One of the positive side effects of telework is that the teleworkers have more discretionary time. In order to help prevent any stress that might result from trying to decide what to do with all this newfound leisure, we have decided to occasionally publish a recipe that has been tested in JALA's kitchen. We will just add them to this page until space becomes a problem. Here goes!
This one is quasi Mexican. That is, it was derived from several other recipes from Mexican restaurants and cookbooks but isn't identical to any of them. If you have a food processor it takes about 45 minutes to get it to the simmering point and up to 10 minutes of final preparation. Most ingredients are generally available; the more exotic components should be available in most Latino food stores.
Remove the stems and tear the dried pasilla and ancho chiles into pieces about 1 cm wide. If the intended consumers of this dish are sensitive to seeds, remove them; otherwise put the torn up chile pieces and the seeds into the hot chicken stock and let them soak for at least 20 minutes. Do this first, before you start anything else.
If you have a food processor, chop the garlic, then add the onions, then the serrano or jalapeño chiles. Chop until the pieces are lentil-sized (about 2 to 4 mm). Heat the oil in the frying pan and sear the pork chops over high heat, about 4 minutes per side. Remove them from the pan and set them aside on a plate (put the plate in an unheated oven if you wish). Then, without cleaning the pan, sauté the garlic-onion-serrano mixture over medium to high heat until the onions are just brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often enough to keep them from burning.
While the onion mixture is sautéing, add the soaking chiles, with the chicken stock, the cumin and the tomatoes to the blender containing the pulverized walnuts and blend until you have a fairly smooth puree. Add this to the onions when they are browned and stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and simmering. Then return the chops to the pan, turn them about in the sauce until they are covered, and heat until the mixture is simmering again. Then cover the pan, lower the heat to low and cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until the chops are tender, turning the chops over once or twice during the process.
At the end of that period, check the sauce. If it is watery, remove the chops to a plate and cover them. Then heat the sauce over high heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened. Then pour the sauce over the chops and serve with rice and a vegetable.
This one is of mixed ethnicity so I gave it a Germanic title just for confusion's sake. We're just into low fat diets that taste good. Hence we tend to use lots of chicken at home.
Marinate the chicken in the lime juice and sliced peppers for at least half an hour; overnight (or at least a few hours) in the refrigerator is better. If you're a home-based teleworker, do this bit after lunch.
Select a skillet large enough to hold all the chicken pieces so that they don't touch each other (otherwise do the chicken in batches). Heat the oil to where it just starts to smoke. Add the garlic slices then, as they become lightly colored, the onion rings and sliced chiles. Sauté until the onions are limp.
Add the chicken parts, skin side down and braise over high heat, turning often to color them evenly, until they are golden brown (about 12 minutes). Remove the chicken to a plate.
Spoon off all but 1 Tablespoon of oil from the skillet and add the tomatoes and cumin. Braise until most of the liquid has boiled off, stirring frequently. Add the water and Vermouth mixture and bring to a boil, while stirring in the tomato mix. Add the fish sauce to give a rounder flavor.
Return the chicken to the skillet, cover it, and cook over low heat, turning the chicken parts over occasionally, for half an hour to 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Serve with rice or polenta, a green vegetable, a dry red wine (such as a Rioja), and graciously accept the kudos of your diners.
This is a variant on the previous recipe. It doesn't involve a marinade, so it can be prepared sooner. It has particular pizzazz for pepper lovers.
Defat the chicken pieces.
In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, then add the onion, peppers, and ginger and chop/mix them all together (or you can do this by hand if you're processor-challenged).
Select a skillet large enough to hold all the chicken pieces so that they don't touch each other (otherwise do the chicken in batches). Heat the oil to where it just starts to smoke. Add the chicken parts, skin side down and braise over moderately high heat, turning often to color them evenly, until they are golden brown (10 to 15 minutes). Remove the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but a tablespoon of oil/fat from the skillet.
Add the minced vegetables from the food processor, together with the diced tomato, and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is fairly firm. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
Return the chicken parts to the skillet and turn them about in the sauce until they are coated. Place the parts skin side down. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes and then turn the chicken parts over. Partially cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Uncover, add the cilantro, mix it in and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is almost falling off the bone.
Serve with vegetables and rice or potatoes (something to soak up the juices). A nice Beaujolais or Zinfandel does well with this.
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Last modified: Monday September 26, 2011.