One thing I've noticed in the difference between my daughter Jo's cooking style and mine, is that she likes to cook in themes. Now I've made Indian feasts and other ethnic meals, but only as a big production, spending at least 1-2 days in production - certainly not for a "weekday dinner". And of course, I mix various cultures all the time, but I rarely actually think about a specific geographic area when planning "regular" meals.
This was a tag team event which started out when Jo decided to do a Thai meal one night (it would have been last night but the mango I bought - ripest I could find - will not be ready until the weekend) and Mexican the next. Her idea was (and a meal she makes often) is some refried beans, some rice and fried tortillas. It's food she and her husband love and especially enjoyed when they were in Mexico. I, on the other hand am not a huge fan, although I do love quesadillas, I'm not sure if the ones I make are authentic. There is one truly Mexican dish I adore though - Mole de Pollo (chicken stewed in a rich, spicy, chocolate gravy). I first had it on my honeymoon in Mexico and I drool every time I think about it. Shockingly, Jo had never tried it. "Impossible, you were in Mexico and never tried this very chocolatey stew?" Now, truth to tell, I've never made it myself but I was definitely up to the challenge if she would whip up her usual dishes.
I found a gazillion mole recipes on the internet, and settled for a Mole Colorado de Pollo on RecipeBazaar. I didn't find the requisite dried ancho chilies (I have some in my pantry back home, but that doesn't help me here) so I used some chipotle chili in adobo sauce. Not knowing the difference in taste and heat of various peppers, I'm not sure if that changed the dish. It didn't turn out quite as rich or dark a flavor as I remembered, but it was very tasty, none the less. While I was making the chicken (with the excellent assistance of her friend J) and some Jalapeno Cornbread, she whipped up the beans and rice and fried some tortillas to dip in some store bought salsa. I couldn't watch how she was preparing everything, but she promises to give me her recipes for quick versions and when she does, I'll include them here.
Fried Corn Tortillas & Salsa
As for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging Event, (I hope you get your water thawed soon) which is being hosted by Ed at Tomato this week, I can assure you that lots of cilantro got sprinkled on everything for both color and flavor. The chicken, in addition to lots of spice had oregano and thyme too.
Now I wonder what country we'll cover for our next meal......
Related links: Food and Drink recipes Weekend Herb Blogging menu chicken beans rice bread