Freshly-ground local, pastured lamb is seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper before being seared in blazing-hot grass-fed ghee with hulled cardamom, sweet cinnamon shards, mustard seeds, fresh ginger and green chilies, tomatoes and garlic. The pan juices are combined with turmeric, sweet paprika and coconut milk and reduced until thick.
Short grain rice is simmered with 4x its own weight in homemade bone broth with golden fried onions, toasted cumin and coriander, fresh English peas and a pinch of saffron..
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit magazine (via Edible Therapy), this complex sauce is fantastic with pickled red onions and grilled pork chops..
Making Mango Mole
2 tablespoons leaf lard or other fat
1 large plantain, sliced
1 cup fresh diced mango
2 large dried Guajillo or Ancho chilies, stems and seeds removed
1/2 cup chopped white onion
12 whole raw almonds
1 tablespoon homemade chili base
2 tablespoons shelled peanuts
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 small bay leaf
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1 teaspoon true cinnamon shards
2 cups homemade chicken stock, more or less
1 small piece Mexican chocolate
Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add plantains, chili base and everything else except stock and chocolate. Sauté until plantain is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock. Reduce heat and simmer until chilies are tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree sauce in blender then return to skillet.
Add chocolate and stir until incorporated. Thin with reserved stock if necessary, then season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
A traditional Mexican dish named for her charros (cowboys), charro beans (frijoles charros, cowboy beans) are pinto beans simmered with onions, garlic, chilies and tomatoes. I’m adding black beans, epazote and Mexican oregano and serving it a roasted, scooped-out chayote (Aztec chayotli) squash with red chili corn pone on the side..
Soak dried beans overnight, then drain, rinse and cook in fresh water until not quite done, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Set aside.
For the corn pone, mix together 1 cup of white or yellow stone-ground cornmeal with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of coarse chili powder. Add 1 teaspoon lard or bacon grease, then carefully stir in 1 cup of boiling water (filtered). Allow to stand long enough to soften and cool, then form into 1/2 inch cakes about 3 inches in diameter. Cover with a damp towel and set aside. (this corn pone is based on a recipe by author Crescent Dragonwagon)
Meanwhile, split and seed 1 or more chayote, drizzle lightly with oil, season with S&P and roast in a 375 degree oven until charred and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Toast whole cumin seed in a dry skillet until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon lard or bacon grease, minced garlic, chopped onion and diced jalapeño and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and oregano, beans and the scooped out, chopped flesh of the roasted chayote along with enough of the bean liquor to just cover.
Simmer until beans are tender but intact, perhaps 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, reheat chayote in the oven or under the broiler and fry the pones in a small amount of butter until golden brown and crispy on the edges.
Spoon bean mixture into chayote shells and serve with hot corn pones and a roasted jalapeño.
Chayote is a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.