Sunday, July 24, 2011

Encacahuatado - peanut and chile sauce from Mexico

By request I had to make a Mexican lunch yesterday so I made encacahuatado de pollo (chicken in peanut and chile sauce) for the first time in my life. I had been wanting to try to make encacahuatado for years and I finally did it! It turned out delicious even though I used very little chile since my mother-in-law is a bit sensitive to hot foods and I really wanted her to enjoy this delicious summer lunch.


1 cup raw, hulled, peanuts
1 ancho chile
1 large tomato
2 garlic cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 black pepper corns
2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
5-6 epazote leaves
6 cilantro stalks with leaves
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp vinegar (applecider is best)
1-2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

4 pieces cooked chicken of your choice (breasts, thighs, legs)


In a dry iron skillet (or comal) toast the ancho chile for about 2 minutes on each side. Put in a bowl with hot water to soak. In the same skillet, toast the peanuts for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Still often! Put the peanuts in a bowl and let cool. Toast the garlic cloves until golden brown and the cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves for 2-3 minutes. Put aside in a bowl. Toast the tomato until cooked and the skin is mostly scorched on all sides. This takes a while but the taste is wonderful. Peel the tomato and slice it into chunks.

Remove the seeds from the ancho chile. Grind the peanuts and spices in a coffee grinder or spice grinder. If you don't have one of those then just put them in a blender (the sauce turns out a bit chunkier but the taste is the same). Blend the ancho chile, peanuts, spices, herbs, tomato, vinegar, sugar and 1 cup of the chicken broth until smooth.

Heat 1/3 cup canola oil in a medium-sized pan. Pour the blended sauce and cook on low heat until thick and smooth (about 15 minutes). Stir often. Add more broth as needed. The sauce should cover the back of a wooden spoon when it is done.

Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and serve with Mexican white rice and refried beans. Warm corn tortillas on the side are great with this dish!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mexican Summer Lunch

The weather in Sweden this summer has been very very Swedish. Rain, sun, cold, hot, more rain, more sun is just normal for Swedish summers; not like the past couple of years with extreme heat and barely any rain.

On sunny days I like to make Mexican Tostadas with Agua de Sandía (Watermelon Ade) for lunch. This is a very easy to make dish that is great for vegetarians/vegans (they can top it with whatever is suitable), children, picky eaters, and everyone else!

I will not give exact amounts but just the basics for a single tostada.


Corn Tortilla/s (a couple of days old and quite dry)
Mexican refried beans (brown or black)
Shredded cooked chicken (or other topping)
Shredded lettuce
Sliced onion (optional)
Sour cream
Fresh cheese (Greek Feta is fine)

Fry the tortilla in plenty of hot oil. Drain excess oil on paper towels. Spread refried beans, top with chicken, lettuce, onion, sour cream, cheese, avocado slices, and some hot salsa to taste.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wonderful cookbooks

As a foodie, I seldom follow recipes. I just read them and get inspired. And then make my own dishes based on lots of different sources. Today I did the opposite! I followed Rosanna Nafzinger's descriptive recipe for Dutch Baby. This is the result.

Wonderful! Isn't it? Well, my Kid ate most of it, with homemade wild sour cherry jam (recipe coming up later). And the Kid already asked if I can make it again tomorrow! I think that if an 11-year old want seconds for days and days the dish has received about 15 Michelin stars :-)

Well, Rosanna Nafzinger and Ken Albala (one of my favorite foodies) have just published a wonderful book: The Lost Art of Real Cooking (get it here at Amazon).

If you love to read books, love to read cookbooks, love to get inspired by how we humans have dealt with different kinds of food, how we have adapted foods to be digestible, how we have preserved summer's bounties, how we spent time in the kitchen cooking, preserving, loving food, this is a must have. I just received my copy of this wonderful book and I already use it in my kitchen! This seldom happens with other foodie books, which I usually devour but seldom follow.

The Lost Art of Real Cooking is just a great must have for every foodie out there.

We can't wait for autumn so we can start pickling things....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More strawberries!

Strawberry sorbet is really great when the heat just makes it impossible to cook. I decided to put lots of strawberries in my food processor and mash them into a smooth pure. I put the strawberry pure in a metal pan and in the freezer for about 4 hours and took it out for a good whipping about twice an hour.

This is the result!

Note: you can add some lime or lemon juice if you want or sweeten with raw cane sugar or honey but I love it just as it is.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Breakfast and summer!

We are enjoying an incredible Swedish summer. It's hot and sunny! Fresh strawberries are a part of summer over here and this year they are really tasty. So breakfast today was a fusion Swedish-strawberry-Mexican-licuado.

Just put lots of fresh strawberries and a glass of cold milk in a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Meat, meat, meat!

Just discovered an interesting website, Grassfed Recipes, with lots of good info and tips for us omnivores. I love meat! And I'll probably be harassed by vegans for just stating facts but I do love meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and most anything eatable from our planet's fauna. I also love plants, specially green leaves, and fruits, and... lots of other stuff.

However, at home we try to be as Environmentally Friendly as possible and this means we only eat grassfed meat. Yes, grassfed meat is more expensive... yes, it is harder to get a hold of (at least it has been until recently)... yes, it is tastier, juicier, more nutritious... On the other hand, we do have pretty good access to wild meat since hunting is a very popular activity in Sweden.

So, we eat meat but with a good conscience!

On Twelfth Night we had a small gathering of friends, some omnivores and some vegetarians, and I decided to simplify our evening by making a large pot of chili for the meat-eaters and a smaller one for the veggie-lovers. Since I want to mingle and spend time with my guests I seldom have sit-down dinners and instead arrange self-serve foods that each one can pick and choose from whenever they get hungry during the evening. Our friends are invited to come with their kids, pets, in-laws -you name it! And everyone can find something to their liking at out home.

Recipes will be coming up soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What the World Eats

I want this book!

Check out the pics here.

Don't you? At the very least you can get some perspective on food costs. And, of course, some incredible ingredients that are very inspiring! But some families have sadly fallen for the quick-fix-tummy-filling-bad-for-you-pseudo-food that's become so popular in the past few decades.

What's the deal?