Welcome to Cookin’ with Potty Mouth

chiles en nogada100_0710So, at the urging of friends, I’m starting a blog with the commitment to post as often I can each daily meal I cook.  What inspired me?  Well, first, the movie Julie and Julia (which I haven’t seen yet) and my relatives around the world who have a love of food and will post on their Facebook pages meals they’ve cooked or eaten in restaurants.  I love to cook.  I can recall meals I’ve eaten 20-30 years ago but can’t recall my home address at the time.  I remember the first thing I ever cooked (scrambled eggs – they were really rubbery).  My first school science project had something to do with food chemistry and my mom designated me to bake cinammon and candied fruit holiday wreaths every year. 

Along the way, I hope to share anecdotes about food, friends, travel, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Oh about the name?  Well this was suggested to me by a friend in Phoenix, AZ, where I last lived before moving to Los Angeles.  Potty Mouth is a fox squirrel who comes by to vist me daily.  I’ve grown poor feeding him (and other squirrels) walnuts, almonds, peanuts and  sunflower seeds (he favors the first two) and keeping him in the life to which he has become accustomed.  I’ve posted cute anecdotes about him from time to time on my Facebook page and he’s become sort of a Facebook celebrity.  For example, he is my daily alarm clock.  He perches on the beam outside my bedroom window and chatters at Trixie, the Chihuahua next door.  Trixie goes nuts yapping at him.  Afternoon’s he drapes himself of the tree outside my office on the other side of the house and harasses the cats.  Only he gets irritated because they merely turn their backs on him and start cleaning themselves – or sleeping.

Anyway, to get to the food.  I’ve been posting photos on Facebook for a while, and at some point, I’ll get back to them and upload them along with recipes.  But for now, today’s recipe is Chiles en Nogada.  It’s the national dish of Mexico to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, September 16 (not it’s NOT Cinco De Mayo! that was the Battle of Puebla when Mexican forces defeated the French).   The date commemorates the address Padre Miguel Hidalgo made just before midnight at a church in Guanajuato, Mexico, where he urged the people to revolt against Spain.  No one remembers exactly what he cried out, but every year, the president, governors  and mayors throughout the country reenact the bell ringing and Grito with whatever suits them politically at the time.  (Incidentally, next year 2010 will be the 200th anniversary of the Grito – Mexico’s bicentennial, if you will).I was flipping through channels and landed on the Spanish language news last night just in time to see President Felipe Calderon ring the bell and reenact the “Grito De Dolores” and figured – why not try to make this classic dish?

I was in Guanajuato in 1984 on September 16 and was invited to an independence day party.  Alas, no Chiles en Nogada.  The hosts there decided to do a “Frontera” theme (Northern Mexico) so it was all barbecue with cowboy hats and boots.  Besides the barbecue, I remember a HUGE St. Bernard dog pushing everyone out of the way on the dance floor. 

Chiles En Nogada is a popular September 16 dish because the colors are red, white and green – the same as the Mexican flag.  Supposedly it was invented by a bunch of nuns in Puebla, in the state of Oaxaca, just like another classic Mexican Dish – Chicken Mole.  Essentially, it’s a green chile stuffed with ground pork, fruit and nuts, and topped with a walnut cream sauce and studded with pomegranate seeds.  I’ve found many, many variations of the recipe and what I made was based on composite of several recipes and based on what I could find and what’s in my fridge.  So here’s my recipe.  Viva Mexico!  Viva la comida! Y vivan las ardillas! (squrrels):

Chiles

Eight poblano (pasilla chiles) – roast whole peppers under the broiler, until the skin begins to blister but don’t let it go black.  Turn until entire surface of peppers is blistered.  Put in a plastic bag for ten minutes to steam.  Then take them out, peel off the skin.  Cut small slit in side of each pepper and scoop out seeds.  Drain chiles on paper towels.

Stuffing

1 lb. ground pork,  1/2 cup onion – finely chopped, 2 cloves garlic minced,1/4 cup raisins, 2 tbsp chopped pimento, 2 tbsp hulled sunflower seeds, 1 tsp cinammon, several dashes of Magi seasoning, 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Saute above ingredients in a frying pan, starting with the pork and adding each of the subsequent ingredients as the previous is incorporated into the mix.  Let mixture cool.

Just before serving, spoon stuffing into peppers.  Turn stuffed peppers on their sides so that the the open side is down.

Sauce

3/4 c. sour cream (I used light), 1 clove finely minced garlic, few dashes of Magi seasoning, 1 tsp cornstarch.  Blend ingredients together and microwave on medium power till hot.  add 1/4 c soft goat cheese (e.g. chevre) and blend well.  Mix in 1/4 cup chopped walnuts.

Just before serving, microwave stuffed chiles till hot (Mexicans usually serve the dish at room temperature but I had refrigerated the stuffing).  Spoon sauce over chiles and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

This dish was amazing!  John loved it, it reminded him of something he had in Juarez Mexico, where he worked for a year while we were living in Arizona (well I was in AZ, he was in El Paso/Juarez).  Poblano chiles will give moderately hot heat.  If you want milder chile, substitute Anaheims or California chiles.

Above, photos of Chiles En Nogada and Potty Mouth relaxing.  Viva Mexico!

(c) All rights reserved.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Welcome to Cookin’ with Potty Mouth”

  1. mamarose Says:

    Viva las ardillas, indeed. Love love love this! And I cannot WAIT for the holiday wreath recipe…

  2. squirrelmama Says:

    Thanks mamarose for inspiring me to do this! I think I’m getting the hang of it after several tries and crashing my computer a couple of time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: