Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Time Line Convergence

Public domain image
This past weekend was a momentous convergence of the Time Line. It was the Anniversary of the Founding of Pátzcuaro. It was also the 8th Anniversary of our coming here to live. And finally, Saturday, not to slight it, was my 71st birthday. It's almost inconceivable that I could reach this age. I'm a little creaky in the limbs, but still functioning.

Earlier, we realized that we had not fired up our Kingsford Barrel Cooker during the past year. We decided that the time was right, and yesterday, we more than overcame the deficiency.

Mine, and mine alone!
We invited about 9 friends to enjoy a semi-outdoors comida.

Here's the menu. Naturally, there were last minute modifications, which in our opinion only served to make the feast better. The contributors' names are noted.

  • Guacamole and tostadas (Mark)
  • Chayote Salad (Nancy)
  • Potato Salad (Eileen)
  • Frijolitos con puerco y tortillas hechas a mano (MaoTey)
  • Hot flour tortillas 
  • Papas Cambray al ajo (Don Cuevas)
  • Sweet Corn on the cob (Doña Cuevas)
  • Fajitas de arrachera, and two kinds of sausages (Los Cuevas)
  • Salsa Asada con Nopalitos, Salsa Verde Cruda; Verduras en Escabeche (Don Cuevas)
  • Tembleque (Postre) (Georgia)
  • Coffee and Licor de Mandarina Casera (Don Cuevas)
The meal was a great success, and at the end, we distributed leftovers to the guests. (We also had Cerveza Victoria to drink, and some guests brought their favorite wines.)

I'll give the recipes for the two salsas, below.

Salsa Verde Cruda
CREDITS: http://saborsinsaber.blogspot.mx/2008/05/salsa-verde-cruda.html


Para aproximadamente 1/2 litro (no hacer de más porque gran parte del chiste es que la salsa sea del mismo día)

• 1/2 kilo de tomates verdes (escogerlos con cuidado verdes oscuritos, no muy grandes, brillositos, yo me he tardado hasta 10 minutos en escoger medio kilo)
• Entre 7 y 12 chiles serranos (o de árbol verdes, un poco más porque son chiquitos, o cueresmeños, un poco menos porque son más grandes)
• 1/4 de una cebolla mediana.
• 1 manojo pequeño de cilantro (unos dos pesos en el mercado) las puras hojas, nada de ramas (ustedes saben, no se hagan)
• 1 diente de ajo
• Sal (un poco más de un cuarto de cucharada sopera)


Obvio, desinfectar TODO, recordemos que es salsa cruda. Importantísimo mis niños, es el orden en que ponen los ingredientes en la licuadora, ése es el secreto. Poner primero la sal, segundo el ajo, luego un tomatito chiquito (no es brujería, es para que no se fuerce de más la licuadora), después el cilantro, los chiles, la cebolla y al final el resto de los tomates.

Se licua todo. Si vemos que no esta licuando bien, apagar, empujar para abajo los ingredientes, prender nuevamente, y así hasta que todo se licué. Importante, no licuar de más, cuando todos los ingredientes se incorporen (cuando todo dé vueltas) dejar dos segundos licuando y luego apagar, así tendrá consistencia como de molcajete, si alguna cosa no se licuó bien, no importa, le da más realismo.

Pare terminar. Se puede picar un poco de cebolla y cilantro y ponérselo revolviendo todo. Y ya poniéndose muy finos, agregarle aguacate, en ese caso la salsa no se puede guardar pues se hace fea.

Por último, bajo ninguna circunstancia agregar agua a la hora de licuar, eso es de amateurs y se nota en el resultado.
(O.k. then, so I'm an amateur. I had to add water in order to chop the ingredients. The results were satisfactory.)

My Salsa Verde Cruda

The Salsa Roja Asada con Nopal was based on the wonderful salsa we'd first enjoyed at the beautiful, breakfast only restaurant, El Gorgeo de Los Aves in Ziracuaretiro, Michoacán.

Salsa con nopal at El Gorgeo
Mine wasn't quite as lustrous looking, but tasted great nevertheless.

Doña Cuevas roasted about 6 large, ripe Roma tomatoes, 2-3 large chiles jalapeños, 1/2 of a white onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, and a handful of nopal pads. I tried to grind the roasted ingredients in a molcajete, but its capacity was too small, so I ended up pulse chopping it in a Cuisinart food processor. Salt and chopped cilantro are added to your taste. When it was done, I returned most of it to the molcajete, for visual appeal.

The meats were cooked al punto, thanks to our guest, Everardo.

Grilled Arrachera
Arrachera and chorizos ready to serve

 At the finale, we enjoyed the delicate coconut milk pudding, Tembleque, the perfect light dessert after a hearty meal.

I was surprised but delighted to receive a number of gifts, as we had not mentioned the birthday aspect in the invitations. Thank you, one and all.

Don Cuevas 


Steve Cotton said...

I wish I could have joined you. But I am now back on the beach.

Tancho said...

Happy belated Birthday, funny you don't look a day over 75.....
Ahh, roasted tomatoes one of my favorites. I started cutting them and laying them out flat, gives more roasting burn area, try it some time. Just cut and unroll like a book.
Hope you have many more Birthdays to come!

DonCuevas said...

Happy Belated Gracias.
Tomatoes: they don't lose their juice whem cut open and grilled?


Bixa Orellana said...

How unutterably cool & clever of Patzcuaro to share a bithday with you! The party looks delightful & delicious. I imagine there were appropriate nighttime cohetes, as well.

Long may you cook!


Andean said...

Salsa goes with everything, and everything goes with salsa. A pleasant food staple in my culture. And the varieties...

Felipe Zapata said...

A belated birthday greeting.

DonCuevas said...

Gracias, mi viejo.

Don Cuevas

John Calypso said...

Don Cuevas - Happy Birthday Amigo - just hit my 67th the other day as well. Still feeling pretty darn good. You are something to strive for - (even though just 4 little years between us). I consider it a lucky break to have 'met' you via this medium.

And your latest food looks scrumptious as always - you are da man!

DonCuevas said...

Gracias, John. Ojalá que encontrarnos algún día.

Don Cuevas