Some might call it brunch—I never do, though. But at 2 p.m. Sunday we celebrated our fourth year in the new house with:
Scrambled eggs with garlic and sundried tomatoes
Basil pesto with olive, capers and parm on some fresh fettucini
Crustini from the World Famous Krustini King cookbook
Mimosas (the drink, not the tree)
The bacon was the hard part as I’ve never really done a good job at oven cooking. What I leaned was that you have to keep it at a reasonable temp (like 325 or so) leave it in there long enough, but keep an eye on it as it approaches doneness. I’m sold, though. Why fry and splatter when you can bake? Great way to make the crumbly bacon, too.
Sunday evening was a swell meal of leftover fettucini pesto and a couple of porch chops with some mango tamarind chutney.
I love chocolate and I love mole but I do not love it when the mole is heavy on the sweet chocolate side. I also have to admit that I don’t have the time, patience or brains and skill to make my own mole. Of the concentrate that’s out there I like Donna Maria’s. It’s spicy and not sweet.
The secret to making the stuff from concentrate is to use good, tasty chicken stock. I freeze mine in small 8 oz. tubs. Make sure it’s not salty, though, as the mole has enough in it already. All ya have to do is melt the stock, heat it up, stir in the mole concentrate and, uh, that’s about it. Takes about five minutes.
I like it over pan-seared/oven-finished chicken and try to make sure I drizzle a little bit on the pasta or rice or whatever we’re having as a side dish.
Was at another wedding dinner last night where a fellow was pan frying shrimp next to a tray of cheese grits. Some folks from Michigan were impressed (most mid-westerners dream of shellfish). I told them about the Crook’s recipe which includes crumbled bacon and scallions. Their eyes lit up when the idea of cured pork and seafood hit them.
Cured pork and seafood or even sausage and seafood, I think, is one of the most powerful meat combinations in cooking. It may actually be sinful.
Plenty of variations on this one are possible by using different chiles. The procedure is about the same for any degree of hotness.
Two or three dried anchos;
Two or three New Mexico chiles (the long red ones or something close);
One big tomato
half a yellow onion
clove or two of garlic
some olive oil
Put the chiles on a flat frying pan and roast—no oil—on medium heat pressing down with a spatula or something flat and spatula-like.
After they’re toasted on both sides, cut the tops off and dump the seeds out. Slice ’em up a bit and put in a bowl of warm water for five to ten minutes.
Dice up the tomato and onion.
Put everything in a blender, chop, blend and add some olive oil along the way.
Glorp into a bowl and add some salt and, if you got the chiles too brown and it’s too bitter, add a little molases.
Makes a great dip or sauce on about anything. Works very well with sour cream.