Chiles en Nogada

By Jessica Toledo - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37857302

By Jessica Toledo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37857302

As I mentioned on our “About” page, the original cookbook never made it into print. At the time the marriage dissolved, one important recipe was still pending, as we were having trouble convincing the family to invest the time necessary for making this complicated dish and allowing us to do all the measuring.

Since it never happened, I’ll point you instead to a very authentic version on The Mija Chronicles blog.

Mexican Cherry Creams

Mexican Cherry CreamsSince the desserts section of the Salazar family cookbook is not extensive, I am adding in this recipe, which originally appeared in the New York Daily News, February 10, 1982. How can any recipe that contains tequila not be worth sharing?

Makes 80*
6 T. butter or margarine
4 c. confectioner’s sugar
½ c. unsweetened cocoa
¼ c. tequila
80* well-drained maraschino cherries
1 c. finely chopped toasted almonds

In a bowl, cream butter and gradually blend in sugar and cocoa. Add tequila. Mix thoroughly, working with the fingers if necessary to get mixture to hold together. Knead briefly. Blot cherries dry with paper towels. Press a teaspoon of mixture around each cherry and roll in almonds to coat.

*I actually think the maraschino cherries we get these days are larger than they were back in the early 1980s. The recipe made 64 creams.

Mexican Wedding Rings

Mexican wedding ringsMakes about 12 dozen*

5 oz. whole almonds (approx. 1½ c.)
¾ c. soft butter
2 T. granulated sugar
½ t. Mexican vanilla
¼ t. almond flavoring
1/8 t. salt (optional)
1 c. sifted flour
Confectioners sugar

Grind almonds well. Cream butter and granulated sugar together and mix in remaining ingredients, except confectioners sugar. Roll into long pieces about the thickness of a pencil. Cut 2-inch lengths and pinch ends together to form rings. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes in 325-degree oven until golden brown. Dust with confectioners sugar when done

*Or, if you roll them in 2½-inch lengths as I find more manageable, then the yield is about 9½ dozen.

Molé

MoleMolé is a meat-stretching dish which has a legend to go with it. The legend we grew up with is:

In colonial Mexico, a convent was told on very short notice that it would receive a visit from the bishop. Knowing that he would be hungry upon arrival, the nuns looked at their one chicken and meager supplies and tried to figure out how to feed everyone. Using what they had on hand, they came up with molé. The ingredients may be varied to suit individual taste.

Serves 10-12

5 dried ancho chiles*
5 dried pasilla chiles
5 dried mulato chiles
5 lb. chicken or turkey parts
1 ½ t. whole comino
2 cloves garlic
6 peppercorns
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes in puree
½ c. roasted, unsalted peanuts
½ c. blanched almonds
½ c. raw pumpkin seeds
5 cloves garlic
2 medium onions, chopped
1 ¾ c. water chiles were soaked in
½ t. cloves
½ t. cinnamon
½ t. cilantro seeds
2 sprigs fresh cilantro or parsley
2 slices toast or 2 flour tortillas
½ c. oil or lard
3 c. chicken or turkey broth
7 oz. Mexican chocolate (or bitter chocolate)
¼ – 1/3 c. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water; put in large saucepan and add chiles. Cover and soak for an hour. Combine chicken or turkey, comino, garlic and peppercorns in a large pot. Cover with water and boil 30-45 minutes (an hour for turkey). Remove meat from stock, and if using turkey, remove from bones. Set meat and stock aside. (The cooked meat may be browned in a little oil or lard, if desired.)

Remove seeds and stems from chiles. In blender, combine chiles, tomatoes, nuts, garlic, onions, water, spices, cilantro and toast and blend well. This may have to be done in batches. Pour blended mixture into large pot; add oil and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add broth, chocolate (if using bitter chocolate, increase sugar amount), sugar, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted and sauce is quite thick. Add poultry and cook over low heat until poultry is heated through.

*Molé may also be made with all ancho chiles or all pasilla chiles, if desired.

A Note on Commercial Molé

If you like the taste of molé but not the trouble of making it, commercial molé is available in either powder or paste form. To mix these for use, either method below will provide good results:

1. Add chicken or turkey broth, sugar* and salt to taste, or
2. Add hot water and smooth peanut butter (and sugar if desired) until molé
is a nice thick consistency.

Add in cooked chicken, turkey or pork and heat through.

* Sugar helps take out the picante sting.