t get to eat this dish but everyone loved it. Zucchinis with garlic, onion, cilantro, poblano and my used to be favorite thing. . . sour cream. Not to mention there was some cotija cheese on top. Did I mention previously that I am killin’ it with charring, peeling, de-seeding, de-veining these poblanos?
And that was that. Throughout that whole process I also made a big pot of beans and Mexican rice. Everything was served at the same time and everyone ate too much. A success.