Inch-and-1/2-thick pork porterhouse steaks (New York and filet attached) are seasoned with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, then quickly seared over an open fire before being slathered in a rich red chile sauce flavored with toasted cumin, coriander and garlic, with coffee beans, guajillo honey, cloves and fresh lime juice. The chops are dressed with toasted corn, fresh avocado and slivered radishes..
For the Adobada
4 large dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 whole cloves
1 heaping tablespoon whole coffee beans
1-1/2 tablespoons fermented ketchup
2 teaspoons raw cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (more or less) guajillo honey
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
fine sea salt to taste
Toast chiles, cumin, coriander, garlic and coffee in a dry comal or heavy skillet over medium-low heat until the chiles are pliant and the coriander begins to pop, about 5 minutes.
Put the toasted chiles and cloves into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand 20 minutes.
Transfer soaked chiles, cloves, cumin, coriander, garlic and coffee to the bowl of a food processor. Add the ketchup, vinegar, honey and lime juice and process until thoroughly combined.
With the blade of the food processor spinning, slowly pour in enough of the chile soaking water until the sauce is thinned enough to barely coat the back of a spoon.
Season the sauce to taste with sea salt and if necessary, adjust the bitterness with just a little more honey.
Hold for service.
To assemble, season pork chops with salt and pepper and allow to stand at room temperature while you prepare your grill in the usual fashion (I like to use charcoal and soaked mesquite wood chunks).
Once the grill is seriously hot, place the chops on the lightly-oiled grate and sear 3-4 minutes without moving (to get great grill marks and to help prevent sticking). Turn the chops over and grill another 3-4 minutes, again without moving.
Move the chops to the cooler side of the grill and baste heavily with adobada sauce. Cover the grill and roast chops for 10 minutes. Turn the chops over, baste and cover for another 5 minutes.
Transfer chops to a serving platter and dress with toasted corn, avocado, slivered radishes and a spoonful of adobada sauce.
Similar to the traditional Pozole Rojo, this thick stew features leftover roast pork shoulder that has been cubed and simmered in stock with heirloom pozole, toasted cumin, cracked coriander, canella and Mexican oregano, with roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic and fresh chilies. Topped with crispy fried corn tortilla strips..
1 pound (more or less) leftover roast pork (including some fat), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 cups homemade smoked pork/chicken stock
1-1/2 cups fresh yellow pozole (hominy)
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, toasted and cracked
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed, toasted and cracked
1 2-inch piece canella
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
2 large fresh tomatoes, cored and wedged
3-4 large, fresh Anaheim peppers
1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon finely-minced lemon peel
1/4 cup New Mexico chile powder
2 teaspoons granulated piloncillo
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Heat stock to a low boil, then add cubed pork, cumin, canella and coriander and simmer 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, roast tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic in a 500 degree oven soft and charred. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then squeeze out the garlic, chop the vegetables and add to the simmering pork along with the cooked pozole, dry spices (except s&p) and tomato paste.
Partially cover and simmer until the pork is very tender and the pozole has just begun to break apart, about 30 minutes.
Add cilantro, stir and simmer another 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then ladle into clay bowls and serve hot with fried tortilla strips.
Fresh, locally-sourced duck is rubbed with cracked cumin, coriander and garlic, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and roasted until golden brown. Served with a sauce of pan juices, crushed oranges, fresh hibiscus leaves, red onions, jalapeño and cilantro..
The warm heat of Kashmiri chili with fresh ginger, garlic, toasted spices and cooling, fresh watermelon, served with pan-seared, wild Gulf shrimp and aged Basmati rice..
1/2 pound fresh shrimp, peeled & deveined
2-1/2 cups fresh watermelon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, divided
1/3 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves
1-1/2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
1-inch piece true cinnamon
1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon nigella sativa (charnushka)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of sugar
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 fresh lemon
Combine garlic, coriander, cumin, nigella, turmeric, ginger and sugar in a large Molcajete (a mortar made of volcanic stone), using a pestle to grind into a pulp. Add half of the watermelon and grind into a thin paste. Scrape contents into a clean bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Place cinnamon in hot ghee and cook until it begins to unfurl, about 5 minutes. Don’t let the butter burn.
Remove cinnamon and discard; increase heat to medium high. Once the ghee is shimmering, add the onions and shrimp and sear quickly until very lightly-browned, about 2 minutes. Add watermelon and spice mixture, and let sizzle and fry until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Add remaining chunks of watermelon, stir to combine and heat another 2 minutes. Squeeze a fresh lemon over the top and serve hot with aged basmati or naan, if you like.
Extra thick, locally pastured lamb loin chops are marinated for half a day in a mixture of olive oil, chile molido, fresh garlic and toasted cumin & coriander before being grilled over a wood fire and served with a gastrique of xoconostle (prickly pear fruit from Hidalgo), caramelized pilloncillo and raw cider vinegar. Accompanied by roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh peppers and garnished with fresh chopped Mexican mint marigold..
Bomba is an ancient strain of slowly-maturing rice grown in fresh mountain water around the town of Calasparra in Murcia, using aqueducts first built by the Romans.
Bomba absorbs three to four times its volume in stock (rather than the normal two), yet the grains remain firm and delicious.
Plump, locally pastured chicken (Dewberry Hills) joints are brined for half a day in cold, filtered water with coarse sea salt, cracked cumin and coriander. Blotted dry, then roasted at 500 degrees until the skin is good and crisp, then transferred to a hot skillet and finished in sauce of reduced chicken stock, chipotles en adobo and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Served over stock-cooked rice with browned onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes. Garnished with freshly chopped Mexican mint marigold..
For the Brine (5%)
2 litres filtered water
100 grams coarse sea salt
1-1/2 tablesponns cumin seed, cracked
2-1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, cracked
Bring the water to a rapid boil, then remove from heat. Add cumin, coriander and salt and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Place chicken pieces in a glass bowl and submerge in brine. Cover bowl and refrigerate 6-8 hours.
For the Chipotle Sauce
2 cups rich, homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons raw cider vinegar
2-3 chipotles en adobo, minced
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon piloncillo (substitute high-molasses raw can sugar)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Combine chicken stock and vinegar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium, add chipotles, tomato paste, oregano and piloncillo and simmer until reduced and thickened, about 1 hour. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
For the Rice
2 tablespoons cultured butter
1/2 cup bomba
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2-3 green onions, slivered, divided
1 tablespoon minced elephant garlic
1 cup fresh tomato, diced
Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add yellow onion, garlic and 1/2 of the green onions and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add bomba and stir to coat each grain with butter. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat simmer, stirring frequently until tender, about 30 minutes.
For the Chicken
Assorted chicken pieces, brined and air-dried
Arrange chicken pieces skin-side up, without crowding in a large skillet. Lightly dust with smoked paprika and place into a pre-heated 500 degree oven, cooking until skin is nicely browned and crisp, about 25 minutes. Chicken should be slightly underdone at this point.
Remove pan from oven and set on burner over medium heat. Baste liberally with chipotle sauce and continue to cook, turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Spoon rice onto dinner plates and place chicken pieces over the top. Dress with additional chipotle sauce and garnish with Mexican mint marigold. Serve piping hot.