Mexico is one of Diana Kennedy's later books. I
remember looking forward it's publication and the slight disappointment
I felt when it arrived. Some of the recipes seemed very obvious and
others required ingredients that were impossible to obtain. It felt like
I would never use it. Never say never! The more I learn about Mexican
food, the more I realize how much more I have to learn. This book is
full of gems (and obscurities) and it reads like a good novel for those
who have at least scratched the surface of Mexican food.
My traveling buddy Christopher Ann was over last night (more on her in another post) and we made these really great stuffed chiles. Chile Relleno means just that, stuffed chiles. The most famous stuffed chiles are from the Jalisco area and are stuffed with cheese and then dipped in an egg batter before deep frying. These are almost en escabeche, or pickled. They'd be ideal for a do-ahead dinner and they come straight out of Kennedy's book from the section on the state of Guanajuato.
I'm going to describe the forgiving technique here. You can buy the
book for the exact measurements.
1. Roast and peel several Poblano chiles. (N.B. In California supermarkets, these are often erroneously marked as Pasilla chiles.) Clean out the insides, keeping the chiles as whole as possible.
2. Make a marinade with olive oil sauteed onion, garlic, carrot and thyme. When soft, remove from the heat and some light vinegar. I used unauthentic but appropriate pear vinegar. Add a few peppercorns, stir and then cool. When room temperature, pour over the cleaned chiles. Marinate for about 2 hours.
3. With a fork, mash some cooked potatoes, raw diced onion and a can of sardines. Mix them well but leave some texture. Drain a chile from the marinade and stuff it full with potato mixure. Repeat until all the chiles are stuffed. Pour leftover marinade over the chiles and you've got dinner!
This would be a swell feast for a quasi-vegetarian. Just add a salad and a side of beans. I found this a very unusual dish. It's delcious and easy and I'm adding it to my dinner party list.