These recipes are all more or less from “The Essential Cuisines of Mexico”. I served these dishes with a side of frijoles de olla.
Calabacitas Guisadas (serves 4):
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 lb zucchini, diced
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup epazote, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- 1 lb tomatoes, broiled and chopped
- 2 chiles serrano, broiled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
Heat the oil and cook the zucchini, onion, epazote, and salt. Cook on medium heat until the zucchini is just tender, about 10 minutes. Blend the tomatoes, chiles, and garlic. Stir into the zucchini mixture. Cook until the liquid is absorbed by the zucchini, about 15 minutes. Adjust the salt as needed, and serve.
Arroz Blanco (serves 6):
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/4 cup peas
Heat the oil on high heat in a heavy pot. Fry the dry uncooked rice in the pot, stirring constantly until just starting to take color, then add the onion and garlic. When the onion is translucent, remove any excess oil.
On stove: Add the broth, carrots, peas, and salt to taste. Let boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Keep covered an extra 5-10 minutes off heat.
Rice cooker (recommended): Add rice and remaining ingredients to the rice cooker. Use the white rice setting, cook until done.
Pollo en Naranja de China (serves 6):
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp bitter orange juice or substitute
- 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 2 allspice
- small piece cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp oregano, toasted, preferably Mexican
- 1 chicken, cut up
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 12 oz tomatoes, sliced into semicircles
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp capers
- 20 pitted green olives, halved
- 1 white onion, quartered and charred
- 2 Hatch or Anaheim chiles, charred, in strips
- 1 head garlic, charred
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
Grind together the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and oregano. Mash in the garlic and bitter orange juice, adding some salt. Rub the chicken with this mixture and let marinate for 2 hours to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350* F. Heat a bit of oil in a skillet, fry the bell pepper until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes, until somewhat reduced. Add the raisins, capers, and olives. Cook for 3 more minutes. Spread half of this in a baking dish which will accommodate all the chicken in one layer. Add chicken, cover with the rest. Arrange on the top the onion and chiles. Cut the head of garlic in half and stick the halves cut side down in the dish. Pour over the juice and water, bake for 1/2 hour. Baste with the juices, then cook another 1/2 hour, or until done.