I don’t know if any of you read the recent NY Times article about the death of the house/dinner party. Well, I did and was very upset by it. Not upset that they were bringing it up, but upset that it is happening. It’s true. It’s rare to get invited to a dinner party or a good old fashioned house party. I know, LA is hard with parking blah blah, Uber, Lyft and the Metro are here to save the day. I also blame the cell phone. It used to be much harder to cancel on someone and it was rude to just not show up. Now, you don’t even have to call someone and tell them to their ear that you are not coming. A quick text, put your phone away, and back to binge watching whatever series with your Thai takeout.
I’ve thrown a couple dinner parties since starting this cookbook endeavor. Before that, I have to admit, I wasn’t the best at hosting either. It is a ton of work, but worth it to re-connect with friends over food and deliciously made cocktails. (Thanks, Andrew).
I made Mole de Olla Hidalguense- Pot Mole from Senora María Elena Romero de Lara from Hidalgo. The description for this dish was “a big , comfortable stew-for family and friends.” Perfect. This one took a little time and was different than the moles I had cooked in the past. There was no chocolate, just a ton of dried chiles and a lot of veggies. It also included some sour tunas, which I had never used before. These come from the cactus plant and are such an interestingly sweet yet sour ingredient. I have never cooked pork so well in my life, not to toot my own horn or anything. It was so tender and the soup was so flavorful. It was worth the hours on my feet.
I paired the mole with some gorditas from Hidalgo. The masa for these contained a good amount of anise seeds and the filling, which was mashed beans with guajillo chiles also contained anise. It was such an interesting flavor that I had never tasted before. I’ve been eating it for breakfast with rice and a fried egg on top.
I added some Chile Frito- Tabascan Tomato Sauce from Tobasco to give the gorditas a sauce to dip in. Hot, hot, hot. Tomatoes, three serranos, onion and garlic. I started the mashing in the molcajete then passed the task on to Andrew.
Katie and Mark are great dinner guests. They always love my food and do the dishes when we are done. We finished the night with some pumpkin carving, some whiskey tasting and pool at our trusted Monte Carlo bar, which was unusually busy.
Take that, New York Times!