Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco De Mayo 2013


Cinco De Mayo

 

Yesterday I taught a class in “Mexican” Cuisine in honor of Cinco De Mayo.   Really, I thought it was an Independence day celebration, but when I researched the day, it’s in remembrance of The Day of the Battle of Puebla  which occurred in 1862.   This was a battle of Mexican’s unlikely victory over French forces!  Mexican’s “independence day” is actually celebrated on September 16th!

 

Needless to say, some of you know that I am polish by heritage, and I love Mexican food.  I went to some true sources; recipes that my friend from culinary school Juan Carlos has given me, Patty’s Mexican Table, and my all time favorite Rick Bayless.  I always give credit where credit is due!

 

If you haven’t been a regular of my classes at Spartan Stores, you should!  The students start scoping out the recipes early, in search of what they may want to try making. Everyone gets to taste all of the recipes, and bring a packet of recipes home with them, sometimes we even have leftovers!  The experience allows you to taste recipes, well frankly, that you may not have thought of before! 

 

The day’s recipes were, well rather aggressive for the time period.  A class generally is 3 hours long, including the best part, the tasting!  We had lots of chicken and pork shoulder to cook, and some short cuts were taken!  We also tried our hands on two different tamales, and well – we surprised ourselves with the results!  They were rather tasty.

 



One of my favorites is the cold Chicken and Avocado Salad with Chipotle Chile.  Long title, but a wonderful salad and I hope that you get an opportunity to try it sometime soon!
 

 


Cold Chicken and Avocado Salad with Chipotle Chile


Pollo, Aguacate y Chile Chipotle en Frio

Yield: about 3 1/2 cups, enough for 12 tacos, serving 4 as a light main course

The chicken for this salad can be prepared 1 or 2 days in advance and then mixed with the dressing just before serving. Great for a summer picnic.

 

Also, buy the chicken “pre-cooked”  a roasting chicken from the store is a great way to save some time!  This can be served as a salad, or as a filling for tacos!



Ingredients

1 chicken leg-and-thigh quarter or 1 large breast half
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 small (about 6 ounces total) boiling potatoes like the red-skinned ones, halved
2 medium (about 6 ounces total) carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 canned chiles chipotles, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 small onion, finely diced
4 large romaine lettuce leaves, sliced in 3/8-inch strips, plus several whole leaves for garnish
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 slice of onion, broken into rings, for garnish



Directions

1. The chicken mixture. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan, add the chicken and salt, skim off the foam that rises as the water returns to a boil, partially cover and simmer over medium heat—23 minutes for the dark meat, 13 minutes for the breast. If there is time, cool the chicken in the broth.

Boil the potatoes and carrots in salted water to cover until they are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Rinse for a moment under cold water, strip off the potato skins, if you wish, then cut the potatoes and carrots into 3/8-inch dice. Place in a large mixing bowl.

Skin and bone the chicken, then tear the meat into large shreds and add to the potatoes. Skim off all the fat on top of the broth, then measure 3 tablespoons of broth into a small bowl. Stir in the vinegar, oregano and salt. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and add the sliced chiles chipotles and chopped onion. Stir, cover and let stand for 45 minutes, refrigerated or at room temperature.

2. Finishing the dish. Shortly before serving, mix the sliced lettuce and diced avocado into the chicken mixture. Drizzle with oil and toss lightly. Taste for salt. Line a serving platter with the remaining romaine leaves and pile on the chicken mixture. Decorate with the onion rings and serve.


Ingredients
Chiles Chipotles: In Mexico City, dishes like this often utilize pickled (not adobo-packed) chipotles. Without any chipotles at all, this dish loses many of its special qualities, though a nice salad can be made using pickled jalapeños and chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), if desired.

Timing and Advance Preparation
The active preparation time is less than 45 minutes, though you’ll need to start a couple of hours before serving. The chicken mixture can marinate overnight, covered and refrigerated; complete the final dressing within 15 minutes of serving.

 


 

 

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