Yeah, I know this post is almost a week late, but I've been busy...cooking. Really, beginning with last Thursday's dinner, I've been on sort of a roll as far as dinners are concerned. It's amazing I can still close the fridge.
Thanksgiving dinner was a small affair--a chicken roasted atop carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, garlic and apples, a bread and dried fruit stuffing, Renee's cranberry sauce, and a pecan pie.
As it was only four of us dining, there was some chicken left over. I took advantage of that by making a recipe from a NYT thanksgiving leftover article from 1993. The original recipe was, of course, for turkey enchiladas with mole, but the chicken worked just as well. A rather simple mole recipe, most of the action takes place in a blender. I began by toasting and boiling six ancho chiles. I really need to start using these more. Every time I do, I realize what a wonderful flavor and color they have. Toasting them in the cast iron skillet, their black-purple flesh gives of a wonderful aroma, almost like spicey-smokey raisins. After the chiles had softend up in the boiling water, I stemmed and seeded them. I then blended them with toasted sesame seeds, ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice, canned tomatoes, melted unsweetened chocolate, half a banana, and some of the boiling liquid. The result is a fragrant, mahogany colored sauce--both sweet and hot. I rolled the pulled chicken meat in steamed corn tortillas along with some jack cheese and onions, covered the rolls with mole and baked them in the skillet.
Since I now have epazote growing in my garden, I made some black beans as well. I charred a whole onion and a whole head of garlic in the skillet, then added them to a pound of dried black beans, already boiling with the epazote. With some rice, it made a pretty good meal for starting with leftovers. Really, the leftover chicken was just an excuse to make the mole, which I still have plenty of in the freezer. More to follow on the garden and the epazote.