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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

In a city where one rarely gets to know their neighbors, we actually met two of ours recently, a delightful couple who live down the hall from Baby and me--we happened to strike up a conversation in the elevator and as we rode up, discovered we lived on the same floor!

Stephen is British and Gisela is from Mexico. Over drinks one night, we learned she makes a mean enchilada, served with her own homemade green sauce. I told her about my chicken mole and plans were soon made to arrange a dinner together. The day before our meal, Baby and I hit the farmer's market where we found incredible red spring onions that became a new addition to the regular yellow onions in my mole, which I let sit overnight in the refrigerator after cooling so the flavors could truly develop. Instead of buying a rotisserie chicken as is my wont, I roasted a hacked apart chicken with some poultry seasoning, fresh ground black pepper and sea salt. I also added in about a cup of Corona beer this time to simmer in with the mix of onions and garlic. If I must say, the results were pretty extraordinary.

Over Gisela's great guacamole, we sipped Sangrita and shots of tequila and also had agua fresca (in this instance, watermelon puree with sugar). I poured some Corona and lime juice in mine. Dessert was fresh cut mango with a little salt. Fantastico!

But this was the whole show, Gisela's recipe which covered the enchiladas:

Famous Tomatillo Green Sauce
Green tomatillos (for a salsa for two people, use 10 tomatillos) without the skin and cleaned - they can be quite dirty!
1 sliced white onion
2 cloves garlic
2-3 jalapenos (depending on how spicy they are)
1 cup or so chicken broth
Quarter bunch cilantro

On a pan, roast the tomatillos, garlic and jalapenos turning them on all sides, around 5 minutes. This will cook them a bit and tomatillos might turn a different green. Put roasted tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos (only one), cilantro, onion (a slice), salt, chicken broth in blender and liquefy. Add more jalapenos and salt to taste--remember that they will be served on top of enchiladas with cream (queso fresco) and cheese (queso blanco) so it does not matter if it is a little spicy as this will diminish when served so its needs to be very tasty. Transfer sauce to pan and warm it (it will turn from bright green - raw- into a dull green -cooked). Serve with warm tortillas, cooked, shredded chicken, cream and cheese.

Gisela's Guacamole
4 mashed avocados
1 slice onion, chopped
2 finely chopped ripe tomatoes

Mash avocados, and mix with cilantro, onion, and tomatoes. Add a bit of the green sauce (half a cup). Decorate with the colors of the Mexican flag: green, white, red on top if you want. You can add chopped jalapenos too for more kick.

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