Friday, July 26, 2013

Give Your Oven a Summer Vacation

I must admit that I would never have thought of this --

"The Mexican Slow Cooker - Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork and More Favorites" by Deborah Schneider   Ten Speed Press   137 pages   $19.99

I just didn't connect traditional Mexican foods (as above) with doing them in a crockpot. 

As a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member though I can't endorse the idea of leaving something electric running for six to eight hours while you are away from the house.

That said, here are a couple of interesting recipes...

ASADO DE BODAS or Wedding Stew with Pork
4 large guijillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 ancho or pasilla chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 cups hot water
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teas. whole cumin seeds
1 whole clove
1/2 teas. whole black peppercorns
2 lbs.l oneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-in. cubes
1 cup very finely chopped white onion
1/2 teas. dried marjoram
1 dried bay leaf
1/4 teas. ground cinnamon
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 teas. white vinegar
1 teas. firmly-packed brown sugar
1 teas. grated orange zest
1 T semisweet chocolate

Heat a heavy skillet and put in the chilis, pressing on them with a spatula until they soften and blister.   Then put them in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Soak for 15 minutes, then drain carefully so that you have 1 cup of water left.

Blender:  chiles and the liquid, garlic and puree until smooth.

Toast the cumin, clove and peppercorns until fragrant - don't burn them.  After they've cooled, put them in a spice grinder.

Put the pork in a 5-qt. crockpot, sprinkle with the ground spices, add the onion, marjoram, bay leaf and cinnamon.  Pour the pureed chilies over, stir well and cook for six hours.

Lastly:  Remove and discard the bay leaf, stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, orange zest and chocolate.  Serve hot.

ARROZ CON LECHE or Rice Pudding with Cinnamon
3/4 cup short grain Arborio rice
1 cup evaporated milk
3 cups whole milk
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup agave syrup
3 T sugar
1-in. cinnamon stick
1 tes. Vanilla extract

Put everything in a 4 or 5 qt. crockpot, cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.  Stir the rice every half an hour.  When it's done, fish out and discard the cinnamon stick.  Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream.

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